anyong
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European Business Class

Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:04 pm

Is it a bigger ripoff than Southwest Business Select?
 
zrs70
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RE:

Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:55 pm

I suppose it depends on what your needs are.

If you need lounge access, meals, and quick on/ off the plane, business class in Europe is fine.

If y want leg room and spacious setting, you won't get it.
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PanHAM
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RE: European Business Class

Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:09 pm

No one is forced to fly Business in Europe. European busness class is flexible, a Friday afternoon flight between 2 Business cnetres can be 50% or more C class, which is fine for the Airline and fine for all those who could buy C and did not have to fly economy because those 12 fixed J class flights have been sold.

C in Europe gives you Lounge Access, usually the tickets are flexible, you can fly earlier or later, as needed, besides Lounge Access you have pre-boarding and get off the aircraft quicker. Luggage is first on the belt and even there is more leg room in the first couple of seat rows. Oh and you get more c
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LondonCity
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RE: European Business Class

Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:29 pm

It's a subject which has been discussed endlessly ever since Euro business class was introduced 35 years ago.

What surprises many people is that BA now provides only 30 ins of legroom in Club Europe which is identical to that in economy class. All you get is the guaranteed of an unsold middle seat, better catering plus the above-mentioned amenities.
 
MaverickM11
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RE:

Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:44 pm

Quoting anyong (Thread starter):
Is it a bigger ripoff than Southwest Business Select?

Yes. At least business select offers wifi.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
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ua900
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RE: European Business Class

Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:55 pm

Quoting anyong (Thread starter):

Is it a bigger ripoff than Southwest Business Select?

No, because:

1. You get lounge access
2. You get increased luggage allowance and priority handling
3. You get priority boarding
4. You get more than a chocolate bar (or whatever Y gets on a given flight)
5. The premium paid for it is often low (LX offers short haul C for $25 if you travel light)
6. Some European airlines actually have a Short haul C comparable to domestic first (e.g. TK)
7. Mileage earnings multiples are historically higher than in the U.S. (Though is this starting to change)
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JoKeR
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RE: European Business Class

Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:52 pm

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 1):
If you need lounge access, meals, and quick on/ off the plane, business class in Europe is fine.

If y want leg room and spacious setting, you won't get it.

Not quite true anymore... http://www.airserbia.com/en/business-class

http://www.businessclass.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2014/07/Air-Serbia-Business-Class-Airbus-A319.jpg
 
dean
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RE: European Business Class

Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:52 pm

It really depends on what you're looking for. Below you find my opinion however note that I'm usually flying with cabin luggage only and I'm not that tall (180 cm).

My opinion (based on 18-20 trips / year within Europe):
- if your trip is time sensible or you need flexibility, take business class
- do NOT take business just because of the cabin perks (except if you are desperate for wifi). Most airlines just block the middle seats in the 3-3 cabin, so you either get window or aisle seat but the legroom and the seat width are not that different to the economy cabin.
- meals onboard are really bad. I'm a picky person when it comes to food so others might think different. Lounges are usually fine.

I have the best experiences with Aeroflot on BUD-SVO-BUD legs. Crew, cabin and service are overall really good!

Also, if I have the option I prefer to book a lowcost airline these days with priority boarding and front row seat. Just make sure your flight is served with a jetbridge otherwise you can waste a lot of time with transportation to/from the terminal building.

Finally, I'm not familiar with Southwest's business select product, but European carriers "domestic" C product can be a big ripoff too. And many time it is.

Good luck!  
 
MaverickM11
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RE: European Business Class

Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:57 pm

Quoting ua900 (Reply 5):
1. You get lounge access
2. You get increased luggage allowance and priority handling
3. You get priority boarding
4. You get more than a chocolate bar (or whatever Y gets on a given flight)
5. The premium paid for it is often low (LX offers short haul C for $25 if you travel light)
6. Some European airlines actually have a Short haul C comparable to domestic first (e.g. TK)
7. Mileage earnings multiples are historically higher than in the U.S. (Though is this starting to change)

You get pretty much all of that on US carriers' domestic/regional F, plus in most cases IFE, powerports, wifi, 2-2 seating and 5-10" more legroom. Even with business select I'm pretty sure you get 2/3/4/5/7.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
FlyPNS1
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RE:

Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:15 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 8):

You get pretty much all of that on US carriers' domestic/regional F


You don't get lounge access.

