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B747forever
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 7:08 am

What was the schedule like on LHR-JFK-LHR?
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 8:29 am

n729pa wrote:
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.


Technically - assuming both use the same route - you are right. The difference however is neglegible. Without using a calculator, I would estimate just an extra 5 nautical miles.
 
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 9:02 am

Flying on the Concorde was a thrilling experience. The seats weren't anything spectacular but were comfortable enough for a 3 hour flight. The food and drink offerings were very much First Class. It was small and narrow and one thing struck me about the size of the toilet, the floor area of which, was the size of a standard carpet tile - i.e. 50x50 cms! You had to stand with your head and upper back contorted.

It was the only time I saw the sun rise in the West travelling from London to New York in the evening and set for the second time in a day. Travelling Westbound you arrived before you had left!

It was noisy and the windows were tiny but it was an experience I will ever be grateful I had the opportunity to have, from the build up with its own exclusive lounge to the boarding announcements, to the priority given to the aircraft - i.e. no queuing for take off - to the rocket like take off and watching the mach meter turn over to 2 at 60 000 feet. Wow, what more can I say. It was a marvel of its time and different to everything else out there.
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 9:28 am

LAX772LR wrote:
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.


Goodwood travel used to run a lot of promotions, such as supersonic cruise around the bay of biscay, they used to operate regular charters and one off's from regional airports which would be about an hour long. Much cheaper and affordable for people wanting to fly concorde but not wanting to pay full LHR-JFK price.

I remember watching a documentary, it may be on YouTube somewhere, with concorde doing a round the world tour and stopping in various places, JFK, YVR, HNL, Fiji, SYD, SIN, or something to that routing. I think it was a tour for wealthy people and as each stopover included luxury hotels, tickets for the complete tour touched £1m.
 
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 9:52 am

flyingdoc787 wrote:
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?


I havn't been able to fly non-rev back then but my colleagues say that the Concorde fare class was excluded from non rev travelling.
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Lofty
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 10:10 am

Staff travel on Concorde was £125 one way B747 the other way Concorde. At that time it was the same price as a return ID90 to Oz.
 
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 10:31 am

dfambro wrote:
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.

It'd remove the incentive to upgrade to higher class. Think "Calculated Misery".

vc10 wrote:
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.

Yes the pax/seat count goes down but the weight of the seat goes up tremendously. I doubt this was the stumbling point. They were already getting pax to pay more than first class prices for an E+ seat. I'd say they realized they would not be able to extract more money for a F seat.
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 12:58 pm

I only flew on her once, LHR-JFK, if I hadn't been an idiot back then, I would have flown on her more, youth wasted on the young.

kurtverbose wrote:
Do you notice the extra leg room as the plane gets longer when it heats up?


No

Kilopond wrote:

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?


Are you trying to ask if the Concorde was a step down from First class on say a 747 comfort wise ? In that case, yes, in service terms, no, not really, it was a whole different time back then (at least when I flew her in '89), the seat as noted already, wasn't that great, a little more width than your regular Y seat, but a whole lot more padding and a few inches more pitch (remember this was back when Y had a 34" seat pitch as the norm), but it was the service levels that made it a whole different league, from check in to leaving the aircraft, BA made you feel special.

flyingdoc787 wrote:
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?


I remember on one of the Concorde threads a crew member said he had purchased discount crew tickets, not really not rev, but for the amount mentioned it may as well have been, I want to say it was $199 each way, but it's 6am, I haven't had my coffee, so I could well be off on that figure.
 
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 1:16 pm

flyingdoc787 wrote:
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?


Non-rev was sometimes possible. We received offers for Concorde over and back in J on a 'slow boat', or the other way round it that's what you liked. All for the princely sum of around UKP 250. Limited number of available seats, which had a tendency of disappearing faster than you could say 'holy mackerel, that's cheap!'. I got lucky once, flew Alpha Charlie to JFK and back to Deathrow on a 747. Best 250 quid I ever spent.
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 1:24 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?


When the Concorde came out 38" was first class.
 
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 1:28 pm

Some would say that speed is the ultimate luxury. Although Concorde was a one-class service, what a class it seems to have been! More a rocket than an aeroplane it was a symbol of what was hoped would be a brighter, faster future.
Singapore Airlines call their suites "A Class beyond First", but its just a big seat, on a big plane. Concorde was unique, the chance to buy time, with handpicked crew and exemplary service.
 
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 1:31 pm

tjwgrr wrote:
What was seat pitch on Concorde?


BA was 100 seats @ 38"
 
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 2:05 pm

BartSimpson wrote:
n729pa wrote:
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.


Technically - assuming both use the same route - you are right. The difference however is neglegible. Without using a calculator, I would estimate just an extra 5 nautical miles.


So given the earths radius is about 20.9 Million feet, the difference in the 30,000' route and 60,000' route is about 0.1433%. The speed difference more than makes up for it. Additionally, the denser air at 30,000' would increase drag a lot compared to FL600, which would inturn increase fuel burn and decrease speed.

As a side note, satellites in low earth orbit have orbital periods in the range of 90-120 minutes, but they have a decidedly larger distance to cover.
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 2:14 pm

Aviaphile wrote:
Travelling Westbound you arrived before you had left!


Did you have time to come back and wave goodbye to yourself?
 
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 2:26 pm

jakubz wrote:
BartSimpson wrote:

Technically - assuming both use the same route - you are right. The difference however is neglegible. Without using a calculator, I would estimate just an extra 5 nautical miles.


So given the earths radius is about 20.9 Million feet, the difference in the 30,000' route and 60,000' route is about 0.1433%.


According to gcmap.com the great circle between LHR and JFK is 2,999 nm. 0.1433 % of that is 4.3 nm. Wow, I`m good!
 
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 2:41 pm

SFOATLFlyer wrote:
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.


Wrong terminal and wrong 727's next door. Braniff flew interchange services 3x weekly with BA and 3x weekly with AF over IAD. The Concorde operated out of then terminal 2W (now terminal B), which was the Braniff terminal. Braniff was the only U.S. carrier ever to operate Concorde, which it did between DFW and IAD using its own crews.

