In what was not exactly a surprise, Lufthansa took the opportunity at last week’s ITB travel show in Berlin to confirm that a new long haul Business Class product is coming for 2020. Why 2020? It’s because 2020 is when LH plans to introduce Boeing’s new 777X to their fleet.
What makes this announcement different from past Lufthansa cabin announcements is that the new Business Class seat will be ‘standardized’ across Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian. In other words, each of these carriers will share the same exact seat in their respective Business Cabin. At this point, no decision has been made on Brussels, but in my opinion since Brussels is being melded into Eurowings, it may not enjoy the same cabin as the other carriers within LH Group.
The reason for the standardized Business Class is simple. It is much easier to develop one seating system, and more cost effective to install and maintain that one system.
No specific details of the seat have been revealed other than it will be a very ‘digitized seat’ in that passengers will have complete control of their seat through their ‘smart’ device. This control will extend to the control of seat position, lighting, and of course the IFE system.
The one concern that I have with the announcement has to do with verbiage from Lufthansa. It is suggested that the seat HAS been developed instead of WILL BE developed. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that the seat will already be obsolete by the time it is introduced. This has happened in the past, so hopefully lessons have been learned.
Also, in my opinion, based on what I have heard from Lufthansa and others in the know while I was in Munich a few weeks ago, it appears that this Business Class cabin upgrade may also go a long way in reducing, if not eliminating the First Class cabin from Lufthansa’s DNA. With no plans for a First Class cabin for the 777X, and the new A350s also being without a First Class cabin, the writing is clearly on the wall.
SWISS has launched their Spring Business Fare Sale to Europe with fares starting in the $2500 range. The best prices can be found from US Eastern gateways such as Boston, New York, and Washington. As you move into the midwest, fares from Chicago start in the $2800 range and from the west coast, it will only take $3100 to get to Europe.
The lowest fares are to destinations in Switzerland, Spain, or Italy, but the sale does apply to all of SWISS’ European destinations.
The fare calendar suggests that all travel needs to take place with April. For some reason the link to the fare terms and conditions that SWISS has provided on their site reflect a fare sale from December.
A few days remain to enter SWISS’ contest that will award the winner 2 Business Class tickets from the USA to Switzerland. Once in Switzerland, the winner will be spoiled with 3 nights at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz where Spa treatments will be the main focus. In addition, the winner will also receive a pair of First Class Swiss Rail passes valid for travel around Switzerland for 8 days.
The focus of the contest is to celebrate SWISS’ 777 service between the USA and Zurich. Currently they use the 777 from Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco. Later this year Chicago will be added to this list.
To enter the contest, visit this link and complete the entry requirements. The contest ends on February 26 at midnight (US Eastern Time). The winner must complete travel by March 18, 2018. For all the fine print, click here.
For those of you who have yet to decide how or where you’ll spend Christmas this year, SWISS gives you compelling options.
SWISS is currently holding fare specials for Business and First Class from the USA to most of their destinations throughout Europe.
Pricing is attractive!
For example you can fly SWISS Business for only $2050 between NYC and Venice or Barcelona. From Chicago the fare moves up to only $2300-$2700 for most European destinations.
For those of you compelled to spoil yourself and fly in First Class (read about my experiences), you can fly from New York to most of Europe for under $5000, and between $5000 and $6000 from most of SWISS’ other USA gateways. To push you over the edge, here’s look at their fantastic First Class Lounge that opened earlier this year in Zurich.
Economy fares are also attractive, but not as compelling as the premium cabin options!
The travel period for these specials is restricted to the last 2 weeks of December, but what a perfect time to get to Europe to enjoy the fantastic Christmas markets……
Lufthansa has launched a Business Class fare sale that has very attractive pricing between New York and a number of European destinations.
For example, New York to Istanbul can be had for only $2,400. New York to most of Germany is pricing between $2300 and $3000. Unfortunately not every major LH destination in Europe is part of this sale, nor is any other USA Gateway as far as I can tell. But I didn’t have time to search out every US Gateway.
The terms of the fare sale are confusing this time as well. In the detailed terms and conditions, it says travel has to start December 18 and a 28 day advance purchase is required. However I was able to find the $2400-$2500 fares available beginning in mid November. The return period also is generous as these low fares. Lufthansa’s terms and conditions state return travel needs to be completed by July 2017, but I found the low fares available all the way to the end of September which is as far out as possible that you can book a flight at this point.
So I don’t know if this is a fare error or not, but the pricing is not matching the terms and restrictions at this point. It looks like you can book a very attractive Business Class seat to parts of Europe almost a year out for a great price. Take advantage!