Review: Lufthansa A350 Business Class

Filed Under: Airline Reviews, Lufthansa

After flying ANA’s incredible new business class from New York to Tokyo, it was time to fly Lufthansa’s business class back to London, via Munich. What is business class like on Lufthansa’s self proclaimed flagship aircraft, the A350-900? Well…

Booking Lufthansa Business Class With Miles

Lufthansa had wide open business class award availability on both of their flights from Tokyo Haneda that day, to Frankfurt and Munich. I had reviewed Lufthansa’s business class on the A330-300 and 747-8, so I decided to book the Munich flight, since that was operated by an A350-900.

I ticketed the following for 75,000 Avianca LifeMiles plus $84 in taxes and fees:

01/09 LH715 Tokyo to Munich departing 12:45PM arriving 4:45PM [Business]
01/09 LH2480 Munich to London departing 6:30PM arriving 7:35PM [Business]

In addition to LifeMiles frequently selling miles at a discount, the program is also transfer partners with Amex Membership RewardsCiti ThankYou, and Capital One.

While there are lots of Star Alliance points currencies I could have used, LifeMiles was the best value:

  • Air Canada Aeroplan would have had hefty carrier imposed surcharges on this ticket
  • United MileagePlus would have charged 78,500 miles

Lufthansa Business Class A350-900 Review

My flight from Haneda to Munich was departing from gate 106B, at the very end of the terminal.

Lufthansa departure gate Haneda Airport

Boarding was scheduled to start at 12:15PM, though I headed to the gate area way early. That’s because the lounge was packed, while there was plenty of comfortable seating in this part of the terminal, so I found it to be more comfortable anyway.

Haneda Airport International Terminal

Haneda Airport has so many cool planes, though due to the design of the windows it’s hard to get good pictures of them, which sure is a bummer as an avgeek.

Lufthansa A350-900 Haneda Airport

I had noticed before departure that this flight was quite empty in business class. At the 24 hour mark there were fewer than a dozen people booked in the 48 seat business class cabin.

However, economy was way oversold, so they ended up having to upgrade people to premium economy, and then also to business class. So between non-revs and last minute upgrades, business class ended up being over half full.

I had intentionally selected a seat in the last row of business class, which is in a mini-cabin. There was only one other person booked in the mini cabin. Unfortunately at the gate they paged me and the other person in the mini cabin, and booked us into the main cabin, due to the light business class load.

This is something airlines sometimes do, which is kind of annoying, on one hand. It’s not even that the crew wanted to use the rear business class cabin, but presumably they asked for it to be blocked for the purpose of simplifying service.

So I got moved to seat 4A, and at least the gate agent told me that I still had an empty seat next to me (which makes a big difference in Lufthansa business class).

Lufthansa 715
Tokyo (HND) – Munich (MUC)
Thursday, January 9
Depart: 12:45PM
Arrive: 4:45PM
Duration: 12hr
Aircraft: Airbus A350-900
Seat: 4A (Business Class)

As I walked down the jet bridge, I couldn’t wait to see what Lufthansa had waiting for me onboard. After all, ANA has the world’s best new business class, and they’re a Skytrax 5-Star airline. Lufthansa is also a Skytrax 5-star airline… surely they wouldn’t disappoint! 😉

Anyway, I boarded through the forward door, where I was greeted by the purser and pointed towards my seat. Lufthansa has a total of 48 business class seats on the A350-900, spread across eight rows in a 2-2-2 configuration.

The forward cabin has six of those rows, and then there’s a rear cabin with two rows.

Lufthansa A350-900 business class cabin

Yeah, folks, you’re not mistaken. This is what the business class cabin looks like on the flagship aircraft that the airline continues to take delivery of in 2020. On the plus side, I don’t mind the cabin finishes, which are sterile but at least have a burst of color.

The exact type of seating varies based on whether you’re seated in the center or by the windows.

The center seats in this configuration face one another slightly. That also means the footwells are right next to one another, so if you want to play footsie with your seat opponent, definitely select one of the center seats.


Lufthansa A350-900 business class seats

Meanwhile the seats along the windows are slightly angled towards the fuselage.


Lufthansa business class seats A350-900


Lufthansa A350 business class seats

As you can see, the footwells are to the sides of the seats in front, and the personal televisions are also there, and can be slid in and out a bit.


Lufthansa business class seats A350


Lufthansa business class footwell

There are very thin storage compartments along this part of the seat, though mine wouldn’t close properly.


Lufthansa business class seat storage

The seat controls are located on the center armrests.

Lufthansa business class seat controls

The entertainment controllers are also in a small compartment in the center armrest.


Lufthansa business class entertainment controls

The tray table extends from this area as well, and can be flipped over to be half size.

Lufthansa business class tray table

The 110v outlets are underneath the center console, while the USB outlets are hidden between the seats.

Lufthansa business class power outlets

Then underneath the far armrest is where the headphones are located, which are inside a compartment and wired so they can’t be removed.

Lufthansa business class armrest

While the A350 has modern overhead consoles, there were no individual air nozzles.


Lufthansa business class overhead console

Suffice to say that this is an underwhelming business class product, especially for an airline to install on brand new A350s. Lufthansa does plan on debuting a new business class on their 777X, but who knows when that plane will even be flying…

Lufthansa has a custom business class product. I think the closest comparison to these seats is the Rockwell Collins Diamond seats you’ll find on other airlines, like La Compagnie. That’s purely in terms of both products having seats angled slightly towards the fuselage (at least along the windows), with a footwell the side of the seat in front.

Lufthansa’s seat has the advantage of having a lot of space in the footwell vertically, which is good. But other than that I prefer the Rockwell Collins Diamond seat. That seat has more storage to the back side of the seat, and I also feel like the product is a bit more private. I don’t understand why Lufthansa doesn’t have any sort of privacy shields between seats.

Maybe it’s not fully clear based on the pictures, but I couldn’t help but feel like all the seats were just set very “low.” That’s to say that the seatbacks weren’t very high, so you could really see everyone in the cabin. The Diamond seats don’t feel quite as exposed, by comparison.

Anyway, waiting at my seat upon boarding was a pillow and blanket, both of which were reasonably good. There was also a mattress pad, which Lufthansa offers on their longest flights.

Lufthansa business class bedding

There was a basic amenity, consisting of socks, eyeshades, earplugs, a dental kit, and a few L’Occitane products.

Lufthansa business class amenity kit

There were also a pair of slippers.

Lufthansa business class slippers

The AKG headphones in the compartment to the side of the seat were quite good as far as business class headphones go.

Lufthansa business class headphones

There was also a bottle of water waiting at my seat.


Lufthansa business class bottled water

About 10 minutes after boarding, pre-departure drinks were offered, with the choice of champagne, water, or orange juice.

Lufthansa business class pre-departure champagne

A few minutes later, menus for the flight were distributed.

