AeroWesty
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The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 4:28 am

In another thread, an issue I thought we'd already settled in past threads was revisited. Who Had The First Business Class?

Contenders seem to be Qantas and Pan Am.

The case for Qantas:

1979:
http://www.qantas.com.au/info/about/history/details16

The case for Pan Am:

1978:
http://www.panam.org/pafirsts.asp?refer=211319041

But also see:
http://www.airchive.com/SITE%20PAGES/MEM-PAN%20AM.html

... that might suggest it was after 1978, maybe after the merger with National?

Okay, old-timers, who came up with Business Class?
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oneskyjet
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 4:49 am

I'm pretty sure that it was Pan Am and that they introduced it as Clipper Class on the batch of L1011's they bought.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 5:03 am

Quoting Oneskyjet (Reply 1):
they introduced it as Clipper Class on the batch of L1011's they bought.

Interesting ... we'll have to dig up when PA started service with the L-1011!

For myself, I recall flying Business Class in the 80's on TWA between LAX-JFK on an L-1011, but it wasn't the same seating or legroom that came to be known as Ambassador Class.
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dtwclipper
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 5:05 am

It also comes up here as PA, but it looks like it was just copied from somewhere else. The internet!!!

http://www.scripophily.net/panam.html
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AeroWesty
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 5:41 am

I'm not sure how accurate this website is, but it indicates that PA started flying the L15 in 1980.

http://flyaow.com/planes/l15aircraftspecifications.htm

The original version of inter-continental L1011-500 was delivered to British Airways in 1979 and the next year Pan Am put the extended wing version into service.
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trekster
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 5:49 am

BA had hte first fully flat bed in Business class.

 Smile
No idea on the first carrier to have first/business though
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dutchjet
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 6:26 am

My memory is as follows:

1. Qantas was first with biz class - first introduced on its transpacific flights.

2. TWA followed with Ambassador Class on its 741s and 1011s.

3. Pan Am then added Clipper Class.

4. BA followed by with Club Class.

Sorry, have no references, simply going by memory - when biz class was introduced in the late 1970s, is was the a very big deal with lots of press and publicity.
 
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breiz
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 6:27 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Thread starter):
The case for Pan Am:
1978:

Pan Am looks to be the winner.
SAS introduced its "Euroclass", business class at economy/coach fares, in 1981.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 6:36 am

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 6):
1. Qantas was first with biz class - first introduced on its transpacific flights.

2. TWA followed with Ambassador Class on its 741s and 1011s.

3. Pan Am then added Clipper Class.

That's the way I had remembered it too, with this page indicating that TWA began Ambassador Class in October 1982.

http://www.airchive.com/SITE%20PAGES/TIMETABLES-TWA.html

My timetable from March 1982 doesn't indicate anything about Ambassador Class. My first TWA flight across the Atlantic was in early 1982, and I'm digging through my old tickets to find it. My recollection is that on the L-1011's and 747's I flew they didn't have anything other than First and Economy, but I could be wrong. I'm looking to see if any of my old TWA FF info gives a date.
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dtwclipper
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 6:49 am

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 6):

3. Pan Am then added Clipper Class.

Clipper was before Ambassador, that I know for sure. Clipper originaly was nothing more then a seperate part of economy, similar to Y+. It was only a year or so later when PA and everyone else started to upgrade the product.

I have a seat map of an SP (See Boeng 747SP by Brian Baum, Great Airliers series #Three) which shows this upgraded Y type of seating.

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 6):

Sorry, have no references, simply going by memory

Sorry dutch, then it really isn't useful.
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keesje
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 6:59 am

Lets add a forth case:

KLM started an improved economy class service in 1975 "Triple-F" (Full Fare Facilities) for full fare economy class passengers; seperate cabin, priority luggage handling, more / better food and beverages. The seat had yellow headrests. The pitch was increases in 1979.

http://www.ig-oekoflughafen.de/Verschiedenes_91.htm
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AeroWesty
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 7:00 am

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 9):
Clipper originaly was nothing more then a seperate part of economy, similar to Y+. It was only a year or so later when PA and everyone else started to upgrade the product.

That is correct. I really wish I had an old seat map for TWA--my first time in Ambassador I remember being seated in a small cabin on grey seats (leather?), with either 2x3x2 or 2x4x2 seating on the L-1011. The second time I flew it, it was quite a grand affair.