Don't forget that in the late 1970's and even early 1980's, there was no "Business Class" and no First Class Suites on any subsonic equipment. Concorde's "R" class was a totally different animal, as said in numerous quotes here.
 
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 2:46 pm

Having flown her twice the experience was in my view First Class from the moment you checked in. Was it cramped in the cabin, sure it was but you forgot all that being consumed in such a magical bird flying twice the speed of sound, drinking and eating all the way. Truly superb experience.
 
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 2:46 pm

kurtverbose wrote:
Aviaphile wrote:
Travelling Westbound you arrived before you had left!


Did you have time to come back and wave goodbye to yourself?

:rotfl:


The arrival time difference was around one hour behind the departure time at origin
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 5:57 pm

superjeff wrote:
SFOATLFlyer wrote:
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.


Wrong terminal and wrong 727's next door. Braniff flew interchange services 3x weekly with BA and 3x weekly with AF over IAD. The Concorde operated out of then terminal 2W (now terminal B), which was the Braniff terminal. Braniff was the only U.S. carrier ever to operate Concorde, which it did between DFW and IAD using its own crews.



In the summer of 1988 British Airways operated Concorde LHR-IAD-DFW twice a week .... at the time BA operated out of Terminal 4E

see reply #5 ... "Concorde Routes?"
viewtopic.php?t=324083

http://www.concordesst.com/history/80s.html (scroll down to 1988)

At the time I lived just south of DFW and I saw Concorde several times .... if I recall correctly Concorde arrived on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons ... spent the night ... and departed Monday and Thursday mornings
 
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 6:58 pm

Back in the summer of 1999, I remember hearing an announcement that the supersonic Concorde was going to stop at my hometown airport FWA (Fort Wayne, IN) for some promotion in which people could fly on it from FWA to London and come back stateside on the ocean liner QE2. So on the appointed day I went out to FWA, only to find out from the airport staff that the Concorde visit had been cancelled due to "lack of interest" (ie, not enough bookings).

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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 8:32 pm

Arion640 wrote:
I remember watching a documentary, it may be on YouTube somewhere, with concorde doing a round the world tour and stopping in various places, JFK, YVR, HNL, Fiji, SYD, SIN, or something to that routing. I think it was a tour for wealthy people and as each stopover included luxury hotels, tickets for the complete tour touched £1m.

Nah, wasn't anywhere near that much. My mom and my sister did it. I unfortunately never got to.

Rex Travel chartered the bird, for them it was ship F-BVFF.
Pax could board in CDG, JFK, or LAS.

Routing varied over the years, but when they did it, their routing was:
Paris, New York City, Las Vegas, Kona, Rarotonga, Sydney, (1stop refuel), Hong Kong, New Delhi, Nairobi, Cairo, Paris.

Just under 40days, price was $208K per person, minimum double-occupancy.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 8:49 pm

Never got a chance to respond to this.

I was talking about what would be normal domestic first class, not lie-flat seats. I think they were 17.5", that is narrower than a A320 or e190 economy seat. That is pretty tight for that kind of money. I know Concorde was, and still would be, an experience. But as air travel grew it became less of an experience, and that kind of over the top luxury was and still is falling out of fashion, especially after 9/11 and the first tech bubble crash. I am wondering if AF and BA made a mistake on trying to capitalize on the exclusive aspect of the flight and maybe would have had more success, especially in the later years, if they tried changing their product a little bit by making a little larger seat at a lower price. They would make less per flight, but I think they would have increased overall demand.
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 9:59 pm

cschleic wrote:
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:


But what if you started out on a conveyor belt?
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Arion640
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 10:43 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
Arion640 wrote:
I remember watching a documentary, it may be on YouTube somewhere, with concorde doing a round the world tour and stopping in various places, JFK, YVR, HNL, Fiji, SYD, SIN, or something to that routing. I think it was a tour for wealthy people and as each stopover included luxury hotels, tickets for the complete tour touched £1m.

Nah, wasn't anywhere near that much. My mom and my sister did it. I unfortunately never got to.

Rex Travel chartered the bird, for them it was ship F-BVFF.
Pax could board in CDG, JFK, or LAS.

Routing varied over the years, but when they did it, their routing was:
Paris, New York City, Las Vegas, Kona, Rarotonga, Sydney, (1stop refuel), Hong Kong, New Delhi, Nairobi, Cairo, Paris.

Just under 40days, price was $208K per person, minimum double-occupancy.


It's called Concorde, the worlds greatest airliner, the documentary I was watching. Now unless I was dreaming, I'm sure it was £1m but I will have to watch it again and get back to you. This tour took place in about 2000 before the accident and was on BA metal.
 
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 11:08 pm

Arion640 wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Arion640 wrote:
I remember watching a documentary, it may be on YouTube somewhere, with concorde doing a round the world tour and stopping in various places, JFK, YVR, HNL, Fiji, SYD, SIN, or something to that routing. I think it was a tour for wealthy people and as each stopover included luxury hotels, tickets for the complete tour touched £1m.

Nah, wasn't anywhere near that much. My mom and my sister did it. I unfortunately never got to.

Rex Travel chartered the bird, for them it was ship F-BVFF.
Pax could board in CDG, JFK, or LAS.

Routing varied over the years, but when they did it, their routing was:
Paris, New York City, Las Vegas, Kona, Rarotonga, Sydney, (1stop refuel), Hong Kong, New Delhi, Nairobi, Cairo, Paris.

Just under 40days, price was $208K per person, minimum double-occupancy.


It's called Concorde, the worlds greatest airliner, the documentary I was watching. Now unless I was dreaming, I'm sure it was £1m but I will have to watch it again and get back to you. This tour took place in about 2000 before the accident and was on BA metal.

I can't speak to what you saw. I'm just telling you what it cost them to do it, and this was 1999. BA and AF had similar tours, both chartered by Rex among others... I find it doubtful that one would charge 5x more than the other for the same thing, but who knows.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Wed May 17, 2017 11:52 pm

Arion640 wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
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.


Goodwood travel used to run a lot of promotions, such as supersonic cruise around the bay of biscay, they used to operate regular charters and one off's from regional airports which would be about an hour long. Much cheaper and affordable for people wanting to fly concorde but not wanting to pay full LHR-JFK price.

