Review: Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Frankfurt To Newark

Review: Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Frankfurt To Newark

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Lufthansa 402
Frankfurt (FRA) – Newark (EWR)
Friday, September 4
Depart: 1:20PM
Arrive: 3:45PM
Duration: 8hr25min
Aircraft: Boeing 747-8
Seat: 2K (First Class)

Upon boarding the purser greeted me and handed me over to one of the first class crew, so I could be escorted to my seat. While I love the A380 from a passenger comfort standpoint, the 747 will always have a special place in my heart. And I especially love the 747-8, since it gives a bit more life to what was otherwise a dying plane.

Lufthansa has first class in the nose of the 747-8, with just eight seats. There are three rows with one seat on each side of the cabin, and then two seats in the third row center section.

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Lufthansa 747-8 first class cabin

I find Lufthansa’s new first class cabins to be among the most gorgeously neutral out there, if that makes any sense. They’re classy and understated, unlike the cabins on some of my other favorite airlines.

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Lufthansa 747-8 first class cabin

I had selected seat 2K, the seat on the right side of the cabin in the second row. If traveling alone row two is my favorite, as it’s the most private.

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Lufthansa 747-8 first class, seat 2K

That’s because you face the small bar setup in the center of the cabin.

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View from seat 2K in Lufthansa first class

Meanwhile if I’m traveling with someone I prefer row one, since you’re seated in the very nose, and are a bit closer to one another then you’d be in row two. You can certainly easily see one another, if nothing else. As an aviation geek, there’s also something special about sitting in the nose of the 747.

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View from seat 2K in Lufthansa first class

Personally I can’t imagine myself ever selecting the center seats in row three, though I’m sure many traveling as a couple would prefer them, since they’re the only seats between which you can easily converse.

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Lufthansa 747-8 first class, seats 3D & 3G

Lufthansa’s first class seat isn’t some outrageously modern fully enclosed suite, though it’s extremely comfortable. And it strikes a nice balance between offering privacy and not feeling claustrophobic.

Each seat has an ottoman, which can be adjusted to move closer to you. That’s a comfortable way to put your feet up without raising your footrest. It also has a storage compartment, which is convenient.

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Lufthansa first class storage compartment

Then to the right of the seat are two storage compartments, one of which is for the built-in Bose headphones.

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Lufthansa first class storage compartment

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Lufthansa first class storage compartment

To the left of the seat are the seat controls (including for the privacy partition), while to the right of the seat are the entertainment controls.

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Lufthansa first class seat controls

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Lufthansa first class entertainment controls

What I really love about the 747-8 (as opposed to the 747-400) is how modern the cabin is. The lines are so sleek, while it’s usually apparent that the 747-400 has been around for at least a couple of decades.

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View from seat 2K in Lufthansa first class

In addition to the storage at each seat, each passenger has a “locker” behind the cabin, where they can store their bags if needed (though the cabin also has somewhat small overhead bins).

Once settled in, the two first class crew came by to introduce themselves. They were both in their 50s and friendly, striking that perfect balance between being personable and friendly, while also being a bit removed.

The flight attendant suggested I have a glass of champagne. Who am I to say no? Lufthansa frequently changes up their first class champagne, and in this instance they were serving 2007 Taittinger, which was perfectly drinkable, though not among my favorites.

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View from seat 2K in Lufthansa first class

As usual, it was served with a ramekin of macadamia nuts.

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Lufthansa first class pre-departure champagne

Shortly thereafter I was offered the usual amenities — pajamas, slippers, and an amenity kit. The flight attendant asked what size pajamas I wanted. I requested a large, though she said (in German) “okay, I figured you would be more of a medium.” The flight attendant earned about 100 bonus points for saying that, as far as I’m concerned! 😉

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Lufthansa first class amenities

Lufthansa’s pajamas are among the more stylish out there, even if the pants feel like they’re made of hospital scrubs. On Lufthansa the tops and bottoms are packaged separately, and I know a lot of people just wear one or the other.

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Lufthansa first class pajamas

Lufthansa’s slippers are also among the more durable out there.

