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USA Today: [Domestic] First Class Fading Fast...

USA Today: [Domestic] First Class Fading Fast...


Old Aug 9, 19, 8:07 am
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USA Today: [Domestic] First Class Fading Fast...

An article on the decline in quality of domestic U.S. first class.

Feels sloppy and either half-researchedor edited to the reading version of "sound bites". Which is USA Today in a nutshell, I know. But this one just irritated me. Not because I disagree that domestic first isn't really anything these days (though I can't speak to the old days at all, since I never flew up front until recently), but because it seems to just miss the point until the end. Domestic first is getting less special as part of the airlines' customer segmentation strategy. Some things that stood out.
  • Airlines are making "half-hearted attempts" at good first class on trans-cons. I'd argue that lie-flats, closed door suites, the only domestic lounge access, and dedicated dining rooms on the ground is more than "half-hearted".
  • Somehow tries to toss a little blame on miles collectors and elites. Because flyertalk readers and Delta 1Ks are the reason the airlines bought A321s or still run E145s.
  • Calls out Alaska as an airline that treats its first class customers better. But isn't AS the only one of the major transcon competitors without lie-flats? And didn't they downgrade Virgin America's first class when they bought them? Oh but they have a "premium class"...which is just premium economy, exactly like the big 3 have, and not a domestic first class product. Also fails to note that AS' major differentiation in treating customers right is a FFP program that still gives you a chance to earn a decent amount of award miles flying domestic economy in main cabin. Nope, miles earners = value destroyers, it must be their Y+ that makes them worthwhile.
So much of that piece just feels like huge face palm. But I am really no expert.

Last edited by SightseeMC; Aug 9, 19 at 8:08 am Reason: spelling
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Old Aug 12, 19, 11:37 am
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Originally Posted by SightseeMC View Post
So much of that piece just feels like huge face palm. But I am really no expert.
Well, neither are the travel writers at USA Today. So you're even.
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