I remember watching a documentary, it may be on YouTube somewhere, with concorde doing a round the world tour and stopping in various places, JFK, YVR, HNL, Fiji, SYD, SIN, or something to that routing. I think it was a tour for wealthy people and as each stopover included luxury hotels, tickets for the complete tour touched £1m.


That might well be a film made in 1999, released on VHS(!)
AF did more of these than BA, however we did them every few years, plus in early 2000 a round Africa one. However, even before the AF4590 crash and then the eventual knockout blow of 9/11, BA were planning to scale back the charters somewhat. To ensure enough airframes were available for the scheduled operation, which after all, around 90% of the profits came from. As the original 5 (G-BOAA-OAE) were soon to be going through their 24000 Hrs check, which for each aircraft would be long and extensive, this would take them, depending on utilisation, to 2009/10, though that assumed AF would carry on for that time too (if one operator exited the support costs became unsustainable for the other, though AF's fleet have fewer Hours and cycles).

Even without the events of 2000 and 2001 however, the support cost bill might well have started to reach the crossover point with revenue before then. Some reckoned at this time 2006 maybe.
As the aircraft got older and the 3 crew, non glass cockpit became unique in both operators fleets, a symbol of other mods and work packages to come, (such as new INS's to keep airspace current), all expensive as you are buying a few items, often for the first time or with years in between, in the latter case the OEM's might not be around or be certified anymore, rectifying that came at a cost.

To an earlier question, prior to AF4590, the BA operation started with the BA001, dep LHR 10.30, the inbound BA002 arr LHR early afternoon, the BA004 returned to LHR at 18,30, then the BA003 dep LHR 19.00 IIRC.
There would be a standby for the LHR departures when possible (which was most of the time), once the BA001 had gone if there was the most frequent charter we did, the LHR-LHR, that aircraft would do it.

It would be back in time to standby or do the BA003, if the BA002 could be turned to standby for the BA003 itself.
In August and some other leaner business periods, it was just the BA001/BA002, though we ran BGI's that month too, usually on a Saturday. The main BGI season was from November to April, often the BA273 dep LHR 09.30, arrive back late afternoon/early evening. Sometimes we'd do another BGI on a Sunday and/or an extra BA1273/BA1272 on the Saturday, dep 08.30, the earliest one we'd do.

I once counted the number of charters we did in a year, 1999 as it happens, IIRC just over 300. Including the aforementioned trips to other UK airports, which often included 'round the bays' from there. (In early '99 we even did some JFK-BGI's and back charters). As well as the ones supporting the IMF in September (to IAD), Christmas Day we sent one up to Iceland. The most numerous were the LHR-LHR ones but there was quite a mix of destinations, not including that round the world charter done one by of the more reliable (at that time at least), G-BOAD. Yes, they really were like that!
 
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 1:18 am

Nvm.
 
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 1:32 am

GDB wrote:
Arion640 wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
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.


Goodwood travel used to run a lot of promotions, such as supersonic cruise around the bay of biscay, they used to operate regular charters and one off's from regional airports which would be about an hour long. Much cheaper and affordable for people wanting to fly concorde but not wanting to pay full LHR-JFK price.

I remember watching a documentary, it may be on YouTube somewhere, with concorde doing a round the world tour and stopping in various places, JFK, YVR, HNL, Fiji, SYD, SIN, or something to that routing. I think it was a tour for wealthy people and as each stopover included luxury hotels, tickets for the complete tour touched £1m.


That might well be a film made in 1999, released on VHS(!)
AF did more of these than BA, however we did them every few years, plus in early 2000 a round Africa one. However, even before the AF4590 crash and then the eventual knockout blow of 9/11, BA were planning to scale back the charters somewhat. To ensure enough airframes were available for the scheduled operation, which after all, around 90% of the profits came from. As the original 5 (G-BOAA-OAE) were soon to be going through their 24000 Hrs check, which for each aircraft would be long and extensive, this would take them, depending on utilisation, to 2009/10, though that assumed AF would carry on for that time too (if one operator exited the support costs became unsustainable for the other, though AF's fleet have fewer Hours and cycles).

Even without the events of 2000 and 2001 however, the support cost bill might well have started to reach the crossover point with revenue before then. Some reckoned at this time 2006 maybe.
As the aircraft got older and the 3 crew, non glass cockpit became unique in both operators fleets, a symbol of other mods and work packages to come, (such as new INS's to keep airspace current), all expensive as you are buying a few items, often for the first time or with years in between, in the latter case the OEM's might not be around or be certified anymore, rectifying that came at a cost.

To an earlier question, prior to AF4590, the BA operation started with the BA001, dep LHR 10.30, the inbound BA002 arr LHR early afternoon, the BA004 returned to LHR at 18,30, then the BA003 dep LHR 19.00 IIRC.
There would be a standby for the LHR departures when possible (which was most of the time), once the BA001 had gone if there was the most frequent charter we did, the LHR-LHR, that aircraft would do it.

It would be back in time to standby or do the BA003, if the BA002 could be turned to standby for the BA003 itself.
In August and some other leaner business periods, it was just the BA001/BA002, though we ran BGI's that month too, usually on a Saturday. The main BGI season was from November to April, often the BA273 dep LHR 09.30, arrive back late afternoon/early evening. Sometimes we'd do another BGI on a Sunday and/or an extra BA1273/BA1272 on the Saturday, dep 08.30, the earliest one we'd do.

I once counted the number of charters we did in a year, 1999 as it happens, IIRC just over 300. Including the aforementioned trips to other UK airports, which often included 'round the bays' from there. (In early '99 we even did some JFK-BGI's and back charters). As well as the ones supporting the IMF in September (to IAD), Christmas Day we sent one up to Iceland. The most numerous were the LHR-LHR ones but there was quite a mix of destinations, not including that round the world charter done one by of the more reliable (at that time at least), G-BOAD. Yes, they really were like that!


Can I ask, how true is this article - http://www.concorde-spirit-tours.com/concorde.htm ? Thanks!
 
grbauc
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 1:44 am

When did BA start there alliance with AA? Was it AA or US that was a partner with BA back then> I remember at the end a $2500 one way. I think that was the price I should of did it.
 
