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. I think this is particularly worth a refresh given that the summer schedule has just kicked in, which is leading to quite a few adjustments, including the reintroduction of first class out of Munich.

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 decision to retire its Airbus A380 fleet, which was previously the carrier’s flagship aircraft.

At this point Lufthansa just has two types of aircraft with first class — the Boeing 747-8 and the Airbus A340-600:

  • Lufthansa has 19 Boeing 747-8s, which fly from Frankfurt to key, high yield, and high capacity markets; these will stay in Lufthansa’s fleet for years to come
  • Lufthansa has five Airbus A340-600s, which fly out of Munich to key destinations where there’s demand for first class; Lufthansa has just reactivated these planes, and they’re only being brought back temporarily
Lufthansa Boeing 747-8s feature first class

As mentioned above, those Airbus A340-600s are only being brought back for a limited time, for roughly a year. That’s because in the summer of 2023, Lufthansa will start taking delivery of at least 10 Airbus A350-900s with first class, which will be based in Munich.

Lufthansa A350-900s will eventually feature first class

Lufthansa routes operated by Boeing 747-8s

Out of Frankfurt, first class is exclusively available on Boeing 747-8s. So which routes do these planes operate? Lufthansa offers first class on flights from Frankfurt to the following destinations:

  • Bangalore (BLR) — as of October 31, 2022
  • Buenos Aires (EZE) — on an ongoing basis
  • Chicago (ORD) — on an ongoing basis
  • Delhi (DEL) — on an ongoing basis
  • Hong Kong (HKG) — as of October 30, 2022
  • 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) — on an ongoing basis
  • New York (JFK) — on an ongoing basis
  • Newark (EWR) — on an ongoing basis
  • San Francisco (SFO) — on an ongoing basis
  • Sao Paulo (GRU) — on an ongoing basis
  • Shanghai (PVG) — on an ongoing basis
  • Washington (IAD) — through October 29, 2022
Lufthansa Boeing 747-8

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 has become more complicated, given travel restrictions.

Lufthansa 747-8 first class seat

Lufthansa routes operated by Airbus A340-600s

Out of Munich, first class is exclusively available on Airbus 340-600s. So which routes do these planes operate? Lufthansa offers first class on flights from Munich to the following destinations:

  • Boston (BOS) — through October 29, 2022
  • Los Angeles (LAX) — May 31 through October 29, 2022
  • New York (JFK) — May 16 through October 29, 2022
  • Newark (EWR) — July 11 through October 29, 2022

These planes will likely stick around for the winter, but they haven’t yet been loaded into the schedule for then.

Lufthansa Airbus A340-600

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.

Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt

While there, don’t forget to pick up your duck, since that’s always a fun feature of Lufthansa first class.

Lufthansa first class ducks

From there you’ll be driven across the apron to your plane, which sure is a treat.

Lufthansa first class tarmac transfer

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.

Lufthansa’s A340-600 first class also consists of eight seats, but the seats are instead spread across two rows in a 1-2-1 configuration. The Lufthansa First Class Lounge Munich is also pretty awesome.

Lufthansa A340-600 first class cabin

How to redeem miles for Lufthansa first class

You can redeem miles from all kinds of Star Alliance airlines for travel in Lufthansa 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 (this might not be 15 days out, but rather more often than not will be in the days leading up to departure).

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 points (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 out of Frankfurt, plus Lufthansa’s Airbus A340-600s out of Munich. Lufthansa’s first class fleet should soon be growing out of Munich, as the airline will introduce A350s with first class.

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?

Conversations (21)
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  1. Newton Phillip Guest

    Lufthansa only open first class seat availability within 15days of departure to redeem the points with the partner airlines

  2. Endre Guest

    LH had HONs test two new first class mock-ups in FRA over two years ago. One had a sliding door, similar to the QSuites, while the other was more akin to SQ's first class seat (not the suite).
    Both were set up in a 1-2-1 configuration. I'm not sure if they kept either of the two seats, but the feedback from HONs wasn't all that positive. Let's see which new first class Carsten Spohr believes will be a game changer in the industry.

