Scotron12
Topic Author
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:13 pm

First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:46 am

Seems very few airlines are fitting F in their planes...especially the A350...and LH will have none on their 779s.

British Airways plan to fit only 8F on their 779s..down from 14 on their 773ers and 744s. As they offer F on their 787-9s...most likely they will do the same for their 787-10s.

AFAIK no carrier has fitted F in their A350s. Even QR only offers F on some A332, A333s and their A380s.
How they will configure their 779s remain to be seen.

EK, SQ, CX and NH will probably have their 779s with F. EY the jury is out.

Guess it's a lot easier to fill J and Y+ seats than having an F cabin that few can afford.
 
Moosefire
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:47 pm

Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:47 am

F may decline, but J has certainly improved at most airlines in the last decade
MD-11F/C-17A Pilot
 
tpaewr
Posts: 700
Joined: Sat May 19, 2001 9:01 am

Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:59 am

It is simply a game of branding. What once was P J Y is now J W Y.

In 20 years Businesses will be phased out. W class will have lay flats seat and some one will “invent” a new middle cabin to sneak past corporate travel policies
 
YYZLGA
Posts: 362
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:28 am

Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:05 am

The distinction between First and Business just isn't big enough anymore. Both have lie-flat, which is the main differentiator. I don't think too many people are all that keen on paying double the fare for a somewhat nicer meal.
 
HPAEAA
Posts: 1112
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 7:24 am

Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:29 am

YYZLGA wrote:
The distinction between First and Business just isn't big enough anymore. Both have lie-flat, which is the main differentiator. I don't think too many people are all that keen on paying double the fare for a somewhat nicer meal.

And a simultaneously functioning workspace, I’ve flown F on the AA 773 & a321T and honestly the differentiator in my mind was the fact that I could keep my work out and setup while enjoying the meal, it requires a lot of swiveling back and forth, but was manageable compared to the J seats.

Sadley your right, and I wonder if the sqft cost of F is really inline with the revenue premium carriers ask... when your catching a passenger who will pay 20k for a round trip ticket, are they not better off paying to fly private? For those that will pay 20k, is 30k or 40k really that big of a difference considering the upgrade in experience?
1.4mm and counting...
 
Austin787
Posts: 387
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:39 pm

Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:38 am

First class is thriving. It's just now called Business class.

Today's top business product is lie flat seat, aisle access, and multi-course meals. That product is as good, if not better than, last generation's First class.

I once flew in EVA's 77W J seat. I posted a picture online and one of my friend's commented "wow, nice first class seat"
 
Ishrion
Posts: 1164
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:17 am

Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:41 am

Austin787 wrote:
First class is thriving. It's just now called Business class.

Today's top business product is lie flat seat, aisle access, and multi-course meals. That product is as good, if not better than, last generation's First class.

I once flew in EVA's 77W J seat. I posted a picture online and one of my friend's commented "wow, nice first class seat"


Haha, ironically last year I posted a picture of AA's 77W First Class seat and a friend of mine commented, "business class?"
 
ddp
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:57 pm

Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:50 am

HPAEAA wrote:
YYZLGA wrote:
The distinction between First and Business just isn't big enough anymore. Both have lie-flat, which is the main differentiator. I don't think too many people are all that keen on paying double the fare for a somewhat nicer meal.

And a simultaneously functioning workspace, I’ve flown F on the AA 773 & a321T and honestly the differentiator in my mind was the fact that I could keep my work out and setup while enjoying the meal, it requires a lot of swiveling back and forth, but was manageable compared to the J seats.

Sadley your right, and I wonder if the sqft cost of F is really inline with the revenue premium carriers ask... when your catching a passenger who will pay 20k for a round trip ticket, are they not better off paying to fly private? For those that will pay 20k, is 30k or 40k really that big of a difference considering the upgrade in experience?


How relevant is the work space issue for how many of us now work? For most of us our work now just consists of a tablet or laptop. In J you are fine with that, on Air Canada (airline I fly the most) you can have the meal off to the left/ right of you and laptop in front. I have never flown F so can't really compare, but space wise for most people seems to be sufficient for both some food and your work.
 
