Review of Lufthansa flight San Francisco Frankfurt in Economy

Airline Lufthansa
Flight LH 455
Class Economy
Seat 51K
Aircraft Boeing 747-400
Flight time 11:00
Take-off 05 Mar 14, 14:50
Arrival at 06 Mar 14, 10:50
LH   #53 out of 138 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 1103 reviews
mgescheidt
By 16762
Published on 26th March 2014
Hello everyone,

this report you have just opened is about to follow my return flight from San Francisco back to Europe after spending a fantastic week in the Californian city with my lady. We had a great time and when it was time to return, sudden sadness hit us. But there are always positive sides, at least if you are flying.


This one is third in order :
PRG - MUC - http://flight-report.com/en/report-6363.html
MUC - SFO - http://flight-report.com/en/report-6423.html
SFO - FRA - you are here
FRA - PRG - http://flight-report.com/en/report-6686.html

Returning home from nice places around the world is always difficult, but this time it was probably emotionally the toughest return I have experienced so far. I always try to find at least some positives and this time it wasn´t that difficult with two great first times for me :
First of them was flying the legendary 747 which I dreamed about for years and before starting flying few years back I maybe even didn´t believe I´d be able to fly it one day. When booking the trip some 9 months ago, we originally booked on United 747 for SFO-FRA leg, but Lufthansa moved us to their own 747. Although I wanted to try United, it was probably better to fly LH as UA doesn´t have PTVs on most (if not all) of their 744 fleet.
Another fine thing I looked forward was transiting at Frankfurt. I wanted to visit this airport and I think this was good opportunity to discover it and see some of the traffic flying around. I could also add it to the list of European largest airports I have already visited, together with CDG, AMS, FCO. I was at LHR as well, but I didn´t fly in or out of there.

Now let´s get back to flying experience.
To get to SFO from the city center we opted for BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) which is really fast and pleasant. This journey was little less than 10$ per person and took about 20 minutes until SFO´s terminals opened in front of us and also provided us with a view of mainly United heavies around. While arriving at the airport it was also first time ever I saw Boeing 747-8.

Seems like you can get everywhere when flying from SFO

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My lady shows where are we going to fly to. She actually doesn´t look that sad, does she? :-)

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Check-in area for Lufthansa flights. We arrived at the airport some 3 hours to departure and went straight to check-in which took only about 5 minutes as there were only few people

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On our way to security.
It was a bit crowded around, I think we spend there about 15 minutes but it still wasn´t that bad time and we were easily given all green. I could feel security is different compared to Europe, mainly the staff looked pretty strict

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After that we had a short walk and enjoyed views of some wide-bodies being prepared for their long flights

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In few minutes this guy arrived on scene - I knew it was D-ABVY before as I checked flightradar24 some 1 hour ago, a 10 years old B744 - finally the first Queen of the Skies I´m gonna fly

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Looking like I´m going for you!

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Meanwhile I try to enjoy another traffic as well, UA 757

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Parking at the same position as our A346 a week ago on our arrival

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I love these nose views of 747, this one is United and I think it is bound for Frankfurt - so that´s the aircraft we were set to fly originally.

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D-ABVY parked and enjoying her rest now

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And a sexy United jumbo again

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We started getting hungry and settled for this Chicken sandiwch for lunch. I don´t remember the price now, I think it was around 6$ or 8$ + coke but… it was great!

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After finishing my meal I went to have a look around and catch some aircrafts, lady decided not to join me this time
Air China 777

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I don´t have to say who´s the major player here

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I hope to fly you one day too ..

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This is view of our gate from the upper level. As I saw agents started operating their computers we decided to go and take a seat there.

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Frankfurt-bound 744

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Eva Air Cargo

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And it started getting bussy around

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United B767 looking for a gate to park

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Here I felt I had gotten into place I consider to be an aviation paradise :-)

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Just to check she didn´t depart without us

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Air China departing for Beijing

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Final moments before boarding started

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Here you are, final steps before entering jumbo!

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View of the business class seats

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But this time again, this kind of seats is prepared for us

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I find Lufthansa´s B744 much more comfortable to A346. Sure it´s better to fly in config 2-4-2 compared to jumbo´s 3-4-3, but seats were better here with better legroom as well

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Legroom view, I felt comfortable even when the seat ahead reclined. Everything was set for a pleasant flight

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PTV was the same as in A346 which means… I turned on an Airshow and opened in-flight magazine..

