Lufthansa, Germany’s largest airline and a Star Alliance member, unveiled its upcoming Premium Economy cabin at ITB 2014 in Berlin.
The new airplane class will be introduced initially on Boeing 747-8s from November 2014 with bookings available in May. Within 12 months of the introduction, all long-haul Lufthansa aircraft will offer Premium Economy class.
Premium Economy Seat Features
The Premium Economy seats will be over 1 inch (3 cm) wider than Economy, provide greater privacy and will provide about 4 inches (10 cm) more room on the sides as each seat will have its own wide armrest and there is a center console between the seats.
The backrest can be reclined further than economy class seats and the seat pitch will be a spacious 38 inches. Overall, the seats will offer 50 percent more space than Economy Class.
The seat headrest height will be adjustable and the headrest can also be folded at the sides for added comfort and support. Height-adjustable foot rests from the second row back and leg supports with an integrated foot rest in the first row will provide extra comfort.
Other useful seat features include a bottle holder, an electrical outlet and storage space for passengers’ belongings.
The in-flight entertainment displays in the seats will be 11 to 12 inches – at least 2 inches bigger than the Economy Class displays.
Offering Premium Economy class will help the airline fill the wide gap between the recently introduced fully-flat bed Business Class and Economy.
Additional Services For Premium Economy
Premium Economy customers will be offered a baggage allowance of two items weighing up to 23 kg each – two times more than Economy Class.
For an extra 25 Euros, Premium Economy passengers will be able to use Lufthansa Business Lounges before their departure. These lounges were previously only open to mileage status customers and business class travelers.
Premium Economy passengers will be greeted with a welcome drink on boarding and offered their own water bottle and an amenity kit with practical travel accessories.
Meals in the new class will be upgraded from Economy and served on porcelain tableware.
But…No Priority Boarding
However, the check-in and boarding procedures for Premium Economy will be the same as Economy.
Each Lufthansa long-haul aircraft is planned to have between 21 and 52 Premium Economy seats, depending on the aircraft type.
The fares for the new class will be closer to Economy Class than Business Class with a return flight across the North Atlantic or to Asia costing an additional 600 Euros (about $830) on average when compared to Economy fares. AirBank offers lower cost consolidator airplane tickets for flights on Lufthansa and will have access to Premium Economy tickets as soon as they are available for sale.
By 2015, Lufthansa plans to introduce the new Premium Economy as well as new Business and First Class cabins across its entire fleet.