American Airlines now has sleeper class

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amtrakwolverine

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I noticed a TV ad for American airlines sleeping class which has a bed and everything. its for international flights only though. seams the airlines are competing with Amtrak's sleeper class.
 

MrFSS

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I noticed a TV ad for American airlines sleeping class which has a bed and everything. its for international flights only though. seams the airlines are competing with Amtrak's sleeper class.
Since they don't offer sleeper class on US domestic flights that aren't competing with Amtrak per se.

Many international airlines have sleeper class on their long haul flights. I have seen some pictures where you get a room bigger than a roomette on some of them and the food is sometimes 5-star quality. But, look at the price! If you have to ask you can't afford it.
 

jis

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For $10,000+ (on the low end :eek: ) for a 6-8 hour flight! For that amount, I would much rather spend a month or two in an Amtrak sleeper! :D
Besides, the view is better at 3-10 feet than it is at 30,000 feet! :p
Actually you can get a $5000 ticket in Business Class Lie Flat accommodation on Singapore Airlines on thei 19 hour flight from Newark to Singapore. The food is absolutely spectacular and you can actually select what you want from a large menu on their website before boarding the flight and they will serve you your specific choice in style with spectacular wines and other sides. And they have a free buffet area open throughout the duration of the flight for you to help yourself to whatever you want from the wide selections there. It is actually quite an experience.

For a somewhat higher fare Emirates and Singapore has First Class compartments on their new Airbus 380s, which includes access to an on-board shower in case of Emirates.

As for the view, having experienced both, I'd say that the view from 40,000 feet is different and often spectacular in a very different way from the one from 3-10 feet.
 

amtrakwolverine

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but what average joe/jane has 10,000 dollars to spare. even if your job pays for it and your job requires you to fly overseas 3 or more times a week. its going to add up fast. i doubt this service will last.
 

MrFSS

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but what average joe/jane has 10,000 dollars to spare. even if your job pays for it and your job requires you to fly overseas 3 or more times a week. its going to add up fast. i doubt this service will last.
Last? They have had it for years in one form or another. Many folks don't pay for first class. They fly so much they are upgraded because of their elite status. I just flew home from The Gathering in First - didn't cost me a penny!
 

Trogdor

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but what average joe/jane has 10,000 dollars to spare. even if your job pays for it and your job requires you to fly overseas 3 or more times a week. its going to add up fast. i doubt this service will last.
Last? They have had it for years in one form or another. Many folks don't pay for first class. They fly so much they are upgraded because of their elite status. I just flew home from The Gathering in First - didn't cost me a penny!
True, but domestic first class is different from the type of true first class we're talking about here. I've flown domestic first twice this year (once on a frequent flyer ticket, where F cost the same number of miles as Y, and once when they offered upgrades at the gate for $100 on a Vancouver-Detroit leg). Food is better (though it's not that hard to improve on NOTHING), but the seats are basically the club seats in Amtrak's club-dinette cars.

When it comes to the "true" first class, as offered by world-class international airlines, my understanding is that it's quite difficult to be upgraded (just going by what I've heard/read elsewhere, as I haven't had the occasion to experience it myself). In fact, I believe I read somewhere that for the Singapore Airlines suites, they don't allow anyone to get them using frequent flyer miles or upgrade status. In other words, if you want to fly in one of those, you really do have to pay for it.

It's just that in the US, folks get a skewed view because airlines hand out status and upgrades like Halloween candy, but the quality is reflective of the price paid.
 

jis

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but what average joe/jane has 10,000 dollars to spare. even if your job pays for it and your job requires you to fly overseas 3 or more times a week. its going to add up fast. i doubt this service will last.
The Singapore Airlines service from Newark to Singapore does not have first class suites. It has lie flat Business Class, and the entire plane is that accommodation, no coach, and it rusn with an average load factor of over 90%. The service started with business class and executive coach about 5 years back. It was converted to lie flat business class only late last year/early this year.

