What’s to like – I was looking forward to my first flight on Lufthansa’s 747-8i and I enjoyed the experience, at least in the hard product.
Could improve – I think the menu and the plating and arranging of the food lets the airline down somewhat, or maybe they were just having a bad day that day?
Flight number – LH 456
Seat Number – 84K
Aircraft type – Boeing 747-8i
Check in/Transfer – I had caught an ICE train up from Munich the night before and stayed at the Meininger Hotel just across from Frankfurt Airport so that I would be relatively close for my 10.10am departure. Having gotten up around 7.30am this allowed for quickly checking out of the hotel and a short 10 minute walk to Terminal 1 at FRA where I was anticipating being able to spend a bit of time enjoying the lounge pre-flight.
Unfortunately the check-in didn’t go smoothly even using the business class counters as there was some issue with the address in the United States which they needed to enter into the system, which I eventually got sorted out.
After heading to immigration and then dutifully waiting in lines for the scanning of baggage (which weren’t moving particularly quickly) I then had to go through the whole patting down routine because seemingly every person who walked through the metal detector caused it to go off. It was annoying as I knew I had no metal on me and this was duly found. They obviously needed to adjust some setting on the detector to make it less sensitive and more realistic.
I must have been looking extra dodgy as I next found myself being waved over by some airport security to go behind some security screens and get an extra dose of the third degree with shoes once again having to go off, shirt off etc. So much for a nice peaceful processing and into the lounge for a bit of chillaxing pre-flight!
Lounge – With all that nonsense instead of having an hour or so to enjoy the Lufthansa Business Lounge it was down to less than half an hour, which didn’t leave time for much more than having a quick shower and then grabbing a soft drink and a few things to nibble and wait for boarding to be called. The LH Business lounges at FRA are nice and have a good selection of food, drinks, computers and showers etc, but this was not exactly how I pictured things going that particular morning!
Seat – I was looking forward to trying out the business class seat on the fairly new Boeing 747-8i (the updated version of the classic 747 Jumbo) as it was a fully lie flat bed as opposed to the angled lie flats that Lufthansa had installed in business in their A380s (for some reason??) I also had never flown in the upper bulge of a 747 so it was a couple of firsts that I would be getting out of the way.
The 32 seat upper deck cabin is arranged in 8 rows of 2-2 seating with the two seats on either side of the cabin slightly angling towards each other. The seats were comfortable for the long flight, had ample storage for personal items, 3 windows to look out of and there was a good selection of movies, tv episodes, games and music to keep passengers entertained.
Food and beverages – The quality of the food was pretty good, but I think Lufthansa could really do with taking a bit more care on the plating up side of things from what I have experienced in my flights with them.
Starters were a choice of:
Tea flavored smoked beef tart, pineapple and bell pepper relish and cilantro ginger mayonnaise or King Prawn confit with avocado and bean salad and I went with the Prawn dish which was reasonably tasty.
Mains was a choice between:
Tenderloin of beef and braised beef cheek, chocolate chili sauce, kohlrabi, carrots and polenta or Grilled filet of cod with bell pepper catsup, butter sauce, green asparagus and herb potato purees. I went with the cod dish which was nice, but as can be seen a bit more effort could have been put into making the dish more visually attractive.
For dessert there was fruit salad or a sort passionfruit panna cotta, as well as Guylian Chocolates. I went with the passion fruit dish which was delicious and with a nice cheese board.
The pre-landing meal consisted of:
Vegetable ginger stew with breast of poulard, mixed leaf salad with carrots and red radish accompanied by cranberry vinaigrette, cacao and canache brownie with white sesame and pineapple ragout. This was ok, without being the most visually attractive spread.
For beverages throughout the flight I stuck with my usual bourbons and cokes and vodka and oranges.
Service quality – The service was efficient and perhaps a little sterile, but the flight attendants did a good job. I have a thing about collecting miniature bottles of alcohol when on airlines that still serve them that way, and towards the end of the flight I went and asked if I could maybe grab a couple of brands that I didn’t recall having.
While this would be a big deal with some airlines with all sorts or rules and regulations being recited, the FAs were happy to help find the 6 or so bottles of obscure german regional schnapps and other alcohols I didn’t think I had which was nice.
On time – The flight left on time and arrived on a little ahead of schedule which is always nice.
Conclusion – I like the hard product on Lufthansa’s 747-8i although I’m not sure I’m a complete fan of the seats that angled towards each other as your feet get pretty close to the person in the seat next to you. I think the food left a little to be desired, at least in presentation even if some of it still tasted pretty good. The start of the day with all of the security messing around was a real pain which threatened to diminish the experience (not Lufthansa’s fault), but I quickly was able to settle in and enjoy the flight.