Beaches and Mountains: Lufthansa First Class Frankfurt to Bangkok

Trip Report Index


Lufthansa 782
Frankfurt (FRA) – Bangkok (BKK)
Wednesday, July 27
Depart: 10:45PM
Arrive: 2:10PM (+1 day)
Duration: 10hr25min
Aircraft: Boeing 747
Seat: 82C (First Class)

On the 747 Lufthansa has first class on the upper deck. They used to have 16 first class seats on the upper deck in a 2-2 configuration, but have recently started installing a new product which has only eight seats. In the meantime they’re literally blocking every other seat in first class, meaning they’re only selling eight first class seats. It’s some of the most expensive seat blocking in the world, though it sure as hell makes for a nice flight.

Tonight we were flying the old configuration. While the hard product is far from modern, there’s something classic about it that I love.

As soon as we got to the upper deck we were welcomed aboard by two smiling German flight attendants, addressing me in German and my friend in English.

We had seats 82C and 82H assigned, which are the two aisle seats in the second row of the upper deck. Since the window seats are blocked, we literally had the entire row of four seats to ourselves.


View from row 82

Lufthansa’s idea with the seat blocking is that one seat acts as a bed while the other seat acts as a seat for lounging/dining, though when traveling with someone else it’s quite nice to be able to sit next to one another and talk.

As soon as we settled in the super-cheery flight attendants introduced themselves and offered us pre-departure beverages of choice. I just went with a glass of water, which was served with macadamia nuts.


Pre-departure beverage

Shortly thereafter we were offered pajamas and amenity kits. I love the fact that Lufthansa switches up their pajamas every few months, making it easy to build up a diverse collection. In tonight’s case the shirt was white while the pants were blue.


Pajamas


Amenity kit and slippers

I immediately changed into the pajamas given the late night departure.

The flight attendant also presented us with a card describing Lufthansa’s first class seat blocking, asking us how we wanted our seats set up. She suggested we use the seats on the left for lounging, and she could already turn the seats on the right into beds, which she did while we were still on the ground.


Seats in bed mode


Card describing seat blocking

As departure time rolled around the captain announced a slight delay due to weather. Because of thunderstorms earlier in the evening they had to stop loading bags, so they were just finishing that up. He did however say that the flight time would only be 10 hours, meaning we should arrive on schedule.

We pushed back within about 15 minutes of our scheduled departure time with a full first class cabin and had a fairly quick taxi to the runway as the safety video played on the projector.

We had a long takeoff roll and hit quite a bit of chop on the climb out.

About 15 minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off and the flight attendants sprung into action.

As should be the case with any quality airline, the purser made the rounds in first class to introduce herself and offer us dinner menus.


Menus

The menu read as follows:

To start the service the flight attendants offered each of us a rose, followed by a hot towel and amuse bouche. Lufthansa’s first class towels have by far the nicest aroma of towels offered by any airline.


Rose


Hot towel


Amuse bouche

Now, as much as I love Lufthansa, I’m not a huge fan of their meal service. They’re quite possibly my favorite airline in the sky in spite of their meal service, actually. Perhaps I’m not sophisticated enough, or perhaps this food doesn’t translate well at 35,000, though the taste just isn’t right sometimes.

The amuse bouche wasn’t especially tasty (or aesthetically appealing, for that matter).

As our table was set up we were offered bread.

After that the appetizer cart was rolled around, and Lufthansa usually lets you choose the entire “tray” of them. The caviar was great, though the rest of it just wasn’t very well executed.


Appetizer setup

The next course was a salad, which you really can’t screw up. It was very good.


Salad

Then for the main course I had a Swiss noodle dish, which was phenomenal.


Main course

My friend had the lamb, which he really enjoyed.


Lamb

For dessert I went with the “chocolate dream” dessert. It was good, though no wet dream.


Chocolate dream

I ordered a White Russian with dessert.

At the flight attendants’ insistence I also went with the cheese plate, and asked for a small sample of each cheese. I was quite full so barely touched it.


Cheese plate

Then to finish off the meal each passenger was offered three chocolate “tablets.” I also ordered a cup of coffee.


