No more First on LH?

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  • RichHI1

    Virgin used to fly from Brussels into LHR along time ago as did Lauda Air.


    Another beautiful shot of Lufthansa’s brand new 747-800. This should quash any rumours they were cancelling the order.


    RichH!, Le Tigre

    Virgin’s Brussels service, Lauda and bmi (rip) hardly qualify as locos….. I know definitions here are subjective but none the less they offered a very different experience to the ezy and frs of this world


    TominScotland, had to fly Virgin from Brussels Once when BA cancelled all flights. It would be hard to think of any way they coild have made it more unpleasant.


    Don’t understand why this story has been sensationalised so much. Lufthansa have a couple of A340s with no first class cabin, and they’ve been set up like that for years. Lufthansa continue to refurbish the first class cabin on many of their A340 aircraft. It is likely to be several A340 and A330 aircraft which have their first cabins removed when they’re refurbished with the new business class. I’ve flown Lufthansa to the likes of Kazakhstan a few times recently, in business class, and first class has always been virtually empty. I’m sure it will be routes like Eurasian and smaller African routes that see changes.



    I think the bigger news surrounding this include:
    ** Use of Germanwings subsidiary on routes from key airports like STR
    ** Delay of replacement of older A340-300
    ** Continued yield pressure across LH mainline
    ** Major changes to the M&M programme announced a few weeks back, which would impact people flying routes replaced by Germanwings

    What has already been stated is that of the current 30 B747-400 in the fleet:
    10 will retire by 2013 (or perhaps 2014)
    10 will revamped with new F (done I believe)
    10 will be reconfig to C and Y only
    So the impact to F is already under way

    LH has made major investments in the E2E customer experience for their F pax. After sampling the E2E experience in March, it leaves the BA experience at T5 as a poor cousin, including the cramped 14 seat config of the B747-400. I like BA, but compared to LH they trail by a mile in my book.

    Interestingly, Swiss still seem to hit their stride. Obviously, a much smaller carrier with 26 long-haul air-crafts all fitted with Y, C, and F and with a fairly homogeneous, and wealthy home market. Still, since 2005 it has contributed handsome profit to the LH Group each year.


    I think that in F, LH and LX both meet expectations of passengers. For instance, I’ve never failed to have my choice of meal on either carrier and you get no sense that anyone else misses out either. On BA it’s obvious that people are prioritised from the way orders are taken and it’s not uncommon to see people settling for a second or even third choice.

    I agree with Senator, the LH/LX F experience leaves the European competition standing in all regards. I don’t even think of BA F as F because it falls so far short of my expectations.

    There are obviously routes where a full F service is not justified and that is where it will be culled. As it’s not used, in all probability no one will miss it and the new C class (which is British designed!) looks very good.



    I normally agree with you, I was not impressed with the pictures of the new LH C-class; it seem to offer little privacy. However, I leave my final judgement until I have sampled it.

    In terms of F; LH is a leader, albeit sometimes slow
    In terms of C; LH is a follower, and is bringing (from what I can see) an average product to market

    LX on the other hand is excellent all the way through. Recently flew down to BKK in C and had an excellent flight. Wasn’t able to upgrade, but Maitre D’ Cabin took care of my special wishes regardless. Had the best seat in the house: 4A.



    Given your posts either you are both easily pleased or I must have missed out on a different product to the F sampled on my recent AUH-FRA-AUH trip.

    What I got was a very poor offering in very old seating, old IFE with very poor choice of films. The seat even had one of those old flip top ashtrys that were long assigned to the rubbish tip. Overall the whole ambience of the cabin was anything but welcoming.

    On this showing LH were anything but a market leader. It was actually a worse product than many of the C cabins I’ve been in on numerous European and Middle East carriers. In fact if LH want to try leading they need to take a leaf out of innovative carriers like EY, however given their attitude to those carriers that would grate just a little too much.


    AUH routes are operated by older Airbus aircraft, which are due for retirement or refurbishment. Routes operated by A380, B747, and refurbished A340 aircraft demonstrate why LH is a market leader. Magnificent service both in the air and on the ground, amazing seating, arguably the best food in the sky. Admittedly the older seating is well behind the times.
    The sooner their A340s are upgraded the better (those that are keeping First of course).



    Given other posts and the numbers of passengers on this route in F it could easily fall into one of routes to see F fall by the wayside for an upgraded C product, which given the journey time wouldn’t be an issue.


    As ZKSmith notes “routes operated by the A380, B747 and refurbished A340 aircraft demonstrate why LH is a market leader.”

    On the subject of the B747, I wonder if any of you have tried out the “seat and a bed” concept which LH is installing on 10 of its B747 fleet ?

    If so, how did you find it ?



    My comment: “In terms of F; LH is a leader, albeit sometimes slow” refers mostly to the slow progress of updating existing air-crafts with new F. In this case I am referring to the fairly vast fleet of A330-300/A340-300/600 that have yet to be updated. These will have a similar (if not the same) seat as the A380.

