How Many Lufthansa Planes Have The New Business Class?

Yesterday I had the distinct privilege of flying Lufthansa’s vintage business class between Frankfurt and Orlando, which is a good decade or two past its prime. It made me decide to look into just how many Lufthansa planes still feature the old business class product.

Last March I wrote a post entitled “Which Flights Have Lufthansa’s New Business Class?” That post had the status of how many planes had the new business class product at the time.

Lufthansa-Business-Class-7478-05

Since that was almost a year ago I figured I’d write an updated post with the status of Lufthansa’s new business class installation.

First of all, keep in mind that Lufthansa has a business class cabin tracker, whereby you can see whether your flight is scheduled to feature the new business class product starting eight weeks before departure. Of course the status is subject to change, but it’s generally accurate.

Luftansa-New-Biz-Tracker

But aside from that, how can you predict whether your Lufthansa flight will feature the new business class product or not?

Here’s a chart with how many of each aircraft type at each base feature the new business class product (the sections marked as “n/a” mean that Lufthansa doesn’t have any of those planes based at that airport):

AirplaneFrankfurt (FRA)Munich (MUC)Dusseldorf (DUS)
Airbus A330-30006/1108/08n/a
Airbus A340-30013/15n/a02/02
Airbus A340-60000/0411/20n/a
Boeing 747-40001/17n/an/a
Boeing 747-816/16n/an/a
Airbus A380-80008/12n/an/a

Tallying that up, that means 65 of Lufthansa’s 105 longhaul aircraft feature the new business class.

To break it down further by base:

Frankfurt

  • Flying a 747-8 gives you a 100% chance of having the new business class
  • Flying an A340-300 gives you an ~87% chance of having the new business class
  • Flying an A380 gives you a ~67% chance of having the new business class
  • Flying an A330-300 gives you a ~55% chance of having the new business class
  • Flying a 747-400 gives you a ~6% chance of having the new business class

Lufthansa-Business-Class-7478-04

Munich

  • Flying an A330-300 gives you a 100% chance of having the new business class
  • Flying an A340-600 gives you a 55% chance of having the new business class

Dusseldorf

  • Flying an A340-300 gives you a 100% chance of having the new business class

Lufthansa-A340

Bottom line

While Lufthansa’s new business class product is hardly industry leading, it’s a solid product for sure. It’s significantly better than Lufthansa’s old business class product, which is among the worst transatlantic products out there at this point.

Lufthansa-Business-Class-1

I’d suggest doing everything in your power to book a plane which guarantees you the new business class product, like booking a 747-8 out of Frankfurt or an A330 out of Munich.

The one plane to avoid in business class at all costs for the time being is the 747-400, since your chances of having the new business class product are very slim. And out of Frankfurt you’ll absolutely want to avoid the A340-600, as it gives you no chance of having the new business class.

For the most up to date information on Lufthansa’s new business class, see this FlyerTalk thread, which tracks the reconfiguration process.

Have you flown Lufthansa’s new or old business class, and if so, what was your experience?

Comments

  1. I’m sorry, but those new J seats look horrible. As a solo business traveler, why would I want to be oriented toward the person seated next to me? Just makes no sense. I’d prefer the old seats, if I absolutely had to fly LH, but, thankfully, there is always a way to avoid LH in J.

  2. Very useful post, thanks for that Lucky. I think it might also make sense to look at this from a route perspective. For example, the FRA-LAX route on the A380 seems to always have the new business class, etc

  3. The single 747-400 that has the new business class (D-ABVW) is only used on FRA-DXB-FRA, so if you’re flying on another 747-400 route, you might as well forget about getting the new business class.

  4. Having flown both old and new, I can tell you that the new business isn’t a huge step up. There is absolutely no privacy and playing footsies with a total stranger is awkward at best. Plus, service remains as dry as before and the food is the definition of “airplane food.” Honestly, LH is only worth mentioning in the context of First.

  5. So weird that the A340-300 is one of the top priorities for this reconfig. I would have to think those do not have too much time left before retirement.

  6. @Bgriff: Lufthansa committed to upgrading its entire long-haul fleet. So it makes sense that they first would upgrade those planes that will be retired first, because the planes that will be around longer will then have newer seats (with fewer mechanical problems, etc) than if they had been installed first.

  7. Thank you for this Ben! I have an award flight booked on SEA-FRA route thinking it will be a new business class… I am actually going out of my way to fly out of SEA. Now I have to find a better routing and true business class…

  8. Actually LH was flying these monstrosities on the 744s to and from JNB as late at 2005.

    http://bit.ly/1KTCeKw

    So when you say the one you flew in in your trip report is a good decade or two past its prime, the fact is that they were still *introducing* it as an enhance product 10 years ago.

