Alex on... the future for business class within Europe
Published: 27/02/2013 - Filed under: News »
Conventional wisdom would suggest that the days of European business class are numbered.
As the budget airlines’ keener pricing enables them to capture more and more executive passengers, the conventional carriers’ business classes appear to offer ever poorer value.
Passengers pay huge sums for little extra onboard comfort and service. What meaningful benefits there are tend to be in terms of preferential treatment on the ground.
To read Alex's blog in full, visit the businesstraveller.com forum.
d1rector - 28/02/2013 13:40
It would be a real shame to lose European Business Class. I think there is still a good market for people who wish to travel agreeably with a little, modest special treatment and luggage allowances, etc.
As a mainly BA customer, I have frequently used Business for, eg., Geneva, Paris and Vienna. Current day prices and fixed fares are really very competitive now. I see no dearth of passengers in the Business cabin. And not all of us want the miserable experience of the Ryanairs, Easy anything (including pod hotels - ugh), nor can many of us anywhere near afford the Netjets type of alternative if Business Class disappeared.
It will be a real shame if the backpackers come to rule the European skies and everything descends to the lowest common denominator, rather than improve qualitatively.
JohnnyFox - 28/02/2013 14:27
I think the product's safe but the market may shift from corporates to leisure users of the wider seats/included food. There's clearly a groundswell of opinion that thinks LCCs are the pits, and will pay - a bit - more for lounge access, some sir and madam-ing and a 'free' gin and tonic.
BA's move to charge for hold luggage (sorry, offer a lower fare for carry-on only passengers) and other corner-cuttings will only increase this demand.
bombayteddy - 28/02/2013 14:58
I couldnt agree more with the previous comment. Flying Economy/Coach is an awful experience mainly because you are cramped like sardines. It is particularly horrible if you are "a person of size". It doesnt matter if the flight is long or short.
Finally, if you can afford it, you should have the opportunity to enjoy it!
Cloud-9 - 28/02/2013 19:27
I flew LCY/VCE economy return on BA last month, using my SIlver card to enjoy the airport conveniences. On the outbound flight there were just 16 passengers: all at the back of the plane! [eats 1A and C were not wasted as the stewards sat in them throughout the flight..] However, on the return trip, economy was pretty full and there was just one business class passenger.
Although I do not mind slumming it for 2 hours, I would no more think of flying economy than I would of using a budget airline if the journey time was more than 3 hours. European Business Class shoud not be allowed to wither and die.
KSHaggag - 28/02/2013 20:57
That s why exactly I would urge european legacy carriers to upgrade their business class products in Europe to decent levels to justify the extortionate fares charged ....it is almost cheaper to fly in biz class from EU to New York than within Europe on some short legs !..paying a whopping 900 Euros for a Frankfurt /Prague/Frankfurt in biz class is something out of this world ...why on Earth ?!...are the profit margins on such routes that huge?
These cabins are not empty but it does not make sense to pay such a fare unless the european leg is part of an intercontinental fare leg included in the throughfare ...I wonder what percentage of passengers flying in the business class cabins of inter european flights are buying a point -to-point ticket ?....I could not agree more on the fact that flying with LCC s is indeed a miserable experience and by the way ,not good value for money ....we just need some European carriers to revise their pricing policfy and fare structures ..BA and LX have gone a step further and are pricing their European legs smartly !...
alistairNicoll - 01/03/2013 13:03
I am a backpacker (albeit not young) and I use business class for long haul as it is worth the premium
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