Review: Lufthansa Premium Economy A340-600 Munich To Dubai

I wanted to introduce my friend Daniel, who will be contributing to the blog going forward. Daniel runs one of the most popular YouTube aviation channels, Dantorp Aviation, which I’ve been watching for years. Daniel will be sharing his travel experiences, including through trip reports. Since he’s based in Sweden, he has more of a European perspective on promotions, travel deals, etc.

With premium economy becoming increasingly popular, below is a trip report from Daniel about his experience in Lufthansa premium economy between Munich and Dubai. I’ve still yet to fly premium economy, so was especially interested in this report.

Thanks for the report, Daniel!


Correction: Lounge access is not free of charge for premium economy passengers. They have the option to purchase access, which is not available to economy class passengers, although I see limited value this perk.

Hello OMAAT readers, let me introduce myself briefly: my name is Daniel and I run a YouTube channel about airplanes and airlines. If you’re interested in either, I’m sure you’d love my channel!

I’ve long been a Lufthansa admirer, much like Ben. Since 2009, I have flown them more than any other airline, partly thanks to the efficiency of traveling from Sweden to the US via Frankfurt or Munich, and partly because of my past loyalty to the Star Alliance through United. Until now, I had never tried anything but economy and their old business class, so I figured it was time to give their premium economy a go.

Lufthansa Flight 638
Munich (MUC) to Dubai (DXB)
16 December 2015
Depart: 10:40PM
Arrive: 07:50AM (+1 day)
Duration: 6hr10min
Aircraft: Airbus A340-600
Seat: 26K (Premium Economy)

Booking

The great thing about Lufthansa premium economy is that it is often reasonably priced – they were selling upgrades for as little as €200 at the gate. It may be worth keeping in mind that upgrades bought at the gate do not earn extra miles, since your booking class will not change. On the other hand, Lufthansa recently introduced an online tool that lets you bid for upgrades, which might be a better option.

There were only two seats left next to each other!
There were only two seats left next to each other!

Luckily, my friend Julia and I were able to snag the last two available seats together, 26H and 26K.

Transfer and Senator Lounge

Lufthansa’s second biggest hub is Munich, which happens to be the only 5-star airport in Europe. The concourses in terminal 2 are heavily branded by Lufthansa, since they own a 40% stake in the buildings. Transferring in Munich is a breeze, especially now that the new satellite has opened, since there are far less bus gates than before.

Our stunning ride to Dubai!
Our stunning ride to Dubai!

I won’t be reviewing the Lufthansa Senator Lounges in the old concourse since Ben has already covered them, but as is generally the case with the Lufthansa Senator/Business Class Lounges, they were pretty nice. Lounge access is included when traveling in premium economy, although you must buy your upgrade before you receive access.

Boarding

As is the norm, Lufthansa starts by boarding first class, followed by business, premium economy and lastly, cattle class economy class. My friend Julia joined me on this trip, and together we boarded through the second boarding door and turned right toward our seats in row 26.

LHBoardinginMUC
Getting closer…
The cabin is quite small!
The cabin is quite small!

My initial thought was that the cabin looked incredibly stylish, especially when placed in front of infinite rows of blue and yellow economy seats. The premium economy cabin is rather small, with only 32 seats. There is no real divider between the two cabins, so there is a slight loss of intimacy. As opposed to the back of the bus though, there is one less seat per row, but the seat width still only measures up to Airbus’ 18-inch economy standard. As for leg room, it seems about equivalent to the extra leg room seating on US airlines.

Another look at the seats.
Another look at the seats.

Awaiting us at each seat was an amenity kit, headphones, a blanket and a “larger” pillow. As soon as we sat down we were asked if we’d like a pre-departure beverage. While I thought I’d chosen orange juice off the tray, it turns out I had a more exotic orange and mint mix, which was so delicious I was devastated when they didn’t have it on my return flight. 

So good!
So good!

