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Blocking Middle Seat - European Business Class  
User currently offlineclrd4t8koff From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 225 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7043 times:

I apologize as I don't know how to incorporate pics from the database into posts, but there is a top pic today of an LH A321's Business Class http://www.airliners.net/photo/Lufthansa/Airbus-A321-231/2204165/L/ where all they have done is taken a coach class layout and blocked the middle seat and called it J? Granted, I understand that this is only used on domestic or intra-european flights, but still it seems "cheap" in my opinion. And if it's an acceptable practice, why aren't other airlines, specifically those in the US looking to cut costs and save money, also adopting a similiar strategy?

Is LH just cheap?

39 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1908 posts, RR: 42
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7042 times:
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Quoting clrd4t8koff (Thread starter):
Is LH just cheap?

In Europe, the blocking of the middle seat and calling it Business Class is common practice. In fact it's quite a challenge to find an airline around here that has actual biz seats in it's short haul fleet!

Martijn



Nothing's worse then flying the same registration twice, except flying it 4 times..
User currently offlineclrd4t8koff From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6993 times:

I get the idea/strategy - have an aircraft capable of either flying as 1 all coach product, or have the ability to sell it as a two class J/Y product. However, as much as the US airlines get ragged on for older flight attendants and overall poor standars of service, they have a leg-up on the European airlines in terms of comfort and space.

User currently offlinecv880 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1137 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6972 times:

Quoting clrd4t8koff (Thread starter):
, I understand that this is only used on domestic or intra-european flights,

Nice IFE as well.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26029 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (2 years 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6948 times:

Quoting clrd4t8koff (Thread starter):
And if it's an acceptable practice, why aren't other airlines, specifically those in the US looking to cut costs and save money, also adopting a similiar strategy?

Virtually every major airline offering a business class product within Europe does exactly the same thing as LH. The average flight in Europe is rarely longer than 2 hours and most are much shorter. Business travellers in Europe value things like free lounge access (which you don't normally get in the U.S. even when paying the F class domestic fare), faster boarding/deplaning, extra baggage allowance, free newspapers, better meal service etc. more than bigger seats. And I personally much prefer having an empty seat next to me. It works very well in my opinion.

You also have to consider that with very rare exceptions, European carriers don't offer free upgrades to the premium classes to their elite frequent flyers. Passengers seated in business class have paid the appropriate fare to sit there.

It also permits much more revenue to be generated since demand varies so much from route to route, day to day, and season to season. I've been on quite a few KL 737s on routes like GVA-AMS where one day there will only be 2 rows allocated to J class and there may be one or two passengers (or none), while another flight on another day at a peak demand time for business travel, there may be 5 or 6 rows in front of the curtain and almost all seats occupied. Seat pitch in those rows on some carriers (KL 737s being one example) is also about 2 inches greater than in the rows used only for Y class further back.


User currently offline817Dreamliiner From Montserrat, joined Jul 2008, 2614 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6870 times:

Quoting clrd4t8koff (Thread starter):

Its a common practice in europe, BA does this with its 737s, though, I think their A320s are slightly different.

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 1):
In Europe, the blocking of the middle seat and calling it Business Class is common practice. In fact it's quite a challenge to find an airline around here that has actual biz seats in it's short haul fleet!

  



Reality be Rent. Synapse, break! Vanishment, This World!
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26175 posts, RR: 50
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6813 times:

I wish a US major would have the balls and adopt the concept.

Much more practical from aircraft configuration along with fleet utilization angle.

Today domestically so few people actually purchase F class seats, the cabins are made up of free upgrades or nonrevs anyhow, so no harm in evolution to the European style product imo.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27342 posts, RR: 60
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6804 times:

The US carriers win on seats in F Class Domestic and European carrier generally win on catering. Shame we cant combine the best of both  

User currently offlineMH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1692 posts, RR: 30
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 6681 times:

The only European airlines with a real Business Class configuration IMHO is Aeroflot; their 320's and 321's have 2-2 in Business Class, while all the other European airlines use the LH-KL (or whatever airline), configuration with the curtain-divider...


don't throw away tomorrow !
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9755 posts, RR: 31
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 6676 times:

I've been on LH 321 flights with more than 20 rows of J class, especially LHR FRA on a Friday evening. Why should the carriers tiurn away passengers willinhg to pay for biz class? This seating arrangement allows a lot of flexibility.

OTH I've been on domestic US - what they call "F" and you get a hot danish for breakfast. Who needs to pick up calories that way?



Es saugt und blaest der Heinzelmann wo Mutti sonst nur blasen kann. Frueher war mehr Lametta.
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3372 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6619 times:

As others have said, seats in business are normally filled with people paying to sit there, unlike in the US where top tier members on Y fares are there instead. Whislt i'm sure 99% of European C pax would rather the US style seats, unless you need a much larger seat on a short hop, most also prefer the superior catering and lounge access you get in Europe.

