Business vs. Economy: The Growing Gap Between the Haves and the Have-Nots

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Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 49 total)
  • Additionally on the AC front, it’s worth noting that, sadly, they will have nine-abreast seating on forthcoming 787s. Among other things, I’m troubled by the increasing ratio of Economy passengers to lavs on long-haul flights.


    I’ve been impressed by BA’s new World Traveller Plus Premium Economy Cabins:


    Hello a_canadian_traveller

    Thanks for the info re economy class on AC’s forthcoming B787s.

    I’m afraid all the airlines, except for Japan’s JAL and ANA, have indicated they will move to 3-3-3 on their B787s.

    Interestingly, when ANA launched its first B787 to the world’s media that particular aircraft was configured in its international layout of 2-4-2 so it was naturally praised for its comfort.

    Fast forward a few months and we see ANA operating a reconfigured and far denser B787 on its domestic services.

    Compare ANA’s domestic B787 configuration here:

    … to the same carrier’s international 2-4-2 layout:


    But again the Cathay PE product is sector leading


    Short haul economy, up to two hours, is OK for me.

    The last 20 years I took only one long distance economy flight: A LH special for 299 € to JFK return. (And since we were put on a later flight, we got 1200 € in compensation…without any questions asked .lol).
    But back to the issue:
    The flight out, daytime, was OK, on a brandnew 330, directly behind biz class.
    The return was a nightmare:
    747, tight and uncomfortable although i had a seat at the divider wall. And the food….horrible.
    Nothing for me. If I cant spare the money or the miles, i wont fly.

    Hi, AMcWhirter. Thanks for the info. I didn’t realize. Knew that to be the case with UA, but didn’t look into other carriers operating (or soon to operate) 787s. That’s too bad. Once I had to rush home from MCO in the evening. It was too late to catch an AC flight, but I saw staff at the Air Transat counters, under a display reading TORONTO. They were just about to close check-in, but accepted me (bless them). It was an A-330, and the seating was 3-3-3. Flight was not full, so had a section of three seats to myself. At one point I put down the armrests and tried to imagine sitting in the centre on a full long-haul flight (overnight to Europe, seats in front reclined). Frightening! I mean, we have to do what we have to do when $ is a major consideration, but I think it would be horrible.

    I should mention that my sister and brother-in-law have flown Club Transat several times to the UK and the Caribbean, and they always seem to be quite happy with it. No complaints.


    The gap between ‘J 2013’ and ‘J 1993’ has significantly increased. With the exception of a seat back display there have been no real changes in ‘Y’. One of the purposes of ‘Y’ is to be the headline low cost fare, elsewhere in these forums we have discussed the increased density of seating in ‘Y’ 10 abreast, shallower seat design, to get more seats in the same length.

    Over twenty years there has been significant improvement in ‘J’ 20 years ago nobody did lie flat seats, now if it it’s not flat is well behind the curve. Those airlines that are still using their early nineties ‘J’ seats are selling them as PE (WT+) or at comparable fares.

    Club World was the first lie flat business bed, others followed and improved, today’s CX and new AA may surpass the standard. The gap has widened, enough for an increasing number of carriers to provide a PE (WT+) service. For the cost in these straightened times one could argue PE provides a sufficient service, less the lounge pass on daytime flights back from the far east or across the Atlantic.

    Things move on, our expectations rise year on year, a simple example – I’ve just upgrade my laptop, 8 x the memory and 6 x CPU horse power – wouldn’t it be S*** if things got worse, rather than better.

    On another thread VK and I exchanged views on aircraft safety, he pointed me in the direction of a documentary about the Comet, the seats were the best available at the time; by today’s standard PE. I think the cost to SA was around £3000, much the same as today’s business fare – the same numerical value but 60 years later, today we have an improved hard product, other threads debate the standard of service.


    I am amazed no-one has yet mentioned Air New Zealand’s SkyCouch


    I’ve been thinking more and more about my recent experiance with BA………if I was doing this journey a month from now here what i would be expected to pay with BA……..


    Was lucky enough to get u/g to Club on my way home to YVR…..and flew back WT+………my Scots heritage has to consider is the difference in cost between the travel classes worth it…….

    I prefered WT+ to Club and on a day flight would opt for WT+ rather than the extra £500 for a flat bed….

    And is a good nights sleep worth £500?

    The BA hard product is pretty average, the crew were very good and saved the experiance……if the CC were average than BA would really be in trouble!!

    Chuck into the equation I can fly to FRA & use AC “y” for £642 for the same dates!! …and as I’ve mentioned AC’s “y” service is on a par with WT+ ….


    VK, do you work for BT? I just noticed you started this thread under “Staff blogs”…


    I’d be interested to hear of members’ experiences of Economy Plus on United – I have the misfortune of flying with them in a few weeks back to LHR from the east coast and thanks to *A gold status Economy Plus seating is available at no extra cost.


    United Economy Plus is nothing particularly special. You do get a few extra inches of leg room which is nice but, personally, I like an aisle seat and I would still take an aisle seat in regular economy over a middle seat in economy plus. I fly United a lot, although I haven’t flown them across the Atlantic in about a year. The service is the same as economy which, if I remember correctly, means you pay for your alcoholic drinks even in economy plus across the Atlantic. So, if you can get your preference of seat (aisle or window) in economy plus for free due to your star alliance status it’s a nice little perk. Just don’t expect anything really special.


    I believe that the Airlines see the Premium Economy as improvement to their standard economy. The issues are:
    1) The price often boarders with a business class seat (depending on the season)
    2) European carriers offer customers perks such as awarding passengers with the same amount of miles as a business class passenger, access to airport lounges etc.
    3) Inflight service however is the same as that of an Economy Class.
    Airlines rely on extra legroom, different seating plan etc.
    To be honest, if I had the opportunity I would rather pay a Business class fare or try for an upgrade but not keen to fly on a Premium Economy class especially on long haul flights.


    Flew Westjet economy from Vancouver to Hawaii and back over the new year on a six hour flight(each way) on a Boeing 737. Cringed at the prospect, but with a seat pitch of 34″, semi-decent in flight entertainment , set selection, decent crews and the ability to run a tab, it was as near to acceptable as you can probably get. Even the Ryanairs and Easyjets are making life easier now with seat selection in advance, taking away one of the major bugbears of flying with these carriers. Overall, give me business class any day, but on short haul flights in Europe, the tangible benefits versus the cost differential are often hard to justify, in particular when on the plane itself. If I have to fly Economy too, I would rather fly on a one class carrier where the crew treat all passengers with the same degree of respect, than on some legacy carriers, where you are looked at as a second class citizen.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 49 total)
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