Coffee and chocolate


Chocolate

While the food was only okay, it was one of the most enjoyable meals I’ve had in the sky. Not only did I have good company, but the flight attendants also seemed genuinely happy to be there, and really couldn’t have been more professional. After a rather disappointing flight on Singapore Airlines I realized that service on western airlines can be just as good, if not better, than service on Asian airlines.

At this point we were offered individual bottles of water.


Water

My friend, being the lightweight he is, went straight to sleep, though I stayed up. I browsed the entertainment selection though it wasn’t especially good, so I ended up just getting some work done on my laptop instead.

After a couple of hours I did go to sleep, and slept a solid three hours or so before being woken up about 90 minutes out of Bangkok.

The crew was once again smiling and started the service by offering us scented hot towels. Shortly thereafter we were presented with the breakfast menu and also landing card for Thailand.


Breakfast menu and landing card

The breakfast menu read as follows:

Service started with a glass of orange juice. Lufthansa also has excellent freshly squeezed orange juice, of which I had a couple of glasses.


Orange juice

For the breakfast I went with the fruit plate and muesli to start, along with a couple of things from the breadbasket (served with Nutella, of course!).


Breakfast

Then for the main course I went with scrambled eggs, which were prepared onboard.


Scrambled eggs

By the time the meal service finished up we were 30 minutes out of Bangkok and I changed out of my pajamas and restowed everything I had taken out during the flight.

The purser came by once again to thank us for flying Lufthansa, and this time around we talked for about 15 minutes about the industry in general. I appreciated her honesty since she shared both the good and the bad in the industry, though despite that it was clear she still loved her job.


Purser saying goodbye to passengers

We picked up some chop as we descended into Bangkok, and as we descended lower it became clear that it was a fairly nice day.


View as we began our descent


Final approach

After landing we had a 15 minute taxi to the gate past dozens of Thai aircraft, where we eventually parked next to a Swiss and Austrian plane.


Taxiing to our gate


European neighbors

Upon deplaning we proceeded for immigration where there was no queue thanks to the premium line we were able to use. We then waited at baggage claim for about 15 minutes before our bags arrived.


Baggage claim

Once we had our bags we hopped in a cab to Le Meridien Bangkok, where we would be spending the night before continuing to Phuket.

On the whole Lufthansa delivered once again. Perhaps I’m biased because I’m German, but I just love Lufthansa. There’s something incredibly classy about them that I can’t credit to any particular aspect of the experience, but rather the experience as a whole. I think they might just be my favorite airline…

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Comments

  1. Wait, you walked to immigration? My experience in BKK always included at least a connecting leg on TG so I’ve barely walked that airport at all.

  2. “For dessert I went with the ‘chocolate dream’ dessert. It was good, though no wet dream.”

    Probably in everyone’s best interest 🙂

  3. When I flew this service last September, the food was as you described. But, I ate so much caviar that the rest didn’t matter! Their caviar service is really outstanding.

  4. Ben – can you please disclose how you go about booking the award tickets that you do at short notice? I understand 1 pax at short notice, but 2? Something is not reconciling with me right now in terms of how you seem to jag last minute awards.

    It would help all of us if you could share how you go about booking the award tix that you do. Honestly, I’m less interested in where you’re going, gone, been ——more interested in the strategies how you got there.

    You never give us an insight into the mechanics on how it all works for you. All of a sudden, you’re flying off on some extravagant award (and I love it – we all do!), but you never disclose how you managed to get there.

    Food for thought.

  5. You are not biased Lucky. What sets LH apart from everyone else is they genuinely CARE about their passengers. While the Asian carriers are great, their robotic style almost seems scripted.

    But you are also correct about the food. At time it can be quite horrible. I had that awful prawn/strawberry dish on the A380 to SFO and it was horrific. Who thought that would taste good at altitude? But the trout was quite good.

  6. @ Simon — Thanks for the feedback, I’ll be sure to provide more details on how I book these tickets last minute for future trip reports. Truth be told, there’s not all that much to it. The best time to book award travel is just a few days before departure. A year out an airline might release one or two award seats, though close to departure when airlines realize that seats will go unsold, it’s not unusual for them to release almost all of their unsold seats for awards. So last minute it’s often possible to find two or more award seats on just about any flight you want.

