Business First and Merger?

 
Old Feb 2, 11, 12:08 am
  #1  
LAR
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: NW NJ
Posts: 144
Business First and Merger?

As a result of the merger, I wonder what will happen to CO's Business First service? Flew CO EWR-PEK and experienced my first lie flat seats. Just flew UA ICN-NRT and was put in Business with much lesser seat.

I sure would miss BusinessFirst...

LAR
LAR is offline  
Old Feb 2, 11, 12:12 am
  #2  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: CT/NY
Programs: UA Platinum/MM, Marriott LT Titanium, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 4,378
That's the million dollar question, along with the fate of 3-cabin on United planes, Economy Plus, etc. Chances are, the flatbeds are here to stay.

FWIW, the UA 777 business class is getting a makeover with lay-flat business class seats.
PTahCha is offline  
Old Feb 2, 11, 12:24 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: MLB, SMF, and many points in between
Programs: Back to UA with a bit of Hyatt and some Marriott
Posts: 3,476
I can never decide whether threads like this are light trolling or just I'll-informed.

But, here's what you would know if you had investigated both the UA board and the CO board fully regarding premium seating arrangements:
  • No one knows what the final premium cabin plan for the new UA will be. Guesses range from all three-class to all two class with a mid-point of a mixed fleet as AA and many international carriers have gone to that system.
  • The seats you flew on the UA 777 are the previous generation C product. All UA 747 and 767 aircraft now have the new C seats which are fully flat and very similar to the new BF product. If you had flown a UA 767 and a CO 767, you would be making the exact opposite argument as most (all?) CO 767s still have the older BF seats.
  • Just as CO is working on updating its 767 aircraft with the new BF seats, UA is converting its 777 aircraft to its new premium product. Approx. one in ten UA 777s now have flat beds in C and the rest are scheduled for updating.

So the answer to your overall question is that you flew one of an increasingly scarce set of examples of the older UA C product. Before the merger ever happened, both UA and CO were moving to a fully flat C product across their long-haul fleets and regardless of what other decisions are made in the merger, it is definite that all of their unconverted planes will be converted to some form of fully flat seat in the premium cabin(s).
Driving by DCA is offline  
Old Feb 2, 11, 12:32 am
  #4  
LAR
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: NW NJ
Posts: 144
Thanks.

Thanks for the information. Had I been sitting at home in front of a pc, I might have 'fully investigates' but sitting at NRT lounge and typing on an iPhone dissuaded me. I know a lot folks post questions rather than search, but it's your prerogative not to take the time to answer if it bothers you so much.

In this case, I appreciate all the good info. There is much more to it than I realized....

Thanks very much.
LAR is offline  
Old Feb 2, 11, 1:32 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York, NY
Programs: UA, AA, DL, Hertz, Avis, National, Hyatt, Hilton, SPG, Marriott
Posts: 7,141
Originally Posted by UAL awesome View Post
BusinessFirst is just Business class. That isn't going away. Worry about F and E+.
The BF soft product and United Business certainly are not interchangeable by any stretch. I'd hate to see the two-class product degraded where F isn't available.

The flat bed sets, on the other hand, are virtually equivalent between UA and CO, which is one aspect of the merger they can't possibly screw up.
EWR764 is offline  
Old Feb 2, 11, 5:33 am
  #6  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Manhattan
Programs: CO Plat, SPG Gold
Posts: 1,468
Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
The BF soft product and United Business certainly are not interchangeable by any stretch. I'd hate to see the two-class product degraded where F isn't available.

