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gsg013
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Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:03 pm

Premium Economy is it the new old Business Class

Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:16 am

Over the years I cant help but noticing that the product that airlines have been putting forward has shifted a bit. When I was young flying on a widebody aircraft often meant there were 3 classes of service Coach | Business| First class.

Over the years and with the downturns most US carriers have gone away from this as First became almost forbidden by many corporations requiring their employees to fly business class. As this happened Business became much better going from a simple recliner seat to fully flat seats and in the case with DL now the seats are "Suites".

Now the business class is the top product in the US and DL UA and AA have all come out with "Premium Economy" in many cases the J seats are priced in the same manner as the old F class seats they used to offer. Premium Economy is now a recliner seat the same as domestic First Class and Coach is still coach.

It seems to me that the airline industry has gone back to the old days of First | Business | Coach but now calls it Business | Premium Economy | Coach


Please discuss the W product and your thoughts on this subject as you see fit.
 
slcdeltarumd11
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Re: Premium Economy is it the new old Business Class

Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:32 am

I totally agree. This has been brought up many times on here.

When business became lie flat, first had nothing really that made it that much better. Premium economy is like business use to be. They are back to three basic classes just new names.
 
RJMAZ
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Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:54 am

Re: Premium Economy is it the new old Business Class

Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:55 am

I definitely agree with what has been said.

In addition to this the low cost carriers their business class still matches the traditional business class seats or the premium economy seats of mainline.

Scoot business class seats in their 787's are the same seats as Qantas has in premium economy on their 787's.
 
gsg013
Topic Author
Posts: 589
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:03 pm

Re: Premium Economy is it the new old Business Class

Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:11 am

I wonder if companies that now allow J flying will force their employees to fly Premium Economy come the next downturn. or Will business class always be allowed?
 
LH658
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Re: Premium Economy is it the new old Business Class

Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:48 am

gsg013 wrote:
I wonder if companies that now allow J flying will force their employees to fly Premium Economy come the next downturn. or Will business class always be allowed?


i wonder the same.
 
MatthewDB
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Re: Premium Economy is it the new old Business Class

Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:50 am

gsg013 wrote:
I wonder if companies that now allow J flying will force their employees to fly Premium Economy come the next downturn. or Will business class always be allowed?


I used to work for Hewlett Packard. They banned business class travel during the dot com bust just after 2000. If you took more than 3 cross ocean trips per year, international travel could be business class, otherwise you were in steerage. We generally could get economy plus at economy prices on the preferred airlines because the company spent so much on airfare. I traveled at most once a year internationally, and on those trips with several very long legs I was filled with deep envy at those that could fly business as I got on for the next long leg.

I now work for another similarly sized company. We lost business class in 2012, and I doubt it will come back. We can get economy plus for 6 hour plus legs and straight economy for shorter lengths. This extends quite high in the company, only the most senior executives get business - when they're not on a corporate jet.

gsg013 wrote:
Now the business class is the top product in the US and DL UA and AA have all come out with "Premium Economy" in many cases the J seats are priced in the same manner as the old F class seats they used to offer. Premium Economy is now a recliner seat the same as domestic First Class and Coach is still coach.


So far premium economy isn't quite the same seat as old school business. Usually premium economy gives more leg room but not more width. For example, business class on a 737 or A320 is 4 wide and coach is 6 wide. If they went to 5 wide for premium economy with an offset aisle then it would be closer to the "old" business class.

I recently flew CX across the Pacific. I loved their premium economy; they did just that, we got more width in premium economy. It was a 773 setup 4 class. 1st was 1-1-1, business was 1-2-1, premium economy was 2-4-2 and economy was 3-3-3. Premium economy got better meals and their own bathroom.
 
zrs70
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Re: Premium Economy is it the new old Business Class

Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:06 am

MatthewDB wrote:
gsg013 wrote:
I wonder if companies that now allow J flying will force their employees to fly Premium Economy come the next downturn. or Will business class always be allowed?


I used to work for Hewlett Packard. They banned business class travel during the dot com bust just after 2000. If you took more than 3 cross ocean trips per year, international travel could be business class, otherwise you were in steerage. We generally could get economy plus at economy prices on the preferred airlines because the company spent so much on airfare. I traveled at most once a year internationally, and on those trips with several very long legs I was filled with deep envy at those that could fly business as I got on for the next long leg.

