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Germanwings To Offer Business Class  
User currently offlinePlaneInsomniac From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 680 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5843 times:

Not entirely unexpected given the growing importance of 4U in the Lufthansa Group. It has now been confirmed that 4U will offer a business class product named "Best", including larger seat pitch and empty middle seats.

Press release:
http://www.germanwings.com/de/Untern...-zu-Europas-modernster-Airline.htm

Also reported by Spiegel Online:
http://www.spiegel.de/reise/aktuell/...it-business-class-an-a-871270.html


Am I cured? Slept 5 hours on last long-haul flight...
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineconaly From Germany, joined May 2005, 13 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5765 times:

Have read some different news:

Germanwings will grow to LH's Europe-airline for all flights outside of Frankfurt und Munich from July 1st 2013. The new Germanwings with a new corporate identity and new livery will operate with 90 aircraft from. Although in this article it is stated, that these aircraft will only have a Economy class:

aero.de
http://www.aero.de/news-16422/Neue-G...irektverkehre-am-01-Juli-2013.html



Regards, Dimitri
User currently offlinePlaneInsomniac From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 680 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5720 times:

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Thread starter):
Although in this article it is stated, that these aircraft will only have a Economy class

That would contradict the airline's own press release posted today.

Maybe they got fooled by the statement "under the roof of a single economy class" at the beginning of the 4U press release, which is nothing but PR hot air to try to maintain the LCC image.

The 4U press release later goes on to clearly state that there will be three classes: Best, Smart, and Basic. Best offers more legroom, empty middle seats, double the baggage allowance, increased Miles & More points, LH HON circle miles, use of LH lounges, and free ticket cancellation. The text also expressly states that the Best class is "primarily aimed at business customers". These are the airline's own words, and Spiegel Online also appears to have understood the press release in this way.

If this isn't business class, I don't know what is.



Am I cured? Slept 5 hours on last long-haul flight...
User currently offlinegodbless From Sweden, joined Apr 2000, 2753 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5619 times:

On their german website 4U gives this presentation of their future "all economy" product, which you can also watch on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=yv5e_7o7bBc

It does really seem that this is the first time that an airline sells a business class product calling it eco though...


User currently offlinebavair From Germany, joined Jul 2011, 126 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5570 times:

According to airliners.de you will be able to collect HON miles in the 'Best' seat category. Along with the free middle seat and higher service this does make it pretty much on par with LH's existing continental businessclass.

Also, Germanwings will be providing feed to some intercontinental flights (ie in DUS) where it makes sense to have a Biz class for passengers booked in Business or First class.

Germanwings is getting a lot of planes from LH. I wonder if these are getting refurbished or will simply continue flying with the LH interior with maybe some small design changes - eg. change the LH logo to Germanwing's new logo.


User currently offliner2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2742 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5563 times:

Not a big surprise, given that they are taking over all LH non-hub flying, they have to offer a product that is aligned. I would not be surprised if LH ends up calling their short haul fares "Best, Smart and Basic" in the same way. We'll know more once the full details of the new 4U are known.

btw, I think Vueling is planning on doing the same. U2 already had flexible fares, is now adding seat selection. The lines between legacy and LCC's are getting ever blurrier on short haul flights, and sooner than we think they will completely disappear.


User currently offlinebavair From Germany, joined Jul 2011, 126 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5497 times:

I've been reading around the Germanwings website. In a graphic on what each fare includes, it says that there's more legroom for Smart and Best tariffs while the Best seats will have an empty middle seat. To me it looks like Basic is what you used to get on Germanwings and Smart and Best are equivilant what you used to get in LH Economy and Business class.

Basically its three different "classes" with the same seats only variouse pitch as well as the option of leaving the middle seat open.


User currently offlinePlaneInsomniac From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 680 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5453 times:

Quoting bavair (Reply 6):
Basically its three different "classes" with the same seats only variouse pitch as well as the option of leaving the middle seat open.

... and the Best / Smart seats will be towards the front of the plane. Which is EXACTLY how business class works pretty much everywhere on short and medium-haul routes.



Am I cured? Slept 5 hours on last long-haul flight...
User currently offlinePlaneInsomniac From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 680 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 5333 times:

Quoting r2rho (Reply 5):
Not a big surprise, given that they are taking over all LH non-hub flying,

Small correction: Only intra-EU non-hub flying goes to 4U. Long haul is still entirely handled by LH, even if it does not originate from or terminate at a hub.

Quoting bavair (Reply 4):
Germanwings is getting a lot of planes from LH. I wonder if these are getting refurbished or will simply continue flying with the LH interior with maybe some small design changes - eg. change the LH logo to Germanwing's new logo.

