Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
The First "Business Class"?  
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 11749 times:

In another thread, an issue I thought we'd already settled in past threads was revisited. Who Had The First Business Class?

Contenders seem to be Qantas and Pan Am.

The case for Qantas:

1979:
http://www.qantas.com.au/info/about/history/details16

The case for Pan Am:

1978:
http://www.panam.org/pafirsts.asp?refer=211319041

But also see:
http://www.airchive.com/SITE%20PAGES/MEM-PAN%20AM.html

... that might suggest it was after 1978, maybe after the merger with National?

Okay, old-timers, who came up with Business Class?


International Homo of Mystery
64 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineOneskyjet From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 85 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 11715 times:

I'm pretty sure that it was Pan Am and that they introduced it as Clipper Class on the batch of L1011's they bought.

User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 2, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11675 times:

Quoting Oneskyjet (Reply 1):
they introduced it as Clipper Class on the batch of L1011's they bought.

Interesting ... we'll have to dig up when PA started service with the L-1011!

For myself, I recall flying Business Class in the 80's on TWA between LAX-JFK on an L-1011, but it wasn't the same seating or legroom that came to be known as Ambassador Class.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11675 times:

It also comes up here as PA, but it looks like it was just copied from somewhere else. The internet!!!

http://www.scripophily.net/panam.html


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 4, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11615 times:

I'm not sure how accurate this website is, but it indicates that PA started flying the L15 in 1980.

http://flyaow.com/planes/l15aircraftspecifications.htm

The original version of inter-continental L1011-500 was delivered to British Airways in 1979 and the next year Pan Am put the extended wing version into service.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineTrekster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11588 times:

BA had hte first fully flat bed in Business class.

 Smile
No idea on the first carrier to have first/business though


User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 56
Reply 6, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 11516 times:

My memory is as follows:

1. Qantas was first with biz class - first introduced on its transpacific flights.

2. TWA followed with Ambassador Class on its 741s and 1011s.

3. Pan Am then added Clipper Class.

4. BA followed by with Club Class.

Sorry, have no references, simply going by memory - when biz class was introduced in the late 1970s, is was the a very big deal with lots of press and publicity.


User currently offlineBreiz From France, joined Mar 2005, 1920 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 11509 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Thread starter):
The case for Pan Am:
1978:

Pan Am looks to be the winner.
SAS introduced its "Euroclass", business class at economy/coach fares, in 1981.


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 8, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 11483 times:

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 6):
1. Qantas was first with biz class - first introduced on its transpacific flights.

2. TWA followed with Ambassador Class on its 741s and 1011s.

3. Pan Am then added Clipper Class.

That's the way I had remembered it too, with this page indicating that TWA began Ambassador Class in October 1982.

http://www.airchive.com/SITE%20PAGES/TIMETABLES-TWA.html

My timetable from March 1982 doesn't indicate anything about Ambassador Class. My first TWA flight across the Atlantic was in early 1982, and I'm digging through my old tickets to find it. My recollection is that on the L-1011's and 747's I flew they didn't have anything other than First and Economy, but I could be wrong. I'm looking to see if any of my old TWA FF info gives a date.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 11446 times:

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 6):

3. Pan Am then added Clipper Class.

Clipper was before Ambassador, that I know for sure. Clipper originaly was nothing more then a seperate part of economy, similar to Y+. It was only a year or so later when PA and everyone else started to upgrade the product.

I have a seat map of an SP (See Boeng 747SP by Brian Baum, Great Airliers series #Three) which shows this upgraded Y type of seating.

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 6):

Sorry, have no references, simply going by memory

Sorry dutch, then it really isn't useful.


User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11417 times:

Lets add a forth case:

KLM started an improved economy class service in 1975 "Triple-F" (Full Fare Facilities) for full fare economy class passengers; seperate cabin, priority luggage handling, more / better food and beverages. The seat had yellow headrests. The pitch was increases in 1979.

http://www.ig-oekoflughafen.de/Verschiedenes_91.htm


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 11, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11412 times:

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 9):
Clipper originaly was nothing more then a seperate part of economy, similar to Y+. It was only a year or so later when PA and everyone else started to upgrade the product.

