amax1977
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 8:34 am

United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:07 am

On UA's website I saw they are promoting their new international business class with 180 degree flat seat/beds... http://suitedreams.united.com
Have they already converted all their old business seats on 744s, 777s and 763s?

Cheers!
 
Feroze
Posts: 663
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:05 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:15 am

RE: Here They Are... The New UA Biz Seats! (by Aerohottie Aug 12 2007 in Civil Aviation)
 
tozairport
Posts: 463
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 1:01 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:15 am

I think you'll find a few other threads that detail this, but long story short, the prototype will be done in November with actual A/C installations starting early next year at the heavy maintenance checks. All international A/C should be done by sometime in 2009. This includes all the current 3 class 767's, all 747's, and all but 5 of the 777's. Hope that helps.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
 
azncsa4qf744er
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 4:04 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:46 am

First roll out will be a B767-300ER some time during 4th quarter of this year. All UA's new F and C product will be flat 180 degrees. In C class seating config will be somewhat similar to BA's C product with rear and forward facing seats.
 
FriendlySkies
Posts: 3540
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 3:57 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 5:23 am

Quoting Tozairport (Reply 2):
5 of the 777's

Are these the 777s than do the Hawaii runs, or 5 of the international birds?
 
FLYGUY767
Posts: 1441
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 11:26 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 5:35 am

In reference to the Cuisine, United Airlines is touting Charlie Trotter as a World Renowned Chef?

Comparing his cuisine and notoriety to someone like Gordon Ramsay, Todd English, or Daniel Boulud would be awfully hard to imagine. Wouldnt a more apropriate way of marketing be "Chicago's Own".

-JD
Summer Trip 2007: DEN HAAG>DUBAI>LONDON>VERONA>COSTA SMERALDA>CAPRI
 
tundra767
Posts: 400
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:33 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 5:36 am

Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 4):
Are these the 777s than do the Hawaii runs, or 5 of the international birds?

Yes
 
FLYGUY767
Posts: 1441
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 11:26 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 5:40 am

Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 4):
Are these the 777s than do the Hawaii runs, or 5 of the international birds?

The Hawaiian birds will not get the treatment, the others will..

-JD
Summer Trip 2007: DEN HAAG>DUBAI>LONDON>VERONA>COSTA SMERALDA>CAPRI
 
aircanada014
Posts: 1224
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:24 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 5:43 am

Damn those seats look pretty damn awesome, I wish AC would have those seats instead of the new J class product.
Its nice to see UA back on track upgrading and improving their products, lets hope they install PTVs on all economy.
 
upperdeckfan
Posts: 511
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 1:59 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 5:50 am

Hope this means other US carriers going the same way in the future, so they can start competing with european and asian carriers for the int'l premium market.

For me, upgrading J-class with full-flat seats is a big step forward for an american carrier
744,742,741,772,773,762,732,735,738,752,727,717,DC10,DC9,M82,M87,319,320,321,343,346,L1011,CRJ2,CRJ9,E190,ATR42,DSH8,
 
Boston92
Posts: 2553
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 6:56 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:57 am

Quoting UPPERDECKFAN (Reply 9):
For me, upgrading J-class with full-flat seats is a big step forward for an american carrier

Its a big step forward for any carrier, not only the american ones.
"Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200 and a substantial tax cut save you 30 cents?"
 
upperdeckfan
Posts: 511
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 1:59 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:07 am

BTW, will be fun for the ones able to get on a retrofitted 744 for a domestic hop they do once in a while between IAD, ORD and SFO for repositioning.
744,742,741,772,773,762,732,735,738,752,727,717,DC10,DC9,M82,M87,319,320,321,343,346,L1011,CRJ2,CRJ9,E190,ATR42,DSH8,
 
zvezda
Posts: 8891
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:31 am

Quoting UPPERDECKFAN (Reply 9):
Hope this means other US carriers going the same way in the future, so they can start competing with european and asian carriers for the int'l premium market.

US carriers will have to change more than seats to win my business from LH, NH, and SQ.
 
azncsa4qf744er
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 4:04 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:42 am

Quoting AirCanada014 (Reply 8):
Damn those seats look pretty damn awesome, I wish AC would have those seats instead of the new J class product.
Its nice to see UA back on track upgrading and improving their products, lets hope they install PTVs on all economy.