I also recall the first time I flew a 747 with PA, the seating in coach was very tight, and saying to myself "now I know where they got the room for Clipper Class, my seat!"  Smile
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dutchjet
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 7:03 am

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 9):
Sorry dutch, then it really isn't useful.

NICE........sometimes general knowledge is uselful. Thank you - lets see your sources for everything you happen to say or know.

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 9):


Clipper was before Ambassador, that I know for sure. Clipper originaly was nothing more then a seperate part of economy, similar to Y+. It was only a year or so later when PA and everyone else started to upgrade the product.

I have a seat map of an SP (See Boeng 747SP by Brian Baum, Great Airliers series #Three) which shows this upgraded Y type of seating.

We are talking about biz class..........not full fare coach. When the use of low APEX and discount fares became widespread in the 1970s, airlines started offering seperate sections for it biz pax that paid higher fares, even AA had a full fare coach section on its domestic aircraft for a while. The use of widebody airlines made product differntiation possible and business class was born.....that is what we are talking about here.
 
dtwclipper
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 7:08 am

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 12):

NICE........sometimes general knowledge is uselful. Thank you - lets see your sources for everything you happen to say or know.

The original link from PA came from me and another thread.

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 12):
We are talking about biz class..........not full fare coach.

We are not talking about full fare coach nor apex. PA wanted to charge more for the service, and did so. The origins of Business Class go back to this configuration at Pan Am.
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AeroWesty
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 7:12 am

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 12):
The use of widebody airlines made product differntiation possible and business class was born.....that is what we are talking about here.

Right, but DTW is correct in that the very first business classes looked like Premium Economy you'd find on something like VS or BA today. A bit more legroom and a wider seat. Then the competition started, and those seats were ripped out and the real upgrading of the cabins began.

Y+ may have been a poor choice to describe it, as the first business classes were much better than say the Economy Plus section is on UA today.
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dtwclipper
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 7:15 am

By the way, just to add some salt to the wounds, why do most airlines use the "C" booking code for business, if it doesn't have its beginnings as "Clipper Class"?

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 14):
Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 12):
The use of widebody airlines made product differntiation possible and business class was born.....that is what we are talking about here.

Right, but DTW is correct in that the very first business classes looked like Premium Economy you'd find on something like VS or BA today. A bit more legroom and a wider seat. Then the competition started, and those seats were ripped out and the real upgrading of the cabins began.

Y+ may have been a poor choice to describe it, as the first business classes were much better than say the Economy Plus section is on UA today.

Thanks Westy, I think you put it better then I did.
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AeroWesty
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 7:22 am

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 15):
why do most airlines use the "C" booking code for business, if it doesn't have its beginnings as "Clipper Class"?

That's an interesting point! Somewhere behind the cobwebs in my mind I recall some association of that type.

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 15):
Thanks Westy, I think you put it better then I did.

No prob--I think as we go along we'll probably get hung up on terms, since there was that short period where the airlines were figuring out what they wanted to make out of biz class, LOL. There isn't a lot of documentation out there on this, and I'm actually tempted to hit some old National Geographics--that's where the airline ads of the era for this would probably be.
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dtwclipper
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 7:36 am

Anyone have a copy if this booK, it might answer the question at hand.

I've just ordered it.

Jetliner Cabins (Hardcover)
by Jennifer Coutts Clay

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/pro...-5313510?%5Fencoding=UTF8&n=283155
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AeroWesty
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 7:41 am

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 17):
Anyone have a copy if this booK

But, but, we might have to admit to being geeks!  duck 

(Looks like a great book, regardless!)
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dtwclipper
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 7:44 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 18):
But, but, we might have to admit to being geeks!

Me a geek?!!! Not me, why would you say that, spending a wonderful Saturday debating such minutia! Big grin  Big grin
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dutchjet
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 7:55 am

Ask most travel and aviation experts world wide (not in the US), and they will answer C = Club Class.......Club is slang for biz class in many parts of the world.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 8:02 am

Okay, just so y'all don't think I'm smoking something, I've come across a pristine "Aircraft Seating Guide" for TWA dated July 1985.

Not that it proves who was first, but it's interesting nonetheless:

TWA Ambassador Class seating was:

747:
2x2x2 (downstairs)
2x2 (upstairs)

767:
2x2x2 (international had one less row, to compensate for a larger first class)

L-1011 (Domestic):
2x2x2x2 (without an aisle between the middle sets of seats)

L-1011 (International):
2x2x2

The 747's were distinguished by Business Lounger seats. "A better business class seat just can't be found. Anywhere."

