Another day and yet another Qantas press release referring to their long-haul business class as “mini-first”. They have been beating this tired old drum since the Boeing 787 first entered service.
The claim has expanded over time, as it was originally “nicknamed “mini First Class” by some frequent flyers”, while now it is “dubbed “mini First” by the airline’s frequent flyers”. That seems very certain, now doesn’t it? Let’s have a look at this wonderful class.
The “Mini-First” Seat
You would think that the Qantas seat is a bespoke design, with amazing features that make it just a cut above the rest. If you thought that, you’d be wrong. Qantas uses the Vantage XL seat, made by Ireland’s Thompson Aero Seating.
Frequent flyers may think the seat looks familiar, because it probably is. Scandinavian people will know this is the same seat that SAS have chosen for their long-haul fleet, as you can see in the image above.
South American carrier LATAM is also currently introducing this seat and it can be found on the Malaysia Airlines fleet as well. The non-XL version which has a slightly lower spec is found on carriers such as Swiss, Aer Lingus and JetBlue.
Why All The Fuss Then, Qantas?
Either one person somewhere once said it looked like mini-first class and marketing jumped on it, or it was a great idea during a corporate brainstorming session. I’m sure I know which one my money is on!
While I can understand the logic behind it, after all, the seats are private compared to previous business class seats, I still think it’s a load of bollocks. Business class is never as good as first class, though Qatar Airways business class certainly comes closest in my eyes.
Qantas offers First Class on just one aircraft, the Airbus A380. These are currently going through a refurbishment programme as the Australian airline plans to keep them until the late 2020s.
However, my gut feeling is the airline is mentally preparing the populace down under with this mini-first propoganda. When the airline no longer offers First Class, everyone will automatically think, “oh well, we have a business class that is just as good”.
Sorry Qantas, but your business class cabin is not unique. Sure, you offer all the bells and whistles such as pyjamas and mattress toppers, but so do other airlines around the world.
It really is just a marketing line and is a bit of a stretch. What it does is give other airlines carte blanche to go ahead and refer to their business class product as mini-first class too. But, I guess they won’t, because I bet their frequent flyers haven’t made that claim.
What do you think of Qantas doing this? Is it really mini-first class or can you smell the manure emanating from Qantas headquarters in Sydney? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image via Qantas.
SAS image via SAS.