  7. ” I love the fact that Lufthansa switches up their pajamas every few months, making it easy to build up a diverse collection. In tonight’s case the shirt was white while the pants were blue.”

    Well, I am glad I won’t see you in the FCL in your old PJ’s…

  8. Ben, I honestly believe disclosing to your audience how you manage to book last minute awards, will carry much more weight than sharing pics of the same stuff again and again.

    But then again, that (we) may not be your target audience, and I am ok with that. My view is, I’m getting a little tired of the same old stuff – but maybe that’s your target audience……I could get a lot more out of your blog by your sharing what rewards you book, how, methods, etc…..but I never see a blog from you that articulates how you secured a certain award tix etc.

    Take it for what it’s worth – I sincerely thoroughly enjoy your blog and what you do, but I feel you could add a key ingredient to your blog that would satisfy some many of your readers…..bargain awards tix….but I feel you’re not willing to share that.

  9. @ Simon — Trust me, I’m not trying to hold anything back. In the introduction post of the trip report I always try to explain how I booked the award. For this trip report, that can be found here:
    http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2011/10/05/beaches-and-mountains-introduction/

    I appreciate the feedback because I want to cater to what y’all want, and there’s no content that’s off bounds. The methods I use to book these award tickets are the same that I’ve outlined step-by-step in TravelSort articles about finding award space on Star Alliance, OneWorld, and SkyTeam.

    I also try to point out “amazing” award deals all the time (JAL 787, Singapore A380, Lufthansa A380 first class, etc.), all of which I’ve shared over the past couple of months.

    So trust me, if I’ve been withholding anything it certainly isn’t intentional. I’ll try to be more thorough in my introduction posts and maybe share step-by-step instructions of how I made the booking.

    Again, thanks for the feedback.

  10. “So trust me, if I’ve been withholding anything it certainly isn’t intentional. I’ll try to be more thorough in my introduction posts and maybe share step-by-step instructions of how I made the booking”

    I think this is what your reader community would look expect from you – a nice balance of how you booked the award, and the trip report that follows. For me, it’s less about the destination, it’s how to got there.

    Thanks for taking my feedback in the spirit in which it’s meant.

  11. “For dessert I went with the ‘chocolate dream’ dessert. It was good, though no wet dream.”
    rofl?!?!

  12. “I realized that service on western airlines can be just as good, if not better, than service on Asian airlines.”

    Somewhere, a dozen or so bloggers for airliners.net are howling with disagreement 😉

  13. @ JRL — Hmm, definitely wasn’t on my flight and can’t say I’ve heard too much about the status of the wifi project.

  14. “For dessert I went with the ‘chocolate dream’ dessert. It was good, though no wet dream.”

    If I didn’t know you weren’t much of a drinker I’d think you wrote this TR after one too many! A wet dream would be an unfortunate occurrence on an airplane…

  15. “Lufthansa also has excellent freshly squeezed orange juice, of which I had a couple of glasses.”

    And yet they serve awful concentrate stuff if you order pre-departure.

    Has anyone ever specifically requested the fresh squeezed orange juice outside of breakfast?

    I’ve never understood the two different OJs, love what they serve with breakfast, hate what they serve at other times, but oddly have never specifically asked for the fresh squeezed stuff at non-breakfast times.

    And really should.

    Anyone else’s experience with this appreciated 🙂

  16. On our recent LH F flight, ms jmd001 was offered the white PJ top. It was so sheer (i.e., transparent), she declined the offer.

  17. I also enjoy your reports and don’t even mind pictures of glasses of water. But please include the wine list with the menus. I don’t suppose you have the wine list for this flight, do you? You didn’t mention the Krug vs. Dom dilemma on this flight.

  18. Let me add that I appreciate your trip reports too (and second the request for wine lists)!

    Now, regarding the Pizokel that you had for main course: was there meat in it? I’m asking because every single LH First Class menu I’ve seen so far has had at least one vegetarian appetizer and one vegetarian main course. But if the Pizokel had meat, then this flight would have had no veggie main.

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