FlyHappy
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Economy Comfort on Icelandair

Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:16 am

I just became aware of Icelandairs unusual (or isn't it?) offering of Economy Comfort where they "reserve" the center seat (B757) and only sell 4 across, in spite of having 6 seats (yes, these rows have more pitch). Naturally, this requires the fare to be quite substantial, and sure enough, the cost seems rather close to their true 4 across business class seats.

So I ask: does this offering work for them financially? Personally, I cannot imagine considering those EC fares and not go all the way (looks like 10 - 20% +) to business class.

Has anyone flown this and have a comment? I am surprised that selling 4 x at a higher fare would generate more revenue than 6 x at a lower fare.

Are there other carriers that have this practice?
 
toobz
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Re: Economy Comfort on Icelandair

Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:21 am

I've also seen them use the last row of J as Premium Economy
 
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SRQKEF
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Re: Economy Comfort on Icelandair

Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:33 pm

FlyHappy wrote:
I just became aware of Icelandairs unusual (or isn't it?) offering of Economy Comfort where they "reserve" the center seat (B757) and only sell 4 across, in spite of having 6 seats (yes, these rows have more pitch). Naturally, this requires the fare to be quite substantial, and sure enough, the cost seems rather close to their true 4 across business class seats.

So I ask: does this offering work for them financially? Personally, I cannot imagine considering those EC fares and not go all the way (looks like 10 - 20% +) to business class.

Has anyone flown this and have a comment? I am surprised that selling 4 x at a higher fare would generate more revenue than 6 x at a lower fare.

Are there other carriers that have this practice?


Their Y+ is not unusual in the sense that it's the exact same principle as intra-Euro J on most carriers. If the Y+ fares are booked, the front rows in Y are reserved for that. Otherwise, those are just sold as regular, 6-across Y seats. And as toobz noted, the last row or even rows of Saga Class are often offered to Y+ pax as long as J is lightly booked, enabling FI to sell more Economy seats. Comfort really is a flexible class for FI where only the catering is always the same.

Y=Economy, Y+=Comfort and J=Saga Class just to avoid confusion. :)
Nothing compares to taking off in an empty 757 with full thrust!
 
FlyHappy
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Re: Economy Comfort on Icelandair

Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:50 pm

thank you both for your input.

Okay, now I see how FI can flex the seat assignments to either accommodate more Y or more Y+ if J isn't full (by at least 1 row, presumably).
But I just cannot understand pax willingness to pay a fare so close to J, on a plane with true J seats, and wonder if this is popular.
 
ryan78
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Re: Economy Comfort on Icelandair

Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:51 pm

FlyHappy wrote:
Are there other carriers that have this practice?


Westjet does this with the first 3 rows of their 737's, they call it Westjet Plus. Middle seats are blocked off and there is an insert that rests on the seat with a tray table top type of thing.
Image

Air Transat also started doing the same thing earlier this year with their 737 product but only on the first 2 rows, 1,2,3 ABC and 1,2 DEF. The move was to better align the wide-body ClubClass product with the 737's.
Image

Many airlines seem to be doing this so obviously it is worth it to take away seats while charging double for the others. I just don't understand why anyone would pay that much extra for it. Just a quick search on Westjet, YYZ-YUL is $133 one way in a regular economy seat, but Westjet Plus seat is $358 one way. The only difference is that middle tray table, 2-3 extra inches of legroom and I get free drinks and food ($12.99 for a sandwich, water and snack, $16.29 with a beer) and 1 checked bag ($25).
 
FlyHappy
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Re: Economy Comfort on Icelandair

Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:05 pm

ryan78 wrote:

Westjet does this with the first 3 rows of their 737's, they call it Westjet Plus. Middle seats are blocked off and there is an insert that rests on the seat with a tray table top type of thing.

Air Transat also started doing the same thing earlier this year with their 737 product but only on the first 2 rows, 1,2,3 ABC and 1,2 DEF. The move was to better align the wide-body ClubClass product with the 737's.


thanks for the illustrative photos.
I have personally seen this before, but never even questioned it (or the fares) because it was onboard aircraft that was only 6 across, with no real J seats, which is how I assume these two carriers are configured.

