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Will A US Airline Ever Get A Proper Y+?  
User currently offlinetullamarine From Australia, joined Aug 1999, 1550 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4647 times:

Is there any possibility that any of the US majors will move to introducing a proper Premium Economy cabin?

UA, DL (and now AA) have all gone down the same route of just adding a bit of extra legroom to their first few rows of Y and basically given these seats away at no extra charge to high-tier frequenty flyers. Given all of these airlines face significant competitors introducing proper Premium Economy cabins including QF, CX, VS, VA, BA, AF etc what is holding them back?


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25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinemdtrunner From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 43 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4645 times:

What constitutes proper? What do these other carriers offer in their Y+?

User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5369 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4582 times:

two more:

http://www.qantas.com.au/travel/airl...al-premium-economy-class/global/en

http://www.airnewzealand.com.au/new-premium-economy


The analogy isn't perfect, but I normally describe Y+ to people as short haul business class (domestic F in the USA). It is a definite upgrade and a big step up from Y. The US airlines' offering is just Y with extra legroom.



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlinetullamarine From Australia, joined Aug 1999, 1550 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4574 times:

Quoting mdtrunner (Reply 1):
What constitutes proper? What do these other carriers offer in their Y+?

These airlines all offer a separate cabin with seats that are generally the equivalent of domestic First Class or better. In fact the CX Y+ seats are identical to AA's domestic First Class seats. NZ has the most lavish W cabin with seats that would have been classed as outstanding in J class 10 years ago.



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 offlineElPistolero From Canada, joined Feb 2012, 1017 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4517 times:

Quoting tullamarine (Thread starter):
UA, DL (and now AA) have all gone down the same route of just adding a bit of extra legroom to their first few rows of Y and basically given these seats away at no extra charge to high-tier frequenty flyers. Given all of these airlines face significant competitors introducing proper Premium Economy cabins including QF, CX, VS, VA, BA, AF etc what is holding them back?

Probably the cost of investing that much, combined with the fear that it might cannibalize premium traffic. Its odd though, because a lot of carriers flying there do offer it. Of course, removing one or two rows in mid cabin costs a lot less than redesigning a full cabin, and US carriers aren't awash with cash.

Interesting to note, also, that Premium Economy is sometimes difficult to find as an option on travel websites (expedia has it, I think, but many others here in Canada don't). In fact, I was trying to book a Y+ ticket on TK recently, and Flight Center, despite their global reach, told me that they couldn't acess Y+ on their systems. Presumably a Canadian thing, but it also says a lot about what the market is asking for. Pax don't seem to know too much about real PE products around here either. They think of it as extra legroom, not a distinct product.


User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5369 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4429 times:

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 5):
Flight Center, despite their global reach, told me that they couldn't acess Y+ on their systems

Oh wow! Of all travel agencies FCL are the one I would expect to be most familiar with Y+. In Australia they don't have a problem booking it.

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 5):
Pax don't seem to know too much about real PE products around here either

That could be the main reason: given that no North American airlines have gone down this route there is probably a lot less consumer awareness of it than in Europe or Oceania. Consumers aren't going to demand something they don't know exists!



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlinetullamarine From Australia, joined Aug 1999, 1550 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4411 times:

In Australia, both VA and QF have said that W classes tend to sell-out faster than all others. It is virtually impossible to get a W class upgrade using points. You can usually snaffle a J upgrade providing you're prepared to use a whole lot more points.


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 offlineMAN2SIN2BKK From Thailand, joined Feb 2009, 231 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4388 times:

I thought US airlines did have Y+ , they just call it First Class!

User currently offlineghifty From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 891 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4388 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 3):
The analogy isn't perfect, but I normally describe Y+ to people as short haul business class (domestic F in the USA). It is a definite upgrade and a big step up from Y. The US airlines' offering is just Y with extra legroom.

What Y+ is depends on the airline. US airlines market Y+ as, just that, Y+. The carriers you listed tend to advertise Y+ more/less as "Business" without the full-flat seat/bed. IIRC, they get the same service and perks.

Quoting MAN2SIN2BKK (Reply 8):
I thought US airlines did have Y+ , they just call it First Class!

   It's not that simple... more like BusinessElite or BusinessFirst... lol.

