Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
VC10er
Topic Author
Posts: 4293
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:25 am

Flat Bed Seats on Domestic F flights in the USA

Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:17 pm

Hello all,

Today I am going to Rio on United in BF. The first leg of my flight is on a 767-300 from Newark to Houston and I will be in a bed seat, the same seat as my Houston to Rio. I assume that many pax in "domestic F" on that flight are not connecting to an international flight. I often take this 4:30pm flight because of 767 instead of a 737. What a treat vs a regular domestic F seat.

I know that all the big US3 have international configured aircraft flying domestic routes. (NOTE: I am NOT taking about any of the NYC/SFO/LAX transcon premium services, where we all know that "F" is a flat bed)

Is there a way to easily search for domestic flights, across DL, AA and UA (maybe Virgin America or JetBlue) for the routes where internationally configured, flat bed seat, aircraft are used?

I can't help but think, when I think about the many flights way over 3 hours, or 4 hours eg: Boston, Miami, DC, Atlanta to LA, SF or Seattle etc, that premium fliers would pay a very good premium for a bed seat on these routes.

I usually only fly UA because of my status, but when UA is able to free-up more and more TATL-757's, that they could expand ps-like service on many domestic US flights beyond EWR, and charge more for them than the other flights that day on a 737, A320 or domestic 757...I assume the all the same for AA and Delta.

So, basically I have 2 questions: is there a simple way to search for such flights, and two, why don't these airlines consider making 3/4+ hour flights far more premium in domestic F?
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
YZF101
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2016 8:12 am

Re: Flat Bed Seats on Domestic F flights in the USA

Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:16 pm

Lie flat seats on long haul must be a real treat. Never been, never afford it. But I sleep well sitting in my ez-boy at home, so those type seats would be just marvy for a transcon flight! Saw basically the same in business on Philippine's A343, they must be nice!
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 27500
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

Re: Flat Bed Seats on Domestic F flights in the USA

Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:21 pm

VC10er wrote:
So, basically I have 2 questions: is there a simple way to search for such flights, and two, why don't these airlines consider making 3/4+ hour flights far more premium in domestic F?


Speaking for UA, I am guessing not since they have both international and domestic configuration widebodies. I start the booking process and then look at the seat maps to see if it's an international or domestic scheduled for that mission, but there could be aircraft substitutions (more likely an international for a domestic).

While I fly paid First (discounted A fares), I expect most of my fellow travelers in the cabin are on upgrades or award tickets so while I am sure they would love a nicer experience, they're not on a fare that would necessarily justify it (though one could argue their aggregate spend offsets that, especially now that status is tied to how much you spend and not how far you have flown).
 
zrs70
Posts: 3778
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 4:08 am

Re: Flat Bed Seats on Domestic F flights in the USA

Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:54 pm

The difficulty likely comes down to fleet utilization. If the airline charges a premium for the flat seats, what happens if there is a mechanical or weather related swap? You paid X but will receive Y.

It can be cost prohibitive for an airline to have a dedicated subfleet just for certain routes. They need to be able to use the birds as widely as possible.
21 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2021
 
User avatar
LeCoqFrancais
Posts: 418
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:03 pm

Re: Flat Bed Seats on Domestic F flights in the USA

Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:20 pm

zrs70 wrote:
The difficulty likely comes down to fleet utilization. If the airline charges a premium for the flat seats, what happens if there is a mechanical or weather related swap? You paid X but will receive Y.

It can be cost prohibitive for an airline to have a dedicated subfleet just for certain routes. They need to be able to use the birds as widely as possible.

Yes, for some airlines/countries your reason is logical, but for airlines like American, Delta and United that have a huge network it does not make as much sens. First of all, in the US (the country that we are talking about in this thread) you have a good number of routes where such a premium product could work so that already makes your sub-fleet quite big (think 15-20 planes minimum) and when you have a network the size of the ones at AA, DL and UA you have many more routes that you can use your sub-fleet in case of slack in the schedule.
Sébastien C. Tourillon
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 9216
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: Flat Bed Seats on Domestic F flights in the USA

Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:37 pm

VC10er wrote:
Hello all,


Is there a way to easily search for domestic flights, across DL, AA and UA (maybe Virgin America or JetBlue) for the routes where internationally configured, flat bed seat, aircraft are used?


So, basically I have 2 questions: is there a simple way to search for such flights, and two, why don't these airlines consider making 3/4+ hour flights far more premium in domestic F?


Why not? Because not enough flyers will pay enough of a premium to offset the lower seating density. Capitalism says that resources will follow market demand.


