kruiseri
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US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:15 pm

I've been wondering, what it the main reason the US airlines can have a proper "better" (I hesitate to call it premium ;-) cabin aka domestic first class, where the EU airlines can only provide business class (ok there are some rare exceptions) using the same standard seats as the cattle eh.. economy class but blocking the middle seat.

What is so different in the economics in the US that enable that ? Why do we not see proper business class cabins in intra european flights ? And I am not after a lie flat seat on a 2+ hour flight, but something similar than they have on similar flights in the US, 2+2 recliner seating.
 
devron
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:25 pm

Another difference EU airlines give you access to the lounge whereas US airliners don't.

I think EU airliners do this to have operational flexibility.
 
jfk777
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:27 pm

One reason could be the distances in many cases are three to four hours against many cases in Europe which are under two hours.
 
76er
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:30 pm

Three words: average stage length.
Having said that, when it comes to the service provided on board, it’s the opposite. Last month all I got on a 1-hour trip in domestic F in the US was a bag of peanuts and a drink, while a few weeks before I was served a full breakfast in Euro-Biz on a 45 minute flight. Personally, I prefer the seat over the food.
 
vinniewinnie
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:32 pm

Simple: Competition & distance!

there is plenty of competition from LCC’s, network carriers & high speed rail in Europe. Such extreme competition barely exists in the US.

Distance: given that most flights barely last 2 hours, there is less demand for more confortable business class style seats.
 
VSMUT
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:38 pm

kruiseri wrote:
I've been wondering, what it the main reason the US airlines can have a proper "better" (I hesitate to call it premium ;-) cabin aka domestic first class, where the EU airlines can only provide business class (ok there are some rare exceptions) using the same standard seats as the cattle eh.. economy class but blocking the middle seat.

What is so different in the economics in the US that enable that ? Why do we not see proper business class cabins in intra european flights ? And I am not after a lie flat seat on a 2+ hour flight, but something similar than they have on similar flights in the US, 2+2 recliner seating.


It's not the US that does something different. It is the entire world that does business better than Europe. The problem lies here. We also have a mediocre economy class. No PTV or entertainment of any kind, except the magazine.

IMHO, it probably comes down to some sort of semi-illegal "price-fixing" deal between the airlines here in order to increase yields at the expense of service and comfort.


jfk777 wrote:
One reason could be the distances in many cases are three to four hours against many cases in Europe which are under two hours.


Doubt it. I've seen proper business class offerings in Asia on airlines that didn't do more than 2 hour flights.
 
Someone83
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:38 pm

There used to be «proper» business/first seats in Europe. As far as I know it disapeared in the 80s or around there
 
VSMUT
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:40 pm

Someone83 wrote:
There used to be «proper» business/first seats in Europe. As far as I know it disapeared in the 80s or around there


I remember traveling on proper business all through the 90s up until around 2005.
 
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Finn350
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:44 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Someone83 wrote:
There used to be «proper» business/first seats in Europe. As far as I know it disapeared in the 80s or around there


I remember traveling on proper business all through the 90s up until around 2005.


Are we talking narrow-bodies here? As far as I remember, Business Class at least here in Finland in narrow-bodies has been a separate section with the middle seat not occupied.
Last edited by Finn350 on Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
upperdeckfan
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:44 pm

I don't see longer distance being a factor, if you take the whole EUas a single market it's still smaller than the US domestic market but there are thousands or routes which are 2-4 hours.

It's a just a different business model, people tend to forget that US carriers fill their domestic F seats through complimentary upgrades to their top tier FF's. In Europe you don't get that.

As others said, LCC and HSR competition is much different as well.
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Aesma
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:46 pm

Are prices comparable ?

Who pays for the tickets ? Companies or people.

Do people pay for the tickets or mostly use miles ?
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:46 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Doubt it. I've seen proper business class offerings in Asia on airlines that didn't do more than 2 hour flights.


Just because Asia does it doesn't mean it's the right thing to do in Europe. I've flown on those 1-2 hour flights in Business, personally I don't feel it's really that necessary for such a short flight.

