Times are certainly changing at Lufthansa. While I’ve always found their ground experience, onboard service, and (for the most part) food to be top notch, many have complained about Lufthansa’s first class seat. Admittedly it’s not cutting edge, though it’s still a flat bed and is great when traveling with a companion, since there are pairs of seats together (which is my major complaint with the “suites” we see nowadays, where you’re totally isolated). That being said, the best thing about Lufthansa first class for many of us has been how readily available it is for award travel.
Now that they’re rolling out the A380 into many markets, they’ve zeroed out first class award inventory on those flights for Star Alliance partner airlines. The good news is that the A380 has nearly 100 business class seats, so it has actually improved business class award availability quite a bit.
As I mentioned late last year, Lufthansa is radically changing the way they approach first class on the 747. Lufthansa has first class on the upper deck on 747s, with a total of 16 first class seats. As of April, however, they’ll only be offering eight first class seats for sale. This will make the fleet very consistent, because most longhaul aircraft will have eight first class seats, yet very inconsistent, because there will be at least three different versions of first class. Like many others, though, I was wondering what exactly they were going to do with first class on the 747.
Well, in the immediate future, Lufthansa will simply be implementing what is quite possibly the most expensive seat blocking anywhere. They will only sell 8 of the 16 first class seats, meaning every other seat will be blocked. That definitely makes the experience a bit nicer for those traveling alone in first class, though if you’re traveling with someone else and want to sit together, it seems you would basically have four seats to yourselves. Not surprisingly this has had a pretty big impact on award availability, since they no longer seem to be releasing more than two first class seats for the most part, and that’s if we’re lucky.
They will also start introducing a new first class product on part of their 747 fleet, which will look something like this (via Facebook):
Yes, each first class passenger gets both a seat and a bed. That’s a pretty interesting concept, since most first class seats can already be converted into “proper” beds. Though what makes this conversion unique is that they’ll apparently keep the same aisle seat (with a few aesthetic changes), and remove the window seat and replace it with a bed. It’ll be interesting to see just how comfortable it is. Based on the picture the bed looks like it’s quite high up, though since that’s just a portrait it might not be accurate.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see how this transition plays out. This looks like a very cool “hard” product, so combined with Lufthansa’s great food, service, and ground experience, there might just be “no better way to fly.”