Lufthansa Has a New (and Weird) Business-Class Layout. Sort Of

Oct 14, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Lufthansa used to operate nonstop flights from Frankfurt to Pune, India, until June — with a Boeing 737 operated by Swiss-based luxury charter operator Privatair and configured with lie-flat business class seats. Then it suspended the service after ending its agreement with Privatair. Now it’s bringing it back, but with a twist: No more lie-flat biz class. In its place, it’s operating one of its own Airbus A319s, with the same seating it uses on European routes — but on a long-haul service to India.

Lufthansa can’t fly to Pune with its standard fleet of twin-aisle planes, because the runway is too short for the big jets. So it has surprisingly decided to send there an airplane that normally flies short-haul, and does not really have a premium section.

After some backlash among bloggers and passengers, it appears that Lufthansa is going to make a slight change to the way it operates its flights to and from Pune. The German airline is introducing a newly configured business class cabin onboard its Airbus A319 service to Pune, which resumes this month. Except it isn’t a real biz class.

The Airbus A319 that is flown to and from Pune is configured in the airline’s standard intra-European layout, with 32 seats in business and 90 in economy. “Business” means, as on all its short-range Airbuses, that Lufthansa simply blocks the middle seat and calls the product business class, on flights throughout Europe. This is standard practice for European airlines. The legroom and seat width remain the same in both cabins, at 31” of pitch and 18” wide.

Lufthansa's standard economy product on the Airbus a319
Lufthansa’s standard economy product on the Airbus A319 (Image courtesy of Lufthansa Group / Jens Goerlich)

By no means a luxurious setting, the Airbus A319 in Lufthansa layout is still a comfortable ride on flights through Europe especially considering passengers in both cabins receive complimentary snacks, meals, and drinks. However, Frankfurt to Pune isn’t intra-European, and it isn’t a short flight by any means. When the fuel stop in Baku, Azerbaijian, is factored in, the flight to Pune is a little over 9 hours while the return clocks in at just over 11 hours. That means passengers can expect to spend anywhere from 9 to 11 hours in an Airbus A319 configured for flights mostly around 90 minutes.

The resulting backlash has apparently got to Lufthansa. Based on the airline’s website, rather than just block the middle seat, Lufthansa will block four seats at each row in Business Class, leaving only two. This means that business-class passengers on this flight will get what is commonly referred to as the “poor man’s lie-flat seat.”

A typical Lufthansa intra-European Business Class seat with the blocked seat branded "Your Space"
A typical Lufthansa intra-European Business Class seat with the blocked seat branded “Your Space” (Image courtesy of Lufthansa Group / Jens Goerlich)

Other than blocking one additional seat, Lufthansa was not able to confirm any further onboard improvements.

It’s important to take into account the price tag on a round-trip flight from Frankfurt to Pune as well. For a round-trip flight in business class, passengers can expect to pay around USD 3600. If I were spending $3,600 on a premium ticket, I probably wouldn’t be too thrilled to board the aircraft only to discover economy-class legroom and no power outlet. It will be interesting to see the reaction of passengers on social media.

H/T: OneMileAtATime

Featured image courtesy of Lufthansa Group

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.