Lufthansa was named a five-star airline by Skytrax yesterday, making it the first European airline to receive such recognition.
A critical factor for an airline to achieve 5-Star Certification is consistency of standards, and this is where Lufthansa ranks highly across their network and different cabin types, with a core feature of the Lufthansa 5-star experience being consistent staff service quality across frontline customer touchpoints.
Having flown Lufthansa in all four cabins of service, I believe the award is well-deserved (not that I put any faith in Skytrax…). Here are five reasons Lufthansa is now a five-star airline.
Consistently Great First Class Experience
We cannot talk about five-star without talking about Lufthansa’s incredible first class product. Other than United, it is the first class product I have flown the most and I have never had a bad flight. That’s a testament to great training and an incredible service-oriented mindset displayed by first class attendants on the ground and in the air.
> Read More: Lufthansa First Class: A380 vs. 747-8
Superior Ground Product for Premium Class Passengers
The First Class Terminal and lounge experience in Frankfurt and Munich is tremendous. Personalized service, great food, and even a car ride out to your plane. But the business and Senator Lounges are also not bad and consistent around the world. All have a decent spread of food and drink, reading material, wi-fi, and gummy bears.
> Read More: Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt Review
Great Service Across All Cabins
Earlier this year I flew premium economy between Los Angeles and Frankfurt. I’ve also flown longhaul economy class and business class on LH. Of course the service is progressively less personalized as you go from first to business to premium economy to economy, but even in economy class I experienced 1.) good wi-fi and IFE 2.) friendly service 3.) edible food and 4.) complimentary alcohol (not that I drink much on planes).
> Read More: Lufthansa A380 Premium Economy Los Angeles to Frankfurt Review
Affordable Wi-Fi Across Longhaul Fleet + Great Mobile App
Two thing I always appreciate about Lufthansa are that 1.) I can always find movie I enjoy watching and 2.) the T-Mobile wi-fi system is affordable and among the best in the skies in terms of functionality. That matters greatly to me in ranking and evaluating airlines.
100% Lie-Flat seats in Business Class
Let’s face it: the current Lufthansa Business Class seat is not all that great. Still, at least it is consistent. There is only one seat across the longhaul fleet and it is lie-flat. We’ve now seen pictures of the new business class product coming to the 777-9, which will give Lufthansa a much more competitive business class product…but that’s more than two years away.
> Read More: Next Generation Lufthansa Business Class Seat Revealed
The cynical among us might point to a sixth reason — Lufthansa just paid off Skytrax for the new ranking. One Mile at a Time explores the “conspiracy” here. How odd that the carrier is being granted a five-star award for a business class seat it won’t have for two years and will take seven years to roll out. And how conveniently coincidental that this award comes just days after the announcement of the new product. Something smells rotten…
But in any case, I think we can agree that Lufthansa provides a consistent, superior product in all cabins. That has been my experience, at least.
“But in any case, I think we can agree that Lufthansa provides a consistent, superior product in all cabins. That has been my experience, at least.”
I have to disagree, having flown in both J and Y. J was never particularly special, though in fairness, I haven’t flown in that cabin in several years. Y, on the other hand – I’ve never experienced more consistently rude, disinterested service in coach than on Lufthansa. And don’t even get me started on the nightmare transfer experience at FRA. I guess YMMV, but based on my (limited) experience, I see why Lucky is so skeptical of this rating.
You get to be a “5 star airline” by paying off Skytrax. That’s how they make money is by airlines paying them. Their Business Class seats with no direct aisle access sucks and it’s not even lie flat, but they get a 5 star rating. Anyhow Skytrax gives out ratings based on how they feel. They’ve admitted this in court.
Methinks you’re a little biased… I feel like no direct aisle access in biz across the fleet and the intra-Europe blocked seat all but precludes the consideration of 5 stars.
Your points are well taken though. I think Lucky is on to something with the incredibly early release of the biz product… thoughts on that?
I think it could be 5 stars upon its “80%” implementation, but it does just seem a little early with the current state of its abysmal biz hard product.
lucky is super biased there. he had all this faux outrage regarding “paying off skytrax” from lufthansa but he had no problems when his darling QR did exactly the same thing.
people can complain all they want, but airlines are definitely using it as a marketing tool.
I think Lucky is right in dismissing Skytrax. It’s a fraudulent company, IMO.
But I do think LH is a five-star airline despite the inferior business class seat.
Business class is inferior as you, say. How often did you fly their economy? One thing consistent about their Y class is consistently disinterested and rude cabin crew. The ground staff is worse too. The tone is always commanding and they think they know what they are doing but not really in complicated situations. Another consistency is 31 inch seat in Y. It’s just so tight for long hauls. Ana jal ke all have 32 to 33 inches in Y. Much more consistent airlines yet only Ana got the 5*
Accept your points, but think you are stretching a bit here. It’s been a few years but my recollection of their business class was not impressive at all and I don’t think their lounges are all that great (I have, admittedly, never tried the F terminal or lounge on LH). I haven’t flown their premium economy but I have heard from several people (and online reviews, yours excepted) that it’s among the worst international PE products out there, lacking even bulkheads to create a separate cabin on their 747s…
Consistency of a sub-par product can’t be a qualifier – otherwise BA would make the cut too…
Kerry, considering quality of Lufthansa’s PE seats (most important factor during a long haul flight, obviously) and the food – actually their PE is one of the best, if not the best out there.
Just a quick comparison – BA. Urgh!
Alexa -interesting. I have generally had very positive experiences in BA PE cabin, on the newer planes at least (often my go to when I am not travelling on business/don’t want to splurge). Private cabin, mich better food etc. Will have to try LH longhaul PE to compare at some stage.
I find both their J offerings quite poor.
As to the timing of the award and behind the scenes influences in Skytrax one could just say: “Wunder gibt es immer wieder”. 😉
I enjoy flying on LH. I think of them as like Westin. Good enough, generally consistent, meets my needs, but certainly not 5 star.
Skytrax has long been regarded as a racket.
Please look at the detailed ratings drill-down and tell me how LH can possibly merit 5* on this basis (unless you give F a 90% weighting, that is).
L-H Y gets 1 ‘5’ out of 28 categories (‘Attention to cabin safety’) and this class is awarded 5 * overall. S-H Y gets 2 ‘5’ ratings but it is given only 4.0 overall (fair if you average the individual ratings).
So somehow the Y product gets 5* in long-haul even though there is absolutely nothing to justify this in terms of the individual category rankings.
Even counting this phoney 5* rating, that still leaves only 2 out of 6 getting an overall 5 (F also gets it but that’s supported by the individual detailed ratings).
So that leaves 2/6 with a score of 5 (one phoney) and the remaining 4 with an average of 4.25.
And somehow they sum all this up into an overall 5-star rating? And they then add insult to injury by giving the main justification as the rollout of a new type of J seat in 2020… which won’t even be on the majority of flights for several years after that!
Sorry, but there is no way any FFer in their right mind could countenance LH as a 5-star airline. 4 on a good day, okay, but LH is the main airline where I’m based (Miles and More is my default scheme) and only someone who drank the Kool aid could see any justification in that Skytrax rating.
Long live Haribo bears ….
I have to disagree. I flew LH in J and Y in September and while pleasant and certainly a step above UA in service and food it was definitely a step below NH and BR, especially in Y.
LH is 4.5 stars at best, 4 stars at worst.