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BA move to Terminal 8 at JFK/ American abolishing international first class

BA move to Terminal 8 at JFK/ American abolishing international first class

Old Oct 20, 22, 8:09 pm
  #1  
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BA move to Terminal 8 at JFK/ American abolishing international first class

With American announcing today that they are discontinuing Flagship First on all International Flights, what are the implications for the planned shared facilities at Terminal 8 when BA moves ?

Will the first class check in and Concorde Room/First Lounge equivalents go away or will they keep them for any BA First/OneWorld Emeralds.
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Old Oct 20, 22, 8:19 pm
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Hello PaulOM and welcome to Flyertalk. Do you have a source for that announcement? Thanks
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Old Oct 20, 22, 8:26 pm
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American more or less announced it a month ago, when they announced the new seat plans for the A321XLRs (to replace the A321T) and a retrofit for the 77W: https://news.aa.com/news/news-detail...9/default.aspx

I'm not aware of any new announcements for today.
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Old Oct 20, 22, 8:30 pm
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Came up on American's corporate earnings call today

This was from CNN but it is reported in the Wall St Journal etc also

American Airlines: Our customers aren’t buying international first class tickets. So we’re eliminating them

New York CNN Business — American Airlines expanded on its plan to drop first-class seats on its international flights and replace them with more business class seats.

Some of the new seats on long-haul international flights will be dubbed “Flagship Suites” and feature seats that convert into beds and doors for privacy.

The change was first announced last month and reiterated Thursday in a conference call with investors by Vasu Raja, the company’s chief commercial officer, who said the change is in response to customer demand.

The first class will not exist … at American Airlines for the simple reason that our customers aren’t buying it,” he said in response to a question.

American Airlines later told CNN that Raja was referring to international flights only.

“The quality of the business class seat has improved so much. And frankly, by removing [first class] we can go provide more business class seats, which is what our customers most want or are most willing to pay for,” Raja said.

Most planes used on domestic routes, including virtually all single-aisle jets, will continue to have the standard first class seats at the front of the planes. Although they also have more leg room and might recline more than economy seats, they don’t lay flat.

“This is mostly a name change. Business class at most carriers is what we would have called first class 20 years ago,” said airline consultant Mike Boyd.

Many planes used on international flights by American already dropped the seats designated as “first class,” instead offering business class, premium economy seats which are slightly wider than standard economy seats as well as the economy seats that fill most of the cabin.
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Old Oct 20, 22, 8:51 pm
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I find it interesting that an airline which chooses to advocate and promote the policy of upgrading freeloaders until the premium cabin is full then chooses to use the argument nobody is buying the seats therefore we're removing them. Surely if they'd kept F exclusive from frequent travellers in the first place there might have been more of a compelling argument to purchase a seat in F. That said the product hasn't seen much in the way of investment since the introduction of the 777's and the current seat design which is 15+ years old already is in desperate need of refreshing to keep it relevant to International revenue F passengers. The service has always been viewed as inferior to that offered by other carriers offering First. I guess also with the joint venture with BA, F can still be offered via the codeshare without any product investment. Win/Win to AA.

Digressing back to the original question posed, I believe there will still be some form of F lounge given the Oneworld dominance at JFK as well as number of carriers still operating F in to / out of T8: JL, BA, CX. There's still demand for F and there's still a hell of a load of OW Emeralds using the airport who'd be eligible for some form of elevated lounge experience. This isn't to say it may be an area incorporated within existing facilities. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Last edited by 1Aturnleft; Oct 20, 22 at 9:03 pm
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Old Oct 20, 22, 9:03 pm
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Originally Posted by 1Aturnleft View Post
I find it interesting that an airline which chooses to advocate and promote the policy of upgrading freeloaders until the premium cabin is full then chooses to use the argument nobody is buying the seats therefore we're removing them. Surely if they kept F exclusive from frequent travellers in the first place there might have been more of a compelling opportunity to purchase a seat in F.
I get what you're saying, but IMO the AA 77W F seat was hardly worth upgrading to anyways. The seat had some interesting features, but it offers less privacy than the J seat. To me, the only significant benefit of flying AA F was FFD.
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Old Oct 20, 22, 9:04 pm
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Originally Posted by 1Aturnleft View Post
I find it interesting that an airline which chooses to advocate and promote the policy of upgrading freeloaders until the premium cabin is full then chooses to use the argument nobody is buying the seats therefore we're removing them. Surely if they kept F exclusive from frequent travellers in the first place there might have been more of a compelling opportunity to purchase a seat in F. That said the product hasn't seen much in the way of investment since the introduction of the 777's and the current seat design which is 15+ years old already and needs refreshing. I guess also with the joint venture with BA, F can still be offered via the codeshare without any product investment.

Digressing back to the original question posed, I believe there will still be some form of F lounge given the Oneworld dominance at JFK as well as number of carriers still operating F in to / out of T8: JL, BA, CX. There's still demand for F and there's still a hell of a load of OW Emeralds using the airport who'd be eligible for some form of elevated lounge experience. This isn't to say it may be an area incorporated within existing facilities. I guess we'll find out soon enough.
I'm not sure how the fact that AA has complimentary upgrades to J on domestic flights has much bearing on their ability to sell F seats on international flights. I think the better argument is the one mentioned in the article: J seats today (at least on AA, non-suite BA J seats are a different story) are good enough that the upgrade to F often isn't worth it (from a hard product perspective at least). On my most recent flight on AA, I considered doing a miles upgrade from J to F (25k miles, no cash outlay) but ultimately decided the F seat wouldn't be worth it; especially for an overnight flight when I planned on sleeping anyways.