747 First Class had Sleeper Seats, that when reclined, extended at least the length of 3 windows, with padded footrests.

[Edited 2006-05-21 01:08:59]
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cs03
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 8:08 am

As a travel agent at the time (1983) in NYC, we were all wondering how the airlines would "deal" with this new concept. I took Air France JFK/CDG on a 742 in "C" class. The seats were the same as Y, but right behind the F section. The F galley was located between the two aisles, creating a "private" cabin, (or so it seemed)! When I next took AF in 1987 CDG/JFK in C, the 742 had 2x2x2 seating in C.
 
jetfuel
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 8:08 am

Actually I believe the first was Ansett
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AeroWesty
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 8:35 am

Okay, after digging through my TWA FF folder, I'm going to confirm they didn't have Ambassador Class until the fall of 1982, as in the date listed in my first TWA link. My statement from April 1982 doesn't have C-class listed, but it does appear in the List of Codes post-1982.

So it brings it back to Qantas, Pan Am, or an outside chance for Ansett, unless any of those didn't have C-class prior to October 1982.

And we're talking a paid C-class, not just a separate section for full-fare Y travelers.
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luv2fly
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 8:38 am

Maybe it was New York Air that had it first!

 Silly  Silly  Silly  Silly  Silly  Silly  Silly  Silly  Silly  Silly

 Silly  Silly  Silly  Silly  Silly  Silly  Silly  Silly  Silly  Silly
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 8:45 am

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 25):
Maybe it was New York Air that had it first!

Ooooh, oooh, god's gonna git you now!  slaphappy 
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american762
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 9:34 am

Im the one who started this whole mess once again in another thread, sorry everyone. lol. Anyway, looking at www.panam.org, they state that in 1978, they created the worlds first completely seperate Business Class.
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AeroWesty
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 9:42 am

Quoting American762 (Reply 27):
Im the one who started this whole mess once again in another thread, sorry everyone

Nothing to be sorry about, we might come up with the definitive answer yet.  Smile
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AeroWesty
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 11:37 am

Well now this is weird date-wise:

From The New York Times May 24, 1981:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...67948260&sec=travel&pagewanted=all

However, since November, T.W.A. has been reducing from 10 to six the number of seats per row in its ambassador class - which is between economy and first class in price - on Boeing 747's on trans-Atlantic flights. It also plans six-abreast seating in ambassador class on 747-SP trans-Atlantic runs and a similar thinning-out in ambassador on its Lockheed 1011's.

Pan Am has begun pulling out the old 10-abreast seats in its clipper class (also between first class and economy in price) and replacing them with eight-abreast seats grouped two by two. These have more hip- and legroom than Pan Am's current economy-class seats. By this summer the airline plans to have the new clipper seating on almost all its trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific flights.
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AeroWesty
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 12:54 pm

Okay, I found another article in the Times, this one from their PDF archives, so I had to type out an excerpt, since it's unlinkable.

It appears that:

1) By the spring of 1980, around a dozen airlines had a "business class" product.

2) Business class was economy seating behind first class, no extra legroom or width, but some frills were free and food was better.

3) On routes where business class was offered, it replaced the "normal economy" fare, and full economy was about 10% cheaper.

Comparing to what we've learned and remembered prior to this ... business class started out as simply free drinks and better food in the front cabin of coach. It then evolved into the short-lived 2x2x2x2 arrangement on Pan Am (possibly others, too), and ended up becoming a 2x2x2 arrangement towards the latter part of 1982.

It still doesn't say who had business class first, but we're getting closer! If anyone has any more info, please add it. Thanks!

The Case for Flying Business Class
New York Times, April 13, 1980

What is all this business about "business class?"

In recent months, about a dozen major international airlines have been advertising claims to pamper business travelers who cannot or prefer not to take advantage of restricted bargain fares.

[...]

Business class is largely a phenomenon of trans-Atlantic travel, but not all airlines that fly the ocean or the same route offer it. Pan American offers it on coast-to-coast flights within the United States as well as overseas, and several airlines offer it across the Pacific.

It goes by different names, depending upon the airline. On Pan Am it is Clipper Class, on British Airways, Club Class, and on Iberia, Ronda Executive Class. On Trans World Airlines, which will introduce a business class on Tuesday, it is Ambassador Class.

It is not first class, but it is that economy-class section of the aircraft immediately behind first class. Where there is a business class, the bargain passengers are placed to the rear. The airlines advertise that when possible, business-class travelers in the same row will have an empty seat between them, but more often than the ads indicate, it is not possible.

