Lufthansa “Sleeper’s Row” Offers Beds In Economy

Lufthansa “Sleeper’s Row” Offers Beds In Economy

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Lufthansa economy class passengers on select routes will soon potentially have access to flat beds.

Lufthansa’s “Sleeper’s Row” concept

As of August 2, 2021, Lufthansa will be rolling out Sleeper’s Row in economy on select long haul flights. With this new offering, passengers will receive an entire row of seats for themselves (consisting of three or four adjacent seats), along with a comfortable pillow, blanket, and mattress topper, similar to what you’d find in business class. Customers will also receive a special seatbelt, so they can stay comfortably buckled in while resting.

Lufthansa’s Sleeper’s Row concept

Here are some more details:

  • This will cost between 159 Euros and 229 Euros per flight
  • This will be available on long haul flights of 11 hours or more, including routes to the Far East, Central and South America, Southern Africa, and the West Coast of the United States
  • You’ll only be able to reserve this at check-in or at the gate, and not in advance
  • There will be a maximum of three Sleeper’s Rows offered per flight
  • Booking Sleeper’s Row will come with pre-boarding
  • Looking at seatmaps, it would appear that on the 747-8 row 20 will be Sleeper’s Row, as those seats show as being blocked in advance
It looks like row 20 is Sleeper’s Row

Lufthansa tested this concept on the Frankfurt to Sao Paulo route in late 2020 for several weeks, and received positive feedback, which is why this is now being expanded. As it’s described, this is a step towards product diversity in economy class.

The economics of Sleeper’s Row

As you might have figured out, this is an attempt by Lufthansa to monetize seats that would otherwise remain empty. You can’t reserve this product in advance, because they’ll only be offered if there are sufficient empty seats in the cabin (otherwise the pricing would be much higher).

A premium of 159-229 Euros per flight to get a full row and some bedding seems like a solid deal, assuming the flight would otherwise be full (however, if the flight is mostly empty in economy, everyone more or less gets this for free, minus the bedding). The issue is that this isn’t a product you can plan around, because there will be at most three of these, and they’re only available if there are empty seats on the day of departure.

Also, while this does give you some comfort, this won’t be like a true bed. For example, on the 747-8, economy seats are 17″ wide. If you have three of those seats, you’re looking at a bit over 51″ (factoring in the space between seats)… let’s call it 54″. A 4’6″ bed is sure going to be cozy for many people.

Lufthansa isn’t the first airline to roll out this concept — Air New Zealand has offered the Skycouch for years, which is essentially the same concept. There are a couple of differences:

  • The Skycouch can be reserved in advance, though the downside is that it’s also much more expensive (given the potential lost revenue)
  • The Skycouch has something that clips on so that your “bed” is wider, which goes in the space where you’d usually put your feet
Air New Zealand’s Skycouch

Bottom line

Lufthansa will be introducing Sleeper’s Row on long haul flights, allowing economy guests to purchase three or four seats at check-in, so they can sleep in a flat position. It will also come with business class bedding, including a pillow, blanket, and mattress pad, as well as a special seatbelt.

The pricing for this is reasonable, and it could be a good value on a flight that’s otherwise reasonably full. The challenge is that this isn’t something you can plan around — that’s fair enough when you consider the pricing.

What do you make of Lufthansa’s Sleeper’s Row concept?

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  1. aleke

    Hi all! Since NQZ, ALA, KC, and Borat were mentioned in this thread, allow me to offer my 5c on the topic (I am from the region). LH flights to central Asia indeed appear to be consistently fully booked regardless of the time of the year and the day of the week. The product (if ever launched on mid-haul routes like Kaz) will be popular I think, but again would not stand much chance due...

    Hi all! Since NQZ, ALA, KC, and Borat were mentioned in this thread, allow me to offer my 5c on the topic (I am from the region). LH flights to central Asia indeed appear to be consistently fully booked regardless of the time of the year and the day of the week. The product (if ever launched on mid-haul routes like Kaz) will be popular I think, but again would not stand much chance due to good passenger load numbers.

