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AA International First Class Evaluation  
User currently offlineCHIFLYGUY From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 141 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5926 times:

I'm an AA executive platinum flyer who has recently flown several trips in international first class thanks to upgrades from business. Included here are a few observations in evaluation of AA's first class product. I won't attempt to compare it against F products from the likes of BA or SQ, which I've never flown. Rather, I want to answer the question: given that the price of F on AA is roughly twice that of J (at least when I've checked), is it worth the difference? My conclusion is No.

First, for the record, AA only offers international F on their 777 product. These planes, which have a three class configuration, are flown to premium or long haul markets such as LHR, NRT, PVG, DEL, and GRU. Among United States based carriers, only American and United have a true international F product.

What precisely are the differences between F and J? Well, that's a very good question. As near as I can gather, these products are substantially identical with a few exceptions. F class gets you:

- Fully flat beds. This is clearly the primary difference. AA flies two configurations: a first class "suite" product which includes a foot rest that doubles as a seat for a companion to dine with you and a desk; and an older side-by-side flat bed configuration I believe people here have referred to as "coffin seats". I've flown both, and both are clearly miles ahead of the equivalent J-class seats.

- Access to the Flagship Lounges in ORD, LAX and LHR. (Interestingly, there is none in JFK, though I wonder if one will open as part of the new teriminal project).

- Dedicated checkin areas at select airports (shared with executive platinums and One World emeralds)

- A smoked salmon appetizer. I kid you not. As near as I can tell, the meals in F are otherwise identical to the ones in J. This extends to the wine selection. I could be wrong since I haven't done a detailed menu item comparison, but I'm pretty confident I'm at least close to right.

- A personal video selection on mini-cassette, limited to about 20 titles. Otherwise the entertainment is identical to J, and does not feature anything available "on demand".

- Better ratios of flight attendants, lavatories, etc. than in J.

That's it. As near as I can tell, everything else is identical, including the entertainment options, amenity kits, everything. Basically, the only really worthwhile item in the list is the flat bed, but you'd be hard pressed to justify paying double just for this, especially as you can get a decent flat bed in J on BA. Perhaps it is worth it if you have money to burn, but if you do, you can also afford to burn it on F on a premium foreign carrier with even better benefits. This makes me wonder how many F class tickets AA actually sells versus distributing as upgrades.

I've read at least one person on here call the AA first suites "the most functional" out there. I can't compare that much since my F flying is very limited. They do have a desk, which I don't recall from UA's F product. However, I have my problems with them as well. Firstly, the tray table, even when pulled as close to me as possible, still seems to be fairly far away. This may be because it is designed to facilitate face to face dining. But since I don't take advantage of that features, I merely find it annoying. Equally annoying is that I've found no way to move the chair closer to the foot rest/ottoman. This would make it greatly more convenient to prop my feet up, but the only way I've managed it basically requires that you have a fair degree of recline, since the seat only seems to move forward when you are turning it into the flat bed. I'm probably not the only one this has affected. A lot of the ottomans feature cracked leather on the edge that is probably the result of people pressing the soles of their shoes against the edge because they couldn't fully prop their legs on top of it.

I have not been to the Flagship Lounge in LA, but the ones in Chicago and London are a tale of two cities. The Chicago lounge is very nice in my opinion. No, they don't have a spa or waitress taking my order for a fully cooked breakfast. But, this is a mile ahead of any Admirals Club. There's Grey Goose and other premium liquors available, along with several brands of imported beer. Also provided are hot and cold appetizers such as shrimp cocktail, sausages, various types of cheese, a fruit plate, and tasty looking desserts I'm sorry not to have sampled. Everything is self-service and complimentary. There are also several work stations for plugging in your computer. The entire atmosphere is fairly civilized. The only problem is that the location is at gate K19, the very end of the K concourse. This works great for some flights. Many of the 777 flights depart from the end of the K concourse. But gate L8 - the most remote possible mainline gate from the Flagship Lounge, is also used, which is annoying to say the least if you happen to be on the 4:55 to LHR.