As long as EU airlines offer lounge access, having to seat in a normal Economy seat with the middle seat blocked off is fine by me.
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konkret
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:47 pm

Somewhat related question - are there any intra European routes/markets which are particularly premium heavy?
 
upperdeckfan
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:49 pm

konkret wrote:
Somewhat related question - are there any intra European routes/markets which are particularly premium heavy?


Of course there are, multiple ones involving the major gateways
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764, 789, 732,733,735,737,738,739,
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Tristarsteve
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:52 pm

Business class travel disappeared in Europe when the majors ditched the Saturday night rule around 2001. Before that we saw aircraft leaving Friday evening with 90pc of the aircraft as business class sold. (not upgrades!). Nowadays its 10pc business class.
Most European businessmen are forced to travel economy by their company, and can buy tickets on the majors at similar prices to Ryanair and Easyjet. Watch when the gold card holders board the aircraft first, and all sit in economy!
 
sandyb123
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:54 pm

Two reasons in my opinion.

1) flight length is less which makes having a premium onboard experience less lucrative in the overall journey experience.

2) Perception of value / status is higher in class tiered America where Europe (less Uk) carries less of a class system / snob effect. Same applies to the business traveller community.

On Long haul / coast to coast US flight the value of the cabin is worth more because you spend more time.

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george77300
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:02 pm

In general in Europe you have a much better service/food/lounge than USA. For example a 45 minute domestic business class ticket BA I will get access to the full international lounge and a full hot meal with unlimited drinks onboard (including alcohol.

The reason is flexibility of aircraft. BA can fly the same A320 with 12 business (the smallest for them) and 162 Economy class but they can also on some routes sell 48 business and 108 Economy. And they do very frequently from London.

If they put 48 business 2-2 recliners in an A320 they would start to run out of space and it would be a pain for aircraft scheduling. This flexibility and the ability to have 48 paid business/(first for you Americans) passengers on a flight is huge. We don’t have the upgrading status passengers thing for the most part in Europe either.
 
jfk777
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:17 pm

VSMUT wrote:
kruiseri wrote:
I've been wondering, what it the main reason the US airlines can have a proper "better" (I hesitate to call it premium ;-) cabin aka domestic first class, where the EU airlines can only provide business class (ok there are some rare exceptions) using the same standard seats as the cattle eh.. economy class but blocking the middle seat.

What is so different in the economics in the US that enable that ? Why do we not see proper business class cabins in intra european flights ? And I am not after a lie flat seat on a 2+ hour flight, but something similar than they have on similar flights in the US, 2+2 recliner seating.


It's not the US that does something different. It is the entire world that does business better than Europe. The problem lies here. We also have a mediocre economy class. No PTV or entertainment of any kind, except the magazine.

IMHO, it probably comes down to some sort of semi-illegal "price-fixing" deal between the airlines here in order to increase yields at the expense of service and comfort.


jfk777 wrote:
One reason could be the distances in many cases are three to four hours against many cases in Europe which are under two hours.


Doubt it. I've seen proper business class offerings in Asia on airlines that didn't do more than 2 hour flights.


Last year I flew China airlines from HKG to Taipei on A330-300 in J class on a one hour flight. This common "missuse" of long haul planes are common there since most metro areas are 4 hours apart flown by A330 & 777 with plenty of space for proper regional J class. Asia is so big some flights from are 7 hours long especially to Tokyo and Osaka flown by A380 and 77W. Asian regional flying also uses large planes just because the huge amounts of people that fly between these huge cities.

In Europe the distances are small and a large plane, today, is a 737-800 or a A321. Remember when Air Inter introduced the A330-300 with 412 seats on French domestic flights ? That lasted about 2 years because turning around such a beast on one hour flights is inefficient. Those A330-300 went to Aer Lingus for their flights to Boston and JFK. Asia and Europe are two very different places requiring different short haul planes.
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:25 pm

I think European business class is far better value than US first class.

The only thing better in the USA is the seat. Every other element in Europe is better, particularly how you get lounge access. The food and drinks service is head and shoulders above the USA. Over there, meals are in windows and no proper meals served after 8pm. In Europe you get proper food on all departures, plus actual Champagne.

As someone else mentioned, having a cabin that can vary from 3 rows 12 rows or more means European airlines can sell far more business class seats. British Airways is particularly good at this and often has large business class cabins. Pricing is generally reasonable enough in Europe as well, considering what you get.