    Overall, LH is not my most favorite airline, but I am very grateful (and remain reasonably loyal) to them for not ditching the country. We used to have BA, KL, OS all flying to KZ, but sadly no longer. With all sorts of eastern carriers (from flydubai to TK to SU) now dominating the scene, LH is the only truly western still present in the region.

  2. Nickey

    Now you're going to have snoring and passing gas which is more likely when you lay down and sleep than sitting up and sleep. This should piss off the passengers around you if not the entire plane. Great.

    1. aleke

      omg, is that what happens in business/first (snoring and farting)?

  3. Speedbird

    If it helps to generate extra revenue and your passengers are happy with it then why not. It's a win-win situation for both plus it's not like LH is charging exorbitantly for them. They will also not cannibalise Premium Economy or even Business since they are only sold during check-in/boarding. Smart move by LH I have to say and I hope they will do well in this.

  4. Andy

    not being able to reserve in advance is a total deal breaker … both a NZ and - interestingly KC are allowing advance reservations

  5. Mick

    My wife and our three kids have flown on the skycouch quite a few times from ORD to AKL. The seat folds up. It worked pretty well when the kids were under 8. My wife slept with the baby and the two bigger kids slept side by side. Both flights there and back took off in the evening.

    The photos had two adults sleeping side by side lollll... no thanks. But for a parent...

    My wife and our three kids have flown on the skycouch quite a few times from ORD to AKL. The seat folds up. It worked pretty well when the kids were under 8. My wife slept with the baby and the two bigger kids slept side by side. Both flights there and back took off in the evening.

    The photos had two adults sleeping side by side lollll... no thanks. But for a parent and small kids it worked well. Width obviously way better than the LH option.

    The skycouches were a premium for sure but you get 6 seats for the price of 4 for about a $1k premium one way. Not a bad option. They were usually sold out pretty quickly (I think around 8 dedicated rows that can be sold as seats anwyay).

  6. Eskimo

    Given how empty seats are right now, LH is just pulling another greedy scam.

    But credits to the airline, people will still somehow pay for it.
    I've seen countless times people paid hundreds of dollars for economy plus so you can have what economy seat was like 15 years ago. Those extra 2 inch isn't worth it.

    1. Yupik

      Dear Eskimo,
      1)
      YOU don’t have to use the sky couch! But it’s a good and cheap
      option for those who want to use it.

      2) my recent LH flights FRA-NQZ//ALA-FRA were oversold in all three booking classes (A330).
      My most recent LH flight FRA-MEX was oversold in M, N and F. There were 6 seats available in C which were sold for 420€(N)/670€(M) to passengers. Why should LH go for...

      Dear Eskimo,
      1)
      YOU don’t have to use the sky couch! But it’s a good and cheap
      option for those who want to use it.

      2) my recent LH flights FRA-NQZ//ALA-FRA were oversold in all three booking classes (A330).
      My most recent LH flight FRA-MEX was oversold in M, N and F. There were 6 seats available in C which were sold for 420€(N)/670€(M) to passengers. Why should LH go for operational upgrades if customers are willing to pay to upgrade.

      3) 15 years ago, flying was more expensive in average. Nowadays you have the choice between ultra-lowcost, lowcost, Basic Economy, economy, economy plus, premium Economy, business, first. Why always complaining?

      4) “greed”: I do not get the constant complaining on this blog. In your opinion, How much margin are airlines allowed to make?

    2. Eskimo

      Dear Yupik,

      1) I'm not referring to Skycouch, which is NZ trademark, which is also not cheap (but IMHO better value than LH)
      2) The option is for 11+ hour flight. Your gibberish is irrelevant. As far as I know 11+ hour flight loads are still light. Whereas, lots of shorter flight are full, like you experienced, but unfortunately irrelevant. And how does C have anything to do with selling Sleeper's row? If anything...

