Lufthansa 491
Seattle (SEA) – Frankfurt (FRA)
Airbus A340-300
04 July 2014

After spending around an hour in the Club International lounge, I headed over to gate S12 where it seems like the Airbus A340 had just pulled in. Nevertheless, boarding was still somehow done on-time and there were no delays.

Lufthansa A340

Lufthansa A340

About 10 minutes before the scheduled boarding time, the Lufthansa agents began ‘organising’ the boarding queues. There was one line for First Class, Business Class, and Star Alliance Gold and the other line was for Economy Class (which was separated into three ‘sub-lines’).

Boarding

Boarding

Boarding began right on the minute, at 13:05, the agents began boarding the premium lane. I happen to be the first one to board and the first one on the plane as there were no passengers in First Class due to it not being catered. Perhaps they also downgraded some people because of the lack of food?

Priority Boarding sign

Priority Boarding sign

As I walked down the jetway I noticed that there were a ton of security officers with dogs just standing throughout the jetway and looking at people as they boarded. Apparently security has been yet again increased due to unknown threats. Boarding was done through door 2L and I turned left into the mini Business Class cabin. There is a larger cabin as you turn right, however I like the mini cabin more because it feels very private and on the day that I happened to be flying, there were rarely any people.

Mini-Business Class cabin

Mini-Business Class cabin

After all of the speculation back during the wintertime about whether I’d be flying the new Business class… well no 🙁 Sadly not. Lufthansa was supposed to get rid of First Class completely on the Frankfurt-Seattle-Frankfurt route but it looks like they brought it back and they are not getting rid of First Class.

So originally, the route was scheduled with an A340 without First Class but with the new Business Class however since Lufthansa brought back First Class on the route, it seems like they also brought back the A340 with First and old Business class. On the day that I happened to be flying, the plane we flew featured the new (empty) First Class.

I found my seat, 4K, rather quickly which already had a glass of Champagne waiting for me.

My seats

My seats

After sitting down, I was welcomed by several (3) flight attendants at once, they all gathered by my seat and began chatting with me and laughing. I knew this would be an awesome flight just by talking with the crew. The flight attendants out of Frankfurt aren’t always the nicest, however it seems like I was very lucky to have all (!) of the flight attendants smiling and laughing with me. The main FA explained that the flight is just under 50% full with just 18 people in Business class and that everyone in Business class had two seats to themselves (of course if they wanted). No one was sitting next to me, so I had two seats to myself. She also asked me if I wanted more champagne and I accepted. This has never happened before in Business class, what an amazing crew!

View from 4K

View from 4K

Most of the international flights from Seattle leave between 12:00 – 14:00, so there were a ton of people in the S concourse at the time.

Seattle Airport

Seattle Airport

Legroom was unlimited.

Legroom

Legroom

The seats also seemed to be in very good condition for the old product, perhaps they were recently cleaned and maintained?

Legroom

Legroom

Legroom

Legroom

Shortly after boarding was completed, the captain made an announcement welcoming everyone on board and informed us that our flight time to Frankfurt would be approximately 9 hours and 25 minutes and that we would be landing ahead of scheduled time. He also said that he and the crew were very happy that Germany won the game against France and that Brazil just scored a goal against Colombia; no wonder all of the FAs were so cheerful and happy!

The safety video played and we began taxiing to the runway.

Lufthansa IFE

Lufthansa IFE

The S concourse is located close to the runway, so it took us about 8 minutes and we were ready for take off.

Seattle Airport

Seattle Airport

Seattle Airport

Seattle Airport

We took off from Runway 34R exactly on the minute of the scheduled departure time.

Seattle

Seattle

Overall it was a very beautiful day in Seattle.

Seattle

Seattle

Seattle

Seattle

View

View

Within about 15 minutes we reached our cruising altitude and the FAs immediately began the meal preparations.

View

View

(Very) hot towels were distributed to everyone as soon as the seatbelt sign went off.

Hot towel

Hot towel

The FAs then went around and pulled out everyone’s trays and placed a white Lufthansa branded napkin on top.

Napkin

Napkin

Shortly thereafter, the purser came through the cabin and distributed menus.

Menu

Menu

Menu

Menu

Menu

Menu

Menu

Menu

Menu

Menu

The lead FA came around and gave everyone a personal Inflight shopping list if you wanted to buy something from Lufthansa’s Inflight Shopping catalogue.

Menu

Menu

About 5 minutes after the menus were distributed, the flight attendants brought carts through the cabin and asked the passengers what they wanted to drink. I asked for some Champagne and Sprite which was given to me along with a package of salty nuts.

Nuts, Sprite, Champagne

Nuts, Sprite, Champagne

The champagne was actually very good and tasted premium, something you’d drink in First Class. I didn’t ask what brand or year it was, the taste was good enough for me.

Sprite, Champagne

Sprite, Champagne

The views over Canada’s mountain range from 11.000 metres were breathtaking.

View

View

Next to the media control remote in my seat was the amenity kit.

Amenity Kit

Amenity Kit

It consisted of socks, toothbrush & toothpaste, eye mask, earplugs, Nivea cream, and headphone covers.

Amenity Kit

Amenity Kit

I love flying over mountains because the view of them is beautiful and you can really see the difference in height and how they look from up above.

