Lucky business class passengers will enjoy first class seats for business class prices over the winter period, as the carrier temporarily suspends first class ticketing on five long-haul routes from Frankfurt.
Lufthansa has yet to officially announce the move, but confirmed to Business Traveller that it would only be offering a two-class economy and business class service routes between Frankfurt and Nanjing, Guangzhou, Osaka, Kolkata, and Accra (continuing on to Libreville), from December 15, 2009 until March 27, 2010.
The carrier said that the move, which represents four per cent of long-haul routes where a three-class service is normally available, has been made as “demand is currently low for first class on specific connections”.
Lufthansa will not be reconfiguring the planes during this period, so some lucky passengers will be assigned a first class seat (albeit with business class service) for the price of a business class ticket. For details of Lufthansa's first class offering click here.
Those passengers who have already booked a first class ticket during the affected period will be contacted and re-ticketed in business class, receiving a refund for the difference in ticket price. They will also also have “first call” on the coveted seats in the first class cabin, followed by HON Circle and Senator members of the carrier’s Miles and More loyalty scheme.
The temporary decision is similar to that taken by Qantas on its London-Hong Kong route earlier this year (see online news May 21), and Lufthansa says that it “in no way implies a departure from our First-Class policy”. In an internal briefing the carrier continues:
“Lufthansa remains committed to offering First Class in the cabin configuration and is investing substantially in product improvements in this premium class. The airline will be presenting an entirely new First Class in 2010. Lufthansa already has new First-Class lounges respectively a new First-Class terminal in Frankfurt and Munich, which have contributed to large growth in passenger numbers in this segment in recent years.”
For more information visit lufthansa.com.
Report by Mark Caswell
The routes affected by the suspension of first class are:
- LH 780/1 Frankfurt – Nanjing (China)
- LH 786/7 Frankfurt – Guangzhou (China)
- LH 740/1 Frankfurt – Osaka (Japan)
- LH 750/1 Frankfurt – Kolkata (India)
- LH 566/7 Frankfurt – Accra (Ghana), continuing on to Libreville (Gabon)