In March Lufthansa finally announced that they would be adding a premium economy cabin to some of their longhaul fleet. There has long been a trend in the airline industry whereby airlines cut first class (and in some cases, business class) capacity, and instead install premium economy.
After all, the premium economy seats found on many airlines nowadays are as good as business class seats used to be. And even though the economy is recovering, there’s no doubt those on expense accounts are still more “cost conscious” than pre-recession.
Anyway, yesterday Lufthansa finally began selling premium economy seats for travel starting in December.
What’s the timeline for Lufthansa planes featuring premium economy?
The installation of premium economy will begin later this year, and is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2015.
Premium economy can now be booked for all flights operated by the Boeing 747-8 starting December 10, 2014. The destinations served by the Boeing 747-8 include the routes from Frankfurt to Buenos Aires, Chicago, Hong Kong, Mexico City, São Paulo, Seoul, Beijing and Washington Dulles.
- Starting in late January 2015, the first A340-600 will be reconfigured with premium economy, and will fly from Munich to Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo
- Starting in late April 2015, the first A380 will be reconfigured with premium economy, and fly from Frankfurt to Johannesburg, New York, Miami, Houston, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Singapore
What services will be available to premium economy passengers on the ground?
- Two free checked bags, weighing up to 50 pounds each (twice the free checked baggage allowance of economy)
- Premium economy passengers can purchase access to the Lufthansa Business Lounges for $35
- Premium economy passengers can purchase access to the Lufthansa Welcome Lounge in Frankfurt for 50 Euros
- Check-in and boarding will be the same as for economy class
What services will be available to premium economy passengers in the air?
- A welcome drink and bottle of water at every seat
- An amenity kit with travel accessories
- Meals will be presented on porcelain tableware
- 11-12″ TV screens, which are twice the size of the regular economy class screens
How many miles does it cost to book premium economy on Lufthansa?
As of now it’s not possible to redeem miles — whether they be Miles & More miles or miles from a partner airline — for travel in premium economy. I suspect this will eventually be possible using Miles & More miles, though it may be a while before it’s implemented as Lufthansa tries to gauge demand and optimize pricing.
Lufthansa premium economy fare sale!
Lufthansa is offering a premium economy fare sale for bookings made through June 30, 2014, for travel between December 10, 2014, and March 30, 2015.
Through this fare sale they’re offering 15% off the normal premium economy prices. And the prices for premium economy are really reasonable.
Pulling up prices for some random dates in January between Washington and Frankfurt, the roundtrip premium economy fare is $1,572.32.
Meanwhile the roundtrip economy fare is $1,387.32.
That’s a premium of less than $100 each way for premium economy, which is an absolute bargain.
This seems like a fairly nice premium economy product. Not “industry leading” or anything, but given the prices they’re charging, I’d say a great value. Over time I’m sure premium economy fares will go up, but that they’re even starting at an extra ~$100 each way for a transatlantic flight is exciting.
Would you fly Lufthansa’s new premium economy product? If so, in place of a paid economy or business class class ticket, or in place of a first/business class award ticket?