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For US Domestic Routes: Y & J VS Y & F?  
User currently offlineAA7295 From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 620 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3398 times:

I was looking at the new about United purchasing 30 E-175 jets (Kudos UA!), and saw the seat layout.

It might just be my extremely logical head, but wouldn't it make sense for American carriers to have the premium cabin in narrow-body jets be called Business.

I mean when someone says I'm flying First Class... to me that is a big deal.... but you can fly First Class domestically in America and it's no big deal.

Wouldn't it be logical from a customer perception standpoint to re-brand domestic First as Business so that the allure and stature of First remains actually First class, as in international First. I did some looking around and I think Qantas is a perfect example. On all their domestic routes, they only have Economy and Business. They only have first on their utmost premium routes meaning that desire and prestige of flying First remains true to that image of flying First class. I've had a look at the QF domestic J seats vs AA and UA domestic firsts seats, and they are largely the same (except Qantas doesn't have leather... which I prefer!).

I mean you look at some of these "first" class offerings on American carriers domestically.... I would be embarrassed to classify it as first.

[Edited 2013-04-29 22:22:55]

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline4engines4lnghll From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3329 times:

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
but you can fly First Class domestically in America and it's no big deal.

I disagree. In Europe when you say you're flying Business class really all your getting is an empty seat between you and the isle or window seat. In the US you can have extra legroom, meal depending on flight, and wider and more comfortable seats. I hope the American carriers don't switch to the dreadful "Business" class EU carriers say they have.



4engines4lnghll
User currently offlineHNL From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 335 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3323 times:

It's a historical thing. American carriers have a long history of labeling the forward cabin as First.


HNL - There's no place like it!
User currently offlineAA7295 From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 620 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3215 times:

Quoting 4engines4lnghll (Reply 1):
I disagree. In Europe when you say you're flying Business class really all your getting is an empty seat between you and the isle or window seat. In the US you can have extra legroom, meal depending on flight, and wider and more comfortable seats. I hope the American carriers don't switch to the dreadful "Business" class EU carriers say they have.

That wasn't what I was referring too... I was referring not to the product offering. But to the terminology used to refer to the premium class on shorter narrowbody domestic flights.


User currently offlinetoobz From Finland, joined Jan 2010, 778 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3078 times:

4engines...actually in Europe it better. You miss out on the seat but you get lounge access and u get a hot meal. Flights are a couple hours if that on majority of flights. I would fly C in Europe waaaaay before F in the US.

But to answer your question..it doesn't really matter what it's called lol F class is nothing but a big seat and drinks for the most part (unless your flying F on UA transcons). DLs J product is way better than DL F domestic. It's just always been called F and its just stuck. But I agree..there really is nothing F about the majority domestic US flights.


User currently offlinesmbukas From Lithuania, joined Feb 2009, 198 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3067 times:

I flew OSL-EWR-DTW once on SK Premium Economy ticket. If you purchase Premium Economy on SK, they connect with UA domestic F only. And you know what? Experience on UA domestic F was more less the same as SK Y. And flight time difference was not so big of the legs.

User currently offlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8324 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3020 times:
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Its been a recent anamoly for most US airlines to have domestic "First Class" and only have international Business Class. They should "downbrand" domestic First Class as "Business Class" with the exception of the JFK to LAX and SFO 3 class flights. Sad domestic First has gone down hill as the entire US travel experience has.

User currently offlineairbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8287 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2999 times:

It's nothing but marketing. Domestic F in the US is a joke, but it "sells" because Americans are huge (and getting bigger by the day), so the bigger seat is a very popular product. I used "sells" because F doesn't actually make money. Most people flying in F are upgrades, which is why domestic F in the US is a joke. There are few routes where F pays for itself, or is even necessary. They are predominantly transcon routes such as JFK-LAX.

User currently offlineAA7295 From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 620 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2935 times:

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 6):

Its been a recent anamoly for most US airlines to have domestic "First Class" and only have international Business Class. They should "downbrand" domestic First Class as "Business Class" with the exception of the JFK to LAX and SFO 3 class flights. Sad domestic First has gone down hill as the entire US travel experience has.

Interesting.. did this happen right when different classes came about?

Quoting airbazar (Reply 7):

It's nothing but marketing. Domestic F in the US is a joke, but it "sells" because Americans are huge (and getting bigger by the day), so the bigger seat is a very popular product. I used "sells" because F doesn't actually make money. Most people flying in F are upgrades, which is why domestic F in the US is a joke. There are few routes where F pays for itself, or is even necessary. They are predominantly transcon routes such as JFK-LAX.