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A woman around her fifties took remaining seat next to us. From her boarding passes it seemed she headed for Tallin in Estonia. She was either in bad mood or couldn´t speak english as she didn´t say anything throughout the flight. And she also started fall asleep soon after take off which was not a good news for us as we are both frequent toilet visitors

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United´s Dreamliner taxiing by

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Already during taxi

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I think it was 28L we headed for

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United Boeing 757 coming for landing

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Begining our take off roll. It was probably pretty windy because we clearly felt the steering of 747 racing down the runway

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Rotating under close supervising from United 747s

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Engines at full thrust as we wondered the amazing wingflex

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It was very clouded that day, but at least for few moments we were offered nice views of the city. Bye bye San Francisco, I will miss you so much



And then we disappeared in the clouds

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Our cruise altitude was at the top level of clouds and first two hours were really pretty bumpy with seatbelts light on for the first hour and something of flight meant FAs couldn´t get into any action

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About two hours into the flight the dinner was distributed. I went for vegetarian pasta and was not particularly impressed with it, but still it was edible. My girlfriend went for Teryaki with rice and wasn´t pleased with it too

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Overflying snow-covered Canada

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The Sun started to set and this was my first overnight flight

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We took oportunity of our neighbour waking up and both went to toilet. I also grabbed last pictures before complete darkness

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Shades had to be closed throughout the night so we had to close ours. I decided take a rest but managed to sleep only for about 20 minutes. I later opened inflight magazine but as it was the same as on our MUC-SFO leg, it didn´t entertain me long. So I convinced myself to be tolerant and opened IFE to look for some movie. I went for Cool Runnings, my favourite movie. I watched the whole movie, but the experience was poor mainly due to very bad sound quality. At least I know the movie very well so I managed to do the most of dialogs in my head :-)

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This time as we were approaching Europe I knew it started getting brighter outside. I wanted to have a look through the window, but my lady slept on my arm and I couldn´t move at all.

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After she woke up I was like Hi! and immediately opened the shade :-)

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Overflying Scotland

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Less than two hours until landing breakfast was served and this time it was very good

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So I enjoyed my meal and then relaxed and enjoyed views of sunny morning outside

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Cabin before starting our descend

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This airport is CGN

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During descend the Sun started to be pretty annoying and made taking pictures almost impossible

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Here we are on a short final already, for 07R I think

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Touchdown wasn´t really gentle and was followed by some heavy braking

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First it seemed like we landed back in SFO, didn´t it?

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Some heavies at FRA

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An Air Canada B767

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Followed by Lufthansa A321 in retro livery

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We parked next to many company 747s and arrived few minutes ahead of schedule

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I was surprised by the mess that appears after a long haul flight. We were the last passengers to leave the aircraft, at the door we were greeted by FAs

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Good bye to our beautiful bird

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After leaving the aircraft we found ourselves in gate area. We had a look around and headed for Schengen gates to find our connecting flight to Prague.
This is actually where this report ends and next time I will bring you with the last FRA-PRG leg.

Thank you for reading up to here and if you have anything on me or the report - simply post it bellow !

Have a nice day everyone,
Michael

See more

Verdict

Lufthansa

7.9/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering7.5

San Francisco - SFO

8.1/10
Efficiency7.5
Access10.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Frankfurt - FRA

8.5/10
Efficiency10.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

I find Lufhansa´s B744 to be much better than A346. Seat comfort was very good and made the 11 hours experience a positive one. Their meals were nothing fantastic but at least were edible. The crew was rather invsibile throughout the night flight but when I wanted something to drink and hit the button, somebody always came and gave me what I wanted so that´s fine.

IFE was the same as in A346 - everything was slow with not very good response. If you are ok with Airshow running for the whole flight, you´ll be fine.

Both SFO and FRA were very quick in all procedures and I enjoyed both airports for their traffic. Unfortunatelly we were at the places with limited views.

