Passengers flying with Germany’s Lufthansa are actually traveling with the second version of the famous airline. The first, which started in 1926, saw its demise as the allies ended World War II. Several years later, in 1951, the second and current form of Lufthansa was born. 

In the late 1950s, Lufthansa introduced the most luxurious way to fly between the U.S. and Germany — Lufthansa’s first-class cabin. For over 60 years, Lufthansa’s first class was Europe’s most premium cabin and remained distinctly luxurious compared to the less-than-stellar business class reviews. 

Lufthansa upgraded its business class cabins starting in 2013 to become one of the most stand-out offerings at that class level. As we look to the future, Lufthansa is implementing some changes to both premium class offerings, including first-class suites, and even further elevated business class seats

You might have some questions about the differences between business and first class on Lufthansa flights. And you’ve come to the right place as we break down everything you need to know about how the two premium classes compare on one of Europe’s finest airlines. 

Business Class vs. First Class on Lufthansa Airlines

Lufthansa Business Class is a popular option for people who spend a lot of time traveling and require extra comfort. It is more expensive than economy seats but considerably less expensive than luxury first class.

Lufthansa’s business class offers upgraded meals, extra legroom and seat width, a wide range of entertainment options, Wi-Fi, noise-canceling headphones, and lay-flat seats for comfortable sleeping on long flights. While it is far more comfortable than economy, the overall experience does not offer quite the same level of luxury and service in first class.

Pre-Flight Differences Between Business vs. First Class

SectionBusiness ClassFirst Class
Baggage Allowance1 personal bag, 2 carry-ons, 2 checked bags1 personal bag, 2 carry-ons,3 checked bags
LoungesAccess to Lufthansa Business and Welcome Lounges at airports, spa services available at select airports. No companions or family members without tickets.Access to Lufthansa First Class Lounges and Star Alliance lounges at airports, companions and family members allowed as guests. Pets are also allowed.
Comfort AmenitiesPriority check-in desks and priority boarding.Priority boarding from an exclusive first class lounge, valet parking, personal assistant, limousine service to aircraft, cigar bar and full dining, bar, and office area.
Dining OptionsPre-flight snacks available in the lounge.Fine dining in First Class Lounges.

In-Flight Differences Between Business vs. First Class

SectionBusiness ClassFirst Class
SeatsWider seats with more legroom, lay-flat seats.6.5 ft. fully flat bed with mattress topper and 400 thread-count bedding
Work and Play12’’ Flat screen Noise-canceling headphonesWi-FiOn-demand entertainment on most flights15’’ flat screens Touchscreen handsetNoise-canceling headphonesWi-FiOn-demand entertainment
On-Flight MealsFine dining and wine on real china during flight. Choose from seasonal local cuisine selections.Extensive selection of small platesFour-course meal selectionsAla carte selectionsFine wineCaviar

Lufthansa Flyer Perks

Business and first-class passengers enjoy flight perks that aren’t available in economy or premium economy class. From pre-flight check-in and lounge access to better in-flight amenities, here’s how the German airline differentiates first-class cabins from business-class cabins. 

Pre-Flight Business Class

In 2022, Lufthansa introduced a new business class to its Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 aircraft. These aircraft join the iconic Boeing 747-8 and provide most business-class long-haul service.  

Business class passengers enjoy airport lounge access, where drinks, snacks, Wi-Fi connectivity, and shower cubicles are available. Relax and take in the view of planes taking off from oversized armchairs, and business class passengers board right behind first class.

Pre-Flight First Class

First class on Lufthansa flights can be aboard either the Boeing 747-8 or the Airbus A340. The 747 offers a new first-class experience and is arguably the nicer overall aircraft for the premium cabin. 

Lufthansa’s first-class experience begins when you pull up to the terminal. You’ll check in at a dedicated desk while an optional valet parks your car. After priority check-in, it’s time to hit the First Class Lounge, where you can enjoy the cigar bar, have a gourmet meal, rest in an extra comfortable chair, or pamper yourself at the spa. 

As a first-class passenger, you’ll When it’s time to board at Lufthansa hubs with dedicated first-class terminals or opt for an optional limo service that drives you right up to the aircraft. 

Planning Your Lufthansa Business vs. First Class Trip

Choosing Lufthansa’s business-class product provides a significant upgrade over basic cabins, but for genuine luxury, you’ll need to look into the first-class product. Understanding and deciding between the two premium cabins can be a bit tricky, so we broke down what to expect. 

