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Birdwatching
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Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:37 pm

I've been thinking about the way people refer to the different classes on airliners in the past and today, in different languages, and thought maybe you can add your own observations.

I'm NOT referring to the product names invented by the airlines (like World Traveler, BusinessFirst, Comfort+...) but the names the average person uses to refer to the different classes.

For the lowest class, in the US, I hear "coach" more than "economy", in the past I have heard the term "tourist class". I believe the UK does not use "coach", which for many people evokes images of a turn of the century train or even a stage coach.

In Germany we used to say "Touristenklasse" (tourist class) in the past, but it's hardly used any more. Most people would simply say "economy". Business class was always "business" in German, First was referred to as "Erste Klasse" in the past but today most people use the English term.

In French, business class is "affaires" which means "business" just like in English, while in Spanish they don't use the translation of "business" which would be "negocios", but "ejecutiva" which is "executive" in English.

What about your language? How has it changed over the decades?
 
2Holer4Longhaul
Posts: 374
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:03 am

Re: Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:47 pm

Hebrew:
ראשונה (first, F)
עסקים (business, J)
תיירים (tourists, Y)
 
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maortega15
Posts: 362
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:52 am

Re: Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:06 pm

Doesn't the Aussies or Kiwis call coach "cattle class"?!
 
planewasted
Posts: 556
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:47 pm

Re: Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:15 pm

"Monkey Class" is frequently used for economy class at my company.

Otherwise, in Swedish:
Economy is Ekonomi
Business we usually just say Business or "Första Klass", which means first class. Since no airlines flies first class from Sweden I guess it is kind of right to name business as first. It is the highest class available.
 
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Seabear
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Re: Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:20 pm

Steerage.
 
cedarjet
Posts: 9048
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

Brand names for classes of travel

Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:27 pm

Another thread (which forbade discussion of this) made me think — airlines sometimes love a fancy name for a class, especially business. I remember in the 80s Cathay's business class used to be Marco Polo Class, MEA's was Cedar Class, and Virgin Atlantic had an early stab at premium economy and called it Mid Class. BA are obviously big on this kind of thing, with World Traveller instead of economy, and Club World instead of business class. Etihad, an otherwise fantastic operator, totally confused me with Coral, Pearl, Diamond. Many a time I have stood in front of their check in desks trying to work out which desk is for me — "is Pearl better than Coral?" — trying to work out which class I'm actually flying in. Luckily they seem to have ditched that element of the brand.

What are some of your favourite class of travel brands, or least favourite?
 
Yflyer
Posts: 1812
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 4:05 am

Re: Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:49 pm

As an American, I usually say "economy", mostly because that's what the airlines seem to call it. But most people do seem to say "coach". It seems like there was an airline in the US that did officially call economy class "coach" on their seating charts and such, I think maybe Northwest. "Tourist class" just sounds really dated to me, like something people would have said in the 1950s. I imagine that terminology fell out of favor because not everyone flying economy is a tourist anymore.
 
AtomicGarden
Posts: 446
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:57 pm

Re: Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:44 am

I find it kinda amusing that my dad (long term airline employee, now retired) calls it not business class, ejecutiva, or Club Cóndor (in AR's case) but "exclusive class". Also, me and my mates refer to coach as "hen house".
 
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AirAfreak
Posts: 1024
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:20 am

Re: Brand names for classes of travel

Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:46 am

cedarjet wrote:
Another thread (which forbade discussion of this) made me think — airlines sometimes love a fancy name for a class, especially business. I remember in the 80s Cathay's business class used to be Marco Polo Class, MEA's was Cedar Class, and Virgin Atlantic had an early stab at premium economy and called it Mid Class. BA are obviously big on this kind of thing, with World Traveller instead of economy, and Club World instead of business class. Etihad, an otherwise fantastic operator, totally confused me with Coral, Pearl, Diamond. Many a time I have stood in front of their check in desks trying to work out which desk is for me — "is Pearl better than Coral?" — trying to work out which class I'm actually flying in. Luckily they seem to have ditched that element of the brand.

What are some of your favourite class of travel brands, or least favourite?



Some of my old favorites:

Pan Am
+Upper Clipper Class
+Clipper Class
+Cabin Class

Air Canada
+Koala Class (Australia Services)
+Hospitality Class

JAL
+Seasons Executive Class

Korean Air
+Prestige Class

Air France
+Alizé
+Loisirs
+Vacances
+Le Club
+Première
+L'espace Europe
+L'espace 180 & 127
+L'espace Affaires
+L'espace Première
+Tempo
+Tempo Challenge

TWA
+Comfort Class
+Ambassador Class

United
+Connoisseur Class

Malaysia
+Golden Club Class

Singapore Airlines
+Raffles Class

Thai Airways
+Royal Silk


Okay, that's all I can think of for the moment. This was a nice trip down memory lane. *^•^*
 
debonair
Posts: 4472
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

Re: Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:31 am

@AirAfreak

Thank you for the memories...
Other fantastic names for BusinessClass: ElAl's "KING SOLOMON" and UTA's "GALAXY"...
 
