Flight-Report

Review of Lufthansa flight Frankfurt Chicago in Business

Airline Lufthansa
Flight LH432
Class Business
Seat 81A
Aircraft Boeing 747-8I
Flight time 08:45
Take-off 28 May 17, 17:15
Arrival at 28 May 17, 19:00
LH   #47 out of 126 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 943 reviews
Rewardflying
By SILVER 1922
Published on 30th July 2017
photo lh432 cover

Maybe the inoperable jetway when LH993 from Amsterdam arrived at the gate was a blessing in disguise. (Or maybe this is just standard de-planning procedure.) Anyway a staircase was wheeled up to the A321 at its second door behind row 9 with another one to the aircraft's rear exit. Two buses waited on the tarmac. Fresh air!

There was no coordination. Every man, woman or child for themselves. Everyone crammed themselves inside the bus. We were squished. So much for fresh air. Just about everyone was talking about missing their connection. We had parked at one of the farthest C terminal gates, so I faced a pretty good hike to the Z gates where the widebodies typically depart from. Now the bus was doing the walking.

The blessing is we unloaded at a basement door where there was an escalator up to the Z gates. It was now 15 minutes after scheduled departure. Expecting another wait for security, all I was required to do was go through passport control and fortunately I encountered no one in line. A glance at the departure board offered some more good news, ORD @ Z52, the 2nd gate in. A gate agent stood in the corridor and as I hustled towards her she asked "Amsterdam"? Yes! My boarding pass was scanned and I was on board. The door closed behind me. Whew.

Up the staircase a flight attendant greeted me and I headed to my seat in row 81, the front row upper deck.

photo lh432 cabn bin 2

Bins on the upper deck of the 747-8i are small. Knowing my rolling carry-on wasn't going to fit, a flight attendant was there in an instant offering to store my case in the crew locker by the staircase. She mentioned that next time I might want to store it downstairs, but to make sure I take valuables like my passport out first. So if seated on the 747-8i upper deck, be forewarned.

The view off the private upper deck cabin is worth another look. Nice.

photo lh432 cabin 1

Seating is 2x2. The two seats angle towards each other in this Lufthansa V configuration. The other configuration is the H business class layout found on Airbus aircraft window side seats. In the H setting, seats angle parallel to each other.

photo lh432 cabin 2

The V configuration is affectionately referred to as "footsie class". The footwell partition only rises halfway up, allowing the opportunity for some toe kissing.

photo lh432 seat footwell 2

Unless you find a bulkhead seat where toe kissing simply isn't possible. Fortunate for those traveling solo.

photo lh432 seat footwell 1

The seat is made by B/E Aerospace and is the Diamond version. With a fairly standard 20 inches of width it is comfortable to sit in but otherwise by no means is it cutting edge in any respect.

photo lh432 seat 1a

Window seats upstairs on the 747-8i (and I presume the A380 upper deck) have the benefit of extra storage with this deep compartment that's big enough to share with your neighbor. In fact there are 2, so be sure to share.

photo lh432 seat 3

There is also this odd little compartment you'll find floor level on the bulkhead that hid the amenity kit.

photo lh432 seat acc 3

Non-bulkhead seats have slightly larger compartments.

photo lh432 seat acc 3a

The soft-sided pouch amenity kit by Bree is an easy fit.

photo lh432 amenity kit 3photo lh432 amenity kit 2

The upper deck lavatory is located behind the cockpit. A locker style storage compartment appeared to be for the crew use. The lavatory was standard size. 

photo lh432 cabin row 81

Mouthwash and razors were made available in the lavatory.

photo lh432 amenity lav

Seat controls are placed on the armrest where you can easily adjust your seat, purposely or inadvertently. 

photo lh432 seat acc 4

Lufthansa provides Bose headphones for business class. 

photo lh432 amenity headphones

They are hard-wired and stuffed into this little compartment. The amenity kit has sanitation ear covers. A USB jack is inside this compartment as well.

photo lh432 seat acc 2

The bed is fairly comfortable with the benefit of a large pillow and duvet. I slept well, but then again I was exhausted.

photo lh432 seat sleep 1

I didn't have anyone in the seat next to me plus this was a daytime flight. With a neighbor and an overnight flight, my guess is I'd feel differently about the sleeping arrangements.

photo lh432 seat sleep 2

Mood lighting made for a nice starry night.

photo lh432 cabin mood 2

The flight attendants were very good on this trip. Attentive and nicely paced, champagne was accepted once airborne. The champagne was a Charles Heidsieck Monopole Blue Top blend that retails for about $30 a bottle. 

photo lh432 food amuse 1

Almost immediately dinner requests were taken. I suggested I hadn't seen a menu. One was quickly provided.

photo lh432 menu cover 1photo lh432 menu cover 2

A partial view of today's beverage selections.