UA won back the title of the first US carrier to offer fully flat seats in premium class. For a while AA claim they were the first.... HAhaha I bet UA is laughting at AA and their J/C product now.....

UA B777's and B767's will have PTV in Y/C but not on B747's.

[Edited 2007-08-22 00:43:01]
 
LAXdude1023
Posts: 4460
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:16 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:47 am

Their biggest problem now is that they need PTV's all classes of the 744. Flights like ORD-HKG and LAX-SYD are way to long to be without them.
It is what it is...
 
azncsa4qf744er
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 4:04 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:00 am

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 14):
Their biggest problem now is that they need PTV's all classes of the 744. Flights like ORD-HKG and LAX-SYD are way to long to be without them.

As stated before from excutives they won't be installing PTV in Y cabin of B747's due to the weight and cost to redo the floor cabin.
 
flymd
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:34 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:51 pm

Quoting AznCSA4QF744ER (Reply 15):
Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 14):
Their biggest problem now is that they need PTV's all classes of the 744. Flights like ORD-HKG and LAX-SYD are way to long to be without them.

As stated before from excutives they won't be installing PTV in Y cabin of B747's due to the weight and cost to redo the floor cabin.

Financially it guess it makes since not to put PTVs on the B744s. Having said that, UAs 744s are a pretty pathetic excuse for being their international flagship aircraft. I agree,I have no intentions of flying a UA 744 on a 12-14+ hour flight when their are much better options for the same cost (and I can still get my Star miles).
Fly the friendly skies of life!. Enjoy every minute.
 
rwsea
Posts: 2423
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:23 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:12 pm

Quoting AznCSA4QF744ER (Reply 15):
As stated before from excutives they won't be installing PTV in Y cabin of B747's due to the weight and cost to redo the floor cabin.

Why couldn't they be more innovative and try something like the DigiPlayers that AS uses? They could load them based on loads, so they wouldn't need to load more than were required per flight. And the costs would be lower because they could just wheel them in on a cart rather than having to re-do all of the seats in coach. Sure there's probably a bit more maintenance of the actual players, but not the huge upfront costs.

Doesn't UA have some sort of a Digi-Player on their PS flights already also? They wouldn't even need to spend any $$ to develop or select a technology ... ...

I'm the kind of person who can live without a PTV, but it's pretty ridiculous in this day and age to not at least offer the option to pax on nearly ULH flights like LAX-SYD, SFO-SYD, IAD-PEK, or ORD-HKG. These aren't low yield routes.
 
ordpia
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:30 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:31 pm

Quoting FLYGUY767 (Reply 5):
In reference to the Cuisine, United Airlines is touting Charlie Trotter as a World Renowned Chef?

Comparing his cuisine and notoriety to someone like Gordon Ramsay, Todd English, or Daniel Boulud would be awfully hard to imagine. Wouldnt a more apropriate way of marketing be "Chicago's Own".

-JD

Im afraid I have to question why you do not find Charlie Trotter to be a world renowned chef? He has been a pioneer of French, New French Cuisine for 20 years, much longer than Ramsay, Boulud, and English. His Kitchen has produced some of the best chefs in the world including Homaru Cantu. He has been given numerous awards including no less than three James Beard Awards, as well as numerous accolades from food publications. I will give credit to Ramsay and Boulud for being on the same level however I would find it hard to compare English to the three. I would suggest eating at his restaurant to see for yourself.
Concorde 146 727 737 73G 742 744 752 753 762 763 772 773 300 319 320 321 343 346 CRJ ERJ ATR ATP CL604 LJ45 LJ60 BD700
 
azncsa4qf744er
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 4:04 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:45 pm

Quoting RwSEA (Reply 17):
Why couldn't they be more innovative and try something like the DigiPlayers that AS uses? They could load them based on loads, so they wouldn't need to load more than were required per flight.

PS flights have those digiplayers but often they break and need a power outlet to view movie. For ULH flights one would need extra batteries or requires power outlet which UA Y/C doesn't have. Those Digiplayers also take up lots of space and carts. Something that is not worth doing.

Quoting RwSEA (Reply 17):
I'm the kind of person who can live without a PTV, but it's pretty ridiculous in this day and age to not at least offer the option to pax on nearly ULH flights like LAX-SYD, SFO-SYD, IAD-PEK, or ORD-HKG. These aren't low yield routes.

I totally agree with you on this. You do have other option that is to fly another airlines.
 
