Lufthansa A380 New Business Class Retrofit Status

For an airline that’s typically the poster child for German efficiency, Lufthansa sure as hell doesn’t make it easy to keep track of which of their planes feature the new first and business class products.

Last year I wrote a post about how to tell if your Lufthansa flight features the new first and business class products, and fortunately Lufthansa made it a bit easier last year when they introduced a tracking toolbar to figure out if your flight is operated by Lufthansa’s new first class. Unfortunately that doesn’t really help with tracking whether a flight features the new business class, though…

One question I’ve been receiving a lot lately is when Lufthansa’s A380s will feature the new business class product. While all the A380s were delivered with the new first class product, it’s rather odd that they introduced such an outdated business class product on their flagship aircraft.

Lufthansa-A380-102
Lufthansa new first class on the A380

Up until recently there haven’t really been any useful updates to provide regarding new business class on the A380, though we finally have some information.

From hereon out Lufthansa’s new A380 deliveries will feature the new business class product. Lufthansa is scheduled to take delivery of their next A380s on the following dates:

  • February 28, 2014
  • March 31, 2014

Furthermore, Lufthansa currently has one A380 that’s in the process of being retrofitted, so that should be completed soon as well.

That means that by the end of the first quarter, Lufthansa should have at least three A380s featuring the new business class product. At that point 12 A380s will be in service for Lufthansa, meaning 25% of the fleet will have the new business class.

Lufthansa has ordered a total of 15 A380s, so I expect the three subsequent A380 deliveries to also feature the new business class product.

Lufthansa-A380-101
Lufthansa A380

Lufthansa has already published the seatmap for the new delivery A380s, and it appears as if they’ll feature 92 business class seats:

Lufthansa-A380-Seatmap

This is only a six seat drop in capacity over the A380 featuring the old business class, which has 98 seats.

It appears as if this will be a slightly modified version of their new business class product, though. Per SeatGuru, here’s part of the business class seatmap for Lufthansa’s 747-8:

Lufthansa-74-8-New-Business-Class

Similarly, as you can see in the picture below, the new business class seats are angled towards one another:

Lufthansa-New-Business-Class-101
Lufthansa’s new business class on the 747-8

Based on the A380 seatmap above, it appears as if the seat pairs will actually both angle in the same direction. This isn’t really surprising given that the A380 upper deck is significantly narrower than the 747-8 lower deck.

Lufthansa hasn’t yet announced which routes the new A380s will service, though. If I notice Lufthansa changing any seatmaps online to reflect the new business class product I’ll be sure to post. That being said, at least in the next couple of months there will be a chance of having a flight featuring the new business class cabin.

Comments

  1. Even their new business class isn’t all that competitive with the best new products out there or even the best products a generation ago. I’ve never quite understood all of the praise LH garners. I’ve not been especially impressed when I have flown with them. I did C on the 747-8 last summer IAD-FRA. It was OK. Having a pair of seats to myself was comfortable. But if it had been a full cabin it would have not been so good.

  2. I’m on A380 Biz Class IAH-FRA in mid August. Up until recently I’ve been able to go to LH’s website and change my seat using my Last Name and Booking code. Now when I attempt to do that there is no link available to “Change Seats”. Perhaps this is a sign that the new biz class product could be rolled out to this particular route.

  3. @ Lucky – I´m posting here because on the Ask Lucky page it does take some time: if you want to try Tam´s first class, there is good availability to/from NYC or MIA. I´m not sure if it is a glitz or a farewell star alliance / welcome oneworld promo, as I haven´t seen it available for at least 3 years. Maybe you are missing Brazil after you last trip here (even though your trip was more to GRU than to Brazil).

  4. @Carey, LH’s website doesn’t let you change seats anymore for some reason, but you can go to LOT’s website, use your PNR, and select seats there. Just did this for an LH F/J redemption using UA miles with no problem.

  5. @Carlos – Interesting. My parents are flying JFK-FRA in June, so I pulled up their reservation after seeing this post. Same thing, the Change Seats link has disappeared.

  6. any update on the status of the a330s, particularly those flying to MUC? Are those all retrofitted now or still a mix?