I now work for another similarly sized company. We lost business class in 2012, and I doubt it will come back. We can get economy plus for 6 hour plus legs and straight economy for shorter lengths. This extends quite high in the company, only the most senior executives get business - when they're not on a corporate jet.

gsg013 wrote:
Now the business class is the top product in the US and DL UA and AA have all come out with "Premium Economy" in many cases the J seats are priced in the same manner as the old F class seats they used to offer. Premium Economy is now a recliner seat the same as domestic First Class and Coach is still coach.


So far premium economy isn't quite the same seat as old school business. Usually premium economy gives more leg room but not more width. For example, business class on a 737 or A320 is 4 wide and coach is 6 wide. If they went to 5 wide for premium economy with an offset aisle then it would be closer to the "old" business class.

I recently flew CX across the Pacific. I loved their premium economy; they did just that, we got more width in premium economy. It was a 773 setup 4 class. 1st was 1-1-1, business was 1-2-1, premium economy was 2-4-2 and economy was 3-3-3. Premium economy got better meals and their own bathroom.


Keep in mind that old school business class was simple the first couple of rows of economy.
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BartSimpson
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Re: Premium Economy is it the new old Business Class

Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:14 am

gsg013 wrote:
I wonder if companies that now allow J flying will force their employees to fly Premium Economy come the next downturn. or Will business class always be allowed?


That depends totally on each company, so it's impossible to give an answer.
 
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klm617
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Re: Premium Economy is it the new old Business Class

Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:05 pm

slcdeltarumd11 wrote:
I totally agree. This has been brought up many times on here.

When business became lie flat, first had nothing really that made it that much better. Premium economy is like business use to be. They are back to three basic classes just new names.


Incorrect Premium economy is the old coach and basic economy is a lesser class that was never offered before. I think the new business class is more like the old first class but there is no real comparison between business class and what is now offered today. Back in the day a regular coach class ticket came with checked and baggage and ample leg room like Premium economy offers now back in the day there was no such product as basic economy where you just paid for a middle seat no checked bag and less than normal leg room. So I think we have now what used to be First Class, then Economy and followed by a lesser product never offered by the airlines before.
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gsg013
Topic Author
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Re: Premium Economy is it the new old Business Class

Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:37 pm

it will be interesting to hear how load factors and average Fare paid come out with the new Premium Economy Products...

This is anecdotal but I am flying on the DL a350-900 DTW-AMS in J on Saturday and there are just 1 of 32 J seat remaining and 0 of 48 Premium Select available. I have been told that these are all paid seats with zero upgrades cleared at this point. The Premium Select seats generally when I looked were selling around 3k RT.
 
spacecadet
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Re: Premium Economy is it the new old Business Class

Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:34 am

klm617 wrote:
Incorrect Premium economy is the old coach and basic economy is a lesser class that was never offered before


I pretty much agree with this. Even regular economy, as it currently exists at most airlines with 29-30" of seat pitch and 17" of seat width, is a class that was never really offered until about 20 years ago. It has morphed into something less than you could buy even if you wanted to not that long ago.

I think one also has to realize that international and domestic cabins have always been different. You can't really compare a domestic offering in the 1980's to an international offering now; they are totally different animals. Technically, you could probably say modern international PE is as good as domestic business of the 1980's, but that's a complete apples and oranges comparison.

If comparing international to international and domestic to domestic throughout the years, there's no way PE is as good as business ever was. PE maxes out even on international flights at about 38-40" of seat pitch (Delta's feels like even less because of all the junk they put on the seatbacks), which is about 10-20" less than international business class ever had. The seat width in PE is also barely better than economy ever was; business has always had about 1.5 times the seat width of economy. Internationally, PE is definitely what coach used to be in the 70's and early 80's, not business.

Domestically, today there's not really even a true PE product that I can think of - there's "Economy Plus", which is just the same modern economy seat with a few more inches of legroom. AA "Main Cabin Extra", Delta "Comfort Plus" and JetBlue's "Even More Space" all fit that description. This is not comparable at all to true domestic business class of the present or the past.

I think the argument that modern business class is the old first class (which has also been discussed before) is a lot easier to make.

Essentially what's happened is that economy has gone much further downscale while first has gone much further upscale, necessitating these new "middle" classes to basically give those of us who want it back what we had before. PE/E+ and modern business are the old coach and first. Economy, basic economy and modern first are all classes that didn't really exist in their current forms a few decades ago. Domestic short-haul first is probably an exception to that, but it's an endangered species anyway.
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