Lufthansa First Class Seattle- Frankfurt
Asiana a380 Seoul to Los Angeles
Visiting Thailand and the island of Koh Samui
This was the beginning of a journey almost 1 year in the making. And was to celebrate our 10 years of marriage plus the first time in 3 1/2 years we’ve vacationed without our little kid in tow. Granted as I’ve said earlier in other parts of this Trip Report, we’ve not scaled back our travels. She’s been to Australia, Singapore, Maldives, Disneyworld twice, over 1/2 a dozen trips to Disneyland and even a Transatlantic Cruise from London to Florida.
That being said if you’re parent you can relate to my excitement of haveing an opportunity to travel with just your better half. Knowing that you don’t have to worry or think about all the little things that go along with traveling with a kid. Let alone hoping and praying that they don’t disturb the other guests.
In any event the lead up to this flight was just about all I could handle and I was so so excited. Initially when I booked this trip the first flight was on United Airlines from SFO to London in First Class. Then about six months later a schedule change occurred that forced a misconnect in Europe. Surprisingly it was not the UA segment, it was the Munich to Bangkok segment on Thai that was discontinued. Our initial itinerary was SFO-LHR (UA) LHR-MUC (Lufthansa Business) and then Thai to Bangkok in First. At the time of booking Thai offered two flights a day from Munich, and then they briefly cancelled the second flight. This cancellation forced us to miss our TG flight. So when I called to make changes 6 months later, I was able to get us on the direct to Frankfurt on UA that connected to the Thai a380 in First Class (which conveniently enough) had space available. UA had to open up space on their plane to Frankfurt, but there were no other viable options to get us to Europe conveniently; flying via Europe instead of through Asia to get to Thailand. This is one of those times, were you have a bit of leverage, because UA needs to make it right and if that means opening up space they can. The key word is to ask the agent to get with REVENUE MANAGEMENT and ask as nice as you can to open up space on their metal. Really they have no control over other mambers of Star Alliance, but they can control their planes.
We’ll as you can see we didn’t take UA, we took Lufthansa from North America. It’s a well-known fact that T-Minus 14 days LH will possibly release seats to Star Alliance partners in First Class. They are notorious for only allowing their frequent fliers the ability to book first many months in advance. There have been glitches that sometimes pop up on occasion that allow better chances of redemption, but they are few and far between. So with T-Minus 14 days, daily I’d look at every North American Lufthansa gateway to Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Munich to see if two seats up front opened I was a bit obsessed to tell you the truth. Finally at 36 hours my patience was rewarded and I found two seats on the same flight, so I grabbed them with the help of a phone agent. The best part because this award was booked prior to the major United award devaluation, I didn’t have to worry about paying more miles. Since the flight to Frankfurt was from Seattle, I had the agent add a segment from SFO so we didn’t have to buy that ticket. It was in coach so I’m skipping that review.
Lufthansa 491 from Seattle to Frankfurt utalizes an Airbus a330-300 and is blocked out at 10:10 of flight time
The cabin is beautiful, let me start off by saying that. There are only 8 seats up front. With two rows in a 1-2-1 configuration, so if you’re traveling with someone and actually want to talk to them the middle seats are the way to go. That being said, the seats are not staggered in any way so if you were sitting in a window and wanted to chat or talk to the person across the aisle, there was no problem at all. In the front of the two middle seats was a bar area and the flight attendants use that as a staging area for all of the wines on order, as well as a place to hold waters and juices too. Below the cabinet it appeared they stored extra glassware too. As an aside I didn’t find this to be bothersome in anyway, in fact the two attendants working our section did an excellent job. I was afraid that this being a staging area could get kind of noisy. Obviously Lufthansa figured out how to make this work.
As you can see there’s quite a bit of space and legroom. The seat itself reclines 180 degree flat and also has an ottoman that’s motorized and can be adjusted closer to you when wanted. It’s also partially hollow, so you can store shoes, PJ’s, your amenity kit and a bit more. There’s no personal closet, but the attendants can also hang stuff for you in the shared ones between the seats and galley. Additionally between the beautiful real rose vases, there’s a privacy screen and stowed beneath that is the tray table. Frankly I was trying to figure out where it was, and doing my best job to act like I’ve been there before, so I just waited till they wanted to start dinner service and then they “found” it for me. It’s on a sliding track so you can move it as close to you as you want as well.
The seat itself was comfortable, although I had a hard time getting it just right for me, but once I did I was happy. The controls are super easy to use, it’s just with five sets of buttons, you need to figure out your combination. It’d be great if they installed a memory button so when you move the seat to make it easier to eat or go to the loo, you can hit a button to get it back to your desired position.