Lufthansa business class menu

There was a HON Circle member in business class (that’s Lufthansa’s top tier status), so during boarding the purser personally welcomed him onboard and had a rather long conversation with him.

That’s of course a nice touch, but it was almost awkward, since the cabin has zero privacy, and she wasn’t exactly a quiet talker, so I felt like it was a conversation with an audience. I can now tell you everything about his trip to Japan!

At 12:35PM the captain made his welcome aboard announcement, informing us of our flight time of 11hr30min, and our flight route, which would take us over Harbin, Yakutsk, Moscow, and Krakow.

At 12:40PM the main cabin door closed with 26 of the business class seats taken. Five minutes later we began our pushback, and five minutes after that we began our taxi.

Our taxi was quite far, as we were departing from the opposite side of the airport.


Spring Airlines 737 Haneda Airport

By 1:05PM we were cleared for takeoff on runway 34R, behind a Japan Airlines 767-300.

Japan Airlines 767 Haneda Airport

One cool feature of the A350 is that it has a tail camera, so I watched that during takeoff.

Lufthansa A350 tail camera

Taking off from Tokyo Haneda Airport

Our takeoff roll was long but quiet.


View after takeoff from Tokyo

This was my first time flying out of Haneda during the daytime, and my gosh this airport has some breathtaking views of Tokyo… WOW!

Amazing views of Tokyo


Amazing views of Tokyo

View after takeoff from Tokyo

10 minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off, at which point the curtains between the cabins and galleys were closed.

Lufthansa A350 business class cabin

At this point I also had a look at the rear business class cabin, where I was supposed to be sitting. 😉


Lufthansa A350 business class rear cabin


Lufthansa A350 business class rear cabin

On this flight lunch was served after takeoff, and dinner before landing.

The menu read as follows:

The drink list read as follows:

Warm towels were distributed about 15 minutes after takeoff.

Lufthansa business class lunch — warm towel

15 minutes later I was asked what I wanted to drink. I ordered a glass of New Zealand sauvignon blanc and a still water, and that was served with a ramekin of mixed nuts.


Lufthansa business class lunch — champagne & mixed nuts

45 minutes after takeoff my meal order was taken, and then 10 minutes later a cart was rolled down the aisle to serve the appetizer.

Of the two western appetizer choices I selected the prawns and mango salad with endive, lime, sweet chili sauce, and coriander, which was quite good. I was also offered a selection of bread.


Lufthansa business class lunch — appetizer

75 minutes after takeoff the main course was served, for which I selected the slow-poached nordic salmon with saffron pernod sauce and green pea puree. That was served with a side salad. It was tasty, but they could have put a bit more effort into the presentation, and cleaned the edges of the plate.


Lufthansa business class lunch — main course and salad

85 minutes after takeoff I was offered dessert. I selected the chocolate mocha tart with pecans, and had a cup of coffee to go along with it.


Lufthansa business class lunch — dessert & coffee

My tray was cleared about 90 minutes after takeoff, and I was offered a small box of chocolates.


Lufthansa business class lunch — chocolate

Overall the meal service pace was quick, and on the surface Lufthansa has a good service flow. A couple of years back they changed up their service to try and make it more personalized, where each flight attendant is responsible for one specific section.

There were four flight attendants working the business class “aisles,” with one working rows one through three on each side, and one working rows four through six on each side.

In theory this should lead to personalized service, but that wasn’t really the case. The guy taking care of me was pleasant enough. It’s not that he was disinterested or rude, but the entire service concept just felt so… forgettable.

He had six people to take care of, which on some airlines is the first class service ratio, but despite that I never actually felt like service was especially personalized. On the plus side, he was pretty good about drink refills, at least.

Anyway, on to the other aspects of the flight. Lufthansa has wifi on their A350s, which I very much appreciate.

Lufthansa A350 wifi

There are three pricing options:

  • $8 for a chat plan
  • $20 for a mail & surf plan
  • $34 for a mail & surf plus plan

Lufthansa wifi pricing

Well that’s kind of annoying — Lufthansa used to charge $20 for wifi with no data caps, while now that plan limits you to 500MB of data, and you have to pay $34 to double that limit. In fairness, that’s a lot of data, but still…

I also took a look at the entertainment selection. While the variety of movies and TV shows is huge, and while the screen was fairly high definition, there were issues with the overall brightness of the screen. Even with the brightness setting as high as it would go, it was kind of hard to see the screen.

Lufthansa entertainment selection


Lufthansa entertainment selection


Lufthansa entertainment selection


Lufthansa entertainment selection

With about 9hr45min remaining to Munich I decided to take a nap, as we were approaching Harbin.

Moving map enroute to Munich


Moving map enroute to Munich

I reclined my seat and tried to get comfortable. I was grateful to have an empty seat next to me, though these seats still feel exposed and narrow. I basically felt like I was spooning the fuselage when I was sleeping on my side.


Lufthansa business class bed

The exhaustion from the past couple of days had caught up with me, and I managed to sleep for nearly four hours, until we were about 5.5 hours from Munich.

Map enroute to Munich

My gosh, we overflew so many places on this flight that I’d love to visit. Hello Harbin, hello Novosibirsk!

Even though it was only the early afternoon, it more or less felt like dusk for most of the flight, given how far north we were flying.

Beautiful sunset enroute to Munich

After napping I checked out the lavatory, of which there were two between the business class cabins. They were standard for the A350, though did have some extra amenities.

Lufthansa A350 lavatory

Lufthansa business class lavatory amenities

Most airlines would have a proper mid-flight snack menu on a nearly 12 hour daytime flight, while Lufthansa just had a tray of light snacks sitting in the galley. How unappealing to have sliced fruit and mini-burgers just sitting in the galley for hours on end without anything covering them.

Lufthansa business class snack selection

I worked on my laptop for several hours, and the amazing views out the window continued.

Sunset enroute to Munich

About 90 minutes before landing the cabin lights were turned on in preparation for the pre-landing service. The dinner menu read as follows:

First warm towels were distributed, and then the meals were served, all on a single tray. I ordered the chicken stroganoff with finger potatoes and sugar snap peas. That was served with air-dried beef and grilled vegetables, along with fresh fruit.

The appetizer and fruit were fine, while the main wasn’t good at all… in fairness, it was my mistake for ordering that.

Lufthansa business class dinner

At 4:05PM Munich time the first officer announced we’d be descending shortly and landing in about 35 minutes. Five minutes later the seatbelt sign was turned on.

View enroute to Munich

Map enroute to Munich

We were treated to some incredible sunset views on approach.

View approaching Munich

We touched down in Munich at 4:35PM.

Tail camera landing In Munich

From there we had a 10 minute taxi to our arrival gate. That’s a cool-looking A318!

Taxiing Munich Airport

As we taxied towards the terminal I saw an ANA 787-9 parked there. That gave me a good chuckle, because the plane also flies from Tokyo Haneda — the ANA flight is scheduled to depart 10 minutes earlier, while the two flights are scheduled to arrive at the same time… so we were beat!