NickLAX
Posts: 276
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:48 pm

Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 2:02 am

I flew about 4 times - all on the near end of service where BA had discounted fare offers. For the flight time anything other than that nice leather seat was PURE overkill. The seats were quite good, akin to a luxury auto. If you truly wanted a lie flight sleep during the flight experience you could have flown BA first at the time and spent near 3x the time. For how small the cabin was and the bad economics with those inefficient engines meant any further "luxury" with better seats and less passengers would be a greater money pit. Concorde was a great aircraft but not built for the oil price dynamics that changed once it got to it's midlife.

My last flight in 2003 - June of that year, last flights were October
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LAX772LR
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 6:16 am

ZeeZoo wrote:
Can I ask, how true is this article - http://www.concorde-spirit-tours.com/concorde.htm ? Thanks!

Um, have you seen the size of that article?
....what specific part are you asking about?


grbauc wrote:
When did BA start there alliance with AA?

If you mean their J/V, then July 2010. If you mean OneWorld, then September 1998. They were loose partners beforehand.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
GDB
Posts: 14195
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 7:13 am

ZeeZoo wrote:
GDB wrote:
Arion640 wrote:

Goodwood travel used to run a lot of promotions, such as supersonic cruise around the bay of biscay, they used to operate regular charters and one off's from regional airports which would be about an hour long. Much cheaper and affordable for people wanting to fly concorde but not wanting to pay full LHR-JFK price.

I remember watching a documentary, it may be on YouTube somewhere, with concorde doing a round the world tour and stopping in various places, JFK, YVR, HNL, Fiji, SYD, SIN, or something to that routing. I think it was a tour for wealthy people and as each stopover included luxury hotels, tickets for the complete tour touched £1m.


That might well be a film made in 1999, released on VHS(!)
AF did more of these than BA, however we did them every few years, plus in early 2000 a round Africa one. However, even before the AF4590 crash and then the eventual knockout blow of 9/11, BA were planning to scale back the charters somewhat. To ensure enough airframes were available for the scheduled operation, which after all, around 90% of the profits came from. As the original 5 (G-BOAA-OAE) were soon to be going through their 24000 Hrs check, which for each aircraft would be long and extensive, this would take them, depending on utilisation, to 2009/10, though that assumed AF would carry on for that time too (if one operator exited the support costs became unsustainable for the other, though AF's fleet have fewer Hours and cycles).

Even without the events of 2000 and 2001 however, the support cost bill might well have started to reach the crossover point with revenue before then. Some reckoned at this time 2006 maybe.
As the aircraft got older and the 3 crew, non glass cockpit became unique in both operators fleets, a symbol of other mods and work packages to come, (such as new INS's to keep airspace current), all expensive as you are buying a few items, often for the first time or with years in between, in the latter case the OEM's might not be around or be certified anymore, rectifying that came at a cost.

To an earlier question, prior to AF4590, the BA operation started with the BA001, dep LHR 10.30, the inbound BA002 arr LHR early afternoon, the BA004 returned to LHR at 18,30, then the BA003 dep LHR 19.00 IIRC.
There would be a standby for the LHR departures when possible (which was most of the time), once the BA001 had gone if there was the most frequent charter we did, the LHR-LHR, that aircraft would do it.

It would be back in time to standby or do the BA003, if the BA002 could be turned to standby for the BA003 itself.
In August and some other leaner business periods, it was just the BA001/BA002, though we ran BGI's that month too, usually on a Saturday. The main BGI season was from November to April, often the BA273 dep LHR 09.30, arrive back late afternoon/early evening. Sometimes we'd do another BGI on a Sunday and/or an extra BA1273/BA1272 on the Saturday, dep 08.30, the earliest one we'd do.

I once counted the number of charters we did in a year, 1999 as it happens, IIRC just over 300. Including the aforementioned trips to other UK airports, which often included 'round the bays' from there. (In early '99 we even did some JFK-BGI's and back charters). As well as the ones supporting the IMF in September (to IAD), Christmas Day we sent one up to Iceland. The most numerous were the LHR-LHR ones but there was quite a mix of destinations, not including that round the world charter done one by of the more reliable (at that time at least), G-BOAD. Yes, they really were like that!


Can I ask, how true is this article - http://www.concorde-spirit-tours.com/concorde.htm ? Thanks!


I cannot speak fpr AF, however that Director of BA Engineering was seen as an enemy, on the other hand, no one in Engineering, most of who were not involved in Concorde were fans either.

Moving the schedule was seen as silly at the time, however Marketing could have pushed back on it.

But the extra costs were not all fiction and not even from AF or Airbus either, a big chunk of them that emerged in early 2003, was from the FAA. Extra checks of fuel tanks on ageing aircraft, part of the ongoing TWA800 fallout. It mattered not to them that we had in fact as part of the tank liner mods done just that. They had to be again, their way, not that this is so unusual, aviation is heavily regulated after all.

Draining the aircraft was not 'vandalism' but a necessity for long term museum storage, the aircraft were done at the museums then they arrived, not later.

Not mentioned in that article, was a project by BA to replace the actuators that controlled the secondary nozzles, in 1997 on an air-test one had leaked causing the nozzle to dip creating drag, not enough on a New York route to be a problem but an issue for a BGI one, being longer and with far fewer diversion airfields. Prior to any aircraft doing a BGI, extra checks on this system were carried out, to ensure they had no leaks, being actuated one at a time in the hangar, the 'waahhh' sound being very distinct.

Longer term new controls for the actuators were seen as the answer. In 2002 one aircraft was fitted with them, sourced by a nameless OEM (though you might also find their name on the controls for your central heating). Problem was, these new components literally could not stand the heat, so the originals were put back in and the extra checks for each BGI assigned aircraft. A few million £ for nothing, you did not have to be McDonald (or 'Quarter Pounder' as was unaffectionally known), to think 'is this how it's going to be all the time?')

Prior to this, late 1990's, we needed to replace the Air Intake Control Units, 8 per aircraft, which as the name suggests managed the two intake ramps vital for supersonic flight, engines don't like air coming in at 1350 mph! These 1970's digital computers (each about the size of a carton of 200 cigarettes), a product of BAC's Guided Weapons Division, were becoming less reliable.

