German flag carrier Lufthansa is set to launch economy class sleeper rows on certain long-haul flights next month. This comes after the Star Alliance founding member trialed the concept, which it has named ‘Sleeper’s Row,’ last year. Let’s take a closer look at the costs of this service, and the kinds of flights on which Lufthansa is set to offer it.
Lufthansa made headlines last year when it began trialing the concept of economy class sleeper rows on its Boeing 747-8s. The pilot scheme took place on services between Frankfurt and São Paulo, and made use of the extra space left by lower demand levels amid the coronavirus pandemic. Lufthansa reported “much positive feedback from passengers.”
As such, the German flag carrier has elected to introduce this concept on a seemingly more permanent basis, as of August 2nd. It announced in a statement yesterday that, on certain long-haul services, economy passengers will be able to reserve one of three Sleeper’s Rows. They can do so either when checking in for their flight, or at the gate itself.
Lufthansa expressed great excitement at the launch, stating that:
“The Sleeper’s Row is a further step towards more product diversity in Economy Class to meet passengers’ wishes for more comfort and individuality. By equipping the new long-haul aircraft, Lufthansa is providing its passengers additional services to make flying even more pleasant.”
The concept of economy sleeper rows is not exclusive to the German flag carrier. Indeed, schemes like Air New Zealand’s ‘SkyCouch’ and ANA’s ‘COUCHii’ have already proven a popular way to provide economy passengers the luxury of a bed without having to pay high business and first class fares. Lufthansa’s Sleeper’s Row also looks to bridge this gap.
According to the airline, the surcharge for these special rows will vary between €159 ($189) and €229 ($273). Three will be available on each of the flights in question. This is cheaper than the initial trial last year, whereby the surcharge was a reported €260 ($309).
For this fee, passengers get access to a block of either three or four seats. They are also entitled to pre-boarding, further enhancing the experience. Lufthansa adds that:
“This offer comes with a comfortable pillow, blanket and mattress topper of business class quality, allowing passengers to fully relax while onboard before reaching their final destination. Safety during the flight is ensured by a special seat belt, which remains fastened even when the passenger is lying down, including separate safety instructions.”
While an exciting concept for long-haul passengers wanting the comfort of a bed on a budget, the scheme won’t be a ubiquitous feature on Lufthansa’s long-haul flights. The airline explained that its use will be limited to “flights of approximately eleven hours or more.”
While this does limit the concept’s use, Lufthansa has a wide-reaching intercontinental network with several qualifying routes. The airline lists “the Far East, the United States’ West Coast, Central and South America, or southern Africa” as potential markets. It will certainly be interesting to see whether the popularity from the trial carries over to these services.