Frankfurt (FRA) – San Francisco (SFO)
10 September 2015
Best. Flight. Ever. Here are my initial thoughts.
Ok, I know I say that about every single Lufthansa flight that I have, but this one was by far the best, and I don’t think any flight anytime soon will take that title away from this flight. It was by far the most memorable and amazing flight that I’ve ever experienced with Lufthansa. This was due to a couple of reasons, first and most importantly, the crew was fantastic and phenomenal, seriously. I don’t think I’ve ever had such an awesome, attentive, friendly, and professional crew as the flight attendants and pursers were on this flight. The main First Class flight attendant was young and she was attentive, friendly, and very professional, I won’t ever forget her – she made the flight awesome and gave me a tour of the A380!
The second reason is it was my first time flying the Lufthansa Airbus A380 (I know, I know), and the aircraft is definitely the best plane in the skies at the moment. Super quiet, comfortable, spacious, powerful, etc. The third reason why this flight was so awesome is that there were just four people (including me) in First Class, and we were each seated by the window which meant the centre seats served as our beds – and we could switch between bed and seat during the flight.
This flight report will probably be the longest I ever write, 154 images and a whole lot of descriptive text! Here we go, best flight ever!
First and Business Class passengers board through the upper jetway and upon entering the A380, First Class is to the left side and Business Class to the right. There is also a small Economy cabin in the very back of the A380.
The Lufthansa First Class cabin is simply stunning and gorgeous, the design and colours nicely complement each other and provide an overall pleasing First Class experience. The First Class cabin is very spacious and each seat reclines into a comfortable, 2 metre bed. There are no overhead bins and instead each First Class passenger has their own locker where personal items and carry-on luggage can be stored. There are eight seats in a 1-2-1 configuration across two rows, each seat has the exact same amenities and comfort. Thick, noise-cancelling curtains separate the First Class cabin from the galley in the back and the two massive lavatories in the front.
The front of the cabin features a First Class bar where champagne, water, and wine is stored along with appropriate glasses to accompany each different drink. A large Lufthansa First Class sign is proudly displayed along with several other Lufthansa logos throughout the cabin – to remind you that you’re in heaven.
Next to the two First Class lavatories in the very front of the upper deck is a stairway leading to the cockpit and the Premium Economy cabin. During the flight, the curtain is shut and a metal bar is assembled to ensure no passenger either comes up from the lower deck or a First Class passenger doesn’t fall after having slightly too much champagne.
I was seated in 2A (my favourite seat) and therefore I had a gorgeous view of the First Class cabin from my seat. I couldn’t hear anything from the galley thanks to the thick curtains and the personal lockers behind my seat, I think seats 2A and 2K are the best since you can admire the beauty of the entire cabin and also gaze outside into the world.
Each Lufthansa First Class seat features plenty of stowage compartments including an ottoman. There is also a large IFE screen, noise-cancelling headphones, advanced seat controls, a privacy shade, and much more.
Here is a short video of the cabin:
The view from 2A is excellent, you can truly enjoy the ambiance and peaceful atmosphere of Lufthansa First Class while admiring the gorgeous design of the stunning cabin, which nicely complements the First Class Lounges.
Once I finished taking too many photos of the cabin and finally sat down, the main, young, First Class flight attendant offered me a hot towel and once again welcomed me to Lufthansa First Class and she asked me if this was the first time I was on the A380, I told so and she said she would be more than happy to give me a tour of the aircraft after the main meal service. I talked with her quite a bit during the flight and she seemed to genuinely love her job and without a doubt, was fantastic at it. I asked for some champagne while we were still on the ground and she quickly poured some at my seat and also presented me with Macadamia nuts.
The champagne was 2007 Taittinger Brut Millésimé, while it is Lufthansa’s standard champagne, it was excellent. The jetway was retracted about ten minutes prior to scheduled departure time and we waited about five minutes before we pushed back. The captain didn’t introduce himself to the First Class passengers, though did make an announcement welcoming everyone on the largest passenger aircraft in the world and informed us the flight time would be about 10 hours and 30 minutes, with an early arrival into San Francisco.
