Apparently US Airways Economy Is Now Business Class

Apparently US Airways Economy Is Now Business Class

25

Yesterday I flew US Airways from Chicago to Tampa via Charlotte using British Airways Avios. American didn’t have award availability on the nonstop and revenue fares were ~$500, so at 9,000 Avios one-way it was the best value.

I’m still trying to learn the whole US Airways system, because it doesn’t make much sense to me. For example, after putting my Executive Platinum number on the reservation I was given these seating options at check-in:

US-Airways-Seats

So I have to pay $49 to reserve seemingly arbitrary seats, which aren’t in exit rows, or extra legroom, or…?

Anyway, I had selected seat 6C, which is an aisle seat in the second row of economy on the Airbus A321.

SeatGuru-US-Airways-A321

Since it was a 5:50AM flight it wasn’t totally full, so I wanted to ask the gate agent if there were maybe seats with empty middles a bit further back. I far prefer an empty middle since I find it’s easier to get work on my laptop with a bit more shoulder space (not to mention that I don’t want anyone glaring at my laptop screen).

The conversation went something like this:

Me: “Morning! Do you by chance have a seat with an empty middle somewhere a bit further back? I had tried to select another seat online earlier, but it tried to charge me for other seats even though I’m an Executive Platinum with American.”
Agent: “What seat are you in?”
*showed her my boarding pass*
Agent: “Oh you’re in row six. Trust me you won’t want to switch, you’re in business class.”
Me: “Isn’t this a domestic plane? Aren’t there only four rows of first class?”
Agent: “I didn’t say you was in first class, but you is in business class. Trust me, you don’t want to switch.”
Me: “Since when do your domestic planes have first and business class?”
Agent: “Do you hear me? You won’t want to switch. Trust me.”
Me: “Bu… bu… bu… b…. b…”
Agent: *turns to other agent* “This guy does not trust me, I’m just trying to keep him in the best seat.”

At this point the other gate agent announced boarding — “we’re now boarding our first and business class passengers.”

Okay, was I the one going nuts? Did American somehow sub one of their premium transcon A321s in for this flight?

Nope, it was a standard US Airways A321. And I was in exactly the economy seat I was expecting…

US-Airways-A321

The most bizarre part? As boarding finished up that same gate agent came aboard with a standby passenger she was going to put in 6C. When she saw me there, she goes “oh that’s right, I knew you were in 6C, not sure why I thought this seat was empty.”

Oddly she didn’t ask me how I was enjoying my business class seat.

Anyway, it was no big deal, though I did find it all a bit odd…

Conversations (25)
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  1. Ivan Y Diamond

    @ Lucky - I disagree with the other Ivan Y. Domestic coach is fine using Avios since AA/US claim they have "first class" and we get charged x3 instead of x2. That never made any sense to me but I guess that's probably a way to keep AA happy otherwise there would be a lot more Avios redemptions for "first".

    ~ Original Ivan Y.

  2. Lisa Guest

    I have often wondered why the seat map arbitrarily charges for random seats that seem less desirable to me. Seats further back, middle seats, etc. Weird.

  3. Andrew C New Member

    'Just got off one domestic US Airways flight that called for "Business and First Class Passengers" and boarded another one that called for the same. Seated in row 4 for both flights, I guess I've had the business class experience on both! To be fair, I did get offered a second plastic cup of Coke, so I suppose that qualifies as upgraded service!

  4. John Guest

    Maybe main cabin extra, before the branding has been added? Or they're experimenting with a eurobiz type 3 cabin? Are they keeping the middle seat open as a courtesy to executive platinums? This is weird. But hey, you get priority boarding! I think. #thenewamerican

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ John -- Middle was occupied and definitely not Main Cabin Extra.

  5. D Wonderment Guest

    @ John
    If the booking was made with Avios points you have to call BA to get it on
    Like AA some BA agents are clueless how to do this others do it with no issue

  6. Ivan Y Guest

    ha, and i thought you never redeem for coach. Didnt you say that you have not traveled in Y for the past 10 years? I would have redeemed BA miles for first on this route much better value.

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ Ivan Y -- I do plenty of domestic coach flying, but haven't done coach on a longhaul in over 10 years.

  7. John Guest

    Ben- How do you add your AA freq flier number to an Avios booking?

  8. Mike Guest

    Were you not able to upgrade to first. What baffles me as a AA Platinum is that I've been shown fees for the "Premium" economy seats but upgraded to First at no cost. I mean it benefits me as a Platinum since there is no real hierarchy in how they clear, but the model is nuts.