That is correct. I really wish I had an old seat map for TWA--my first time in Ambassador I remember being seated in a small cabin on grey seats (leather?), with either 2x3x2 or 2x4x2 seating on the L-1011. The second time I flew it, it was quite a grand affair.

I also recall the first time I flew a 747 with PA, the seating in coach was very tight, and saying to myself "now I know where they got the room for Clipper Class, my seat!"  Smile



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 56
Reply 12, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11406 times:

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 9):
Sorry dutch, then it really isn't useful.

NICE........sometimes general knowledge is uselful. Thank you - lets see your sources for everything you happen to say or know.

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 9):


Clipper was before Ambassador, that I know for sure. Clipper originaly was nothing more then a seperate part of economy, similar to Y+. It was only a year or so later when PA and everyone else started to upgrade the product.

I have a seat map of an SP (See Boeng 747SP by Brian Baum, Great Airliers series #Three) which shows this upgraded Y type of seating.

We are talking about biz class..........not full fare coach. When the use of low APEX and discount fares became widespread in the 1970s, airlines started offering seperate sections for it biz pax that paid higher fares, even AA had a full fare coach section on its domestic aircraft for a while. The use of widebody airlines made product differntiation possible and business class was born.....that is what we are talking about here.


User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11397 times:

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 12):

NICE........sometimes general knowledge is uselful. Thank you - lets see your sources for everything you happen to say or know.

The original link from PA came from me and another thread.

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 12):
We are talking about biz class..........not full fare coach.

We are not talking about full fare coach nor apex. PA wanted to charge more for the service, and did so. The origins of Business Class go back to this configuration at Pan Am.


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 14, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11376 times:

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 12):
The use of widebody airlines made product differntiation possible and business class was born.....that is what we are talking about here.

Right, but DTW is correct in that the very first business classes looked like Premium Economy you'd find on something like VS or BA today. A bit more legroom and a wider seat. Then the competition started, and those seats were ripped out and the real upgrading of the cabins began.

Y+ may have been a poor choice to describe it, as the first business classes were much better than say the Economy Plus section is on UA today.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11366 times:

By the way, just to add some salt to the wounds, why do most airlines use the "C" booking code for business, if it doesn't have its beginnings as "Clipper Class"?

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 14):
Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 12):
The use of widebody airlines made product differntiation possible and business class was born.....that is what we are talking about here.

Right, but DTW is correct in that the very first business classes looked like Premium Economy you'd find on something like VS or BA today. A bit more legroom and a wider seat. Then the competition started, and those seats were ripped out and the real upgrading of the cabins began.

Y+ may have been a poor choice to describe it, as the first business classes were much better than say the Economy Plus section is on UA today.

Thanks Westy, I think you put it better then I did.


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11345 times:

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 15):
why do most airlines use the "C" booking code for business, if it doesn't have its beginnings as "Clipper Class"?

That's an interesting point! Somewhere behind the cobwebs in my mind I recall some association of that type.

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 15):
Thanks Westy, I think you put it better then I did.

No prob--I think as we go along we'll probably get hung up on terms, since there was that short period where the airlines were figuring out what they wanted to make out of biz class, LOL. There isn't a lot of documentation out there on this, and I'm actually tempted to hit some old National Geographics--that's where the airline ads of the era for this would probably be.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11313 times:

Anyone have a copy if this booK, it might answer the question at hand.

I've just ordered it.

Jetliner Cabins (Hardcover)
by Jennifer Coutts Clay

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/pro...-5313510?%5Fencoding=UTF8&n=283155


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 18, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11307 times:

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 17):
Anyone have a copy if this booK

But, but, we might have to admit to being geeks!  duck 

(Looks like a great book, regardless!)



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11302 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 18):
But, but, we might have to admit to being geeks!

Me a geek?!!! Not me, why would you say that, spending a wonderful Saturday debating such minutia! Big grin  Big grin


User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 56
Reply 20, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11268 times:

Ask most travel and aviation experts world wide (not in the US), and they will answer C = Club Class.......Club is slang for biz class in many parts of the world.

User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 21, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11257 times:

Okay, just so y'all don't think I'm smoking something, I've come across a pristine "Aircraft Seating Guide" for TWA dated July 1985.

