Which Routes Feature Lufthansa First Class?

Which Routes Feature Lufthansa First Class?

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Lufthansa offers one of the best first class products across the Atlantic, and for that matter it’s one of the best first class products between the United States and Europe that’s bookable with miles. A lot has changed at Lufthansa due to the pandemic, so in this post I wanted to recap which planes feature first class, which routes they fly, what to expect from the experience, and how to redeem miles for the product.

Lufthansa planes with a first class cabin

Over the past several years, Lufthansa’s footprint of aircraft with first class cabins has shrunk considerably. That situation was only made worse by Lufthansa’s recent decision to retire its Airbus A380 fleet, which was previously the carrier’s flagship aircraft.

At this point the only Lufthansa planes to feature first class are the Boeing 747-8s. Lufthansa has 19 of these planes in its fleet, and they fly to key, high yield, and high capacity markets. The 747-8s are all based in Frankfurt, so Lufthansa exclusively offers first class out of Frankfurt.

Lufthansa exclusively has first class on 747-8s

That being said, we will over time see Lufthansa bring back first class to its Munich hub:

Lufthansa A350-900s will eventually feature first class

Lufthansa routes being operated by Boeing 747-8s

Since first class is exclusively available on Boeing 747-8s, which routes do those planes operate? As of now, Lufthansa offers first class on flights from Frankfurt to the following destinations:

  • Bangalore (BLR) — on an ongoing basis
  • Buenos Aires (EZE) — on an ongoing basis
  • Chicago (ORD) — on an ongoing basis
  • Delhi (DEL) — on an ongoing basis
  • Houston (IAH) — on an ongoing basis
  • Johannesburg (JNB) — on an ongoing basis
  • Los Angeles (LAX) — on an ongoing basis
  • Mexico City (MEX) — on an ongoing basis
  • Miami (MIA) — through October 31, 2021, and then again starting March 27, 2022
  • Newark (EWR) — on an ongoing basis
  • San Francisco (SFO) — on an ongoing basis
  • Sao Paulo (GRU) — on an ongoing basis
  • Singapore (SIN) — on an ongoing basis

On top of that, Lufthansa has scheduled first class from Frankfurt to the following cities in the future:

  • Beijing (PEK) — as of March 27, 2022
  • Hong Kong (HKG) — as of November 1, 2021
  • Mumbai (BOM) — through October 29, 2021
  • New York (JFK) — as of November 1, 2021
  • Shanghai (PVG) — as of November 1, 2021
  • Tokyo (HND) — as of November 1, 2021
  • Washington (IAD) — as of March 27, 2022

I’d note that these routes remain highly subject to change, especially the ones that are scheduled to have first class in the future. As you might expect, airline route planning is more complicated than ever before, given travel restrictions.

Lufthansa 747-8 first class seat

What to expect from Lufthansa first class

Lufthansa offers a solid first class experience on its Boeing 747-8. When departing Frankfurt, the awesome experience starts on the ground, as you can use Lufthansa’s incredible First Class Terminal. From there you’ll be driven across the apron to your plane, which sure is a treat.

Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt

Lufthansa’s 747-8 first class cabin features a total of eight seats, spread across three rows. There are three rows of single seats on each side, and then in the third row there’s a pair of seats in the middle. With so many airlines retiring the 747, it’s such a treat to be able to sit in the nose of the queen of the skies!

Lufthansa 747-8 first class cabin

Lufthansa’s inflight catering in first class is generally great as well, with a caviar service to start, along with a variety of appetizers, main courses, and desserts.

Lufthansa first class catering

While Lufthansa’s inflight entertainment selection is just okay, the airline does have inflight Wi-Fi, and first class passengers even receive a voucher for complimentary access.

I’ve found service in Lufthansa first class to be pretty consistently excellent, and to strike the right balance between being professional and personable.

How to redeem miles for Lufthansa first class

You can redeem miles from all kinds of Star Alliance airlines for travel in first class. I’d note that generally Lufthansa makes first class award seats available to members of partner airline frequent flyer programs at most 15 days before departure. The good news is that Lufthansa pretty reliably opens up these seats as the departure date approaches, assuming there are empty seats.

So, what are the best programs for booking Lufthansa first class? Here are some popular options that partner with transferable points currencies, with pricing listed for one-way travel between the United States and Europe:

  • The Avianca LifeMiles program charges 87,000 miles
  • The Air Canada Aeroplan program charges 100,000 miles (for up to 6,000 miles of travel)
  • The United MileagePlus program charges 121,000 miles

None of those programs have carrier imposed surcharges on these awards, which is why I’m highlighting them.

