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Lufthansa unveils new fully-flat business class seat

Published: 08/03/2012 - Filed under: News »

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Lufthansa has unveiled its new fully-flat business class seat which will debut on the carrier’s B747-800 aircraft.

The seat features a 1.98-metre bed, and depending on the aircraft onto which it is fitted it can be configured in either “V” (where two neighbouring seats are angled towards one another along a central axis so that at head and shoulder level the seats are further apart than in the foot area), or “H” (where , seats are positioned parallel to one another but angled slightly towards the outer cabin wall).

Lufthansa said that the "V" configuration, which will feature on its B747-800 aircraft, "enabled Lufthansa to fulfil one of the main wishes expressed by customers – to sit or lie facing the direction of travel", and also allowed the carrier "to virtually double the distance between two neighbouring seats at shoulder level".

Features include a 15-inch TV screen (up from the current 10.4 inches), with the IFE available to passengers immediately after boarding, additional storage compartments, and “ergonomically optimised, continuous seat-adjustment mechanism when converting the seat into a bed and when making individual adjustments to the seat position”.

Lufthansa says it has invested €3 billion in overhauling its inflight products, with a total of 1,349 passengers and crew evaluating the new business class seat during test flights between Frankfurt and New York back in 2010.

Business Traveller is at the launch event for the new seat at travel show ITB Berlin, and is currently tweeting images and further details about the new offering. To follow the latest tweets visit twitter.com/btuk.

The videos and photographs posted at the top of this news story were also taken at the launch event by Business Traveller, and are as follows:

  • 1/4 - new business class seat video
  • 2/4 - new business class seat video
  • 3/4 - new business class seat photographs
  • 4/4 - new economy B747-800 seat photographs

For more information visit lufthansa.com.

Report by Mark Caswell

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COMMENTS » 

Senator - 08/03/2012 10:48

suspiciously similar to US Airways and Cathay

ZKSmith - 08/03/2012 14:52

Anyone have any idea about the timescale for retro-fitting this new seat on the existing Boeing and Airbus aircraft?

Tobidhk - 08/03/2012 15:02

So I am subject to playing footsy with my flight neighbour? Scary layout for the legs in the sleeping position...

GLOBALFIRST - 08/03/2012 15:07

Glad to finally have flat but angle toward other passenger is a bad idea.

AZTravelGuy - 08/03/2012 18:08

Why do I want to be angled towards a stranger and have no privacy? I'm suppose to knock knees and have my legs and feet within centimeters of this stranger while I sleep? No solo seats like on LX and nearly every other latest generation business seat? Not impressed.

Netboig - 08/03/2012 18:47

This is definitely not a good idea with the V-shape configuration. Can't imagine having to stare at your neighbor continuously on a 12 hour flight! It's one thing if your are traveling with someone, but for most business travelers traveling solo it's definitely not a god idea.

Seasons - 08/03/2012 19:03

Oh dear, doesn't sound too nice. I can see the logic, but in the principle privacy comes before direction of travel, at least for me.

If the seats are angled towards each other too (as they appear) then even if they are separated further apart at the shoulders, you are visually noticing your fellow passenger more...

And how does the window-side passenger climb over the aisle-passenger? Maybe they'll realise they need a handhold, or maybe even a step at some point

Otherwise it looks more like Asiana's *previous* Business seat, just with less privacy (albeit flatter).

Whatloyality? - 08/03/2012 19:57

Whoever signed off on this new product may soon need to find a new job! who on earth wants to fly footy with their neighbour? I bet Lufthansa's competitors are now celebrating when they saw this.

LarsG_of_DLH - 09/03/2012 00:30

We tested this new seat EXTENSIVELY, with avid very frequent travelers and experts. Gathered TONS of feedback and had lots of workshops.

Before you mock our new C, i beg you to at least FLY it before.

Thank you,
Lars G,
LH Product management & PR

StephenLondon - 09/03/2012 08:11

LarsG_of_DLH - I think what you're receiving is first impressions from people that expected a lot more than what is shown in these opening photographs - so don't take it all too much to heart. That said, the judicious placement of a pillow where another passenger's feet may be entangled with mine seems a bit staged, hence people's concerns yielding negativity.

