Brilliant: Video Perfectly Sums Up Why Intra-Europe Business Class Is The Worst

Filed Under: Videos

It’s amazing how the quality of business class in different parts of the world varies.

Europe probably has the worst short-haul business class standard in the world, as most business class cabins simply consist of economy with a blocked middle seat and enhanced service. This gives the airlines a lot of flexibility, as they can move the “curtain” around on each flight to adjust for the business class demand.

Meanwhile I’d say the world’s best region for short-haul business class is the Middle East, where it’s not unusual to get a flat bed, pre-departure drinks and hot towels, a full meal, a freshly made cappuccino, etc., on a 45 minute flight.

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Earlier I shared my experience in Tunisair’s short-haul business class product from London to Tunis. I was in 4A, but when I boarded the business class “curtain” stopped at row three, so they moved it back a row.

Reader Bob shared a link to a hilarious video from years ago that I hadn’t yet seen. It’s a 1999 ad from French airline Air Liberte, where they were trying to advertise that their business class product is better than Air France’s. Air France simply blocks a middle seat and calls it business class, while Air Liberte had a different seat.

Here’s the ad, which I think most of us can appreciate even if we don’t speak French:

Unfortunately Air Liberte is no longer in business…

  1. @Wesley aside from the fact that they serve a relatively ok meal on any length US domestic first is much better than intra europe business. You don’t even get more leg room, you just get an empty/blocked seat in the middle. It is crazy

  2. Awesome!!!! That’s exactly how I felt when I flew Intra-Europe business class with BA last year.

  3. How long is the longest intra-Europe flights? 3 hours?

    Tunis and London are in different continents.

    It comes down to price and what people are willing to pay for. Maybe Europeans would rather pay less for an air ticket and spend more on food, drink and hotels at their destination?

  4. Sure, intra europe bussines just economy with blocked middle seat. However, they come with perks most american would pay dearly to have:
    1. No need to worry being beat up and dragged from the plane;
    2. Not being groped by TSA agents;
    3. No need to worry being mauled by an ESA dog.

  5. Well, maybe these business seats are not that fancy as that of US or Far East carriers, but they also don’t cost 3x more than an economy, just 1.5x.

  6. @Lrdx

    That’s not true though. Depending on route they can easily cost 2-3x more than economy, and in the US first often doesn’t. Or sometimes does. But you can certainly not make that statement

  7. Lucky as I type I’m seated on a beautiful Eva Air 777 with full flat, herringbone business class. Our flight to Hong Kong will last… 90 minutes. Too short!

  8. I think they will not for much longer be able to maintain that. Many LCC now offer the same arrangement (front rows, in some cases middle seat blocked, free bar and snacks, at least some flexibility with the ticket, checked luggage) without calling it Business Class. Examples include Vueling (aka “Excellence”), EasyJet (aka “Flexi”), Eurowings (aka “Best”) and even Ryanair (although they call it “Business Plus”).

  9. I thought we would be getting a block seat on the first leg of our business class award ticket – CDG-BRU-IAD. Wife had 1A window, I had 1C Aisle – but then someone came and sat down in 1B & 1E. The couple in 1D & 1F asked the flight attendant why the seats weren’t blocked and they said the middle seats are NOT blocked for flights less than 1 hour.

  10. @TJ I’m wondering what airline you were on?

    Our BA bus award CDG-LHR did have the middle seats blocked, but that was 2 years ago, and BA has been working hard to become a more expensive version of Ryan air. Since we are booked on a BA J award BRU-LHR next month I’m hoping your comment wasn’t about BA.

  11. BA block the J seats – unless you are on an embraer which you won’t be. I’m also not aware that BA fly CDG-BRU.

  12. @Martin

    We were 5 hours Madrid to Moscow in “business” class, which looked just the the film clip.

  13. It is a joke… If flying TK though their business class has had flat beds on wide body flight, meals the whole 9 yards. Many of their other planes have equiv of first class seats here in the USA. Love their lounge in Istanbul too!

  14. I recall a similar scene from “Come Fly With Me” where the guy complained about sitting in economy while he purchased a business class ticket, and the steward rectified it by replacing the logo on his headrest…

  15. Love it!

    I’ve encountered the opposite on BA flights between LGW and AMS. The first 3 rows are Club Europe but the curtain is behind row 4. Row 4 being EuroTraveller with all 6 seats occupied.

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