Lufthansa Two Class 747-400 Routes Announced

Last year I posted about Lufthansa’s plan to remove first class from ~20% of their longhaul fleet. At the time, 94 of their 100 longhaul aircraft featured a first class cabin, while by the end of 2014 they were hoping to reduce that number to 75.

Among the places where first class will be eliminated are some of their 747-400 aircraft. Fortunately most will continue to offer first class, though Lufthansa has now announced the initial routes for their two class 747-400s.

Lufthansa-New-First-Class
Lufthansa’s new 747-400 first class

Via airlineroute.net, the following routes are set to operated by two class 747-400s as of next year, meaning first class will be eliminated:

  • Frankfurt to Osaka Kansai as of March 29, 2015
  • Frankfurt to Seoul Incheon as of March 29, 2015
  • Frankfurt to Tokyo Narita as of March 29, 2015
  • Frankfurt to Toronto as of March 8, 2015
  • Frankfurt to Vancouver as of February 5, 2015

In looking at the seatmaps for these new two class 747s, some still show the old seatmap with a first class cabin.

For example, Frankfurt to Osaka Kansai shows the old configuration for next year, even though they won’t be selling first class:

Lufthansa-747-2

Meanwhile other routes show a new seatmap altogether. For example, Frankfurt to Vancouver shows the following seatmap:

Lufthansa-747-1

That’s a total of 67 business class seats by my math. I had assumed these reconfigured planes would feature Lufthansa’s new business class, though there are center seats in business class on the lower deck, and presently Lufthansa doesn’t have middle seats with their new business class. For example, business class on the 747-8 just has six seats per row. So I’m not sure what to make of that. Are they actually going to keep the old business class on these planes, and even install those seats on the upper deck?


Lufthansa’s new 747-8 business class

Interestingly Frankfurt to Denver isn’t one of the routes that Lufthansa is “officially” removing first class from, though between July 20 and October 25 they’re not selling first class on the route.

Here’s the seatmap:

Lufthansa-747-3

As you can see, this is yet another seatmap. Based on the fact that the second two rows of the upper deck have four seats per row, I suspect this will simply be operated by one of Lufthansa’s 747s which hasn’t yet been reconfigured with the new first class. I’m not sure why they only have two seats per row in the first two rows of the upper deck, though.

Lufthansa-Old-First-Class-1
Lufthansa’s old 747-400 first class

Bottom line

It makes me sad, though it looks like Lufthansa really is following through with their plans to remove first class from much of their fleet. I’m still not sure what product they’ll have on the reconfigured two cabin 747s, though in the meantime it looks like there will be some opportunities to book business class and sit in a first class seat, assuming you’re a Lufthansa elite member.

Comments

  1. Wait – removing first class on some routes but keeping the old business class?? Lucky, no matter how big a lufthansa fan boy you are, there’s no way you can defend their old product against even US airline’s new business class. I mean United has a better standard business class product than Lufthansa’s terrible old J product.

  2. @ Jake — You’re absolutely right. Don’t think I’ve ever had anything nice to say about Lufthansa’s business class.

  3. Seoul-Incheon? Based on my dozen or so experiences, F for that route is almost always full. Plus, they are currently having promotions on Premium Economy for their 747-8 that flies that route this winter. It seems only counterintuitive to promote a product for one season and then remove it the next.

    Also, I really cannot imagine Lufthansa removing F class from NRT.

    Perhaps this is due to be updated?

  4. I flew FRA/KIX in January and was the only passenger in First, lovely attendants and all the caviar and bubbly I wanted. With loads like that I can understand their reasoning.

  5. I am going to be a sad puppy, as I will not have accumulated enough miles (and vacation time!) to fly LH F by the time the YVR route loses F.

    :'(

  6. Just did a dummy search for FRA-HND: no first class on this route either.

    Perhaps they’re planning on putting A380s on some of the above routes with the new business and premium economy classes installed? These 744s could be temporary arrangements in case the retrofit does not finish on time…

  7. Lucky this is certainly sad news. Currently I would argue Lufthansa has the worst business class considering the seat, food and service. I don’t quite get why they are removing their F. Especially on the YVR-FRA and leaving the old poor business class? ?

  8. Flew FRA-KIX last year as the only one in F, the FA said it would be empty on their return too, so no surprises on that route! It did always seem to be the easiest seat to get at T-14. NRT I am a little surprised at, although don’t they also have an A380 on this route as one?

  9. This is bad news for award redemptions. Going to Asia, getting LH F to BKK/SIN/HKG is near impossible. Japan and South Korea were the the main “no-visa” required countries in Asia where getting F is relatively easy on LH.

    SEA/YVR are the other stations where F space is not too difficult on the west coast. Now it is just Denver.

  10. As long as airlines cannibalize their First Class product with a superior Business Class, there is no reason to pay for F any more.

  11. Just to make these bad news maybe a little less bad: all of these two-class 747-400s will feature the new business class, as can be seen in the seat maps on the LH website. There will be two configurations (small and large C). They will change from the not so popular V configuration to an H configuration, including putting again three seats in the middle block.

    Actually, these planes will have a three-class configuration, as LH will introduce the new Premium Economy on those 747s (rows 24 to 27). Funnily, in case of the small C, there will be some regular Economy seats filling the space, such that the Premium Economy seats are somewhere in between.

    See seat maps here:
    large (67 seats) business class main deck: http://www.lufthansa.com/mediapool/pdf/36/media_935020736.pdf
    large (67 seats) business class upper deck: http://www.lufthansa.com/mediapool/pdf/48/media_469081548.pdf
    small (53 seats) business class main deck:
    http://www.lufthansa.com/mediapool/pdf/85/media_1483471985.pd
    small (53 seats) business class upper deck:
    http://www.lufthansa.com/mediapool/pdf/35/media_1378381435.pdf

  12. @ Fabian:

    Thanks very much for the clarification. In any case, this sure looks like a shitty prospect for anyone looking to fly these routes in first class.

  13. @ Daniel — I’m not counting the planes that were already reconfigured/not in a three class configuration towards that number. I was saying there’s a 20% reduction. You’re correct though, 25% of the longhaul fleet won’t feature first class.

  14. LH really needs to get their J in order. Who wants to fly 2-3-2 nowadays? Anyway, living in Houston, I just have to wait for our A380 to be updated to “new” J.

  15. The FC seats don’t seem to be selectable on the DEN-FRA route. Have they blocked them out how would you get assigned?

  16. I was booked MUC-YYZ in F cls on the A330 in Apr 2015 which is now cancelled and rerouted FRA-YYZ 2 cls service only on B747-400. Does anyone know if LH are going to fit out the upper deck with new J cls seats or use the old type?

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