Where you get a perfect domestic business class is in Australia. The seats are like the USA in a 2 x 2 configuration and you get all the bells and whistles provided in Europe. With Qantas, there are even special lounges domestically for business class passengers as their Platinum (oneworld Emerald) flyers only. Everyone else uses the Qantas Club.

The downside of this? Regular business class fares Sydney to Melbourne (1 hour 30 minutes block time, so about 55 to 60 in the air) for a return ticket on Qantas are A$1,600 / €1,000 / US$1,140 / £879. Far more expensive than similar itineraries in the USA or Europe.
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:33 pm

Finn350 wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Someone83 wrote:
There used to be «proper» business/first seats in Europe. As far as I know it disapeared in the 80s or around there


I remember traveling on proper business all through the 90s up until around 2005.


Are we talking narrow-bodies here? As far as I remember, Business Class at least here in Finland in narrow-bodies has been a separate section with the middle seat not occupied.

Swissair for one used to have F/C/Y on narrow bodies (e.g. this MD-81 http://www.departedflights.com/SRM800691.html; from memory they also had it on their Fokker 100s)
It was phased out around the time they introduced the 32S, and went to that more flexible Euro-C with convertible seats.
 
superjeff
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:37 pm

george77300 wrote:
In general in Europe you have a much better service/food/lounge than USA. For example a 45 minute domestic business class ticket BA I will get access to the full international lounge and a full hot meal with unlimited drinks onboard (including alcohol.

The reason is flexibility of aircraft. BA can fly the same A320 with 12 business (the smallest for them) and 162 Economy class but they can also on some routes sell 48 business and 108 Economy. And they do very frequently from London.

If they put 48 business 2-2 recliners in an A320 they would start to run out of space and it would be a pain for aircraft scheduling. This flexibility and the ability to have 48 paid business/(first for you Americans) passengers on a flight is huge. We don’t have the upgrading status passengers thing for the most part in Europe either.


Lounge quality actually depends on the airport. Where the majors operate their own lounges, they tend to be better than in the U.S. (largely because of business model, and a court holding back in the 1970's holding restricted lounge access in the U.S. to be discmI'inatory). I've been in some pretty poor European lounges on paid business class tickets (Dublin Terminal 1 comes to mind), as well as many contract (not airline operated) lounges, and a few really nice ones in the U.S. with decent food offerings

I've flown both the U.S. and European front cabins, and my main complaint about the Europeans version is legroom; I'm 6 feet tall (185cm), and 220 lbs (100 kg), so the extra legroom is a help.
 
travelin man
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:43 pm

ClassicLover wrote:
I think European business class is far better value than US first class.

The only thing better in the USA is the seat. Every other element in Europe is better, particularly how you get lounge access. The food and drinks service is head and shoulders above the USA. Over there, meals are in windows and no proper meals served after 8pm. In Europe you get proper food on all departures, plus actual Champagne.

As someone else mentioned, having a cabin that can vary from 3 rows 12 rows or more means European airlines can sell far more business class seats. British Airways is particularly good at this and often has large business class cabins. Pricing is generally reasonable enough in Europe as well, considering what you get.



I’ve been on intra-Europe business class on KL and LH and it was thoroughly underwhelming from a food perspective as well as a seat perspective. I genuinely don’t understand why people would pay extra for that class of service.
 
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FlyRow
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:44 pm

Finn350 wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Someone83 wrote:
There used to be «proper» business/first seats in Europe. As far as I know it disapeared in the 80s or around there


I remember traveling on proper business all through the 90s up until around 2005.


Are we talking narrow-bodies here? As far as I remember, Business Class at least here in Finland in narrow-bodies has been a separate section with the middle seat not occupied.


That's the point, the middle seat is not a business cabin. It's a Y-cabin with a empty seat and slightly better pitch. But they can use the seats for both classes.

In the US it's often a 2+2 with wider seats, not a 3+3 with a blocked middle seat.
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FlyRow
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:47 pm

upperdeckfan wrote:
konkret wrote:
Somewhat related question - are there any intra European routes/markets which are particularly premium heavy?