    1. lucky OMAAT

      @ Mike -- Since I was on an award ticket I wasn't eligible for a complimentary upgrade.

  9. justSaying Guest

    It appears US Scareways is having difficulty meeting the low standards they have set for themselves.....

  10. JOHN Guest

    There "are" no snacks. Pardon my one finger typing error.

  11. JOHN Guest

    Plus there is no entertainment, and there no snacks for these "business class" seats.

  12. Stephan Guest

    Well, let's face it and stop trying to sugar coat it...the world is full of a lot of morons!
    What else is there to know?

  13. John Guest

    WOW.. hilarious and sad at the same time. The sad part is that you are so experienced flying and still not able to convince gate agent about their mistake. What people who don't fly so often should think when they are seated in such business class:-)

  14. D Wonderment Guest

    Some of the US Air agents are not only incompetent they are illiterate
    Did I say stupid too
    Add to that some airports don't even have a first class elite line to check you in
    You stand with other Priceline customers at a kiosk
    I hate the way US Airways operates and I fear D.P. will destroy American and anything that was good about it
    I expect horrible food (already...

    Some of the US Air agents are not only incompetent they are illiterate
    Did I say stupid too
    Add to that some airports don't even have a first class elite line to check you in
    You stand with other Priceline customers at a kiosk
    I hate the way US Airways operates and I fear D.P. will destroy American and anything that was good about it
    I expect horrible food (already happening in some markets or no food
    online and partner Award booking fees hello us air
    and worse award availability
    Good luck to us all

  15. Captain Guest

    Yea the whole having to pay for certain economy seats as an ExPlat was a surprise when I booked with US Air about 6 weeks ago. The PAArker Plan.

  16. Sean M. Diamond

    I hope you received appropriate class of service bonus.

  17. Jason Guest

    Back when US was in Star Alliance, the domestic boarding announcements would always include a mystical business class.

  18. Dan Guest

    Sounds like you just had a gate agent that either was intent on messing with you or, omire likely, is really stupid. Although based on the boarding announcement it seems like they were probably just not that bright. Either way, do you know if these articles get reviewed by the social media people at US Airways/AA. Assuming this gate agents are just not that smart maybe some additional training would do them some good. IMO,...

    Sounds like you just had a gate agent that either was intent on messing with you or, omire likely, is really stupid. Although based on the boarding announcement it seems like they were probably just not that bright. Either way, do you know if these articles get reviewed by the social media people at US Airways/AA. Assuming this gate agents are just not that smart maybe some additional training would do them some good. IMO, the most likely scenario is that they know these seats cost extra and dont realize that it is only because they are at the front of the plane.

  19. Doug Guest

    As an AA EP, I shed a tear each time I fly USAirways as I realize that this is probably the future of my favorite domestic airline under Parker. They may as well paint their planes bright yellow...

  20. Christian Guest

    If you is in business class, just shaddup and enjoy it! Reminds me of a Lufthansa flight where the pilot instructed us that "you will enjoy your flight with us". Oh, maybe you could do a full review of the new business class product.

  21. Greg Guest

    Bizzare...maybe because it's left of the 2L door they think it's "biz" class.

  22. Points With a Crew New Member

    I wrote about this a few months ago on a US Airways flight from CVG-DCA. I was also confused why US Airways would think I'd want to pay $15 (in my case) for the seat right next to the one I already had...

    http://www.pointswithacrew.com/why-yes-i-would-like-to-pay-15-for-the-seat-right-next-to-me/

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Ivan Y Diamond

@ Lucky - I disagree with the other Ivan Y. Domestic coach is fine using Avios since AA/US claim they have "first class" and we get charged x3 instead of x2. That never made any sense to me but I guess that's probably a way to keep AA happy otherwise there would be a lot more Avios redemptions for "first". ~ Original Ivan Y.

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Lisa Guest

I have often wondered why the seat map arbitrarily charges for random seats that seem less desirable to me. Seats further back, middle seats, etc. Weird.

0
Andrew C New Member

'Just got off one domestic US Airways flight that called for "Business and First Class Passengers" and boarded another one that called for the same. Seated in row 4 for both flights, I guess I've had the business class experience on both! To be fair, I did get offered a second plastic cup of Coke, so I suppose that qualifies as upgraded service!

0
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