HPAEAA
Posts: 1112
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 7:24 am

Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:02 am

ddp wrote:
HPAEAA wrote:
YYZLGA wrote:
The distinction between First and Business just isn't big enough anymore. Both have lie-flat, which is the main differentiator. I don't think too many people are all that keen on paying double the fare for a somewhat nicer meal.

And a simultaneously functioning workspace, I’ve flown F on the AA 773 & a321T and honestly the differentiator in my mind was the fact that I could keep my work out and setup while enjoying the meal, it requires a lot of swiveling back and forth, but was manageable compared to the J seats.

Sadley your right, and I wonder if the sqft cost of F is really inline with the revenue premium carriers ask... when your catching a passenger who will pay 20k for a round trip ticket, are they not better off paying to fly private? For those that will pay 20k, is 30k or 40k really that big of a difference considering the upgrade in experience?


How relevant is the work space issue for how many of us now work? For most of us our work now just consists of a tablet or laptop. In J you are fine with that, on Air Canada (airline I fly the most) you can have the meal off to the left/ right of you and laptop in front. I have never flown F so can't really compare, but space wise for most people seems to be sufficient for both some food and your work.

Honestly, it allowed an extra 5-6 hours total of productivity on my APAC flying round trip, so while not huge, it makes a difference during the daylight hours... similarly I’ve never done J in AC, but with the layouts on AA, BA, CX, JL, KE and DL I’ve never been able to make it work in J Class.. I may be old school for a millennial, but I usually have the laptop & some mix of papers that I have to work from. I’ve only flown F on the SWU upgrades, but it was a heck of a lot easier.
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Lufthansa
Posts: 2590
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Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:22 am

I think one of the reasons are that it requires a lot of extra investment for only a small premium over business. Seperate lounges, restaurant style service on the ground before flight, caviar service etc. Increasingly business class is only marginally behind this. Look at SQ's business class? you're hardly roughing it.
The other thing is the 1 percenters. These days they're getting around on private jets thanks to fractional ownership programs. So super elite first class is really only viable on long haul routes between big financial centres. Long Hauls so if you need a private jet that has those kind of legs its going to coast you $60 million USD.
 
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gatibosgru
Posts: 1567
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Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:36 am

Today's J is basically "yesterday's" F. And Y+ is now the intl equivalent of domestic F.
@DadCelo
 
smartplane
Posts: 1024
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Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:15 am

Lufthansa wrote:
I think one of the reasons are that it requires a lot of extra investment for only a small premium over business. Seperate lounges, restaurant style service on the ground before flight, caviar service etc. Increasingly business class is only marginally behind this. Look at SQ's business class? you're hardly roughing it.
The other thing is the 1 percenters. These days they're getting around on private jets thanks to fractional ownership programs. So super elite first class is really only viable on long haul routes between big financial centres. Long Hauls so if you need a private jet that has those kind of legs its going to coast you $60 million USD.

And at end of ownership / lease, it makes the aircraft harder to sell / place without a complete refit / replacement of the first section.
 
Antarius
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Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:55 am

HPAEAA wrote:
ddp wrote:
HPAEAA wrote:
And a simultaneously functioning workspace, I’ve flown F on the AA 773 & a321T and honestly the differentiator in my mind was the fact that I could keep my work out and setup while enjoying the meal, it requires a lot of swiveling back and forth, but was manageable compared to the J seats.

Sadley your right, and I wonder if the sqft cost of F is really inline with the revenue premium carriers ask... when your catching a passenger who will pay 20k for a round trip ticket, are they not better off paying to fly private? For those that will pay 20k, is 30k or 40k really that big of a difference considering the upgrade in experience?


How relevant is the work space issue for how many of us now work? For most of us our work now just consists of a tablet or laptop. In J you are fine with that, on Air Canada (airline I fly the most) you can have the meal off to the left/ right of you and laptop in front. I have never flown F so can't really compare, but space wise for most people seems to be sufficient for both some food and your work.

Honestly, it allowed an extra 5-6 hours total of productivity on my APAC flying round trip, so while not huge, it makes a difference during the daylight hours... similarly I’ve never done J in AC, but with the layouts on AA, BA, CX, JL, KE and DL I’ve never been able to make it work in J Class.. I may be old school for a millennial, but I usually have the laptop & some mix of papers that I have to work from. I’ve only flown F on the SWU upgrades, but it was a heck of a lot easier.


You got 5 extra hours of work done due to F over J? I've flown both several times and, while F has more space, you arent eating the whole flight.
2019: SIN HKG NRT DFW IAH HOU CLT LGA JFK SFO SJC EWR SNA EYW MIA BOG LAX ORD DTW OAK PVG BOS DCA IAD ATL LAS BIS CUN PHX OAK SYD CVG PHL MAD ORY CDG SLC SJU BQN MHT YYZ STS BIS DOH BLR KTM MFM MEX MSY BWI DEN
 
LH658
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Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:17 am

ANA, EK, EY, Swiss, LH, CA, China Eastern, Oman Air, and SQ are all still flying first class or updated their First Class product. I don't consider BA First Class a true product, as the seat is basically like CX business class.
 
alexi0009
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:09 am

Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:29 am

F class is very limited market. More and more airlines wants first class phased out.
Ive flown both First and Business class loads of times. Recline doesn't make any ounce of difference
but its mainly size of the seat and space. I did the new EK first class last year completely closed suites on their 77W
which was fantastic but they only operate them from DXB to FRA, GVA, BRU, STN and few days a week to HND.
Part from HND those flights are only 6-7 hours. CX from HK to JFK in first price is insane checked it out was $32,000 price tag. But they are always full with like corporate bankers or executives. There is a good market there. To LHR also they are full considering a $18,000 price tag. From HK to LHR there are 52 first class seats daily between HK and LHR with CX and BA. LH on their 747-8I will still keep their F class. Korean was reading not sure if confirm or not they will take F class out from the 747-8I. Asiana another one phasing out First class. Malaysia airlines already did and rebranded business suites. Thoughts and opinions?
 
by738
Posts: 2994
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2000 7:59 am

Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:36 am

BAs F is rammed... think of the number of 747s plus other types at LHR alone on a daily basis. Just look at the throughtput of the Concorde Lounge at LHR. Big numbers but what we dont know is the revenue vs running costs and investment. BA will keep F
 
Scotron12
Topic Author
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:13 pm

Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:32 am

LH658 wrote:
ANA, EK, EY, Swiss, LH, CA, China Eastern, Oman Air, and SQ are all still flying first class or updated their First Class product. I don't consider BA First Class a true product, as the seat is basically like CX business class.


I make no judgement on the BA F product, but it is telling that on their new A350s they are not offering an F cabin and even their 779s will only be configured with 8 F Class seats.
 
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BartSimpson
Posts: 602
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Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:06 am

Antarius wrote:
HPAEAA wrote:
ddp wrote:

How relevant is the work space issue for how many of us now work? For most of us our work now just consists of a tablet or laptop. In J you are fine with that, on Air Canada (airline I fly the most) you can have the meal off to the left/ right of you and laptop in front. I have never flown F so can't really compare, but space wise for most people seems to be sufficient for both some food and your work.

Honestly, it allowed an extra 5-6 hours total of productivity on my APAC flying round trip, so while not huge, it makes a difference during the daylight hours... similarly I’ve never done J in AC, but with the layouts on AA, BA, CX, JL, KE and DL I’ve never been able to make it work in J Class.. I may be old school for a millennial, but I usually have the laptop & some mix of papers that I have to work from. I’ve only flown F on the SWU upgrades, but it was a heck of a lot easier.


You got 5 extra hours of work done due to F over J? I've flown both several times and, while F has more space, you arent eating the whole flight.



If somebody needs to work while he is eating he's got some serious and bigger problems than having to decide if sitting in J vs. F is better or worse.
 
CHRISBA35X
Posts: 117
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:40 am

Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:18 am

Its almost solely a means of retaining frequent flyers - people buying full fare C who are frequent flyers will get upgrades to F to keep them loyal. I'd imagine a lot more F seats are filled with upgrades than with full fare paying F.
 
Jomar777
Posts: 385
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:45 am

Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:20 am

Lufthansa wrote:
I think one of the reasons are that it requires a lot of extra investment for only a small premium over business. Seperate lounges, restaurant style service on the ground before flight, caviar service etc. Increasingly business class is only marginally behind this. Look at SQ's business class? you're hardly roughing it.
The other thing is the 1 percenters. These days they're getting around on private jets thanks to fractional ownership programs. So super elite first class is really only viable on long haul routes between big financial centres. Long Hauls so if you need a private jet that has those kind of legs its going to coast you $60 million USD.


You are absolutely right. Not much difference on air (Qatar Airways Q Suite - which is their A350 and B77W Business Class - and BA's business class proposition for their A350s, ti state only a token illustration) are eroding the differencial between First and Business. Worwise, with a Tablet and a Laptop plus a smart phone iis enough and you do can accomodate this easily on present business class seats (again, in the Q Suite, you even have a door so it is as though you have your proper office on the aircraft).

As for Ground services, this is easy to offset. Just get yourself a Premium Bank Account/Credit Card somewhere and you will probably have it all. You can also sign up for several schemes like LoungeKey and others. A lot of those offer First Class related services.

In Qatar, for example, it is not that hard to get a CBQ Sadara Account (even if you are an expat) which will grant you First Class Services, not on y in Qatar but also round the world. I mention this because Middle Eastern people tent to be the ones which more like the 1st Class perks. I am sure you can get this kind of service from other banks/entities/places inthe world
 
upperdeckfan
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Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:22 am

F will survive as a niche product on long haul linking financial centers such as JFK, LHR, FRA, ZRH, HKG, NRT/HND and SIN.

Believe it or not, major corporations headquartered on these locations have travel policies where board members and other senior executives gets F and rest of staff gets J.

Regarding F/J differentiation, with the large J cabins of up to 80 or 90 seats some carriers offer these days service has deteriorated, pax/FA ratio in F allows a personalized service.
748,744,742,741,772,773,762,763,
764, 789, 732,733,735,737,738,739,
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planewasted
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Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:30 am

My analysis:
Premium classes don't sell by price, they sell by product quality (within reasonable limits). For example my last employer had the policy that as long as intercontinental tickets costed less than 7000$ it was acceptable. F was not allowed.
So the airlines do small improvements to the business class product all the time, in order to win new customers or to keep them. So over time business approaches First. At some point business turns to expensive for some companies, and they change to a premium economy only policy. Then the cycle continues with premium economy. Premium economy has seen a lot of improvements last years.
 
OSL777FLYER
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Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 8:11 am

Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:42 am

Business class has improved greatly in the recent years. And yes, as many have pointed out, Y+ is what business class used to be.

Airlines are reducing F-class, because it does not always make sense. One of the previous United Airlines CEO's talked about this. Lufthansa has also discussed this.

F-class passengers are mostly the extremely wealthy (famous) people. People for whom money is literally no issue. Either that or it is for CEO's of large corporations who are entitled to this service (instead of using a corporate A/C. But it is also used by people who cash in their miles either in the form of a ticket or upgrades, so the revenue for the airlines are sometimes minimal. LH deliberately did not install F-class on their A350's because of this.

Point two is that F-class takes up a lot of space. Where you have e.g. 8 F-seats you might fit 16-20 J-class seats. Do the math. And as said previously the J-class products are becoming better and better (for the most part), so is it worth the extra cost?

I did a price check a while ago for a flight from my home airport of OSL to NRT. This was with a major European airline. Just did a random check 3 months into the future.

Round-trip in Y-class would set you back about USD 850, not bad. J-class about USD 2000, great. F-class USD 10000.

Of course you do get the better service, concierge, limo service, own lounge etc. but wow!

On the other hand though. For your Frequent Flyers who sometimes have hundreds of thousands of points, they want something better. A J-class flight for them is just another flight, they do not have to pay for it, but still.

Even so, United will be reducing and, I guess, in the end phase out F-class, because, as stated before, very few passengers actually pay the full amount.
 
tonystan
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:39 am

Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:22 am

Well BA is actually reducing down to 8 seats in F on their B777-200s also with the first refitted aircraft coming online on the JFK from October.
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
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AirKevin
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Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:34 am

BartSimpson wrote:
Antarius wrote:
HPAEAA wrote:
Honestly, it allowed an extra 5-6 hours total of productivity on my APAC flying round trip, so while not huge, it makes a difference during the daylight hours... similarly I’ve never done J in AC, but with the layouts on AA, BA, CX, JL, KE and DL I’ve never been able to make it work in J Class.. I may be old school for a millennial, but I usually have the laptop & some mix of papers that I have to work from. I’ve only flown F on the SWU upgrades, but it was a heck of a lot easier.

You got 5 extra hours of work done due to F over J? I've flown both several times and, while F has more space, you arent eating the whole flight.

If somebody needs to work while he is eating he's got some serious and bigger problems than having to decide if sitting in J vs. F is better or worse.

I guess it depends on your line of work. I do it all the time, but then again, I drive a truck for a living. Buddy of mine is a flight dispatcher, he does it all the time, as he doesn't have an actual lunch break, per se.
Captain Kevin
 
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BartSimpson
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Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:38 pm

AirKevin wrote:
BartSimpson wrote:
If somebody needs to work while he is eating he's got some serious and bigger problems than having to decide if sitting in J vs. F is better or worse.

I guess it depends on your line of work. I do it all the time, but then again, I drive a truck for a living. Buddy of mine is a flight dispatcher, he does it all the time, as he doesn't have an actual lunch break, per se.


So, basically you're saying that neither your boss nor your friend's boss give a damn about their employees' health.
 
aklrno
Posts: 1510
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:18 pm

Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:50 pm

BartSimpson wrote:
AirKevin wrote:
BartSimpson wrote:
If somebody needs to work while he is eating he's got some serious and bigger problems than having to decide if sitting in J vs. F is better or worse.

I guess it depends on your line of work. I do it all the time, but then again, I drive a truck for a living. Buddy of mine is a flight dispatcher, he does it all the time, as he doesn't have an actual lunch break, per se.


So, basically you're saying that neither your boss nor your friend's boss give a damn about their employees' health.

I think all of you talking about working/eating balance are leaving out the third possible function: Sleeping. You can eat and work at the same time, but it is really tricky to eat or work while sleeping. Sleeping is one of the prime selling points for long haul premium. It makes perfect sense to me to get your work done while eating if you can so you have some time for a good sleep.
 
Lufthansa
Posts: 2590
Joined: Thu May 20, 1999 6:04 am

Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:03 pm

BartSimpson wrote:
AirKevin wrote:
BartSimpson wrote:
If somebody needs to work while he is eating he's got some serious and bigger problems than having to decide if sitting in J vs. F is better or worse.

I guess it depends on your line of work. I do it all the time, but then again, I drive a truck for a living. Buddy of mine is a flight dispatcher, he does it all the time, as he doesn't have an actual lunch break, per se.


So, basically you're saying that neither your boss nor your friend's boss give a damn about their employees' health.


Having had to regularly fly between the USA and Australia in a past life, when I was younger and more able to recover faster,
I can tell you it does matter. The single biggest factor is getting enough sleep. When those flatbeds were introduced it was
a godsend. Before that I'd try find lightly loaded flights, and take the middle seats of the 747 and try and get the entire row to
sleep. There is a legit need for it. If you're travelling that far for only a week or so, you have to be switched on, be able to drive
for the most part, not fall asleep in meetings or at restaurants entertaining ppl which is a vital part of many business relationships,
and most importantly of all, don't loose money. Then if you manage to have a little spare time you can go socialising. All people
need a personal life too psychologically. Some companies due to pressure now ask staff to make these trips in less than a week.
In earlier times they sent you these distances you'd have at least two weeks.
 
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AirKevin
Posts: 506
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:18 am

Re: First Class Declining

Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:54 pm

BartSimpson wrote:
AirKevin wrote:
BartSimpson wrote:
If somebody needs to work while he is eating he's got some serious and bigger problems than having to decide if sitting in J vs. F is better or worse.

I guess it depends on your line of work. I do it all the time, but then again, I drive a truck for a living. Buddy of mine is a flight dispatcher, he does it all the time, as he doesn't have an actual lunch break, per se.

So, basically you're saying that neither your boss nor your friend's boss give a damn about their employees' health.

Hours of service as far as truck driving goes is based on government regulations. I get paid by the mile, so I don't make money if those wheels aren't rolling. Today, for instance, I stopped and grabbed McDonald's for lunch, then continued working and ate my lunch as I was working.
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