[Edited 2012-03-01 19:42:27]

[Edited 2012-03-02 17:27:20 by srbmod]


Fly Delta Jets
User currently offlineElPistolero From Canada, joined Feb 2012, 1017 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4378 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 6):
Oh wow! Of all travel agencies FCL are the one I would expect to be most familiar with Y+. In Australia they don't have a problem booking it.

I tend to book a lot through them, because I am picky about the fare class. Just dropped by on the way home from work and asked them what prices they were getting. Turns out the answer was "none". The system in Canada only allows Y, J and F. We both agreed that it was a nuisance. I subsequently booked the ticket from the airlines website.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 6):

That could be the main reason: given that no North American airlines have gone down this route there is probably a lot less consumer awareness of it than in Europe or Oceania. Consumers aren't going to demand something they don't know exists!

I had this exact conversation with someone who travels to Europe regularly today, who didn't think premium economy existed! She thought it mean paying full fare (Y fare) instead of discounted fare, and therefore couldn't understand why I would book it.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22866 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4282 times:

Quoting ghifty (Reply 9):
US airlines market Y+ as, just that, Y+. The carriers you listed tend to advertise Y+ more/less as "Business" without the full-flat seat/bed. IIRC, they get the same service and perks.

Interestingly, the F service/perks with a Y-like seat sounds a lot like some US LFCs' full fare tickets. For instance, on F9, a Classic Plus ticket comes with free PTV, a free adult beverage, 2 free checked bags, priority boarding, seats in the front of the cabin and 5 inches more legroom. While it's not longhaul, that's probably the closest thing a US carrier has to what we are calling "proper Y+" in this thread, and it's a product I for one like.

Quoting tullamarine (Reply 4):
NZ has the most lavish W cabin with seats that would have been classed as outstanding in J class 10 years ago.

That might tell us something about W, actually. I believe NZ flies to 11 destinations more than 2500 nm from AKL (HKG, HNL, KIX, LHR, LAX, NRT, PEK, PER, PVG, SFO, YVR). Of those 11, 9 - all but HNL and PER - are more than 4000 nm from AKL. Put a different way, NZ has many more "long" longhaul flights than "short" longhaul flights (and yes, I realize the mileage cutoffs I have used are somewhat arbitrary). That's quite a lot different from DL, where I'd guess that two thirds of the longhaul flights would fit in to my definition of "short."



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5214 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4217 times:

It seems to me that the U.S. carriers could offer a coach product that was similar to coach in the days of regulation, including more space and hot food, as well as 2 free checked bags and no fees to change plans.

The problem isn't with the premium traffic. It's how to get companies to splurge and allow employees flying for business to book Y+, rather than Y.

You could degrade the Y cabin to the point that it only appeals to vacationers and the very cheap business flyer (ala Spirit), or only skew the fares to longer stays or Saturday night stayovers.

Or price Y+ at a fare that isn't gouging businesses, which the airlines did to business flyers in the 1990s.


User currently offlineAA757200 From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 157 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4149 times:

Quoting tullamarine (Thread starter):
(and now AA) have all gone down the same route of just adding a bit of extra legroom to their first few rows of Y and basically given these seats away at no extra charge to high-tier frequent flyers. Given all of these airlines face significant competitors introducing proper Premium Economy cabins including QF, CX, VS, VA, BA, AF etc what is holding them back?

AA does not compete with BA or QF anywhere. Their revenue share is metal neutral. Why sink the costs when your true paying Premium Economy passenger will pay for BA or QF when they have the choice anyway?


User currently offline777fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2496 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3878 times:

I'd contend that UA probably offers the best Y+ product out of all U.S. carriers. Assuming this to be the case and using it as a basis for comparison, there really is no comparison when you stack it up against similarly classed Y+ products offered by QF, NZ, AF, etc. That said, the target market, its expectations, needs and the price they're willing to pay for the product is dramatically different.

