Greetings Flight Report community and thanks for stopping by. I have been catching up on reports of trips made last year and this series will be exactly that. This series of flights was special for several reasons. First, the timing. My family was expecting a new member in July of 2016 so this window of time was my last chance to enjoy some flying for a while. Second, as a "last hurrah", it was an all points on deck sort of affair where I simply pooled every point currency I had available and sought to exhaust them into a grand adventure. Through the luck of my timing I beat the devaluation cutoff of both AA and the Alaska and Emirates. Finally the trip was loosely based around A380. The first class cabins on these machines are nothing short of spectacular so let's have a comparison.
Carrier, route, equipment, class, lounge, and procurement method:
I'm not familiar with IAH, and this was my first international departure here, but I followed the signage to the D gates and located my departure gate first.
I wandered a bit and came upon Executive Club. Sounds exclusive, let's have a look see.
It's a fairly large space and quite well partitioned. There are many rooms and secluded areas where you can have a conversation and an amount of privacy.
First the bar and dining areas.
There was a decent mix of hot and cold food. It was all quite basic but looked OK. The food staff was frequently replenishing and cycling the items. Expectations are key to perception and I had low expectations of a contract lounge with a generic name. This lounge exceeded my expectaions.
The coffee offering was weak.
There was a separate TV room that I had all to myself for my entire stay.
Also a TV in the common area adjacent to the bar and dining.
A meeting room.
A few shots of the varied seating on offer.
I rested in my private TV room and enjoyed some water. Of course I was excitedly waiting for boarding time like a child on December 24th. This trip would be Christmas for days.
As boarding time approached I meandered down to D11 and assumed my position in line with those who matter to LH.I appreciate the separate J line from F line.
Boarding was somewhat delayed. The weather in the area caused a delay to the inbound. Boarding began and I took residence in one of my favorite places in the sky, seat 2A on the LH A380.
I'm sure the seat is familiar to you now. The storage, controls, and whatnot.
The flight attendant taking care of me today was Esther. She was seemingly very young to be in LH F, from my experience. Still she was very eager, spoke very good English, and was quite refined. The champagne was delivered promptly. Funny note about the LH ticket stock and jacket. I had crummy boarding passes printed by the UA kiosk at LAX. I inquired at the lounge and the young man at the front desk said he would see what he could do. I figured the request would be considered trivial and not considered but no, he delivered.
Part of getting settled is stowing your belongings in the locker associated with your seat. I really like this idea of making the cabin seem more spacious by eliminating the overhead bins and replacing them with lockers that are easier to access.
The ritual of amenity distribution is initiated and I fare quite well. Missing the Rimowa of course.
A trip to the utterly palatial lav is on order to change into the sleep attire.
Esther passed the Vinothek list. 1
A towel was also distributed prior to takeoff.
Our push from the gate was delayed about 30 minutes. The taxi was lengthy.
Eventually we rose above all of the weather in the area.
The purser distributed the menu for the evening and engaged in some banter with each passenger. She explained the dine on demand nature of the service and requested we contact her with any requests. She was very friendly and energetic. I believe she is in the right position for the company. 1
As is habit for me I requested a class of champagne and still water during the bar service. The 2007 Tatti was not the most exciting bottle but it fit the bill for festive aperitif. The amuse today was asparagus. I quite enjoyed it.
On this relatively short flight I prefer to enjoy the meal ASAP and then try to get a bit of rest. With that in mind I opted to start the meal service. Esther laid the table and returned with the vodka. Esther is my kind of girl because she laid a second dollop of fish eggs on me when she passed back in the other direction.
I'll have a go at the appetizer trio, please. The Venison was the star. I requested a Riesling. Esther thought i should try the Pinot Blac. I can't argue with a professional.
Loving the ambiance at this restaurant.
