Lufthansa First Class in the Boeing 747-400 to Vancouver
As a resume of my first First Class flight with Emirates from Bangkok to Hong Kong, I had written that I wanted to test the First Class experience on a longer route. The time had finally come! What an experience a Lufthansa First Class in the Boeing 747-400 is, you will find out in the following report.
What does a Lufthansa First Class flight cost?
It all started at the end of August. I had accumulated a few miles in my Lufthansa Miles & More account and so we took our wedding in May as an occasion to begin our journey in First Class. According to the online search, only interesting award flights to Hong Kong or Vancouver were available for our travel period. After a short consideration the decision was once again made for the USA and Canada. The booking process via the Miles & More Service Center was straightforward. Ten minutes later, 230.000 miles and about 1000 EUR less, we were proud owners of First Class Tickets. The return flight was scheduled to leave Los Angeles two weeks later. But here I was missing a few miles for the First and in the Business Class there were unfortunately no award seats available. For this reason, we were left with economy only. As a small note on the side: If we had paid cash for the outbound flight at the same time, almost 14.000 EUR would have been due. A proud sum!
Lufthansa First Class – Check-in at Leipzig Airport
Our travel day started early. Already at 4 o’clock we had to get up. The car was already packed and shortly after 04:45 o’clock we left. Through Saturday night we drove the few kilometers from Halle (Saale) to Leipzig airport. The streets were free except for all the fog. We parked the car again on a fenced parking lot five minutes away from the airport, there the shuttle bus was already waiting for us and after a short time we were at the First Class check-in counter. Here we waited, not the first time, almost longer than the guests at the economy queue. Wonderful thing!
Lufthansa Business Lounge at Leipzig Airport
After the security check we quickly went for a coffee in the empty lounge. There is not much to report in Leipzig. But we don’t want to complain, at least the airport has one!
Lufthansa Business Class flight LH157 to Frankfurt
The Boeing 737-500 (registration D-ABIL “Memmingen”, first flight 19.02.1991) for our flight LH157 was fully booked. Shortly after take-off we had a small cold breakfast with rolls and cold cuts. Nothing special, but we would rather eat in the lounge in Frankfurt anyway.
The approach to Frankfurt and taxiing to the apron position took almost as long as the actual cruise flight of 25 minutes. When getting out of the plane we were welcomed by a young man with a first class sign and escorted to a waiting Mercedes Benz Vito. This was very comfortable with individual leather seats in the rear and other extras. It also seemed to be the latest model from Mercedes.
Lufthansa First Class Lounge at Frankfurt Airport
We were driven to Terminal 1 B and the driver explained us the short way to the First Class Lounge, which is opposite Gate B22.
Already 10 minutes after leaving the plane we were in the very nice spacious lounge. This one was quite well filled. But you don’t really notice much of that, because there are enough separated seating areas. We first took a seat in the restaurant area. It would be time for a tasty breakfast after all. I ordered a glass of champagne and a coffee from the waiter to get the day started. Besides the buffet we could also get something à la carte from the kitchen for breakfast. But for us, the delicacies of the buffet were sufficient.
After the extensive breakfast we took a seat on one of the comfortable leather chairs and watched the hustle and bustle at the gates. After the short break I grabbed my camera and went on an exploratory tour through the lounge. Starting in the Cigar Lounge, where great classical music was played, I went to the bar and from there to the spa area. Here I also got myself two famous Lufthansa* squeaking ducks.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt
As we wanted to stretch our legs a little before our long-haul flight and of course to get the most out of our flight experience, we made our way to the Lufthansa First Class Terminal around 09:45 am. So we had to “enter” Germany again for a short time and then through the hidden corridors from Frankfurt down to the arrival exit A1. From there it is only a few meters on foot, past the taxis, to the terminal.
With the elevator we went up one floor. In the foyer we were immediately welcomed by our personal assistant, and after handing over the tickets and passports, she guided us through the security check. This is really very pleasant. The officials are all dressed in suits and are insanely friendly. Since there was no other passenger present except us, it went without waiting time incredibly fast.
Afterwards, our assistant led us briefly through the terminal, which was a little smaller than I had imagined. She then disappeared into her office with our tickets. The passports were immediately sent by pneumatic post one floor down to the Federal Border Guard.
