Review of Lufthansa flight Frankfurt Tel Aviv in First

Airline Lufthansa
Flight LH 686
Class First
Seat 83C
Aircraft Boeing 747-400
Flight time 03:45
Take-off 10 Nov 09, 10:05
Arrival at 10 Nov 09, 14:50
LH   #66 out of 122 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 1163 reviews
jetsetpanda
By 10090
Published on 19th October 2013
Back in 2009 I decided to go to Israel and at the same time try LH F in hopes of visiting their First Class Terminal after reading so many praises from travelers. I went via FRA and after some much needed relaxation in the pool of the hotel the night before, I woke up somewhat refreshed at 0500A and decided to get an early start and have breakfast at the LH F Terminal.

I made my way to the station to catch the S8 train and within a few minutes I arrived at the airport. I headed towards the LH F counter where a smiling agent greeted me and issued my boarding pass. I asked if one could walk to the F Terminal and she pointed me in the direction of the building instructing me to walk outside towards it for a couple of minutes.


The LH F Terminal

It took me less than 10 minutes to get there and when I finally arrived I viewed the imposing building from below. It sure looked impressive and I couldn't wait to get inside its exclusive confines. It sure resembled a heavenly mirage amidst the busy and chaotic turmoil of its surroundings.

photo Terminal - outside (2) (800x578)


I rang the bell and a voice instructed me to wait for my assistant to escort me inside. In about 2 minutes Kate arrived and welcomed me. She was professionally groomed and had the look of a model. So far the first impression has been great. Then I was escorted through security where the process was performed efficiently and in a very dignified way, unlike the mass herding that one is accustomed to at most US airports. Kate asked for my passport and then showed me where to drop my bags. She wished me a good stay and said that she will be back to check on me later on.

Right after security there is a small duty free shop to the left followed by the entrance to the lounge. Upon entering the bar and dining area are to the right and the office cubicles to the left. Overall it is quite a spacious setting and I proceeded to have some breakfast from the nicely stocked buffet. There is a chef on premise making sure that items were restocked frequently and available for any special orders. There is also a Cigar Room for smokers as well as relaxation rooms and showers.


Bar

photo Terminal - inside (4) (800x499)


Lounge

photo Terminal - inside (2) (800x533)photo Terminal - inside (3) (800x558)photo Terminal - inside (5) (800x571)


Buffet

photo Terminal - buffet (800x587)photo Terminal - inside (7) (800x533)


Private computer room

photo Terminal - office (800x559)


Kate eventually came back and escorted me once again through security. I guess this is a formality for all TLV bound psgrs. Afterwards I was directed to passport control and then was introduced to the driver that took me in a Mercedes sedan directly to the plane.

The ride from the terminal to the gate was a rare treat that I enjoyed. One seldom has the opportunity to get so close to the aircrafts and have a first look at ramp activities. Once we reached the gate where I saw the 744 majestically parked, my driver escorted me through the stairs in the back of the jetbridge and carried my bag all the way to the upper deck by my seat. He then introduced me to the two flight attendants working the F cabin who immediatedly welcomed me and helped me settle down.

Ride on the Mercedes-S to the plane

photo Terminal - limousine (800x600)


My plane waiting at the gate

photo Cabin (2) (800x606)


Today's flight was going to be a very special one as it turned out that I was the only passenger in F. How often does one get this luxury to have an entire cabin to oneself? Although I am no stranger to traveling in F on intercontinental flights, I must admit that I don't indulge in it as often as I would like and the very few times that I am fortunate enough to enjoy it, I cherish the experience dearly. And no matter how often I fly in Business class, there is just no comparison.

So I settle into my seat and the FA brings me some macadamia nuts and a drink. A minute later the captain passes by and welcomes me onboard. While still on the ground, I receive my amenity kit, pajama and menu set. I peruse the choices for lunch and everything looks enticing. I am ready to partake in this Lucullian feast.