The London lounge, on the other hand, is probably worse than your average Admirals Club and is basically just a smaller version of the LHR Admirals Club next door. In fact, I think I find the actual Admirals Club is nicer in some respects. There's certainly nothing of any prestige in this Flagship Lounge, which is desperate need of upgrading. (Interestingly, I've made the same observation of UA's first class lounges. For example, the one in NRT is basically identical to the Red Carpet Club below).

As for the service, I've found that to be very uneven. Some flight attendant crews are great, others are poor. It's interesting that it does seem to be the whole crew too, not just individuals. Various problems I've experienced:

- As a general rule, both AA and UA (and to be fair this applies to J as well as F) have a very routinized service procedure. That is, their flight attendants are just going through the motions of a rigidly defined process, not really trying to provide great service per se. (Sounds like the TSA, doesn't it?) For example, it can take up to 45 minutes after take off to get your first drink. Why? Because that's when they come around to take orders - right after distributing the hot mixed nuts. I've actually tried to get a drink sooner, only to be explicitly rebuffed! There should be more emphasis on taking care of passengers and less on going through the checklist motions. Again, some crews are awesome and really do a great job. But even they provide fairly routinized basics.

- I can understand AA's need to save money - but skimping in highly visible ways to passengers who pay thousands of dollars is counterproductive. For example, the hot towels they used to distribute have been replaced with, I'm not making this up, warm moist towelettes, complete with smelly chemicals. This is ridiculous in an international first class product. They'd be better not to give anything at all rather than rubbing passengers noses in the fact that they are being so cheap. Another example: the salt and pepper shakers have been replaced with tiny packets. Last time I went to the supermarket, salt was the cheapest thing there, so this is an odd place to look for savings.

- Sometimes the flight attendants will block business passengers from exiting until first class has emptied, other times they don't. Sometimes premium bags (which includes both F and J, as well as elite status fliers) come off the luggage belt first, other times they don't. Usually if they don't, that means they'll come off last. There's nothing quite like half the first class cabin standing around chatting with each other while evey Tom, Dick, and Harry in economy claims his bags and leaves.

- Occasionally there are very odd happenings. For example, on one flight I was told that there was only one type of meal left - and first class wasn't even full. When I inquired about getting meals from business, they told me that they'd already taken the business class orders, so there were none available for me. If being in F doesn't get you priority over J - especially when the meals are identical! - what does it get you?

- The first class checkin area in London is not part of the main AA checking desk. I actually didn't see for some time and checked in at the Business desk a few times before finally stumbling across the first desk by accident on one of my trips. No one at AA ever mentioned to me that there was an F class checkin.

This should give you a flavor.

Interestingly, though I suspect first class is mostly upgraders, AA does not seem to like to bump people up for free. I had a flight attendant tell me that the flight was overbooked and they had left passengers behind in London, yet F was not full. I can't believe there weren't at least some executive platinum or platinum passengers that couldn't have been bumped up from J to F, then Y to J to avoid bumping people in foreign country. Again, given that the only real difference from J is the seat, it's not like AA would be giving away the farm.

I'm also a premier executive on United. Comparing the two carriers, I can't say there's a lot of difference between them. UA aspires to be more of a premium carrier, but fails in the execution. I'm not sure what AA's strategy is, but at least they aren't trying to pretend they are something they can't live up to.

The problem for AA is that they are clearly inferior to a carrier like BA. I've never flown F on BA, but I have flown J and truthfully I'd rather be in J on BA than F on AA. This is a dilemma for AA if their anti-trust immunity is ever granted in the wake of an EU open skies agreement. Why fly AA transatlantic at all if you can fly BA and still get both miles and elite qualifying points? They'd better negotiate a good revenue sharing deal.

I hope you found this overview useful.

49 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3713 posts, RR: 28
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5846 times:

Welcome to airliners.net and an interesting post!  Smile

I think nowadays many customers and airlines are questioning providing a First Class product internationally. Many airlines have removed it from at least some of their routes if not completely. With Business Class products getting better and better and the evolution of the business class flat bed companies paying for First Class are doing it less so for added comfort but more a prestigious perk for board members and higher ranking execs. As companies cut back on business travel expenditure often First Class is offered as a free upgrade on fully flexible tickets and the ilk when negotiating corporate agreements.

