Lufthansa, Business Class

THE FLIGHT: LH418 from Frankfurt to Washington DC on the brand new Boeing 747 ‘8’, the latest version of the ‘Jumbo’ – Lufthansa is the aircraft's launch customer.


THE CHECK-IN: I started out that morning from London Heathrow’s Terminal One. After transiting at the new Pier A-Plus, a westward expansion of Terminal One at Frankfurt’s new international terminal, the boarding process onto the 747-8 was speedy. A visit Lufthansa’s new lounge at Pier A-Plus revealed a large and spacious facility with a regular range of food and drink options.

THE CABIN: The 747-8 looks much like its predecessors, although the entrance to the main deck is wider than previous planes and gives the feel of a ‘reception area’. The plane’s PA system needed some adjustment – the missives sounded like they were made from the middle of a desert via a satellite phone.

THE SEAT: My seat, 83C, was in the aircraft’s 'bubble', in a 2x2 configuration. There’s also a business class section downstairs (2x2x2). Coloured in relaxing shades of grey, the seat felt wide and well padded. Seats are arranged in pairs to form a ‘V’ with neighbouring seats angled towards one another. The seat has a horizontal ‘service’ of 1.98 metres and adjustable arm rests can be lowered to increase the width of the lie-flat bed. The seat-back entertainment screen was 15 inches and the permanently-attached Sennheiser headphones cut out most ambient noise.

THE SERVICE: Minutes after taking my seat I was offered a glass of Champagne or an orange juice. A day flight, my dinner consisted of a superb three-course meal of marinated shrimps, Tryrolean Ravioli filled with spinach and a cheeseboard. Wine choices included a native 2010 Schloss Vollrads Riesling. A snack was served a couple of hours before landing.

THE VERDICT: The on-board crew were extremely welcoming and ‘on their game’ throughout the flight. Although the 747-8 is ‘certified’ for 500 seats, Lufthansa has it configured with 380, giving the aircraft an uncluttered and ‘roomy’ feel. The ride was smooth and classy. What's more, the 747-8 generates about 15 per cent fewer carbon emissions than previous models.

THE DETAILS: Lufthansa flies to Washington DC daily from Frankfurt and five-times-weekly from Munich with connections from Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Aberdeen and Dublin. Return business class fares from London are from £2,399. See:


Reviewed by Steve Hartridge (2012)