It’s always been on my mind but there was no better moment to experience this fine bridge between Business Class and Economy Class, than when I decided to embark on a flight from Frankfurt to Mumbai. I chose Lufthansa’s Premium Economy and it seems to be the best bridge there is between both segments. The experience commences with the lounge at the airport and extends every mile of the way till you reach your destination.
If you’re a frequent flyer with Lufthansa then you can avail of the Senator Lounge facility. By far, the largest airport lounge offered by the airline, this 1,800 sq. meter expanse is specially designed with your comfort in mind. Located at the Departures area of Frankfurt airport’s Terminal 1, the lounge area does really well to make you feel at home. With ten showers and a couple of spas, your travel experience can be a lot less grueling and instead, be an excuse for you to rejuvenate yourself. Very recently, the lounge has inaugurated the City Lights Bar that sports 30,000 LEDs and can accommodate about 300 guests. It hosts leather recliners and a smoker’s room in addition to entertainment and media facilities.
The Senator Lounge can also be accessed by paying a nominal fee. This is, of course, available to Premium Economy passengers. With all the good things it withholds inside, the lounge overlooks the tarmac, making it a great place to pass your time as you watch flights take to the skies. If you plan to settle in here for a few minutes then do not miss the finger food and German beer on tap. The comfort of passengers is of paramount importance here. Even flight departure announcements are soft and far from disconcerting.
Once you embark on your flight you discover how different the Premium Economy class actually is. Being a feature that wasn’t released too long ago, one may expect a few slip-ups and un-thought of aspects being present but I can assure you that my experience was devoid of unpleasant incidences, even of the most trivial nature. The 747-400 places the Premium Economy in the front section of the aircraft so that one can get in and out on a priority basis. Nestled understandably between the Business Class and Economy Class, the seats were in the 2-3-2 formation, making it extremely comfortable to embark on longer journeys as well. Drapes separated the Premium Economy from the other two classes.
I was greeted with a refreshing welcome drink. Much to my relief, I found a power socket to plug my laptop into and a water bottle to wash down the flavor of the beer. To keep yourself entertained, each seat-back is fitted with a large display and entertainment system. They provided me with headphones that are much better than the usual compromises I’ve been living with on previous flights. For someone with the body stature, I have (6’1), legroom, and headroom was just right. Food is served in chinaware and you can rest assured of the presentation and hygiene. The Premium Economy class had a seating capacity of 32 in the 371-seat Boeing 747-400 aircraft. The distance of over 4000 miles kept me thoroughly engaged with the entertainment system and the refreshments that arrived at timely intervals.
The experience was memorable, amenities were satisfactory and comfort was close to optimum levels. If you have a ticket booked for Economy Class and would like an upgrade to Premium Economy, a nominal fare is all it would cost you, and trust me it’s a trade-up.
This critic had the Lufthansa Premium Economy experience from Frankfurt to Mumbai that costs INR 95,981 ($1430) for a round trip.