Lufthansa reveals second-gen Boeing 777X premium economy seat

By David Flynn, June 25 2019

Lufthansa has pulled back the curtain on its second-generation premium economy seat, which will debut on the German airline's Boeing 777-9 jets from late 2020.

A first look at the streamlined seat was shared during Lufthansa's annual Capital Markets Day as the airline talked up the success of the better-than-economy cabin, which it rates as its most productive when measured in terms of 'revenue per square metre' (sitting at 6% higher than the more spacious business class cabin).

Lufthansa's new premium economy seat will also be shared with sibling Swiss, where it will appear on the Boeing 777-300 and Airbus A340 jets from early 2021.

Lufthansa's Boeing 777X premium economy seat, shown here perched ahead of economy class

For comparison, here is Lufthansa's current premium economy seat.

First indications are that Lufthansa's Boeing 777X premium economy seat will come with a larger video screen and a larger storage nook below that upsized display, as well as a full-height panel between the aisle passenger and the aisle itself.

The physical seat design also implies that passengers will recline their seat within a 'fixed shell' rather than into the space of the traveller behind them.

As previously reported, Lufthansa's Boeing 777-9 fleet will also sport an all-new business class seat which will finally provide direct aisle access for every passenger: no more awkwardly stepping over your sleeping seatmate – or having them clamber across you, if you're next to the aisle.

The layout alternates between rows of 1-2-1 and 1-1-1, as shown below.

The former sees two passengers seated side by side, although both seats are angled away from one another. A privacy screen between the seats which can be lowered for some travelling tête-à-tête, although you'll still need to swivel towards your companion.

Meanwhile, the 1-1-1 rows provide a centre 'throne' seat which is likely to be highly sought-after, not only for the additional privacy it offers but the added personal space on either side of the passenger.

Read more: Lufthansa's new Boeing 777X business class seats revealed

Lufthansa also plans to change the way it sells business class, moving from a one-size-fits-all business class cabin to a more bespoke offering tailored to individual needs and price points, including paying more to select a better seat – such as those solo 'thrones' – within the cabin along with bundled packages of services such as inflight WiFi.

“It's not just one business class anymore," Lufthansa exec Harry Hohmeister tells Executive Traveller. "Within the (Boeing 777X) business class cabin, you can upgrade yourself to an even better product than just standard business class… it’s a real jump forward in terms of convenience, and in terms of product selection... it's not unbundling, it's upgrading.”

Read more: How Lufthansa wants to change the way you buy, and fly, business class

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.

reeves35

reeves35

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 523

The use of the fixed shell will avoid the cramping issue apparent on QF789 when seat in front reclines. Legroom doesn't look that generous so I assume space won't be great particularly when seat is reclined and moves down the shell.

I can't help wondering if 38" which seems to have become the new Premium Economy standard is just too tight to get the full benefit of these seats and therefore justify the cost of a simple exit row seat in Economy. Airlines such as VA and NZ with over 40" seem to have the better overall Premium Economy product even if their seat designs are not that new.



elchriss0

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 578

I think JAL with 42" fixed shell is the gold standard for W.

sch5478

sch5478

04 May 2015

Total posts 5

"Legroom doesn't look that generous so I assume space won't be great particularly when seat is reclined and moves down the shell."


Or just don't recline and think about the passenger behind you.

elchriss0

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 578

"don't recline and think about the passenger behind you"

What are you talking about??? It's a fixed shell design so the passenger behind has nothing to do with it.

sch5478

sch5478

04 May 2015

Total posts 5

No I'm talking about the previous PE from LH that reclines to my face. His comfort - my cost. Now with fixed shell: his comfort - his cost.

