Points Panda has partnered with a variety of financial companies including CreditCards.com for our coverage of credit card products. Points Panda and CreditCards.com may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. For more information please read our full Advertiser Disclosure.
Most people can’t tell the difference between a first class and business class flight, and we’re not surprised. It can get confusing because different airlines have different definitions of what a first class or business class product is.
For example, United Airlines first class is only offered on short-haul US domestic and Canadian flights while United business class is only offered on long-haul domestic and international flights.
Meanwhile, Qatar Airways considers their business class product, aka the Qsuite, as the highest fare class in all of their products regardless of routes. Not to mention, the type of aircraft you’ll fly on will also determine if you’ll be having a first class or a business class option. Confusing, right?
But in this article, we’ll focus on Lufthansa to finally put an end to this age-old question – What’s the difference between Lufthansa First Class Vs Lufthansa Business Class?
In A Nutshell: Lufthansa First Class VS Business Class
From the least to the most expensive, here are Lufthansa’s four fare classes: Economy, Premium Economy, Business, and First.
Lufthansa Business class offers an upgraded experience than Economy and Premium Economy. You’ll have more legroom, seat width, premium meals, sleeping amenities, and priority services at the airport. Lufthansa First class also offers a similar premium pre-flight and in-flight experience but it’s just a little bit better and more luxurious than business class.
As you can see in the image above, a one-way flight from New York to Frankfurt on a Lufthansa first class flight is more than double the price of a Lufthansa business class flight. Below, we’ll go into detail on what benefits each fare class offers.
In most airlines, First Class is typically higher than Business class, however, U.S. airlines use these terms differently. Most U.S. airlines use the term “first class” to refer to the highest cabin class on short-haul domestic and international flights, while they use the term “business class” to refer to the highest cabin class on long-haul domestic and international flights.
What Is Lufthansa Business Class?
Lufthansa business class is available on short/medium and long-haul flights, and your business class privileges start from the moment you enter the airport up to the moment you board the aircraft. You’ll get priority services, complimentary meals, free baggage, lounge access, and other premium perks.
Lufthansa Business Class Benefits
Here are some of the benefits you’ll get if you fly business class:
- Priority Check-in – Get priority check-in whether in person or through Lufthansa’s online check-in website.
- Priority Boarding – After the Pre-boarding Group (Passengers with kids under 5, minors, and those with special needs) and Boarding Group 1 (First Class, HON Circle Members, Senators, Star Alliance Gold), Business Class passengers will join Economy Flex passengers in Boarding group 2.
- Baggage Allowance – Business class passengers will have 2 free carry-on baggage (Up to 8 kg), 1 free personal item, and 2 free checked baggage (Up to 32 kg). Please check the baggage calculator for more details.
- Priority Baggage Handling – Your bags will be prioritized at the baggage carousel so you can claim them right away the moment you land at your destination.
- Lounge Access – You’ll have access to Lufthansa’s lounges and also Star Alliance partner lounges.
- Premium In-Flight Dining – Whether it’s a short or long-haul flight, fresh and high-quality full meals will be served on China tableware for free. Special meals and children’s meals are also available for those with specific preferences and passengers traveling with kids.
- On-board Entertainment – Watch or listen to your favorite sports channels, tv shows, and music on your personal screen, even when you’re thousands of feet above the ground.
- Spacious Seats – You’ll get more legroom and seat width on all business class flights, however, lay flat seats are only available on long-haul flights.
Seat Configuration On Business Class Flights
Short/medium-haul business class flights typically have 24-28 recliner seats on its Airbus fleet. They have a 2-2 seat configuration with enough space provided in between seats so passengers will have more privacy.
For short/medium-haul flights on Embraer and Bombardier aircraft, there are about 8-11 recliner class seats with a 1-1 configuration.
On long-haul business class flights, there are up to 48 lay flat seats on the Airbus fleet and they have a 2-2-2 seat configuration.
For long-haul flights on the Boeing fleet, there are up to 88 lay flat seats and they have a 2-2-2- seat configuration on the main deck, and a 2-2 seat configuration on the upper deck.
To sum it up, short-haul flights have fewer business class seats and they have only reclining features while long-haul flights have more business class seats and they have lay flat featuers.