    My recent experience was on the B747-400 on the FRA-IAD route. We had only planned to upgrade the FRA-IAD leg, but due to operational changes we ended up on reverse route back. To my dismay, we did have the old product both ways. Still, a bed was made in the neighbouring seat and I slept well in the old seat.

    My point of leadership also included:
    ** Ground experience with the FCT and multiple FCLs in FRA. When I compare both the human factor (staff, both airline and catering), the F&B offer, and not to mention the excellent transfer to departure the BA experience is weak at best at the CCR.
    ** F&B on-board is superior to the BA offer, and staff knowledgeable about what’s on offer
    ** Roominess on-board; despite 16 seats upstairs and only eight being used it feels more exclusive and less cramped.

    I have leveraged the FlyerTalk post from one of the moderators with a progress report:

    Status as of 22 April 2012

    747 : 10 retrofitted so far:

    There are currently 28 B747s all based in FRA. 2 have left the fleet at the beginning of 2012. 4 more are expected to leave the fleet during 2012.

    A346 : 7 retrofitted so far (out of 14) based in MUC:

    None of the 10 A346s based in FRA has the new F cabin.

    A343 : 5 retrofitted so far (out of 10) based in MUC: D-AIFC, D-AIFD, D-AIFE, D-AIFF and D-AIGU.

    None of the 10 A343s based in FRA has the new F cabin. There are further 6 two-class A343s based in FRA.

    It was earlier announced that MUC-based A343s and A346s will serve the following routes when the summer timetable starts at the end of March.

    A343: GRU, ICN, SIN
    A346: LAX, SFO, PEK, PVG, DEL

    A333 : None of the 15 LH A333s have the new F seats at present.

    3 new MUC-based A333s will be delivered during 2012 with the new First and Business Class cabins. One (D-AIKP) is currently in HAM for cabin outfitting. It will be handed over to LH in mid-April.

    A333 with the new F (and C) will be based in MUC and fly to the following destinations during the summer 2012 season according to flying_student:

    IAD: 06.05 – 23.06, 02.09 – 27.10
    JFK: 01.06 – 25.06, 02.09 – 27.10
    BOM: 02.09 – 27.10
    DXB: 25.06 – 01.09
    YUL: 30.06 – 01.09
    RUH/JED: 27.06 – 31.08
    TLV: 25.06 – 01.09


    Just shows its all about taste. I flew LH First for 1st time this month, to Singapore via Munich and I have to agree it wasn’t anything special.

    They have the same problem as most carriers of inconsistent crew (o/b was grumpy and unhelpful, i/b superb).

    They might do caviar but the rest of the food was bland and poor. (Amusing cheese plate with what looked and tasted like processed cheese slices included)

    The F lounge was dated, smokey and cramped.

    The Seat – surely the point of F – was dreadful. Tiny IFE screens (think BA Y size)

    And interestingly quite a few of the expected luxuries – bedding, duvets, toiletries, decent headsets, cloth towels in the washrooms, all missing.

    Some of this may be corrected with the new seat, but it looks like LH are doing what BA did and taking all the luxurious touches away. BA have learned, and the new cabin designs which, may have more seats, certainly reflect ‘luxury’ – just see the detail in the way the seats are made!

    I did like the private transfer to my home LHR flight (very glamorous) but that was only because that was the only fight of the four that was on a remote stand.

    I take the point about the F terminal in frankfurt. If I was flying point to point, I agree that in comparison with the BA T5 experience it would appear better. But thats a little irrelevant if you dont start at Frankfurt.

    Overall though, 80% of a airline journey is ‘in the air’, and LH is just not competitive if you are stuck with the old product.

    For me, based on my experience, Id rather fly J direct than pay extra and suffer the inconvenience of the transfer to fly LH F.

    LX on the other hand – the old seat was a little lumpy for sleeping, but the new F is excellent – and worth the transfer (if not the price uplift).


    As we don’t seem to have an LH apologist on the forum I doubt anyone would defend the old F seating on LH. Even when introduced it fell rather short of expectations though it was said to be the result of customer research and I can remember being asked about my expectations of F about a year before it was launched. That said, I never had any difficulty in sleeping on the F seat when it was in flat position and for all it’s limitations, it was comfortable but latterly it has looked dated.

    The new F seat is a whole different matter, it is a leader in it’s class and is being fitted very rapidly across the fleet.

    I’ve never heard anyone describe LH F lounges as dated or cramped and outside of the smoking zone certainly not smokey but each to their own.

    IME F catering on LH is the best in the business. I’ve often said if you could have LH F food served by SQ crew in their F suite the product would be unbeatable. Then again, it’s a matter of taste and expectation.

    I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed with LH service but of course you can encounter a poor crew on the day but they are a lot less common than poor crews on BA.

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