Alistarch

Alistarch

29 Aug 2017

Total posts 17

I remember CX had the fixed shell seats and they were horrible. When you reclined the cushion moved forward which meant your knees went forward into the seat in front.... not good.

sch5478

sch5478

04 May 2015

Total posts 5

On contrary, that's a very good news for me. Now either you can recline by reducing your leg room, or have your leg room but no recline and none of this is at the cost of the passenger behind you. By having fixed PE, I hope more and more airlines are teaching passenger how to behave reasonably.

elchriss0

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 578

That CX design was horrible because they only gave you 31 inch pitch so knees were already touching the seat in front with no recline.

sch5478

sch5478

04 May 2015

Total posts 5

No? CX (and almost all airlines) has 38" pitch. I'm not sure which airlines offer PE with 31"?

elchriss0

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 578

CX had fixed shell in their Y at one point

Aircraft Lover

Aircraft Lover

KLM - Flying Blue

05 Feb 2019

Total posts 28

I like to see, in Lufthansa's new PE seat, the traditional table attachment, and not the arm-rest folded table

I feel it gives more freedom of movement, and the table is usually more stable and solid

I like this new concept a lot

It seems to provide a lot of privacy

I am looking forward to trying it soon

Aidan

Aidan

05 Dec 2018

Total posts 117

The final seat design may have a slight tilt backwards for comfort instead of being fully upright. Will have to wait and see how they manifest.

Visually they appear to be a step forward.

In future seat design there is room for a hybrid hard-shell that can recline backwards by a small degree, however not enough to impend on rear the passenger space.

With the boom of premium economy this segment will start to see some further great innovation.

FlyingKangaroo

FlyingKangaroo

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

28 Jun 2019

Total posts 1

Having flown a fixed shell in PE only on Air France and China Airlines, the experience was significantly less comfortable than traditional recliners, and found myself sliding down the seat. I actively avoid PE on these carriers or any with similar shell-style seats. Nice not not having anyone recline into you, but at the end of the day, that means you also won't recline into a comfortable position.

JKH

JKH

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Sep 2017

Total posts 127

Looks like a deck chair and devoid of the “premium”.

LondonFlight

LondonFlight

Etihad - Etihad Guest

24 Jul 2019

Total posts 2

It is a shame to hear that Lufthansa is preparing to update its reclining seats into the dreaded fixed shells where one slides and slumbers forwards which is very uncomfortable. Instead, pitch between seats should be increased and so should be the angle of reclining.

Options such as a dedicated check in desk, priority boarding and lounge access could also be offered at time of booking. Leaving in London with no Star Alliance membership I give my business to Priority Pass instead at both Heathrow and the starting point of the journey back home.

Time to add the premium to the Premium Economy product - meal options and service has room for improvement to also justify the cost.

Look at Virgin Atlantic - there is not a single paper cup on sight and even the term Economy has been removed. It's simply called Premium.

Nothing will deflect business from Business Class if one can afford lie-flat seats anyway.

elchriss0

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 578

by increasing the angle of recline the IFE screen will be out of sight and you'll be staring at someones bald patch the entire flight...no thanks. The way JAL have done W is better this with their hard shell, dedicated check-in, priority boarding and, most importantly, lounge access.

LondonFlight

LondonFlight

Etihad - Etihad Guest

24 Jul 2019

Total posts 2

I am not suggesting the angle of recline is increased while keeping the current pitch - I would move away from Lufthansa if that was the case. Reclining should not be an issue for anyone if the pitch is ideal - everyone should be able to recline or sit upright as they please. I am 51 and remember the cradle seats in Business Class very well. Now that Business has become the new First for most airlines, the old style Business seat with enough pitch and recline should perhaps be the norm, I suppose, especially considering the premium cost.

I am not familiar with the JAL PE seats but can vouch for BA, EVA Air, Virgin Atlantic and Lufthansa - all have recliners. Delta's Premium Economy also seems to be truly Premium based on YouTube videos and online reviews.

I look forward to trying Japan Airlines PE one day, but will not fly Air France's fixed, slouching seats for sure.

Having said that, I have just read very positive reviews about Qantas Premium Economy on their Dreamliners. Perhaps that's what Lufthansa's is going to copy or improve on?

I still think that adding dedicated check in desks, access to fast track and priority boarding would be a major step forward and would not drag business away from the Business cabin.

At the end of the day we all get what we pay for.

elchriss0

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 578

What I mean is that even if you increase pitch to whatever number, when you increase the recline then the seat back mounted IFE screens will still be facing more towards the floor.

Also, i've read many negative reviews about QF W on the dreamliner, but mostly around the lack of pitch and the foot net thing that's a nuisance for many people.


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