Lufthansa Business Class Refresh Project Now Complete

Filed Under: Lufthansa

Lufthansa has been in the process of refreshing their longhaul first & business class cabins since 2011. That means for almost five years we’ve been playing a guessing game as to whether we’ll get Lufthansa’s new first or business class cabins on a given flight.

In June Lufthansa announced that they completed overhauling their first class cabins. In a way it was bittersweet, because for many of us who have been involved in the miles & points world for a while, Lufthansa’s old first class was an especially memorable redemption. And at the time, award space on Lufthansa was almost unlimited.

Lufthansa’s old first class

Still, it’s exciting the first class retrofit project is complete, so now yo know you’ll get Lufthansa’s new first class no matter which plane or route you fly.

Lufthansa’s new first class

The good news is that just yesterday Lufthansa announced that they’ve also completed their business class retrofit project. All Lufthansa A330s, A340s, A380s, and 747-8s now feature Lufthansa’s new business class product. As part of this retrofit, Lufthansa installed roughly 7,000 new business class seats.

Lufthansa’s new business class

Lufthansa’s new business class

The one catch is that the 747-400 reconfiguration process isn’t quite complete, as a few of the planes still feature Lufthansa’s old business class product. A couple of 747-400s will soon be retired (and therefore won’t get the new product), while a few others should still be reconfigured in the coming weeks.

Lufthansa’s old business class

Lufthansa is pretty good about releasing business class award availability, so you can now be guaranteed the new business class product as long as you avoid the 747-400.

The funny thing is that as Lufthansa’s business class product is already sort of outdated. While most “top” airlines are aiming for direct aisle access from every business class seat (often using reverse herringbone seats), Lufthansa just installed a product which has six business class seats per row, and isn’t especially private.

Lufthansa’s new business class

Regardless, it’s a huge improvement over the old product!

Bottom line

It’s great that Lufthansa will finally have some consistency in their fleet, aside from the 747-400, which they’re still working on. For years, you wouldn’t know for sure if you were booking Lufthansa’s new or old business class product for most of their fleet. So while Lufthansa’s new business class isn’t an amazing product, it’s a perfectly pleasant way to fly across the Atlantic, and is now available on more planes than ever before.

What has been your experience with Lufthansa’s new business class?

  1. Are you sure about the old B747-400s? Lufthansa explicitely says the new business class has now been overhauled on all long haul planes.Two B747-400 (D-ABVL and D-ABVN) went out of service this month, so maybe those were the ones without the new C.

  2. Even when they introduced the new business class seat it was already outdated and not competitive with the best airlines. I think LH really missed the boat.

  3. I know it is called “business” class but 2x configuration + lie-flat seats + good award availability = great for families. I’ll look forward to a real review but if the only knock is no direct aisle access for window seats I am totally fine with that and it is actually a positive with kids <5 years old who can't really manage themselves in isolation.

  4. Glad to see this is finally complete. Ever since United’s devaluations, I’ve realized I need to move some of my spending from Chase to earn either SPG or Membership Rewards points to utilize Aeroplan.

  5. Rory,
    I agree with you. For those of us who travel for pleasure with others, having side by side seats is preferable to reverse herringbone or other types of pods. I’d rather have a VA 777 or KL747 versus an AA777 or CX777. I get why the trend is the opposite though since the business travelers pay the bills and they want privacy.

  6. Flew the new business class on an A340. It’s certainly a huge improvement over the old business class but it still is a sub-par product. Air Berlin business class is way better. Lufthansa obviously needs to differentiate its First and Business Class, but I’m not sure where Lufthansa is actually making more money. I don’t know many people that actually pay cash for First Class, most fly First on miles. To me it would make more sense to eliminate First and install an industry leading business class.

    As a Europe based traveler I just don’t get Lufthansa’s strategy. Their business class is far from industry leading but ticket prices are industry leading (expensive). Why would I pay a higher fare to fly Lufthansa business class to Asia when I can fly Etihad business class for a lot less? Why would pay up to fly Lufthansa business class to North America if I can fly AA or AB for less? And by introducing this whole German- and Eurowings disaster LH has been very succesful in loosing many German business travelers to AB who previously would have never thought about flying AB. I just don’t see where they are going with all this.

