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Topic: Labelling Economy As "Premium"?
Username: ely747
Posted 2013-06-03 16:32:11 and read 7264 times.

Hi all,

after recently concluded Israel trip I'm trying to figure out whether or not is AF right in marketing their A320 business class seats as a premium product, which for me personally is not so premium after all.

The moment you get on board and are received by 3x3 configuration you start asking yourself if your flight has got a single class seating. Obviously you want to be 100 % sure and visually double check for the leg room. Surprisingly enough you get a "warm welcome" by almost exactly the same space as in economy. No seat build in IFE either. For a moment you're beginning to think that it's actually all economy configuration. Well not until you proceed further and take notice of flat boards which look something like armrests making the middle seats vacant. Okay at lease there's a curtain separating the two cabins. Weired you might want to say.

Just to name a few examples: LH and BA downguaged equipment on TLV route last year. I did not welcome the change, however both airlines now use A321s which come with standard business class seating or flat beds respectively.

Did LOS-MAD segment on IB's A319 which had far more appropriate business class seats then AF. Hot meals were being provided including economy cabin, while AF says A320 is not big enough to house kitchen equipment to keep the food warm.

LY 737s offer proper business class seating and hot meals.

Just wondering why can't AF remove the middle seats and refit the front of A320 anew. As it stands I failed to see how can AF justify the reason to charge full business fare on selected routes while providing a coach class experience. The middle seats with armrest are non revenue anyway. Or the problem is with AF A320s are being deployed on shorter domestic / European routes as well as mid-haul, whereas BA/LH/IB have got designated aircraft for longer international routes?

Topic: RE: Labelling Economy As "Premium"?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2013-06-03 16:46:12 and read 7202 times.

The reason EU carriers do not operate what US carriers call domestic First Class is the flexibility to adjust the cabin as necessary based on loads in each class. (Alitalia did have wider 2+2 seating on their MD-8x fleet.)

It has been my experience on EU carriers that even though the seats and pitch are the same as Economy, the service is better (meals, drinks, higher FA to pax ratio).

Topic: RE: Labelling Economy As "Premium"?
Username: DarkSnowyNight
Posted 2013-06-03 16:55:29 and read 7143 times.

Stitch makes a good point, but just to add to that...

Quoting ely747 (Thread starter):
Just wondering why can't AF remove the middle seats and refit the front of A320 anew.

You can't put a rack of two Y seats in where there are supposed to be three Y seats. Y class seats come in banks of two or three. While you may be able to find a rack of two that fit the tracks, they'd still be paired at std distance, which negates the value for this --they won't be a seat width apart--. It would look just as goofy as it now does, if not more so...

Topic: RE: Labelling Economy As "Premium"?
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2013-06-03 16:57:12 and read 7137 times.

Quoting ely747 (Thread starter):
r the problem is with AF A320s are being deployed on shorter domestic / European routes as well as mid-haul, whereas BA/LH/IB have got designated aircraft for longer international routes?

LH only has a proper business class cabin on their widebodies. Their A319/320/321s and 737s have the European type of business class with Y seats and the middle seat unsold. Same on IB as far as I know, and most other major European carriers.

You also have to consider the fare. I wouldn't be surprised if carriers with a higher-quality J product also generally have higher fares.

Topic: RE: Labelling Economy As "Premium"?
Username: EddieDude
Posted 2013-06-03 17:06:31 and read 7070 times.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 3):
Same on IB as far as I know, and most other major European carriers.

I believe IB has a dedicated subfleet of Airbus narrowbodies with a business class similar to U.S. carriers' "domestic first" that are used on some African flights. Not sure about BA, but perhaps they also have Airbus narrowbodies with such a business class arrangement as a legacy of BD's medium-haul product.

Topic: RE: Labelling Economy As "Premium"?
Username: ely747
Posted 2013-06-03 17:08:58 and read 7057 times.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 3):
You also have to consider the fare. I wouldn't be surprised if carriers with a higher-quality J product also generally have higher fares.

Believe it or not, concerning the LHR-TLV route many times one can grab a BA's Club World seat much cheaper than what is AF asking for leave alone the advantage of flying direct. You might as well try checking online booking.

[Edited 2013-06-03 17:10:59]

Topic: RE: Labelling Economy As "Premium"?
Username: DocLightning
Posted 2013-06-03 17:13:42 and read 7028 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
The reason EU carriers do not operate what US carriers call domestic First Class is the flexibility to adjust the cabin as necessary based on loads in each class. (Alitalia did have wider 2+2 seating on their MD-8x fleet.)

AND the fact that very few intra-EU flights are as long as US domestic flights. In the US, the population centers are concentrated on the two coasts with only a few scattered inbetween. In Europe, the distances are shorter and the population centers are more uniformly distributed.

Quoting ely747 (Thread starter):
As it stands I failed to see how can AF justify the reason to charge full business fare on selected routes while providing a coach class experience.

If you're telling us that the service in AF's EU J class was identical to their Y class (except maybe real glasses) with no meal service, then you should direct that very same question to AF:

"Why should I ever pay again a J-class fare for a Y-class seat and Y-class service?" I'd be interested to hear their response.

Topic: RE: Labelling Economy As "Premium"?
Username: ely747
Posted 2013-06-03 17:32:21 and read 6924 times.

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 2):
You can't put a rack of two Y seats in where there are supposed to be three Y seats. Y class seats come in banks of two or three. While you may be able to find a rack of two that fit the tracks, they'd still be paired at std distance, which negates the value for this --they won't be a seat width apart--. It would look just as goofy as it now does, if not more so...