Several options, install much lighter, smaller, modern ones, however certifying them would lose an aircraft from service for at least 6 months, there was, after all, no spare aircraft outside of the two fleets to use (which is really why FAA and Boeing brought that TU-144 back in the late 1990's for research, they asked us first).
Or you could take an aircraft out of service for good, it's A.I.C.U.'s being just part of the spares haul, which is worse than the first option.
What was done was to get new 'old' A.I.C.U. boards made, just when the original OEM's were part of mergers going on that created BAE Systems, this involved (not for the first time) calling people out of retirement. It worked but was costly and took a lot longer than planned.

It is true that we lost staff just when we needed them in early 2002.

I have it on good authority that in late 2002/early 2003, BA's forward bookings for both Concorde and First Class took a big hit, seen as delayed from 9/11, the Iraq war build up, the Enron and Worldcom scandals (causing companies to cut down on high end travel, even those with no connections to those two), BA at this time axed First Class from about half a dozen routes such was the drop, however unlike operating Concorde, rectifying that when things picked up was both easier and indeed, possible.
AF's loads were bad, we both had a 'bounce' when re-entering service but AF's in particular had dipped, AF also resumed a limited charter operation (just CDG-CDG).

So while I do recognise quite a bit in the article, for me anyway it does smack of 2 + 2 = 5. Seeing at close hand what went on, the article relies too much on 'French bashing', it was them who drove the return to flight effort, since the wing and the fuel tanks there were 'their' part of the aircraft. Really, it was the 9/11 attacks that in the end proved the tipping point, for the effects on both airlines not just their SST fleets.
Mentioning Branson as anything other than a BS merchant when it comes to Concorde undermines too, he carried on blabbering even after the regulators told him it wasn't going to happen.
 
LLA001
Posts: 224
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 8:11 am

I envy people who said they flew Concorde. I know quite a few people who flew with Concorde, most of them flew once or twice and when I asked about the flight they never mentioned the seating. If I met someone who flew frequently maybe they would comment on 2+2 and etc. The only negative comment I had about the Concorde was the size of the windows.

If I had the option of flying the Etihad Residence ( thats the biggest F isn't it?) or 2+2 of Concorde, I would definetely prefer Concorde.

Also a quick question about scheduling, once a friend of mine told about this banker who went to NY or London just for a lunch meeting and came back for dinner. Was it possible or is it just an urban myth?
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 8:51 am

GDB wrote:
I cannot speak fpr AF, however that Director of BA Engineering was seen as an enemy, on the other hand, no one in Engineering, most of who were not involved in Concorde were fans either.

Moving the schedule was seen as silly at the time, however Marketing could have pushed back on it.

But the extra costs were not all fiction and not even from AF or Airbus either, a big chunk of them that emerged in early 2003, was from the FAA. Extra checks of fuel tanks on ageing aircraft, part of the ongoing TWA800 fallout. It mattered not to them that we had in fact as part of the tank liner mods done just that. They had to be again, their way, not that this is so unusual, aviation is heavily regulated after all.

Draining the aircraft was not 'vandalism' but a necessity for long term museum storage, the aircraft were done at the museums then they arrived, not later.

Not mentioned in that article, was a project by BA to replace the actuators that controlled the secondary nozzles, in 1997 on an air-test one had leaked causing the nozzle to dip creating drag, not enough on a New York route to be a problem but an issue for a BGI one, being longer and with far fewer diversion airfields. Prior to any aircraft doing a BGI, extra checks on this system were carried out, to ensure they had no leaks, being actuated one at a time in the hangar, the 'waahhh' sound being very distinct.

Longer term new controls for the actuators were seen as the answer. In 2002 one aircraft was fitted with them, sourced by a nameless OEM (though you might also find their name on the controls for your central heating). Problem was, these new components literally could not stand the heat, so the originals were put back in and the extra checks for each BGI assigned aircraft. A few million £ for nothing, you did not have to be McDonald (or 'Quarter Pounder' as was unaffectionally known), to think 'is this how it's going to be all the time?')

Prior to this, late 1990's, we needed to replace the Air Intake Control Units, 8 per aircraft, which as the name suggests managed the two intake ramps vital for supersonic flight, engines don't like air coming in at 1350 mph! These 1970's digital computers (each about the size of a carton of 200 cigarettes), a product of BAC's Guided Weapons Division, were becoming less reliable.

Several options, install much lighter, smaller, modern ones, however certifying them would lose an aircraft from service for at least 6 months, there was, after all, no spare aircraft outside of the two fleets to use (which is really why FAA and Boeing brought that TU-144 back in the late 1990's for research, they asked us first).
Or you could take an aircraft out of service for good, it's A.I.C.U.'s being just part of the spares haul, which is worse than the first option.
What was done was to get new 'old' A.I.C.U. boards made, just when the original OEM's were part of mergers going on that created BAE Systems, this involved (not for the first time) calling people out of retirement. It worked but was costly and took a lot longer than planned.

It is true that we lost staff just when we needed them in early 2002.

I have it on good authority that in late 2002/early 2003, BA's forward bookings for both Concorde and First Class took a big hit, seen as delayed from 9/11, the Iraq war build up, the Enron and Worldcom scandals (causing companies to cut down on high end travel, even those with no connections to those two), BA at this time axed First Class from about half a dozen routes such was the drop, however unlike operating Concorde, rectifying that when things picked up was both easier and indeed, possible.
AF's loads were bad, we both had a 'bounce' when re-entering service but AF's in particular had dipped, AF also resumed a limited charter operation (just CDG-CDG).

So while I do recognise quite a bit in the article, for me anyway it does smack of 2 + 2 = 5. Seeing at close hand what went on, the article relies too much on 'French bashing', it was them who drove the return to flight effort, since the wing and the fuel tanks there were 'their' part of the aircraft. Really, it was the 9/11 attacks that in the end proved the tipping point, for the effects on both airlines not just their SST fleets.
Mentioning Branson as anything other than a BS merchant when it comes to Concorde undermines too, he carried on blabbering even after the regulators told him it wasn't going to happen.

Thank you!