Taxiing Munich Airport

By 4:45PM we pulled into our arrival gate, right at the end of the terminal.

Arriving at gate in Munich

Lufthansa A350-900 Business Class Bottom Line

What a forgettable business class product Lufthansa offers. I can’t think of a single full service airline that has seats this bad on their A350s. While Lufthansa has a new business class product in the works, virtually all other major European airlines have more competitive seats already in service.

On the plus side, Lufthansa offers (relatively) reasonably priced wifi and a good entertainment selection.

Other than that, though, this is such a forgettable and disappointing product. The food, service, and amenities are forgettable, while the seats are downright disappointing. Fortunately I had an empty seat next to me, which made a big difference. But without that, this would have been a much different experience.

With ANA soon deploying their new 777-300ER cabins to Frankfurt, it’s crazy to think that these two products are competing head-to-head with one another on the same routes…

If you’ve flown Lufthansa’s A350 business class, what was your experience like? 

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Comments
  1. Wonder why LH doesnt use that mini business cabil for upgrades, when its due to ecomomy being overbooked?
    That way it would be easy to give the upgrades J seats with Y service.

  2. Wow so LH still do 2-2-2 business class even on their newest aircraft??? In 2020?

    5 star airline, everyone !

  3. @ Ben — I’m glad to see your review is wholly consistent with my expectation. I was actually surprised to see that you would even book these horrible seats. I generally avoid LH J since those horrible seats are all we get ATL-FRA, but sometimes I don’t fee like being bothered with positioning for a much better flight, like LX LAX-ZRH J. You would think that with all of First Class seats removed by LH over the last 10 years, LH would have a top-notch J seat.

  4. But they’re a 5 star airline because sometime in the future their seats will be updated… No doubt already outdated by that time.

  5. I always struggle to get your LH reviews. There is nothing wrong with any of this from my point of view. It is just not in the DNA of LH or Germany as a whole to fly around with something that looks like a Russian brothel and where you get spoiled like an African dictator.

    There are many who specifically fly this product because you can keep an eye on children in this cabin while this is otherwise hardly possible in herringbones or suites or whatever. This has its justification and I am confident LH has done their homework as far as market research is concerned.

  6. What’s their explanation for this substandard product on brand new aircraft? I guess you know why business class was so empty

  7. Damn – you’re talking about this airline, that 7 years ago you described yourself as a ‘massive fanboy’ of, as though it is British Airways. So, Ben, do you even like Lufthansa anymore? It used to be that you were OMAAT’s in house Lufthansa apologist, in the same way that Nick was OMAAT’s in house Delta apologist (and you seem to now be agreeing with him about what he said to you about Delta…). On that note, what ever happened to Nick? Or James? Or Travis?

  8. Would be interesting if you chose the japanese meal. You always go for the boring choices. And agree that I would only want to fly LH if I was with my familly, but then again familly trips are on points so the taxes alone make it a no go.

  9. I just flew from Washington to Munich on the A350 on Friday night. Business class, flight was full. I knew what to expect and so it was fine. I was in 1A. Food was decent, served quickly, and I slept for around 4 hours. It wasn’t the best business class product but service was nice, food good, and I slept well. So it was fine.

  10. Thanks for another great review! I too find LH C to be awful and the 5 star rating a joke. That said, with enough sleeping pills before the flight and bulkhead seating, I have been able to sleep through entire long haul flights in LH C quite comfortably since they introduced the mattress pads (which, in fairness, are very good).

  11. How times have changed. Far from being your favourite airline, at least in first class, LH is now a sad joke. Mr Akbar al-Baker is responsible, thanks to the Qsuite.

  12. I think the Lufthansa fanboy was officially murdered by the Qsuite fanboy when the latter was born. The Lufthansa fanboy was living well until 2015, when he was placed in the ICU. Today no one is nearly as good as Qatar Airways.

  13. VT-CIE – I wondered that – if no-one can compare to Qsuites, even in first class, what is the point of even bothering flying on these airlines? He flew the LH A330 from YUL-MUC 3 years ago. The same reviews of something mediocre get boring after a while. Like that phase he went through in 2015 when he said that he hated American Airlines with all his heart – yet couldn’t stop reviewing them (He reviewed: LAX-LHR, LHR-JFK, JFK-LAX, DFW-HKG, FRA-CLT, LHR-PHL, HKG-DFW, ORD-PEK, PEK-ORD, JFK-MAD, DFW-PEK and PEK-DFW, and posted about flying them about 70 times…). Glad he’s found Delta and United…

  14. I haven’t had a bad flight on LH in J, its just always a little annoying with a seat mate who has to climb over me to get out. Or I could choose the center seats and keep bumping into my seat mate’s feet on the shared ledge.

    It also isn’t very private at all on the aisle seat sets. I think I prefer the center seats for a little more separation from your seat mate. My seat mate was watching a soccer match while I was trying to snooze and any movement on his side transferred over to my side, and he was excited.
    He also tripped over my feet trying to hop out of his seat into the aisle. All in all, just not a competitive seat at all.

  15. Totally agree. Yuk! “..How unappealing to have sliced fruit and mini-burgers just sitting in the galley for hours on end without anything covering them..”

  16. Lufthansa business class is probably my favorite way to travel to Europe. I don’t travel for business and when going on a long haul flight it is for a vacation and it is always with my wife, so having a business class seat where you can hang out and talk with one another is really nice. When we are on other carriers we are separated and basically do our own thing which isn’t as much fun. However, If I did travel for business and traveled alone I would try to avoid Lufthansa business class.

  17. LH can’t make J *too* good because of their F product. See: EK, BA, AF. That and ruthless German inefficiency (see: BER) where similar to United they picked a J product at the wrong time and are stuck with it until they finish the capital spending plan on it.

    It’s a perfectly cromulent J product (I mean, it’s not like FI or DE which are last generation or just USA domestic F) like UA’s, but it’s pretty hilarious that smaller *A partners like TP or BR completely smoke them on hard product.

    Combine with LH J lounges and it’s just sort of sad trombone. “Forgettable” is about right.

  18. Sad to read this. Fly to Bogota from Stockhol twice a year. To date, as a SA Gold member, I use SAS excellent (though seasonal) MIA service which has of the best 1-2-1 J Class products in Europe and connect with Avianca. Had been consciously avoiding LH as they still used the ancient A340s hoping that the new A350 J class would be a step up – the portends don’t look promising at this stage.

  19. I fly Lufthansa J quite regularly. I don’t think it is that bad. The seat is certainly outdated, but I actually find it quite comfortable for lounging and OK for sleeping. The service tends to be good in my experience, they are particularly good with drink refills. I like the wine selection, and the food is mostly OK. Bottom line: it is not great, but if the choice is between a direct flight with Lufthansa and a different airline with a connection, I don’t find the difference in comfort so big that it makes up for the hassle of connecting.