I'm primarily a BA flyer and sample their F product fairly infrequently so I rarely fly AA unless within the US but to be honest from my extensive readings on Flyertalk I think your comparisons of AA First Class may well be fair. My parents managed to get a good deal on some AA F tickets LHR-JFK and it is something of a departure from their usual BA J and F experience. It seems as though the hard product onboard AA is pretty decent, however, only if you win the lottery on getting the Flagship Suite over the coffins!

I do understand that in this day and age that cutting costs is natural and the First Class cabin is a good place to start. After all there isn't too much that can be cut from Y service! But it seems AA have chopped back a little too far to the extent that the soft F product is not much different to the J product and this not only goes for International First but Domestic Flagship Service too (F on JFK-LAX/SFO). Massive investment is required in the hard product, I think BA are investing £100m+ in their next generation Club World product so AA have done the hard work with getting the Flagship Suite product on some of their fleet (and I understand plans are underway to convert the rest of the fleet) yet the soft product is so poor it seems to let the side down! As I said earlier my parents picked up some cheap F tickets which I found out about on Flyertalk and many people with BA/QF/CX F experience are enquiring about the AA F service only to be told not to expect anything, maybe on par with an average BA J flight! Frankly if AA invested £50 per passenger on decent food (I'm told BA pay £25 for each First Class meal) they could have some really great cuisine, in airline terms  Wink Maybe I'm just stupid here but some organisations and people paying for F tickets pay blindly for their tickets and aren't going to notice £50 here or there and it'd greatly improve things.

As for the crew well people say the crew are often surly and maybe on the whole this is the case, after all it seems European and American carriers can't get the staff to match Asian customer service levels. However some of AA's crew are very competent, I was on JFK-LAX Flagship Service flight in First Class last month and came across one of the best FAs on any of my flights on a number of carriers in recent years. Witty, friendly, great memory, extremely personable etc and I led to believe this is pretty much standard fare for the AFS flights.

As for the rest of the product, well I've not been in the Admirals Club or Flagship Lounge at LHR but I've been to a number of AA lounges including the FL in LAX and it isn't a bad place to while away a few hours. It is something of a haven from the bustling Admirals Club across the way and the staff I've met at each AC throughout the network are very competent and friendly  thumbsup 

I guess to summarise things from my brief experiences on AA and from what I've read elsewhere it seems as though many AA flyers value AAdvantage so greatly they are willing to fly an inferior product to retain status, or to nab a seat in First Class and I'm sure as an EXP you are familiar with unlimited F upgrades within the US  Wink. Personally I can't imagine joining an FFP just because I can get upgrades on a mediocre airline. I'm happy with both BA and the Executive Club, I can fly First Class within the US on AA fairly reasonably and enjoy the benefits of travelling a decent airline across the rest of the world.

AA certainly do have the potential to be a really good airline, they are just treading water at the moment though, seeing how many cutbacks can be made until their FFs decide enough is enough and AAdvantage is worth ditching for a better experience elsewhere. A real shame IMO because a relatively small amount of investment in onboard amenities, and a large investment in making the lounges a better standard would go a long, long way....

Quoting CHIFLYGUY (Thread starter):
- The first class checkin area in London is not part of the main AA checking desk. I actually didn't see for some time and checked in at the Business desk a few times before finally stumbling across the first desk by accident on one of my trips. No one at AA ever mentioned to me that there was an F class checkin.

Isn't it over at Park Avenue? This has moved recently to be just outside Terminal 3 instead of underneath that car park which is being pulled down



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineFURUREFA From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 808 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5820 times:

Welcome. I have to say that the AA F seat is one of the best in the world. I think it is better than BA's, which is already incredibly luxurious. My complaint on AA is that, just like you mentioned, there is not a big difference between J and F. The amenity kits and blankets are the exact same and the only difference between the J and F pillows is that the J pillow's eagle is silver, while the F pillow's is gold. The main courses in J and F are the same, except that F has one extra choice, they are plated differently and have bigger portions. If AA wanted to, they could make their F product the best in the world very easily.

