Review of Lufthansa flight Frankfurt Chicago in Business

Airline Lufthansa
Flight LH 432
Class Business
Seat 4H
Aircraft Boeing 747-400
Flight time 09:05
Take-off 23 May 14, 17:20
Arrival at 23 May 14, 19:25
LH   #53 out of 137 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 1102 reviews
jetsetpanda
By 10094
Published on 7th June 2014
Hello and welcome to this LH segment equipped with the old J cabin. Below is the schedule of all the flights that I have taken so far.

AC SFO-YVR in Y - http://flight-report.com/en/report-7109.html
LH YVR-MUC in J - http://flight-report.com/en/report-7137.html
TK MUC-SAW in J - http://flight-report.com/en/report-7151.html
TK IST-TXL in Y - http://flight-report.com/en/report-7155.html
TK TXL-IST in Y - http://flight-report.com/en/report-7164.html
TK SAW-FRA in J - http://flight-report.com/en/report-7201.html
LH FRA-ORD in J - you are here
UA ORD-SFO in Y - http://flight-report.com/en/report-7263.html


LH 432 FRA-ORD
Act. dept. 1759 - Act. arriv. 1922



Once I arrived in FRA I made my way to the LH connection desk and had a new boarding pass reissued by a friendly agent. I then asked for the location of the AC Maple Leaf lounge and was advised that I had to clear security in order to get to the other side. I placed myself in line and there was only one person ahead of me so cleared quickly.

photo LH 432 (26) (1024x683)


I then followed the signs to the lounge which was located within steps from where I was standing. Its exact location is T1 Dept. area B.

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I have read about this new lounge before I embarked on this trip and was looking forward to visiting it during my connection in FRA. It was supposed to be a showcase of the artistic talent, contemporary design and natural beauty of Canada according to its description on AC's website. First impression upon entering was good. The wooden fixtures and the light gave the impression of vastness and open space. In addition the earthly tones provided a soothing ambiance that imparted warmth and made the reception area inviting.

AC Maple Leaf lounge entrance.



I approached the desk and the agent was in the middle of a call, so I waited patiently. Once she finished, she greeted me with a cheerful smile welcoming me to the lounge. I presented my boarding pass and inquired about using the shower. She invited me to proceed behind the desk and said that there was no one waiting, so I was welcome to use it right away.

There are two shower rooms labeled YYZ and YUL, in honor of AC's hubs. I chose YUL and settled into the spacious bathroom.

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Bathroom.




The shower was invigorating and felt extremely nice. I really enjoyed using this bathroom and thought it was spacious and well appointed. Now I was ready to explore the rest of the lounge.


Buffet.




Beverage area.




The dining area.

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Long table with electrical sockets to charge your electronics.

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There was a central square area with booth seating surrounding a design that was suggestive of a fireplace.

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Quiet zone featuring six resting pods equipped with noise cancelling headphones, USB ports and TV screens.

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My selection.

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I was glad that I stopped by this lounge and had the opportunity to experience it. All the staff that I encountered, from the receptionist to the attendants that were in charge of replenishing the buffet, were friendly and smiling. The lounge was not busy and had plenty of room. One could find a private corner and just stay there relaxing. The lounge also offered some good plane spotting and I stayed closed to the buffet area taking some shots.


Views from the lounge.




I still wanted to check out the LH Business lounge and quickly returned to the gate area. This time I did not have to clear security and just passed through a set of automatic doors. I remember a long walk and then taking a train to the Z gates. My flight left from Z50 and I wanted to use the lounge that was closest to it. I went through a second screening and then security at the Z area. Finally I entered the lounge and presented my boarding pass. I unknowingly went to the right side where the Senator lounge was located and the lobby agent called my attention telling me that the Business lounge was up the escalators on the left side.


