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Transatlantic J - Nobody Gets It Right. Why?

All about Airlines and Airliners.

IFEMaster (Project Dark Overlord & Founding Member) 13 Oct 23, 18:38Post
Since January of this year, I've been able to experience every direct offering from LAX to LHR - VS, AA, BA, DL, and UA - in whatever their business class offerings are. They are obviously all different, but...

Not one of them gets it quite right.

VS has had the best "service" in terms of airport experience and onboard service quality (attentiveness, professionalism, cadence), but the seats are small and cramped (on both their A350 and 787 configurations) and their need to innovate and be trendy makes for an inconsistent experience.

AA and BA both feel like they're stuck in 2005 (even in the new BA Club Suites), and their onboard experiences are negligent, with terrible food.

DL has the most uncomfortable J seat I've ever experienced in this class, but the food and attendant service are consistently good.

UA has by far the most comfortable seat in Polaris, but the food and onboard service are abysmal.

Then, two weeks ago, I experienced by first transpacific routing on SQ. Night and day difference to anything else. doesn't seem that hard to do? Thoughtful UX through LAX and SIN. Personal but polite onboard service. The best food I've eaten in the sky. Incredibly comfortable seats with about the same physical footprint.

I'm inclined to say it's just a cost thing and the US/UK airlines are being tight in their investments, but I can't put my finger on what about the SQ experience is "more" invested in.

Then I got to thinking...if one airline could take VS's service, DL's food, and UA's seat...they'd have something worth committing to.

Perhaps the answer is "those airlines just suck and they don't care about you". Fair enough. But with so much transatlantic competition, why isn't any one of them genuinely trying to be the "best" (whatever that means)?
"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein
miamiair (netAirspace FAA) 16 Oct 23, 09:17Post
CX and SQ are the best IMO. Last trip on CX was excellent; seat, food, staff...

US J offerings leave a lo to be desired. Let me not get started on AA.
And let's get one thing straight. There's a big difference between a pilot and an aviator. One is a technician; the other is an artist in love with flight. — E. B. Jeppesen
DXing 17 Oct 23, 22:30Post
U.S. airlines are losing business class passengers every day to not only foreign carriers, like SQ but Emirates as well, but to private jets too. The company I work for has increased it's business by 50% just since the start of covid. I can attest that the amount of daily flying has increased dramatically compared to just when I started a couple of years ago. And this is just one company. People with cash are starting to give up on airline service, it's just not worth what they charge. If you're going to pay big bucks, might as well get treated like a rock star.
What's the point of an open door policy if inside the open door sits a closed mind?
mhodgson (ATC & Photo Quality Screener & Founding Member) 19 Oct 23, 15:03Post
My main suspicion is that none of them need to stand out or be ground breaking. They each have a loyal core, and don't seem to have to work hard to fill high-J configurations. One airline might push the envelope a little, then another will do something else to either the hard or soft product to stand out briefly but the pressure to excel doesn't seem to exist in the market.

Wheras the competition UK to the east in particular is the ME carriers who have money to burn on innovation, crewing and catering, and miles of desert to make spacious airports which are a breeze to transit through. QR's Q-suites are an amazing product that put a lot of airlines' first class to shame, and the other airlines in the region are racing to catch up and overtake.
There's the right way, the wrong way and the railway.

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