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Simple Question: Empty First Class Cabins?  
User currently offlineBoston92 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3390 posts, RR: 7
Posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3831 times:

Do airlines such as UA ever have an empty first class cabin upon departure or is there usually a group of people that upgrade at the airport. Have you ever been alone in First class? I ask because I am thinking of upgrading for a flight in a couple of days but the seat map shows an empty first class on a 752 and I don't want to be the only one. I know this is a stupid question and trust me, I know more about aviation than what this thread may proove!

Any input would be great.


"Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200 and a substantial tax cut save you 30 cents?"
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJoemac547 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 118 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3710 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

In early 2001 I connected through NRT to SFO on a UA 744. I was the only PAX in F. It was both cool and embarrassing at the same time. Business was about 60% and Econ about 70%. I just chalked it up to a fluke.

User currently offlineAlaskaqantas From New Zealand, joined Dec 2005, 905 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3701 times:

Quoting Boston92 (Thread starter):
752 and I don't want to be the only one.

I wouldn't mind beign the only one in the cabin.

if its Domestic then no, you most likely won't be the only person up there. if its international theres a possibility. Yet with airlines in america 2 class aircrafts always have people in F.

enjoy the flight!
~Cheers-
~~Kyle H.



to some people the sky is the limit, to aviation enthusiasts, its home!
User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8892 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3654 times:

Emptiest I can remember a F cabin being (as a domestic flyer) was about 6 of us up front on a late-night Saturday ATL-STL flight back in October on an MD-80.

One of the big things (at least with DL, which is the airline I stick with) is all Medallions are eligible for a complimentary F class upgrade, and it's pretty rare to have only one Medallion on a mainline plane (not to mention, there's a good chance at least one seat is paid, and non-revs on DL can list for F I believe).


User currently offlineFlyboyOz From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 1985 posts, RR: 25
Reply 4, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3642 times:

ah When I flew from SYD to BNE very early in the morning...first flight to BNE, first class was empty. I went to the first class toilet and saw a purser eating first class meal. Damn i wanna that meal!


The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
User currently offlineMjlhou From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 154 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3635 times:

the F cabin on a domestic flight won't be empty even if others upgrade only on the day of departure. As stated above by others, there's ALWAYS people in the premium cabins in the US on 2 cabin aircraft. I suppose it's possible for you to be the only 1, just not likely. If u don't fly so often, it might be worth it especially if the flight is somewhat of a longer flight. Enjoy and happy travels.

Cheers

MJL



Don't worry about things you can't change or control
User currently offlineDoor5Right From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 707 posts, RR: 16
Reply 6, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3602 times:

Quoting Boston92 (Thread starter):
I don't want to be the only one

Why-ever not?

I think it would be heaven to be the only passenger in a premium cabin!



My soul is in the sky...
User currently offlineBoston92 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3390 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3602 times:

Thanks everybody

Quoting Mjlhou (Reply 5):
If u don't fly so often, it might be worth it especially if the flight is somewhat of a longer flight. Enjoy and happy travels.

I fly a 2-4 times a month and every 2-4 trips (i.e once a month!), I try to upgrade to First class and I just wanted to know if they are ever empty.



"Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200 and a substantial tax cut save you 30 cents?"
User currently offlineBoston92 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3390 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3601 times:

Quoting Door5Right (Reply 6):
Why-ever not?

Well on the 752 there are two maybe 3 f/A just in F. I can hear the "X-Files" music playing right now.



"Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200 and a substantial tax cut save you 30 cents?"
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9489 posts, RR: 52
Reply 9, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3579 times:

Quoting Boston92 (Thread starter):
I ask because I am thinking of upgrading for a flight in a couple of days but the seat map shows an empty first class on a 752 and I don't want to be the only one.

You probably are far enough out yet that the upgrades haven't started. United uses an upgrade system of allowing their elite members in order of status to confirm their upgrades. Then at the airport the last few seats will be given to Upgraders. First class cabins on domestic flights pretty much never go out empty. If they do, the whole plane is pretty empty. There are so many elites that are eager to upgrade even though you have to pay to upgrade on United.

Don't worry you won't be the only one. The cabin is showing empty because no one has purchased a first class seat or used a confirmed regional or systemwide upgrade.

First class on international flights is different though. I have been alone in first class on a lufthansa 747 (had the upper deck with two FAs to myself!). But upgrading on international flights is much harder and costs a lot of money or miles on United unless you are a top elite Premier Executive 1K passenger. So if no one buys it, then it is usually empty unless there are airline employees taking those seats.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineCharlienorth From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1119 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3577 times:

Go for it,FC by yourself can't be beat.

User currently offlineJamesJimlb From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1023 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3572 times:

you want to have first class to yourselrf, trust me!!!!! think about it. a bathroom all to yourself. extra service from the F/A's. leaning back as far as you want. everyseat to yourself! i wish i was the only person in first.  crossfingers  just cross yourfingers and wish for the best.