Quoting MH017 (Reply 8):
The only European airlines with a real Business Class configuration IMHO is Aeroflot; their 320's and 321's have 2-2 in Business Class, while all the other European airlines use the LH-KL (or whatever airline), configuration with the curtain-divider...

The average sector length on SU is much longer than for most EU carriers

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 9):
I've been on LH 321 flights with more than 20 rows of J class, especially LHR FRA on a Friday evening. Why should the carriers tiurn away passengers willinhg to pay for biz class? This seating arrangement allows a lot of flexibility.

Exactly, why limit yourself to selling just 8 seats at peak business times, when you can sell far more. Last week I lfew to Dubrovnik on BA. When I booked, C was just 3 rows. By the time we pushed back, C was back to row 9 (and nearly full). On BAs old 767s, I heard that on some Moscow routes, C extended all the back to row 25 on Friday evenings. On weekend flights, C had only a few rows.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineLJ From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4478 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6615 times:

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 10):

Exactly, why limit yourself to selling just 8 seats at peak business times, when you can sell far more.

Moreover, a limited C-class means you may loose the long haul pax. I've been a CDG-AMS where they had 12 rows of C-class. Probablyh much needed to transport the connecting pax from AF long haul. What would KL do if they hadn't got so many C-class seats? Say no to the pax and thus also losing the business on the long haul flight? Doesn't make business sense.

However, I think the most important reason why EU airlines do this is not mentioned yet. Most large multinationals prohibit business class travel for even senior employees if the travel time is under a certain limit (which can vary from 4 to 6 hours). This means that C class is mostly filled with connecting pax and it also requires a large Y class. Thus in order to get the maximum revenue one has to be very flexible.


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2302 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 6601 times:

Quoting MH017 (Reply 8):
The only European airlines with a real Business Class configuration IMHO is Aeroflot; their 320's and 321's have 2-2 in Business Class, while all the other European airlines use the LH-KL (or whatever airline), configuration with the curtain-divider...

TAROM as well  

Although the business class section is getting smaller as time goes on... probably not long until it will disappear.

I wouldn't pay for this "fake" business class--and it could worse: KL used to not even block the middle seat until a year or 2 ago.

Yeah, there is something US airlines do better, after all. And, no, I don't really care about the "business" side of airlines. I only care about the passenger experience.


User currently offlineqf002 From Australia, joined Jul 2011, 3020 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6567 times:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 7):
The US carriers win on seats in F Class Domestic and European carrier generally win on catering. Shame we cant combine the best of both

It's time you made a trip down here to Australia...


User currently offlineflyTPA From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 139 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6564 times:

This past May I took 4 flights on TK. All were on the A321 (even though the scheduled flights were supposed to be a mix between A320, A321 and 738). MUC-IST and IST-AMM were all standard economy seats with the center seat blocked. AMM-IST and IST-FRA were likewise on A321 aircraft but these had two different types of seats that were far superior to domestic F in the United States. The best was on the IST-FRA sector where the seats actually had footrests and could be similar to an international wide body C-class cradle seat (before the new generation of lie-flats or similar). The food was excellent on all sectors and the CIP lounge in IST was the nicest business-class lounge I've ever been in (Only the LF First Class lounges in FRA & MUC and the LX first class lounge in ZRH are superior). So, you can add TK to the "sometimes" list for decent C-class seating. Even on the relatively short IST-AMM sector, the catering was excellent (even with a midnight departure and a middle-of-the-night arrival).


Signore e signori-benvenuti a bordo questo volo per l'Italia!
User currently offlineCXfirst From Norway, joined Jan 2007, 3090 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6560 times:

Quoting qf002 (Reply 13):
It's time you made a trip down here to Australia...

Funny really. Australia is going the opposite direction to more dedicated business class seats, but that has been more of a push from Virgin.

-CXfirst



From Norway, live in Australia
User currently offlinejfrworld From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 365 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 12 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6373 times:

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 5):
Its a common practice in europe, BA does this with its 737s, though, I think their A320s are slightly different.

No, BA does the exact same thing on their 319s/320s. I've flown Club Europe on a A319/A320 and the middle seat is blocked just like on LH.

Different from US carriers, a meal in standard in Business even on the shortest of flights (e.g. 30 minutes) plus free alcohol including premium champagne.


User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9755 posts, RR: 31
Reply 17, posted (1 year 12 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6354 times:

BA followed LH and others with some delay. Long time after LH guaranteed the free middle seat, BA had the middle seat free only on the lift side whereas all three seats on the right side could be sold.

Contrary to the US, a quality meal plus champagne and good wine and spirits are available on demand in Europe, even on short flights. Lounge access always guaramteed as well What they call "F" in the US does not even match C / J in Europe.



