Lufthansa A340 Business Class Review Bottom Line
Lufthansa has one of the absolute worst business class seats I have ever sat on. It was so bad, that I left the plane with a sore shoulder from sleeping, and an aggravated injury in my back after trying to lounge on the chair for 7 hours. The crew was very kind and polished. The food was average, at best. I would rather fly in their more comfortable premium economy on a short flight, than fly on this seat again.
The Good: Lufthansa crew is very professional. They were on top of everything, and diligent. When I mentioned the seat issue, they tried to fix the seat, but when they couldn’t they gave me an extra pillow to use as a cushion.
The Bad: The seat was arguably the worst seat I have been on in a long haul flight. It was narrow, had no storage space, and the padding was non-existent. I would avoid this seat at all costs.
The Noteworthy: Lufthansa had special holiday themed amenity kits that were worse and more flimsy than their usual kits. This made the trip even worse for me, as I collect the kits after every flight.
Arrival at Frankfurt and Lounge
I arrived from my connecting flight on time. I had not been to Frankfurt airport in many years, and had honestly forgotten how large it was. Before reaching immigration, I had to walk about a mile and take an automated people mover. By the time I was at the security re-clearing area, I was sweaty and tired. Security clearance was quick and efficient. In a few minutes I was on my way to the Lufthansa Business Lounge.
The lounge itself has two levels, one for check in and one for the facilities themselves. I did not spend much time in the lounge, hence no review. I will say this; the lounge has showers (which I used) and a decent selection of food. After my shower I walked out the lounge for my nearly half mile trek to the gate.
Gate and Boarding
When I arrived at the gate, there were agents checking every passenger’s passports to make sure they were clear to enter the US. About 15 minutes before the scheduled time for boarding, the gate agents announced that people should begin lining up for boarding. The process was somewhat efficient, except a lot of people were not clear that it was one line on each side, and not two lines on each side. After verifying that people were in the correct line(s), boarding began. In a very German and orderly fashion, people boarded the flight.
Cabin: Business Class
Flight Number: LH 404
Route: Frankfurt – New York JFK
On time: Yes
Lufthansa A340 Business Class Cabin
We boarded through the 1L door, and saw the beautiful First Class cabin. Sadly, I was unable to get award space on this flight, but at least I would get to try out their business class. It is funny to me how optimistic I was for the flight, and how every single expectation was not met.
Lufthansa’s Business class is in a 2x2x2 configuration. The cabin itself is very long on their A340-600s. There were some Christmas and holiday decorations throughout the cabin, a theme that would be prominent throughout the flight.
Lufthansa A340 Business Class Seat
The seat itself is very narrow. As someone who is size 33 waist, I found myself a bit constrained. I can’t imagine someone who is any larger would be comfortable in these seats. At my seat, there was a beautiful pillow. The ottoman was open, but very narrow, and the IFE Screen was large with good resolution. Beneath the ottoman was an amenity kit. It was holiday themed and was not as nice as their usual kits they offer throughout the year. There was also a blanket waiting for me on my seat. It was very warm and comfortable for the flight. Seat controls are in the center console, and are fairly intuitive. Note on storage: there is barely any storage at the seat. I have never had an issue with such little storage before, and I was shocked that the only place I could put my laptop was on the ottoman.
As I mentioned before, the amenity kit was holiday themed. It looked cute, but the bag itself was flimsy. It reminded me of the old British Airways Club World drawstring bags I hated. The bag contents were not too bad. I would put it as a sub-par amenity kit overall.
Business class passengers are also given Bose noise canceling headphones. This was probably the highest quality amenity we received all flight.
Departure and Take Off
Once I was settled in, a flight attendant came by to offer us drinks. I ordered a mint-lemonade drink, which was refreshing. The whole cabin was full by the time they closed the boarding door. The captain came on the PA system to advise us of a mostly smooth ride (with some bumps when approaching Newfoundland, Canada). He expected an on time arrival.
After a very slow, but not too far taxi, we were in the air.
Lufthansa A340 Business Class Dining
The flight offered two meals: Dinner after take-off and a Snack before arrival. The menu read as follows:
The meal started off with drinks and cold almonds. I simply ordered water.
As an appetizer, I ordered the veal loin. It was juicy but lacked a bit of excitement. Overall good. For dinner I ordered the cod fillet in riesling sauce. The fish itself was good, but the sauce was flavorless. The accompaniments left much to be desired in terms of flavor. Overall meh.
Instead of ordering the main dessert option, I was offered a bag of cookies since I was not hungry. The bags were holiday themed and I found it to be a very nice gesture.
The pre arrival snack was consisted of a soup and a salad. The salad was okay, something I would expect as an appetizer on a normal business class meal. Although the soup does not look like much, it was the most flavorful part of the meal. It was so complex that I wanted more after. The chocolate cake was rich but a bit overpowering.
Sleep and Seat Comfort
This is, by far, the WORST seat I have ever had in business class. I found it as uncomfortable as the seats Spirit has in economy. The padding was either worn out or non-existing. The lumbar support was broken, and only worked for half of my back. I ended up using the pillow AND the blanket as padding. When I tried to sleep, which I did try to, I ended up waking up about an hour later with a sore shoulder.
As far as lounging goes, the seat is very narrow. I angled it in such a way that the blanket could serve as padding for watching TV. Even after that, I got off the plane with my back injury aggravated. I honestly cannot imagine being in this seat for more than two or three hours. It is unacceptable that Lufthansa allow a (hopefully) broken seat fly like that. If all their seats are like this, it’s a shame that a real 5 Star Airline (such as Qatar or ANA) has to share that distinction with Lufthansa.
Notes of Service
The crew was honestly the highlight of the trip. The gentleman working my aisle was polite, attentive and proactive. He walked down the aisle every 5 minutes during meal times to make sure everyone was okay with drinks. When I complained about the seat, he apologized profusely for not having an extra seat in business class to switch me to.
Notes on Wifi and Other
All of Lufthansa’s long haul fleet has wifi. On this flight, the service was reasonable fast. I would like to note, however, that the practical speed was much slower than the speedtest result. I would estimate that speeds when using mobile apps was around 3-4mbps, which is still faster than American’s international wifi on its best days.
Landing and Arrival
After a grueling 6 hours on the seat from hell, the crew began to prepare the cabin for arrival. The crew came by and thanked passengers for flying with Lufthansa, and the flight attendant said he would speak with ground crews about my seat. About 30 minutes prior to landing, we began our approach to JFK. We flew over Long Island, and soon enough the A340 was on the ground. We quickly reached our gate, and within 20 minutes of arrival, I was out the airport door.
Service is what highlights Lufthansa. The flight attendants are polished, efficient and kind. The food was mediocre; not something I would look forward to, but good enough. The seat itself was absolutely awful, I have never had to be on a worse seat for that long. I truly hope that it was a one-off thing. I would try to avoid Lufthansa business class, when there are better options in the Star Alliance network, such as SWISS and Austrian. Overall, a meh flight.
Here is a list of all my flight reviews: The Millennial Traveler Flight Reviews
Here is a list of all my lounge reviews: The Millennial Traveler Lounge Reviews
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