Review: Lufthansa A321 Business Class (FRA-VCE)

Review: Lufthansa A321 Business Class (FRA-VCE)

FROM: FRA
TO: VCE
CABIN: Business
DATE: March 2022
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: Lufthansa's A321 business class is pretty average for European airlines. Expect decent service and Wi-Fi, though don't expect power ports.
51
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After crossing the Atlantic in Eurowings Discover’s A330 business class, and then visiting the Lufthansa Senator Lounge Frankfurt, it was time to fly Lufthansa’s A321 business class from Frankfurt to Venice.

How I booked our Lufthansa business class tickets

As a reminder, I booked our transatlantic itinerary from Tampa to Venice using Air Canada Aeroplan points. I booked the following for 70,000 Aeroplan points plus $72.58 in taxes and fees per person:

03/25 4Y65 Tampa to Frankfurt departing 8:20PM arriving 10:30AM (+1 day)
03/26 LH328 Frankfurt to Venice departing 12:50PM arriving 2:05PM

Aeroplan points are easy to come by, as the program partners with American Express Membership RewardsCapital One, and Chase Ultimate Rewards. On top of that, in the United States there’s the new Aeroplan® Credit Card (review), which is pretty lucrative.

Lufthansa business class boarding

Our 12:50PM flight was scheduled to board at 12:10PM from gate A56, just a short walk from the A50 Senator Lounge we had visited. Since boarding was 40 minutes prior to departure rather than 30 minutes before departure, I knew we’d be leaving from a remote stand (since the airline boards a bit earlier in those situations).

Boarding started right on-time, and the self-service gates were being used, so you just have to scan your boarding pass to get on. We then had to go down some stairs to a bus.

Lufthansa departure gate Frankfurt Airport (FRA)

As much as there are many aspects of aviation in the United States that are terrible, I’m grateful that remote stands aren’t really common. because this is simply such an unpleasant experience, especially in the era of coronavirus. It took about 10 minutes for the bus to fill up, and then it was a roughly 10 minute drive to the plane.

Bus to remote stand at Frankfurt Airport (FRA)

Then even when we arrived at the plane they weren’t ready to board us, so we had to stand in the bus for a few more minutes.

Bus to remote stand at Frankfurt Airport (FRA)

The only nice thing about getting a bus to a remote stand is the great plane views from the apron.

Lufthansa Airbus A321 Frankfurt Airport (FRA)

We were flying on a Lufthansa Airbus A321 with the registration code D-AIRL, which was roughly 27 years old, as it joined Lufthansa’s fleet in 1994.

Lufthansa Airbus A321 Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
Lufthansa Airbus A321 Frankfurt Airport (FRA)

Lufthansa A321 business class cabin & seats

On intra-Europe flights, business class simply consists of economy seats with a blocked middle. Because of this, the size of the cabin can be adjusted with each flight. On this particular flight the business class cabin was huge, and went all the way back to row 14.

Lufthansa Airbus A321 business class cabin

So while all intra-Europe business class seats are typically created equal, that’s not the case on this plane, given the location of the exit row. For example, you’re not going to want to sit in seats 9A & 9C, which are right in front of the exit row and don’t have a window.

Lufthansa Airbus A321 business class cabin

Seat 9D has the benefit of only having one seat next to it, meaning no one else is seated with you. However, you have the same issue with lacking views.

Lufthansa Airbus A321 business class cabin

Meanwhile seats 11A & 11C have virtually unlimited legroom. If there’s such a thing as having too much legroom, these seats would be it, given that you can’t reach anything stored underneath the seat in front.

Lufthansa Airbus A321 business class cabin
Lufthansa Airbus A321 business class cabin

We booked last minute (due to the Eurowings Discover cancelation), and at the time seats 11D & 11F were the best options, located right behind the exit row. 11F was a totally standard seat in terms of legroom, while 11D was right behind the flight attendant jumpseat. This meant there was a bit more legroom, but also meant there was no storage under the seat. Then again, you can always store stuff under the center seat.

Lufthansa Airbus A321 business class seats
Lufthansa Airbus A321 business class cabin
Lufthansa Airbus A321 business class cabin

Then rows 12 and 14 were totally standard, right in front of the curtain.

Lufthansa Airbus A321 business class cabin

Of the 46 business class seats, roughly 32 were occupied, so the cabin was reasonably occupied, but not full.

