Review of Lufthansa flight Frankfurt Beijing in First

Airline Lufthansa
Flight LH720
Class First
Seat 2K
Aircraft Airbus A340-600
Flight time 09:30
Take-off 05 Oct 18, 17:00
Arrival at 06 Oct 18, 08:30
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 1044
Published on 19th November 2018
Greetings Flight Report community and thanks for stopping by. There are two factors that emerge to cause me wanderlust and prompt me to start mulling around award availability: A small window of free time and/or a points balance that reached the amount needed for a preferred redemption. Both of these circumstances converged in early October of 2018. Circumstances at home and work were such that being away for a few days would be acceptable and my United Mileageplus balance hit the magical mark where I could book what I call the "LH F Double-dip" where one can route to Asia via Europe. My criteria for executinghtis trip was simple: I'm only going if I can find LH F from LAX (either MUC or FRA would be excellent). I really wanted to enjoy LH from my home airport for the first time and also have a longer transatlantic sector to both enjoy LH and have better sleep. To this point I have flown mostly short ORD or JFK routes (with SEA and IAH as exceptions). I was successful, for the most part, and off we go.

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




Lufthansa, LAX-FRA, A340-600, First, Star Alliance First Class Lounge, United Mileageplus

Lufthansa, FRA-PEK, A340-600, First, Lufthansa FCL and FCT, United Mileageplus (This Report)
Japan Airlines, PEK-HND, 787-8, Business, Air China First Class Lounge, Alaska Mileage Plan
Japan Airlines, NRT-LAX, 777-300ER, First, JAL First Class Lounges and AA Admirals Club, Alaska Mileage Plan

Lounging with Lufthansa



It is a great pleasure to spend a few hours at the Frankfurt lounges. I have a predictable and well worn path. The thing about FRA is that I have to learn where the lounges are on weach visit as navigating the airport is counter intuitive and I don't visit enough to fully understand the traffic flows. My first stop is one of the air side FCLs to take a bite to eat and use a nap room to recharge. I follow the signs to "Lufthansa Lounges" and make my way to the B concourse FCL. It's a great spot at the convergence of the A gates and B gates with good views of the airplanes parked at both.



A peek at the dining room for a quick taste of Germany reveals an Oktoberfest / Bavarian special menu in addition to the standard offerings.



The buffet is outstanding.



I placed an order for a Munchner Weisswurst and it was a perfect treat to know you are in Germany.

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The features of this lounge are abundant and one of my favorite is the nap room. It's a perfect configuration of quite, dark, and comfort to recharge and continue the adventure. I got comfortable and took a much needed two hour nap.



Refreshed from a nap and shower I am ready to move on with the journey. There is no reason to leave this lovely lounge before departure but I cannot resist the attraction of the Lufthansa First Class Terminal. Virtually all of the amenities there are available here in the air side FCL except for one, the Porsche transfer to the aircraft. I like that one. Off we go on the 20 minute walk to the FCT.



I am greeted in the lobby by the same agent who handled my July visit. I make my way through the security screening with no wait and surrender my passport to the agent who will return at boarding time. The lounge is fairly quiet and I assume a seat along the window as it is a good combination of comfortable chair with footrest and side table with charging.



I won't be able to take advantage of the full dining experience as I am not hungry for a meal and wish to experience the meal on board. That said, a quick spin through the dining room is in order.



What do you know, I am powerless to leave empty handed. The Ruinart and lovely cured meats and olives provide a fantastic snack. I select Voss sparkling water from the water menu.

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LH 720 FRA-PEK



It's always too soon, the departure. Wistful for this beautiful facility and excited for the flight I proceed with my assigned agent downstairs to complete the immigration formalities and take a ride to an airplane. I and one other passenger are loaded into an electric blue Porsche Panamera. My seat mate for the drive is also my seatmate aboard the aircraft in 1K. She is a stunning tall blond woman of Flemish Belgian. She remarks to the driver about the absence of S Class Mercedes and he confirms her observation, only Porsche now. As we get in she remarks to me that it's an end of an era. I take note but offer that this is a lovely machine and fine way to travel, which she conceded. She then add that she works for Mercedes so the connection is deeper. Anyhow, lovely woman and nice chat on the drive out. During the flight I observed her effortlessly switch from communicating in English to German to Mandarin in the most impressive manner. All the while assuming she speaks Dutch as well.



This is why I walk over to the FCT. It's a rare treat to behold these fantastic machines from ground level and can't turn down an opportunity to do so.

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Once on board I am greeted by Miriam and Chantal, the flight attendants in First tonight, and shown to seat 2K.



Miriam is quick on the draw with the Champagne Pommery Cuvee Louise 2002 and macadamia nuts.

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Miriam distributes amenity kits and offers a female kit to take home to my better half. The kind offer is accepted. The kits are different from the inbound flight. Slippers and lounge wear are also distributed.



A refreshing towel with rose pedal is also provided.

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The cabin is occupied 6/8 seats today. Our push back and departure are on time and the evening light is beautiful for taxi and takeoff via runway 7C.



The service started with an offer of a beverage. The Pommery was tasting well so I continued. The amuse was a goat cheese tart with grapes. Quite a nice bite or two.



We're off into the night as the table is laid for dinner.



Missing and "S"

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Sitting in 2K I am the last to be served when the cart is in use. Perhaps this is an advantage as Chantal was very generous with the caviar. The Champagne was perfect to accompany.



The salad and appetizers pass next. It's great fun to taste 3 different dishes.This is probably quite costly and certainly labor intensive but I really appreciate the experience. I'm sorry I don't have more information on the dishes. I was under the assumption I had downloaded the menus from LH, and I probably did, but I cannot lay my hands on them now.