On U.S. domestic flights less than 2 hours (which is most comparable to Europe business class routes), you basically get nothing for food except a bag of potato chips or a cookie.

The premium paid for U.S. domestic is substantial....often hundreds of dollars more each way.


I'll agree the U.S. domestic first is better than European business class, but that's only because 1) the product is geared more toward longer domestic flights and 2) the cost to pay for U.S. domestic first is significantly higher.
 
OSL777FLYER
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RE: European Business Class

Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:08 pm

I would say there are several differences.

YES, US domestic F do have on the whole, a better flight experience, but as mentioned before, they have better seats, more legroom etc. due to length of flight.

BUT European Business class often has better meals and far better lounges. Legroom is smaller than the US carriers due to length of flight, but the first few rows do have a better pitch.

From the point of the airlines in Europe, their model makes more sense because you can move the divider and sell way more seats in business class than in the US should demand allow for it. A US carrier can find itself in the situation of selling an economy seat to a passenger who would want to fly F/C and, due to company travel or general wealth could pay for it, therefore they could lose out on revenue.
 
Viscount724
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RE:

Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:21 pm

Quoting dean (Reply 7):
Most airlines just block the middle seats in the 3-3 cabin, so you either get window or aisle seat but the legroom and the seat width are not that different to the economy cabin.

On KLM you get about 3 more inches of seat pitch in the 6 or 7 rows at the front used for business class as well as an empty seat next to you, including on the 4-abreast E190 and 5-abreast Fokker 70. Since all those rows are seldom needed for business class, the unneeded rows with the additional seat pitch are sold as Economy Comfort at a very moderate surcharge over any Y class fare.

The European type of business class product works very well and permits the airline to sell far more Y class seats due to the widely varying demand for business class by time of day, day of week, and season. I was on a BA A319 LHR-GVA in early December. It had 7 or 8 rows allocated to business class (28 or 32 seats) and was almost completely full. If the flight had been on a day of the week with little business demand they could have used most of those rows for Y class. Few flights in Europe are longer than 1 to 2 hours. It's a very different market from North America.

Another difference is that in Europe passengers with elite level frequent flyer status don't get free upgrades to business class like they do in the U.S. and Canada. Passengers in J in Europe have paid the applicable fare. A high percentage on many carriers are connecting to/from longhaul J class flights.
 
ndhair37
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RE: European Business Class

Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:13 pm

In my mind, Air Serbia is doing it properly. Yes, you lose the flexibility of having "normal" seats; but if you're paying the extra dollar to do work or for whatever other reason I would expect more than a blocked middle seat. When I flew Delta First Class on the B738 and compared it to BA Business Class on B763, B734, A320 and KLM Business Class on B738 I was astounded.

The Americans might call it "First Class" but the premise is the same. If I were an airline, there is no doubt I would put the Business Class in "proper" with 2+2 seating, better pitch and more room to work and eat. For connecting passengers going through a Hub from long-haul to short-haul, I can only imagine that it would make a difference in people's minds.

Would be nice to see airlines like BA, KL, LH and AF embracing proper Business Class on their smaller planes but I can only imagine that such a thing is a fantasy; see the thread about the European airlines lowering standards and then wondering why people choose the ME3. If I'm going from MAN to PVG, for example, I would probably prefer the EY or EK option with my buying power as I know I'm getting the best J service. I wouldn't want to sit on a crammed domestic A319 for a comparatively poor J service on BA. An equal comparison could be DUB to JNB via AMS or FRA.
 
Viscount724
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RE:

Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:27 pm

Quoting ndhair37 (Reply 12):
Would be nice to see airlines like BA, KL, LH and AF embracing proper Business Class on their smaller planes but I can only imagine that such a thing is a fantasy;

They did once but it was totally uneconomic for the reasons already mentioned. All major carriers in Europe once had the same type of F class cabin as US carriers still do, and some replaced F class with a dedicated business class cabin with fixed 5-abreast seats or convertible seats that could be changed from 5-abreast to 6-abreast. But both those options used more space and the convertible seats were maintenance-intensive and quite heavy. Switching to the current product permitted a couple of additional rows of seats to be added, meaning a lot of additional revenue.

