Here’s What It’s Like to Take a Long-Haul Business-Class Flight on the Lufthansa A350
August 11, 2022
Having checked in online, I headed to the business-class bag drop. The staffing crisis is visible at many points in aviation, and I assume Lufthansa’s Munich operation at midday on a Tuesday is one of them. Only four business-class desks were open at this large hub, so a simple bag drop took 20 minutes of waiting and about 20 seconds
This and most other long-haul flights leave from Munich’s satellite terminal, which is spacious and airy, although when I traveled in May there was little open in midafternoon. Boarding was delayed about half an hour—only announced after the advertised boarding time had come and gone—but proceeded efficiently after that, with some extra document checks required for Canada.
The seat is the Thompson Vantage XL, also seen on Qantas and SAS. It’s a staggered seat that offers direct aisle access to every passenger, an improvement over Lufthansa’s older gray seats. Spacious side tables, modern touch-screen entertainment and the absence of either having to climb over or be climbed over when sleeping are all big pluses. The only real minus is the usual issue with this kind of seat: The footwell area may feel constrained for anyone over six feet tall, especially side sleepers. The staggered layout, too, means that the seats in even rows are directly next to the aisle, while odd rows are directly next to the window with a side console in between—definitely the ones to pick.
This flight left from a rainy, wet Munich at 5 p.m. and arrived in a rainy, wet Montreal just about eight hours later, at 7 p.m. local time, so it was a long, late sunny afternoon of a trip. Lunch was served with three choices of starter and three choices of main course, plus cheese or ice cream, washed down with three choices of wine plus Jacquart champagne. The service was slow, but that’s probably because Lufthansa is still running a crewmember down in business class post-Covid. Given that this was a leisurely afternoon flight, I didn’t mind, but I made a note to eat in the lounge before the relatively short overnight return.
After a brisk and lengthy walk from the very far end of the terminal, Canadian customs and immigration was lightning fast for this U.S. passport holder: Show the ArriveCAN vaccination app QR code, head to the kiosk, scan your passport, and tap through the arrival form. A quick “reason for your visit, please” question and I was in baggage claim. Well done, Canada.
If you’re used to trying to avoid Lufthansa’s decade-old gray business-class seats, you might find a new hidden gem in these planes, flying to Munich and starting out from Canadian airports including Vancouver and Montreal.
Best for: direct aisle access on Lufthansa, finally
Flight time: 8 hours