Review of Lufthansa flight Denver Frankfurt in First

Airline Lufthansa
Flight LH447
Class First
Seat 83C
Aircraft Boeing 747-400
Flight time 09:30
Take-off 08 Apr 15, 17:25
Arrival at 09 Apr 15, 10:55
LH   #70 out of 113 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 1179 reviews
socalnow
By 7642
Published on 7th May 2015
Hello Flight Report community and welcome to my first attempt to join the ranks of Flight Reporters. I have recently discovered the site and spent many hours enjoying the variety and detail of reports. I very much appreciate the ability to satisfy my airline travel geek needs without the cost and time away from home!

For my first report I will offer a look at my most recent travel adventure. I took a brief RTW trip in April of 2015. The trip started out with a desire to sample Turkish Airlines and visit the city of Istanbul. And it grew from there. The final product came in the form of: SNA-DEN-FRA-LHR-IST-PVG-SEA-LAX. For this journey I utilized Southwest Airlines, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Alaska Airlines.

I will break the journey down as follows:

Planning and LH DEN-FRA (this report)
FCT and LH FRA-LHR (coming soon)
LHR Lounges and TK LHR-IST (coming soon)
TK Lounge, Istanbul, and TK IST - PVG (coming soon)
DL PVG - SEA (coming soon)
AS SEA - LAX (coming soon)

Planning

I strongly believe that I derive almost as much pleasure in researching, planning, and anticipating such an adventure as I do in the actual trip. Anyone else like that? As I noted above the genesis of the trip was a desire to sample Turkish Airlines and visit the city of Istanbul. I have read many accounts of the fantastic Do & Co catering and IST lounge offered by TK so I decided to see for myself. I have a small balance in my United MileagePlus account and TK being a member of Star made a good fit. The idea of experiencing their regional offering and long haul in one trip appealed to me so I came up with a Europe - IST - Asia vision. 75,000 UA miles later I was ticketed LHR-IST-PVG. Exorbitant price, yes, the UA devaluation remains painful.

Another factor in my route planning is the privilege I have to travel on Delta Air Lines at a greatly reduced fare as NRSA. Long story short is family member in their employ allows me unlimited yield fare tickets on DL metal. This is very helpful to plug the gaps where my lack of miles/points would leave me stranded.

So, with this TK ticket in hand I moved on to how to get to LHR. Delta has, as part of the JV with Virgin Atlantic, commenced LAX - LHR service. My home international airport is LAX so this was an easy choice. I listed myself for April 8th LAX - LHR. In addition I also planned to complete the loop using DL on PVG-SEA-LAX.

As the days leading up to departure got closer my thought turned to other ways to get myself to the UK. Through he help of the av geek blogosphere and my ample supply of Amex Membership Rewards points I learned that one can use Air Canada Aeroplan to obtain Lufthansa award travel at a far more reasonable rate than United. Starting 2 weeks prior to departure I frequently visited the Aeroplan site to see if any LH 1st class space would open up. I focused on Denver and Seattle as I was really keen to ride the 747-400 before it is reconfigured. The avgeek gods smiled and space opened up on the desired day. The Amex MR points transferred instantly and I was ticketed. I bought a Southwest ticket SNA - DEN to position (no report) and I'm off.

Lufthansa - LH447
DEN-FRA
Depart 17:25 / Arrive 10:55 +1
Cabin: First Seat: 83C

After a very bumpy arrival into DEN I decided to leave the secure area and check in with Lufthansa at the ticket counter. I was curious to see how this station handled the 1st class experience. The answer was not well.

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Sorry for the blurred image, the sun was streaming in.

I waited on the red carpet for the agent to become available. I was greeted by a surprised, First class? I answered int he affirmative and approached. I don't think she initiated any other dialogue. I was presented my boarding passes and I inquired about lounge access. Through my research I knew the answer was United Club but I refused to believe that was seen as a suitable lounge for LH First. Alas, that was her response.

The premium security line wasn't bad however it just delivered you to the main scrum of converging lines so the advantage was minimal. I was through in 10 minutes and decided to walk the various concourses to stretch my legs and spot some airplanes. DEN isn't the most glamorous spotting destination so after an ample supply of UA and SWA 737s I decided to stop at one of the United lounges to have a pre-flight cocktail and use the wifi.

