Lufthansa is operating an 11-hour flight from Germany to India using an A319. The aircraft is necessitated due to the length of the runway at Pune airport, however, as the range of the aircraft isn’t sufficient of the flight it must refuel en route. The route has been operated by a short-haul aircraft, meaning that many passengers have complained about it. Business class on the aircraft is currently made up of a 3-3 economy row with the middle seats blocked out.
As you can imagine, a lot of passengers are particularly unhappy with the substitution. In fact, one reader gave his thoughts on our earlier post about the flight. “If this is true it’s a joke for passengers … who have paid for a business class seat. When you are travelling for almost 18 hours and spend the money it’s not unfair to expect at least a level of comfort which is [the] general industry standard. I will term this as equivalent to cheating (sorry can’t help but have to use a strong word)…delivering an economy class seat comfort and charging business class fare!” – Aniruddha Narawane
Upgraded Business Class
Lufthansa has apparently taken the feedback onboard as the airline has reconfigured its business class offering. It has halved the number of seats available. Rather than retrofitting some long-haul business class seats, however, the airline has achieved this goal by removing two passengers from each 3-3 row. Only the window seats on each row are now being sold on each flight. This allows each passenger to have three seats to themselves. Maybe the thinking is that a creative passenger could either raise all of the armrests to create a lie-flat bed or lay on the available floor space? At least each business class seat now has direct aisle access!
This clearly is a short-term fix to the problem, as there is no way that Lufthansa could allow this on a long-term basis. This is especially true as the route is primarily focused on business travellers. When a business class return fare for the flight is almost $4,000, passengers are expecting a far superior service to what they are being provided.
While it may cost a little to implement, the airline should seriously consider implementing upgraded seating for business class passengers. British Airways operate an entire business class flight from London to New York. This aircraft is entirely business class, proving that you can feasibly achieve this goal. Lufthansa should definitely consider this avenue if they are to keep customer satisfaction high on the route.
What do you think of Lufthansa’s new business class offering on the route? Let us know below!