Question: are the frequent travellers you used LH frequent travellers? They may rave about it, but what about CX, BA or even Etihad frequent travellers, who are all very accustomed to flat bed productions that offer perhaps a bit more space and privacy? Perhaps you have photos of cabin full of passengers that may show more of the reality, less of the marketing? Good luck with the launch - the 747-800 is an impressive new plane!

payne629 - 09/03/2012 08:14

A definite miss they thought too much about this and in the end made a product not befitting their leadership position.Time to do a competitor check for my future travel, so long Luft!

bluecruise - 09/03/2012 08:26

unimpressed design business class seats, Lufthansa remain the worst business class configuration. I wont recommend nor flying business class with Lufthansa. Lufthansa was my most choice in the past realized British Airways business class far better ! Disappointed Lufthansa choice !

seanyjmuclhr - 09/03/2012 12:20

LarsG_of_DLH is clearly not a LH employee otherwise I would be shocked to learn that such a brand would let their staff post comments of such a defensive tone. With words in capitals effectively SHOUTING at us to calm down.

reinerg - 09/03/2012 20:35

My worst nightmare is having to stare at someone's bare feet for an entire flight. This already happens far too often in regular configuration business seats - and now I'll have to stare at them directly in this seat. Gentle readers (especially men), nobody wants to see your bare feet, ever - especially while eating. Pedicure or not, keep them covered please.

Shanwick1249 - 09/03/2012 23:15

Wow. Everything about this looks wrong. Not just the terrible orientation of the seat (what were they thinking??), but the tiny space you have to jam your feet into, the fixed headrest, the sub-standard IFE with its hidden controls, the hard-to-reach tables...

If you're in an aisle seat, with the seat flat, there seems to be nothing to prevent you from being hit by everyone that goes up and down the aisle (assuming the arm rest retracts with the seat).

LH already made an unforgivable mistake by not installing flat beds in its A380s. The -8i was supposed to be the flagship (I don't know why) but it looks like a double disappointment - for taking so long and being so poor.

rickasia - 10/03/2012 00:49

Dear LarsG I really and truly believe you aren't an LH guy.

I'm not proud to say I'm a Honor Circle member but I'm keeping up my status flying with Swiss mostly because LH is became the worst one comparing price/service offered.

I'd often wrote and talk with LH stuff to complain in the past and I can 100% guarantee you they'll never give a.so straight and defensive answer.

However I agree with payne629 they should use not LH ff because those guys because they are LH ff probably they haven't a clear scenario of competitors business and first seat.

LH had already fault with new first that is absolutely the best example of NO PRIVACY AND STYLE.

Would be enough those guys catch examples from their own Swiss family's members ( LH managers they would be more grounded and test a HKG to Frankfurt on first with LX or may be to London with BA to truly understand what customer in first want but I know they are so proud of them self........and even more to refurbished the new business again same recommendations: just adopt same Swiss optimum business seat.)

LH first cl seat it's really llok like a monk's bed, you know in old movies where every monk has it's cell, but at least the cell give the monk more privacy than LH.

Finally are most than two years I'm not flying with LH and I'll go on on this way even TK seat are better than this silly worst expensive seat.

And the most disappointing is that when you fly with them cabin crew is not so kind or educate as LX or BA or Singapore (Singapore is also Star alliance Memb).

FelixTownsend80 - 10/03/2012 13:17

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!

rickasia - 12/03/2012 12:10

Hi Felix

so if we stay on your comment we should believe others competitors as CX or TK or Swiss or BA or ANA are wasting space and related prifts, I mean following your thinking way it's really looks like so.

I'm not so deeply involved but I believe that LH long haul planes are not so much more than CX or Emirates that as reported in a news on these pages own 69 !! A380 and they would be foolish following your comment because they care more space and passenger's comfort than not profit, looks like strange to believe and agree, they have a seat pretty similar ANA that in my experience is one of the msot comfortable seat (and cabin crew are the state of the art for courtesy...)

