Lufthansa

Lufthansa Thinks Their Business Class Looks Like Premium Economy

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As much as I love Lufthansa first class, I find their business class product to be underwhelming. They’ve just recently finished installing their “new” business class product throughout their longhaul fleet, which doesn’t even feature direct aisle access from every seat. Apparently they’ll introduce a new business class product in 2020, though it’s a shame to see them take delivery of so many new planes with an outdated hard product.

Lufthansa just took delivery of their first A350, which features a very similar business class product to the rest of the fleet (I believe the screens are just a bit larger, and the seats apparently a bit wider).

It seems I’m not the only one who thinks Lufthansa’s business class product is sub-par — here’s what Lufthansa has to say about it on their Facebook page:

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Lufthansa’s Grim First Class Prospects

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Lufthansa has been refreshing their longhaul fleet over the past several years in an effort to become more competitive and improve their profitability. This included installing a new (mediocre) business class product, new first class product, and adding premium economy. Last year Lufthansa finished their first & business class overhaul, though they’re still installing premium economy on some planes.

On top of that, for the past several years Lufthansa has been cutting their first class capacity. This started in 2013, when Lufthansa announced that they wanted to remove first class from ~20% of their longhaul fleet. Those cuts were supposed to come from their A340-300 and 747-400 aircraft. All A340-300s would be reconfigured without first class, while select 747-400s would have their first class cabins removed when the new business class product was installed.

Unfortunately that was just the beginning. In 2014 it was announced that Lufthansa would eliminate first class from all of their 747-400 aircraft, which was quite sad, since the plane had a unique first class product, with a separate seat and bed.

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Review: Lufthansa A321 Business Class Frankfurt To Oslo

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We arrived at the gate a little later than planned, and boarding was mostly finished. You might wonder how it’s possible to be late when you have a four hour layover, but trust me, it is. We didn’t miss the flight and that’s what matters.

The consequence for our tardiness was ending up on the last bus headed out to the remote pad. This meant we had to sit and wait for all the true stragglers to show up. Our kids were getting a little antsy when finally we started to move.

It was a long bus ride. Like I thought perhaps that the flight had been cancelled and instead they were going to bus us all the way to Oslo. The upside was that we got a great tour of the Frankfurt Airport and saw a good chunk of the Lufthansa fleet in the process.

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Review: Lufthansa Senator Lounge Frankfurt Airport Terminal A

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We had four hours to kill at Frankfurt Airport before our connecting flight to Oslo so we made our way over to Terminal A and checked into the Lufthansa Senator Lounge.

I find Frankfurt to be perhaps the most sprawling, convoluted airport in the world. I’ve connected there numerous times over the years, yet nothing ever really seems familiar. I’ve mostly given up trying to figure it out and instead just follow the signs to my next gate like a lemming.

So I’m not going to try to describe the process of getting to Terminal A. Suffice it to say we made it.

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The CEOs Of Etihad & Lufthansa Are Holding A News Conference Tomorrow…

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Reuters is reporting that the CEOs of Etihad and Lufthansa will be holding a joint news conference in Abu Dhabi tomorrow, which follows expanded cooperation between the two airlines, and speculation of a closer partnership on the horizon.

The relationship between Etihad and Lufthansa is a new one, and is due to their mutual connection to airberlin — Etihad owns a big stake in struggling airberlin, and Lufthansa is essentially saving airberlin by taking over many of their planes, as a way of keeping other ultra low cost carriers out of Germany.

Despite Lufthansa’s previous vocal opposition to Etihad, the two airlines have extended their relationship beyond their connection to airberlin, and are now codesharing.

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Are Etihad And Lufthansa Really Considering A Merger?! Here’s An Update

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As I posted about earlier today, an Italian newspaper was reporting that Etihad was in talks with Lufthansa over the possibility of buying a stake in them. It was even suggested that the two airlines may enter a full-blown merger, which I was skeptical about.

The relationship between Etihad and Lufthansa is a new one, and is due to their mutual connection to airberlin — Etihad owns a big stake in struggling airberlin, and Lufthansa is essentially saving airberlin by taking over many of their planes, as a way of keeping other ultra low cost carriers out of Germany.

Despite Lufthansa’s previous vocal opposition to Etihad, the two airlines have extended their relationship beyond their connection to airberlin, and are now codesharing.

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Review: Lufthansa First Class 747-8 Frankfurt To Boston

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We had an early morning flight from Vienna to Frankfurt, which I won’t be reviewing given that intra-Europe flights are mostly the same. We had a roughly three hour layover, so on arrival we walked to the First Class Terminal, a process that took about 20 minutes from the time we arrived at our gate.

