DFWAviator76
Topic Author
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:10 pm

AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:59 pm

https://www.dallasnews.com/business/ame ... um-economy

Interesting development. Overall, I think this is good news as it expands the options for customers willing to pay extra for more amenities, but still don't want to shell out big bucks for Business Class.

For consumers who say they'd be willing to "pay a little extra" for more room and other perks, this is a good opportunity.
 
tphuang
Posts: 2974
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:04 pm

Re: AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:12 pm

huge devaluation of SWU + miles/copay upgrade program. Probably realized there is not enough people willing to pay for the full J pricing. I'm going to actively avoid any flights with PE for a while.
 
ScottB
Posts: 6591
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 1:25 am

Re: AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:57 pm

I think the airlines are playing a dangerous game, though. Long-haul First Class has either vanished or become a niche product as a result of airlines improving their Business Class products to be virtually indistinguishable from (or better than) the First Class of years past, while Premium Economy is evolving into something very similar to what used to be called Business Class. Once the next economic downturn inevitably occurs, we may see corporate policies change to only allow Premium Economy long-haul travel, and I suspect it may be difficult to reverse that once economic fortunes improve.

Then again, if AA finds that those Business Class seats are virtually always filled with non-revs or cheap upgrades, I can see the logic.
 
JonNYC
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:26 pm

Re: AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:09 pm

 
User avatar
janders
Moderator
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Re: AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:14 pm

Pretty ancient news by now.

Also discussed in the AA fleet thread.
"We make war that we may live in peace." -- Aristotle
 
DFWAviator76
Topic Author
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:10 pm

Re: AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:15 pm

ScottB wrote:
I think the airlines are playing a dangerous game, though. Long-haul First Class has either vanished or become a niche product as a result of airlines improving their Business Class products to be virtually indistinguishable from (or better than) the First Class of years past, while Premium Economy is evolving into something very similar to what used to be called Business Class. Once the next economic downturn inevitably occurs, we may see corporate policies change to only allow Premium Economy long-haul travel, and I suspect it may be difficult to reverse that once economic fortunes improve.

Then again, if AA finds that those Business Class seats are virtually always filled with non-revs or cheap upgrades, I can see the logic.


That's a fair point. My company, for example, has greatly stratified what levels of employees are permitted to fly depending on length of flight. 4 years ago, an employee of my rank could fly business class on flights more than 8 hours. Now, it's premium economy for flights 8-12 hours.
 
Josh32121
Posts: 264
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:02 am

Re: AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:26 pm

ScottB wrote:
I think the airlines are playing a dangerous game, though. Long-haul First Class has either vanished or become a niche product as a result of airlines improving their Business Class products to be virtually indistinguishable from (or better than) the First Class of years past, while Premium Economy is evolving into something very similar to what used to be called Business Class. Once the next economic downturn inevitably occurs, we may see corporate policies change to only allow Premium Economy long-haul travel, and I suspect it may be difficult to reverse that once economic fortunes improve.

Then again, if AA finds that those Business Class seats are virtually always filled with non-revs or cheap upgrades, I can see the logic.


Why is it a "dangerous game?" If today's version of business class completely disappears because no one is willing to pay for it, so what? Lots of other consumer products have evolved in the same way where downmarket products have evolved to the point of cannibalizing their upmarket siblings. As an example, Honda Civic of today is about the same size and comes with more amenities, power, etc. of the Honda Accord 20 years ago. And then they created the Honda Jazz/Fit to fill in where the Civic used to be 20 years ago. Numerous airlines have proven you don't need much or any premium offering to fill the plane with reasonable yields. I work for a large, worldwide company with 100k+ employees, and they won't even pay for premium economy unless the flight is at least ten hours. The day you speak of is already here.
 
DfwRevolution
Posts: 9252
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:31 pm

Re: AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:26 pm

ScottB wrote:
I think the airlines are playing a dangerous game, though. Long-haul First Class has either vanished or become a niche product as a result of airlines improving their Business Class products to be virtually indistinguishable from (or better than) the First Class of years past, while Premium Economy is evolving into something very similar to what used to be called Business Class. Once the next economic downturn inevitably occurs, we may see corporate policies change to only allow Premium Economy long-haul travel, and I suspect it may be difficult to reverse that once economic fortunes improve.


