Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) – Frankfurt (FRA)
11 December 2015
I’m sure that by now you all know just how much I love Lufthansa. Lufthansa, in my opinion, is the world’s leading airline in terms of the consistent, professional service they provide (in all classes of service) – and most importantly, their attentiveness and greatness in delivery.
I love Lufthansa and have been loyal with them since the early days of my interest in the miles & points world. I’ve flown Lufthansa First Class on the A333, A380, B747-400, and now the B748. The only aircraft I need to fly is the A346 to have a “collection” of Lufthansa First Class flown. Their A343s do not have a First Class cabin anymore and the First Class on their B747-400s is discontinued (which is a shame is since it was my favourite).
The last time I was able to experience Lufthansa First Class was on the A380 from Frankfurt to San Francisco, and I was blown away by the quality of food, the onboard service, the charming flight attendants, etc. Everything was perfect on that flight.
Well, I honestly can’t say the same thing about this one. This was my first time flying on the Boeing 747-8 and I was quite excited to be experiencing another aircraft for me. The purser and the second First Class flight attendant were amazing, constantly smiling and sharing my excitement. I was able to speak with the purser for a good portion of the flight and he was genuinely interested in my excitement – same with the second First Class flight attendant.
However, the lead First Class flight attendant wasn’t charming at all. I mean she was nice, but she seemed like she really didn’t want to be there and I don’t think she smiled at least once. Even when talking with her, her responses were always short and to the point, she didn’t go out of the way to ensure the passengers are satisfied or comfortable. Maybe I’m just used to happy, nice, and cheerful flight attendants and she was simply different, I mean German after all…
That’s all I will say about her, but definitely my least favourite flight attendant with Lufthansa so far. She really didn’t go the extra mile and maybe smiled once throughout the whole flight. She also didn’t speak much with the passengers, rather the passengers had to begin the conversation. Anyway, the rest of the flight was enjoyable and the food wasn’t that bad (but not as good as last time).
About ten minutes prior to scheduled boarding time, the same Lufthansa agent that brought me to security showed up in the United Global First Lounge and found all of the passengers that were flying to Frankfurt. She then asked us to follow her to the gate, where she asked us to wait about five minutes before the boarding door opened.
I was the third person to board the queen of the skies, the Boeing 747-8. Lufthansa’s First Class on the B748 is in the nose and it is very spacious. There is a total of eight seats in the following configuration: the first and second row have two seats each by the windows and the third row has a total of four seats – two by the windows and then two in the centre, behind the bar. The cabin is gorgeous and stunning, I think that Lufthansa has one of the most beautiful designs when it comes to First Class cabins.
To save you from having to scroll too much, I’ve created image galleries throughout this post (this is how I will be publishing trip reports in the future). You can simply click on each image to maximise it and then scroll through the images in that group of images. Here are some more pictures of the gorgeous Lufthansa First Class cabin on the Boeing 747-8.
After taking some pictures of the cabin, I stowed my belongings in my personal locker (each passenger has their own locker, just like the A380 – however there are overhead bins in the B748 First Class and there aren’t any on the A380), and sat down on my seat, 2K. The flight attendant welcomed me onboard the majestic Boeing 747-8 and offered me some champagne and macadamia nuts, the purser also greeted every passenger and distributed menus. The purser seemed very happy and was super nice to everyone and genuinely loved his job. I spoke with him a bit during the flight and he seemed very interested in my love for aviation and especially, love for Lufthansa.
Lufthansa’s First Class consists of an open suite with a very comfortable seat that reclines into a fully flat bed. Each seat is very spacious and provides plenty of stowage. There are two stowage compartments near the arm rest and also a large ottoman; personal lockers are available for additional stowage. I was able to store my large laptop bag in the overhead bin and my Rimowa in my locker.
First Class was full by the time the door closed. The day before, it was showing as F3 (three seats available for purchase), then about an hour before departure F1, and F0 about ten minutes prior to departure. A HON Circle Member was upgraded last minute to the last First Class seat. The welcome announcements were made, after the door closed, by both the pilot and the purser. I love Lufthansa’s welcome message:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome aboard your Lufthansa Star Alliance flight to Frankfurt, the flight time will be approximately 7 hours and 15 minutes. We invite you to now relax and enjoy your flight, please let us know if there’s anything we can do to make your flight more enjoyable.”
We pushed back right on time and took off about seven minutes after we left the gate. By the time we were in the air, it was already dark outside which led to some fantastic views of Chicago from the sky.
As soon as we reached 10k feet, the seatbelt sign was turned off and the flight attendants began preparing the meal service. A few people in First Class decided they would rather sleep instead of eating. I quickly changed into my comfortable pyjamas in one of Lufthansa’s gorgeous First Class lavatories. The lavatories on the B748 for First Class passengers are located behind the First Class galley, next to the Business Class curtain.
Not surprisingly, Lufthansa’s signature rose was featured in the spacious lavatory, along with some additional amenities such as hand lotion and shaving cream.
The famous Rimowa amenity kits are back on Lufthansa flights! There was a period of time where Lufthansa didn’t have Rimowa amenity kits, but it seems like those dark days are over! The Rimowa amenity kit is by far the sexiest, most stylish amenity kit ever. The contents of the amenity kit are a toothbrush and toothpaste, eye mask, socks, headphone covers, lotions, earplugs, and a comb.
About ten minutes after I changed into my pyjamas, the meal service began. The amuse bouche consisted of a cucumber wrapped in some cheese, accompanied by some olives and sun-dried tomatoes (I think). I requested a second glass of champagne to go along with my meal. For once, the amuse bouche was delicious and not something overly complicated.
