ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

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ratherbee
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ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#1 Post by ratherbee » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:04 pm

http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1543401 ... nada-rouge

Clearly it's a domestic business class product. Here's a shot:

https://www.facebook.com/aircanadarouge ... 34/?type=1

So who are we now competing with since our domestic competitors do not offer this product. It appears the answer is ourselves. The LOU wording forbids this practise for obvious reasons.

I don't care whether you call it Premium, J, or First - it is not a product for the low cost domestic market. So is ACPA challenging this contract violation? Here's what the MEC Chair said: "What caught us off guard was not that the A319s would have a larger seat in the Premium Economy cabin but that it was being marketed as a "Business Class" product." A duck is a duck is a duck as they say. However, what he admits is that they knew a much larger seat was coming to the rouge A319. So was there an agreement between AC and ACPA on this new seat or did rouge just go out and make the investment in this product hoping ACPA wouldn't complain? Of course not. Apparently, management has a signed letter from ACPA allowing this major transgression from the original agreement.

There are likely to be several attempts to define this type of document in an effort to placate this mistake - drawer letter, letter of intent, letter of commitment, etc. However, the most accurate description is a much less palatable label. This letter is clearly what can best be described as a "Sweetheart Agreement." The fact that it remains a secret agreement is astounding.
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#2 Post by SilvrSurfr » Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:18 pm

I'm not sure what you hope to gain by initiating this discussion on an open public form, but it's public knowledge anyway so whatever turns your crank.

If you look in the LOU for ACr in our CA you will see that it is clearly defined that rouge 319's and 767's are allowed to be configured in economy and premium economy. Next take a look at the "premium economy" seat already in the rouge 767. It is for all intents and purposes the same thing. Then look at the ML 787 "premium economy" and see if it is any different from the product being proposed for rouge. The fact that the company has made a poor choice of words and called it business class, changes very little other than exactly that, a disagreement over words. The company does not need a "secret" document or agreement to do what is in plain print in the CA.

I'm not trying to be argumentative here, I'm just stating the facts as they exist.

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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#3 Post by ogopogo » Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:54 am

Make no mistake - there is NOTHING low cost about AC Rouge from a consumer point of view. The public gets fooled again by Bravo Sierra language. Low(er) cost to AC yes, but not to us.

As a loyal AC flyer (long time million miler) if I want to go to TPA or LAS on business, I have NO CHOICE but to fly Rouge. And did you check the prices on the busine$$ cla$$ $eat$?? </rant>

Anyway, I am curious as to why ACPA has to "approve" this.
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#4 Post by altiplano » Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:23 am

Ogopogo...

ACPA has a say because the contract language, which was written by the company during FOS in 2012, expressly states the aircraft may be configured economy/premium economy - not business class.

That said I don't have a problem with it if it's what our customers, such as yourself, want than why shouldn't we provide it?

But since this is a contract that dictates my livelihood and quality of life I think ACPA should get something for it - it's business... Paid DH for rouge pilots? J for FOs/RPs on trans-con/overseas DH? Those are both low cost/no cost things that I'm sure the company would entertain in order to satisfy this important segment of their clientele.
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#5 Post by ratherbee » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:58 am

altiplano wrote:Ogopogo...

ACPA has a say because the contract language, which was written by the company during FOS in 2012, expressly states the aircraft may be configured economy/premium economy - not business class.

That said I don't have a problem with it if it's what our customers, such as yourself, want than why shouldn't we provide it?

But since this is a contract that dictates my livelihood and quality of life I think ACPA should get something for it - it's business... Paid DH for rouge pilots? J for FOs/RPs on trans-con/overseas DH? Those are both low cost/no cost things that I'm sure the company would entertain in order to satisfy this important segment of their clientele.
AP

Actually the LOU that established rouge was negotiated in good faith between both parties and the arbitrator in FOS noted that. There were very few changes made to the original negotiated agreement until recently.

