The best business class seats on Lufthansa's Boeing 747-8s

By Chris C., April 5 2019
The best business class seats on Lufthansa's Boeing 747-8s

Lufthansa's Boeing 747-8 jets feature on the German airline's key routes to Asia (including Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo) and the United States, including Los Angeles and New York to Frankfurt.

With up to 92 business class seats to choose from on any given flight – spanning both the main deck and the jumbo's iconic upper deck – the seat you select can have a big impact on your journey, so if you're planning to step aboard the 'new jumbo', here are our top business class seating picks, along with a few seats you might prefer to avoid.

Lufthansa Boeing 747-8 business class: seat map

Your Lufthansa Boeing 747-8 flight will have one of two seating layouts in business class. It's not that there are two different types of business class seats, rather, one layout simply has more of those seats than the other, which are spread across both the main and upper decks.

Regardless of which layout you get, upstairs is an all-business-class affair, with 32 seats in a 2-2 configuration across all of Lufthansa's Boeing 747-8 planes...

... while on the main deck, the seating comes in a 2-2-2 layout instead, given the wider cabin and second aisle.

Here's where there's a difference – some of Lufthansa's jumbos feature 92 business class seats in total, beginning just behind first class and stretching right back over the wings...

... while other jets have 80 business class seats instead, using the space of the 12 'missing' business class beds for 32 extra economy seats directly behind business class, with premium economy oddly remaining behind that, and then more economy seats at the rear:

The easiest way to see which aircraft type you'll be flying on is to look for rows 12 and 14 when choosing your business class seat: if you can see these rows, you're flying in the 'bigger' business class cabin – and if business class instead ends at row 11, you'll be flying in the 'smaller' business class cabin.

Lufthansa Boeing 747-8: best business class seats

For work and sleep, the main deck's D/G seats: In a layout like this, your best bet for an uninterrupted place to be productive or to catch up on rest is to select a seat in one of the centre groups on the main deck.

These are the only business class seats on the entire aircraft that don't require you to step over somebody to access the aisle or to be stepped over yourself, as passengers in the 'D' seats exit to one aisle, and those in the 'G' seats use the other.

For that private jet feeling, row 81 upstairs: Before you panic, you haven't been downgraded! On Lufthansa, business class is numbered as rows 4-11 or 4-14 on the main deck, and then rows 81-88 upstairs, with row 81 the pick of the bunch.

Facing forwards at the front of the cabin, the only time other passengers will pass by your seat is to visit the restroom – and even then, there's another at the back of the upper deck that many will use instead – and given the choice between an aisle or a window, I'd recommend the window for the view and the added privacy, even though you're not next to the aisle.

For extra storage, the A/K seats upstairs: Adding to the appeal of the upper deck, passengers taking the A and K seats get more storage space than those in the aisle, thanks to the presence of storage bins directly below the windows.

I find these are great for mid-sized items like laptop bags – which avoids disturbing your neighbour as your items are already right next to you – as well as housing items like blankets, pillows and amenity kits when not in use.

As an added bonus, the lids on these side lockers double to provide even more usable space during the flight, which is why seats 81A and 81K are my first choice on these jets, even if a centre seat is available downstairs.

For light sleepers, row 83 upstairs: For those who aren't great sleepers on planes and tend to wake easily, choosing a seat towards the centre of the cabin is usually a good place to start, as you're as far away as you can get from the usual sources of noise and light, but here on the Lufthansa Boeing 747-8, row 83 has an extra advantage.

Because of the emergency exit doors behind, there are no seats directly after this row – row 84 is further back – and along with being just that little bit further away from other passengers, it also means that there's no entertainment screen mounted to the same shell as your seat, as can be bothersome if the passenger behind keeps tapping at their monitor, as I've experienced on countless flights.

Lufthansa Boeing 747-8: seats to consider avoiding

Although your seating choices are rather standard everywhere else in the cabin, there are a few places we'd suggest avoiding unless they're your only option.

Seats near the galleys and restrooms: On both aircraft, this list includes 4A/C/H/K, all of row 9, 10A/C/H/K, 81H/K and 88H/K – although for those upper deck seats, their other benefits may outweigh the negatives of their location.

On jets with the 'larger' business class cabin, you can also add 14C/D/G/H to that list, which back onto economy lavatories.

Rows 12 and 14, in general: Because Lufthansa's Boeing 747-8s adopt those two different seating layouts, rows 12 and 14 don't appear on every jet, and it's not uncommon for aircraft to be swapped at the last minute for a variety of reasons.

As such, if you've carefully selected your preferred place in row 12 or 14 and your flight is swapped for that 'other' type of business class jet, you'll lose your seat and will be reassigned elsewhere based on whatever is left over: losing any advantage of your pre-selection.

The window seats downstairs, unless you plan to sleep: Although the window seats upstairs have extra storage space, you won't find this on the main deck – so by choosing a window seat here, you're giving yourself the least amount of room, and are stuck away from the aisle when your seatmate has their seat in bed mode:

(This photo is from the upper deck, but you get the idea...)
(This photo is from the upper deck, but you get the idea...)

It also means that your own seat will need to be returned upright before you even have a chance of stepping out, because there's very little foot space in between two fully-reclined beds.

AusBT review: Lufthansa Boeing 747-8 business class, New York-Frankfurt

Chris Chamberlin travelled as a guest of Star Alliance and Lufthansa.

Chris C.

A former contributor to Executive Traveller, Chris lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Sep 2017

Total posts 152

Hi Chris. How’d you find the bed comfort and also the small footwell section when outstretched for a snooze?

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2566

Hi JKH, both are covered in the review from JFK to Frankfurt.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 115

Not sure about their 747-8 but I did this on their A380 and I assume the seat is the same size. Footwell isn’t really that small and I was able to get a decent sleep rom FRA-SIN. I actually found it more comfortable for sleep than the new J on SQ.

Does Lufthansa fly to Australia anymore, remember years ago they we're flying to Melbourne

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 115

I started working in travel in 1999 and they haven’t flown here at all in my time... they used to but I don’t know when they stopped.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1258

Nope. BA is the only European airline still flying to Australia.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2017

Total posts 1

Lufthansa stopped in 1995! See here for all Euro airlines "life" flying to / from Oz. Many are happy to fly to BKK/HKG/SIN/KUL and then leave it to others for the onward journey.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 115

It’s very much taking on the hub and spoke model. Airlines create JV’s and increase market share through mutual agreed operating contracts. Look at LH Group and SQ. Probably the largest JV out there at the moment. Use any combination if codeshares, plus combine LH Group fares to go one way and come back another. They’re even currently selling Y+ fares for under $2500 to Europe. might not be profitable but it’s a traveller’s market these days. Airlines have to adapt to that.


03 May 2013

Total posts 655

I would have expected more from the Germans than to install antiquated 2-2-2 config. It must be a little uncomfortable to be sitting beside a stranger and have your feet almost touch in bed mode. Pass.

KLM - Flying Blue

05 Feb 2019

Total posts 39

I know that "all-aisle-access" Business Class seats, is the preferred layout configuration

But, I really like how comfortable and wide the Lufthansa Business Class seats are

I think Lufthansa offer an excellent onboard service

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