Credit to the photographs

I would like to thank Brian Losisto (Air Canada's photographer) for always allowing me to post his pictures. (The above thrust lever pic is his). Then there is Kelly Paterson from Calgary and plane spotter "Erik" from Germany. Of course, I have lots myself. On that note, if you feel a photo(s) may be in appropriate or the content I post a bit dubious by all means send me an email. I will ratify it! That's all I ask.

...I hope you enjoy the blog...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Why "J" for business class?

These are our new "lie flat" J class seats. One small complaint, some don't like the "individuality." I know one thing, it's cut down on the "mile high" memberships.
However, I'm told if there is a will there is a way. ...ahem...

All of our overseas aircraft (except three leased B767s) have been "XMd" (modified)

The next three photos are compliments of "Erik" who works for AC in FRA. As an employee we sometimes get to capitalize on these seats but stipulations come with the luxury.

Hungry? One of the perks of my job is "left overs!" Although we domestic pilots don't see the elaborate display compared to the international flights. Having said that, we do get to capitalize on cookies and ice cream. Just last night on a Calgary turn I had to make a tough decision. At first I declined everything. (I have a medical this month and with it will come blood work. I know they will mention about my triglycerides) But eventually I caved and requested an oatmeal raison cookie. It's tough being a captain and making decisions like that! :)

I would like to thank everyone for submitting questions for my enRoute aviation column. The column has become very popular and if I had a dollar every time someone told me it's the first thing they turn to, I'd be a happy guy!

I started with enRoute in May 1998 and to this day I am amazed it's lasted this long. I'm always waiting for that... "Dear Doug" email.

I haven't missed a beat with only two of my articles shelved for reasons I won't mention. (It was the time when I wrote a full page on a topic) Here's one question (since we went to the question/answer format) which eventually was shelved, but I think it's a great question. I'm certain the person who sent this, has many more great questions. :)

So the question went like this...

What is the origin of "J" for business class?

Business class evolved in the late seventies. But “B” already existed in the computer reservation system so “C” was next in line. British Airways launched its “club class” but went a step further to “super club” which needed another letter so “J” came to being for business class. At the time, Air Canada used a similar reservation system and adopted the “J” to denote “business/executive class.” Although no first class exists at Air Canada, we pilots jest our vantage points are first class.

I only have ninety words which includes the question and the answer.
So here's more info in case you are wondering why.

Incidentally, I ran into a fellow in the gym and he mentioned he flew to Athens, Greece on our B767. He said he sat in a "W" class seat. I did some investigation and sure enough we have three 767s with premium seating (W) dedicated on this route and a few others.

A= First class discounted
B= Economy full fare
C= Full fare business (club)
D= Business class discounted
E= Premium economy code
F= Full fare first class
G= Special discount
H= Standard fare
I= Business class discounted
"J" = Full fare business class
P = First Class (some airlines use this code for Business class. Jet Airways India, for instance) R = First Class Suites (currently only Airbus 380, and formerly Supersonic Concorde), (a lowercase "n" after any class code indicates Night Service)
Business class codes C, J, D, I, Z On many airlines, C or J indicate full fare business class, whereas discounted and thus restricted and typically non-upgradeable fares are represented by D, I or Z.
The codes in short: C, J = Full-fare Business Class, D, I, Z = Business Class
Economy class codes Full fare: Y, B Standard fare: M, H Special or discount fares: G, K, L, N, O, Q, S, T, U, V, W, X On most airlines, unrestricted economy ticket is booked as a Y fare. Full fare tickets with restrictions on travel dates, refunds, or advance reservations are commonly classed as B, H, or M, although some airlines may use H, V, or others. Heavily discounted fares, commonly O, T or X, will not permit cabin upgrades, refunds, or reservation changes, may restrict frequent flyer program eligibility, and/or impose other restrictions. Other fare codes such as X are restricted for use by consolidators, group charters, or travel industry professionals. However on some airlines W or X is used for frequent flier program award redemptions. Airlines that offer premium economy cabins have also specified certain codes for fares in the upgraded economy cabin, which are usually S (which in this case often stands for 'Supercomfort'), W, or E. Premium economy codes: E, H, K, O, U, W, T


whywhyzed said...

I've experienced those 'pods' on a few flights..... they're great if you don't want to be bothered and you want to get some peace and quiet but they're just awful if you're traveling with a colleague and you need to talk or have a business meeting.
Too bad the designers didn't think of a system where we could have both.
I remember years ago when we had F and J.... the nose of the 47 had First class and there was a single seat in the middle of the cabin if you wanted to be alone.

Was fun times back then, we would buy a J class ticket and with an upgrade certificate we would get into F. I remember they used to carve roast lamb up there for us. :-)

From the Flight Deck said...

Whywhyzed. That's a common complaint...if you want to do business with a fellow colleague it's difficult. Plus you can't converse with your spouse or travel companion. But sometimes...maybe that's a good thing. :)

Also the F/A's point out they can't crossover in the middle aisle. You have to walk the full cabin to switch aisles.

I heard all about the first class service from the more senior pilots. They mentioned the F/A would wheel the trolley full of roast beeb right into the flight deck. After that, the dessert trolly would be rolled in. No wonder the overseas pilots gained a few pounds. :)

Just in from Nassau. No tray was had on our flight...just a salty crew meal for me. The F/O was smart enough to make his own lunch.


Anonymous said...

Hi Doug,

Greatly informative!! When you say employees can use J class but with stipulations....can you divulge those stipulations? Are they behavioural-based? :P


From the Flight Deck said...

Heather. It's a looooonnng story but here's the meat and potatoes.

We travel on passes based on date of hire. It's not first come first serve like some airlines.

In theory (I say this because this changes based on agents/airports/moods) employees are to only get economy seats, but if none are available then they are upgraded. It's a grey area.

We also have passes where we pay extra to get "J" if they are available. These also come with higher priority. So a person with six months with
the company could trump (buy their seniority) to a person with 30 years with the company. As you can guess, this can cause some anguish.

Plus, one HAD to be properly dressed for "J" class. At one time, you could easily tell the "cons' (contingencies) because they were dressed in their Sunday best.
But the dress rules recently have been relaxed. In fact, we can wear jeans... even in "J" class.

Plus agents do not like upgrading if "cons" have small children and I agree with this one.

There's lots of other stuff, but I'll leave it there. :)


Andrew said...

Hey Doug,

You'll be pleased to know that even the Guelph Public Library has a copy of your book :D, I was working @ our main branch and I found it in between to behemoth aviation encylopedias. Its definatly seen better days as there are some pretty heavy coffee stains. I sorta had to take a double take when I saw your name, as it was quite a suprise.


From the Flight Deck said...

Andrew. Thanks! Sounds like you'll have to point out to the librarian a new copy (or two) should be placed on order!


Anonymous said...

Ahh....interesting! That seniority stuff does seem to have its pros and cons!

I appreciate the insight into that side of the industry, thanks! :)


From the Flight Deck said...

Heather. Good way of putting it..."pros and cons." :)

Traytable said...

My first thought on those pics was also the no crossing issue... that would get very old very fast on a long, busy flight!

Some airlines with this layout havea moveable screen, so if you should want to talk to the adjacent person, then you can. Do AC have seat-to-seat call ability? If so, this might be one way the FAs could facilitate pax who want to have a business meeting onboard :)

From the Flight Deck said...

Traytable. We don't have the moveable screens nor the seat to seat call ability. We do have USB ports. :)