The basic idea, however, is to separate bargain passengers from full-fare travelers on those flights that usually carry a lot of both. Many business travelers must pay full economy fare because their trips are arranged on short notice or because they cannot stay away long enough to qualify for restricted bargains. The airlines consider it bad business for a traveler who has paid $460 to discover that he is seated next to someone who has paid only $230 and that they will both get the same service. And to add to a business traveler's ire, the passenger in the next seat might be a cantankerous child.

In business class in contrast to the remainder of the economy section, the headsets for stereo and movies (when offered) are usually free. So are cocktails and wines, although British Airways charges for champagne. The food is generally better and the choice of entrees broader. There are usually separate check-in facilities at the airport and sometimes the use of special lounges to await departure.


[the article continues with a description of how to use MPM to your advantage on a fully-flexible ticket ... ]

If you have not caught on by now, business class is actually the old full-fare economy travel, except for the separate section and complimentary frills. Where there is no business class, the full-economy fare provides the same flexibility. But where there is business class, the fare that is called "economy" has been downgraded to restrict stopovers and sometimes to impose an extra charge for them, usually to require you to fly your entire journey on the same airline and to confine you to the usually jammed cabin in the rear.

In other words, "normal economy" on those flights is the uppermost range of bargain fares. Business class is typically about 10 percent higher.
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oneskyjet
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 1:17 pm

Here's I think what happened. Unfortunately from memory.

Pan Am introduced Clipper Class in 1978 with the same Y configuration, slightly upgraded service. 747 product was 3x4x3.

When the Pan Am ordered the L1011s they actually ordered the planes with the newly designed seat producing a seating configuration 2x4x2. These same seats were also retrofitted into 747s around the same time, also 2x4x2 but for some reason, seat availability limited their rollout for awhile.

TWA couldn't get the same seats so to be competitive they recovered seats from 707s they were retiring and invented Ambassador Class. The Seats were too wide for 2x4x2, so they trumped PanAm with 2x2x2, installing them in 747s.

PanAm was definitely before TWA, that I know for sure.

In the late 60's, however, United could actually claim the prize with their red, white, and blue service on transcon DC-8s. They operated 3 class aircraft with 2x2, 2x3, and 2x4 configurations. The 2x3 configuration "white class?" could be considered business class, don't you think?
 
antares
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 1:29 pm

I believe Qantas came second in 1979.

It was two by four by two with pretty ordinary legroom, say 36 inches seat pitch on the main deck of the 747 classic.

However it came into play at around about the same time they had probably completed turning the old comfortable nine abreast in economy to ten abreast. It used to be two by four by three. So in effect business class gave back a little bit more than had been taken away in the revised economy class, while first class was still just a big seat with around 38 inch seat pitch and the Captains Club upstairs.

Antares
 
AeroWesty
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 1:34 pm

Quoting OneSkyJet (Reply 31):
PanAm was definitely before TWA, that I know for sure.

Yup, for separating the classes, Pan Am did it before TWA, that's clear now.

Quoting OneSkyJet (Reply 31):
The 2x3 configuration "white class?" could be considered business class, don't you think?

That's a great point. It brings up whether "the first business class" should be limited to an international or domestic offering. I wonder what the fare differential United charged over full-Y, if any.
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dtwclipper
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 1:55 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 33):
Yup, for separating the classes, Pan Am did it before TWA, that's clear now

So do we have a winner yet?

Or is it still QF vs. PA

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 25):
Maybe it was New York Air that had it first!

 Big grin Big grin

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 26):
Ooooh, oooh, god's gonna git you now!

Please don't call me that. Your exalted Grand Poobah will do nicely thank you!
 Big grin Big grin
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jetdeltamsy
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 1:55 pm

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 6):
My memory is as follows:

1. Qantas was first with biz class - first introduced on its transpacific flights.

2. TWA followed with Ambassador Class on its 741s and 1011s.

3. Pan Am then added Clipper Class.

4. BA followed by with Club Class.

I definitely remember TWA was ahead of Pan Am for Business class.
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dtwclipper
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 1:58 pm

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 35):
I definitely remember TWA was ahead of Pan Am for Business class.


We settled that issue 6 posts ago with sources. PA was ahead of TW.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 30):
The Case for Flying Business Class
New York Times, April 13, 1980

What is all this business about "business class?"