LAXdude1023
Posts: 4460
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:16 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:50 pm

Quoting RwSEA (Reply 17):
I'm the kind of person who can live without a PTV, but it's pretty ridiculous in this day and age to not at least offer the option to pax on nearly ULH flights like LAX-SYD, SFO-SYD, IAD-PEK, or ORD-HKG. These aren't low yield routes.

Well said. The routes listed are at the top of the list of profitablility for UA (not sure about IAD-PEK but the rest are). Im not sure about weight issues, but it is pretty pathetic that they dont have PTV's on their 747's on flights that long.
It is what it is...
 
TWAtwaTWA
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 5:18 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:11 pm

Quoting ORDPIA (Reply 18):
Quoting FLYGUY767 (Reply 5):
In reference to the Cuisine, United Airlines is touting Charlie Trotter as a World Renowned Chef?

Comparing his cuisine and notoriety to someone like Gordon Ramsay, Todd English, or Daniel Boulud would be awfully hard to imagine. Wouldnt a more apropriate way of marketing be "Chicago's Own".

-JD

Im afraid I have to question why you do not find Charlie Trotter to be a world renowned chef? He has been a pioneer of French, New French Cuisine for 20 years, much longer than Ramsay, Boulud, and English. His Kitchen has produced some of the best chefs in the world including Homaru Cantu. He has been given numerous awards including no less than three James Beard Awards, as well as numerous accolades from food publications. I will give credit to Ramsay and Boulud for being on the same level however I would find it hard to compare English to the three. I would suggest eating at his restaurant to see for yourself.

I agree completely. I have lived in London, Chicago and now Los Angeles, and have eaten at all the top restaurants. Dinner at Charlie Trotter's was a culinary experience that is at the very top of my list. Having Trotter in charge of the menu speaks volumes about the product that UA is offering. I'm impressed.
We're your kind of airline. Uh, I mean, We *were* your kind of airline.
 
commavia
Posts: 9819
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:34 pm

Quoting AznCSA4QF744ER (Reply 13):
For a while AA claim they were the first.... HAhaha I bet UA is laughting at AA and their J/C product now

And I'll bet AA AAdvantage frequent flyers are laughing at their United comrades, who are now going to find it even more difficult to upgrade because of the smaller J cabin.
 
UAL777UK
Posts: 2142
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 1:16 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 4:47 pm

Quoting RwSEA (Reply 17):
I'm the kind of person who can live without a PTV, but it's pretty ridiculous in this day and age to not at least offer the option to pax on nearly ULH flights like LAX-SYD, SFO-SYD, IAD-PEK, or ORD-HKG. These aren't low yield routes.

You have a point, but when UA conssistantly fills the back of its 747's to the hilt on these routes, why re-invent the wheel. I agree that there should be consistancy on the International Fleet, with PTV's through out but UA does not think that the financial outlay is warranted on its 747 and to a degree you can see there arguement. I just wondered when they do reconfif the 747's if they are going to at least put overhead monitors throughout the Y cabin?

Quoting Commavia (Reply 22):
And I'll bet AA AAdvantage frequent flyers are laughing at their United comrades, who are now going to find it even more difficult to upgrade because of the smaller J cabin.

And I bet that the UA will be laughing all the way to the bank with the new product, more premium travellers it will carry at higher prices as opposed to giving away the seats on upgrades! Kudos to UA, they look forward to having full fare AA converts onboard soon for a better seat experience!!
 Wink
 
zvezda
Posts: 8891
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:53 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 22):
And I'll bet AA AAdvantage frequent flyers are laughing at their United comrades, who are now going to find it even more difficult to upgrade because of the smaller J cabin.

The airlines don't make money on the upgraders; they make money on the passengers who pay for F/C seats. There is nothing surprising about the fact that the most profitable airline in the world, SQ, will often bump Y passengers to the next day's flight and depart with empty seats in C rather than upgrade operationally (SQ will sometimes op-up very high revenue passengers).
 
Nimish
Posts: 2891
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 6:46 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:02 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 24):
here is nothing surprising about the fact that the most profitable airline in the world, SQ, will often bump Y passengers to the next day's flight and depart with empty seats in C rather than upgrade operationally (SQ will sometimes op-up very high revenue passengers).

