Lufthansa reveals new premium economy seat

By David Flynn, March 5 2014
Lufthansa reveals new premium economy seat

Lufthansa has unveilled its all-new premium economy seats, with first flights featuring the extra-wide and extra-legroom seats in November on its Boeing 747-8I jets.

A premium economy cabin will be fitted across Lufthansa's entire long-range international fleet by the end of 2015, Lufthansa says, and represent around 10% of the total seating on each aircraft.

The German carrier's Airbus A340 and A330 fleet will be next in line for premium economy, with the flagship Airbus A380s last on the list.

But back to the seats themselves...

Lufthansa's new premium economy seats were were designed in partnership with Müller/Romca Industrial Design and produced by German seat manufacturer ZIM Flugsitz.

Travellers will enjoy 38 inches (97 cm) seat pitch, with the premium economy seats up to 1.2 inches (3cm) wider than the airline's standard economy seats, which are among the tightest squeeze of the world's full-service airlines.

A padded front legrest is built into the first row of seats in Lufthansa's premium economy cabin, while everybody else has to do with a simpler metal footrest which swings down from the seat in front of them.

Seatback screens are 11-12 inches (28-30cm), which Lufthansa says is "at least 2 inches" larger than their economy counterparts.

The premium economy seats on the Boeing 747-8I are arrayed in a 2-3-2 or 2-4-2 layout (depending on the aircraft in which they'll be installed) compared to the tighter 3-4-3 of the main economy section.

But don't expect a dedicated cabin – only a few dividers hanging from the ceiling denote your 'premium' status.

A centre console between the seats with an own wide armrest for each passenger provides greater privacy as well as approximately 4 inches (10cm) more room at the side.

"As a result, passengers have around one-and-a-half times as much room as Economy Class" Lufthansa says.

There's also more recline and a greater range of adjustment for the headrest.

Each seat gets its own AC laptop power socket.

Creature comforts on the service side of the equation will include one additional checked bag up to 23kg, meals served on china and an amenity kit.

For an additional €25 (A$38) premium economy passengers can use the Lufthansa business lounge before their departure.

Pricing remains a crucial part of the premium economy recipe, with tickets expected to average €600 (A$920) over standard economy rates for an international return journey from Germany to North America or Asia.

The German juggernaut has long resisted adding premium economy into it's three-class mix, sharing the same concerns of major airlines such as Emirates, Etihad and Singapore Airlines that this 'in-between' category would dilute the profitable bookings made for business class.

But many other airlines – including Qantas, Air New Zealand, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic – have found premium economy to be an appealing upgrade from economy as well as a useful product for attracting cash-constrained business travellers in the post-GFC world.

With that in mind, Lufthansa has finally bitten the premium economy bullet. “We are introducing a fourth class now because our customers want it" says Lufthansa CEO Christoph Franz.

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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.

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 543

When will pictures be revealed?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2551

As the article says, Lufthansa is holding a media conference tonight (AU time), aka noon Berlin time, at the ITB Berlin travel trade show. Pics will be out then.

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 543

Sorry, failed to see "Berlin time".


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1501

Would be lovely to see pics. My ideal PE seats is those found in JetStar business cabin - plenty good enough for day flight though not reclined enough for night flight. Space is only estate at 10000m (punt intend :-)) - airlines happily toss china cutlery, extra bag and other perks, but reluctant to make seat little more reclined in fear that they cannibalize their own business.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Sep 2013

Total posts 15

Are there any reviews for LH A380 flights on business class? I am flying MIA-FRA on LH and would love to see a review of what to expect, best seats etc.

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 543

AusBT had a review 2 years ago. Product hasn't changed ever since.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 244

I'm quite pleased that AusBT gives some coverage to European carriers. Unfortunate that they don't fly all the way here, but it's kind of nice to have a bit more global view of what's going on in the aviation industry.

Looks really good! Be keen to know the type of service and food offerings.

Have fun in Berlin David!

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1250

The lack of a dedicated cabin really reduces the appeal - the dividers look tacky. I wouldn't want to be in the rear W row (nor the front Y row)

07 Aug 2012

Total posts 194

The 2-3-2 configuration is for the A330/340 fleet. If you watch the Premium Economy video on the LH website, it shows the inside of the 748. You see there that Y+ on the 748 is 2-4-2. 

VA Platinum

28 Apr 2013

Total posts 10

Come to think of it, those PE seats looks like those JCL seats installed on QF's new 717s. The table is strikingly similar, so is the cocktail table.

one thing different from the QF 717 J seat versus the LH PE seat is the lack of inseat IFE on QF 717 replaced by the iPads.

06 Jul 2012

Total posts 13

It seems the IFE may have a handset which would be an improvement on current A380 Y with around four buttons in armrest and insensitive touch screen - resulting in being continuously prodded in the back of the head across continents. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 244

It's great that the seats are also German engineered...

Australia should learn from the Germans on giving their own people a fair go at domestic manufacturing ...

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 654

my car is german 'engineered'...but it's 'manufactured' in south korea!! ...the devil's in the details

02 Aug 2015

Total posts 1

before you say something 'smart', consider that ZIM Flugsitz only final assembles their seats in Germany. 

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