PHOTO TOUR: Lufthansa's new 747-8 fully flat business class seats

By John Walton, March 9 2012
PHOTO TOUR: Lufthansa's new 747-8 fully flat business class seats

Update | Looking for the latest on Lufthansa's new Boeing 747-8? Check out our photos and first impressions of the new 'Queen of the Skies'.

Previous | Lufthansa has revealed the seats that its business class passengers will see on all long-haul flights, including connecting flights to Europe from its Star Alliance partner hubs on its Boeing 747-8, Airbus A380 and Airbus A340 aircraft.

As Australian Business Traveller reported last year, Lufthansa is going fully flat with its business class, starting on its brand new Boeing 747-8 jumbos -- and despite a spokesperson's hedging at the time, the seats we dug up from an investor presentation proved very similar to the real deal.

It looks like a great improvement on previous Lufthansa seats, which are some of the most uncomfortable angled lie-flat business class seats we've reviewed.

Why are fully flat beds better than angled lie-flat seats? We put the truth to the lie-flat lie in our insider exposé.

In bed mode the seat is 1.98m (6 feet 6 inches) long -- and, yes, fully horizontal.

While Lufthansa hasn't specified the width of the new seats, they look an average width, with extra elbow room in bed mode from a retractable armrest on the aisle or window side of the seat pairs and a cubby on the inboard side.

You'll also see a 15.4-inch screen mounted on the seatback in front of you.

There are two configurations for the seat -- and they're new formats for business class.

Curious about the competition's seats and how they're configured? Let us take you on a tour of other airlines' business class seats and cabin layouts

The first configuration will be found upstairs on Lufthansa's new 747-8 planes, where you'll find a 2-2 layout with each pair of seats angled towards each other.

The angle of the seats in this layout sounds like a recipe for playing footsie with your neighbour, since the footrest area is only separated by a small divider.

The second configuration -- which Lufthansa has yet to illustrate, but which we'd surmise will end up on the A380's wider upper deck -- sounds like a much better idea: the seats are parallel but point towards the outer cabin wall.

In both layouts, window passengers will need to clamber out over the legs of a sleeping aisle-seated neighbour.

The clambering is a big minus compared with the business classes with direct aisle access for all from Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines (long-haul business class), Air New Zealand (new 777-300EREtihad, Emirates (A380s only), Virgin Atlantic and others.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


19 Dec 2011

Total posts 48

can you imagine anyone choosing these seats over any other flatbed seats on the market, even the side by side qantas flatbeds are better than this. Why wouldnt you choose ba's, cx's or sq's superb business over this in a heartbeat.

john your comment on playing footsie looks absolutely correct and the awkward angle of the seats will not make for a relaxing journey as it gives no privacy at all.

lufthansa is providing a flat bed which may prove technically comfortable but socially uncomfortable.

13 Dec 2011

Total posts 30

"The second configuration -- which Lufthansa has yet to illustrate, but which we'd surmise will end up on the A380's wider upper deck -- sounds like a much better idea: the seats are parallel but point towards the outer cabin wall."

US Airways has been using these for some time

I'm sure you can find better photos but that's a start.

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 665

Oh, we're absolutely familiar with the "reverse herringbone" that US Airways (and Cathay and American and now Qatar) are using, but these sound like 2-2-2 rather than 1-2-1. So more Air NZ Spaceseat premium economy in angle, really.

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 526

What a wasted opportunity for Lufthansa to put in a great product. In the day and age where airlines are moving to formats which provide greater privacy in Business  Class, Lufthansa introduce a footsie product that is the complete opposite. I won't choose to fly on LH if I can have the privacy of SQ or CX.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

05 Jan 2012

Total posts 335

Cant say i am that impressed. What i am surprised about is that some of the premium cabins around the world shape up better than some of these business cabins. Back to the drawing board lufty!

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 1

Lufthansa took their time developing this product to ensure it met the expectations of their passengers, whilst also fulfilling the requirements of their crew and service personel (all of which have been regularly consulted with throughout development).
The new Lufthansa C/CL seat certainly doesn't compete with the likes of Singapore's in terms of seat width or aisle access, nor does it try to. The density of a product such as Singapore's makes it completely insufficient for Lufthansa. The airline and their designers have, however, taken the chosen layout and painstakingly developed features and details which no other airline would have the foresight / insight to offer (such as the beautifully simple seat control interface). 
As someone who has actually flown on this seat (during the test flights in 2010) I can promise you all that this seat needs to be seen to be believed. The detailing and quality is unparalleled!
As for the proximity of your feet with your neighbour; their is a screen in that separates you from them - not a problem I can assure you! Plus, your upper bodies are much further apart than a normal seat which actually increases the sense of privacy!
For all those looking and hoping for radical C/CL products I would say this; the time has come when Airlines need to be more intelligent when developing their cabin interiors, in order to find the right mix of efficiency and comfort. The world cannot afford for Emirites to be flying 100 A380's around when intelligent design could have done just as good a job with 50!
Lufthansa seem to (as usual) have found their own, well considered (albeit with some compromises) route. And I wouldn't mind betting that history will prove it is the right one!

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 542

I don't see how Emirates is worse than Lufthansa. Business class is comfort, not budget, and the A380 is environmentally friendly enough to be flying around ten at a time (100 in total).

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