In recent months, about a dozen major international airlines have been advertising claims to pamper business travelers who cannot or prefer not to take advantage of restricted bargain fares.

[...]

Business class is largely a phenomenon of trans-Atlantic travel, but not all airlines that fly the ocean or the same route offer it. Pan American offers it on coast-to-coast flights within the United States as well as overseas, and several airlines offer it across the Pacific.

It goes by different names, depending upon the airline. On Pan Am it is Clipper Class, on British Airways, Club Class, and on Iberia, Ronda Executive Class. On Trans World Airlines, which will introduce a business class on Tuesday, it is Ambassador Class.

It is not first class, but it is that economy-class section of the aircraft immediately behind first class. Where there is a business class, the bargain passengers are placed to the rear. The airlines advertise that when possible, business-class travelers in the same row will have an empty seat between them, but more often than the ads indicate, it is not possible.

The basic idea, however, is to separate bargain passengers from full-fare travelers on those flights that usually carry a lot of both. Many business travelers must pay full economy fare because their trips are arranged on short notice or because they cannot stay away long enough to qualify for restricted bargains. The airlines consider it bad business for a traveler who has paid $460 to discover that he is seated next to someone who has paid only $230 and that they will both get the same service. And to add to a business traveler's ire, the passenger in the next seat might be a cantankerous child.

In business class in contrast to the remainder of the economy section, the headsets for stereo and movies (when offered) are usually free. So are cocktails and wines, although British Airways charges for champagne. The food is generally better and the choice of entrees broader. There are usually separate check-in facilities at the airport and sometimes the use of special lounges to await departure.

[the article continues with a description of how to use MPM to your advantage on a fully-flexible ticket ... ]

If you have not caught on by now, business class is actually the old full-fare economy travel, except for the separate section and complimentary frills. Where there is no business class, the full-economy fare provides the same flexibility. But where there is business class, the fare that is called "economy" has been downgraded to restrict stopovers and sometimes to impose an extra charge for them, usually to require you to fly your entire journey on the same airline and to confine you to the usually jammed cabin in the rear.

In other words, "normal economy" on those flights is the uppermost range of bargain fares. Business class is typically about 10 percent higher.


[Edited 2006-05-21 06:59:32]
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AeroWesty
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 2:04 pm

Quoting Antares (Reply 32):
I believe Qantas came second in 1979.

It was two by four by two with pretty ordinary legroom, say 36 inches seat pitch on the main deck of the 747 classic.

What I'm beginning to think is that Qantas' claim is for giving the business class section different seating, and they could have been first with the interim 2x4x2 seating. This is a real possibility.

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 35):
I definitely remember TWA was ahead of Pan Am for Business class.

I had remembered it that way too, but it could be that TWA was ahead of Pan Am for the 2x2x2 seating setup. Clipper Class was definitely a known product, even if it was merely economy seating, before Ambassador Class. The Times' articles make that clear now.

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 34):
So do we have a winner yet?

GAH!!  Wink
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andz
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 2:11 pm

My wife and I flew JNB-LHR-JNB in August 1982 on SAA and they had business class in the 742. I remember this because we weren't married at the time, as an employee she got to fly business non-rev while I was in economy!

'll have to find out when it was actually introduced, as SAA had 742s since the early 70s.
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antares
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 2:20 pm

Andz,

I remember the SAA product from the early 80s. It was called Gold Class, but it was just an ordinary economy seat at a higher price, in the second cabin on the main deck.

I think Aerowesty is onto something by suggesting that Qantas was first with a business class that offered something better than a roped off economy seat.

However I also have a memory (unusual these days, but they do occur) that at the time it was line ball between Qantas, KLM and Pan Am in relation to having a 'special' new type of seat. Unfortunately I did not fly KLM in those years (earlier and later, but not around the late 70s or early 80s) and my only recollection of Pan Am was the early 747 SPs in first class with the restaurant seating in the bubble, arranged four tables with four places each. The only other things that stand out from those early flights were that the service was very good, perhaps as good as it ever was on a major US carrier, but that the SP kept failing to make it non-stop, often landing at Nadi on the way over against headwinds.

Antares
 
AeroWesty
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 2:29 pm

Quoting Antares (Reply 39):
at the time it was line ball between Qantas, KLM and Pan Am in relation to having a 'special' new type of seat.