Always have loved when you've given us information like this, that's essentially impossible to gain from public sources. Really appreciate it! :cloudnine:
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 8:54 am

LLA001 wrote:
Was it possible or is it just an urban myth?

Possible, back when BA had 2x flights in a day.
Not all that plausible, since he'd only have about 4hr on the ground, but possible.

The BA001 morning flight got into JFK around 9am, so dude could be in the city for an early brunch... but he'd have to turn right around and hustle back to JFK for BA004's approximately 1:30pm departure back to LHR.

Perhaps whoever was meeting him, just did so in a Jamaica area hotel, rather than making him go out into Manhattan? That'd make a lot more sense, time-wise.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
Arion640
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 9:17 am

I've seen the spirit tours article in the past, it is slightly biased torwards bashing the french but we will never know what was going through execs of air france and Ba's minds.

The most interesting bit I found though was the BA A320 discount.
 
ZeeZoo
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:30 am

Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 9:39 am

LAX772LR wrote:
ZeeZoo wrote:
Can I ask, how true is this article - http://www.concorde-spirit-tours.com/concorde.htm ? Thanks!

Um, have you seen the size of that article?
....what specific part are you asking about?

*rolls eyes* You again.

The article is one whole story and description of the events that went down so...all of it. :)
 
ZeeZoo
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:30 am

Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 9:42 am

GDB wrote:
ZeeZoo wrote:
GDB wrote:


That might well be a film made in 1999, released on VHS(!)
AF did more of these than BA, however we did them every few years, plus in early 2000 a round Africa one. However, even before the AF4590 crash and then the eventual knockout blow of 9/11, BA were planning to scale back the charters somewhat. To ensure enough airframes were available for the scheduled operation, which after all, around 90% of the profits came from. As the original 5 (G-BOAA-OAE) were soon to be going through their 24000 Hrs check, which for each aircraft would be long and extensive, this would take them, depending on utilisation, to 2009/10, though that assumed AF would carry on for that time too (if one operator exited the support costs became unsustainable for the other, though AF's fleet have fewer Hours and cycles).

Even without the events of 2000 and 2001 however, the support cost bill might well have started to reach the crossover point with revenue before then. Some reckoned at this time 2006 maybe.
As the aircraft got older and the 3 crew, non glass cockpit became unique in both operators fleets, a symbol of other mods and work packages to come, (such as new INS's to keep airspace current), all expensive as you are buying a few items, often for the first time or with years in between, in the latter case the OEM's might not be around or be certified anymore, rectifying that came at a cost.

To an earlier question, prior to AF4590, the BA operation started with the BA001, dep LHR 10.30, the inbound BA002 arr LHR early afternoon, the BA004 returned to LHR at 18,30, then the BA003 dep LHR 19.00 IIRC.
There would be a standby for the LHR departures when possible (which was most of the time), once the BA001 had gone if there was the most frequent charter we did, the LHR-LHR, that aircraft would do it.

It would be back in time to standby or do the BA003, if the BA002 could be turned to standby for the BA003 itself.
In August and some other leaner business periods, it was just the BA001/BA002, though we ran BGI's that month too, usually on a Saturday. The main BGI season was from November to April, often the BA273 dep LHR 09.30, arrive back late afternoon/early evening. Sometimes we'd do another BGI on a Sunday and/or an extra BA1273/BA1272 on the Saturday, dep 08.30, the earliest one we'd do.

I once counted the number of charters we did in a year, 1999 as it happens, IIRC just over 300. Including the aforementioned trips to other UK airports, which often included 'round the bays' from there. (In early '99 we even did some JFK-BGI's and back charters). As well as the ones supporting the IMF in September (to IAD), Christmas Day we sent one up to Iceland. The most numerous were the LHR-LHR ones but there was quite a mix of destinations, not including that round the world charter done one by of the more reliable (at that time at least), G-BOAD. Yes, they really were like that!


Can I ask, how true is this article - http://www.concorde-spirit-tours.com/concorde.htm ? Thanks!


I cannot speak fpr AF, however that Director of BA Engineering was seen as an enemy, on the other hand, no one in Engineering, most of who were not involved in Concorde were fans either.

Moving the schedule was seen as silly at the time, however Marketing could have pushed back on it.

But the extra costs were not all fiction and not even from AF or Airbus either, a big chunk of them that emerged in early 2003, was from the FAA. Extra checks of fuel tanks on ageing aircraft, part of the ongoing TWA800 fallout. It mattered not to them that we had in fact as part of the tank liner mods done just that. They had to be again, their way, not that this is so unusual, aviation is heavily regulated after all.

Draining the aircraft was not 'vandalism' but a necessity for long term museum storage, the aircraft were done at the museums then they arrived, not later.

Not mentioned in that article, was a project by BA to replace the actuators that controlled the secondary nozzles, in 1997 on an air-test one had leaked causing the nozzle to dip creating drag, not enough on a New York route to be a problem but an issue for a BGI one, being longer and with far fewer diversion airfields. Prior to any aircraft doing a BGI, extra checks on this system were carried out, to ensure they had no leaks, being actuated one at a time in the hangar, the 'waahhh' sound being very distinct.

Longer term new controls for the actuators were seen as the answer. In 2002 one aircraft was fitted with them, sourced by a nameless OEM (though you might also find their name on the controls for your central heating). Problem was, these new components literally could not stand the heat, so the originals were put back in and the extra checks for each BGI assigned aircraft. A few million £ for nothing, you did not have to be McDonald (or 'Quarter Pounder' as was unaffectionally known), to think 'is this how it's going to be all the time?')

Prior to this, late 1990's, we needed to replace the Air Intake Control Units, 8 per aircraft, which as the name suggests managed the two intake ramps vital for supersonic flight, engines don't like air coming in at 1350 mph! These 1970's digital computers (each about the size of a carton of 200 cigarettes), a product of BAC's Guided Weapons Division, were becoming less reliable.

