USPIT10L
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USAir Business Select/Reduced First Class

Thu May 04, 2006 12:34 pm

Anyone remember USAir's short-lived Business Select product from 1995-96? It was announced in mid-1995, I believe, to increase business traffic in low-yield markets.

Also, I remember in late 1995-early 1996 USAir had a program, similar to TWA's, where if you purchased a full-fare seat in coach on a transcontinental flight, you'd get a first class seat free. I presume this was also to boost very low-yielding transon runs by USAir at the time. Both programs, I believe, were axed after Wolf announced the big Airbus order and change in identity to US Airways in late 1996.
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phllax
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RE: USAir Business Select/Reduced First Class

Thu May 04, 2006 2:58 pm

They still have that auto-upgrade fare. It's the A4 & B fares.
 
USPIT10L
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RE: USAir Business Select/Reduced First Class

Thu May 04, 2006 3:14 pm

Quoting Phllax (Reply 1):
They still have that auto-upgrade fare. It's the A4 & B fares.

Okay, but what about Business Select? According to the back of my June 11, 1995 USAir system timetable, it says
"Now Business Travelers Are In A Class All Their Own"

Introducing USAir Business Select and expanded First Class

USAir gives business travelers the priority service they deserve. On seleced short flights, enjoy Business Select for the price of most unrestricted coach fares. On our long-range aircraft, we're expanding the First Class cabin with up to 50% more seats. For details, call your travel consultant or USAir at 1-800-428-4322.

I just wondered what else the program entailed besides expanded first class. Is it similar to UA's "Business1" that they just re-started?
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FCYTravis
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RE: USAir Business Select/Reduced First Class

Thu May 04, 2006 3:27 pm

Business Select, as I recall, involved convertible seats that could change from three to two wide... but they didn't work well and they were all removed fairly quickly.

Someone with more first-hand knowledge is probably around on the board...
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FLY777UAL
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RE: USAir Business Select/Reduced First Class

Thu May 04, 2006 3:34 pm

Quoting USPIT10L (Reply 2):
Is it similar to UA's "Business1" that they just re-started?

Not in the least. Business1's perks:

Most convenient gates -- Business1 flights out of Chicago O’Hare depart from the Terminal 1, B Concourse. Flights to O'Hare from Business1 cities depart from our customers' most preferred gates at these airports.

Guaranteed on-time arrival -- United is offering customers on Business1 flights 500 redeemable miles if the flight arrives at the gate more than 30 minutes late, regardless of the reason.

More legroom with Economy Plus -- All United flights, including Business1 fights, offer up to five extra inches of legroom in our Economy Plus section. Economy Plus customers enjoy extra legroom, early boarding/deplaning and preferred access to overhead bins.

Complimentary newspapers and meal -- As a convenience for United First® and Economy Plus customers, we are providing a selection of newspapers on Business1 flights departing O'Hare and other Business1 cities at or before 10:00 a.m., Monday through Friday. A complimentary meal is served in United First on all Business1 flights during meal times, except on Chicago-Minneapolis flights.

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PSA727
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RE: USAir Business Select/Reduced First Class

Thu May 04, 2006 3:39 pm

Business Select (which I flew on on some BWI flights) I believe came
about the same time as USAir's wet-lease and code-share with BA.

Business Select basically was the same seat design as that found in
European Business Class...the middle-seat exists but the seat back is
put in the forward-down position. I believe this was due to the fact that
there was a moveable partition between the coach and the BS cabins.
You could move the divider based upon booking demands.

I believe only the 732s had this product, and I know BA had money
invested in US at this time, so maybe that was the influence for the
launch of this product, because it was gone after this "marriage" broke-off.

As for the first class for the price of coach, I believe the fare basis code
for this was A4COACH, and it did apply to the Business Select product
as well.
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USPIT10L
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RE: USAir Business Select/Reduced First Class

Thu May 04, 2006 3:40 pm

Quoting FLY777UAL (Reply 4):
Not in the least. Business1's perks:

Most convenient gates -- Business1 flights out of Chicago O’Hare depart from the Terminal 1, B Concourse. Flights to O'Hare from Business1 cities depart from our customers' most preferred gates at these airports.