Off-topic - but I got an op-up on SQ J on the 77W recently - and I'm not a high paying passenger, just a lowly *A gold with AC flying a B class economy flight  Smile

But then who said miracles don't occur  Wink?
Latest Trip Report - GoAir BLR-BOM-BLR
 
zvezda
Posts: 8891
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:10 pm

Quoting Nimish (Reply 25):
I got an op-up on SQ J on the 77W recently - and I'm not a high paying passenger, just a lowly *A gold with AC flying a B class economy flight

But then who said miracles don't occur?

Lucky you! I'm a Solitaire member and I only ever once received an op-up on SQ. I'm fine with that though -- I get what I pay for.
 
flybyguy
Posts: 1415
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2004 12:52 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:25 pm

Concerning lie-flat beds, I think United's are parallel to the floor. This to me is a little quirky, because it is my experience that aircraft don't cruise at in completely level flight, but might have a slight nose up attitude. Now if a lie-flat bed is parallel to the floor that would mean that your head is slightly lower than your feet... I'm not sure how comfortable that is. But I'm still unsure if my obsevation is even that significant to begin with.
"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
 
Norcal773
Posts: 1052
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:19 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:36 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 12):
US carriers will have to change more than seats to win my business from LH, NH, and SQ.

I hear you on that one. They'll have to make a lot of changes before I switch over.
If you're going through hell, keep going
 
azncsa4qf744er
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 4:04 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:21 pm

Quoting Flybyguy (Reply 27):
Concerning lie-flat beds, I think United's are parallel to the floor. This to me is a little quirky, because it is my experience that aircraft don't cruise at in completely level flight, but might have a slight nose up attitude. Now if a lie-flat bed is parallel to the floor that would mean that your head is slightly lower than your feet... I'm not sure how comfortable that is. But I'm still unsure if my obsevation is even that significant to begin with.

UA J product are similar to that of BA's J products and similar to First class seating on all carriers that offer F cabin.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 22):
And I'll bet AA AAdvantage frequent flyers are laughing at their United comrades, who are now going to find it even more difficult to upgrade because of the smaller J cabin.

Smaller cabin yes and less seat correct. That mean better ratio between passengers and flight attendant, more personal attention. Besides with UA new J product you your full table is in the armrest. Unlike AA you need to move your seat forward to connect with the other half that is connected to the seatback. Now why would AA be laughing at UA???

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 24):
The airlines don't make money on the upgraders; they make money on the passengers who pay for F/C seats. There is nothing surprising about the fact that the most profitable airline in the world, SQ, will often bump Y passengers to the next day's flight and depart with empty seats in C rather than upgrade operationally (SQ will sometimes op-up very high revenue passengers).

UA is catching up to the Asian carriers with making profits. I guess they finally learn a thing or two about customers comfort and making profits from it's STAR ALLIANCE partners.
 
zvezda
Posts: 8891
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:22 pm

Quoting Flybyguy (Reply 27):
Concerning lie-flat beds, I think United's are parallel to the floor. This to me is a little quirky, because it is my experience that aircraft don't cruise at in completely level flight, but might have a slight nose up attitude. Now if a lie-flat bed is parallel to the floor that would mean that your head is slightly lower than your feet... I'm not sure how comfortable that is. But I'm still unsure if my obsevation is even that significant to begin with.

I use a pillow to overcome that problem.  Smile I must say, I've come to prefer the new SQ horizontal business class seats (which I've now flown 14 times) to the older inclined SpaceBeds. My favorite feature is the Do Not Disturb light. I hope the UA seats copy that feature, though it's difficult to imagine getting too much attention on UA.
 
Norcal773
Posts: 1052
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:19 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:31 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 30):
My favorite feature is the Do Not Disturb light. I hope the UA seats copy that feature, though it's difficult to imagine getting too much attention on UA.

But you barely get any attention on UA to begin with so maybe they need an 'need attention now' button instead.  duck 

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 30):
I must say, I've come to prefer the new SQ horizontal business class seats (which I've now flown 14 times) to the older inclined SpaceBeds

Like I've mentioned before, I think the seat is too hard for a 12 hour flight. The sitting posiition is not very comfy although very spacious. I've had more comfortable nights on the couch when Mrs Norcal773 throws a fit.

There was a Pontiac commercial once that said 'Wider is better' but I am not too sure in this case. Can't believe I am complaining about the seat being too wide though.
If you're going through hell, keep going
 
commavia
Posts: 9819
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:46 pm

Quoting UAL777UK (Reply 23):
Kudos to UA, they look forward to having full fare AA converts onboard soon for a better seat experience!!

