SQ A380 Business Class seat

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  • Mark
    Participant

    Surely some of you must remember that the very 1st Business class was basically the first rows of economy cabins with 34 to 36″inch seat pitch.

    Seperate cabins were then introduced with a standard 38″inch.
    40 to 41″ then became the new standard.
    It was BA who increased to 50″ with the cradle seat and as usual all the others followed eventually.
    Plus a whole range of pitches from 40 to 49 inches.
    Again BA introduced the Flat Business class bed and others followed with slanting “flat” beds which really were horrible.
    It is a numbers game.
    I flew with lauda air SYD-KUL-VIE Business class on their cradle style seats and they were incredibly uncomfortable for longhaul.
    Any flatbed is better than non.
    Were confusing First class Space with our business class comfort.

    The airlines are masters at playing us with product names. Top class,First class,Executive class,Royal Business class.Premier class etc etc

    Look at the choice Phillipine airlines had on their 747s.
    3 choices of First class 41″,65″ and upper deck 14 flatbeds.
    Business class was 37″ (8 abreast) and economy 34″

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Hello Mark, thank you for refreshing my memory.

    1. It was KLM who instigated the concept of business class in 1975. It was reserved for full fare economy travellers.
    2. Qantas was the first with a dedicated separate cabin with the J designator for the first true business class which was sold as a premium over full fare economy.
    3. BA introduced Super Club some years later. Pitch was 36 ins and seating was 2-2-2 on the 747. But and it’s a big but these were simply convertible economy class seats (which would covert from three to two).
    4. BA’s cradle seats were introduced in the late 1980s. Club World (new brand name) at that time I think.
    5. Flat bed seats introduced from year 2000. But it took many years before most global airlines would offer them.

    Philippine Airlines (PAL) had those first class Skybeds on the 747’s upper deck. The idea was that passengers could sleep throughout PAL’s multi-stop flights to Europe. These Skybeds were certified for take off and landings (so passengers did not have to wake during the several en route stops).

    JAL also offered something similar on its transpacific flights. But its cabin crew did not like the concept and it was later dropped.


    esselle
    Participant

    Hello Mark, thank you for refreshing my memory.

    1. It was KLM who instigated the concept of business class in 1975. It was reserved for full fare economy travellers.
    2. Qantas was the first with a dedicated separate cabin with the J designator for the first true business class which was sold as a premium over full fare economy.
    3. BA introduced Super Club some years later. Pitch was 36 ins and seating was 2-2-2 on the 747. But and it’s a big but these were simply convertible economy class seats (which would covert from three to two).
    4. BA’s cradle seats were introduced in the late 1980s. Club World (new brand name) at that time I think.
    5. Flat bed seats introduced from year 2000. But it took many years before most global airlines would offer them.

    Philippine Airlines (PAL) had those first class Skybeds on the 747’s upper deck. The idea was that passengers could sleep throughout PAL’s multi-stop flights to Europe. These Skybeds were certified for take off and landings (so passengers did not have to wake during the several en route stops).

    JAL also offered something similar on its transpacific flights. But its cabin crew did not like the concept and it was later dropped.

    Hi Alex

    A small point, but I think the “cradle” seat came into being in around 1995/6, but the name Club World stems from about 1988. The cradle seat advertising was masterful, and the seat itself quite a step forward, albeit you could only sleep on your back.

    Do you remember the tartan tray liners?


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Do you remember the tartan tray liners?

    THANKS|

    I have forgotten about these esselle.

    Thanks for confirming Club World dates from around 1988.

    As for the cradle seat I am sure you are correct in that its introduction was later than I had thought.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    cwoodward
    Participant

    The evolution seems to have started in about 1973 but it is Qantas who in the industry are credited with what we now know as “Business Class” offering a full business class service and food, different seating from economy and first class and a different class of fare, which launched the first true business class in 1979.
    As mentioned in previous posts many airlines previously “fiddled at the edges” and can claim it seems to be part of the evolution of business class.
    As mentioned by esselle JAL (Japan Airlines) was among the first in 1974 to offer better facilities for full fare passengers, which included the Tachibana (Orange Blossom) cabin immediately behind first class. Thai Airlines look to have been the first to use the term ‘Business Class’ but this referred its full fare economy cabin.

    I was posted by my then Japanese employer to Australia in 1978 and remember that they rather generously let me travel business class back to Asia to the Hong Kong office (and my home).As a recall the ticket was about 4 times the cost of Economy and I considered at the time that it was a very very good experience.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Certainly in Europe it was KLM who introduced “Full Fare Facilities” in 1975. I was working in the trade at that time and with the beginnings of mass travel corporate travellers complained they were neglected.

    Remember there was no business class back then. Just costly first and economy.

    In the following years B.Cal and Pan Am tinkered with similar producrs.

    But as cwoodward notes it was Qantas who introduced the initial, proper business class. There was also a new tariff class “J” which meant that, for the first time, airlines were able to surcharge the product. (I say “allowed” because at that time trade body IATA determined fares)

    I believe Qantas charged around 10 or 15 per cent more than the normal economy fare.

    Seating would be considered dense by today’s standards where even premium economy provides more space.