Ticket Pricing

Flying business class from Los Angeles’ LAX to Frankfurt’s FRA averages a whopping $4,380 round trip on a good day with advance purchase. And that’s just for the Business Basic seat. You can choose to upgrade your ticket to a Business Flex or Business Basic Plus for upwards of $1400 more. 

The price difference between Lufthansa’s first-class seats and business class is considerable. The same flight from Los Angeles to Frankfurt costs $13,690 round trip and comes in two types — First Basic and First Basic Plus.  

The price breakdown: Outbound flight for a round trip, nonstop flight scheduled for Tuesday, 01/17/23, departing Los Angeles, California for Frankfurt, Germany, and returning Tuesday, 01/24/23 departing Frankfurt, Germany for Los Angeles.

  • Business Basic – $4,374.48
  • Business Flex – $4,924.48
  • Business Basic Plus – $7,424.48
  • First Basic Plus – $10.680.48
  • First Basic – $16,697.48

The most significant difference between the booking categories breaks down to the refundability and fees associated with changing your flight. The higher-priced options have refund options and tickets with no change fees. 

Lufthansa Business Class: Short and Medium-haul vs. Long-Haul 

Business class seats are more premium offerings compared to economy class, but the experience is different depending on the length of your flight. Short and medium-haul flights are those lasting less than eight hours and are less extravagant than international long-haul flights. Here’s what to expect:  

Short and Medium-Haul Flights

Short and medium-haul flights aboard Lufthansa’s business class still provide priority check-in, expedited boarding, and lounge access. Passengers have more space compared to economy class and additional baggage allowances.

However, the amenity kits, lay flat beds, and multi-course dining doesn’t appear on shorter flights. Business class passengers can enjoy sleeping options and hot meal service on select overnight flights. 

Long-Haul Flights

Long-haul flights are where Lufthansa business class feels more luxurious. These seats feature direct aisle access, elevated menu options, fine wines, and lay flat beds. While not as elegant as first class, business class passengers on long-haul flights still enjoy high-end amenities, multi-course meals, fine wines, and in-flight entertainment, including sports. 

Cancellation and Booking Change Fees

Cancellation Fees for the flight from Los Angeles to Frankfurt: 

  • Business Basic – These tickets are ineligible for refunds. 
  • Business Basic Plus – Refund all but $900. 
  • Business Flex – Refundable with no fee. 
  • First Basic Plus – These tickets are ineligible for refunds. 
  • First Basic – Refund all but $750.

Booking Change Costs:

  • Business Basic – Rebook without a fee, but you will have to pay the fare difference. 
  • Business Basic Plus – Rebook without a fee. Fare difference may apply. 
  • Business Flex – Rebook without a fee. Fare difference may apply. 
  • First Basic Plus – Rebook without a fee. Fare difference may apply. 
  • First Basic – Rebook without a fee. Fare difference may apply. 

Important note: If you purchase a non-refundable fare for one way of your trip and a refundable fare for returning, the entire ticket is non-refundable. All cancellations and booking changes require at least 24 hours’ notice.

Baggage Fees

First class includes two carry-on bags plus a personal item such as a laptop or purse. That’s in addition to three checked bags up to 62 inches in dimensions and weighing up to 70 pounds (32kg) each, for no additional fee. 

Lufthansa business class passengers are also allowed two carry-on bags and one personal bag. However, business class passengers can only have two checked bags weighing up to 70 pounds (32kg) with no additional fees. 

Luggage over 70 pounds (32kg) must be shipped as air freight via Lufthansa Cargo which incurs fees depending on arrival destination, weight, and overall dimensions.  

Extra baggage can be paid for online before your travel date or at the gate. For example, long-haul flights from Los Angeles to Frankfurt have flat rates for extra and oversized baggage. 


  • Additional baggage online: $230 per passenger
  • Additional baggage at the gate: $285 per passenger
  • Oversized baggage within allowance: $170
  • Oversized baggage as extra luggage: $460


  • Checked bags: Up to 70 pounds and 62 inches (width + height + depth)
  • Carry-on bags: up to 8 pounds and 21 inches by 12 inches by 9 inches. 
  • Bags exceeding 70 pounds or 124 inches must be shipped as freight via Lufthansa Cargo

Seat Selection

The new business class on Lufthansa has seats that feel like first class with direct aisle access, seats that recline into lay-flat beds, and innovative lighting that helps reduce jet lag. It represents a new way to fly in comfort, and several routes utilize this new business class as the most premium cabin offering. 