  20. I flew LH J on their A330 and found the seat to be very comfortable. I was in 1A and actually quite ill so i needed a seat with enough padding. Found this more comfortable than the other 3 J products i flew last year (BA, Swiss & Iberia). I found the service to be really good. Maybe it is because i was ill and all i cared about was a comfy bed to sleep in.

    The feet have enough space when sleeping which i find very important. I found the business class in Swiss to be horrible whether sitting or sleeping.

    But indeed LH needs to get their new seats sooner than later. I can’t believe they are still planning on launching the new seat on the 777X which for now seems to be years away from service.

  21. I hate when they kick you out of the mini class cabin in business class.

    There were only 5 passengers in business class once on my flight from PEK ORD and I was ready to enjoy that mini cabin all to myself on Americans original 788 pre premium economy.

    Then the FAs made me move. Since I was non rev I complied. Then inflight of course I see crew rest in the mini cabin and then I am woken up by FA chatter in the forward galley .

  22. LH and NH (as well as LX and OS) have a JV on Europe-Japan routes, so they aren’t actually “competing.”

  23. I find it totally unacceptable to be re-seated into another more cabin because it may improve the service flow for the crew. With 4 flight attendants, they were surely not understaffed, perhaps just lazy.

  24. The only reason LH has such a mediocre business class seat is because they can get away with it. Full stop. They have absolute dominance on the German market. Interesting story: Based in MUC and on the two workplaces I have been at, I would say about 90% of the people there flew LH.
    Not LH Group, but just DLH, even when they could still get status flying LX/OS, other *A airlines or even opt for loyalty towards a better airline. I get the feeling that many people here don’t really care about how “luxurious” the journey is, but to make it as quick as possible. I still can’t wrap my head around why some prefer such an awkward seat (if you end up with a seat mate) nonstop over a more comfortable seat on LX or OS were applicable, even if your trip is two hours longer.

  25. @Ben
    You are wrong, ANA and LH are not competing. They have a Joint Venture on flights between Japan and Germany, so it doesn’t matter which airline you choose. They split the revenue anyway.

  26. Lufthansa’s business class is terrible, indeed. If anything, Ben is being kind to LH here.

    I can’t describe how uncomfortable the seat is, and I’ve had to pleasure of sitting in the center section with a stranger next to me on more than one occasion. I would have preferred their (also underwhelming) Premium Economy if I could get both seats to myself in the 2-seat window section. That’s how uncomfortable the footsie game is.

    Not to mention the complete lack of privacy and storage – you have to awkwardly share the center surface space between you and your buddy in the other seat. But hey, if you are looking for accidental hand-holding with Bavarian grandpas in the middle of the night, this might be considered a feature, not a bug.

    On the other hand, service is usually also terrible, but at least the food is … consistently inedible.

    There’s a lot of J products that I love, and I’m really not all that picky. I mean, I actually like UA’s old J seats on the 787s, even though they’re also exposed, also come with terrible service, and yes, they’re in a 2-2-2 config. But they’re comfortable to sit in and sleep in (I know, I’m asking a lot , huh?) LH’s J isn’t comfortable in any setting.

    As far as design goes, I’d like to defend Ben a bit: I understand some feel offended Ben didn’t like this (laughably poor) seat, but that has nothing to do with whether it looked like a Russian brothel or not, @John. Germans are known for a lot of good things – design isn’t one of them (the 80s called; they want their white pleather couches and shiny chrome furniture back).

    No, this product is just actively offensive to the idea of what a brand like Lufthansa should be offering. Installing it on a brand new A350 is lazy and shows a complete lack of competence up and down the chain at LH. Isn’t anyone allowed to tell CEO What’s-His-Face to go try it for himself some time?

    Take a look at your northern neighbors, Lufty. SAS has a real business seat – and a real idea of what a subdued, high-end, design looks like (still not a Russian brothel, sorry @John).

  27. The seat is pretty lame solo, but very nice with a companion. I find myself really liking Lufthansa food and service — not groundbreaking but consistently fresh and good.

  28. While the seat isn’t private I do find I sleep really well in it. Some of the more private seats have to do tricks and gimmicks with the space meaning you must cocoon yourself into a little hole. The LH seat is at least open, for better or worse.

  29. Six-abreast? Yawn. Lufti are almost as bloated and lazy as BA in this regard. Why change when they have a captive audience who happily pay the big bucks for a below-standard seat?

  30. Honestly? Whilst I would never chose LH Business given the option to fly ANA, Lufthansa Business is far from the worst in the world. EK Business is way worse if you don’t fly their A380. Flying from US to Europe or the Mediterranean what better choices do you have? Lufthansa service is miles above what American and United offer, and BA is incredibly inconsistent. DL don’t offer great connections, KLM doesn’t have a great route network, and Air France only has a decent J product on their 77W. Considering how rare Q Suites are I don’t think we can even talk about them.

  31. I think those of you who are accusing Ben of not being a LH fanboy anymore are being funny. Times change, airlines change, he changes based on his experiences. He is not writing a literary masterpiece that will last 100 years. He is giving us information about what we can expect now. I remember Ben’s fascination with LH first class but never J class. I have found Ben’s perspective to be consistent over the years. He is transparent about what he likes and dislikes. And let’s be honest, he has a lot more experience in J class than most of us here since he has experienced a huge variety whereas most of us fly with a few distinct airlines.

  32. Btw, I just have to mention LHs terrible J class on the lower level of their 747-400s! How can they get away with four across in the first row and then 2-3-2 with these seats? I can accept 2-3-2 in a pinch if the seats are really good (think TK C), but these? C’mon.

  33. I think an update to the “how to identify airplane type from distance” is in order with some of the newer varieties. You did a post on this probably 7 years ago. Thanks

  34. Becoming (and maintaining) HON Circle membership has the main disadvantage of having to fly LH J quite often. Yes the seat sucks and, being 6’6”, sleeping is also not so comfy. Central bulkhead seats do have a few inches more and especially a larger footwell so I always try to grab them. I actually prefer their 747 seat to anything else but it’s marginal. Food is mostly crap, but I normally get my lunch/dinner in the F lounge so who cares. Also due to the huge reduction in F cabins, I enjoyed LH operational upgrades only twice in six years (about 120 flights), both of them last year. Why do I keep flying with them? Well, if you are living in Continental Europe and you need a reliable carrier with an extensive network and a good schedule, there is no other option. So…even if Mr. Spohr and his team are doing whatever they can to cut service&amenities, LH will continue to enjoy good revenues from many of us. Every now and then I try to fly LX or OS but their network is so smaller they are not a real alternative…

  35. Thank you for this Lucky! I am so frustrated with Star Alliance partners! Especially Lufthansa with its outrageous 5* rating of nonsense. How do they beat out Austrian or Swiss which at least offer “throne” seats or mostly all aisle access with storage, some privacy and a table to put things on. When I fly Lufthansa (single woman traveling for work) I have to either choose to sit in the middle section and pray a big guy isn’t sitting next to me, aka footsies, or sit on the side aisle seat and enjoy someone climbing over me and my face an inch from the floor/aisle. It is so annoying how proud they are of their product (aka $5000+ for flights from US to Africa in business regularly). I’d much rather fly Qatar and enjoy that or BA’s new suites or Swiss or Austrian.

