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cloudboy
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Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 3:02 pm

Ok, I know the seats were sold as first class, but in size they were essentially just economy plus sized seats in a 2-2 configuration. Why did they not do like they do on CRJs and Embraers and do a 1-2 configuration? Did those passengers spending that money for Concorde not care abut the product that much? And if they had cone to a 1-2 or 2-1 configuration, do you think it would have made it more profitable?
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
Boof02671
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 3:06 pm

The whole plane was first class.
 
TheGeordielad
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 3:08 pm

It doesn't have to be about seat quality but the chance to fly on an unquire aircraft.(probably haven't spelled that right but alright)
 
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moo
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 3:15 pm

Concorde was built for speed and that is what customers paid for - they were more than willing to sit in a 2-2 configuration for 3 hours, rather than in more luxurious seating for 7 or 8 hours, and that is proven by the fact that people did voluntarily fly on Concorde...

Time, for some people, could be bought by flying Concorde.
 
Seat1F
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 3:25 pm

Boof02671 wrote:
The whole plane was first class.


As far as personal comfort goes, it certainly was not. Flying Concorde was about speed and graceful on-board service. As someone already mentioned, the seats were no better than today's economy plus type seats.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 3:44 pm

The hard-product wasn't that great, but you weren't paying to stretch out in luxury for 8hrs, you were paying to cross the ocean in 3.5hr

The soft-product though was considered equivalent or above Int'l First. BA would usually allow full-fare F customers to switch interchangeably to Concorde and vice versa, if scheduling and availability permitted.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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knope2001
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 3:50 pm

I suspect they didn’t think there was enough of a market to justify it. Fares would probably have to have been about double to possibly make it worthwhile. And there’s always the possibility that main cabin gets full but the displaced passengers who would have flown standard aren’t willing to pay double for the bigger seat.

Ripping out the first five rows (5 X 4 = 20 seats) and replacing them with four rows of three (4 X 3 = 12 seats) is a loss of eight seats. Very simple math says you need to sell those seats at 67% higher fare than conventional seats just to be revenue neutral. Then there are some additional costs – for the higher price to be considered worthwhile you probably need to enhance the experience, so perhaps another FA, special (heavier) seats, possibly improved catering, etc.

It didn’t fly overnight and it was around 3.5 hours to cross the Atlantic. It’s questionable that enough of a market existed at the time.
 
terminalc
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 3:51 pm

I flew Concorde twice. It was always exciting as many passengers were flying it for the first time. The overall atmosphere was nothing like current airliners: passengers talked among themselves & some knew FAs quite well. Service was impeccable & by the time it was all complete, certificates handed out for breaking the sound barrier & other niceties complete it was time to land. The seats were comfortable but utterly immaterial to the greater experience.
 
dfambro
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 3:55 pm

When I flew Concorde I was surprised that the seats were Economy-sized, then surprised again at how comfortable they were. It left me wondering what all Econ seats couldn't be that comfortable.

I recently flew JAL in premium economy and it reminded me of the Concorde seats. So I agree that's the right comparison.
 
Arion640
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 4:01 pm

It was built for speed. Before the Internet it was a time machine and was needed for the dash between London and NYC, the worlds financial hubs.

Business people used it because they needed too, 90% of celebrities just used it because they could, not because they needed to be somewhere in a hurry. BA knew this and was a great marketing tool for Concorde and the BA brand, as pictures of Concorde appeared in the gossip mags with Celebs getting off it.

The seats are no better than BA's club world now, and people will sit in them for up to 5 hours.
 
lavalampluva
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 4:01 pm

The Concorde was it's own fare class.
Remind me to send a thank you note to Mr. Boeing.
 
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tjwgrr
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 4:02 pm

What was seat pitch on Concorde?
Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
 
ikramerica
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 4:11 pm

When launched, the seats were akin to business class products (on the few airlines that had that). Y back then was also more comfortable than today, with thickly padded and upholstered seats.

Over time, Concorde didn't change much, but business class got better and Y got worse, so it was in a class by itself in terms of seating. Then at the end, W class started and it was pretty similar in seat to Concorde.

I doubt anyone who's flown W would object to being "stuck" in that kind of seat for 3.5 hours while flying near Mach2 and being pampered like a VIP. It wasn't an overnight flight and few people did any sleeping.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
Tedd
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 4:35 pm

tjwgrr wrote:
What was seat pitch on Concorde?


Having had a couple of flights, I wouldn`t like to guess the seat pitch, but at 6`4" I found I could stretch out
very comfortably. The seats themselves were very comfy too, & covered in leather to give the cabin a high
class appearance & feel. As others have said, the service was impeccable, & the whole experience was
unforgettable. My flight was about 3:15, but my dad had one timed at 2:52 give or take a minute or two, that
really was jet-fighter fast! Just an incredible machine, which unfortunately I`m unlikely to see the like of again.
 
