Review: Lufthansa 747 First Class [2021]

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Flying Lufthansa First Class aboard the 747 remains an exceptional flying experience. This review will take us from Frankfurt to Los Angeles in the sharp nose of the 747-8.

Lufthansa 747 First Class Exam

The flight was almost an afterthought to visit the first class terminal and get a very special rubber duck. But the flight reminded me of how privileged it is to fly Lufthansa First Class, and how the airline hasn’t used the pandemic as an excuse to cut service.

How I booked Lufthansa First Class

I booked the ticket with Aeroplan Miles. The First Class exchange costs 100,000 miles and approximately 213 CAD (168 USD) in taxes and fees.

The boarding time for LH456 was 9:50 a.m. on my boarding pass, but it wasn’t until 10:10 a.m. my first class terminal concierge found me and escorted me downstairs to the depot. limousine. Since the flight took off from an upper Z gate, the trip between the terminal and the aircraft was very short; only a few minutes.

From the base of the plane, I was escorted into an elevator, which opened to the entrance to the upstairs jet gangway.

Lufthansa 456
Frankfurt (FRA) – Los Angeles (LAX)
saturday 4 september
Departure: 10:30 am
Check-in: 13:05 PM
Duration: 11h, 35min
Plane: 747-8
Seat: 3K (first class)

As I boarded with two other passengers who I had shared the van with, I was greeted by a flight attendant and escorted to my seat, 3K.

A timeless cabin

I consider the seat and cabin to be timeless, but understand that even many modern business class products offer more privacy.

However, each seat has a privacy divider that can be raised or lowered on demand. When raised, the seat is much more private.

Other seat controls include adjustment of tilt, ottoman position and footrest.

While the overhead lockers are more than enough to accommodate the hand luggage of eight passengers, each passenger also has a locker at the rear of the cabin with enough space for a large roller skate and extra items.

Say what you want about the seat’s lack of privacy or longevity, but it’s still one of the most comfortable seats for lounging or sleeping.

Sleep is greatly facilitated by a mattress topper, a soft pillow and a large duvet.

However, sleep was elusive on this flight. It was probably all the espresso in the saloon and on board, but I only managed three hours of relentlessly turning and turning.

I’ve spent the time watching movies, which brings me to a reasonable gripe: The monitors are woefully outdated on board the 747-8. These planes aren’t old, but how far technology has come over the past 10 years is incredible. The image is grainy and the monitor is very small. The lag is horrible. Although I wouldn’t expect Lufthansa to install bigger screens in this booth, monitors can certainly be replaced with a brighter, noisier, sharper, more responsive system and monitor of the same size.

I love the noise-canceling headphones from Bose, which are gradually being updated from the older QC-2 headphones.

Wi-Fi is free for first class passengers, and data is not capped. This is a valuable benefit, as Lufthansa now sets data limits on paid access.

The big party

Shortly after settling into my seat, I was again greeted with an offer of champagne (or my drink of choice) and a presentation of mixed nuts. Today’s champagne was a 2004 Cuvée Louise from Pommery. In addition, the Grande Cuvée Rosé Alexandra 2004 from Laurent-Perrier was offered. Typically Lufthansa offers macadamia nuts with their pre-departure drink, but I’ve seen mixed nuts every now and then over the years.

Fresh-cut roses are back, but hot towels are still lacking – wrapped wipes are offered instead.

Menus were distributed before take off, including a separate menu with wines, cocktails and other adult drinks.

After take off I ordered a Negroni, which was served with a amuse bouche goat cheese in pesto sauce.

Lunch began with the setting up of the table and a choice of bread offered. The garlic bread was delicious… my first time tasting garlic bread on an airplane since my last Lufthansa First Class flight back the other way last November.

The caviar service remains a Lufthansa First Class staple and because everyone seemed to indulge in it, the portion sizes were rather small.

Choice of aperitif included:

  • spicy salmon with cucumber relish
  • beef pastrami with mustard vegetables
  • coconut mousse, Pak Choi curry, coriander and ginger mayonnaise

Next comes a soup course, which is generally only available on flights westbound to the United States. Today’s selection was the cream of asparagus, one of my favorites. It was very creamy and the asparagus was tender.

Before the main course, I ordered a green salad, which included cherry tomatoes, a single scoop of mozzarella, pine nuts, and pumpkin dressing.

For my main course, I chose the turbot bouillabaisse (I prefer the German word, Steinbutt) with risoni pasta. This fish was flaky, moist and tender. With dinner I had a glass of Riesling (2018 Bockstein) and a cheese bun.