Several options, install much lighter, smaller, modern ones, however certifying them would lose an aircraft from service for at least 6 months, there was, after all, no spare aircraft outside of the two fleets to use (which is really why FAA and Boeing brought that TU-144 back in the late 1990's for research, they asked us first).
Or you could take an aircraft out of service for good, it's A.I.C.U.'s being just part of the spares haul, which is worse than the first option.
What was done was to get new 'old' A.I.C.U. boards made, just when the original OEM's were part of mergers going on that created BAE Systems, this involved (not for the first time) calling people out of retirement. It worked but was costly and took a lot longer than planned.

It is true that we lost staff just when we needed them in early 2002.

I have it on good authority that in late 2002/early 2003, BA's forward bookings for both Concorde and First Class took a big hit, seen as delayed from 9/11, the Iraq war build up, the Enron and Worldcom scandals (causing companies to cut down on high end travel, even those with no connections to those two), BA at this time axed First Class from about half a dozen routes such was the drop, however unlike operating Concorde, rectifying that when things picked up was both easier and indeed, possible.
AF's loads were bad, we both had a 'bounce' when re-entering service but AF's in particular had dipped, AF also resumed a limited charter operation (just CDG-CDG).

So while I do recognise quite a bit in the article, for me anyway it does smack of 2 + 2 = 5. Seeing at close hand what went on, the article relies too much on 'French bashing', it was them who drove the return to flight effort, since the wing and the fuel tanks there were 'their' part of the aircraft. Really, it was the 9/11 attacks that in the end proved the tipping point, for the effects on both airlines not just their SST fleets.
Mentioning Branson as anything other than a BS merchant when it comes to Concorde undermines too, he carried on blabbering even after the regulators told him it wasn't going to happen.

Thank you so much!

Have you ever thought about writing a memoir, either creating a website or maybe installments on here? Would be incredibly valuable.
 
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c933103
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 9:51 am

I guess the reason why they did not install first class sized seat onto concorde were simply because the plane does not have that much floor area for them to do so... it's like installing international first class onto a Q400
It's pointless to attempt winning internet debate. 求同存異. よく見て・よく聞いて・よく考える
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directorguy
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 10:05 am

Fascinating thread! Love reading all the replies.

Most people here seem to have flown BA-did anyone fly Air France Concorde? How did they compare to BA?
 
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c933103
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 10:06 am

btw,.... if the EU-US open skies was in place at early 2000s, would it give more chance the aircraft? At least when the load factor was low they can turn it to FRA or so...
It's pointless to attempt winning internet debate. 求同存異. よく見て・よく聞いて・よく考える
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You are now at your youngest moment in your remaining life.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 10:08 am

ZeeZoo wrote:
*rolls eyes* You again.

Um, you chose to include me as part of your quote in that post... so what, other than a response, did you expect?

And to think, I was only asking you to clarify what information was being sought. :roll:



c933103 wrote:
btw,.... if the EU-US open skies was in place at early 2000s, would it give more chance the aircraft?

Doubtful.

First off, DL/AF already had antitrust immunity years before Concorde service ended, but elected not to pursue anything beyond a simple FFP relationship in regard to Concorde services. Pax could book Concorde with ~165,000 SkyMiles. There was nothing stopping them from codesharing, rearranging their schedules of the service to suit each others' needs, etc. AF simply chose not to.

AA/BA on the other hand did not have immunity (and wouldn't for years) nor did they codeshare over the Atlantic from the USA. But then again, BA wasn't the one who wanted to end service, so there's little evidence that they saw the lack of being able to fully cooperate with AA as much of an impediment, specifically in regard to Concorde.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
ZeeZoo
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:30 am

Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 12:11 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
ZeeZoo wrote:
*rolls eyes* You again.

Um, you chose to include me as part of your quote in that post... so what, other than a response, did you expect?

And to think, I was only asking you to clarify what information was being sought. :roll:.

I was quoting GDB (which happened to include your post) so he'd receive a notification...so I wasn't expecting input from you :)
 
QueenoftheSkies
Posts: 217
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 2:10 pm

mariner wrote:
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


Downside because you couldn't get a 2nd drink while others were most likely still waiting for their first one?
 
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fbgdavidson
Posts: 3906
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 2:39 pm

GDB wrote:
To an earlier question, prior to AF4590, the BA operation started with the BA001, dep LHR 10.30, the inbound BA002 arr LHR early afternoon, the BA004 returned to LHR at 18,30, then the BA003 dep LHR 19.00 IIRC.
There would be a standby for the LHR departures when possible (which was most of the time), once the BA001 had gone if there was the most frequent charter we did, the LHR-LHR, that aircraft would do it.


For the sake of completeness (I know you know a lot more than me) during the mid to late 1990s

The BA001 left LHR at 10.30am..
The BA002 landed at LHR around 5.30pm
The BA003 left LHR at 7pm
The BA004 arrived LHR around 10pm. It being the last arrival into LHR T4 of the night usually.

I was lucky in that where I went to school and lived I got to see all four of BA's daily Concorde flights in some respect. I was at school in West Berkshire so could watch the Concorde shape form miles off as it came right over at about 6500ft. Almost always right at 10.50am which coincided with our mid morning break. If your class hadn't ended then the approaching Olympus crackle was the signal for you to start gathering your books together {biggrin}

I lived in North Hampshire right under the path the inbound Concordes would use, despite being much higher than the outbounds at school the noise was always very distinctive and I'd pop outside just to watch it head towards London.

Glad I got to fly it LHR-JFK in 2002. Sadly most of my pictures from the report are broken now but the Shutterfly page still shows them:
It was prior to the retirement announcement and before i knew what airliners.net, internet forums or trip reports were so I'd have made a much better effort had I known. Would probably have appreciated it much more at the time too had I known I wouldn't get another go...I was one click away from buying another return trip after the announcement was made but decided against it. Rather regret that now...
viewtopic.php?t=961861
https://fbgd.shutterfly.com/2272

Now I live in NYC suburbs not far from JFK and would love to see the Concorde operations going on, it'd also be rather convenient for my trips back home....if I only I were born 20yrs earlier {biggrin}
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 4:05 pm

Revelation wrote:
dfambro wrote:
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.

It'd remove the incentive to upgrade to higher class. Think "Calculated Misery".


Gosh, I don't think there is the same budget for a 737 seat compared to a Concorde seat.

Comfort also involves more intensive maintenance procedures and costs. More cushioning that expires faster, high grade leather.
 