I don't have any numbers to support my position and will defer to anyone that does, but I'd venture to guess an overwhelming majority of UA's Y+ (like other U.S. carriers) seats are sold on domestic routes which typically last no longer than five hours. Outside of additional legroom (which UA and others already offer) and perhaps early boarding, there aren't really many perks you could offer that would justify a 30-50% (or more) markup on a fare.
- A free drink? WN offers that for its business select fares which ironically, I wouldn't use if I were traveling for work. A $7 drink also isn't worth the $70 fare upcharge.
- Wider seats? Good luck making that CASM/RASM ratio work out in your favor. With most domestic flights running on 3-3 narrowbodies, you'd need a minimum 33% fare increase to cover the lost revenue on a 2-2 configuration.
- Gourmet meals? Most flights aren't long enough to justify meals, let alone 'gourmet' meals. IMO, Americans developed a longstanding psychological aversion to meals in Y-class even when they were offered on a regular basis.
- Waived bag fees? See above; you'd be hard pressed to market a seat costing hundreds more by offering a $25-$50 savings. Most frequent fliers already find a away around the bag fees anyway.
- Wi-fi? It would be enticing, but again, a $9 (or so) "savings" is going to be difficult to justify on a significantly more expensive fare, particularly if the flight is mium economy product kicks ass.

777fan



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User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21555 posts, RR: 55
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3791 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 3):
The US airlines' offering is just Y with extra legroom.

But it's also priced a lot cheaper than the Y+ on QF, NZ, etc. They're not trying to sell it as something it isn't.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined exactly 8 years ago today! , 8325 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3745 times:
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Quoting tullamarine (Thread starter):
Premium Economy cabins including QF, CX, VS, VA, BA, AF etc what is holding them back?

The airlines above are premium revenue airlines, no US airline is J class heavy like the Asian and European airlines. US airline probably will never offer a true Y+ . This is a way to standardize short and long haul Y+.


User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5369 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3717 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 15):
But it's also priced a lot cheaper than the Y+ on QF, NZ, etc. They're not trying to sell it as something it isn't.

I know. Sorry I should have made it clearer: the US and European/Asia-Pacific carriers are offering their Y+ product (whatever form it may take) to totally different markets. That's what I was trying to get at, but I realise I could have phrased it better!

In the USA, to take UA as an example, EconomyPlus primarily seems to serve the purpose of providing a perk to 1K/PremPlat/PremGold/PremSilver members who missed out on an upgrade. This certainly isn't true elsewhere. Obviously if Y is overbooked then PlatinumOne/Platinum/Gold/Silver (to take QF as an example) would get upgraded to Y+ but that goes without saying! Indeed I've had this privilege when traveling with my father (QF Platinum)... fantastic product, just wish I could afford it normally!

As a budget conscious coach flyer, the American model is actually quite enticing. Pay about $150 more and get another 5" of legroom on a 14 hour flight from Australia to the USA... Unfortunately for UA, I'm an able bodied adult and will therefore pay a similar price to get an emergency exit row on QF. In doing so I get QFFF points, AVOD, and better meals/wine!



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineavek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4368 posts, RR: 19
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3586 times:

The OP's question presupposes that the Y+ model followed by BA/QF/NZ is necessarily the "proper" one for every major airline, and that's just not true. In fact, I'd argue that the approach taken by the big three US legacies is the proper one as their Y+ products are 1) able to be feasibly offered systemwide, not just on longhaul; and 2) are better positioned to enhance the brand value proposition for elite frequent travelers.


Live life to the fullest.
User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5369 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3320 times:

Quoting avek00 (Reply 18):
I'd argue that the approach taken by the big three US legacies is the proper one as their Y+ products are 1) able to be feasibly offered systemwide, not just on longhaul; and 2) are better positioned to enhance the brand value proposition for elite frequent travelers.

But neither of those are the objectives of all the airlines who have adopted the BA model. It is to be rolled out long-haul (no market for such a product short-haul) and is supposed to generate revenue, not be a perk.

Perhaps "full-service Y+" of something similar might be more appropriate than "proper".



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineElPistolero From Canada, joined Feb 2012, 1017 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3273 times:

Quoting avek00 (Reply 18):
The OP's question presupposes that the Y+ model followed by BA/QF/NZ is necessarily the "proper" one for every major airline, and that's just not true. In fact, I'd argue that the approach taken by the big three US legacies is the proper one as their Y+ products are 1) able to be feasibly offered systemwide, not just on longhaul; and 2) are better positioned to enhance the brand value proposition for elite frequent travelers.

Is the US model the proper one for every major airline?

I guess the best way to answer that is by looking at who is making more money of Y+ on LAX-SYD - QF or UA? Or, for that matter, any route that UA is up against VS, BA etc.