We're not discussing service quality per se. We're discussing why brand the premium cabin of certain flights (except those high-yielding transcons) as first, when the name business would be more suitable.


User currently offline4engines4lnghll From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2899 times:

Quoting toobz (Reply 4):
4engines...actually in Europe it better. You miss out on the seat but you get lounge access and u get a hot meal. Flights are a couple hours if that on majority of flights. I would fly C in Europe waaaaay before F in the US.

I agree about the hot meals but, most people who travel F are business travelers who have lounge access. Anyway both has its pros and cons.



4engines4lnghll
User currently offlineFlyCaledonian From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2080 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2868 times:

I've sometimes wondered why no US carrier went down the route of offering Business and Economy, with a European style business class. If it had been done with Euro style converter seats, with extra pitch (like BA), could it have worked? To me, the benefit of the BA style Club Europe was that the cabin could be flexed to meet demand, and that those Club seats were effectively sold (few upgrades like seems to happen in the US), so were real revenue earners. Even if it would have been too much for a legacy model to move over to this, I'm surprised a start-up didn't look at it.


Let's Go British Caledonian!
User currently offlineoc2dc From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 364 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2660 times:

Quoting toobz (Reply 4):
actually in Europe it better. You miss out on the seat but you get lounge access and u get a hot meal. Flights are a couple hours if that on majority of flights. I would fly C in Europe waaaaay before F in the US.

Im sorry, but European carriers have the most unappealing domestic business product. I just don't understand how blocking off a middle seat makes it business class. I also think it's ridiculous that European carriers simply move the partition between Business and Economy to expand or shrink the business cabin.

At least in the US, you have a permanent cabin with designated special more spacious seats. And as far as I'm concerned, most US domestic airlines give you a hot meal in F and a cod meal if you're on an RJ. What do European carriers give you? A cold turkey sandwich like the rest of the people in econ.



I'm not complaining, I'm critiquing...
User currently offlineAA7295 From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 620 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2640 times:

Well let's take a look at Qantas to add some perspective to "service" area of things.

Qantas only offers First class on it's ultra-premium routes to LAX, LHR, DXB (and maybe HKG?). Domestically, any premium cabin will be Business Class. Now... on a 1hr and 5min flight from BNE to SYD. You get an equivalent seat to those F seats on domestic US services, you get a damn big meal, with dessert, you get lounge access, priority luggage, the usual trimmings.

So fundamentally, it's pretty much the SAME service that is offered on domestic US carriers, but US carriers label it as First class. QF labels it as Business. From a marketing and branding point, this leaves the allure of QF first for the ultra-premium route. When you say you've flown QF first.... you know you've flown on a damn good product. When you say you're flying American first..... well... that could be from DFW to AUS? And it's hardly a first class product.

I'm not saying that American carriers should up the ante in their premium domestic cabins, but to keep the allure of that word "First Class", it would be good for them to rebrand their premium cabins as Business a la QF.

I guess it's just my marketing brain, going ding ding ding.... silly move here.


User currently offlineMats From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 629 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2542 times:

USAir once offered "Business Select." This was a project in the early 90s, designed to mimic short-haul European business class. It had convertible seats so that the middle seat could be compressed, and a moving divider to adjust the size of the cabin. Food, albeit just a snack, was offered on every flight. Unlike European carriers, it did not include lounge access.

Business Select was only around for perhaps a year. USAir then reverted to traditional domestic "first class."

AirTran is the only US carrier to use the "business class" name in its brand. Their seats, however, are comparable to typical US domestic first. AirTran business offers priority check-in and boarding, free drinks, a baggage allowance, and private cabin. To my knowledge it offers no other benefits.

In my view, US domestic first class is okay. It's much nicer than economy, but it is by no means comparable to international "first." Yes, it should be called "business class," just like the right of the world (including Canada and Mexico,) but that just isn't how it works in American vernacular.


User currently offline4engines4lnghll From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2446 times:

Quoting oc2dc (Reply 11):
At least in the US, you have a permanent cabin with designated special more spacious seats. And as far as I'm concerned, most US domestic airlines give you a hot meal in F and a cod meal if you're on an RJ. What do European carriers give you? A cold turkey sandwich like the rest of the people in econ.

         Exactly what im trying to say.

