It’s kinda hard to hate Lufthansa A350-900 premium economy

It’s kinda hard to hate Lufthansa A350-900 premium economy

As you read through this Lufthansa A350-900 premium economy review, it’s important to keep in mind how much of a value it represents. You’ll appreciate it a lot more that way.

No, the seats aren’t as nice as what you’ll find in premium economy on other airlines. The food isn’t all that great either.

However, it’s a far more comfortable option than basic economy (for only a bit more money) and it would be foolish not to appreciate that it even exists at all. Not even a little.

San Diego, CA (SAN) – Munich, Germany (MUC)
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Aircraft: A350-941
Registration: D-AIXH
Duration: 10 hours 31 minutes
Seat: 15D (premium economy)

lufthansa a350-900 side view D-AIXH
Lufthansa A350-900 (D-AIXH) side view illustration by
LH467 flight track
Our route from San Diego to Munich this evening as LH467.

My full review of Lufthansa A350-900 premium economy from San Diego to Munich

I know, right? As a San Diego based airline reviewer, it’s been absolutely criminal of me to delay a review of this service for so long. The truth is that I was holding out for business class. And when I got tired of waiting for a good deal to pop up, I decided to plow forward with the next best option: premium economy.

But it doesn’t end there! keep scrolling to read a much more detailed review of the experience (with tons of pics and additional information):

Arrival at the airport

Lufthansa’s San Diego to Munich flight departs at 5:15 PM. That’s a lot later in the day than I normally like to begin a long journey, but exceptions have to be made sometimes. 

Lufthansa departure board San Diego airport terminal 2 west
Oh how our little home airport has grown! My head would have surely exploded from the excitement of seeing both Lufthansa and JAL on the departure boards here way back in 1999. JetBlue though? That would have been a head-scratcher.

It felt a bit out of my wheelhouse to show up at my home airport at 2 PM. I’m a morning person, and I much prefer starting early. How do some people function so well later in the day?

Lufthansa check in and baggage drop terminal 2 San Diego Airport
The Lufthansa check in area is located about halfway down the T2 West departures hall. And why is there not a dedicated lane for premium economy?
Lufthansa premium economy and economy class check in San Diego Airport
That moment when you realize that all the special treatment you were going to get as a premium economy passenger today might have been a figment of your imagination. It wasn’t supposed to be like this!

The Lufthansa ground experience at the San Diego Airport

Lufthansa operates out of Terminal 2 West at the San Diego International Airport. The flight to Munich was departing out of gate 48, which is a gate I’ve flown out of many times before (to Atlanta, not Munich).

Lufthansa Gate 48 San Diego Airport
Gate 48. I’m a little early, which is a good thing – it’ll give me more time to practice my German.
SANspotter walking through west end of T2 San Diego airport
“Volkswagen…Lufthansa…Porsche…” I’m as ready as I’ll ever be I guess.

If by chance you have the kind of status on Lufthansa that would get you into lounges, you can use the United Club located on the second level (above the food court). I have no such status, so I was relegated to hanging out in the main terminal instead.

Couches at the west end of terminal 2 San Diego airport
Not having lounge access isn’t the end of the world here at the far end of T2 West IMHO. There’s plenty of room to spread out, frolic, and loiter. I did all three.
Lufthansa A350-900 parked at gate 48 SAN
She’s here! A little early I might add, which ruined my shot at getting some proper arrival pics. Oh well.
Lufthansa A350-900 old livery parked at gate 48 San Diego airport
Since when are there Lufthansa A350-900s flying around with the old livery? I didn’t even know these existed anymore!
Lufthansa A350-900 nose and cockpit windows close up
Zoomed in so close that I could almost see my seat from here lol.

The boarding process for flight number for 467 to Munich

Remember when I flew Lufthansa A340-300 economy class from San Diego to Frankfurt? That was also in April, and the load factor on that flight was low. The gate area for this flight to Munich however, was packed. It was standing room only, and it was fairly obvious that this was going to be a very full flight.