Guaranteed on-time arrival -- United is offering customers on Business1 flights 500 redeemable miles if the flight arrives at the gate more than 30 minutes late, regardless of the reason.

More legroom with Economy Plus -- All United flights, including Business1 fights, offer up to five extra inches of legroom in our Economy Plus section. Economy Plus customers enjoy extra legroom, early boarding/deplaning and preferred access to overhead bins.

Complimentary newspapers and meal -- As a convenience for United First® and Economy Plus customers, we are providing a selection of newspapers on Business1 flights departing O'Hare and other Business1 cities at or before 10:00 a.m., Monday through Friday. A complimentary meal is served in United First on all Business1 flights during meal times, except on Chicago-Minneapolis flights.

I love the ideas behind this program, and knowing UA's status with business travelers, I'm surprised this kind of service wasn't part of UA's plan all along. Having hourly flights to every major business destination helps, but the service has to be consistent. I've always thought of UA in particular as the "businessman's airline" because of these perks/service enhancements. AA is very good as well, but I think UA made more of an effort to win over business customers these last 20 years.

Back to the topic--I just thought it was USAir's attempt at such a program. Looking back on the routes, it looks like another attempt to fortify the Northeast, as all the routes Business Select was featured on were to-from the Northeast to focus cities/hubs like BWI, LGA, PHL and BOS. PIT, CLT and DCA were exempt from this service, I think, since they were targeting outside the major hubs.
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USPIT10L
Topic Author
Posts: 1868
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:24 am

RE: USAir Business Select/Reduced First Class

Thu May 04, 2006 3:42 pm

Quoting PSA727 (Reply 5):
Business Select (which I flew on on some BWI flights) I believe came
about the same time as USAir's wet-lease and code-share with BA.

Business Select basically was the same seat design as that found in
European Business Class...the middle-seat exists but the seat back is
put in the forward-down position. I believe this was due to the fact that
there was a moveable partition between the coach and the BS cabins.
You could move the divider based upon booking demands.

I believe only the 732s had this product, and I know BA had money
invested in US at this time, so maybe that was the influence for the
launch of this product, because it was gone after this "marriage" broke-off.

Thanks, that also explains the routes. PHL-BUF, PHL-SYR and such are all short segments, and a 737 is perfect for that kind of route. I sent an email to a friend of mine from US Airways who will shed even more light on the subject, but I appreciate the input.
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BDL2DCA
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RE: USAir Business Select/Reduced First Class

Fri May 05, 2006 1:00 am

They also had a similar product for a while in 2004-2005:

http://www.usairways.com/about/press/nw_04_0524.htm

It was called GoFirst, and it was essentially first for the price of coach. I think it has been discontinued since the merger.
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phllax
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RE: USAir Business Select/Reduced First Class

Fri May 05, 2006 6:08 am

BusinessSelect had the unfavorable timing of being introduced the day flight 427 crashed. It was featured exclusively on the 732 fleet and only hit the BWI and LGA hubs. There were many problems with the movable seats and cabin dividers. It was eventually pulled before MetroJet was introduced.
 
USPIT10L
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Posts: 1868
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:24 am

RE: USAir Business Select/Reduced First Class

Fri May 05, 2006 12:17 pm

Quoting Phllax (Reply 9):
BusinessSelect had the unfavorable timing of being introduced the day flight 427 crashed. It was featured exclusively on the 732 fleet and only hit the BWI and LGA hubs. There were many problems with the movable seats and cabin dividers. It was eventually pulled before MetroJet was introduced.

Thanks. According to my 1995 scheds, they also hit PHL periodically too. I know someone at US Airways who might be able to get me some Business Select stuff and various other parts of USAir/US Airways memorabilia, as they're cleaning out Crystal City.
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