Lufthansa Airbus A321 business class cabin

The cabin was well maintained given the age of the plane, though it still didn’t have any bells and whistles. There were overhead consoles with individual air nozzles. However, there were no power outlets. Then again, Lufthansa hasn’t even been installing power ports on the new Airbus A320neos. Obviously this isn’t a major issue for the short flight to Venice, but it’s a different story if flying to Athens.

Lufthansa Airbus A321 overhead console

There was also one lavatory at the front of the cabin, which was basic but in decent condition.

Lufthansa Airbus A321 lavatory

Lufthansa business class snack

We departed Frankfurt on schedule for our hour-long flight to Venice, so there’s not a whole lot to report there. Around 10 minutes after takeoff the inflight service began. Several months back Lufthansa introduced the new “Tasting HEIMAT” meal service concept on short haul flights, intended to highlight local tastes from the region. This particular flight was supposed to have food from Hamburg.

The catering on my last intra-Europe Lufthansa flight was lousy, so this one was at least a bit better. The main dish and dessert were served covered, while a bread roll was placed directly on the tray.

Lufthansa business class snack service
Lufthansa business class snack service

I appreciate that Lufthansa has a little menu on the tray, because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to figure out what I’m being served half of the time. I find that Lufthansa tries way too hard with serving dishes perceived to be “fancy” on intra-Europe flights, and this might have just been one of the clearest examples of that. The meal consisted of:

  • Beetroot potato terrine with smoked salmon trout, cucumber, and creamy egg yolk
  • Whole-grain and semolina mousse with elderflower jelly, cassis quenelle, and yogurt sponge

I don’t know if Lufthansa is getting kickbacks from the elderflower industry, but when I think of the Lufthansa brand, the word “elderflower” is one of the first five things that comes to mind. I’ve seen elderflower on the menu in maybe three restaurants in my entire life, and on about 78 Lufthansa flights.

Lufthansa business class snack menu
Lufthansa business class snack menu

Drinks were served on a separate cart from the meal. Since the cabin was so big, it took around 10 minutes to be served drinks. I had a cup of coffee and some water.

Lufthansa business class drinks

Then shortly before landing we were offered apples, which seems to be a standard offering with the new menu concept. As I commented last time, I find the concept of just serving each passenger a whole apple before landing to be strange. Personally I’d rather not just bite into an apple without washing my hands before or after, so it just seems like an odd thing to serve on a short intra-Europe flight. But maybe that’s just me.

Lufthansa business class apple

Lufthansa A321 business class Wi-Fi

Lufthansa is pretty good about offering Wi-Fi on its short haul fleet, and this flight featured Lufthansa’s FlyNet system.

Lufthansa business class Wi-Fi Airbus A321

Pricing for Wi-Fi on this flight ranged from 3EUR for being able to chat, to 10EUR for being able to stream.

Lufthansa business class Wi-Fi Airbus A321

I didn’t use Wi-Fi this time, since it was such a short flight. However, I’ve been consistently impressed by Lufthansa’s Wi-Fi offering.

Lufthansa arrival in Venice

Arguably the best part of this flight was the views. At roughly the halfway point of the flight we were treated to gorgeous views of the Alps — wow!

View over the Alps

The seatbelt sign was turned on about 15 minutes before landing, and of course everyone wants to look outside during the approach to Venice. I’m happy we sat on the right side of the aircraft, as we had great views on our approach.

View approaching Venice
View approaching Venice
View approaching Venice
View approaching Venice
View approaching Venice
View approaching Venice

We touched down in Venice at 2:10PM. We taxied for a few minutes, then had to stand on a taxiway for about five minutes. Then a couple of minutes later we pulled into our gate — fortunately we got a jet bridge, rather than a remote stand.

Taxiing Venice Airport (VCE)
Taxiing Venice Airport (VCE)

The arrivals process was easy, and soon enough we were in a “taxi” to the St. Regis Venice. What a gorgeous day it was in Venice!

Fun transportation from Venice Airport (VCE)

Bottom line

Intra-Europe business class isn’t anything to get excited about in general, and I’d say Lufthansa’s product is pretty average. This particular A321 was older but pretty well maintained. On the plus side, the flight had Wi-Fi, a friendly crew, and a reasonably decent snack. Unfortunately there were no power ports, which Lufthansa isn’t even installing on its newer narrow body jets.

If you’ve flown Lufthansa’s A321 business class, what was your experience like?

