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Old Jul 28, 08, 2:36 pm   #136
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Originally Posted by TMOTEE View Post

These new seats are not looking all that great. I would have hoped for something better or more innovative from Continental.
It simply isn't possible to do much better than what we've seen given the (IMHO very reasonable) demands CO has placed on the product.
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Old Jul 28, 08, 2:49 pm   #137
 
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It's Official

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix....154&highlight=

Continental Airlines Unveils New Lie-Flat BusinessFirst Seat
Innovative seat design offers 180-degree recline; installation begins in Fall 2009
HOUSTON, July 28, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) today announced details of a new 180-degree lie-flat seat for the BusinessFirst cabin on its Boeing 787, 777 and 757 aircraft. Customers will begin seeing lie-flats seats on Boeing 777 aircraft that primarily serve trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific routes in the fall of 2009, with installation on Continental's 757-200 fleet beginning in 2010 and on its Boeing 787 fleet as the aircraft are delivered to Continental.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080728/LAM075A-a )

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080728/LAM075A-b )

Unveiled today at the National Business Travel Association International Convention and Exposition in Los Angeles, the new 180-degree lie-flat seats are the centerpiece of Continental's award-winning BusinessFirst service that provides the extra space and fine amenities of traditional international first class at a business class price.

"Continental continues to invest in its product to make flying more comfortable for our global customers," said Larry Kellner, chairman and chief executive officer of Continental Airlines. "We created a brand-new seat designed to lie completely flat, without compromising functionality or effective use of cabin space."

Lie-flat Design

Continental's new BusinessFirst seats allow customers to lie completely flat, reclining 180-degrees and providing 6 1/2 feet (2 meters) of sleeping space in the fully extended position on its widebody aircraft. The lie-flat seat is one of the widest business-class seats in the air, measuring up to 25 inches when the adjustable armrest is positioned flush with the seat cushion, allowing customers to sleep more comfortably. Electronic "one-touch" controls enable customers to easily move the seats to pre-set upright, cradle and fully extended sleep positions and additional controls allow customers to adjust the seat back, lumbar support and leg and foot rests to the custom position most comfortable for them.

The lie-flat seats provide more individual storage space for personal items. Laptop power, headset and USB plugs are conveniently tucked above the customer's shoulder. There is additional storage under the ottoman, on a shelf under the monitor and on an amenity storage alcove that provides room for small personal items such as a book or magazine and a water bottle.

iPod connectivity will also be available at the seat, allowing each customer to view their personal videos and enjoy their music, all while the iPod is charging. BusinessFirst seats on the 787 and 777 aircraft will feature a 15.4-inch video monitor for customers to enjoy on-demand movies, music and games. Seats on the 757 aircraft will feature 10.6-inch monitors.

The new BusinessFirst seats also have a six-way adjustable head rest, an individual overhead reading light and an adjustable seat light allowing a customer to read in bed without disturbing their neighbor and a privacy shell that allows for seclusion from other travelers.

Two Years to Design and Perfect

Continental's product marketing team began researching new seat options in the fall of 2006 when planning BusinessFirst service for the new 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The airline visited with numerous seat manufacturers worldwide before selecting BE Aerospace, which created five different design concepts. Concurrently, Continental sought feedback from a focus group of BusinessFirst frequent flyers that identified and prioritized key needs of global travelers and worked closely with the airline's project team and the seat manufacturer to help create the new seat. The important features requested by the focus group were to install a wider seat that could lay completely flat and be easy to operate.

Seats are the Centerpiece of Premium Service

BusinessFirst service features an extensive gourmet menu served with premium wines and champagnes created by Continental's Congress of Chefs and Sommeliers. International Concierge Service provides individualized pre- and post-flight services for BusinessFirst customers at 42 airports around the world. Customers traveling in BusinessFirst may also access any of Continental's 27 Presidents Clubs and more than 60 airline affiliated lounges worldwide.

Continental Airlines has won numerous awards for its BusinessFirst product. The Official Airline Guide has awarded Continental's BusinessFirst as the Best Executive/Business Class for five consecutive years (2003 - 2007), and Conde Nast Traveler magazine rated Continental's premium BusinessFirst service the highest among all U.S. carriers for trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific flights 10 years in a row.