I was positively surprised by the amenity kit as well, which came in a nice little bag, which my friend Julia, as the nerds we are (were 😉 ), suggested we use as pencil cases upon our return to school after Christmas break. It contained all the essentials, plus some extras…

Onboard

The flight was full in all cabins but first and at 10:40pm the purser came on the PA and welcomed us onboard, telling us our flight time would be six hours. We pushed back shortly thereafter and were soon on our way out of a dark and cold European winter.

Shortly after departure, a small snack along with a beverage was served. I opted for the delicious orange juice again, which came with a pretzel mix.

More magic OJ, ginger ale and pretzels!
More magic OJ, water and pretzels!

A warm dinner was served about an hour into the flight. Premium economy flyers are usually provided with menus, but as it turned out the menus we’d received were only valid for the previous flight of this aircraft. If you’re still interested in what that might look like, it’s in my video review! 

I chose a spinach and ricotta cheese ravioli with mushroom sauce, which came with a basic salad and an apple pie dessert. It was all served with real cutlery, bowls and plates, which was a nice touch. The absence of a menu means that I can’t speak for the other meal options, although I can say that mine was great.

Real cutlery and plates!
Real cutlery and plates!

Before the meal, and during the meal, and after the meal, I enjoyed my go-to inflight TV show: Parks and Recreation. Once I’d exhausted the offering of five or six episodes, I decided to call it a night. When I reclined, I had a strange feeling I was in a recliner at home. Lufthansa’s economy class recline usually feels pretty generous. The additional premium economy recline, combined with my tiredness and the late departure of the flight, ensured I slept like a baby.

When doing a six-hour redeye, i.e. NYC-LON, it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep. Even after sleeping three hours, I felt exhausted. Obviously, this was no fault of Lufthansa, but a daytime departure (Lufthansa has a 1pm flight out of Frankfurt to Dubai) could always be worth considering.

The purser woke us up around two hours before landing telling us it was time for our tour of the crew rest. There was no way I could object to that!

Upon returning to our seats, the breakfast service had started. Everyone in premium economy received the same cheese wrap. Few foods are appealing when it’s 4am at your origin, and I rarely find an airplane breakfast that excites me.

Breakfast!
Breakfast!

That’s when I opened my window blind and saw this – WOW!

What a sunrise!
What a sunrise!

Suddenly, I was in the magical Middle East and my morning snack became the perfect wake-up companion.

We slowly started our descent into Dubai International Airport. The views on approach were magnificent, and I couldn’t have had a better welcome to this desert region.

Dubai!
Dubai!

The taxi to the gate took about 10 minutes, and we were on the stand right on schedule. It’s worth noting that when people praise Dubai Airport, they’re most likely talking about terminal 3, not terminal 1, which is used by most foreign carriers.

One last look at the beautiful cabin!
One last look at the beautiful cabin!

We bid goodbye to the crew and left for immigration. After a 15 minute walk, we were greeted by a bunch of immigration officials in traditional Arab dress. All I can say is that New York immigration officials should take a hospitality lesson from these guys…

Bottom Line

Overall, I’d say Lufthansa premium economy class is exactly what you would expect from one of the best airlines in Europe. The service was amiable, the food was great and the seat was very comfortable. The biggest benefit is the cost-benefit ratio of this new cabin. As opposed to business class upgrades, which at the cost of €500 each way, would give you a “real” premium experience, upgrades to premium economy start at half that amount. I definitely wouldn’t hesitate to book Lufthansa premium economy again.

For those interested, here’s my full video review of the flight.

Have you flown Lufthansa premium economy before? If so, on which route/aircraft and did you enjoy it as much as I did? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Enjoy this review? Check out hundreds of other reports on airlines, hotels, and airport lounges worldwide!

Comments

  1. I have also taken the Lufthansa premium economy of the same aircraft (Airbus 3401600) from Frankfurt to Bogotá and the experience is the same as the one you mention in your review. Even though I had to pay a bit more since it’s a 11h flight, the service and food is great!! I found the leg room was a bit short (maybe because I am 6 foot tall or I was in the first row) but in general I was very happy!!!

  2. My standard paid flight to Europe is IAD-FRA in Lufthansa’s premium Econ on their 748. I’ve flown it many times since they started adding premium Econ. My experience matches this review. It’s a very solid option for an affordable price.