View

View

There were three choices for the appetiser:

  • Smoked Salmon and Halibut Carpaccio, marinated Cucumber, Green Tea Noodle Salad, Chili Lime Vinaigrette
  • Ginger marinated seared Beef, red Quinoa and Date Salad, red Pepper Sauce and marinated Black Beans, red Pepper Vinaigrette
  • Spicy Sofrito with Rice and Nori Wakame Seaweed

All appetisers came with a Seasonal Salad with pickled red Onion and Blue Cheese Crumbles presented with delicious dressing; the dressing was a Sun Dried tomatoes dressing which tasted quite good.

Salad

Salad

The lead FA offered everyone some bread from a bread basket which contained at least five different breads ranging from white to dark.

Bread

Bread

I had the Salmon noodle salad with cucumbers and peppers. The salmon tasted fine however the noodles weren’t all that good.

Noodle salad

Noodle salad

The whole appetiser was presented on a tray which also had some salt and pepper shakers as well as eating utensils.

Appetiser

Appetiser

There were three options for the main course:

  • Wagyu Beef Brisket with grilled Trumpet Mushrooms, Asparagus, Baby Carrots, caramelised Pearl Onions and Fingerling Potato Fondant
  • Yukon Potato encrusted Salmon with Tomato and black Currant Marmalade, Broccolini and Cabernet Cream Sauce
  • Traditional Vegetarian Lasagna with Mozzarella Cheese and Tomato Sauce

I had the salmon which was downright excellent. The fish itself was very well prepared and the sauce was delicious, the potatoes and tomatoes were very tasty and the whole meal was fresh.

Salmon

Salmon

After the main course, the purser and lead flight attendants brought the dessert carts out and presented us with a dessert menu which was:

  • Coulommier, Morbier and Beecher’s Smoked Flagship Cheese
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Fruit Salad
Dessert cart

Dessert cart

I asked for the Vanilla Ice cream and was given Caramel Dulce de Leche ice cream which was already melted. After the desserts, the FAs came around one more time with drinks and I ordered a tea which was given with some pralines.

Chocolate, Ice Cream, Tea

Chocolate, Ice Cream, Tea

There were two pralines, one white and one dark chocolate but for most people it didn’t seem enough so the FAs handed out two boxes.

Pralines

Pralines

Pralines

Pralines

There was also a bottle of water located near my seat.

Water

Water

After dinner the cabin lights were turned off and everyone was asked to lower their window shades as most people wanted to sleep. I decided to see if there was anything worthwhile watching on the IFE system, but there was absolutely nothing interesting; sadly Lufthansa doesn’t have the best inflight entertainment system.

IFE Control

IFE Control

Next to the remote were some headphones and a bottle of water.

Headphones

Headphones

The old Lufthansa Business Class seats are 165 degree recline so they are angle lie-flat. The seats are not the most comfortable for sleeping as you slide down during your sleep. I placed one blanket on the seat and the other on top of me and I made a semi-comfortable bed.

Bed

Bed

Bed

Bed

Dinner was finished about three hours into the flight, however the FAs constantly roamed around the cabin to see if anyone needed anything.

Bed

Bed

Bed

Bed

View from 4K

View from 4K

The lavatory was stocked with some mouthwash, hair combs, and shaving kits.

Lavatory accessories

Lavatory accessories

Lavatory accessories

Lavatory accessories

I woke up during the middle of my sleep and went to the galley to ask for some chocolate and tea. The lead FA jokingly said ‘Chocolate… in the middle of the night.. are you crazy?’ and I replied ‘Well why not?’ and then she asked the other FA if I ate my dinner and we all laughed. I also asked for some tea with sugar and then she told me that I’d get sick from all of the sugar. I also told her it isn’t the middle of the night and then she pointed to the window where it was dark outside and she said ‘I don’t care, outside it is dark, so you will sleep’. The whole interaction was the funniest experience I’ve ever had with the crew on an airplane, the way they made jokes was priceless.

Tea

Tea

Outside it wasn’t necessarily dark but it wasn’t bright either, although it seemed we were very high above the clouds.

View

View

Lufthansa’s IFE isn’t something amazing, but at least they had some CDs to listen to.

Lufthansa IFE

Lufthansa IFE

I slept for a good portion of the flight and had the airshow on the whole time as I love to open my eye and see where we are and then go back to sleep.

Airshow

Airshow

Lights went on in the cabin as we were crossing the United Kingdom.

Bed

Bed

There were more clouds and either they were higher or we were lower.

View

View

View

View

The cabin was dark for most of the flight as there were only five people in the mini Business class cabin.

View from 4K

View from 4K

Airshow

Airshow

View

View

View

View

The breakfast cart was soon rolled out and we were served bread and drinks first.

Breakfast cart

Breakfast cart

There was only one choice for breakfast:

  • Fresh Orange Juice
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Turkey Breast, Salami and Camembert
  • Omelette with Asparagus Ragout
Breakfast

Breakfast

Juice

Juice

The breakfast for the most part was good, except the omelette which I didn’t eat at all.

We soon began our initial descent into Frankfurt.

Frankfurt

Frankfurt

Frankfurt

Frankfurt

Frankfurt

Frankfurt

Frankfurt

Frankfurt

Frankfurt

Frankfurt

We landed thirty minutes after we finished breakfast and it took forever to taxi to the remote stand.

Lufthansa A340

Lufthansa A340

Lufthansa A340

Lufthansa A340

The flight overall was I think probably the best Lufthansa flight I’ve ever had. Even though it was the old Business Class product, the crew was amazing and super friendly and the food was excellent for a long haul Business Class flight.