Lufthansa is planning on expanding its economy bed offering in the future. In November, the carrier began trialing offering passengers in empty economy rows the chance to convert their seats into a bed. The idea seems to have taken off, with Lufthansa making this feature permanent on routes in the future.
Here to stay
According to You Have Been Upgraded, Lufthansa plans to make the economy bed offering permanent in the future. The option was first tested on the airline’s flights from Frankfurt to Sao Paulo route in November, using a Boeing 747-8. For $260, passengers could use an empty row of seats and turn into a bed with a mattress, blanket, and pillows.
Now, Lufthansa is looking to feature this permanent on some routes. While the exact details are yet to be revealed, we know the carrier is reducing prices as well. The economy bed will cost €169 ($206) one-way going forward, making it more accessible for passengers.
While the offering was previously only available on the 747-8, it could extend to the A350, A340s, and A330s. The economy bed can be made in any row with three or four empty seats. However, this means that when the flight is full or anywhere near that, the bed will no longer be an option. After all, selling a ticket is much more lucrative for the airline than selling the bedding product.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.
Only during the pandemic?
While Lufthansa might be making economy beds permanent, it’s unclear how often passengers will have to use them. While load factors have remained depressed over the last year and a half, they will slowly begin to pick up in the near future. Once they do, it’s unlikely many passengers will find empty rows on their long-haul flights.
Additionally, €338 ($412) for just bedding is undoubtedly expensive when travelers could make do with provided amenities instead. It’s unclear how popular the product would prove on shorter flights under 10 hours.
However, Lufthansa is not the only airline offering this product onboard. Air New Zealand has been flying the Skycouch for some time, a product that is ‘the closest thing to your bed at home’.
ANA has a similar onboard economy bed product, known as COUCHii. The product uses elevated leg rests to create a longer bed (or couch) over four economy seats. With bedding included, the carrier offers the closest thing to a lie-flat bed in economy class.
Lufthansa has seen travel bookings surge after Germany eased quarantine rules for returning passengers. The country has allowed quarantine-free travel to 100 countries, including many in Europe, the US, Canada, and more. Due to this, bookings to the US surged by over 300% last week, as travelers looked to take advantage of the EU’s reopening (travel from the EU to the US remains banned).
For now, keep an eye out if your next long-haul Lufthansa flight will offer the economy bed option for a more comfortable sleep.
What do you think about the economy bed product? Would you pay for it? Let us know in the comments!