The current European product works fine considering the length of most flights and the other benefits like lounge access (which you don't get even with an F class ticket in the US with rare exceptions), priority boarding, better meal service, extra free baggage allowance and a guaranteed empty seat next to you are more important than the seat for most business passengers.
 
Andy33
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RE:

Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:38 pm

Quoting ndhair37 (Reply 12):
If I'm going from MAN to PVG, for example, I would probably prefer the EY or EK option with my buying power as I know I'm getting the best J service. I wouldn't want to sit on a crammed domestic A319 for a comparatively poor J service on BA

Not a good example. There is no business class on UK domestic flights (of any airline) and there hasn't been for a long time. It's another reason why BA (and EI who do in fact have UK domestic flights from BHD) have planes which can be all-Y or with varying numbers of rows of business class. Otherwise they'd need a subfleet of all-economy planes for domestics. At the moment planes can switch between all-Y and CY in turnround time, and do.

If you mean that passengers who can afford it and aren't bound by corporate travel contracts prefer an all-J flight connecting in DXB or DOH to BA's offering of UK domestic class to LHR then J, that's not surprising. But it's not really relevant to a discussion of Euro Business Class is it, since there's no C-class involved at any point in the journey?
 
YYZFAN
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RE: European Business Class

Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:54 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 11):
It's a very different market from North America.

This is the crux of the issue. Very few intra-European routes cross 2.5 hours. In Canada and the USA, domestic runs can be as long as 6 hours (JFK-LAX or YUL-YVR on windy days for example).

The value of priority check-in, baggage, security, and lounge access can be enough to entice selecting business class. Even on a two hour flight, if one wants to get work done, having the middle seat empty and having the elbow room is valuable.

It appears a rip off on the surface, but that is only because different markets (such as the North American market) are catering to exactly that...different markets. Context is key here.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 13):
The current European product works fine considering the length of most flights and the other benefits like lounge access (which you don't get even with an F class ticket in the US with rare exceptions)

I agree. They have the right model for the market they are serving. Having recently flown AA, their policy (and that of OW) is that you can only access the lounge if you are connecting to/from a long haul (defined as being over 5 hours in length). So YYZ-DFW and return, I only received lounge access because I was departing on/ arriving from DFW-HKG-DFW.
 
jetblue1965
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RE: European Business Class

Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:01 pm

I might be the minority opinion but for something like SIN-TXL in J, id much prefer having a proper long haul from SIN to a European hub like FRA then a short hop over instead of having my sleep interrupted with landing and transit half way through the journey
 
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ua900
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RE:

Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:03 pm

Quoting ndhair37 (Reply 12):
In my mind, Air Serbia is doing it properly.

Looks like they took a page from TK's copy book. Now they just need to figure out how to eliminate overnight stopovers in BEG.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 8):
You get pretty much all of that on US carriers' domestic/regional F, plus in most cases IFE, powerports, wifi, 2-2 seating and 5-10" more legroom. Even with business select I'm pretty sure you get 2/3/4/5/7.

And yet you state in response #4 that you consider Euro business class to be a bigger ripoff than WN Business Select. Not sure how given that people are clearly getting a long list of extras over Y cabin / Y fare.
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TKA380
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RE: European Business Class

Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:23 am

TK offer a very good product on their A321, 737-800's & 737-900ER aircraft. Operated on most Europe routes.
http://www.seatplans.com/assets/Airl...73256-New-737-Sky-Interior-Bus.jpg
 
MaverickM11
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RE:

Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:30 am

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 9):
You don't get lounge access.

Depends. Between FF programs and credit cards, the bar can be pretty low.

Quoting ua900 (Reply 17):
And yet you state in response #4 that you consider Euro business class to be a bigger ripoff than WN Business Select. Not sure how given that people are clearly getting a long list of extras over Y cabin / Y fare.