Search on FlyerTalk, Delta forum, for 'widebody, domestic'. Iirc it points to an ITA Matrix trick to look for the widebody/lie flat config.
 
dcajet
Posts: 4850
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 9:31 am

Re: Flat Bed Seats on Domestic F flights in the USA

Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:51 am

These domestic wb flights serve the purpose of repositioning a/c between hubs. As such, they are not part of UA's broader strategy in the domestic market, but rather to move the a/c from one international hub to another where the next international assignment is waiting. The in between flights between, say, ORD-IAH, SFO-LAX or IAH-EWR don't have enough of a premium demand to justify a dometic BusinessFirst service.
Keep calm and wash your hands.
 
washingtonflyer
Posts: 1675
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:45 pm

Re: Flat Bed Seats on Domestic F flights in the USA

Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:53 pm

The only dedicated lie flat/bed service intra US on a dedicated basis is the NYC-LAX and NYC-SFO service (as you mentioned). Everything else that appears (utilizing a widebody) is usually a positioning flight (or sometimes) a training flight run to familiarize crew.

I don't think there is a way to search the various flight search engines for "F" class and get a true F seat. If you search MIA-LAX for F class, you're going to pull results from AA which feature a 737-800 with a domestic F product, a 767-300 which has a two-class J/Y product but where the J is sold as F within the USA, and possibly a 777-200 where you might have a true three class configuration with true "F" class.
 
User avatar
LeCoqFrancais
Posts: 418
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:03 pm

Re: Flat Bed Seats on Domestic F flights in the USA

Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:46 pm

Lets say I have an airline with a massive network in the continental US and a large international network with based out of BOS or New-York, I could send my premium fleet to LA, San-Fran, Seattle, Chicago, Dallas, San Diego, Miami, Phily, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Orlando(?), Portland(?) and Denver as well as use them in my international network if I have slack in the fleet at any one time. All in all, if you serve all these cities with a Premmium offering and a decent schedule your sub-fleet is not that small anymore...
Sébastien C. Tourillon
 
spk
Posts: 431
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2001 1:56 am

Re: Flat Bed Seats on Domestic F flights in the USA

Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:42 pm

Jet Blue has introduced a flatbed product called Mint. It looks like a very competitive product especially the "suite" seat. I've booked a flight BOS-SFO on this service next month.

http://www.jetblue.com/flying-on-jetblue/mint/

It is available only on a handful of flights, mostly transcon, unfortunately.
 
User avatar
DocLightning
Posts: 22114
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

Re: Flat Bed Seats on Domestic F flights in the USA

Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:21 pm

VC10er wrote:
I can't help but think, when I think about the many flights way over 3 hours, or 4 hours eg: Boston, Miami, DC, Atlanta to LA, SF or Seattle etc, that premium fliers would pay a very good premium for a bed seat on these routes.


Increasingly, the airlines are offering lie-flat service on the longest domestic transcon routes. In order to make it worth it, there must be enough high-yield and business traffic on that route to merit the product, as it is more expensive per square area of cabin to offer.

A special, dedicated fleet is used for these and that comes at the cost of flexibility. I would argue that there is little value to a lie-flat seat if I'm flying SFO-IAH. It's a 3.5 hour flight and I have no need of a lie-flat product. So UA's solution is to keep most of its domestic narrowbody fleet with standard domestic F fleets and keep a dedicated sub-fleet for those transcon flights where there is a market. It means that some longer segments don't get a lie-flat option, true. But with no competition for those products, UA has little incentive to add it.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

Re: Flat Bed Seats on Domestic F flights in the USA

Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:23 am

Stitch wrote:

While I fly paid First (discounted A fares), I expect most of my fellow travelers in the cabin are on upgrades or award tickets so while I am sure they would love a nicer experience, they're not on a fare that would necessarily justify it (though one could argue their aggregate spend offsets that, especially now that status is tied to how much you spend and not how far you have flown).


Assuming your F class travel is mainly on business, how common is it for US employers to permit F class in their travel expense policies?
 
User avatar
LeCoqFrancais
Posts: 418
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:03 pm

Re: Flat Bed Seats on Domestic F flights in the USA

Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:23 am

Viscount724 wrote:
Stitch wrote:

While I fly paid First (discounted A fares), I expect most of my fellow travelers in the cabin are on upgrades or award tickets so while I am sure they would love a nicer experience, they're not on a fare that would necessarily justify it (though one could argue their aggregate spend offsets that, especially now that status is tied to how much you spend and not how far you have flown).


Assuming your F class travel is mainly on business, how common is it for US employers to permit F class in their travel expense policies?

