At the ITB show being held in Berlin this week, Lufthansa has unveiled its long awaited Premium Economy seat that will be installed throughout their long haul fleet. With the new seat, Lufthansa is hoping to accomplish 2 things: One, give those who typically travel an economy an option to have a better seat for considerably less money than a Business Class seat. Second, provide a good option to someone traveling for business whose company travel policy does not allow travel in Business Class. Now Businesses and their employees have a reasonable option that strikes a balance between cost and comfort.
As far as roll-out, expect to see the first seats serving Frankfurt in the 747-8i aircraft beginning in December. The A340 will bring Premium Economy seats to Munich in early 2015. Previously LH suggested that the A380 would debut the new seat but apparently plans have changed.
Booking the seats will be possible beginning in mid-May and fare classes E, G, N will reflect Premium Economy fares. Additionally, advanced seat assignments will be possible for no additional fee.
As the rollout takes shape, if there is ever a situation where you book a Premium Economy seat, but for some reason the aircraft that you are flying that day does not have a Premium Economy section, Lufthansa will first look to upgrade passengers to Business Class. If the upgrade to Business Class is not possible and a passenger is forced to sit in regular Economy Class, appropriate compensation will be paid to the passenger.
Plans call for the Premium Economy seats to be installed across the long haul fleet by Summer 2015. It is a simple cabin retrofit and each aircraft will take 2-3 days to complete the installation.
According to Lufthansa, the cost of a round-trip ticket for a transatlantic flight in Premium Economy will be approximately $800 more than a typical Economy Class seat.
Important things to know about the new seat……
Seat pitch increases 50% compared to the normal economy seat.
Each seat is 10cm (4 inches) wider than a typical economy seat. Seating area is approximately 3cm wider.
Each seat has 2 dedicated armrests — no more sharing!
The seat reclines 10cm (4 inches) more than a traditional Economy Class seat.
The leg rest in the first row (Bulkhead) folds out from beneath the seat due to lack of a Premium Economy seat in front of it. Premium Economy seats in other rows will have a fold down leg rest that is installed to the seat in front of them.
IFE Screen is much larger (11-12 inch) than Economy, with both touch and wired remote control.
A dedicated power and USB outlet is built into each seat.
Depending on the aircraft, between 21 and 52 Premium Economy seats will be available.
Onboard in Premium Economy:
Premium Economy amenity kit.
Bottle of water waiting at seat.
Dedicated Premium Economy menu (menu upgrade over standard economy offerings).
Glassware and Porcelain plates used for meal service.
Premium Economy passengers will be allowed to check a second bag at no charge.
Premium Economy passengers can access Lufthansa’s Business Class and Welcome Lounges (A €25 fee will apply).
Miles & More members will earn 100% or 150% of miles flown (depending on which Premium Economic fare class is booked).
Additional Images (Courtesy of Lufthansa):
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