The dinner menu.

photo lh432 menu food

I asked my flight attendant (whose name escapes me) for an appetizer recommendation. She raved about the Prawns. 

photo lh432 food starter 1

It was an odd combinations of onions, vegetables, shrimp with a garlic/cayenne sauce that was unattractive and decidedly unremarkable. 

photo lh432 food starter 2

A salad, or should I say a few leafy greens followed.

photo lh432 food salad 1

The watery so called Thousand Island dressing tasted like vinegar and I fail to see one island let alone thousands. 

photo lh432 food salad 2

When viewing an ingredient list on any package, each item is listed according to volume rank. The first ingredient listed has the largest percentage of all and so on down the line. Today's menu listed the ingredients of the Fresh Asparagus and Tenderloin of Veal dish appropriately don't you think? 

photo lh432 food main 1

Truth be told, the veal was decent, or I was just hungry.

photo lh432 food main 2

Cheese and dessert rounded out this less than memorable Lufthansa business class meal. 

photo lh432 food cheese 1photo lh432 food cheese 2

Wait, dessert was never brought out. I guess you have to choose between dessert and cheese. 

Lufthansa is not known for a robust IFE system featuring great monitors and lots of great content. Today was no exception. They claim these are 15 inch monitors. I may have to bring a measuring tape next time, assuming there is a next time. 

photo lh432 seat monitor

Fortunately the air show was not running the plane's autopilot. 

photo lh432 ife 2

Has anyone ever noticed these airshow designers love to point out towns you've never heard of? Baraboo Wisconsin or Manistee Michigan? Population 12,000 and 6,000 respectively. Oh yeah, been there many times. 

photo lh432 ife 4

I knew we were on course because I could see Lake Michigan.

photo lh432 scenic lake mich

By the time we had passed Manitowoc the pre-arrival meal of Soup and Salad had been served and partially consumed. 

photo lh432 food arrival pres


Soup, not so good. 

photo lh432 food arrival soup

Salad, fair. (At least it was more than just lettuce.)

photo lh432 food arrival salad

Dessert, good. 

photo lh432 food arrival dessert 1

Any Chicago sports fans? Arlington Park racetrack.

photo lh432 scenic arl park

Wrigley Field home of the 2016 World Champion Cubs.

photo lh432 scenic wrigley

And the best sight of them all, O'Hare airport, ending this disaster of a trip. 

photo lh432 scenic ord 1

For ratings and a full report visit reward flying

Flight Path
photo lh432 flight path

Stay tuned for another circle of the globe. As this trip ended the next was ticketed on United 777 first, ANA 787 business and Japan Airlines first, none of which would survive the change maniac.

photo future flights 6-17  both

(Yep, that is true Polaris.)
See more

Verdict

Lufthansa

5.0/10
Cabin5.0
Cabin crew7.0
In-flight Entertainment4.0
Meal/catering4.0

Frankfurt - FRA

6.0/10
Efficiency6.0
Access6.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness6.0

Chicago - ORD

6.5/10
Efficiency7.0
Access7.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness6.0

Conclusion

Yes I wanted to try Lufthansa in business, especially on the 747-8i sitting upstairs. At least I can scratch it off the bucket list. Sure it was better than the other non-stop alternative from Frankfurt to Chicago on United. But to/from Europe, Austrian and SAS are far better choices for the same points as Lufthansa in my opinion.  Both have better seats, food and drink in business class.  

But the next trip starts with Lufthansa again, however this time I'll be sitting in the nose. See you then.

Information on the route Frankfurt (FRA) Chicago (ORD)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 6 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Frankfurt (FRA) → Chicago (ORD).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Lufthansa with 7.4/10.

The average flight time is 8 hours and 59 minutes.