    Business class is something that LH has never really mastered, compared to the competition. Reverse herringbone is the way to go, yet LH “enhanced” their newest business product to be lay-flat (yay) while at the same time now you play an uncomfortable game of footsie, and exchanging odd glances with your seatmate.

  9. I actually like the seats and don’t care about all-aisle access. But I agree that the food is subpar. And the old business class? It’s really kind of economy plus.
    It’s ridiculous that it should take Lufthansa 3 or 4 years to update their fleet. They won’t be done for another 1-2 years I’m guessing.

  10. Do you know if Lufthansa City Line will be featured the new business class in the future? Lufthansa is starting a flight to PTY, but it is operated by Lufthansa City Line

  11. If flying with friend or family, I think the new seats are great. I experienced them on the 747-8 FRA-LAX last year, I loved them. Food was meh, but the riesling and hefeweizen kept me happy.

  12. I would like to post that LH is investing lots of money so that ALL long haul aircraft will have the new hard product in every class by autum 2015. As mentioned in December 2014: 2015 should bring increasingly good news for customers and passengers of the Lufthansa Group, according to the plans of the Deutsche Lufthansa AG Executive Board. The first quarter of 2015 will see Lufthansa German Airlines conclude the installation of its new First Class throughout its long-haul fleet; the second quarter will witness the completion of the new Business Class installation program; and the third quarter will see the new Premium Economy available on all of Lufthansaā€™s intercontinental aircraft. All the new long-haul aircraft of which Lufthansa will take delivery next year will have all the new cabins already installed. And the modernization of the long-haul fleet will be further pursued in 2015 with the arrival of two more Airbus A380s and four new Boeing 747-8s. ā€œ2015 will be the year of ā€˜Lufthansa Premium Qualityā€™,ā€ said Carsten Spohr, Chairman & CEO of the Deutsche Lufthansa AG Executive Board, on the occasion of the meeting of the companyā€™s Supervisory Board today. ā€œWhichever cabin they travel in, our inflight guests will be able to see and feel that Lufthansa is a premium-service airline which is one of the leaders in its field by any global benchmark. And also the A340-300 operated by LH Cityline will have the newest seats installed.

  13. So I checked Lufthansa’s website to see when they might be rolling out their new business class on SEA-FRA. Looks like upper class becomes all business on 8/6/2015. Would it be fair to say this is their target date now? I am traveling this route about 2 weeks prior to that and do not want to burn 70k United miles X2 for the old business class…

  14. Ps. Not the JMR above!
    Flew the newly fitted (as far as I can gather) D-AIKK on the 28th from caracas to frankfurt and from frankfurt to dublin on an a321. It was great, MUCH better than united’s so-called “First” which I flew EWR to IAH in may 2014. I was in 11A (but I felt queasey and changed with my mum to have aisle access. ) it was overall great, but with dissappointing food. Octopus anyone?

  15. @ NotAnother — That’s what it looks like! I wouldn’t count on it for sure, but I think you have a good shot.

  16. Ok. It will be sometime this June… I’ll take a look. Oh and thanks for writing such an informative blog!!

  17. Lucky, thanks for a very useful post, as always. Also for the link to flyer talk. Looking at wiki on that site, the table you posted above for C cabin retrofitted aircraft vs total appears outdated. Eg the A380 numbers there seem to show 11/13 updated, vs 8/12 above. Or am I reading the FT wiki wrongly? Appreciate your thoughts.

  18. Thanks. I have a query that I wonder whether you could help me with. My flight leaves 46 hours from now. I have a seat allocated but want to change seats. I can select the new seat but when and save it I get an error message. LH person tells me that this is because the flight switches to check in mode 48 hours out, and I will only be able to change once check in opens 23 hours out. And that they can’t make the change either. I don’t call having had this issue before. Appreciate if you have any knowledge on this. Thanks in advance.

  19. i am flying on LH 427 phl-fra on 7/10/15 will this fligh have the new business class seats?

  20. Any way to confirm via seatmap? If the tool is accurate, I guess I’m OK on my 3pm IAD-FRA next week. Still, it’s more than 2x the point cost, so it better be the new stuff.

  21. Lucky, with the refit now complete, can you advise how Row 1 A C are as previously with the angle flat the closet was a problem. Has that been solved as I like the first row, but don’t want to be disturbed every time someone forgot something in their coat pocket.

  22. Iam flying FRA-LAX on July this year with a380, is there any news about the status ” 100% chance getting the new buisness class on a380?”

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