Good day everyone and welcome to the inbound journey to France from South Africa…
I have not a lot of pictures for that most interesting part of the routing because that upgrade really took me off guard so my apologizes for the lack of pictures airside.
Landside, the experience obviously started as a regular Business Class passenger
Here are our BPs
The security queue (behind the counters) was a nightmare, packed.
There was no priority lane available despite asking for it. We still had to pass passport control afterwards where an angry agent processed our queue as slowly as she could. I really hate JNB, it is so unrepresentative of South Africa.
I went for the showers but there was no one. I went to search for someone and a super friendly man arrived to hand me the towels and gave me a cabin. Between the check-in queue and entering the shower : 50 minutes !!! An individual shower cabin looks like this :
It was quite cold in the cabin and the water was constantly trying to get out of the shower floor as the door did not stay closed. Being a glass door cracking, I was afraid to break it.
After this mere 20 minutes shower, I went back to the lounging area The catering/relax area : some furnitures like the chairs were taken from the old lounge and are thus not in great shape as you can see. Nonetheless, the space is awesome and it was not that crowded, I could have taken some pictures.
I firstly took what seemed like a chicken massala that was quite good. I took some rice with it.
Then the staff set curry samosas, I tried two…
and three more ! Perfect.
As a drink, I took a still water bottle from Valpré, in my experience, the safest water to drink… The lounge is a very nice place for spotting
We got out of this place at 5:56PM By the time we were downstairs, the FIDS was saying : no hurry
Our boarding gate A12/A13 was divided into 3 categories : One for Y pax
One for J pax (in which we were)
And one for F pax, basically 8 seats facing backwards from the J space (as you can see above) When a classroom arrived, they invested the First class lane and were quickly called off by a female agent who asked them their class and then told them to return to their assigned lane. Very good work !
Our beast is still a Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental
When boarding time came, we scanned our BP and… biiip. With an error fare, the only thing you can think of is a severe downgrade. But having done the online check-in and all, I was not suspecting anything.
(((One thing I had noticed at online check-in though, was that our pair of seats 87A/C were in the last row whereas when we took the outbound flight LH572 with D-ABYO, there was a row 88 and none of the LH 748i do not have a row 88. Here you can see that when I was managing the booking months ago, there was indeed a row 88.
So it was like the row 88 did not exist on this aircraft the day prior to our flight. I thought it was just a bug but it surprised me.)))
So the agent told us to take a seat behind them while they would be working on the "issue". A couple had a similar issue, she handed them their new BPs for row 11, so they did not get the upgrade except if they were in Premium Economy. The agent then handed me our BP, I saw the seats and she told me "so this is First class" on such a neutral tone it almost made me laugh.
I thanked her, wished her a nice evening and we went for our seats !
We were nicely welcomed onboard by a FA that however looked a bit surprised that they would have another 2 pax in First. They, of course, were not prepared at all for that last minute upgrade.
- So here I am, flying a Business class error fare ticket, upgraded for the first time of my life and flying First class for the first time as well. This is the definition of pure luck ! -
The same feeling kept on when we landed on the First cabin but no one asked us to show our BP to prove we were there : good start. The first FA we came across was Ana Maria and she was really well mannered. The trolley was out at the beggining but they stowed it quickly
The crew was a bit embarrassed because they were caught off guard like me and they went to ask for our names so that the Cabin Crew Purser could welcome us with our actual names. The Captain had indeed not yet give them our names. The situation was a bit comical but I perfectly understood their concern.
However, at one point, while the two female FA that took care of us were talking in between our two seats : 2A & 2K, one of them said " Glück" in German, but it is almost the same word in English, being "luck" so I understood they were talking about our upgrade, while looking at me and they probably thought I couldn't understand a word. I do not think it was very professional talking in these terms of First pax considering I was after all booked in C class and they could not know it was not a full fare ticket^^ However, I got that it was mainly for service purposes that they were worried and It was not done in an evil way.
They were furthermore very kind and offered us to stow our jackets into the cloakroom.
They went to ditribute the pyjama, the slippers and the amenity kit which were kind of… complete ?
Pyjama from Van Laack (I am not a "Large" size, if you wondered) A shirt/polo ; only a small on the tag says "Lufthansa First Class".
60% cotton, 40% polyester : can do better !
And a large trouser
All packed like this :
The amenity kit from Braun Buffel contained tons of products : - a pair of socks - a shoe-horn - a pair of ear plugs - a pair of headset covers - a mask - a set of three creams from the luxury brand "La Prairie" actually from Switzerland - a double pocket comb that opened like a swiss knife - a quick shine product for shoes - a toothbrush - a toothpaste - a menthol pastille
Took those pictures at home being a night flight I couldn't take any proper picture with the turbulences A menu and a vinothek were handed Menu Page 1
The Vinothek Page 1
And the suggestion of the day
At that point, our FA offered a PDB and I took the Laurent Perrier Grand Siècle, knowing it was an expensive Champagne and I wouldn't drink a lot inflight (this was indeed my sole glass) Some hot nuts were brought along
The seat controls on the right
The IFE remote control on the left
The glass/amuse bouche holder and the famous rose
3 points seatbelt
The ottoman, like the pitch, is huge and can be adjusted via the seat controls to meet your feet : you cannot dine on it as there is no seatbelt.