  3. Amazing, I’m so pleased Daniel has joined the OMAAT team – he’s going to be a real asset to be blog, Ben’s lucky to have him it seems. Great report, looking forward to the next post.

  4. While I realize you want to monetize your reports, one link to your Youtube video is enough 😉

    Otherwise, it’s a good report. I am curious, though, how much did the cost of buying a seat in PE compare to the total cost when paying for an upgrade?

  5. Welcome onboard, Daniel. I’m sure you’ll be great addition.

    Once you have Asian contributor for travel review and deals, OMAAT will be a global blog, Ben.

    It’s unrelated to above sentence, I’m now just waiting for AndrewB to be next contributor

  6. Welcome Daniel, excellent review! I remember the days when a meal like Daniel showed in his review was given to everyone in economy too. Along with refills on beer and wine. And free seat selection. And free bag check. And a free deck of playing cards (OK, that one goes back over 30 years….I still have a deck of American Airlines playing cards)….

  7. Welcome, Daniel. Thank you for the fantastic trip report. If all of your reports are like this, OMAAT is lucky to have you. Looking forward to reading the next one.

    PS – check the sunrise picture, it looks to be upside down.

  8. My daughter just flew from JNB/Frankfurt/Toulouse her return flight was supposed to be
    Toulouse/Frankfurt/ JOB
    I have never been so disgusted in my life and will never book another Lufthansa flight again! If it’s the only airline I will rather stay at home. Her flight was booked and confirmed, they overbooked it, told her it was cancelled she must ‘re book it, then they put her in a plane with a two and a half hour delay to Frankfurt promising her connection to Johannesburg would wait for her and other travellers. Hahahaha she was stuck in Frankfurt without luggage and toiletries. She had to ‘re book a flight on another airline that went to Kuwait then to Doha where she had a four hour stopover, three of those hours Spent with military police because Lufthansa never gave her the correct boarding pass. She is a minor and was so traumatized and anxious, the Lufthansa staff were rude and totally unhelpful. Imagine a first time international traveller stuck in a queue from 10:30pm until 1:30am then told to find a taxi and get to the hotel with these vouchers and be back at the airport by 10:30am the next day! Never again she missed three days of school and two exams because of Lufthansa’s incompetence.

  9. Welcome Daniel!!!! Will Daniel be the frugal member of the OMAAT crew bringing experiences on flying Premium Economy and plain coach class to readers here? Not that I don’t like your reports on first and business class but you have to agree that you live in a bubble that is not accessible for normal people with normal lives with normal schedules and normal income. It will be a great addition to your blog if you add some more real life travels like this one.

  10. As opposed to business class upgrades, which at the cost of €500 each way, would give you a “real” premium experience, upgrades to premium economy start at half that amount.

    Can you explain more how that works? I assume you mean the cost to upgrade at the gate?

  11. Anyone else spit out their coffee when they saw ‘Premium Economy Review’ in the headline? Was worried the site had been hacked for a second…

  12. Nice debut!
    And great to see something besides F and J reviewed.
    As I approach my retirement I realize that I will soon be turning left upon boarding…

  13. Welcome! Always good to hear from another person around my age (20). Very interesting seeing the comparison between this and WTP on BA, which I generally fly. Have you done premium economy on any other airlines? I actually prefer Y in Lufthansa over it on BA, but cannot justify stopping in FRA/MUC and have since become a OneWorld FF. If their PE product is that much better, though, things might start to change. Again – welcome and thank you for a very well-written report!

  14. Some things to mention:

    1:You obvisously do not get lounge access when flying premium economy. You are allowed to BUY access to Lufthansa Business Lounges (for €25 or 35 i think). Of course they do not give people flying PE access to senator lounges, which even people flying business will not get… You get access to the senator lounges if youre star alliance gold, but would get that also if flying Y…

    2: The food in Lufthansa PE is the same as in Y (yes, exactly), it is just served on porcelain, with metal cutlery (and of Course you get to chooose first).