    1. AA70 Member

      whichever will debut the latest will be the game changer. I reckon they'll announce it here in a year or two then debut to service in 2030

    2. Santos Guest

      Which one would you personally be excited to fly in? (Paid ticket, no points tricks)

    3. Eskimo Guest

      I was actually going to ask if you paid to sit in the mock up seat.

  3. Gordon Guest

    I have a trip booked for Seoul - Frankfurt this summer on Lufthansa 747-8 business class. They are offering $640 to seat upfront in First Class cabin. These flights don't sell First Class ticket, so I'm assuming the cost is only for the seat, service will be usual business. Seems somewhat reasonable for 11-hr flight.

    Ben- have you experience anything like this? Any thoughts? What will happen if they change plane, will they refund the extra cost?

    1. Cedric Guest

      Seen this a few times. Personnally, without the service, lounges and such I don't see much value in just getting the seat...

  4. Randy Gold

    Other airlines other than Lufthansa and Korean should probably have bought some 747-800s as well. Since the A380 is going. Sounds like LH likes them and plans to keep them until end of service life

    This is still likely need for some 4 engine aircraft in airline fleet.

  5. Eskimo Guest

    Also a good time to consider flying the A340 for one last time.

  6. Cedric Guest

    Aeroplan shows BOS-MUC as 90k points, not 100k.

  7. Bill n DC Guest

    Thanks. Confirms my FRA - IAD next month :-)

  8. Edwin Guest

    My experiences with LH First: the ground experience was always brilliant.
    However, in the air it was simply ok. Seat was great, staff were ok (usually good but varied) and finally the food and IFE were poor.
    6 flights 747.

  9. Willem Guest

    Second being really surprised by Munich Boston. When I flew that route it was an A350, with a 747 w/ First serving the route to Frankfurt. I'd assume there'd be more First demand out of say, SFO or ORD... but maybe there's some unique demand on that route

  10. Sel_D New Member

    How does this mileage redemption work if you need to position to a major US city for the flight? Are you on your own or is a United flight included?

    1. AA70 Member

      Sometimes, depending on if there is award space available to partners on that flight. You could in theory book a positioning flight separate from your LH flight and allow a long enough layover to compensate for any potential delays. The Polaris lounges at United hubs are a fantastic place to spend time before your flight.

  11. Sel_D New Member

    How does this mileage redemption work if you need to position to a major US city for the flight? Are you on your own or is a United flight included?

  12. mrl New Member

    I find it somewhat surprising that BOS makes it on the list of 4 destinations out of MUC with first but not on the much longer list out of FRA. Is there a reason there would be premium demand on one of these routes but not the other?

    1. UGC Guest

      Probably it’s because they don’t have enough 747s in FRA…

    2. Bagoly Guest

      Could be biotech hubs at both ends?

  13. Never In Doubt Guest

    The young Doubt and I were booked on a 747-8 to Frankfurt from SFO in April, 2020 on our way to Saudi Arabia.

    Of course COVID blew that up, and now he's a sophomore in college and I may never get that chance back!

    1. AA70 Member

      Take him when he graduates before his real life starts! My most fond trip memories are from that summer

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Endre Guest

LH had HONs test two new first class mock-ups in FRA over two years ago. One had a sliding door, similar to the QSuites, while the other was more akin to SQ's first class seat (not the suite). Both were set up in a 1-2-1 configuration. I'm not sure if they kept either of the two seats, but the feedback from HONs wasn't all that positive. Let's see which new first class Carsten Spohr believes will be a game changer in the industry.

2
Newton Phillip Guest

Lufthansa only open first class seat availability within 15days of departure to redeem the points with the partner airlines

0
Eskimo Guest

I was actually going to ask if you paid to sit in the mock up seat.

0
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