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CO Business First, Will Is Survive UA/CO?  
User currently offlinejustloveplanes From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1050 posts, RR: 1
Posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 8667 times:

Any gouge from insiders on whether it will be United Business or Business First as the Standard?

45 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16861 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 8662 times:

Some routes will do well with UA's three class service, others would be better suited with CO's BusinessFirst product. I don't think it's a one or the other choice.


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8897 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 8506 times:

Wouldn't surprise me to see the merged carrier go the route of AA and BA - having first class on some planes (and a three-cabin configuration), while two cabins on others. Quite possible that the merged carrier keeps F on the 747s and some 777s, while 757s, 767s and some 777s are two-cabin configurations, based on the demand for an IFC on the market.

User currently offlinejustloveplanes From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1050 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 8461 times:

Still need to answer the J-Class question. UA's J-Class is 8 abreast lie flat while CO's is 6 abreast Lie flat. Maybe UA is C class and CO is J class? Which one?

User currently offlinenws2002 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 896 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 8376 times:

Quoting justloveplanes (Reply 3):
Still need to answer the J-Class question. UA's J-Class is 8 abreast lie flat while CO's is 6 abreast Lie flat. Maybe UA is C class and CO is J class? Which one?

Do you? You can have a nicer business class in two class markets, call it BusinessFirst, blending both first and business together. The three class markets have to be careful, they can't make business class too nice without having people forget first because business is nice enough, encroaching on first class revenue


User currently offlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5937 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 8252 times:

.

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 2):
Wouldn't surprise me to see the merged carrier go the route of AA and BA - having first class on some planes (and a three-cabin configuration), while two cabins on others. Quite possible that the merged carrier keeps F on the 747s and some 777s, while 757s, 767s and some 777s are two-cabin configurations, based on the demand for an IFC on the market.

It would not supprise me to see them do that either.

UAs F/J on the 747/777/787 fleets and COs J on the 767/752 fleets. F/J aircraft on premium routes and J only aircraft on secondary routes it seems like a decent compromise as there are routes in COs network that can't support F class and there are routes in UAs network that can easily fill that cabin.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlinetullamarine From Australia, joined Aug 1999, 1557 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 8096 times:

With the way the market internationally is changng UA/CO may choose to be the first US carrier to adopt the Premium Economy model championed by airlines such as VA QF VS NZ and BA. This is a lot more than UA"s existing Y+ product and QF and NZ seem to have found it is in far more demand than the modern First Suite model which is completely over the top anyway. A Business First product followed by good Premium Economy and economy classes seems a good way forward and gas proved successful for NZ and VA


717,721/2,732/3/4/5/7/8/9,742/3/4,752/3,762/3,772,W,A310,320,321,332,333,388,DC9,DC10,F28,F100,142,143,E90,CR2,D82/3/4,S
User currently offlinescorpy From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 400 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7836 times:

Regardless of if they keep first or not, they will pick one Business Class seat. Aircraft that are 2 or 3 class will have the same business class seat the only difference will be the lack of first. Of course for the first few years there will be multiple seats, but this will be undoutably rationalized.

User currently offlinejustloveplanes From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1050 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7788 times:

Quoting nws2002 (Reply 4):
Do you? You can have a nicer business class in two class markets, call it BusinessFirst, blending both first and business together. The three class markets have to be careful, they can't make business class too nice without having people forget first because business is nice enough, encroaching on first class revenue

I guess that's the answer, have both at least. I can not see CO agreeing to a merger and compromising BusinessFirst. BF is their hottest product and differentiating brand value, plus their earnings focus.

Obvious, now that I write it, BF stays. So the combined airline will have:

First, BusinessFirst, Business, Premium Economy, Economy.

Hmmmm.... 5 classes, could be confusing. If one was to go, it would be First I think. That would leave two general classes, with a premium product for each. Having flown United First and CO BF, CO BF was better for me anyway, so I would guess First Would go.


User currently offlineUnited787 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2703 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 7298 times:

Quoting tullamarine (Reply 6):
. A Business First product followed by good Premium Economy and economy classes seems a good way forward and gas proved successful for NZ and VA

There seems to be an evolution happening here where essentially Business Class has evolved to the quality level of the old First Class and a new Preminum Economy Class evolves to be like the old Business Class, so you drop the new First and you end up back where you started...


User currently offlinescorpy From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 400 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 7229 times:

Quoting justloveplanes (Reply 8):
I guess that's the answer, have both at least. I can not see CO agreeing to a merger and compromising BusinessFirst. BF is their hottest product and differentiating brand value, plus their earnings focus.