I well executed fish was the main. I also selected a mystery wine to enjoy with the fish. It's a mystery in that I cannot find any information about it online. (Update: The wine is a 2016 Augustin Cuvee XVI, which is a wine produced from a variety of regional grapes near Wurzburg (approx. a 2 hour drive from Frankfurt). Bottles sell for approximately 17 eur each. Thank you to ThomasDutch for gathering the wine information and sharing in the comments.)

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Chantal came back after dinner, this time her cart was decorated with cheese and dessert. I happily enjoyed a cheese selection with the Rieslaner.



Dessert was an impressive. I large cookie/cake with the texture of Macaron and pineapple. It was very tasty but at this point I could only muster a bite or two.

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The bed is requested shortly after dinner and is a welcome, plush cocoon to hibernate. I declined Chantal's offer to wake me for breakfast as I'm usually awake with sufficient time.

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My sleep was so successful I slept clear through breakfast, not that any additional food was needed, I do enjoy it for the experience. My bed was towed, I changed clothes, and we were amost there. I opened my window to a sunny day in Beijing that was, to the eye, far less distinguishing than previous visits, in terms of air quality.



There is a host waiting at the end of the jetway with my name (sort of) on a sign. She is a cute young woman who will be my escort through immigration and baggage claim. I appreciate the effort and I can see where this would be helpful for a first time visitor with several pieces of checked luggage, but I don't fit either scenario. I decline her offer to pilot my roll aboard and so i simply follow her to the self service immigration kiosks that don't seem to be of any use. They simply add a step and you still wind up in the long,slow immigration line. I attempt to chat but our language skills to overlap so we'll be limited to smiles. Anyhow she is dutiful in her job but I explain that I don't have any checked bags and I know the way out so she is free to go help another arriving passenger.

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See more

Verdict

Lufthansa

8.3/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment8.0
Meal/catering8.0

Lufthansa First Class Terminal

8.8/10
Comfort9.0
Meal/catering9.0
Entertainment8.5
Services8.5

Frankfurt - FRA

8.1/10
Efficiency7.0
Access8.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Beijing - PEK

6.9/10
Efficiency6.5
Access8.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness6.5

Conclusion

The Ground Service: Really quite fantastic and worth the "hassle" of entering Germany and making the walk over to the FCT. Plane side arrival by luxury performance vehicle is quite special. The escorted arrival in PEK is a nice gesture and I'm sure helpful to certain travelers.

The Lounge: The Lufthansa lounges are among the top in the industry. The furniture is lovely and comfortable, the nap rooms are quiet and well provisioned, the showers and baths are clean, spacious, and with excellent amenities and the food and beverage is excellent.

The Cabin: I love the look and feel of LH F. Perhaps we can upgrade the IFE monitor and selection? Don't change anything else!

The Crew: Miriam and Chantal were lovely hosts. Miriam in a more precise and German with Chantal being the chatty and friendly part of the duo. Both were hard working and made a sensational voyage for me.

The Food and Beverage: It's luxurious from the caviar and trio of appetizers to the beautiful cheese presentation. The 2002 vintage Pommery is a wonderful companion to take along on the culinary journey.

Overall: I'm definitely blinded by my love of the entire LH package to be impartial. The cabins are stunning, the lounges are excellent and the service on board is usually generous and professional.

Thank you for reading and happy flying.

Informations on the route Frankfurt (FRA) Beijing (PEK)

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


Useful

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

The average flight time is 9.0 hours and 25.0 minutes.

  More informations

8 Comments

  • Comment 476573 by
    ThomasDutch SILVER 72 Comments

    Nice report once again. The wine is a 2016 Augustin Cuvee XVI, which is a wine produced from a variety of regional grapes near Wurzburg (approx. a 2 hour drive from Frankfurt). Bottles sell for approximately 17 eur each. In case you wonder about it, you could find more of them about by searching weingut augustin in Google.

  • Comment 476574 by
    ThomasDutch SILVER 72 Comments

    Unfortunately it is only in German, not available in English. (forgot to add this to my comment)

    • Comment 476597 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 737 Comments

      Greetings ThomasDutch and thank you for the note. Thank you, that is the information I was seeking on the wine. I did in fact encounter Greman search results but as you noticed information in English was not forthcoming. It's a nice wine at a good price. I'll update my report with your information. Thanks again and happy flying.

  • Comment 477525 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4475 Comments

    While the airside FCLs seem very good (nice buffet/demand menu, and nap rooms), there is a certain attraction to the exclusivity of the First Class Terminal, and of course, the Porsche rides to the aircraft are nice.

    I also really like the aesthetics of the LH F cabins and the catering is visually appealing, well presented.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 477723 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 737 Comments

      Thank you for the note Kevin. I'm on team FCT > FCL. It's just funny to leave a pretty perfect lounge to go to one that is essentially the same. The thrill of the drive to the aircraft wins the day. Happy flying Kevin.

  • Comment 480307 by
    YGeorgeW 2 Comments

    Hi Socalnow, thanks for the report. I was wondering how exactly you booked the LH LAX-FRA-PEK trip? Was it all on one award (i.e. 120,000 UA miles)? Or did you have to pay for each segment individually. I am looking to do a very similar trip from the East Coast in January and have noticed that award availability seems to open up only 3 days ahead of time at most. Would appreciate any tips.

    • Comment 480314 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 737 Comments

      Greetings GeorgeW and thanks for the note. I was able to book it on united.com as one F class award to China for 120,000 UA miles. In my experience the routing has show up "organically" to be booked. For example I've seen availability USA-FRA and FRA-Asia separately and called and they could not join them for me into one award, the priced separately. Hope that helps. Feel free to ask any other questions. Hope you get the routing you want! Happy flying.

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