Seattle (SEA) – Frankfurt (FRA)
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.
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 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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
Legroom was unlimited.
The seats also seemed to be in very good condition for the old product, perhaps they were recently cleaned and maintained?
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.
The S concourse is located close to the runway, so it took us about 8 minutes and we were ready for take off.
We took off from Runway 34R exactly on the minute of the scheduled departure time.
Overall it was a very beautiful day in Seattle.
Within about 15 minutes we reached our cruising altitude and the FAs immediately began the meal preparations.
(Very) hot towels were distributed to everyone as soon as the seatbelt sign went off.
The FAs then went around and pulled out everyone’s trays and placed a white Lufthansa branded napkin on top.
Shortly thereafter, the purser came through the cabin and distributed menus.
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.
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.
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.
The views over Canada’s mountain range from 11.000 metres were breathtaking.
Next to the media control remote in my seat was the amenity kit.
It consisted of socks, toothbrush & toothpaste, eye mask, earplugs, Nivea cream, and headphone covers.
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.
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.
The lead FA offered everyone some bread from a bread basket which contained at least five different breads ranging from white to dark.
I had the Salmon noodle salad with cucumbers and peppers. The salmon tasted fine however the noodles weren’t all that good.
The whole appetiser was presented on a tray which also had some salt and pepper shakers as well as eating utensils.
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.
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
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.
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.
There was also a bottle of water located near my seat.
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.
Next to the remote were some headphones and a bottle of water.
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.
Dinner was finished about three hours into the flight, however the FAs constantly roamed around the cabin to see if anyone needed anything.
The lavatory was stocked with some mouthwash, hair combs, and shaving kits.
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.
Outside it wasn’t necessarily dark but it wasn’t bright either, although it seemed we were very high above the clouds.
Lufthansa’s IFE isn’t something amazing, but at least they had some CDs to listen to.
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.
Lights went on in the cabin as we were crossing the United Kingdom.
There were more clouds and either they were higher or we were lower.
The cabin was dark for most of the flight as there were only five people in the mini Business class cabin.
The breakfast cart was soon rolled out and we were served bread and drinks first.
There was only one choice for breakfast:
- Fresh Orange Juice
- Fresh Fruit
- Turkey Breast, Salami and Camembert
- Omelette with Asparagus Ragout
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.
We landed thirty minutes after we finished breakfast and it took forever to taxi to the remote stand.
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.