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 12):
When you say you're flying American first..... well... that could be from DFW to AUS? And it's hardly a first class product.

Okay so you dont get a meal on a flight thats in the air for 25 minutes, bfd. There is no argument about the different classes because their 100% different.



4engines4lnghll
User currently offlinerwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3091 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2409 times:

Quoting oc2dc (Reply 11):
What do European carriers give you? A cold turkey sandwich like the rest of the people in econ.


That's not true. Most European carriers serve a cold meal only on flights less than an hour. In excess of an hour it's usually a hot meal.


User currently offlineairbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8287 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2311 times:

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 8):
We're not discussing service quality per se. We're discussing why brand the premium cabin of certain flights (except those high-yielding transcons) as first, when the name business would be more suitable.

That's why I started my sentence with: "it's nothing but marketing".

Quoting oc2dc (Reply 11):
Im sorry, but European carriers have the most unappealing domestic business product. I just don't understand how blocking off a middle seat makes it business class. I also think it's ridiculous that European carriers simply move the partition between Business and Economy to expand or shrink the business cabin.

May be unappealig to you but it's what THEIR market expects. Europeans value the service more than the big seat. Historically "domestic" service didn't warrant a real business/first class as most countries aren't big enough to justify it. It was only after the EEC/EU was created, and deregulation that domestic service expanded to include intra-Europe flying. Most people are still ok with the empty middle seat and wider arm rests (yes the seat is wider), for trips that are usually 1-2 hours long only. What most of these passengers want is quick in-and-out and enough bin space for their carry-on. But even this is changing slightly. We are starting to see an improved hard product on long European, Middle East and N.Africa routes, essentially the equivalent of US transcons.

For example BA has Club World and Club Europe classes to a number of European and ME destinations.
http://www.britishairways.com/travel/classes/public/en_gb

IB has introduced Business Club seating on some of their long European and African routes:
http://www.iberia.com/gb/business-club/seat/

I think this may be a sign of things to come in order to separate the majors from the LCCs on these long routes.


User currently offlineboswashsprstar From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 2209 times:

The labeling is nothing more than a label ... and increasingly the "domestic First" labeling is starting to show cracks around the edges -- I've noticed that in recent years Delta has started (for reasons that often seem to be random) describing the forward cabin of some, but not all, domestic flights as "business", though others remain "first".

Starting later this year (appears to start in September, though exact date varies by route) United has added J/C fare buckets to domestic flights in addition to the traditional F/A buckets, and the buckets appear to duplicate one another -- maybe United is planning to move to a domestic "business" designation? Any little bit would help to simplify their extremely confusing mess of class descriptions ("First", "Business," "BusinessFirst", "GlobalFirst"...).

The real problem with the domestic "first" labeling is that it tends to confuse partner carriers elsewhere--especially when redeeming miles off a three-class award chart; in most cases the US carriers would intend for their domestic premium class to be redeemed from the middle "business class" bucket (to judge by the way their own award tables work, and the fact that some partner carriers--I believe ANA is one--specifically note that US domestic first class tickets are to be redeemed at the business class award ticket rate), but some foreign carriers will charge the more expensive "first class" bucket based on the name of the cabin.


User currently offlinetoobz From Finland, joined Jan 2010, 778 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2140 times:

OC..the first 10 rows or so in Europe have more legroom. The seat adjusts to be wider as well when they push the middle seat in. It's not your typical Y seat. But it's not a US F seat either. Service is far more attentive because the front cabin is not full of upgrades like in the US. So most of the time you really only have a handful of pax sitting in C. I get what u r saying but my point is the service you receive is way better than US airline service. Trust me. My butt has sat in F cabins in the US for 20 years plus.

User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25117 posts, RR: 22
Reply 19, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2128 times:

Quoting rwSEA (Reply 15):
That's not true. Most European carriers serve a cold meal only on flights less than an hour. In excess of an hour it's usually a hot meal.

That's not true in my experience. To see hot meals in business class in Europe the flights have to be 2 hours at least based on my experience on carriers like LX and KL.

Quoting toobz (Reply 18):
OC..the first 10 rows or so in Europe have Wi. The seat adjusts to be wider as well when they push the middle seat in. It's not your typical Y seat.

That's no longer true on most carriers in Europe. With very rare exceptions, the seats are normal Y class seats and when used as business class the middle seat isn't sold. Sometimes there is more seat pitch in those rows (as on KLM 737s) and sometimes there isn't. The old convertible seats you refer to have have almost all been replaced by standard Y class seats to reduce weight.