I was refering to US A320 configuration (2x2). Flew ATL-PHX and it was a very pleasant experience. The flight took around 4 hrs.

[Edited 2013-06-03 17:33:52]

Topic: RE: Labelling Economy As "Premium"?
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2013-06-03 17:50:13 and read 6814 times.

Quoting ely747 (Reply 5):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 3):
You also have to consider the fare. I wouldn't be surprised if carriers with a higher-quality J product also generally have higher fares.

Believe it or not, concerning the LHR-TLV route many times one can grab a BA's Club World seat much cheaper than what is AF asking for leave alone the advantage of flying direct.

That sounds like a good indication that premium class passengers LHR-TLV aren't a major factor in the market. In strong premium class markets BA has traditionally been among the most expensive.

Topic: RE: Labelling Economy As "Premium"?
Username: BestWestern
Posted 2013-06-03 18:14:41 and read 6707 times.

Air France had a 'dedicate' fleet of A319s to other destinations. TLV always stayed a Euro aircraft. They operated A319LRs in a C28 Y54, launched in Jan 2004.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 8):
That sounds like a good indication that premium class passengers LHR-TLV aren't a major factor in the market.

Correct. Considering that AF flies a four class 777 to next door BEY it shows the differences in yield. Lufthansa and BA had previously downgraded to narrow body aircraft to TLV.

Topic: RE: Labelling Economy As "Premium"?
Username: ely747
Posted 2013-06-03 18:44:50 and read 6618 times.

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 9):
Correct. Considering that AF flies a four class 777 to next door BEY it shows the differences in yield. Lufthansa and BA had previously downgraded to narrow body aircraft to TLV.



Unlike TLV, Europe to BEY market has no low cost option (apart from PC). Before October last year, BA had offered morning 772 and night 763 flights. From what I had noticed BA always managed to fill up Club World with high LF. First was not doing so good though. It makes economic sense for BA to use 772 on more money making Asian routes and make TLV 3x daily A321 route (giving more connecting options to North America). LX is the only European airline offering double daily WD service to TLV in addition to LY code-share which works good for connecting onto MIA.



[Edited 2013-06-03 18:52:09]

Topic: RE: Labelling Economy As "Premium"?
Username: mfc
Posted 2013-06-04 10:51:24 and read 5740 times.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 3):
Same on IB as far as I know, and most other major European carriers.

Iberia has some A319s fitted with 14 J seats with a 2X2 configuration. It is called "Business Club" and it is offered on flights to DME, LOS, TLV, ACC and SSG. They also distribute iPads and amenity kits on these flights.

http://www.iberia.com/web/program.do?menuId=CLCLBI

Topic: RE: Labelling Economy As "Premium"?
Username: Icarus75
Posted 2013-06-04 11:37:40 and read 5021 times.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 6):
Why should I ever pay again a J-class fare for a Y-class seat and Y-class service?

I travel almost twice a week with Air France in "Premium Economy" and I'm going to tell you what the difference is with Y :
* Yes the price is higher but all these tickets are fully flexible.
* You have a breakfast or a light lunch/diner you do not have in Y.
* You earn more miles (minimum 1500 miles) for an intra-european flight less then 2 hours.

AF as also a "Business class" : service is identical to Premium Economy and you get more miles. The difference is that in a row of three seats, you'll be sure that the middle one will stay empty.

Topic: RE: Labelling Economy As "Premium"?
Username: goldorak
Posted 2013-06-04 13:12:18 and read 3800 times.

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 9):
Air France had a 'dedicate' fleet of A319s to other destinations. TLV always stayed a Euro aircraft. They operated A319LRs in a C28 Y54, launched in Jan 2004.

They do not have this DEDICATE fleet anymore. Some of those A319 have been returned to lessor and those who were owned by AF were retrofitted to the Euro config.

Quoting ely747 (Thread starter):
after recently concluded Israel trip I'm trying to figure out whether or not is AF right in marketing their A320 business class seats as a premium product, which for me personally is not so premium after all.

The moment you get on board and are received by 3x3 configuration you start asking yourself if your flight has got a single class seating. Obviously you want to be 100 % sure and visually double check for the leg room. Surprisingly enough you get a "warm welcome" by almost exactly the same space as in economy. No seat build in IFE either. For a moment you're beginning to think that it's actually all economy configuration. Well not until you proceed further and take notice of flat boards which look something like armrests making the middle seats vacant. Okay at lease there's a curtain separating the two cabins. Weired you might want to say.

I'd like to precise something because the thread title and your post can confuse people. AF euro config used to TLV (and other European destinations) is a 3 class-service :
- Business (2x2 seating in 3x3 rows, middle seat blocked and seat enlarged by moving armrests
- premium economy (3x3 seating) just after business and still ahead of dividing curtain
- economy (3x3 seating), behind the curtain.

All seats are the same (except slightly enlarged seat width for business - see above).
Business and Premium Eco have a better meal than Y and have also champagne.
Business gives you lounge access in CDG and TLV. Premium Eco gives you priority check-in and boarding. Also, premium Eco gives you lounge access in CDG. Therefore, that's these benefits that makes AF label it as a premium economy product.

Topic: RE: Labelling Economy As "Premium"?
Username: ODwyerPW
Posted 2013-06-05 10:56:14 and read 1468 times.

It's those Austerity Measures kicking in.


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