Here is Lufthansa's new Airbus A320neo business class seat (seriously)

By David Flynn, April 12 2018
Here is Lufthansa's new Airbus A320neo business class seat (seriously)

Lufthansa has revealed its new 2019 business class seat for the German airline's Airbus A320neo and A321neo jets, so without further ado, here it is...

If you think it looks less like business class and more like economy, there's a good reason: it is an economy class seat. Lufthansa's new A320neo and A321neo business class seat is essentially the same slimline economy seat as fitted to the rest of the aircraft.

It's also the same 'business class' seat as you'll find on the A320neo and A321neo jets to be flown by Lufthansa's sibling Swiss, albeit with different trim, colour and branding...

... and also Austrian, for that matter.

Welcome to the latest entrant in the Euro-business class arena, intended for short- to medium-range flights – which makes domestic Australian business class seats flying the same distance look luxurious by comparison.

There's only one difference between the business and economy versions of the new Lufthansa (and Swiss, and Austrian) Euro-business class seat.

A subtle difference

The standard seat comes with the back fixed at a 20 degree recline: something which seat manufacturer Geven describes as a 'precline', because it's preset and can't be adjusted by the passenger, but serves to make travel "more comfortable not only during the flight, but also while the aircraft is taxiing, during take-off and landing."

However, the business class seat allows travellers to hit a recline button for a little extra tilt.

"In addition to the already-integrated precline Relax position of 20°, the (business class) seat backrest can be adjusted, resulting in a 'double recline' of 26°," a spokesman for Lufthansa told Australian Business Traveller.

Geven says the seats have an “arm-to-arm width larger than 18 inches", but Lufthansa hasn't revealed the seat pitch – although the airline says the new 'horizontally designed' literature pocket at the rear of the seat will leave a little extra room at the knees.

And that's about it, apart from the Euro-business convention of having the middle seat of three remain empty.

The good news? Lufthansa will follow the same group-wide approach for its new long-range business class seat (shown below), which the German airline will debut on its Boeing 777-8 fleet.

Also read: Lufthansa's new Boeing 777X business class seats revealed

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

MarkJohnSon Banned
MarkJohnSon Banned

19 Jan 2018

Total posts 89

What a pathetic joke. It's amazing the UK and European carriers continue to ply this absolute gee up.


Do many pax actually pay cash for these seats? I wouldn't bother, even if my employer was paying!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Apr 2017

Total posts 122

I’ve paid a couple of times on European airline, but definitely because I needed lounge access, not because I needed the super awesome seats that they have.


The worst thing is that this seat looks nicer than the current one

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Mar 2018

Total posts 9

If you are living for example in Portugal (very small country), and willing to go to HKG in Business class, Lufthansa offers the service from Porto until the end (via Frankfort)..and YES this is the seat you get on the short leg! (You are mostly seated in the front and if plane is empty, middle seat is down and become an armrest...)


Price wise, impact of that leg is minimal (they have to full fill a A380 every night), but lounge access is definitely a plus when you are sporadically travelling overseas...or jumping from one carrier to an other(no elite status)

Not sure if for Mildura/HKG via MEL, QF will offer better seat in its Q400... and not all B717 have 2 class... :-(

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2013

Total posts 209

I think most pax "paying" for Euro business class are probably using these short-haul flights to connect to/from a minor city on the carriers' network and the carriers' major hub to then connect to/from a long-haul flight in Business or First. So there's probably very little incremental extra cost for the short-haul sector being added on to the overall ticket price. I find this happens all the time when I travel into Europe with BA, LH or AF in Business or First, my onward travel in Euro Business Class from LHR, FRA or CDG to a secondary city in Europe barely changes the total price of my ticket. Also, the airlines have the flexibility to move the divider between Economy and Business to suit the demand on the particular sector. I was on one BA flight from LHR to HAM that had about eight rows of Club Europe because of a large delegation of conference attendees inbound on Club World and First services connecting with that particular flight. On the HAM-LHR return flight two days later the Club Europe "cabin" was back down to just four rows.

QF

04 Apr 2014

Total posts 166

And people complain about 1st class in the US.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 348

See, you do run stories on Economy innovation...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Dec 2017

Total posts 50

I happily pay for BA Club Euro.... for the stat creds!

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 560

Certainly better than CW between Sydney and London relatively speaking.


It is thanks to 4 years living in London travelling 12 times a year in CE (60 credits each way) that I went from Qantas lifetime silver to life time gold!

11 Dec 2015

Total posts 88

I understand the practice of blocking the middle seat to create "business class" on an already all-economy configured plane, but if you're going to the trouble of a new fit-out with a new seat, surely it would make more sense to just have 2 x wider seats and much more comfort rather than this half-arsed attempt.


The price difference for the design and fitout can't even be that much, all other things being equal.

Zac
Zac

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 May 2014

Total posts 128

It's more about the flexibility this gives the airline - the cabin divider slides forward and backward as needed, so they can do a business cabin of 2 rows on one flight and 35 minutes later it's 10 rows on the next flight. Why anyone pays extra for this - even on the company dime - is totally beyond me and I can only image it's just for the FF points and credits. Or maybe a little bit of feeling special and important.


