Review: Lufthansa First Class 747-8 Frankfurt To Los Angeles

Introduction: Pulling Off A Very Special Surprise Trip
Review: St. Regis New York
How I Pulled Off A Surprise Trip… Sort Of
Review: Air Serbia Business Class A330 New York To Belgrade
Review: Aman Sveti Stefan Montenegro
Review: Dining At Aman Sveti Stefan
Review: Shangri-La Paris
Review: Lufthansa Lounge Paris Airport
Review: Lufthansa First Class 747-8 Frankfurt To Los Angeles


After flying from Paris to Frankfurt, we had just an 85 minute connection before our flight to Los Angeles. While Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal is one of my favorite lounges in the world, we didn’t really have enough time to visit it. That’s because it’s actually located outside the terminal, so we would have had to walk along the outside roadway of the airport, and then would have gone back through security at the FCT. So while the FCT is ideal if you have a long layover or your travel originates in Frankfurt, it’s not ideal if you have a short connection.

So we visited the A Concourse First Class Lounge, which was near where our flight was departing from. The catch is that Lufthansa only drives you to the plane if you’re departing from a different concourse than the lounge you’re using, so when using this lounge we’d have to board on our own (the inhumanity, I know!). 😉

As we entered the lounge the friendly associate said “you are of course welcome to use this lounge, but you will not be driven to the plane. If you prefer, you could make the 10 minute walk to the First Class Lounge in the B Concourse, and then you would be driven to the plane. It’s completely up to you.”

What great service on his part to recommend that, and it’s a stark contrast to the associate at the lounge in Paris who didn’t even want to let us use the lounge we were entitled to.

We walked over to the B Concourse First Class Lounge, hung out there for 30 minutes, and then at 1:30PM we were driven to our plane. There was one other passenger being driven in the car with us, and he was a grade-A you-know-what. I’ve never seen someone quite like this.

The entire drive to the plane he was yelling into his phone cursing. “Listen here you f&*#ing a@@hole, if this isn’t done by tomorrow I’m gonna kill you.” “You’re not hearing me, you fa&&it.” It was insult after insult after insult. I was in disbelief.

On the plus side, I did enjoy the views as we were driven to the plane. 😉


Lufthansa 747-8 Frankfurt Airport


Lufthansa A380 Frankfurt Airport

Eventually our Porsche Cayenne pulled up to the plane, and we were taken up in the service elevator to the jet bridge, where the driver handed us over to the crew.


Lufthansa first class car transfer

Lufthansa 450
Frankfurt (FRA) – Los Angeles (LAX)
Tuesday, May 30
Depart: 2:05PM
Arrive: 4:40PM
Duration: 11hr35min
Aircraft: Boeing 747-8
Seat: 3D (First Class)

I’ve reviewed Lufthansa’s 747-8 first class many times before, so will be keeping this review relatively brief. If you want lots of info about the seat, see my previous reviews.

By the time we boarded, four of the eight first class seats were occupied. Then there were the three of us who had just been driven to the plane, meaning that in the end there was one empty seat in first class. Ford and I selected seats 3D & 3G. On one hand I don’t love them because they’re quite exposed, though they’re also the only seats that are truly together, so they seemed like the best option. Oh, we also booked the morning of, so we didn’t have much of a choice. 😉


Lufthansa 747-8 first class cabin

The flight attendants were absolute delights. As usual there were two taking care of first class. The flight attendant primarily working in the cabin (rathe than in the galley) was a French Canadian German. She was born in Canada, lived in France, and now lives in Germany. Her German was perfect, so I actually didn’t pick up on this until Ford mentioned she had a non-German English accent (which I guess I don’t pick up on so much since I’m used to it). Sure enough, she lived in Canada for much of her life.

Once settled in we were offered the usual amenities, including pajamas and amenity kits.


Lufthansa first class pajamas & amenity kit


Lufthansa first class pajamas

Last time I flew Lufthansa there were Rimowa amenity kits, which wasn’t the case this time around


Lufthansa first class amenity kit

The contents were the same as before — including La Prairie amenities — but the bags themselves just weren’t the same.


Lufthansa first class amenity kit


Lufthansa first class La Prairie amenities

Moments later we were offered warm towels, which always have a great scent on Lufthansa.


Lufthansa first class hot towel

We were also offered drinks, and selected champagne, which was served with macadamia nuts. Nom nom. Lufthansa is known to mix up their first class champagne every few months, and on this flight they were serving 2003 Cuvee Louise. This was my first time having this champagne, and while it was good, it wasn’t among my favorites.


