AirbusMDCFAN
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Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:25 pm

Link/Source: http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/ ... y-comfort/

"Icelandair just made an announcement that certainly bucks the industry trend. Generally we’re seeing more and more airlines introduce premium economy. This is only natural as the size of economy seats continues to shrink, while the size of business class seats continues to increase. There’s a market for people who are willing to pay a bit extra, but don’t quite want to pay for business class."

"Up until now, Icelandair has been offering three classes of service — Economy, Economy Comfort (premium economy), and Saga Class (business class). Icelandair has just announced that they’ll be eliminating their Economy Comfort cabin. The great news is that those who paid for Economy Comfort for travel after it’s eliminated will be upgraded to Saga Class, which is awesome."

"In order to remain innovative and competitive, Icelandair is excited to announce changes to our Booking Class Structure, effective 07APR18."

"We will be discontinuing our Economy Comfort product in order to offer our customers more fare options for a travel experience that best suits their needs."

Could we see other airlines start to eliminate their Y+ type/styled product and possibly make their business class a bit bigger.
Last edited by atcsundevil on Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Clickbait title
 
reality
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:36 pm

Maybe because it wasn't much different than regular economy. In most of their planes it looks like the same seat, same number of seats per row, plus 1" more leg room than regular economy. Not exactly "comfort."
 
caverunner17
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:36 pm

Icelandair doesn't have a Y+ class. It's a Y class with an extra inch of space and a middle seat blocked (same as business class flights intra-Europe).

My guess is they weren't filling up those seats and not making up the revenue for the lost 12-20 seats that are blocked that could otherwise be sold to Economy passengers.
 
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Polot
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:43 pm

Almost certainly the blocked middle seat that was killing them. Not enough revenue coming in to overcome that. Without the blocked middle seat their comfort class is too close to economy to justify giving it its own cabin name. Other perks like free meals can be bundled into Y fare levels. Extra legroom can be sold as preferred seats at front of cabin.
 
YYZLGA
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:56 pm

I flew Y+ on Icelandair five years ago and it was literally a business class seat with economy class catering (and maybe a bit less legroom). It was fantastic. When I saw the headline, I assumed they weren't getting enough additional revenue to justify the reduced density. I guess they've already adjusted to a more conventional Y+ with a blocked middle seat.
 
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enilria
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:11 pm

reality wrote:
Maybe because it wasn't much different than regular economy. In most of their planes it looks like the same seat, same number of seats per row, plus 1" more leg room than regular economy. Not exactly "comfort."

"Economy Comfort" is usually the same seat but better food and more legroom. Same as this.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:21 pm

It points out a big problem with sorting out this whole 'economy', 'economy+', 'basic economy' set of hard products: the airline has to make decisions about the hard products to offer, and once they decide, they're stuck with the chosen layouts for long periods of time, and the chosen layouts have to deliver revenue on all the routes that the reconfigured aircraft fly till the next time they chose to reconfigure.
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Theseus
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:23 pm

YYZLGA wrote:
I flew Y+ on Icelandair five years ago and it was literally a business class seat with economy class catering (and maybe a bit less legroom). It was fantastic.


I had the very same experience. I had booked a return trip between EU and North America, and 3 out of 4 legs where essentially like this, with a 2+2 configuration on the same seat as in J class, and with Y class catering. The other leg was regular Y (no Y+ seat avail on that leg), and the total price very reasonable.
 
RamblinMan
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:25 pm

Think of it this way: The average fare has to be 1.5 times higher than the average Y fare to make up for the capacity lost by blocking the middle seat. While an empty middle is nice, it's simply not worth 50% extra to most pax. Conversely, offering 6 inches extra pitch only requires a 20% fare premium, something which many carriers have found pax are more than willing to pay for.

You only ever see added width as part of premium economy on widebodies which might have 9-across Y+ and 10-across Y. The carrier is only losing 1/10 of the seats per row, not 1/3.

Considering "Saga Class" is configured like a US domestic business class with 4-across recliners, not with lie-flats like most carriers' business class, the gap between the Y and J products isn't large enough to warrant an in-between product.
 
jetero
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:48 pm

RamblinMan wrote:
Think of it this way: The average fare has to be 1.5 times higher than the average Y fare to make up for the capacity lost by blocking the middle seat. While an empty middle is nice, it's simply not worth 50% extra to most pax. Conversely, offering 6 inches extra pitch only requires a 20% fare premium, something which many carriers have found pax are more than willing to pay for.

You only ever see added width as part of premium economy on widebodies which might have 9-across Y+ and 10-across Y. The carrier is only losing 1/10 of the seats per row, not 1/3.

Considering "Saga Class" is configured like a US domestic business class with 4-across recliners, not with lie-flats like most carriers' business class, the gap between the Y and J products isn't large enough to warrant an in-between product.


I don’t think the math is necessarily as straightforward as the 1.5. If it effectively boosts loads in Y by moving the empty capacity to Y+, you’d have to figure in some offset.

Stated differently, it’s a way to commoditize the empty seats in Y. In that sense the fare doesn’t have to be anywhere near 1.5x higher, if Y+ is nearly fully occupied.
 