  More information

12 Comments

  • Comment 405833 by
    Razza_Pr 205 Comments

    Greetings, RewardFlying, and thank you for this FR.

    Yikes. Another near-miss connection, I see? Can one say "occupational hazard"?

    "So if seated on the 747-8i upper deck, be forwarded"
    -Perhaps you meant to type in "forewarned"?

    "Today's menu listed the ingredients of the Fresh Asparagus and Tenderloin of Veal dish appropriately don't you think?"
    -Important question; with which wine did you pair the meal?

    "By the time we had passed Manitowoc the pre-arrival meal of Soup and Salad had been served and partially consumed."
    -And the best looking thing on the tray, a soft pretzel!

    "As this trip ended the next was ticketed on United 777 first, ANA 787 business and Japan Airlines first, none of which would survive the change maniac."
    -Can't wait to read your review of Polaris. Besides, I think it's somewhat unlike you to fly to only one destination as means of experiencing different airline products. Granted, Tokyo is indeed a fantastic place to be, what with the hot springs which can definitely help us relax our muscles..

    Quite a way to wrap up this series. When will the first instalment of the next series be published? Next week..?

    Thanks again for this FR. Cheers!

  • Comment 405840 by
    Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 441 Comments

    Important question; with which wine did you pair the meal?

    The wine that pairs best with white, not green asparagus, but of course!

    And the best looking thing on the tray, a soft pretzel!

    Taste-wise too! Spoiler alert, LH First class: give me a pretzel!

    I think it's somewhat unlike you to fly to only one destination as means of experiencing different airline products.>

    Japan has become my favorite. Probably after this year (might have Q-Suites and do have DLA350) going to spend the balance of points flying back and forth to Japan. But unlike the first trip this year I will spend more than 12 hours in town!

    Thanks again for your comments Razza_Pr. Yes, it would have been a disaster missing the LH connection home. Occupational hazard for sure! Also for the spell check note, repaired. Breaking my routine and starting the new series in a couple days. 6 trips with a surprise at the end!

  • Comment 405849 by
    757Fan 481 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report, RewardFlying. It seems like LH puts all of their attention into their F class product, and J doesn't offer as good of a product as other airlines do. The food looks fine, but not incredible.

    Looking forward to your next report!

  • Comment 405854 by
    Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 441 Comments

    Hi 757Fan. Yes they do go to great lengths to distinguish between F and J. The F report is coming this week. You might be surprised. The Lufthansa group includes Austrian which has some of the best food F or J of any airline. Sure it's a small boutique carrier, but you'd think with DO&CO catering their fantastic first lounges and Austrian, they might come up with something a little better on the flagship. Thanks for the comment.

  • Comment 405874 by
    jetsetpanda 2284 Comments

    Hi RewardFlying.

    What a coincidence! We took the same flight and had the same meal. Below is my FR:

    http://flight-report.com/en/report/7220/Lufthansa_LH_432_Frankfurt_am_Main_FRA_Chicago_ORD

    "Wait, dessert was never brought out. I guess you have to choose between dessert and cheese. "
    - On my flight I was able to choose 2 items from the dessert cart. ;)

    At least you had a more comfortable seat and the bowl with almonds before the meal service is an improvement. LH should get rid of the salad and soup before arrival. It's terrible and looks really cheap.

    Thanks for sharing this thorough FR.

  • Comment 406002 by
    Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 441 Comments

    Hi Jetsetpanda. You stole my dessert! LOL

    From your report

    The portion was small and the FA asked me if I wanted melted butter and freshly ground pepper to which I replied yes.

    -Are you kidding! Actually your dish looks decent. And apparently this dish is a LH fav.

    FA added a box of chocolates.

    -You don't get a box of chocolates in first anymore, let alone business.

    It appears the only thing that has gotten better is the plane, a 747-8 vs 747-4. While the seats are newer I wouldn't say there's much improvement. Nor do the monitors look much better. I guess you have to put Lufthansa in the legacy category like the US domestics that aren't innovating, just cutting back on what once was average. The differences between your report and what I experienced make this clear to me. Same stuff, poorer execution. Sad, thanks for the comments. I hope my dessert was good!

  • Comment 406060 by
    hometoyyz SILVER 498 Comments

    Hi RF, glad to see you made it, even if the flight was subpar at best.