I appreciate that you expect quid pro quo for any concessions that ACPA has apparently agreed to but I question the practicability of that. The entire intent of the LOU, carefully written, prevents rouge from competing with the award winning mainline Air Canada product. This concession is huge and would be hard to quantify.

"The mandate of the LCC will be limited to the market segment seeking low-cost air travel."

Now, with a nod and a wink, our union has signed off on this commitment and is allowing that product into our low cost carrier (sorry low cost doesn't necessarily mean low fares).

The bottom line is that in markets which support a business class product the mainline should remain in place. In other markets that are not viable, rouge is an effective product to keep us in the game. We should not be mixing our brand and that is precisely what someone at ACPA allowed.
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#6 Post by altiplano » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:09 am

The poster was questioning why ACPA should have a say on the product that is onboard rouge. I was responding to that... and perhaps I went a little far with suggesting what we could get...

In response to your comments though...

While the idea of rouge was negotiated preFOS, it was the company's contract that was chosen. They tweaked it submitted it, got it. Period. It's what they asked for. And there were lots of concessions for our group.

As for keeping a leash on the market that rouge is unrolled on? Not sure we can steer that ship entirely or win a grievance on where it is being deployed. I don't disagree with you, I think it does need to be used in target areas and not mingled with mainline and I think the company knows this/has learned and doesn't want negative blowback.

Finally, I think our passengers have a say ultimately on what we provide. Ogopogo 'long time million miler' wants business to LAS or TPA, although most of the market is 'leisure', we shouldn't ignore him and others like him who want business on those routes served by rouge and are obviously AC's bread and butter, lest we risk losing them.

That said we should get something for it, not concede it... Because we all know we're getting jack shit for the next 9.5 years...
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#7 Post by Fanblade » Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:27 am

AC was calling the previous seat equivalent to Business Class and charging for it to boot. ACPA didn't say boo. Why? Because the contract language negotiated prior to FOS makes no mention of service levels. It only mentions a seat. If the negotiators wanted to limit the service they should have said so. As a result Rouge has been providing a business class service to an economy seat from day one.

Rouge was supposed to be limited to leisure routes. What does that mean? Every route has a liesure and business component.

So the only language is the seat itself. Dimensions of the seat, pitch and amenities. Dimensions of the seat are close, but not quite equivelant to mainline. Seat pitch is less and comparable to mainline premium economy. Seat is the same as rouge 767 premium economy which no one seems to have an issue with. No in seat entertainment. Perhaps the negotiators should have limited the 319 to an economy seat only. They didn't. That ship has sailed.

An arbitrator would likely find this a premium economy seat. If he/she didn't the company would simply shrink something to comply.

Face it. The only real limit is 50 fins. The language negotiated was crappy. Rouge was supposed to be a niche market airline. It's not. It's simply a cheaper replica of mainline.

Oh yeah. Off topic but why aren't we being asked if we want ALPA? Wasn't it one of the first recommendations of the governance review?

What I'm suggesting is you are barking up the wrong tree. We are simply watching past mistakes come back to haunt. A mistake that should never have happened.
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#8 Post by ogopogo » Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:03 pm

I never said I preferred business, I was just commenting on the fact that as a consumer and loyal AC customer, I had no choice on certain routes to choose between mainline or Rouge. Give me a choice and I will weigh the pros and cons. I am in business - I "get" the profit argument, but I think the public is getting fooled with the term "low cost carrier ".....

But my original question was related to why the pilots had a say (or even interest for that matter ) on whether or not there were J seats on the aircraft they are flying. I thought their job was to operate the jet safely and efficiently.
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#9 Post by Jimmy_Hoffa » Mon Jun 29, 2015 3:23 am

ogopogo wrote:I never said I preferred business, I was just commenting on the fact that as a consumer and loyal AC customer, I had no choice on certain routes to choose between mainline or Rouge. Give me a choice and I will weigh the pros and cons. I am in business - I "get" the profit argument, but I think the public is getting fooled with the term "low cost carrier ".....