The flat bed sets, on the other hand, are virtually equivalent between UA and CO, which is one aspect of the merger they can't possibly screw up.
I have to say that I agree. While seats are largely fungible, there is a significant difference in soft product. I flew UA IAD-FCO in F, return in C, and IAD-ZRH and back in C both ways, and found the UA food (including in F) to be a few notches below CO BF offerings. Wine list was better in UA F but for overnight flights it's typically just a glass and then an ambien after dinner for me, so CO's swill isn't so bad. Hopefully the new carrier follows the CO model -- frankly I don't think UA F is worth any more than business so I'd be fine with it going. Use those SWU's for upgrades on a foreign carrier with a real F experience.
gawhite411 is offline  
Old Feb 2, 11, 8:52 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Programs: HH Silver, MR Plat Prem & LT Plat, Hyatt Plat,SPG Plat, Hertz PC, National EE, UA 1K
Posts: 3,311
Originally Posted by gawhite411 View Post
While seats are largely fungible, there is a significant difference in soft product.
When was the last time you flew BF v UAC? IME, UA C has gone up in soft product, while BF has steadily gone down. BF USED to be the best "C" product, now it is equal/lower then UA/AA/DL IME.
PhillyPhlyer40 is offline  
Old Feb 2, 11, 9:01 am
  #8  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Manhattan
Programs: CO Plat, SPG Gold
Posts: 1,468
Originally Posted by PhillyPhlyer40 View Post
When was the last time you flew BF v UAC? IME, UA C has gone up in soft product, while BF has steadily gone down. BF USED to be the best "C" product, now it is equal/lower then UA/AA/DL IME.
My trip to Rome was Thanksigiving 2010. My trip to Zurich was New Year's 2010, return 2011. Pretty recent, unless the revolution you speak of has occurred in the last 32 days.
gawhite411 is offline  
Old Feb 2, 11, 9:42 am
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: San Francisco/Tel Aviv/YYZ
Programs: CO 1K-MM
Posts: 10,382
A C has gone up in soft product, while BF has steadily gone down. BF USED to be the best "C" product, now it is equal/lower then UA/AA/DL IME.
Uhhh, while I'm a big fan of UA's new C beds, (and the new CO C seats), CO certainly has an edge on quantity/quality/selection of food in C. In my opinion, the difference is significant, but not material (all other things being equal I'd choose BF, but its not worth $100 more, or a suboptimal schedule). The UA C service is certainly sufficient, F needs to be punched up a few notches to make it worth it.

I do hope they standardize on CO's business class catering though, that would be nice.
entropy is offline  
Old Feb 2, 11, 10:34 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: ORD & MKE
Programs: Airlines: UA-CO, NH, AA, and DL Hotels: SPG, Accor, PC, and Marriott
Posts: 1,827
Originally Posted by Driving by DCA View Post
If you had flown a UA 767 and a CO 767, you would be making the exact opposite argument as most (all?) CO 767s still have the older BF seats.
All CO 762's and 764's are recliners. CO hasn't even announced the configuration for BF flat seats. The current BF seats won't exactly fit in a modified herringbone on a 767 so they need a completely new config.

Originally Posted by PhillyPhlyer40 View Post
When was the last time you flew BF v UAC? IME, UA C has gone up in soft product, while BF has steadily gone down. BF USED to be the best "C" product, now it is equal/lower then UA/AA/DL IME.
Agree that UA C has gone up in soft product. I noticed it after the merger was approved and UA and CO became one corporation on 10/1/10. I have yet to do BF, but I plan on trying it sometime during the summer sale to gain a true comparison.

I will say with the new Envoy Suites, US has a serious C product that definitely surpasses UA C. 3-4 FA's for 19 pax vs 2-3 for 26 pax. Heck, I'm going on a limb but I'll do a US Envoy Suite over UA F. If US did a hot appetizer in Envoy, then they'd be equal/greater than UA F.

Disagree, about BF being equal to DL. DL Biz-(non)Elite is probably at the bottom of the barrel in terms of TATL-C and it's an insult to CO to place them as equals. On DL, LHR is the only route where you can snag a flat bed seat. All other routes get the world's worst recliner in flight or the world's worst angled lie flat. I don't mind the UA C recliner or the old F recliner as I've found them quite comfortable, but the DL seat is whole new breed of crap passed off as C.
ande777emt is offline  
Old Feb 2, 11, 12:27 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Issaquah, WA(SEA) and Briarcliff, TX(AUS)
Programs: AS MVP Gold, CO MM Lifetime Gold
Posts: 780
Originally Posted by LAR View Post
Thanks for the information. Had I been sitting at home in front of a pc, I might have 'fully investigates' but sitting at NRT lounge and typing on an iPhone dissuaded me. I know a lot folks post questions rather than search, but it's your prerogative not to take the time to answer if it bothers you so much.