    On one hand I feel better knowing a professional agrees with me re LH being lackluster, on the other hand if NO ONE LIKES LH how on earth do they charge so much and earn 5*?? What am I missing??

  36. Thanks for the review, Lucky.

    For me, business travel is 90% about the seat and seating configuration. On that score, LH gets a big fat NO; in that I would never pay good money for this sub-standard hard product. Now that BA is upgrading, I guess this means Lufthansa now officially has the worst seats of the big euro carriers? Shocking! No comparison at all to south-east asian and mid-east carriers.

  37. Hi Lucky,

    Did you get a pyjama on this LH flight?
    Does anyone know on which flight LH provides pyjamas?
    Thanks
    Martin

  38. Suggestion: for next time, always take the local menu from host nation. Ex: go with the Japanese menu departing Japan, Chinese menu departing China.

  39. This would have been bookable on Aeroplan without Hefty fees through Japan’s rules against carrier-imposed fees, would it not?

  40. I can’t believe that when you are departing from Japan where the local catering is done that you don’t at least have one of the two Japanese meals (lunch or dinner) that were offered on your flight. At least for the benefit of your readers. The Japanese food would be the real strength of the local catering just as Japanese food out of Munich would not. There was lots of choice and I am sure it would have been superior than the Western meals you ordered which looked pretty boring even on the menu, let alone on your plate! Try to be a bit more adventurous if you can as we would very much appreciate it. Maybe you could ask the Flight Attendant to pose with another food tray to get variety. Food is a big deal to me when I fly Business Class. No insults intended, just some constructive comments. Many Thanks for your efforts.

  41. Having flown LH business class across the Atlantic 10 times or so, this review was no surprise at all. The seat is awful compared to the competing, food choices always leave me uninspired (although I do appreciate the choice of appetizers), and service indeed feels like an assembly line.

    I’ve flown most * carriers TATL business class (except Brussels and LOT) and find LH to easily be the worst overall experience. My favorites are a tie between SK and OS. Nevertheless, LH does offer a ton of options and seems to have relatively easy award availability (it’s starting to become clear why….).

  42. I think the main problem here is that someone who reviews airlines for a living may have the priorities not aligned much of the flying public, simple and plain.

    – There are people who travel with a partner or a colleague or even with family who will appreciate the seat setup for it being more social
    – There are people who will take a direct with LH over any option because it is direct.
    – There are people, probably one third of the flying population, that doesnt like flying and who would rather take a flight in an airline they know and trust than some flying carpet from the Middle East. It may not be the best in the world but it is consistent and delivers an unspectacular and a bit understated performance every single time.

    Seriously, normal people dont care if you have THAT much privacy or your feet are only divided by a small plastic shield or they serve a decent enough sparkling wine instead of some twenty year old Champagne that 90% of the cabin couldnt tell apart from a $3 a bottle one way or another.

    I stopped flying LH in business 3-4-5 years ago and first switched to AC and then Delta who´s business class is a heck lot worse than LH leave alone AC but as mentioned, there are tons of other reasons way more important to flyers…

  43. Ben, out of curiosity: How well do you speak German? Which language do you use on board LH? Is there a difference in service depending on whether you speak German or English?

  44. “The appetizer and fruit were fine, while the main wasn’t good at all… in fairness, it was my mistake for ordering that.”

    No, it most certainly was not your mistake. Shouldn’t an airline create a menu with dishes that tolerate being reheated and served on a plane?

  45. Just flew LH several times last week. Did economy TA on a relic 340. I was so glad to be flying economy when I saw the 2-2-2 in Business, LOL.
    As an aside, pax should be aware that for several months LH is uncatering and skipping meals on flights, claiming it is related to a food services strike. The facts are that;
    1, There is no strike in the news,
    2, They claim to be notifying in advance although they are not.
    3, I am told this has been going on for months.

    When in economy their true nature shows; they try to be brutally efficient but ultimately tend to get you from point A to point B in a timely manner. It is best to expect no help at all other than being offered your seat onboard.

  46. @FLIEGER,
    Your points are on target but I can not imagine anybody not finding 2-2-2- crowded for Business. I fly economy or business, I pay and I decide. Lately I find myself seeking alternatives that have 1-2-1 or 1-2-2 in business or fly economy and sleep in a bed at an airport hotel.
    While nonstop to destination is a big concern I often fly to secondary locations in Italy that are not served with non stop service from the USA. The result is stopping and switching someplace. Surprisingly, LH often has as many or more flight options that anybody else, including AZ.

  47. One advantage of LH is that they will make more of an effort to get you there. If you had landed late in MUC there would have been party to greet you with a special van to rush you to your connection.

    Compare this with BA “conformance”. BA also have extra staff to handle latecomers – by telling them they’ve missed their flight! Even though their plane may not yet be at the gate.

  48. @LARA
    Germany is still an industrial powerhouse. Many German firms cut annual travel deals with LH. I also find that they are a favorite of high tech firms with need to travel between israel/India and the USA since most trips can be booked with one transfer at FRA or MUC. There are some favorite flights which literally become networking meetups.

  49. @Donato

    You’re right. I think LH has the advantage of a huge captive market with many firms based in Germany. In that situation, where income stream is virtually guaranteed, there is a perhaps little incentive to innovate or provide the absolute best product. Instead, they provide a bare minimum and nothing more. Just like BA.

  50. @John Because yes, we all strive to imagine a business class built to look out for our children. It’s not called business class. It’s called economy.

  51. I am laughing at all the LH fan people going wild on this review. My god. Where is the big secret that LH business is fairy mediocre? LH F is great, no arguments. But to think their C class is anything above anyone else is stretching. I felt the review was more than fair.

  52. @John
    I think it also has to do with the fact that Lufthansa has both F and J. Having a poor J hard product allows their F product to remain competitive due to the increased privacy. Notice how this works well on AA’s a321T- J (diamond) is 2-2 and F (reverse herringbone) is 1-1. However on the AA 777-300ER, the reverse herringbone 1-2-1 J hard product is so good that it makes paying for F completely pointless.

    Given how everything is moving towards J+ suites complete with doors, LH and EK both have a lot of work to do.

  53. Man, sometimes reviews are too much. It amazes me that people really give a crap about so many small things. They could’ve cleaned up the plate more and presented it better? GMAFB. You fly around up front too much, that’s your problem. It’s turning your brain to mush. I hope you aren’t like this in real life at home.

  54. Jay – this site is dedicated to premium and luxury travel.

    If you’re gonna spend big money to travel business or first class – or use up a ton of points from having spent a lot of money travelling already – then you come here to hear about the type of products and services on offer.

    It’s great getting Ben and his colleagues’ feedback – it’s no different reading a restaurant or a movie review to get an idea of if you’re going to like the product on offer.

    And while a little spattered food on the side of a plate isn’t gonna kill anyone and is no big deal in the overall scheme of one’s life – it’s just pretty crappy service from the point of view of anyone who’s ever worked in hospitality and done silver service.

    And I always think of business – and first obviously – as being flying equivalents of silver service. The picture of Ben’s main meal – sloppily plated-up and spattered all over the place – looked really unappealing and like something sloshed up at a greasy spoon diner rather than anywhere with pretensions to premium.

    So if you’re looking for reviews of bargains in economy travel – must be some other sites you can try? As for me and most of the others here – we really appreciate the thoughtful and painstaking reviews herein – and know that they do effect the travel choices we make.

  55. Have to laugh at the opening statement on the menu – how can they just openly lie like that? Everything they say is the opposite in action.

  56. LH J seats are becoming less favorable even for group travel… airlines like QR (Qsuite), NH (The Room), and maybe also UA (Polaris) provide better experience regardless of if you are traveling alone or with another.

  57. “than some flying carpet from the Middle East.”

    What the hell does that even mean?

    As for LH…their business class is average. I mean, there are other airlines out there offering a better overall product, but it isn’t that horrible.

    And yes, even though it is called business class, you do find families traveling BC as well, and for families, this is a decent product.

  58. Guys have you tried the real top airlines in the world ? Seem you just lack knowledge.
    The positive comments about LH look ridiculous.

    Food basic, cheap wines, service a mixed bag, amenity kit look like the same as Economy class 15 years ago, seat from the past, horrible security in FRA… what else do you need to open your eyes ?

    My last flight was from Bogota in business class and it was a total joke (not even a printed menu, food disgusting, no food choice, subpar seat no privacy). I avoid LH at all cost.
    It’s time for LH to invest the billions of the LH group to have a real seat and good food with wine who cost more than 10USD.

  59. Stuart, it is very much commonplace that LH J has never been anything but mediocre. Ditto for BA J until it unveiled its A350 Club Suite last year. However, since Lucky has not flown LH F in a long time, he seems to have lost track of how great LH can be, at least in the nose of the plane.

    Also, there is no A350 in the world with first class—yet.

  60. Edit: Noticed that JAL’s domestic A350s have first class. Among long-haul airlines, China Eastern is perhaps the only one with a genuine F product on its A350, as Malaysia rebranded its A350 F product as a Business Suite.

  61. “However, since Lucky has not flown LH F in a long time, he seems to have lost track of how great LH can be, at least in the nose of the plane.”

    I dunno, even during Lucky’s LH fanboy days, it was always a given he was in love with their first class, and not much beyond that.

  62. @Chris What top airlines do you mean? EK Business is garbage. Unrefined service and horribly uncomfortable seats. Q Suites are impossible to get without going out of your way.

  63. @ Gene
    Yes, but did they not announce that they have the intention to introduce pyjamas (together with mattress pad)?

  64. Most people forget the one and single reason why Lufthansa can get away with these less-than-part business and first class standards: A lot of people flying Lufthansa do not care about the service level, they book Lufthansa for safety. There is a common opinion (especially here in Germany) that Lufthansa services its planes better than other air carriers. And their statistics in terms of fatal accidents is exceptional good. I know a lot of people that take a longer route and accept stopovers just to make sure they fly Lufthansa. It might be a relict from times where air travel was still less save – but I guess Lufthansa can capitalize on this unless they do not have an major accident to lose their safety bonus.

  65. People said for years that Lufthansa was better in business than BA. Yes you did have to look someone in the eye while eating on BA but when the privacy divider was closed, and you had a window seat, the old Club World was one of the most private seats in the sky. Lufthansa made multiple huge mistakes in business class.
    1- they replaced their old angled seats with a product that would be described as sub par to adequate in 2012.
    2- They did literally nothing to try and make those seats even a little bit private
    3- They haven’t updated their meal service in a few years meaning Do&Co for BA is now way out in front. (Some of the best food flying)
    4- They unveiled their new seats way too far in advance so their new business class would’ve been world class in 2017 after leaving it for three years the competition have had something to look at and base their designs against. I get the feeling that BA’s Club Suite (great name) decision was at least in part driven by Lufthansa’s decision to go with a staggered product instead.

  66. Great to read this as I am flying to Munich on this flight next week. We will return on the ANA flight. This is on holiday with my husband and for us the business class flight on LH offered great value – not much more than premium economy to NYC from Tokyo. As I am traveling with my husband, I don’t mind the 2-2-2 seating. On the ANA return we had to pick the last row in order to have seats where you can lower the barrier between the two middle seats. God forbid more than one couple be on the flight. Glad we booked early.

  67. @ Mark — That’s a good question. On the surface that would seem to be most efficient, but my guess is simply that they decide it’s easier for them to take a consistent approach with upgrades rather than a case-by-case situation like this. In other words, they may have upgraded premium economy passengers, so I guess they would have added premium economy catering.

    And at that point is special catering this flight in a certain way worth the cost of doing so rather than just providing those people with a business class service?

  68. @ John — Goodness, there’s a fine line between what Lufthansa offers, and “something that looks like a Russian brothel and where you get spoiled like an African dictator.”

    Let’s for a moment forget the evolution that business class seats have gone through, but if you do want the 2-2-2 layout, surely you’d agree that the standard forward facing 2-2-2 seats are more comfortable? They don’t have footwells so there’s a lot more space for your seat.

    This configuration is simply a lot more efficient, so they can cram 36 seats into a space where other airlines can get at most 30 seats.

    So Lufthansa didn’t choose this product because people love it, they chose it because they can get away with it. People choose Lufthansa for their massive route network, and not the quality of their seats.

    That being said, that won’t change how I review the product as such. My flight reviews are intended to compare the actual onboard products of airlines, and not their route networks, pricing, safety, etc.

  69. @ Raksiam — I think the simple explanation is “because they can.” The airline has a robust route network, and particularly for anything East of London/Paris, they’re the logical global airline. So they can get away with this product for the same reason British Airways got away with their product so long (they owned so many Heathrow slots, so they had a captive audience). But even British Airways is investing in their product…

  70. @ Speedbird — And I’ve also shared my disappointment with Emirates’ business class on the 777: https://onemileatatime.com/emirates-business-class-seat-update/

    The area I differ is that I think business class is primarily about the seat, so I’d actually choose American’s 777/787 business class, or any new United Polaris planes, or Delta A330s/A350s/777s, over Lufthansa.