Lufthansa Munich passengers San Diego airport
Looks like a healthy load today. Let’s move on to the next pic quick before I attach an immature “that’s what she said” to the end of that statement…
Lufthansa premium economy mobile boarding pass San Diego to Munich
It’s happening! I mean…es passiert gerade!!
Boarding Lufthansa A350-900 San Diego Airport
Boarding (with my Group 2 peeps).
Lufthansa a350-900 business class seats
Walking through the business class cabin on the way back to premium economy, and…well…I don’t know if I’m all that envious of these seats. Sure, the legroom looks fantastic – but how awkward would it be to be angled toward a complete stranger for 11 hours with no barrier?

My first impressions of Lufthansa A350-900 premium economy seats

I know it makes me sound snobbish when I say stuff like this, but I’m going to say it anyway: I wasn’t all that impressed when I saw the premium economy seats for the first time.

Yes, do I realize that these are the older style Lufthansa premium economy seats, and newer versions are on the way. That said, I didn’t get hit over the head with any of the “wow” factor I experienced when seeing EVA Air 777-300/ER premium economy for the first time.

Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy seats
Premium economy seats 13 A and B. What’s the German word for “meh”?
Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy cabin
Despite my lack of enthusiasms, I will admit that this is actually a really nice looking premium economy cabin. The problem is that I let my expectations run wild (and it sucked having to come down from those lofty visions).
Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy cabin row 15
Seats 15D, E, and F. 15D is mine today – unless someone is feeling shy and wants to trade for one of those awkwardly-positioned seats up in business class.
Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy seats row 15
Honestly…I don’t think I’d give up my seat here in premium economy very easily. This ain’t half bad!

The best way to sum up my initial impressions is to say that it looked (and felt) like Lufthansa A319 economy on steroids. The basic colors and textures were the same, but there was a lot more room to stretch out.

Bulkhead wall separating premium economy and economy Lufthansa a350-900
What bulkhead wall? At least you’ll have the pleasure of being the envy of the 175 people directly behind you.
Premium economy legroom Lufthansa a350-900
If it’s legroom you want, it’s legroom they got. This kicks the snot out of Air France A350-900 premium economy.
Premium economy footrest Lufthansa a350-900
Footrests too!
Premium economy video screen and seat back Lufthansa a350-900
For the record, I was much more satisfied with these seats once situated and all settled in. It’s a decent premium economy configuration IMHO.
Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy seat details
I mean, I’d be thrilled to get a seat like this in domestic first class, so I’ve got nothing to complain about here.
Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy full size electrical outlets
Actually…it hurt my back to bend over and take a pic of the electrical outlets down beneath (and between) the seats. I’d be remiss if I didn’t complain about that.
Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy pre departure drink
Pre departure orange juice? Right on.
SANspotter enjoying pre departure drink in Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy
Champagne was the other option, but I avoided it because I lack the knowledge to be able to tell you if it was quality stuff or not. The OJ was magnificent by the way (at least as magnificent as week-old boxed OJ can be).


Once of the nicest things about flying Lufthansa premium economy is the amenities it comes with. In addition to a high quality blanket and pillow, you’ll also get a bottle of water and something they refer to as a “travel kit.” It contains a toothbrush (and toothpaste), eye mask, socks, ear plugs, and a disinfectant wipe.

I didn’t even get an amenity kit in ANA 777-300ER premium economy recently, so props to Lufthansa for going above and beyond.

Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy amenity kit
Any amenity kit with the words “Porsche Design” on it is a good one in my book! The complimentary full size bottle of water was nice as well (despite looking more “Volkswagen” quality than “Porsche”).

The departure out of San Diego

It used to be that being stuck in the middle seat meant that there would be no departure pics for the review. Now, thanks to modern technology, it’s possible to watch the play-by-play directly from the video screen right in front of your face. How cool is that?

SANspotter reviewing Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy
Not having a window seat today is going to make this departure sequence a bit less interesting than usual. Then again, it’s not like the departure sequences in my airline reviews are all that riveting anyway, right?

For the record, pushback and departure was exactly on time. As it should have been considering how well Germans tend to adhere to posted schedules. 