Each passenger was given an amenity kit, pyjama, and slippers. I asked for another amenity kit that I could give as a present to my mum (since she always steals mine, hi mum, I know you’re reading!)
The amenity kit was very high quality, Braun Büffel, and contained the usual items such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, comb, socks, eye mask, lotion, earplugs, headphone covers, etc.
We took off about five minutes past scheduled departure time from runway 07C and made sharp turn over Frankfurt up north. We were number three or so for take off and I found it amusing that small Lufthansa aircraft were right before us, they looked super small from the upper deck of the A380. The A380 has a forward, down, and tail camera which I turned on to watch the beautiful world as we took-off and as we were landing. The Airshow and IFE has been improved and there is now an animated aircraft during the airshow and the maps also have a better design. The IFE menu and controls are also new, look great, and are very easy to navigate.
The IFE remote control is located at the front of the left armrest, there are also quick access buttons for controlling the IFE without needing to lift up the flap that covers the remote.
The seat controls are located at the front of the right armrest, there is also a privacy shade that is extended when the bed is made.
Once the seatbelt sign was switched off, I decided to change into my pyjama and store my clothes in my personal locker. The two First Class lavatories on the A380 are massive, this is because the A380 nose has extra room on the upper deck. The lavatory design and colours are gorgeous and remind you of the cabin and the First Class lounges. Each lavatory is stocked with high-quality amenities such as lotion, cream, mouthwash, deodorant, shaving cream and razor, refreshing towels, and more. Since there were just four people in the cabin, I shared the left lavatory with 1A and the two other passengers shared the right lavatory. Lufthansa’s signature rose is proudly displayed throughout the cabin and also in the lavatory.
The lotions are la prairie brand.
When I returned to my seat, I found champagne, water, and an amuse bouche waiting for me. When I sat down, the FA asked me if I would like to experience the meal and I gladly accepted. The amuse bouche was some sort of strange jelly item, I had no clue what it was and it wasn’t the best, however everything else was delicious and very tasty.
After consuming the amuse bouche, my table was set for the meal; I was presented with bread, olive oil, butter, and salt/pepper.
As I was waiting for the appetisers, I had a look at the menu and informed the FA which main course I’d like. You can preview the menu for your flight here (which is what I did): http://lh-menu.de
The first course of the meal was Caviar with the traditional Garnishes, which was presented nicely with some egg whites & yolk, sour cream, and toasted bread. As usual, the caviar was delicious and as much as I wanted more, I had to save room for all of the other items.
The second course of the meal was a selection of appetisers as well as a mixed salad. The Choice of Appetisers was as follows:
- Caviar with the traditional Garnishes
- Salad of smoked Trout and Cucumber
- Prime boiled Beef, Herbs, Potato Dressing
- Salad of Beetroot and Pearl Onions, Carrots, Radish
- Mixed Salad with Orange, Olives and young Onions with your Choice of Yogurt Lime Dressing or Passion Fruit Dressing
I tried all of the appetisers and salad, and everything was mouthwatering, delicious, and fresh. I enjoyed the mixed salad with the passion fruit dressing, it was excellent. The mean was done at a slow pace – I was able to enjoy each menu item and relax a bit before the next one, this created a nice atmosphere and I was able to finish all of the items.
The third course consisted of a Soup: Beef Bouillon, Mushroom Flan, Root Vegetables. The soup was delicious and by far the best soup I’ve ever had on an aircraft, the soup’s components were equally tasty.
Before the start of my main course, I asked the FA for some black tea and she immediately brought it with some lemon and sugar.