Lufthansa first class pre-departure champagne & nuts

The menu and wine list were also distributed.


Lufthansa first class menu

As we waited for boarding to finish, the moron who was in the car with us was still yelling on his cell phone. Actually, at this point he was pacing around the cabin yelling into his phone. He dropped an “f bomb” every few seconds (he alternated between f&ck and f&g), and I could tell the crew was horrified.

By 1:50PM boarding was complete, though moments later the captain came on the PA to inform us that we would be delayed due to thunderstorms. The entire airport had shut down, and he predicted that it could be a couple of hours. On the plus side, he said the flight time was only 10hr30min, which is faster than usual, so we’d be able to make up some time once airborne. Oh well, I guess there are worse places to endure a delay.

Meanwhile the crazy guy in first class flipped out. “It’s no big deal, this delay can take all day as far as I’m concerned, I just have a big movie premier tonight in San Diego.” God bless the Germans, because the flight attendant responded with “I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not.” Hah. Way later in the flight, after takeoff, he told the crew that they needed to call American Airlines to make sure that they held his connecting flight to San Diego.

At this point the purser announced that they would began a drink and snack service in economy to make the wait pass more quickly. Meanwhile in first class they served the amuse bouche, which consisted of wild salmon tartare with mango carpaccio.


Lufthansa first class amuse bouche

Later on I ordered a cappuccino as well.


Lufthansa first class cappuccino

Meanwhile our special friend started pacing around the cabin and looking at people, clearly wanting to start a conversation. Everyone ignored him, except the guy in 2K, who was a German HON Circle member (Lufthansa’s top tier elite status, which requires earning 600,000 elite qualifying miles every two years). They started a long and loud conversation — they were both clearly a bit drunk — which you couldn’t not hear.

I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen two people so insecure start a conversation so publicly. The German started talking about how he was headed to Las Vegas, and how his company recommended he fly nonstop on Condor in business class. “What do they think I am, a peasant? I only fly first class.”

Of course the other guy needed to make sure he measured up, so he started talking about how he only flies first class as well. “I’d never fly business class, oh God no. I’d rather die.” Then they started talking about how private jets are overrated and Lufthansa is the only way to fly.

The German guy asked the American guy where he lives. “This is home. Lufthansa first class.” GMAFB.

Eventually it came time to take meal orders. Our American guy said “you can take his order first, he’s a HON Circle and more special than me. I’m only a Senator. But then you can take my order next.” Dude, c’mon, it’s Lufthansa first class. Everyone is getting their meal choice.

The one thing I appreciated about the German guy is that he called out the American guy a bit:

“So what do you do?”
“You know, movies.”
“What about movies specifically?”
“You know, marketing, finance, etc.”
“Well marketing or finance? Those are two very different things?”

Other than that the conversation was just terrible. Again, I wasn’t meaning to eavesdrop, but these guys were drunk, yelling, and so obnoxious that it couldn’t be ignored. I’m happy they found one another, at least.

Anyway, at 3:45PM we finally began our pushback and by 4PM we were cleared for takeoff on runway 25C.

The seatbelt sign was off shortly after takeoff, at which point I connected to the wifi to start my day at the office. Lufthansa charges just 17EUR for wifi for the entire flight with no data caps, which is among the best pricing of any airline, especially given how fast it is.


Lufthansa wifi


Lufthansa wifi

15 minutes after takeoff the purser came through the cabin to welcome each passenger onboard. When she came up to me she said “are you the person who flies everywhere for free? I Google all my first class guests before the flight.” Heh, not sure that’s totally accurate, but…

About 30 minutes after takeoff the meal service began. I was pretty hungry at this point. The menu read as follows:

The beverage list read as follows:

Tables were quickly set, including a bread selection.


Lufthansa first class table setting

I chose garlic bread and pretzel bread. YUM.


Lufthansa first class bread selection

I love how when departing Frankfurt, Lufthansa has “First Class” stamped on the butter. It’s such great attention to detail.


Lufthansa first class butter

Next up was the caviar course off a trolley. The caviar portion wasn’t huge, but other than that Lufthansa has among the best caviar presentations of any airline.


