Lufthansa 747-8 New Business Class Frankfurt to Washington

Hello from the US, after a whirlwind trip touching four continents in less than a week. As this trip draws to a close, I’m:

The last segment of this trip was from Frankfurt to Washington Dulles, and possibly the segment I was most looking forward to.

As long time readers know, I’m a huge fan of Lufthansa first class. I realize not everyone feels the same way, though.

But one thing I try to emphasize is that it’s specifically Lufthansa first class that I love — I realize the experience is different if you don’t have access to the First Class Terminal and aren’t driven to your connecting flight in a Porsche.

For example, last summer I flew from Seattle to Frankfurt in Lufthansa’s old business class, and to call the experience disappointing would be an understatement.

So I was excited to try Lufthansa’s new business class, and see if it’s any more competitive. After all, nothing would make me happier than being able to proclaim my love for Lufthansa in more than just one cabin.

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Lufthansa 747-8 Frankfurt Airport

Lufthansa 747-8 business class seat

We reserved seats 85A & 85C, located on the upper deck of business class. There’s a main deck of business class in a 2-2-2 configuration, and then the upper deck is in a 2-2 configuration, with a total of 32 upper deck business class seats.

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Lufthansa 747-8 business class upper deck

The 747-8 is just such a sleek, gorgeous plane. While I love the A380 in terms of passenger comfort, nothing will ever be able to compete with the elegance of the 747, in my opinion. It’s awesome to see the 747-8 with a larger upper deck than the 747-400, while still maintaining that “plane within a plane” feel.

Aesthetically I think the seats are gorgeous. I love the tones and finishes, and hell, even the pillows nicely complement the seats.

But what about seat comfort? I found the seat fairly comfortable for lounging, and if traveling with someone I think the seats are great.

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Lufthansa 747-8 business class seats

The downside of the design is that foot space is very limited when trying to sleep. Between the two personal televisions is an area for feet. As far as I’m concerned the foot space for two passengers should really be for just one person. For example, I’m a side sleeper and couldn’t fit my feet in the “cubby” sideways. At the same time, I could angle them, and since the height wasn’t restrictive, it actually wasn’t too bad.

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Lufthansa 747-8 business class seats

I slept for a solid four hours, which probably had more to do with my exhaustion than the seats themselves. Because of the design, expect to share some tender moments playing “footsies” (and “kneesies”) with your seatmate, based on how your feet are both going in the same general area. But I imagine that could be a bit more awkward if you’re seated next to a stranger.

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Lufthansa 747-8 business class foot cubby

What actually bothered me most is that there was no partition at all between the business class seats. Sleeping without any privacy is kind of uncomfortable.

While these seats aren’t ideal when traveling alone, if you’re traveling with someone I actually think they’re quite good.

To compare this seat to other transatlantic business class seats, I definitely prefer a reverse herringbone or Solstys style staggered seat to this. However, I think I may prefer this to Vantage style staggered seats, at least if traveling with someone else.

Lufthansa business class food

The food on this sector was pleasantly surprising. It was by no means gourmet and couldn’t hold a candle to Austrian or Turkish catering, though everything was perfectly edible.

There was a shrimp appetizer and salad to start.

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Lufthansa business class appetizer and salad

Then for the main course I had halibut.

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Lufthansa business class main course

And then for dessert some sort of sponge cake with vanilla cream and raspberry compote.

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Lufthansa business class dessert

The pre-arrival meal consisted of soup, salad, and a small dessert. Not amazing, but certainly edible, and much better than my last flight in Lufthansa business class.

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Lufthansa business class pre-arrival snack

Lufthansa business class service

Possibly the most disappointing aspect of my last flight in Lufthansa’s longhaul business class flight was the service. I find service in Lufthansa first class to be consistently excellent, while that wasn’t my experience in business class.

Well, on this sector the service really couldn’t have been any better. There were two older guys and one younger girl working the upper deck, and all three were professional, attentive, and genuinely friendly.

The service was systematic, but in a way that didn’t make me feel like I was part of a factory assembly line.

