After last week’s tease of the new Lufthansa business class seats the carrier formally announced more details of the offering today. Accompanying the news is additional details about the in-flight product that will complement the new hard product. And, while the new seats won’t fly until 2020 many of the other changes to the soft product will launch as soon as next year.
Variety in the seats
Newer premium seat designs trend away from absolute consistency towards optimizing the complete use of space in the cabin. United Airlines‘ Polaris seat has three different layouts, for example, while the Aer Lingus A330s also offer a slightly different layout and amenities depending on which seat a passenger chooses. Lufthansa continues that trend:
Depending on their personal needs, passengers can choose between a number of spatial configurations. For instance, they can choose to have an extended-length bed or a seat with twice as much desk space.
This suggests that the “throne” seat shown off in the renderings will have a shorter bed length compared to the other seats. The company also notes that the bed stretch “up to 220 cm (86.6 inches)” with the “up to” verbiage making it clear not all will have that length.
The differentiation is good in that it allows for passengers to choose based on their own priorities, though it also risks creating disappointment for a late booking traveler who ends up with a version of the product without the amenities they prefer. This is a delicate balancing act for airlines seeking to maintain cabin density and product consistency. Ultimately, however, it typically allows for a better overall product on board.
The new seats will include a number of new (to Lufthansa) digital technologies. The company highlights full control of the seat from a passenger’s PED, though the typical digital controls remain as well. Wireless charging technology is included as well.
These features suggest Panasonic Avionics is the likely implementation partner. The inflight entertainment and connectivity provider has demonstrated or implemented most of these components (e.g. Companion App for Singapore Airlines) on various airline and seat combinations. The wireless charging option is a particularly cool demo to watch:
Soft Product Updates
While the new business class cabin won’t be flying until 2020 many Lufthansa passengers will start to see improvements much sooner than that. Specifically, the carrier will introduce new mattress pads, blankets and half-pajamas on board:
Mattresses that have been developed exclusively for Lufthansa will be provided on long intercontinental flights as of early 2018. They will ensure pleasant sleep on board. On request, passengers will also be provided with sleeping sweaters. So far, these have only been available in First Class. Lufthansa will also be offering its Business Class passengers new blankets. They are lined, but still light, and will keep the passengers warm at night.
Header image from Lufthansa