US Airways Unveils "Envoy Suite"

 
Old Sep 17, 09, 7:45 am
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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?
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Old Sep 17, 09, 7:47 am
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Looks pretty nice!
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Old Sep 17, 09, 7:50 am
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"Envoy Suites" installation on 330-300 complete by summer 2012? That's plenty of time to play "Envoy Roulette", YAY!!
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Old Sep 17, 09, 7:50 am
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Looks like AC business class seat... If it is similar, it is very nice...
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Old Sep 17, 09, 7:57 am
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Here is the information and photos on the US Airways site.
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Old Sep 17, 09, 8:01 am
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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. ^
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Old Sep 17, 09, 8:24 am
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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.
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Old Sep 17, 09, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by fwfdan View Post
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.
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Old Sep 17, 09, 9:36 am
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Originally Posted by RyanMiles View Post
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?
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Old Sep 17, 09, 10:08 am
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Originally Posted by GaryZ View Post
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.
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Old Sep 17, 09, 10:15 am
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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.
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Old Sep 17, 09, 10:44 am
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Originally Posted by GaryZ View Post
. . . 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.)
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Old Sep 17, 09, 10:51 am
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OK, thanks guys for clearly that up.

I agree: "this really could be a game-changer for US internationally."
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Old Sep 17, 09, 10:57 am
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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.

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Old Sep 17, 09, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by GaryZ View Post
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.
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