Lufthansa Business Class Routes By Aircraft
As of this writing, here’s a list of the different types of aircraft Lufthansa has on both its short/medium-haul and long-haul routes:
- Airbus 321-100/200
- Airbus A321neo
- Airbus 320-200
- Airbus A320neo
- Airbus 319-100
- Embraer 195
- Embraer 190
- Bombardier CRJ900
Long-haul Routes + Aircraft Types
- Airbus A350-900
- Chicago (ORD) – Munich (MUC)
- Charlotte (CLT) – Munich (MUC)
- Denver (DEN) – Munich (MUC)
- Newark (EWR) – Munich (MUC)
- Washington D.C. (IAD) – Munich (MUC)
- Airbus A340-600
- Boston (BOS) – Munich (MUC)
- Charlotte (CLT) – Munich (MUC)
- Detroit (DTW) – Frankfurt (FRA)
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Munich (MUC)
- New York City (JFK) – Munich (MUC)
- Newark (EWR) – Munich (MUC)
- Philadelphia (PHL) – Frankfurt (FRA)
- San Francisco (SFO) – Munich (MUC)
- Airbus A340-300
- Atlanta (ATL) – Frankfurt (FRA)
- San Diego (SAN) – Frankfurt (FRA)
- Tampa (TPA) – Frankfurt (FRA)
- Airbus A330-300
- Austin (AUS) – Frankfurt (FRA)
- Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Frankfurt (FRA)
- St. Louis (STL) – Frankfurt (FRA)
- Boeing 747-8
- Boston (BOS) – Frankfurt (FRA)
- Chicago (ORD) – Frankfurt (FRA)
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Frankfurt (FRA)
- New York City (JFK) – Frankfurt (FRA) on LH 405
- Newark (EWR) – Frankfurt (FRA)
- Washington D.C. (IAD) – Frankfurt (FRA)
- Boeing 747-400
- Denver (DEN) – Frankfurt (FRA)
- Orlando (MCO) – Frankfurt (FRA)
- Seattle (SEA) – Frankfurt (FRA)
- Philadelphia (PHL) – Frankfurt (FRA)
It’s important to know which aircraft you’ll be flying on so you’ll know the flight’s seat availability, seat configuration, and lay flat seating options.
What Is Lufthansa First Class?
From airport transfers, personal assistants, to Michelin-inspired cuisines, you’ll get all the VIP treatment when you’re flying on Lufthansa First class.
Lufthansa Business Class Benefits
Here are the benefits that you will get when you fly first class:
- First Class Terminal – Arrive at an exclusive terminal just for first class passengers. No long waiting lines and huge crowds. The terminal also offers comfortable chairs and dining and cigar lounges.
- Valet Parking Service – You’re entitled to valet parking service for your rental or private cars at the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt and at the exclusive kerbside check-in at Terminal 2 in Munich.
- First Class Lounge Access – Get access to five Lufthansa first class lounges in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Geneva, and Vienna. You’ll also have access to more than 900 Star Alliance lounges all over the world, which includes more than 40 lounges with first class facilities and amenities.
- Personal Assistant – You’ll be greeted by your own personal assistant when you arrive at the First Class terminal or First Class lounges. Your assistant will accompany you and tend to your needs all throughout your airport journey until your finally board your flight.
- Limousine Service – A chauffeur will drive you straight to your aircraft on a limousine. This service is available at airports with first class terminals: Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Geneva, and Vienna.
- Priority Boarding – After the Pre-boarding Group (Passengers with kids under 5, minors, and those with special needs), First Class passengers will join HON Circle Members, Senators, and Star Alliance Gold in Boarding group 1.
- Comfortable Lay Flat Seats – First class seats are located in a very exclusive cabin in front of the plane. There are only about 8 open suites in first class giving lots of space for passengers to unwind and relax. The seats can be converted into a 2-meter-long bed and it comes with a temperature-regulating duvet.
- In-flight Entertainment – Access the web with Lufthansa’s high-speed wifi or watch our favorite tv shows and movies on a 17-inch screen monitor. You’ll also get Bose noise-canceling headphones so you’ll have a full sound experience during the flight.
- Premium Food, Wine, and Beverages – First class passengers will enjoy complimentary Michelin-quality dishes and premium wines during the flight. You’ll be the one to choose which meals you want to eat based on the food choices provided.