Overally we had a very good flight and if flying Lufthansa in the future - I´m gonna aim for their 747s

Information on the route San Francisco (SFO) Frankfurt (FRA)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 5 reviews of 1 airlines on the route San Francisco (SFO) → Frankfurt (FRA).


Useful

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

The average flight time is 10 hours and 55 minutes.

  More information

12 Comments

  • Comment 103739 by
    Denzee 1773 Comments

    Thanks for sharing with us this great FR

  • Comment 103742 by
    Caribel 113 Comments

    It was good to read how the trip helped to cement your relationship. FYI the phrase lady friend implies dating an elderly woman. It is used when the relationship is just physical and casual.

    Air catering companies charge for every ingredient placed on a meal. Most airlines do not pay the premium for seasoning items such as shallots, garlic, celery, cilantro, basil and so forth. That is why the meal taste bland. While buying that chicken sandwich at the airport concession you could have stocked up on packed condiments. A touch of Dijon mustard, horseradish and soy sauce work wonders in a meal.

    Hope your next report refer to your future fiancée! ;)

    • Comment 290929 by
      mgescheidt AUTHOR 52 Comments

      Thank you for classification with lady, I´ll take it into account next time :-)

      Honestly I don´ t have any kind of trouble with meals onboard, I think I got what I paid for while buying ticket. And I also mentioned in previous report that my bad tastes can play a crucial part in rating airline meals. But once again, it was ok for me although it wasn´t any brilliant gourmet experience :-)

  • Comment 103789 by
    Numero_2 GOLD 9734 Comments

    Thank you for sharing the first leg of your return journey.

    Nice spotting in SFO.

    The red carpet at the priority boarding lane is quite funny. ^^

    Your 747 has been retroffitted and is equipped with the new Y seats - but old IFEs - and the A346 you got had the old cabin.
    Recently most of the LH 747s only had shared screens in Y.

    You've experienced an average longhaul LH flight. Great that you enjoyed it.

    • Comment 290931 by
      mgescheidt AUTHOR 52 Comments

      I know that LH 744s were refurbished recently, but these days most of them already do have PTVs

      I know some may feel my ratings are too generous (and some mentinoned that before), but I have nothing to compare to Lufthansa at the moment and as far as I enjoy the whole experience I do not feel I want to give lower grades

    • Comment 290932 by
      Numero_2 GOLD 9734 Comments

      Well, that's possible we've misunderstood each other. ^^
      My comment wasn't directed against your ratings or Lufthansa product. I have flown LH many times (sadly my FRs are in french only) on short/medium and long haul flights and I recognize that what they are offering is a great product.
      I just wanted to say that the 744 is not the best plane of LH's fleet. ;)

  • Comment 103888 by
    Chibcha 432 Comments

    Thanks for the report, that jumbo certainly looks better than the A346 you rode into SFO.
    I know the feeling with LH, the fist times they do impress (if you don't have what to compare them with) but then you get to know other airlines and they become less enchanting.

    Saludos!

  • Comment 103892 by
    KL651 TEAM 4469 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    The confort of the 346 must be pretty bad as I didn't find the Y seats in LH 744 particularly confortable.
    Food (except breakfast) and crew are once again average on this flight, typical of Lufthansa long haul...
    you didn't find the IFE selection pretty poor?
    At least you got to fly on the 744!

  • Comment 103943 by
    lagentsecret SILVER 11211 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    SFO is really a paradise to spot and you made it good

    At least I know the movie very well so I managed to do the most of dialogs in my head :-)
    You have found the perfect recipe to have a great LH flight : imagine that you are sitting on a comfortable couch, eating a deicious meal and watching your preferred movie ;)

  • Comment 104306 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5100 Comments

    Beautiful report with lots of detail and great planespotting at SFO! The refurbed cabin of the 744 looks nice.

  • Comment 106176 by
    jetsetpanda 2295 Comments

    It's always nice to read reports about my hometown airport SFO. In my opinion this is one of the most beautiful and pleasant airports in the U.S.

    Glad you flew LH instead of UA. At least the food was more edible on LH and you had your personal IFE.

  • Comment 157712 by
    MrMax 144 Comments

    A few years ago I flew UA SF0-FRA in Y. It was a terrible flight. No IFE for 12 hours, and the KSML sucked. I referenced it in my FR for EK767.

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