The Airbus A380 has allowed airlines to highlight their newest and best high-end products and Lufthansa Airlines is no exception. With the introduction of the A380, Lufthansa has been able to showcase a new level of luxury with their new first class seats found in the front of the upper deck. Many airlines call this set up “suites,” but these are really a hybrid. If you are flying with someone you know and get two tickets, you have the ability to put down the mid-screens and easily interact with your companion. If they are a stranger (or someone you know, but don’t want to talk to), you are able to put up the wall and have your own private suite-like space.
Although I haven’t been able to test out the first class suites on a flight, I can say just sitting in them for a few minutes is quite nice. Experiencing on of these seats first hand, will set you back a pretty penny; a round trip flight costs about $20,000.00.
Although the suites are quite impressive, the two lavatories are unreal. You have plenty of room to freshen up or use the facilities. It is also the prime location to join the mile-high club, if that is your thing.
The VIP cabin gets quite a few things the rest of Lufthansa A380s do not First is a bit more headroom with the lack of overhead bins. Passengers will find plenty of room to store their items either in their suite or in a storage locker, which they can personally lock. There is also additional sound deadening material to keep the first class cabin a bit more quiet for the long journey. To help reduce jet-lag, there is a special humidifier created by Lufthansa, just for their Airbus A380 first class cabin.
Lufthansa Airbus A330 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) waiting to go to Frankfurt (FRA).
Recently I had the opportunity to fly from Seattle (SEA) to Frankfurt, Germany (FRA) on a Lufthansa Airbus A330 in Business Class. This was my first Lufthansa A330 flight and figured it is time to do a review. I was flown to Germany by the airline to experience the first Airbus A380 flight from Frankfurt to Miami, but getting there is half the fun.
I felt a lot of pressure to get some rest on the flight over to FRA since I was only spending 24hrs there before heading back to the US. Flying in a premium seat better prepares a passenger to arrive well rested and ready to go — something I needed, but never got. The down side of flying in a premium seat, at least for me, is I want to enjoy the experience and I fight sleeping through it.
On the day of the flight, I decided to leave home early to get to the airport. Although Lufthansa does not have their own lounge at SEA, they share one with British Airways in the S-Terminal. I was able to hang out in the lounge for about three hours with free drinks and snacks until my flight was ready to board — never a bad way to spend an afternoon.
What flight can be complete with out a winglet shot?There are so many business class seats, they go to the wing.
Lufthansa flies from Seattle to Frankfurt daily and is the only flight they operate out of Seattle. The great thing about only operating one flight per day is the aircraft was already sitting at the airport and we boarded and departed right on time. I remember the days when an Airbus A340 flew the route (not exactly sure of the dates) but today they have the A330. Luckily for us aviation nerds you can still catch the Air France A340 that flies to Seattle.
Once you get to cruising altitude on a wide bodied airliner, it is easy to forget you are flying. Most people shut their window (even me, I know, I know) to better view your in-flight entertainment screens . A flight on a wide body airliner is just a different experience, even in economy, allowing less of a closed-in feeling. Half way across the ocean, I couldn’t help but stop and realize how amazing it was traveling from Seattle to Frankfurt in just under ten hours. To think what that trip would have entailed just 100 years ago to accomplish the same task makes me happy that airlines offer a much better solution.
The seats provided quite a bit of room and there was a pretty good selection of entertainment, but I wished there was a bit more privacy between me and the person next to me. I have no problem sleeping in economy in standard seats, but when I am lying flat, I feel a bit more exposed and would enjoy more privacy. I also wish the TV screen was closer, since, when lounging back, the screen got smaller. I ran out of movies I wanted to watch on the flight over there, but luckily my flight back was on the A380, which had additional options for me to enjoy.
Yum! This was one of three courses. Being served in glasses with the airline's logo is a nice touch. Yes, I was watching a movie with Matt Damon.
Up in Business Class, one has ample choices for food during your long trip. There is an appetizer, entree and desert and for each category, you have three choices. I decided on the, “chilled honey roasted Chicken Breast with water crest salad and cranberries, then Zinfandel braised short ribs with garlic mashed potatoes and baby carrots and finally finished it up with sage derby, gruyere and cambozola cheese.” The food quality is what would be expected from an international business class experience. I only wish there were more offerings of German in nature. If possible, I prefer to have the cuisine of the airline’s home country versus standard fare. Back in economy, they didn’t have it too shabby either. They didn’t have all the choices, but at least they were still getting meals that looked pretty decent for airline food and it was all free (well included in the price of the ticket).
