Lufthansa upgrades Airbus A380s with new business class seats

By David Flynn, May 15 2013
Lufthansa upgrades Airbus A380s with new business class seats

Lufthansa will begin upgrading its Airbus A380s business class cabin towards the end of this year as the German carrier moves to standardise on the new fully-flat business class seat already seen in its Boeing 747-8 jetliners.

The new seat sports a modern design which folds down into a 1.98m (6'6") long horizontal lie-flat bed.

Other creature comforts include more storage nooks for stowing your inflight kit, while the 15' video screens will seem like IMAX in the sky compared to the A380's current 10.4' displays.

However, while the business class configuration in Lufthansa's 747-8s sees each pair of seats angled towards each other in a V-shape (as shown below), Lufthansa's A380 layout is expected to have both seats parallel but pointing towards the outer cabin wall.

Either way, passengers in the window seat will need to carefully maneuver themselves over the legs of a sleeping aisle-seated neighbour.

This real-world photo from our Lufthansa 747-8 jaunt illustrates just how tight things can get.

Such Cirque du Soleil-inspired clambering is a big minus compared with the business classes with direct aisle access which all business class passengers enjoy on many other airlines.

Lufthansa's A380 business class configuration will be a 2-2-2 layout, similar to the main deck of its Boeing 747-8.

The seats in the centre pair of the 747-8 boast an extra-wide centre console with plenty of elbow room to go around.

Contrast that with the narrower console in the pairs of seats by the windows.

Lufthansa's A380 refit is slated to begin in November, with the superjumbos being temporarily replaced by Boeing 747s on key international routes such as Frankfurt-Beijing and Frankfurt-Tokyo.

For the latest news for business travellers and frequent flyers, follow @AusBT on Twitter.


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.

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 180

I think the extra space between the middle seats will not be present on the A380 new configuration because the new seats (slightly wider than the old ones that are 19.6in) will have to fit in the already tight upper deck of the A380 (5.8m at floor level then gets narrower vs 6.1m on the main deck of the 748i).

If you look at the aisles in the current configuration of the A380 you'll notice how tight they are! Imagine trying to fit slightly wider seats similar to the ones installed on the upper deck of the 747-8, or to the window ones on the main deck.

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 526

It's certainly a strange design having them angled together at the feet. I imagine it would be quite an odd and uncomfortable feeling. I think I'll stick to other carriers!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 360

They really did miss the mark with these seats. Considering their stable mate in SWISS has such a superior design it makes the decison to go with these seat all the more bizarre.

Cant imagine I would like to be angled in towards a complete stranger like that. LH would be last on my list of carriers unless I was travelling in F.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 732

Totally agree with russell, unbelievable LH missed the mark so badly whereas SWISS has a very classy offering (which has become more or less the standard if you look at what DL, US, OS, SN) are offering. Having said that, I have been lucky enough to fly their new F and that is truly a wonderful seat.

21 Apr 2013

Total posts 34

look great their 747 8 buissness class is grat this is a big step forward for the airline


19 Dec 2011

Total posts 48

i agree with AusFlyer the design of these is very unsettling & I think women travelling on own would find it off-putting to say the least. What I dont understand is lufthansa now putting these into their a380 as well as the    747-8.

There are so many better options in business class layouts to choose from which give you complete privacy, aisle access.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Dec 2012

Total posts 10

Like other respondents, I agree that the proposed seating layout for the new Bus Seat configuration with the feet are close to each other is a strange decision. I often travel alone in BUS and always ensure that a female sharing the window seats, will be comfortable before settling down for the flight. 

It seems to me that some airlines may need to review their current seating plans to avoid endless hassles. 

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 146

An unbelievably horrible window seat configuration. Will be avoiding them like the plague unless I can be guaranteed a seat in the centre area

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