  7. So what’s the story with 747-400 upper deck first class, with the separate seat and bed? Is that still around on any aircraft?

  8. Ben, for your information: the last 747-400s with the old business class (D-ABVK, D-ABVL and D-ABVN) had their ops end Sep 6, 11 and 16. So there are only planes with the new seat in all classes on the market!

  9. Never flew the old business class. Just flew the new business class exactly a month ago from YUL to MUC on A330-300. Plane didn’t match any of their configurations on their website or seatguru, 36 business seats, 2 rows before door 2 and 4 rows behind door 2. Cabin was half empty.

    The seats were great, especially travelling as a couple overnight by the window, but for an express service (departure at 20:20), the meal was lackluster and service was still rather long.

    Having flown the LX ZRH-YUL last summer on the A330, the cabin comfort was similar or better, with far better in-flight service, food, wine, etc. Service on a full 45 seat cabin was more efficient with 5 FAs and one FD than 4 FAs servicing 18 passengers on LH.

    Flew home two weeks ago on AC 788 with reverse herring. Even if we sat one behind the other, by far the best cabin comfort and configuration, and no climbing over anyone ever.

    LH new J class is very good, but LX and AC earn better marks in my books. Even the much hated 77W -High density by AC was more comfortable!

    Best feature of LH A330 is the mini-cabin between F and door 2, very quiet for an overnight TATL flight.

  10. You dont need to avoid their 747-400 because the last 3 aircrafts were beeing removed from service in the last few days. The old jumbos (ex) Hannover, Dortmund and Muenchen are retired now. All the other remaining 747-400 have only new seats in all 3 classes: business, premium eco and eco.

  11. @KMIA: re LH’s strategy. Apparently LH includes one free hop to your European destination in the long haul ticket price. My client pays for the tickets so I can’t verify this for sure, but that’s what he told me. My verdict: Having flown a number of J products between SIN and Europe, I’m going to deliberately misquote Lucky and call LH’s business class the world’s best premium economy product.

  12. Lucky just an update: All 106 LH longhaul planes, including all remaining 13 B747-400 have the new product. No more old business seats in the sky.

    @ Ferdinand: All operating B747-400 have only 3 classes on board: Business, Premium Economy and ceased operation in the last few days.

    Btw: I’m a fan of the new LH Business Class. I like the comfy seat and open cabin feeling – compared to EK’s caging. LH’s crew members are extremly professional and most of them charming and interesting people. It’s hard to have a “normal” conversation e.g. with a SQ or CX crew member. LH staff is great. What could be – still – better is their IFE. More varying. But I love their lounge channel #8. Great music they also play with the air show.

  13. We have the opportunity to fly business first from SAN to BHX either through EWR (Newark) on United’s 757-200 or through LAX on Lufthansa’s A380 through FRA (Frankfurt) – a little longer route but my husband has always wanted to check out the A380. Is one really better than the other in business first class? Thanks.

  14. Just flew two longhaul flights in the past 3 weeks (GVA-MUC-HKG-MUC-GVA and GVA-FRA-MAA-FRA-GVA) both on A340-300 with the new Business class. If the improvements are very visible, I was surprised at the poor design (surely the designers of these configurations do not travel). On both night flights I was awakened several times by the knees and feet of the passenger sitting next to me. I tried both 3D, 3G (middle seats) as well as 1K (very tight legroom in the bed position). Not sure if LH ever listens to their customers? The transit in Munich is relatively acceptable but in Frankfurt it is a real catastrophy (min 1 hour from gate to gate). I am surprised that LH has no control over this either?
    Andre (Senator for +10 years)

  15. Apparently passengers are still encountering the old business-class, so it can not be true that all longhaul aircraft have been retrofitted?

  16. Has this now been complete? Looking at 747-400 leg from Den to FRA in business, and I am hoping its 100% chance for the “new” business class. Can anyone confirm?

  17. @Ryan, were you able to confirm if the 747-400 has been reconfigured with the new business class on LH?

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