RamblinMan
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:00 am

If they're selling it as a separate cabin, that doesn't really work. If the Y and Y+ seats are interchangeable with Y+ pax getting a guaranteed empty seat next to them, then I sort of agree with you. But then in that scenario, if people are paying for Y+ and the flight goes out 67% full and everyone has an empty middle seat, it makes the product totally worthless.
 
jetero
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:05 am

RamblinMan wrote:
If they're selling it as a separate cabin, that doesn't really work. If the Y and Y+ seats are interchangeable with Y+ pax getting a guaranteed empty seat next to them, then I sort of agree with you. But then in that scenario, if people are paying for Y+ and the flight goes out 67% full and everyone has an empty middle seat, it makes the product totally worthless.


And what would that same scenario look like if you had everyone paying Y fares, not mixed with higher Y+?

You quoted 1.5 as a rule. It is demonstrably not and ignores the effects of revenue management.
 
RamblinMan
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:07 am

It was poorly worded...Each seat takes up 1.5x the real estate. You're being pedantic.
 
dia77
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:42 am

Kind of a bummer for me. I fly SEA-ORY about 6 times a year in economy comfort. The seats aren’t anything special but I like not having the middle seat occupied. I’ll probably switch to BA now so that I can continue accruing AS miles.
 
jetero
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:56 am

RamblinMan wrote:
It was poorly worded...Each seat takes up 1.5x the real estate. You're being pedantic.


Um, no. What you said is incorrect (well, correct only in the single scenario you described which is sort of misleading as it’d likely still generate more revenue better than not having any Y+ at all).

RamblinMan wrote:
Think of it this way: The average fare has to be 1.5 times higher than the average Y fare to make up for the capacity lost by blocking the middle seat.


Incidentally, I had never thought about the math before until you said, “Think of it this way.” I thought about it as you described and realized it wasn’t necessarily correct (and, in fact, FI could not have been thinking about it that way when the product was created as the numbers as you describe them don’t make much sense for the product offered).

In any case it must not have been successful because in the crazy fare environment to Iceland they must not have been able to eke out even a small premium for the middle seat to generate a high LF in Y+.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:13 am

It would make more sense to take out a row of seating and add 5" of legroom to 6 rows of seats but don't block the middle seat.
 
glbltrvlr
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:26 am

RamblinMan wrote:
It was poorly worded...Each seat takes up 1.5x the real estate. You're being pedantic.


Right, but your assumption that 1.5X revenue is required to pay for the 1.5X square footage loss is only true if all seats are sold, and all seats are sold for the same fare.

For example - if the Y cabin had empty seats and enough Ys upgraded to Y+, then extra space in the back of the plane is shifted to Y+ at no loss of revenue, or even revenue gain. Throw in the different fare buckets and the math gets hairy, but the concept is the same. The bottom line is what configuration generates the most revenue *per flight*, not per seat. Clearly blocking seats didn't work, but it was worth trying.
 
LTCM
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:46 pm

RamblinMan wrote:
Think of it this way: The average fare has to be 1.5 times higher than the average Y fare to make up for the capacity lost by blocking the middle seat.



That math isn't right.

It's either "1.5 times the average Y fare" or "50% higher than the average Y fare". What you have typed here doesn't work mathematically at all. And that's not even taking into account all the other caveats mentioned by others.
 
slcdeltarumd11
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:03 pm

They offer saga class, I think that is enough for a LCC.
 
Samrnpage
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:23 pm

I think its more due to WOW and their low cost offering. If FI can get more PAX in their planes, they can lower the prices.
 
RJNUT
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:55 pm

Samrnpage wrote:
I think its more due to WOW and their low cost offering. If FI can get more PAX in their planes, they can lower the prices.

I agree all these changes are a direct result of WOW. It may dilute their product a bit, but I think it is becoming more widely understood that travel to/from/thru Iceland means budget experience. I am going to try Saga class, however, but probably only to Iceland and not connecting onward. And probably only on the Eastbound portion from the US.
 
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spinkid
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:19 pm

slcdeltarumd11 wrote:
They offer saga class, I think that is enough for a LCC.


Their Saga class is pretty similar to Norwegian's premium class they offer on their 787's.

I booked into their Premium seating last year and chose seats towards the front. I got bumped up into Saga class. When they sell out economy class, they start selling the premium economy as regular economy and filling those middle seats and moving forward PE passengers into SAGA. I will miss that little glitch/perk (or whatever you want to call it).

I guess that was happening often enough that it made sense to just go with 2 classes of services that are clearly distinct from each other.
 
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longhauler
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Re: Surprising: Icelandair Is Eliminating Economy Comfort

Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:26 pm

RamblinMan wrote:
Considering "Saga Class" is configured like a US domestic business class with 4-across recliners, not with lie-flats like most carriers' business class, the gap between the Y and J products isn't large enough to warrant an in-between product.

Exactly. In reality, Saga Class is not really "business class". It is priced similar to most airline's international Premium Economy and offers about the same on board product.

I flew Icelandair in Saga Class. It was an enjoyable experience and priced well, but it certainly wasn't even remotely like the international business class offered by most airlines. It reminded me of the premium cabins offered by low cost leisure carriers like Rouge and Air Transat. That being the case then, "economy comfort" really didn't make sense. They would be better off charging a premium to pre-select an economy seat that offered a bit more leg room.
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