- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Introduction
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Singapore Airlines First Class Houston to Moscow
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: International Business Lounge Moscow
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Singapore Airlines First Class Moscow to Singapore
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Singapore Airlines Business Class Singapore to Bali
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: InterContinental Bali
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Exploring Bali
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: W Retreat Bali Seminyak
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Singapore Airlines Business Class Bali to Singapore
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: The Singapore Airlines Private Room Singapore
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Singapore Airlines First Class Singapore to Frankfurt
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: InterContinental Berchtesgaden & Surrounding Areas
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Le Meridien Parkhotel Frankfurt
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Frankfurt to Washington Dulles
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Westin Washington Dulles Airport
Up front I should say that I’ve reviewed the First Class Terminal many times before, including here, here, here, here, here, and here, so if you want to read about all the amenities be sure to check those out.
We left the hotel shortly before 10AM and made it to the First Class Terminal by 10:30AM, where we experienced the usual awesome check-in process. We handed the personal assistant our passports and informed him we were heading to Washington Dulles, and he immediately escorted us through security. As I always say, this is the only place in the world you can go from being on the street to being comfortably seated in the lounge past security in about 60 seconds.
While the First Class Terminal isn’t huge it sure is one of the swankiest lounge spaces anywhere. As soon as we arrived we headed straight for the restaurant to have lunch, given that we’d be eating again aboard just a few hours later.
First Class Terminal
First Class Terminal
While there’s a small a la carte menu, the buffet is fantastic, much better than what Lufthansa serves aboard in my opinion. Here’s the menu:
And here’s the “Olympics Menu” (though I can’t say I’m a huge fan of British food):
The buffet was amazing as always.
I selected a bit of just about everything.
After lunch I had a seat near the window where I caught up on work for a while.
At around 12:40PM we were approached by our personal assistant, who informed us it was time to board. He walked us down to the lower level where we cleared immigration and were introduced to our driver. We lucked out in that we got a personal Porsche Cayenne this time around, as I’ve gotten a ride in a shared van during my past several visits.
Fortunately we were parked pretty far from the lounge, so our drive took a good 10 minutes, and featured plenty of great plane spotting.
US Airways Airbus 330
Singapore Airbus 380
Eventually we laid eyes on our beauty, Lufthansa’s first and only 747-8 (at the time).
The driver parked right next to the plane and escorted us to the elevator, which took us straight to the jet bridge.
At the door we were introduced to our lovely crew, who would be taking care of us for the next eight hours.
I'm thinking of booking a 6 hour layover (~7a-1p) with FCT access. Would I be able to check into FCT and store my carry on there and head into the city? Or is 6 hours cutting it close? Thanks!
@ E -- Six hours is enough to go into the city, though not sure there's really a place to store your things in the FCT.
@ Patrick -- Sure is!
@ BaBaBinx -- Sounds good!
Awwww Lucky, I wish I could! Your blog gives me hours of enjoyment! ;p
On a side note, our North American Headquarters will have a new facility in Atlanta in the coming months. It will literally be at the base of the runway of Hartsfield. So you can wave at me when you land! There will be some cool customer experience activities, so you will need to plan a layover accordingly! Use your Starwood points at the St Regis Atlanta - it is a beautiful property!
OK... I'll ask. Is the food in the F lounge free?
@ ChineseScouser -- For the FCT itself I'd say a ~4 hour layover is ideal. One hour to have a nice meal, one hour to take a bath, one hour to lounge, and then a few minutes on both ends as a buffer. Not sure about luggage shopping, though!
May not be fully related but, Lucky, since you've been to the FRA and the FCT so many times, how much time would you suggest a layover be if we would want to experience the FCT and do some luggage (Rimowa) shopping? :)
@ BaBaBinx -- So, can you get me a friends and family discount on a new Cayenne? :p
I work for Porsche, and there is nothing better than being on the tarmac in Frankfurt and seeing our vehicles! And I also love all the plane spotting!
@ Stephan -- Sadly just the standard duck. They were out of Olympic ducks. :(
2nd on the duck...
Looking forward to the 747-8 report.
Lucky...great report, but what we really want to know is what type of duckie did you get:-)
@ Stuart Falk -- All I have is second hand information and I honestly haven't been following this as closely as I should, so take what I say with a grain of salt. But my understanding is that the crux of the issue goes beyond pay and involves Lufthansa potentially using outside flight attendants on a lower pay contract (similar to what British Airways is doing with their "mixed fleet" flight attendants), and also that...
@ Stuart Falk -- All I have is second hand information and I honestly haven't been following this as closely as I should, so take what I say with a grain of salt. But my understanding is that the crux of the issue goes beyond pay and involves Lufthansa potentially using outside flight attendants on a lower pay contract (similar to what British Airways is doing with their "mixed fleet" flight attendants), and also that they might be putting current flight attendants on a shorter term contract than in the past.
Hopefully someone else can chime in here, though my understanding is that this goes beyond pay and has more to do with "fundamental" contract issues.
@ Stephan -- Ah, good to know, thanks. I know they were planning to launch the Frankfurt to Delhi service on the 747-8i just a couple of days after my flight, which would explain it.
Well, if you look closely at the photo of the rear of the 748, it wasn't their first B747-8I as the registration is D-ABYC, not D-ABYA. You flew in #2 which has started flying to DEL now No D-ABYB in service - BTW original B747-130 with this registration crashed at NBO in 1974.
In that you've had so much opportunity to talk with members of Lufthansa's cabin staff, can you offer any insight into (or opinions about) their current labor dispute, which has resulted in a strike seriously affecting the airline's operations? (When I think of European labor disputes resulting in strikes, my thoughts turn more to Italy or France, so this has taken me by surprise).
@ colleen -- I believe that Singapore does as well.
@ JRL -- LOL!
@Lucky, real first class pax go robe & slippers at the bar in the FCT.
@Lucky, FYI I'm sorry to see that they've phased out their Panamera's, only the Cayenne's presently remain in the Porsche fleet.
@Colleen, as does ANA.
@colleen - I know Cathay Pacific does.
Do any of the Asian airlines offer fresh-brewed espresso drinks (cappuccino, latte, etc) on board?
@ MilesFromBlighty -- Nothing wrong with it, just nothing right with it either. :p
And what, may we ask, is wrong with British Food?
Thanks for 'splaining about the elevator. It was never clear to me what happened once they drove you to the plane, and I had horrible thoughts about schlebbing your carry-on up the stairs.