Lufthansa first class caviar service

After that appetizers were served. The choices included a prawn cocktail, pomegranate couscous with feta cheese and cashew nuts, veal involtini with fresh turnip salad and wild garlic sour cream, and mixed leaf lettuce with sautéed mushrooms, tomatoes and pumpkin seeds accompanied by basil dressing.

On Lufthansa you can select all of them if you’d like. I had all of them except the veal, though Ford had it, and I still snapped a picture of it. The appetizers were excellent.


Lufthansa first class appetizers

After that there was an apricot sorbet with some champagne poured in it. Certainly one of the tastier palate cleansers I’ve had (though come and think of it, I’m not sure how much palate cleansing it did).


Lufthansa first class sorbet

For the main course I ordered the sole grenoble style with caper tomato butter, arugula and spinach, and potato and cottage cheese mash. It was good, though personally sole isn’t my favorite kind of fish.


Lufthansa first class main course

Ford had the  fried corn-fed poulard with spiced citrus sauce, wok fried vegetables and topinambour mash.


Lufthansa first class main course

Probably the best dish on the menu would have been the white asparagus, but after having it a while back, I think I had my quota for this decade.

The desserts were fabulously complex, as is the norm on Lufthansa.

I had the rhubarb, elderflower and strawberry.


Lufthansa first class dessert

Ford had the melon strawberry gazpacho with sour cream ice cream.


Lufthansa first class dessert

The desserts were actually better than usual for Lufthansa. As someone with a sweet tooth, I can’t help but think that my addiction could have been avoided if as a kid my mom offered me things like strawberry gazpacho and rhubarb and elderflower for dessert. 😉

To finish off the meal I had a cup of coffee, along with a chocolate.


Lufthansa first class coffee


Lufthansa first class chocolate

We were also offered bottled water.


Lufthansa first class bottled water

Lufthansa is incredibly consistent, and this flight was no exception. The meal service was done with about eight hours remaining to Los Angeles. I had a ton of work to catch up on, so while the cabin lights were dimmed and everyone else went to sleep, I just worked for the rest of the flight.

Noticing that I was up, the crew proactively brought me some snacks a few hours later.


Lufthansa first class snack

Finally 90 minutes before landing another snack was served. The menu read as follows:

Once again, the table was set and a bread selection was offered.


Lufthansa first class snack service

I ordered the gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce, cherry tomato confit, and deep-fried sage.


Lufthansa first class snack

Ford ordered the caesar salad with chicken breast.


Lufthansa first class snack

For dessert I had the strawberry cake.


Lufthansa first class dessert

Ford had the vanilla ice cream with warm cherries.


Lufthansa first class dessert

I also had a cappuccino to finish off the meal.


Lufthansa first class cappuccino

The rest of the flight was smooth, and we touched down at LAX at 5:25PM on runway 25L, and were at the gate about five minutes after that. Given our delayed departure, an arrival delay of under an hour wasn’t half bad.

Lufthansa first class bottom line

Lufthansa continues to have one of the most consistent first class products in the world. There’s so little variance between flights on them, as the cabin is comfortable, service is excellent, etc. There’s something to be said for always knowing what to expect in Lufthansa first class. The only negative part of this experience were a couple of the other passengers.

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Comments

  1. Lucky, what name does the special friend in first post under in this blog? I have a few guesses.

  2. The rude man reminds me of the guy on my BA London to Venice flight a few years ago. Carried on about his self importance and the 8 hour delay due to a French Air Controllers’ Strike. Sadly, he and his wife sat next to me. Flight attendants were so polite, despite him hurling abuse at them (and then the Captain – quietened down after being threatened to be removed). I was in disbelief when he demanded an entire overhead bin be cleared so his wife’s Prada handbag could be stowed. But karma is always wonderful to behold. They had failed to reschedule their airport transfer due to the delay and so were left stranded near midnight at Marco Polo airport. Watching them try to negotiate tickets for a transfer while I was whisked away by my chauffeur was very satisfying.

  3. One of the things that has always bugged me about LH’s caviar service is the lack of a proper spoon.. I always find it a bit difficult to eat

  4. “This is home. Lufthansa first class.” GMAFB.

    Can anyone help with what GMAFB is?

    Love the review… thanks for a couple laughs about the other passengers!

  5. These other passengers seem like complete a*holes who want attention
    The kind of people that think because they have money and travel First, they are better than anyone else
    Believe me, money certainly doesn’t bring class
    The crew should have requested they lower the tone as it’s disturbing others

  6. Nice little morning laugh thanks to the two dbags in your cabin. Thanks for adding that story in

  7. “Oh well, I guess there are worse places to endure a delay.”

    Yeah…you could have been in economy! lol

  8. So Lufthansa is now offering real dishes as it’s pre-landing meal? No more buffet-style choose what you want on your plate?

  9. Have you flown Swiss first class? I did and I feel there are similarities especially amenities/ given that Swiss belongs to LH group?

  10. @Julia, that’s right. Not sure when they made the switch but it’s been over a year at least. I quite like the new pre-arrival service. They usually have a burger among other things and it’s delicious.

  11. “are you the person who flies everywhere for free? I Google all my first class guests before the flight.”

    That is the key difference between Germans and Swiss. Swiss would still Google you, but for discretionary reasons NOT admit they had done such a thing. Whereas a German might say this in ‘friendly wonder’ it still is inappropriate. Because it somehow strikes me as somewhat degrading even though that wasn’t the intent. Hence why a Swiss would never say that because of the potential for causing offense.

  12. “This is home. Lufthansa first class.”

    Although he might have been a jerk, that comment is hilarious!

  13. Generally sounds wonderful, with the exception of the very mediocre still wines. They might be ok in J on AA, but certainly not LH FC quality. Even the 2003 Cuvee Louise is a disappointment; the last time we flew NRT-LAX on JAL they were pouting Salon.

    Oh well, at least they had Jonnie Walker Blue. 😉

  14. Matt’s Weinprobe notes on Pommery :” this is truly delicate champagne. You can only find it occasionally on Lufthansa, and if you do I suggest enjoying it (lots of it) by itself, or alternatively no further than the caviar course.”

    Or if you truly don’t love it just toss the bottle at an undesirable neighbor’s seat. 😉

  15. Do you know if they’ll bring back the Rimowa amenity kit? I read on Flyertalk and it seams it’s a seasonal thing…wonder if you can provide some insights into this.

  16. @Ruizhi — I see no reason why they wouldn’t. They change up the amenity kit every so often, but Rimowa is always in the rotation. Currently it’s Jil Sander (which is also what Ben had). Occasionally it is Bogner.

  17. So Funny…impossible that guy flies LH F that often and only is Senator. Not a big problem to get HON flying that route on a regular basis.

  18. My last LH F flight I was next to Scott Disick and Bella Thorne (who came up from biz class). If you thought this was rough…

  19. So I need to know…does anyone else see the menu and guess what Lucky will order? 🙂

  20. Lucky,

    How long was the delay to change your aeroplan award tickets? This post says you changed in the morning but I thought you changed late evening European time the night before. I plan something similar this summer…and was wondering how far aeroplan was behind united…

  21. Where’s the punchline regarding your charming companions in F? How long did it take for the sedatives slipped in their drinks by the purser to take effect?

  22. @Lucky

    Nit-picking here, but you DO NOT have to clear Immigration when arriving in Germany from France.

    Nice work otherwise… and thanks for sharing the tip about going to a different concourse in order to be driven to the aircraft.

    As for the B-Movie producer traveling on your flight, it surprises me that the crew tolerated him. Nothing like someone else raining on your pleasant travel experience.

  23. I’d love it if there was a massive twist in the tale and it was actually Ford tearing strips off Daniel for late submission of another Norweigian trip report.

  24. Nice review I have flown Emirates First , Swiss & of course Lufthansa but amongst all Lufthansa beats them all. Service, Lounge , Food Quality & personal care are the best. Only regret they stopped Rimowa kit

  25. NEVER stop over at the F Class lounge in A if you have to catch an International Flight. Use the FRAPORT gate to gate service, spend the 90 Euros, and have them take you seamlessly thru VIP Security, Passport Control and to the F Class lounge in B from where they will gladly drive you to your plane! Worth doing if you are going to enjoy a F Cabin experience on LH

  26. Great review, and I love the fact you call out the d’bags in first class with you. A lot of people wouldn’t go as far as you did, and I respect you for including that in the story!

  27. Ben did you or Ford consider asking him to knock it off?? I would’ve spoken up, especially since he was using such offensive language. Would’ve taken all my restraint not to just smack him hahaha! So inappropriate

  28. This dude sounds remarkably similar to a guy who emailed the company inbox at my last job. He just kept typing “FRAUD!!!” in all caps and threatening to sue us. He was also in film in LA (I think he was one of the executive producers for the Power Rangers series), and I’m guessing he had a blast in the 80s.

