First class on Lufthansa is known in the industry for being a high quality product, if not quite as up to speed as some of the over-the-top amenities of some airlines operating a long-haul first class. Sophisticated and elegant, German but global, luxurious but understated are some of the bywords of the Lufthansa first class experience, which is only offered on a select few aircraft types in major nonstop markets from Frankfurt or Munich.
While Lufthansa first class is rarely discounted, members of Lufthansa’s Miles & More program, as well as members of Star Alliance airline programs can redeem miles for Lufthansa first class—typically close to departure.
What to know about Lufthansa first class
Lufthansa is one of a handful of European carriers to maintain significant first class infrastructure on the ground and aloft. Lufthansa first class is noted for highly personalized service with consistently high quality catering and ground services at the first class terminal in Frankfurt.
Best routes for Lufthansa first class
First class is only offered on select long-haul flights departing from Frankfurt operated by Boeing 747-8i equipment or from Munich operated by Airbus A340-600 equipment. Departing North America, Lufthansa offers first class from the following cities:
- Los Angeles
- Chicago (O’Hare)
- Mexico City
- Washington (Dulles)
- San Francisco
- New York (JFK)
- Houston (Intercontinental)
Outside of North America, Lufthansa offers first class to Johannesburg, São Paulo, Tokyo (Haneda), Singapore, New Delhi, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Beijing.
Read deals found by Going in Lufthansa first class
- Boston to Oslo for $5,664 roundtrip
- Miami to New Delhi for $2,661 roundtrip
- New York to Madrid $5,696 roundtrip
The Lufthansa first class experience at the airport
Lufthansa first class lounge
First class passengers departing from or connecting via Frankfurt Airport have access to Lufthansa’s first class terminal. Departing passengers can pull right up to the terminal and have their car valet parked. A concierge will direct passengers through private security screening, and directly into the large terminal, which features easy chairs, a dining area and cigar lounge, shower rooms (one of which includes a bathtub) and a number of office units.
Dining in the first class terminal and first class lounges is also generally offered with table service and an expansive selection of wines and top shelf spirits.
Lufthansa’s first class terminal is famous for its branded rubber ducks, which are prominently displayed and offered as a souvenir to all passengers. Connecting passengers for whom the first class terminal is not convenient have access to first class lounges or dedicated first class space in the Lufthansa Senator lounges near Lufthansa’s gates.
At select European airports, Lufthansa will also provide limousine transfers to certain gates. The details of this service are complex, owing to local regulations, but ground and onboard crews will arrange transfers when available.
Check-in for Lufthansa first class
At Frankfurt, first class passengers check in at the first class Terminal. At Munich, there’s curbside check-in at Terminal 2. In all other cities, first class passengers have a dedicated check-in line at the Lufthansa ticket counter.
Baggage allowance on Lufthansa first class
First class passengers can carry onboard two items of baggage up to 8 kilos / 17 pounds each, and check up to three bags up to 32 kilos / 70 pounds each. Checked bags are priority tagged and loaded onboard in a dedicated container.
The Lufthansa first class experience in the air
Lufthansa first class seats
- 747-8i: Lufthansa’s 747-8i aircraft all have first class cabins with 8 seats in Zone 1 - the first zone in the nose of the aircraft (the first two rows of seats are actually forward of the cockpit, which is situated above and behind). The seats lie fully flat and are partially enclosed, allowing privacy without compromising the spaciousness of the larger cabin. Seats have a guest ottoman, allowing two passengers traveling together to dine in the same seat.
- A340-600: On the A340-600, the seats are the same as the 747-8i, located in the first zone of the aircraft immediately behind the forward entry door and the cockpit. The one major difference between the aircraft types is that the A340-600 has manual window shades, while on the 747-8i they are electronic. Neither aircraft type has individual air vents.
Benefits of flying Lufthansa first class
Lufthansa is noted for fresh roses at every seat in first class, as well as in the lavatories.
