Lufthansa Scraps Mercedes First Class Vehicles For VW

Lufthansa is known for having one of the best First Class ground experiences. From a dedicated terminal and lounge, to luxury transfers, to roses in the cabin. All of these combined make for a unique travel experience. However, it seems that Lufthansa will no longer be offering one of its signature experiences, as the airline has phased out its Mercedes Benz First Class shuttles in favor of Volkswagen.

Lufthansa’s First Class experience is a unique flying experience. Jürgen Stemper/Bloemche via Flickr

First Class ground transfers

If you’re traveling in Lufthansa First Class, Lufthansa provides dedicated vehicle transfers to and from the terminal. Before, these would be done in Mercedes Benz or Porsche vehicles. However, the Frankfurter Allgemeine reports that Lufthansa’s relationship with Mercedes Benz has fizzled.

Lufthansa previously used Mercedes Benz S-class sedans for some ground transfers. Photo: Mercedes Benz

Instead, Lufthansa will increase the number of Porsche vehicles in its ground transfer fleet. These include both the Cayenne SUVs and Panamera sedans. However, in some cases, Lufthansa has several passengers traveling in First Class on the same flight. For those cases, Lufthansa needs a larger vehicle. Thus, Lufthansa will replace the Mercedes Benz V class vans with Volkswagen vans.

S-Class problems

Lufthansa reportedly has ended its partnership with Mercedes Benz due to issues with the S-class. For their ground transfers, Lufthansa used Mercedes Benz S-class hybrids. However, since these cars were only used on short-distance transfers around the airport, the car batteries ran into some troubles. Reportedly, many vehicles required jump-starting.

According to the report, Lufthansa has retired all 108 S-class hybrid vehicles used for ground transfers.

The First Class terminal at Frankfurt. Photo: TravelingOtter via Flickr

Mercedes Benz has a different take. Instead, they say they cut off the relationship with Lufthansa due to unequal cost sharing.

Lufthansa First Class

Lufthansa offers First Class on the following widebody planes:

As a result, their First Class offerings are only available on select on routes and on certain planes. While other airlines move away from First Class, Lufthansa has indicated they intend to maintain First Class on select aircraft.

In the above list, each aircraft only has eight First Class seats. This means that the number of passengers affected by this change overall is quite small. Most importantly, however, is that Lufthansa is not making any significant changes to its onboard or terminal offerings. Passengers can still expect the same First Class experience in the air as they previously had.

Lufthansa First Class on a Boeing 747-8i. Photo: Konstantin von Wedelstaedt/Wikimedia Commons


For Lufthansa’s First Class passengers, this change shouldn’t substantially affect their experience.

While terminal-to-gate transfers are nice in a Mercedes Benz, ultimately, there is something special about being driven around the airport next to some magnificent airplanes to catch your flight, no matter what the vehicle.

Does Lufthansa’s end of Mercedes Benz transfer vehicles impact you? Let us know in the comments!