If LH was adopting a solution like ANA or Emirates or at least new TK in my personal opinion of a guy fly tought would be much better.

I tell you what I pilot confessed me one time: opinions of top flyer as Honor Circle as me or at least f.f. are never considered by LH stuff because we fly so much and we have so much highter expectations that we do not represent the everage....this can tell you clear how is the situation, others as up mentioned carriers they always interview f.f. and top level flyers ofcourse with out forgetting profit and space.

Definetly I don't agree with your theory LH has a so hight denisty can't be compared with others (jast rember you Emirates fleet.....).

And pls don't ask me to believe Santa Clause: when you mention quality and detailing are unpararalled: have you ever flought others carriers ??

FelixTownsend80 - 13/03/2012 11:05

Hi rickasia,

We don't know yet how many business class seats Lufthansa has on their 747-8i.

CIX have 44 on a 747-400. I think you may be quite surprised when you see how many seats DLH can manage to fit into the same space....

I'm still convinced that this layout will prove to be the best business class seat for its density once the numbers are clear and passengers actually experience the seat.

As far as quality is concerned, the seat was designed by London designers Pearson Lloyd (who also designed the Upper Class Seat for Virgin Atlantic.). They are specialists in the highest quality furniture.

Lufthansa's new First Class seat delivers quality and detailing that can't even be matched by the likes of Gulfstream or Bombardier (look at the A380 lavatories!).

BA layout is very efficient and offers good levels of comfort. But there are also some major disadvantages. Many of the window passengers are forced to step over their neighbour to reach the aisle and then there's the issue of FLYING BACKWARDS!

Please remember that the yin-yang layout is totally unique to BA and protected. No other airline could use even if they wanted to!

CHINATRADERJMR - 22/03/2012 14:24

Wow, such negative comments. I think everyone should take a breath and wait to see what this new seat looks like when 2 pax are in them, in the flat position. That said, anything full flat is C Is a step up for LH, even if they use bunk beds :). LH has always been a great carrier with a not so great product. WHY? They make up for these short comings with excellent staff, catering, lounges and a great performance record.

UWSTony - 30/03/2012 13:25

Bad idea! As other airlines are moving toward aisle access for all, they're going backwards here. When is Luthansa ( and UA) going to understand that we biz travelers almost always travel alone!

MarkCymru - 31/03/2012 23:37

I'm a big fan of Lufthansa and I've had a Senator card for years. However, this doesn't look promising.

My major problem with the current seat is that you have to climb over a fellow passenger if you're on the window (or be climbed over if you are in an aisle on the side). Because LH don't have the 777, they've avoided the dreaded middle seat in the centre so either of the centre aisles are fine. The angle of the seat is very moderate and the memory foam makes sure that you have a good night's sleep.

The new layout looks much less good than the equivalent LX product (the same as AY) or herringbone. I agree with other contributors: who cares about the direction of travel? I'm amazed that LH customers objected so much. Did they talk to people who fly BA or UA or just those who thought about it in theory? If they did talk to BA and UA passengers, did they really sort out the problems over service from feedback on the seating?

I'll try it because LH service is so good but I'm not really looking forward to it

BeraJohnson - 24/04/2012 16:53

sorry to say but this is one of the worst I have seen.

playing footsy with a neighbor is horrible idea.

I fly more than 200K/yr and I would even prefer United's silly rear-facing set up instead vs playing footsy at LH.

Johnny_B - 05/10/2012 09:00

Oh Lufthansa - you are expensive and your business class is (and it appears that it will continue to be) way behind the others. How you could fit out A380's with NON FLAT SEATS is just beyond belief. I only fly with you from Germany when I have to (booked by the company) and I loath it.

I always fill out your customer survey in business class with the hope that you will listen. It seems from the comments above you are now on track to stuff up your interior in the new 747's just like your cheap choice in the A380. But hey I always tell myself that extra 1,500€ for a Lufthansa seat to Asian is worth it because the seat is stitched in silver.

Lufthansa "The Champagne Priced - Beer Quality Airline".

bombayteddy - 11/04/2013 13:20

Sounds like a horror-story, all told. Only worth trying if you're flying with a companion!

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