Even if Stitch flies mostly for business who says that he is not paying himself for the ticket or paying the difference between the Companies budget and the F seat?
Sébastien C. Tourillon
 
jetwet1
Posts: 3303
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:42 am

Re: Flat Bed Seats on Domestic F flights in the USA

Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:52 pm

Viscount724 wrote:

Assuming your F class travel is mainly on business, how common is it for US employers to permit F class in their travel expense policies?


That is an opened question, it really depends, when I travel for work it's in first domestic and business international, most of my friends who travel have the same rules, though for some it's if the flight is over x hours they get the higher cabin, then others are stuck in Y no matter what, it really does depend on who you work for.

To the original question, I was a VX person for a long time, their first beats just about anything that isn't on a transcon route, which for me being based in Vegas means we got the big seat up front, not the lie flat, so the VX cradled seat was nice to be able to catch a nap, moving to my last employer VX didn't serve that route, so it was DL, now I am a mix of DL and B6 depending on where I am heading, on international I get to pick as long as the price is competitive. With Mint being rolled out to more stations I am a happy person.
 
masgniw
Posts: 559
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:14 pm

Re: Flat Bed Seats on Domestic F flights in the USA

Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:23 pm

DocLightning wrote:
VC10er wrote:
I can't help but think, when I think about the many flights way over 3 hours, or 4 hours eg: Boston, Miami, DC, Atlanta to LA, SF or Seattle etc, that premium fliers would pay a very good premium for a bed seat on these routes.


Increasingly, the airlines are offering lie-flat service on the longest domestic transcon routes. In order to make it worth it, there must be enough high-yield and business traffic on that route to merit the product, as it is more expensive per square area of cabin to offer.

A special, dedicated fleet is used for these and that comes at the cost of flexibility. I would argue that there is little value to a lie-flat seat if I'm flying SFO-IAH. It's a 3.5 hour flight and I have no need of a lie-flat product. So UA's solution is to keep most of its domestic narrowbody fleet with standard domestic F fleets and keep a dedicated sub-fleet for those transcon flights where there is a market. It means that some longer segments don't get a lie-flat option, true. But with no competition for those products, UA has little incentive to add it.


To build on this -- a lot of biz travelers aren't even going to make use of his amenity unless it's a red-eye. More and more, travel time is time on the clock. It's no longer acceptable to burn a half day snoozing at 35,000 ft if you can be prepping for a presentation, working on a paper, or answering emails.
 
VC10er
Topic Author
Posts: 4293
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:25 am

Re: Flat Bed Seats on Domestic F flights in the USA

Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:06 pm

All I meant was, that the 4:30pm EWR to IAH is almost always a 767-300. I assume this is for premium pax flying from EWR to South America. Although, because I know this AC is often an international 767, and if I only need to go to Houston on business, I will take this flight and buy F. Do I "need" a flat bed? No. But, it's nice to be able to nap, or work or relax with a movie. I have my own company so, I no longer need to follow Corp travel rules. I will then charge my clients the Y fare and eat the difference. It then got me to wonder how often DL, AA and UA do this, and if there was an easier way to search it other than check the equipment on each flight I need to book. THEN, when I thought about how many TATL 757's might be freed up due to new 787's and moving 767's into old 757-TATL routes, it "seemed" that (perhaps) a morning and red-eye route from other east coast cities to the west coast or Denver, "could" command a premium ala: ps.
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
deltaguy767
Posts: 682
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:32 am

Re: Flat Bed Seats on Domestic F flights in the USA

Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:20 am

Form a DL perspective, a casual search yielded:

1x JFK-ATL (Int'l 763)
1x ATL-JFK (Int'l 763)
2x JFK-SEA (Int'l 752)
2x SEA-JFK (Int'l 752)
1x ATL-LAX (Int'l 763)
1x LAX-ATL (Int'l 763)
1x ATL-SEA (Int'l 763)
1x SEA-ATL (Int'l 763)

Good rule of thumb is you're more likely to find widebody/Int'l config domestics on Hub-Hub positioning type flights. Also not unheard of to have a 'quick-turn' utilization flight for a widebody from the hub (i.e. ATL-Florida on DL or MIA-Florida on AA).
A Good Landing is one you walk away from! Any comments made on this board are my own and do not reflect the opinions or actions of my employer.
 
dfwjim1
Posts: 2522
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: Flat Bed Seats on Domestic F flights in the USA

Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:41 pm

Last December I flew MIA to SFO on an AA 763 that was equipped with lie flat beds. The flight was not too crowded so I was graded to first and slept like a baby the whole way.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos