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peh
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Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:38 pm

Airliners now contains hundreds of images of the business class cabins of various A380's. I believe that many of them, such as this one by Ken Iwelumo, highlight the fact that the A380 has removed the intimacy of premium travel.



I've been lucky enough to fly up front with a few airlines but only ever on 777, 747 and the A330. What I liked about these cabins was their intimacy. They have an air of exclusivity about them that make you feel like one of a chosen few.

There's no way you can say that about the cabin in the photo above.

Don't get me wrong. I'm sure the service is still amazing and the seat is comfortable and blah, blah, blah but surely we have to admit that this cabin in particular is beginning to look too much like an Indian call centre.

Interested in your thoughts.
Flown: ATR72, DASH 8, 737, 747, 767, 777, A300, A320, A321, A330, A340, MD80
 
tayser
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:46 pm

When was Business ever -not- a "cheap" first class?

$0.02
 
mattdell
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:48 pm

I think that's a fair point and I'm looking forward to the responses here.

Would segmenting up the cabin fix this issue?
 
desertjets
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:54 pm

I wanted to disagree w/ you based on the post title but I find that I can't.

From just this one wide angle shot the cabin doesn't feel very intimate. But it is hard to judge what it is like in the seat itself. The suite/pod style seats tend to create more privacy vs. a conventional sleeper seat, but these particular seats still seem pretty exposed. In a largish J class cabin I'd want some sort of retractable a screen (sort of like what you see on a baby carriage) to make the space, especially when sleeping, a bit more personal and concealed.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
U2380
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:03 pm

Quoting peh (Thread starter):
the A380 has removed the intimacy of premium travel.

I think you may have a point, when talking about business. This may be even more the case when KE get's their A380s.

I know that the topic is meant to be about Buisness, however I think that if you are in First, particularly with EK and SQ's suites, the A380 has provided a base for a higher level of exclusivity than ever before.
 
Kaiarahi
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:05 pm

If this is truly a "business" class, as opposed to first class, most road warriors (or at least those who are used to "hoteling" in the office) would feel right at home. It looks like a well designed cube farm.
Empty vessels make the most noise.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:06 pm

Quoting peh (Thread starter):
I believe that many of them, such as this one by Ken Iwelumo, highlight the fact that the A380 has removed the intimacy of premium travel.

Have you ever seen the inside of a Privatair 737 or A319? You're sleeping practically out in the open.

Regardless, I don't think Business Class is designed to be a cabin with any air of exclusivity. It's supposed to be a place where you can rest, do some work, or entertain yourself without squeezing into a Coach seat. Heck, the first Business seats were Coach seats.

Any exclusivity that other airplanes yield in the Business cabins, I believe, is simply a by-product of their placement of the cabin in that particular plane. Some do like the upper deck of the 747 since it feels more intimate, but again, the 747 wasn't initially designed to have Business Class situated in the hump. It's simply a convenient place to place Business seats. LH puts First Class up there instead.
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Viscount724
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:08 pm

The only thing 99% of longhaul business class passengers care about these days is getting a flat bed seat so they can sleep.
 
Kaiarahi
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:13 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 7):
The only thing 99% of longhaul business class passengers care about these days is getting a flat bed seat so they can sleep.

   And if you're so inclined (no pun), get some work done without someone looking sideways at what you're doing.
Empty vessels make the most noise.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:22 pm

There is a whole lot more privacy and intimacy in that cabin than there was in business class 20 years ago. When the 747-400 came out, 40 inch pitch was generous for business class. SQ had only 38'' pitch on their 747s. First was even less private than that business class with 2 by 2 seats and 60 inch pitch. Business class seats have changed massively. With flat seats being highly sought after, seats have changed from wide recliners to narrow sleepers.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:53 pm

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 9):
With flat seats being highly sought after, seats have changed from wide recliners to narrow sleepers.

Funny that SQ has now gone somewhat the other way, outfitting their Business Class with extra-wide reclining sleepers.  

And here I'd thought at one time that 2x2x2 recliners on TWA's 747 were the cat's meow. Even though not a flat bed, I never had a bad sleep in one of them. I think I actually prefer the Barcalounger Z-position for sleeping on planes—being able to sink back into substantial padding has a lot to do with it. The CX herringbone narrow sleeper didn't go over well at all.
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aklrno
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:26 am

The initial post sounds to me like a complaint that there are just too many business class seats and that causes the passenger to feel less "exclusive". The real question is whether the person in the seat is comfortable and feels sufficiently isolated. Who cares how many other people on the plane are having the same experience? I wish they all could! The photo was taken standing up. Most people spend their time sitting down or sleeping flat. My personal experience in good J class seats is that I soon forget about everyone else on the plane until I need to use the lav. Put a few more of those in J and I will be a happy camper.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:33 am

I don't see how this is any less intimate than a 77W or 747 with a large J cabin.
-Doc Lightning-

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cloudboy
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:41 am

Intimate or exclusive? They are two different things.

Intimacy has more to do with the size and openness of the cabin. I do think that business class has gotten a little less intimate, but that is not so much due to the 380 as just more people flying in business in general (mostly due to frequent flyer miles). But I don't think that is so much a big issue - it's called business class because it is less crazy than coach, and more of a working environment. Intimacy is not really one of it's goals. I think you will still find that intimacy in First, which is where you should. Particularly as seats become more and more advanced, you get more of the cocoon feeling.

As for exclusivity, that I think has a lot more to do with culture and airlines themselves. I suppose there probably is still room for an "exclusive" airline, perhaps something one of the Virgin Group would get into. But culturally I just don't think that sells anymore, and if you really, really want to be exclusive, then you are going to charter a private jet.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
peh
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:44 am

Thanks for all of the insight and opinions.

To those referring to the comfort of the seat, the ability to sleep, etc - As I said, I'm sure that the A380 changes none of this. In fact, these aspects might actually be improved.

My comment is in regards to the feeling of intimacy.

The maths certainly suggests the cabin is less intimate and the cabin layout seems to accentuate it.

Emirates:
A380-800 = 80
777-200 = 42
Flown: ATR72, DASH 8, 737, 747, 767, 777, A300, A320, A321, A330, A340, MD80
 
peh
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:46 am

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 13):
and more of a working environment.

I'm not a frequent business class traveller but, over the dozen or so times I've flown business long haul, there certainly don't seem to be a lot of people working. To be honest, I see more people working on laptops and notebooks in economy than I do business. I could be a cynic and say "workers up the back and bosses up the front".
Flown: ATR72, DASH 8, 737, 747, 767, 777, A300, A320, A321, A330, A340, MD80
 
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mariner
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:59 am

Quoting peh (Reply 14):
The maths certainly suggests the cabin is less intimate and the cabin layout seems to accentuate it.

The virtue of premium classes, to me, has not been the intimacy but the spaciousness.

Quoting peh (Reply 15):
I could be a cynic and say "workers up the back and bosses up the front".

That may be true, but what's on either side of the journey? Once, at the end of a hard working week, I was flown from BOS to MAG - via LAX, SYD, BNE, and POM. I was met at Madang Airport, driven straight to a meeting, spent all of that arrival day (and into the night) working and didn't get a day off for a week. If they had not put me up the front, I wouldn't have done the job.

mariner
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Quokka
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:01 am

The comfort may be the same or higher than other aircraft and may vary by airline, but I wonder about other aspects. Does having 80 seats instead of 42 lead to longer queues at boarding; increased time waiting to be served meals; and on arrival increased wait time at the carousel for your "priority baggage"? Have airlines maintained the ratio of passengers to WCs?
 
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OA260
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:22 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 7):
The only thing 99% of longhaul business class passengers care about these days is getting a flat bed seat so they can sleep.

Very true , what I want is a bit of space /in seat power/decent IFE and decent meal. I dont care how many other travel mates are around me .
 
blueflyer
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:43 am

The "suites" in AC Executive First (made by Weber I think) feel pretty intimate when fully flat, especially in row A onboard a 767 since there's a wall across the aisle. The first time I used one, I was even worried it might be a bit claustrophobic.

Quoting peh (Reply 15):
I could be a cynic and say "workers up the back and bosses up the front".

Not going to speak about the workers up the back, but one of the reasons I get sat upfront is so when I land in Asia or Europe at 7 am, I am ready for a full day of work, so yes, I will definitely sleep my way there.
 
babybus
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:33 am

As said on here in many threads, the premium cabins are where all the money is made. If I was an airline looking at those huge F and J cabins I'd be rubbing my hands with glee. Give me more please, I'd be saying.

In F and J you expect space, that's what you are paying for, and with the A380 that is what you get..and plenty of. Whichever way you look, you just get this big feeling of space.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
lax888
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:27 am

Quoting Quokka (Reply 17):
The comfort may be the same or higher than other aircraft and may vary by airline, but I wonder about other aspects. Does having 80 seats instead of 42 lead to longer queues at boarding; increased time waiting to be served meals; and on arrival increased wait time at the carousel for your "priority baggage"? Have airlines maintained the ratio of passengers to WCs?

I would say the comfort should be the same but service wise you have to wait a bit longer as the ratio crew/pax is not the same as on a smaller plane. Also of course the more ppl there are in C class the longer you have to wait for bags. I know that SQ uses two luggage belts for bags at certain airports. One for priority bags and one for Y class bags.
 
nqyguy
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:10 pm

You may have a point, but with that said, I'd still be in that business cabin before you can say economy middle row. It looks stunning.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:05 pm

Quoting peh (Reply 14):
The maths certainly suggests the cabin is less intimate and the cabin layout seems to accentuate it.

Emirates:
A380-800 = 80
777-200 = 42

My first observation is that the business seat count on an EK 380 isn't much greater than a BA 744 (70) little more than a BA 747

The main difference is the layout, BA split 70 club world seats between 3 cabins, with the largest having only 4 rows of 8. using the galley and toilets to divide up the main deck.

Is this possible on the A380, or are there reasons why many place galleys and toilets at each end of the fuselage ?
 
sq_ek_freak
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RE: Does The A380 Cheapen Business Class?

Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:19 pm

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 23):
Is this possible on the A380, or are there reasons why many place galleys and toilets at each end of the fuselage ?

I'm not crew with the A380 but I've heard that this is a huge pitfall of the way the EK A380 is laid out. All the galleys are at the rear of the cabin which means the Business Class crew keep needing to shuffle back and forth a very long cabin. It means slower service and more aisle traffic. I believe EK is looking into this issue for the remaining A380s to come. On the main fleet where I work, it's never a problem with the largest single Business cabin being on the 77W which isn't too bad at all.
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