Yeah, they said the same thing when p.s. was rolled out on JFK-LAX/SFO, and it just didn't happen. Regardless of how light-years ahead UA's premium product may or may not have been, there was absolutely no shift whatsoever away from AA.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 24):
The airlines don't make money on the upgraders

That is 100% false.

I can literally give you the names of at least 10 multi-million-mile Executive Platinum AAdvantage members who continue to fly with AA (and in some cases put up with a lot of B.S.) solely because of two things: the world-famous Executive Platinum Desk, and their upgrades. These are not just people who charge their electric bill on their Citibank MasterCard: these are people who spends tens, and sometimes hundreds, of thousands of dollars in business and personal travel each year on AA. In some cases, they are in charge of corporate travel budgets in the millions, and they keep the butts in AA seats because they know what many in the industry know -- when it comes to upgrades clearing -- AA is among the best.

So yes, while AA may not actually make money (or, more likely, it makes a little less money) on upgrades into J, the truth is that -- overall -- AA makes boat loads of money from the top-tier AAdvantage frequent flyers who continue to choose to give their loyalty (and money) to AA because of the upgrades.

I have literally had this exact conversation with dozens of top-tier AAdvantage members in the last few years since the AA J cabin upgrades were announced. And, without a single exception, they all agreed: AA was doing the right thing by upgrading the J product to a somewhat higher standard, but not going the next step and going to full lie-flat, which would have obviously meant giving up seats in J. In each and every case, these top-tier AA flyers said that they would much rather have an 'okay' J product that they could upgrade into just about every time they flew to Europe, rather than a fantastic, fully-lie-flat J product that they could never get to fly in without paying for J.

AA is not stupid: they no doubt ran the numbers on this, and they no doubt quickly determined that it was worth more to the people that matter most (i.e., their most important frequent flyers) to have a larger J cabin and more upgrade availability than to have fully-lie-flat seats. And, by a few first-hand accounts I've heard so far, it seems they made the right choice: while everyone would of course like a lie-flat seat, most AA FFs I've heard talk about their experience with the new J seats have said that, generally, they were satisfied. That is a perfect example of responding to what your customers want, even if it may not make sense to some in the context of the larger market.
 
UAL777UK
Posts: 2142
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 1:16 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:09 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 32):
That is 100% false.

I can literally give you the names of at least 10 multi-million-mile Executive Platinum AAdvantage members who continue to fly with AA (and in some cases put up with a lot of B.S.) solely because of two things: the world-famous Executive Platinum Desk, and their upgrades. These are not just people who charge their electric bill on their Citibank MasterCard: these are people who spends tens, and sometimes hundreds, of thousands of dollars in business and personal travel each year on AA. In some cases, they are in charge of corporate travel budgets in the millions, and they keep the butts in AA seats because they know what many in the industry know -- when it comes to upgrades clearing -- AA is among the best.

So yes, while AA may not actually make money (or, more likely, it makes a little less money) on upgrades into J, the truth is that -- overall -- AA makes boat loads of money from the top-tier AAdvantage frequent flyers who continue to choose to give their loyalty (and money) to AA because of the upgrades.

I have literally had this exact conversation with dozens of top-tier AAdvantage members in the last few years since the AA J cabin upgrades were announced. And, without a single exception, they all agreed: AA was doing the right thing by upgrading the J product to a somewhat higher standard, but not going the next step and going to full lie-flat, which would have obviously meant giving up seats in J. In each and every case, these top-tier AA flyers said that they would much rather have an 'okay' J product that they could upgrade into just about every time they flew to Europe, rather than a fantastic, fully-lie-flat J product that they could never get to fly in without paying for J.

AA is not stupid: they no doubt ran the numbers on this, and they no doubt quickly determined that it was worth more to the people that matter most (i.e., their most important frequent flyers) to have a larger J cabin and more upgrade availability than to have fully-lie-flat seats. And, by a few first-hand accounts I've heard so far, it seems they made the right choice: while everyone would of course like a lie-flat seat, most AA FFs I've heard talk about their experience with the new J seats have said that, generally, they were satisfied. That is a perfect example of responding to what your customers want, even if it may not make sense to some in the context of the larger market.