View of tarmac while walking.

photo LH 432 (2) (1024x673)


Riding the train to the Z gates.

photo LH 432 (3) (1024x655)


At the Z gates.

photo LH 432 (5) (1024x683)


The LH Business lounge was a stark contrast to the serene AC one. The first thing I noticed was its huge size. There were some areas that were very crowded, especially in the front. The back had more empty seats. Another thing that annoyed me was the congestion of people around the buffet area. They looked like vultures circling around a carcass waiting in anticipation for the next load of hot food. Of course, at this rate, the attendants had to make multiple trips. I guess the beast comes out when people are hungry.




Area in the back.

photo LH Business Lounge @ FRA (10) (1280x847)



Buffet.





Beverages.

photo LH Business Lounge @ FRA (5) (1280x886)photo LH Business Lounge @ FRA (9) (1280x907)


I then left for the gate which was very close by. Once there I found a cabinet with newspapers.

photo LH 432 (9) (1024x683)


My plane at the gate.




There were about 4 agents working at the gate. I wanted to see how full the flight was and checked with one of the ladies who told me that it was full. She was pleasant and smiling, which is rare for gate agents, at least in the U.S. where they are usually understaffed and have to deal with a million requests at the last minute. So kudos to LH ground crew @ FRA for maintaining a professional composure while under stress.

At about 1635 boarding started and a few minutes before that an agent gathered the people in wheelchairs and families with children in one corner and allowed them to go first. Walking down the jetbridge, there was a separate entrance for F/J and Y passengers. This is one of the things that LH does well and they seem to be consistent with their boarding priorities, at least on long haul flights.

photo LH 432 (14) (1024x636)


I was greeted at the door by a smiling FA and was one of the first ones to enter the forward section of the plane. I specially chose this section of the plane because it truly made me feel that I was on a 747. The forward cabin by the nose and upper decks are trademarks of this plane.

The cabin.

photo LH 432 (15) (1024x683)photo LH 432 (16) (1024x683)photo LH 432 (18) (1024x683)


This nice FA saw me board and put my bags in the overhead bin. She quickly came asking me if I needed assistance.

photo LH 432 (17) (1024x683)


Seat controls and amenity kits with bottles of water placed next to the seats.

photo LH 432 (19) (1024x683)photo LH 432 (20) (1024x688)


Pre-departure drinks were offered consisting of water, orange juice or champagne.

photo LH 432 (22) (1280x833)photo LH 432 (23) (1280x810)


There was a welcome message on the screen and the seat pockets were quite useless because of their hard shell. It was really difficult to store any bulky or oddly shaped items. Good thing that these seats are being phased out.

photo LH 432 (24) (1024x683)photo LH 432 (21) (1024x658)


LH announced on their website that on long haul flights out of Germany in J, they would feature a special World Cup theme amenity kit. As you can see, this was not the case on today's flight.

photo LH 432 (27) (1024x683)photo LH 432 (28) (1024x683)


FA's were helping passengers settle by storing coats in the front closet and offering drinks. The captain introduced himself and gave us some information about our destination. The doors were finally closed and we taxied to the runway for take off. There was some great airplane spotting with a LH A380 ahead of us. However, I did not have a window seat and couldn't take any pictures.

This was the best that I managed to do under the restrictive circumstances.

photo LH 432 (25) (1024x683)


After take off the service started with the distribution of hot towels that were flimsy and reminded me of the ones that U.S. carriers offer.

photo LH 432 (29) (1024x683)


Followed by the menus featuring chef Stromberg from the German national football team. Here is what's for dinner and snack.




Wine menu

photo LH 432 - menu (5) (593x1024)photo LH 432 - menu (6) (524x1024)photo LH 432 - menu (7) (683x1024)


The beverage carts made their way into the cabin signaling the start of the meal service. I had a mango passonfruit with sparkling water.

photo LH 432 (45) (1280x853)


Appetizer - honey gratinated Picandou (mild goat cheese) with vegetables and papaya.

photo LH 432 (46) (1280x853)photo LH 432 (47) (1280x853)photo LH 432 (52) (1280x853)


Salad with Balsamic dressing. Why even bother with this tiny portion of wilted greens.