I haven't a clue why I opted for the beef. Maybe it was for the sides? Something to nosh with the red wine? I really appreciate how LH tries to tie the meal offerings into the local food culture. Little touches like smoky beef with chili sauce and chili pepper salmon have to nods to Texas, I assume. Anyhow the sage grits were excellent. The Margaux wasn't too shabby either.
The Lufthansa cheese service is really only rivaled by the Lufthansa caviar service.
I'll have a taste of the sweet, please. With the late harvest Riesling. Esther is the type who seems to truly enjoy pleasing her customers. She takes great pride in her service. She's a keeper. She's not even put off by my pattern of only having a bite or two of each dish.
The Blue Label to put a bow on this delightful time above the clouds.
My goodness I stretched this meal out. Time to hit the rack.
The bed is supremely comfortable and the quality of the bedding is high.
The sleep is about as good as I can hope for on an airplane. All the excitement combined with the food and beverage don't make for the best quality rest. Esther asked if I would like to be roused for brekkie and of course I said yes. It would be an incomplete report otherwise. Sure enough I was gently brought to consciousness in time for the arrival meal.
The table was set and I requested a cappuccino.
The cart with meats and cheeses was next. I asked Esther for a taste of a few items.
Just coming up on mainland Europe now.
The scrambled eggs with bacon for the main. The eggs were cooked too hard for me but he presentation is lovely. I hazard a bite or two.
It's a beautiful day in the Rhine-Main area which is of great relief as I am going for a drive later in the day. A fast one.
The cabin is made ready for landing. The passengers excahnge their pajamas for street clothes and we make our way gently back to earth.
Some action on the ground as we taxi in.
We parked on the very tip of A. A massive Danke to Esther and the excellent crew today.
Thanks for reading along. I'll post a bonus section below with my arrival visit to the First Class Lounge and a spin in a spectacular piece of German Engineering.
Bonus Lounge + Porsche
The long walks at FRA were perfect this morning. My plan was to hit he First Class Lounge on A pier, have a shower, a nap, and a bite and then go pick up the car. I have a 7 hour layover which is perfect to experience all the wonders of Lufthansa's FRA hub.
The lounge is sparsely populated this morning and there is no wait for the jacuzzi tub.
Power nap time. Again, no wait.
A lovely lunch from the massive buffet.
The front desk confirmed with Avis that my preferred car was ready so Off I went to the rental desk.
This was pure bucket list for me. The 99 Euro 3 hour Porsche rental that can be dropped at the First Class Terminal upon completion. The car was a very new 911 Carrera 4s with the controversial, in 911 land, twin turbo 3.0 flat 6 motor. I'll just post a few pictures and say that it was spectacular. The car pulls effortlessly to 246 km/h on the autobahn and of course will keep going but the traffic would not allow it. I was off on various country roads along the river in wine country and must have looked like a grinning idiot.
Houston - IAH
Frankfurt - FRA
The Ground Service: No red carpet ground service from Lufthansa at this station.
The Lounge: I expected the worst of contract lounges but was pleasantly surprised. I didn't really partake in the food and beverage but there was ample selection. The seating was diverse and partitioned for privacy. It's miles ahead of any of the United Clubs available at IAH.
The Cabin: I'm enamored of the minimalist clean Lufthansa design. The seat is exceptionally comfortable in all configurations. The bedding is top shelf. The IFE is dated and teh screen is small with poor resolution. There, I found a critique.
The Crew: F service in every way. All crew encounters were with smiling and energetic professionals. Esther was clearly new to this but had a natural way with people that will serve her and her employer well. A certain poise and confidence that makes interactions that much more satisfying.
The Food and Beverage: Some hits and some misses. The caviar portions were massive and beautifully presented. The appetizers and main are just a distraction until the cheese arrives.
Overall: I really love the Lufthansa First "experience" so I am not and unbiased reviewer. Throw in a German super car that I can drive up to their adult Disneyland called the First Class Terminal and I'm your slave for life.
10 LIKESLIKE TO THANK THE AUTHORTHANKS ! FLIGHT-REPORT LIKED
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