It was shaping up to be a bad flight. First, the miscreant passenger in 2K. Next, an odd interaction with the purser and my other seatmate. Finally, horrid turbulence for several hours. But once the dust settled, I can again attest that Lufthansa First Class remains one of my favorite ways to fly.
I was traveling with my friend John and there was only one window seat left when we booked. We flipped a coin, I won, but John took it anyway…this John. Anyway, as we boarded we were speaking to one another. He took my his seat in 1K and I took mine in 3G. The Lufthansa 747-8 has eight seats in first class including three window seats on each side and a single center section of two in the third row (there is a bar set up in front).
A rotund French man sat in 3D next to me. When he saw that John and I were traveling together he immediately asked if we wanted to change seats. Very politely, I stated no.
The purser walked by and he mentioned to the her that he would be willing to change seats with us so we could travel together. She looked at me and said, “The gentleman has graciously offered to move. Would you like to sit with your friend?”
I said no, stating that we both wanted window seats, but this way at least one of us could have a window seat.
This response visibly annoyed the man in 3D and unfortunately seemed to annoy her too. She told the man in German that it was very edelmütig of him to move…a word that means noble. What? Noble to move seats?
The man just wanted a window, like I did.
During the flight he expressed anger again that I did not want to move.
“It gets dark quickly and then you see nothing. Why do you need the window?”
“More privacy,” I noted.
I trust he picked up on my implication and he muttered to himself.
Then the turbulence hit. Oh, it was bad both in intensity and duration.
It meant the main course came out very well done. Still, the usual appetizer preludes on Lufthansa were exceptional, as was the cheese course and sweet dessert.
I woke up and enjoyed a light, fresh breakfast prior to landing.
Lufthansa is not currently using Rimowa for its amenity kits, at least on flight out of Los Angeles. One FA stated that she had not seen Rimowa since February:
We landed on time in Frankfurt:
So What Made First Class Amazing?
Let’s count up what went wrong:
- Rude seatmate to my right
- Rude seatmate to my left
- Bad turbulence
- Overdone food
- No Rimowa amenity kit
And yet the service still shined. I know part of it is being able to communicate in German, but it goes beyond that. In my experience, FAs are always the right balance of professional and kind. I’ve never had bad service on a LH flight. Even the purser who seemed annoyed that I refused to move seats turned out very nice as the flight progressed.
I still recommend it.
…But Amazing Enough to Drop Another $1.1K On?
Lufthansa is affordable for the masses thanks to Aeroplan, which charges only 70K one-way for a first class ticket between North America and Western Europe. But Aeroplan also tacks on significant fuel surcharges…over $500USD just for LAX-FRA.
And so I got to thinking: I will soon be traveling to Germany with my family. We’ll be starting in the SW region of Germany just over the border from Basel and not too far from Zurich.
I’m honestly leaning toward just flying SWISS nonstop from LAX to ZRH. Two reasons why: first, nonstop (always easier with a baby). Second, no fuel surcharge. That $1100 savings will help to pay for a special journey home I have planned.
We’ll see: it will all be dependent upon the award space….