I would love to beleive you, but I have heard it all now. AA adds shed loads of additional seats just for upgraders and if there are none I guess they just fly them empty as opposed to having a smaller premium cabin and looking to getting bums on seats who pay a full fare. Heck, lets have a cabin of 50 in Y on a 777 and just put the rest in J. You going to have to do a lot better than that. I look forward to Zvezda comments!
 
JoFMO
Posts: 1840
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2004 1:55 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:00 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 12):
Quoting UPPERDECKFAN (Reply 9):
Hope this means other US carriers going the same way in the future, so they can start competing with european and asian carriers for the int'l premium market.

US carriers will have to change more than seats to win my business from LH, NH, and SQ.

Where do you want to start?

Heard that many US carriers don't serve liquor for free in Y anymore. That is enough for me to never give them a try. But what else is UA lacking?
 
787kq
Posts: 377
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:52 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:07 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 24):
There is nothing surprising about the fact that the most profitable airline in the world, SQ, will often bump Y passengers to the next day's flight and depart with empty seats in C rather than upgrade operationally (SQ will sometimes op-up very high revenue passengers).

What? With Singapore known for its excellent customer service, I am surprised that that is the case. That's a terrible way to treat your customers, having them take a flight the next day (on some routes) rather than move someone up a class. Are you certain this is their policy? If it is, it doesn't conform with their reputation, profit or not.
 
MattCan
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 1:04 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:09 am

Funny the description of the configutation touts 'innovative forward and rear-facing seats' but the animation shows a pair of apparently free standing forward facing seats. Granted the art might be an early rendering, but your would think they would want the marketing to be accurate in support of the roll out.

If the rear facing seats are part of the new product I suppose UA intends the B747 main deck and B777 would be 8-across like BA. The B767 would be, what, 5-across?
 
tozairport
Posts: 463
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 1:01 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:18 am

Quoting Flybyguy (Reply 27):
Concerning lie-flat beds, I think United's are parallel to the floor. This to me is a little quirky, because it is my experience that aircraft don't cruise at in completely level flight, but might have a slight nose up attitude.

They cruise at about 2-3 degrees nose up in flight, not that much. On UA's current genesis seats, you can easily make up for that by leaving the upper body portion of the bed a little less than fully reclined. For crew rest we have a bunk room on some 777's and the genesis seat on others and I'll take the Genesis seat any day of the week and twice on Tuesday. I am really looking forward to the new first and business seats.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
 
andrew
Posts: 360
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 1999 9:58 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:25 am

SQ does that when their flights are pretty badly overbooked, and voluntary offloads will be given a $500 voucher, and hotel accommodation if the embarkation point isn't your home city. I've had friends who've done it and were even given an upgrade to Business Class.
 
Norcal773
Posts: 1052
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:19 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:30 am

My qstn still remains, how does the guy in the window seat get up if the aisle passenger is asleep? Jump over them??
If you're going through hell, keep going
 
zvezda
Posts: 8891
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:45 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 32):
That is 100% false.

I can literally give you the names of at least 10 multi-million-mile Executive Platinum AAdvantage members who continue to fly with AA (and in some cases put up with a lot of B.S.) solely because of two things: the world-famous Executive Platinum Desk, and their upgrades. These are not just people who charge their electric bill on their Citibank MasterCard: these are people who spends tens, and sometimes hundreds, of thousands of dollars in business and personal travel each year on AA. In some cases, they are in charge of corporate travel budgets in the millions, and they keep the butts in AA seats because they know what many in the industry know -- when it comes to upgrades clearing -- AA is among the best.

Using corporate travel managers as an example of people who upgrade and are profitable to the airline doesn't help your case. There are not enough of them to keep the lights on at AA.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 32):
the people that matter most (i.e., their most important frequent flyers)

That is the core of your misunderstanding. The most important passengers are not those who fly the most miles. The most important passengers are those who pay full F and full C fares. Handing out upgrades right and left instills in passengers the notion that the way to get a C seat is to buy a Y ticket and the way to get an F seat is to buy a C ticket. Then passengers are unwilling to pay C to fly C and to pay F to fly F. On SQ, passengers are willing to pay C to fly C and to pay F to fly F because they know that's what it costs. As a Solitaire member (roughly comparable to UA UGS), my chances of a free upgrade on any given flight are about 1%. So, if I want to fly C, I pay for C. What's wrong with getting what you pay for?

SQ have another nice policy regarding upgrades. Anyone who ever asks for a free upgrade gets a red flag in his record. If they ever need to do operational upgrades, that passenger will be passed over and someone else will be upgraded.

