I just completed a roundtrip aboard Lufthansa in their International First Class cabin, and I thought I would share the details of the trip with you. The flights I took were as follows: Atlanta-Frankfurt-Rome then returning from Barcelona via Frankfurt to Atlanta. The international equipment was an A330 on both trans-Atlantic crossings, equipped with the old style Lufthansa First seats. I was really hoping to try the new product, and was actually booked to return via Munich which would’ve given me a good shot at doing so. In the end, convenience won…as I did not want to make 2 connections on my return and end such a great trip in an RJ from Dulles.

Lufthansa First Class has been reviewed extensively on Boardingarea, so I won’t get into every nitty-gritty detail of my trip. I will give you an overview of my experience and comment on some of the specific service experiences which were just about flawless in every respect. I already touched on the departure and a portion of the inflight service experience when departing Atlanta here (including the Senator Lounge at Atlanta) and here. First, a little on the hard product.

I found the super-sized recliners in the “old” cabin to be quite comfortable, although it took judicious use of the fluffy pillow for the upper back to make the seat really comfortable to me. The arm rest contains a fairly large storage area, just right for placing your amenity kit, pajamas, etc. in. Both of the A330s I flew on were equipped with in seat power and wireless internet. On the way to Frankfurt, neither worked, at least not for me. On the return, both worked, and I gave trans-oceanic internet access a try, and found it it work quite well for basic surfing and emails. On the return, I used my international charger which worked fine. Not sure if that was the issue on the outbound or not. Should not have been as the seats are equipped with plugs that should work for European and American power supplies.

The big seats were great. I probably would have liked the newer ones even more, especially the bigger video monitors that don’t have to be folded away, but life goes on. :) And the champagne was nice too. Meal service was excellent on both flights. I love the big menus, separate wine lists, and all the little things that went into the service to make it special.

I went light on dessert. ;) I mostly skipped the pre-arrival meals in both directions. A double espresso on landing in Frankfurt and a little fruit on the way back to Atlanta, so I did not bother with photos. Service in both directions was great, especially on our return to Atlanta. MrsMJ and I were the only 2 passengers in First Class on the way home, and the crew went out of their way to please. In both directions, the purser took the time to drop by and introduce themselves, and say goodbye to us and thanks prior to landing. I really liked our crew on the Frankfurt – Atlanta flight. With an otherwise empty cabin, there was more time for interacting with them, and I’m sure that’s part of it. And the rest….I really think had to do with the ground experience in Frankfurt prior to our flight.

We arrived Frankfurt from Barcelona onboard a relatively full A319. Arriving at the remote parking stand, MrsMJ remarked “great, we have to ride the bus.” I pointed to a silver Mercedes van and said, perhaps not. Sometimes it’s good to park remotely, especially when you are connecting to or from a Lufthansa international first class flight! Here’s a shot I snapped of ramp operations as we were being whisked to Passport control and the First Class lounge via private car.

We visited the smaller lounge in B, mainly because that’s where we were driven to. We had a 2 hour 50 minute layover, and I’m not very familiar with Frankfurt airport. That just didn’t feel like enough time to wander outside security and try to get to the First Class terminal, or to what I hear is the better lounge in Terminal A. Not to worry, as I found the lounge accommodations more than satisfactory.

The B lounge is just beyond gate B22. At check in, the agent crossed out our 10:35 boarding time on our boarding passes and told us to be back at the front desk no later than 10:40 for transportation to our airplane. With that, we went to find ourselves a spot to camp out for a couple hours. The lounge was very quiet, and within seconds of sitting down, we were offered the drink of our choice. I went with a double espresso given our 3:30am wakeup call! After my coffee, it was time for a shower.

After a refreshing shower, MrsMJ and I enjoyed a little breakfast in the restaurant. Lufthansa offers a plentiful menu of items to choose from, but we went with the basics, eggs and bacon. :) Oh..and champagne.

One of the lounge attendants came by with a chocolate covered strawberry and truffle to top things off because…well…you know….after a 14 night cruise I need to eat more. :) All of this was nice, but these 2 pictures summarize the highlight of our visit (to me).

Enough said. :) Soon, we were being driven to our flight home. I have to say that being driven directly to our gate, escorted up the elevator and down the jetbridge onto our aircraft was pretty darn cool.

I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to Bobby Burns at awardbookingservice.com. I already posted about some of this previously, but I wanted to add that our return flight was a change in our original plan. We were booked in Business to return a day later than we did with a double connection. Being on a cruise with less than optimal internet and expensive cell service, I was not in a position to effectively deal with any changes to my itinerary myself. I emailed Bobby in the middle of the night on a whim and just asked him to check availability one day early with only one connection via Frankfurt as opposed to the double connect I was on. He emailed back within minutes that he would check and get back to me. The next morning, I woke up to find we were booked in Lufthansa First Class on the flights we wanted.

