I recently booked a last minute award trip from Europe to Tokyo. On hand I was very happy that my AwardFares alert notified me that two business class seats became available on the date I wanted. However, on the other hand, it was with Lufthansa, a business class product I haven’t really heard great things about. In any case, I’m always happy to try something new!
The flight was on Lufthansa’s A350 from Munich (MUC) to Haneda (HND). Having flown many different airlines between Europe and Asia, I can easily say this by far the worst long-haul business class product I have experienced, primarily due to the seat and cabin layout. Read on below to find out why.
Disappointing Cabin & Seats
Lufthansa’s long-haul business class cabin is probably one of the worst in the sky, especially given the amazing choices you have with airlines connecting Europe and Asia (like Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, EVA Air, ANA, Finnair, and many more).
The cabin has a 2-2-2 layout with essentially no separation between neighboring seats, and those wanting to sit by a window have no direct aisle access (how is this still a thing in 2023?). Furthermore, the cabin is very open with no privacy due to the low dividers between rows, and no dividers on the sides.
I was sitting in 6D (last row in the forward business cabin), which at least meant I had no one sitting right behind me.
Another downside with this cabin is there are only 2 lavatories available for the entire business class cabin of 48 passengers, which meant that there was a constant queue to use the restrooms, so I frequently had people standing right next to me waiting to use the restroom, which was quite bothersome, especially when trying to sleep.
The seat is also very narrow, has very little storage space, and the little storage space you get on the armrest is also bothersome to use since both the table and the IFE controller are located under the armrest, so you’ll have to move anything on top of it in order to access these.
The tray table was also very difficult to get out, and I saw several other passengers (and crew) struggle to pull out the tables.
This seat uses an air cushion, which always makes me nervous. A couple of hours into the flight (while I was sleeping) my seat lost all inflation. The cabin crew tried to “reset” the seat, which helped for a short while, but quickly lost all inflation again later. Luckily the crew was able to offer me a cushion that I could use for the remainder of the flight.
One positive note though was the mattress, duvet and pillow were all very comfortable.
Service, Food, and Drinks
Overall, the service was probably the best part of the flight. Cabin crew was very friendly, attentive, and worked very hard throughout the flight. Service started on the ground with a pre-departure beverage.
“Porsche Design” branded amenity kit were handed out, which included essential items like an eye mask and dental kit.
Menus were also given out (which I really appreciate!), and meal choices were made. Of the options available, I chose the Smoked Salmon and Beef Sukiyaki.
The food as alright, but nothing special. The service was good, friendly, and it was clear that the crew worked hard to serve everyone as quickly as possible. However, given that this was a full flight, it did take quite a long time to finish the meal service. I skipped dessert, and tried to get to sleep as quickly as possible instead.
As for drinks, I liked the Kassner-Simon 2021 Riesling, but found the Blanc de Noirs Champagne to be a bit too fruity.
Breakfast was served just before arrival. The options were bizarre. The “Pancake” did not resemble a pancake and looked more like an omelette. I asked what the “Carthusian Dumpling” was since I had no idea what this was, but it seems neither did the crew! Since I wasn’t particularly hungry I chose just to have the granola yoghurt bowl (which was tiny, but fine for me) and instead saved my appetite for breakfast in Tokyo.
IFE and WiFi
The space between the seat and IFE screen is quite large, so it was difficult for me to comfortably read the text and use it while sitting back in the seat. There was quite a decent selection of movies available, but in the end, I didn’t watch anything, and mostly just viewed the flight map and the tail camera (it’s always nice when this feature is available).
WiFi was available for purchase on the flight, but I didn’t use it and instead spent most of the flight trying to sleep, especially due to the early morning arrival into Tokyo.
Overall, I always appreciate flying business class when the option is available, and I always enjoy trying new products (in this case it was my first time flying Lufthansa long-haul business class). I definitely wouldn’t choose Lufthansa again, unless I really had no other choice. If I had to, I would at least try to find seats on one of Lufthansa’s 747-8 routes instead, which at least has business class on the upper deck!