Lufthansa first class champagne

Bottom line

Lufthansa’s first class footprint has shrunk significantly over the past several years. At the moment the only planes to feature first class are Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-8s. Hopefully the above is a useful summary of which routes you’ll find these planes on, what to expect, and how to redeem miles for the experience.

Any other questions about Lufthansa first class that I missed?

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  1. PCT

    I’ll admit when I flew LH F back in July, I would have been happy with even the most mediocre service. I simply was content to be back in a F cabin period! That being said, I had the entire cabin to myself and the 2 FAs spoiled me rotten for 9hrs! For those complaining about the FCT, it still is far better than the alternative. Let’s just say I arrived 2hrs early and did...

    I’ll admit when I flew LH F back in July, I would have been happy with even the most mediocre service. I simply was content to be back in a F cabin period! That being said, I had the entire cabin to myself and the 2 FAs spoiled me rotten for 9hrs! For those complaining about the FCT, it still is far better than the alternative. Let’s just say I arrived 2hrs early and did not have much time to spare. There was 1 agent at immigration and the line for the lounge was insane with all the COVID protocols. Lastly, the gate on my mobile boarding pass was incorrect which I failed to notice almost too late. Needless to say, I’ll be very happy to “walk” into the FCT next week and not worry about a thing! Cheers!

  2. Andy

    While I really dislike the LH J and Y products, I have to admit that F is great. This starts with the Frankfurt F-Termimal and goes on up in the air. But looking at the destination list, most of it remains out of reach for most of us (unless you have a residential title) ...

  3. Pieter Redelinghuys

    Bad service I ever get on a flight.

  4. Matthew

    Nice to read about an airline that still offers this type of product in 2021. While it looks really nice, I might want to try Air France F instead of Lufthansa as Lufthansa's F looks like it hasn't changed all that much in many years.

  5. DCharlie

    As a frequent traveler to FRA, I find LH first to be just fine. However, the product is really outdated and on the verge of being poor in comparison to their competitors. LH First needs a do-over. While I enjoy the German consistency with regards to the food, beverage and service, I would like to be surprised (pleasantly) once in a while with a change. I can't recall the last time I flew LH First...

    As a frequent traveler to FRA, I find LH first to be just fine. However, the product is really outdated and on the verge of being poor in comparison to their competitors. LH First needs a do-over. While I enjoy the German consistency with regards to the food, beverage and service, I would like to be surprised (pleasantly) once in a while with a change. I can't recall the last time I flew LH First and actually took a moment to recollect the experience. As other commentators, I actually find the FCT a farce, especially for people who have to frequent FRA 4-5 times a month.

  6. Phat Chance

    Endre-

    Feel bad about something that really screws up the environment-like China putting out 50% of the planet's coal burning emissions of Co2.

    1. Endre

      Not sure where you have this number.
      But in 2019 China is responsible for 14% of all greenhouse gases while USA for 12%. There is a slight difference of inhabitants between those two countries - and let’s face it, one of the countries is producing stuff for the rest of the world.

      Your argument is the typical Fox News „what aboutism“. Just because an autocratic country is a leader in polluting the rest of...

      Not sure where you have this number.
      But in 2019 China is responsible for 14% of all greenhouse gases while USA for 12%. There is a slight difference of inhabitants between those two countries - and let’s face it, one of the countries is producing stuff for the rest of the world.

      Your argument is the typical Fox News „what aboutism“. Just because an autocratic country is a leader in polluting the rest of the world doesn’t change the fact that flying also pollutes.

      Carbon footprint according to Lufthansa:
      ORD-FRA in First Class: 1.38 Ton of CO2
      ORD-FRA in Economy: 0.44 Ton of CO2

      Just saying.

  7. Stephen in Vegas

    Any word on first class out of the US to Frankfurt? I would think the same cities wound pair up, but not necessarily so. Maybe they head back to Munich?

    1. Caleb

      Great question - it's completely different. LH flies first class 747-8s from FRA to ORD but the return first class flights are only available on routes from SBN-FRA, MKE-FRA, and MSN-FRA. First class might be available again from ORD but it's not yet confirmed.

  8. NYGuy24

    Honestly I found the first class service on LH to be the worst first class international service I have ever had. I found CX, ANA, JAL, SQ,EY to all be better by far. LH was a tremendous disappointment. Maybe it was a fluke thing but I really felt let down. The FCT was alright but even that was disappointing, from not being able to get an available bed to use, to inattentive dining staff, to...