Matt


User currently offlineMalpensaSFO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5810 times:

Quoting FURUREFA (Reply 2):
If AA wanted to, they could make their F product the best in the world very easily.

When they hire new Flight Attendants?


User currently offlineCHIFLYGUY From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 141 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5783 times:

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 1):

As for the crew well people say the crew are often surly and maybe on the whole this is the case, after all it seems European and American carriers can't get the staff to match Asian customer service levels. However some of AA's crew are very competent, I was on JFK-LAX Flagship Service flight in First Class last month and came across one of the best FAs on any of my flights on a number of carriers in recent years. Witty, friendly, great memory, extremely personable etc and I led to believe this is pretty much standard fare for the AFS flights.

I don't want to say that the AA flight attendants are terrible. In fact, a big reason I fly them is because I find their service better than what I've had elsewhere among the US carriers. The best AA flight attendants are as good as any in the business. But as with any large organization, there are bad and good. And service levels are certainly less consistantly high than what you would find with many of the foreign carriers such as BA.


User currently offlineWorldjet777 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5742 times:

Welcome to A.Net!

Quoting FURUREFA (Reply 2):
the only difference between the J and F pillows is that the J pillow's eagle is silver, while the F pillow's is gold.

This is what really cost's AA the money!  Smile haha

I really appreciate this analysis. I fly AA's J class semi-frequently, but am making my way more towards the UAL/CO side of the tracks. AA's service overall has dropped significantly over the past few years, and its really a large lack of attention to detail. If AA would change some minor things up- like the quality of hot towels in F, the product would be much better. Now I'm flying more BF on CO and the differences between the two airlines are very interesting. CO has great quality with their product, with food and service to kick. AA does a better job of pulling off the "class" than CO with the amenity kits, but when it comes down to spending money, it just makes more sense to go with value in the product over class in the additionals. Those are my brief observations!
Cheers,
wj777



Now Your Flying Smart
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3713 posts, RR: 28
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5730 times:

Quoting FURUREFA (Reply 2):
If AA wanted to, they could make their F product the best in the world very easily.

IMO that is unrealistic.

-As I said they have a good hard product but that is only across half the 777 fleet. Massive investment required.
-They don't have enough First Class lounges, and those that are left aren't spectacular. Massive investment required.
-The crews aren't as consistently high as the best performers in the world. I guess the obvious people to look at are NH, CX and SQ on this front. The American idea of customer service just isn't quite the same as Asian carriers. Selective training and pricey.

And the fact of the matter is AA are scared to invest money. Look at the new J seat, it is hardly a groundbreaking design and they are just playing catch up with the rest.

The day AA announce they are going to install F lounges into all their outstations and decide to make a go at being best in the world and succeed I will eat my hat and my shoes. Realistically they can offer a very good F product but when the rest of their competition is milling about treading water what is the incentive to bother aiming high?



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineAASTEW From Dominican Republic, joined Oct 2001, 447 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5673 times:

Hi CHIFLYGUY,

First thanks for your continued years of flying AA.

I have been with AA since 10/95. I fly Purser at JFK. I mainly fly our JFK-LHR flt. 104/132/116.

Just to add the differences between First and Business class on AA's JFK-LHR route. Business doesn't get the Salmon app., they get a smaller app. . The biz salad course is pre-served and smaller portion. The entree is the same. First is dished by the F/A's Business is pre-plated. Deserts: First gets Sundaes/cheese plate/peaches in amaretto sauce. Biz flavored ice cream or fruit Pre-arrival Breakfast is the same in both cabins.

Salt and Pepper shakers are paper, therefore reducing costs of replacing shakers that get lost by caterers or mistakenly become souirvenirs to our customers. Hot towels was also a cost cutting measure. Instead of washing and recycling worn out hot towels they are now one time use towels.

