Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-8 (and first class) returns to the US in March

Jan 15, 2021

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 pulled its Boeing 747-8 aircraft from international flights to the U.S. in 2020 as the coronavirus outbreak massively reduced international travel demand, instead operating smaller twin-engine jets on these routes.

Passenger demand is still low, but continuing to operate these long-haul routes lets Lufthansa move cargo between the U.S. and Germany and transport essential workers and other travelers.

But this will change in late March when Lufthansa reintroduces the 747-8 on its route from Frankfurt (FRA) to Chicago-O’Hare (ORD). The route is set to switch back to the 747-8 on Mar. 30, 2021. This route is currently operated by the airline’s Airbus A350-900.

Get the latest points, miles and travel news by signing up for TPG’s free daily newsletter.

This marks the return of Lufthansa’s first-class service to the U.S. as well. The aircraft is outfitted with eight first-class seats in the nose of the aircraft. You can book Lufthansa first class on this route now, but it will set you back nearly $14,000 round-trip on many dates this spring.

It’s worth noting that Google Flights is currently showing all Chicago to Frankfurt flights being operated by the 747-8 — even for dates before the end of March. However, Lufthansa confirmed to TPG that the aircraft will only reenter service when the airline’s summer schedule starts at the end of March. The carrier’s website also reflects this.

It’s unclear why Lufthansa is bringing back one of its largest planes so early in the year. We’re still in the middle of a pandemic and Americans are largely barred from entering Europe.

With this in mind, we assume the 747’s reintroduction is mostly for additional cargo capacity.

Related: Europe reopening a country-by-country guide

Looking at award space

Lufthansa 747-8 First Class
(Photo by Andrew Kunesh/The Points Guy)

Lufthansa only opens first class award space to partners two weeks out from the travel date, so we can’t find first-class award space right now. Additionally, we’re unable to find business class award space through July on this route, but we’re hopeful that space will open soon.

You may have better luck finding award space when booking with Lufthansa’s Miles & More program, as the airline generally opens more award space to its own members.

Related: The ultimate guide to Lufthansa first class

Bottom line

It’s great to see Lufthansa bringing back the Queen of the Skies on one of its flagship routes to the U.S. — even if demand for international travel remains low. We’re hopeful that other airlines will bring back their flagship planes as we move through the pandemic and passenger demand increases.

Again, we assume that the airline is reintroducing the Boeing 747 on its Frankfurt-Chicago route to increase cargo capacity. At the same time, it allows the airline to bring back first-class service to the U.S. as well.

Feature photo by Lukas Wunderlich/Shutterstock

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.