This flight review is going to be a bit different than my usual ones.
It will be a bit more casual, since I just reviewed Lufthansa’s A380 First Class product last year and (thankfully) very little has changed. But I’ll say at the outset that Lufthansa First Class never disappoints.
Always Say YES To An Escort
At LAX, if you are flying first class on Lufthansa, you will always be asked if you want an escort.
Say yes, even if you don’t want one.
Obviously, we all can make it from the counter to security to the lounge to the gate ourselves. But with the escort, you get to cut in line (even if LAX’s best kept secret is often not all that busy). Plus, your escort will carry your hand baggage.
Necessary? No. A nice perk to flying first class? Absolutely.
Breakfast for Lunch before Dinner
I had skipped lunch after my little incident earlier that day and was hungry. I knew I would be well-fed on the airplane, but scanned the a la carte menu in the Star Alliance first class lounge for something appealing.
The huevos rancheros caught my eyes and turned out to be an excellent choice. Not too heavy, not too light, and an excellent panoply of spices.
I had the lounge to myself for most of my stay.
It was time to board the plane. Oh wait, I had to get some exercise first back to the curb then over to T4…
> Read More: Star Alliance LAX First Class Lounge Review
Los Angeles (LAX) – Munich (MUC)
Monday, April 02, 2018
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Seat: 1K (First Class)
My esteemed colleague Ben from One Mile at a Time recently posted his own Lufthansa First Class review and noted that while other carriers have innovated, Lufthansa has left first class alone.
He’s correct, and there is no doubt that Lufthansa’s first class product, especially in the center sections, lacks the privacy found on most leading first class products.
But I still love it. Look at the beautiful accents of this cabin—
And the seat, even though relatively open, is absolutely one of the most comfortable first class seats in the sky in all positions.
The seat is not the reason I fly Lufthansa First Class, but the seat is definitely a selling point and a plus rather than a negative.
I like to change into my pajamas as soon as I board a long-haul flight. That way, if I spill something I can just leave the pajamas behind. It’s more comfortable as well.
By the way, if you’re looking for a Rimowa amenity kit on Lufthansa, you will not get one this quarter: they are back to blue leather bags that double as (non-TSA approved) toiletry containers. I’m not sure why Lufthansa would ever rotate other than to cut costs, but the various other amenity kits have neither the charm nor aesthetic appeal as the Rimowa hard-shell cases.
Pajamas have not changed in the last decade. They’re issued by Van Laack and while the tops are great, the bottoms are like medical scrubs. My favorite pajamas remain the old tan ones on Emirates.
Which leads me to the urinal. The bathrooms on the Lufthansa A380 are HUGE. They even feature urinals. I love it.
Let the Feast Begin!
I really don’t drink much alcohol in “real life” but I always start a Lufthansa First Class flight with a glass of champagne. It’s 2003 Cuvée Louise. It’s also tasty.
Last time I flew LH F my beloved macadamia nuts had been replaced with mixed nuts. Thankfully, the macadamia nuts are back.
After a smooth takeoff (love the A380 roll), an amuse bouche was offered. Today it was shrimp with a potato chip on top and feta cheese + cucumber below, drizzled in a mustard dressing. Excellent.
The table was set and the bread basket appeared. You can’t go wrong with any bread in Lufthansa First, but the garlic bread and olive bread are particularly tasty.
Having ordered red meat for the main course (more on that in just a moment), I slowly imbibed a glass of French Bordeaux. I wish I could buy those S&P shakers. No, they did NOT end up in my bag. That ruins things for everyone…
The olive oil in Lufthansa First is a lot better than the sorry excuse for olive oil I usually get at Trader Joe’s. The salted butter is also worth eating…in moderation of course.
Five Appetizers Before the Main
Ah, caviar. Lufthansa is the largest buyer of caviar in the world and I never turn down the chance to enjoy it. To me, caviar is one of life’s pleasures that you love but never buy for yourself. Like a nice pen I would never actually buy but happily use, I’m happy when someone gifts me a jar or I find it in first class. You won’t find it in my refrigerator, though.