When I used to fly 4U (a few years ago), it was not unusual to get on a plane with an interior which basically looked like an LH interior with minor modifications (including visible crane logos etc.). I do not know if this has changed in the meantime, or if they will bother to change it now. After all, 4U is now officially (as of today) little more than LH's low-salary arm - notwithstanding the fairly ridiculous "under one economy class roof" rhetoric.



Am I cured? Slept 5 hours on last long-haul flight...
User currently offlinechootie From Germany, joined May 2007, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 5330 times:

Geeeeze Folks!!!1

The product is actually ALL ECONOMY!!!! From the back of the plane to the front of the plane you get more amenities, for a higher price. (Also more flexibility in the ticket restrictions)

That said, it is still, the same cabin, no divider and rows 1-3 are for the best product, 4-10 for the smart product, and onward to the rear for basic.

Best includes an empty middle seat, and ala-carte catering.
Smart includes seat selction and a snack--whatever that means,
Basic-you get from A-to-B and have the option to buy all the extras your heart needs.

Now, that said, legroom for best and smart are the same as today in the Best Seats(rows 1-10)

So, its not really Business class in line with the LH product cause the catering is not to the same level.

Some will say that they don´t need it, some will say that it is a cheap alternative.

I say, it is a very different approach, and wonder if it will work.



chootie
User currently offlinePlaneInsomniac From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 680 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 5195 times:

Quoting chootie (Reply 9):
The product is actually ALL ECONOMY!!!!
Quoting chootie (Reply 9):
So, its not really Business class in line with the LH product cause the catering is not to the same level.

With all due respect, I find it fairly ridiculous to draw the line between Business and Economy at the "quality of the catering" alone, in particular since we know nothing about how good the catering in 4U's Best class will be.

So far we know the following:

Hypothesis: 4U Best = Business:

- Seats at the front
- More legroom
- Empty middle seat
- Higher baggage allowance
- More M&M Miles
- LH HON Circle Miles
- Use of LH lounges
- Free ticket cancellation
- Priority check-in
- Priority lanes at security checks
- Higher price
- Catering is included in price

Hypothesis: 4U Best = Economy:

- No dividers (speculation)
- Catering is maybe not quite as good as in LH's business class (speculation)

With all due respect, I believe your view that Best = Economy is somewhat at odds with the known facts.



Am I cured? Slept 5 hours on last long-haul flight...
User currently offlinebavair From Germany, joined Jul 2011, 126 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5081 times:

I agree with PlaneInsomaniac.

HOWEVER, I just did a test booking on LH's website and for Economy STR-LON direct flights operated by 4U pop up while for Business all flights are routed via Frankfurt. Maybe this hasn't been updated in the booking system yet and is still to come in the future but for now that's how it stands.


User currently offlinechootie From Germany, joined May 2007, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4993 times:

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 10):
With all due respect, I believe your view that Best = Economy is somewhat at odds with the known facts.

ÖK, give me a break!!!

If the company comes out and says it it ALL economy---nedd I justify it?

With the tight cost controlling, and the SHORT turnaround times, I really do not think that anything will equate it to a Business-Class product as you suggest--an economy plus maybe--but that is in another thread    



chootie
User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2460 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4663 times:

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 10):
in particular since we know nothing about how good the catering in 4U's Best class will be.

   In the press conference it was already mentioned, that the BEST-fare (once again, not Business Class) passengers will get the SAME buy-on-board product & offer as everyone else on-board - but free of charge.

This concept is already offered today by 4U and proved to be popular! You can select between a snack OR sandwich plus a free drink!

[Edited 2012-12-06 13:15:25]

User currently offlinetaichen From Spain, joined Jul 2001, 219 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4445 times:

It looks awfully a lot like VY ... even the names (basica /Optima / Excellence) are pretty much the same http://www.vueling.com/en/vueling-services/vueling-new-fares/

User currently offliner2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2742 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 4079 times:

Geez, why get all aroused because business is not called "business" anymore? Look at what you effectively get, not what it's called. We're not talking FRA-EWR here. We're talking 1-2 hour p2p short-haul flights within Europe. There is no separate business class cabin for those flights on any EU carrier, LCC or legacy. Instead, "Business class" is made up of the other extras, plus an empty middle seat and 1 or 2 inches more legroom. That's it. And that goes for 4U, or anyone else, no difference.

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 8):
Small correction: Only intra-EU non-hub flying goes to 4U. Long haul is still entirely handled by LH, even if it does not originate from or terminate at a hub.

I was already taking that as a given, but you are correct.


