Lufthansa is expecting its first Boeing 777-9 in about a year, hopefully. With this aircraft comes a brand new business class product, as the airline revealed towards the end of last year. However, along with the new product comes a brand new concept… and it shall be called, premium business.
Lufthansa’s premium dream
We’ve seen endless amounts of unbundling of services at the back of the plane, and even some airlines beginning to unbundle business class offerings. At the same time, we’re seeing a proliferation of premium economy, giving a little bit extra to the discerning coach class flier. However, Lufthansa is rumored to be considering a brand new product that no other airline has yet considered. Premium business.
A report in the Aero Telegraph claims that, along with the stunning new business class product due to arrive on its Boeing 777X, Lufthansa will introduce a new business class tier too. With no first class cabin on board this shiny new aircraft, the airline is contemplating making a ‘first class-like’ product within the business class cabin itself.
Passengers opting for this so-called ‘premium business’ product will not only be met with a better seat, but also with superior food, bedding and service. In the business class cabin. While their neighbor has to make do with the ‘standard’ business
Where will these premium business class seats be?
When Lufthansa revealed the new business class cabin set to appear on D-ABTA, its first Boeing 777-9, one thing was clear; it’s going to be a huge improvement. Direct aisle access from every seat is becoming the must-have in premium cabins, and Lufthansa have obliged by choosing a 1-1-1 and 1-2-1 alternating configuration in business.
The interesting thing about this particular layout is that, every second row or so, the configuration allows for one mid-cabin seat with no neighbors. Not only does this seat have more privacy due to its isolated nature, it also has way more real estate, thanks to featuring the side console on both sides of the seat.
The copious amounts of space provided have afforded such seats the title of ‘the throne’. It is these seats that will become premium business, if that happens at all.
Flying the throne
Of course, Lufthansa isn’t alone in offering a throne seat in certain cabin configurations. SWISS has throne seats on its Boeing 777-300ER, Malaysia Airlines on its A330 and A350 and even British Airways has nine thrones on its long haul configured A321.
The difference here is that Lufthansa has deliberately made the throne seat a part of its cabin configuration. Whereas Malaysia Airlines’ A350 has just four throne seats out of 35 business class seats, and SWISS just 12 out of 62 on its 777-300ER, Lufthansa’s appear every second row.
The other big difference, clearly, is that Lufthansa plans to charge a premium for these seats. In many cases, you can fly the throne seat on other airlines simply by making a good seat selection at booking. Although SWISS have started to charge a premium for the privilege.
Lufthansa hasn’t said how many thrones will be available on its 777-9, but we can get some idea from Boeing’s preliminary layout diagram:
In this, the manufacturer suggests a standard two-class would have 42 business class seats in a crazy 2-3-2 layout and through seven rows. Clearly, Lufthansa are developing a better layout than this, but will still want to keep the economy load high. We’d assume there will be perhaps eight or nine rows accommodated, which would leave roughly four or five throne seats available.
Whether these plans to present a different choice of business class come to fruition remain to be seen. However, it’s an interesting concept.
Would you pay more to fly ‘premium business’, or would you feel conspicuous getting better treatment than your neighbor? Let us know in the comments!