Lufthansa’s new first class features double beds

The all-new Allegris first class suites will take to the skies in 2024.

By David Flynn, March 1 2023
Lufthansa’s new first class features double beds

Lufthansa’s fresh take on first class includes an innovative and fully private two-person suite which converts into a 1.4m-wide double bed, giving paired-up travellers the ability to create an in-flight experience closer to a private room above the clouds.

The all-new Allegris first class will be making its debut in 2024 on a fleet of Airbus A350 jets based in Munich, although a modified version will later be added to the Boeing 747-8 fleet.

'Cuddle class' with a high-end finish.
'Cuddle class' with a high-end finish.

And there will be just three first class suites on the A350s, with the twin-berth ‘Suite Plus’ in the middle flanked by a pair of more conventional first class suites in a single 1-1-1 row.

But while the two-person ‘Suite Plus’ will of course cost more than those solo suites, “it might not be twice the price,” says Kai Peters, Lufthansa’s Heads of Customer Experience, who spoke with Executive Traveller on the sidelines of this week’s Allegris launch in Berlin.

Both seats sport individual touch screen control panels.
Both seats sport individual touch screen control panels.

Peters expects the spacious centre suite – with a 3.7 square metre footprint and a 117cm seating area compared to the 77cm of its window-adjacent siblings – will be chosen not only by high-flying couples but also some individuals wanting more room and privacy.

Couples flying together can sit side by side or across from each other, with an oversized table plus ‘dine on demand’ to give meals more of a restaurant-like vibe.

While the ottoman is directly under the massive 4K video screen, it tracks forward “and the backrest pivots up and out,” Peters explains as Executive Traveller explores a mock-up of the suite.

A prototype of the First Class Plus suite.
A prototype of the First Class Plus suite.

The materials and finish of the mock-up speak to Lufthansa’s attention to detail and its desire to re-create the first class flying experience.

Only the Suite Plus was on show at the Berlin launch, and we can confirm that it’s large enough to cosily seat four passengers – two on the main seating and two more perched on the ottomans – in case you want to invite your fellow first class flyers in for a cocktail party or a game of cards.

With no overhead lockers, the ottoman is your chief storage option.
With no overhead lockers, the ottoman is your chief storage option.

Features shared by all three Allegris A350 first class suites include near ceiling-height walls, a wide personal wardrobe and individual heating and cooling systems to create a ‘micro-climate’ which can be tailored to your own preferences, rather than putting up with a cabin that’s often too cold or too hot.

That’s done via warming panels in the seat cushions, similar to a car’s heated seats, while cool air is circulated from underneath the seat.

Feeling social? Up to 4 guests can fit easily within the Plus suite.
Feeling social? Up to 4 guests can fit easily within the Plus suite.

The floor-to-ceiling sculpturing of the new Lufthansa first class suites means there won’t be any overhead bins in the cabin – instead, Lufthansa says there’s room for a standard-sized cabin bag built into each suite (with space for two cabin bags in the middle Suite Plus).

The Suite Plus has only one door, which is to the left of the suite, rather than opening to both sides of the aisle – which also means the solo suite on the right side of the cabin will feel slightly more private than that on the left.

A discreet wardrobe and mirror.
A discreet wardrobe and mirror.

For those A and K suites, the windows will be fitted with electrically-operated blinds.

Creating Lufthansa’s new Allegris first class

Lufthansa explored four very different concepts for its Allegris first class before landing on this bespoke design developed in-house by Lufthansa and London-based PriestmanGoode, which has worked with the Lufthansa Group since 1999, including the airline’s A380 first class and business class.

Seating position can be adjusted via a control strip near the arm rest.
Seating position can be adjusted via a control strip near the arm rest.

As PriestmanGoode puts it, the aim was to deliver “the ambience of the most comfortable luxury space at home, but in the air.”

At the outset, the primary aim was clear: privacy was top of the list, certainly more privacy than offered by Lufthansa’s current ‘open plan’ first class.

Lufthansa's current open-plan first class cabin.
Lufthansa's current open-plan first class cabin.

“If you look into the market, of those (airlines) who are (continuing) first class or doing something new in first class, it's all about privacy,” Paul Estoppey, Head of Product Management Cabin for the Lufthansa Group, previously told Executive Traveller.

“The seats or beds, the sizes are already okay today... (if) you can be a little bit bigger, that's nice to have. But the privacy, that's the point you want to make.”

This in turn called for a sliding door and high walls, although due to safety regulations – in particular around ‘rapid decompression’ incidents and airflow throughout the cabin – those walls don’t run all the way from floor to ceiling to completely enclose each first class suite.

Although not quite floor-to-ceiling, the doors do add a high degree of privacy.
Although not quite floor-to-ceiling, the doors do add a high degree of privacy.

“We have to keep a little space open,” Estoppey explained, “so the wall is around 1.8 metres (70 inches).”

“Airbus made sure that the ventilation is good, as well. You would probably not think about that, but Airbus did a mockup where we could see how good the ventilation is with closed doors and open doors.”

And those doors are more like sliding panels – a foam panel sandwiched between two layers of fabric in Lufthansa’s signature Maastricht blue – which snap together in the middle with a firm magnetic closure.

Seating recline to form a flat double bed.
Seating recline to form a flat double bed.

This ‘curtain-like’ sliding door was a result of European safety certification, Estoppey explained.

Each single-berth Allegris first class suite is almost one metre across, with a wide ottoman facing the passenger doubling as a second seat – with its own seatbelt – for a travelling companion, such as sharing a meal across the generously-sized table.

And in the short term, Lufthansa’s new first class will be found only on its Munich-based Airbus A350s – it won’t be coming to the Boeing 787s or even the much-delayed Boeing 777-9.

However, Peters revealed to Executive Traveller that a modified version of the A350 first class suite would be rolled out on the flagship Boeing 747-8 fleet.

Lmc
Lmc

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Nov 2018

Total posts 104

Wow…. Love the double middle seat! 

As a traveling couple this is perfect!

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Jul 2018

Total posts 48

That bed looks nice.. not so much if you are still wearing the seatbelt . 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Sep 2012

Total posts 233

AJ's comments about QF A350s having the best first class seats in the sky already looking peached. And Lufthansa are releasing this product next year.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Dec 2014

Total posts 50

You have got to be kidding.   The QF A350 First product is streets ahead of this rather dull looking offering.

30 Nov 2016

Total posts 21

Look good. Though surprised that no one has pointed out that the person in the right seat doesn’t have direct aisle access. More of a problem when in bed mode and having to climb across your partner. 

The way in which qf could really make their new first the pinnacle would be to have the separate seat be able to join up with the bed to make it a very wide bed. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Aug 2011

Total posts 168

Lufthansa's ground experience in First is another level in any case, much more exclusive lounges, being driven to the aircraft, met on arrival, and that's leaving aside the FRA 1st class terminal.


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