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The G&T was fine with a good view of the apron. I was surprised to see the majority of the UA 737s that I spotted were already fitted with the split scimitar wing features. After a short stay I ventured down to the gate to get a look at my ride to Frankfurt.

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Nordrhein-Westfalen would be doing the duty today.

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Parked next door.

Pre-boarding commenced pretty much on time. Shortly after I and another passenger were paged to the podium. We were the lucky two who would be traveling upstairs today and they were going to take us aboard prior to general boarding. The other passenger explained to the agent that his wife was seated in Business and he was goign to trade seats with her so she will be boarding now with first class. Quite the gentleman.

I was greeted very warmly at the front door by the purser/flight leader (can't remember the term LH uses). She inspected my boarding pass and apologized that I will have to endure a flight of stairs to reach my assigned seat. We shared a laugh and I remarked that I wouldn't want it any other way. With that an few other warm and genuine welcomes from various crew I proceeded to climb the stairs.

I knew this was a unique cabin configuration going in but it even surpassed my expectations in both appearance and comfort. I was blown away and almost didn't believe it was really happening to me.

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Looking forward.

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Looking aft.

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Seat across the asile from me. i had quickly cluttered my area with my luggage and such.

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Goodies.

I exchanged introductions and pleasantries with the two flight attendants that would be taking care of me this afternoon. The male who did most of the in aisle service (probably on account of his English skills) went by the name of Winnie. Winnie announced to me that he took the liberty of opening the 2007 Tattinger and , was this OK? I replied in the affirmative and the service commenced.

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After chatting with Winnie for a while I could tell right away this was going to be a special flight. From the door to the seat I was greeted with such genuine warmth and hospitality. I am sure the light load upstaris (2/8) contributed to the level of service. I was very impressed right out of the gate (pun intended).

Shortly after getting settled one of the Captains came out to speak with both passengers. He introduced himself and noted that this might be a flight I wished would be longer. Looking around the cabin I wholeheartedly agreed. I asked if a flight deck visit was possible while we are waiting for the boarding to complete and he obliged. I was introduced to the other Captain and FO. The were very generous in discussing our departure, wight, and flight path. The airplane was light today but the thin Rocky Mountain air still required a generous amount of runway.

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Careful not to take too much of their time I profusely thanked them for the opportunity to visit the best office in the world and returned to my seat to enjoy the Tattinger.

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We pushed back with a minimal delay. The climb out was mildly turbulent but once were above the cloud layer it was smooth.

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Soaking up the moment in the comfy LH pajamas.

I opted for more Tattinger and to enjoy the meal directly after takeoff. Winnie obliged and delivered the amuse bouche.

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I expressed to Winnie my excitement for this flight today any my enthusiasm for Lufthansa 1st class in general and he was very pleased that he had a willing recipient for all of the culinary delights on offer.

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The caviar trolly came next and a generous portion was delivered. Truth be told this is probably my favorite part of the service. Caviar just feels so luxurious and the presentation adds to the event. I tried pairing with both chilled Russian Vodka and the Tattinger. Both offered unique and worth while pairings.

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I would love a set of these to take home. I wanted to ask Winnie if anyone would notice if they were missing but I thought better of it. I didn't want to put him in a position of having to say no, you may not steal from my employer!

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I switched from the Tattinger to this lovely Italian Chardonnay. It was from the Piedmont region near the Pyrenees. Very lightly oaked and enjoyable.

Up next were the appetizers. I know from previous LH 1st class experience that you have to pace yourself and this involved only tasting everything on offer but not finishing any of the portions (caviar is the exception). This is my strategy to maximize the experience. I let Winnie know that I was very pleased with everything so please don't take exception if I am not cleaning my plate.

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The deviled egg with crab and salmon stood out here.

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Would a flight on Germany's flag carrier be complete without a German wine? I think not. Dry Riesling to the rescue. I will add that Winnie's knowledge of the wines and the pairings was impressive. He paid attention in training.

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For the main I opted for the seafood chilaquiles. I was astonished to see such a dish in LH First. It was too interesting to pass up. I will say my review is mixed. Kudos to attempt something out of the ordinary but it fell short.

Winnie asked if I would like to sample another main and I opted to give the beef a go.