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Lufthansa first class slippers

The amenity kit was from Braun Buffel, and it was the first time I had such a kit. As usual, it was well stocked, and even had some La Prarie products (those aren’t cheap!).

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Lufthansa first class amenity kit

The crew was attentive with refills and assisting the other passengers as the cabin filled up. Seated in front of me in 1K was a blog reader from New York (it was great to meet you!). Then in 2A was an American who must have been a lawyer or something, based on the amount of hard copy documents he was going through.

Then in the center seats in row three was an American couple with an infant, who was surprisingly well behaved. In the end that means that five of the eight first class seats were filled.

About 10 minutes before scheduled departure the captain came through the first class cabin to “greet” first class passengers. I find Lufthansa pilots do this for first class passengers about 50% of the time, though I’ve never had that before on the 747-8, because it’s quite a walk for the captain to get from the cockpit to the first class cabin.

One thing that’s 100% consistent with Lufthansa pilot “greetings” is that it’s almost always awkward as hell. He kind of just stood there, awkwardly nodded his head at each passenger, and then left again. Nice gesture, but goodness!

A few minutes after that the captain came on the PA to update us on our departure time, explaining we had a “very zlight delay due to zha loading of zha luggages, but I assure you vhe vhill still arrive in Newark wis punctuality.” He also informed us that our flight time would be 7hr15min.

Shortly thereafter the purser made her welcome aboard announcement. She must have had one of the most fascinating accents I’ve ever heard. It was so unique that I had to audio record it. It was almost identical to the accents in the Virgin Atlantic safety video, whereby they’re trying to fake American accents (I think):

Shortly thereafter she played the safety video, which really could use a refresh at some point.

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Lufthansa safety video

At 1:40PM we began our pushback.

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Pushing back from Frankfurt Airport

I requested a blanket before pushback, which I certainly needed after seeing the gorgeous lineup of Lufthansa A380s, 747-8s, and 747-400s.

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Lufthansa A380 Frankfurt Airport

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Lufthansa 747-8 Frankfurt Airport

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Lufthansa 747-400 Frankfurt Airport

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Lufthansa Technik Frankfurt Airport

Once past the Lufthansa Technik building, it was just a short five minute taxi to runway 25C.

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Condor 757 Frankfurt Airport

There we were behind a Lufthansa A340-300, which was quickly cleared for takeoff.

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Lufthansa A340 Frankfurt Airport

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Lufthansa A340 Frankfurt Airport

Next an Air Canada A330 was cleared for takeoff.

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Air Canada A330 Frankfurt Airport

And then finally it was our turn.

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Taking off Runway 25C Frankfurt Airport

Our takeoff roll was long and loud, which is to be expected when you’re seated right above the front nose gear.

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View taking off from Frankfurt Airport

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View taking off from Frankfurt Airport

As usual, the views on the climb out were nice, as Frankfurt Airport takes up quite a bit of real estate, meaning we had airport views for at least a minute or so.

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View taking off from Frankfurt Airport

One thing worth noting is that it’s really loud in the nose of the 747 when the nose gear is retracted. I remember I was shocked the first time I experienced it without warning, and I often notice it catches people off guard.

My eyes were glued out the window for most of the climb out, given that the German countryside is enchanting.

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View after takeoff from Frankfurt

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View after takeoff from Frankfurt

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View after takeoff from Frankfurt

Once we passed through about 20,000 feet I decided to browse the entertainment selection, which was utterly crappy. That’s nothing new, though, as Lufthansa has always had an incredibly lackluster entertainment selection. And that’s not really a big deal, since I usually bring my own entertainment anyway.

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Airshow enroute to US

The great news is that Lufthansa offers one of the all around best inflight internet experiences out there:

  • Lufthansa has Wi-Fi throughout virtually all of their longhaul fleet
  • The cost is very reasonable — just 17EUR for a 24 hour pass, which can be used across multiple flights
  • There are no data restrictions, and speeds are generally quite good (at least in comparison to the likes of Singapore)

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Lufthansa Wi-Fi pricing

It’s tough to beat a productive “day at the office” from above the clouds.