After my ten minute tea break, I was ready for the main course. The Choice of Main Courses was:
- Glazed Cheek of Veal, savory Barbecue Sauce, grilled Vegetables, Oven baked Potato, Sour Cream
- Pike-perch wrapped with Spinach, White Wine Sauce, Lentils, Sweet Potato Mash
- Red Cabbage Gyoza, caramelized Onion, Blueberries, Apple Wedges with Soy Herb Dip
- Lemon flavored Chicken Breast with braised Vegetables, Potato Gratin
I decided to try the Pike-perch, and it was absolutely the best fish I’ve ever eaten, it literally melted in my mouth as I ate. Simply delicious!
It took me about fifteen minutes to enjoy the fish and after that, I had a short break before beginning the dessert. Shortly thereafter, the cheese cart rolled out, though at this point I was so full that I declined the cheese. The Selection of Cheese and Dessert was as follows:
- Obatzda, Kellerhocker, Brie de Meaux, Taleggio and Fourme d’Ambert Cheese garnished with Fig Mustard
- Mousse au Chocolat, marinated Cherries, Golden Nuts, Coconut Ice Cream
- Apricot Sour Cream Cake, Pistachio Ice Cream
While I skipped the cheese, I did try the mousse and ice cream for dessert, and it was super tasty and well prepared.
To finish the amazing meal, I asked for some Iced Coffee, which isn’t on the menu, but the FA was willing to try and called it her “creation”, it was phenomenal. She put so much passion into everything she did and constantly checked on me throughout the meal and made sure I was enjoying everything. She also refilled my glass constantly.
After the meal was finished, I explored a bit around my seat as I waited for the FA to complete the meal service for the other passengers so she could give me a tour of the A380. The First Class seat has plenty of stowage compartments, including the large ottoman, personal locker, and two smaller individual compartments.
One of the stowage compartments contains noise-cancelling headphones, which worked amazingly and I couldn’t hear anything. When I took them off, it was just a bit louder in the cabin.. the A380 is a very quiet aircraft and Lufthansa has also installed special noise-cancelling material in First Class.
About thirty minutes after the meal service was complete, all three of the other passengers went to sleep which meant the main FA was “free” for a bit and she had her colleague watch the cabin whilst she walked with me around the Airbus A380. We walked through the upper deck, down the spiral stairway in the back and then through Economy and back up the front stairway to First Class. She was very enthusiastic and explained all of the features in the galley and how the meals were stored and prepared, I could tell she loved working for Lufthansa, she was truly genuine. I also asked a few questions about the aircraft and she happily explained me everything that I wanted to know.
It was a bit awkward to walk through Business and Economy class wearing my slippers and pyjama, and the FA would tell all of her colleagues along the way that she was conducting a “First Class Tour” and all of the other flight attendants were also super friendly and asked me to enjoy the experience.
When we got to the front stairway she asked me if I enjoyed the tour and I told her it was fantastic and thanked her a ton of times for being so awesome. She finished off the tour by saying: “and here.. is the stairway to heaven!” She couldn’t have put it better!
The other First Class FA made my bed whilst we were touring the aircraft and then the FA wished me a pleasant rest. I wasn’t particularly tired, but ended up sleeping for about three hours. Lufthansa’s bedding is super comfortable and warm, I think I sleep better in Lufthansa First Class than I do in my own bed.. the motions of the aircraft simply make you sleepy and you drift off into the Symphony of Angels.
I woke up about four and a half hours before landing and decided to play around with the IFE and shortly thereafter the FA noticed I had woken up and offered me a mid-flight snack.
The mid-flight snack consisted of a selection of canapés, biscuits, and fresh fruit. I asked for some Ice Tea along with my snack since the cabin was super warm and I was really thirsty. A bottle of water is provided at each seat so I could drink anytime really. The mid-flight snack was served on four plates and consisted of bite-sized sandwiches, fruit, pastries, and vegetables.
We still had about four hours of flight time remaining and so I decided to go back to sleep and amazingly I slept for another two hours.
