bobcat
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Which Airline(s) First Introduced Business Class?

Fri Jul 12, 2002 11:06 am

Which airline(s) first introduced business class? (and when?)

Thanks!
 
tullamarine
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RE: Which Airline(s) First Introduced Business Class?

Fri Jul 12, 2002 11:09 am

QF on its 742s early in the 80's.
717,721/2,732/3/4/5/7/8/9,742/3/4,752/3,762/3,772,W,310,320/1,332/3,388,DC9,DC10,F28,F100,142,143,E90,CR2,D82/3/4,SF3,AT
 
TWFirst
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RE: Which Airline(s) First Introduced Business Class?

Fri Jul 12, 2002 11:16 am

TWA first introduced "Ambassador Class" back in the '60's I believe... as I recall it was the first business class of its kind. I think TWA's first class was called "Royal Ambassador" service... but I could be mistaken.
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
 
airplanetire
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RE: Which Airline(s) First Introduced Business Class?

Fri Jul 12, 2002 11:20 am

I second Tullamarine. I just saw on the QF website a few days ago that they were the first.
 
keesje
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RE: Which Airline(s) First Introduced Business Class?

Fri Jul 12, 2002 6:22 pm

KLM in the seventies introduced FFF ("triple F") service on long haul in between First and Economy; separate cabin, more pitch ...
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Sabena332
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RE: Which Airline(s) First Introduced Business Class?

Fri Jul 12, 2002 6:39 pm

To my knowledge was it BA on the route from LHR to HKG but I can not remember when.

Patrick
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Britair
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RE: Which Airline(s) First Introduced Business Class?

Fri Jul 12, 2002 6:43 pm

I always thought it was Qantas. They have always said so themselves.

Cheers  Smile
 
lmml 14/32
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RE: Which Airline(s) First Introduced Business Class?

Fri Jul 12, 2002 7:22 pm

Technically, it was the other way round. The early clippers had first class service on board, making flying only accessible to the elite few. Then the sixties and seventies saw the package holiday revolution that enabled the middle and lower classes to travel for pleasure. Now we have the no frills revolution that assimilates flying to a bus trip.
 
Al
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RE: Which Airline(s) First Introduced Business Class?

Fri Jul 12, 2002 9:00 pm

Both afficiondos and the 2 carriers concerned, QF and PA, couldn't agree on who was first. The more accepted argument is it was Qantas that started it, however they were merely offering normal economy seating but slightly better service and a dedicated area at the front of Y for "full fares" with middle and centre seats the absolute last to be allocated to anyone. QF were certainly the first to create a *class* between First and Economy that became known as Business, but it's generally accepted that PanAm had the first true business *cabin*, hotly followed by QF. (Think that's right - it may be the other way around, but one had the class first and the other had the cabin config & service first). Most will agree however that it was Qantas who was first and PanAm's claims were on a technicality. Guess as that particular PA is no longer around, the way to call it is QF is the longest serving airline with J class as we know it. Solves all arguments !!
Cheers. Al.

 
SR 103
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RE: Which Airline(s) First Introduced Business Class?

Fri Jul 12, 2002 9:01 pm

An interesting fact for those who are interested. The first Business Class across the Atlantic was British Caledonian from LGW to IAH. I remember reading this in Airways a couple months ago.

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I also heard it was Qantas that started Business Class in the 70's!

SR 103
 
airsicknessbag
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RE: Which Airline(s) First Introduced Business Class?

Fri Jul 12, 2002 9:06 pm

I read somewhere the first airline to have multi-class a/c was KLM - when they gor their DC8. Anybody confirm that?

Daniel Smile
 
Britair
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RE: Which Airline(s) First Introduced Business Class?

Fri Jul 12, 2002 9:15 pm

From www.qantas.com........

"The final 707 flight operated from Auckland to Sydney on 25 March 1979 under the command of Captain Phil Oakley. With the sale of this last Boeing 707, Qantas boasted the world's only all-747 fleet, with 17 of the aircraft. In the same year Qantas launched the world's first Business Class."

Cheers  Smile

 
keesje
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RE: Which Airline(s) First Introduced Business Class?

Fri Jul 12, 2002 11:39 pm

It is possible to create truth by repeatingly saying the same thing.

Sooner or later you get quoted and re-quoted and everyone starts to know things because they heard / seen it on paper ...

Qantas is a nice airline but not an independent source ..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
UALbrat
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RE: Which Airline(s) First Introduced Business Class?

Fri Jul 12, 2002 11:45 pm

UA offered "red white and blue" 3-class service on transcons in the late 60s; there was a short mention of this in the June (perhaps May) issue of Airways. It didn't last more than a couple of years but I think it may have been the first. "White" was equivalent to today's business class.
 
Leo
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RE: Which Airline(s) First Introduced Business Class?

Sat Jul 13, 2002 10:19 pm

OK, so I got out the history books to settle the arguments:

(1) KLM introduced FFF service 'Full Fare Facilities' in 1975 on selected long-haul routes. From October 1975 to March 1979 the FFF passengers were seated among the other Y class passengers and given coupons for free drinks as an extra service. Other Y class pax continued to pay for drinks.

In March 1979 KLM introduced a separate cabin for FFF passengers introducing the term Business Class, but still used Y-class seating. These seats sold as 'Y' but had extra service. All passengers travelling on discounts were downgraded to a new M class.

So in reality KLM introduced a new discount Tourist Class, while naming full fare Y service Business Class. This service has grown into today's C class.

(2) Qantas did it differently. QF introduced J class as a separate cabin. QF charged an additional fee on top of Full Fare Y. So traditional full fare Y passengers on QF remained in economy - hard luck.

This explains why some airlines still offer 'J' class today (following Qantas) while others operate 'C' class (following KLM). J class has always been more expensive than C class.

So both airlines initiated Business Class, but in different ways.
 
clipper471
Crew
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RE: Which Airline(s) First Introduced Business Class?

Sun Jul 14, 2002 3:32 am

After thumbing thru my Pan Am timetables I've noticed that "Clipper Class" began showing up beginning with the Nov-1978 timetable.

Pan Am was offering First, Clipper (biz), and Economy class on fifteen seperate routes:

JFK-BAH/FCO/FRA
HKG-LAX/SFO
HNL-OSA
NRT-HNL/LAX/JFK/SFO
LHR-LAX/JFK/SFO/SEA/IAD

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