On one of my recent trips, I had the pleasure of flying on-board the Boeing 747-8i – the latest jumbo jet generation! Just before the flight from Buenos Aires’s Ministro Pistarini International Airport (better known as Ezeiza International EZE/SAEZ) to Frankfurt on the longest flight in the Lufthansa network, I was able to snap a few images of the cockpit and cabin.
The first thing I always notice when entering a 747-cockpit is, how small the windows are! Of course, I am spoiled by the MD-11 and the jumbo skippers tell me it is not that bad once seated… On the other hand it is much longer than most other cockpits I know, which is probably due to the fact that the basic design has not changed much since the days of the first Boeing 747-100 when there was a need for more people in the flight deck (two pilots, flight engineer, maybe a navigator and relief pilots or examiners). Yet I feel that it might be an interesting working environment, especially as there are no head-up-displays (HUD) or other “high-tech nonsense” in the Dash-8 cockpit.
First Class always used to be on the upper deck, at least on Lufthansa aircraft. With the introduction of the new 747-8i that was changed and the eight luxury seats are now located in the nose section of the aircraft. At first glance they might not look as exquisite or fancy as on other airlines, but the functionality and quality of the seats and interior is fantastic. The layout has been designed in close cooperation with some of the best customers LH has, so yes, that is what people actually want!
As described above, First moved down to the nose, which means that Business is located partly in the upper deck and partly between First Class and Economy. That still ensure privacy for the super-important people in the first rows, yet gives the nearly equally important Business Class easy access on and off the aircraft. According to recent media reports, there already is a new Business Class seat in the pipeline for deployment in a couple of years.
Premium Economy Class
Situated in the middle of Economy Class, the new Premium Eco is a noticeably different product to the rest of “cattle class” at an affordable price. The seats are much wider and there is a lot more legroom, which is probably the main advantage. The fact that you are allowed to bring a second piece of luggage (max. 23 kg each) is definitely a bonus and many people (especially those that used to sit in Business in the past) will be pleased with the power outlets provided at each seat and the very big screens for inflight entertainment (IFE)! It is definitely worth the price of an upgrade, which is usually in the range of 250-350 Euros per flight, although cheap deals are sometimes available. I have travelled on it twice and can only recommend it.
It is what it is: the most economical product for those that don’t want to or cannot spend the big bucks required to travel with more comfort. Lufthansa’s Economy Class design is clean and straight forward, giving you a comparably good seat (yes, I have sat in Emirates and Qatar Airways Economy and wasn’t pleased), modern IFE and usually a good service for the price that you pay. You cannot expect to be spoiled, but drinks will be available to you at all times in the on-board kitchen. The good thing is: even here Lufthansa’s inflight internet service Flynet in cooperation with Telekom is available to you.