I didn’t write about Lufthansa’s new business class when it first came out, because I just wasn’t sure what to make of it. But I’ve been talking to a few people, and I think it might be a good time to discuss. I really can’t make up my mind. I think I’m going to have to wait until I can sit in the seat myself to see if it’s good or if it’s bad.
Without question, it has to be better than what Lufthansa has today. This is the Lufthansa business class seat at its best today. I say “at its best” because this is how it is on the A380, which has nicer seat coverings and amenities than the rest of the fleet:
The seat is an angled lie flat bed, and while I found it pretty comfy for reclining during daylight hours, sleeping was impossible. I was in row 1 on my overnight flight last year and somehow found myself on my stomach, all the way down with my legs kicked up on the bulkhead in the middle of the night. It wasn’t a pretty sight. And that’s why everyone is going away from the angled flat beds now: they suck.
Lufthansa told us last year it would do the same, but it wouldn’t make the change until the 747-8 came out. With that airplane going into service very soon, Lufthansa last month decided to unwrap the details on the new business class. Here’s the new offering:
At first glance, it certainly looks nice. I like the colors and the wood paneling. I’m also very happy to know that it’s a fully flat bed, as expected. But there are a couple of things that stand out. First is that it’s not a very private offering. I’m actually ok with that, but it’s very different than what you’ll find on some other airlines out there. Second, you have to climb over someone if you’re in the window. Many airlines have gone out of their way to give direct aisle access while Lufthansa apparently has decided that isn’t necessary.
Third is the angled nature of the seat. No, the bed isn’t angled toward the floor, but you can see that the seats angle in toward the middle. So the aisle seat is pointed toward the window while the window seat is pointed toward the aisle. It doesn’t look like it’s so angled that you’ll have a stare down with your neighbor, but it’s still odd. I get why they did this – it gives you more space around your shoulders where you notice it the most. That’s good, but it has a consequence.
The strangest part about it is where your feet go. Look at this picture:
When the bed is fully extended, you’re just a thin piece of plastic away from playing footsie with your neighbor. That’s pretty close, but is it going to be annoying? I’m just not sure without having been in the seat itself.
I tend to think the most annoying part would be having the person in the window seat trying to get out by doing airplane gymnastics over the aisle seat. But I’m also concerned about the amount of private space.
You can see more new business class photos on the Lufthansa site (where I pulled these from). I just don’t know about this one. But I do hear the 747-8 will be coming to LAX as one of the first three markets, so hopefully I’ll have a chance to sneak onboard while it’s on a layover and check it out.