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Paired with this delicious Shiraz blend.

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The beef was very pedestrian as well.

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Cheese trolly! Probably my second favorite part of the service.

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Armagnac to enjoy with cheese.

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Spicy chutney works so well with the cheese.

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Late harvest Riesling next

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Salted brownie and ice cream dessert.

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Cognac! Lovely.

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Chocolate selection.

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Cognac and chocolate. What a delightful finish to a fun meal.

Sleep time. The bed on this aircraft is sensational. Any sleeping position can be achieved. Opening the window and star gazing as I drift off to sleep.

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I awoke as we approached Scotland.

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I was quickly greeted and offered a beverage. I opted for a cappuccino.

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Next the breakfast trolly came around. I opted for a selection of meats and cheeses.

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Cooked to order eggs. Overcooked actually, but nice presentation.

Before I knew it we were on short final to FRA and my fairytale flight was coming to an end.

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As we taxied to our parking point I was hoping for a remote stand. A ride around the airfield in a car is always a treat for and avgeek. Alas it was not to be as we were assigned a zed gate.

The jet bridge was attached and after gathering my things and thanking the crew, I reluctantly left the airplane. Anyone familiar with FRA knows it's a long walk to immigration but after all that lounging and eating/drinking a long walk is welcome.

Up next, FCT and a short flight to LHR.











See more

Verdict

Lufthansa

8.6/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi6.5
Meal/catering8.0

United Club (East)

3.6/10
Comfort1.0
Meal/catering1.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Services7.5

Denver - DEN

6.0/10
Efficiency5.0
Access5.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.0

Frankfurt - FRA

8.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

If I had to use one work to summarize this flight it would be perfect. The special configuration of the LH 744, the light 2/8 load, the warm and sincere crew all made for one of the most memorable flight of my life. Kudos to Lufthansa. I cannot fathom how an airline can do this any better.

Related

22 Comments

  • Comment 135893 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5361 Comments

    What a great first report! Way to start off with a report in F...Probably one of the best and most unique F products out there. Too bad it's only on the 744.

    I strongly believe that I derive almost as much pleasure in researching, planning, and anticipating such an adventure as I do in the actual trip. Anyone else like that? - Haha, yep...I think most of us on here are the same way. The Geekiness begins at booking :-)

    Sounds like you get the best of both worlds with miles and points travel and the ability to non-rev to fill in gaps to position to different cities.

    The ground experience at DEN for F pax is really sad. Making a F passenger use the United club is just terrible. The UA clubs aren't even good enough for J pax, by international standards. Luckily the amazing cabin and on-board experience more than make up for this. Still, it's a shame.

    Looks like you had a great experience with this unique F configuration, good catering, and a wonderful crew! Evrything you could possibly need for a perfect flight.

    You may have noticed, but you don't need

    tags for paragraphs--you just need to type a space. Also, comments are best above the photos on this site.

    Again, an awesome first report. Glad you found our site and thanks for posting!

    Welcome to Flight-Report!

    KevinDC - Community Manager

    • Comment 315584 by
      socalnow AUTHOR 980 Comments

      Thank you for the comments KevinDC. I'm a fan of your reports.

      Funny thing about the paragraph tag is that it doesn't show in the preview. I think I removed them.

      LH ground handling in DEN seems to be reflective of the fact that First Class is not a part of their long term plans for the station.

      I did have a very positive interaction with a United Club attendant when my phone wasn't connecting to wifi. She actually took an interest and suggested clearing cache. This did the trick and I was online. I know their role isn't tech support so I was appreciative she gave me a suggestion.

  • Comment 135896 by
    Caribel 113 Comments

    Great read! Your positive attitude was contagious enough to make the crew respond in kind.

    Wine selection of critically acclaimed vintages is impressive. Cheap champers made me scratch my head asking why.

    The first main is not a proper chilaquiles. Chilaquiles involves slowly cooking a broth that is then infused with ancho chiles flavor, topped with a protein and cruchy tortilla strips. The crema and cotija cheese provide the acidity and saltiness.

    The uneven shape of the steak exemplifies what happens with machine cut beef. By not removing the silver colored tissue by hand, the beef cooks unevenly.

    Thanks for including us in your dream holiday!

