My ride to Newark — the first Boeing 747-8I (D-ABYA) to enter service commercially. Seen here from ground level!
I have been lucky enough to fly a few different airlinesÂ in first class. I am referring though to international first class here, not domestic â€œfirst class.â€Â An airline that I have beenÂ obsessedÂ to fly in first class is Lufthansa.
My flight on Lufthansa would be twoÂ firsts for me: flying their first class and being a passenger on the updated Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental. Having one first is normally exciting enough as it is, but two? Yes… one could say that I was excited!
Lufthansa first class seats 1A & 1K, in the nose of a 747. Can’t get any far farther into the pointy end than this.
The benefit of departing Frankfurt with a first class ticket starts when one arrives at the airport. I was given access to theirÂ first class terminal, which was amazing.Â Â When it was time to board my flight, I was driven in aÂ Mercedes Vito vanÂ thatÂ took me on a quick ride across the tarmac to myÂ gate in the A/Z concourse.
Riding along at ground level and looking up at gate after gate of 747s is pretty special. Â When we pulled up toÂ our gate, the very first 747-8I (D-ABYA) was looming above me. Â Being able to step out onto the ramp and snap a photo is nice. Â Being ushered all the way up to the aircraft by our driver is even better. Â Even though boarding was already underway when we arrived, ourÂ driver created a hole in the crowd and had us at the front in mere moments. Â Now THAT is service.
Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal at Frankfurt Airport. Is this the ultimate airline lounge?
Every major airline in the world tries to ensure that their hub lounges are the best that there can be. Â I am lucky enough to have visited a few of these in my life. Â From the Singapore Krisflyer Lounge to the Qantas First Class Lounge. Â However, there has always been one lounge in my sights that I never thought I could attain – one lounge that seemed unreachable.
So many people have visited it and raved about how amazing it was. Â Surely, I could find a way to visit it once in my life. Â What am I talking about, you are probably asking by now? Â That would be Lufthansaâ€™s First Class Terminal (FCT) at their Frankfurt hub.
D-ABVS, my ride to Frankfurt, behind double-glazing – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
As we all know, I am insane – I do stupid things, usually inspired by a picture I saw of something from years ago on the internet, fanning an intense jealous desire to have the same experience for myself. Why this is of any interest to the readership is because I consider getting there to be, at least, half the fun.
This time, I was off to UACC (IATA Code TSE, or as most people call it, Astana, Kazakhstan) to attend the third KADEX (also known as Kazakhstan’s defense expo). Originally, I was booked in Lufthansa business class for the Vancouver-Frankfurt portion of my itinerary, but after being informed by our Associate Editor that the aircraft I would be flyingÂ was not only rife with available first class seating, but that it was D-ABVS (an aircraft equipped with the new first), I felt it was my duty to exchange currencies of various forms and reasonable amounts for a soon-to-be vanishing experience.
Lufthansa, you see, is configuring these aircraft from three class (First, Business, Economy) into a different three class (Business, Premium Economy, and Economy). First class on a Lufthansa 747-400- will be gone for good soon- and I will sorely miss it.