But my original question was related to why the pilots had a say (or even interest for that matter ) on whether or not there were J seats on the aircraft they are flying. I thought their job was to operate the jet safely and efficiently.
Our job is to operate the jet safely.

However, from a union / association / professional view, when the wages and working conditions are different working for rouge due to its conception as a LCC, we have a vested interest to make sure that it doesn't simply become a tool to replace the wages and working conditions at the mainline. Notice how Air Canada now refers to rouge as its "leisure" carrier and not a low cost one.

So far the only lower cost thing about it is the wages and working conditions of the flight and cabin crew. Same agents, same ground staff, same infrastructure, different product. Especially when from the outside replacing routes like YVR-LAX may not seem like a typical leisure route.

Hope that helped.

JH
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#10 Post by Old fella » Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:04 am

From a travelling public prospective, the confusing part on Rouge as I understand it are fares. Most if not all were led to believe Rouge was to be a cheaper mode aka LCC/Leisure , what ever you want to call it. If it is a "substitute" well that is another story. I can see where the travelling public can become confused on it all. Having said that, I have never flown with Rouge so it's service, levels of comfort etc. etc. , I can't comment on other that what I read about which isn't all positive.
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#11 Post by BingBong » Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:32 pm

altiplano wrote:
But since this is a contract that dictates my livelihood and quality of life
Ask consolidated employees what it's like to have a contract with Air Canada
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#12 Post by ratherbee » Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:26 pm

FB

Actually the first sentence under Scope in the LCC LOU does mention service levels.

"The mandate of the LCC will be limited to the market segment seeking low-cost
air travel."

Business Class is not low-cost air travel. The language is simple and clear, a fact I think an arbitrator would appreciate. However not a peep from the ACPA MEC.
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#13 Post by ogopogo » Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:29 am

ratherbee wrote:FB

"The mandate of the LCC will be limited to the market segment seeking low-cost
air travel."
:lol: Haha what a feckin' joke that is!! It may be 'low cost' to the company, but it sure as hell isn't 'low cost' to the passenger. Like I said - give me a CHOICE - and let ME decide if I want to go cheap (and give up some benefit) or go full service. Alas, no.... some routes are Rouge only. Same price, seatback-in-your-face service.

I'm a million miler, Elite for life, but on some routes now I go WJA.
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#14 Post by DH772 » Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:02 am

Help me understand your reasoning.
Being a million miler you are mad about the rouge business product so instead of booking a "business seat" (term used loosely) you'd rather sit in a seat at WJ that offers 2 more inches over rouge?
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#15 Post by mbav8r » Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:14 am

Ogopogo, I'm not sure I believe you entirely because you say you are a million miler and travel business class but because of Rouge you use WJ on some routes. Rouge is a response to WJ and I've been on both. I'm 6'3" 250 lbs, however that is more recent I was 286 lbs so not a small person.
On WJ unless you pay for the premium economy seat, those seat back TVs are very much in your face and without a measuring tape I would be comfortable saying there is less room between arm rest on WJ as well.
If you are willing to pay more, both offer extra room seating so I'm not sure I buy your ranting.
As for why the pilots have a vested interest in keeping Rouge as was originally sold to the arbitrator and Pilots. The pilots at Rouge are paid less than their mainline counterparts and if left to their own devices AC management would replace more and more routes in favour of Rouge, especially if you as a Passenger were to have the same options as Mainline, ie; business class Seating.
You are correct though, it is a low cost tool for the airline an allows a competitive response to WJ or any other low cost airline, the price of fares will be dictated by market forces not webboard complaining.
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#16 Post by Counterpoint » Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:30 pm

FanBlade,

I think the ACPA has a very strong case for breach of contract. The language is very strongly biased to prohibit was it actually being done on the rouge A319.