The numbers will tell you who is doing Y+ 'properly'


User currently offlineghifty From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 891 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2843 times:

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 20):
I guess the best way to answer that is by looking at who is making more money of Y+ on LAX-SYD - QF or UA? Or, for that matter, any route that UA is up against VS, BA etc.

The numbers will tell you who is doing Y+ 'properly'

Then you throw other things into the mix, like brand recognition, etc. How about we all stop being armchair CEOs and realize that the people at the US airlines aren't just throwing ideas around without studies/research. No company with common sense is going to introduce something it knows it passengers will dislike -- regardless of how "unproper" US airlines' "Y+" are.

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 20):
Is the US model the proper one for every major airline?

No..



Fly Delta Jets
User currently offlinepenguins From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 307 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2812 times:

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 20):

I flew that route with UA premium economy and I saw no benefit for upgrading from Y.


User currently offlineripcordd From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1159 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2765 times:

Y+ is very smart to do I would drop $100 or so just to get a nice comfy seat and maybe some ife. The price for J or F is just to high for most people to pay but a lot are willing to spend a little extra for Y+....My thoughts who in their right mind wants to use pillows and blankets from an airline if they are sealed in bag before you get them? Uhh the thoughts where they have been and what has been done to them scares me.....Airline food sucks even F so I'm happy to be left a lone in Y with a nice comfy seat and a can of coke and bottle of jack...

User currently offlinePrinair From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 744 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2165 times:

UA makes a nice profit from Economy Plus... Why mess it up?


PRINAIR : Puerto Rico International Airlines
User currently offlineSchweigend From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 608 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2093 times:

Quoting tullamarine (Reply 3):
These airlines all offer a separate cabin with seats that are generally the equivalent of domestic First Class or better.

Do they offer this on domestic or regional narrowbody flights? Or just the longhaul widebodies?

Quoting ghifty (Reply 8):
What Y+ is depends on the airline. US airlines market Y+ as, just that, Y+. The carriers you listed tend to advertise Y+ more/less as "Business" without the full-flat seat/bed. IIRC, they get the same service and perks.

Right. And for US-based airlines Y+ is just what it sounds like - a coach fare plus a surcharge for extra legroom, available systemwide, even on RJs. It is not a differentiated product with its own fare booking class.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 10):
That might tell us something about W, actually. I believe NZ flies to 11 destinations more than 2500 nm from AKL (HKG, HNL, KIX, LHR, LAX, NRT, PEK, PER, PVG, SFO, YVR). Of those 11, 9 - all but HNL and PER - are more than 4000 nm from AKL. Put a different way, NZ has many more "long" longhaul flights than "short" longhaul flights (and yes, I realize the mileage cutoffs I have used are somewhat arbitrary). That's quite a lot different from DL, where I'd guess that two thirds of the longhaul flights would fit in to my definition of "short."

  

Quoting ripcordd (Reply 22):
Y+ is very smart to do I would drop $100 or so just to get a nice comfy seat and maybe some ife.

I think so, too. You know what you are getting with Y+ on a U.S. airline -- more legroom for a fee on top of your regular coach fare, whatever that fare was, on whatever flight you want, whether it's 500 or 5000 miles in length. It is not a separate product from Y.

I also think that while the current Y+ setup is fine for U.S. domestic services, it should have more "pop" for international, such as free IFE, increased free alcohol allowance, better meals, and perhaps an amenity kit, but keeping it as a surcharge over the coach fare, and in the same seats.


User currently offlinenzrich From New Zealand, joined Dec 2005, 1522 posts, RR: 1
Reply 25, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2040 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 10):
That might tell us something about W, actually. I believe NZ flies to 11 destinations more than 2500 nm from AKL (HKG, HNL, KIX, LHR, LAX, NRT, PEK, PER, PVG, SFO, YVR). Of those 11, 9 - all but HNL and PER - are more than 4000 nm from AKL. Put a different way, NZ has many more "long" longhaul flights than "short" longhaul flights (and yes, I realize the mileage cutoffs I have used are somewhat arbitrary). That's quite a lot different from DL, where I'd guess that two thirds of the longhaul flights would fit in to my definition of "short."

NZ does have 2 types of premium economy !
Short Haul has space plus which is like United where you get the same service as economy but with Extra leg room for elite passengers .

Long Haul is where you get your own zone and premium service .

NZ is finding this zone a cash cow and i am sure that the American carriers would to on there international flights across the pacific and atlantic .



"Pride of the pacific"
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