I Finally Got To Try Lufthansa's New 'Fully Flat Beds'!

The folks at Burda Media were kind enough to fly me over to Munich to give a presentation about digital storytelling at the DLD conference.

And they flew me Business Class!

That was cool, because I got to try a “fully flat bed” for the first time.

I took some pictures, so you could get a sense of it, too.

Check out Lufthansa’s new ‘fully flat beds’ >

Naturally, our Lufthansa Business Class journey starts in the Business Class lounge...

They have oceans of free booze there, so we can get smashed.

There are also plenty of plugs -- the lifeblood of today's digital economy.

Then it's off to the plane!

Our plane is an Airbus 330, the same kind as the Air France one that crashed in the Atlantic in 2009. It's best not to think about that right now. The Airbus's 'fly-by-wire' control design may have contributed to that crash, but it sounds like it was mostly pilot error.

There is a HUGE line of people waiting to board in Economy Class.

Thankfully, we're not in Economy Class. We're in BUSINESS CLASS! And we Business Class folks get our own separate jetway.

Unfortunately, to get to Business Class, we have to walk through First Class, which is always a bit depressing. Those seats are HUGE.

But there it is -- our 'fully flat seat!' I wouldn't have known that the new Lufthansa Business Class seats are fully flat, but I met a Lufthansa social media guy at a dinner last year, and he told me these were.

Before I boarded the plane, I couldn't imagine how the seats could become fully flat, but now I'm starting to get it. There's a special foot alcove!

There's so much legroom, you almost have to slouch to reach it.

I'm eager to try the 'fully flat' thing, which appears to be instigated with this fancy control pad (see button at top right). But there's plenty of other stuff to explore first...

Like the Business Class swag bag!

The bag contains ear plugs.


A pair of mystery items, which I guess are little hats to put on the headphone ear pads so you don't get the last guy's lice.

The headphones are high-quality, by the way. Good bass. And they don't hurt to wear like the ones domestic airlines sell you for $US3 in cattle class.

Socks. (They always give you socks. I don't get that. Don't people already have socks? Does anyone ever wear Business Class socks?)

Skin cream.

And a notebook. Apparently, you can't have too many notebooks.

And then it's on to the controls for the entertainment system...

The control system is not, I am sorry to say, instantly intuitive. See that big button that looks like a 'Stop' button? That's actually your primary touch control. It's sort of like a mouse. You use it to move a cursor around the screen. Then you click. Once you get the hang of it, it's great, but there's a learning curve.

They have surprisingly good movies in Lufthansa Business Class. Elysium. Despicable Me 2. Blue Jasmine. Alien. Amadeus. I could fly Lufthansa Business Class several times and not watch all the movies I might want to watch!

They also have these cool screens that are easy to see from the front but hard to see from the side. That helps you avoid getting distracted by the more exciting movie your neighbour is watching. And it also presumably lets your neighbour watch porn.

And they have plugs!

Shortly after takeoff, the hot towel arrives. And it is HOT.

Then drinks. Then the menu.

The menu says that there's a grilled asparagus salad with mozzarella. That sounds good.

And it looks delicious!

Alas, the mozzarella balls are frozen. (Little chewy ice-balls.) I let them thaw. Then eat them.

The 'miso cod' is pleasantly not bad.

And there's just no bad time for cheese and fruit.

After dinner.... Shopping.

I can apparently buy a bluetooth speaker if I want one.

Or some snake oil. (For 145 Euros!)

I don't want to shop. I want to try the fully flat bed.

But first, it's off to the bathroom to use that toothpaste. The bathroom is startlingly big and clean. And they have a handy selection of toiletries -- combs, razors, mouthwash.

And there's a window! (Not much to see outside, though.)

On the way back, the flight attendants are still hard at work in the galley. Reading the labels on the crates, I see that the food is all pre-packed and labelled. Considering the cramped time and space they have, the flight attendants do a marvellous job. I forgive them for the frozen mozzarella balls.

And now, finally, it's time for the fully flat bed. I put on the blanket first, so the seat doesn't get jammed while flattening.

And then I press the button on the magic keypad.

20 to 30 seconds of whirring and spreading and flattening later, voila! Flat!

That's my neighbour way up there -- vertical.

I don't know how else to say this... it's an absolute miracle.

And if you can't sleep on your flat bed -- and of course you can't, because it's only nine o'clock, and you'll be landing at midnight -- you can watch the totally upgraded air-show all the way across the Atlantic.

Welcome to Munchen!

(I flew the old Lufthansa Business Class last year, by the way. It was quite different...)

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