Euro business *is* a total ripoff, unless you like 30" of pitch? The lounge access is not particularly interesting for road warriors since the last thing they want to do is spend extra time at the airport. Business select pax get on first, mileage multiplier, complimentary alcohol, whatever seat they want, 1-3"+ more pitch than EU "business", and wifi. Ultimately all you're missing out is the crap meal on the EU carriers, which I'd bet 90%+ of road warriors could not care less about.
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rbavfan
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RE: European Business Class

Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:23 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 19):
which I'd bet 90%+ of road warriors could not care less about.

Have a flight that the meal is missed due to a tech issue and be on the customer service line after. They tell me they don't care about that crappy meal. There running their arses off on a trip to a place they may not be familiar with. Having that crappy meal means they get to eat before that meeting they are late for due to ATC, weather or traffic delays. Better to eat a crappy meal than be at a meeting that last hours while your hungry.
 
goldorak
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RE: European Business Class

Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:04 am

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 16):
I might be the minority opinion but for something like SIN-TXL in J, id much prefer having a proper long haul from SIN to a European hub like FRA then a short hop over instead of having my sleep interrupted with landing and transit half way through the journey

you're not alone !
 
cedarjet
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RE:

Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:07 am

Anyone who wonders why Euro airlines don't do a bigger hard product are missing a major point. Well it has been hinted at, but the deciding factor is sector length, the vast majority of which are just one hour or less. UK to Germany, (most of) France, Switzerland, Benelux are all within 45 mins to 1h15 mins in the air. All flights within those countries are an hour or less. UK to Istanbul, Moscow at 3h are the exceptions and they're still only the same as halfway across the USA. (London to Tehran with a puff of a tailwind is only 4h45m.)
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
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ua900
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RE:

Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:48 am

As a couple of people have said, there are carriers in Europe that have seats that go beyond middle seat left open, like TK. I have had LH flights where the entire back was full yet upfront we've had most rows empty, e.g. Free choice of seats with zero neighbors. WN business select passengers can still end up with plenty of neighbors and the pitch they buy isn't any different from the cheapest fare pitch.

And there are many genuine advantages, for example EU carriers like LH are very picky when it comes to luggage, being C cabin exempts you from that. I'm star gold and when I fly LH C I get 3x 70lbs as I would on UA, but when I fly LH Y it's only 2x 50lbs. I get everything I get in UA domestic F on LH except for the pitch, but at least the C cabin on LH has spare seats on takeoff, unlike 90% of UA flights.

90% of the C passengers I see in Europe value C because it spares them from having to rub elbows with hoi polloi. It's not the Ritz Carlton but then again most rental cars and hotel rooms in Europe are smaller too, it's a comparatively crowded region. So why expect something that's great when the price difference is often so small?

As for EU carriers staying at the current level, let's see. UA is discovering that people are willing to pay for transcon C flat beds, while carriers like LH are still running 321s on 4Hr+ plus flights in that old C config. Airlines like TK are on the right track with their short haul F product. Aspiring 5* carriers (e.g. LH) would do well to take notice and start charging people domestic F prices for a new domestic F product.
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infinit
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RE:

Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:11 am

You get what you pay for I guess. From SIN, taking the example of Silkair which largely runs flights of comparable length as Euro Business (2 hours or less) on narrowbodies, you have a dedicated Business Class seat in a 2-2 config-



But there is a clear fare difference between J and ay as well. For a 1 hour flight to Penang, Y is typically S$300 and J is S$900. No cheap upgrades.

Airlines in Europe often sell spare J seats at $100 more when you check-in online from what I've seen. So I guess one cant complain when the J seat is a Y seat with the centre seat blocked off and a curtain that can be adjusted accordingly based on the demand in both "cabins"
 
ahmetdouas
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RE:

Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:49 am

Quoting TKA380 (Reply 18):

TK on the LHR-IST route has by far the best business class in Europe. If you choose the right flight time, you get to fly Business on the 777-300 ER for a 4 hour flight!
That's why on the LHR-IST route, BA has no hope except for dirt cheap economy fares.
 
TheCommodore
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RE:

Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:03 pm

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 1):
business class in Europe is fine.

Its a joke.

A "reserved seat" in between an economy class with a configuration of, 3-3 ..... Laughable !

Other countries manage to offer mush more of flights even shorter than within Europe.