I'm sure your quite aware of the catering issues. However, I will try and better explain why sometimes you don't received your entree choice. There are 3 entree choices in both cabins. Just for example in F 18seat config. we might get catered 8 Beef 6 Chicken and 4 Pasta. The flights are not catered with additional meals. The flight deck crew gets 3 different entrees. If a customer didn't receive their preferred entree choice we often then go to the pilots. Business class is catered exact as well. AA and LSG SkyChefs leave no room for error. Most F/A's will try to accomodate you as best we can!

As far as the JFK-LHR flights I have been told we are at 90% full fare in First Class! I don't have any stats, just word from a member of management.

AASTEW JFK


User currently offlineSean-SAN- From United States of America, joined Aug 2002, 772 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5637 times:

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 1):
I think nowadays many customers and airlines are questioning providing a First Class product internationally.

Incorrect. Many airlines receive a large chunk of their revenue from either First Class tickets or Business/First hybrids. These airlines include Singapore Airlines, Malaysia, Emirates, Lufthansa, Virgin, BA, and Air New Zealand, just to name a few. These airlines often fly routes that compete directly with US based airlines, so the money is there. But people with $6000 to pay for a ticket aren't the type to waste their money. And that means US based airlines premium cabins are usually either upgrades / mile redemptions, employees, or deeply discounted corporate contracts.


User currently offlineMalpensaSFO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5637 times:

Quoting AASTEW (Reply 7):
Salt and Pepper shakers are paper, therefore reducing costs of replacing shakers that get lost by caterers or mistakenly become souirvenirs to our customers.

Those little nickel and dime practices are noticed..

Quoting AASTEW (Reply 7):
8 Beef 6 Chicken and 4 Pasta.

Most airlines with International P class products ask the passengers at Check-In or they insure there are extra meals.


User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3713 posts, RR: 28
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5621 times:

Quoting Sean-SAN- (Reply 8):
Incorrect. Many airlines receive a large chunk of their revenue from either First Class tickets or Business/First hybrids.

I stand by my statement. A number of airlines have dropped a First Class product completely in favour of a Business/First hybrid, these include CO, DL, US, NZ, AC, NW, KL and VS who of course never had an F cabin.

Some airlines including BA, AF, AA and LH (off the top of my head) have dropped First Class on a number of routes. In BA's case (the airline I am most familiar with) they have dropped DEN, DAC, BWI, DTW and more plus much of their Caribbean network.

Indeed as you say a lot of airlines do receive a large chunk of their revenue from First Class and particularly on certain flagship routes but the airlines that continue to service a full three class service (F/J/Y) on all their international longhaul routes are certainly diminishing. International First Class certainly isn't as prominent on the worldwide network as it was say ten or twenty years ago.

[Edited 2006-08-16 00:14:01]


"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineNonRev From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 59 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5621 times:

I think that the legacy carriers accept that investment needs to be made in the premium cabins, but until now haven't had the ability or financial security to do so. But where the F class needs a clean up, it's in C class (or J class, dependent on how you fly!) where a re-vamp is needed and will be happening over the next couple of years. Bottom line is: Lie-flat in Business Class.

Cheers


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9826 posts, RR: 52
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5621 times:

Thank you very much for the report. I have only flown first class on Star Alliance. I have flown on a number of flights in United's and Lufthansa's first class cabin as well as Air New Zealand when they still had first class. I think for some there is a noticeable difference. I know that my parents will only fly in fully flat seats for long haul since it is hard for them to get enough sleep as they are getting older in the traditional seats. They'll pay a lot of money to do this, but benefit from UA giving 1K members systemwide upgrades.

It is interesting to hear the AA comparison. It seems relatively similar to United, although the design of the UA's suite doesn't have the same perks that AA's flagship suites have. I also think it isn't good that they are cutting corners. I've always been very impressed with meal services in first class. They are just as good as fine restaurants for the most part, which is quite impressive since the food is premade and being served from a tiny galley at 35,000ft.

Quoting CHIFLYGUY (Thread starter):
- A personal video selection on mini-cassette, limited to about 20 titles. Otherwise the entertainment is identical to J, and does not feature anything available "on demand".

