When it comes to redeeming miles for transatlantic travel, it is difficult to justify redeeming for business class when Lufthansa First Class is available for only marginally more. Thus, our trip to Zurich included a stop in Frankfurt.
Lufthansa First Class has been heavily reviewed, but this trip report of a recent flight is meant to highlight whether Lufthansa continues to deliver a stellar first class product. I also had the unique opportunity to fly the LAX-FRA route again a few weeks apart on an A380. I will also provide an A380 review then I’ll compare the A380 and 747-8 on the same route.
Los Angeles (LAX) – Frankfurt (FRA)
Wednesday, June 28
Aircraft: Boeing 747-8
Seat: 3G (First Class)
Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Seating
The first class cabin on the Lufthansa 747-8 contains a total of eight seats. Since the first class cabin is in the nose of the 747 on the lower deck, seats are arranged 1-1 for the first two rows and 1-2-1 for the third row.
Although the first class seats are not particularly private, only the pair of seats together puts you in close proximity to another passenger. Since I booked the trip last-minute, I did wind up in the center section, but a privacy divider can be raised between seats (shown below when the seat is in bed mode).
In the lie-flat mode the bed is 6’5” and Lufthansa provides excellent pillows and bedding in first class. Whenever you are ready to sleep, FAs will make up your bed.
Every aspect of the seat can be controlled and the placement of the ottoman, which also serves as a handy storage cabinet, also can be adjusted.
An IFE controller is found in the other arm compartment and plenty of personal storage is available via a deep compartment on the divider between seats.
A water bottle was present upon boarding.
Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Service
I love Lufthansa First Class Service. Always. The crew was tremendous on the flight, especially considering they had to deal with the problem in 2A.
> Read More: My Horrible Seatmate in Lufthansa First Class
You can read all the details above, but long story short this was the most poorly behaved first class passenger I have ever seen.
The crew was truly lovely, though. We dealt with heavy turbulence for over an hour coming out of Los Angeles which made the meal service much more difficult than it usually is.
Do I love Lufthansa service because I can speak German? Yes…but John loves the service as well (and he’s flown Lufthansa first eight times this year) and doesn’t speak a word of German. I think it is a great hybrid combing good elements of North Asian and American hospitality. FAs tend to be warm and gregarious while also being highly polished and courteous.
Lufthansa 747-8 First Class IFE + Wi-Fi
I always use the T-Mobile Wi-Fi on Lufthansa. It is affordable (17EUR for a flight pass) and works well. That’s a small price to pay to stay connected on the ground.
Lufthansa has a full library of movies, TV shows, music, and games but I did not avail myself to them on this flight. Nevertheless, I counted more than 50 feature films available. I did enjoy tracking flight progress via the moving map.
Lufthansa also has live TV on the 747-8:
and provisions Bose noise-cancelling headphones.
Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Lavatory
While not as grand as the A380 first class lavatory, the 747-8 lavatory is spacious and features a window and several amenities like shaving kits, cologne/perfume, and Evian skin moisturizers. And of course the iconic first class rose and real towels.
Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Amenity Kit + Pajamas
Unfortunately, Lufthansa no longer uses Rimowa amenity kits on all flights. While some may still have them, all the flights I have been on out of Frankfurt and from outstations have not featured Rimowa. The Jil Sanders leather bag was a decent alternative, doubling as a shoe bag. It contained a dental kit, sleep kit, comb, and body spray — fairly limited compared to some first class amenity kits.
Lufthansa offers slippers and van Laack pajamas in first class–
Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Dining
Upon boarding, a welcome drink drink with Macadamia nuts was offered. Refills were also offered.
After takeoff, meal service began. The amuse bouche contained white and green asparagus plus fennel.
Next, FAs laid the table for dinner. Hot bread was offered from a basket including delicious garlic bread and pretzels rolls.
The caviar cart remains a staple in Lufthansa First Class.
Since I ordered red meat for my main course, I opted for a glass of Bordeaux, which was excellent.
The appetizer trio included scallops, feta cheese, and assorted cold cuts. Very enjoyable.
I requested soup, but none was available — lately I have not seen any soup in Lufthansa First Class, though this was during the summer. No matter, there was more than enough food. I enjoyed a green salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing and shaved parmesan cheese for my next course.
Finally the main course arrived, and it was sadly a flop. Blame the lack of color on my camera and the turbulence, but the steak main course was so dry it was essentially inedible. The FA apologized profusely and offered to try a fresh one, but it was getting late and I just wanted to sleep. Besides, there were still two more courses to go plus coffee.
These cheese course is always dependable on Lufthansa and included a delicious fig-apricot jam.
Finally, warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream and a cappuccino.
Lufthansa has always struggled with main courses: I wish they did not come already cooked so thoroughly. But the intense shaking did not help matters, meaning the steak was in the oven even longer than necessary.
Lufthansa First Class Breakfast
About 75 minutes prior to arrival in Frankfurt I woke up. A FA noticed and promptly brought me a hot towel, glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice, fruit smoothie, and cappuccino.
The 747-8 doesn’t officially have a “guest seat” on the ottoman, but I still joined John for breakfast, who was seated in the first row. Breakfast included more orange juice and coffee, fresh berries and melon, a delicious croissant, and scrambled eggs with bacon.
While the dinner main course is often a disappointment, I have never had a bad breakfast in Lufthansa First Class.
I’ve heard complaints that Lufthansa First Class is not what it used to be. This was not my experience. Sure, I would have loved a rare steak and Rimowa amenity kit, but the first class product is still very solid. Sadly, the smelly and unruly passenger in seat 2K made the flight much less comfortable, but I was impressed by the way FAs handled him.