Best intra-european J class seats R.I.PBack to Forum
I wouldn’t imagine many forumites fly Air Serbia but it actually had one of the best intra european Business Class products in the sky. Actual PROPER fixed, cradle Business Class seats on their A319’s.
I’m not 100% sure but I think they were the only european airline to offer an actual J class seat on their A319’s.
Well…they are ‘enhancing’ their aircraft with a new cabin and new slimline recaro seats. The beautiful fixed J class seats will be replaced by the recaro ‘block the middle seat’ concept.
A real shame. Their A319’s were an amazing way to fly. Especially from LHR T4 which included access to the Etihad lounge pre flight.
I guess it proves the point that despite many of us desiring a proper J class seat on intra europe flights the airlines just cannot make them turn a profit.16 May 2017
Both KLM and Swissair operated proper fixed business cabins (with wider seating) on their many European routes but sadly it did not work out.
There were high hopes at the time but fixed business cabins did not provide the level of flexibility needed when operating complex networks where loadings vary depending on the route, time of day and day of the week.16 May 2017
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I think Turkish need a proper Business seat as they are feeding passengers onto their long haul services ex Istanbul. I’m not sure people would put up with the standard European Business seat on a 4 flight when connecting through Istanbul when they could fly EK, QR etc instead.16 May 2017
What a shame. I’ve been using their service from LHR to AUH via BEG for some time now. The fares were about £940 return in J, which was consistently around £1000-£2000 cheaper than the direct service with Etihad and I got Etihad miles and tier points to maintain my Platinum as they are a partner.
The 8 business class seats (not always full) were more than comfortable for the 2 legs, service was always spot on, the lounge at BEG was good enough, although I frequently took the opportunity of going into town. The 5-6 hour layover was the only real downside but for the savings made it was a no-brainer as I pay for my own travel now.
Looks like I need to find another option now as those Recaro seats with the middle free in J don’t cut it I’m afraid.16 May 2017
I must confess I don’t understand why European airlines can’t make this work anymore when in the USA, they still have First class though this is a misnomer as Business class would be a more correct description. Can anyone explain the difference?16 May 2017
Hey esselle. I didn’t include TK as whilst I know a decent amount of their fleet have a fixed J seat a good proportion (according to turkishairlines.com anyway) don’t.
Turkishairlines.com states the narrowbody fleet as:
321-200 – 68 aircraft – fixed J class
320 – 28 aircraft – fixed J class
319 – 10 aircraft – middle seat free
737-800 – 110 aircraft – middle seat free
737-700 – 1 aircraft – middle seat free
737-900 – 15 aircraft – fixed J class
So 103 with a proper J class seat and 121 with the ‘euro concept’. Though I imagine they deploy their better product on the main routes.16 May 2017
Alex I can remember going on holidays to Australia with my family in the early 90’s and getting on an Ansett 737 from Melbourne to Sydney that had THREE classes – First, Business and Economy. First had proper fixed seats. Business i’m pretty sure was as we see today in europe. And then economy. Each cabin had a varying service (with a hot meal in each on the 60min flight of course).16 May 2017
Bath_VIP – i’m no expert on the USA scene but I think their ‘First Class’ cabins on narrowbodies are primarily there as a marketing tool for frequent flyers. The American airlines are very generous with upgrade perks for frequent flyers – some tiers able to list for a free upgrade on an unlimited amount of flights.
I’ve travelled many times domestically in the USA and the US carriers always have those display boards at each gate displaying the passengers on standby for a miles upgrade – there is always a healthy amount and i’d imagine that’s where most of the seats go.
I’ve read on some other US based sites that many folk in the US are becoming annoyed as the Amereican carriers receive new aircraft and cutting down on the number of premium seats or restricting the number of upgrades for frequent flyers.
At the end of the day I guess if one of the US airlines went out on a limb and adopted the euro middle seat free concept and it was successful and the other airlines followed it would go the same way as over here. I guess none of the US airlines have wanted to stick their neck out yet though.16 May 2017
That’s what I wondered, what if one airline breaks ranks and adopts the European model? After all, Southwest have always been a one class airline and it hasn’t hindered them.16 May 2017
I think that you have to remember a lot of flights in the USA can be very long indeed (even though they are all domestic), and the distinction between C and Y cabins has historically reflected that. Space and comfort have been important considerations, especially of coast to coast flights, a lot of which are actually overnight if going west to east.
When I lived in the States (it is quite some years ago) the price premiums between the two cabins was substantial on longer sectors, and indeed AA used to offer F, J, and Y on some LA/JFK sectors in configurations that mirrored their transatlantic offer.
Even on LAX-LAS,(sub 1 hour) AA offered a J class seat that was at least as generous spacewise as the Serbia seat in rferguson’s original post.16 May 2017
Did a domestic round trip in Romania last week on TAROM. they still have 2 x 2 seating in J with much wider and more comfortable seats than Y on their 737/700s, aircraft are not that new, but for a 55min flight (OTP/TSR/OTP) they managed a snack/drinks service. Not as plush as Air Serbia but quite decent seating, and plenty of space. Maybe when they replace the 737/700s they will also ‘enhance’ the seating.16 May 2017
Some US transcontinental flights have three classes (although AA first is equivalent to CX J)
However, like Bath_VIP, I do wonder whether the current race to the bottom could be overtaken by a fleetwide effort by a major carrier to distinguish itself by offering a PROPER fixed J seat on intra-European flights (if only to help feed long-haul)
Can’t see BA doing it, sadly….17 May 2017
I know that this will give my age away but I remember the days when you could fly First Class intra Europe on both the old Swissair and Lufthansa. The former on their A310’s and the latter on a B727. I still remember being amazed at how much food could be served on flights that were no more than 70-80 minutes long. those were indeed the days!17 May 2017
Jonathan – True. I sampled first class with Swissair shortly before it was removed. Even on a LHR-ZRH A300 the crew managed to serve a full hot dinner with drinks etc. And that was for a flight lasting less than one hour (excluding the time spent taxiing on the ground.
Swissair and Lufthansa were the last two major carriers to retain first class within Europe. That was some 12 years after the other major European carriers had begun to replace first with business class.17 May 2017