This is the first leg of four traveling from Chicago to Tokyo through Frankfurt and back on Lufthansa in First Class. Instead of four reports I'll condense down to a single report, so the photos won't necessarily be from this particular flight. All flights were on their new 747-8i which is an amazing airplane.
There is no photo from the United International First Class lounge in Chicago because it's not worthy of the storage space on the device taking the photo. A complete embarrassment, especially compared to Lufthansa First Class Lounge in Frankfurt.
First Class has 8 seats on the lower deck of the 747-8i. Each seat has an ottoman and a storage locker that wouldn’t fit my carry-on. I’m guessing the locker is about 14x32. It has a hanger and is deep, just not wide. FC is a typical 747 layout with 1-1 on the windows and a row of 2 seats in the middle behind the serving counter. Lufthansa has one of these rows. Cabin was ultra clean (until I spilled a glass of wine) as were the lavatories. The two lavatories for First Class were good size but not huge. Given I was the only one in First Class on two of my flights, waiting was not an issue!
The seats in First Class you could sit in for days. They are wide with good support. The foot rest is an ottoman and controlled by the seat electronics. You have a shoulder strap that must be worn on take-off and landing. And notice the amount of leg room this seat provides. You can’t reach the ottoman with your belt fastened.
It might just be me on planes but I didn’t find the bed very comfortable. The bedding was nice, the pillows small, but the mattress pad didn’t seem to offer much comfort from the sturdiness of the seat. While the FC cabin is open, each seat has a privacy screen which encloses the sleeping area. With this screen extended the seat/bed becomes very private and the bed itself is quite large. So my issue was simply with comfort.
Amenities are pajamas along with a toiletry kit and some really uncomfortable slippers. The kit included a comb/brush, toothbrush/paste, socks, ear plugs, eye mask and some creams. Interestingly no mouthwash in the kit but was available in the lavatory. But the pajamas are worth the price of admission, they’re made by VanLaack. I wear them everyday!
Of course they serve champagne, but not being a big fan I did not get the brand. I know, who doesn't like champagne. Well, me. The fresh macadamias were excellent as you can tell from the empty bowl in this photo. The wine selection was good. A total of eight wines were offered. I enjoyed a 2007 Chateau Larmande, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe, multiple times.
Amuse Bouche and Caviar. Need I say more?
Multiple appetizers were brought on trays to select from, main course selections consisted of one international menu with 2-3 items to select from and on the Japan route an additional 2-3 Japanese choices, cheese and desert. Chocolate and mid flight snacks. Breakfast had 2 choices as well.
Presentations were made with great care. The food for the most part was very good, especially the freshly scrambled eggs with crispy bacon, and I don’t even like bacon. The Japanese offerings were exceptionally good as well, presented in traditional multi-small serve tastings. It was the Western meat dishes that were just ok. The European style muesli was particularly good.
The IFE equipment was fine with the typical German hard to navigate functionality (at least from my experiences using German technology in their cars.). Bose headphones are hardwired in a compartment next to the seat. Video controller is in the armrest. It’s the content and Airshow that were disappointing. Very few movies. Airshow that essential showed a picture of the plane over terrain that had very few land markings and little in the way of flight information. Much of it was in German.
A box of chocolates with wine to watch the movie makes up for those deficiencies!
I can't say enough about the crew on all the flights. The purser from introduction to end of flight thank you. The attendants being cordial, friendly and at your service. It doesn't get better.
The first flight was on D-ABYT which is the retro painted 747-8i
Got some pretty cool pictures over Russia. None are touched up.
Then there is the First Class Lounge. On my way to Tokyo I went to the lounge in Terminal B and returning to the States the outside First Class Terminal. Both are almost identical.
You are met by a personal assistant who will attend to any requests as well as retrieve you when it's time to board.
Food and drink are plentiful. A full buffet is offered as well as cooked to order dishes. The Weiner Schnitzel is the hands down winner. A must have!
After your meal, or before. It's time to freshen up.
or swim with the duck
Massages were also available.
When it's time to go you just don't walk out into the terminal. You car is waiting to whisk you to your private elevator and past the economy class in line waiting to board.
The only downside to the whole trip is that is had to end.
Have you flown the 747-8i? What is your opinion of this aircraft?
United First International Lounge
Chicago - ORD
Frankfurt - FRA
For the ratings the lounge was of course the Frankfurt lounge. I also had access to the ANA first class lounge in Haneda. It was very nice, sleeping rooms, showers but a narrow selection of food and drink. Nice view of the airfield.
The departure airport (ORD) Lufthansa departs from B16/B17. The United international FC lounge is in terminal C. Don't bother. I went and stayed only a few minutes. The receptionist failed to notify the gate that I had left and the LH ground staff came to get me. B16 to terminal C is a good hike. On all flights I was personally greeted by staff, they knew my name and escorted me into the airplane as well as through security after checking in.
Arrival airport I left at neutral. There wasn't anything special for First Class once you arrived at any of the airports, FRA, HND or ORD.
Lufthansa truly goes out of its way to differentiate first class customers from the rest, and for me it was a truly special experience.
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