Pick up your game .
“At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you.”
 
AWACSooner
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RE:

Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:27 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 2):
and even there is more leg room in the first couple of seat rows.

A whopping 2"...from 30" to 32", the latter of which is just about standard in Y amongst the US3 (and WN and B6).

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 19):
Ultimately all you're missing out is the crap meal on the EU carriers, which I'd bet 90%+ of road warriors could not care less about.

I've had FAR better meal service on the European carriers than ANY of the US3...that's part of the reason why I choose to fly non-US carriers (codeshare) trans-Atlantic as much as possible.
 
TheCommodore
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RE:

Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:02 pm

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 27):
I've had FAR better meal service on the European carriers than ANY of the US3...that's part of the reason why I choose to fly non-US carriers (codeshare) trans-Atlantic as much as possible.

A VERY LOW base to judge from Im afraid !
“At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you.”
 
richcandy
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RE: European Business Class

Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:30 pm

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 26):
Pick up your game

Why?

If it sell and it clearly does other wise lots of european carriers would either be removing business class totally or changing to better seats.

My partner works in the UK for a US based company and they have travel policy that states that if the flight is less than 4 hours you fly on the cheapest possible ticket and never in business. Often that means flying Easyjet, and everyone does it incl the guy who is responsible for the whole european operation and has a salary of around £300k.
 
TheCommodore
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RE: European Business Class

Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:47 pm

Quoting richcandy (Reply 29):
Why?

Because we in Australia can sell premium business seats, no problem within the country.

Why cant Europe offer the same standard ?

after all, the time zone and flight hours are similar ???
“At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you.”
 
RIX
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RE: European Business Class

Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:28 pm

Interesting discussion... Another one US vs EU, but this time it's the latter that is on defense...   To me (and some others above) the main difference is lounge access vs better cabin. Everything else is pretty much the same, while lounge vs cabin is rather a question of personal preference (mine is lounge). Looks like it's mostly agreed that the service/product level is driven by what customers are willing to pay for, hence "usual" "why can't you have it better" is not a dominant topic. Just plain reality, and not a bad one, speaking of what we get on local premium flying...
 
MaverickM11
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RE:

Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:16 pm

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 27):
I've had FAR better meal service on the European carriers than ANY of the US3...that's part of the reason why I choose to fly non-US carriers (codeshare) trans-Atlantic as much as possible.

There's no meal in the world that can make up for 30" pitch and zero wifi/power/IFE

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 22):
Well it has been hinted at, but the deciding factor is sector length, the vast majority of which are just one hour or less

The deciding factor is no one is willing to pay for it, and the LCCs are eating the legacy network carriers' lunch.

Quoting rbavfan (Reply 20):
Have a flight that the meal is missed due to a tech issue and be on the customer service line after. They tell me they don't care about that crappy meal

I find that hard to believe, especially with the options in airports these days to grab something on the way to/from the plane
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
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Aeroflot777
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RE:

Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:24 pm

Aeroflot has a much better Business cabin than other Euro carriers (not counting TK and now Air Serbia coming soon), sometimes I go out of my way to hop on it vs. the "block the middle seat" business joke.

http://www.businessclass.se/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/04/Aeroflot-Business-Class-cabin-Airbus-A320-720x480.jpg
 
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Crosswind
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RE:

Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:09 pm

The fundamental problem for the main European carriers is the highly variable demand, and a fixed business class cabin is just that.

Demand varies widely, sometimes it can be virtually nil, other times almost half of the rows are dedicated to the C-class cabin, then factor in airlines like BA who don't offer C-class on their domestic flights - all operated with the same fleet of aircraft.

Compare that with the USA where on many flights free upgrades are handed out, and presumably on busy ones revenue turned away. With the flexible model, everyone gets the class they have paid for, operational upgrades are very rare - the airline can maximise revenue per flight.

If they were to offer a fixed C-class cabin, it would often be half empty and at other times a lot of revenue opportunity missed... Together with the likelihood that prices would increase.

People think about this product wrongly - it's really a full-fare economy product, and if it was to be introduced today as a new product would probably be referred to as some form of "Premium Economy" It is referred to as Business Class as a result of how it evolved.