Does AA not have the individual cassette players? I know UA and LH both have cassette players in the seats and a wide selection available. It isn't as convenient as the AVOD systems, but it does let you watch movies when you want to.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8483 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5605 times:

I've flown in the Flagship Suites on AA several times (using VIP upgrades) and am impressed with the seats. Unfortunately AA has cut costs in First and it shows. While I can understand the need to cut costs I also believe that you don't do it where the expensive tickets are sold. I know that a lot of pax in First are upgrades, but these pax put a lot of time on AA planes in order to get that upgrade. Either through upgrades or through buying a F ticket outright these are pax that AA wants to keep.

Now days I would rather fly J on BA or CX or even QF than F on AA. The food is a lot better, there is sufficient room & comfort and the FAs are generally impressive. While I have almost 3 mil lifetime miles in AAdvantage program I recently joined BA's program in order to fly BA over the Atlantic.

Hopefully AA will start investing in their service before to long as I want to see them successful over the long haul.


User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 59
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 5545 times:

Quoting CHIFLYGUY (Thread starter):
The only problem is that the location is at gate K19, the very end of the K concourse. This works great for some flights. Many of the 777 flights depart from the end of the K concourse. But gate L8 - the most remote possible mainline gate from the Flagship Lounge, is also used, which is annoying to say the least if you happen to be on the 4:55 to LHR.

Hi CHIFLYGUY...welcome to A.net....and good post.. Smile

I've flown on AA's ORD-LHR evening route a few times...they sometimes have to park the 777-200ER in the L8 gate when IB brings their A346 to ORD instead of their A343..this is because the A346 is a bit too long to park at the L8 gate (if you noticed at the gate, it was an "Iberia-OneWorld" gate...

I took this picture from the L8 gate when I flew ORD-LHR a couple of months ago (too bad I wasn't flying in F).



Quoting CHIFLYGUY (Thread starter):
Sometimes premium bags (which includes both F and J, as well as elite status fliers) come off the luggage belt first, other times they don't. Usually if they don't, that means they'll come off last.

This happens on all carriers..my parents fly on Business class with various carriers (LH, PK, BA, KU, etc), and they sometimes are one of the last to get their luggage (doesn't happen often, but it does)

cheers..



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlinePRAirbus From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2005, 1144 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 5481 times:

AA will enhance their First/Business Class product, the salt/pepper shakers will come back, more entree (menu) provisioning to increase chances of getting your selection, better hot towels, etc...these changes will be incorporated to the Domestic product in addition to the New Generation Business Class on 763 and 777's...the IFS (International Service) will offer comforters in Business Class versus blankets. Most of these changes will be introduced soon.

User currently offlineBoeing 747-311 From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 795 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5447 times:

do AA and UA offer Pajamas for their first class passengers as some carriers do? it does not appear like so!!

Also great post!!!



Come fly with US
User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7444 posts, RR: 62
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5423 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting CHIFLYGUY (Thread starter):
AA does not seem to like to bump people up for free

I don't think many airlines like to bump up their pax for free. Derives from profit, doesnt it?

Flights are known to be oversold but if the next flight is a seat and a $400 voucher, vs a $3600 revenue pax or the potential, I would think that decides whether or not a bump is upcoming.


No doubt the goodwill would be nice though.



Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21588 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5419 times:

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 1):
AA certainly do have the potential to be a really good airline, they are just treading water at the moment though, seeing how many cutbacks can be made until their FFs decide enough is enough and AAdvantage is worth ditching for a better experience elsewhere.

I was never EXP, but I did just that. I got tired of AA's declining service and cost cutting (pre-911, BTW) and switched to focusing flying on CO. Since, I have used up my FF miles on AA via free F tickets, and have not paid for an AA ticket since, but from this report it seems that the F product has declined since I last flew it as my experience was better. Sad...



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3247 posts, RR: 22
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5346 times:

Quoting CHIFLYGUY (Thread starter):

Welcome to a.net and thanks for sharing your experiences on AA's F class. Or should it be ClAAss maybe?  Smile Your experience matches a friend's who recently flew AA F class and was a bit underwhelmed (he was particularly shocked with how bad the lounges were). He did find the suite excellent though.

