This Review is well overdue and an update of one of the first reviews I ever posted (http://patstravelreviews.com/lufthansa-business-class-review-fra-cdg/) I have taken several flights this past year on both Lufthansa’s A320 & A321 aircraft (plus a wet lease with Air Baltic on an A220). I recently reviewed SWISS’s European Business Class (http://patstravelreviews.com/swiss-a320-a321-european-business-class-review/) and have reviewed several other European airlines and most of them have similar Intra-European service. But with Lufthansa being the largest airline in Europe I thought I should update my review from 2012.
Like most other European Carrier’s Lufthansa’s Business Class seats are the same as their Economy Class seats. They have the same 30 – 31″ of seat pitch and same grey leather seats without headrest. I believe they are in the process of updating their seats, but only in appearance. The seating on the A320 and A321’s are identical. I have also flown on LH’s A319’s in the past and the seating and service is the same as well. The bulkhead rows are slightly roomier and if the tray table is on the wall the armrest raises like all other rows (and not restricting seat width). If the tray is in the armrest then seat will be narrow. The one difference between Economy is the middle seat is left free in Business. In most cases it is just an empty seat, but on some aircraft or some rows, the middle seat has a tray covering it. So while the configuration is 3×3, the map will show 2×2 (seats A&C and D&F). As of now there are no power plugs or USB ports at the seats nor is there any inflight entertainment (IFE) onboard. In this day and age it’s disappointing that an airline as large as Lufthansa would not have these features that are standard on so many airlines around the world. But, truthfully, this is the norm for most European Airlines. They do have Wi-Fi on some routes (I flew from DME to FRA and MUC and both had it) and my hope is at some point they will integrate Entertainment with the Wi-Fi. The cost for Wi-Fi on the Moscow to Germany routes was 3 Euro or Miles & More members can pay with 1000 miles for messaging, 7 Euro/2300 miles for surfing and 12 Euro/4000 miles for streaming (so you could access your own entertainment). I was able to access Lufthansa’s site to check our status and speed was ok.
Outside of the middle seat being vacant the other main perk to flying Business Class within Europe on Lufthansa is you are entitled to Lounge access. At Airports in Germany, a Business Class ticket entitles you to the Lufthansa Business Lounge. If you have Star Alliance Gold status, Miles & More Senator or HON Circle status you can visit the Lufthansa Senator Lounge (this status also gains entry to these lounges while flying in Economy). The Senator Lounges are slightly nicer and less crowded than the Business Lounge. They also offer better food and drink options. At other airports there is usually just one Star Alliance Lounge or shared lounge that you can visit. Since my last review (not sure I even mentioned lounges then) Lufthansa has greatly improved their lounges; especially food and beverages.
Boarding is usually orderly with Business Class, HON Circle, Senator and Star Alliance Gold boarding first. Of course if it is a bus gate you just get to stand on the bus longer before being taken to the aircraft. Unfortunately, this is a possibility departing from many European Airports including FRA & MUC. Lufthansa’s flight attendants are usually pleasant and helpful. Once on board there is nothing at your seat. So there is no visual difference from Economy and Business other than the curtain separating the cabins. Like most European Carriers the Business Class cabin can be adjusted based on loads. Disappointingly, a pre departure drink is not offered. On the longer flights to or from Moscow, pillows and menu’s were handed out as was a nice hot towel (no menu or towel/towelette on shorter flights). Pillows were available on shorter flights upon request.
On the DME flights there was two meal choices. Both flights I took was in the morning and despite being six months apart the meal was essentially the same. An Omelette in a Tomato Sauce or Crepes in a Vanilla Sauce. I selected the Crepes on both flights and the breakfasts were filling and satisfying. That said, last years flight (Oct 2018) had fresh Orange Juice, whereas this years (2019) didn’t. Besides the Crepe’s, the meal came with a cold starter, a cream dessert/muesli, a small plate of fruit and bread/danish. On the shorter flights only one meal was offered and was always cold (and also repeated). A few of the flights were just at an hour or a few minutes more. On these flights I was impressed with the quality of the meal for such a short flight. However, the same meal was offered on an almost two hour flight from FRA to Bucharest OTP. Within the same trip, I flew on Finnair between Helsinki and Moscow (half hour shorter) and received a very nice hot meal (same on Aeroflot last month). So that was a little disappointing. On the upside, a nice dessert and Lindt candy bar is served with the meal along with a nice selection of bread. On the flight from Moscow a small After Eight box was given before landing. On the Air Baltic wet lease flight (OTP to MUC) the equipment (A220) and flight attendants were Air Baltic, but the meal was Lufthansa catering (same cold plate/salad).
Other benefits of flying in Business Class within Europe are priority check-in and larger luggage allowance. However, again, you can get these same perks if you are Star Alliance Gold or Miles & More Senator or above. So if you are a Miles & More Elite or Star Alliance Gold members the real perk of flying Business Class is the middle seat is free and in most cases a much nicer meal. If on a full fare Business Class ticket you also have more flexibility if you need to change or cancel your trip, whereas, the flights I flew, I purchased a discounted Business fare that was non-refundable. All my flights were on time and for the most part Lufthansa is reliable and dependable (although they are currently having some labor issues), but for Intra-European flights I think I would give the edge to Swiss (and Austrian) and all things being equal I would choose Aeroflot or Turkish over any other European carrier.