State of Platinum level service

Old Oct 24, 18, 12:56 pm
  #1  
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State of Platinum level service

Declining service in Platinum class in Finnair finally made national news today. I can recognize many points Mr Kaukinen is pointing out. Unfortunately Kauppalehti is focusing on 7 EUR sandwich deal gone bad. Find full description behind the LinkedIn link.

https://www.kauppalehti.fi/uutiset/f...f-13d04044343e

Having been on plat level now two seasons I would consider free Comfort seat as breaking point for me. What’s yours ? Or maybe Platinum is not aimed anymore for Economy class travelers ?
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Old Oct 24, 18, 1:03 pm
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Well, I guess the grass always seems to be greener on the other side. I have quite limited experience on flying with Lufthansa, but the times I've been with them, haven't really impressed me. And if we talk about lounges, FRA lounges are really not that special when compared with AY's lounges at HEL. But as always, each to their own. YMMV.
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Old Oct 24, 18, 3:07 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by feixing View Post
... Or maybe Platinum is not aimed anymore for Economy class travelers ?
Que?!
Most tier perks are Y related. Some are usuable for both Y and J traveller.
Only perk I see that could be interpreted as directed at J flyer is family upgrade.
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Old Oct 24, 18, 8:01 pm
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I think there are two separate issues here.

Mr Kaukinen came across the typical Finnish customer service attitude. He's trying to promote himself the good customer service standards that were mostly created in the US, but Finnair just isn't there. Shouldn't be a surprise for a Finn.

The diminishing FF perks is a different question. It's been a long-time trend and it's tied to flying becoming all the time more common and cheaper. The amount of frequent flyers is growing constantly so it's not that special anymore to be a Plat. I guess that's one of the reasons why Lumo was created.
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Old Oct 24, 18, 8:10 pm
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The pre-order food has definitely been a tough one for Finnair. In the past, had almost a handful of consecutive LH flights to which I pre-ordered a meal. Each time meals not loaded and cabin crew completely clueless. Once they finally got it right (I think I ordered the reindeer that time), the FA insisted that I could not choose my starter as I had pre-ordered, and he absolutely would not budge Maybe a clever way of managing inventory...

From my point of view, AY's service seems to have improved overall. But my pattern is mostly LH, and have been lucky to do that in J.
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Old Oct 25, 18, 12:07 am
  #6  
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Hopefully LH serves him equally well as AY routewise and timetablewise if being Finland based
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Old Oct 25, 18, 1:53 am
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This is the problem with online journalism: you can basically turn anything into an article, regardless whether or not the topic has any news value. (This article is currently #1 on the list of most read articles on kauppalehti.fi, though, which unfortunately speaks against my point...)

It definitely looks like AY customer service could have handled the 7 EUR sandwich situation better but otherwise the guy's rant on his Linkedin post doesn't seem too justified to me. Anyone who flies a lot has probably seen similar and worse customer service failures and this wouldn't warrant being addressed in a newspaper, even though the sandwich itself may not have been the whole point.

"Offering only one free drink for plats feels only provocative and it's a petty gesture towards their top-tier customers." "Lufthansa gives you free beer and sandwiches." "A loyal customer doesn't care whether the ticket costs EUR 100 or 110, you should reward the loyal customer accordingly". Hmm.. actually you get a free choice of seats at any time, a free piece of luggage, the use of priority queues, food and beverages at the lounge and free champagne on board etc. Looking at this example, I have no problem paying EUR 10 extra (or more) for that and wouldn't take pride on being a loyal customer and a patriot in such equation, it's only the smart thing to do. And not many loyal or non-loyal customer would choose Lufthansa and their 5.55AM departure and a connection in Germany to save 10 EUR. And I would never recommend to let the fact that LH serves a 100-gram sandwich onboard affect anyone's choice of carriers, unless someone wants a proper sandwich or other food onboard in which case you'd have to avoid Lufthansa.

Also, in general, I presume this may not be the most popular opinion but I fully understand if an airline wants to cut costs by means of not including alcohol in their ticket prices.
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Old Oct 25, 18, 2:02 am
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Originally Posted by TTL View Post
Hopefully LH serves him equally well as AY routewise and timetablewise if being Finland based
He mentioned in the LinkedIn comments that he's still going to use Finnair for Asian routes..

"Aasian lennot vedän kyllä edelleen Finskillä ja toivon että nämä pikku asennehommat saadaan korjattua asap."

Especially with that comment I think the whole post was mostly just getting some sweet sweet LinkedIn points with a popular post even though he still has a good point that AY could have handled the sandwich case better.

Last edited by Akkku; Oct 25, 18 at 2:08 am
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Old Oct 25, 18, 2:09 am
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Originally Posted by loimu View Post
Also, in general, I presume this may not be the most popular opinion but I fully understand if an airline wants to cut costs by means of not including alcohol in their ticket prices.
OK - I'll bite. I haven't read the linkedin post as it's not quoted in the link posted by OP, however was alcohol discussed somewhere? Remember that AY does not offer any soft drinks either (except for that absolutely undrinkable blueberry water). With both LH and KL you get a choice - whether it's a local beer or an international soft drink. This may be irrelevant for 1h hops within Nordics, but were I to fly to southern Europe, I would completely understand someone chooses LH over AY - a Star Gold gets privileges like comp bag, lounge, seat selection, priority boarding with LH. LH is also almost always cheaper than AY and sells ok-priced shorthaul J. It boils down to whether you can stomach the time lost on the connection or not.
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Old Oct 25, 18, 2:26 am
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I found his Linkedin post silly, but everyone has freedom of word...