I was immediately fascinated by the great selection of different cola bottles. There were some really exotic variations here. I first took a Coke Rebel from Hamburg to refresh myself. Their lemon-like taste and light colour were very untypical for a cola.
After it was a bit crowded here in the terminal we changed our position and went to the back part of the terminal by the workstations. Here it was much quieter. When our assistant came back with our tickets, I reserved a time for a shower. This was also available relatively quickly and I was able to freshen up again. On the way to take a shower, she told me that the terminal will soon be celebrating its 10th anniversary and is therefore being renovated a lot. For this reason there was also a special construction worker rubber duck.
After the shower our personal assistant visited us again. She had probably noticed that we had just gotten married recently and that this is our wedding trip. She surprised us with an insanely great present, a rose and a rubber ducky bride and groom. Awesome! We’ve had enough ducks for now.
For a small lunch we went again to the restaurant area. There is also a buffet and an à la carte menu. Christin did not have that much appetite, but I ordered a juicy beef medallion (medium) with arugula and parmesan. Very tasty and the meat super juicy! In addition the waiter recommended me a dry Spanish red wine (vintage 2005). Perfect!
More impressions of the Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt
Lufthansa Fist Class – by car to the aircraft
Shortly before 1 pm the personal assistant arrived and escorted us one floor down. Here we would only have to pick up our passports from the federal police, which were already brought down here when we arrived at the terminal. So there was no further waiting time. We said goodbye, got a few more useful travel tips for Vancouver, and boarded our car for the plane. Because three more guests drove with us, we unfortunately had the Mercedes Vito again. We would have loved to drive to the plane in a Porsche. Too bad!
Via the apron, past the many aircraft, we went to Gate C15, where LH493 was handled today. We parked below the gangway and took the elevator up. The waiting area was already completely empty and all passengers boarded. So everybody was waiting only for us five first class guests.
Lufthansa First Class flight in Boeing 747-400 to Vancouver (LH493)
After boarding the Boeing 747-400 (D-ABVH “Düsseldorf”, first flight on 14.03.1991), we went immediately right up the stairs to the upper floor. Our driver took us to the seat and said goodbye afterwards.
First impression of Lufthansa First Class Seat
Lufthansa has replaced the old blue First Class seats on the upper floor with new brown seats with reclining function. Since they have also reduced the number of seats to 8, every guest now has the advantage of having a comfortable bed next to a seat. The bed is located at the windows, of which each passenger has four available. The view is simply magnificent when relaxing in bed. The only negative aspect may be in-flight entertainment. Here Lufthansa still has a 4:3 monitor without HD resolution. But there are Active Nosie Canceling headphones from Bose. Unfortunately you can’t hear any music and watch the airshow on the side.
Lufthansa First Class – Welcome Drink
We were welcomed with a glass of champagne Pommery Brut Apanage Prestige. This was accompanied by a glass of water and a bowl of macadamia nuts. Also here, as we still had the gift from the terminal in our hands, the flight attendants congratulated us on the wedding.
The start was delayed by almost 45 minutes due to minor technical problems. We used the delay to take some photos. The flight attendant came along with a Polaroid camera and took two souvenir photos, which were handed over to us in a small cardboard display. Around 14:06 we got our pushback from the terminal and rolled to the runway. The captain indicated a flight time of 9:30 hours.
After the start, the Purser came to us, welcomed us personally and gave us a few tips for Vancouver. He also distributed the menu.
Lufthansa First Class – Service: Four-course menu on board
Shortly after flying over the North Sea coast we got a greeting from the kitchen: trout bites with passion fruit and mango. Delicious! On the ground I probably wouldn’t eat it because of the intense taste.
The service began with setting the table and warm bread with olive oil. Very classy was the butter, in which First Class was embossed. Also sweet, the small pepper and salt mills. I’d like these at home too.
We continued with the caviar service. This was served with traditional side dishes (lemon, onions, egg and a Beluga Vodka).