Singapore has first class suites on some of their 777s and all 380s. They mostly run on the so called Kangaroo Route connecting UK to Australia, and apparently they do a brisk business on them.

From Newark Jet Airways has first class suites on their 777 300s to various cities in India via Brussels, and they seem to be doing well too. Emirates just started first class suite service on their new 380s from JFK to Dubai. Haven't heard how they are doing, but most likely they are doing OK since that is the oil route. It is this route that has those showers for first class passengers.
 

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Sorry to bump such an old thread, but having been away from AU for several months primarily because I was flying 3/4 of the way around the world in precisely the type of seat KISS_ALIVE claims is financially infeasible, I thought I should comment.

International first class is LEAGUES better than domestic first class, which shouldn't even carry that label. I would barely even call it business class--in fact, the typical domestic first class seat on any of the legacy airlines is worse than a premium economy seat on an international airline (e.g. World Traveller Plus on BA, Premium Economy on QF, etc.--compare this chart of premium economy and this chart of domestic first for details). The Prem+ seat I had on OpenSkies (a premium economy product) was downright luxurious compared to my regular Alaska Airlines first class seat (one I never pay for, since I usually get upgraded due to my status with them).

Anyway, as to KISS_ALIVE's assertion that they won't last: BA installed the first true flat-bed First seat in 1996, and as airlines attempt to differentiate themselves and draw high-dollar flyers, they continue to actually improve their first class product (witness the real compartments on Singapore and on-board showers on Emirates jis mentioned.

See this article for some details on the evolution of first class seats and quotes from some executives that show why they (or their companies) are willing to pay for them. Check out this site, too, for some more pictures of the various first class products out there that FAR supersede American Airlines' product.

The prices are high, given the amount of space and service you receive (and access to incredible lounges like the Concorde Room in London). Booked in advance, you can get a Los Angeles to London ticket on British Airways for $6435 each way.

Now I would never plop $13-grand down for a seat, no matter how nice it was (I doubt I'd charter the entire Air Force One if it were available for that--it's just out of my range...oh, all right, Air Force One I would), but that's where using airline miles smartly becomes fun. Why on earth would you waste 25,000 (or more!) miles on a simple flight from LAX to Boston, which can be had for a measly $277 round trip? That equals a paltry redemption rate of 1.1 cents per mile. Even a trip three weeks from now from one out-of-the-way place (ANC) to another out-of-the-way place (Springfield, MO) is a spendy $841, which sounds like it'd be a good deal for miles, but that's still a redemption rate of only 3.3 cents per mile (and that's IF you find a seat at 25,000 miles--if you have to bump up to the next level of award seats, it's even worse).

Contrast that with international flying. You can find a coach seat to Europe for as low as 40,000 miles--a ticket that would cost you $958 from the West Coast of the US to Central Europe in the shoulder season. That's a better redemption rate of 2.3 cents per mile--more than double the domestic flight--but still pretty measly.

Now check out first class. (We'll skip business class and assume it's somewhere in the middle). That $12870 first-class seat to London would cost you a cool 140,000 miles--that sounds like a lot, but look at that redemption rate: 9.2 cents per mile. We're getting back a nearly nine times better return by holding out for that bigger seat!

And it doesn't stop there. I pieced together a ticket in British Airways First from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia (LAX to London to Singapore to Sydney). The ticket would have set me back a scary $27,000. Ouch! Yet I was able to book that same routing using 150,000 Alaska Airlines miles. Do the math on that: the redemption rate was an incredible 18 cents per mile! Since it costs me an average of about 3.3 cents to earn a mile (flying; I do have airline credit cards, but at 100 cents per mile, the earning rate is not mathematically a good deal), I'm actually spending my miles at 5.5 times their value to me. If I want to do another first class flight to Australia, it would actually be cheaper (and more fun!) for me to go out and fly enough to earn those 150,000 miles (which would, at 3.3 cents per mile, cost me $4,950--and actually less, because if I really did fly those 150,000 miles in a single year, I'd earn a higher status tier on my airline of choice which would give me more bonus miles!) and use them instead of paying for first class! Without miles, I'd NEVER be able to afford flying in such comfort and luxury. It really is an experience anyone who enjoys traveling should do at least once in their life.