It doesn't bear much scrutiny as a Business product in the air, just as the US First Class doesn't bear any resemblance to an international First Class product.

Having said that, the product is very affordable, upgrade prices are often available for £30-50 per sector on shorter flights within Europe, given that it includes lounge access, baggage and other perks on the ground it's very affordable. But the flip side of the coin is it's affordable to provide for the airline.

A fixed cabin product with it's inherent inefficiencies would come with costs that the passengers would have to bear... How many would actually do so on your average 90 min hop which covers the core European cities of London, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, Zurich, Milan, Copenhagen etc?

With a fixed cabin on busy flights revenue is lost due to inability to sell more premium seats, and on others the product is totally devalued by giving it away for free. The latter makes people reluctant to pay for it, they gamble they may get it for nothing if they have the status and luck is on their side.

European carriers have shown a far greater willingness to innovate their products than their US counterparts, for example there are no real "Premium Economy" cabins until AA introduce the 787-9 despite them having started to be introduced in Europe over 20 years ago. WiFi is a different issue - due to the number of countries crossed on an average flight it's much more complex to implement here - but it will be widespread within the next couple of years, the plans are starting to be rolled out now.

I only make the above point, to say that if European carriers thought there was a genuine demand for such a product (and a willingness to pay for it) with a profitable business case one of the majors would have done it. They have done so on a limited basis, such as BA and their use of long-haul configured aircraft on the Moscow route where they determined a business case to do so, as well as offering a similar product on Tel Aviv and Cairo flights - where some others offer a standard European product. Iberia similarly have a mid-haul A32S fleet for longer sectors such as Tel Aviv. Air France used to have a special fleet of A319s, but I'm not sure they were used within Europe on a planned basis.

I think the European model works for Europe, due to the sector length, the flexibility it offers the airlines, and the fact they compensate the ordinary seating onboard with more facilities on the ground. I believe the market has spoken - as in the travelling public are generally unwilling to pay for more.

Regards
CROSSWIND
 
richcandy
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RE: European Business Class

Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:51 pm

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 30):
Because we in Australia can sell premium business seats, no problem within the country.

Yes but within Australia and the USA it's expected that if you fly business class domestically that you will get a different seat. In Europe some airlines have been offering economy class seating with the middle seat blocked as european business class for 20+ years. This isn't new!

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 30):
Why cant Europe offer the same standard ?

after all, the time zone and flight hours are similar ???

I guess they would if passengers were prepared to pay a premium for it. The problem is that a lot of european flights between major business centres are fairly short and people have got used to the current european business class product.

Its also slightly different, in Australia Qantas are competing against Virgin. They fly the same routes. If Qantas were to offer some amazing product Virgin would have to do something. In the EU if you ignore the LCC's then the traditional so called flag carriers only compete with each other in selected markets. Example between LHR and FRA BA competes with LH, but between LHR and ZRH BA competes with LX. So it would take more than one european airline to offer a better business class seat in order to make others change.

20 years ago on a domestic flight (Economy) from LHR to GLA you got a drink from the bar with some peanuts, then dinner with wine. There was no extra cost to check a bag. Now you get a drink and a sandwich and many people don't even expect that. Plus on some fares you have to pay to check a bag. I hope I am wrong but I don't see an increase in service coming to business class travel inside the EU.
 
ytz
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Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:31 am

RE: European Business Class

Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:00 pm

I would think that there's at least some baseline demand for 4-abreast J. So wouldn't that mean J/Y+/Y would make sense in Europe? Heck, the eurocarriers could just offer their current product through Y+ in such a config with an offer to simply buy the middle seat for 50% of the cost.

Given the wide variety of options that Europe offers the rest of the travel experience (for hotels, food, etc.), it's strange that such segementation isn't there with legacy carriers. I would think baseline demand would support at least a small premium J cabin on most routes (8-12 seats).
 
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AAlaxfan
Posts: 658
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:08 am

RE:

Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:44 pm

Quoting anyong (Thread starter):
Is it a bigger ripoff than Southwest Business Select?

To answer your question, and get back on topic, no. WN's Business Select is the bigger ripoff. European business gives far more perks than WN can ever give. Lounge, blocked seats, ASSIGNED SEATS, meals are all items not even dreamed of in the WN business model.