The party continued with an elaborate cheese course, with:

  • gorgonzola
  • bosina
  • goat cheese with honey
  • reblochon
  • “Dream cheese with nuts”

The cheese was accompanied by a date and sesame chutney, grapes, pine nuts and celery.

This is how a cheese course should be done.

Finally, I completed the meal with a compote of fresh strawberries with curd cream and a cappuccino. The cappuccino was strong and delicious (and as I mentioned earlier, deadly to sleep).

Wait for more food?

I didn’t really need more food. Who would want after this eight-course feast? But as we neared Los Angeles, I decided to grab a second lunch. My car was parked at LAX and I had a city drive ahead of me, so I stuck with non-alcoholic drinks like fresh squeezed orange juice and sparkling water.

Lufthansa offers service anytime à la carte menu to be consumed at any time after serving the main meal. I ordered a “gourmet salad” which turned out to be a large green salad with a large “potato tortilla” on top (more like a quiche). The yogurt dressing was very tasty.

I then asked if there was Maultaschen (Swabian dumplings) went from the initial lunch menu and were happily obliged, although it took about 15 minutes to warn them in the oven.

I prefer Maultaschen in soup or eggs.

Wanting to distract myself from my usual coffee, I ordered tea from Lufthansa’s extensive tea menu. While the tea setup was beautiful, the “Bio Relax” tea I chose was not to my liking… and I went back to cappuccino. I concluded the meal with fresh raspberries.

The service was not perfect, but I always liked it

When it comes to in-flight service, friendliness, seriousness and kindness make all the difference in the world and can overcome service issues.

The flight attendants were not faultless. In fact, there were two service interruptions during the flights.

First, my lunch dishes were not cleaned quickly (it took 10 minutes).

Second, when I was ready to sleep, I hit the flight attendant call button and no one showed up. After waiting three minutes, I got up, pulled the kitchen curtain between first and business class, and stuck my head inside. There was no one. I stayed in the kitchen for five more minutes before returning to my seat. There I sat for another 10 minutes. Yes, I waited almost 20 minutes in first class for a flight attendant to show up. Did I fly Alitalia or Lufthansa?

But I just couldn’t get angry. When a flight attendant finally appeared, she very happily apologized for the delay and made my bed. The two flight attendants pictured below were apparently on break and a replacement flight attendant should have been present.

I forget a lot when people are nice. While it was sometimes to my detriment in the business world, flight attendants worked far too hard and otherwise far too attentive to be called lazy. There should always have been a flight attendant in the galley or ready to answer a passenger call. Even so, I would rate it as an opportunity for improvement instead of pretending it ruined my flight and I want my miles back.

These two ladies were fabulous and Lufthansa should congratulate them for taking such good care of the cabin full of passengers.

As I get older, I appreciate kindness more and more. These two ladies were nice. They were gentle. They were attentive. What more ? Their lovable nature made me much more forgiving of their colleague’s lack of service.

Washbasin With View

Someone must have searched the toilet because when I walked in during meal service the toilet was well stocked with La Prairie hand cream and mouthwash and when I returned before going to sleep it was all gone.

I always appreciate the natural light that comes from a window sink.

First class amenities

I always hope to have a Rimowa amenity kit when I fly with Lufthansa, but my flight had a Porsche Design branded amenity kit. Lufthansa recently updated the content, which now includes:

  • wooden shoehorn
  • comb
  • socks
  • mints
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • earplugs
  • La Prairie Skin Products
    • lifting eye cream
    • cream for the skin
    • lip balm

Brown pajamas from van Laack were also offered.

Slippers were also offered:

My Nomad Lane bento bag was full and I asked the flight attendant if she had another bag for the slippers, toiletry bag, and pajamas. She gave me the economical premium amenity kit, which doubles as a reusable bag. I use it now when I do my shopping!

CONCLUSION

As usual, I hated seeing the flight end. As we flew over downtown Los Angeles (the reason I always choose a starboard seat), I looked around my beautiful city and realized that another Lufthansa First Class trip was in the bag.

Before landing, the flight attendant appeared and thanked each passenger for traveling on Lufthansa. She had also greeted us earlier, thus ending the flight.

We parked at gate 150 and I soon got off the plane, through immigration, and on my way to my car.

Lufthansa First Class remains the most accessible ambitious product with miles and points. It’s really lovely and still a huge step up from Business Class in terms of service, seating, and hard product. I can’t wait to fly Lufthansa First Class again. Small service interruptions meant it wasn’t my best first Lufthansa flight, but it was a very good one.

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