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September 1, 2013 / oneworld82

A seat and a bed. Lufthansa Neue First Class from Frankfurt to Dubai

Flight LH 430 FRA-DXB
Aug 10th, 2013 3:20pm – 11:25pm
First Class, Seat 82H
Boeing 747-400

So this is it. The moment to try Lufthansa new First Class on the B744 had finally come. I have heard so many wonders about this product that I was really looking forward to it. The old First was very good, the First Class Terminal impressive… Now let’s see how this one fares!

After entering the plane I was directed upstairs, where a flight attendant escorted me to my seat. I had right away another example of LH’s great service: seeing me grabbing an Italian newspaper, the FA advised me of the other newspaper choices in my mother tongue. Excellent.

Going up today!

Going up today!

Airplane's license plate :)

Airplane’s license plate 🙂

I took the seat and champagne (Alfred Gratien, served – again – not in a flute!) and macadamia nuts were promptly served. Holy smoke! These nuts are good. No pun intended. They really were. I love macadamia nuts: plain, with chili, salted… but these ones had something extra that made them fancy and yummy at the very same time. What a great way to start a flight!

Lufthansa signature macadamia nuts and champagne

Lufthansa signature macadamia nuts and champagne

While enjoying my pre-departure drink I took a good look around the cabin. Which other airline in the World offers you a seat AND a bed at the same time? To my knowledge, none. And it’s not hard to see why, given how much space it takes to do so. Lufthansa went above and beyond with this product which is the best first class configuration among the many dotting the vast LH fleet. Here are some pictures:

Seat + bed = bliss up in the air

Seat + bed = bliss up in the air

The seat itself is very comfortable, spacious. The new TV in front of the seat is a huge improvement from the old TV and on par with some of the best first class TVs out there. While this is not a private suite, I enjoyed how airy and spacious it felt, although I must say it is overall an inferior hard product to Etihad’s First Class that I was about to try the day after. Nonetheless, I was a very happy camper.

New, large TV

New, large TV

The cabin was half full – together with me and the two Spaniards there was a fellow Italian sitting in First. How ironic, a first class cabin entirely composed by Italians and Spaniards… on a German airline.

Seat next to mine

Seat next to mine

View from my seat

View from my seat

Storage space was good, with a drawer under the bed spacious enough to fit my shoulder bag. A side storage in the armrest was enough for magazines and such.

Ample storage space

Ample storage space

Armrest storage

Armrest storage

Remote control

Remote control

I put myself at ease, enjoyed the take-off, grabbed a Campari & soda afterwards… and then jet-lag started to kick in.

A Campari & soda to induce sleep

A Campari & soda to induce sleep

The FA came by asking me what I wanted to eat, and I told her that I’d rather take a nap now and eat later, let’s say a couple hours before landing. She said: “no problem”, asked me what I wanted to eat so that they could keep it ready for me, and set off to serve other customers. I was really eager to see how efficient dining on demand would be,

The bed on this plane is really comfortable. The thick mattress makes it like a real bed. It was very easy to doze off for about three hours, enjoying the most memorable of sleeps. Since this is almost a real bed, sleeping was quite effortless, and I managed to get about 3 hours of rest.

Bed

Bed

Bed, take 2

Bed, take 2

A happy camper

A happy camper

Once I woke up, I ordered a Johnny Walker Blue Label on the rocks (just to wake me up, you know…)

Johnny Walker Blue Label

Johnny Walker Blue Label

and told the FA that I was ready to eat anytime. How could I possibly still be hungry though… well, that’s a mystery and a theme that would recur throughout the trip.

The menu read as follow:

Caviar from Service Cart

Caviar with the traditional Garnishes

Choice of Appetizers

Marinated Norwegian Salmon with Lime Cream and Keta Caviar

Herb crusted Tenderloin of Beef with Caesar Salad

Green Pea Mousse on Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese in Tomato Basil Vinaigrette

Mixed seasonal Leaf Salad with Zucchini, Bell Pepper and Olive, presented with your

Choice of Orange Mustard or Macadamia Nut Dressing

Sorbet

Yogurt Vervain Sorbet with Raspberry and Bell Pepper Jus, can be refined with Olive

Oil as recommended by Joachim Wissler

Choice of Main Courses

Creamy Veal Goulash with Bell Pepper, Chanterelle Mushrooms and Potato Gnocchi

Sole in Lemon Sauce filled with Lobster, accompanied by Green Asparagus and

Couscous

Breast of Corn-fed Poulard with Tarragon Black Morel Cream, caramelized Carrots

and smoked Paella Rice

Swabian Dumplings filled with Ricotta Cheese and Leaf Spinach, thickened Tomato

Vegetable Stock with Marjoram

Selection of Cheese and Dessert

Mölltaler Almkäse, a Carinthia Alp Cheese, Normandy Camembert, Rosso di Langa,

Blu di Bufala and Cabrissac Goat Cheese with Grapes and roasted Pecan Nuts

Black Forest Cake “Joachim Wissler” with Chocolate and Licorice Sauce

Iced Mocha Foam with Cru de Cacao and Orange

The amuse bouche was served. It was a salmon crostino of sort, very good.