photo LH 432 (49) (1280x853)photo LH 432 (50) (1280x853)


I had a glass of Riesling and water with this course. Breads were offered twice which was nice.

photo LH 432 (48) (1280x820)


At least the salt and pepper shakers were more fitting for this cabin.

photo LH 432 (51) (1280x853)


For the main dish I chose the tenderloin of veal with white asparagus and parsley potatoes. White asparagus were in season and you saw them everywhere. The portion was small and the FA asked me if I wanted melted butter and freshly ground pepper to which I replied yes.

photo LH 432 (60) (1280x853)photo LH 432 (1) (1024x644)photo LH 432 (56) (1280x853)


It was nice that a beverage cart immediately followed the meal cart, refreshing beverages choices along the way.
Afterwards the dessert cart was rolled out and I asked for the rice pudding accompanied by fresh fruit salad.

Dessert cart being simultaneously offered on the other side.

photo LH 432 (61) (1280x853)


Meanwhile on my side…




I can't help but compare this rice pudding with the TK version, which was more appealing.

photo TK 1617 SAW-FRA (52) (1280x853)


I requested a cup of fruit tea and the FA added a box of chocolates.

photo LH 432 (67) (1280x853)


Cabin after the meal service with a tray of water and juices. Later during the flight a FA passed several times offering drinks and chocolates. It seems that chocolates are quite popular as a snack on LH.

photo LH 432 (76) (1024x683)photo LH 432 (77) (1024x683)


Eventually lights were turned off and window shades closed. My neighbor decided to get some sleep and he was trying to get comfortable by turning and tossing.

My neighbor at the beginning (this was the only pic that took out of consideration). Throughout his rest I saw him sleeping on the side, then facing down, and finally back to his original position. How on earth can someone sleep on this seat? I tried but couldn't really get a restful sleep. At one point I thought I was dreaming and in the middle of Vertigo the movie.

photo LH 432 (78) (1024x683)


There was a magazine rack by my seat but most of the publications were in German, so I just grabbed a few for their pictures.

photo LH 432 (75) (1024x683)


WC's. There are two located right behind my seat in the galley area. Since they are in the middle of the cabin, they were compact and of course lacking a view.

photo LH 432 (71) (1024x683)photo LH 432 (72) (1024x683)photo LH 432 (73) (1024x683)


Got to love the sink with sensors.

photo LH 432 (74) (1024x683)


As we approached ORD, the snack service started about 1.5 hrs. before arrival with distribution of hot thick towels this time. There was no choice and it consisted of a soup and salad combination. A healthy snack, right? Not.

photo LH 432 (81) (1024x683)photo LH 432 (82) (1280x853)

The small salad with soggy croutons. Instead of buttermilk dressing we were given a lime-yogurt one. Yuck!

photo LH 432 (83) (1280x853)


BOUM! No, this is not the song by Charles Trenet, but the visual presentation of the currywurst with an exploding sauce effect on the small dish (à la AF). I had a few bites and left the rest. The sauce was more hot than spicy.

photo LH 432 (84) (1280x853)


The best part of the snack, although it was also small and somewhat dry.

photo LH 432 (88) (1280x846)


The landing into ORD was nice with great views of the city. Unfortunately I did not have a window seat so this is all that I managed to take.

photo LH 432 (92) (1024x683)


Immigration was quick and for the first time all U.S. citizens were directed to use self serving kiosks that were quickly verified by an agent. Once I exited I went to the ORD Hyatt Regency and called for a shuttle to pick me up. I was looking forward to a nice shower and a proper rest.

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Verdict

Lufthansa

7.0/10
Cabin6.5
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Meal/catering6.0

Lufthansa Business Lounge - 1Z

6.4/10
Comfort6.5
Meal/catering6.5
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Services6.5

Frankfurt - FRA

8.9/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness9.0

Chicago - ORD

8.6/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

The AC Maple Leaf lounge was wonderful and I am glad that I took the time to visit. It was roomy, had attentive staff, adequate food and most importantly it did not feel crowded. Instead you had the feeling that you were in an exclusive place that was conducive to relaxation, which is what every lounge should be.

