|Quoting jayunited (Reply 70):|
There was an acknowledgement that UA was selling some first class seats but not enough to justify keeping first class on these routes although first class would go out full on many flights most of the people sitting up there had purchased business class seats and were upgrade into first. Now that UA has completed the p.s. fleet reconfiguration they are not awarding as many upgrades as they were before because they are actually able to fill most of business class with customers who actually bought a business class seat and not upgrades. Hopefully as AA roles out their spectacularly beautiful A321 product on the JFK-LAX/SFO routes we will see AA change their policy on upgrades into first class on these particular routes. In the beginning it probably will be hard to get an upgrade into first as I'm sure AA will probably sell most seats as the product is brand new. However as time goes on and the excitement of the new product wears off AA can't afford to allow customers to slip back into their old habits of buying a business class seat and getting upgraded for free into first class. With 1/3 of the A321 dedicated to first class for revenue purposes AA has to make sure that most of those 10 seats are filled with paying customers not upgrades. And with AA adding additional frequencies on these route to make up for the lost capacity in coach selling a majority of those first class seat becomes increasingly difficult.
Okay, but in my view, all of the above is predicated on the potentially false assumptions that AA
is in much the same boat as United was with it's 3-class product, and that it is so in as much as it is failing to actually sell for revenue (not just upgrades/nonrevs) its F cabins today.
I'm not sure it's a 1-for-1 comparison, especially in the JFK
market where AA
has always been the leader. AA
does sell F seats, and I would be willing to guess they sell more of them than United. It's not all just upgrades, so I really don't see why there's much need to radically change AA
's expansive upgrade policy - which is an incredibly popular value for AA
's top customers.
is likely betting on its new premier transcon 3-class product picking up some incremental level of the paid F traffic United used to carry - and United definitely did carry some of it. Some premium customers transiting JFK
on/off longhaul international flights do demand, and will pay for, true F, and some local customers most definitely will to. In addition, given that AA
is cutting the J cabin by 1/3, AA
obviously feels its sales force stands a good chance of upselling at least some portion of the existing J market flying with AA
into F. They may well be right.
So if AA
can even pick up a relatively small portion of the paid F traffic United previously carried, and get even a small portion of the paid J traffic AA
itself previously carried, and then combine those two with the paid F demand AA
already handled, that may well be enough to support the true F cabin. After all - it's on 10 seats on each flight, and again, AA
was likely on average already filling some portion of that cabin with paid flyers to begin with.
|Quoting jayunited (Reply 70):|
Now I don't think AA will ever get rid of first class on these routes but down the road if AA fails to consistently (day in and day out) sell a majority of those 10 first class seats I think there might be a reduction in the number of first class seats and an increase in the number of business class seats.
Don't think so - at least not on the A321. The cabin layout is predicated on the A321 door configuration, and I don't know if they could expand the J cabin further forward into F. From what I've been told, as long as they use A321s in this market, it's got to either be 10F or 0F - nothing in between.