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Lufthansa: we tried out… the new Premium Economy Class

The fleet of the Boeing 747 to be equipped on December 1st, 2014


The German company has just launched its Premium Economy cabin to attract both a new business clientele that doesn’t have the means to travel in business class anymore, but also leisure passengers who want a more comfortable flight without breaking the bank.



The inauguration of the Premium Economy took place on Wednesday October 8th, 2014 on a Frankfurt-Washington flight - Photo: Gregor Schläger
The inauguration of the Premium Economy took place on Wednesday October 8th, 2014 on a Frankfurt-Washington flight - Photo: Gregor Schläger
It is not always easy to trade-off comfort for price when we purchase a plane ticket.

Fortunately, some companies have been offering an alternative for many years : the Premium Economy Class.

The German company Lufthansa just recently joined the gang, even though the plans had been drafted for almost ten years.

But it preferred to wait for the upgrade of its Business Class in 2012 with the arrival for a fully reclining bed to truly mark the difference with its classic economy and target new prospects.

“Close to 40% of our competitors offer a Premium option. But our product truly stands out in terms of quality” insures Jens Bischof, Sales and Marketing Manager.

Lufthansa ordered 3,600 seats to equip over 100 long-haul aircrafts by summer 2015.

The whole fleet of the Boeings 747 will be equipped by December 1st. Then it will be the turn of the Airbuses.

The company hopes to attract close to 1.5 million passengers and the first reservations are already looking very good.

Management doesn’t seem to fear that its business class clientele may run towards this new intermediary class.

“I think that there is much more potential of people upgrading from the traditional economy class” insures Jens Bischof.

He also hopes to attract businessmen who never traveled with the company, due to an insufficient budget.

Larger and more comfortable seats

The inauguration of the Premium Economy took place on Wednesday October 8th, 2014, on a Frankfurt-Washington flight onboard a Boeing 747-8, set up with three rows 2-4-2 seats, meaning 31 seats.

Depending on the aircrafts, the Premium will have between 21 to 52 seats.

Here, the four rows are located in front of the Economy class without being separated by a curtain as is the case in Business Class.

The seat is differentiated by its gray color, an adjustable headrest and high quality leather finishes.

While it is barely larger than the Classic Economy (only by 1 inch), it reclines, however, by 9 additional degrees (130° versus 121°).

The distance between the two seats is also much bigger: 38 inches versus 31.

These few centimeters make quite a different during this 8 hour flight which justifies the 600 additional euros for this Premium ticket.

The seats are equipped with an adjustable footrest in height, which is very comfortable for a long-haul flight.

Each seat has its own armrest in which the table is stored. No more elbow fighting with your neighbor.

A more attentive service

An appetizer juice is served before take-off, a warm napkin before the meal, there is a water bottle in the seat, a toiletry case with toothbrush, earplugs, and socks: the Premium class mostly stands out due to its attentiveness and service to passengers.

However, the meal is similar to that of Class Economy, expect it is served in porcelain silverware.

The passengers can choose between vegetable bolognese pasta or a chili beef dish, along with various wine and alcohol options.

As for entertainment, the program is the same as the rest of the cabin, but the screen is larger: 12 inches versus 9.

There is over one hundred variety of films including some new releases such as Yves Saint Laurent, Grâce de Monaco, or Planet of the Apes.

But passengers can also work or watch a movie on their own computer that can be plugged into the seat. (There is one outlet for two seats in classic economy.)

Wifi is also available onboard. It costs 9 euros for one hour and 14 euros for 4 hours.

Unfortunately, on the day of our try-out, that option never worked.

A slight disappointment but not enough to waste the experience of a particularly pleasant flight.

Written by Laury-Anne CHOLEZ translated by Joséphine Foucher the 10/10/2014
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Tags : lufthansa

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