Lufthansa a350 external camera view
To make matters worse, I didn’t discover the external camera views until after we had lifted off. I have failed you, and I am sorry.
Lufthansa a350 external camera view looking forward
There wouldn’t have been all that much to see due to the fog anyway, so I promise you that you didn’t miss much.
Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy blanket
Since I can’t show you the view, I will use this opportunity to show you the blanket. The best way to describe it is to say that it felt like a decently good dish cloth. It may not keep me warm, but it’ll surely come in handy when I inevitably drop food into my lap during the meal service.
Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy hot towel
And yes – they hand out hot towels! It was more like a lukewarm paper towel, which (thinking back on it), perfectly sums up the premium economy experience.

In-flight entertainment

The age of these premium economy seats became obvious once I started poking around with the in-flight entertainment system. Yes, the video screens are large and bright, but the user interface is quite dated (and not very feature rich).

Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy video entertainment home screen
I have no way of confirming it, but I’m willing to bet anything that Porsche had nothing to do with the design of the in-flight entertainment main menu.
Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy video entertainment content library
I have nothing bad to say about the content library though. Sure, the user interface might not look all that inviting, but it won’t take long to find something to watch (or listen to).

Did you know that Lufthansa doesn’t provide noise canceling headphones for guests in premium economy? I didn’t.

Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy complimentary ear buds
Well, ok then. Cheap ear buds isn’t quite what I was expecting, but I’ll give Lufthansa a pass for mere fact that they make flying from San Diego to Munich nonstop a reality.

On one hand, I was slightly disappointed as the flight attendant handed me that little bag of disposable earbuds (the same as I recently got in a Sun Country Airlines Standard seat).

On the other hand, the audio port in my seat was jammed full of unidentifiable gunk. There was no way to plug in a pair of headphones anyway, so at least I didn’t have to use them.

Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy video screen and in flight entertainment
And there you have it. The arrival of the snack cart marks the conclusion of the in-flight entertainment portion of this review. Let’s eat!

The dinner service

I was so naive. Or was I? All I know is that I was expecting a really delicious and well-presented meal. Is that too much to ask when seated in premium economy?

Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy snack bag
Kicking off the meal service today was this little bag of snacks. Hoping for warm nuts was admittedly a bit too optimistic on my part, so I’ll let this slide.
Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy snack
Actually, you’d be surprised how much these little bastards taste like warm nuts the more you choose to believe they taste like warm nuts.
Lufthansa long haul premium economy menu cover
The menu! I’m not sure, but bratwurst might have been a better choice for the cover photo I think. 
Lufthansa long haul premium economy menu
How do I express my disappointment for the lack of beer and brats without sounding culturally insensitive?

Long story short, the food was presented on a single tray, and it wasn’t all that “premium” IMHO. It was essentially a basic economy class meal served in slightly nicer dishware. I found it to be absolutely nothing like the quality of food I was served in Qantas 787-9 premium economy a few years ago.

Lufthansa long haul premium economy dinner tray
“STEW/MASH”. Also referred to as “the number 2” (judging by the giant “2” stamped into the tin foil cover).
Lufthansa long haul premium economy dinner
Some of the finest looking “STEW/MASH” I’ve ever seen on an airplane actually.
Lufthansa long haul premium economy meal
How much you wanna bet this the same food served back in regular economy (but presented in a slightly nicer way)?
SANspotter eating Lufthansa premium economy food
Nope, fancy dish ware didn’t help this taste any better than a regular economy meal.
Lufthansa premium economy red wine
The wine sure did though. Cheers!

How comfortable are the premium economy seats for sleeping?

Come to think of it, the amount of sleep but I was able to get in these seats just might be the most impressive part of this review.

Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy cabin dimmed lights
That moment right after the meal service when you know that you need to sleep, but your brain (and body) is going to fight it at all costs.
Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy mood lighting
Apparently there have been scientific studies which have shown that red / warm light stimulates sleep. They cranked that **** to the max!
Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy seat recline
And then…everything went dark. It was basically as if the cabin crew was telling us to leave them alone for a few hours without actually telling us to leave them alone for a few hours. 

Thanks to the generous amount of recline, I was able to get solid hour and a half of sleep during the overnight journey. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it was a lot more than I was expecting (which was basically zero).

The seats are relatively soft, legroom is excellent, and I appreciated the steep angle of recline.

