Lufthansa has a history of being well known for their premium cabins, starting with their vaunted Senator First Class from the airline’s earliest days. The current Lufthansa business class product has been due for an overhaul for some time, and one has been announced, but COVID-19 has delayed the rollout of that product for a few years.
As Germany’s national carrier, Lufthansa makes their current premium cabins showcases for the best of German food and wine, with a nod toward global tastes. Whether in lounges or onboard, German beer and wine, German baked goods (including pretzels) and comfort food favorites like potato salads and charcuterie figure prominently in onboard dining.
What to know about Lufthansa business class
Lufthansa offers a business class product on most flights. As with many European carriers, the differences between intra-Europe Business and longhaul Business are substantial–this review primarily addresses the intercontinental long haul business class experience.
It’s notable that Lufthansa announced upgrades to the business class seating product several years ago, but the pandemic and production delays for some of the newer aircraft planned to join the fleet mean that the existing business class product will be the standard for a few more years to come.
Passengers who prefer an open plan business class cabin instead of one with highly engineered seats with lots of plastic dividers will appreciate Lufthansa’s spacious, cushy seating.
Previous deals we've found in Lufthansa business class
- $2,111 roundtrip to Dubai
- $2,518 roundtrip to Malta
- $2,239 roundtrip to France
The Lufthansa business class experience at the airport
The Lufthansa business class lounge
Lufthansa’s lounge experience for business class customers is extraordinary, for in many cities the airline operates separate lounges for passengers traveling business class, and frequent fliers. Lufthansa’s Business Lounges generally offer a standard degree of comfort, with self-service coffee, soft drink, and alcoholic beverage stations, and a selection of light snacks.
Lufthansa’s Senator Lounges, which are reserved for elite Senator members of the Lufthansa Miles & More program and Star Alliance member airline programs, are somewhat upgraded compared to Business Lounges. They generally have a wider selection of hot food, plus showers or spa services available at many locations.
Many locations without separate Business and Senator lounges will have signage for both at a single entrance; others will have a single entrance but two separate areas designated for Business and Senator lounges.
In the United States, Lufthansa business class passengers can also use the United Polaris lounges if their Lufthansa flight departs from an airport that has one in the same terminal.
Lufthansa business class check-in
Lufthansa operates separate check-in desks for business class passengers. Star Alliance Gold members are also able to check-in at these desks. Even when the lines are similar, Business Class passengers should endeavor to check-in at the dedicated desks because the agents are typically more versed in details business class passengers should be aware of (e.g. remembering to offer directions to the lounge at the departure airport or in a connecting city).
Lufthansa business class baggage allowance
Business class fares included extra checked and carry-on baggage allowance. Passengers can check in two bags up to 32 kilos / 70 pounds each and carry on two bags up to 8 kilos / 17 pounds each, plus a personal item.
Checked baggage is flagged for priority handling and should be among the first to be delivered to baggage claim upon arrival (if local regulations permit).
The Lufthansa business class experience in the air
Lufthansa business class seats
Lufthansa business class has the same seats across all aircraft types in the fleet. It’s a lie-flat cloth seat with a comfy pillow and blanket. On widebody aircraft, the seats are in a 2-2-2 configuration on most aircraft, so there is no direct aisle access for passengers sitting in window seats.
A new business class seat was planned for introduction with the new 777-9 and 787 aircraft in 2020, but production delays have pushed that rollout to at least 2023. On the current fleet, Lufthansa will take delivery of an “interim” business class seat with aisle-access on Airbus A350-900 deliveries during 2022, but details have been scant.
For now, business class passengers on Lufthansa can depend on the current seat until further details on refurbishment are public.
- A350: There are three configurations of the A350. The one with 30 business class seats is the one with the new “interim” seat (the other configurations have either 36 or 48 of the current seat type).
- A340-600: The A340-600 has a business class cabin behind First Class and straddling the galley configuration at the second door. Unlike economy class, which has a unique setup for lavatories (they’re accessible by a set of stairs to the lower cargo deck) all business class lavatories are on the main deck.
- A340-300 and A330-300: The business class cabins on these aircraft are virtually identical, occupying the forwardmost zone in the aircraft.