Of course there are, multiple ones involving the major gateways


Almost all flights to LCY are very premium driven.

LHR-flights as well, the "plebs' don't use LHR as much.
All the economic hotspots in the EU are more premium heavy, AMS (zuidas) , CDG (La Defense) , FRA (EU-Financial capital) and as said LCY/LHR.

Most flights on such short distances will be premium, as non premium trafic will be done by car or trains, nobody for example would take a FRA-AMS flight unless they have business or a connection.
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Finn350
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:56 pm

FlyRow wrote:
Finn350 wrote:
VSMUT wrote:

I remember traveling on proper business all through the 90s up until around 2005.


Are we talking narrow-bodies here? As far as I remember, Business Class at least here in Finland in narrow-bodies has been a separate section with the middle seat not occupied.


That's the point, the middle seat is not a business cabin. It's a Y-cabin with a empty seat and slightly better pitch. But they can use the seats for both classes.

In the US it's often a 2+2 with wider seats, not a 3+3 with a blocked middle seat.


Yes, I know. It is only lately that the ME3 and TK have started to introduce proper reclining 2+2 business class seats in narrow-bodies (and strictly speaking, we are not talking intra-Europe flights any longer).
 
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FlyRow
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:08 pm

Finn350 wrote:
FlyRow wrote:
Finn350 wrote:

Are we talking narrow-bodies here? As far as I remember, Business Class at least here in Finland in narrow-bodies has been a separate section with the middle seat not occupied.


That's the point, the middle seat is not a business cabin. It's a Y-cabin with a empty seat and slightly better pitch. But they can use the seats for both classes.

In the US it's often a 2+2 with wider seats, not a 3+3 with a blocked middle seat.


Yes, I know. It is only lately that the ME3 and TK have started to introduce proper reclining 2+2 business class seats in narrow-bodies (and strictly speaking, we are not talking intra-Europe flights any longer).


Air Serbia tried the same (through EY) but referted back to 3+3 I believe.

We do see however that more and more widebodies are used on big intra-europe markets, with the intercontinental product.
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VSMUT
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:13 pm

travelin man wrote:
I genuinely don’t understand why people would pay extra for that class of service.


People generally don't, a company does ;)

IMHO, lounge access and priority security is worth it if you fly often (but status at the airline can get you that too). Sometimes the fare difference is minimal, or even cheaper for business :o , in those cases it is well worth going for it. Then you have connecting passengers going to/from long haul flights with actual business or first class.


jfk777 wrote:
Last year I flew China airlines from HKG to Taipei on A330-300 in J class on a one hour flight. This common "missuse" of long haul planes are common there since most metro areas are 4 hours apart flown by A330 & 777 with plenty of space for proper regional J class. Asia is so big some flights from are 7 hours long especially to Tokyo and Osaka flown by A380 and 77W. Asian regional flying also uses large planes just because the huge amounts of people that fly between these huge cities.

In Europe the distances are small and a large plane, today, is a 737-800 or a A321. Remember when Air Inter introduced the A330-300 with 412 seats on French domestic flights ? That lasted about 2 years because turning around such a beast on one hour flights is inefficient. Those A330-300 went to Aer Lingus for their flights to Boston and JFK. Asia and Europe are two very different places requiring different short haul planes.


I'm not talking A330s or 777s in Asia. I'm talking 737-800 or MAX-8.
 
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chunhimlai
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:54 pm

ClassicLover wrote:
I think European business class is far better value than US first class.

The only thing better in the USA is the seat. Every other element in Europe is better, particularly how you get lounge access. The food and drinks service is head and shoulders above the USA. Over there, meals are in windows and no proper meals served after 8pm. In Europe you get proper food on all departures, plus actual Champagne.

As someone else mentioned, having a cabin that can vary from 3 rows 12 rows or more means European airlines can sell far more business class seats. British Airways is particularly good at this and often has large business class cabins. Pricing is generally reasonable enough in Europe as well, considering what you get.

Where you get a perfect domestic business class is in Australia. The seats are like the USA in a 2 x 2 configuration and you get all the bells and whistles provided in Europe. With Qantas, there are even special lounges domestically for business class passengers as their Platinum (oneworld Emerald) flyers only. Everyone else uses the Qantas Club.