I totally agree that the Business Class Arms Race has resulted in J products that are really F products. If there is a big pushback against corporate travel in J, I expect we’ll just watch this cycle repeat. PE will keep improving until it has lie flat seats and J becomes a niche product. Time is a flat circle.
I have a three post per topic limit. You're welcome to have the last word.
 
chonetsao
Posts: 272
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 3:55 pm

Re: AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:40 pm

19 is a too small number. AA has to lock one seat for pilot which means out of the 20 there are only 19 seats. It may work for secondary stations but I don't think it is good for market like London. Currently AA flies B788 between ORD and LHR, I wonder that would be changed.
 
chonetsao
Posts: 272
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 3:55 pm

Re: AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:42 pm

JonNYC wrote:


Hello Jon welcome to A.net. Pity there is no 'like' button otherwise I would give you a 'like'.
 
DFWAviator76
Topic Author
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:10 pm

Re: AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:44 pm

chonetsao wrote:
19 is a too small number. AA has to lock one seat for pilot which means out of the 20 there are only 19 seats. It may work for secondary stations but I don't think it is good for market like London. Currently AA flies B788 between ORD and LHR, I wonder that would be changed.


Does the 788 not have a pilot rest cabin?

Also, there are 30 J seats on the 789, of which AA still has 28 awaiting delivery. My guess is that premium-heavy markets will see these as they come online.
 
tpaewr
Posts: 693
Joined: Sat May 19, 2001 9:01 am

Re: AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:51 pm

DfwRevolution wrote:
ScottB wrote:
I think the airlines are playing a dangerous game, though. Long-haul First Class has either vanished or become a niche product as a result of airlines improving their Business Class products to be virtually indistinguishable from (or better than) the First Class of years past, while Premium Economy is evolving into something very similar to what used to be called Business Class. Once the next economic downturn inevitably occurs, we may see corporate policies change to only allow Premium Economy long-haul travel, and I suspect it may be difficult to reverse that once economic fortunes improve.


I totally agree that the Business Class Arms Race has resulted in J products that are really F products. If there is a big pushback against corporate travel in J, I expect we’ll just watch this cycle repeat. PE will keep improving until it has lie flat seats and J becomes a niche product. Time is a flat circle.



110%!

History is just repeating itself as it always does. J/W/Y is almost exactly what P/J/Y was in the 80s. The only big change is how much Y can gotten tight! 3X4X3 on a 777 with no hint of the old school meals and service from the old days.

But all of it is driven by the market. Sooner or later lay flat J will go the way to F class suites. Delta One is already headed in that direction. Would that have been anything but P/F 20 years ago?
 
AA321T
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:22 pm

Re: AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:15 pm

DFWAviator76 wrote:
chonetsao wrote:
19 is a too small number. AA has to lock one seat for pilot which means out of the 20 there are only 19 seats. It may work for secondary stations but I don't think it is good for market like London. Currently AA flies B788 between ORD and LHR, I wonder that would be changed.


Does the 788 not have a pilot rest cabin?

Also, there are 30 J seats on the 789, of which AA still has 28 awaiting delivery. My guess is that premium-heavy markets will see these as they come online.

It does have pilot rest bunks but contractually they are entitled to a space to “relax” in that isn’t the bunk.
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

Re: AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:29 pm

ScottB wrote:
I think the airlines are playing a dangerous game, though. Long-haul First Class has either vanished or become a niche product as a result of airlines improving their Business Class products to be virtually indistinguishable from (or better than) the First Class of years past, while Premium Economy is evolving into something very similar to what used to be called Business Class. Once the next economic downturn inevitably occurs, we may see corporate policies change to only allow Premium Economy long-haul travel, and I suspect it may be difficult to reverse that once economic fortunes improve.

Then again, if AA finds that those Business Class seats are virtually always filled with non-revs or cheap upgrades, I can see the logic.


If corporations only allow Premium Economy, it will expand and be further enhanced, becoming Business Class again. Products can drift over time. Sometimes that is beneficial vs competitors.

Is there a problem a PE becomes suitable for business travel, yes, but each airline is powerless to stop that.
 
redwingspilot
Posts: 126
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2015 5:37 pm

Re: AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:47 pm

AA321T wrote:
DFWAviator76 wrote:
chonetsao wrote:
19 is a too small number. AA has to lock one seat for pilot which means out of the 20 there are only 19 seats. It may work for secondary stations but I don't think it is good for market like London. Currently AA flies B788 between ORD and LHR, I wonder that would be changed.


Does the 788 not have a pilot rest cabin?

Also, there are 30 J seats on the 789, of which AA still has 28 awaiting delivery. My guess is that premium-heavy markets will see these as they come online.

It does have pilot rest bunks but contractually they are entitled to a space to “relax” in that isn’t the bunk.