Having some time to spare before departure, I take out my camera and decide to take pictures of the cabin to document today's journey. Below are some samples:




Menu transcript

Designed by Jean-Georges Klein


Choice of Hors d'oeuvres

Caviar w/traditional garnishes
Smoked Tuna filled with Crabmeat on Lime Creme Fraiche w/Walnuts
Medium rare Tenderloin of Beef with Apples and Jelly of Tabbouleh and Yogurt
Dialogue of Beetroot and Comte Cheese with Thyme


Salad or Soup

Frisee, Radicchio, Chicory and Lamb's Lettuce with Cucumber, Pumpkin and Brown Mushrooms with your choice of Vinaigrette or Potato Dressing

or

Clear Oxtail Soup with Cheese Stick


Choice of Main Courses

We are proud to present our traditional Roast Goose w/Red Cabbage, Potato Dumplings and Herb Crumb Butter as an Alternative to the Compositions of our Star Chef

Nut crusted Slice of Halibut w/Aniseed Beurre Blanc, Leaf Spinach and mashed Pumpkin

Gratin de Legumes d'Anton, Root Vegetable Casserole and Leaf Spinach w/Parmesan Sauce

Breast of Veal simmered in Hay with Savoy Cabbage and baked Potatoes


Selection of Cheese and Dessert

Comte, Crottin de Chavignol, Roquefort, Le Coutances and Brie Cheese garnished w/Grapes, Walnuts and Celery

Mashed Figs w/Enzian Schnapps Coulis, Curd Cream and Buttermilk Ice Cream

Delicacy of Chocolate w/Plum Jelly and Tonka Bean Ice Cream

Specialty Dessert Wines



Wine Menu

Champage

D de Devaux Brut, Champagne Veuve Devaux, France


Monthly Proposal

2005 Stellenbosch Pinotage, Kanonkop, South Africa


White Wine

2008 Semper Vivum Riesling Spatlese trocken, Weingut Motzenbacker, Germany

2007 Russian River Valley Chardonnay Director's Cut, Francis Ford Coppola, USA

2009 Leyda Vineyard Limited Selection Sauvignon Blanc, Montes, Chile



Red Wine

2005 Douro Reserva, Quinta das Tecedeiras, Portugal

2002 Chateau Belgrave, Cru Classee, Haut-Medoc, France


Dessert Wine

2005 Tokaija Edes Late Harvest, Oremus, Hungary

Monthly Proposal

Etter Weihnachtspflumli, Switzerland


Spirits

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey Old No7
Johnnie Walker Blue Label
Bushmills Malt 10 Years old
Smirnoff Red Vodka
Bombay Sapphire Distilled London Dry Gin
Cognac Lheraudd Cuvee 30
Calvados Pays d'Auge AC, Daron
Fernet Blanca
Tequila
Walcher Williams Exclusiv
Etter Zuger Kirsch, 42 Vol. %, Jahrgang 1998

Liqueur and Port

Baileys Irish Cream
Niepoort Port


Once we took off and leveled at 35,000 feet, the FA started the service and set up the carts even though there was only one passenger. I was offered a red rose - a hallmark of LH F's service since the 50's (maybe late 40's or early 50's) followed by an amuse bouche consisting of pear on top of phyllo pastry with blue cheese.





Since caviar was featured as an appetizer, I couldn't refuse such an offer and I had it along with the Smoked Tuna and the Beetroot with Comte cheese.

A reminder that you are in F




Appetizer

photo LH FRA-TLV (12) (800x557)photo LH FRA-TLV (21) (800x600)

Salad

photo LH FRA-TLV (25) (800x600)

For the main course I opted for the seasonal Goose which proved to be outstanding. The meat was cooked to perfect tenderness and the sides were delicious.

photo LH FRA-TLV (26) (800x600)

After the main course, I chose some Crotin and Coutances cheese with grapes and finished with the Delicacy of Chocolate along with a glass of Tokay. To conclude the meal service in style, the FA rolled out the cart with liquors and a box of chocolates with unusual flavors such as cactus pear, green tea or mango among others. The service provided was flawless in every aspect and the dishes were nicely presented and prepared.




At one point during the meal service, the FA who was serving me apologized that she had to go to the Business class section to help out but assured me that her colleague will look after me. When she returned she made sure that I was taken care of and I appreciated her professional demeanor throughout the whole trip.

After the meal I strolled around the cabin for a bit and checked out the WC's. To my surprise the rear WC in the upper deck had a window.

photo Cabin (7) (800x600)

Amenities in the WC

photo Cabin (8) (800x571)photo LH FRA-TLV (600x800)

Once we landed in TLV my carry on was waiting for me by the stairs and one of the FA's escorted me downstairs. Upon seeing me descend, the FA's in the lower deck stopped the psgrs from exiting in order to allow me through the door first. Now that is service!






