My family flew Lufthansa nonstop from Los Angeles to Frankfurt last week onboard the Airbus A350-900 in business class. It was a great award redemption and a great flight.
My First Impressions of Lufthansa A350 Business Class
Avianca LifeMiles can be frustrating when partner award space is blocked, but during the last promotion you could buy 63,000 miles for about $700. That’s how many miles are required for a one-way business class ticket between the United States and Europe and no fuel surcharges are collected. Our flight, LH457, was wide open in business class and thus booking via LifeMiles website was easy.
Still, one ticket was booked via Aeroplan because I would be traveling with my seven-month-old daughter. While infant tickets are annoyingly difficult when booking with LifeMiles, they are incredibly easy and cheap with Aeroplan. So one ticket was booked for 70,000 Aeroplan points and then the infant ticket was an additional 25CAD…a very good buy and one upside to the new Aeroplan program.
The Tom Bradley International Terminal was fairly busy at LAX, with a long line waiting to check-in at the Lufthansa counters. Thankfully, we used the business class line and only had to wait a few minutes.
After clearing security, we walked directly to the gate (with my son stopping to admire several aircraft on the way) because the Star Alliance Lounge is closed.
Onboard, we were warmly welcomed by a young, Munich-based crew. The ladies working the cabin were friendly and attentive and I give the crew extremely high marks for service, unlike my last longhaul flight in the other direction in Lufthansa Business Class.
The cabin departed about 2/3 full, even after several deadheading flight attendants were accommodated in business class. We reserved seats in row 1 and 2 (to take advantage of the bassinet) and ended up with an open seat in row two.
That became very instrumental when our daughter refused to stay in her bassinet (she’s in that stage where she is getting close to walking and pulls herself up on everything). She ended up sleeping in her own seat…more on that in a future post.
The main courses in business class were identical to the main course choices in first class a month ago. Indeed, I ordered the same beef dish just to compare the two (the only difference was the plate). Certainly the appetizers and desserts were more limited. But the food was nice.
Augustine sat next to me and has become a very good flyer. I’m thankful that he can take a 10-hour flight without much fuss. He even managed about five hours of sleep.
There’s nothing like watching the sunrise while sipping an espresso. I so appreciate that Lufthansa has not engaged in the sort of cost-cutting masquerading as hygiene theatre so many airlines have. Food was still served on ceramic plates with proper glasses and flatware. Presentation matters.
We landed on-time to a cloudy winter morning in Frankfurt.
I’m really depreciating my miles, but the reason I collect miles in the first place is for instances like this. Even if I could afford it, there is simply no way I could justify flying in longhaul business class if I had to pay retail pricing. But using miles makes aspirational travel affordable (not free…don’t let anyone tell you otherwise).
Lufthansa business class is no substitute for first class, but the flight exceeded my expectations and I love flying the A350.