A speculative question: Does anybody believe we will ever see a return to the years of First Class cabins in the Domestic Australian aviation market?

18 replies

180mis

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 20 Mar 2012

Total posts 85

A speculative question: Does anybody believe we will ever see a return to the years of First Class cabins in the Domestic Australian aviation market?

My Dad loves recalling stories when he was running a public company in the late 1980's where he would fly Ansett and Australian Airlines First Class and mingle with politicians et al and the service, food and alcohol was in excess and OTT.

Yes, we are currently in a market where the the domestic airlines are running on the sniff of an oil rag, but I ponder whether this is due to mismanagement or a lower propensity to pay the higher fares? Look forward to your opinions.

driley28

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 07 May 2012

Total posts 302

No

180mis

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 20 Mar 2012

Total posts 85

why

cooper81

BA Gold

Member since 01 Apr 2012

Total posts 75

I think the 80's were the days where companies had big travel budgets and flying (and the class you were in) was a big status symbol.

I don't believe F will make a return to the domestic market as there simply wouldn't be enough passengers paying full price for it.  If F was a flat bed product on a transcontinental maybe.  But between SYD/MEL/BNE etc - no way.  The costs in space taken up and more crew would outweigh the gains.

Even in the longhaul market where comfort rates a lot higher than shorthaul many airlines are reducing the amount of aircraft they fly with F.  In europe now there is only BA, Air France, Lufthansa and Swiss that offer the product.  Lufthansa has announced they are reducing the amount of aircraft with the cabin.  In the americas it's only AA and UA.  Whilst most of the hierachial and status concious nations of the mid/far east still offer First even some of those are drawing back.  Qatar only has F on a few different aircraft types.  Cathay and MH likewise.

An interesting article:

http://www.businesstraveller.com/opinion/aviation/has-first-class-had-its-day

Serg

QFF

Member since 12 Apr 2013

Total posts 872

No

reno

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 20 Sep 2013

Total posts 317

I see a possability for Qantas and or Virgin on select Flights and aircraft A330 to and from Syd/Mel/Bne.. to Perth only.May be eliminate business as we know it on the above sectors only and call it first.Then provide an enhanced service with at least angled seats/beds as Qantas currenty operate internationally on the A330.While the fares would increase,providing they are not over the top it would work.

My big concern is do the carriers have people with the necessary skills to implement it.Most US carriers offer first class domestically,with no business except on certain transcon flights and it works.Mind you  US domestic first is in most cases no better than the current Australian carriers domestic bussiness class options.Again i believe it could work  on the above listed routes only.

crosscourt

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer - Chairmans Lounge

Member since 01 Sep 2011

Total posts 90

NO!

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,060

Isn't Qantas Business Domestic effectively First Class?  It's just a matter of labelling.

With regards to the excessive food and alcohol; I don't think this is en vogue with the modern premium flyer. I could be wrong...

cooper81

BA Gold

Member since 01 Apr 2012

Total posts 75

Yes some carriers just use different terms.

For example a two class American Airlines 757 flying New York to Miami offers 'First Class' and coach.  If the same plane lands in Miami then continues on a 2.5hr hop to San Juan it becomes 'Business Class' and coach.  The premium cabin is First domestically and Business internationally.  Qatar airways does the same.  Business Class on flights within the Gulf region are labelled and ticketed as 'First Class'.  Same plane but on a route outside the Gulf and it reverts to Business Class.

The only airline that I can think of that offers three classes on dedicated domestic aircraft is AA on the JFK-LAX/SFO transcon with First, Business and coach.  I know a lot of the asian carriers offer F and J on intra-asia services but this is more because they use their longhaul aircraft regionally as well.  None have their regional aircraft fitted with F and J.

watson374

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Aug 2012

Total posts 1,293

Actually, SQ has regional F for runs like CGK and until recently BKK.

Merc25

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 Jun 2013

Total posts 317

Ansett actually called it buisiness First and it was a great hit ,the airline was renown for great service and  FA 's who knows with a bit of marking know how,the name may reappear !!

hutch

Member since 07 Oct 2012

Total posts 762

Absolutely no chance there will be a business class and first class on domestic routes.

  • fuel costs are massively higher today than yesteryear (airlinees needed to reassess those luxuries and cut them)
  • airlines are trying to simplify fleets - by putting first on transcon routes an airline would need to create a sub-fleet of planes/service
  • the cost of premium seats in domestic is historically low (due to capacity, more businesses sending staff in Y) - poor yield
  •  we are flying more than ever - the 'sexiness' of flying is not what it was in the 80's, it's now routine
  • there is very little more needed in Domestic J than domestic F could offer that people would pay for given that all domestic flights are under 5hours.... im sure I can think of more.

watson374

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Aug 2012

Total posts 1,293

Basically this. In the US, the only case where it has been deemed worthwhile to have three-class aircraft on domestic flights has been the SFO-JFK and LAX-JFK routes.

You could almost justify it on SYD-PER, MEL-PER and BNE-PER. Almost.

paa

Member since 21 Dec 2012

Total posts 43

Will not happen. Corporate travel policies of the current day and to the horizon would not allow sufficient volume to make it economically viable for a carrier. Also, many of those with a genuine need for domestic first class have the corporate jet as an option.

seanpodge

Member since 05 Jun 2012

Total posts 5

I can't see it coming back as a regular service. Too expensive for the airlines and with companies cutting back on business class travel, it's hard to see them suddenly splurging out for F. Even in long haul travel, F is being phased out, particularly as the 747s get retired., Realisticly, the future seems to be J, Y+ and Y. Anyone who in the past would have flown F will probably now look in the direction of private jet charter where they get a luxury product and added benefits such as getting to set their own timetable.

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