European business class vs. US domestic business is a different topic.

[Edited 2016-01-04 12:45:12]
Grumpy. Not a dwarf, not an attitude. It's a lifestyle.
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: European Business Class

Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:14 am

Quoting ytz (Reply 36):
I would think baseline demand would support at least a small premium J cabin on most routes (8-12 seats).

It's common to see no J passengers on European flights, and often only 2 rows allocated to business class. To add even 2 rows of standard US-type F class seats would also mean eliminating one row of Y seats, meaning even fewer seats to sell. And with a fixed 8 or 12-seat cabin you lose the ability to sell many more J fares on flights that do have significant demand on certain routes and times of the day when they may have 6 or 7 rows allocated to business class. I've been on many trips where the outbound flight may have 2 or 3 J passengers (or none) and the return flight 20 or 25 if it's at a peak time for business travel.

There may be the odd route where there is some demand for that type of product but carriers don't want the inflexibility of multiple configurations with aircraft restricted to certain routes.
 
AWACSooner
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RE: European Business Class

Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:32 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 32):
There's no meal in the world that can make up for 30" pitch and zero wifi/power/IFE

For the usual European 1.5-2 hour flights, it's doable...after that, no thanks.
 
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seabosdca
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RE: European Business Class

Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:39 am

For me, the option to have a guaranteed blocked middle seat for the cheap prices often available for Euro C upgrades would be a no-brainer. I'm not that tall but I have wide shoulders and big arms, and in a 737 I *will* be intruding into the shoulder space of the passenger next to me unless that person is tiny.

I don't really care about the rest and the much higher (usually) prices to upgrade to a US domestic F-style product aren't worth it. But AA 738s have a few blocked middle seats (to keep the total at 149) and I'll grab one of those rows in a heartbeat on a longer flight.

[Edited 2016-01-05 01:40:25]
 
planewasted
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:47 pm

RE: European Business Class

Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:34 am

I only travel European business class when I have connecting long haul flights in business. Reason? My employer only pays business for long haul. Would be interesting to know how many that actually travels only the Europe segment in business.
I get the impression that most passengers in Europe business usually are connecting passengers.
 
ahmetdouas
Posts: 309
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:23 pm

RE: European Business Class

Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:05 pm

Quoting planewasted (Reply 41):

Yes you are probably right, except for the 'long' haul euro travelers (LHR-IST, etc.) or people so wealthy they don't care = )
But there are some people that fly business in EU just to maintain their Gold FF status, I know some people like that.

But i've never heard of anyone flying Business Class who said I am flying Business in EU because its amazing = )
 
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Aisak
Posts: 885
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RE: European Business Class

Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:55 pm

Quoting Crosswind (Reply 34):
It doesn't bear much scrutiny as a Business product in the air, just as the US First Class doesn't bear any resemblance to an international First Class product.

That is the main driver for this argument. The two-class short-haul products should not have the same names than long-haul. BA does a good job by choosing diferent names for "Club World", "Club World London City", "Biz bed" for openskies and "Club Europe". The product is not the same, even on their own long-haul offering, and should be call different.

Economy class within Europe is also quite different than long-haul. On short-hall most airliners have gone Buy-On-Board, the hold luggage ussually comes with a fee and IFE is rare, even as drop-down from the ceiling. On ther other hand, the log-haul product comes with two meals, luggage and some aircrafts have PTV on the seats.
Hard to say it is the same "Economy" or "Tourist" for both products. I think this last part is also true for US' "Coach".
 
jetblue1965
Posts: 5050
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RE: European Business Class

Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:52 pm

30" pitch simply cannot even be premium economy, let alone "business" or any other name other than "glorified AC rouge". No amount of Krug, lounge access, or even private car tarmac transfer can change the underlying nature that one is paying 2-3x the price for simply a guaranteed empty middle seat.

A random search on LH FRA-LHR RT 2 months out shows their business is at least 4x pricing that of Y. If the so-called "cheap upgrades" in EU J is really that common and widespread, then I must be missing something in my search.
 