Amuse bouche

Amuse bouche

This time, I only had two appetizers with the caviar. I know I know, I am watching my waistline! 😀 The table was set swiftly, and it looked as good as on my previous flight. This time I got a lot of good bread and the Lufthansa, First Class-branded signature butter!

Lufthansa butter!

Lufthansa butter!

DSC_0318 DSC_0316 DSC_0317

The caviar service was better this time, as the condiments were brought out together with a generous serving of roes and with toasted bread. Man, this stuff is seriously addictive. I mean, it really tastes good. I find it sad that many people will never try this amazing treat in their life, either because too expensive or because their judgement is obfuscated by lesser types of eggs. Oh well, I will have some more of it thinking about them then…

Properly-served caviar

Properly-served caviar

DSC_0326 DSC_0325 DSC_0327

The two appetizers were equally as yummy. The salmon was good, meaty, tasty.

Salmon

Salmon

The marinated beef was a real winner of the dinner though. The sauce was just perfect – don’t let the appearance fool you! The dill gave the meat that extra punch that still makes me salivate when I think about it. Lufthansa definitely got its catering right.

Splendid marinated beef!

Splendid marinated beef!

Shortly after I was done with my appetizers, my main arrived. For the occasion I chose the veal goulash – I was feeling very Mittel-European today. Another great dish, which I washed off with a glass of 2006 Chateau Olivier (good, not excellent. I tend to prefer Italian reds). The meat was perfectly tender, the sauce flavorful.

Veal goulash

Veal goulash

To finish off another great meal I had some (more) cheese, since I really can’t say no to this stuff. The attendant put a little plate together with all the six (!) types of cheese they had on board, and which I thoroughly enjoyed. By the way, the eye-sweating had already started half way through the goulash. Oh well.

Say cheese!

Say cheese!

During my meal I watched a very engaging Japanese movie – Wara No Tate – a sad story of cop duty, I love Japanese cinema, there is something about it that really clicks with me. Its dense psychology gives meaning to stories that Hollywood would instead make bland and meaningless. The introspection found in Japanese movies reminds me very much of European cinema – a nice change from all those Hollywood blockbuster all action and no brain.

The amenity kit I was handed at departure – as a side note – was different from the one I received in the US, but equally well-stocked with La Marine products. The only real negative note of the flight was the pajama. While it was the same one I was handed in DFW, they didn’t have any Medium size left. I was so handed a XL, which was way too big for me! How Lufthansa could run out of pajamas in First Class with only 4 passengers bugs me a little.

Amenity kit

Amenity kit

In any case, landing time approached quickly, and we arrived in Dubai about 25 minutes ahead of schedule.

Reading light

Reading light

To top off the flight, Lufthansa offers its First Class customers Marhaba Service on the ground, which means: escort guiding you through the hallway; buggy ride to passport check; priority passport line; porters. Not bad (although I declined the buggy ride which – in retrospect – I regret since my carry on was getting heavy with all those amenity kits and pajamas collected along the way!).

So, the jury is out and the verdict is in. What do I think of the acclaimed, 5 stars Lufthansa First Class? Well, it’s honestly a great product. While some bloggers out there probably over-hyped it too much, it’s definitely a rock-solid product that deserves all the fame and attention that it is getting. Notably, the catering was great and the service super attentive – a nice departure from some North American carriers. Plus, the First Class product in the B744 is probably among the top 5 in the World (thanks to that amazing bed), although not among the most private. I feel like 75,000 United miles for this trip were totally worth it, and I wouldn’t mind flying it again in the (even near) future. What can I say… Star Alliance is impressing me more and more! Great job!

4 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Sonny Grzona / Sep 1 2013 3:19 pm

    great post. thanks for sharing the beautiful experience of a first class flight! I bet it was a nice nap in this beautiful bed…I can’t sleep while flying in general but I guess in such a surrounding I could relax and fall asleep without hesitation 🙂

  2. Michelle / Sep 2 2013 2:13 pm

    Do you have the drink list available on the flight?

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