Conversations (51)
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  1. Ryan Guest

    The A321 I am taking from VCE to ZRH has a row 10 that's listed as an exit seat. Looks like they just removed that row for this flight? Currently have it selected since its only a 2 seat per side row which makes it 1 with the other blocked off since it's in business class.

  2. Jaan New Member

    I agree with those remote stands! I'd say more than half of my flights from the US end up there. Great views (love deplaning in front of the 777 engine!), but for all the Covid precautions, you're then stuffed cheek to jowl for 15 minutes. If you get Covid on the trip, it will be from being on that bus.

  3. Andy Diamond

    I agree with most of your comments. I'm glad to see that food provided has improved at least a little bit (which was not really difficult given the shocking experience you had before).

    But I disagree that LH is "Lufthansa's A321 business class is pretty average for European airlines". It is at the very low end, if you ask me. That starts with the remote stand boarding: Some airlines at least provide a C-Class bus...

    I agree with most of your comments. I'm glad to see that food provided has improved at least a little bit (which was not really difficult given the shocking experience you had before).

    But I disagree that LH is "Lufthansa's A321 business class is pretty average for European airlines". It is at the very low end, if you ask me. That starts with the remote stand boarding: Some airlines at least provide a C-Class bus (e.g. TK, LX at least on arrival, now also OS). Then the seat: Almost all other airlines have at least some additional leg space (usually 34in pitch) in the first few rows, LH/LX/OS don't. Then the food: Many airlines at least on some intra european flights provide hot food (e.g. A3, TK, TP, IB, OS, KL, AF). Then comes reliability: LH is far down in the ontime ranking ...

    My recommendation: Just avoid them, if you can!

  4. Ross Stevenson Guest

    I wish I had seen something like this prior to booking. I was excited about booking a business class service to celebrate our honeymoon and felt like I shouldnt have bothered and just gone the extra mile for my partner in the lounge and gone for economy. It's not business class standard and nor should it be allowed to call itself that (or charge at that rate). Should simply be economy plus. Oh and paying for wifi in business class...really?

  5. boekel Guest

    I'd be happy to receive such an amenity kit on an actual LH flight. On all my longhaul trips this year, they are offering better plastic bags. The kid even doesn't contain eyeshades any longer. I was told because hardly anybody uses them. Luckily so far I have always been able to obtain one from the crew

  6. Debbie Guest

    We booked Lufthansa Business Class from Gothenberg to Tampa. Didn't reflect that it was Eurowings from FRA to Tampa. The plane felt old, staff didn't even wear same uniforms. And our gluten free food order was missed. The staff did however try to find alternative food.
    Going home, we flew Lufthansa Business from EWR to FLA. Seats were better, good service.
    An added irritation was that we didn't get any points for flying...

    We booked Lufthansa Business Class from Gothenberg to Tampa. Didn't reflect that it was Eurowings from FRA to Tampa. The plane felt old, staff didn't even wear same uniforms. And our gluten free food order was missed. The staff did however try to find alternative food.
    Going home, we flew Lufthansa Business from EWR to FLA. Seats were better, good service.
    An added irritation was that we didn't get any points for flying Eurowings! Even though I complained and feel tricked.
    I agree with earlier comments about food. I like to know what I'm eating.
    Don't understand why good food has to be difficult.
    Probably won't fly Lufthansa again.

  7. Fernando Feijo Guest

    Correction #2: sucks not sucesso.
    Regarding my previous post.

  8. Fernando Feijo Guest

    If Lufthansa sucesso whst shall we say about american Airlines?

    1. Lana Turner Guest

      U r totally correct. Salmontrout is a Fish.

  9. GGC New Member

    It's unbelievable how many times I have transited at FRA and with plenty of empty stands you get a remote , both on arrival and departure and sometimes even on WBs. Would love to get to know why are gate stands not fully utilized.

    Remote stands are a thing in Europe but much worse in FRA than any other major european airports.

  10. Felix wallas Guest

    That cabin looks about as bad as it gets.

  11. Richard Scott Guest

    Business class frankfort to cairo is a joke, I have never been in such a lousy seat! Worse than most economy seats

  12. Jimmy’s Travel Report Gold

    “I don’t know if Lufthansa is getting kickbacks from the elderflower industry, but when I think of the Lufthansa brand, the word “elderflower” is one of the first five things that comes to mind.”

    You should check out Swiss, both the airline and the country - elderflower everything. But it never bothered me, it’s a little charming in its own way.