Not that it proves who was first, but it's interesting nonetheless:

TWA Ambassador Class seating was:

747:
2x2x2 (downstairs)
2x2 (upstairs)

767:
2x2x2 (international had one less row, to compensate for a larger first class)

L-1011 (Domestic):
2x2x2x2 (without an aisle between the middle sets of seats)

L-1011 (International):
2x2x2

The 747's were distinguished by Business Lounger seats. "A better business class seat just can't be found. Anywhere."

747 First Class had Sleeper Seats, that when reclined, extended at least the length of 3 windows, with padded footrests.

[Edited 2006-05-21 01:08:59]


International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineCs03 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 413 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11242 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

As a travel agent at the time (1983) in NYC, we were all wondering how the airlines would "deal" with this new concept. I took Air France JFK/CDG on a 742 in "C" class. The seats were the same as Y, but right behind the F section. The F galley was located between the two aisles, creating a "private" cabin, (or so it seemed)! When I next took AF in 1987 CDG/JFK in C, the 742 had 2x2x2 seating in C.

User currently offlineJetfuel From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 2253 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11242 times:

Actually I believe the first was Ansett


Where's the passion gone out of the airline industry? The smell of jetfuel and the romance of taking a flight....
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 24, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11194 times:

Okay, after digging through my TWA FF folder, I'm going to confirm they didn't have Ambassador Class until the fall of 1982, as in the date listed in my first TWA link. My statement from April 1982 doesn't have C-class listed, but it does appear in the List of Codes post-1982.

So it brings it back to Qantas, Pan Am, or an outside chance for Ansett, unless any of those didn't have C-class prior to October 1982.

And we're talking a paid C-class, not just a separate section for full-fare Y travelers.