      Dear Yupik,

      1) I'm not referring to Skycouch, which is NZ trademark, which is also not cheap (but IMHO better value than LH)
      2) The option is for 11+ hour flight. Your gibberish is irrelevant. As far as I know 11+ hour flight loads are still light. Whereas, lots of shorter flight are full, like you experienced, but unfortunately irrelevant. And how does C have anything to do with selling Sleeper's row? If anything selling Sleeper's Row increase chances of op-up due to fewer Y seats, which weakens your statement even more right?
      3) Agree 15 years ago was more expensive, but again contrary to your understanding we had more competition and efficient aircrafts today. And why on earth do you group ultra-lowcost, lowcost with class of service? And no the greedy Basic Economy, economy, economy plus didn't exist back then.
      4) In my opinion greed has nothing to do with how much margin allowed, it's maximizing margins.

      Sir, your response makes Borat look like Einstein. Maybe that's what Iron curtain+Socialism does to your brain, asking me to allow more margins for airlines, LOL.
      I suggest you come to US and A to meet C.J. and we'll watch Borat together.

    3. Yupik

      1) I meant the Lufthansa Sleepers Row - which should have been clear by context. Sorry for confusing you. Thanks for the clarification.

      2) FRA-MEX is blocked at 12 hours :)
      By the way, my LH flight FRA-GRU couple of months ago was also quite full - I have to admit, the return was completely empty.

      C has nothing to do with sleepers row but with the concept of LH pro-actively selling seats to...

      1) I meant the Lufthansa Sleepers Row - which should have been clear by context. Sorry for confusing you. Thanks for the clarification.

      2) FRA-MEX is blocked at 12 hours :)
      By the way, my LH flight FRA-GRU couple of months ago was also quite full - I have to admit, the return was completely empty.

      C has nothing to do with sleepers row but with the concept of LH pro-actively selling seats to customers who are willing to pay. Isn’t that the concept you are criticizing because you want empty rows to yourself and upgrades for free?

      3)
      I am not grouping class of services but choices. What is the benefit of more competition when the ticket prices are higher? Besides, I doubt that there was more competition. (Competition is more complex than you think).

      Instead of participating in a discussion with arguments you prefer to be offensive on a personal level.

      I think you should watch less Borat and more history channel to learn about the Iron curtain. While you are at it, there are great economics classes online where you can learn about the basics. Unlike you, I am willing to pay for services such as a sleepers row or an upgrade.
      Not sure why you think I am the socialist here…

    4. Peter H.

      It seems like Eskimo isn’t the brightest star in the sky: The movie Borat is not about socialism or Central Asia. It is about the character Borat making fun of stupid Americans.

  7. M Jones

    After years of travelling I am sure that Lufthansa economy seats are the most uncomfortable of any airline I have flown. To lie down on three of them and pay for the priviledge would be sheer insanity. But credit to Lufthansa for trying to find another way to monetize the Digital Customer Revenue Game, all designed to their advantage but never to ours!

  8. AT

    Not a bad idea, and they seem to restrict it to flights that are not full, so are in essence gaining rather than losing revenue.
    The problem is that it it's 3 seats together - which doesn't really provide sufficient length unless you're not tall. And on the 350s, that's the only option. On the 747s and (if they return) A380s, you can use the middle four.

  9. Andrew-Stuart

    My very first flight as a young 18 year old traveler was aboard a Continental Airlines B747-200 flight from SYD-HNL-SFO. I was seated in by the window in row of 3 and was lucky enough to have the other two sears next to me empty. But being 182cm, I could not get comfortable enough to sleep, despite being curled up in the fetal position. I was awake all night and arrived at HNL feeling very...