The downside of this? Regular business class fares Sydney to Melbourne (1 hour 30 minutes block time, so about 55 to 60 in the air) for a return ticket on Qantas are A$1,600 / €1,000 / US$1,140 / £879. Far more expensive than similar itineraries in the USA or Europe.


Chinese carrier domestic business class do offer all you mention in QF flight and the price is much lower, sometimes even lower than Y class
 
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:58 pm

Someone83 wrote:
There used to be «proper» business/first seats in Europe. As far as I know it disapeared in the 80s or around there

LH and SR were the last two airlines I can remember offering a separate F class cabin with 2 + 2 seating on intra-Europe routes. It disappeared in the early 90s, around '93 or '94.
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kruiseri
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:39 pm

Thanks for all the comments !

On a related note, at one time at least LH and also AY had seats that could be converted from 3+3 to a sort of 2+2 config by squeezing the middle seat. Where did they go ? I don’t see them any more.
 
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:27 pm

travelin man wrote:
I’ve been on intra-Europe business class on KL and LH and it was thoroughly underwhelming from a food perspective as well as a seat perspective. I genuinely don’t understand why people would pay extra for that class of service.


I have flown KL in Europe Business Class and it's just a box of food. Fresh and great food, but not a patch on BA on the same sector length. I'm trying LH J in Europe next week, so I'll let you know how that compares.

British Airways is very good though! The boxes of food SAS give out are great too, though you can buy them for about €12 in economy.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
debonair
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:54 pm

kruiseri wrote:
On a related note, at one time at least LH and also AY had seats that could be converted from 3+3 to a sort of 2+2 config by squeezing the middle seat. Where did they go ? I don’t see them any more.


Not possible with the latest slimline design...
 
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FlyRow
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:04 pm

ClassicLover wrote:
travelin man wrote:
I’ve been on intra-Europe business class on KL and LH and it was thoroughly underwhelming from a food perspective as well as a seat perspective. I genuinely don’t understand why people would pay extra for that class of service.


I have flown KL in Europe Business Class and it's just a box of food. Fresh and great food, but not a patch on BA on the same sector length. I'm trying LH J in Europe next week, so I'll let you know how that compares.

British Airways is very good though! The boxes of food SAS give out are great too, though you can buy them for about €12 in economy.


The box is only on shorter flights though.
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nikeherc
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:35 pm

It’s been a long time, but I seem to recall intra-European service in 1970 being all Y on AZ, LH, SAS and Pan Am German Domestic. I’m probably wrong, and it has been a long time.
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:00 am

For purposes of this, I'm excluding domestic flights with:
1. JetBlue A321 Mint
2. American A321s with Flagship First and Flagship Business (based at JFK)
3. Full international configuration (i.e., wide-bodies, UA B752 with Polaris or BusinessFirst, DL B752 with Delta One).

The idea is that there are people in the USA who will pay a premium for F, and, aside from the Northeast, rail travel isn't exactly efficient.

That said, JetBlue with its Mint product (which is comparable to international configurations) is a game-changer, as their F is comparable to a long-haul J.
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:55 am

FlyRow wrote:
The box is only on shorter flights though.


Yes, but the point I'm making is that you get a proper three courses (starter, main, dessert, or at breakfast, a hot main, yoghurt and fruit) which are properly plated at British Airways no matter what time of the day it is and regardless of whether the flight is short or not.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
hoons90
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:37 am

ClassicLover wrote:
travelin man wrote:
I’ve been on intra-Europe business class on KL and LH and it was thoroughly underwhelming from a food perspective as well as a seat perspective. I genuinely don’t understand why people would pay extra for that class of service.


I have flown KL in Europe Business Class and it's just a box of food. Fresh and great food, but not a patch on BA on the same sector length. I'm trying LH J in Europe next week, so I'll let you know how that compares.


When I flew LH MUC-TXL in J back in October (approx. 50 minute flight), LH served a nice chicken caesar salad with some sort of cream-based dessert.

Image
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:02 am

VSMUT wrote:
It is the entire world that does business better than Europe.


This is the most stupid sentence I have ever read.
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:56 pm

hoons90 wrote:
When I flew LH MUC-TXL in J back in October (approx. 50 minute flight), LH served a nice chicken caesar salad with some sort of cream-based dessert.