Quoting UAL777UK (Reply 33):
Heck, lets have a cabin of 50 in Y on a 777 and just put the rest in J.

 checkmark 

Quoting JoFMO (Reply 34):
Where do you want to start?

Heard that many US carriers don't serve liquor for free in Y anymore. That is enough for me to never give them a try. But what else is UA lacking?

How about not having to plan on how to evacuate the geriatric FAs in the event of an emergency. As a revenue passenger, that shouldn't be my responsibility. With LH, the grandmothers are at least spry enough to get themselves off the aircraft, even if they're beyond helping the passengers. Unlike UA, LH do not employ great-grandmothers and great-great-grandmothers in safety jobs. SQ and NH don't even employ grandmothers as stewardesses. At SQ, annual recurrent training involves rescuing a hostile panicked passenger in a swimming pool with one meter waves, pulling him from one end to the other. At UA, the most challenging part of recurrent training is opening an aircraft door -- upright, lighted, no smoke, no challenge for the average octogenarian.

I'll give you an example of UA customer service. I was traveling in UA international F to CDG with a couple of colleagues. One left a banana peel on the aisle-side armrest of his seat. An FA walked past without picking it up. Then another. Then I checked my watch. Two hours and forty minutes later, an FA finally picked it up. That was about ten years ago. Since then, I've been leaving banana peels on my aisle-side armrests on international airlines to see how long it takes for them to pick it up. The record is six minutes on LH in C class. SQ have never made it to three minutes in C and have never made it to one minute in F.

Quoting 787KQ (Reply 35):
What? With Singapore known for its excellent customer service, I am surprised that that is the case. That's a terrible way to treat your customers, having them take a flight the next day (on some routes) rather than move someone up a class. Are you certain this is their policy? If it is, it doesn't conform with their reputation, profit or not.

SQ do not overbook as much as US airlines, so denied boarding happens rarely. Also, when they know that Y will be oversold and C will have seats available, they offer paid upgrades during check-in and that usually resolves the problem. I was once offered a paid upgrade from C to F at check-in because C was oversold. I took it. Another time they just gave me the upgrade.  Smile
 
tozairport
Posts: 463
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 1:01 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:54 am

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 39):
My qstn still remains, how does the guy in the window seat get up if the aisle passenger is asleep? Jump over them??

The foot part of the seat has a curve to it, making it a bit narrower than the rest of the seat. By putting down your foot rest it should be very easy to step over the foot portion of the seat next to you. I think it will be easier to do that than the way it is now, IMHO.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
 
Nimish
Posts: 2891
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 6:46 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:02 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 40):
SQ have another nice policy regarding upgrades. Anyone who ever asks for a free upgrade gets a red flag in his record. If they ever need to do operational upgrades, that passenger will be passed over and someone else will be upgraded.

Wow - learn something new every day  Smile
Latest Trip Report - GoAir BLR-BOM-BLR
 
LAXdude1023
Posts: 4460
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:16 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:26 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 32):
That is 100% false.

I can literally give you the names of at least 10 multi-million-mile Executive Platinum AAdvantage members who continue to fly with AA (and in some cases put up with a lot of B.S.) solely because of two things: the world-famous Executive Platinum Desk, and their upgrades. These are not just people who charge their electric bill on their Citibank MasterCard: these are people who spends tens, and sometimes hundreds, of thousands of dollars in business and personal travel each year on AA. In some cases, they are in charge of corporate travel budgets in the millions, and they keep the butts in AA seats because they know what many in the industry know -- when it comes to upgrades clearing -- AA is among the best.

But how is that different from any other airline? Every airline has a few multi million mile flyers, and most have special desks for them. And every airline has a credit card for milage. And im sure lots of people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on them every year.

AA is nothing special here.
It is what it is...
 
commavia
Posts: 9819
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:36 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 40):
The most important passengers are not those who fly the most miles. The most important passengers are those who pay full F and full C fares.

I never said "those who fly the most miles." I said the "most important frequent flyers" -- i.e., as you rightly say, the ones who bring in the real money. The ones who get invited to AA's new by-invitation-only top-top-tier service program. The one who get proactively reaccommodated when they have a misconnection. The ones who get met at the gate.