First-class Lufthansa aircraft seats are even more comfortable with an ergonomic design that’s intuitive enough to find the most comfortable position. First class has a dedicated flight attendant that can help convert your seat into a comfortable bed with temperature regulation. 

While Lufthansa offers an outstanding first-class product, the German airline doesn’t yet provide individual first-class suites, like United Airlines or Qatar Airways. Lufthansa teased an Allegris concept that features suites but won’t grace aircraft until 2023. Despite the lack of suites, both business and first-class provide wireless charging, Bluetooth audio connectivity, and massive in-flight entertainment displays.   

In-Flight Menus

First class offers a wide variety of wines. Menus change frequently and feature regional cuisines from your destination. In addition to full dining service, passengers may order a la carte items and snacks anytime during their flight. Passengers enjoy meals on fine china that reflect the elegance of a premium European carrier. 

First-class meals include caviar service, cheese plates, and other small plate selections to whet your appetite. The appetizer course is followed by soup and salad, the entree, and, of course, dessert. Michelin-level chefs craft menus using regional ingredients that pair with a wide selection of white and red wines. 

Business class passengers enjoy a less elaborate meal with similar entree selections and accompanying wines. While there is a choice of meals, the ala carte on-demand menu is unavailable, and luxury items such as caviar are not included. Passengers have the option to alert the staff to any allergies or other dietary concerns prior to take-off. 

Lufthansa Lounges and Locations

Before you whip out the credit card and spring for first class, you’ll want to know which airports support Lufthansa lounges and the differences between the lounge levels. 

Lufthansa Lounges

LoungePassenger AccessAmenities
SenatorStar Alliance Gold MemberFirst ClassFull barPrivate work boothQuiet room with loungerLibrary with a comfortable club-room atmosphereCigar lounge and barGuests welcomePets allowed
First ClassFirst Class OnlySpacious, fully equipped office units Spa Area with a whirlpool and shower LibraryCigar LoungeFull Bar Full service fine dining restaurantComfort zone seating areaGuests welcomePets allowed
BusinessFirst ClassBusiness ClassMagazines and current newspapers availableLounge buffet with beverages and fresh snacks Full BarShowers Comfort zone seating area

Lufthansa Airline Lounge Locations

Lounge TypeGermanyEuropeInternational
SenatorBerlin – TegelBremenDresdenDusseldorfFrankfurtHamburgHanoverCologne / BonnLeipzigMunichNurembergStuttgartGeneva (SWISS)HeathrowParis – Charles De GaulleVienna (Austrian)Zurich (SWISS)DetroitDubaiDelhiNew York – JFKNew York – NewarkWashington Dulles International
First ClassFrankfurtMunich Geneva (SWISS)Zurich (SWISS)Chicago O’Hare New York – JFKNew York – JFK (SWISS, Terminal 4)
BusinessBerlin – TegelBremenDresdenDusseldorfFrankfurtHamburgHanoverCologne / BonnLeipzigMunichNurembergStuttgartAthensGeneva (SWISS)London HeathrowMilan MalpensaParis – Charles De GaulleVienna (Austrian)Zurich (SWISS)BostonChicago O’Hare (SWISS)DetroitDubaiDelhiNew York – JFKNew York – JFK (SWISS, Terminal 4)Washington Dulles InternationalNew York – Newark

Lufthansa Hubs and Destinations 

Lufthansa supports short and medium-haul flights within the U.S. and Europe, plus global long-haul hubs in airports in Germany and across central Europe. Additionally, Lufthansa supports direct first-class flights to several premium destinations.

Lufthansa Hubs

  • Frankfurt Airport 
  • Munich Airport 
  • Zurich Airport 
  • Airport Vienna 
  • Dusseldorf Airport 
  • Berlin Airport

Lufthansa Destinations

Find Affordable Airfare with Business Class Experts

Lufthansa is Germany’s premier airline and offers flights to destinations across the globe. The premium offerings on long-haul business class flights make many travelers wonder — what’s the difference between business class and first class aboard Lufthansa? The subtle differences make business class a bargain compared to first class. However, the luxurious touches Lufthansa adds for first-class passengers make it worth the upgrade.

Although business and first-class tickets go for a pretty penny, you can always find the best deals on premium airfare with Business Class Experts. When you book airfare with Business Class Experts, you get access to airline tickets with Lufthansa and other favorite airlines for a fraction of direct pricing. Call us today to see how much you can save on an elevated airline experience! 

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