    Air France has new business class seats throughout a majority of their long haul fleet, and British Airways is at least trying. Meanwhile Lufthansa announced new seats over two years ago, and still has nothing…

  71. @ Jay — Hi, welcome to OMAAT, where we provide in-depth reviews of premium cabin airline experiences! If that’s not what you’re looking for, then maybe you shouldn’t be reading the reviews?

    Could we for a second appreciate how Lufthansa describes their business class dining service:

    “On long-haul flights in Business Class you will experience culinary highlights on every route. Exquisite food, fine wines, top-quality tableware and attentive service are the cornerstones of our Business Class in-flight service. Treat yourself!

    The motto of the new Lufthansa Business Class restaurant service is “Exclusivity born of tradition. Excellence born of passion.”

    I’m curious, would you notice if you were served a plate like that in a restaurant? It’s not that it caused me horrible distress and I’m suing the airline for the dirty plate, but I think it’s totally reasonable for me to mention this detail in a detailed review of a product…

  72. @Ben,

    – Novosibirsk ok – but why do you want to visit Harbin?
    – Why do you feel it was your mistake ordering the Stroganoff main?

    @others

    LH provides pyjamas in Business Class during night flights (i.e. for example Europe -> Japan) but not during day flights (Japan -> Europe).

  73. @ Chris K — The Harbin Ice Festival has always intrigued me. As far as the chicken order goes, frankly chicken stroganoff doesn’t sound great to me to begin with, let alone for a dish catered in Japan where I could have ordered better.

  74. I tried Lufthansa (A350) out of Seoul-Incheon (ICN), South Korea to Munich. Agreed that the seats quite sub-par (but still a bit better than BA at least), and food was “not bad” but not steller. Service I would say just fine. The seat is just about as good as Korean Air’s old business class seat, and service is no match to KE or OZ.

    But being at quite a minor market, I don’t have many better options flying to Europe, especially into secondary markets where Asian carriers don’t fly to. (AF flies 77W with angled 2-3-2 seats, enough said. No OS, LX, SK flight to Korea.) It’s probably how LH gets away with such a sub-par product… they fly to where OS, LX, SK (and sometimes even BA/AF/KL) don’t fly to. They also higher frequencies to many of the markets people fly to, and business travelers based in Germany probably are not willing to take detour to fly something better (which is usually the case with business travelers around the world).

    My choice flying to European secondary cities where KE/OZ (based in Korea) don’t fly to is KL (mainly due to ICN 00:50 – AMS 05:00 schedule), AF, LH then BA. QR/EK are too much of a detour (3 or 4 hrs) for me flying to Europe.

  75. @UGC
    Thank you. That’s funny. So you say there is no set with matching trousers, only a shirt?

    I am not a regular LH J customer. In Dec 2018 I took a one way Osaka-Frankfurt flight with them paying with Lifemiles as I learned here on OMAAT. During mid flight I had a good chat with a FA. Suddenly she asks me whether I want “another ” PJ “for my wife”. She obviously assumed that I had already received one on the trip to Japan and this was my return flight. I told her that I am taking a one way only, wasn’t married but would happily take one for myself. She advised me to stow it away so that other passengers don’t see it, as they do not normally give them out on a day flight.

    Long story short, at home I noticed i only got the top piece (shirt), and have been wondering up to this day whether the package was incomplete to begin with or I accidentally left the trousers on the plane.

    Now I know, but how silly is that? So they expect you to wear your normal jeans or whatever and the Van Laak shirt on top?

  76. I’m late to the party here but here’s my minimal value-added.

    I like the upper deck on the LH 747-800. The service and food are standard LH (not great, not awful) but the cabin feels intimate and although there is no privacy between seats (2-2) it also isn’t cramped (I’m 6’3). Of course this is only available on limited routes.

    As others have noted, for some routings LH is the only game in town – I am thinking in particular of Central Asia, where I’ve flown LH over the years from NYC to Ashgabat, Almaty, Astana (now Nur-Sultan), and Baku (before Azerbaijan Airlines started the JFK-GYD nonstop). What real competition do they have on that type of route for an international business class passenger? And I agree that their reputation for operational discipline (which may be cultural image as much as reality) absolutely works in their favor when considering travel to outstations that from a US/European perspective seem remote. Watching LH turn around an inbound A330 in Almaty in the middle of the night in February for an ontime departure was really impressive, even if I would give the amuse-bouche served after takeoff 5 stars.

  77. @[email protected] replying to the troll.

    No need to justify it Lucky, even those of us booking via points, if it isn’t done directly through your business and you are paying hundreds and often thousands more Long haul per journey than premium economy. It is important that the food is the high standard you should expect when spending thousands.
    In the U.K. you wouldn’t pay £70 in a restaurant and expect a Pot Noodle.

    I value that you notice these very important details that make me question whether the experience will truly be worth the outlay.

  78. While I typically share your view and ratings, I think you’ve been over criticm Lufthansa’s product this time.

    Hard facts:

    – Each set has of course an USB outlet. You’ll find it on the inner side of the seat. Advantage is that you can use your smartphone even with shorter cables.

    – The reseating may have been to balance the weight of the plane. This occurs often on not fully booked planes.

    – There is a partitioner between the two footwells on all places, isn’t it? So even if you choose the center seats, you can never touch your neighbors feet, correct? Your article describes it the other way.

    While the other part is of course subjective and reflects personal preference, I can only highly object to your statement “virtually all other major European airlines have more competitive seats already in service.”

    I had the “pleasure” to fly ORD-FRA 10 days ago on Lufthansa and EWR-LHR on British Airways a couple days ago. While I could get a solid 7 hours sleep on the Lufthansa flight, I could only doze on BA. For me, the ability to sleep on a Business class flight is one of the key important factors.

    If you don’t like LH’s 2-2-2 seating in J, you should try BA’s 2-4-2 seating, which I was able to “enjoy”. Or maybe you want to compare it to the non-flat angled seats of Air France?

    You complain about the data limit on LH’s wifi? Go for a flight on BA’s newest plane, the Dreamliner, where they don’t have any Wifi at all.

    I also don’t complain about not being disturbed by a mid-flight service. I prefer to sleep 6-8 hours and more on such a flight. Anyone who wants to have something, can go to the galley. I’m also pretty sure the flight attendants bring you anything from the “mid snack menu” any time you want. You like Qatar’s anytime dining but on LH you miss a fixed scheduled mid-day service?

    Would I rate Lufthansa 5-stars myself? Definitely not. But for sure it’s a very solid 4.5 in my opinion.

  79. Thank you for your review
    Disregarding your written comments the photos speak volume.
    Sadly another airline that believes it can get by when offering a sub-par experience.
    In all fairness, the Germans are not known for providing a consistent, global and/or first rate service in any situation. They seem to simply get by by being present and enforcing that presence in a way they feel will get them in.
    Service, on a genuine and authentic level is not relevant in every day situations in Germany. Try even going into your local German bakery and hearing the words “Welcome”, “please”, and “thank you”….you won’t.
    They constantly overcompensating and missing the mark.