What comes to remys point about ”longer” shorthauls with connection, I have found myself splitting up my routing due to these issues and pricing. I flying HEL-LIS for example, I cannot endure that 5 hours ride with AY close-to-nil service in cramped seat, but find myself booking star alliance with 2+3 hours hops with refreshing stop at FRA or elsewhere, even more so if pricing supports that. I even once made it through IST on Turkish since I could upgrade all legs and enjoy their better recliner seats. Okei people were looking at me weird but each to their own
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Old Oct 25, 18, 6:05 am
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Originally Posted by remymartin View Post
OK - I'll bite. I haven't read the linkedin post as it's not quoted in the link posted by OP, however was alcohol discussed somewhere?
Alcohol was kind of mentioned in his text as he pointed out that with Lufthansa he gets to enjoy sandwich and a beer even with the cheapest ticket. And another point of his was that with LH you get as many beers/drinks as you like, which is of course true. I do agree with you that getting free drinks or food can definitely be a reason for choosing an airline and I of course appreciate free things as well. However, for an AY plat customer there isn't much difference in this regard as the first round of drinks will be free anyway. Therefore, for me even if I had Star gold status, choosing Lufthansa and a connecting flight due to their better service and complimentary offerings over Finnair on a flight that would be e.g. 3 hours if flying direct wouldn't come to my mind. Of course if there was a notable price difference or a tempting price for J, that would be a different story, as it would be if talking about direct flights.

KLM also serves cheaply presented but actually quite tasty pasta in which case also the hot and proper complimentary food can be seen as an advantage compared to Finnair. (However, I have permanently lost hope in their customer service and therefore do my best avoiding them.)
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Old Oct 25, 18, 6:37 am
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I thought that those complimentary offerings would matter more to non-regular flyer. For a 2-3 h flight, I never touch barely edible sandwich and greasy + sugary snacks LH provides as I eat something at lounge before boarding.
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Old Oct 25, 18, 6:51 am
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Originally Posted by remymartin View Post
OK - I'll bite. I haven't read the linkedin post as it's not quoted in the link posted by OP, however was alcohol discussed somewhere? Remember that AY does not offer any soft drinks either (except for that absolutely undrinkable blueberry water). With both LH and KL you get a choice - whether it's a local beer or an international soft drink. This may be irrelevant for 1h hops within Nordics, but were I to fly to southern Europe, I would completely understand someone chooses LH over AY - a Star Gold gets privileges like comp bag, lounge, seat selection, priority boarding with LH. LH is also almost always cheaper than AY and sells ok-priced shorthaul J. It boils down to whether you can stomach the time lost on the connection or not.
Star Golds and HONs have to pay for checked bags on LH when travelling within Europe on Light tickets.
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Old Oct 25, 18, 8:05 am
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I did a random search as HEL-LIS was mentioned here:
LH J 373€ AY J 857€ https://www.kayak.de/flights/HEL-LIS...t=bestflight_a
Those are for a weekend, not suitable for business flyers.
Now from Monday to Wednesday: https://www.kayak.de/flights/HEL-LIS...t=bestflight_a
Same prices as in weekend: LH J 373€, AY J 858€
Beside FRA is good for alcohol shopping(Heinemann Duty Free)
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Old Oct 25, 18, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by loimu View Post
This is the problem with online journalism: you can basically turn anything into an article, regardless whether or not the topic has any news value. (This article is currently #1 on the list of most read articles on kauppalehti.fi, though, which unfortunately speaks against my point...)

It definitely looks like AY customer service could have handled the 7 EUR sandwich situation better but otherwise the guy's rant on his Linkedin post doesn't seem too justified to me. Anyone who flies a lot has probably seen similar and worse customer service failures and this wouldn't warrant being addressed in a newspaper, even though the sandwich itself may not have been the whole point.

"Offering only one free drink for plats feels only provocative and it's a petty gesture towards their top-tier customers." "Lufthansa gives you free beer and sandwiches." "A loyal customer doesn't care whether the ticket costs EUR 100 or 110, you should reward the loyal customer accordingly". Hmm.. actually you get a free choice of seats at any time, a free piece of luggage, the use of priority queues, food and beverages at the lounge and free champagne on board etc. Looking at this example, I have no problem paying EUR 10 extra (or more) for that and wouldn't take pride on being a loyal customer and a patriot in such equation, it's only the smart thing to do. And not many loyal or non-loyal customer would choose Lufthansa and their 5.55AM departure and a connection in Germany to save 10 EUR. And I would never recommend to let the fact that LH serves a 100-gram sandwich onboard affect anyone's choice of carriers, unless someone wants a proper sandwich or other food onboard in which case you'd have to avoid Lufthansa.

Also, in general, I presume this may not be the most popular opinion but I fully understand if an airline wants to cut costs by means of not including alcohol in their ticket prices.
I'd say it's not about cutting costs but instead generating ancillary revenue. Finnair's net profit is something like 5 euros per customer, so anything extra they can squeeze actually makes a difference. You're completely right also that they aren't squeezing plats etc. who get to enjoy drinks onboard and snacks in the lounge.
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