Es saugt und blaest der Heinzelmann wo Mutti sonst nur blasen kann. Frueher war mehr Lametta.
User currently offlineLJ From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4478 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 12 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6321 times:

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 5):
Its a common practice in europe, BA does this with its 737s, though, I think their A320s are slightly different.

AFAIK only the ex-BMI A321s have a genuine C-class and fly exclusively long haul.


User currently offline817Dreamliiner From Montserrat, joined Jul 2008, 2614 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 6258 times:

Quoting jfrworld (Reply 16):
No, BA does the exact same thing on their 319s/320s. I've flown Club Europe on a A319/A320 and the middle seat is blocked just like on LH.
Quoting LJ (Reply 18):
AFAIK only the ex-BMI A321s have a genuine C-class and fly exclusively long haul.

My mistake! I think I got this confused with something else, thanks for the correction.



Reality be Rent. Synapse, break! Vanishment, This World!
User currently offlinebaguy From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 546 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 6237 times:

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 19):

I thin perhaps 817dreamliner was referring to the system where there was a 'crank' and when turned the seats expanded, making the middle seat more of a divider? I think they were known as convertible seats. I have an inkling these were removed some time ago - not entirely sure though!

Baguy


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27342 posts, RR: 60
Reply 21, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6196 times:

Quoting qf002 (Reply 13):

I wouldn't be against that idea   lol... Never flown QF and always wanted to.


User currently offlineblueflyer From Northern Mariana Islands, joined Jan 2006, 4196 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6153 times:
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It's not just intra-European flights. Some airlines go all the way to TLV and MOW with this business class model. Usually, the pitch is slightly better, but it is still a bit long to call it Business Class in my opinion. I suppose the alternative is no flight at all...


I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineMHG From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 796 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 6084 times:

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 10):
On BAs old 767s, I heard that on some Moscow routes, C extended all the back to row 25 on Friday evenings. On weekend flights, C had only a few rows.

I doubt that !
As I have flown a few tims BA´s 767 in C/J class I can tell they offer real C-Class seats in a dedicated section of the cabin (forward of the galley).

It would be very weird if they´d assign some Y-Class seats (behind the galley) as C/J-class.
That´s not going to happen.
On the B 737 and A319/320 it´s a different story. Last time I flew Club world on a B734 it had the middle seat blocked but also added wider armrests with a little pad at the front end of the armrest where one can leave a drink without the need to unfold the mealtray. That little pad does not exist in Y-Class.



I miss the sound of rolls royce darts and speys
User currently offlineqf002 From Australia, joined Jul 2011, 3020 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (1 year 12 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 6046 times:

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 15):
that has been more of a push from Virgin.

Really? VA isn't doing anything that QF doesn't already do (except a priority boarding line perhaps). The lounges, seats, service etc are all very similar once you get past the cosmetic differences on the surface, and follow exactly what QF has already been doing for the last 15+ years.


25 rahulrahul : Is there more legroom?
26 bwaflyer : There are two versions of the 767, a short haul and a long haul seating layout. The short haul version has the convertible seating found on the Airbu
27 rwsea : This probably depends on the airline. On KLM, the first half of the plane (including Business Class) has 33-34" pitch, whereas all seats after the ex
28 Viscount724 : It's actually less than half of the aircraft. KL now sells the unused business class rows with the extra legroom as "Economy Comfort" at a small surc
29 MHG : Well, I´ve only flown on the shorthaul ones (G-BZHA/G-BZHC) so far. Never seen "convertible" Y-class seats since I flew Club Europe only and was sea
30 Severnaya : Also Rossiya has a 'true' business class seat on board its aircraft.
31 gabrielchew : All the shorthual 767s have converitible seats back to door 3 (between 3 and 4, it's only Y seats, and they're cloth not leather). The seats are iden
32 glbltrvlr : LH used to have seats that would adjust by moving the armrests of the outer seats into the area of the middle seat, making the outer seats wider. Not
33 PI4EVER : Accustomed to the more traditional F class in the U.S. I was impressed with BA's Club Europe Business class service between LHR-OSL. As pointed out, f
34 EagleBoy : I always liked the EI J class seat that they had in the past (Willie Walsh scrapped it in 2004/5) The seats were variable config, so you could have al
35 falstaff : I have seen this on AF, KL, and LH. I think it is silly and I would never pay extra for the same seat as I get in Y. That makes sense and I can see w
36 n729pa : I laugh at the folks in Business sitting in those seats, especially when you have a flight perhaps first or last thing and get the same deal or even a
37 Viscount724 : They also get lounge access, far more frequent flyer miles, and often higher baggage allowance. Knowing that the middle seat will always be empty is
38 EL-AL : This is true. The only airline flying a non-"european" C class to TLV is British Airways, operating newly configured A321s, and also swiss when it fl
39 reffado : This technique has been going on for a few years now. Even here in South America it's becoming common. GOL offers this, as does LAN, and I think it's
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