Details on Lufthansa’s new first class product

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.”

Comments

  1. I am booked on LH the day after they switch from re A380 to the 744 SFO – FRA. Makes me half wish they don’t do the switch to the A380…

  2. I have flown LH A380 aircraft a couple of times, and has been impressed with it’s newly improved C seat and IFE. I will try to upgrade my next LH A380 flight to F.

  3. Late last year I booked two F class seats from the West Coast to Israel via Frankfurt traveling in May. All of the LH flights are on the 747 (except for LH454 FRA-SFO which was just pure luck) and when I reserved seats a couple of weeks ago I was offered seats across from each other as pairs are no longer assigned (every flight 82C and H) – so this all makes sense now. I hope nothing comes up as I’m seldom lucky with stuff like this!

  4. This is very interesting, I remember sitting in on a seminar by a seat designer (I forgot his name, but he said LH was one of his company’s customers) regarding his new design ideas and trends at the Asian Aerospace Convention in Hong Kong last year, and his primary point was that no one seat design will ever be completely comfortable over a long period of time. No matter how comfortable a chair, it starts to feel weird after a while. On the ground, if one place becomes uncomfortable from sitting there too long, we would just go sit somewhere else.

    I guess this is one of allowing passengers to do exactly that in the air, I just think its a terrible waste of space seeing as how half the space will never be used. I guess if someone is willing to fork out $20,000 for a seat, they’re not gotta to care too much about another $15,000 for a seats that’s just a bit better.

  5. Have flown the A380 in First before on Qantas which was outstanding
    Singapore and Emirates still hold bragging rights to even better First Class A380 products.The picture here looks dreadful unless comparing with economy hopefully it is inaccurate

  6. When will all the LH 747 be converted to the new F, and is there any way to determine if a route is running the new or old F?

  7. This concept seems rather similar to Boeing’s initial concept of having “SkySuites,” where the second level of the 747-8I had suites with beds. Passengers who have a SkySuite sit on Y-class/C-Class seat as the plane takes off and lands, and then climbs to their suites during their flight.

  8. I got lucky – was able to book 2 return F seats on a 747 in July (FRA-JFK). Seatmap only shows 8 seats – fingers crossed for new config.

    Regardless, I thought they had cut these bookings off completely…

  9. I think if they had done this to the forward section of the 747 and made 4 suites that would have been better. They could have reserved that for paid F or for Hon and kept the old F for the US riff-raff from the US šŸ™‚

  10. Booked ORD-FRA in October it showed the old config two weeks ago, and now the new config on the LH site, I hope it is the new seats and not just an empty seat beside me.

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