And for those people, in many cases, upgrades matter. A lot.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 40):
Handing out upgrades right and left instills in passengers the notion that the way to get a C seat is to buy a Y ticket and the way to get an F seat is to buy a C ticket.

I'm not saying "handing out upgrades." I don't know where you get this stuff. I'm not saying that in every 30-seat 763 J cabin in the system, 25 seats on every flight are going to upgrades. But what I am saying, is that in those few cases where it is iffy whether a $750,000 annual spend, 2.5-million-mile top-tier flier is trying to get an upgrade for them and their business partner, or them and their spouse, they will now almost certainly stand a better chance on AA vs UA in most cases. And, for some people, that makes a difference.

So, the calculus that AA has no doubt done is this: if the price of the lost revenue from an upgrade being put into a seat over a paying customer (perhaps $5,000), that may well be worth it if it keeps a huge-spend FF satisfied and encourages them to continue spending ten times that in future travel with AA.

As I already said, I can -- off the top of my head -- think of 10 people for whom this exact scenario exactly describes their thinking: they specifically fly AA, time and again, and give thousands, upon thousands, upon thousands, of dollars to AA, because they can get upgrades to clear on a fairly regular basis. So, for them, sitting up front for that one JFK-LHR trip per month, or that BOS-LAX flight every 3 weeks, is worth being loyal to AA vs UA.

That calculus may change in the future -- and perhaps upgrades will no longer be worth it for these flyers. And, if that happens, AA will no doubt have to reevaluate the relative value of their premium product vs its relative availability to valuable flyers -- both paid and upgraded -- and perhaps move in the direction of lie-flat J, even if it means cannibalizing F. But, at least for now, that doesn't seem to be the case.

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 43):
AA is nothing special here.

Well, they soon will be, at least in the upgrade availability department.
 
zvezda
Posts: 8891
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:47 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 44):
where it is iffy whether a $750,000 annual spend, 2.5-million-mile top-tier flier is trying to get an upgrade

People who fly on $750,000 per year worth of tickets have zero interest in upgrades. They buy only full F tickets. In fact, on that budget, one can do quite a bit of flying on chartered bizjets.
 
787kq
Posts: 377
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:52 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:06 am

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 39):
My qstn still remains, how does the guy in the window seat get up if the aisle passenger is asleep? Jump over them??

The same way you get over them in other business class seats, including the cradle seats (which if you are not in the front or exit row are harder to get out of).

Step over them. On a few airlines, there is a little step, between the seats to facilitate the hop over.

http://www.airliners.net/open.file?i...=0841482&next_id=0808583&tbl=CABIN
 
LAXdude1023
Posts: 4460
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:16 pm

RE: United's New International Business Class

Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:28 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 44):
As I already said, I can -- off the top of my head -- think of 10 people for whom this exact scenario exactly describes their thinking: they specifically fly AA, time and again, and give thousands, upon thousands, upon thousands, of dollars to AA, because they can get upgrades to clear on a fairly regular basis. So, for them, sitting up front for that one JFK-LHR trip per month, or that BOS-LAX flight every 3 weeks, is worth being loyal to AA vs UA.

I hope AA is getting better at rewarding their FF's. When I lived in Fort Worth, I flew AA every where. Then I moved back to Los Angeles and I switched my loyalty to UA beacause I feel that they rewarded their FF's better. Not only that, but its much eaiser to earn miles on UA's partner airlines than is AA's. Now Im moving to Chicago and I still plan on keeping my loyalty with UA. AA's not a bad airline, but when I was at the point where I was AAdvantage Platnium in Texas, I didnt feel AA did anything to reward me. With UA I at least get to sit in Econ. Plus every time I fly. UA also has a much larger precence in Asia, which is where I primarily go. But maybe AA is changeing that, I havent flown them in about 2 years.
It is what it is...
 
amax1977
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 8:34 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:44 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 45):
People who fly on $750,000 per year worth of tickets have zero interest in upgrades.

 checkmark 
 
ozglobal
Posts: 2525
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:33 am

RE: United's New International Business Class

Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:42 am

Quoting Boston92 (Reply 10):
Quoting UPPERDECKFAN (Reply 9):
For me, upgrading J-class with full-flat seats is a big step forward for an american carrier

Its a big step forward for any carrier, not only the american ones.

Yes, but a step (lie flat or fully flat seats) that was taken some years ago by any premium carrier (9 years ago by BA). Hence, it is an especially big step for an "American carrier".
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.