  7. Hi, if I am correct the number of A380’s on order by Lufthansa has been cut to 14, not 15. Three orders were cancelled last year. Richard – A380 fanclub Lelystad (Facebook) and @A380fanclub

  8. @ Carey — As LTL points out, unfortunately it’s just Lufthansa’s website not being useful anymore. Has nothing to do with new business class.

  9. Thanks for staying on top of this! I’m travelling FRA – JNB end of July, keeping my fingers crossed its NEW J!

  10. Would like to see where the A380s are going FRA vs MUC. I would much rather fly to MUC than FRA any day on an A380. Though, have they finished construction in FRA? Hopefully it is nicer

  11. when could I fly with Lufthansa A380 in Japan this year? I searched the official website and it seems A380 only flies ICN, PEK this year; but A380 flied FRA-NRT last year…

  12. @ lucky – no they didn’t announce it, I noticed it when making a booking. The configuration of C-class changes as of that day as does the icon that allows you to choose your seat. I doubt if they will put the dates public as that would divert revenue to other carriers

  13. I am travelling to FRA-SIN in early May is there any chance that they will have upgraded Business Class by then on that route?

  14. @ Bart…you sure? I checked seat maps on a potential flight 7/5 and it shows new seat configuration. Row 21 behind galley vs. row 21 in front of galley on old biz class. Thoughts?

  15. @ AP: you are right, they have changed it, now also my flight us showing new configuration. Thank for flagging this up…. Great news

  16. Being on 380 business is like being on a bus.
    With so many premium passengers the servers is very impersonal and takes a huge amount of time (if you are towards the back).

  17. I just booked a flight for 2015, end of April on a Lufthansa A380 using United miles, it’s an economy ticket. We were able to select a seat in rows 40 – 44 (43 A and C). The configuration is 2 by 4 by 2, which seemed surprising for economy. No premium economy seats are being offered for sale.

    This configuration comes up when you book flights and the business class only goes to Row 24. It is possible these are at the back of the upper level? These seats just don’t seem to appear on seatguru or Lufthansa’s fleet description.

    Any thoughts about those seats, must be something related to the new planes.

  18. I’m booked for Fra-Del on Dec. 5th in biz. Originally it was showing a 747-8 and I was looking forward to experiencing the new seat on the upper deck. There’s just been an equipment change to the A380 but I see the seat availability chart shows a 92 seat configuration (instead of 98). Fingers crossed it’s the new biz and they don’t pull another switcheroo!

  19. I just bought tickets for SFO-FRA for sept 2105….I selected two economy seats in the upper deck on lufthansa site….nothing is updated anywhere on other sites…will lufthansa refit their a380 to offer economy seats (very limited) as they say?

  20. Booked flights LH454 and LH455 FRA-SFO and back in March 2015. Reserved economy seats (seat 94k and three others) on the upper deck as well and still there are no seating charts anywhere on the web showing those economy rows in the back of the upper deck.

  21. Your absolutely right Marco .
    The last 5 rows upperdeck are economy , but a seatplan with this configuration is nowhere to be found .

  22. Got upperdeck economy seats (rows 96-98) FRA-MIA-FRA in April. Have been booked for long time but twice now seats have moved to lower deck without explanation and also numbering has changed. As with other commentators, there is no plan that matches this on the LH website and the configuration appears to debut on the MIA route in mid March. Interested in anyone’s thoughts/knowledge about seats which I hope actually do exist when I come to travel!

  23. Stephen I’m concerned too having booked economy seats in upper deck for April back in August last year. First I was concerned when I couldn’t find any seat maps that matched and second when I checked My Bookings to find we had been reallocated seats on lower deck to different rows. I was told this is background auto generated scheduling for specific planes to be used on the actual flight. But doing this 7 months ahead is crazy. Pretty much we will find out what seats we have when we check in depending on what A380 is scheduled for that day. Could end up sitting absolutely anywhere in a “window” and “aisle” seat that we have paid for but not together unless it’s the A380 with economy upper deck fit.

  24. Sheryn. Yes this worries me too. By the looks of it the new config (if it exists) launches on the FRA-MIA-FRA route in mid March. I am due to fly in early April so will be watching for developments from mid March onwards. I am not filled with confidence!

  25. Very helpful piece. Looking at flying LH from PEK-FRA in late April. Seatguru is saying that this is served by an A380 with older J class. By any chance do you have an update on the progress LH has made on upgrading all their 380s? Many thanks.

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