I can’t think of a better way to travel to and from our wonderful Mediterranean cruise than aboard Lufthansa. Looking forward to the next opportunity! If you have any questions about the service experience that I didn’t cover in this post, feel free to comment, and I will reply with an answer if I can.

14 Responses

  1. What’s that on the multi-plate stand?

    Sounds like a great trip!

  2. Colleen,

    They offer a choice of 3 appetizers. They come out on the little stand. Being on vacation, I went for all 3. :)

  3. Yup! Those German folks are well known for superior FC food and service. Bumps happen, but they usually do a fine job. While one does not receive a lot of perks as an arriving FC pax, you were also FC out-bound from Frankfurt. Especially with a nearly three hour layover in Frankfurt, I don’t understand why you did not ask your driver to take you to the FC Terminal. As wonderful as your lounge service was, it is even better in the FC terminal. I’ve used it only twice, but it is beyond belief! While better than decent in the satellite lounges, the FC Terminal’s vittles rival any two-star eatery with ease. Want a little less – or a little more? The servers can arrange almost anything. On my second trip through the FC terminal, I had a nearly over-whelming desire for something that was not on the printed menu. With a single round of questions, I got exactly what I wanted and left Germany as a very happy, seriously stuffed pig! And yes, in most cases, their on-board meals are almost that good. They got the message long ago, they understand it and they obviously try their very best. (And yes, with even half t he seats filled, long-haul First Class generates some serious profit for the airline, so they can afford to do their very best. Glad to hear that you enjoyed those flights.

  4. Did you get a rubber ducky?

  5. Oh you missed got to the 1st term. You just go out the door from baggage claim, turn left, walk 1 min and you are there. Next time you gotta go! ;-)

  6. No Duckys in sight. Believe me, I was looking and asking. :)

  7. You do not get driven to the FCT if arriving in FRA. It is not an arrival lounge. That would not have been possible because you need to enter Schengen area first, so the best you can do is what MJ did and go tthorough transfer secuity and into the B Concourse F lounge – which is basically a smaller version of the FCT with views of the ramp anyways. Now, if there was more time, he could have gone through Passport control and customs and then walked out to the FCT, but there is no way of being driven directly there. I think that the duckies have been in limited supply lately.

  8. […] you know, MrsMJ and I recently returned from an international trip. We arrived in Atlanta around 3:20PM on Tuesday to find a suprisingly long queue for passport […]

  9. […] Much to my chagrin, MrsMJ turned to her longtime card, the Royal Caribbean Visa issued by Bank of America, which immediately approved the purchase. Maybe I should not have been so focused on being entertained with wine and snacks afterall, or I would have handed over my Sapphire Preferred Card for the purchase! Heck, I would have settled for some Membership Rewards points with my Amex Platinum (which also earns us some cruise benefits)! This would also have been an ideal way to meet the minimum spend requirements on the Chase Ink Bold Business Card or the Chase Ink Plus Business Card, both of which are currently offering 50,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus points when you make $5,000 dollars in purchases during the first 3 months of opening the card account. In other words, we could have been that much closer to another premium class roundtrip to Europe like the one I reported on here. […]

  10. […] Seeing that I only had the card for 5 months during 2012, that is a pretty big amount of spend for me in such a short amount of time. Of course, I put a lot of our move expenses on the card, and there are just a lot of little expenses that add up when you relocate to a new home that might not be directly related to the move itself. Frankly, I was surprised when I saw how close I was to the MQM boost. Then I began to reflect on the last 5 months, and what I could have done differently. I could have put a little less spend on my Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa. Simply making the final payment for our European cruise with the SkyMiles Amex instead of my Sapphire Preferred Visa would have meant I would not even be writing this blog post. I’d have the extra MQMs in the bag. But I would have also missed out on a big pile of Ultimate Rewards points since I was getting 2 of those per dollar for our cruise. And it was some of those Ultimate Rewards that enabled me to do this. […]

  11. […] Rewards are among my favorite points currencies. I’ve used them for flights, cruises, and even train tickets. If you are a small business owner looking for a card product to […]

  12. […] reason to fly to Europe so I could sample Lufthansa’s First Class services one more time. My experience last year was great, but I missed sampling their new First product after changing flight plans to fly home […]

  13. […] time a better deal will be found by redeeming your points for air travel to your cruise like I did last year. That said, I recognize that many of my readers are very interested in using their points to pay […]

  14. Nice post! I wonder how many people are waiting for January 15th to book the last possible Lufthansa First Class award. I’m certainly hoping I can make one last trip happen with United Miles before the February 1st deadline!

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