And "precline"?? My goodness. That's an solid piece of marketing spin if I've ever seen it. What to call a seat that for cost saving purposes has had the recline function engineered out of it...

12 Apr 2018

Total posts 10

@Zac, have you ever experienced and paid for a business class ticket in Europe?!

And are you a FF using business class in Australia domestically? And paying for it? 🤔
Because if you were .... you would know the different of price between the 2 ...
And the actual seat is absolutely not priority in the EU sky.
Flights are short .... but airports are very busy ... and having a Business class tickets gives you multiple benefits that an economy ticket won’t ... like priority checking, security, boarding, lounge, bags allowance, foods and drinks, no Neigbour and front raws ...
Also average price difference is x4.5 in the EU ... and it’s x9 in Australia!

12 Apr 2018

Total posts 10

They re-use the plane for charter at high summer pick seasons. And because the distance is always less than 90 min it’s doesn’t matter what the actual plane configuration is.

Also in Europe the price difference between cheapest economy tickets to cheapest business class ticket is only x4.5 in Australia its x9 and we rarely if never charter regularl planes.
But the perk for a business class ticket is completely worth it
It gives free and front raw seating as per business class seats
Priorities for check in, security and boarding
Lounge access
Baggage allowance
Status credit
And incremental points boosters.


AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 560

Whilst most of your points are spot on, main line carriers don’t charter aircraft out out that regularly. The reason they put this kind of seat in is the demand for business varies so much that they do it for load flexibility.

28 Dec 2016

Total posts 69

Well you get what you pay for... i recently paid $2000+ return syd-akl in J which is a 3hr flight

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 127

agreed, the difference in Europe between Y and J can be as little as 50 euro / pounds for an upgrade.

Sad, EK used to be $1100 return

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1213

I paid only AUD617 for J return on LATAM’s B789.

JKH
JKH

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Sep 2017

Total posts 141

It looks like something from a gatelounge waiting area!

04 Dec 2013

Total posts 133

They've been like that in J for years. For short hops around Europe it really doesn't matter too much - the food and service are usually very good and the perks on the ground help to make up for it.


But no recline in economy!!?? Given that they frequently fly narrow-body on 4+ hour red-eyes to Russia and the eastern Mediterranean, that's gotta hurt!

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 56

As the article says the seat is already "pre-reclined" at a 20 degree angle, this is actually what Air New Zealand did with its Boeing 787 economy seats. Instead of being upright and then the passenger reclining them the seats are already set at a recline. I was on one of these last year and found it was very comfortable for a short trip 'across the ditch' so the same arrangement should be fine for the short EU flights.

18 Jan 2017

Total posts 27

But when it comes to short hops in Australia (IE Syd - Melb) there is always much higher expectations for J.

JKH
JKH

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Sep 2017

Total posts 141

All it would take would be one carrier in UK/Europe to break ranks and provide a real J-class seat + and it would be a real game changer. It’s just cattle class with better catering plus ground perks.

12 Apr 2018

Total posts 10

What you are referring to is not at all do-able in the European “open sky” market

You have the most conservative market in the world with 100’s of airlines compiting on 1000’s of routes... and the difference of price between an economy and a business class ticket is on average x4.5 .... while in the Australian domestic market you pay an average of x9 the price!
You clearly don’t understand the EU open sky market and the competition it brings!
I recently “upgraded” last minute on Aur france from Paris to Manchester for 75 Euro! And that gave me 2 bags check in for free
Lounge access, front raw seat, priorities everything etc ....
Tell me now, when was last time you got an appointment get to upgrade a Sydney to Melbourne last minute on quantas or VA for $100?!
For me it never happened!
Lots of EU carrier do that at check in to maximise income and avoid an empty business class!
Australia has 4 airlines! And 100’s if routes if that many ...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Dec 2014

Total posts 42

Just goes to show how spoiled we are here in Australia.

02 Dec 2016

Total posts 93

Yet... there is a lot of criticism of QF and VA.....

11 Jul 2016

Total posts 10

BA have some 767s they use for European flights, J is in 2-2-2 configuration and if you make the mistake of booking a seat in the left or right column you don't even get a gap between you and your neighbour.

12 Apr 2018

Total posts 10

You cannot compare the European market with ours! We are paying way too much foroe business and we only have a hamdfull if that of airline to choose from!

They have 100’s amd business class ticket are same price as out domestic economy tickets!
In europe i use business class for the perk, kike anyone else, not teh seat! Most flights are less than 90 min in the air!
So why having a large luxury confy seat?!
Aussie traveler who never used busisness class in europe should avoid commenting on this, only makes them sounds like idiots!
If you never experience something keep your load mouth shut! Lol

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1254

@chrissol - sorry champ, I'm sure we've all experienced an economy seat before :-p

12 Apr 2018

Total posts 10

Is that what I referred to?! 🤷‍♀🤦‍♂

Nope!
I said “business class” ...

