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Old Feb 12, 12, 7:27 am   #1
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Two NYT articles today on First Class flying

In today's New York Times, there is an article on US domestic first class, and another on the top international first class options.

The domestic article is about how bad it has gotten, but the writer missed the opportunity to note that 9/11 changed everything. It seems though that he actually took a lot of domestic first flights and was mostly accurate. He also noted that most passengers in the US do not actually pay for first class, but expect free upgrades and that is why the airlines have dumbed down the service and amenities.

The international article had some great photos and highlighted the best airlines including EK's A380 with the shower spa and lounge, but they made a factual error saying the lounge was for First class, when it is actually in the business class area of the plane. And the prices were nowhere near what you can get on the airlines website. This writer did not seem to be reporting from experience though. I think she wrote the article from airline press releases.
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Old Feb 12, 12, 10:14 am   #2
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Please add the links, thanks.

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Old Feb 12, 12, 10:18 am   #3
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I don't know if there are links. I read this in today's paper. I expect people can either get the actual newspaper, or search for links, or read the Times on their ipads.
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Old Feb 12, 12, 10:33 am   #4
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Actually, three articles.

http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/02/12...class.html?hpw

http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/02/12...tml?ref=travel

http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/02/12...tml?ref=travel
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Old Feb 12, 12, 10:38 am   #5
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Thanks Gardy. In the newspaper, the Coast to Coast bit is actually a part of the domestic first class article.
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Old Feb 12, 12, 2:21 pm   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
Thanks Gardy.
Ditto!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
I don't know if there are links. I read this in today's paper. I expect people can either get the actual newspaper, or search for links, or read the Times on their ipads.
Please note:

From the forum description:

Quote:
Link to and discuss the latest travel news articles.
From the forum guidelines:

Quote:
a. Provide a re-cap of the story. In other words, what you think the story says in your own words, your thoughts on the story, any questions you might have about the story, etc. (In other words, don't simply post a quote -- even a small one that you think is fair-use -- and a link. Travel News is not a clipping service, but a discussion forum Provide a recap/your own thoughts instead.)

b. Post the link to the story
PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING - How to post travel news articles....

Thank you.

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Old Feb 12, 12, 4:03 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
In today's New York Times, there is an article on US domestic first class, and another on the top international first class options.

The domestic article is about how bad it has gotten, but the writer missed the opportunity to note that 9/11 changed everything. It seems though that he actually took a lot of domestic first flights and was mostly accurate. -----
The article does state "Later, 9/11, rising fuel costs and the recession all continued to pummel the airlines, forcing a protracted era of cost-cutting. "

So 9/11 does get a passing mention.
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Old Feb 14, 12, 6:22 am   #8
 
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The idea of filling empty seats with upgrades is pretty much an American only thing, I believe. It certainly seems to have devalued the product.
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Old Feb 14, 12, 6:44 am   #9
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Originally Posted by camsean View Post
The idea of filling empty seats with upgrades is pretty much an American only thing, I believe. It certainly seems to have devalued the product.
Anyone who flew a lot in the US pre 9/11 would disagree. They had the same upgrades back then, yet offered good service with decent food and drink. I think the blame rests with the unions and managements inability to deal better with them. The financial model was unsustainable just with the brief recession we had around the time of 9/11, not to mention the fuel cost hikes that arrived later.
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Old Feb 14, 12, 9:38 am   #10
 
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Anyone who flew a lot in the US pre 9/11 would disagree.
Some things are due to 9/11. Poor service on domestic first class [and economy for that matter] is not one of them.

Int'l first class has always gotten better. Always superb on a few Asian/Arab airlines, good on many others. And, as usual, US carriers still trying to catch up, IMHO.
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Old Feb 14, 12, 6:58 pm   #11
 
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The snack basket options seemed to have improved after 9/11 on the short-hauls... although the definition of a short-haul now covers half the country. LOL.

A poignant clip, linked tongue-in-cheekly...
"9/11 changed everything" -Peter Griffin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fjgDgVEJtw
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Old Feb 15, 12, 2:06 am   #12
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Some things are due to 9/11. Poor service on domestic first class [and economy for that matter] is not one of them.
I didn't say it was due to 9/11. I said it happened after 9/11. 9/11 was an excuse by the airlines and FA unions to drastically reduce their service. We were already heading into recession when it happened, and the resulting hike in oil prices from the Iraq war, etc., forced the airlines to cut back. And the US airlines were in the worst position thanks to the huge pay raises they foolishly gave out during the good times, mostly to the pilots.
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Old Feb 15, 12, 7:16 am   #13
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Originally Posted by camsean View Post
The idea of filling empty seats with upgrades is pretty much an American only thing, I believe. It certainly seems to have devalued the product.
It may be an American thing but that is not what has devalued the product.

Try flying most (all?) European airlines within Europe -- or even on medium range flights to the Middle East -- and you will find no difference between FC and Economy seats, except that the middle seat is blocked off in FC.

There is also only the slightest difference in the food service. (On AZ's flights to Tel Aviv that difference seems to be that the rolls are served warm instead of cold).
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Old Feb 15, 12, 8:23 am   #14
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Try flying most (all?) European airlines within Europe -- or even on medium range flights to the Middle East -- and you will find no difference between FC and Economy seats, except that the middle seat is blocked off in FC.
There is no F intra-Europe. And business class is greatly different than coach in terms of food and sometimes drink. At least on the airlines I fly, KL, AF, BA, LH, etc. And for euro flights over 2 hours, it is even better. But yes, Euro business class isn't as good as it used to be. And flights to the middle east offer flat seats in biz on many flights and a real First class on many flights.
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Old Feb 15, 12, 10:07 am   #15
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And flights to the middle east offer flat seats in biz on many flights and a real First class on many flights.
I have heard that Lufthansa has a real FC to TLV, but I have not flown it and can not say.

I can assure you that KLM, AF, AZ, and Czech Air do not.
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