GDB
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 4:41 pm

tjwgrr wrote:
What was seat pitch on Concorde?


38 inches.
But as stated, a very nice seat and even nicer service.
IFE was limited too, just audio, two reasons, the market did not want it, by the time you've had all the service no time to watch a movie and weight/space.
Concorde was actually certified for 128 pax, though BA and AF both went for the better seat pitch, more cabin storage space, better galleys 100 seat config.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 4:44 pm

GDB wrote:
though BA and AF both went for the better seat pitch, more cabin storage space, better galleys 100 seat config.

And then after the crash, BA maintained it after an extensive seat redesign, whereas AF went to 92 seats
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
slcdeltarumd11
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 5:04 pm

It would make no sense for lie flats on Concorde nor could you even afford that much space or weight per passenger. Its so short you couldn't get a good amount of sleep in, and if you are planning on sleeping anyway you might as well hop on the 7 hour flight and actually get some good zzzzzs in. Having nice comfortable seats and gourmet food was more then enough to pass 3 hours.
 
26point2
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 5:18 pm

Concorde also had no IFE or bulkhead movie screen for that matter. Couldn't even see much out that tiny window. Overhead bins? Forget it. Toilet was tiny too. Really there was nothing to do at but eat and sleep so they focused on keeping you well fed. My experience was like a nicely paced 3 hour meal.
 
shankly
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 5:42 pm

It was also too bloody noisy for lie flats!

Believe me, you wanted to be awake for every second of the Concorde experience

From memory, Concorde 'DG at Brooklands is fitted with each generation of the BA seat. GDB can perhaps confirm

Test Pilot Brian Trubshaw makes the observation in his memoire that after arriving back in the UK fatigued from a Far East tour he realised Concorde was not really suitable for long routes
L1011 - P F M
 
GDB
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 5:47 pm

26point2 wrote:
Concorde also had no IFE or bulkhead movie screen for that matter. Couldn't even see much out that tiny window. Overhead bins? Forget it. Toilet was tiny too. Really there was nothing to do at but eat and sleep so they focused on keeping you well fed. My experience was like a nicely paced 3 hour meal.


We (BA) had audio IFE, AF did too, we updated it late 1990's mainly to a lighter, more modern system.
There was of course the 'Mach Meter' as early versions showing LED's of the Mach number, BA in the mid 80's replaced it with LCD's on each bulkhead from a company called 'Marilake' which these displays were generally called.
These showed Mach numbers, as well as in a sequence, M.P.H., altitude, outside temp and distance to destination.

Many pics taken by pax next to these, on charters and the last months of scheduled, it became almost a constant flow of people wanting to have a pic showing them flying at Mach 2.
Given clear conditions, especially on the BGI flights, you could see the curve of the Earth.

In the final months, there was a sort of 'new' class, some enthusiasts booking the final seat rows for the maximum engine noise and acceleration feel on take off, they called it 'Rocket Class'.

Enough of my words, here's someone else's audio visual to illustrate;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeEB2Lxbfa4
 
xtra1
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 6:16 pm

Rather ironic, that the TU-144 ; had s First Class section!
 
by738
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 6:33 pm

.... which nobody would touch with a barge pole
 
vc10
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 6:34 pm

If BA had introduced a first class section then it would have been in the aircraft's front cabin as that cabin was some what quieter than the rear cabin. The front cabin seemed to fill quicker than the rear and if my memory serves me correctly there were 12 rows of seats in the front cabin so 48 seats in total So if you halve this number to 24 pax then the C of G of the aircraft would move rearwards.

Now often for departure the aircraft would have to be completely [or nearly] filled with fuel and the last fuel tank to be filled was that at the rear of the aircraft and very often the amount of fuel you could put in that tank was limited by the loaded aircraft hitting the rear C of G limit for take off. Now this problem would have became worst if the basic aircraft C of G was moved aft by removing half of the seats in the front cabin and thus the weight of halve of the passengers thus reducing the fuel uplift of the aircraft and thus reducing it's range
 
lavalampluva
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 6:59 pm

http://www.airspacemag.com/flight-today ... e-6783087/

A pretty good article about someones trip on the Concorde.
Remind me to send a thank you note to Mr. Boeing.
 
cedarjet
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 7:01 pm

Asking why Concorde didn't have flat beds is to misunderstand the product. Do you have flat beds on a London to Kiev, Minneapolis to LA? Flight time was only 3h!
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
kurtverbose
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 7:12 pm

So if you're having a conversation at supersonic speed do you have to wait till you slow down before you can hear it?
 
Yflyer
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 7:15 pm

Seat1F wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
The whole plane was first class.
As someone already mentioned, the seats were no better than today's economy plus type seats.


