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Old Mar 4, 14, 11:14 pm   #1
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LH Premium Economy : Info from ITB, FT/VFT FAQ, and more

Based on the question asked by FT/VFTers in the forum, we asked some questions to get more information about the upcoming premium economy. Here is a quick English translation. The full Q & A was done in German and is attached.
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Last edited by oliver2002; Mar 5, 14 at 2:19 pm
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Old Mar 4, 14, 11:27 pm   #2
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Why should one book the LH premium economy in the future based according to the viewpoint of the airline?

Premium economy offers up to 50% more room compared to an economy seat: surely the most important criteria for travellers. Not only does the pitch increase by 17 cm to 38 inch, but also due to the wider seat, own armrests and a console in the middle each passenger will have 10cm more space. Thus even large persons will not hit their knees and the personal space for the upper body improves.

The seat itself offers a foot rest, a clearly larger IFE display with touchscreen and a remote, more personal storage and a large, very stable table. A plug point and UBS charging point will be available.

Additionally every passenger will be able to check a second piece of luggage, the onboard service will enhanced by a water bottle, amenity kit, welcome drink, menu card, glass instead plastic cups and meals on porcelain. The entry to business class and welcome lounges will be possible against a payment of a fee, which previously was only available to guests of status customers.

In total, a package is offered to the customer that offers more comfort than in economy class, and on average is priced closer to economy than business class.
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Old Mar 4, 14, 11:39 pm   #3
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Which kind of customer does Lufthansa want to primarily attract to purchase the future premium economy?

Its pretty simple: we want to offer it to the traveller who wish more comfort in economy, but cannot afford business class: be it because they can't afford it or its not allowed by the travel policy.

How much sleeping comfort will be offered by LH? The sleeping comfort is a much criticised topic at competitors like AF/KL.

During the development we tried to make sure the seat is as comfortable as possible within the limited area available. It was important to us to make sure that every passenger, irregardless of stature, would find many comfortable positions.

An example: in many airlines you will find a leg rest in the first row that goes across the width of the entire seat. Our leg rest will be narrower, since we discovered with our customers that it is sometimes more comfortable to occasionally rest a foot beside the leg rest once in a while.
Also the optimal recline, about 10 cm more than economy, was developed with our customers. Technically we could go further, but doesn't bring improvements, but disadvantages for the row behind. Besides more recline the seat offers more cushioning, an adjustable headrest with 'ears' to rest on and the seating area moves forward during recline for more comfort.
Whether you can talk of 'sleep' rather than 'rest' in premium economy if for you to decide.

Last edited by oliver2002; Mar 5, 14 at 12:08 am
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Old Mar 5, 14, 12:33 am   #4
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When will premium economy be offered for sale? Which routes will see it first?

It will be open for booking in early May for flights starting in early December. The retrofit will start with the 747-8i, so all destinations served with this aircrft will have it available.

Are the premium economy fares combinable with you revenue sharing partners? (A++, J+, etc)
Yes, with the usual halfway return fare base. Our partners ANA and Air Canada have a similar product offering, for other partners you will have to chose from economy or business class on the segments not operted by LH.

The new booking classes on longhaul will be in G/E/N, which booking class will the feeder flight be booked in?
Lufthansa will book these in the Y booking class, we are still in negotiation with our partners for their system.

Turkish airlines offer the option to upsell the regional feeder flight into IST into Business Class in case you are booked in premium economy. Do you plan a similar option?
We have received this suggestion from the market and are currently exploring our options to see if this can be offered with complicating the existing booking process.

Will ASR remain free in this class of service or offered for sale like you started to do in economy?
All seat reservations will be free in premium economy irregardless of booking class.

Do you have a contingency plan in place in case the aircraft is swapped due to operational reasons and no premium economy is available? Do customers have to expect a downgrade into economy?
Since we will try to retrofit by aircraft type we don't expect major disruptions. However, we will build in buffers in our sales. Should irreg situations occur we will upgrade to business class. Should the space be limited, any downgrades will be paid the usual compensation.

Are the mileage credits already decided?
Yes, depending on the booking class you will get a credit of 100 or 150% of mileage flown.

Are mileage upgrades into Premium Economy possible via Miles & More? Will the existing rule of upgrading from Economy to Business change?

The existing rules will not change, but customers will be offered the possibility to upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy and from Premium Economy to Business. The rules will change to offer more options to the customer.
Due to technical reasons it will not be possible to offer awards with the introduction of the new service class. This is planned to be available in the middle of 2015.