Anyway, minutes later the purser came through the cabin to introduce herself and distribute menus. I couldn’t help but ask whether she learned English in the US, since she sort of had a Texas-style accent. She explained she hadn’t, which made the accent even more of a mystery.

Anyway, she explained that first class passengers could dine whenever they wanted, as the service was fully personalized around our preferences.

I was quite hungry, so decided to have lunch almost right away. The lunch menu read as follows:

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And the wine/drink list read as follows:

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As usual, service began with a beautifully scented hot towel.

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Lufthansa first class hot towel

That was followed by the amuse bouche. I had a glass of water to accompany it.

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Lufthansa first class amuse bouche

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Lufthansa first class amuse bouche

Shortly thereafter the table was set, and I was offered a selection from the bread basket. I selected a piece of garlic bread and one of the pretzels.

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Lufthansa first class table setting

I do love how Lufthansa puts a “First Class” stamp on their butter when departing Germany.

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Lufthansa first class butter

The flight attendants came around with a cart, off of which I was offered caviar. It was plated at my seat, and I was given a pretty generous helping. Upon finishing it I was offered a refill, though I declined.

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Lufthansa first class lunch — caviar

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Lufthansa first class lunch — caviar

After that the cart with appetizers was rolled around the cabin. The two appetizers which sounded appealing to me were the salad of smoked trout and cucumber, as well as the salad of beetroot and pearl onions, carrots, and radish. On top of that I selected the standard mixed greens. So I guess my appetizer consisted of three salads.

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Lufthansa first class lunch — appetizers

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Lufthansa first class lunch — salad of smoked trout and cucumber

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Lufthansa first class lunch — mixed salad with orange, olives, and onions

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Lufthansa first class lunch — salad of beetroot and pearl onions, carrots, and radish

For the main course I ordered the lemon chicken breast, though was served the glazed cheek of veal instead. I probably should have sent it back, but truth be told I wasn’t all that hungry at this point anyway, so decided to just have a bit of it. Interestingly the reader seated in 1K was also served the wrong main course.

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Lufthansa first class lunch — glazed cheek of veal

For dessert I had the sour cream cake with pistachio ice cream, which was delicious.

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Lufthansa first class dessert — apricot sour cream cake with pistachio ice cream

To finish off the meal I had a cappuccino, which was served with a packaged chocolate.

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Lufthansa first class cappuccino

I was also offered a selection of chocolates from a box, though I passed on that.

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Lufthansa first class bar setup

Service throughout the meal was very good. The entire meal was complete less than two hours after takeoff, and everything was done at a personalized pace. The crew wasn’t over-the-top, though they were attentive and friendly. Aside from them mixing up the main course, I have no complaints.

Since there’s a table across from my seat, they turned it into a bar setup with self serve drinks, chocolate, etc.

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Lufthansa first class bar setup

I had forgotten to download shows for my iPad, so desperately scoured the IFE selection again. The only decent show was “Everybody Hates Chris,” which I saw for the last time maybe five years ago.

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Lufthansa first class entertainment

After watching that I got some more work done, and then with about four hours left to Newark, I requested to have my bed made, so that I could take a nap.

While my bed was made I headed to the lavatory. There are two lavatories behind the first class cabin, and during the flight they were both locked the entire time. I suspect that’s because they’re right in front of the business class cabin, so it’s probably so business class passengers don’t try to use them. While they’re not as nice as the bathrooms on the Lufthansa A380, they’re still spacious, have a “bench,” and a window.

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Lufthansa first class lavatory

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Lufthansa first class lavatory

When I got back to my seat the bed was made. Lufthansa’s bedding is fantastic, with a plush mattress pad, great blanket, and firm pillow. While they don’t offer a fully enclosed suite, with the privacy partition it’s a perfectly private area to sleep.

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Lufthansa first class bed

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Lufthansa first class bed

That being said, I could only sleep for about 90 minutes, and woke up with more than two hours left to Newark.

