Review of Lufthansa flight Chicago Frankfurt in First

Airline Lufthansa
Flight LH431
Class First
Seat 1A
Aircraft Boeing 747-8I
Flight time 08:30
Take-off 05 Jul 18, 16:00
Arrival at 06 Jul 18, 07:30
LH   #49 out of 123 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 898 reviews
socalnow
By GOLD 2154
Published on 20th July 2018
Greetings Flight Report community and thanks for stopping by. In this series I will present a really fun round-the-world party including Lufthansa, JAL, and ANA. While these are all familiar and sought after experiences for me I was able to bring a friend along this time and groom a new airline geek and Flight Report follower. We visited some fantastic lounges, saw some wonderful cities and were spoiled with culinary delights and divine intoxicants the entire way.

Carrier, route, equipment, class, lounge, and procurement method:



American Airlines - LAX-ORD - A321 - First - No Lounge - Cash
Lufthansa - ORD-FRA - 747-8i - First - United Polaris Lounge - United Mileageplus (This Report)
Lufthansa - FRA - PEK - A340-600 - First - Lufthansa First Class Terminal - United Mileageplus
Japan Airlines - PEK-HND - 787-8 - Business - BGS Premium Lounge (No Review) - United Mileageplus
ANA - NRT-LAX - 777-300ER - First - ANA Suite Lounges - Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Check In and United Polaris Lounge



We decided to go landslide at ORD and take in the entire Lufthansa experience from curb to gate. It was a long walk from where we parked in the H gates of T3 to the extreme landslide end of T1 but this was a great thing for us to move about. Unfortunately I didn't calculate when the check in counter would open so we had about a 15 minute wait. As the staff were taking their positions there was an angry passenger standing in front of us in the First Class line, sort of straddling the First Class line and the line to the right for ANA. I asked her if she was waiting in line for Lufthansa First and she barked that she was waiting in the line that could find her luggage. I see. When the check in opened she was kindly redirected to the correct area of the airport and we were helped directly. The agent was an older Japanese woman who was very sweet. Obviously the same contractors handle ANA as well. She asked us if we would like an escort from the lounge to gate and we gladly accepted for the experience.

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Lufthansa is now part of TSA Precheck so our trip back into the secure area was as painless as possible. It's a good walk back to the TSA Precheck entry but walking between flights is most welcome.

After a quick and painless TSA encounter we were on the walk through the neon tunnel to the C gates. My favorite feature of United Airlines is their embrace of
George Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue. That melody has some sort of magical power over me and they way the tease it in the walkway is very alluring.

As you rise up from the tunnel into the C concourse the Polaris lounge is directly in front of you.

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The entry desk and nearby seating area.

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Seating areas.



Our entry is processed quickly and we're on our way in. First stop is the restaurant to enjoy a nice lunch. This was my first visit since the expansion so I had to ask where the restaurant had gone as it wasn't adjacent to the bar any longer. The new dining area is much improved with comfortable booths in addition to tables.

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Menus were presented by a friendly female server.

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We both enjoyed the mezcal version of the Negroni presented beautifully.

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We also requested the beef carpaccio, tuna tataki, shrimp and grits, and rib eye. All the plates are favorably presented and perfect in portion size. I was, again, very impressed by the food/beverage/service offered in The Polaris Lounge.



Perfectly sated we took seats by the window and enjoyed a glass of Piper whilst waiting for the LH agent to arrive. I took a spin around the buffet to survey the offerings. I suppose it's nice for those who don't have the time to sit in the dinning room.



The lights of Polaris lead to to the toilet.

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The valet, shower, and nap services are also adjacent to the buffet.

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LH430 ORD-FRA



Soon we could hear a call of someone walking through the lounge asking for "Lufthansa 430 for Frankfurt" in a very authentic accent. I couldn't tell if she was perhaps Austrian or further east. I was off as Mikka was from Ukraine (by way of Germany) so the accent was muddled. Anyhow she could hardly have been more delightful and we had a nice chat on the walk back through the tunnel and over to B17. She stashed us next to one of the podiums while she went on board to make arrangements for us to board early. She confirmed what I already suspected which was that we were the entirety of the first class passengers for the crossing today. I finally allowed that excitement of having the nose of the 748 as the exclusive disposal of myself and dear friend to hit me. This could be a special experience.

