Back in September I wrote a post explaining that Lufthansa only releases first class award space to partner airlines 14 days before departure, and also explained how to maximize your chances of getting a flight operated by Lufthansa’s new first class.
I figured I’d followed up on that by giving some advice on how to maximize your chances of booking a Lufthansa flight featuring the new first or business class product. This FlyerTalk thread is the best resource for the first class retrofits, while this FlyerTalk thread is the best resource for the business class retrofits.
Let’s break it down by first and business class individually:
New first class
- If you’re flying an Airbus A380 or Boeing 747-8 (which only operate out of Frankfurt) your flight will feature the new first class.
- If you’re flying a Boeing 747-400 (which only operate out of Frankfurt) there’s an excellent chance your flight will feature the new first class, as there’s only one 747-400 flying at the moment without the new first class (out of about 20). The 747-400 that hasn’t been reconfigured seems to fly primarily to Denver and Mumbai.
- If you’re flying out of Dusseldorf or Frankfurt on an Airbus A330/340, your flight will not feature the new first class
- If you’re flying out of Munich on an Airbus A330-300, your flight will feature the new first class
- If you’re flying out of Munich on an Airbus A340-600, you have a 75% chance of getting the new first class
- If you’re flying out of Munich on an Airbus A340-300, you have a 50% chance of getting the new first class
So to summarize, your best bet for being guaranteed the new first class is getting on an Airbus A380 or Boeing 747-8 flight out of Frankfurt, or an Airbus A330-300 flight out of Munich. The next best bet is to book a Boeing 747-400 out of Frankfurt, as all but one aircraft are reconfigured. Out of Munich on an Airbus A340-300/600 you have a decent chance at the new first class. The plane types to avoid are the Airbus A330/340 aircraft out of Frankfurt and Dusseldorf, since none of them feature the new first class.
New business class
- If you’re flying on a Boeing 747-8 your flight will feature the new business class
- If you’re flying out of Munich on an Airbus A330-300 you have a chance of getting an aircraft with the new business class, as three Munich based Airbus A330s have been reconfigured with the new business class
- All other aircraft types (Boeing 747-400, Airbus A380, Airbus A340) don’t have a chance of having the new first business class
Here are the tail numbers of the three Airbus A330s featuring both the new first and business class, allowing you to track their routes:
As you can see, they seem to fairly consistently fly to Charlotte, Mumbai, and New York. One of the ways to tell if your flight is scheduled to be operated with the new business class is to look at the coach seatmap for your Airbus A330 flight. If there are four center seats in row 27, then it’s the old configuration. If there aren’t four center seats in row 27, it’s the new configuration.
As far as Lufthansa’s future plans for business class retrofits go, here’s how many planes they’re hoping to have with the new business class over the coming years per FlyerTalk:
2012 2013 2014 2015 A380: 0/10 05/10 12/12 12/12 A346: 0/24 10/24 22/24 24/24 A343: 0/26 13/26 22/26 26/26 A333: 3/18 07/18 18/19 19/19 B744: 0/27 00/22 06/17 12/16 B748: 04/4 09/9 14/14 19/19
As you can see, this year we should see roughly half of the Airbus A380, Airbus A340-600, and Airbus A340-300 fleet retrofitted with the new business class. Meanwhile the Boeing 747-400 retrofit won’t begin until next year, so that’s the plane to avoid if booking future travel on Lufthansa in business class. By 2015 virtually the entire longhaul fleet should be reconfigured with the new business class.