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Lufthansa airshow

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Lufthansa airshow

I got a bit more work done on my laptop, and then about 90 minutes before landing I was offered another snack. The pre-arrival menu read as follows:

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Service once again began with a hot towel.

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Lufthansa first class hot towel

I like Lufthansa’s “salad buffet” concept, whereby there are a bunch of options you can point to and then have plated at your seat.

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Lufthansa first class salad buffet

For the pre-arrival meal I asked if I could try a little bit of everything except the veal. Somehow I was still served the veal. That’s 0/2 for the crew getting my order right.

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Lufthansa first class salad buffet

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Lufthansa first class pre-arrival meal

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Lufthansa first class pre-arrival meal

Everything else was top notch, including the tart and fruit I had for dessert.

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Lufthansa first class dessert

To finish off the meal (and wake up a bit, since I had a long evening ahead of me), I ordered a coffee to go along with it.

Lufthansa first class coffee

At around 2:55PM Newark time we began our initial descent, at which point the captain made another announcement, informing us that we’d land in about 30 minutes.

Our descent into Newark was smooth, and the views on approach were every bit as exciting as you’d expect.

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View on approach into Newark

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View on final approach into Newark

We touched down at Newark Airport at 3:25PM sharp, and then had a quick taxi to our arrival gate.

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View after touchdown at Newark Airport

We pulled in between a United 757 and a Lufthansa A340.

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Taxiing Newark Airport

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Taxiing Newark Airport

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Lufthansa A340 Newark Airport

Thanks to Global Entry I was through immigration in a couple of minutes (as you can see below, I was thrilled to be back home).

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Global Entry

I had checked a bag, and this is usually an area where Lufthansa excels, since they offer some incredible priority services for first class passengers. Not only do the bags arrive at the belt substantially faster than other bags, but there’s an agent who pulls the first class bags aside.

I’ve mentioned how amazing Lufthansa is about first class bags at Washington Dulles, for example. And sure enough, first class bags came out pretty quickly… but mine wasn’t among them.

As it turns out, the Austrian check-in agent in Vienna didn’t put a HON Circle tag on my bag, so my bag just arrived a further 20 minutes later with all the other “priority” bags.

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Lufthansa first class baggage services

Lufthansa First Class bottom line

This was another pleasant flight in Lufthansa first class. I love Lufthansa’s first class cabins, as I find they’re understated but luxurious.

The food on this sector was pretty typical for Lufthansa — it was good but not amazing.

And the service on this flight was also quite good, about average for what I expect in Lufthansa first class. The flight attendants were friendly and attentive without being over-the-top.

Perhaps the only disappointing part of this experience was the first class ground service in Frankfurt, which was quite lacking compared to my previous experiences.

If you’ve flown Lufthansa first class, what were your experiences like?

Conversations (20)
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  1. Phil Guest

    I was surprised Lufthansa served Veal as this is one of the cruelest meats to eat.

    A baby Calf ripped from its mother at birth, chained down by the neck 24 hrs a day in a small crate and fed on a diet of milk. Nice!!

  2. Micah Guest

    I spy the EVA bag tag on your carry on...that airline has really impressed me recently.

  3. Gil Member

    Ben, I couldn't stop laughing for 5 minutes over your blanket comment! Great report as always.

  4. flying_foxy Guest

    Interestingly I was served the exact same dinner menu MUC-HKG last week, I would have though out of different stations and to Asia the menu would be different.
    I was given a new Bogner amenity kit though (which was very average..!)

  5. AlexS Diamond

    Ben, you're being too kind to them... Messing up a meal order choice twice on the same flight is pretty bad. Likewise for the bag not being properly tagged. At least they didn't send it to HKG, but still... This IS supposed to be First Class, in theory the finest service they can deliver.

  6. wesley chiang New Member


    Great review! I am trying to snag one of the LH F to experience. I have a quick Aeroplan award chart, I am thinking from BKK-NYC via Europe. Can I book award ticket in TG F + LH J and wait until the F is avalaible and have it upgrade like the AA drill? Thanks a bunch!