Andy33
Posts: 2504
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:30 am

RE: European Business Class

Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:21 pm

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 44):
A random search on LH FRA-LHR RT 2 months out shows their business is at least 4x pricing that of Y. If the so-called "cheap upgrades" in EU J is really that common and widespread, then I must be missing something in my search.

The "cheap upgrades", when they exist, are only offered to people who actually purchase economy tickets, quite often as a a pop-up message at on-line checkin, or via the 'manage my booking' option on line.
You don't normally see any offers until after you've actually made a real economy booking. The airlines aren't stupid. If you could see whether an upgrade was possible before you booked. nobody would pay the business fare if they were certain of an upgrade offer.
 
jetblue1965
Posts: 5050
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:28 pm

RE: European Business Class

Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:38 pm

Quoting Andy33 (Reply 45):

The "cheap upgrades", when they exist, are only offered to people who actually purchase economy tickets, quite often as a a pop-up message at on-line checkin, or via the 'manage my booking' option on line.
You don't normally see any offers until after you've actually made a real economy booking. The airlines aren't stupid. If you could see whether an upgrade was possible before you booked. nobody would pay the business fare if they were certain of an upgrade offer.

Then those are random events that shouldn't be counted against the actual pricing of the tickets, which are outrageously expensive for the 30" pitch they deliver .... Unless you can prove with consistency that cheap upgrades are always offered at check in whenever J inventory is greater than 0. If you can't, then only the upfront pricing matters.

EU J is a very poor value for the money no matter how much koolaid is being drank by the same old talking points about lounge, meal, short segment length, and dynamic demand. I can't find a single major market globally that gives 30" pitch and calls it premium.
 
RIX
Posts: 1590
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2000 4:46 am

RE: European Business Class

Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:51 pm

Quoting planewasted (Reply 41):
I get the impression that most passengers in Europe business usually are connecting passengers.

Not unlikely, but my latest Club Europe flights were not connections - I think, only the very first one, in 2000, was.

Quoting ahmetdouas (Reply 42):
But i've never heard of anyone flying Business Class who said I am flying Business in EU because its amazing = )

Well, I definitely do it because I like it (speaking here of intra-Europe; agree, it's still short of "amazing"  ).
 
Ryanair01
Posts: 447
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:27 pm

RE: European Business Class

Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:08 am

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 44):
A random search on LH FRA-LHR RT 2 months out shows their business is at least 4x pricing that of Y.

I just did a random search on LON-FRA, certainly nothing like the supplement you describe, I travel LON-FRA fairly often and my usual flights would be a £43 outbound and £40 inbound upgrade in/out LCY (which I wouldn't bother doing on the outbound where I'd get a hot breakfast in economy, but probably would on the return for the lounge at FRA's grim Terminal 2 and something to eat to save me grabbing take away. Having said that gate to gate (or gate to bused remote stand in FRA.....) is only 1h 30m so I might not bother.



I did a similar check against LGA-DTW (about the same distance) on the same day and DL 1st is $880 rtn (maybe being in Europe they aren't offering cheaper fares), but that is about double LON-FRA BA Club Europe for a similar distance. In my own experience European Business Class is less comfortable but cheaper than US First Class Class.

I used to attend business travel conferences frequently and remember one of the speakers showing a picture of the CEO of Marks & Spencer (a multi billion pound retailer) in the Easyjet check in queue at Gatwick. For a short flight few people really care.

I also remember when BA flew about 100 of us in Club Europe to Barcelona on a freebie, mostly Business Travel Management Company senior managers and some suppliers like me. On the return we had an aircraft which had interim seating (BA had an interim for some new aircraft before they launched their current seat). The conclusion of everyone, with 30 inch pitch, cold meats and cheese, why bother?
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: European Business Class

Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:14 am

Quoting Aisak (Reply 43):
Economy class within Europe is also quite different than long-haul. On short-haul most airlines have gone Buy-On-Board, the hold luggage ussually comes with a fee and IFE is rare, even as drop-down from the ceiling.

In Europe, few of the major carriers are Buy-on-Board. You don't get much in Y but you don't pay for it. For example, on KLM within Europe during meal hours you get a sandwich, and beer/wine/juice/soft drinks are always free in Y. That's true on many other European network carriers.

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