United’s Great New Business Class Soft Product and BA’s Cuts

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. If the goal is to drop the airfare down a few pounds to compete for price-sensitive consumers then how much money can actually be saved by not providing free food? I mean, seriously, what’s the actual cost of a business-class meal consisting of an appetizer, main course, cheese and dessert? Maybe $10?

  2. United’s new business-class is extremely tempting until you realize the new seats and hard product won’t be fleet-wide until 2021. That’s a very long time. In the meantime, you never know what you’ll receive and airfares will be priced as if every aircraft is equipped with the new Polaris product. Imagine expecting to receive it, paying the couple thousand bucks and then ending up stuck in United’s dreaded 2x4x2 business-class product.

  3. Low cost airline competition is much fiercer in Europe than in America these days. Most everyone would prefer to fly the traditional, “full service” airlines, but not many will pay much extra to do it. I know that I’ll book the traditional carriers on an intra-Europe flight when they match Easyjet and Ryanair’s prices, but I probably wouldn’t pay more than $25 extra to fly them — and that’s with elite benefits! So what choice does BA have other than to cut costs and be more competitive?

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