Business class (also known as executive class or upper class) is a high quality second-tier
travel classavailable on some commercial airlines and rail lines. Its level of accommodation is higher than economy classand domestic first class but lower than international first class. However, many airlines offer only business class as the highest level of international service. [cite news
url = http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/03/10/business/seats.php
title = On some airlines, business class goes first
The International Herald Tribune
date = 2008-03-10
accessdate = 2008-03-11
author = Perry Garfinkel]
The first business class seats were offered by
Qantasin 1979. On November 1, 1981, Scandinavian Airlines Systemintroduced EuroClass with a separate cabin, dedicated check-in counters and lounges for full-fare passengers. Simultaneously, first class disappeared from their European fleet.
KLMwas innovative in introducing a Full Fare Facilities service (FFF) for its full fare Economy Class passengers – FFF was the forerunner to what is now Business Class.
In the United States, business class is usually only offered on intercontinental and long-haul flights, including certain transcontinental flights. US carriers generally designate "first class" as the premium product on domestic two-cabin aircraft. In Canada,
Air Canadacalls its domestic business class product "Executive Class".
On the other hand, the airlines of Europe and much of the rest of the world brand the premium product on shorthaul two-cabin aircraft as "business class". European carriers generally offer a "business class" consisting of enhanced economy seating with better service. There may be a curtain to separate business from economy class, based on demand, but the seats in the same cabin. Some airlines such as
Lufthansaand British Airwaysuse convertible seats that seat three people across in economy, or adjust with a lever to become two seats with a half seat length between them for business class use.
Business class has started to disappear from some short/medium haul routes, to be replaced with full fare economy and discount economy
KLMand SAS). On these routes, the seats are the same for all passengers, only the flexibility of the ticket and the food and beverage service differs. On shorter routes (typically less than one hour) many airlines have removed business class entirely (e.g. BMI on many routes) and offer only one class of service. Most low-cost carriers, such as Ryanairin Europe and JetBluein the United States, do not offer any premium classes of service.
Long haul business class seats are substantially different from economy class seats and many airlines have installed "lie flat" seats into business class, whereas previously seats with such a recline were only available in international first class. There are essentially three types of long haul business class seats today. These are listed in ascending order of perceived "quality".
*Cradle seats are seats with around 160 degrees of recline. The seat pitch of business class seats range from 33" - 79.5" inches (usually 60" - 62"), and the seat size of business class seats range from 17.5" - 34" inches (Usually 20" -22").
*Angled lie flat seats recline 180 degrees to provide a flat sleeping surface, but are not parallel to the floor of the aircraft when reclined, making them less comfortable than a bed.
*Fully flat seats recline into a flat sleeping surface which is parallel to the floor. Many airlines offer such seats in international first class but retain inferior seating in business class to differentiate the two products and fares.
Even airlines that do not offer lie flat business class seats offer substantially more leg room in long haul business class compared to the economy section. The appearance of lie-flat seats in business class has made it increasingly difficult for many passengers to justify, either to their employers or themselves, the added expense of an international first class fare.
The exact name for business class may vary between operators. For example:
Aer Lingus"Premier Class"
Aerolineas Argentinas"Club Condor"
AirAsia X"Premium XL"
Air Canada"Executive First (International)", "Executive Class (North America)"
Air France"L'Espace Affaires"
Air New Zealand"Business Premier"
Air Pacific"Tabua Class"
American Airlines"Business Class"
British Airways"Club World" or "Club Europe"
Cathay Pacific"Marco Polo Class"
China Airlines"Dynasty Class"
Cyprus Airways"Apollo Class"
Delta Air Lines"BusinessElite"
Etihad Airways"Pearl Zone,"
EVA Air"Premium Laurel"
Japan Airlines"Executive Class Seasons"
Jet Airways"Premiere (international)" or "Club Primere (domestic)"
Korean Air"Prestige Class"
Malaysia Airlines"Golden Club Class"
Mexicana de Aviacion"Clase Ejecutiva or Primera Clase "
Middle East Airlines"Cedar Class"
Northwest Airlinesand KLM"World Business Class"
Pakistan International Airlines"Business Plus+"
Philippine Airlines"Mabuhay Class"
Royal Jordanian"Crown Class"
Singapore Airlinesformerly "Raffles Class", now named "Business Class"
*TAP Portugal "Top Executive"
*Thai Airways "Royal Silk"
Virgin Atlantic"Upper Class"
Amtrakin the United States, "business class" is the premium class of service on medium-haul trains, such as most Northeast Corridortrains and the Pacific Surfliner, and the main class of service on " Acela Express". "First class" is the premium class of service on "Acela Express" and is also the designation for bedroom accommodations on sleeper trains.
Via Railin Canadapremium class service is called "VIA1", on short range routes oriented towards business travel. The premium service on the transcontinental route ( The Canadian) is called "Silver & Blue".
* [http://www.qantas.com.au/info/about/history/details16 Qantas History including business class history]
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