User currently offlinesabenapilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2000, 2724 posts, RR: 46
Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4001 times:

Quoting r2rho (Reply 15):
Look at what you effectively get, not what it's called. We're not talking FRA-EWR here. We're talking 1-2 hour p2p short-haul flights within Europe. There is no separate business class cabin for those flights on any EU carrier, LCC or legacy. Instead, "Business class" is made up of the other extras, plus an empty middle seat and 1 or 2 inches more legroom. That's it. And that goes for 4U, or anyone else, no difference.

There is a big difference between what business class comes with on these routes even today and what they plan to to offer in BEST: no more champagne, no more china, no more silverware, no more starter, meal and dessert platters, no more newspapers or magazine... just an empty middle seat and a free tuna sandwich and a can of coke which come straight from a vending trolley at the back of the plane.

The hardware may look the same as today's business class, but the frills around it are definitely gone, just as you would expect it from an airline like Germanwings, so this definitely is an economy product, even if it is a very premium one, which is exactly what it is ment to be: a premium economy, iso a real business class.


User currently offlineairbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8577 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3980 times:

Quoting r2rho (Reply 5):
Not a big surprise, given that they are taking over all LH non-hub flying, they have to offer a product that is aligned. I would not be surprised if LH ends up calling their short haul fares "Best, Smart and Basic" in the same way. We'll know more once the full details of the new 4U are known.

I would be shocked if 4U doesn't eventually take over ALL of LH short haul flying. LH has been hemorrhaging money in their short haul network and 4U is much more optimized for this type of business.

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 10):
With all due respect, I find it fairly ridiculous to draw the line between Business and Economy at the "quality of the catering" alone, in particular since we know nothing about how good the catering in 4U's Best class will be.

But that's exactly how it's been done in Europe all along. The difference between business class and economy class in intra-Europe flying has been for the most part in the catering. The seats are exactly the same with the exception that they leave the middle seat empty in "business" class.


User currently offlinechootie From Germany, joined May 2007, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3933 times:

Quoting airbazar (Reply 17):
But that's exactly how it's been done in Europe all along. The difference between business class and economy class in intra-Europe flying has been for the most part in the catering. The seats are exactly the same with the exception that they leave the middle seat empty in "business" class.

...... Someone finally got the message!!!!!! thank you            



chootie
User currently offlinebavair From Germany, joined Jul 2011, 126 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3845 times:

Quoting sabenapilot (Reply 16):

There is a big difference between what business class comes with on these routes even today and what they plan to to offer in BEST: no more champagne, no more china, no more silverware, no more starter, meal and dessert platters, no more newspapers or magazine... just an empty middle seat and a free tuna sandwich and a can of coke which come straight from a vending trolley at the back of the plane.

Well, yes and no. Going through a couple sources this is what I gathered for best:
-Drinks are served in glasses rather than plastic cups.
-Better food than in the other 2 bookingclasses
-Business Class lounge access is included, HON Circle miles etc etc.

I'm not exactly sure what they mean by better food but I would come to think/hope that it at least approaches what the LH Biz Class had to offer.

In the end like airbazar said, just the extra sercvice with the empty middle seat.. that's your European C-Class.


User currently offlineUnflug From Germany, joined Jan 2012, 527 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3629 times:

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 2):
If this isn't business class, I don't know what is.

Seems to be economy class from a booking perspective, while offering most of, if not all of the features previously offered only in business class. Where's the problem?


User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2460 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3510 times:

Quoting bavair (Reply 19):
Well, yes and no. Going through a couple sources this is what I gathered for best:
-Drinks are served in glasses rather than plastic cups.
-Better food than in the other 2 bookingclasses

Well, see my post above...

In the press conference, asked for the benefits of the "BEST"-fare, the new "catering-à-la-carte" was revealed. According to Mr. Winkelmann, this is nothing more, than to choose from the BOB card- but for free.


User currently onlineushermittwoch From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2967 posts, RR: 16
Reply 22, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 3289 times:

Quoting debonair (Reply 21):
Well, see my post above...

In the press conference, asked for the benefits of the "BEST"-fare, the new "catering-à-la-carte" was revealed. According to Mr. Winkelmann, this is nothing more, than to choose from the BOB card- but for free.

Considering how much they charge for beverages, this seems like a good deal.  



Where have all the tri-jets gone...
User currently offliner2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2742 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2899 times:

Quoting sabenapilot (Reply 16):
There is a big difference between what business class comes with on these routes even today and what they plan to to offer in BEST: no more champagne, no more china, no more silverware, no more starter, meal and dessert platters, no more newspapers or magazine...

Once again, which airline offers such services on short haul EU routes today? No-one. EU short-haul business class on most carriers consists of an empty middle seat and maybe 1 or 2 more inches legroom in the first couple rows, period. The only other added values are booking flexibility, lounge acess, priority check-in etc. 4U Best fare seems to be no different.


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