Lufthansa business class amenities

Lufthansa’s business class amenity kits are simple, and to supplement them they also had some more amenities in the lavatories.

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Lufthansa business class amenity kit

Nowadays I don’t really get excited about any amenity kits other than Rimowa ones.

Lufthansa’s entertainment system has never really impressed me, so I usually just bring enough of my own entertainment to keep myself amused. Usually I look forward to Lufthansa’s inflight wifi, though unfortunately it was broken on this plane.

Bottom line on Lufthansa 747-8 business class

I was pleasantly surprised by Lufthansa’s new business class. On one hand I think it’s kind of unfortunate that they’re still not done installing this product throughout their longhaul fleet, because it’s not even really competitive to the newest types of business class products out there. At the same time, it’s a huge improvement over their old business class product, and one I’d definitely consider flying again in the future… especially if traveling with someone.

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Comments

  1. Did you not find the low back support terrible or ? When fully flat, there’s a gap between the butt cushion and low back cushion which made it super uncomfortable for sleeping IMO…

  2. @ Justin — Hmm, can’t say I noticed that, though may just have been because I was super-exhausted.

  3. Hey Lucky-
    Not exactly related to this flight, but I was wondering if ET’s 77Ls and 77Ws have fully flat seats or the same angle flat as the 788s?

  4. Flew the reverse (IAD-FRA) last summer. I had a pair of seats to myself which certainly made it more comfortable than sharing a pair with some one else would have been. The side storage boxes are nice. But, as you note, this is really not a competitive product with more modern business class seats that are in the air today. I was really surprised when they brought these out because they had a perfect opportunity to match the better seats out there, but these are at least a generation behind.

  5. @ DeltaPoints — Lufthansa is a very “proud” airline, so unfortunately doubt that would happen. 🙁

  6. I had an opportunity to compare Lufthansa and United last month. I flew outbound YVR-MUC on A333 with new cabin and return AMS-ORD on a 763 with new cabin. From a hard product, I found both decent enough, though in fairness both directions there was no one next to me. I did find, however, a huge difference in the service and this time United won hands down. I was not expecting this, but if I were to make future flight plans based on this round, I would go United. Even United’s amenity kit was much nicer.

  7. I loved their new business class product.
    I’ve flown on their 748-8 from Frankfurt to Delhi and was really surprised with the service and hard product!

    Love your reports! Thank you for always sharing with us!

    P

  8. Having flown LH first class from MUC to EWR last year in November on their A330 plus earlier business class on their A380 from IAD to FRA and later from JFK to FRA, I do not think I would have made any upgrade from I to O class, had I known that instead of B747-400 our party of four were about to fly on B747-8 on May. What a surprise I had when I realized we would not fly on the upper deck with bed next to our seats but instead right in the nose of the jumbo jet! It’s been a month right now since I made a complaint about our ‘dissatisfaction’ but United still have not replied to it!

  9. I have found that the C/D seats on the aisle, main deck is the only way to go. They are infinitely better than the ones on the upper deck or the windows. One of my favorite biz class seats in the sky. Tied with reverse herringbone on Cathay.

  10. @Robert: What exactly do you expect United to do about Lufthansa changing your flight to a NEWER PLANE? It seems to me that United is giving your complaint the kind of response it deserves!

  11. Flew ORD-FRA last December in the upper deck as well and felt it was more private feeling than the lower deck. Food seemed to of similar quality as well. Seat wasn’t perfect but definitely an improvement from the angled-lie flat seats. Had the cheap plastic amenity kit as well although when I flew PHL-FRA over a year ago, I got the same amenity kit you did on this sector. Surprised they haven’t updated it yet…

  12. Just flew on a LH A330 yesterday. I like on their A330 the window pair seats are angled towards the window instead of towards each other so I didn’t have the footsies problem with my neighbor. I had the same food even down to the bread choice! My amenity bag is a World Cup edition one though 😉 I was pleasantly surprised by the bathroom design. The toilet is parallel to the window so one gets a view whether you were standing or sitting!

  13. The 3 times I’ve been on Lufthansa 747-8 I’ve had the entire upper deck to myself… I felt like I was starting in ‘home alone.’

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