Yesterday I flew Lufthansa First Class from Los Angeles to Frankfurt. The 8-seat cabin was filled with a mix of A-list stars, a former Lufthansa executive, and a wealthy Ukrainian family. It made for an interesting flight…
I am looking forward to wrapping up the travel season for awhile, but have one more trip this week to Europe for a series of meetings. As usual, Lufthansa space reliably opened at the last minute and John and I secured two seats on LH457, the A380 service from LAX to FRA, for 70K Aeroplan miles each.
We arrived at the airport a bit early and were escorted to the Star Alliance First Class lounge. Sitting right beside us texting on her phone was actress Jane Fonda. A few moments later she was escorted out of the lounge by a Lufthansa attendant. At the time, we were not sure whether she would be on our flight.
We boarded our flight about 20 minutes later and found Fonda sitting in 1A. And she wasn’t the only one…Amanda Seyfried was seated right across from me. Don’t believe me? The DailyMail covered their arrival into Venice. Both were headed to the Venice Film Festival. Actor Ethan Hawke was also on the flight…in business class. He should have used Award Expert.
Celebrities? Who Cares?
Now you have to understand that I don’t really get excited about celebrities. However I am curious how airlines treat celebrities (versus regular passengers like me) and how celebrities treat airline staff.
Fonda was very low maintenance. She asked that her bed be made moments after takeoff and went right to bed, turning down all meal service. Interestingly, she kept her sunglasses on until her privacy divider went up (as if we could not recognize her…). She woke up about 45 minutes before landing and had an espresso. She immediately put her sunglasses on…in a dark cabin.
Seyfried was very kind to FAs, eating a light dinner of salmon and cappuccino. One FA made small talk with her and she seemed to happily engage.
“Bring me caviar!”
Also in the cabin: a wealthy Ukrainian family — a man with a model-like wife and a small child. They also turned down all food onboard, except caviar. They demanded a lot of caviar. The boy was fed some sort of soup out of a thermos and went right to sleep, but awoke six hours later and started crying loudly. It certainly disturbed my slumber. He later ran around the cabin.
There was also an older German gentleman who a FA mentioned was a former Lufthansa senior executive. He was the stereotypical rich old German man — dressed impeccably, spoke perfect High German, and made the crew laugh.
Pictures? Nope. I think everyone – celebrities or otherwise – is entitled to privacy and deserves to be left alone when traveling, particularly in first class. I would have enjoyed a picture with Fonda and Seyfried, but why? Everyone left them alone and I was glad of that.
I’ve flown Lufthansa First Class twice in the last month and don’t intend to fully review each flight, but do want to do an A380 v. 747-8 comparison on the same route. Stay tuned!
Have you ever flown with a celebrity? Did they treat the crew nicely?
Just curious, how last minute was the opening? In your experience is it usually within 2 weeks, within 7 days, or the day before?
I have asiana miles that I need to redeem.
Then forget about those asiana miles.
Chicago and Washington Dulles tend to open more than 72 hours out. West Coast is very difficult if using Asiana miles.
Jane Fonda is hardly an A-list celebrity. More of an America-hating , washed up communist wench.
Are they mutually exclusive?
Someone woke up on the wrong side of their confederate flag…
Your vitriol is representative of one who pretends to love America and yet hates Americans. You’re no patriot. You’re merely a mysogynist who cannot stomach a strong woman expressing her opinions, however they may differ from your own. You’re also not too bright, as Ms. Fonda is hardly a communist. Perhaps you may do yourself the service of learning about what you write before you write. Oops.
Jane Fonda IS an A-List celebrity. She is a fantastic actress and excellent in her series Frankie and Grace. She has apologized a thousand times for her inappropriate behavior regarding the Vietnam War. Have you never done something you were sorry for? She has also been a champion for women’s rights. Thanks for the report Matthew.
I guess if someone pays for it, they can fly their kids in first class. But for the rest of the passengers, having a restless, loud kid running around can really ruin the experience. (before anyone judges me, I’m a father myself)
Forgot to mention, they checked in right in front of us and had “F” on their boarding pass (we had “O” designation award first class). That’s full fare…
How many seats were available on the flight when the F space opened up 24hrs in advance?
That must be a new development, LH writes actual booking class on the boarding pass? Big O vs big F? I’ve never seen a big O on the LH boarding pass.
Correct. Not a recent development, though. They’ve done it for years.
Not a big O or F, its actually quite small. If you’re in First Class, theres still a large F printed in stars on the Boarding pass, no matter how you’ve bought your ticket. However, on the smaller stub, there is a section that says Class, quite small actually, and thats where your specific fare is designated, whether it be A, F, or O. Its actually very small, how Matthew was able to see it on the peoples BP without getting a good close look at their Boarding passes is beyond me.
Heres an example, you’ll see flight number/class on the right bottom corner area: https://i2.wp.com/milelion.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/lufthansaredacted2.png
I assume you transferred miles from SPG?
Nope. AMEX to Aeroplan.
Did you book online with Aeroplan? I keep getting error messages saying the seats are not available after trying to purchase the flights. Really weird. It shows up but when trying to finalize the purchase, it didn’t go through on several flights on LH first class.
Yes. I run into that error message all the time. The problem is usually not the longhaul flight, but the connecting flight. Are you trying to book a connection in business class within Europe?
Yeah. Was always trying from US to London. Any suggestions on how to make it work? If you go to United website then there are no issues and you can book it.
Thanks for any suggestions.
Search both segments separately on Aeroplan. Almost always the problem will be FRA-LHR. Make sure the segment you want is available if just booking it point to point.
There’s a lot going on — married segments showing but Aeroplan actually unable to book them (and United able to). I’ll do a post on it soon.
I’ve flown with former boxer jerry Cooney he was great
Thanks. Look forward to your post on this. I have a lot of miles to use up with Aeroplan but can’t figure out how to get the US FRA Segment and FRA London in one Segment but on United its pretty easy and bookable.
As a former flight attendant/purser, it was common to have celebrities on flights. The two nicest and least demanding? Barbra Streisand and Tine Turner. The most obnoxious and demanding? We’ll save that for another time.
C’mon Larry, don’t leave us hanging.
Raquel Welch? I heard she was a nightmare.
I’ve flown with far more famous ones, but “Roger” from Mad Men was the best. He was in real life much like his character. John Slattery absolutely made my day. Was conversational without provocation. Loved it.
^far more famous than Slattery, not comparing versus yours.
Of course! 🙂
I once was on BA in F with Mick Jagger and with 2 of his small children (at the time) they were making lots of noise and I told them to STOP IT. He was very cool he thanked me because he’d been trying to shut them up and they wouldn’t listen.
What’s the amenity kit these days? Is Rimowa back??
It is not. There is a new brand I’ve never heard of it. Will outline it in trip report.
How old do you think the former Lufthansa executive is? Just curious…and how is he a stereotype? You must have missed out on the Cowboy boots…..
Thanks for checking out the blog! I did notice your cowboy boots, but you had the Rimowa luggage, wore a suit and tie, slicked back silver hair, and had that wonderful deep German voice with a perfect, crisp accent. I thought you were part of the Bundestag until one of the FAs informed me otherwise. And by “old” I only meant 55-60…you’ve got another 40 years ahead of you! Would be honored to have coffee with you when you’re back in California.
I just discovered your blog. I like it. I was sat next to Rodney Dangerfield on a flight from Ft. Lauderdale to NYC. He was very unassuming. We chatted a bit and he went sleep. A few people came up to him for an autograph but that was before we took off. He Was a nice guy and gave me a card to get me into Dangerfield’s in Manhattan.