Month after month, year after year, Lufthansa continues to offer a superb first class product. My flight from Frankfurt to Los Angeles aboard the Boeing 747-8 was among my best ever.
I realize that I write so many Lufthansa First Class trip reports that you might wonder whether I am on the Lufthansa payroll. I most certainly am not. Rather, I just recognize value. I’ll tell you how you can book a flight like this yourself at the end of the report.
Lufthansa First Class Ground Experience
The Lufthansa first class experience starts on the ground, not in the air. A dedicated First Class Terminal in Frankfurt offers excellent amenities like a restaurant, bar, showers, sleeping room, and cigar lounge. All food and drink are complimentary. I always begin a Lufthansa First Class trip with a filet mignon cooked medium rare. Special-edition first class ducks commemorating the recent Easter holiday were available.
When it came to board, we were ushered downstairs, stamped out of Germany, and then boarded our Porsche to take us from the lounge directly to the aircraft. This remains one of the joys of flying Lufthansa First Class.
As you exit the car at your aircraft, you have a few moments to marvel at the massive piece of metal, today the beautiful 747-8, that will momentarily transport you thousands of miles, high above the clouds.
Look at that beautiful retro livery!
From the car, you are led inside, up an elevator, and directly onto the aircraft.
Frankfurt (FRA) – Los Angeles (LAX)
Thursday, April 25
Depart: 10:30 AM
Arrive: 01:10 PM
Duration: 11hr, 40min
Seat: 1A (First Class)
Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Seating
Lufthansa’s 747-8 first class cabin features eight seats, just like the A380 and A340. But unlike those aircraft which have a 1-2-1 configuration over two rows, the 747-8 is located in the nose of the lower deck. Thus, the configuration is 1-1, 1-1, and 1-2-1. In the center of the cabin is an island in which meal and beverage service can be staged from and which serves as a buffet and bar during the flight. I love the 747-8 configuration. As much as I love flying on the upper deck, I love the cozy and quiet nose.
Seats are equipped with multi-way controls as well as built-in power ports (two) and a USB port. Two storage compartments (for articles like passports, phones, and wallets) are available along window as well as storage inside the ottoman. There are overhead bins as well (none in the center) plus lockers for each passenger in the rear of the cabin.
Having indulged in a large meal in the First Class Terminal, I requested that my bed be made up shortly after takeoff. Note that privacy dividers make the seat, at least in 1A, fairly secluded. The plan was to sleep for the first eight hours of the flight and use the remaining two to leisurely dine. My bed was prepared, but I could not yet go to sleep…
My Window Problem
In my teaser post on this flight, I said my flight was not perfect, but nearly perfect. The 747-8 has window shades controlled by a button. One push sends the sheer blinds down, a second push lowers the blackout blinds. One of my four windows would not fully lower. That left a problem for a daytime flight in which I wanted to sleep. Although the flight attendant and purser attempted to fix it (they had a toolkit), they could not and had to get creative.
To their credit, they did. Here’s what I ended up with:
It wasn’t pretty at all, but it did the job well and I commend the crew for this ingenious solution.
Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Service
I dedicated a separate post yesterday to the wonderful service I received onboard. While I refer you to that post for more details, I’ll repeat here the following:
Marcel and Andrea were professional, kind, and provided flawless service. I’ve enjoyed some wonderful crews over the years, but never one who paid quite so much attention to detail as this one.
> Read More: A Model Flight Attendant On Lufthansa
Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Dining
When I did finally wake up from my
nap deep sleep, it was time for a feast. As an aside, Marcel had to shake me awake…and I’m so thankful he did. I would have slept until landing and then been livid I had missed out on meal service. I told him to wake me up two hours before landing and that is exactly what he did.
Let’s go back for a moment. After boarding, I was offered a glass of champagne (Laurent Perrier) with macadamia nuts, which is always a treat when flying on Lufthansa.
Menus were carefully presented before takeoff, allowing me time to review the menu and select what I would eat.
Marcel appeared after takeoff and let me know that I could eat what I wanted, when I wanted. I let him know I would sleep, but prepared him for a big feat when I woke up, reserving both the spinach cannelloni and schnitzel.
Before going to sleep, I enjoyed a amuse bouche of salmon and an Aperol Spritz.
When I did wake up, the feast began. After carefully setting the table, I was offered a choice of bread and chose garlic as well as cheese bread. Although now nine hours into the flight, it was still served warm and tasted fresh. I had a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice with it.
Lufthansa uses superb olive oil and balsamic vinegar, which I tend to use in place of butter:
Had I eaten earlier, I would have received the full service:
Caviar was followed by soup, a carrot ginger soup with shrimp.
I followed that with a small green salad.
My first main course (let’s call it a pasta course) was a spinach cannelloni in a butter sauce that was incredibly rich and flavorful.
By this point, I could have stopped, but my second main course arrived; schnitzel. It was delicious, although I only managed to eat half of it. It’s best to avoid red meat in Lufthansa First Class and both my pasta course and main course did not disappoint.
I skipped cheese but was offered chocolate ice cream with warmed berries, a side of blueberries, a side of mixed berries, and a cappuccino.
Just 30 minutes prior to landing I asked for one more cappuccino and was obliged (with another hot towel).
Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Amenity Kits and Pajamas
Sadly, it has been a long time since I’ve seen a Rimowa amenity kit on Lufthansa. The Windsor amenity kit contains the same contents, but the kit is just not the same. Contents include a comb, socks, shoehorn, ear plugs, toothbrush, toothpaste, and La Prairie skincare products.
> Read More: Magnifico – Lufthansa First Class Slippers
Lufthansa 747-8 First Class IFE + Wi-Fi
Although first class passengers are given complimentary wi-fi access, I did not bother to connect. The connection is usually so slow only iMessage works and frankly, I just wanted to sleep.
When I woke up from my nap I did watch Peppermint, a rather violent movie starring Jennifer Garner. The IFE library contained 100+ movies, TV shows, live TV, games, and music. The moving map broke halfway through the flight (see the images above, where it is frozen in place) so I wasn’t quite sure where we are beyond looking out the window.
Lufthansa offers Bose noise-canceling headphones in first class.
Van Laack pajamas are offered. This month they were blue.
Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Lavatories
The first class lavatories are located behind the first class cabin. Although in between business and first class, a placard designates them for first class use only.
Inside, the lavatory contains a window (which I almost forgot to close when I used the lavatory while parked at the gate) and several amenities including La Prairie hand cream, razors, Evian spritzes, and mouthwash.
If there’s any question as to whether it is worthwhile spending the extra miles for first class, I give you this trip report. The question is not whether business class is good enough, but whether the extra marginal cost for first class is worthwhile. On Lufthansa, it is. Always.
You can most easily book this flight with 86K LifeMiles (space is usually blocked), 70K Aeroplan (with a moderate fuel surcharge of around $200 when departing Europe), or 110K United miles (no fuel surcharge, only government taxes).
Space tends to open up not less than 48 hours prior to takeoff, so you must be patient. Our space on this flight opened up 12 hours before takeoff.
Here are some pictures I snapped out the window during the flight:
Frankfurt takeoff and city
Hoover dam and Las Vegas in the distance
Landing at LAX