Updated on November 22, 2016
Flight Review: Lufthansa First Class 747 Chicago (ORD)- Frankfurt (FRA)
After lounge hopping around Chicago O’hare it was time for the main event of our journey from the US to Greece, Lufthansa First Class!! And to say I was excited was an understatement! As I talked about in the last post, I had just surprised Katie with the fact that we were not flying economy, but even with that, I think I was the one who was still way more excited.
I think some of the excitement came from how awesome it seemed to be but also how difficult it can be to obtain with points as well as how recently I got the seats!
Lufthansa usually opens up first class award seats to partner airlines somewhere within 14 days of the flight and because of that I had actually booked us in economy on this flight with plans to pay the change fee if first class opened up. Therefore I diligently followed the United website as LH first class space opened and the Wednesday before our Saturday flight the seats appeared!! And we were all set (luckily since I was United Silver the change fee was only $50 per person)!
As we approached the gate area there were many economy lines but only 1 line for Business/First passengers. Shortly after we got in line a Lufthansa employee walked down the line checking tickets. When she saw we were first class she actually pulled us out of line to wait up front so we could board first. Of course all I could think was, “perfect, then I can get pictures before the cabin is full!”
Route: LH431 ORD-FRA
Seats: 3D and 3G
Flight time: 8 hours
We were the first ones in first class to walk down the jetway and boarded through the forward most door. The flight attendants warmly greeted us and turned us left into the first class cabin.
The cabin is on the low deck of the 747, right in the nose below the pilots which I think give the cabin a really cool feel! In this configuration there are only 2 seats that are truly next each other and they are the ones we chose in the third row. The next good couples options would be the seats in row 1. You can see a picture of the cabin layout below.
Upon boarding we found a beautiful cabin with a sleek, clean design and roses at every seat. I loved the simple, clean, sophisticated feel, but Katie likes the Etihad, Emirates style (GOLD BLING) and was not as impressed!
After finding our seats together behind the first class bar set up we were greeted again and offered pre-departure drinks, Bose noise canceling headphones, amenity kits and pajamas. I went with champagne but we had just found out that Katie was pregnant (!!) – so she went with some ginger ale.
The amenity kits were pretty standard with tooth paste, toothbrush, socks, brush, shoe horn and cologne in a pretty unexciting bag. I would say this one of the worst all around kits I have received in first class, actually. There were, however, extra amenities like shaving products in the bathroom.
Then there were the pajamas which were plenty comfortable for the flight but kind of strange because the pants were nylon or something and felt like I was wearing warm-up pants. They were great for the flight but I usually judge them by whether I will wear them when I get home and these failed that test.
Prior to take off I also hopped back to the business class area to get a picture of Lufthansa’s newest business class product, which is still not really industry leading at this point.
As I said earlier, the 747 First Class cabin has an interesting configuration with only one real set of “couples” seats. The cabin had 5 of the 8 seats filled with Katie and I each having an empty window seat at our sides in row 3.
These seats are roughly 31.5 inches wide which isn’t nearly as big as Singapore or Cathay Pacific but still PLENTY wide! They are not fully enclosed either like Singapore, Etihad and others, but they do have a privacy wall that can go up, making it far more enclosed.
Looking back around my seat you find a comfortable, wide cloth seat with wide arm rests on each side. In front of you there is an ottoman which doubles as a storage compartment as well as an entertainment screen and a rose.
On your aisle side you will find seat controls to recline and turn your seat into a bed. On the other side there is another set of controls for the seat as well as your controller for the entertainment system. There are also a few compartments to store things on the non-aisle side.
Also, on the non-aisle side there is a little drink, snack tray area and on the side of your seat you will find the power outlets which include international AC power and a USB port.
There are also lockers or little closets to hang clothes and put other items for each seat as you enter the cabin.
Finally, we come to the best part of most first class seats – the fact that it turns into a fully flat bed! After our dinner and a movie we decided it was time to hit the sack. Since we both had open seats next to us, we asked to have these turned into our beds as we have done on other flights. These of course aren’t as private as suites we have been in but with the privacy shield up I thought it was pretty good.
Our meal service started with some canapes and champagne (for me at least). Followed by the menus being handed out for the real meal.
Here are the menus for food and drinks, just click to enlarge if interested:
I started with the caviar which was served a bit different than I have had on other flights as they came around with a cart which had all the items for the starter and a large can of caviar which could be portioned out onto plates. There was also a bottle of Grey Goose vodka for a traditional vodka shot with the caviar. I was the last passenger to be served and I guess no one else really wanted any because most of the can was left. So I got an extra large scoop! haha
It was great but I do prefer it with blinis as oppose to crackers or toast.
WOW, I can’t believe I just wrote that. A few years ago I had never even had caviar and now I am apparently a caviar snob. Crazy the experiences you can have with miles/points!
Anyway, back to the food.
After my caviar I had a 3 plate appetizer of scallops, salad and bresaola wrapped quince with cole slaw (so meat/cheese).
The scallop was OK, but the salad and meat were very good.
Next was the main course, for which I picked the Seared Beef Filet with lump crab meat! It was REALLY GOOD and I am pretty picky about crab since I am a Maryland crab snob (but that’s not new like the caviar).
Finally it was time for dessert. I chose the fruit and frozen yogurt and Katie got some sort of lava cake. On a German airline I had to get some Riesling to go with my dessert of course. Glasses were really adding up as you see in the second picture! There was also a cart with several aged cheeses and other fruit to choose from as well.
And of course the meal could not be complete with a little chocolate to finish it off!
Later in the flight after sleeping for awhile I also got a cappuccino and a smoothie which were OK but pretty good considering they were on a plane.
SERVICE and ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM
First of all, the service on the flight was FANTASTIC. The most friendly, professional and genuine you could ask for all at the same time. We never wanted for anything and never did it seem like getting us something was a chore. I believe our flight attendant’s name was Peter and I don’t think it gets any better than him!
As far as the entertainment system goes. I think it was on par with most of the other first class flights we have taken and definitely better than a few like on recent flight on Japan Airlines First Class.
It has a map, movies, games, TV shows, and music, as well as some LIVE TV, which not a lot of other first class cabins have and I believe put them ahead of a few (honestly most run together, I just remember the best and worst usually). The screen is one of the smaller ones I have seen but I didn’t have any trouble at all seeing it (although I wouldn’t mind the screen being bigger) and I felt like it was easy to use.
I watched the movie Deadpool – which is awesome by the way.
DON’T WORRY GUYS, I DIDN’T FORGET THIS TIME…now…bathroom pictures
This was really a fantastic flight and DID live up to the very lofty expectations I had set for it. The service was phenomenal, the food was very good and the seat was at least on par with other great first class products. The clean, sophisticated style of the cabin and the extra coolness of being in the nose of a 747 also helped! I loved it and 8 hours was a good amount of time to experience it.
Everyone is a little different though. I loved the cabin but Katie actually found it null and lacking the personality of some other cabins we have experienced, but with that being said, she did like it and would fly it again in a heart beat (just didn’t love it like me). Part of the issue could also be that she was having nausea most of the flight and wasn’t able to enjoy the delicious champagne like me
Absolutely another world class product.
But the wonderful Lufthansa experience didn’t end there as we made our way to the Lufthansa First Class Terminal after landing! That review next!