First class passengers receive amenity kits by Van Laack, as well as slippers and pajamas (which passengers can keep) by Porsche Design. Lavatories are more spacious than typical in other classes of service, and have a fold-down seat for passengers to use while changing clothes (or into pajamas).
Meals in Lufthansa first class
Meals on Lufthansa First are noted for their variety of choice and premium dishes. Meals are also served on demand–that is, at the time of the passenger’s choosing. Not hungry immediately after takeoff? Wait a bit. Prefer the caviar and appetizers together to save time? Sure thing.
Caviar is typically served with traditional garnishes as a separate course, prior to the appetizer, on daytime and evening flights. Appetizers might include Black Pepper Crusted Duck Breast, Potato Salad with White Truffle Oil, Boiled Quail Eggs or Confit of Langoustine and Monkfish Medallion with mashed Pumpkin.
Four main dishes are typically on offer, with three meats and a vegetarian dish. Menus are typically seasonally-inspired; flights to and from Asia typically offer several Asian dishes. Other routes may have local specialities, like cioppino from San Francisco or Latin-flavored dishes from Miami.
Meals end with a choice of cheese or sweets. On eastbound overnight flights, breakfast is served prior to arrival, with a range of fruits, smoothies, pastries and breads, cold cuts, and eggs cooked to order. On westbound flights arriving in the afternoon, the main meal is followed by a set menu of light dishes that can be ordered at any time, like a burger, veal schnitzel, soup, salad, tapas or light bites, or charcuterie.
Lufthansa first class alcohol
Lufthansa pours Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle champagne, and sometimes cycles through other premium brands. The wine list is a curated selection of global wines, with a healthy selection of wines from Germany.
Notable premium spirits include: Johnny Walker Blue, 12 Year Old Glendullan, Hendrick’s Gin, Grey Goose Vodka, and Cognac Rémy Martin CM28.
Lufthansa first class vs business class
First class seats are all aisle access, while Lufthansa Business is largely not. Service in Business is also not on-demand, and with fewer selection and fewer premium items. Lufthansa Business customers also do not have access to the same first class lounges and services. Generally speaking, Lufthansa Business is “comfortable” while first class is “luxurious”.
Read more about Lufthansa business class
How to book Lufthansa first class
How much does it cost for a first class ticket on Lufthansa?
Fares can run as low as $7,000 for a roundtrip from the US East Coast to $10,000 for a roundtrip from the US West Coast, although fares in the range of $10,000 - $14,000 are more typical. At Going, we have found and sent our members cheap flights in the $5,000s roundtrip.
How to upgrade to first class of Lufthansa for free
Lufthansa only upgrades passengers for free in the event of an operational need, such as overbooking. In these situations, passengers already identified as top tier frequent fliers or other VIPs will generally be upgraded at the airline’s discretion.
How much does it cost to upgrade to first class on Lufthansa?
Upgrades are offered on eligible reservations from 360 days in advance to up to 24 hours prior to departure. Passengers can also bid on upgrades within a few days of the flight, or pay a fixed rate offered when seats are available at the time of check-in. Upgrade rates vary based on the flight duration, seat availability, and original fare paid, but online reports indicate upgrade charges often range up to about $1,500 for a single flight.
How many miles to upgrade to Lufthansa first class?
Lufthansa Miles & More members can upgrade between Europe and North America for 50,000 miles each way, if they are already holding a paid Business Class ticket. Miles cannot be used to upgrade from Premium Economy or Economy.
When does Lufthansa release first class award seats?
Seats generally start appearing around 14 days in advance, although Lufthansa does not make details on award seat availability times public.
Lufthansa’s first class may not have the fully-enclosed suites of some carriers, but is instead classic, sophisticated elegance. The airline’s first class Terminal in Frankfurt is one of the major selling points for the experience, and travelers who can score an upgrade or a mileage redemption ticket will find a memorable journey in store for them.