International Homo of Mystery
25 Post contains images Luv2fly : Maybe it was New York Air that had it first!
26 Post contains images AeroWesty : Ooooh, oooh, god's gonna git you now!
27 Post contains links and images American762 : Im the one who started this whole mess once again in another thread, sorry everyone. lol. Anyway, looking at www.panam.org, they state that in 1978, t
28 Post contains images AeroWesty : Nothing to be sorry about, we might come up with the definitive answer yet.
29 Post contains links AeroWesty : Well now this is weird date-wise: From The New York Times May 24, 1981: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...67948260&sec=travel&pagewanted=all Howe
30 AeroWesty : Okay, I found another article in the Times, this one from their PDF archives, so I had to type out an excerpt, since it's unlinkable. It appears that:
31 OneSkyJet : Here's I think what happened. Unfortunately from memory. Pan Am introduced Clipper Class in 1978 with the same Y configuration, slightly upgraded serv
32 Antares : I believe Qantas came second in 1979. It was two by four by two with pretty ordinary legroom, say 36 inches seat pitch on the main deck of the 747 cla
33 AeroWesty : Yup, for separating the classes, Pan Am did it before TWA, that's clear now. That's a great point. It brings up whether "the first business class" sh
34 Post contains images Dtwclipper : So do we have a winner yet? Or is it still QF vs. PA Please don't call me that. Your exalted Grand Poobah will do nicely thank you!
35 Jetdeltamsy : I definitely remember TWA was ahead of Pan Am for Business class.
36 Dtwclipper : We settled that issue 6 posts ago with sources. PA was ahead of TW. [Edited 2006-05-21 06:59:32]
37 Post contains images AeroWesty : What I'm beginning to think is that Qantas' claim is for giving the business class section different seating, and they could have been first with the
38 Andz : My wife and I flew JNB-LHR-JNB in August 1982 on SAA and they had business class in the 742. I remember this because we weren't married at the time, a
39 Antares : Andz, I remember the SAA product from the early 80s. It was called Gold Class, but it was just an ordinary economy seat at a higher price, in the seco
40 AeroWesty : I do recall something about KLM also, but it's a very hazy memory. I flew them in business in the late 80's, but what I'm thinking is that KLM may ha
41 Post contains links American762 : 1978 "First airline to introduce a new, separate class of service for business and full-fare economy passengers, Clipper Class" Taken from www.panam.o
42 Dtwclipper : That's what started this entire thread, see "thread starter"...thanks!
43 AeroWesty : Right, but that was still in economy class seating. Open to anyone who paid full-fare. What I'm seeing overall is that there were three "firsts": 1)
44 Antares : Aerowesty, It must have been well into the 90s when KLM dropped first class, I think about the time they jointly launched an imporved business class w
45 Post contains images AeroWesty : That sounds about the right time. I was looking back in my tickets and I flew them in late '85 and spring '91 between LAX and AMS, and I believe it w
46 Dutchjet : KL had F class until atleast 1992.......thats for sure, I flew AMS-LAX in Aug 1992 in a 743 with F class. I tried to make the point earlier, but got
47 Zrs70 : Back in the mid 70's, UA had three class service on its dometic flights. I believe it was called "Red, WHite, and Blue," (though never referred to as
48 BCAL : British Caledonian was the first airline to introduce the equivalent of 'business class' in Winter 1971 when a separate economy section, with enhance
49 Post contains links and images PerthGloryFan : Well according to this website: http://www.qantas.com.au/info/about/history/details20 "1979 Qantas phases out its last 707 to become the world's only
50 B707Stu : I don't know the answer to this but I did work for AF from 4/79 - 2/81. We had "Classe Affairs" seats in the front of our 747, right behind Premiere,
51 Post contains links Hotje : KLM started a scheduled weekly service to Indonesia with Fokker F12s in October 1931 with 4 seats instead of the regular 14-18 seats. This might be ca
52 Aa757first : It doesn't say. It gets as specific as "DUring the 1980s when the major three-class airlines started to fly dedicated business-class cabins...". It w
53 AeroWesty : If we look at the timeline we can make from the New York Times, Ambassador Class actually started as regular coach too, in April 1980, but all the ev
54 Ade99 : It's interesting how the european airlines have adopted the business/club name for their premium short haul product and the us airlines kept first.
55 AR385 : Some use "J" I have one. I remember reading somewhere, that it was SAS who first came up with a full, differentiated product (wider seats, better foo
56 Jonno : Just bought the cabin interiors book in ebay for USD 80 shipping inclusive, new. Look forward to spending many hours in my big recliner scrutinizing i
57 Post contains links ClassicLover : *laughing* Anyway, a quote from http://www.thetravelinsider.info/2005/qantasskybedreview.htm "and so it goes back to the very first business class se
58 Post contains images BCAL : Well if you believe 1979 was before 1971!
59 David L : I think the order's reversed south of the equator.
60 Post contains images ClassicLover : It was still Economy Class We do a lot of things differently south of the equator
61 Post contains images David L : We had an Australian contractor working with us who kept coming back late after lunch for the first few days. He knew the office was north of the mai
62 AeroWesty : This statement pretty much nails it for me. Thanks for all the links, ClassicLover! It looks like despite other airlines coining a phrase for the gro
63 Jonno : Rec'd the "Jetliner Cabins" yesterday. Whilst informative, even at the discount I rec'd, it's deffo not worth USD 60. It's more like a cut-out book yo
64 GeorgiaAME : I used to fly a rudimentary Business Class with KLM in 1974. We were seated in the up front Y cabin of the 747 (3-4-2 seating in those day), got free
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
First And Business Class Are The Same On NWA. posted Thu Sep 2 1999 18:30:31 by JMZCEO
All First And Business Class Flights posted Thu Jul 13 2006 00:44:54 by BA747YYZ
Reasonable First, Or Business Class posted Fri May 12 2006 20:40:00 by Dimoko
Air China`s New First And Business Class! posted Thu May 11 2006 00:32:43 by Qantas744ER
Gulfair New First- And Business Class posted Mon Feb 20 2006 15:12:43 by Skippy777
Korean Air's New First & Business Class posted Mon Dec 19 2005 01:38:01 by COEWR2587
Pictures Of MH's New First And Business Class posted Thu Mar 24 2005 01:02:30 by Airbus Lover
AA And The Fully Flat Business Class Seat. posted Fri Mar 11 2005 02:05:25 by AA767400
JAL's 744 First And Business Class Seats posted Tue Nov 23 2004 07:28:41 by Ktachiya
Gulf Air First & Business Class Skybeds Revealed posted Sat Sep 18 2004 15:30:00 by GF-A330