Posts: 7714
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 6:13 am

US Domestic First Vs. European Business Class

Tue Apr 06, 2004 12:35 am

US and European carriers take a different approach concerning their "Premium Cabin" on short-haul narrow body flights (say flights of 3 hours or less).

US carriers offer traditional first class seating, with bigger seats (2+2) and extra legroom, but on short haul flights, in-flight services have been cut with meals services only being offered on longer segments and other ammenities eliminated.

European carriers use the forward part of their cabin for business class, and the business class seats are sometimes the same as economy, or window and aisle seats are only used, and some airlines have flex-seating that allows the traditional 3+3 seating to be converted into a 2+3 arrangement. Legroom is the same as in coach, but inflight service is generally very good with full meal services and the like.

Which do you think is the better approach? Europeans have more or less given up on premium fares on short-haul segments, and a full fare coach ticket (which can still be rather expensive) will land you in the business class cabin. US first class, in recent times, has become the cabin for premium frequent flyers and full fare coach passenges using automatic upgrading procedures, with less and less pax actually paying a first class fare.

Please remember I am talking only about short haul. Thanks.
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 12:28 am

RE: US Domestic First Vs. European Business Class

Tue Apr 06, 2004 12:59 am

Hi there

This is of course a matter of personal taste, but my preference would be for larger, more comfortable seats. I have been impressed by the seating on US domestic carriers in First Class; with regards to meal services (or their absence), given the passenger can avail himself of snacks and sandwiches in airport lounges or simply purchase food before boarding, the lack of cabin service in this area would not bother me.

In contrast, I think the premium seating arrangements for short haul flights in Europe are pathetic.

Posts: 253
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 3:26 am

RE: US Domestic First Vs. European Business Class

Tue Apr 06, 2004 5:40 am

US Domestic vs. Intra-European flights is like day vs. night. I jump at the opportunity to fly intra-european flights as the service is great. I think some european airlines business class on short haul is beeter service than US airlines business class transoceanic. Even economy on european short haul is nice, although I have heard some carriers have started to cutback in this regard.