Our menu today was created by Mr. Christian Eckhard, chef de cuisine of the two star restaurant Villa Rothschild in Königstein im Taunus. We could choose from the following variation of appetizers:
- King prawns “creole style” with crustacean chili vinaigrette
- Pink roasted loin of veal with escabeche vegetables and iced radish
- Confit of Belgian chicory with ginger, lemongrass and honey-curry emulsion
- Colorful leaf salad with zucchini, carrots, dried tomato strips and chanterelles, served with pumpkin seed or passion fruit dressing.
Christin only had the chicory given to her. I had a composition of king prawn, chicory and veal loin. The king prawns were my absolute favourite. In addition a German Riesling (Scharzhofberger GG, Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, vintage 2012)
For the main course there was a choice between:
- Sirloin of lamb with spicy bean cassoulet and Parisian potatoes,
- Turbot in Bouliarabaisud with saffron vegetables and risoni noodles,
- Guinea fowl in rich sauce with pea mousseline, baby carrots and herb seitling
- glazed pumpkin gnocchi in own brew flavoured with Indian spice mixture “vadouvan
Christin had the gnocchi served. I chose the guinea fowl. In addition a 2009 Barcolobo Crianza (Castilla y Leon, finca la Rinconad, Spain). A matching fruity wine to go with the guinea fowl. We both enjoyed the main courses. Christin was really thrilled by the pumpkin gnocchi.
For dessert there was either a variety of different cheeses or lukewarm Hessian Ofenschlupfer with marinated dried fruits and porcini mushrooms or Gâteau of dark chocolate with compote of exotic fruits and mango-passion fruit sorbet. We both chose the chocolate cake. I also drank a 2005 dessert wine (Bonnezeaux, Château de Festes, France). I don’t really like sweet wine, but the aromas of quince, honey and exotic fruits were perfect for dessert.
At the end of the four-course menu, I had a double espresso, which came out of a Nespresso machine, and was also busy with the in-flight entertainment.
Lufthansa First Class – Sleeping comfort in your own bed
Shortly before Greenland we slipped into the Van Laak pyjamas and made ourselves comfortable in the little bed next to our seats. After all, it was now already 17:30 German time, so a nap was quite appropriate. On the proper mattress I could relax incredibly well. It was comfortable and had just the right hardness. I was just feeling a little warm, one reason being that I was on the sunny side of the plane. But the alcohol consumed may also have played a role.
In the meantime we enjoyed the fantastic view of the eternal snow and glacier world of Greenland. We could not look out of our windows long enough. It all looks so untouched, as if no man had ever been there before. The view is so incredibly clear that you think you won’t be flying so high.
Lufthansa First Class – second service before landing
About 1:30 hour before landing another dinner was served. After our cook Christian Eckhardt spoiled us with a creative menu for lunch, he now “invited” us to the finest specialties from Asia. From the passing trolley with the appetizers we could choose from a selection of, pork sweet and sour with roasted sesame, spring onions and chili, various sushi with Japanese ginger and wasabi, Thai vegetable salad, marinated wakame algae or mango ginger chuteny. In addition I ordered a warm main course with beef fillet strips in red Thai curry sauce and wok vegetables with fragrant rice. But now I was definitely full.
Shortly before landing I brush my teeth and slip back into my street clothes. For the drive to the hotel we got another bottle of water. During a short conversation with the purser we thanked him again for the great service. Also at this point we would like to thank again our two flight attendants, who have taken care of us very warmly.
As a small souvenir for the first days in the dreary hotel room, we decided to take the rose with us. But this turned out to be a stupid idea, because we had not noted this on the customs paper, of course. But after a few red lines on our paper everything went well in the end. But the First Class experience lost valuable points at the end, because we had to wait a felt eternity for our luggage. That could have worked better, after all the HONs present got their luggage first.
With the self-driving train we went to the station Yaletown Roundhouse. We walked the short way to our hotel “The Burrard”. The hotel or actually motel surprised with a great style. The rooms were clean and sufficiently large.
After a shower we explored the city in best weather. The area around Robson Square was very busy and had a lot to offer. But as the hunger slowly came back and we wanted to continue our tradition of our last holiday, we visited Five Guys for dinner. After a burger “all the way” we were full and went back to the hotel.
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Review of Lufthansa First Class in the Boeing 747-400
- Inflight Entertainment
Lufthansa First Class is a very good luxury product. The combination of a warm and professional service, the tasty food and the great seat make a flight a great experience.