LCY55Approach
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:39 am

Re: Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:57 am

In the UK, people call Y Economy, and "Cattle Class" gets used a bit too, or just "shoved in the back"

J is Business, but I also hear people call it Club Class, perhaps because of BA

Less frequent flyers tend to mix up First and Business, but I guess that is the same everywhere.

I like the terms "turn left" and "turn right"
 
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readytotaxi
Posts: 8542
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:09 am

Re: Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:43 pm

Now which airline would be brave enough to revert to the old cruise liner labelling,
1st Class
2nd Class
3rd Class
 
Yflyer
Posts: 1812
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 4:05 am

Re: Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:17 pm

LCY55Approach wrote:
Less frequent flyers tend to mix up First and Business, but I guess that is the same everywhere.


While deplaning from an LH A380 last year I overheard the guy behind me comment "Wow, this is nice. This must be business class"... as we were passing through the premium economy section. I imagine many not so frequent fliers probably are unaware of the existence of premium economy, and it is pretty much what business class was like a few decades ago, so I can understand the confusion.
 
spacecadet
Posts: 3585
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 3:36 am

Re: Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:45 am

People say "coach" because it was the official name of that class for many years, and I think it still might be internally at airlines. But paper tickets used to actually say "coach" on them.

This obviously goes way back to the stagecoach era. And that carried over to trains, which then carried over to planes.

I do hear a lot of people using "economy" these days, though. I hear both about equally. So probably it'll change over completely eventually.
 
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AirAfreak
Posts: 1024
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:20 am

Re: Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:58 am

debonair wrote:
@AirAfreak

Thank you for the memories...
Other fantastic names for BusinessClass: ElAl's "KING SOLOMON" and UTA's "GALAXY"...


Glad to bring some nostalgia back!

Wasn't there a Senator Class by Lufthansa?

I remember the old LH tag line, "First Class Senator Service" when I took my first flight on a LH DC-10 LH418/419 FRA-IAD-FRA... I was only flying as a UM Passenger at that time, but I remember it quite well. When I would land in FRA, there was a UM children's lounge just before the area where my mom would meet me and sign the documents to release me from LH Supervision. I still remember wearing that soft grey plastic UM lanyard folder around my neck as if it were yesterday. Haha.
 
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OA260
Posts: 26186
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

Re: Brand names for classes of travel

Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:53 pm

AirAfreak wrote:
cedarjet wrote:
Another thread (which forbade discussion of this) made me think — airlines sometimes love a fancy name for a class, especially business. I remember in the 80s Cathay's business class used to be Marco Polo Class, MEA's was Cedar Class, and Virgin Atlantic had an early stab at premium economy and called it Mid Class. BA are obviously big on this kind of thing, with World Traveller instead of economy, and Club World instead of business class. Etihad, an otherwise fantastic operator, totally confused me with Coral, Pearl, Diamond. Many a time I have stood in front of their check in desks trying to work out which desk is for me — "is Pearl better than Coral?" — trying to work out which class I'm actually flying in. Luckily they seem to have ditched that element of the brand.

What are some of your favourite class of travel brands, or least favourite?



Some of my old favorites:

Pan Am
+Upper Clipper Class
+Clipper Class
+Cabin Class

Air Canada
+Koala Class (Australia Services)
+Hospitality Class

JAL
+Seasons Executive Class

Korean Air
+Prestige Class

Air France
+Alizé
+Loisirs
+Vacances
+Le Club
+Première
+L'espace Europe
+L'espace 180 & 127
+L'espace Affaires
+L'espace Première
+Tempo
+Tempo Challenge

TWA
+Comfort Class
+Ambassador Class

United
+Connoisseur Class

Malaysia
+Golden Club Class

Singapore Airlines
+Raffles Class

Thai Airways
+Royal Silk


Okay, that's all I can think of for the moment. This was a nice trip down memory lane. *^•^*


Great to see those a blast from the past.

Iran Air was Homa Class ( Not sure with the new product if its stayed )

Olympic Airways was Olympian Executive Class


Image


BWIA was Hibiscus Class


https://youtu.be/k4_cm3NEXag
 
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DABYT
Posts: 265
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:59 pm

Re: Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:24 pm

AirAfreak wrote:
Wasn't there a Senator Class by Lufthansa?

I remember the old LH tag line, "First Class Senator Service" when I took my first flight on a LH DC-10 LH418/419 FRA-IAD-FRA... I was only flying as a UM Passenger at that time, but I remember it quite well. When I would land in FRA, there was a UM children's lounge just before the area where my mom would meet me and sign the documents to release me from LH Supervision. I still remember wearing that soft grey plastic UM lanyard folder around my neck as if it were yesterday. Haha.


The "First Class Senator Service" was referring to the service you would receive being a Lufthansa Senator which you had to earn. The Senator Status still exists nowadays, Lufthansa classes were always First, Business and Economy Class. Today you have Premium Economy, too. A Senator Class never existed.
 