Hot towels were distributed after the amuse bouche, at which point I had a look at the menu. None of the main courses sounded appetising to me, and overall I would say the food was sort of a disappointment on this flight, except the appetisers, they were excellent.
Shortly thereafter, my table was set for the meal service. I was offered some garlic bread, olive oil, butter, and salt/pepper. The garlic bread was actually very tasty and went well with the appetisers.
The menu was as follows:
Choice of Appetizers
- Caviar with the traditional Garnishes
- Crab Louie Salad
- Bresaola, Soppressata Salami and marinated Mozzarella with grilled Vegetables
- Green Asparagus, red Peppers, Feta Cheese and toasted Pistachios with Truffle Oil Sherry Vinaigrette
- Seasonal Salad with shaved Fennel, Pine Nuts, Tomato and Parmesan Cheese presented with Dressing
I obviously couldn’t miss the famous Lufthansa caviar service, which was as usual, excellent (that and the comfort of Lufthansa First Class are the only consistent things from flight to flight). For the appetisers, I wanted to try all of them except for the crab salad – I don’t like seafood, so I skipped that.
The appetisers were excellent, however, I also wanted to try the salad appetiser and it seems like the flight attendant completely skipped that. Usually, they serve you the caviar, then the three “middle” appetisers, and then the salad. Once I ate my two appetisers, I waited for the salad and waited… and then came the main course. I assume this was due to the lack of communication with the flight attendant, she didn’t ask me if I wanted the salad and I didn’t say so either… but usually it is served as the last appetiser, plus it wasn’t on the appetiser cart.
For the main course, none of the options sounded (or looked) good to me at all. To be safe, I ordered the pasta, which is something that is very hard to prepare wrong.
Choice of Main Courses
- New Jersey Osso Buco served with Gremolata, Heirloom Carrots, Brussels Sprouts and Risotto with Asparagus and Porcini Mushrooms
- New England Bouillabaisse Poached Lobster, seared Shrimp and New Mexico Chicken Sausage, Spinach and Parisienne Potatoes
- Black Pepper Fettuccini with Arugula Pesto, Red Swiss Chard, Cannellini Beans, grilled Baby Zucchini and Sunburst Squash
- Traditional Amish Turkey with Cornbread Chestnut Stuffing, Butternut Squash Puree and Cranberries
- Boston Clam Chowder
To my disappointment, not even the pasta was good. It also seemed like I wasn’t the only one not satisfied with the main course – some of the other passengers were also making comments at how inedible the main courses were. The dessert menu was a bit better than the main course, but not as good as the appetisers.
Selection of Cheese and Dessert
- Kilchurn Estate Cave aged Cheddar, Coulommier, Mountain Gouda, Smoked Cheddar and Cave aged Bleu Cheese
- Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream
- Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce
I opted to try the pumpkin cheesecake, it was OK but nothing too delicious – I also thought it was a bit too sweet for my liking. Along with the meal, I had some orange juice and tea.
I didn’t finish the dessert because at this point I was a bit full and didn’t want to eat too much otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to sleep. I requested the turndown service, which was promptly taken care of… by me. The flight attendant asked me to “clean up” around my seat and press the button that makes the seat fully flat. She then placed the mattress and accompanying bedding items and wished me a pleasant rest.
The mattress turns the seat into a very comfortable bed. I was able to sleep for a good three hours and woke up above the United Kingdom, when the breakfast service was beginning. I was also able to play around a bit with the IFE; the selection really isn’t the best.
The breakfast service began with a glass of fresh orange juice, about one and a half hours prior to landing. I also asked for some tea to accompany my breakfast.
Just like with the main course, the breakfast choices were horrible and inedible. I ordered the “Fitness” breakfast and the muesli was terrible, I tried one spoon of it and couldn’t eat any more. None of the other choices were great either, so the breakfast was a disappointment.
- Coffee or Tea
- Fresh Orange Juice
- Fresh Fruit
- Coffee or Tea
- Fresh Orange Juice
- Yogurt with dried Fruit
- Turkey Pastrami, Cheddar, Brie and Cream Cheese with Chive Sticks
- Coffee or Tea
- Fresh Orange Juice
- Fresh Fruit
- Farmer‘s Frittata, Mushroom Ragout, Apple smoked Bacon and Tomato Olive Ragout
I was offered some bread and jam along with my breakfast, which I was happy about since I could only eat the fruit from the actual breakfast menu. The second First Class flight attendant was actually the one who served the breakfast and she was a bit sad that I didn’t like the breakfast too much and even tried to offer me some of the other choices. She apologised for the choice of food and was disappointed herself (I think) with the food choices. Thankfully, she actually cared, unlike the other FA.
We began the initial descend into Frankfurt about thirty minutes prior to landing. The cabin was prepared for landing and the purser came by to thank us and ask us about how the flight went. We were on the ground in Frankfurt ahead of scheduled arrival time.
All in all, definitely not a memorable flight. I think it could have been if the lead First Class FA acted a bit differently and maybe smiled and talked more with the passengers. The food also wasn’t the best as with other Lufthansa First Class flights, which was a disappointment.
I had a great time touring the B748 while in the air and the purser even showed me around a bit. Overall, flying the B748 was awesome and the airplane is really the queen of the skies – super comfortable and quiet, especially in First Class. I really do love Lufthansa, but occasionally some members of the crew are just not happy and pass that onto the passengers, something that shouldn’t happen.
Ultimately this doesn’t change my love for Lufthansa at all – since I love the airline overall and because one person isn’t in a good mood isn’t going to make me hate the airline. I will simply move on and look forward to future flights. I had about an eight hour connection in Frankfurt, most of which I spent at the First Class Terminal, where the staff were excellent and ensured I was enjoying the experience as much as possible.