    I recall flying Qantas QF 2 LHR-BAH-SIN in the early 1980s. On the 747s lower deck seating was disposed 2-4-2 (eight across) with 38 ins of pitch.


    cwoodward
    Participant

    You could well be correct re the fare Alex but as I recall J was much more costly than E in the early eighties
    I found this perhaps interesting piece of fare trivia on a very old and obscure document relating to Qantas the source of which is unclear.
    Brief checking demonstrates that the facts are largely correct though

    ‘Low Fare Policy Debuts in the Early 1970s
    In the early 1970s, Qantas formed a charter subsidiary, Qantair Ltd., with the strong support of the Australian government and with the intention of recovering the traffic it had lost to charter services on the Europe-Far East part of the journey to Australia. At the same time, Qantas decided to embark upon a low fares initiative in late 1971. On April 1, 1972, subject to British government approval, it cut the one-way fare between London and Sydney from £276 to £169. Single fares between Australia and four other European cities were cut similarly. The British government deferred approval for the new fare, but Qantas sold unapproved tickets in the face of bitter opposition to the new low fare from its rivals. Britain was finally forced to approved the new fare but Britain’s liberal line earned it a good deal of anger from other countries and non-British airlines. Qantas offered travellers charter-level fares while still retaining the benefits of scheduled services. As a result, the airline’s passenger traffic and revenue grew dramatically, despite the huge increase in the price of aviation fuel in the 1970s.’

    At about the same time British Airways suggested a merger with Qantas and according to some reports also to include Air New Zealand – of course as history shows that it never happened.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    In the early days Qantas did apply a modest surcharge for its J class.

    I was referring to a surcharge on the full economy fare rather than any excursion rate.

    I had forgotten about Qantas Ltd. This surprises me because otherwise I would have sold tickets on its flights.
    Maybe ticket sales were limited to VFR travellers.


    FRANCESCABARNES
    Participant

    Am 100% in agreement. Luckily we managed to book 3 out of 4 seats in the Bulkhead where it’s a complete table area.
    I actually don’t rate Singapore Airlines at all, give me Emirates any day.


    peter craggs
    Participant

    Just recently flown business from Heathrow to Changi on a Singapore Airlines 777, where the lie flat seats are angled and not at all comfortable for sleeping. Can’t understand how anyone can design a seat like this and pretend that they are good.
    Everything else of course was superb!


    KSHaggag
    Participant

    I do strongly agree with Flying_Spanner on the window seat of the A350-900 on SIA ;you need to squeeze your feet in a very tight area that makes moving while lying flat almost impossible .I do miss bitterly the former 777-300ER seats and the widest seat in the sky on the A380 where you could put your feet up from the time of boarding ,to take off ,till landing and disembarking !!!
    Another point : on the flight out of Istanbul ,the food was NOT catered by SIA but rather by a third party ;it was very obvious at first sight .The quality and portion of the food left much to desire and was NOT up to SIA superb standards .I wrote to SIA about this and will make sure to avoid IST/SIN in that direction from now on unless SIA launches its own catering unit or carries turnaround food from SIN to IST and back ….It was a disappointment ,to say the least …

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Richardw
    Participant

    The SQ A380 seat undoubtedly does not match many others when in lie flat mode. I still managed 11 hours sleep straight one time, so not a complete waste.

    However, to your other point (MarcusGB), Why are you bringing UK Covid numbers into this forum? Let it go! People get ill, they get better, life moves on, it is amazing how people are fixated about Covid, quite bizarre.


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    I wonder if any of major airlines invite frequent travellers to “test run” new business/first class seats to get feedback before they hit the manufacturing button. I remember asking a BA CSD on a flight from Singapore many years ago if they had been consulted over the eight/yin yan seats given the ongoing complaints about them He said with a wry grin “That would never cross BA senior management´s minds. They are rarely open to feedback”.

    Yes they do – I was part of one such exercise many years ago for CX. Quite interesting. Unfortunately they didn’t choose the seat I trialled and chose the “coffin class” one instead – which just goes to show that while they seek feedback they don’t necessarily listen to it!

    Incidentally we recently flew SQ with one of the seats where you have to twist to extend your legs – the Memsahib absolutely hated it. I had flown it before and already hated it, but it was interesting to see how vitriolic she was on the subject!


    cwoodward
    Participant

    Cathay coffin seat.
    As I recall the Cathay CEO was dismissed by Cathay (there one day gone the next) a very unusual move for Swire and it was said to be connected to the ‘coffin seat’ which was designed by a UK company that had never previously designed an aircraft seat and was somehow connected to the CEOs family it was said.
    I do not recall the exact detail but I do recall that horrible seat that I sat in at least 4 times a month to London or Australia for several years. They did modify it after a couple of years and it was then less horrible.
    Worse than the Singapore seat? I’m not sure but how either of them got info service says a good deal about the ability of the designers and decision makers though.

    I was modestly involved in the design of the replacement seat in that as was among those asked to try it a few times during the development. It proved a to be an excellent choice and is still a very good seat which is a few years old now but I hope that they don’t change it radically for one of the cabin type seats that seem to be in favour and which I don’t particularly enjoy.


    Luxembourger
    Participant

    I am travelling on SQ to Australia in November. Having read all the reports here, I asked my travel agent to book me a bulkhead seat for the night flights ( don’t mind too much what happens on the day ones).. I was told that the bulkhead seats in business class cannot be reserved in advance as they are all bassinet seats so I am stuck with the ones nobody likes. Is this true, can amybody tell me? I have no status of any kind on Krisflyer if that makes any difference.,

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