By today's standards, yes, but they were about the same as the business class seats of the 1980s and early 90s. IIRC lie-flat seats first started to be introduced in business class in the late 1990s. And as has already been mentioned the flight time was so short there wouldn't have been a need for lie-flat seats on Concorde.
 
cschleic
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 7:28 pm

kurtverbose wrote:
So if you're having a conversation at supersonic speed do you have to wait till you slow down before you can hear it?


If you were hanging onto the wing outside the plane, maybe. :eek:
 
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GE90man
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 7:42 pm

Boof02671 wrote:
The whole plane was first class.

well, you're not wrong. The customers were paying for the experience of being on such a plane, and with such short flight times, there was not much need really for a true first class
 
BuddhaBoy
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 7:45 pm

Think of it in terms of ticket price. You would've been paying the same amount to fly on Concorde as you would be flying first class in a 747 (or thereabouts). The seats might not be quite first class standard, but you are receiving a first class service on board and other additional things that make the trip special like the captains commentary etc. You are paying for the S class service! People that flew on Concorde did so because above all, it was a unique experience. If you wanted 8 hours of undisturbed sleep in a comfy first class seat with tonnes of leg room then you probably weren't an aviation enthusiast and you'd be on the next available 747 to New York.
 
slinky09
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 7:52 pm

Define first class? For me one definition of FC is speed and service, Concorde had that in spades so who needs a suite and a bar when you can travel 3x faster than anyone else!
 
Kilopond
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 7:53 pm

The Concorde had its own fare class called "Supersonic", coded "R" and priced well above the ordinary First Class (F).
 
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airzim
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 8:04 pm

Out of curiosity, what were the crew parings for Concorde crews? Did they fly 1 trip, layover in NYC and return the next day to London/Paris? Given the short flight times, could easily do a RT in 1 day, but I suspect they didn't.
 
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fbgdavidson
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 8:06 pm

airzim wrote:
Out of curiosity, what were the crew parings for Concorde crews? Did they fly 1 trip, layover in NYC and return the next day to London/Paris? Given the short flight times, could easily do a RT in 1 day, but I suspect they didn't.


Yes, an overnight in NYC. BA have the same arrangement for non-supersonic crews today on JFK/Mid-Atlantic
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
Tristarsteve
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 8:06 pm

I worked for Gulf Air in BAH when the BA Concorde flew to LHR every morning at 1000. I once had a senior BA manager with me.When he was to return to LHR I asked if he wanted me to book him on the Concorde, or the GF Tristar which both left at 1000. Tristar of course, he said, stand up bar in First Class and extra 3 hours drinking time. ( In 1978 GF Tristar had 40 First class seats and another 8 in the bar area. This was before Business Class was invented)
 
kurtverbose
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 8:18 pm

Do you notice the extra leg room as the plane gets longer when it heats up?
 
EricAY05
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 8:42 pm

To all the people discussing lie-flat: did you even read what OP asked? 1-2 or 2-1 configuration for slightly wider seats and perhaps some additional legroom. Something like domestic F in the US at max. If I payed thousands of pounds for a flight I would not want to sit right next to a total stranger, even for 3,5h. Hence the 1-side could provide people like me the privacy for additional cost and more space for those on the 2-side in that section of the cabin. Why not even have one or two 1-1 rows at the front of the cabin?
 
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mariner
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 8:48 pm

cloudboy wrote:
Ok, I know the seats were sold as first class, but in size they were essentially just economy plus sized seats in a 2-2 configuration. Why did they not do like they do on CRJs and Embraers and do a 1-2 configuration? Did those passengers spending that money for Concorde not care abut the product that much? And if they had cone to a 1-2 or 2-1 configuration, do you think it would have made it more profitable?


I didn't fly on Concorde to sleep - I doubt that many people did.

I flew on it for the adventure, for the experience, crossing the sound barrier, seeing the curve of the earth and, above all, the landing at IAD which was extraordinary - "yee-haw" time, those great engines shuddering with power.

I loved it. I'd do it again in a heart beat.

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
Kilopond
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 9:12 pm

mariner wrote:
[...]I loved it. I'd do it again in a heart beat.

mariner


So can you (or anyone else) please confirm that - by the standards of that time - ordinary First Class on the Concrorde would actually have been a DOWNGRADE from the superior Supersonic R class?
 
n729pa
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 11:10 pm

If concorde flew so much higher than ordinary airliners would that not have made the journey from London to New York say, further?

Imagine a running track the guy (the 747) on the inside Lane (at 33,000ft) doesn't run as far as the one (the concorde) on the outside lane (60,000ft) .see my point?
I always wondered this.
 
JeffinMass
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Tue May 16, 2017 11:24 pm

With The Concorde you were really paying for speed and the short time it took you to get from JFK to CDG or LHR. It was not a hotel where you spent over night. The entire cabin was first class. Take a look at one of their menus and you will see. There was nor reason for AF or BA to discriminate.
 
