Timothy may be still spinning the idea of old class structure, but Mueller's idea is to eliminate "the segregation of transportation classes", his own words.
Mueller thinks, airlines should offer the whole basket of goods and services, passenger picks and pays for what they want.
If I want a flatbed, but not filet mignon/dom/caviar, I should be able to purchase exactly that.
If some one on a 6hr flight wants an economy seat but premium meal (filet mignon/dom/caviar) and a greeting by name with a smile, they should be able to buy that.
This will be achieved through digital innovation and big data.
I like your wording better than the "needs and expectations" marketing bullshit in the slides posted earlier, but still, it's not about "wants" since we all would want a first class seat if not a suite.
A more true rendering is "passenger picks what they decide they can afford".
True ala carte, without prejudice, would allow the customer to buy the services wanted. The Airline would establish its target profit margin and apply it to each of its services. Someone might want to travel economy plus, use what is now called the business lounge at an airport, and eat and drink as they want. For all of this to work smoothly big data, well designed web sites, effective automated communications with suppliers and customers is required. Custom packages to ensure all services are used at capacity (but not over that) could be offered to specific customers with the intention of encouraging them to upgrade. This all requires a lot of computer power.
Think Amazon - They have upwards of 50K high paid people in Seattle doing this sort of thing, and they just announced a second headquarters of the same size will be built in another city.
Seems idealistic to me.
Customer will be faced with a myriad of "bundles" of features to choose from, carefully chosen by marketing to get the pax to pay for things they don't want.
If every single detail is selectable, it's going to make delivery of the exact product specified pretty difficult for the front line staff.
The usual dynamic will still be in play: the customer will want to maximize what they get versus what they spend, the airline will try to minimize what they deliver and maximize what they can charge.