L74.01.07 of your contract stress unequivocally the words "configured" and the "basis" for seats. If the ACPA can prove that there is no difference between a Business Class seat on a AC A319 and the new product on a rouge A319, then it can be only one other product, and it isn't premium and it isn't economy.

There is no way any arbitrator would allow this breach. It's strong enough language because of configuration alone, never mind the mind numbing array of service.

The ACr was set up to compete against WJ/AT/SW, all of them have or have had a "premium" service. But none of them ever advertised it as a Business Class seat, or inline with a J service.

So, now the ACPA have two parts to contest, the configuration on a seat basis and the non compliance with regard to the "premium" service. Which are identical now to what is being offered at AC.

The ACPA have a strong case here. I'm surprised the leadership don't protect what is evident ?
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#17 Post by ratherbee » Fri Jul 03, 2015 3:15 pm

So...Back to my original post I understand that AC has a letter from ACPA, a drawer letter of sorts. It allows a business class product on the rouge A319's. I wonder if we will get to see it and to see who's signature is on it.
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#18 Post by Fanblade » Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:03 am

Rathebe and counterpoint,

I completely disagree with your assertion that this language is clear and concise. Quite the opposite IMO.

What is the definition of "Leisure"? There isn't one.

What is the definition of a Premium Economy seat? There isn't one. There isn't even an industry wide definition. Premium economy is a service class with a wide variation of seat offerings.


There is zero mention of service levels in the LOU. Your assersion that higher service levels are forbidden in the CA is simply you applying your personal interpretation of the vague language.

This comes down to the seat. It's dimensions. It's pitch. It's amenities. Premium economy is not defined within the CA which means it is left to industry norms as a comparator. Here a wide variation exits.

We don't have a leg to stand on opposing this.

Face it. When AC negotiated this language they did so with the intent that should the all economy product not work, they had the wiggle room to revert much closer to the mainline product.

Ask yourself why the ACPA negotiators did not limit the service level in addition to the seat?

They knew this was a possibility. They knew at the time it wasn't the intent. But they also knew that if the intent changed, AC would have the flexibility to adapt. Remember the TA1 negotiators were very vested in making Rouge work. The company wasn't going to launch a new company without the ability to adapt to market demands. The result was feel good language.

Face it. ACPA has allowed a lower cost replica of mainline to occur. The only reason it is called leisure is because that is the market segment with the lowest margins and its target as of today. If the target market changes so will its branding.
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#19 Post by Counterpoint » Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:15 am

FB,

You sound defeatist, like there is no other option, but to stand by and watch it happen. Likely the result of the pummelling you took during the Finale process.

I think r/bee is on to something. In his first post he has a Facebook link to something advertised as a Business Seat. The level of service is besides the point and as you say isn't related to the language that protects you.

The question you should ask yourself is / does this seat and the basis for it's configuration conforme to the language in your contrac.

The advert says "configuration" and advertises a "business class" seat. Do you think it conformes to the language ?

If your answer is yes, then you've given up on what protects you, if you answer no, then you have a case in front of an arbitrator.

I'm not sure why you blame the language or require definitions, when it is so obvious that a configuration based on a business class seat is in fact admitted by ACr. Your last para, is what is allowing this now, instead of fighting it, or getting something for it by having an arbitrator take your argument.
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#20 Post by Fanblade » Sat Jul 04, 2015 12:14 pm

All along, for the past two years, AC has been providing and marketing a business class product ( usually marketed as eqivelant to) to a premium economy seat on the 767. Up until recently AC was providing a business class product to an economy seat on the 319 and marketing and pricing it as equivilant to business class. It pissed customers off but ACPA did nothing because we have zero language on service levels. Only a seat. Or from stopping the company from marketing something that is questionable. Which in my mind they were.

Now AC has changed the seats on the 319 and is providing a business class product to what they call a premium economy seat just like the 767.

