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


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 02 Jul 2011

Total posts 835

While I don't see it happening - (IF and this is a big IF), Qantas installed the new Business, and Premium Economy on its A330 and B787 (probably with less 'Business' seats than presently planned)

I would have no issue with them calling the classes DomesticFirst, DomesticBusiness and Economy for say Coast-Coast journeys.

After-all QF's PE seats are vastly superior to what passes for Business in domestic Europe/UK, and arguably on-par with most domestic US Business/First offerings save for the newish longhaul configs.

That said, I don't see it happening.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 May 2013

Total posts 46

I agree with the sentiment that acutal 'first' in transcon routes here is unlikely to be feasible.


Whilst we're here, though, I'd say its of value to note that most offerings in the US labelled as "First" are barely business class-worthy some of the time (with the exception of the PS & PS-like offerings from LAX/SFO-JFK).


I'm sure there is reasonable demand for JC, but it seems (from my experience), that First is often an aspirational carrot for frequent flyers via upgrade standby lists.  First does, at times, provide a higher level of service (including oftentimes substantive food & beverage service), but can provide simply mixed nuts & an alcoholic beverage (e.g. New York-Boston).  


Unlike in the Australian domestic market wherein JC is quite a good product (and as noted by @TRB, could well be called First), if there are First seats not sold for revenue, they are allocated to top tier frequent flyers for free. Whilst living in the USA for a time, I actually used to pick my flights based on the aircraft type (where possible) to maximise the number of F seats (and thus my chances for an upgrade).  

In Australia, by contrast, the cost of servicing a JC seat is comparatively significant (esp on transcon routes), which is why they are not given away to frequent flyers for free.   I prefer our product here any day, regardless of having to 'pay' (whether it be via money, or points).

Sorry to digress... 


Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,058

When does Business end and First begin?

What makes First Class First?

Is the amount and quality of food and beverage served the factor to differentiate First from Business? If so, who defines what that difference is? Is there a standard universal difference? Or is it calibrated with reference to the difference in Economy Class offerings?

If the Qantas Board suddenly decides to re-market Domestic Business as Domestic First, does it suddenly make the existing Domestic Business offering sub-standard?


Member since 12 Feb 2014

Total posts 61

I think there was some debate about whether the new business seats to be introduced by QF on the A330s later this year could be justified on domestic flights. Lie flats in an an enclosed suite, it was suggested, was a complete overkill for daytime flights of 5 hours or less (but necessary for the 8hr or longer Asian sectors). These seats are not that far from what was once considered a key element of a first class experience. The bar for business keeps rising.

On the availability of alcohol, I'm more than happy to see this reined in and agree that excessive consumption is no longer acceptable. On a recent Perth-Sydney QF flight, two men in J who may or may not have been FIFOs, spent the entire flight yelling out to each other across a full cabin. As the flight wore on we all wished they'd been seated next to each other so we could be spared the running commentary on the action flick they were watching. Along with the foul language and lack of bowel control stinking out the cabin, these two managed to ruin an otherwise great service. Too much pre-flight booze in the lounge? Thankfully times have changed so that this behaviour is now the exception, or one would hope so.

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