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If there's one thing better than a lie-flat seat in the air, it's an actual bed. That's exactly what Lufthansa is offering, with a refit of its 747 fleet to give a real bed and a seat to each passenger in First Class.
Lufthansa is convering its existing cabins, which currently fit 16 passengers, to fit only eight, by removing all the window seats and replacing them with a permanently flat bed.
Hat tip to Brett Snyder who wrote about it on his Cranky Flier blog.
Lufthansa says 10 of its Boeing 747-400s will be revamped between April and November.
"The window seats will be converted into full-length, lie-flat beds with a sleeping surface measuring over two metres in length and a top-quality mattress, guaranteeing first-class sleeping comfort," the airline said in a statement.
The halving of the number of seats in First Class may well be in preparation for Lufthansa's usage of the new 747-8i, which is Boeing's new stretch 747, with a 'bump' cabin upstairs that's twice as long as a standard 747-400. The new upsized jumbo will therefore offer twice as much space upstairs for Lufthansa's first class -- surely no coincidence, then, that Lufthansa is now offering twice as much space for each First Class passenger.
"Each passenger in the new First Class cabin will thus not only have a seat but also a separate bed. Sound-absorbing curtains and sound-deadening insulation beneath the carpet will ensure that passengers enjoy the necessary peace and quiet."
First class passengers will get 17" monitors for inflight entertainment and the airline is using matt-brushed metal and "scarred leather" throughout the cabin.
There will also be "temperature-regulating blankets" (we're not sure if that actually means thermostatically controlled electric blankets, but that's what it sounds like) and pillows and the amenity kit from Porsche Design containing cosmetic articles from La mer.
The Business and Economy Class cabins on the Boeing 747-400 are also being refurbished, according to Lufthansa.
The entrance area will be revamped in the latest design, and new toilets will be installed.
In Economy Class, passengers can already put together their own entertainment playlist on their seat-back screen, fitted in new slim-back Economy Class seats which Lufthansa says provide five centimetres of additional personal space and legroom.
Lufthansa doesn't currently fly to Australia, but passengers out of Australia can connect with Lufthansa at Singapore's Changi airport.
One of Lufthansa's big appeals at present is the availability of inflight internet service to wile away the hours online, with snappy speeds of up to 50Mbit/s (twice as fast as a home ADSL2+ connection).