    3: Service is usually quite good/nice in PE

    Overall the “quality” of LH PE is also a bit dependant on the plane. it is not so great in the 747, where PE is mostly located in between to Y compartements, definitely better in the airbusses, best of Course in the a380, where it is an own compartement and feels like a seperate travel class. Great for day flights, although i think the seats recline to little to sleep in them. Worth the premium? Hard to say, the seats are cheap sometimes…

  15. “Transferring in Munich is a breeze, especially now that the new satellite has opened, since there are far less bus gates than before.”

    As somebody who only flies LH in F, I completely disagree. We arrived recently from NAP – which was almost always a bus gate previously – to a regular gate. Then we went to the FCL and were told we needed to go to the satellite FCL – where our flight departed – not that lounge. I asked if we could clear immigration there with their private officer (basically just walk upstairs) and was told no. This meant going through immigration with the masses – unusually long line that day – and barely getting any time in the FCL after the train to the satellite.

    Previously, I’d arrive, get a car to the FCL, clear immigration in the lounge and then walk to the gate for my US bound flight straight from the lounge.

  16. Damn Daniel!

    So glad to read this, looking forward to more from you!

    Big fan of your YT channel!

  17. This surely looks very similar to the BA premium economy class which I have used for Delhi – London – Mexico and the return . I have flown that on the 777 as well as the 747 for BA and the Lufthansa product looks very similar to them.

    It surely looks better than the Cathay Pacific premium economy class I have flown out of India to the US and back in 2014 and 2015 . They have closed that out of India recently .

    The best premium economy class which I have used is on Air France which is the best in terms of seats and food ( menus always offered ! ). It also allows you to use “Sky Priority” boarding along with Business class passengers , elite Sky Team members , as well as elite Flying Blue , Club 2000 and Flying Petroleum members.
    The best part is that using Premium Economy allows you “Sky Priority” lane access at Paris airports which is basically fast track immigration and security.
    They do not have lounge access and no option to access the “Sky Lounge” even upon payment.

  18. Personally I don’t understand the lover affair from LH acolytes. Bad experiences each time I fly LH – from rude unresponsive staff to food dumped on me (in business!). Unfortunately booked r/t business to HEL in November with LH. Could very well be my last LH flight.

  19. I took the same flight last week and was shocked how good the hard product was, the soft product could be improved. also the flight attendants were not very attentive. did not offer drinks outside food serving time

  20. Love this review. A more Fresh kind-of-approach to a trip report. I then realised Lucky was not the author – so in that case, I wish to welcome ‘Daniel’ to OMAAT! Your writing is great, I’m sure the travel review sites are queuing to sign you! Ben, loved your recent post on Saudia too. Residence next? 😉

  21. You can get your premium economy miles for cash upgrades easily by contacting the miles & more service centre – keep your boarding pass and receipt handy, just in case. You might have to fax both to the service centre.

    I went for a cash upgrade on LH498 from FRA to MEX Economy Q to Premium N, in my case the difference was some 3,000 bonus and status miles (2,975 to 5,949), for roughly EUR 350.

    The same goes for cash upgrades at the check in counter, e.g. Austrian Airlines OS72 Toronto-Vienna (YYZ-VIE) from Economy V to Business Class C was 2,163 vs. 8,652 miles. (some EUR 600.-) Corrections were pretty straight forward, just a quick call.

    Bear in mind, however, that cash upgrades at the gate itself (and even on board) are only possible from Eco to Premium Eco. For Eco to Business cash you need to contact a service desk or ask for options at check in, otherwise only mileage-upgrades are possible right at the gate.

    Best,
    M

  22. Hi Daniel, and thanks for a great review. I was recently on this same aircraft from Munich to Newark, but unfortunately upgrades from economy to premium economy were over $250 Euro each, putting us at almost $600 USD for two. It might have been worth it to me if I had been able to confirm that premium economy on this plane had footrests. Some of Lufthansa’s marketing materials show a footrest being used by people in premium economy, but no one was able to confirm the presence of same on this aircraft. What was your experience?

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