Lufthansa a350-900 economy cabin
Insomnia got the best of me so I got up to go and see what the regular economy cabin was like. It basically reconfirmed my choice to go with premium economy instead. Nailed it!
Lufthansa A350-900 economy lavatory
And if you’re wondering: no – premium economy passengers don’t get their own dedicated lavatory. You’re going to have to mingle with the masses at the back of the plane.
Lufthansa a350-900 wing view from rear porthole window
I was even able to catch a glimpse of the sunrise through the small porthole in the emergency exit door at the back of the plane. I can only assume we are pointed right at Germany, but who knows?

The second meal service

If you were disappointed with the pics of the dinner service, guess what? You’re not going to feel any better once you see what they served for breakfast. Everything came on a single tray (economy class style), and it wasn’t all that substantial.

Cabin lights turned on Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy
Not only have the cabin lights just been turned on, I’m smelling breakfast defrosting in a microwave somewhere…
Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy breakfast tray
I present to you the “number 1” breakfast kit.
Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy scrambled eggs breakfast
Scrambled eggs, beans, and salsa. What is this? AeroMexico?
Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy breakfast service
You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten a Mexican breakfast on a German airline while flying over France!

In summary, it was just another basic economy meal served with real cutlery (and slightly fancier dishware). “Premium” food it was not – but that’s not to say that it wasn’t edible. I ate every last bite, and I’m not afraid to admit that it tasted pretty good.

The arrival into Munich

Are onboard cameras not the greatest invention ever? Despite being stuck in the center section, I was still able to see the entire approach and landing from my seat thanks to fairly high-resolution cameras attached to the exterior of the aircraft.

Lufthansa a350-900 approach and landing into MUC as seen from onboard camera
Considering how advanced the Airbus A350-900 is, I wasn’t sure who to compliment for this beautiful crosswind approach. Was it the pilot? Or the plane?
Lufthansa a350-900 arrival at MUC as seen from onboard camera
Welcome to Munich!
Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy passengers
Actually, most of the people here in premium economy today were speaking German, so it was more like “willkommen in Deutschland!!”
Lufthansa a350-900 pulling up to gate at MUC
Would it surprise you to know that we arrived 11 minutes early? Given how punctual German public transport is (historically), I was actually a little disappointed that we didn’t arrive exactly on time.
Lufthansa a350-900 premium economy aisle
That moment when your lower back lets out a louder (and far more hearty) sigh of relief than your lungs.
Munich Airport jet bridge
All in all, it was a really great flight. It’s good to be in Germany again!
Lufthansa A350-900 parked at gate Munich Airport
One final pic of this beautiful bird, because…well…#sexybeast

Pros and cons of Lufthansa A350-900 premium economy

Yes, I realize that this is the outgoing premium economy product (a new one will be taking its place soon). I also realize that there was a lot to criticize about the service I received on this flight. In-flight entertainment was mediocre, the food was so so, and the flight attendants were generally OK.

That said, I would have killed for a premium economy experience this good during my early days of travel. Although it’s easy to be a critic, it’s important to understand and appreciate how far we’ve come. It was pretty darn nice in the grand scheme of things.


  • I found the seats to be spacious and comfortable.
  • Leg room is excellent, and never once did I feel like my legs were cramping up – even though I chose to put my carry-on bag under the seat in front of me.
  • Seat recline is generous enough to make real sleep possible.
  • Being seated near the front of the aircraft means being one of the first to be served at meal time.


  • The food isn’t much better than what you would get back in economy class.
  • There’s no hard separation between premium economy and economy. Without a bulkhead wall, there’s no way to filter out the noise from economy class.
  • These older style premium economy seats are showing their age with lots of scuffs, scrapes, and defects. I couldn’t even use the audio jack in my seat (because it was filled with gunk grotesque enough to keep me from messing with it).

Comments (8)

  1. Steve

    April 26, 2023
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      April 27, 2023
  2. Nancy

    April 27, 2023
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      April 27, 2023
  3. Peter

    April 29, 2023
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      April 30, 2023
  4. Matthias

    May 27, 2023
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      May 27, 2023

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