Continental currently operates the Boeing 777 on routes between Newark and Beijing, Delhi, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London/Heathrow, Mumbai, Paris, Rome, Tel Aviv and Tokyo, and between Houston and London/Heathrow, Paris and Tokyo.

BusinessFirst on the Boeing 757 is currently offered on routes between Newark and Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast, Berlin, Birmingham, Bristol, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hamburg, Lisbon, London/Gatwick, Madrid, Manchester, Oslo, Paris, Shannon and Stockholm.

SOURCE Continental Airlines


http://www.continental.com
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Old Jul 28, 08, 2:54 pm   #138
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Glad to see that they've got them in the 757s, too. Interesting that the 767s aren't mentioned at all. I guess they can decide in late '09 just how many of them they are going to keep around and put the AVOD on and then decide if they are going to update the seats as well.
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Old Jul 28, 08, 3:00 pm   #139
 
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Originally Posted by eagle92 View Post
The airline visited with numerous seat manufacturers worldwide before selecting BE Aerospace, which created five different design concepts.
Well, it ain't the Thompson Solutions seat. The pictures aren't the best, but this looks like a good product. It does look like the window seats will be a bear to get out of, but we all knew there would be compromises. Will be looking forward to this coming on line.
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Old Jul 28, 08, 3:46 pm   #140
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Well, it ain't the Thompson Solutions seat. The pictures aren't the best, but this looks like a good product. It does look like the window seats will be a bear to get out of, but we all knew there would be compromises. Will be looking forward to this coming on line.
It looks a lot like the United product - the press release says it was also designed by BE Aerospace.
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Old Jul 28, 08, 3:58 pm   #141
 
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Originally Posted by pbarnette View Post
Well, it ain't the Thompson Solutions seat. The pictures aren't the best, but this looks like a good product. It does look like the window seats will be a bear to get out of, but we all knew there would be compromises. Will be looking forward to this coming on line.
Yup, typical marketing - if those seats are on a 60" pitch, I'd guess the woman lying down in the light blue top is under 5' 4".
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Old Jul 28, 08, 4:12 pm   #142
 
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Originally Posted by HeathrowGuy View Post
It simply isn't possible to do much better than what we've seen given the (IMHO very reasonable) demands CO has placed on the product.
My question is this:

Let's say the current BF cabin has 50 seats. New cabin layout will be approx same with these new seats. If CO had opted for a different layout like herringbone or forward/backwards seats the capacity would reduce about 10 - 15%. I based this in Delta current 777 with 52 seats and the new 777 with herringbone seats at 43.

On any given day and flight how many of the BF seats does CO actually SELL ? Certainly it is not 100%. Sometimes, maybe but I would think the percentage of paid biz seats is somewhat less. Of course you have award tickets, upgraded tickets with miles and then NON REVS last.

In my opinion a reduction in capacity to get a MUCH better product would be worth it. Sure they might be less award or upgrade seats but the hard product will be in direct competition with other airlines like DL, BA, VS etc. Going after the premium business traveller is the name of the game. I have a choice when I travel for business. Two months ago I had to fly 1-way BOM - NYC and I took the DL flight just to try the new herringbone seats. They were fantastic. Even with the new seats CO has announced I probably would take another airline on a long flight like this depending on price, timing etc.

I guess the point I am trying to make is why is CO pushing NO capacity reduction for a new BF seat ? Maybe they sell alot more seats than I imagine.

Anyway just my 2 cents.
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Old Jul 28, 08, 4:17 pm   #143
 
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I assume the remainder of the 777 fleet is still going to be converted to AVOD plus crew rest bunks in the meantime?
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Old Jul 28, 08, 4:30 pm   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMOTEE View Post
I guess the point I am trying to make is why is CO pushing NO capacity reduction for a new BF seat ? Maybe they sell alot more seats than I imagine.
I doubt CO - and DL, UA, BA, SQ, etc. - put in extra J seats for grins; rather I suspect the number of J seats to the J cabin/Y cabin real estate ratio is thought about rather closely before any decision is made. The point I'm getting after is I think CO anticipates selling 50 seats (assuming the J cabin remains at 50 seats) and does not want to encroach upon the Y cabin to put in either more J seats or the same number of J seats with a larger footprint.

Also any failure to meet demand will come out at the high end of the fare spectrum (i.e. someone wanting to buy a last minute J/D ticket), therefore if CO were to compromise on the seat count they'd pay for it with lost J/D tickets.

Now granted this assumes there's actually the demand to fill 50J seats vis-a-vis whatever the reduced seat count would have been with a larger seat and it also assumes the revenue from the "lost" seats could not be made up by charging a premium for the product. I can't speak to these two points (as just don't know what the demand is like for the majority of C/J customers) but Larry has said repeatedly people want lie flat...but not at any extra cost.

And two the latter point one would assume maintaining the seat count without encroaching on the Y cabin allows CO's current cost structure to be preserved and a lie flat product offered to customers without a large increase in cost or the potential to leave revenue on the table.

<shrug>
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Old Jul 28, 08, 4:49 pm   #145
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Originally Posted by TMOTEE View Post
I guess the point I am trying to make is why is CO pushing NO capacity reduction for a new BF seat ? Maybe they sell alot more seats than I imagine.

Anyway just my 2 cents.
This is an interesting question - and UA is reducing its premium cabin sizes to focus more on the paid traffic, while maximizing revenue from the Economy cabin.
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Old Jul 28, 08, 5:05 pm   #146
 
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Originally Posted by UnitedSkies View Post
It looks a lot like the United product - the press release says it was also designed by BE Aerospace.
It does look the same. Wonder if these will be forward/backward as well.

BTW, missed this the first time in the press release:

Quote:
Continental's award-winning BusinessFirst service that provides the extra space and fine amenities of traditional international first class at a business class price.
Still makes me laugh, every time I see it.
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Old Jul 28, 08, 5:13 pm   #147
 
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"Continental's new BusinessFirst seats allow customers to lie completely flat, reclining 180-degrees and providing 6 1/2 feet (2 meters) of sleeping space in the fully extended position on its widebody aircraft."

Curious what the widebody distinction implies for the sleeping space on the non-widebody (757) aircraft.

Otherwise looks just right. Wide seat, nicely padded, not another Delta dentists' chair.

The shoulder-level power plugs will be interesting -- a lot of laptop plugs have transformer boxes that could dangle awkwardly, but I will trust they have thought this through.
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Old Jul 28, 08, 5:26 pm   #148
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The shoulder-level power plugs will be interesting -- a lot of laptop plugs have transformer boxes that could dangle awkwardly, but I will trust they have thought this through.
They're banking on the concussion from such a brick slamming into someones head to render the passenger unconscious so a) catering savings can be realized as the passenger has "opted out" of food/drink for the flight b) the potential memory loss will complement CO's new audio-hypnotherapy program being utilized in boarding and de-boarding to help the passenger remember the "correct" version of the flight...something akin to the Toxic music video.
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Old Jul 28, 08, 5:27 pm   #149
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Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
"Continental's new BusinessFirst seats allow customers to lie completely flat, reclining 180-degrees and providing 6 1/2 feet (2 meters) of sleeping space in the fully extended position on its widebody aircraft."

Curious what the widebody distinction implies for the sleeping space on the non-widebody (757) aircraft.

Otherwise looks just right. Wide seat, nicely padded, not another Delta dentists' chair.

The shoulder-level power plugs will be interesting -- a lot of laptop plugs have transformer boxes that could dangle awkwardly, but I will trust they have thought this through.
I didn't notice the "widebody" qualification, but I don't see anything that indicates the 752s will have a different product. I wonder if it is just Continental pretending that the 752s are bigger than they really are.
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Old Jul 28, 08, 5:52 pm   #150
 
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Internally the 757 is treated as a widebody (as far as F/A procedures and boarding times). I don't know how this relates to a public news release though. Is it a typo or something that should be read into?
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