The sky is no longer the limit, but the mere minimum
User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3802 posts, RR: 29
Reply 12, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3572 times:

Quoting Boston92 (Thread starter):
I am thinking of upgrading for a flight in a couple of days but the seat map shows an empty first class on a 752 and I don't want to be the only one.

Why not? Even if you have some as-yet-unamed (afaik) phobia Wink about being "the only one" in first class, not to worry; you can virtually take it to the proverbial bank that there will be upgrades processed at the airport on day of departure if not sooner.

Quoting Boston92 (Thread starter):
is there usually a group of people that upgrade at the airport.

Yes -- if the F cabin has not been completely spoken for beforehand.

Quoting Boston92 (Thread starter):
Simple Question: Empty First Class Cabins?

Going back to this, the original question, my simple answer would be yes... in the sense that F class cabins would often be empty or nearly so on the U.S. legacies' domestic services if the only way to sit in first class were to purchase a first class fare. In the real world, F cabins of the U.S. legacies (on domestic toutes) are seldom less than full, or very nearly so. The F designation denoting the first class cabin of the U.S. legacies (domestic) might better be renamed to stand for Freeloaders paradise/nirvana -- as in occupied largely by elite members of their caste systems who spend lots of other people's money on lots of cheap loss-leader fares, who have been given an entitlement mentality by the legacies whereby they deserve to sit in first class for nothing more than the cost of their cheap restricted coach ticket (purchased on someone else's dime).


User currently offlineMjlhou From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 154 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3560 times:

Quoting Boston92 (Reply 7):
fly a 2-4 times a month and every 2-4 trips (i.e once a month!), I try to upgrade to First class and I just wanted to know if they are ever empty.

Well.....then you've probably got the upgrades to use up. I would say go for it and don't let the possibility of being the only 1 in the F cabin deter you. Being an FA, I know that some FAs have the attitude that they wish the cabin would be empty if there were only 1 person there. Their job is to give the best service they possibly can give, especially in a premium cabin. As others here have stated, it is probably too eary for upgrades to be processed as most airlines won't begin clearing their premium level passenger upgrades until approx. 48 hours prior to departure.

Cheers

MJL



Don't worry about things you can't change or control
User currently offlineA340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4105 posts, RR: 51
Reply 14, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3547 times:

If there is an empty Premium class it will just be a shut cabin on longhaul. In the US no-one pays for it anymore anyway so it's rare Wink


Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
User currently offlineFURUREFA From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 801 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3527 times:

Quoting Boston92 (Thread starter):
he seat map shows an empty first class on a 752

An empty seat map does not mean an empty cabin; the seatmap is not a good indicator of how full (or empty) a cabin is. It only represents assigned seats, and not booked/purchased ones.

Matt


User currently offlineDYflyer From Norway, joined May 2006, 676 posts, RR: 15
Reply 16, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3486 times:

Actually on my last flight (LHR-OSL with BA) i was the only one on business (no first class on this flight). It was a really cool flight with the f/as sitting down and chatting with me for most of the flight etc.


Life is like a book. If you don't travel, you only read one page.
User currently offlineDeskflier From Sweden, joined Jan 2007, 537 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3445 times:

Just wondering, isn´t there weight and balance considerations involved here? Since First tends to be near the nose and a tail-heavy aircraft is easier to lose control of.


How can anyone not fly, when we live at a time when we can fly?
User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3802 posts, RR: 29
Reply 18, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3426 times:

Quoting Deskflier (Reply 17):
Just wondering, isn´t there weight and balance considerations involved here? Since First tends to be near the nose and a tail-heavy aircraft is easier to lose control of.

This can indeed be an issue with an empty or near-empty forward (first or business class) cabin, where redistribution of pax becomes necessary -- have heard of a few real world instances of this happening. One would hope that some pax would be moved forward from "the back of the bus" rather than pax sitting up front being evicted to ensure correct weight and balance.


User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3370 times:

Back in the day, UA sent DC10s to ANC, nonstop from ORD during the summer tourist season. The season runs May - Sep. Ending the first Friday in Sept.

I was returning to ANC from business, and chose the ORD-ANC non-stop on the last the last day of that seasonal flight. There were perhaps 30 people on the entire plane. The crew was awesome, moved anyone that wanted to come up to the F cabin, since it was empty. We had a rather enjoyable 'party' on the way to ANC that night.

Great ride that night.

I do remember waiting forever for take off that night. Usual procedure at ORD is to enter runway 34 a T-10 for departure, but this evening our a/x was heavy with fuel for the long haul to ANC . . . the pilot wanted the entire runway. ATC sent us down there and we waited 40 minutes before our take-off, while a/c after a/c departed 34 from T-10.

Gotta love UA Channel 9.


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