The Overhead Flight Crew Rest has two beds and a seat, a seat is only blocked in J if they run with 4 pilots instead of 3.
 
flyguy84
Posts: 770
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:26 pm

Re: AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:55 pm

Its a double edged sword really... on one hand you see that a majority of your front cabin is cheap/free upgrades and you're not monetizing it well so you add more W class thinking you can sell more of it rather than give it away. While on the other hand, your elite passengers are going to moan and groan at the reduction of free upgrades and premium cabin seating.
SFO
 
ScottB
Posts: 6591
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 1:25 am

Re: AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:55 pm

Josh32121 wrote:
Why is it a "dangerous game?" If today's version of business class completely disappears because no one is willing to pay for it, so what? Lots of other consumer products have evolved in the same way where downmarket products have evolved to the point of cannibalizing their upmarket siblings. As an example, Honda Civic of today is about the same size and comes with more amenities, power, etc. of the Honda Accord 20 years ago. And then they created the Honda Jazz/Fit to fill in where the Civic used to be 20 years ago. Numerous airlines have proven you don't need much or any premium offering to fill the plane with reasonable yields. I work for a large, worldwide company with 100k+ employees, and they won't even pay for premium economy unless the flight is at least ten hours. The day you speak of is already here.


Comparing Hondas to airline seats doesn't work all that well when you consider the durability of the product and who's footing the bill. One expects to keep a Honda for several years if not a decade or two, and there's a tendency to repeat buy within the make & model, if not upgrade a model. The person making the purchase decision is typically the owner or related to her/him. When it comes down to airline seats bought for business-related travel, the decision with respect to which class to purchase is made by some corporate policymaker, not the individual traveler -- and if the perception (as it is at your company) is that premium economy is adequate for long-haul travel on the company dime, that source of expensive business class seat purchases disappears.
 
abirda
Posts: 297
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 12:52 am

Re: AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:29 pm

Am I missing something? I clicked on this thread expecting to see something about plans for the 788's PE configuration being changed (the mix between J and W reevaluated). Instead it's just notification that the 788s are being reconfigured. How is this an expansion of a premium economy that doesn't exist?
 
Rdeggendorfer
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:18 am

Re: AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:13 pm

[twoid][/twoid]
AA321T wrote:
DFWAviator76 wrote:
chonetsao wrote:
19 is a too small number. AA has to lock one seat for pilot which means out of the 20 there are only 19 seats. It may work for secondary stations but I don't think it is good for market like London. Currently AA flies B788 between ORD and LHR, I wonder that would be changed.


Does the 788 not have a pilot rest cabin?

Also, there are 30 J seats on the 789, of which AA still has 28 awaiting delivery. My guess is that premium-heavy markets will see these as they come online.

It does have pilot rest bunks but contractually they are entitled to a space to “relax” in that isn’t the bunk.

3 man crews don’t block a B/C seat on the 787. There is a seat in the bunk for them. 4 man crews get 1 B/C seat only.
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

Re: AA expanding Premium Economy, reducing J, in 788 fleet

Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:00 pm

ScottB wrote:
Josh32121 wrote:
Why is it a "dangerous game?" If today's version of business class completely disappears because no one is willing to pay for it, so what? Lots of other consumer products have evolved in the same way where downmarket products have evolved to the point of cannibalizing their upmarket siblings. As an example, Honda Civic of today is about the same size and comes with more amenities, power, etc. of the Honda Accord 20 years ago. And then they created the Honda Jazz/Fit to fill in where the Civic used to be 20 years ago. Numerous airlines have proven you don't need much or any premium offering to fill the plane with reasonable yields. I work for a large, worldwide company with 100k+ employees, and they won't even pay for premium economy unless the flight is at least ten hours. The day you speak of is already here.


Comparing Hondas to airline seats doesn't work all that well when you consider the durability of the product and who's footing the bill. One expects to keep a Honda for several years if not a decade or two, and there's a tendency to repeat buy within the make & model, if not upgrade a model. The person making the purchase decision is typically the owner or related to her/him. When it comes down to airline seats bought for business-related travel, the decision with respect to which class to purchase is made by some corporate policymaker, not the individual traveler -- and if the perception (as it is at your company) is that premium economy is adequate for long-haul travel on the company dime, that source of expensive business class seat purchases disappears.


You're right and the poster Josh321 was completely spot-on as well. Honda product drifted larger. BMW product also got larger and more expensive. They follow their customer as the the individual customers get older and richer.

Delta international Y passengers are the same way. They buy Economy, but they are older and richer now. Many can afford 2x price for a much improved product. But they will not become a J class customer, that is just not in their vocabulary. Delta is also fairly rigid with J pricing as it protects the existing business. Something needs to give. It pays to keep offering new things. PE can come in, J will be upgraded and cling onto its existing customer base for 10-20 more years. Then the cycle begins again.

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