We hung out there for a couple of hours, until the PA fetched us at 10:15AM and told us our flight was ready for boarding. The three of us were being transported alone from the FCT to the plane (if there are other first class passengers or HON Circle members, they’ll typically transport everyone together) in a Mercedes van. The ride took about five minutes, and as usual, I was like a kid in a candy store driving across the tarmac.

While I love the A380 from a passenger comfort standpoint, the 747 will always be the queen of the skies, so as an aviation geek there’s not a plane in the world I’m more in awe standing next to.

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Review: Lufthansa Lounge London Heathrow Airport

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We arrived at Heathrow Terminal 3 on Garuda Indonesia at around 5:40PM, and had a separate ticket to Munich on Lufthansa at out of Terminal 2 at 8:15PM. So we took the bus to Terminal 2, had to clear security again, etc. In all, the transit took about 30 minutes.

Then we found ourselves in Terminal 2 (known as “The Queen’s Terminal), which is my favorite terminal at Heathrow. I was excited because the terminal has four Star Alliance lounges, and the Lufthansa lounge was the last one I hadn’t yet visited. I’ve already reviewed the Air Canada lounge, Singapore Airlines lounge, and United lounge. So I was excited to check out the Lufthansa lounge prior to our flight.

Once inside the terminal we followed the signage towards “Lounges A1-A2,” which includes the Lufthansa and Plaza Premium lounge. Terminal 2 consists of two concourses, and the Lufthansa and Plaza Premium lounges are in the near concourse, while the other three lounges are in the far concourse. Getting between concourses can take 10-15 minutes, so when you’re flying Lufthansa it’s a bit of a detour to use one of the other lounges.

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Lufthansa Cuts Magazines & Newspapers In Favor Of eJournals

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Airlines are always looking for ways to cut costs, and it looks like Lufthansa has a unique way they’re hoping to do so, without impacting the passenger experience too much. While Lufthansa has long offered onboard reading materials to all passengers, they’ve recently changed their policies a bit, presumably to cut costs.

Lufthansa is no longer offering magazines and newspapers in economy, but rather is giving passengers access to eJournals, which can be downloaded to your personal device.

To take advantage of this, enter your Lufthansa record locator and last name on this page and you’ll get access to hundreds of titles. You can download them starting three days before departure, all the way until the end of your journey.

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Review: Lufthansa Business Class A321 Frankfurt To London

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I’ll keep this review relatively short, given that Europe is probably the worst region in the world when it comes to the quality of business class offerings.

As is the norm on Lufthansa, business class consisted of economy seats with a blocked middle seat. This gives the airlines a lot of flexibility, since they can adjust the size of the business class cabin on each flight.

On this particular flight, there were just three and a half rows of business class (the first row just has seats on the left side). That means there was total capacity for 14 business class passengers, though only seven of those seats were occupied.

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Review: Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt

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Over the past decade I’ve visited the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt a countless number of times, and it certainly ranks as one of my favorite first class lounges in the world. However, it has occurred to me that I haven’t actually reviewed it since 2012, so it’s probably time to revisit it. In 2014 I wrote a primer on the lounge, including access rules, how to get there, etc.

Anyway, shortly after 9AM we were dropped off in the transit area at Frankfurt Airport. The First Class Terminal is intended primarily for passengers originating their travels in Frankfurt, since you can drive directly up to it and skip the airport altogether. It’s not quite as seamless if you’re connecting, since you have to walk to the FCT on your own.

After a transatlantic flight we were happy to get a bit of movement, so didn’t mind the walk. Regardless of what terminal you arrive at, you’ll want to clear immigration and then go through baggage claim. Once on the outside roadway of the airport, start walking left until you’re at the very end of the terminal.

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Review: Lufthansa First Class A330 Dallas To Frankfurt

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Our connecting flight landed at DFW at around noon, so we headed to the Amex Centurion Lounge. Lufthansa has their own lounge at DFW located inside “The Club” (that’s the name of the lounge), though it’s a rather uninspiring setup, so we skipped it altogether. For anyone interested, it’s similar to the setup Emirates has, which I’ve reviewed before. About 90 minutes before departure we headed to our departure gate to have our boarding passes printed.

The associate who checked us in was super nice, and said she’d pick us up from the Centurion Lounge when the flight was ready for boarding, which was a nice touch.

Our flight was scheduled to board at 3:40PM, though boarding ended up only starting about five minutes after that, at 3:45PM, with wheelchair passengers and then first class.

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