    My very first flight as a young 18 year old traveler was aboard a Continental Airlines B747-200 flight from SYD-HNL-SFO. I was seated in by the window in row of 3 and was lucky enough to have the other two sears next to me empty. But being 182cm, I could not get comfortable enough to sleep, despite being curled up in the fetal position. I was awake all night and arrived at HNL feeling very sore and tired. Since then, I've never been fortunate enough to have two empty seats next to me on a long haul flight. But I realize that if I did, history would repeat itself. I'd still not be able to sleep, despite being "flatter" than sitting upright all night.
    So whilst smaller passengers may appreciate LH's new idea for seating in Y class, I think I'll pass. I may as well save my money. Because either way, I'm still gonna be tired and sore when I arrive at my destination. And I always have been. Seating in economy class is just awful these days, even with two spare seats next to you....

  10. David

    Cool idea. I'd be interested in seeing the price point on this vs. premium economy. Most of us have been lucky enough at one time or another to grab a row of empty seats, poor man's business class. I don't find it all that comfortable. I'm 6' 3" so I have to curl up and, the seat, the part you put your butt on, tends not to be flat, so you are laying on a bunch or ridges across the 3 -4 seats.

  11. Adam

    The only advantage of this over the Skycouch is that you can get the middle 4 seats. At least when I flew Skycouch back in 2017, they only used the 3 side seats, so the bed was very short.

  12. Morgan

    Yeah @Ben you may want to update the post because with the AirNZ sky couch there is actually a leg ret of sorts that folds up so that from the seat in front to your seat it is quite literally a bed, whereas that doesn't seem to be the case with LH

  13. FNT Delta Diamond

    About time more airlines do this. Why not? People will pay for it. Some people just can't get their work to pay for the trappings of business-class. Especially on a 6-hour flight between New York and Paris or London. Air New Zealand isn't the only airline that has done this. Kazakhstan or one of those airlines has done it too.

    1. Ivezdad

      The economics don't work unless it is offered on seats that are empty at check-in. Not many travelers are ready to pay the typical cost of 3 or 4 passengers.

  14. Alex

    I believe ANA also offered something like this on the A380 flights to/from Hawaii. Had some weird name like "Cou2ch" or something, I think.

  15. Chris

    The Skycoach “bed” is wider.

Featured Comments Load all 23 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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JJ

That’s called “Couchii”

Yupik

1) I meant the Lufthansa Sleepers Row - which should have been clear by context. Sorry for confusing you. Thanks for the clarification. 2) FRA-MEX is blocked at 12 hours :) By the way, my LH flight FRA-GRU couple of months ago was also quite full - I have to admit, the return was completely empty. C has nothing to do with sleepers row but with the concept of LH pro-actively selling seats to customers who are willing to pay. Isn’t that the concept you are criticizing because you want empty rows to yourself and upgrades for free? 3) I am not grouping class of services but choices. What is the benefit of more competition when the ticket prices are higher? Besides, I doubt that there was more competition. (Competition is more complex than you think). Instead of participating in a discussion with arguments you prefer to be offensive on a personal level. I think you should watch less Borat and more history channel to learn about the Iron curtain. While you are at it, there are great economics classes online where you can learn about the basics. Unlike you, I am willing to pay for services such as a sleepers row or an upgrade. Not sure why you think I am the socialist here…

Yupik

Dear Eskimo, 1) YOU don’t have to use the sky couch! But it’s a good and cheap option for those who want to use it. 2) my recent LH flights FRA-NQZ//ALA-FRA were oversold in all three booking classes (A330). My most recent LH flight FRA-MEX was oversold in M, N and F. There were 6 seats available in C which were sold for 420€(N)/670€(M) to passengers. Why should LH go for operational upgrades if customers are willing to pay to upgrade. 3) 15 years ago, flying was more expensive in average. Nowadays you have the choice between ultra-lowcost, lowcost, Basic Economy, economy, economy plus, premium Economy, business, first. Why always complaining? 4) “greed”: I do not get the constant complaining on this blog. In your opinion, How much margin are airlines allowed to make?

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