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VC10er
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Will the US3 ever install a really nice Premium Economy seat?

Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:10 pm

I was reading the Iberia thread that reveals their new Premium Economy seat, and watched the video. Frankly, IMHO, it looked really nice to me and would clearly be a big bump up from economy.

I am curious what all of you think about American, Delta and United, (maybe even Southwest or Alaska, etc) adopting a similar style seat to the new Iberia one? As I often state, I am almost always on UA, and when in economy I get E+ automatically given my status. Sure, it's a small difference, but it does make a positive difference when you're 6+ feet tall. I do wish they would do more than just the 4/5 extra inches extra...e.g; better food and amenity kit on international flights at least.

Back when I had a pretty senior job (24 years), I had to do a massive amount of international travel and I was always very fortunate to be able to get paid business class. Our corp contract was with UA and that is how I got hooked on UA...my 25 years have sort of locked in my lifetime status and the benefits are clear. But, knowing my old holding company's travel department, they would be thrilled to put their sky warriors in E+ (instead of lie-flat business) if the seat was as good as Iberia or BA. As nice as it looks, it would be a major drop downwards, especially on long hauls, or even NYC - LHR.

Also, if AA, DL or UA did move to a similar offer, wouldn't they be risking their big margins on their current (and often paid and packed) business class cabins?
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
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intotheair
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Re: Will the US3 ever install a really nice Premium Economy seat?

Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:20 pm

It's already happening. AA unveiled a premium economy product earlier this month on its 789. The seat looks a lot like a domestic F seat, but still pretty nice.

https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/exp ... conomy.jsp

Not sure about DL, though they've already separated Comfort+ (previously Economy Comfort) into its own fare class (W) in pretty much all markets except for TATL. It's rumored they may introduce a true PE seat not unlike AF/KL. It should also be noted that DL's C+ includes extra amenities compared to UA's E+, including free adult drinks and priority boarding.

UA seems to be the laggard on this one. UA was really a pioneer by being the only carrier with E+ for so long, but I think they were caught by surprise when AA came out with PE. They claim to be studying it, though I think it would be a missed opportunity if they didn't launch a compelling PE product soon, even if that meant it would be a small cabin.
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KarelXWB
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Re: Will the US3 ever install a really nice Premium Economy seat?

Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:23 pm

intotheair wrote:
Not sure about DL


DL plans to introduce "true" Premium Economy on its upcoming A350s.

https://twitter.com/e_russell/status/726030584972201984
https://twitter.com/AirlineFlyer/status ... 2820552705
What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived.
 
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intotheair
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Re: Will the US3 ever install a really nice Premium Economy seat?

Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:25 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
intotheair wrote:
Not sure about DL


DL plans to introduce "true" Premium Economy on its upcoming A350s.

https://twitter.com/e_russell/status/726030584972201984
https://twitter.com/AirlineFlyer/status ... 2820552705


Thanks for that. I knew they were introducing a new J seat on the A350 and thought they were maybe doing PE as well, but I wasn't sure.
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Polot
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Re: Will the US3 ever install a really nice Premium Economy seat?

Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:38 pm

When Delta introduced the new business class on the A350 you could see in the publicity shots into the PE cabin where it was clearly not 3-3-3 (because you could also see back into Y...and the seat layouts did not match up). I thought there was a 360 view of the DL J cabin but can't find it now, but look here: https://www.seatlink.com/blog/wp-conten ... tes-05.png

I'm guessing like AA the DL PE seat will be similar to their domestic F seats.
 
cloudboy
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Re: Will the US3 ever install a really nice Premium Economy seat?

Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:45 pm

They should just redesignate domestic first to premium economy and lower the price by about %20. First, that should get a lot more businesses to be willing to pay for premium economy on domestic flights. It also makes it much easier to charge more for lie-flat service when flying domestically. Still roll out PE on international flights, but now you can charge for that the whole trip, instead of having to knock down the price some because half you flight is on non-equipped domestic planes. Lastly, since you have brought domestic first down in price, you are going to get more traveler willing to pay the price difference.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
VC10er
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Re: Will the US3 ever install a really nice Premium Economy seat?

Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:17 pm

WOW! I missed that AA seat announcement! And if Delta follows suit, I wonder what Oscar will do? I recall well when AA moved to 100% more legroom economy and UA did just a section, then AA had to reverse it back, leaving UA with a smarter move. With such energy being put into Polaris, I really do wonder if UA is considering keeping up with the Jones'!
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
cschleic
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Re: Will the US3 ever install a really nice Premium Economy seat?

Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:16 pm

It's also probably difficult to do on a narrow-body with 3x3 in Y, and the US3 have a lot more of those than other airlines, without going to 2x3 which would reduce the seat count beyond what the finance people probably would want. So they've gone to more legroom and services. But something better would be good. Wide-bodies are a different story.
 
VC10er
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Re: Will the US3 ever install a really nice Premium Economy seat?

Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:48 pm

If they were not so low-tech, I think the legacy United Business lounge seat with foot rest, would make a FANTASTIC Economy Plus seat, they were very comfortable in the days before beds were commonplace. I wonder where all those seats are? In a landfill?
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
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Stitch
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Re: Will the US3 ever install a really nice Premium Economy seat?

Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:10 pm

cloudboy wrote:
They should just redesignate domestic first to premium economy and lower the price by about %20. First, that should get a lot more businesses to be willing to pay for premium economy on domestic flights.


Discounted First Class is a pretty good deal already when you factor in all the fees that one pays for in Economy (baggage, drinks, food). I'm taking AS in two weeks and they even throw in same-day lounge access.
 
hayzel777
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Re: Will the US3 ever install a really nice Premium Economy seat?

Sat Oct 22, 2016 1:11 am

The hard product may be there, but the soft product will never be on par with most other airlines.
 
BNEFlyer
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Re: Will the US3 ever install a really nice Premium Economy seat?

Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:53 pm

Stitch wrote:
Discounted First Class is a pretty good deal already when you factor in all the fees that one pays for in Economy (baggage, drinks, food). I'm taking AS in two weeks and they even throw in same-day lounge access.


They 'throw in' lounge access? As they should, it should be standard for premium cabins.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Will the US3 ever install a really nice Premium Economy seat?

Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:19 pm

[list=][/list]
VC10er wrote:
If they were not so low-tech, I think the legacy United Business lounge seat with foot rest, would make a FANTASTIC Economy Plus seat, they were very comfortable in the days before beds were commonplace. I wonder where all those seats are? In a landfill?


Didn't TK buy them from UA for their premium economy seat.
 
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Clipper101
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Re: Will the US3 ever install a really nice Premium Economy seat?

Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:55 pm

"When there is a will, there is a way !"
 
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intotheair
Posts: 1974
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Re: Will the US3 ever install a really nice Premium Economy seat?

Sun Oct 23, 2016 1:53 am

Stitch wrote:
cloudboy wrote:
They should just redesignate domestic first to premium economy and lower the price by about %20. First, that should get a lot more businesses to be willing to pay for premium economy on domestic flights.


Discounted First Class is a pretty good deal already when you factor in all the fees that one pays for in Economy (baggage, drinks, food). I'm taking AS in two weeks and they even throw in same-day lounge access.


I agree. The US3 seem to have shifted from charging absurd fares for domestic F and then upgrading most pax to now pricing F at a rate that more people are willing to buy. UA used to charge sometimes close to $2000 for F on DEN-LAX/SFO. I doubt anybody other than the most generous biz contracts and people with more money than God ever paid that. Now, F is usually closer to $400-600, with upsells from Y to F to pay the difference frequently offered. It definitely cuts down on the number of elites getting automatic upgrades, but then again, if you really want domestic F, you can now get it at a more reasonable price.
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Newbiepilot
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Re: Will the US3 ever install a really nice Premium Economy seat?

Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:55 am

I think there is a fundamental problem with US carriers offering premium economy. 15 years ago United offered economy plus and gave it away for free to its frequent fliers and elite members. This was before the concept of a premium economy class had developed in the market with a few exceptions. By offering it for free to some, United conditioned its frequent flyers to expect it. In general it was a nice perk to get more legroom for free., but not something that many people pay for. Back 15 years ago when there were six big network airlines in he United States, the goal was to attract elite flyers to join United.

Now 15 years into the future, attracting elites with economy plus is less important with only three competitors. Airlines see the value and revenue of a premium economy product, especially since international business class has eliminated first class almost entirely by being so good. There is a market, but United conditioned many US passenger elites that a premium economy product should be free. While the transition from just more legroom to a bigger wider seat similar to 1990s business may convince people to pay for premium economy, the elites still want it for free and will see removal of economy plus as a takeaway. Eventually I see this transition, but by being one of he first and then getting copied by other US carriers, United setup the market to want premium economy for free. European airlines have made the transition, but so far not Us carriers.

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