  7. Thomas_888 Member

    Nice...makes me wanna go to FRA tomorrow to spend my last M&M miles to anywhere in LH F.
    But I'm going to be strong and wait for the right occasion :-)

  8. D Member

    You should look into some new airlines, as much as I enjoy and look forward to the reports, how different can another report on lufty/emirates/singapore first class really be? I'd a bet with myself there'd be one of the three on the front page today when I logged on and there it is! I don't mean to come across as negative, would just enjoy some new experiences and airlines more.

  9. rg98 Guest

    What about the advice as to how to get one of these LH F for miles?

  10. Luis Diamond

    @lopere - So you mean you want to see more reviews of CX first class? It may have been a few weeks since we've had one of those.

    Ben, thanks for the review. The food looks really good but the champagne is disappointing.

  11. pavel Guest

    just gotta say, i think your LH love might be tainting the perception here. if i was a first-time flyer in LH F, i'd be more than a bit disappointed if they screwed up my food twice on a 7 hour flight with only five passengers. add to that the bag snafu and crappy IFE and it seems like a less than stellar first-class experience.

  12. lopere Guest


    Would love to see a review on something besides Lufthansa, Hyatt, or Starwood.

  13. Chris Guest

    I have been fortunate enough to fly LH F on about 10 Atlantic legs. Starting with the old blue F on the upper deck of the 747 when I was in my 20s and in the nose of 747-8 in my late 30s. I sensed that the flight attendant attitude toward a 20-something yo was a bit dismissive. On one occasion my 2K seat on an A343 was taken buy a passenger who was ticketed...

    I have been fortunate enough to fly LH F on about 10 Atlantic legs. Starting with the old blue F on the upper deck of the 747 when I was in my 20s and in the nose of 747-8 in my late 30s. I sensed that the flight attendant attitude toward a 20-something yo was a bit dismissive. On one occasion my 2K seat on an A343 was taken buy a passenger who was ticketed in 1K and he was already "sleeping". I hate the first seat as it feels claustrophobic to me. When I pointed out to the FA that someone else was in my seat she told me to take another seat. As appalling as it was, I didn't make a big deal out of it. Most recent experiences on 747-8 out of IAD have been great. I wish LH would serve more expensive bubbly. Though I understand that at 30,000 ft one might not be able to appreciate fully the nuance of Krug or Salon, flying LH F is not the matter of what's practical or sensible, thus the bubbly should match the rest of the experience.

  14. Bill Guest

    A "First Class" with no enclosed suites . . . ? No cares . . . What is this 1982?

  15. 31583 Member

    I don't get it, seriously. Now I'm jealous. How do you stay in shape while you eat this much? If I would eat all these during my flights then I would be well over 200 pounds. It's not fair.

  16. Leon New Member

    I recently flew this plane from HKG-FRA. Gosh I love this plane. Just like you said, the first class cabin is classy. I was disappointed about the amenity kits. I was looking forward for a rimowa. The food was amazing too.

  17. Marc Member

    Nice review! I love the nose of the 747 !

  18. Lively Guest

    Thanks for the great report. Hope to be on one of the those planes soon.

  19. Kevin Guest

    Thanks for the review, Lucky. LH's IFE is nothing short of abysmal. AA's vast selection pool puts this poor excuse of an IFE system to shame.

  20. Santastico Diamond

    How did you manage to get your picture in the GE paper? :) I never get mine that way since I am always looking down typing when the camera takes the picture. Not sure why the camera does not move or gives you a sign to look at it before taking the shot. Whatever!!!!

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Phil Guest

I was surprised Lufthansa served Veal as this is one of the cruelest meats to eat. A baby Calf ripped from its mother at birth, chained down by the neck 24 hrs a day in a small crate and fed on a diet of milk. Nice!!

Micah Guest

I spy the EVA bag tag on your carry on...that airline has really impressed me recently.

Gil Member

Ben, I couldn't stop laughing for 5 minutes over your blanket comment! Great report as always.

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