Icelandair is the first I've heard of that has J, and does this - perhaps there are many others?


ryan78 wrote:
Many airlines seem to be doing this so obviously it is worth it to take away seats while charging double for the others. I just don't understand why anyone would pay that much extra for it. Just a quick search on Westjet, YYZ-YUL is $133 one way in a regular economy seat, but Westjet Plus seat is $358 one way. The only difference is that middle tray table, 2-3 extra inches of legroom and I get free drinks and food ($12.99 for a sandwich, water and snack, $16.29 with a beer) and 1 checked bag ($25).


to some a few inches of legroom and not rubbing shoulders is priceless, as well as common travel on business dime; and I can relate. on a plane with no J, and the financial wherewithal to buy those extra inches, it makes some kind of "sense". I just can't fathom not spending what looks to be a small delta to go to real J since the Icelandair planes are equipped with them.
 
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readytotaxi
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Re: Economy Comfort on Icelandair

Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:50 pm

I can not agree that Saga Class equates with J by any standard. A very good Y+ upgrade yes for 4 hrs, but it is not J by todays standard, just my :twocents:
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
 
FlyHappy
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Re: Economy Comfort on Icelandair

Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:55 pm

readytotaxi wrote:
I can not agree that Saga Class equates with J by any standard. A very good Y+ upgrade yes for 4 hrs, but it is not J by todays standard, just my :twocents:


to each his/her own.
but this a 757 doing 3 to 6 hours flight segments, hardly an aircraft or flight that has great amounts of competition flying "modern J" (which I take you mean lie-flat, all-aisle, etc).
in fact, is there any carrier serving KEF that has such a configuration on a short/mid-haul flight?

In my book, if single aisle is 6 across in Y, then any 4 across on the same plane is J.
I'll take your two cents and give you change ;)
 
Shuttle12T
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Re: Economy Comfort on Icelandair

Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:29 pm

I flew Y+ with Icelandair about a year and a half ago now having bid for an upgrade, which I got with a relatively low offer I recall. I've left a link to the TR I did below but in summary it was a nice experience overall, I got access to the very nice saga lounge at KEF and as mentioned above onboard the middle seat is converted to a table, I was also given a pillow and blanket on my seat along with a bottle of water and some headphones which I still have. Onboard service is basically choose what you like for the BoB menu. All in all I enjoyed it, not sure I'd have payed the full price for it but if you can get a decent upgrade offer then it's worth thinking about.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=980321&p=13172103#p13172103
Don't miss a trip report: https://voyagereport.wordpress.com
 
FlyHappy
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Re: Economy Comfort on Icelandair

Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:02 pm

Shuttle12T wrote:
I flew Y+ with Icelandair about a year and a half ago now having bid for an upgrade, which I got with a relatively low offer I recall. I've left a link to the TR I did below but in summary it was a nice experience overall, I got access to the very nice saga lounge at KEF and as mentioned above onboard the middle seat is converted to a table, I was also given a pillow and blanket on my seat along with a bottle of water and some headphones which I still have. Onboard service is basically choose what you like for the BoB menu. All in all I enjoyed it, not sure I'd have payed the full price for it but if you can get a decent upgrade offer then it's worth thinking about.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=980321&p=13172103#p13172103


ah, thank you, read your trip report.
Can you elaborate on the "bid" and "offer" aspect of the Y+ upgrade? You are saying you can make a less than full price bid to upgrade from an existing Y booking to Y+ ? Your TR says you upgraded the week before, so it isn't like a like minute type of arrangement.
How does this work - does FI send an email en masse to all Y pax, saying "make us an offer"? Or is this more like "Y+ available on your flight for 199" kind of thing?

I've been looking at an FI flight as an example, which is priced at 257 Y / 541 Y flex / 800 Y+ / 973 J . Personally, I think anyone who pays 800 for Y+ but isn't willing to go to 973 is completely bonkers (hence the genesis of my post). But I ask you, if I were to book Y on this flight at 257, do you have any sense of what kind of offer/bid FI might send out for Y+ upgrades assuming availability? Do they also offer upgrades to J?
 
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longhauler
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Re: Economy Comfort on Icelandair

Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:17 pm

FlyHappy wrote:
I'But I ask you, if I were to book Y on this flight at 257, do you have any sense of what kind of offer/bid FI might send out for Y+ upgrades assuming availability? Do they also offer upgrades to J?

I recently flew on Icelandair YYZ-KEF-YYZ and booked the lowest Y fare for the two of us. Three days before the flight, we received an email offering CAD 50 per person per leg for Y+ and CAD 200 per person per leg for Saga class, which I accepted.

Saga Class was fine. It was similar to a Domestic J Class product and about the same as an International Premium Economy product .. and was priced about the same.