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 6):
As I said they have a good hard product but that is only across half the 777 fleet. Massive investment required.

I think LH has shown that, even if you don't have the latest super duper F class seat, you can still provide a great product, with excellent service on the ground (see dedicated F class lounges), good food on board, attention to detail, etc.

And, for what it is worth, I just don't buy the "it's all upgrades, why should we bother" attitude, given that it will encourage the people who actually want to pay for F class to spend their money somewhere else.

My  twocents 

Regards,

Tony



Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9826 posts, RR: 52
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5313 times:

Quoting Boeing 747-311 (Reply 16):
do AA and UA offer Pajamas for their first class passengers as some carriers do? it does not appear like so!!

I know UA certainly does not. Other airlines like Lufthansa do. UA does give amenity kits and socks, but no sleep shirts or pajamas.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineFLFlyGuy From United States of America, joined May 2004, 244 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5219 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

In addition to the changes outlined in the above post by AASTEW, also know that all of the 777's will be upgraded to Flagship Suites in F class in 2007.

I agree with your many pointed remarks about the decline in the level of service in First Class on IFS flights. I think the company agrees, too. They are investing in putting some of the perks back in. I just hope we make the necessary improvements before we lose a lot of customers.

I also wish we had the money to make more improvements, more quickly. But we don't. And therein lies the problem....to make money, we need the passengers. But to keep the passengers, we have to spend money that we don't have. I do hope that management makes the correct decisions, in a timely manner.

We'll see.



The views expressed are my own, and not necessarily those of my employer.
User currently offlineCHIFLYGUY From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 141 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 5040 times:

A few additional clarifications.

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 12):

Does AA not have the individual cassette players? I know UA and LH both have cassette players in the seats and a wide selection available. It isn't as convenient as the AVOD systems, but it does let you watch movies when you want to.

The Flagship Suites do have an individual 8mm video tape system. There are about 20-25 titles available. So this is personalized and "on demand" for you.

It is the rest of the entertainment system that is equivalent to J.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 13):

I've flown in the Flagship Suites on AA several times (using VIP upgrades) and am impressed with the seats.

I realize I probably left the impression that I don't like the Flagship Suites since I only posted the criticisms. Actually, I like them a lot. They are the highlight of the service. I particularly like how they rotate to create a real desk where you can work either with the shade down or looking out the window.

The things they need to add are independent forward motion of the seat, and a better IFE product.

Quoting PRAirbus (Reply 15):
AA will enhance their First/Business Class product, the salt/pepper shakers will come back, more entree (menu) provisioning to increase chances of getting your selection, better hot towels, etc...these changes will be incorporated to the Domestic product in addition to the New Generation Business Class on 763 and 777's...the IFS (International Service) will offer comforters in Business Class versus blankets. Most of these changes will be introduced soon.

That's good. I can understand cost cutting, but nickle and diming in F is just not the way to go.

Quoting Boeing 747-311 (Reply 16):

do AA and UA offer Pajamas for their first class passengers as some carriers do? it does not appear like so!!

Neither AA or UA offer pyjamas. As I said, the amenity kits are the same in F and J.

Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 17):

I don't think many airlines like to bump up their pax for free. Derives from profit, doesnt it?

Flights are known to be oversold but if the next flight is a seat and a $400 voucher, vs a $3600 revenue pax or the potential, I would think that decides whether or not a bump is upcoming.

I was only suggesting that this be done at the gate shortly before take-off, when selling tickets is a moot point. Obviously there could be problems with catering for the passengers upgraded, but if they were told in advance that they would get moved up to first, but would only have business meals, I think most would still take it. (As I said, you basically would only miss out on the smoked salmon).

I don't think AA can or should try to compete with the likes of SQ or even BA. But I think they could sell more F tickets by having a product that is more differentiated from J than today. One reason I flew these upgrade segments was to try out the product before buying. Right now I don't think I'll buy, but in the future with some upgrades, potentially I would.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should admit that I'm pretty much an AA supporter.