19 Jun 2014

Total posts 32

Surely Lufthansa can provide more padded seats and space for a nearly 900 dollar flight between Frankfurt and Berlin! If it is for lounge access, you can just buy a economy seat and a nice bottle of champagne to go on the plane!

12 Apr 2018

Total posts 10

@dommey, not sure where you got $900 AUd from?

But the price is exactly $750 AUD for a return Economy class ticket!
Giving you:
Status credit
Priority access, security and check in
Lounge access
Baggage allowance
Food & drinks
Entertainment
An economy class ticket which gives you NONE of the above is $166, tahts because that’s the price offered by easyJet!
And for same period a Sydney to Melbourne on Qantas will cost you:
Business class: $1,537
Jet star Economy class: $155
So the Lufthansa difference is x4.5 the price of the cheapest economy ticket available
In Australia we are at x9.9 the price!
That’s a rip-off!
And the seats are nothing better! Just a little larger, might accommodate fat middle age Aussie Male! 😂
Still someone next to it! The other one as a gap.
So what’s your point?! 🤔🤷‍♀

19 Jun 2014

Total posts 32

I checked the price on Lufthansa web site. It was 900 AUD return in June.

19 Jun 2014

Total posts 32

900 AUD return for business

12 Apr 2018

Total posts 10

@ dommey

Yes June,
That’s very too close for best price.
Check September.
And check Australian route for same periods June and September
Take the cheaper economy and cheaper business class tickets
And the price difference is double in Australia what it is in the EU!
So yes we can have larger seats at that price! 😊

04 Dec 2013

Total posts 133

Also, you will quite often find business class tickets in Europe cost only marginally more than a fully flex Y. That's not to say flex Y isn't absurd it times - I've seen short-haul intra-Europe for more than discount economy return to Australia.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 694

I remember many many years back in Europe before deregulation I had an 'economy ticket' (linked to an international ticket) on Lufthansa and it was the last three rows. Everybody else was paying a higher cost 'business class' ticket. This is not a new practice it is just with deregulation there are more cheap tickets.

QF

04 Apr 2014

Total posts 166

chrissol - it’s a cyclical thing. Here in the US they’ve been through regulation, deregulation, and consolidation. Small operators can only last so long before they get swept up by the big players. I know it’s not exactly the same but I suspect give any market time and you’ll end up with the same outcome.


Your comparisons with Australian business class prices is not a fair one. The market there is very protected, prices are inflated. Again, here in the US even with a market now dominated by a handful of airlines the market demands, and gets, a premium offering on most flights at much less than we pay in Oz. If American, Delta, Or United tried to use seats like this they’d be howled down quick smart.

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 560

Think you hit the nail on the head it is what the market demands and what they consider normal. In Europe this is considered normal and is what the market demands.

I have just flown 2 European sectors of Lufthansa in Business Class. It was sub-standard. Terrible seats, poor food, limited wine, BUT worst of all, off duty pilots in the BEST seats and talking above the rest of the passengers, while the crew fell all over them.

Lufthansa has dropped a few pegs !!!!!!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Mar 2016

Total posts 37

I have done a number of short haul business class flights in Europe on European carriers in this type of business class an on most of the flights it appeared to me that most passengers were transferring to or from a long haul flight. The service is a bit better and it is nice to have the empty seat but doubt it is worth the price if it were just a single flight from say London to Amsterdam or Paris. Qantas and Virgin to a much better job with their domestic narrow body business class.

Velocity Platinum

08 Jul 2011

Total posts 11

Sad. Thank goodness Australia is still a civilized nation. Qantas and Virgin are luxury in comparison!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2013

Total posts 28

I remember flying on an internal flight in Spain some years ago in Business on an Iberia A320. There were two of us in Biz. From what I could see the seats were exactly the same in Economy. The difference? We received a tiny brioche filled with a slice of jamon and a coffee. We could hear the sniggers of the Economy passengers just behind us. Business class in Europe has everything to do with class structure and elitism, separating those with aspiration from the great unwashed. It has nothing to do with enhanced comfort and service.

03 Nov 2013

Total posts 6

I think the article downplayed the middle seat being empty. I have flown European Business numerous times (usually because of an international connect). I have never had the middle seat occupied even on full flights. I assumed it was policy for the middle seat to be free as per Air NZ short haul etc. Is this not the case?


29 Jan 2012

Total posts 108

Simply, the European, US and Australian markets are very different. What works in one respective region will not work in another. Airlines spend time and money fine tuning their products to suit customer demands, balancing competition while providing a return on investment.

LH may have a simple J seat configuration compared to the AU product, but it works very well for them at a fraction of the operating cost to that of QF as an example, thus why QF's domestic J class is at a higher price to that of the EU or US markets. Supply vs demand vs profits - simply economics folks.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Here is Lufthansa's new Airbus A320neo business class seat (seriously)

Notice (8): Undefined variable: infiniteScroll [APP/views/news/view.ctp, line 216]
Notice (8): Undefined variable: infiniteScroll [APP/views/news/view.ctp, line 222]
Warning (2): Invalid argument supplied for foreach() [APP/views/news/view.ctp, line 222]