In this case, I appreciate all the good info. There is much more to it than I realized....

Thanks very much.
Good answer...seems the "light trolling" might get tossed around a bit much by some that take things a little too seriously.
emcsweeney is offline  
Old Feb 2, 11, 1:00 pm
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Bay Area, CA
Programs: UA Plat 2MM; AS MVP Gold 75K
Posts: 34,945
Whatever they do, I hope they get rid of the COnfusing BusinessFirst name. It's not First, it's Business. And these days, it's not even above average business (though they do the food well).

If they want to be cute and brand it, that's fine. But brand it with something that doesn't COnfuse people, a la BusinessElite, Envoy, or even Connoisseur lol (though if UA rebranded their biz with Connoisseur again, they'd have to turn up the service or I'd feel obligated to mock them).
channa is offline  
Old Feb 2, 11, 1:01 pm
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: HaMerkaz/Exit 145
Programs: UA, LY, BA, AA
Posts: 13,043
Originally Posted by Driving by DCA View Post
I can never decide whether threads like this are light trolling or just I'll-informed.

But, here's what you would know if you had investigated both the UA board and the CO board fully regarding premium seating arrangements:
  • No one knows what the final premium cabin plan for the new UA will be. Guesses range from all three-class to all two class with a mid-point of a mixed fleet as AA and many international carriers have gone to that system.
  • The seats you flew on the UA 777 are the previous generation C product. All UA 747 and 767 aircraft now have the new C seats which are fully flat and very similar to the new BF product. If you had flown a UA 767 and a CO 767, you would be making the exact opposite argument as most (all?) CO 767s still have the older BF seats.
  • Just as CO is working on updating its 767 aircraft with the new BF seats, UA is converting its 777 aircraft to its new premium product. Approx. one in ten UA 777s now have flat beds in C and the rest are scheduled for updating.

So the answer to your overall question is that you flew one of an increasingly scarce set of examples of the older UA C product. Before the merger ever happened, both UA and CO were moving to a fully flat C product across their long-haul fleets and regardless of what other decisions are made in the merger, it is definite that all of their unconverted planes will be converted to some form of fully flat seat in the premium cabin(s).
All CO 767s have the old seat.

And to others, the 767 config has been announced, the same as the current.
joshwex90 is offline  
Old Feb 2, 11, 1:20 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Issaquah, WA(SEA) and Briarcliff, TX(AUS)
Programs: AS MVP Gold, CO MM Lifetime Gold
Posts: 780
Originally Posted by channa View Post
Whatever they do, I hope they get rid of the COnfusing BusinessFirst name. It's not First, it's Business. And these days, it's not even above average business (though they do the food well).

If they want to be cute and brand it, that's fine. But brand it with something that doesn't COnfuse people, a la BusinessElite, Envoy, or even Connoisseur lol (though if UA rebranded their biz with Connoisseur again, they'd have to turn up the service or I'd feel obligated to mock them).
I like COnnoisseur...it would be easy to tie it to the COngress of Chefs.
emcsweeney is offline  
Old Feb 2, 11, 2:30 pm
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Bay Area, CA
Programs: UA Plat 2MM; AS MVP Gold 75K
Posts: 34,945
Originally Posted by emcsweeney View Post
I like COnnoisseur...it would be easy to tie it to the COngress of Chefs.

Yeah, ˘ongr€$$ of ˘h€₣$ is just more of CO's hype that needs to be dropped. I just laugh every time I hear it, especially when they say "˘ongr€$$ of ˘h€₣$ and $omm€li€r$." I just picture this board room of people who just came back from a CVS run to sample a bunch of $4.99 wines.

But I agree, if they keep the ˘ongr€$$ of ˘h€₣$ it would go well with ˘onnoi$$€ur ˘la$$.
channa is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread