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-   -   US Airways Unveils "Envoy Suite" (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/us-airways-dividend-miles-pre-consolidation-american-airlines/995925-us-airways-unveils-envoy-suite.html)

RyanMiles Sep 17, 09 7:45 am

US Airways Unveils "Envoy Suite"
 
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/US-Air....html?x=0&.v=1

I think this means that they are ripping out 4 more Envoy seats?

magiciansampras Sep 17, 09 7:47 am

Looks pretty nice!

lt1GM Sep 17, 09 7:50 am

"Envoy Suites" installation on 330-300 complete by summer 2012? That's plenty of time to play "Envoy Roulette", YAY!! :D

fwfdan Sep 17, 09 7:50 am

Looks like AC business class seat... If it is similar, it is very nice...

AZ Travels the World Sep 17, 09 7:57 am

Here is the information and photos on the US Airways site.

magiciansampras Sep 17, 09 8:01 am

Here's hoping that US does what UA failed to do: upgrade the soft product at the same time! UA's new business class seats are great. But the food is lousy. This is a good opportunity for US to up the ante. ^

zeke320 Sep 17, 09 8:24 am

I would surmise that the forward cabin size on the 330-300 would remain the same, everything in front of 2L will remain envoy. They will probably remove the cabin divider between old first and now just have one type of seat on these planes. These new seats look quite a bit bigger than the existing envoy seats, so there is probably not as much room given the new ones are lie flat and the old ones were not.

DCAorBust Sep 17, 09 9:30 am


Originally Posted by fwfdan (Post 12394627)
Looks like AC business class seat... If it is similar, it is very nice...

I think it looks a bit nicer than AC's. These face away from the aisle, and the beds are between 6'4 - 6'8, which is even longer than NZ's I think. I love that the window seats can actually see out the window.

I had my doubts about whether we'd ever see this on US. I'm excited about this, although I'm impatient for it. It looks like the 333s will continue with their current configuration for at least two more years. And it's unclear how long the first four 332s will bounce around without the new interiors. I don't mean to be overly critical at good news, but it just seems silly that it would take until 2012 to retrofit 13 aircraft. In less than two years UA is halfway thru its fleet of 90+ birds. OTOH, UA committed to doing this in 2007 when the money was still flowing in the door, whereas US was distracted with its integration troubles. Nonetheless, I'm glad to see plans for such a nice product. I hope it actually happens.

GaryZ Sep 17, 09 9:36 am


Originally Posted by RyanMiles (Post 12394594)
I think this means that they are ripping out 4 more Envoy seats?

Well, if their press report is accurate, they are apparently going to a 1-2-1 arrangement which seems particularly bizarre. Not only will most couples not be able to sit together, but vs. the current 2-2-2 it would mean the loss of 1/3 of the Envoy seats... a really bad idea. Maybe I'm missing something here?

DCAorBust Sep 17, 09 10:08 am


Originally Posted by GaryZ (Post 12395243)
Well, if their press report is accurate, they are apparently going to a 1-2-1 arrangement which seems particularly bizarre. Not only will most couples not be able to sit together, but vs. the current 2-2-2 it would mean the loss of 1/3 of the Envoy seats... a really bad idea. Maybe I'm missing something here?

The press release says 20 seats on the 332, which is the same as current. That would be five rows of 1-2-1. It's silent on the 333, but AC manages to get 27 beds in front of 2L/2R on its 333, in what I would call a 1-1-1 config, so it doesn't seem too far-fetched. US might also take the opportunity to drop some closet space and reconfig the front galley to gain space in Envoy.

If you look at the US 332, it currently achieves 20 seats with a 4 row, 60" pitch layout. If you can get 5 rows of suites into that space, then I think this suggests that the suites require about 48" of pitch. The 333 has 5 Envoy rows w/ approx 60" pitch, plus one row of sleeper at 96". Back of the envelope math suggests that this would be enough space for 8 rows at 48", which would give you 32 suites (a net gain of 2 seats).

As far as "sit together," US's proposed layout is actually the first herringbone design that enables companions to sit together--and half the cabin is available as such. All other designs are either aisle apart or adjacent in the column, but different rows.

geo1005 Sep 17, 09 10:15 am

The current A330-200 has 20 Envoy seats and the press release states they will have 20 after the new suites are introduced.

The current A330-300s have 28 Envoy seats total. The press release says that new configuration is YTBD. That said, there is more room in the current Envoy cabin of the -300 (the mini cabin up front with row 1 and the main envoy cabin with row 2 to 5) than on the -200 so I suspect we will still end up with 28 suites on the -300.

The new herringbone design (with the seats angled) does not require as much pitch per row so even by changing to a 1x2x1 config, they can maintain the same number of seats in the same space when compared to a 2x2x2. We'll see more rows.

AZ Travels the World Sep 17, 09 10:44 am


Originally Posted by GaryZ (Post 12395243)
. . . Not only will most couples not be able to sit together. . .

This is a common issue on most recent business and first configurations. I think they've determined that most business travelers, who PAY for these seats, tend to travel by themselves and value the privacy. For those who have a companion, some setups have center seats that can either be private or not by use of a divider that pops up.

Looking at the photo of the seats, it looks like the US configuration will offer this in the middle section. The seats will still be angled toward each other at the feet, so you won't actually sit side-by-side, but it's certainly closer together than the Virgin Atlantic- (with the exception of a few seats on their 744s), Air New Zealand-, Air Canada-style lie flat business seats which puts your feet at the aisle, rather than your head.

This really could be a game-changer for US internationally. As magiciansampras points out, I too hope they fix the soft product in conjunction with this. They could develop a nice little boutique US-based business class. (Assuming they don't merge with UA, which I still think is a distinct possibility.)

GaryZ Sep 17, 09 10:51 am

OK, thanks guys for clearly that up.

I agree: "this really could be a game-changer for US internationally."

sbm12 Sep 17, 09 10:57 am

The seats look pretty nice. And the fact that they are going to be able to keep the same number of seats is certainly important. A bit late to the game (just like CO) and only on the A330s sucks, but always nice to see more options of a decent product becoming available.

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_FchArYAsfoY/Sr...jpg?imgmax=800

USPhilly Sep 17, 09 11:02 am


Originally Posted by GaryZ (Post 12395694)
I agree: "this really could be a game-changer for US internationally."

I think so too. The new seats look great and I really like that they're going to have a normal 110v outlet.

uva185 Sep 17, 09 11:05 am

Wow this looks nice, especially for business class. I would say this is a step above UA's new business class which privacy and aisle access to all seats.

sbm12 Sep 17, 09 11:10 am

Forgot to ask this before....

In what world are these actually "suites" rather than seats? Does this mean that US plans on taking them out of *A inventory and charging DM members double for them?? :p

uva185 Sep 17, 09 11:28 am


Originally Posted by sbm12 (Post 12395815)
Forgot to ask this before....

In what world are these actually "suites" rather than seats? Does this mean that US plans on taking them out of *A inventory and charging DM members double for them?? :p

hahaha :D

To be fair, United calls their first class seats suites. http://www.united.com/page/article/0,1360,1932,00.html

As usual US is just lagging behind. :p

AZ Travels the World Sep 17, 09 11:31 am


Originally Posted by uva185 (Post 12395920)
To be fair, United calls their first class seats suites.

Yes, and they occupy substantially more real estate than the US business seats will. There will be no comparison between the two.

zeke320 Sep 17, 09 11:53 am

As to the number of seats on the 330-300 versus AC, I wonder if they will be adding a crew rest area up front on the 330-300? These are on the -200 and obviate the need for blocking a single envoy seat for the additional pilot crew, thereby providing additional available seating for revenue. As we all know, the -300 really only has 29 available envoy seats given the reserve of a single seat for crew.

Nicksta Sep 17, 09 12:01 pm

Well, I have to admit that this looks like a very nice cabin arrangement. I would try it at the earliest opportunity just to see what they can do - although I'm pretty loyal to BA's Club World.

This type of cabin environment, depending on service, could be very close to the First class service offered on other carriers. I would say Go Envoy upgrades would be substantially more than $500 - airfares overall would rise for these routes. BUT, it looks like they will have a product deserving of higher fares.

Its a good question, the one above referring to award inventory. I would see these being branded an F-type product.

Nice new A330s and a great new cabin - who would guess. Be nice if we saw some rotate to PHX then. I guess we'll see them with NRT service.

ClueByFour Sep 17, 09 12:13 pm

I fail to see the "game changing" aspects of this when it's going to trail the other North American Star carriers (not counting CO) by 2-3 years. And CO is rolling theirs out now.

My personal theory on this is that US is doing this to keep up with the jones, not to leapfrog them.

AZ Travels the World Sep 17, 09 12:58 pm


Originally Posted by ClueByFour (Post 12396191)
I fail to see the "game changing" aspects of this when it's going to trail the other North American Star carriers (not counting CO) by 2-3 years. And CO is rolling theirs out now.

My personal theory on this is that US is doing this to keep up with the jones, not to leapfrog them.

I agree with this. My use of the phrase 'game changer' was misleading.

What I mean by it is that it will pretty radically change the US participation in the game. This new product could put them in play for me, and I suspect many others, for international trips that they're not even in consideration for today.

I think their current international product, particularly the seats (which I care most about), is a pathetic competitor. The thought of flying the current Envoy to China or Japan -- not even a possibility. I would stay home first. This new product has the potential to completely change that equation.

ArizonaGuy Sep 17, 09 12:59 pm


Originally Posted by ClueByFour (Post 12396191)
I fail to see the "game changing" aspects of this when it's going to trail the other North American Star carriers (not counting CO) by 2-3 years. And CO is rolling theirs out now.

My personal theory on this is that US is doing this to keep up with the jones, not to leapfrog them.

Exactly. It's a much needed improvement but with a completion 3 years away, they'll be behind the curve again. Even UA has finished their 767's and most of the 747's in the last 18 months, maybe less. Taking one aircraft out at a time, why is it going to take 3 years for US to complete this?

Though as AZ Travels The World states above, if I could choose a flight with this for my trip I would certainly consider it. And I would definitely consider it as an award if I can book online and save 5K miles under the credit card's "select" promo. Oh who am I kidding - for an award I'm taking LX, AC, NZ or TK C. :)

swanscn Sep 17, 09 1:30 pm

Finally, Progress is being made
 
Congratulations US, it looks to me that you have finally realized that the business class traveller was looking for more that what Envoy offered. Please speed up the time schedule for completion of the fleet. And please do not forget the flights to Hawaii from the East Coast.

SS255 Sep 17, 09 2:49 pm


Originally Posted by AZ Travels the World (Post 12395659)
This is a common issue on most recent business and first configurations. I think they've determined that most business travelers, who PAY for these seats, tend to travel by themselves and value the privacy.

And those business travelers who do not travel by themselves probably value their privacy even more. ;)

These seats look great. Good job, US. ^

PHL Sep 17, 09 4:44 pm

The A330-300 should be able to fit at LEAST 5 rows of 1-2-1, if not 6, given that AC fits 9 rows of a similar design up front (although in a 1-1-1 config). I really don't see them keeping the mini cabin up front with those dated lie flat seats and the divider. Removing them gives a huge net gain of space to accommodate these new suites.

The thing is - can they sell enough of those seats to make it worth it, or will they throw a few rows of coach ahead of door 2L like they did with the 757?? Nothing should surprise us....

flight62 Sep 17, 09 5:23 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVJFLmXrHCs

sciguy0504 Sep 17, 09 5:53 pm

I reckon it's going to take 2-3 years for these seats to trickle down into every A330 in the fleet because the fleet is heavily used during spring-fall and there is virtually no time to install these seats during that time of the year. Most of the seats will be installed during winter. US does not have the large long-haul fleet of most airlines and cannot just pull planes off routes to install these new seats.

Plus, it's not as if US (or any airline) can rip the current seats out and put the new seats in. These new seats are going to require tons of new wiring and, if US is reconfiguring galleys and closets, we are talking about installing/changing plumbing and ventilation.

Based on what I see, I would prefer this over Delta's new BusinessElite, United's business class and AA's international business.

AggieNzona Sep 17, 09 8:21 pm

I bet it is a 2-3 week job to change that out and I also bet they are doing it on the normal maintainence schedule hence the 3 years to get to them all.

On a side note I saw AC 281 on flight tracker flew in last week is that the next new one?

USPhilly Sep 17, 09 8:32 pm


Originally Posted by flight62 (Post 12397817)

Very cool, thanks for sharing. Did anyone else notice that this says there will be a "moving map so you can check you flight's progress?" That would be a great addition, IMO. ^

ACYYZ/SD Sep 17, 09 8:43 pm


Originally Posted by fwfdan (Post 12394627)
Looks like AC business class seat... If it is similar, it is very nice...

However US will have 1 extra seat across versus AC (1-2-1 vs 1-1-1). Those have to be fairly narrow seats.

newbiztraveler Sep 17, 09 8:57 pm

The suite area looks decent, but the seat itself looks like an over-glorified beach chair. Let's be real here, who could really sleep on that?

ClueByFour Sep 17, 09 10:17 pm


Originally Posted by newbiztraveler (Post 12398650)
The suite area looks decent, but the seat itself looks like an over-glorified beach chair. Let's be real here, who could really sleep on that?

Drink enough booze from your party cup. It's a theme.

PHL Sep 17, 09 10:26 pm


Originally Posted by flight62 (Post 12397817)

Is it me, or do all the promo materials so far (including this video) only depict middle age white business men enjoying Envoy???

I'm a white business man, myself, but even this stuck out to me.

I'm just sayin....

Mrp Alert Sep 17, 09 10:43 pm

I like the progress report button on there. Hmmm - they have 3 A332s?

PHL Sep 17, 09 10:49 pm


Originally Posted by Mrp Alert (Post 12399022)
I like the progress report button on there. Hmmm - they have 3 A332s?

Yes, #3 was just delivered. 4 and 5 will come in Q4 and presumably one of them will have the new seats on delivery (as will the subsequent ones).

dingo Sep 18, 09 5:49 am


Originally Posted by DCAorBust (Post 12395470)
The press release says 20 seats on the 332, which is the same as current.

I'm not that familiar with all of US's 330 planes, but I count 30 seats currently on the ones I'm familiar with: 5 rows of 2 x 2 x 2. So there will be a reduction of 33% on these birds.

dingo Sep 18, 09 5:49 am


Originally Posted by PHL (Post 12398965)
Is it me, or do all the promo materials so far (including this video) only depict middle age white business men enjoying Envoy???

I'm a white business man, myself, but even this stuck out to me.

I'm just sayin....

Thank you Mr. Carter.

GotCalcio4 Sep 18, 09 7:26 am


Originally Posted by dingo (Post 12399841)
I'm not that familiar with all of US's 330 planes, but I count 30 seats currently on the ones I'm familiar with: 5 rows of 2 x 2 x 2. So there will be a reduction of 33% on these birds.

You're confusing the A333 (30) with the A332 (20).


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