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I wandered over the to the window to take a picture.

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Mikka returned and led us on board before even the pre-boarding began. The entrance is grand and sets the tone.

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I intentionally didn't share with my travel buddy, Mark, anything about this airplane or experience. I told him it was nice and they have caviar, that's it. The idea was to allow him the surprise and delight that come with doing this for the first time. I ruin every new encounter for myself with volumes of research and pouring over reviews. This lack of information proved to be a good strategy.

Mikka introduced us to Kristine and Claudia, the exceptional crew taking care of us today and we bid Mikka adieu. We were instructed to address Kristine as Kris. Only her father called her Kristine and that was when she was in trouble. Kris announced that, "this is all yours and we are here to make sure that you have as much enjoyment as possible with everything we have to offer. Shall we open the Champagne now?" Concurrence was swift and we began to wander and take it all in. They could tell who they had on their hands today and Claudia added, "we are departing on a 7 hour party." Kris went so far as to gather many of the roses in the cabin so they could be displayed on the service counter for our photos.



The Champagne today was the Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle, and it was tasting quite well.

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Menus, mixed nuts, and free wifi cards were distributed. All the while we chatted with Claudia and Kris and found that they have known each other for a long time and were good friends. It showed in their service for sure. This experience can only happen on board the Queen of the Skys. As we're enjoying delicious wine and banter the aircraft is boarding behind us but there is no reason for anyone to tread this space so you can almost forget all of that is happening.



A look at the food offerings.

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Amenities were distributed which included new-to-me slippers and sleep wear. The slippers were incredibly plush and had a memory-foam type padding.



The lavs on the 748 aren't especially spacious but they are well provisioned as always.



It was decided that Mark and i would enjoy the takeoff from seats 1A and 1K.

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Some excellent airplane gazing as we taxi.



We managed to get off the ground just before some ominous weather entered the area.



After it was safe to move around we moved the fiesta back to 3D&G. Mark is embracing his inner ponce.

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This is when the show really started. Kris made it her goal that we see touch and taste just about everything the Lufthansa manages to cater for the First Class cabin. First there was a parade of wines for inspection and discussion. Whites were previewed first,then reds.

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Oshibori with the LH signature rose pedal.

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We both wanted to enjoy some more of the LPGS with the caviar. The amuse was a spring roll of sorts and was a perfectly nice bite.

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Kris is mostly in the cabin and Claudia is doing the galley. I was surprised to learn that this is the staffing for F if there is one passenger or 8. Kris wheeled out the caviar cart much to our delight. Lufthansa do a great presentation here and the ceremony thoroughly ups my enjoyment of the dish itself. That said, all of this effort and no correct caviar spoon is odd to me.

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In discussing the meal prior to departure we both were excited to try the Russian Vodka with the (Chinese!) caviar. In preparation for this Claudia had placed the vodka and the two glasses on dry ice to super chill them and create a dramatic presentation. I mean come on!



Some serious joie de voler going on here.

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The appetizer cart is paraded next with another dollop of the fish eggs to go with it. I must say all of the flavors here here well received. Especially the revelation of "balsamic pearls" ! We're very mindful of tasting everything here in small quantities.



We were taken on a side excursion through Germany and California.

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We also strolled Pessac-Léognan and Napa Valley.



The breadth of our debauchery.

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We were informed that we had to taste the soup. Well of course we did! All bathed in the golden hue of the setting sun.

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This remarkable service was all paced and presented in the most friendly and flexible manner. We got up to stretch, move about a little, and just reflect. The beds were setup in 1A and 1K during one such break. I'm not leaving without a wing shot.



The J cabin and some meal foreshadowing.

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The sun is setting and main courses are presented. Mine the almond crusted halibut and Mark's the seared veal medallion. Both were cooked to oblivion most likely due to all of our goofing off and stretching this meal duration. Perhaps this was a blessing to save room for the remainder of the bounty.



Again, as if it was dinner theater(who am I kidding, this is precisely theater) , Kris brought the ice bucket with dry ice to create a smoke effect and begins rolling out all of the digestif options for the evening. There are many.

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Our hearts are a flutter for the cheese.

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Tastings ensue and a little bit of this and a little bit of that leads to some fuzzy logic. Kris was so much fun pouring tastes and taking away the ones that were not to our taste. She would assuage our concerns over waste imploring us that "this is here for you to experience." I could not have made up a more joyful and generous spirit if I tried. I apologize to whomever had to wash all the stemware. I'm certain we generated more dishes than a full cabin.



The sun has set as much s it is willing.

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At some point a box of chocolate in dropped in by parachute.



The party had to wind down at some point and we did eventually hit the rack for a couple of hours. Kris inquired if she should wake me for breakfast but I opted to remain unconscious as long as possible.

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Kris nudged me awake as we were nearing Frankfurt. Mark had risen earlier and was enjoying Claudia's cooking.

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I had time to change and buckle up.

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Goodbyes were difficult as we had a hard time letting go of this experience. There was one last glance back to our chariot as we began the trek to a First Class Lounge.

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Bonus Section: First Class Lounge and a Porsche to the FCT via the Rheingau



Bonus : Click here to display
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Verdict

Lufthansa

8.8/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment8.0
Meal/catering8.0

United Polaris Lounge

8.5/10
Comfort8.5
Meal/catering8.5
Entertainment8.5
Services8.5

Chicago - ORD

7.5/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Frankfurt - FRA

8.6/10
Efficiency7.5
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

The Ground Service: No escort through security but Lufthansa in Pre-Check is a great development. The escort to the aircraft was totally unnecessary but we very much enjoyed meeting Mikka.

The Lounge: I'm a believer in this United Polaris movement. The lounges are consistently good to great. I don't want to tempt fate and try Polaris in flight but I commend the team on the lounges.

The Cabin: Any seat of a 747 is special to me. Upper deck, even better. The entire nose as your private playground? Yes, this is truly special. The seats have been around for a long time now but still retain their elegance. The cabin is not especially private but the shields help. Of course this was not an issue on this flight.

The Crew: Kris and Claudia are unlike anything I have experienced. We were together for 10 minutes and it felt like we were friends since primary school. They evaluated us quickly and put on the best show I have ever experienced in the air. The spirit of generosity, playfulness, and genuine hospitality was astounding. Easily the most memorable flight of my lifetime.

The Food and Beverage: The LPGS was scrumptious and seemingly bottomless. The caviar is always a treat. Balsamic pearls, that's a thing now. Our mains were cooked too long but I am culpable in that doing. The Scotch and Cognac were fantastic. It's rather astounding the variety of booze they cater.

Overall: This was Mark's first time on LH and this is what happens. Where do you go from here? Well, we get to do it again in 10 hours so we'll see.

Thank you for reading and happy flying.

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

The contributors of Flight-Report published 5 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Chicago (ORD) → Frankfurt (FRA).


Useful

The airline with the best average grade is with /10.

The average flight time is 7.0 hours and 58.0 minutes.

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18 Comments

  • Comment 455168 by
    CAPTAIN87 72 Comments

    Hi,
    Wonderful report as usual. The first class level of lufthansa seems to increased year after year and the cabin crew did a very good job with that private wine tasting. Il would be interesting to Know your top 5 experience with all those amazing expériences !

    Cheers

    • Comment 455610 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 737 Comments

      Hello Caprain87 and thank you for the note.

      "The first class level of lufthansa seems to increased year after year and the cabin crew did a very good job with that private wine tasting."
      -I do think these experiences are differentiated by the crew. Mark and I will enjoy ourselves but a simply average crew would have made for an average flight. This spectacular crew made the flight something we will talk about for a long time.

      Happy flying.

  • Comment 455176 by
    dreamweaver888 60 Comments

    Oh my this trip report is one for the ages, what a delightful hospitality, tactile, visual, and gastronomic experience! Thank you for composing and sharing this!

    • Comment 455611 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 737 Comments

      Greetings Dreamweaver888, appreciate the feedback.

      "...what a delightful hospitality, tactile, visual, and gastronomic experience!"
      -You have a great way with words. You distilled the experience perfectly in one sentence.

      "Thank you for composing and sharing this!"
      -It's really my pleasure to recount the experience. That way I know it really happened!

      Thanks again and happy flying.

  • Comment 455189 by
    indianocean SILVER 6022 Comments

    Thank you Christian for this beautiful report.
    Although Lufthansa First is not among the best first class in the world, you had a great journey with your friend Mark.
    It is so great to travel with buddies on First class emptying the wine cellar, especially when you have the entire cabin and crew only for yourselves.

    You didn't get the convertible Porsche in FRA?
    Which one do you prefer? First Class terminal or First Class lounge?

    • Comment 455612 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 737 Comments

      Greetings Indianocean and thank you for the note.

      "Although Lufthansa First is not among the best first class in the world, you had a great journey with your friend Mark."
      -I probably agree with you in general but on this day LH was the best First Class product in the world for us!

      "It is so great to travel with buddies on First class emptying the wine cellar, especially when you have the entire cabin and crew only for yourselves."
      -So very true. Sharing the experience makes it so much sweeter.

      "You didn't get the convertible Porsche in FRA?"
      -No we did not. I should have asked. I didn't even think of it. If there's a next time...

      "Which one do you prefer? First Class terminal or First Class lounge?"
      -I suppose the Terminal if only for the tarmac car ride to the airplane. Otherwise they are identical in my experience.

      Thank you again for the comments and happy flying.

  • Comment 455224 by
    757Fan 462 Comments

    Wow, what a report about your amazing experience! Lufthansa F looks incredible - as it always has in photos from many reports over the years.

    What an amazing way to begin your trip. Thank you for sharing!

    • Comment 455613 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 737 Comments

      Thank you for the note 757Fan. Lufthansa First Class was absolutely amazing on this day thanks to the kindness and enthusiasm of an exceptional flight crew. Thanks again for reading and leaving feedback. Happy flying.

  • Comment 455244 by
    sotto 29 Comments

    I am also convinced that Lufthansa Fist Class flights are indeed first class. This already starts with the ground handling, goes beyond the equipment of the cabin to the service and especially the catering.
    Under no circumstances does Lufthansa have to hide behind competitors.

    The assessment made I find it ok., If I personally here
    as a German (without pronounced patriotism) at the catering determined at least one point more awarded.

    Comparing Lufthansa's on-board service with the American Airlines LAX-ORD first-class service described above, Lufthansa is flying ahead of the aircraft.

    Imagine that as a passenger at Lufthansa you would like to fly from ORD via FRA to LEJ. Then you sit at LH between ORD and FRA in very much
    comfortable FC seats in a well-equipped FC compartment. However, the cold shower comes on the flight FRA-LEJ. So far you have been very comfortable
    FC seat and the associated space used, you are now sitting in one
    EY seat in an EY equipment (so three-seat series with accordingly narrower
    Legroom).

    Then the flight FRA-LEJ for the FC-Pax an impertinence, even if the flight is just under an hour.

    • Comment 455616 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 737 Comments

      Greetins Sotto and thank you for the note.

      "I am also convinced that Lufthansa Fist Class flights are indeed first class."
      -Yes, I agree. Especially when the flight attendants are as excited about the flight as the passengers! We were so very fortunate to be int he care of two lovely and kind professionals.

      "If I personally here as a German (without pronounced patriotism) at the catering determined at least one point more awarded."
      -I was less generous with the catering score as the main courses were both ruined by overcooking. They had potential...

      'Then the flight FRA-LEJ for the FC-Pax an impertinence, even if the flight is just under an hour."
      -I agree the flights on LH in Business Class around Europe are rather underwhelming in the economy seat.

      Thanks again for the note and happy flying.

  • Comment 455247 by
    Rewardflying GOLD 401 Comments

    You out did yourself on this one Christian. Amazing. You checked every box and we aren't even done! Jealous!

    I booked my friend on this flight for next week (later departure). He's never been flown first class period. In fact his premium is limited to DL on a 767 so I'm sure he will be spoiled for life.

    Wish I could have met you at ORD. Next time for sure. Looking forward to the A340.

    • Comment 455617 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 737 Comments

      Hello Mark and thanks for leaving a note.

      "You out did yourself on this one Christian. Amazing. You checked every box and we aren't even done! Jealous! "
      -Next time ditch PDX and grab a seat on LH!!

      "I booked my friend on this flight for next week (later departure). He's never been flown first class period. In fact his premium is limited to DL on a 767 so I'm sure he will be spoiled for life. "
      -Yep, you've ruined air travel for him. He'll have some stories to tell however... Is he terminating in FRA to connecting and utilizing the beautiful lounges?

      "Wish I could have met you at ORD. Next time for sure. Looking forward to the A340."
      -I'm already hard at work trying to figure out when that "next time" can be although this bar will be difficult to reach in future flights.

      Happy flying Mark.

  • Comment 455950 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4475 Comments

    A truly epic report! Your excitement and enthusiasm really shines through. Who wouldn't be excited with this kind of flight?! It's really a once in a lifetime type experience. I mean you are no stranger to LH F, but wow, a private F cabin in the nose of the Queen...does it get any better...can it even!? LOL

    LH gets a lot of flack for the 5-stars, but if there is anything about LH that is solidly 5-stars, it's their First class. While the seats are not the best F seats out there (depending on your tastes of course), LH really knows how to do the ground experience and make the entire journey luxurious. If they had kept the amazing 744 Upper Deck F seats they used to have on t he 744s (the ones with a separate bed and seat), they would no doubt be among the best in the world.

    Travelling with good friends is always fun, especially in such comfortable conditions. The stars aligned to make this an amazing trip!

    • Comment 456095 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 737 Comments

      Thanks for leaving a note Kevin.

      " I mean you are no stranger to LH F, but wow, a private F cabin in the nose of the Queen...does it get any better...can it even!? LOL"
      -I imagine that for our little sliver of the population (avgeeks, FR contributors and such) it's a pretty optimal scenario. I agree that it's a once in a lifetime. I'm not sure how that makes me feel as far as my friend Mark is concerned. Do you want your one in a lifetime on the first time?

      "While the seats are not the best F seats out there (depending on your tastes of course), LH really knows how to do the ground experience and make the entire journey luxurious."
      -That's my retort to the LH skeptics. It's an incredibly well rounded product and it's attainable.

      "The stars aligned to make this an amazing trip!"
      -Indeed they did.

      Happy flying Kevin.

  • Comment 456086 by
    jetsetpanda SILVER 2279 Comments

    Thank you Christian for sharing this exciting and beautifully crafted FR. I really enjoyed reading it and felt like you were taking me along for the ride.

    It seems that you and Rewardflying will set the benchmark for premium long haul FR's on the English side of FR. ;)

    I had the opportunity to visit the UA Polaris lounge in SFO and have to agree with you that the Polaris lounge is a step in the right direction for UA, although the meals that I had at the restaurant ranged from fair to disappointing. In can vividly recall the chicken bento box that I had which was lukewarm and tasteless. It was easily one of the worst dine-in experiences that I had inside a lounge.

    I'm glad that you were able to share this experience with a friend and that you both enjoyed it immensely, particularly being served by a wonderful crew which makes all the difference in the world.

    • Comment 456097 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 737 Comments

      I appreciate you kind remarks Jetsetpanda.

      " I really enjoyed reading it and felt like you were taking me along for the ride."
      -This is really my goal with the FR contributions so it's very satisfying to receive that feedback.

      "It seems that you and Rewardflying will set the benchmark for premium long haul FR's on the English side of FR. ;)"
      -You will receive a far more thorough and objective review from Rewardflying.

      "I had the opportunity to visit the UA Polaris lounge in SFO and have to agree with you that the Polaris lounge is a step in the right direction for UA, although the meals that I had at the restaurant ranged from fair to disappointing."
      -That was my experience at SFO. I had the burger and it was unremarkable. The cocktails on the other hand were quite well crafted...

      "...particularly being served by a wonderful crew which makes all the difference in the world."
      -A good experience and product moves to great when the crew is exceptional. I wrote a letter to Lufthansa. Perhaps it will reach these kind women.

      Thanks again and happy flying.

  • Comment 458816 by
    Kyle-B 8 Comments

    Did you ask for extra caviar? I don't do trip reports (my friends tell me I should because I post first class, first class food, etc. on social media) but have had many memorable experiences in Lufthansa First. I literally never want to get off the plane. That is so cool that Kris was doing wine tastings and being extremely emasculate in presentation.

    • Comment 458821 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 737 Comments

      Greetings Kyle-B and thanks for the note. I'm in agreement with your frinds...you should do up some reports of LH F! ;)

      My recollection was Kris offered another portion of the caviar and really, who could decline?

      " I literally never want to get off the plane."
      -I can relate to that feeling. This flight especially.

      Thanks again and happy flying.

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