Cheers!


User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4289 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 5024 times:

I think that the main advantage of F is privacy, small, intimate cabin, and prestige. That's why movie contracts keep F going on LAX-JFK.
-Mr. X



What now?
User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 5002 times:

I think its amusing how American carriers think that a pre-plated slice of smoked salmon that you can buy at Zabars and plop on your bagel for about $ 3.50 is a First Class starter.

25 MalpensaSFO : What is even more funny is that they are using plastic forks and knives, stereotypical $.50 coffe mugs, and cant offer a decent tea service for the l
26 Post contains images SNATH : Tony
27 RoseFlyer : It really irks me when people say that without justification. I've flown first class on United and it is certainly better than business class on Sing
28 FURUREFA : I have flown Club World and the food, seat and service on AA F was better than CW. I have flown VS UC, the seat on AA was better, AF J was worse than
29 Kanebear : Already stated above; when AA installs the new J class in the 772s, the coffins will (thank you THANK you) be replaced at long last. Sadly, no. I sim
30 Post contains images FXramper : Negative. As stated previously by AASTEW, the majority (80-90%) of F class fares on the three class config. a/c of AA are full fare and not upgrades.
31 UAL777UK : You think UA and AA Sleeper suites are like BA's J class seat. You must be joking, If you are slightly bigger than the average person, then those sea
32 Willyj : If they are going to be this precise, they should ask passengers at check-in what they would prefer - or even right after boarding. When you are only
33 Ikramerica : Exactly. I love how people like to explain the procedure as if it makes it right. Loading exactly 18 meals for 18 people paying $13k for a roundtrip
34 Post contains links MalpensaSFO : Take a look at a few of the following points: -View a British Airways First Class Lunch Menu from London Heathrow to Los Angeles and compare it with
35 Ikramerica : You are arguing against something that wasn't said. What was said was that the AA/UA F product is BETTER than the J product on BA or VS or SQ, not tha
36 RoseFlyer : MalpensaSFO, I know arguing with you (and Kahala777 and lhr001) is pointless, but I have to disagree with some of your points. While I agree that Unit
37 Post contains links and images Fbgdavidson : Interesting you quote those since the source (when referring to Skytrax) is questionable. I'd ignore anything Skytrax promotes to be quite honest, yo
38 AJMIA : I work for AA on the ground. I am proud of our product, especially when I take my parents to London in First Class and they receive excellent and frie
39 Post contains images Kanebear : It was mid-2002 that they really cut catering and downgraded the product. I recall flying LHR-JNB in February and being very impressed with the cater
40 FURUREFA : AA has 2 f/as and the purser who do the F service. Did anyone ever say that AA F was as good as EK F? AA's seat is as good or better than BA's and BA
41 Kanebear : ...or two class A/C for that matter. CO's BF and NW's WBC simply do not measure up. I've not flown VS's suite so can't comment on theirs.
42 Ikramerica : That's a great way of stating it. It's a quality product, just not the best, and there is a lot to like about it. Fixing some shortcomings (a few mor
43 UAL777UK : Thank you for that. MalpensaSFO was going off on another tangent!!!
44 Incitatus : I find it amusing that people will pay so much attention to the salt container or whether the appetizer contains 2 US dollars of smoked salmon, or if
45 Incitatus : Ah, and I have to say to fbgdavidson I read your travel reports and your thoroughness and attention to branding just freaked me out. It was quite info
46 Post contains images Fbgdavidson : VS Upper Class allows just that. True, but with more and more airlines offering lie flat/horizontal J products the small, rather trivial touches in F
47 Jcavinato : On both AA and UA in international first class I have several times wound up with my third choice meal (usually something that I really don't like --
48 Post contains images Incitatus : Those lie flat J cabins actually look and feel like a big dorm. First class should also provide separation from other earthlings. When it comes to fi
49 Post contains images Wrighbrothers : Slight correction, BA have 2FA's , and a Purser for first class, on my flight, the CSD didn't come down our way. I'm in agreement with you there, the
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