I know this is silly and really not a reason to choose an airline, but Lufthansa’s warm wash cloths that are handed out at the beginning of the flight and before the meal, smelled amazing. I can’t even tell you what the smell was like, but if they made that into an air freshener I would definitely get it.
After meal service almost everyone in the front of the plane went to sleep. I tried, but it just wasn’t happening. I even took part of a sleeping pill (something I do not usually do while flying), but I never got tired. This was bad news because when we landed it was midnight my time, but 9am local time and I had a full day of events to participate in. I welcomed jet-lag with open arms.
One reason I think I couldn’t sleep was it never got dark outside. The concept was pretty cool, but not getting any sleep wasn’t so cool. Yea, sure, the shades were all down, but mentally, I knew the light was there. Even the eye mask can’t stop the mental sunlight getting in.
When arriving in Frankfurt, we had to take a 10 minute bus ride back to the terminal.
Once we landed I was confused when we started taxiing away from the airport. I had forgotten that Frankfurt has many airline parking spaces where buses take people to and from the terminal. This was a bonus for me, being able to de-plane on the tarmac, then taking a five minute bus ride through the airport, but I could see how that would be a huge annoyance for people who are not into planes. I really wouldn’t want to ride an airplane for 10 hours, then get stuck on an even more crowded bus. You better believe the first class passengers are not riding the bus; many get a private Mercedes or Porsche to take them to the terminal.
Lufthansa also has an arrival lounge at FRA, but I was tired and in need of a shower, so I headed out of the airport and to my hotel. The flight went quick and was a great combination of comfort, high-end service and entertainment. I can’t wait until the next international flight.
Lufthansa's first class terminal in Frankfurt is separate from the main airport.
There are many international airlines that have first class lounges, but not many who have a whole terminal just for passengers flying first class. Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, Germany is as about as exclusive as one can get flying scheduled airline service. This is not an area you can buy a day pass for and you won’t even have access if you upgrade to first class. You either have to pay full fare for your international first class ticket or you have to have HON circle status, meaning you fly 600,000 miles over a two year period. I recently had a special tour of the terminal and wanted to share the experience.
There are many areas inside the lounge to relax or do business.
Everything can be done for a passenger in the first class terminal — they even have their own security. The terminal is exclusive, but there are still about 200-300 passengers that will go through the lounge everyday. No worries, there are plenty of different spaces they can relax or do their business.
Want a drink? The Lufthansa bar has you covered.
The bar area has 86 different kinds of whiskey for customers. There also were a few jars of different candy (seen at the end of the bar) which added a nice touch.
Want to get some grub before your flight -- no problem. Although I probably wouldn't call it "grub."
Right next to the bar is an eating area, where guests can order and eat food for free. Well, they did have to pay for that first class ticket, but once you are inside the walls of the first class terminal food and drinks are on the house.
Cigar lounge and mini-bar. Hmm, don't see that in most clubs.
If the bar area becomes a bit too crowded for your taste, right across the hall is a cigar lounge with its own mini-bar. I wonder how many business deals have been done in this area.
Eh, why take a shower when you can take a bath?
Many airline clubs are proud to state they have shower facilities available. Well, Lufthansa offers not only showers, but also full baths. And yes, that is a yellow rubber ducky on the edge of the bath and yes it has “Lufthansa” on it (photo) — now that is frek’n class.
Want to get a little nap in during your layover -- no problem.
After having a few helpings of whiskey and finishing a cigar, one can get a little sleepy. Passengers are able to get a private room and catch a few z’s before their flight.
For someone who loves airlines and nice cars, this is the perfect blend.
Waiting at the gate, waiting for your row to be called is so for peons. When it is time to board your flight, someone will come get you and then you will be driven in either a Mercedes S500, Porsche Panamera or Porsche Cayenne. You will be chauffeured right to your plane where you can board to the first class cabin. That means you can make your own trip without even having to look at someone in business class, little alone economy. That is great for folks who want a little privacy.
For those select few who are able to use such an amenity, what a wonderful way to travel. For those who always say travelling is not what it used to be, this is a much better way to travel than it used to be, but it will just cost you a few bucks. For example, flying from New York to Frankfurt in Lufthansa first class will cost about $16,000.00 or Seattle to Frankfurt for about $20,000.00. But, of course if you have to ask how much it will cost, you probably can’t afford it.