View Full Version : what do you want from S/H B-class?

8th May 2004, 16:30
There was a thread recently that discussed the quality of the product that was / could be offered on regional jets.

It begged the question as to what short-haul B-class is all about in these days of tightened budgets and more frequent direct flights.

I presume that the valid reason for taking B-class on short-haul is that it is a business tool. In other words, passengers can work and communicate or catch up on necessary rest and/or meals which they haven't otherwise had time for. The invalid reason is, of course, status within the company.

From this perspective, S/H B-class means:
1. Sufficient seat width and pitch
2. Airphone and internet
3. Lounge access
4. A meal. On a tray. Hot where possible. Oh, and a drink, thanks.
5. Guaranteed seat
6. Rapid processing at both airports, even with luggage. (Provided that pax has provided sufficient information prior to flight).
This sounds a lot like the best of the current product and is considerably more than just a better meal. Surely it will become more popular as the economy class becomes more basic.

Last question is: can the product be the same thing on regional jets as on 737/32x and bigger??

Must admit that I never take B-class short-haul, except as connection to a L/H flight.

(edited to add point 6).

Final 3 Greens
9th May 2004, 05:26
If one defines short haul as <4 hours, then I don't think business class is worth paying for, period.

The difference in sea pitch available, typically 2", does not provide the quantum leap between economy and business on long haul services, that would justify the enormous leap in cost.

I believe that C is bought on short haul generally as a status thing and the smart way to save a fortune is:

- get a FF card with online check in capability - that beats the Y queue at the airport, as you can go straight to the fast bag drop, having checked in the day before and selected a nice seat near the rear of C class, quite likely with an extra 2" pitch.

- fly on A32x aircraft, whose Y seats are significantly wider than B73x

- get a Priority Pass card and enjoy lounge access - if you fly regularly (say 85 sectors per year, paying GBP249 is actually slightly cheaper than buying one drink at GBP3.00 per sector in the airport cafe!)

From recent experience....

I flew Europe Select on a 737 with KLM last week (allegedly business class) and received a small ham/cheese sandwich, a yoghurt and tiny bowl of fruit as "breakfast" on an 0840 departure. The business class seat was a little narrow, only slightly wider than Y. Fortunately, the ticket was paid for by my client, but I thought that this effort was quite disgraceful considering the cost of the fare.

Later on in the week, I flew late evening on BA domestic (one class) from EDI to LHR on a 319. Online check in the day before, got 9F (emergency exit, with loads of legroom), nice wide seat, Priority Pass access to the Servisair lounge at EDI for a wee dram and then enjoyed a small, but very nice salad on board with a mini bottle of red wine.

The second ticket was literally a fraction of the price of the first.

Even though I am spending others budgets, sensibly planned economy wins for me and when I fly with CSA, then upgrade me to C as a matter of course, through my Skyteam Elite status... and do decent food, KLM please note :-)

Pax Vobiscum
9th May 2004, 20:51
The 'extra' for Club on S/H is much less than the differential on L/H flights (where it can be 4 or 5 times as much). If you need fully-flexible, you may find that the extra cost of C over Y is minimal - I've personally seen a 2 differential on a 400 ticket!

On this basis, Club can be good value - lounge access (if you're not a FF), a seat near the front and more luggage space (my suit bag goes in the 'wardrobe', where available). And then there's the free champers, of course ...

9th May 2004, 21:01
At present S/H Business Class is a scandalous rip-off. It's so pi$$ poor that I don't even bother to ask for an upgrade these days. I have my little tricks to enjoy S/H travel in Economy.