There have been rumblings of OW branded lounges coming soon, and honestly JFK seems like the perfect place for the first one to me; an OW F lounge would make a ton of sense IMO.
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Old Oct 20, 22, 9:05 pm
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Originally Posted by econ View Post
I get what you're saying, but IMO the AA 77W F seat was hardly worth upgrading to anyways. The seat had some interesting features, but it offers less privacy than the J seat. To me, the only significant benefit of flying AA F was FFD.
Addressed in the edit of my original comments above as you were composing this ☺️
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Old Oct 21, 22, 1:52 am
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Originally Posted by econ View Post
I get what you're saying, but IMO the AA 77W F seat was hardly worth upgrading to anyways. The seat had some interesting features, but it offers less privacy than the J seat. To me, the only significant benefit of flying AA F was FFD.
Originally Posted by 1Aturnleft View Post
I find it interesting that an airline which chooses to advocate and promote the policy of upgrading freeloaders until the premium cabin is full then chooses to use the argument nobody is buying the seats therefore we're removing them. Surely if they'd kept F exclusive from frequent travellers in the first place there might have been more of a compelling argument to purchase a seat in F. That said the product hasn't seen much in the way of investment since the introduction of the 777's and the current seat design which is 15+ years old already is in desperate need of refreshing to keep it relevant to International revenue F passengers. The service has always been viewed as inferior to that offered by other carriers offering First. I guess also with the joint venture with BA, F can still be offered via the codeshare without any product investment. Win/Win to AA.

Digressing back to the original question posed, I believe there will still be some form of F lounge given the Oneworld dominance at JFK as well as number of carriers still operating F in to / out of T8: JL, BA, CX. There's still demand for F and there's still a hell of a load of OW Emeralds using the airport who'd be eligible for some form of elevated lounge experience. This isn't to say it may be an area incorporated within existing facilities. I guess we'll find out soon enough.
Originally Posted by Acidity View Post
I'm not sure how the fact that AA has complimentary upgrades to J on domestic flights has much bearing on their ability to sell F seats on international flights. I think the better argument is the one mentioned in the article: J seats today (at least on AA, non-suite BA J seats are a different story) are good enough that the upgrade to F often isn't worth it (from a hard product perspective at least). On my most recent flight on AA, I considered doing a miles upgrade from J to F (25k miles, no cash outlay) but ultimately decided the F seat wouldn't be worth it; especially for an overnight flight when I planned on sleeping anyways.

There have been rumblings of OW branded lounges coming soon, and honestly JFK seems like the perfect place for the first one to me; an OW F lounge would make a ton of sense IMO.
AA abolishing first class is expected, I highly doubt that whether AA currently now have more staff utilizing staff travel benefit or have more revenue passenger. AA's partner CZ partner recently abandoned first class as well(Retiring the A380's) for the same reason as AA, can't fill up the seats even with every seat open for award(pre-covid, it's common to see 8 first class award opening on a flight) and the first class cabin are often utilized as additional crew rest space. Both AA and CZ's First Class product are equally uncompetiting cash wise, one offers one of the best hardware in the sky, but doesn't bother with services on ground(No first class lounge) or catering (same drink menu and alike food menu). While the other offers a hardware incrementally upgraded from a product debuted 20 years ago even on their flagship intercontinental widebody jet, alongside with food offerings that doesn't serve a difference to the J pax behind.
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Old Oct 21, 22, 3:06 am
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So, and with self interest, what will be the state of the lounges at T8 for me on 20 December, flying BA in Club as a Silver/OWS. Will there be any new lounge construction / modifications going on at this time or it will simply me slotting into one of the existing facilities. Thx.
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Old Oct 21, 22, 4:33 am
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There is a BA press trip in November to see the new facilities so we have to assume it will be up and running by mid Dec.
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Old Oct 21, 22, 5:51 am
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Originally Posted by 1Aturnleft View Post
I find it interesting that an airline which chooses to advocate and promote the policy of upgrading freeloaders until the premium cabin is full then chooses to use the argument nobody is buying the seats therefore we're removing them.
As a matter of interest, why is an American with a shiny card who expects some free upgrades mainly on domestic flights any more of a freeloader than a Brit with a shiny card who expects to be able to guzzle food and champers in a lounge at an airlines expense when travelling on cheapo economy tickets?
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Old Oct 21, 22, 6:48 am
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Originally Posted by CCayley View Post
As a matter of interest, why is an American with a shiny card who expects some free upgrades mainly on domestic flights any more of a freeloader than a Brit with a shiny card who expects to be able to guzzle food and champers in a lounge at an airlines expense when travelling on cheapo economy tickets?
Cost difference?

Y to J may have a fare difference of 100s on some routes, whereas the average person isn't going to down 20 bottles of 100 champagne in a lounge, and eat for 8hrs straight.
The airlines do get something monetary for people using their lounges.
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Old Oct 21, 22, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by xenole View Post

Y to J may have a fare difference of 100s on some routes, whereas the average person isn't going to down 20 bottles of 100 champagne in a lounge, and eat for 8hrs straight.
Speak for yourself mate.
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Old Oct 21, 22, 8:31 am
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Of course there will be some routes where people are buying AA First tickets, for example LAX-LHR and JFK-LHR, just not enough to maintain sufficient aircraft with a First cabin. I do not know how the joint venture income sharing will vary when only BA is offering First.
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