Lufthansa has announced that beginning with the Summer 2015 timetable, all long-haul flights operated by LH will feature their new concept in Business Class hospitality referred to as Business Class Signature Service.
Up until recently, this concept was in pilot phase and was tested on random long haul flights for several months. After feedback from crew and passengers, LH has decided to make it permanent and use it to build upon their quest to become a 5 Star airline.
The concept is designed to allow flight attendants to focus on a limited amount of passengers during a flight in the hopes of personalizing the experience for the passenger. As part of the program’s design, flight attendants will have the responsibility for only a group of 8-12 passengers.
With Business Class Signature, the number of flight attendants on a give long-haul flight may be adjusted to account for large load factors. For example, with full Business Class loads on the 747-8i or A380, it would result in additional flight attendants being assigned in order to keep the ratio of passengers to flight attends at no more than 12:1. In a long haul aircraft, this typically results in a flight attendant working an area of only 2-3 rows, giving him or her more opportunities to interact with their passengers.
I’ve yet to experience this product since the tests were only done on a handful of flights, however I have had several readers comment to me on how much better and different this new experience has been.
There are additional test flights scheduled in November and December for this new program. Passengers flying between Frankfurt and Shanghai may find this service in November, while Munich – Haneda passengers may experience Business Class Signature Service in December.
Throughout the month of July, LUFTHANSA selected several long haul flights to trial a new concept that they are considering for roll out that will be known as Business Class Signature service. The concept is focused solely on their Business Class product and is designed to bring a new level of personal attention and detail to the Business Class passenger.
In the title I referred to it as a ‘Soft Product’. In airline-speak, ‘Soft Product’ is often referred to as any part of the onboard experience that is not related to the actual seat or aircraft (normally referred to as ‘Hard Product’). Soft Product typically includes catering and flight crew; things that can be unique from one flight to another.
As far as these test flights were concerned, the biggest focus was on flight attendant interaction and responsibility toward passengers. During these flights, Flight Attendants (FA) were assigned a specific group of passengers for whom they would be responsible for during most of the flight. For most flights, this resulted in an FA having 8-12 passengers to look after to ensure a passenger’s onboard experience.
The logic behind this concept suggests that if an FA can focus his or her efforts on a small group of passengers, it will allow for far more interaction between crew and passenger as well as delivery of a far more personalized experience for the traveller. As it stands now in Business Class, FAs are left to deal with the entire cabin of passengers and basically see themselves as simply delivering beverage and meal service, but never personalizing the passenger’s experience since there is little time to get to know upwards of 50 or more passengers! With Business Class Signature, FAs will be able to focus on a small group of passengers, get to know them and based on this increased ‘touch’ be able to deliver a very personalized experience.
Based on feedback from both crew and passengers, this pilot program was extremely effective and successful. Further ‘tests’ are planned and more enhancements will be introduced over the coming months. If all goes to plan, expect to see an official fleet wide launch in Summer 2015.
If any of you were aboard one of these flights and experienced Business Class Signature, please share your thoughts about it!