There’s no denying that I love Lufthansa first class, which might explain why I’ve flown it as much as I have. It’s just such a lovely product, and one of the few airlines that has a truly top notch ground and onboard experience, in my opinion.
Lufthansa first class caviar service
Early last year, Lufthansa announced that they would be cutting first class on ~20% of their longhaul fleet, which certainly made me sad. At the time they had first class on 94 of their 100 longhaul aircraft, while they had plans to reduce that to 75 aircraft over the next two years. At the time, the source for the first class cuts came primarily in two areas:
- A340-300 aircraft — the plan was to install the new business class product on these planes and eliminate first class entirely
- 747-400 aircraft — at the time six of Lufthansa’s 747-400s didn’t yet feature the new first class, so the plan was to just install the new business class product on them and eliminate first class
Lufthansa 747-400 first class cabin
Well, it looks like the cuts will be more drastic than that, as Lufthansa will eliminate first class on all 747-400 aircraft. That’s really unfortunate, since the 747-400 is the only aircraft to feature Lufthansa’s most innovative first class hard product, consisting of both a separate seat and bed for each passenger (not that I dislike the first class product on the 747-8, A330, A340, or A380). 😉
Lufthansa 747-400 first class seat
- Frankfurt to Osaka Kansai as of March 29, 2015
- Frankfurt to Seoul Incheon as of March 29, 2015
- Frankfurt to Tokyo Narita as of March 29, 2015
- Frankfurt to Toronto as of March 8, 2015
- Frankfurt to Vancouver as of February 5, 2015
Apparently that was only the start, as Lufthansa has just announced much more drastic cuts. Lufthansa has now announced additional routes on which they’ll no longer sell first class. Initially these flights will be sold as two cabin planes (with 67 business class seats and 322 economy class seats), though starting August 12, 2014, premium economy will be sold as well. That configuration will feature 67 business class seats, 32 premium economy seats, and 272 economy seats.
Via airlineroute.net, the 747-400 routes which will see the elimination of first class include:
- Frankfurt to Vancouver as of March 26, 2015 (previously February 5, 2015)
- Frankfurt to Toronto as of March 29, 2015 (previously March 8, 2015)
- Frankfurt to Denver as of April 10, 2015
- Frankfurt to Shanghai as of May 7, 2015
- Frankfurt to Orlando as of May 15, 2015
- Frankfurt to Boston as of May 25, 2015
- Frankfurt to Osaka Kansai as of March 29, 2015 (as previously announced)
- Frankfurt to Washington Dulles as of June 22, 2015
- Frankfurt to Mumbai as of June 30, 2015
- Frankfurt to Seattle as of June 30, 2015 (I’m not sure whether to be more sad about first class being cut, or more happy about the fact that Seattle is getting Lufthansa 747 service!!!)
It’s also interesting to note the new A380 and 747-8 routes that Lufthansa will be launching.
The following routes will see A380 service next summer:
- Frankfurt to Los Angeles as of March 29, 2015
- Frankfurt to Beijing as of April 16, 2015
- Frankfurt to Seoul Incheon as of April 26, 2015
Lufthansa Airbus A380
Meanwhile the following routes will see 747-8 service next summer
- Frankfurt to Boston as of April 27, 2015
- Frankfurt to Buenos Aires as of March 29, 2015
- Frankfurt to Newark as of March 29, 2015
- Frankfurt to New York JFK as of March 29, 2015
Lufthansa Boeing 747-8
I fondly remember the days where Lufthansa had 16 first class seats on the 747-400, and they’d frequently make half of them available for awards. Then they reduced the size of the cabins and began releasing less space. And then they started only releasing first class award space to partner airlines at most 15 days out.
Add in the fact that they’re further cutting the number of first class seats and that MileagePlus devalued their award chart and LifeMiles is blocking Lufthansa first class award space, and Lufthansa first class is as unattainable on miles as ever.