User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25117 posts, RR: 22
Reply 20, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2119 times:

Quoting HNL (Reply 2):
It's a historical thing. American carriers have a long history of labeling the forward cabin as First.

Canadian carriers had no trouble switching terminology from "First" to "Business" (or in AC's case "Executive") many years ago, for products that are generally at least as good if not better than what US carriers refer to as "First" on domestic flights.

But on the other hand, the term "Coach" has never been used for economy class in Canada, unlike the US.


User currently offlinetoobz From Finland, joined Jan 2010, 778 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2073 times:

Hi Viscount..ok didn't know that most r Y seats nowadays. I fly KL in Europe the most so that's why I assumed others still did! I'm pretty sure AY does have seats that push the middle seat in to make the other two seats wider.

User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4447 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1986 times:

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):

Wouldn't it be logical from a customer perception standpoint to re-brand domestic First as Business so that the allure and stature of First remains actually First class, as in international First.

A huge chunk of the U.S. population probably has never flown internationally (I'm speculating here, but I think I'm probably right). Because the USA is such a large market domestically in terms of # of pax and geographically larger than Europe, it would make sense that if a USA airline offers "First Class" on their long-haul international flights that they also offer a "First Class" product on their domestic flights. Remember, it takes almost as long to fly MIA-SFO, BOS-LAX, ATL-SEA as it does to fly JFK-LHR.


User currently offlinesteex From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1630 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1967 times:

I don't think you have to go back that far in history to find a time where the international F product lined up fairly well with domestic F, save for the soft product on shorter domestic flights. It is a more recent problem that international F has greatly improved and left domestic F in the dust.

However, in that way, it should be acknowledged that modern international J products also blow away domestic F. So if the point is that the domestic product should be rebranded so as not to take away the prestige of international F, then it also shouldn't be called business for the same reason. The reality is it's not worth the effort of rebranding when fliers in the states understand the current nomenclature.


User currently offline802flyguy From United States of America, joined May 2012, 186 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1834 times:

Quoting FlyCaledonian (Reply 10):
Quoting FlyCaledonian (Reply 10):

I've sometimes wondered why no US carrier went down the route of offering Business and Economy, with a European style business class. If it had been done with Euro style converter seats, with extra pitch (like BA), could it have worked?
Quoting Mats (Reply 13):

USAir once offered "Business Select." This was a project in the early 90s, designed to mimic short-haul European business class. It had convertible seats so that the middle seat could be compressed, and a moving divider to adjust the size of the cabin. Food, albeit just a snack, was offered on every flight. Unlike European carriers, it did not include lounge access.

The Business Select at USAir was IIRC the idea of marketing VP Tom Lagow, a very sharp and talented man. While a good idea, it was a spectacular flop. I think that one reason was that it was only offered on one a/c type, the 737-200, at a time when US had mish mosh of types; that lead to a great deal of customer confusion. The convertible (from 3-3 to 3-2) seat were not reliable and became stuck.


When WN began using that name for its priority seating, the rumor was that WN had paid US for use of the trademark. If true, that might be the most profitable thing to come out of Business Select.

I used to have a set of three airliner seats ( don't know from what carrier). The middle seat had a fold out center tray from (the front of) the seat back. Perhaps a better (and simpler idea) for a convertible seat would be a seat like that, with the center seat blocked for sale in "business class". No extra legroom, but extra elbow room and workspace.


User currently offlineoc2dc From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 364 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1763 times:

Quoting steex (Reply 23):
I don't think you have to go back that far in history to find a time where the international F product lined up fairly well with domestic F, save for the soft product on shorter domestic flights. It is a more recent problem that international F has greatly improved and left domestic F in the dust.

The first time I flew F was LAX-IAD on an AA 762 in 1998. The following year I flew F on AA LAX-LHR on the same exact product. It wasn't until early 2000 that I began to notice significant differences in international F and domestic F. Now they simply aren't comparable.

Even if you decided to call the American domestic F class C instead, it still wouldn't compare to international C class. So what is the point of relabeling it? Should we call it something else? Perhaps domestic F should be known as "Sophisticated Flyer Class" instead...And in Europe they should call it "I Spent Way Too Much Money for That Partition Between Cabins and No Difference in Service Class."



I'm not complaining, I'm critiquing...
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