  13. Ranjan T Guest

    Looks like economy rather than business class. Travelled Qatar Business class and it’s the best so far. This is not worth .

    1. Aaron Guest

      Looks like someone has never flown on inter-European business class flights before...or is completely new to this hobby.

  14. Jason Guest

    I appreciate your effort. But what's the point of reviewing this product?! You've reviewing this kind of european business class products for many times. Its basically economy class with upgraded services.

    1. Klaus Guest

      I am glad for this review…at least when it comes to catering. This is new and different compared to his last review

  15. mdande7 Gold

    It can be smoked salmon, or it can be smoked trout. But it cannot be salmontrout.

    1. Tj Guest

      Yes, there is salmon trout, look it up

    2. Mark Guest

      The German word Lachsforelle literally consists of the words for salmon (Lachs) and trout (Forelle).

    3. Alpha Golf Member

      Lufty LOVES salmon trout.

  16. Steven E Guest

    As intra-Europe flights are mostly the same in Business with the dumb economy seats - it seems fine to me - it’s a one hour flight ,I’m not sure what were your expectations

    1. Ray Gold

      Completely agree. I actually find the meal service absurd on a one hour flight.

    2. DanDan Guest

      What does “absurd” even mean?
      You think people shouldn’t eat when spending one hour in the air?
      What a stupid opinion.

    3. georgina Guest

      Not stupid, pardon me. Eat all you want, if you must. Bring your own feast. An airline providing full meals on such short flights is simply ridiculous, and so is your objection.

    4. Felix wallas Guest

      Who wants to eat artificial and laughable food like that. At least in the US you can tell what you are being served

  17. Legend717 Guest

    So on your longhaul EurowingsDiscover flight, things weren't fancy enough.
    But on the short haul intra-Euro flight, they are "trying too hard to be fancy."
    I've loved this website for a long time, but I'm getting strong "Lifestyle-creep blogger for whom nothing is correct any more" vibes these days.
    I"'m not trying to troll or be hateful, but lately I can count on reviews having such a negative, impossible-to-please tone to them.

    So on your longhaul EurowingsDiscover flight, things weren't fancy enough.
    But on the short haul intra-Euro flight, they are "trying too hard to be fancy."
    I've loved this website for a long time, but I'm getting strong "Lifestyle-creep blogger for whom nothing is correct any more" vibes these days.
    I"'m not trying to troll or be hateful, but lately I can count on reviews having such a negative, impossible-to-please tone to them.
    I'll just go over to youtube and watch Oskar and Dan try new things with wide eyes and a sense of wonderment, I guess.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Legend717 -- My issue with Eurowings Discover wasn't that anything wasn't "fancy enough?" It was a lack of operational reliability, no Wi-Fi, and generally not well trained crews, all while charging the same prices as Lufthansa mainline.

  18. TravelCat2 New Member

    Departing from a remote stand drives me crazy. Gate agents are usually very careful about boarding the bus in the correct sequence (e.g. business class before coach) but when the bus arrives at the remote stand, the bus's doors open and everyone rushes to the stairs. All of the careful sequencing in boarding the bus is worthless.

    1. Klaus Guest

      …unless there would be a dedicated bus for Business Class (and Status holders).

  19. John Guest

    Mediocre. This is exactly what a dominant player will do in a captive market. LH have no internal motivation or external threat to improve their product or lower their fares. All they do is sit back and collect revenue on those immense corporate accounts. Great for shareholders. But absolutely pathetic for economy and business pax. Only first class pax have a decent product offering.

  20. S Member

    If it's not LH F it looks pretty bad all around on LH. Pretty subpar product. SAS and OS seem much better. Brussels Airlines maybe too.

    1. Klaus Guest

      SAS?
      Did you ever travel SAS intra-Europe?

      SAS stopped access to Third Party lounges for business class passengers with the best excuse ever: to improve their own lounges. Too bad that there is no SAS Lounge in Venice or Torino or anywhere else outside of Scandinavia (well, except for Paris).

      SAS does not even block the middle seat in business class…

  21. UGC Guest

    Well, it should be clear to almost anyone here that people don’t fly LH for their catering, nor the lounges, nor the cabins…
    To put it simple…their network is the key, and unless they do something really bad, people will continue flying with them…

  22. Phil Guest

    What an embarrassing onboard product for the price point they charge, and what an embarrassment to Germany. To sum up: Lufthansa does suck - to be avoided unless strictly necessary.