Obvious, now that I write it, BF stays. So the combined airline will have:

First, BusinessFirst, Business, Premium Economy, Economy.

BusinessFirst is just another business class seat, about middle of the range. What seat they keep will be very low on the list of things decided pre-merger.

Regardless, the merged airline will keep one business seat. Maybe one of the two they have, maybe something new. Its debatable if they keep first, but BF is in no way a true F and is priced accordingly.


User currently offlinerjpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7188 times:

Here is a more important question: I assume United would halt the installation of new BusinessFirst seats on CO's fleet and instead use United's new J seat. But on the aircraft that already received the new BusinessFirst seats (13 or so aircraft), would they replace the new seats with United's new seat or is there a way to alter them to United's setup (I know that the seats are quite similar).

User currently offlineCODC10 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2406 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7072 times:

Quoting rjpieces (Reply 11):
Here is a more important question: I assume United would halt the installation of new BusinessFirst seats on CO's fleet and instead use United's new J seat.

CO people are going to be calling the shots at the 'new' UA, so I doubt great preference will be shown to the United Business product, especially if involves cannibalizing CO BF, which Smisek and Co. are very proud of. At any rate, the CO/UA flat bed seats are rather similar, but I definitely prefer CO's. Wider, forward-facing, and angled toward the windows.

Ideally, it would be a best-of-both-worlds scenario where CO's BF becomes the Business Class standard, and most routes are rationalized to two-class configurations. Keep F on a smaller subset of the fleet (say 747s and a handful of 777s) and make all 767s two-class with a density similar to what CO works with now, perhaps 30J on the 763ER.


User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6991 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 5):

It would not supprise me to see them do that either.

UAs F/J on the 747/777/787 fleets and COs J on the 767/752 fleets. F/J aircraft on premium routes and J only aircraft on secondary routes it seems like a decent compromise as there are routes in COs network that can't support F class and there are routes in UAs network that can easily fill that cabin.

I've been wondering why UA hasn't used this model to date. I have to wonder if they aren't losing out on revenue because of their focus on only flying places that can support 3-class aircraft. Multiple carriers such as AA, BA, AF, LH, and probably more manage to balance 3- and 2-class international flights so why can't they? It would make sense to me if it was a thing of only flying places that could sometimes support a 777 for example, but I'd think that this list would be larger than those that can support 3-class travel.

Quoting scorpy (Reply 10):
BusinessFirst is just another business class seat, about middle of the range. What seat they keep will be very low on the list of things decided pre-merger.

Regardless, the merged airline will keep one business seat. Maybe one of the two they have, maybe something new. Its debatable if they keep first, but BF is in no way a true F and is priced accordingly.

And I think this puts them in a good spot, where they can adopt the best aspects of both/either J offerings into whatever "new" J product they eventually roll out. No need to to even worry about it yet.


User currently offlinerjpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6992 times:

Quoting CODC10 (Reply 12):

CO people are going to be calling the shots at the 'new' UA, so I doubt great preference will be shown to the United Business product, especially if involves cannibalizing CO BF, which Smisek and Co. are very proud of. At any rate, the CO/UA flat bed seats are rather similar, but I definitely prefer CO's. Wider, forward-facing, and angled toward the windows.

Ideally, it would be a best-of-both-worlds scenario where CO's BF becomes the Business Class standard, and most routes are rationalized to two-class configurations. Keep F on a smaller subset of the fleet (say 747s and a handful of 777s) and make all 767s two-class with a density similar to what CO works with now, perhaps 30J on the 763ER.

Except that United's entire 767 and 747 fleet is already modified with the new product. Only a few Continental planes have the new CO seat, so it would make sense to install the new United product on the rest of the CO fleet.

The 767s will be gone by the end of this decade so I doubt we'll see any major changes in them before that.


User currently offlinePacificClipper From United States of America, joined Aug 2009, 312 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6967 times:

UA has gone to great lengths to install and maket it's international United First and United Business cabins on the 747/767 (777s are in progress). The comfort, features and style of both seat types/cabins are way ahead of anything offered by any other US-based carrier. The BusinessFirst seats trail those offered by UA, AA and DL who all have some kind of lie flat seat in J. BF was great when introduced, now the seat is dated when compared to the competitive offerings.

That said, UA will keep its 3 cabin configuration and deploy 3 cabin a/c on some of CO's routes that would benefit from having an F cabin. However much of CO's network doesn't need an Intl F cabin. UA will likely convert a good portion of CO's Intl a/c to have United Business, Economy Plus and United Economy while some a/c will also have United First.