See more

Verdict

Lufthansa

9.9/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi10.0
Meal/catering9.5

Lufthansa - First Class

10.0/10
Comfort10.0
Meal/catering10.0
Entertainment/wifi10.0
Services10.0

Frankfurt - FRA

9.4/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.5
Cleanliness10.0

Tel Aviv - TLV

8.2/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

I was glad to try LH F and visit their famous F/C Terminal. The flight experience and the lounge facility did not disappoint. Although the catering was excellent, it was not as outstanding as the one I had flying LX from MIA-ZRH in 2001. Nevertheless, LH F is a great product and I can imagine that it is even better now with their new F seats. I had a particularly excellent FA serving me on this flight and it was a joy to be a passenger under her care. She was proactive, professional, engaging and a great hostess.

Information on the route Frankfurt (FRA) Tel Aviv (TLV)

16 Comments

  • Comment 90335 by
    KL651 TEAM 4491 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    I think it's the first time I see one includind the FCT in Frankfurt.
    If it weren't for the old seats, that would be a truly awesome experience, especially on such a short flight.
    Their interim product with one seat in the upright position and one bed really was extraordinary.

  • Comment 90338 by
    lagentsecret GOLD 12386 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    First Class Terminal and to be driven to the airplane are a nice experience
    In 2009 was there still the foie gras burger with the ginger ketchup ?
    Now it has disappeared from the menu and the quality is decreasing except for the beverage offer

    On board the FAs are usually great but I've never taste a catering that was worth first class, except the caviar but I'm not fond of.
    Wine offer is obviously not a first class selection

    • Comment 282824 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      Unfortunately I don't recall foie gras burgers, otherwise I would have been first in line to try them. Can't tell much about wines since I rarely drink alcohol (partly due to a medical condition)so I am not an expert. I understand that when it comes to that the British tend to excel and the French of course.

  • Comment 90339 by
    offcm 957 Comments

    nice sharing! a good point is a caviar!
    thank you for your flight report

  • Comment 90352 by
    marathon GOLD 9566 Comments

    First class pictures for a first class experience. F and J seat layouts which provide a window and an aisle seat next to each other seem to be a disappearing breed. No matter if these LH first class seats look old fashioned to some, they do allow couples and colleagues to traveling together and enjoy the view outside. Thanks for this report !

    • Comment 282829 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      I agree. If anything I find that the new generation seats are somewhat narrower, especially in J. Yes, you now can have a lie flat seat, but at the cost of reducing the width of the seat. When it comes to people being able to sit together as a couple, I think the J seats on OS and LX are a good compromise. They have singles and pairs throughout the cabin.

  • Comment 90384 by
    Leadership TEAM GOLD 4742 Comments

    Thanks a lot for this new FR, I am pleasantly surprised with the full F service on this short flight when some airlines (namely LX) is having European type of service on this route (even if operated by long haul aircraft)

    Having the whole cabin for yourself is a memorable experience, nice set of crew too!

    Catering seems good, clearly LH F product is appealing.

    Thank you ;)

    • Comment 282834 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      I think back then BA also offered a full long haul F service from LHR-TLV in their widebodies. To be honest I thought that the pajama was not needed but I did not complain when I got it. It's a bit ironic that my trip to Israel was on LH and not LY.

  • Comment 90429 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5302 Comments

    Great report, very detailed with lots of good pics! thanks for sharing. Everything seems great except the seats, IMO< are really ugly, plus not having full aisle-access in First is very 90s, even in 2009.

  • Comment 90569 by
    indianocean GOLD 6821 Comments

    What a wonderful terminal.
    I have to try it at least once although I prefer to travel on ST or OW airlines.
    Thank you

    • Comment 282960 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      I actually like Star Alliance a lot because of their extensive list of members. OW is more exclusive with a lot of premium carriers. ST...well, let's just say that it reminds me of the group of misfits in high school that did not belong anywhere and banded together.

  • Comment 91084 by
    pititom GOLD 10697 Comments

    Thank you for this FR ! The service and catering really seems pleasant and is a nice surprise on such a route. But the cabin itself and particularly the seats reminds me of a Star Trek episode of the 70's...

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