The retrofit of the new business seat is running very slowly. Do you expect a similar pace with the introduction of this new service class?
No, we expect a complete retrofit by late Summer 2015. The logic is simple: the retrofit of the new business and first seat is a highly complex affair and takes 30 to 50 days. The retrofit of this seat is rather simple and will take only 2-3 days per aircraft.
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Old Mar 5, 14, 12:41 am   #5
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In the past we heard statements that the space for Premium Economy will be at the expense of Business class. What is the strategy of LH?

In general seats from the economy section will be removed to fit the new premium economy seat: this makes the retrofit easier.

However, we normally adjust the size of the business class cabin in times of low demand, removing or adding a few rows. So especially in Winter when we fly with smaller business class cabins, the impression may occur that the premium economy has replaced business class.

How will the distribution of premium economy be spread on the fleets stationed in Frankfurt and Munich?
Since we will retrofit the entire log haul fleet, the new premium economy will be spread across the hubs. Munich will see the first premium economy seats appear on the A340-600 in early 2015.

Do you plan to offer introductory fares to experience the new premium economy?
Yes, we will offer introductory offers. Any creative ideas are welcome
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Old Mar 5, 14, 4:00 am   #6
  
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Official LH press release on Premium Economy

Just follow the link below:

http://www.lufthansagroup.com/en/the...m-economy.html



I'll let the image do the talking...

...on a side note, wouldn't those seats be great for mid-haul C instead of the horrible NEK for routes on the narrow bodies to the CIS and Middle East.
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Old Mar 5, 14, 4:16 am   #7
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamallu View Post
Just follow the link below:

http://www.lufthansagroup.com/en/the...m-economy.html



I'll let the image do the talking...

...on a side note, wouldn't those seats be great for mid-haul C instead of the horrible NEK for routes on the narrow bodies to the CIS and Middle East.
Looks interesting...and comfortable. Anyone know who the seat supplier is?

One question struck me during the product presentation: given that most computer power supplies are in the 100W range these days, are the power ports going to crap out at ~60VA like the current C seats, or are we going to have useful power in the seats?
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Old Mar 5, 14, 4:24 am   #8
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Based on the facts and pictures available at this point, IMO LH has done it exactly the right way! Congrats to the project managers: this is really a game changer in my view!

The seat product is exactly fitting in between eco and biz and competitive with the options of the competitors.

And the pricing, beginning at the levels of an H fare usually, is also exactly the right way to do it.

The only questions remaining from my side so far:
Comparing long haul eco+ with mid haul biz two completely different price/performance ratios are existing which are not compatible in my view. LH should do something here very quickly.
And the other one is connecting to a long haul flight in eco+ apparently you are booked into Y. Wouldn't it make more sense both for LH and the pax to book into P or Z? This also is connected to the dilemma I mentioned above.
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Old Mar 5, 14, 4:25 am   #9
  
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An additional 600 Euros is a very substancial price tag though
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Old Mar 5, 14, 4:33 am   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N1003U View Post
Looks interesting...and comfortable. Anyone know who the seat supplier is?
"The new seats were designed in partnership with the company müller/romca Industrial Design in Kiel and produced by the seat manufacturer ZIM Flugsitz near Lake Constance."

http://www.lufthansagroup.com/en/pre...icle/2828.html
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Old Mar 5, 14, 4:37 am   #11
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Originally Posted by moeve View Post
An additional 600 Euros is a very substancial price tag though
It is - if you compare it to the cheapest eco fare. On longhaul I usually don't get the cheapest eco fare though. And comparing such a fare to a V or Q fare will more likely be a 300 or 400 Euro difference for return. Well worth it IMO.
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Old Mar 5, 14, 5:28 am   #12
  
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Does anyone know if we should expect changes to the M&M award chart in order to include the new class? If yes, when will this be fully disclosed?
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Old Mar 5, 14, 5:40 am   #13
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oliver2002 View Post
Not only does the pitch increase by 17 cm to 38 inch
Surely there is a typo in the units?
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Old Mar 5, 14, 6:05 am   #14
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmff View Post
Surely there is a typo in the units?
38" - 31" = ~17 cm.
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Old Mar 5, 14, 6:05 am   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmff View Post
Surely there is a typo in the units?
17 cm sounds better than 7 inches.
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