Where to sit (and not to sit!) on the Lufthansa 747-8i


Having spent a decent amount of time on Lufthansa‘s 747-8i during the press events last week and also on the inaugural flight from Frankfurt to Dulles I’ve put together a quick guide on which seats are good and bad on board the aircraft. I’m sure others will disagree with me on some of the suggestions I’ve got, but I’m OK with that. The seat map images are taken from the published guide at Lufthansa.com.

First Class

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There isn’t really a bad seat in the nose of the 747-8i, but I’m quite partial to 1 A/K because of the nose curve. The D/G seat pair is a good option as a couple traveling together, though I’d still try for 1A/K.

Seat 3K, set up for the press demo:

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The First Class Cabin area:

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Business Class

Upper Deck:

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Main Deck:

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With 86 92 (apparently I cannot count) Business Class seats on the plane there are plenty to choose from, at least in theory. That said, there are definitely some which are more comfortable and spacious than others.

On the upper deck I like row 84 for the extra bit of space in front of the seats. There is still a hard bulkhead there, but if you stand up and are climbing out of the window you’re not actually grabbing another passenger’s seat for balance. Also on the upper deck there are decent sized overhead bins, though smaller than those on the main deck, and the side wall storage bins are available for window seat passengers. The seats are the same as those in the window pairs downstairs, slightly narrower an angle than the center pair downstairs, making it a bit more cozy with your seatmate. Finally, the upper deck is a tiny bit louder than the main deck. Not a ton and not enough to bother me at all, but it is.

On the main deck the center pairs are my preferred seats. The slightly wider angle provides a more spacious feeling and more space on the shared foot area. Plus, no climbing over neighbors. The proximity of rows 4, 9, 10 and 14 to lavs and galleys makes them rather less appealing overall. Row 14, in particular, is where the economy cabin lavs are so there is more traffic back there. The pasenger to lav ratio on the main deck is pretty rough, especially compared to upstairs. I didn’t see queuing when on the flight but I wasn’t sitting there the whole time so that’s not really a great measure.

Overall my choice would be upstairs, especially if you want a window seat anyways. If you’re going for an aisle the center column downstairs offers the benefits of slightly quieter and no climbing neighbor, at the expense of a worse lav ratio and slightly busier crew serving that area.

Upstairs in business:

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The center pair downstairs:

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Downstairs:

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Economy Cabin

Forward section:

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Rear section:

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There are, by my count, only six very good seats in economy on the plane. The are the four seats in row 21 and 22 A/K. They have unlimited legroom and 22 A/K have a window with a decent view and can get in and out without bothering the folks also in their row. The drawback of these seats is typical of other bulkhead seats: tray/IFE in the arm rest and no underseat storage. Those are trade-offs I’m willing to make in exchange for the legroom. The downside of sitting in this area, particularly row 22, is the proximity to the lavs. Expect to see a lot of foot traffic in the area.

Next up in terms of decent seats are the bulkhead seats at 22 DEFG and 34. There is a bit of extra leg room but you cannot stretch your legs all the way forward. And, like the other bulkheads, fixed seat dividers. The bulkhead at row 34 is also the bassinet positions so there is a decent chance of babies there.

If you don’t mind being the last people off the plane and the last people to get meal service then the pairs at rows 45-47 have a lot of space on the fuselage side of the seats. That space isn’t supposed to be used during take-off and landing, but there is a lot of room there once in flight.

The IFE boxes sit at the outboard side of the seat mount brackets for the A, E and K columns. This slightly reduces foot space at those seats.

The other interesting foot space issue comes in the DEFG column of seats. There are four seats but still only two mount points to the floor. The vertical risers are roughly about a third of the way in to the E and F seats. This creates a situation where there are only three foot wells for the four passengers in that area. The E/F passengers will have to straddle the mounting riser and share partially with the D/G passengers. Because of the way the IFE box is mounted at the E seat that column ends up having the worst foot space of any of the coach seats.

There are a handful of overhead bin locations which have cabin equipment at them, making them unavailable for passenger use. The Sky Interior overheads mostly make that a non-issue in terms of accommodating all the cabin baggage, but still worth being aware of the following limited locations:

  • 24 ABC/HJK has magazine storage.
  • 33 ABC has safety equipment
  • 35ABC overhead has bassinets

I sat in 31 D for most of the flight. I was quite fortunate that 31 E was unoccupied as that definitely helped things out. The four reasonably broad guys in the bulkhead at 22 didn’t look all that happy about their predicament, but they survived, too. More specific details of my in-flight experience on the Boeing 747-8i are here.

Economy is never a great seating experience and this is no exception, but it is definitely better than the old 744 setup and it was tolerable.

Seat 22A and unlimited legroom:

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Storage space beside the pairs in the back:

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The under seat view of the center 4 (note the location of the IFE box and vertical mounts relative to the seat cushions):

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So, any questions???

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

32 Comments

  1. 2 observations, Business Class actually has 92 seats, nit 86 as stated. And in one of the economy pics, I see outlets – do you know if all seats or seat sections have outlets?

    1. Thanks for the correction on the seat count; dunno how I messed that up, but I clearly did.

      Yes, the economy seats have outlets. In the center 4 column there are two 110v plugs per row, so you have to share. I believe there are two per 3 seat section, also, and one for the 2 seat sections, but I did not confirm that.

  2. Thanks for the details.
    I would have thought they would get a better IFE system that does not use that box under the seat. Glad to see inseat piwer in Economy :).
    Any open seat is always good for me πŸ™‚

  3. Thanks. A great and informative post. In 2012 and with a brand-new airplane, I fail to understand why they cannot get those awful IFE boxes OUT or the pax cabin. Why not mount them on the ceiling of the freight compartment? If a few control functions are necessary, cable it to one or two of the galleys or even a locked box in one of the heads? Why is that ‘thing’ still in the pax cabin?

