Just arrived in Frankfurt after an 11 hour flight from Rio. Lufthansa gave me an upgrade voucher when I got my Gold/Senator status. Why let it go to waste? I upgraded myself to business class for this long-haul flight.
For a guy that has earned all his airmiles in the “back of the bus” or “cattle class” as some call it, I have to say that business class is pretty amazing. Instead of 3/4/3 seating, the biz class section is 2/2/2. Lots of extra width, which is my primary complaint in economy seating. The footrest comes up and forward, making a bed. This means that the row in front of you doesn’t move backwards, so there is no chance of the person in front of you spilling your drink or smacking your laptop when they THROW the seat back (seriously people, if you want to put your seat back, it’s OK. Just do it s-l-o-w-l-y so the person behind you can get the heck out of the way!) Each seat slides forward and has many many options for positioning the back/seat/legs exactly where you want them. It will become a FLAT bed for sleeping, BUT (and this is a big one), it is NOT horziontal. You’re sleeping on an angle and the bottoms of your feet are pressed against the footrest the entire time. It was a bit disturbing for me. But compared to being forced to sleep in between two absolute strangers, it was pure luxury! Oh, and there’s even a back massager built into the seat.
I’d better not get used to this, or going back to economy is going to SUCK. And next time I get an upgrade voucher, I think I’ll save it for a daytime flight. Being able to sleep in peace is nice, but being awake for 10+ hours in economy is just too painful.
[UPDATE: I’ve flown several economy long-haul flights since this post. It’s worse than I had remembered.]