A couple of weeks ago I posted two trip reports about my visit to Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal and my flight in their new First Class cabin, which comes with a seat and a fully separate bed. It is a truly fantastic product.
Unfortunately, your chance to enjoy it will be reduced going forward! Lufthansa has just announced that it is removing First Class from a number of routes.
The medium-term plan is to have First Class on around 75% of long-haul routes, compared with 94% today. Vancouver is the only route which has been named so far, but presumably US routes such as Dallas and Detroit may be facing the axe.
This is not a surprising development. British Airways has, for many years, run a number of aircraft which do not have a First Class cabin. These tend to operate on low yielding long-haul routes, such as leisure routes in the Caribbean (except for Barbados) and business routes such as Calgary in Canada. Following this change, Lufthansa and BA will both have First Class on only 75%-80% of long-haul routes.
Part of the reason is that Lufthansa – even more than BA – likes to preserve the ‘sanctity’ of First Class. They will rarely upgrade people to First Class, and – unless you are using Miles & More miles – you cannot even book a First Class Lufthansa redemption until one week before the date of travel.
(There have been cracks in the armour, though. Lufthansa recently ran a ‘2 for 1’ deal on First Class seats, which brought down the price to something that a well-off leisure traveller may consider. They have also announced that there will be more ‘tourist-friendly’ First Class fares offered in the future.)