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mariner
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 12:28 am

Kilopond wrote:
mariner wrote:
[...]I loved it. I'd do it again in a heart beat.

mariner


So can you (or anyone else) please confirm that - by the standards of that time - ordinary First Class on the Concrorde would actually have been a DOWNGRADE from the superior Supersonic R class?


I don't remember any "ordinary" first class on Concorde. At least when I flew it, it was all "R" class, which I understood meant Royal Class. This included drinks and canapés in the special lounge while you were waiting to board - up-markewt canapés - LOL.

The service was impeccable and the only slight downside was when I asked for a second drink before lunch. The steward glanced at the full plane and whispered "it might be a few minutes" - but with a grin.

There comes a point in the luxury stakes when its almost impossible two choose a favourite except by personal preference. It's quite hard to say which is "the better" first class = Singapore or Emirates - because you're pampered up the wazoo both of them - or Etihad to Qatar - and I have a very soft spot for Qantas first class.

But given the smaller seats on Concorde, the flight, was, without question the most extraordinary, the most memorable, flight of my life.

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
dcajet
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 12:36 am

airzim wrote:
Out of curiosity, what were the crew parings for Concorde crews? Did they fly 1 trip, layover in NYC and return the next day to London/Paris? Given the short flight times, could easily do a RT in 1 day, but I suspect they didn't.


If memory serves, the cabin crews alternated Concorde trips with European trips. Tech crews, naturally, worked the Concorde flights to JFK only.
Keep calm and wash your hands.
 
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BawliBooch
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 1:25 am

Once checked to see what the Concorde fares were on CDG-JFK to see whether I could pay to upgrade from J to a flight Concorde for the experience. AF Concorde was significantly costlier than even F. Much much more.

BUMMER.
Mr.Kapoor's favorite poodle!
 
SFOATLFlyer
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 1:57 am

The Concorde was not terribly comfortable. I flew two JFK-LHR-JFK round trips, and as many have indicated it was built for speed. Before I ever flew it I saw it a few times when it operated into DFW using terminal 4E.. I was surprised that it looked rather small when parked next to Delta 727s.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 4:06 am

Kilopond wrote:
The Concorde had its own fare class called "Supersonic", coded "R" and priced well above the ordinary First Class (F).

Not always.

It depended, among many things, on when/where you were going. The idea that all Concorde tickets always cost $10K+ is a myth. There were promotions, fare sales, combined deals, etc all the time. Heck, I was on G-BOAC two weeks before end of service, and got the ticket for just over $6700 (though purchased well ahead of time).

Didn't check, but wouldn't be shocked if F was higher, at the time.

I also remember the promotional brochures BA used to send:
Take the QE2 NYC-UK, stay in the Dorchester Hotel, and return LHR-JFK on Concorde, all for $6999 all in.

Also, an easy way of getting a supersonic experience without busting the bank was AF's round-the-bay services. For about $2000-2500 you could get a bare-bones 3hr supersonic loop over the Bay of Biscay while the crew got hours. They offered those for a while, on Saturdays and sometimes Sundays. Not exactly cheap; but for a say-we-did-it type thing, it was much more within reach of everyday people.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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Stitch
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 4:23 am

LAX772LR wrote:
I also remember the promotional brochures BA used to send: Take the QE2 NYC-UK, stay in the Dorchester Hotel, and return LHR-JFK on Concorde, all for $6999 all in.


Took advantage of that offer. I think you could do Concorde both ways for an extra $1000. Wish I could still do it today (with the QM2). Also flew it a number of times for work. It was not as comfortable as First Class on a 747, but it was a heck of a lot quicker and on the LHR-JFK run let you get a full day of work in at NYC.
Last edited by Stitch on Wed May 17, 2017 4:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
flyingdoc787
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 4:38 am

This is a different question altogether, but does anyone know if one could non-rev on the Concorde? Or was it strictly for paying passengers?
 
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B727skyguy
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 6:27 am

lavalampluva wrote:
The Concorde was it's own fare class.

"R" class was designated as "Supersonic Class" in airline reservation systems and on tickets. That was the only fare class offered on Concorde.
 
zrs70
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 6:31 am

I flew Concorde three times. The best was following a deal where I basically earned 150 Qantas FF points for every dollar. At the time, Qantas let you use the same miles to fly Concorde as it took to fly F. So I used to miles to fly F to London and Concorde back. It was a great deal!

Another time, I flew Pisa-London-JFK-LAX (Pisa-LGW in C, LHR-JFK on Concorde, and JFK-LAX in F). Total fare was $3500. Had I bought LHR-JFK alone, it would have been $8500. But fare out of Italy were much, much lower.
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