    1. Klaus Guest

      How much did they charge?

      I was just checking flights from Frankfurt to Milano yesterday and business class was just 40 Euro more expensive compared to the light fare without luggage and no seat assignment.

      230€ instead of 190€ compared to ITA via FCO for 160€

  23. Ryan Guest

    Lufthansa does suck. The product is perfectly mediocre and certainly nothing to get excited about. The only real advantage in my mind is the punctuality and consistency (which seems not to have tricked down to Eurowings).

    Swiss basically sucks too. Of the LH group, OS is the only transatlantic business product that I look forward to.

  24. Aaron Guest

    I think they have semolina more than elderflower in their desserts...

  25. Bob Guest

    "Of the 46 business class seats, roughly 32 were occupied, so the cabin was reasonably occupied, but not full."

    It seems not bad for a destination like Venice which I expect not to be a great business area but maybe I am wrong.

  26. Marv Guest

    That plane is laughably atrocious. That's "business class"?! Eurowings looks like trash as well. I will say what Ben is possibly reluctant to say. Lufthansa sucks.

    1. David Guest

      I think it's just a matter of Ben being German, and is probably more partial to Lufthansa than they deserve to be.

    2. John Guest

      You must be new here, this is the experience for most narrowbody intra-Europe flights.

  27. Steve Guest

    The real shocker here is that Lufthansa flies 27 year old planes on they European routes. When I was a child Lufthansa praised themselves with having a young modern fleet with constant plane refreshments.

    1. Phillip Member

      Probably because Austrian, the poor child of the group, who usually gets all the old aircraft, can’t take any more at the moment so LH is stuck with them!

    2. Jeb PreppyRN Guest

      I’m hoping OS will receive some of the B787s LH group ordered. They need to replace their B767s & the B787s will be a great replacement a/c for them.

  28. Klaus Guest

    Hi Ben,

    Just for your information in case you didn’t know: when you look on your tenth (?j Pjotr you see some kind of compartment under center seat 9b .

    That actually is additional storage room for carry-on for those sitting in the emergency Exit row..

  29. WertheimPHILADELPHIAN. Guest

    I’ve been living in Germany for 4 yrs now. I continue to be perplexed at things. Great country. Clean. On time. Things works, but hiccups all over the place. Like your flight: clean, on time, decent, but now damn power ports. Wtf Lufthansa. And I’m flying j cab Fra bog tomorrow, on an outdated seat.

    1. AdolfAustrian Guest

      And you can get M&M mile per euro spent in your home outlet. Even more when they have bonuses for three, four and five miles per euro spent.

  30. AA70 Member

    Honestly dismal that they install wifi but not powerports. Yes, wifi is an ancillary revenue for them but they give yo half the infrastructure to use electronic devices. This makes zero sense and is yet one more portrayal of the LH group being such a crap low cost airline in some ways. Hell, some regional jets in the US even have them.

    1. AA70 Member

      Edit: Give you*

      Need an edit comment function

  31. Truthiness Guest

    Hi Lucky, selfish post here. Can you do a post on the AMEX IAP, and mileage accrual on AAdvantage and other programs? I would like to book a a round trip biz fare on AMEX IAP - it’s a few hundred dollars cheaper than AA.com - but I don’t want it to book into some lesser earning mileage class as I want to renew my status for 2023-24. I have Amex plat card and I’d...

    Hi Lucky, selfish post here. Can you do a post on the AMEX IAP, and mileage accrual on AAdvantage and other programs? I would like to book a a round trip biz fare on AMEX IAP - it’s a few hundred dollars cheaper than AA.com - but I don’t want it to book into some lesser earning mileage class as I want to renew my status for 2023-24. I have Amex plat card and I’d be booking a fare for me and my wife.

    Or can your post explain how to understand the fare rules for AMEX IAP so I can figure out how AAdvantage would treat it?

    Thanks!

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

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Legend717 -- My issue with Eurowings Discover wasn't that anything wasn't "fancy enough?" It was a lack of operational reliability, no Wi-Fi, and generally not well trained crews, all while charging the same prices as Lufthansa mainline.

2
Klaus Guest

I am glad for this review…at least when it comes to catering. This is new and different compared to his last review

1
mdande7 Gold

It can be smoked salmon, or it can be smoked trout. But it cannot be salmontrout.

1
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