    • Comment 315585 by
      socalnow AUTHOR 980 Comments

      Thank you for the comments Caribel.

      I totally agree about the mains on LH. They fall short and it's in stark contrast to so many areas where they exceed expectations. This has been the case in my limited experience with LH First. Why can't Do&Co take care of the on board meal program? That said I have a small sample size and I would be very willing to fly more LH F to achieve a larger data set! :)

  • Comment 135897 by
    Rl 777 810 Comments

    Fantastic FR, very detailed! Thanks for sharing your first FR :).

    Welcome to Flight-Report, hope to see many more FRs from you in the future!

    That F seat looks really nice, great product on a great aircraft.

    Catering looks good and it's really great that you got a nice crew on this flight.

    See you on the next one!

  • Comment 135904 by
    Mathieu 2087 Comments

    Hey,
    Thank you for sharing this exceptional report & welcome on board.
    This cabin is really nice, and the combo seat + bed is very ingenious.
    The catering seems to be very high level, especially alcohol :p.

    See you,

  • Comment 135908 by
    Aubin 173 Comments

    Welcome to flight-report, thank you for this great first F-R!

  • Comment 135911 by
    SMilano 1292 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this very nice report !

    I really like this cabin ! This combo is a great idea ! It's a pity that is just on the 744...
    The catering seems very good ! And a exceptional crew !

    That's perfect for a perfect flight !

    And welcome to Flight Report ! ;)

    See ya on teh next flight :)

  • Comment 135917 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report and welcome to the site! Looks like the start of a great round-the-world series.

    The G&T was fine
    - Just fine? Look at that chalice, it's fit for a king! I miss the UA Clubs.

    The LH first experience in these 744 cabins is unique, definitely a top-notch hard-product and sets it apart from its Asian rivals in F-cabins. Even if these seats lack privacy (compared to suite-style products), the comfort of having a real bed makes up for everything. The only problem with these old F-configurations is that the IFE hasn't been updated either.

    From what I remember from Pititom's recent LH F report, catering was also the downfall of the experience in his report. The appetizers and desserts don't exude F-class appeal in my opinion, a brownie is not a F dessert. But chilaquiles on LH? You were certainly treading on thin ice, so not too surprised that it didn't live up to your expectations. That said, there is definitely no shortage of quantity when it comes to LH catering and there are nice aspects to their service such as the caviar and cheese trolleys, you were definitely fattened up enroute.

    A great crew makes any flight better and it sounds like you got a great one, having a 1-1 pax-FA ratio sure helps ;) They sounded very proactive, friendly, and ensured your comfort throughout the flight.

    • Comment 315768 by
      NGO85 1622 Comments

      I aspire to your level of detail.
      - I am merely a follower not a leader ;) I've read a lot of reports so I've taken inspiration from them to provide good reports that I can share with the community.

      Spending the day with LH First is not good for your waistline, for sure!
      - Unfortunately, this is often the problem with long-haul travel; you are only sitting, eating, and sleeping for long periods of time with little physical activity.

    • Comment 315590 by
      socalnow AUTHOR 980 Comments

      Thanks for the comments NGO85. I really enjoy reading your reports. I aspire to your level of detail.

      The IFE is a weak spot. Screen size and resolution is not what you would expect. I'm not sure I used the IFE beyond the flight map.

      Spending the day with LH First is not good for your waistline, for sure!

  • Comment 135924 by
    akivi GOLD 2623 Comments

    What a great first FR :) Welcome on board !

    Just one thing : be careful with your boarding pass picture, your name is visible. As a general rule, always hide any detail that could be used by ill-intentioned people : name, ticket nr, fidelity membership nr etc

  • Comment 135939 by
    02022001 4355 Comments

    Thanks very much, a really nice flight !

  • Comment 135945 by
    socalnow AUTHOR 980 Comments

    I left all of my re-sized pictures on my work computer and alas I don't have remote access so I will not be able to post the next installment until Monday 5/11.

  • Comment 135968 by
    SKYTEAMCHC GOLD 8289 Comments

    Thanks for your report ! I must say that I am not usually a big Lufthansa fan but this First Class on the upper floor with both a seat and a bed is absolute luxury. The catering and wines look very good and your flight attendant seems perfect ! Looking forward to your future reports and Welcome on board Flight Report :-)

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