That looks great! Can't wait to try LH now!
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
LH658
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:24 am

Plus Europeans are practical compared to American,they tend to live within their means, and distances in traveling is shorter in Europe. Be nice those to find those comfy recliner chairs, on such flights.
 
FlyHappy
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:04 am

ClassicLover wrote:
The downside of this? Regular business class fares Sydney to Melbourne (1 hour 30 minutes block time, so about 55 to 60 in the air) for a return ticket on Qantas are A$1,600 / €1,000 / US$1,140 / £879. Far more expensive than similar itineraries in the USA or Europe.


Sadly, not really true in the US. There's plenty of short flight segments that can cost that much or more, assuming your booking under 2 weeks, 1 week, or as I often do, 1 day out. In Australia, there's only so many possible city pairs, in the US you can pony up that much to fly "J" in an RJ simply because of the captive market.....


Personally, I don't get the fixation with lounges. There are two things I do everything possible to avoid when traveling for business: making connections, and spending extra time in airports. But I guess I'm in the minority.
 
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ClassicLover
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:57 am

FlyHappy wrote:
Sadly, not really true in the US. There's plenty of short flight segments that can cost that much or more, assuming your booking under 2 weeks, 1 week, or as I often do, 1 day out. In Australia, there's only so many possible city pairs, in the US you can pony up that much to fly "J" in an RJ simply because of the captive market.....

Personally, I don't get the fixation with lounges. There are two things I do everything possible to avoid when traveling for business: making connections, and spending extra time in airports. But I guess I'm in the minority.


Sure, perhaps I wasn't clear - that A$1,800 return for Sydney to Melbourne is the starting fare. That's the cheap one with advance purchase several months ahead. It ramps up quite considerably more when 2 weeks, 1 week and closer to the actual flight day. It is hugely expensive.

I like lounges probably because I fly for leisure, so I make visiting them part of the trip. When flying for business, I would probably be less enamoured with them :)
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
FlyHappy
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:55 am

ClassicLover wrote:
Sure, perhaps I wasn't clear - that A$1,800 return for Sydney to Melbourne is the starting fare. That's the cheap one with advance purchase several months ahead. It ramps up quite considerably more when 2 weeks, 1 week and closer to the actual flight day. It is hugely expensive.

I like lounges probably because I fly for leisure, so I make visiting them part of the trip. When flying for business, I would probably be less enamoured with them :)


I dunno.... I can buy SYD-MEL for a QF flight departing tomorrow for AUD1800/USD1281... and Y is 1/5 that cost. I think you're suffering from "good value" ;)
Enjoy your lounges, my friend!
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:26 pm

FlyHappy wrote:
I dunno.... I can buy SYD-MEL for a QF flight departing tomorrow for AUD1800/USD1281... and Y is 1/5 that cost. I think you're suffering from "good value" ;)
Enjoy your lounges, my friend!


Sure, and it's also A$1,806 in October - either way, it's a far cry from the €260-€300 British Airways charge in Europe for a Dublin to London sector in business class (the same 90 minute block time), which is about A$400-$500 return. My point is that it is very pricey in Australia. I've paid US$750 Miami to Los Angeles return in AA First Class, so that puts it into perspective.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
mdavies06
Posts: 534
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:28 pm

Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:20 am

In Europe most business centres are inter-connected with 1-3 hours flight time so demand for 2-2 abreast seat is small. On longer flights, one do see some proper business class seats service (e.g. BA LHR-DME or TLV, TK to Western Europe).

On another thread about winter headwind, someone mentioned it took 7 hours to fly BOS-LAX. From Western Europe, flying 7 hours can take you all the way to New York or UAE, where nearly all flights come with proper business class seats.
 
EricAY05
Posts: 226
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:25 pm

Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:22 pm

What I don't get is why airlines don't add a little extra legroom to the first couple of rows that are more or less always business. They could be reserved for elite members flying on business tickets and the flexible business/economy rows behind them could have the standard miserable legroom. I've flown intra-Europe J a couple of times and have always felt extra uncomfortable since I've "had to" eat a meal in that miserable space. Row 1 is pretty much the only row where one can come even remotely close to luxury on these flights. Also, it's really sad that the person seated in the exit row has more legroom than anyone in J if no-one happens to seat next to him (not unusual, at least for me).
 