The LH lounge on the other hand was busy with lots of traffic. This is expected as FRA is their major hub and when you are in a hub of this size something has to give. I did not stay here for long and preferred to wait at the gate area. Staff can be a bit rigid.

I suppose this was an average flight on LH, with crew that were polite and efficient, if lacking the charm and friendliness of my previous YVR-MUC one. The old J seats are not the most comfortable and the biggest issue I had was with the storage space and the slanted bed. It's a good thing that these seats are being replaced but not soon enough.

Catering was disappointing, ranging from small portions to items that were off tasting. I like the fact that LH tries to offer at least three choices for appetizers, but the execution of some of them does not always comes out as expected. The snack was just atrocious, in both presentation and taste. I find the soup and salad combination very frugal and not something that is worthy of a premium cabin. It screams cost cutting to me. It is better to offer something a bit more substantial like a hearty sandwich and some fresh fruits and most importantly, provide a choice. The ability to choose is one of the most important perks of flying F or J.

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

The contributors of Flight-Report published 7 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Frankfurt (FRA) → Chicago (ORD).


Useful

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

The average flight time is 9 hours and 0 minutes.

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20 Comments

  • Comment 110392 by
    Esteban TEAM GOLD 11047 Comments

    Thanks for that great product. That seat is everything but a J class seat, it looks awful and you seat awful.
    The catering, while looking very tempting for the first service, looks disguting for the second service.

  • Comment 110393 by
    Esteban TEAM GOLD 11047 Comments

    Sorry, I meant report, not product :)

    • Comment 295656 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2295 Comments

      No worries. The snack was one of the worst meals that I have seen flying in a premium cabin. It's up there with my UA LAX-NRT meal in J - a failed interpretation of a Chinese dish with pork, lo mein an sweet plum sauce.

  • Comment 110399 by
    lagentsecret SILVER 11188 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this comprehensive FR

    Le salon feuille d'érable looks nice even if the food offer is quite average regarding the quality

    It seems to have plenty of space, a quiet zone and friendly attendants

    LH Business lounge is less appealing but still way above any north american lounge

    Nice spotting

    Waow how lucky you are being able to find a pleasant LH gate agent in FRA : it was never possible for me

    I remember this cabin in a former life, no I'm joking ;)

    Pre-departure drinks were offered consisting of water, orange juice or champagne.
    Certainly Sekt not champagne

    they would feature a special World Cup theme amenity kit
    To my eyes it could be a Fanhansa(how stupid motto) amenity kit
    BTW KL651 will be jealous that you received all these great cosmetics made in Germany

    You certainly like the sweet and salty dish by choosing this appetizer !
    The salmon would have been my choice

    Nothing yummy for the main :(

    With LH you have the choice between footsie, footsie and Vertigo but that's always an entertainment

    The snack is awful !

    How was the IFE ?

    At least you had friendly and efficient FAs

    See you soon for your next leg

    • Comment 295874 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2295 Comments

      Le salon feuille d'érable looks nice even if the food offer is quite average regarding the quality
      You should try it next time you are in FRA. I've heard that the food is better durin breakfast time. I wasn't there earlier enough to confirm that.

      LH Business lounge is less appealing but still way above any north american lounge
      It's not that hard to surpass the average U.S. domestic lounge. I think some of the F lounges and the Virgin Atlantic ones are the rare exceptions.

      Waow how lucky you are being able to find a pleasant LH gate agent in FRA : it was never possible for me
      Maybe it's my charm. You should know better. ;)

      I remember this cabin in a former life, no I'm joking ;)
      You seemed very familiar when I met you the first time. :P

      Certainly Sekt not champagne
      You are probably right, as usual. ;)

      BTW KL651 will be jealous that you received all these great cosmetics made in Germany
      No need to be, he can have all of them. I have my Clarins supply.

