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 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
  • 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
  • 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
Lufthansa Boeing 747-8

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

  • Beijing (PEK) — as of March 27, 2022
  • Hong Kong (HKG) — as of February 28, 2022
  • Houston (IAH) — as of February 28, 2022
  • New York (JFK) — as of March 27, 2022
  • Shanghai (PVG) — as of January 24, 2022
  • Singapore (SIN) — as of February 28, 2022
  • Tokyo (HND) — as of March 27, 2022
  • 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. This is actually an update to a post from a couple of months ago, and there have been almost a dozen changes to which routes have Lufthansa first class (and when).

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.

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.

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 (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 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?

Conversations (19)
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  1. Carol Guest

    Can the flights be booked using for business class on United and then upgraded to first class using PlusPoints? Tks

  2. scottt Guest

    Anyone have any idea when the routes for the A340-600 to the US will be up? I've tried looking, and everything to MUC is coming up as an A350. Want to fly on the A340 before they are retired.

  3. Concorde02 Guest

    You also can redeem LH F from Miles and More program far in advance (not need to be in 15 days to departure window), relatively low rate at ~85000miles (last I checked a few years ago), but with high tax+fee similar to BA F redemption, and no longer a transferable from credit card currency.

    Though not a great deal due to the fee, but majority of flying public don’t have flexible schedule like bloggers and need to plan vacation in advance.

  4. Concorde02 Guest

    Agreed with some other comments about “one of the best” out of 7 carriers flying across the Atlantic with long haul first class: AA BA LH LX AF SQ EK

    If you include ground experience then Air France is a winner by a long shot: AF > LX > LH > SQ > BA > EK > AA (we are talking EK from MXP and ATH only without decent lounge experiences and mostly EK sends...

    Agreed with some other comments about “one of the best” out of 7 carriers flying across the Atlantic with long haul first class: AA BA LH LX AF SQ EK

    If you include ground experience then Air France is a winner by a long shot: AF > LX > LH > SQ > BA > EK > AA (we are talking EK from MXP and ATH only without decent lounge experiences and mostly EK sends the oldest planes on this routes)

    If you consider in-air experiences only the ranking might look like AF = SQ > LX = LH = EK > BA > AA So LH isn’t near the best

  5. Alan3 Guest

    I'm still blown away that Lufthansa doesn't feature direct aisle access on their Business Class, especially on their aircraft that don't feature First class.

    Choosing not to retrofit old aircraft is one thing, but putting 2-2-2 Business Class instead of 1-2-1 on their brand new A350's is very perplexing, in my opinion, considering most of their competors do.

    Especially for a..... "5 Star airline"

  6. Ryan Guest

    Ben, do you have any intel as to why BA has essentially stopped releasing F award space on flights leaving North America? And not far out - even within days of departure.

    1. Stuart Guest

      While I'm not Ben, I would speculate it's because they are easily selling cheap upgrades from business class at check in. I recently got one in September for $800 from LHR to IAD. Air France is doing the same. Ben wrote about Swiss recently also starting this. No reason to offer F for redemptions if they can squeeze an extra $1K from people already booked in business. I would imagine Lufthansa will not be far...

      While I'm not Ben, I would speculate it's because they are easily selling cheap upgrades from business class at check in. I recently got one in September for $800 from LHR to IAD. Air France is doing the same. Ben wrote about Swiss recently also starting this. No reason to offer F for redemptions if they can squeeze an extra $1K from people already booked in business. I would imagine Lufthansa will not be far behind in offering this. And yes, you can buy these even if on award tickets.

    2. Mike Guest

      Stuart
      BA and Lucky expressly say you can NOT pay money (or use miles) to upgrade from a BA Award ticket to the next class of service. Of course I hope you are right and I'm wrong as I have BA Biz award ticket next month and would be happy to pay $ to go to First, but everything I've read says no. Do you have any other insight, info or tips?

    3. Stuart Guest

      I've done it many times in the past nearly two years. As well on AF on an award ticket. If you are Emerald just check in at the F area in LHR. They will call a desk and get it approved. However, this has been done at LHR only and not out stations (nor on the originating flights from the U.S. as I could care less on that flight...just want to sleep). Again, this has...

      I've done it many times in the past nearly two years. As well on AF on an award ticket. If you are Emerald just check in at the F area in LHR. They will call a desk and get it approved. However, this has been done at LHR only and not out stations (nor on the originating flights from the U.S. as I could care less on that flight...just want to sleep). Again, this has occurred only at the F check in area (which if Emerald you can use). I can't speak for whether it is technically allowed. However, in the scenario I laid out, and just asking, it has provided results. I assume that clearly BA and any airline is looking for cash wherever they can these days so make exceptions. As far as AF I have no status with them on redemptions but they have had it for me as well. However, it's more expensive, I paid around $1400 last time.

  7. D3kingg Guest

    After my amazing Lufthansa First Class experience in September I’ve lost interest in flying. I can’t remember the last time I had no desire. Looking at flying a ton of Domestic First flights with American early 2022 with platinum pro and see how this new loyalty points pilot program pans out.

    Houston based so glad AA started IAH LGA today. Hangout in NYC or an easy midday Uber/Lyft to JFK for a connection to Europe.

  8. Valentino Frank Guest

    Any word or expectations of them bringing back Boston routes from Frankfurt / Munich it was great taking it a few times .

  9. Stuart Guest

    I used the FC Terminal yesterday and was informed that The Schengen A First Class lounge reopened the same morning. Good news for transit!

  10. Kevin Guest

    Hey Ben, PVG (LH728/9) has been exclusively operated by 74H for the past two years and will continue be so going forward...

  11. Ricky Guest

    I don't see HND-FRA scheduled until March 27, 2022 (went to check because I'd be booking it if it were still as of Nov 1, 2021!)

  12. Joe Guest

    "One of the best first class across the atlantic"??? There's only 3 carriers(excluding AA which I believe is lhr only) and LH certainly isn't in first place, that would be AF. They're number 2 or 3 OUT OF A TOTAL OF 3. I would argue the title of "one of the best" is potentially misleading.

    1. Jackson Guest

      Five carriers
      *AA
      *Lufthansa
      *Air France
      *Swiss
      *British Airways
      Seven if you include
      *Singapore Airlines
      *Emirates
      Which both operate 5th freedom flights with first class

    2. Levi New Member

      Out of that seven, LH is most likely 3rd or 4th.

    3. Super Guest

      You are one of the best commenters on this post. You're (currently) 1 of 7, so I'm technically correct ;) Just trying to playfully tell you you're being a bit pedantic. Cheers! :)

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Stuart Guest

While I'm not Ben, I would speculate it's because they are easily selling cheap upgrades from business class at check in. I recently got one in September for $800 from LHR to IAD. Air France is doing the same. Ben wrote about Swiss recently also starting this. No reason to offer F for redemptions if they can squeeze an extra $1K from people already booked in business. I would imagine Lufthansa will not be far behind in offering this. And yes, you can buy these even if on award tickets.

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Jackson Guest

Five carriers *AA *Lufthansa *Air France *Swiss *British Airways Seven if you include *Singapore Airlines *Emirates Which both operate 5th freedom flights with first class

1
Carol Guest

Can the flights be booked using for business class on United and then upgraded to first class using PlusPoints? Tks

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