Lufthansa peeled back the curtain today on its new Allegris product, with a wide range of products now on offer across its future wide-bodied fleet. We’ve already covered most of this story here including the myriad of Business Class seating options that Allegris will be offering. However, perhaps the scene stealer today is Lufthansa’s First Class ‘halo’ product, the airline’s first centre-pair suite.
Lufthansa’s First Class “Suite Plus” offers a separate double cabin with ceiling-high walls and an entirely closable door, large table and two wide seats that can be combined into a comfortable double bed if required. With this flying private room, Lufthansa is setting a new standard in comfort and individuality within its most sophisticated travel class.
However, interestingly, the airline hasn’t decided to offer aisle access for both seats, meaning that when the seat is a bed, the inner passenger will have to climb over the passenger sat at the aisle to exit the seat. A small hiccup in an otherwise impressive offering. According to the press release, guests can warm or cool their nearly one-meter-wide seats in the suite according to their personal needs and connect their own mobile device to the entertainment system. Ample storage space is provided by a suite wardrobe so that travellers can comfortably change and have all their personal belongings at hand.
This is certainly an industry first, but it does mean that the airline now has three very distinct seats in its first class cabin. A standard first class seat situated on the left hand side, a double ‘Suite Plus’ in the centre cabin that shares the aisle with the left hand solo traveller, and a more private solo suite on the right hand side of the cabin.
This is in addition to the no-less-than-seven Allegris business class seat options. For the first time, guests in Lufthansa Business Class will have aisle access, and some will be it’s own suite, which offers even more comfort and privacy due to chest-high walls and sliding doors. Here, travelers in the first rows can enjoy extended personal space, a monitor up to 27 inches in size and ample storage. Each suite also offers its own wardrobe and personal minibar (not unlike the impressive Prime Seats already flying with Condor). And much like Condor, the two centre suites can be connected so that business class guests traveling together can enjoy a large degree of privacy.
“With “Allegris,” the freedom of choice for Business Class guests has never been
greater more complex. Travellers can choose between six additional seat options, depending on whether they want an extra-long bed measuring 2.20 meters, extra space and work area, a seat with a baby bassinet, or simply an exclusive seat directly by the window. A double seat, in which the centre console can be retracted to transform it into a reclining surface for two, is also available,” states the press release. This is impressive, but for a passenger this will offer wildly different passenger experiences depending which seat is selected.
There is however, some impressive technology beyond the high seat walls and two metre long beds. They also offer high-definition screens (4K), generously-sized dining tables, wireless charging, noise-canceling headphones and Bluetooth connectivity. All seats are also equipped with an impressive personal temperature system, giving business class travellers the flexibility to set their own temperature. For extra comfortable side sleeping, seats also feature a shoulder sink-in, allowing the shoulder to sink into the seat, increasing sleeping comfort for side sleepers. A tablet-sized control unit provides access to all seating, lighting, heating/cooling and entertainment functions. Naturally, each seat is directly accessible from the aisle.
Of course, there’s the new Premium economy which is already flying with Swiss and being rolled out across Lufthansa, and in Economy Class travellers will also have the option of booking additional seats in the first rows that offer more legroom, or a free seat next to them.
But with the wealth of economy options, business class options and first class options, there will be more pockets of inventory, which while on paper gives passengers more choice, could also very well lead to disappointment, should a certain cabin class ‘bolt-on’ not be available on a certain flight. This will be an excellent case study on how flight planning, fares, hard product, service and dispatchers are going to have to work in a carefully orchestrated ballet for every single flight. If they get this right though, Lufthansa could very well be on to a winner.
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