The PJ’s bottoms were great for me. They were of a lightish material and I really liked how they wore and felt. The top on the other hand was a bit snug. As you can see I requested the husky size (their largest) and with a size 42″ waist, yes I said it, I’m big, they fit fine. The top was ok, but not my finest moment. It was better w/out a shirt underneath. It’s 3/4 sleeve so if you get cold it may not be enough, but for normal people who like to have their own air nozzle, it can get hot. I don’t understand why US carriers seam like the only ones that let you control your air. In the case of this flight it was borderline sauna level. Being that I was going to Germany I didn’t bring shorts so I just got hot. Overall they were comfortable, and I wore them from pre-takeoff to about 30 minutes of landing. I considered wearing them out, but cooler heads prevailed, and I didn’t. I’m not sure my wife would have acknowledged me if I had worn them.
Thee kit was nice too, frankly I just wanted the box. The contents were nothing special in my opinion. I long for the days when you got Ferragamo cologne on Singapore Air in First. Needless to say the box is mine all mine!!!
Dinner and Drinks on board were just amazing, minus an overcooked and chewy steak. To be offered Dom Perignon 2004 prior to take off kicked butt. Sadly no presentation of the bottle. Is that only something that Asian carriers do? I’m sure I could ask, but I was trying to act like I’d been here before and was failing miserably. I was the only one taking pictures, save the guy behind me who took one of a chocolate santa sitting on the seat for his kid supposedly. Ha Ha. Please click on the pictures if you want a full list of drink and dinner selections.
Overall I felt the meal was paced well. I didn’t time it or anything like that, but it was a true and impressive five course meal.
They had the best stemware. I loved it, and of course the contents was not too shabby either.
Ok so the only time I have eaten caviar is on a plane. I have no idea if this is good/great/amazing. I do and did like it, plus the fixings made it taste that much better.
I’m not sure if they offered seconds, but I was never asked, nor did I need it. Attempting to pace myself.
My choice of starters, they had five and I was already getting full so I only opted for three. The duck on the right was my favorite
Overcooked steak with porchini and blue cheese crust, with veg and potatoes on the side in a wine reduction. Except for the steak the food was perfect. I would have asked for something else, but was worried how I would power down the desert so I didn’t send it back. I know I sound like a snob but after two bites I was very disappointed. I knew I should have ordered something different to start with bust cestlavie
Light and fluffy cheesecake, with a caramel sauce. Damn it was worth it, and if I had eaten the whole
steak would not have been able to eat this. So it all worked out in the end.
This flight is approximately 10 hours long, and in this case just about that. Dinner was served maybe 1 hour in and about 1.5 hours prior to landing
breakfast was served. I was still flipping full from dinner but I marched on. I’ve heard many things about their scrambled eggs to order, and I wanted to try them. Plus I’m not one to turn down a meal, ha just kidding. I just wanted to sample the food.
Yes the eggs were all they have been cracked up to be, well worth my sacrifice.
Normally I have no desire to show people where I do my business, but a room with a view, that’s just cool.
Plus although a small bathroom, not as small as most you could easily change into something more comfortable. Like Lufthansa supplied pajamas.
Because Lufthansa doesn’t want it’s First Class passengers to have to sit in a bus or walk to the Terminal, let alone have to see the other guests,
they have Mercedes Benz car’s and vans pick you up. The Rockstar inside me was very very stoked.
In conclusion, I really had a great flight this was in the top five of carries in regards to a first class experience. I’ve been lucky enough to fly international first class a few times on Thai, Singapore, United and American and if Singapore is my favorite this come’s is a close second. I know there are other top notch airlines, but either I have never flown them in first or just not at all. The service was really good, just not warm and friendly. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the flight overall and the staff did an amazing job, but there wasn’t much in the way of hospitality. The crew serving us never introduced themselves and the purser came by and said hello about 1 1/2 hours into the flight and thanked us near landing. But that was it in relations to personal interaction. I don’t need a chatty cathy, but I do like it when the staff are friendly and serve you with a smile. They were just more automatic and less personal then I’ve had on flights with Cathay Pacific, Singapore or even American.
The food as I said was excellent, and the quantity was perfect if not too much. The only ding was the bad steak. Drink selection was on par with what I’d exact and very very good at that. The seat also as I’ve said was great, just needed to get it set right and I was on happy.
Lastly, my wife had an issue with her chair it stopped working, and here the flight attendants really shined. Three of them spent a good 10 minutes trying and successfully fixing it. They had to get on hands and knees to make it work but got it all set and working again. This allowed us to sit together for the balance of the flight. Thumbs up Lufthansa.