(After this, you might ask why anyone would bother to pay for a first class seat when you can get it for half or less flying and earning miles. There are many reasons: 1) it takes a substantial time investment to fly enough to earn the miles; 2) that's assuming you can find enough "mileage run"-worthy fares and earn those miles at around 3-4 cents per mile; 3) availability when booking with miles is very limited compared to the actual number of available revenue seats; 4) high-powered executives' time is FAR too valuable to waste doing this, and the company would rather pay the published fares and ensure their company's officers are well-rested and ready to make difficult business decisions right after their flight; and 5) it's possible to pay a business class fare, which is much more reasonable (half or less of the first class fare) and upgrade into first class using status or miles. There is always a market for people to pay the airlines to provide these services.)

You can find some great deals redeeming points with Amtrak, too, but the difference isn't as great. For example, a cross-country coach seat--let's make this using the Slidell loophole--costs about $318 (I'm assuming that's low bucket). At a two-zone coach award cost of 8,000 miles, that's a redemption rate of 3.9 cents per point--already a better deal than an airline fare (but of course you're getting a whole lot more!). If you book a bedroom, which (at least the lowest I was able to find) goes for $1362 or 30,000 points, you can get as high as 4.5 cents per point. Of course, as fare buckets go up, your redemption rate goes up, but I prefer to do my calculations using the cheapest fares available to show a given award's true value.

Of course, it's hard to multiply your cost-to-benefit values as much as with airlines, since AGR is a (relatively) stingy program when it comes to earning miles. Chuljin's adventures in Southern California are probably the best equivalent Amtrak has to a mileage run, and at $3 per 100 points earned, he has a cent-per-point cost of 3.0 (yes, chuljin, I know it varies a little, but I'm going by memory here). Elsewhere on the system, it gets worse: even in the NEC, an $89 Acela fare from BOS-STM--the cheapest 500-point qualifying city pair I could find--costs an abysmal 17.8 cents per point, in which case you're actually losing money when redeeming for a cross-country sleeper award.

Perhaps one of the best combinations would be to earn miles on CO (where you can find very reasonable, mileage-run-worthy fares in the 3-4 cent per mile range and redeem them on Amtrak for 4.5 cents per mile. Your value multiplier isn't much more than 1, but unless you're chuljin, it beats a value multiplier of 0.25.

OK, I've gone way OT, and it's really, really late and past my bedtime. G'night, all!
 

saxman

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I just rode on American's 777 from DFW to ORD a few days ago. Those lie-flat seats are really nice, and I'd really enjoy going to Tokyo on one of those. I've also rode on DL's Business Class a number of times but they aren't exactly lie-flat. Only their 777LR has the lie-flat beds and that only does the ATL to Mumbai flight. More LR's are on order though.
 

amtrakwolverine

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what im talking about is a real room with a bed a bedside table with a lamp. its like a twin size bed they have with a desk lamp next to the bed. did you fly in that. if your rich like donald trump then you fly in that room across the ocean.
 

jackal

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what im talking about is a real room with a bed a bedside table with a lamp. its like a twin size bed they have with a desk lamp next to the bed. did you fly in that. if your rich like donald trump then you fly in that room across the ocean.
Uhh, no. AA doesn't offer that. You must be confusing it with Emirates or Singapore.

Here is what AA offers (similar to what I flew in BA, though BA's was a touch nicer)):

525_americanairlines011.jpg


Here is what Emirates offers. Is this what you've seen?

EmiratesFirstClass1.jpg
1209267718Kb4rk5b.jpg


And here is Singapore's new First Suite:

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