When I woke up, I was feeling refreshed and wanted a Cappuccino, which was of course presented to me along with some delicious pralines. I slept with headphones on to some music (which is how I normally sleep), and the noise-cancelling headphones were excellent and I think I’m going to buy a pair so I could have them on every flight.
I connected to Lufthansa’s FlyNet internet and checked a few things on the internet as I was drinking my cappuccino, I also uploaded some photos of the flight to social media. I also opened the window shades (which are automated) and the view above America was beautiful. The pre-arrival meal service started about 90 minutes prior to landing.
The FA once again asked me how my rest was and I told her excellent as usual. She presented me with yet another hot towel and asked me if I’d like to have the pre-arrival meal.
The pre-arrival meal had a “Northern Germany” theme to it. The selection of Cold and hot Specialties was as follows:
- Herring à la Bonne Femme
- Holsteiner Katenschinken, smoked Ham with Gherkins and Pearl Onions
- Beans and Pear Salad
- Salad of North Sea Shrimps
- Mustard Pickles
- Dried Fruit Chutney
- Filet of Plaice Finkenwerder Style with browned Butter and Potatoes
- Braised Leg of Lamb served with stewed Carrots and Potato au Gratin
For the appetiser, I tried a selection of three items: the smoked Ham, Beans and Pear Salad, and Dried Fruit Chutney.
For the main course, I went with another fish, which was also excellent but not as tasty as the previous one. Along with my meal, I was able to try a different kind of tea (Rooibos) and also orange juice.
I skipped the dessert, which was a choice of:
- Heidetorte, Rosehip Tart garnished with White Chocolate and Walnuts
- Fresh Fruit
Instead I finished off the delicious Lufthansa catering with a simple glass of water. I’m amazed at the Lufthansa First Class catering improvements, sometimes their First Class meals aren’t the best.. but in this case everything was simply delicious and tasty. I was able to try virtually almost everything on the menu and I’m glad I did – most items were mouthwatering, especially the main course.
I couldn’t resist, I had to have a photo with my favourite Lufthansa flight attendant… she truly went the extra mile and truly made this flight by far my best Lufthansa flight ever. Her friendliness combined with professionalism and attentiveness was a perfect balance, she was super pleasant to talk with and we both exchanged many conversations.
We began our initial descend about twenty-five minutes prior to landing and I simply gazed out the window for the remainder of the flight and thought about how amazing everything was and how I will never forget my first A380 experience with the world’s best airline.
I turned on the tail camera for our final descend and looked out the window at gorgeous San Francisco.
We landed right on time and quickly made it to our gate in the international terminal, we also parked next to a United Dreamliner.
I removed my carry-on and laptop bag from my personal locker and once again thanked the flight attendant for a wonderful flight and that I hope to see her again. She also thanked me for being a great passenger and hoped to see me again on a future Lufthansa flight – I certainly hope so! I also thanked the other First Class FA for her service and as soon as the doors opened, all of the First Class passengers deplaned first. There were Lufthansa agents on the jetway with First Class signs but they told us they couldn’t escort us.. so I’m not sure as to why they were there. I cleared immigration in about thirty seconds thanks to global entry and shortly after the luggage began arriving. Not surprisingly, the First Class and HON Circle luggage was first and about ten minutes after the doors of the A380 opened, I was comfortably seated in the Centurion Lounge.
All in all, Lufthansa will always remain my airline and I will always be loyal with them and fly with them as much as possible. I seriously love Lufthansa and I don’t think there is another airline that delivers such greatness through service, design, layout, catering, etc. Lufthansa continues to amaze me with enhancements which are truly positive for many passengers. The Lufthansa First Class experience is an unforgettable one, especially with such an amazing crew. I was sad the flight was over since it meant saying goodbye to the amazing flight attendants and pursers that looked after everyone during the flight. I really won’t forget this one, ever.
There really isn’t a better way to fly…