      You certainly like the sweet and salty dish by choosing this appetizer !
      The salmon would have been my choice
      I thought about the salmon, but did not want to repeat the asparagus again. I'm considerate and did not want to stink the WC's. :P

      Nothing yummy for the main :(
      LH should allow people in premium cabins to pre-order their meals. That would really be nonstop you.

      With LH you have the choice between footsie, footsie and Vertigo but that's always an entertainment
      It would be even more entertaining if you play footsie-footsie with the wrong person.

      The snack is awful !
      BOUM! no comments.

      How was the IFE ?
      I didn't use it much, but the small screen was disappointing.

  • Comment 110421 by
    kelval 122 Comments

    Thank you for this great report.

    Some English to French translations in the AC Maple Leaf lounge are pretty funny (Caesar spread --> Caesar propagation for ex)^^.

  • Comment 110427 by
    Numero_2 GOLD 9724 Comments

    Thank you for sharing.

    This is an average LH Flight, with the old Star Trek seat and a rather poor catering.
    German gastronomy isn't known to be the best in Europe (we even have a joke about that), and the Currywurst you got makes no exception. Lol

  • Comment 110487 by
    KL651 TEAM 4468 Comments

    Thanks for this nice FR.
    Again, a not fully satisfying flight with LH. Some items on the menu did look good though.

    The new amenity kit is pretty nice, with German products (Nivea and Labello) and I like the pouch.

  • Comment 110529 by
    Chibcha 432 Comments

    All looked like a fine trip with that awesome AC lounge. I sometimes feel shame for LH for their bloopers, the hardware not being up to expectations or catering being cheap or poorly presented...the crew seemed really nice, and that is I guess one of their biggest assets.

    Its a shame that you didn't get to score a window seat, I bet the views of Chi-town whilst landing were awesome.

    Thanks for sharing this nice FR, Saludos!

    • Comment 295735 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2295 Comments

      I am usually an aisle person but will take a window if I can easily get out without disturbing my neighbor.

      Ever since I became a member of FR, I see the value of having a window seat for spotting and aerial shots. ;)

      FRA can be great for spotting, especially when the aircraft is taxiing.

  • Comment 110554 by
    flyingjapans 1369 Comments

    Thank you for this FR Adan.

    The new Air Canada Lounge seems to be pretty nice and I particularly like the pictograms on the shower doors.

    Long haul Business seats on LH really are outdated.

    The first tray is well presented, whereas the snack service just looks like an economy tray with business class dishes, this is clearly unacceptable.

    Thanks for sharing. I looked at your pictures of berlin on facebook. I like them :-)

    • Comment 295736 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2295 Comments

      Glad you liked those pics. Those are the kosher ones. ;)

      The AC lounge in FRA is worth a detour in my opinion and if you have a long layover, just visit them. If anything, the sense of serenity and less crowded environment should be enough incentives in my humble opinion.

  • Comment 110700 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5093 Comments

    Great report! Nice pics of lounge hopping and planespotting! It must have been rough going back to the old slip n' slide seats after trying the new full-flats on the way over to Europe. And the catering is still nothing to write home about. Yet it seems that it was a pleasant flight in general and that's the most important thing!

  • Comment 110752 by
    Caribel 113 Comments

    After having experienced AC new FRA lounge, it could be said you turned a new leaf in lounge atmosphere :).

    Catering is dictated by how many paying passengers are in the premium cabins. The more a particular route fills with upgrades the more challenging the selection on board. You may also notice because the crew is specially friendlier when the passenger manifesto lists more full revenue passengers.

    Gracias por transportarme a tu mundo de viajes!

    • Comment 295947 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2295 Comments

      Al contrario, gracias por tu visita la cual siempre es placentera.

      Ideally crew should always be friendly, especially in a premium cabin regardless of the number of full revenue passengers. Of course reality is often completely different.

      It was quite a contrast between the AC and LH lounges. However, I find that the most disappointing lounges are operated by third parties or contracted ones (with few exceptions).

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