Fly Beautiful :: 747
User currently offlinekiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8553 posts, RR: 13
Reply 16, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6949 times:
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Quoting LHCVG (Reply 13):
Multiple carriers such as AA, BA, AF, LH, and probably more manage to balance 3- and 2-class international flights

I could be wrong , but I was under the impression that all LH intercontinental flights these days are 3 class . Nevertheless I acknowledge the point you make about the lack of flexibility that can come with an all 3 class longhaul fleet , perhaps it has kept UA out of some markets ( although I also think the relatively low number of low-end widebodies in the UA longhaul fleet is a limiting factor that may keep them out of some 'thinner' routes that they might otherwise be able to profitably offer ) .



Moderation in all things ... including moderation ;-)
User currently offlineCODC10 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2406 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6928 times:

Quoting PacificClipper (Reply 15):
The BusinessFirst seats trail those offered by UA, AA and DL

Have you seen the new product? IMO it exceeds those mentioned.


User currently offlinejustloveplanes From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1050 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6915 times:

Quoting scorpy (Reply 10):
BusinessFirst is just another business class seat, about middle of the range. What seat they keep will be very low on the list of things decided pre-merger.

Regardless, the merged airline will keep one business seat. Maybe one of the two they have, maybe something new. Its debatable if they keep first, but BF is in no way a true F and is priced accordingly.

CO has won many awards for it's business First product and done so consistently over a decade. No other US carrier can make that statement. It is a yield and premium revenue driver, and the seat is part of it, but only part of the equation. So the question is really about the Whole BF concept, and whether the sear is ordinary or not (I have heard from reviews it is in fact, excellent), it is part and parcel of a refined two class revenue model.

So to make the story short, how the merged airline handles business class is key to CO and I don't believe will be low on the list of merger items. It is CO's main differentiator as a brand, and a big part of what has made the airline successful. I would place this issue substantially ahead of fleet rationalization for example, in merger discussions. As a CEO, I would be much more focused in issues relating to the customer experience that drives (uniquely as opposed to other US carriers) revenue to my airline, than fight hardware that in most cases is transparent to the customer.

Quoting CODC10 (Reply 12):

CO people are going to be calling the shots at the 'new' UA, so I doubt great preference will be shown to the United Business product, especially if involves cannibalizing CO BF, which Smisek and Co. are very proud of. At any rate, the CO/UA flat bed seats are rather similar, but I definitely prefer CO's. Wider, forward-facing, and angled toward the windows.

Ideally, it would be a best-of-both-worlds scenario where CO's BF becomes the Business Class standard, and most routes are rationalized to two-class configurations. Keep F on a smaller subset of the fleet (say 747s and a handful of 777s) and make all 767s two-class with a density similar to what CO works with now, perhaps 30J on the 763ER.

  


User currently offlinenws2002 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 896 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6881 times:

Quoting PacificClipper (Reply 15):
The BusinessFirst seats trail those offered by UA, AA and DL who all have some kind of lie flat seat in J. BF was great when introduced, now the seat is dated when compared to the competitive offerings

The new lie-flat seat is better than anything AA has, and on par with UA and DL best business class seat. In fact the seat is very similar to the newest UA seat, although configured slightly different.

The food and service aspect of BusinessFirst has won many awards. Primarily because it is consistently a good product, not the best in the world, but probably the best of all the US carriers.


User currently offlineBoston92 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3390 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6882 times:

Quoting CODC10 (Reply 17):

It clearly does not exceed the new UA seat.



"Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200 and a substantial tax cut save you 30 cents?"
User currently offlineCODC10 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2406 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6803 times:

Quoting Boston92 (Reply 20):
It clearly does not exceed the new UA seat.

It's wider, longer, faces forward, has no middle seats, and comes with a better overall soft product. I'm not sure how you can make that statement, notwithstanding the fact that I prefaced my post with "In My Opinion"!


User currently offlineBoston92 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3390 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6225 times:

Quoting CODC10 (Reply 21):

Wider? Not according to Seat Guru, which lists the width of the CO seat at 22" and the UA seat at 23.5"

Longer? Well it depends on how you measure. Seat pitch of the CO seat is 55" while the UA seat is 77".

Many people prefer the rear facing seats, so I am unsure how you count that against UA.

Sure there are middle seats on UA, but that doesn't really make the seat any different. The UA seat also has a superior AVOD system and, lastly, for people who actually pay for Business class, they have the option of upgrading to F.



"Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200 and a substantial tax cut save you 30 cents?"
User currently offlinerjpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6188 times:

I don't know about the merits of which seat is better, but it seems incredibly unlikely that the newly modified UA fleet (767s and 747s) would go while the yet-to-modified CO fleet seat would become the standard.

User currently offlineLufthansa411 From Germany, joined Jan 2008, 692 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (4 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5834 times:

Quoting rjpieces (Reply 23):
I don't know about the merits of which seat is better, but it seems incredibly unlikely that the newly modified UA fleet (767s and 747s) would go while the yet-to-modified CO fleet seat would become the standard.

        


Exactly. I am sure that both UA and CO has several hundred business (and first) class seats on order, that at this stage cannot be easily cancelled. We will see both seats being installed in a/c even after the merger. Maybe in several years when it is time for a cabin refresh, we will hear about changing the class concept, but for the near future, it is a moot point.


What will be a rather substantial point is how the different cabins will be rationalised with each other.

My guess is the following (based on current products):

"UA F" will see the nicest of everything both UA and CO have to offer, be it food, amenity kits, etc.

"CO BusinessFirst" will be a hybrid akin to BA Open Skies, where the we will see elements of both what is in UA F, UA C, and CO C class. I doubt it will be rebranded, just to keep the products separated.

"UA C" will be a purely business class thing, probably pretty close to what it is now.

"UA Y+" being adopted fleet wide, as it has proved to be a money spinner for UA.



Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood.
25 CODC10 : Seatguru does not reflect the latest specifications of CO's new flat-bed BusinessFirst seat, which is the version I was referring to. This is entirel
26 nyc2theworld : Couldn't BF be used on routes that CO currently calls "International First"? Gives them a great premium product that blends Business and First on rout
27 United1 : From what I heard COs new J class seat is coming out in three slightly differnet models depending on the aircraft type. According to the specs I have
28 PacificClipper : I would expect that the best of both UA & CO's service standards will be combined and become the new standard moving forward. As for which actual
29 UA933 : I recently read that CO was planing to introduce a new BusinessFirst product in 2010. My guess is that CO's A/C will simply receive the new UA product
30 Bralo20 : Since UA is larger then CO, I doubt that CO will form most of the topmanagement. At most 1:1 but I have a strong feeling that the new topmanagement w
31 Post contains images Bralo20 : Doubt that this is going to happen... UA has had a 3 class cabin and it will remain so, they are not going to change their planes again since they "j
32 rjpieces : But that is what we are wondering about. Continental has yet to modify most of their fleet with their new BusinessFirst seat. Will they continue to d
33 mcdu : Business First or Business Select or whatever you want to label the offerings from CO and DL are a ruse. They are the old F cabin re-labeled to allow
34 CO767FA : A combined CO/UA is not a takeover - I think all the merger debates will be hilarious to rehash if the new entity is based in Chicago, but retains ei
35 justloveplanes : I think it's pretty clear it does. UA's new lie flat is very narrow, 8 abreast in a 777. CO's is 6 abreast and is wider. I've only flown UA first onc
36 Post contains links United1 : http://www.suitedreams.united.com/Pr...m.aspx?Article=PremiumTravel103008 http://www.suitedreams.united.com/Pr...m.aspx?Article=PremiumTravel102208 Ju
37 CODC10 : The application would be one or the other, not both on the same aircraft. In my experience, the library of films, shows, and audio on UA's reconfigur
38 nws2002 : International First is a domestic first class seat with service leaning towards the BusinessFirst level.
39 sancho99504 : What about the A350's on order? If you look at it, UA's pacific ops is what CO's European ops are, And the limited European routes United operates to
40 CODC10 : Is it reasonable to suggest that UA F > CO J > UA C? I agree, there is a certain prestige associated with a 3-class product, and it is obvious
41 jfk777 : The Continental Business First product is clearly very good and better then UA's C class. The question then is how does it compare to United's First C
42 rjpieces : Again, nobody has addressed the fact that United has recently modified a good chunk of its fleet, where as Continental has barely started. It doesn't
43 CODC10 : They absolutely are. I am advocating the implementation of CO's BF soft product to replace UA C, since the hard products are very similar.
44 Post contains images justloveplanes : I think one answer is just take the BF catering and other product amenities and bring it to United First. That will keep UF as the premium product in
45 Post contains links ManuCH : There is now an official thread to discuss this. Please continue discussion there: Possible UA/CO Merger: Impact On Fleets & Routes (by Moderators
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