There is no language preventing a higher service level being provided to a premium economy seat. There is no language preventing AC from marketing this product as they see fit. It's the loop hole.
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#21 Post by Counterpoint » Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:23 pm

FB,



Focus on that Facebook advertisement, read the narrative. Have ACr configured ("configuration") on the basis of seats ("seat basis") to anything other than "economy and/or premium economy"?

They've admitted in the advertisement, that it is a Business Class seat, ignore the food tray and concentrate on the seat, it's basis and the configuration.

Your proof is that the very same seat basis and configuration exists on the AC A319 aircraft.

I'm surprise the ACPA leadership are letting this happen. It seems totally obvious.
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#22 Post by Fanblade » Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:58 pm

It's not the same seat. Yes they advertise it ad equivilant to but it is not. The dimensions and pitch are less than bussiness class and inline with Premium economy on the 767 and other carriers PC. No seat back entertainment either.

This comes down to a simple question. Can AC run a bussiness class service to a premium economy seat based on the contract?

I
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#23 Post by Counterpoint » Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:14 pm

Yes it's the same seat. In fact ACr admits it's a "Business Class seat".

"Yes they advertise it ad equivalent to but it is not". If they advertise it as equivalent, then it is, and it is not allowed.

The J class seat, already admitted as such by ACr, is configured 2 x 2 just like the AC A319. The configuration is Business Class, the seat is the same dimension as the AC A319 J Class seat.

The language in L74.01.07 does not allow on a "seat basis" a configuration ("configured") other than "economy and/or premium economy". The seats in premium rouge on the B767 aren't the same as the premium rouge A319. The IFE isn't protected in the LOU 74, which means it's irrelevant.

Now let's ask your question by taking out the word "service" which we both agree isn't protected in your contrac. Also replace AC with ACr, which I think was a typo on your end.

Can "ACr" run a business class "seat" to a premium economy seat based on the contract?

If you answer yes, you are beaten down by the Finale process. If you answer no, then you have a case that you can argue and win in front of an arbitrator. You could even use the admitted "business class seat" in the advertisement to prove your case.

But if you need more proof, all you have to do is show the "configuration" is the same as AC A319 business class.

It so obvious, it amazes me how anybody at the ACPA doesn't consider it a slam run.
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#24 Post by Fanblade » Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:09 am

If you have a case, present it to ACPA. I'm not ACPA. I'm kinda anti ACPA if you can't tell.

Your entitled to your opinion. I don't see it your way at all.

My understanding is that AC does not admit this is a business class seat. Their position is that it is the largest Premium seat they could find.

You can fight this battle if you want. The best you will get is an arbitrator dictating the definition of a premium economy seat. If needed AC will simply install the largest possible based on that definition.

Your trying to put the horses back in the barn. It's too late. No matter what happens AC will continue to provide a business class product to the largest Premium economy seat allowed.

You might want to squabble over millimetres, but your missing the forest for the trees. This situation is nothing more than a past mistake coming back to haunt.

Cheers

FB
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Re: ACPA approves Business Class at rouge

#25 Post by Counterpoint » Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:42 am

FB,

"My understanding is that AC does not admit this is a business class seat".

Here is the advertisement.

"Air Canada rouge is introducing a new Business Class seat in the Premium rouge cabin throughout its entire A319 fleet. The premium cabin in Air Canada rouge’s fleet of 20 Airbus A319 aircraft will be converted by mid-June 2015 from its current 3x3 seating configuration with a blocked middle seat to two side-by-side Business Class seats in a 2x2 configuration... See More"

If you were the ACPA leadership, how did they let this happen. Who let the horses out of the barn? I think that is what r/bee is getting at. The protection for this happening has been breached, but not by language, but by something else? The dimensions are identical, ACr even admits it is, so what is the ACPA doing?

This is very obviously a breach, but somehow at the ACPA they blame the language that stops this?
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