    Honestly I found the first class service on LH to be the worst first class international service I have ever had. I found CX, ANA, JAL, SQ,EY to all be better by far. LH was a tremendous disappointment. Maybe it was a fluke thing but I really felt let down. The FCT was alright but even that was disappointing, from not being able to get an available bed to use, to inattentive dining staff, to their not having single cigars available to purchase to use in the cigar lounge. I might be willing to give it another try for when I need to go to Europe but I have spent more time than I would like in Frankfurt over the years.

    1. D3kingg

      The cigar lounge is awesome. I realized the last night before my flight that you need to bring your own cigar. That was lucky I ran to a tobacco shop at the train station just in time. It is really cool to enjoy a cigar which requires time.

  9. Mick

    I like lh first class and it’s easy to snag which is a benefit. I think the fct is overrated. Walking there etc. car to plane is fun but half the airports in Europe now have bus to the plane on the tarmac lol. How much do you pay for that premium

    1. Endre

      I love flying and paying for First Class! But I start feeling quilty for the environment.

      The carbon footprint of a First Class flight is, of course, abysmal, and there's nothing to sugarcoat. Of course, no one wants to hear that here on this blog - least of all Ben.
      The goal is clearly defined by science: The planet must not heat up by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. With every flight, we contribute...

      I love flying and paying for First Class! But I start feeling quilty for the environment.

      The carbon footprint of a First Class flight is, of course, abysmal, and there's nothing to sugarcoat. Of course, no one wants to hear that here on this blog - least of all Ben.
      The goal is clearly defined by science: The planet must not heat up by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. With every flight, we contribute to the environmental catastrophe amd we make sure that the target will be missed. It has to be noted that we are partly responsible for the fires in California and the storms in Florida - especially when promoting excessive air traveling.

  10. D3kingg

    I watched one movie in both directions when I flew Lufthansa. Both were German films with English subtitles that were suspense and had anti-nazi tone. The inflight entertainment was great.

  11. Luis

    Aside from FCT, is LH first class even an aspirational flight anymore? The hard product is so dated and I would argue there are better business class products out there now.

    1. LK

      I was just about to ask this - is this product now deemed "overrated"?

  12. Greg

    While the caviar is a nice 'show' I've found the catering in BA first superior in quality - illustrated by a recent roundtrip with LH on the outbound and BA on the return

    1. Bubba

      You might be right, but your comparison is faulty. If you're flying to LHR or FRA, then the catering is either flown out from the base, in which case it's practically a day old by the time it gets too you (and, since half that time it was at ~10% humidity, super-stale), or it was loaded at the out-station, and then the airline has relatively limited choices that are often dictated by the other users...

      You might be right, but your comparison is faulty. If you're flying to LHR or FRA, then the catering is either flown out from the base, in which case it's practically a day old by the time it gets too you (and, since half that time it was at ~10% humidity, super-stale), or it was loaded at the out-station, and then the airline has relatively limited choices that are often dictated by the other users of the airport.
      So the wine and caviar stays on the plane, but the bread and beef is locally produced. Compare catering only between two outbound products, or two inbound ones, and don't expect a good meal leaving the US.

  13. Cavil

    Do the points costs cover connecting flights? For example, do 87,000 Avianca miles cover a connecting flight from SEA to SFO, LH from SFO to FRA, and then a final connection to Vienna say?

    So glad I discovered your website, fantastically helpful, thanks.

  14. Beachfan

    Never mind, you cover it. Sorry.

  15. Beachfan

    Are they making first class awards available and how far out. I thought only to their own members.

Featured Comments Load all 21 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Phat Chance

Endre- Feel bad about something that really screws up the environment-like China putting out 50% of the planet's coal burning emissions of Co2.

Bubba

You might be right, but your comparison is faulty. If you're flying to LHR or FRA, then the catering is either flown out from the base, in which case it's practically a day old by the time it gets too you (and, since half that time it was at ~10% humidity, super-stale), or it was loaded at the out-station, and then the airline has relatively limited choices that are often dictated by the other users of the airport. So the wine and caviar stays on the plane, but the bread and beef is locally produced. Compare catering only between two outbound products, or two inbound ones, and don't expect a good meal leaving the US.

PCT

I’ll admit when I flew LH F back in July, I would have been happy with even the most mediocre service. I simply was content to be back in a F cabin period! That being said, I had the entire cabin to myself and the 2 FAs spoiled me rotten for 9hrs! For those complaining about the FCT, it still is far better than the alternative. Let’s just say I arrived 2hrs early and did not have much time to spare. There was 1 agent at immigration and the line for the lounge was insane with all the COVID protocols. Lastly, the gate on my mobile boarding pass was incorrect which I failed to notice almost too late. Needless to say, I’ll be very happy to “walk” into the FCT next week and not worry about a thing! Cheers!

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