VC10er
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:25 am

Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:18 am

I have a dear friend and I just cannot comprehend his argument. He is originally from Deep South America but moved to the USA/NYC 35 years ago, became a US citizen, but then moved to Switzerland for his job for about 15 of those 35 years. He’s now back in the USA. He is a very large gentleman at about 300lbs or I suspect a tad more.
He VIGOROUSLY INSISTS that Swiss or LH and other major European airlines have a
NO COMPARISON, NO ROOM FOR DEBATE SUPERIOR F CLASS. When I said “granted, a flight from Switzerland to say FRA or LHR will have much better quality food, but it is neither a big portion, you and I both have Lounge memberships for UA, DL or AA (well I just have UA) but for a 3-4 hour flight, while I think the food is better today in the USA than it was 7-10 years ago (agreed, not as good quality). However my latest A220 Swiss 2.5 hour flight (in the air) had a slimline seat, exactly like economy, the same recline as economy and frankly while the bits of cheese and cold venison slices were good, I’d have FAR preferred United’s new F seat for 2.5 hours, and a UA cold plate of fruit and yogurt and warm cookie, but the 2 seats were big enough to fill the width of 3 slimlines- how is it you don’t find comfort #1?” Frankly, I don’t know how much more I paid for that Swiss flight in F as it was kinda an automatic part of a 3 leg itinerary in UA Polaris. But he absolutely refused to say that the US seats were any better?
This was far from my first European F flight within Europe- once I did FRA to Moscow on LH in a slimline F seat...and that was a long flight, and sucked. I asked him is it a Swiss or FA that makes the difference? He said “no”- I asked if it was just the food...yes, even if smaller portions? “Yes”
I assumed my friend would have loved the additional space of a US domestic F, but said the bigger, cushier seat are actually worse seats than the Economy seat in F within Europe?
IMHO: Perception. Swiss classy, DL, UA & AA not.

This might be a bit OT, but I could really see UA filling that beautiful A220 on the right routes. Especially in a very high domestic F configuration, maybe even lie flats and PE. What is her range?
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
EChid
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Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:19 am

ClassicLover wrote:
Where you get a perfect domestic business class is in Australia. The seats are like the USA in a 2 x 2 configuration and you get all the bells and whistles provided in Europe. With Qantas, there are even special lounges domestically for business class passengers as their Platinum (oneworld Emerald) flyers only. Everyone else uses the Qantas Club.

The downside of this? Regular business class fares Sydney to Melbourne (1 hour 30 minutes block time, so about 55 to 60 in the air) for a return ticket on Qantas are A$1,600 / €1,000 / US$1,140 / £879. Far more expensive than similar itineraries in the USA or Europe.

I've always found it unusual (although I'm certainly thankful for it) that Air Canada has not adopted the US approach to domestic travel - rather, it follows the Australian model. Proper business class domestic recliners right down to the CRJs, lounge access, etc.

Mind you, I find it bizarre that you don't get lounge access when buying a First Class ticket in the US. And I find it bizarre that it's called 'First Class.'
2018: DRW-PER-HKG-ICN-MEL-AVV-BNE-OOL-SYD-YYZ-YYZ-YUL-YVR-PDX-SEA-SFO-PEK-KIX-CDG-IST-NRT-HND-BKK-FAT; AC J-TK J-OZ F-DL F-TG J/F-NH J/F-CX J-VA J
 
VC10er
Posts: 4148
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:25 am

Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:20 pm

EChid wrote:
ClassicLover wrote:
Where you get a perfect domestic business class is in Australia. The seats are like the USA in a 2 x 2 configuration and you get all the bells and whistles provided in Europe. With Qantas, there are even special lounges domestically for business class passengers as their Platinum (oneworld Emerald) flyers only. Everyone else uses the Qantas Club.

The downside of this? Regular business class fares Sydney to Melbourne (1 hour 30 minutes block time, so about 55 to 60 in the air) for a return ticket on Qantas are A$1,600 / €1,000 / US$1,140 / £879. Far more expensive than similar itineraries in the USA or Europe.

