Click the video above to see Lufthansa’s 747-400 business class reviewed and read below for more information.
Lufthansa 747 Business Class
The most surprising part of Lufthansa’s business class is that they’ve put it right at the front of the plane, in the 747’s nose. Most airlines reserve this space for first class seats, but Lufthansa have instead put this upstairs. This means business travellers benefit from the oddly shaped cabin providing extra space, and a window that points towards the front of the plane rather than sideways.
The less positive surprise was that Lufthansa’s flat beds – whilst flat – were very slopey. Not a problem for today’s flight, but this is not a bed you would want to sleep in on an overnight flight when there are so many alternative airlines with fully flat beds.
Lufthansa Business Class Check-In Experience
The easiest way to Kuala Lumpur’s international airport is via the KLIA Espress train, and it again ran exactly on time. Lufthansa don’t offer the in-city check-in service used by some airlines at the railway station, but this isn’t a big loss unless you’re travelling with lots of bags.
When we got to the airport, check-in was organized with the German efficiency you’d expect; clear signs, separate lanes for priority customers – and no queues. We had our pick of all the desks, and were on our way less than a minute later.
Priority emigration, regular security and a short train later, we arrived at the satellite terminal where our international flight departed from.
Lufthansa business and first class passengers are invited to the shared Plaza lounge, which had a buzzing atmosphere. Often these sorts of shared lounges can be awful as airlines have little control over them, but this one was really good; there was a choice of hot meals on the buffet, a counter of salads and cold foods and a full bar. We helped ourselves to some magazines and drinks, and took a break for 20 minutes before boarding was called.
We made our way to the gate area for our second security check – and got a shock. Whilst the gate area was obviously large enough to accommodate a full 747-400 worth of passengers, there were only about 30 other people on our flight to Bangkok. The pilots would be able to have a sporting take-off as the plane is so light, but it’s not such great news for Lufthansa’s shareholders. As you’d expect, boarding was rather quick and we were soon shown to our seats.
Onboard Lufthansa’s 747 Business Class Cabin
Lufthansa’s business class is as far removed from the style used by Emirates as it’s possible to be – grey and navy blue is the order of the day. Everything is muted and very business-like with sombre colours used throughout rather than walnut ‘bling’.
The odd shape of the 747-400’s nose means the seats are laid out in a funny fashion; you can choose between a single ‘throne’ seat, a pair of seats, or even a set of 3 pushed together (so quite a few seats don’t have direct aisle access).
This variety is great as you can get the perfect set-up whether you’re flying by yourself, with a partner, or taking your kid with you – just make sure you pick your seats well in advance of check-in! Fortunately Lufthansa (unlike British Airways) offer seat reservations for free in business class. Legroom is great, with plenty of space to stretch out between rows.
As mentioned in the introduction, Lufthansa’s business class seats are technically flat – but are not parallel to the floor. They slope to a massive degree, meaning most people will struggle to get a good nights sleep on them as gravity pulls you down towards to the footwell.
In a time where airlines are losing custom because their real flat beds don’t all have direct aisle access, for an airline to have 3-abreast slopey business class seats is simply unacceptable for overnight flights. We were fortunate that this Lufthansa flight was short – and very grateful that we weren’t one of the passengers flying back on it from Bangkok to Germany.
Our cabin was quiet, but this was to be expected due to the low number of passengers on-board. There is a risk it could be noisy if full as Lufthansa don’t have any walls or wide galleys between the front cabin and the business class cabin behind door 1; this does mean you can really see how the front of the 747-400 tapers in and narrows though. The only slightly odd thing is the bright safety tape on the floor – reminding you that you are in one of the very few airline seats anywhere in the world that doesn’t have an exit in front of them.
Lufthansa’s Business Class Food & Drink
Lufthansa have a reputation for having some serious staff who serve you with clinical efficiency but no charm. The business class crew on our flight clearly had missed that memo, as they took advantage of the low passenger numbers to offer a personalised service – fast delivery of food and drink for those who wanted to catch some sleep, and a more relaxed style with frequent drink top-ups and chat for passengers staying awake.
There was a reasonable in-flight entertainment system built in to the arm rest, but its main use was to use as a moving map. There was also a large TV screen at the front of the cabin displaying flight information at all times. Newspapers were available as well.
We weren’t expecting much food on this short flight, and indeed Lufthansa advertise it on the booking system as coming with just a snack. This matches the title of the menu, but the actual food served is much more substantial – in fact, Lufthansa serve a 3 course meal in business class!
Champagne was served on the ground whilst we waited to take-off, and menu cards were distributed. Soon after take-off more drinks were served, and a tablecloth laid for dinner. After a starter of prawns, there was a choice of two main courses – massaman curry or chicken teriyaki. Desert was a bread and butter pudding. Due to the short length of the flight, all 3 courses were served at the same time on a single tray and a choice of breads were offered.
The food quality was fine, but nothing to write home about. The quantity meant that no-one was going hungry on this short flight though, and it was great to get a choice of main courses. The Lufthansa crew took great care of us for the rest of the flight, making sure our glasses were never empty!
Best Lufthansa 747 Business Class Seats
For solo travellers, the ‘throne seat’ in the middle of the 747 front cabin is the one to pick, as you have plenty of space around you (albeit no window). For pairs, go as far forward as you can. Foursomes can take row 1 as the aisle is very narrow here.
Lufthansa 747 Business Class Conclusions
Lufthansa over-exceed with their business class food and service on this short flight and these soft products are recommended; unfortunately the old-fashioned business cabin on this 747-400 can’t be overlooked – most seats don’t have direct aisle access and their severe slopes mean that Lufthansa’s 747-400 business class should be avoided, at least for flights where you would like to sleep.
Want to see a British Airways First Class Review?
For a review of British Airways First Class on the A380, click here.
Want to see how British Airways 747 Business Class compares?
For a review of British Airways business class cabin, click here.