Lufthansa Trials Turning Spare Economy Seats Into Beds

Lufthansa has begun trialing offering beds in the economy cabin of its Boeing 747-8 aircraft. Depending on customers’ feedback during the trial, the airline may roll the product out across its long-haul fleet. The test will initially last for around a month.

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Lufthansa is offering an economy class bed trail on one Boeing 747 route. Photo: Oliver Roesler via Lufthansa

Economy class beds are not a new concept. Many airlines have been offering the product to those passengers willing to spend a little more on flights in the economy cabin. It allows passengers to travel in a bit more comfort, while the airline can also make some profit off of empty seats. ANA calls the product COUCHii on its new Airbus A380s.

What is Lufthansa offering?

A Lufthansa spokesperson shared details of the new scheme with Simple Flying. Currently, the product is being offered on just one route, its Boeing 747-8 flights between Frankfurt and Sao Paulo.

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For a fee, passengers will be able to reserve a row of three or four seats in the economy cabin. These seats are then the passenger’s for the duration of the flight. However, the airline isn’t expecting people to lie on the seats as they are. Lufthansa is providing such passengers with a soft mattress, a cushion, and a blanket. It says that all of the products are business class quality.

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Depending on space, passengers can purchase three or four seats at the gate or check-in. Photo: Rolf Bewersdorf via Lufthansa

The upgrade to ‘economy bed class’ comes with one other perk. Passengers are allowed to pre-board before the main economy cabin. This gives them time to be the first in the cabin and get comfortable in their bed for the flight. As both flights are night flights, the benefit is offered in both directions.

Given the trial nature of the program, it is not currently possible to prebook the benefit. Instead, passengers must enquire at the check-in desk or gate, with any available space being sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Lufthansa didn’t share the price. However, aeroTELEGRAPH reports that the airline is charging $260 for the privilege.

What do other airlines offer?

Lufthansa is far from the first airline to offer such economy class beds on long-haul flights. While quite a few airlines have offered such a seat, they can be hard to find. Both Thomas Cook and Air France’s LCC Joon used to provide such a bed in the skies, although both carriers have not operated flights for a long time.

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ANA offers such seats on its Airbus A380 aircraft. Photo: ANA

That isn’t to say that the seats don’t work. Both ANA and Air New Zealand offer the project. Air New Zealand currently offers the “Economy Skycouch” on long-haul flights. This can be anything from one row of three seats, one row with an additional regular seat, or two rows, depending on the number of people it’s for. ANA’s couch seat offering, known as COUCHii, is only available in the economy cabin of its Airbus A380.

Would you pay for an entire row if traveling on Lufthansa’s Boeing 747? Let us know what you think and why in the comments.