    It's sad that the best comment one can make about LH's J business class is pretty much "Well, at least it's not The Slider anymore."

    "My boarding pass was scanned and I was on board. The door closed behind me."
    - Oooo, the exclusive "last to board" experience. Glad you made the flight.

    "Bins on the upper deck of the 747-8i are small. Knowing my rolling carry-on wasn't going to fit, a flight attendant was there in an instant offering to store my case in the crew locker by the staircase."
    - A bit surprised. I know they're small, but my carry-on and backpack fit fine on the KE 74H.

    "The V configuration is affectionately referred to as "footsie class". "
    - Of all the perplexing design decisions.... Why, Lufty, why?

    "Seat controls are placed on the armrest where you can easily adjust your seat, purposely or inadvertently. "
    - I really disliked that about the AC Thompson Vantages on their "high-density" 777s. Several times a flight, I'd move my arm a tiny bit, and adjust my position as well.

    "Almost immediately dinner requests were taken. I suggested I hadn't seen a menu"
    - That's what happens when you're tardy. Tut-tut!

    Nice to see the white asparagus-centric LH spring dish. The veal is different. Are they not doing the "have all the mini-appetizers" thing in business anymore?

    "I guess you have to choose between dessert and cheese. "
    - I'd mostly go with cheese. But I hate it when airlines do this in J/F.

    Looking forward to your next series -- and surprise -- and thanks again for sharing!

    • Comment 406071 by
      Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 441 Comments

      A bit surprised. I know they're small, but my carry-on and backpack fit fine on the KE 74H.

      Mine's kind of fat. Especially with 2 sets of PJ' collected along the way.

      Of all the perplexing design decisions.... Why, Lufty, why?

      And they actually put this on their new A350's!

      Nice to see the white asparagus-centric LH spring dish. The veal is different. Are they not doing the "have all the mini-appetizers" thing in business anymore?

      -Centric is an understatement. Too much for me. No mini apps. I learned not to ask for recommendations as well!

      Thanks for your comments Hometoyyz

  • Comment 406061 by
    socalnow GOLD 837 Comments

    Thank you for the detailed FR, Rewardflying.

    Getting bulkhead upper deck in a last minute booking is quite a coup. An empty seat next to you is even more unusual. We've come to expect direct aisle access in J, haven't we?

    "Today's menu listed the ingredients of the Fresh Asparagus and Tenderloin of Veal dish appropriately don't you think? "
    -The dish looks like it would be enjoyable to me. I would be concerned that the meat would be dry but otherwise. A sauce would have been appreciated. I had this meal in the FCT last year, it is an LH seasonal favorite. The ground presentation was a bit better. The prawns with mustard and bowl of leaves are sad looking.

    "And the best sight of them all, O'Hare airport, ending this disaster of a trip."
    -I think riding upstairs in the 747-8i would redeem the whole thing for me.

    "Stay tuned for another circle of the globe. As this trip ended the next was ticketed on United 777 first, ANA 787 business and Japan Airlines first, none of which would survive the change maniac. "
    -I still can't believe you did that... ;)

    Thanks again and happy flying.

    • Comment 406072 by
      Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 441 Comments

      Getting bulkhead upper deck in a last minute booking is quite a coup. An empty seat next to you is even more unusual. We've come to expect direct aisle access in J, haven't we?

      -Yes we have. It wasn't long ago you didn't even get it in first. The plane wasn't very full, I suspect a Sunday before US holiday had impact on business class fliers.
      The dish looks like it would be enjoyable to me.

      -You are welcome to it! I'll box it for you next time if you're not onboard;)
      I think riding upstairs in the 747-8i would redeem the whole thing for me.

      Helped, probably was better than AA 787 in the crappy Concept D. The redemption was home!
      I still can't believe you did that... ;)

      -You'll be in even more disbelief in a couple days.
      Thanks for reading SoCal!

  • Comment 406096 by
    STAR-ALLIANCE-FLYER 43 Comments

    LH business class product isn't that good.....and food, 1.5 meal, seriously????

    Would not try LH business class product, unless in F cabin...

  • Comment 406191 by
    Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 441 Comments

    Agreed Star-Alliance-Flyer. At least at the time that was my thinking. You might want to visit in the next couple days. Maybe you'll change your mind.

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