EDITED TO ADD (from Heidi, my wife): Actually, Matthew took home an extra jar from Saudia First class and it is still sitting in our refrigerator.
The next three appetizers were served on a single platter. Roast beef with pesto, cucumbers with radish and parmesan cheese, and salmon with cole slaw. Nice. Very nice.
Salad? Why not. It served as a palate cleaner, even if I would have preferred some mint sorbet.
Medium-Rare You Say?
Here’s what I loved about the service on this flight. I chose a bison + filet mignon combo on the menu. I was leery of overcooking (a perennial problem on Lufthansa), but decided to chance it.
begged requested that the FA pull my meat out early and he cheerfully promised to do his best…
Fast-forward a bit. Everyone in the cabin was enjoying their main courses except for me. For a moment, I wondered if they had forgotten me. Then the FA approached.
“Mr. Klint, we ruined your first steak, but we’re trying again!”
I felt bad. Red meat is wasteful enough: I didn’t want perfectly good food thrown away. But the FA would hear nothing of it and promised to come back shortly, hopefully with good news.
He did appear shortly with a plate in his hand. While the meat was still medium-well instead of medium-rare, that’s 10x better than well-done and I very much enjoyed both the bison and beef.
Cheese + Sweets
The meal wasn’t over yet. Next came a cheese course and let me tell you, Lufthansa knows how to do cheese. Every morsel was excellent and the horseradish jelly (or whatever that orange stuff is) provides a great accompaniment to the cheese. The herbed goat cheese was particularly good.
I finished off the meal with a “lukewarm” salted brownie with vanilla ice cream. Lukewarm? That’s what the menu said, and that’s how it was served.
And of course a cappuccino, always made well in Lufthansa First, with a truffle.
Don’t Wake Me for Breakfast
The FA asked if I wanted to be awakened for breakfast.
Although I love breakfast on Lufthansa, I said no thanks. The 45-minutes of extra sleep would be a wiser course of action considering I could eat breakfast to my heart’s content in the First Class Lounge in Munich.
While I brushed my teeth, my seat was transformed into a bed. Lufthansa’s plush blankets and mattress pads make for a comfortable bed.
And here’s the kicker: cabin temperature is almost always a problem on Lufthansa, but wasn’t on this flight. In fact, the cabin was downright COLD, which is practically unheard of.
That meant I slept particularly well.
I woke up about 45 minutes before landing. I figured I’d just have a cappuccino and orange juice.
The FA appeared with a hot towel and asked if I wanted any breakfast items, including eggs.
Why not? And why not make it a grand one? So I enjoyed some citrus fruit, berries, a cappuccino, orange juice, strawberry-banana smoothie, and scrambled eggs with bacon.
Downsizing + Free & Useless Wi-Fi
I watched Downsizing onboard. Matt Damon is one of my favorite actors and I usually am up on his latest movies, but had not even heard of this one. It was fascinating. Highly recommended. Luckily, I finished just as we touched down in Munich (about 15 minutes ahead of schedule).
Also of note: wi-fi on Lufthansa is now free for first class passengers. A voucher is offered upon boarding. Not that the wi-fi worked.
As a consolation prize, I received a nifty A380 pin:
Thanks for the Remote Stand
There is only one time I enjoy arriving at remote stands: when I’m flying Lufthansa First Class. In Frankfurt or Munich, a remote stand means you are picked up by an escort and taken to the lounge. In this case, three of us in first class were connecting on intra-Schengen flights. A kind representative met us, escorted us downstairs, and ushered us into a black Mercedes van. It was off to the first class lounge.
Lufthansa First Class remains one of my favorite first class products. Not much has changed in the last decade and I like it that way. And thanks to generous award space availability (often only a day or two before travel), It remains one of the most “reachable” aspirational awards.