- 747-8: The 747-8 has business class seating on both the Main Deck and Upper Deck. Seating on the Main Deck is primarily between the first and second doors. On the Upper Deck, seating is 2-2, and the row of windows is noticeably lower than on the Main Deck.
- 747-400: The 747-400 has business class seating on both the Main Deck and Upper Deck. Seating on the Main Deck is both in front of and behind the first door. Forward of the first door, seating is 2-2, with a single middle section seat (4D) in Row 4. Passengers in Rows 1 and 2 on this aircraft have the distinctive position of actually sitting farther forward than the cockpit (which is up and behind on the Upper Deck). Unlike the 747-8, seating is 2-3-2 on the Main Deck behind the first zone in the nose, so passengers may notice a distinctively more cramped experience in this section on this aircraft. On the Upper Deck, seating is 2-2, and the row of windows is noticeably lower than on the Main Deck.
Lufthansa Business Class passengers benefit from priority check-in, baggage handling, security screening and boarding procedures. Flight attendants are also careful to ensure business class passengers are able to deplane before economy and premium economy upon arrival. Lavatories are generally the same as in economy, but are sometimes stocked with extra amenities similar to the ones found in the business class amenity kits. Lufthansa provides business class passengers with an amenity kit containing socks, ear plugs, a toothbrush, and body products from L’Occitane.
Lufthansa business class meals
Lufthansa serves a three-course main meal in business class on long haul flights, followed by a pre-arrival meal with a choice of hot or cold option. Menus rotate every few months, and one of the menu options is typically meatless. Lufthansa also offers a wide selection of bread, from whole grain and white slices or lavash crackers to white, wheat, or pretzel buns.
An example menu for a flight from Frankfurt to Los Angeles offered a choice of appetizers of spiced salmon, marinated beef, or goat cheese tartare. Main courses included roast chicken, cod, or White Asparagus, with a selection of cheeses with chutneys and fruit or ice cream for dessert.
Passengers who wish a faster meal service can have an appetizer, cheese, and dessert all on a single tray. On specific night flights less than 8 hours departing after 8:00PM, flight attendants will serve all courses, including the main, on a single tray to allow more time for sleep.
On longer flights, a snack station is set up near the galleys so passengers can help themselves.
Alcohol is complimentary in business class. Lufthansa’s wine list is typically extensive, with several German whites and reds in addition to international selections and French Champagne. A standard selection of soft drinks and liquor is also available.
Lufthansa business class vs first class
First Class passengers on Lufthansa often have a separate airport lounge (and an entirely separate terminal at Frankfurt Airport), are offered private car transfers to and from the airport in select cities (and to the aircraft at some airports). Seating is more spacious and the cabin more intimate, with upgraded menus (think more choices, including caviar and better Champagne) and amenities.
>> Read more about business vs first class on other airlines
How to book Lufthansa business class
How much does it cost for a business class ticket on Lufthansa?
Roundtrip fares from New York to Europe generally start around $3,000 to $4,000. From the US West Coast it’s more common to see fares from $4,000 or more, although off-peak dates are often discounted. At Going we frequently find our Elite members deals under $2,500 roundtrip.
How to upgrade to Lufthansa business class for free.
Lufthansa sells upgrades to business class for reasonable surcharges on a per-segment basis once booking is completed. Lufthansa does not typically upgrade passengers to business class for free unless needed to alleviate overbooking, an equipment swap, or some other extraordinary situation.
How much does it cost to upgrade to business class on Lufthansa?
On a recent flight from Frankfurt to Toronto, we noticed an upgrade offer to business class from premium economy for about $500 USD, although upgrade offers are typically based on availability of seats; the price fluctuated somewhat as seats continued to sell prior to departure.
How many miles to upgrade to Lufthansa business class?
Lufthansa Miles & More members can generally upgrade for 20,000 to 50,000 miles per segment, depending on the fare and class of service they originally booked. Passengers with miles in other Star Alliance member airline programs may have limited ability to upgrade from select fares.
Lufthansa business class is a fine product, but it’s beginning to lag behind its competitors who have already retrofitted with new aisle-access seats with more privacy dividers. As these products roll out across the Lufthansa fleet in the coming years, it will be a bit more on par with its peers. In the meantime, the courteous service and good food Lufthansa is also known for won’t be changing, and travelers in business class can still look forward to a pleasant journey.