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readytotaxi
Posts: 8542
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:09 am

Re: Brand names for classes of travel

Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:02 am

OA260 wrote:
AirAfreak wrote:
cedarjet wrote:
Another thread (which forbade discussion of this) made me think — airlines sometimes love a fancy name for a class, especially business. I remember in the 80s Cathay's business class used to be Marco Polo Class, MEA's was Cedar Class, and Virgin Atlantic had an early stab at premium economy and called it Mid Class. BA are obviously big on this kind of thing, with World Traveller instead of economy, and Club World instead of business class. Etihad, an otherwise fantastic operator, totally confused me with Coral, Pearl, Diamond. Many a time I have stood in front of their check in desks trying to work out which desk is for me — "is Pearl better than Coral?" — trying to work out which class I'm actually flying in. Luckily they seem to have ditched that element of the brand.

What are some of your favourite class of travel brands, or least favourite?



Some of my old favorites:

Pan Am
+Upper Clipper Class
+Clipper Class
+Cabin Class

Air Canada
+Koala Class (Australia Services)
+Hospitality Class

JAL
+Seasons Executive Class

Korean Air
+Prestige Class

Air France
+Alizé
+Loisirs
+Vacances
+Le Club
+Première
+L'espace Europe
+L'espace 180 & 127
+L'espace Affaires
+L'espace Première
+Tempo
+Tempo Challenge

TWA
+Comfort Class
+Ambassador Class

United
+Connoisseur Class

Malaysia
+Golden Club Class

Singapore Airlines
+Raffles Class

Thai Airways
+Royal Silk


Okay, that's all I can think of for the moment. This was a nice trip down memory lane. *^•^*


Great to see those a blast from the past.

Iran Air was Homa Class ( Not sure with the new product if its stayed )

Olympic Airways was Olympian Executive Class


Image


BWIA was Hibiscus Class


https://youtu.be/k4_cm3NEXag

I see you have been hit by the curse of Photobucket. :(
 
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ojjunior
Posts: 1084
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:31 am

Re: Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:14 pm

In Brazilian Portuguese is and always was:

Econômica (Economy)
Executiva (Business)
Primeira Classe (1st)
This is how people call it, not the airline's product name as the topic title asks.

But for real, they mean:
Econômica (My place)
Executiva (If I get lucky at check-in)
Primeira Classe (Never been)
 
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OA260
Posts: 26186
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

Re: Brand names for classes of travel

Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:26 pm

readytotaxi wrote:
OA260 wrote:
AirAfreak wrote:


Some of my old favorites:

Pan Am
+Upper Clipper Class
+Clipper Class
+Cabin Class

Air Canada
+Koala Class (Australia Services)
+Hospitality Class

JAL
+Seasons Executive Class

Korean Air
+Prestige Class

Air France
+Alizé
+Loisirs
+Vacances
+Le Club
+Première
+L'espace Europe
+L'espace 180 & 127
+L'espace Affaires
+L'espace Première
+Tempo
+Tempo Challenge

TWA
+Comfort Class
+Ambassador Class

United
+Connoisseur Class

Malaysia
+Golden Club Class

Singapore Airlines
+Raffles Class

Thai Airways
+Royal Silk


Okay, that's all I can think of for the moment. This was a nice trip down memory lane. *^•^*


Great to see those a blast from the past.

Iran Air was Homa Class ( Not sure with the new product if its stayed )

Olympic Airways was Olympian Executive Class


Image


BWIA was Hibiscus Class


https://youtu.be/k4_cm3NEXag

I see you have been hit by the curse of Photobucket. :(


Its actually an old link not my account so they must be . So far Im ok on my own.
 
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PPVLC
Posts: 291
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 12:07 pm

Re: Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:44 am

Back in the days when I was flying, VARIG had Premium Class (P) for long haul wide-bodies; First Class ou Primeira Classe (F); Executiva(S), and Economica (Y). There was a big difference between P and F btw.
 
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Jawaiiansky66
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:03 am

Re: Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:36 pm

Air Canada used to call their business class - Connoisseur service...which was later adopted by UNITED until fairly recently
 
mugler
Posts: 245
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:35 pm

Re: Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:21 pm

In Mexico AM uses Premier Class for Business Class and MX used to call theirs Elite Class if im not mistaken.
 
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hispanola
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:13 am

Re: Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:51 pm

IB used to name their classes as follows:
Gran Clase: International First
Primera Clase: Domestic First
Clase Preferente: Business
Clase Turista: Economy

Now they're called:
Business: Business Class
Turista Premium: Premium Economy
Turista: Economy Class

People in Spain will refer to Economy Class as "turista," which is similar to "tourist class" mentioned before. They don't talk about "Preferente" though (unless it's RENFE). Instead, Spaniards say "Business" when talking about business class.
 
StrandedAtMKG
Posts: 304
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:51 pm

Re: Names of cabin classes, past and present, different languages

Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:45 pm

readytotaxi wrote:
Now which airline would be brave enough to revert to the old cruise liner labelling,
1st Class
2nd Class
3rd Class


On US airlines everyone's treated as a second class citizen, regardless of the class they're flying.

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