Just got off my first Lufthansa 747-8 flight… wow!

While I’m a huge fan of the Airbus 380 in terms of onboard comfort, there’s no denying the plane is hideous on the outside. For me the 747 is still the queen of the skies, though there’s no doubt the 747 fleet for most airlines has been aging (if they haven’t retired it yet). That’s why I’m thrilled to see the 747-8, which has all the beautiful curves of the 747-400, and most of the modern features of the Airbus 380.

I had the chance to fly Lufthansa’s first 747-8 today, and I can’t even begin to say what a beauty the new plane is. This is the first time that Lufthansa has first class in the nose of the 747, and with only eight seats it sure is a private experience and spacious cabin (compared to many other airlines, which cram 14 first class seats in the same area).

Lufthansa configured the 747-8 with the same first class product they have on the Airbus 380, as opposed to the first class product they have on the 747-400. The 747-8 also features Lufthansa’s new business class, which is only on a few aircraft so far.

While I’ll have a full trip report soon (first I have to finish my Ireland report!), here are just a few pictures:

All the positive stuff about the aircraft aside, I do have to mention (for the millionth time) that Lufthansa needs to stop trying so hard with their first class catering ex-Frankfurt. Lufthansa is among my favorite airlines in the world, though I really feel they try too hard on their first class meal service, and some of it just doesn’t translate well six miles up, no matter which celebrity chef is responsible for the menu in a given month.

This menu featured such delicacies as gently cooked guinea fowl, gazpacho, saddle of reindeer (leave Rudolph alone!), olive ice cream, and veal balls.

Makes me long for a shrimp appetizer, filet mignon, and (non-olive) ice cream sundae.

Comments

  1. Love the sound of that menu. They should make sure there is always one “safe” option but I’d hate to see them dumb down the menu.

  2. Same deal with the business class food. I took the 747-8 about a month ago and stayed in the upper deck. Almost everything was great about the aircraft, but man, the food and wine was really sub par.

    I really hate that biz/first hardly ever seems to have individual climate control (i.e. the air nozzle), especially when they do not have the cabin temperature set properly. The 747-8 is no exception. I was burning up trying to sleep.

  3. @ JettyBoy — Right now it’s just flying Frankfurt to Washington, though it’ll soon start service to Delhi and Los Angeles as well.

  4. I loved the plane when I flew on it as well – although the reindeer was an interesting but tasty menu option. The only downside of being in 1A was the snoring from the passenger in 1K…

  5. Lucky, I actually asked for the business class menu; two long haul LH’s in 24 hours I had enough of te raindeer specialties and just wanted a meal!

  6. As someone who flies LAX to India, I can’t wait until they start these on the LAX/DEL/BLR routes. 748s all the way!

  7. From the pics, I noticed this F cabin has overhead bins. Do you prefer not having the overhead bins as it appears more spacious like a living room versus an airplane cabin.

  8. Lucky
    I can see from the pics that you were on the ground after being driven there.
    I did NOT like the “new” biz class seats on my recent trip. The center ones were the nest of a bad lot with space for the feet.
    I also think going to 8 in F was stupid. They should have kept 8 F on the top and 4 “new suites” to truly have an edge.

  9. lucky, expand your horizons and try some of that stuff on the menu…you might like it. 😉

  10. For the next 2-3 weeks when I check the availability, it shows the aircraft type as the following on different days – 74H (God knows what that is!), 747-400 (usual one) and the 747-8 (this one).

    Is that really so screwed up?

  11. Apurva – “74H” is the terminology LH uses for the 747-8. H is for “heavy”
    Oneeyejack – I have to disagree. The menu is needlessly esoteric this summer.

    Also have to agree with Lucky – the food westbound sucks this summer. Flew to Seattle two days ago and for our 11a.m. morning arrival we had “lunch” with such options as anchovies and octopus! Hmmm, how about a decent breakfast LH?!? BTW I had the veal “balls” as you call them, which are delicious – they are just north German style meatballs on rice with a caper sauce.

  12. i flew this plane on the upper deck when it was 6 days in service… needless to say my seat broke and the flight attendants could not figure out how to fix it until we were landing…

  13. Ben

    You have mentioned this is your most frequent Q: how do you fly LH F when USAIR stopped
    Letting their agents book F? And AC is not an option w their high surcharges — so can you enlighten us layman who would love to be in your shoes?

  14. No, H is not for “Heavy”. It’s for the 8th letter in the alphabet. Currently the code 748 is used by the prop plane, HS-748. Flown in the Canadian North among other places. Too bad the code couldn’t be 748 for the 747-800i but that’s how it is.

  15. As much as i enjoy the novelty of the A380, there is still nothing better than First Class of the nose of the 747, especially CX, OZ, and LH. But you are correct about the FRA catering, way too fancy and does not taste good at altitude. I actually find CX and OZ get it right with the catering in F.

  16. I should add though that the LH menu doesn’t read any stranger than say the stuff in the LX FCL which is great.

    Also, reindeer is just venison and guinea fowl may as well be chicken. Olive ice cream should work nicely as an alternative way of delivering the flavour in a dish and veal meatballs doesn’t sounds strange at all.