I've always found it unusual (although I'm certainly thankful for it) that Air Canada has not adopted the US approach to domestic travel - rather, it follows the Australian model. Proper business class domestic recliners right down to the CRJs, lounge access, etc.

Mind you, I find it bizarre that you don't get lounge access when buying a First Class ticket in the US. And I find it bizarre that it's called 'First Class.'


I’d venture a guess that it originally followed the classes of the trains that preceded flying on domestic flights. MUCH smaller than a train to be sure, so First Class and “Coach” were familiar nomenclature constructs and widely understood. (Just my guess)
For international, the advent of a “business class” pushed First upwards to the wealthy and business class saught to cater to a specific segment of travelers. (I actually wonder if the airlines had the data to accurately figure out how big the business sector actually was at first) Then with international competition everything then went haywire until there was an offer for EVERY consumer segment on one aircraft! Just look at United’s plans for what the semi new vision of the future will be:
-Basic
-Economy
-E+
-Premium Economy (oxy-moron)
-Polaris (a blend of something for the enormous business class market while being just enough more for the wealthy.
At the bottom (Basic is just for a small slice of the Spirit fliers, at the top Polaris is something great for business and good enough for the well-off, but not for the super rich who’d choose Singapore or Emirates First Class Plus flier) United understand that the United “Brand” equity can’t stretch high enough for Polaris Apartments!
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
EChid
Posts: 555
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:00 am

Re: US First Class vs EU Business Class

Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:58 pm

VC10er wrote:
EChid wrote:
ClassicLover wrote:
Where you get a perfect domestic business class is in Australia. The seats are like the USA in a 2 x 2 configuration and you get all the bells and whistles provided in Europe. With Qantas, there are even special lounges domestically for business class passengers as their Platinum (oneworld Emerald) flyers only. Everyone else uses the Qantas Club.

The downside of this? Regular business class fares Sydney to Melbourne (1 hour 30 minutes block time, so about 55 to 60 in the air) for a return ticket on Qantas are A$1,600 / €1,000 / US$1,140 / £879. Far more expensive than similar itineraries in the USA or Europe.

I've always found it unusual (although I'm certainly thankful for it) that Air Canada has not adopted the US approach to domestic travel - rather, it follows the Australian model. Proper business class domestic recliners right down to the CRJs, lounge access, etc.

Mind you, I find it bizarre that you don't get lounge access when buying a First Class ticket in the US. And I find it bizarre that it's called 'First Class.'


I’d venture a guess that it originally followed the classes of the trains that preceded flying on domestic flights. MUCH smaller than a train to be sure, so First Class and “Coach” were familiar nomenclature constructs and widely understood. (Just my guess)
For international, the advent of a “business class” pushed First upwards to the wealthy and business class saught to cater to a specific segment of travelers. (I actually wonder if the airlines had the data to accurately figure out how big the business sector actually was at first) Then with international competition everything then went haywire until there was an offer for EVERY consumer segment on one aircraft! Just look at United’s plans for what the semi new vision of the future will be:
-Basic
-Economy
-E+
-Premium Economy (oxy-moron)
-Polaris (a blend of something for the enormous business class market while being just enough more for the wealthy.
At the bottom (Basic is just for a small slice of the Spirit fliers, at the top Polaris is something great for business and good enough for the well-off, but not for the super rich who’d choose Singapore or Emirates First Class Plus flier) United understand that the United “Brand” equity can’t stretch high enough for Polaris Apartments!

I understand the implementation of 'First Class' branding on international flights, and the origin in general, but I really don't know why specifically US airlines persist in labelling their regional business class product 'First Class' when they label their MORE premium lie-flat product 'Business Class' (and, in AA's case, have a very different international First Class product). Especially when many of the amenities that come with other markets' 'Business' products are not included in their 'First' products. It's just weird branding that seems quite archaic.
2018: DRW-PER-HKG-ICN-MEL-AVV-BNE-OOL-SYD-YYZ-YYZ-YUL-YVR-PDX-SEA-SFO-PEK-KIX-CDG-IST-NRT-HND-BKK-FAT; AC J-TK J-OZ F-DL F-TG J/F-NH J/F-CX J-VA J

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