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LAX772LR
Posts: 13930
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 5:15 pm

ZeeZoo wrote:
I was quoting GDB (which happened to include your post) so he'd receive a notification...so I wasn't expecting input from you :)

Then roll your eyes at your own incompetence for not knowing how to use a simple quote function... not me.


fbgdavidson wrote:
If your class hadn't ended then the approaching Olympus crackle was the signal for you to start gathering your books together

Now THAT'S a fortunate upbringing! :)
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
ZeeZoo
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:30 am

Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 5:27 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
ZeeZoo wrote:
I was quoting GDB (which happened to include your post) so he'd receive a notification...so I wasn't expecting input from you :)

Then roll your eyes at your own incompetence for not knowing how to use a simple quote function... not me.


fbgdavidson wrote:
If your class hadn't ended then the approaching Olympus crackle was the signal for you to start gathering your books together

Now THAT'S a fortunate upbringing! :)

Right, I'll ask you a question, did you get notified when I quoted GDB?
 
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LAX772LR
Posts: 13930
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Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 5:35 pm

ZeeZoo wrote:
did you get notified when I quoted GDB?

yep


c933103 wrote:
I guess the reason why they did not install first class sized seat onto concorde were simply because the plane does not have that much floor area for them to do so... it's like installing international first class onto a Q400

Well that, and they were already often charging up to $12K for the current seat. They would've had to charge prices $20-25K to make up for the revenue floor-space that putting a flatbed seat would take up.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
GDB
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: Concorde Why no 1st class?

Thu May 18, 2017 6:53 pm

ZeeZoo wrote:
GDB wrote:
ZeeZoo wrote:

Can I ask, how true is this article - http://www.concorde-spirit-tours.com/concorde.htm ? Thanks!


I cannot speak fpr AF, however that Director of BA Engineering was seen as an enemy, on the other hand, no one in Engineering, most of who were not involved in Concorde were fans either.

Moving the schedule was seen as silly at the time, however Marketing could have pushed back on it.

But the extra costs were not all fiction and not even from AF or Airbus either, a big chunk of them that emerged in early 2003, was from the FAA. Extra checks of fuel tanks on ageing aircraft, part of the ongoing TWA800 fallout. It mattered not to them that we had in fact as part of the tank liner mods done just that. They had to be again, their way, not that this is so unusual, aviation is heavily regulated after all.

Draining the aircraft was not 'vandalism' but a necessity for long term museum storage, the aircraft were done at the museums then they arrived, not later.

Not mentioned in that article, was a project by BA to replace the actuators that controlled the secondary nozzles, in 1997 on an air-test one had leaked causing the nozzle to dip creating drag, not enough on a New York route to be a problem but an issue for a BGI one, being longer and with far fewer diversion airfields. Prior to any aircraft doing a BGI, extra checks on this system were carried out, to ensure they had no leaks, being actuated one at a time in the hangar, the 'waahhh' sound being very distinct.

Longer term new controls for the actuators were seen as the answer. In 2002 one aircraft was fitted with them, sourced by a nameless OEM (though you might also find their name on the controls for your central heating). Problem was, these new components literally could not stand the heat, so the originals were put back in and the extra checks for each BGI assigned aircraft. A few million £ for nothing, you did not have to be McDonald (or 'Quarter Pounder' as was unaffectionally known), to think 'is this how it's going to be all the time?')

Prior to this, late 1990's, we needed to replace the Air Intake Control Units, 8 per aircraft, which as the name suggests managed the two intake ramps vital for supersonic flight, engines don't like air coming in at 1350 mph! These 1970's digital computers (each about the size of a carton of 200 cigarettes), a product of BAC's Guided Weapons Division, were becoming less reliable.

Several options, install much lighter, smaller, modern ones, however certifying them would lose an aircraft from service for at least 6 months, there was, after all, no spare aircraft outside of the two fleets to use (which is really why FAA and Boeing brought that TU-144 back in the late 1990's for research, they asked us first).
Or you could take an aircraft out of service for good, it's A.I.C.U.'s being just part of the spares haul, which is worse than the first option.
What was done was to get new 'old' A.I.C.U. boards made, just when the original OEM's were part of mergers going on that created BAE Systems, this involved (not for the first time) calling people out of retirement. It worked but was costly and took a lot longer than planned.

It is true that we lost staff just when we needed them in early 2002.

I have it on good authority that in late 2002/early 2003, BA's forward bookings for both Concorde and First Class took a big hit, seen as delayed from 9/11, the Iraq war build up, the Enron and Worldcom scandals (causing companies to cut down on high end travel, even those with no connections to those two), BA at this time axed First Class from about half a dozen routes such was the drop, however unlike operating Concorde, rectifying that when things picked up was both easier and indeed, possible.
AF's loads were bad, we both had a 'bounce' when re-entering service but AF's in particular had dipped, AF also resumed a limited charter operation (just CDG-CDG).

So while I do recognise quite a bit in the article, for me anyway it does smack of 2 + 2 = 5. Seeing at close hand what went on, the article relies too much on 'French bashing', it was them who drove the return to flight effort, since the wing and the fuel tanks there were 'their' part of the aircraft. Really, it was the 9/11 attacks that in the end proved the tipping point, for the effects on both airlines not just their SST fleets.
Mentioning Branson as anything other than a BS merchant when it comes to Concorde undermines too, he carried on blabbering even after the regulators told him it wasn't going to happen.

Thank you so much!

Have you ever thought about writing a memoir, either creating a website or maybe installments on here? Would be incredibly valuable.


Thanks but I still work for BA. However, that site www.concordesst.com I can recommend. I was in daily e-mail contact with the webmaster from 2001-2003, he was seen as trusted, fair and informed anyway. I wasn't the only one and towards the end he became an unofficial part of the BA Concorde team, though not a BA employee.

I was given the task after the service ended, of sorting the large room of Concorde archives, logs, manuals, stuff of all kinds, we transferred the greater part of it to Brooklands, as part of the BA help of G-BBDG's re-build, which the concordesst.com webmaster was a key part of. For instance, it was handy when I found the original BA paint scheme drawings for the original BA livery, as used by BA paint shop. So DG can represent that original livery accurately.

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