I do recall something about KLM also, but it's a very hazy memory. I flew them in business in the late 80's, but what I'm thinking is that KLM may have been the first to drop First Class altogether in favor of Business/Economy like they still have today.
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american762
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 2:40 pm

1978 "First airline to introduce a new, separate class of service for business and full-fare economy passengers, Clipper Class"

Taken from www.panam.org under "Pan Am Firsts"
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dtwclipper
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 2:43 pm

Quoting American762 (Reply 41):
1978 "First airline to introduce a new, separate class of service for business and full-fare economy passengers, Clipper Class"

Taken from www.panam.org under "Pan Am Firsts"

That's what started this entire thread, see "thread starter"...thanks!
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AeroWesty
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 2:47 pm

Quoting American762 (Reply 41):
1978 "First airline to introduce a new, separate class of service for business and full-fare economy passengers, Clipper Class"

Right, but that was still in economy class seating. Open to anyone who paid full-fare.

What I'm seeing overall is that there were three "firsts":

1) 1960's - United domestic U.S. with "white" class, 2x3 in DC-8's, then
2) 1978 - Pan Am Clipper Class, in regular coach seating, then
3) 1979 - Qantas, with improved seating, that set off the race that's still not ended
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antares
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 3:57 pm

Aerowesty,

It must have been well into the 90s when KLM dropped first class, I think about the time they jointly launched an imporved business class with Northwest. I flew first class on a KLM 747 in either 90 or 91.

About six years later in the late 90s I flew them again (for the last time too) on one of their last flights to Australia. By that time it was just business and economy, and the standards of service had plummeted from the great heights of earlier years. Mind you that is just my subjective opiunion. I'm sure many would disagree.

Antares
 
AeroWesty
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 4:06 pm

Quoting Antares (Reply 44):
It must have been well into the 90s when KLM dropped first class, I think about the time they jointly launched an imporved business class with Northwest.

That sounds about the right time. I was looking back in my tickets and I flew them in late '85 and spring '91 between LAX and AMS, and I believe it was right after that that they dropped First. What I was recalling earlier was that KLM was the first to drop First, instead of them being one of the first at the starting gate with Business.

Too many firsts in there!  Smile
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dutchjet
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 7:10 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 45):

That sounds about the right time. I was looking back in my tickets and I flew them in late '85 and spring '91 between LAX and AMS, and I believe it was right after that that they dropped First. What I was recalling earlier was that KLM was the first to drop First, instead of them being one of the first at the starting gate with Business.

Too many firsts in there!

KL had F class until atleast 1992.......thats for sure, I flew AMS-LAX in Aug 1992 in a 743 with F class.

I tried to make the point earlier, but got shot down, that biz class was first nothing more than a "quiet" seperate section of the coach cabin with some extra percs....special seating came later.

Clipper Class came before Ambassador Class.......but Clipper initially was in typical coach seats, Ambassador launched with seperate seating.

Putting aside the UA White Class experiment (which really did not catch on), just like their one class 5 abreast configuration on select transcon DC8s.....I go back to my orgiinal statement:

Special seating biz class:
QF, then TW, then PA, then BA.

Biz class, but no special seating, just upgraded service in coach seats: put PA first on the list.
 
zrs70
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 8:11 pm

Back in the mid 70's, UA had three class service on its dometic flights. I believe it was called "Red, WHite, and Blue," (though never referred to as F, C, and Y). The planes were either 727's or DC-8's, and the seats in front were two-two configuratio. In the middle they were two-three, and in the back three-three.

Was the middle section "business?"
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BCAL
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 8:26 pm

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 34):
So do we have a winner yet?

British Caledonian was the first airline to introduce the equivalent of 'business class' in Winter 1971 when a separate economy section, with enhanced service, was introduced on long-haul flights for passengers who had paid the full fare. The cabin was located at the front of the aircraft, just before First Class, and the middle seat could easily be converted from a normal seat to a table/rest area, so that seating was 2 x 2, rather than 3 x 3 in the normal economy section. Initially introduced on the airline's VC10s and 707s, the concept was taken further when DC10s were introduced into the fleet in 1977.
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PerthGloryFan
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RE: The First "Business Class"?

Sun May 21, 2006 9:19 pm

Well according to this website:

http://www.qantas.com.au/info/about/history/details20

"1979 Qantas phases out its last 707 to become the world's only all-747 airline and introduces the world's first Business Class."

Edit
Oops, after reading through 48 posts I forgot what was in the first one  embarrassed  ... well it has been a looong weekend  drunk 

PGF

[Edited 2006-05-21 14:26:26]

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