    There was a similar character in the SilverKris First lounge in HK on that flight you were on in April. This dude had some sort of assistant with him, and was loudly talking about how he used to have a custom Bentley (“You should have seen it, it was gorgeous”) but now doesn’t find happiness in cars. He then had his assistant tuck him into the couch using his suit jacket and he just laid there and stared at people walking around the place. Makes me really appreciate AA Business where people are seemingly normal and just trying to get from point A to point B.

    I definitely don’t think it’s insignificant to point out unruly/entitled customers. The airlines should be dealing with them accordingly so their other customers aren’t alienated.

  29. @Julia: they changed the second service in March last year

    @Lucky: actually, the walk to the FCT is shorter than to FCL B and, as mentioned by others, would not have caused to clear immigration

  30. The French Canadian FA you had is positively lovely. She was on my HKG-FRA flight back in May and it was the best LH F flight I’ve ever taken.

  31. Is there anyway to know which amenity kits will be given out on which flights? I have my first Lufthansa first class flight coming up next week and selfishly want the Rimowa kit 🙂

  32. I would have suggested that Loud Mouth Movie guy do something rude with that “first class” butter…

  33. @ Adam — Hah, aside from reading recent reviews, don’t think they publish it in advance. But I suspect Ben (above) is correct.

  34. @ Jack — Yeah, early on I had considered asking the guy to knock it off shortly after we got driven to the plane. But it was clear to me he had such ego issues that he might be the type of person who actually throws a punch, or something. It just didn’t seem worth it, and frankly it was almost sort of entertaining. I had considered asking the flight attendant to get them to knock it off, but I feel like that would have put her in a really awkward situation. That’s especially true since one of them was a HON Circle member, and crews are taught to treat them like Gods, so…

  35. CAVIAR SERVICE: not sure I agree with comments that they don’t use an appropriate spoon to serve. The protocol is to use Mother of Pearl or Plastic and never stainless steel/silver. In the 2 flights I have taken in the past 72 hrs they used plastic each time. What is wrong with that? However looking at the pic of your serving I must confess it looks pretty light! Did they ask you if you wanted more caviar? They almost always do….! Did they offer you a shot of chilled vodka to go with the caviar? Sometimes one needs to ask for it.

    CHAMPAGNE: fully agree with you 2003 Cuvee Louise by Pommery is far from the best served on LH

    SEATS G & D: I invariably travel with my better half and on a 748 3D/G are the only 2 truly “together” in the front cabin (on 346 and 380 the choice is 2D/G and 1D/G) and sitting together in D/G, albeit “exposed”, is better than being separated by the aisle (748) or the centre row! The sense of exposure only persists prior to take off. It feels perfectly private thereafter. Trust me.

    WINE SELECTIONS: fully agree with the comments that it could be a whole lot better than what they put forward

    RIMOWA KITS: next time you are on a flight where they DO offer them (and they rotate the distribution!) ask for an extra (they usually oblige!) And to get an assortment of colours ask to see the options (outer box colour) of the Male and Female versions!

  36. @Lucky I was once driven off a 747 on a small minibus at Heathrow when I was 7 yrs old . I remember how big the plane was looking up at it and how loud it was. My family was flying standby and they had miscounted a passenger who was in the bathroom. We were party of 4 and there were only 3 seats so they had to drive out to the plane and fetch us off. The plane was already down a runway ready for takeoff. Granted it was 1986 I don’t understand why my parents didn’t have a poloroid on them to take some photos.

  37. I agree on the positive experience. I flew the reverse route last week, however I walked to FCT even if my connection was just 70 minutes. You have to walk anyway to get to either FCLs and with 5 minutes more you are in FCT, where you have a guaranteed drive to connecting flight (provided it is on LH, LX, OS or EN). Technically FCT is not an arrival lounge, but I was never denied access after arriving in F and continuing with one of the above. This time I had time to shower and a fast bite before being driven to plane parked in off position. As you said, LH is always consistent and F services in FRA are second to none (never tried AF in CDG though)

  38. Regarding your first class mate: Some of these people are simply drugged – they hate flying because they could loose their pathetic life. Then they add some alcohol and end up being idiots. Quite sure he does not travel too much first class.

  39. I would rather fly in Y next to some nice people a thousand times before flying in F next to the person you encountered. That won’t stop me from trying to book LH F one of these days, but what you described is basically my nightmare scenario.

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