Seat Configuration On First Class Flights
Lufthansa First Class flights are only offered on two aircraft types, the Boeing 747-8 and the Airbus A340-600. There are only 8 exclusive seats available on all aircraft which are generously spaced amongst each other.
The Boeing 747-8 features an upper deck and a main deck, with the first class seats located on the main deck. There are 3 seats on each window and two seats in the middle of the aisle.
Meanwhile, the Airbus A340-600 has a single deck with the first class seats having a 1-2-1 configuration.
All seats on Lufthansa First Class can be converted into a 2-meter lay flat bed. Just ask help from your flight attendant if you want to convert your seat.
Lufthansa First Class Routes By Aircraft
The list below are routes where you can book first-class fares. We’ve also categorized them according to the aircraft where it is offered.
Boeing 747-8 aircraft (All routes fly out of Frankfurt):
- Bangalore (BLR)
- Buenos Aires (EZE)
- Chicago (ORD)
- Delhi (DEL)
- Hong Kong (HKG)
- Houston (IAH)
- Johannesburg (JNB)
- Los Angeles (LAX)
- Mexico City (MEX)
- Miami (MIA)
- New York (JFK)
- Newark (EWR)
- San Francisco (SFO)
- Sao Paulo (GRU)
- Shanghai (PVG)
- Washington (IAD)
- Munich (MUC) – New York City (JFK)
- Munich (MUC) – Los Angeles (LAX)
- Munich (MUC) – San Francisco (SFO)
- Munich (MUC) – Boston (BOS)
- Frankfurt (FRA) – Detroit (DTW)
- Frankfurt (FRA) – Philadelphia (PHL)
- Munich (MUC) – Newark (EWR)
- Munich (MUC) – Charlotte (CLT)
Just remember that routes may change or be removed without notice so always check on the Lufthansa website first if the flight is still available.
Booking Lufthansa Flights With Points And Miles
There are multiple ways to book Lufthansa flights with points and miles but the best one would be through an airline partner, specifically Avianca Lifemiles. And no one does direct points transfer to Lufthansa these days especially when the Marriott Bonvoy – Lufthansa issue happened a few years back where points transfers from Marriot to Bonvoy got lost in the “web limbo”.
Avianca Lifemiles regularly runs 30%-35% transfer bonuses from Citi, Capital One, Amex, and Brex, which means that you’ll get more value for your points. Plus, Lifemiles also runs sales where they sell miles as cheap as 1.4c a point, giving you more options to rack up miles to book Lufthansa First Class or Business Class flights.
Alternatively, here are some recommended credit cards that allow you to transfer points to Avianca LifeMiles:
Overview: Lufthansa First Class Vs Business Class
|Category||Business Class||First Class|
|Priority Check-in||Eligible for priority check-in||Eligible for priority check-in|
|Priority Baggage Handling||Eligible for priority baggage handling||Eligible for priority baggage handling|
|Priority Boarding||Boarding Group 2||Boarding Group 1|
|Lounge Access||Access to Lufthansa Business and Welcome Lounges||Access to Lufthansa First Class Lounges and Star Alliance lounges|
|Aircraft Seats||Recliner seats on short/medium-haul flights, lay-flat seats on long-haul flights||Lay flat seats with temperature-regulating duvets|
|In-flight Meals||Complimentary fine dining cuisines and wine selections||Complimentary four-course and wine selections. Premium wine and caviar is available.|
Bottomline: Is Lufhtans First Better Than Lufthansa Business?
Unlike other airlines, it’s easy to differentiate Lufthansa First Class from Lufthansa Business Class. First class offers flyers a VIP experience to the maximum level such as having open suites, airport transfers, personal assistants, and exclusive lounges. The perks are far superior to business class.
Meanwhile, Business class offers lay flat seats, priority services at the airport, and just an overall upgraded experience from Economy.
If you’re asking which is the better class between the two? It’s obviously First Class if we’re just focusing on the perks. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s the best option all the time because purchasing a ticket will always depend on your travel preferences. If you just want a lay flat seat while you travel, just go for Business Class fares where prices are almost half the price of First Class fares.
PointsPanda Deal of the Week!
Looking for the best flight deals? Each week we'll send you updates with the best deals on flights and hotels both using points and cash.