    On the whole it certainly sounds better than the stuff TG serves in F and, at least for me, sounds like something I’d love to be eating.

  17. Seriously, you haven’t just decided to stuff yourself in the FCT beforehand, and just pick the edible stuff out onboard. And what’s wrong with cold soup?

  18. @ Mike — Much like on the A380, the 747-8 has personal lockers, so that’s where I stored all my stuff. I still found the cabin plenty spacious so didn’t mind the overhead bins, especially since they were huge and actually useful.

    @ JetAway — That’s the 747-400, not the 747-8.

    @ Apurva — 74H=747-8

    @ gluedtothewindow — It was one of my favorite features as well!

  19. @ Lantean — There were several technical issues with the seat on my flight as well.

    @ Michael — There are still ways to get around Starnet blocking with US Airways…

    @ Carl — Totally agree re: CX and OZ.

    @ Anonymous — That’s exactly what I did.

  20. I flew FRA-Bos yesterday too. Can’t believe I missed you in the FCT. I agree with the food, the amuse bouche was trying way too hard.

  21. We got in from LHR at 10AM and left right at after noon. (They said we grabbed the last two rubber ducks too, my first)

  22. +1 on good looks of the new staircase to the Upper Deck (although it gets rid off a closet. Every older 747 I’ve been on have had a smoke barrier that looked like it could be slid into place at floor level of the UD at the top of the stairs to prevent smoke from first collecting in the UD. Any knowledge on how this would happen on the LH748?

  23. @annjackson — it appears Lucky won’t reveal his technique “ways round starnet blocking to secure LH F” because he a) he offers a booking service with this particular technique so it’s a proprietary issue with him or b) what he is doing is something he is not comfortable with sharing to the general public. (I hope it is the former.)

    I’ve asked him many times how to do it — his blog is great for showing us his luxury travel but not so great for the HOW TO obtain the luxury travel.

    I’d gladly paypal him $5 and encourage hundreds to do the same if he would just let us layman know. After all, isn’t that the point of the blog: to inform the readers? I realize he has to make a living, but his credit card links are very lucrative for him and you would think he would divulge this — but maybe by divulging, he dillutes the advantage he now holds?

    Of course, when HE needs help on something, like his recent car accident, he is more than eager to ask for it. Wish he would consider our request in that same vein.

    You can see I’m speculating, but since this question never gets answered, I’m forced to offer rank speculation.

  24. @ Michael — I’ve shared how to do it in the past, and am happy to do so again. Have been posting from my iPhone for the past 24 hours as I’m traveling. Am happy to explain when I get home this afternoon and have access to a computer. Sorry if it seemed like I had other motives, as that’s not the case.

  25. Great to her, Lucky. And happy your motives are to help your readers, as I thought they would be!

    This is one of the most valuable pieces of info out there — as even on Flyertalk, they speak how it is virtually impossible to get around Starnet blocking.

    As an aside, what will be interesting is if the merger goes through — and how all of us with a ton of USAIR miles will be (hopefully) with a ton of AA miles. Many have speculated it is a good idea to jump on those 100 percent USAIR bonuses since if they do merge, you won’t see anything like that with AA…

  26. @ coalharbour — They haven’t announced it officially yet, though I suspect it will be in the next couple of months.

  27. @ Michael and others — To answer the question regarding US Airways’ Lufthansa Starnet blocking, it takes a lot of patience. Ultimately nothing has changed over the past two years, it’s still possible to get a manual sell with US Airways so they essentially request and confirm the space with Lufthansa, since it’s actually there.

    My strategy is to call and ask the agent if I can give them the flights I’d like to book (in the form of route, flight number, date, and class of service). When they can’t find the space on the flight I want, I ask if they wouldn’t mind trying to request the space.

    Usually they’ll respond with “well it won’t work, Lufthansa isn’t giving us the space.” At that point I say “well, would you mind trying, I’ve had the same issue lately and the space does come back HK when requested” (HK=hold confirmed=confirmed, FYI).

    Then they enter all the flight info (flight number, preferred cabin, etc.), and it almost always comes back confirmed.

    Again, lots of agents are unwilling to do so either because they don’t know how to or are told they’re not allowed to.

    Let me know if you have any other questions, and hopefully that works!

  28. Lucky – no offense but First Class is catering to the tastes of people who can afford to buy full price first class tickets (note I don’t fall into that category other than for work trips) rather than people booking awards as you provide negligible revenue in comparison.
    Even though I would also only be flying on award tickets I love that they have more sophisticated options and maybe you can broaden your horizons. Guinea fowl and veal meatballs are rather pedestrian (have you ever had squab? May sound esoteric but it’s essentially duck – quite amazing actually).

    That being said I do agree they should have some more traditional alternative options and I can see how these dishes might not translate well in the air (it is still catering after all and even if prepared in the air, no airplane kitchen provides the same amenities as a standard kitchen).

  29. @lucky I had the Reindeer saddle 6 weeks ago on the 388 from FRA-JFK. It was really spectacular. I’d take it over a fillet any day. And I had the fillet at the MUC F lounge 😀

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