lesismore From United States of America, joined May 2007, 142 posts, RR: 1 Posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6823 times:
I will be traveling in a couple of weeks, and some of my flights will be on US Airways (unfortunately, all of my flying will be domestic). While browsing through their website, I came across that they now have an Airbus A330-300 in their fleet. Curious to know what the seating configuration is, I couldn't find a seating chart on their website. I went to seatguru, and saw that the A330-300 has two Envoy classes, with two different sets of seats. Seems a little odd to me. Can anyone shed some light on this? Thanks in advance!
I'm a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn't have the heart to let him down. - Abe Lincoln
PI4EVER From United States of America, joined May 2009, 706 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6809 times:
US has had the A330-300 in its fleet since the late 90's. It added the A330-200 series in 2009.
At the time that US was interested in joining Star Alliance, it (the Star organization) required an international airline to have a 3 class aircraft for its transatlantic product. Stephen Wolf had the A330's ordered with one row of sleeper seats that were sold as First Class, and a separate Business class compartment that created the Envoy product. Row 1 is separated by a divider (or was at introduction) and is a lie-flat sleeper in contrast to what was offered in Envoy so there was a distinctive First Class product.
At some point just prior or after the US/HP merger, these aircraft were reconfigured, reducing the size of Envoy, adding more Y class in its place and simply "merging" row 1 into Envoy as a "Sleeper" Envoy seat available through upgrades. Chairman's Preferred members get first dibs on those seats and if available can also be purchased as an upgrade at the 24 hour or day-of-departure time of check-in by others.
In the first half of this decade the Envoy service/product was excellent. Airport lounges, seat comfort, food and cabin service on a new Airbus aircraft was top notch, and domestic first class rivaled most competitors. Changes occurred as a result of the new direction US as the new "LCC" took, along with changes resulting from cutbacks due to both bankruptcies. Their newest addition of the 200 series with a new lie-flat product in Envoy, with a retrofit coming to all 300's with the new seat, may once again help them regain some premium business if they upgrade some soft product features as well.
I hope this info is helpful,