It is a big stowage compartment
The safety card and other items were stowed on the left hand side pocket under the glass holder
Inflight shopping (the FA came to ask me if I wanted one… but it was already in the pocket)
A charity pocket that was not there in Business Class
Air sickness bag
I removed my sneakers and set my slippers
Take off :
After take off
The service started with a hot oshibori nicely rolled up on a plate
We had a 100% cotton table napkin
The buttonhole for the shirt
Our amuse bouche came shortly thereafter
We were around here
Then started the bread service to wait for the serious stuff
I chose a mini baguette (France till the end)
The branded cultery came from Zwilling JA Henckel The FA sweetly asked me if she could offer me some caviar, to which I answered yes without a doubt. The traditional garnishes, onion, egg and lemon, were set
As we were 8 out of 8 seats on the F cabin, it was obviously a ""small"" portion and no refill was offered
We carried on with this Springbok (game meat) Carpaccio with Horseradish cream and Walnut. To be honest, I'm not fond of these game meats. Being from France where the delicatessen are amongst, if not the best in the world, nothing can really impress me by its taste.
Turbulences were quite heavy for the whole meal, thus I had no luck (this time) getting a clear picture of my main course
Herb crusted beef filet with garlic butter, creamy Polenta and caramelized Pumpkin
The only thing I know is the beef was a masterpiece. Tasty, tender, juicy, it had everything we can dream of. The polenta was well executed and the caramelized Pumpkin were surprisingly tasty for someone that do not like vegetables
The dessert was a Chocolate mousse cake with Crème Anglaise
Oh, I forgot the headsets Bose QC15 Their stowage space is the second from the back on the left hand side
Then the crew made my bed (with a mattress topper, a pillow plus a large blanket) and I slept for about 5 hours. Because my mother was cold, I asked a FA to heat the cabin but she heated it so much that it was actually difficult to sleep. This plus the fact that the privacy screen does not go all the way to your feet : you still can see when your neighbours watch a movie on the IFE. The seat is indeed not a suite.
No seatbelt sign is lighted in the F cabin overhead panels, allowing pax to have a better rest
I was woken up (I had asked it) by the sweet sound of a "Good morning Sir" and was immediately served a freshly prepared orange juice The window shades are electronic and can be controlled directly by the crew
Breakfast time ! i decided to be on the light side as we had yet another 4 flights afterwards.
I sticked to the scrambled eggs + bacon, even if the crew did not ask me how I liked my bacon :/ The answer was : "not burnt, thank you"^^
Both toilets, reserved for First class, were superb, they even had a window
The sink was clean
There were lots of creams, mouth wash, Evian facial spray and shaving kits/pocket combs inside the drawers
They put a rose as well in the lavatories
They were definitely good as changing rooms. I charged a bit my iPhone
Before landing, I noticed that the IFE screen resolution was a lot better than in Business but probably not more than 720p
I asked our FA what was our registration, she came to see and answered me we were flying D-ABYR, so "Bremen". Our maximum cruising alt was apparently FL360 I was in the wrong side for the sunrise
The FA came to salute each pax before withdrawing in the galley.
And we were landing
The "and as we say in German, auf wiedersehen" was definitely sweet At our gate, I was surprised to see that LH has virtually no ground service for its F pax when deplaning via a jetbridge, which was utterly disappointing compared to Air France for instance.
Goodbye 2A ! I would definitely like to try this product on a day flight but unfortunately, it won't be tomorrow :(
A bad point however, the crew had opened the cloakroom but did not hand us our jackets back so we had to search them by ourselves.
As for the punctuality, we were perfectly on-time gate Z52A.
South African Airways Platinum Lounge
Johannesburg - JNB
Frankfurt - FRA
Not only did Lufthansa honor this Business Class error fare but granted me the privileges of a "C" ticket as any other full fare pax. I can only salute their honesty.
The lounge was crowded, I don't think I could enjoy it a lot but at least I took a shower, ate something and did some spotting. JNB was once again a complete mess landside. The counters are not indicated correctly, everything is miles away and the queues are way too long. There was not enough staff to manage the pax flow on Terminal A.
The cabin was luxurious, the crew did a good job despite some shortcomings : like filling my mother's cup of tea full whereas there were lots of turbulences and everything ended up on the tray table and on her... not very clever.
And I explained to a FA after the diner that I did not like coffee and tea, she told me a funny story about her little brother when he was young and all, on the morning she asked me if I wanted to drink... a coffee^^ When she remembered what she said a few hours before, she seemed confused and apologized. So it seems like they were a bit distracted but I liked them a lot nonetheless.
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