  4. Soo we will be seating in row 81 in the UD.. Compare that to your suggestion of row 84.. Which one would be ideal.. Any really major difference??

    Thanks for the continuing blogging πŸ™‚

    1. Row 81 is fine, too. Rather closer to the forward lavs so potential noise issues there, but probably not enough to really matter. You will be served meals first, which matters a bit more with the larger upper deck now, in terms of total timing.

  5. How was the storage space? Overhead/under foot rest? Enough for a roll on?

    Thanks for the pictures…I just did my seat assignment last night and the LH res agent didn’t know the layout of the aircraft yet. πŸ™‚ I was looking on their website picking what I thought were the best.

    He did say that 10A/C and 10H/K are held behind for anyone traveling with an infant in biz, since their is a bassonet area in the bulkhead of those seats.

  6. The seat map shows a potential for some extra leg room at 34C and 34H. Does the bulkhead extend all the way to the aisle or is there some extra space for the aisle seats?

  7. ” There is still a hard bulkhead there, but if you stand up and are climbing out of the window you’re not actually grabbing another passenger’s seat for balance. ”

    You really aren’t supposed to climb out of the window.

    1. πŸ˜€

      One of the execs I was talking with mentioned that they had to get rid of all the windows which opened, other than that one in the cockpit.

      As for the nose cone, I like being able to sortof see forward. That’s just cool to me.

      Regarding 34C/H, I don’t really remember. Looking at the few photos I have of that second cabin I’m not seeing any of that area specifically up close. One of the photos sortof looks like it is a full bulkhead, but it is from pretty far away so hard to confirm. Sorry.

  8. Thanks for the review and pictures!
    Next month I am flying on a Lufthansa 747-8 with an in-cabin pet. Am trying to find information about the under-seat measurements in coach. The Lufthansa agent whom I spoke with on the phone either did not have that information or was (for whatever reason) loath to provide it.

    **I know Lufthansa’s specs as to permitted pet carriers (dimensions, weight, etc) — just looking for the actual measurements of the under-seat area in the 747-8.

    Thanks, in advance, for your assistance!

    1. I didn’t measure the under-seat space but I sat there so I can offer a couple thoughts. In the 4-across center section the mounting brackets holding the seats to the floor are spaced such that they don’t line up perfectly with the seats. This means that the space at the aisles is a bit wider than not and the space for the middle pair is less than the actual seats. Also, like most airlines, the LH seats have the IFE box under the seat so that could get in the way, too.

      I think that generally speaking the space available was similar to just about every other plane I’ve been on. If you have a “standard” sized carrier it should fit ok.

  9. Thanks, Seth! I was hoping that the coach underseat area was more capacious than other aircraft — glad to hear your perspective, even if it’s not what I wanted to be told.

    Actually, there is little consensus as to the precise dimensions and weight of a “standard” in-cabin pet carrier: these vary from airline to airline, and in some cases from aircraft to aircraft. My carrier will fit, but it’ll be a crunch if there is really only 8.5 inches of clearance. (Poor dog! I sure wish there were a more humane way of transporting her to Europe with me)

    Anyway: I appreciate your taking the time to reply, Seth.

  10. Do you happen to know if the 32 row seats against the back/middle portion have limited recline? I noticed the same location (different number) on the 747-8 had limited recline, so I’m worried about that on an 8 hour flight πŸ™‚

    Thanks!
    Kelly

    1. I know that some of the seat numbers move around with the two different cabin configs, Kelly, but I would assume that if the last row is limited on one config then it is likely limited on the other. I don’t think anything that far back changes, just the front where the biz/coach line moves.

  11. I am flying from Dulles to Frankfurt in May and am in row 18. However, I cannot find row 18 on any seating chart other than where I chose my seats. Any idea what’s up wit that?

  12. There is an alternate configuration of the plane with fewer business seats and more coach seats; that’s the one with 18 in economy, I believe. I haven’t seen any maps on it and I don’t know if there is anything especially good or bad about those seats. But I’m pretty sure that’s what you’re getting.

  13. My parents flying from Delhi to Frankfurt on this flight. I have got 22F and 22G reserved for them but still not sure if these are the good seats for them considering their age. Can you suggest please?

  14. I’m going to be in 32G incl. having my pet on board. Just want to cry when I read that those don’t recline, because of the galley wall behind it… Its going to be a hell of a 11 hour torture for me and my dog. I’m thinking about giving up my G (aisle) seat for two middle ones further back in the plane, since those will recline normally. Thoughts?

    1. My guess is that your dog won’t notice the lack of recline. πŸ˜‰

      That said, it would depend to me on whether it is an overnight (recline becomes more important) versus a daytime flight (less significant, IMO).

  15. Thank you for your write-up. It looks like you were flying the 747-800 v1, a bit different from v2 . Still, quite helpful.

  16. We will be flying Lufthansa 747-800 v2 (not the rocket!) next year to Germany and are assigned seats 16b &16c which seem to be fairly good. My wife & I are both tall 5’10” & 6′. Close to exits & potties. What do you thing.?I have not seen much on the poor section of the “V2”

  17. Absolutely avoid all middle seats in economy except for those in the front of each section. I was in 24F IAD – FRA and it was total hell. Had to share the footwell with the other middle seat, couldn’t lift my arms to eat, and got elbowed in the face at least five times in the night by the two big guys on either side of me while they were shifting in their sleep. If you must do it, either don’t fly or fly an airline that has economy plus. These seats are absolute torture.

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