I enjoyed Icelandair, and Iceland in general .... KEF is a bit of a goat show, but that's half the fun!
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
FlyHappy
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Re: Economy Comfort on Icelandair

Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:13 am

longhauler wrote:
FlyHappy wrote:
I'But I ask you, if I were to book Y on this flight at 257, do you have any sense of what kind of offer/bid FI might send out for Y+ upgrades assuming availability? Do they also offer upgrades to J?

I recently flew on Icelandair YYZ-KEF-YYZ and booked the lowest Y fare for the two of us. Three days before the flight, we received an email offering CAD 50 per person per leg for Y+ and CAD 200 per person per leg for Saga class, which I accepted.

Saga Class was fine. It was similar to a Domestic J Class product and about the same as an International Premium Economy product .. and was priced about the same.

I enjoyed Icelandair, and Iceland in general .... KEF is a bit of a goat show, but that's half the fun!


thank you, very interesting.
do you have any comment or observation about the density of the classes on your flight? did they manage to fill J (or Y+ if you looked) based on this discounting strategy?

btw, what's a "goat show"? is that a clusterf**k in Canadian ? ;)
 
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longhauler
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Re: Economy Comfort on Icelandair

Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:28 am

FlyHappy wrote:
do you have any comment or observation about the density of the classes on your flight? did they manage to fill J (or Y+ if you looked) based on this discounting strategy?

I would guess the aircraft to be about half full in all classes, maybe a bit more in Y. It looked like only about 30 passengers were going to KEF, the rest were transiting.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
FlyHappy
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Re: Economy Comfort on Icelandair

Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:42 am

longhauler wrote:
I would guess the aircraft to be about half full in all classes, maybe a bit more in Y. It looked like only about 30 passengers were going to KEF, the rest were transiting.


wow. how the heck do they turn a profit? (and yet they do, I understand....)
 
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SRQKEF
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Re: Economy Comfort on Icelandair

Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:21 pm

FlyHappy wrote:
longhauler wrote:
I would guess the aircraft to be about half full in all classes, maybe a bit more in Y. It looked like only about 30 passengers were going to KEF, the rest were transiting.


wow. how the heck do they turn a profit? (and yet they do, I understand....)


I'm not 100% sure but I guess he flew on the seasonal morning departure flights (FI 601/600) which are often light at the start of summer. FI602/603 which use the traditional afternoon departure bank are consistently full with fantastic yields and is in fact one of their top performing routes, often seeing the 767.

Regards!
Sveinn :)
Nothing compares to taking off in an empty 757 with full thrust!
 
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longhauler
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Re: Economy Comfort on Icelandair

Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:46 pm

We went on 600, leaving YYZ shortly after noon. And returned on 603 leaving KEF in the late afternoon.

Both flights were a 757-200. The return was a bit fuller in Y. We were the only two in Saga Class.

I liked Icelandair. Both flights left on time, the aircraft was spotless and the Flight Attendants were very friendly. We chose them over Rouge, so we could try them out and I was not disappointed.

Iceland is an amazing place and I recommend it to anyone. We bought a tour for fly fishing and it was first rate. It is a very expensive place ... but so is most of Europe in July!
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
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SRQKEF
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Re: Economy Comfort on Icelandair

Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:19 am

longhauler wrote:
We went on 600, leaving YYZ shortly after noon. And returned on 603 leaving KEF in the late afternoon.

Both flights were a 757-200. The return was a bit fuller in Y. We were the only two in Saga Class.

I liked Icelandair. Both flights left on time, the aircraft was spotless and the Flight Attendants were very friendly. We chose them over Rouge, so we could try them out and I was not disappointed.

Iceland is an amazing place and I recommend it to anyone. We bought a tour for fly fishing and it was first rate. It is a very expensive place ... but so is most of Europe in July!


Glad to hear you liked it here! The rivers here are amazing, not just how good they are to fish but also the landscape and wildlife, especially birds and of course jumping salmon.

Btw, how did you like departing YYZ at noon? Personally, I love the morning departure ex-KEF/dayflight back and use it everytime I can. Love arriving in NYC, BOS or wherever in time for lunch. Plus, it gives so many more connecting opportunities! I dislike taking the redeyes eastbound so leaving at 2pm, flying through the day and evening and arriving at KEF and to go straight to bed for a good nights' sleep at home suits me much better.

I know that FI have been seriously considering making the extra bank permanent year-round, hopefully the arrival of the MAX next year will facilitate that.

regards!
Sveinn :)
Nothing compares to taking off in an empty 757 with full thrust!

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