Part of me feels like I went too easy on Lufthansa in the 747-8 first class review from Frankfurt to Los Angeles I published this morning. Sometimes, there is a fine line between being objective and being so overly picky to the point of lacking a proper perspective. Other times we can be far too forgiving when such forgiveness is not warranted. I struggled with finding that balance in my recent review.
My Overall Wonderful Flight In Lufthansa First Class Could Only Be Called Bad In Relative Terms
Ultimately, the only perspective that matters on this blog is mine. I don’t say that in a haughty way, but the point of 11 years worth of airline reviews on Live and Let’s Fly is to help guide people by offering insight grounded in consistency. If my metrics change for each airline, it really becomes difficult to compare one airline to another, especially in terms of service.
On my recent Lufthansa flight, there were two major service lapses.
First, my lunch dishes were not promptly cleared (it took 10 minutes). That may be common in economy or even business class, but flight attendants are supposed to continually monitor the first class cabin precisely to avoid dishes or glasses sitting for extended periods when a guest has finished eating or drinking.
Second, when I was ready to sleep, I pushed the flight attendant call button and no one showed up. After waiting three minutes, I stood up, pulled back the curtain to the galley between first and business class, and popped my head in. There was no one there. I stood in the galley for five more minutes before returning to my seat. There I sat another 10 minutes. Yes, I waited nearly 20 minutes in first class for a flight attendant to show up.
Ultimate First World Problem, But…
Obviously, many readers will roll their eyes and be dismissive. Indeed, issues of clearing away dishes and making beds are ultimate first world issues.
But I’ve flown Lufthansa dozens of times over the years in first class and if I am evaluating first class versus historic Lufthansa flights and versus my experiences on other airlines, it is little details like this which are essential in offering insight and potential trends.
I could have gathered my dishes and silverware and brought it to the galley, but that would have put me in the uncomfortable position of embarrassing the flight attendants.
I could have gone up to the front closet, pulled out a duvet and mattress pad, and made my own bed, but that’s not why I splurge for first class – this is part of the package.
But there were also mitigating circumstances at play. I eat slowly and eat every course. Everyone else had gone to bed and the cabin was dark by the time I finished my lunch. Part of me can understand why the flight attendants stopped patrolling the cabin.
But part of me thinks they should have known I was still eating and continued to check on me until they knew I was finished.
Same with the bed. I did not go to bed early like everyone else. I watched Silence of the Lambs first then wanted to go to bed. My turndown request apparently came between shifts because there was no flights attendants present and the flight attendant who finally showed up was one that I had not seen before.
All this to say, part of me is so uncomfortable even mentioning these services lapses because overall I thought the flight was fabulous. But at the same time, I would not be offering an honest review if failed to mentioned them.
This is the struggle when writing a review. How important are these issues of detail to the overall flight experience? As best I can, I try to put them in the proper perspective.
Reviewing first class products is an inherent first world issue and so the complaints, when they occur, are going to involve first world problems.
As for how those service lapses should have impacted the overall assessment of the flight, I’ll let you be the judge. As for me, I was willing to overlook them based upon the totality of the flight experience. But I do wonder if I cut Lufthansa additional slack due to my strong affinity for the German airline…