  80. @ Matthias — Updated the post to reflect the USB outlets, that’s a factual inaccuracy on my part, as I didn’t see them.

    As far as your other points go:
    — The plane was otherwise completely full, so this wasn’t due to weight & balance. It was even confirmed to me that this was due to service flow.
    — There is a partition between the two center footwells, but your knees absolutely can touch, and I do find the way the footwells are next to one another to be awkward.
    — I very specifically made the point that other European airlines “have more competitive seats already in service,” which wasn’t to say that all their seats are better, but rather that they’re making progress. Of course the eight across seating on British Airways and United sucks, but at least they’re trying. Meanwhile Lufthansa announced a new business class in 2017, and still doesn’t have any planes with the seats.

    Anyway, I’m genuinely happy that someone considers Lufthansa to be a solid 4.5/5, because at least someone is enjoying it!

  81. This review is really consistent with my experience too. It’s disappointing that LH seems to relish a sub-par business product, as some kind of means to justify their F class (which, I still love). It just seems completely unreasonable that an airline would install these seats on such a gorgeous plane. It’s honestly not that different than AF choosing to install those angled seats on their A380. A sorely outdated and uncompetitive product.

  82. I cannot/can believe that Lufthansa installed this type of seat for their new J class. LH is very consistent in mediocre in business class service… it is different than US airlines where things can be good and bad.

    For business class on an 11 hour flight, they should do better in both the hard and soft products.

    Thank you for the review! I like LH but it is just kind of ‘blah’. They get you from A to B and you are not playing roulette in terms of food, quality etc… but they could really up their game. I would complain.

    I think that they are trying to have people upgrade to their first class service, which is like business class on many Asian airlines.

  83. Listen all you travel vloggers, we get it! Lufthansa is not a 5 star even though a very subjective company says they are. Please try to be more original since, these low key pick apart Lufthansa reviews, just because YOU don’t think they deserve whatever raiting they have. Do better, or just don’t offer a review.

  84. I stopped flying LH about 5 years ago, one of the main reasons being exactly this Business Class seat, which was subpar back then. I understand they installed a cardboard-like divider in the central footwell, so that it‘s easier to avoid the neighbour‘s feet … I guess the A350 has this divider installed from the beginning, but I‘ve been told by my LH flying friends it dies not always prevent intrusion during night.

    This brings me to the question why people still fly LH in J. My understanding is that for many of my (in particular older) friends it‘s of critical importance that they can speak German from A to Z. Not that their English is bad, but they are extremely afraid of having to use it, in particularly in situations they cannot prepare for in detail (e.g. IRROPS, lost baggage – but it already starts at food option not available …)

  85. @GS

    “I think that they are trying to have people upgrade to their first class service, which is like business class on many Asian airlines.”

    That might have made sense if all of their fleet had F, but for every year that goes by less and less routes get planes with F services. Including their A350’s

    You can’t get people to upgrade if you are not offering the service in the first place. And then your J class gets more and more important.

    Even if LH is in a very good place to be when it comes to the reach of their network, location for connections inside Europe without too much back tracking, and finally the fortress hubs in FRA and MUC for O&D traffic.

  86. @Jay out of RKSI, Finnair has a daily flight from ICN, convenient connections at Helsinki (although the airport is crowded in the afternoon) and quite a substantial network in Europe. Check them out next time.

  87. Benny…I also liked zhat you changed the reporting style to ‘scientific’. Did you literally use a timer to record the service flows, in order to make a German statement of ‘10min/15min/75min/85min later’?

  88. @Drew, the real competition LH has with the Central Asian network is their Star Alliance partner, Turkish. They have a pretty good network in Central
    Asia. Of course, choosing LH vs TK is a personal preference for some.

  89. Looks like a Vietnam Air or Malaysia Airlines product to me, hard or soft. Not meant to insult VN and MH, but those airlines are budding airlines on the rise with many rough edges while LH should be a 5 star airline.

  90. As a frequent business traveller (pun intended -> status and occupation) based in Munich, I think some people don’t really understand LH’s market position here.
    For me, they don’t really have competition. For 90% of my travel needs, LH is the most convenient carrier, since they offer direct flights out of Munich. So of course I am a member of M&M. And due to this, even if some other carrier has a better long-haul product, I will still chose LH because I would never pass up those miles for a J roundtrip just for a little more comfort/privacy.
    I know for a fact that my situation applies for alot of LH’s customer base as well. Also there is the “prestige” of being a status holder of LH here in Germany, for whatever thats worth.

    LH knows all of this of course and see no reason to significantly upgrade the experience.

  91. The power of lufthansa is flight connections. My parents live in a small town in italy and the nearer airport is Ancona which is very tiny: there are only few flights by low cost carriers and lufthansa. Alitalia left Ancona airport many years ago. Lufthansa offers 3-4 daily flights from Ancona to Munich so you are easily connected to a huge intercontinental network from a small airport…. so you don’t care to much if business class seat isn’t over the top.

  92. @JV
    I had the opportunity to fly Vietnam Airlines a few times on both A350 & 787 and I can guarantee that the hard product is way better. Service and food is a mixed bag but overall competitive vs LH.

    @Matt
    for business purposes, I would not choose TK. They are often in delay and connecting in IST can be a nightmare. Also, they are indeed flying to many destinations, but they do not offer many flights. Just think about LH summer schedule to the US (ORD, NYC) or far east (PEK, PVG, HKG, BKK, SIN). There are up to 2 flights/day from MUC and FRA (morning and evening), and one each from ZRH and VIE (except HKG&SIN). Nobody else can give you so many options if you are based in Central Europe.

  93. yeah, you wrote exact the plus and minus of LH Business product.
    Flying often SQ, QR, LX, LO .. my plus and minus of LH product are
    + seat length and spacing to front seat
    + Food Quality
    + IFE OK
    – privacy
    – Service & Crew attendance
    – 2-2-2 seating

  94. @VT-CIE Japanese domestic first is akin to US domestic first, while J is akin to Comfort+ in US. And it applies to JAL domestic 359 too.
    And MU/MH F seat on 350 are similar – They are glorified J seat, and it’s not even possible to book in MU 350 F, or pay to upgrade at any time. Not sure what Elite can do.

  95. Actually, my experience with Lh are much better. Yes, the seat has little privacy, but when I fly with my family thats actually an advantage over, say, SQ. And apart from the privacy the seat is very comfy, although I am tall. Food is usally very good. Service perfect, although never as personal as SQ. But on TATL I believe LH as far better then most legacy carriers. SAS has a nice seat, but the overall product isnt better. ANd the gulf carriers are not in cometition here, I´ll never Fra-Dubai-NYC, thats the wrong direction. If you want to spend MORE time on a trip, choose Qatar, but if the goal is to cross the atlantic fast, I´ll take LH every time

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