Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Community > Trip Reports
Reload this Page >

Lufthansa A380 First Class - Good when it works.

Lufthansa A380 First Class - Good when it works.

Old Mar 11, 11, 10:42 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Washington DC
Programs: Premier Executive, Continental Platinum, SPG Gold, IHG Platinum, Velocity Gold, Alaskan MPV Gold.
Posts: 461
Lufthansa A380 First Class - Good when it works.

This is the flight back from a wonderful vacation in Cape Town South Africa recently. The flights where on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. 3/9/11.

The flight back from Johannesburg to Frankfurt started out wonderfully. We arrived at the Jo berg airport and begin the long trek to the international first class check-in for Lufthansa. We didn't have to wait once there and went right to the counter to a very friendly check-in agent who took care of us and made sure our bags had made it from CPT to JNB on SAA and that Lufthansa now had them. He then called an attendant to walk us through security and to the SAA first class lounge after printing out our boarding passes. A quick thank you very much and we were on our way.

I love traveling in first class, the attendant took us right to the crew airport security line and right through it. No waiting. Off to the South African Airways Cycad first class lounge we went with our escort.

The lounge was amazing. The Johannesburg airport had been redone for the world cup last year and they really did it right. The space was huge and as soon as we sat down someone was there taking a drink order and offering us a menu to order either a snack or a full meal from. It almost gives the Lufthansa first class terminal in Frankfurt a run for its money. Once the plane was ready to board the attendant who walked us to the lounge found us and escorted us to the plane. Two ramps to the A380, one for economy class that went down to the first deck of the A380 and one heading up to the business and first class deck. We took the one going up and walked right on to the plane. There was a queue in the one going down, fun to make that observation. Once on board we settled into our seats, 1A and 2A.

Flight attendants were right there making sure we knew how the A380 worked and letting us know that we had personal lockers and asking if we would care for a drink. Champaign is always in order for a pre departure drink when traveling in first. We settled in and played with the entertainment system, which could be used before takeoff, until we departed.

Feeling the A380 take off is just an amazing experience. The power behind those engines just boggles the mind. You go faster and faster and then, just like that, you're in the air. It's still amazing to me that something that big can actually take off.

Once in the air I took my shoes off and started to get comfortable. My favorite position when in a premium cabin for my seat is a cradle position. The one where your legs are perched up and your chair is tilted back. It takes all the strain off your body and you can just enjoy the trip. This is where I started to get frustrated.

I would touch the buttons for it to go automatically into the position I wanted and nothing happened. I then tried it by hitting the separate buttons and it would jerk a little bit and move some bits but not the others. I tried making it work for a good long time before I finally called over the flight attendant. I was pretty sure I was doing something wrong but I didn't have any problems on the way down so I was confused. Well, I wasn't doing anything wrong, it seems that the chair was broken and that it was broken on the way down to JNB but that it didn't get fixed while it was there. So, now the flight attendant had to manually move the chair into the position I wanted, which is very inconvenient as you really want to be able to move the chair throughout the flight for all kinds of positions depending on what youíre doing, eating, watching a movie, reading etc. So for the dinner part of the flight I was in a position that I would not call optimal or too my liking but about as close as you could get to the cradle doing it manually. I then changed into my pajamas and the flight attendant manually made the seat into a bed and got it ready for me to go to sleep. I ended up watching a movie while in that position before going to sleep just because it was more comfortable but I got a creak in my neck from the angle.

Now, as I write this I know I was fortunate to be in first class on the A380 and I know complaining about the seat is a bit much but it's Lufthansa's flagship product and it should be working above expectations. The service was outstanding as was the food and drink selections, it was just the seat that marred the experience. I highly recommend the experience and would gladly do it again, but once again it should be flawless and this time it was not.

Once we landed we then spent the layover in the Frankfurt first class terminal. The flight from JNB to FRA got in at 5:40am and our flight to Washington IAD left at 13:00pm that day so we walked to the terminal and proceeded to spend a lovely time just relaxing until the flight to Washington was called. Usually we try for one of the rest/sleep rooms but this time we were awake so all we wanted was a shower and some breakfast.

Once our flight was called we were taken to the private passport control and then walked to our private Mercedes to be driven to the plane, a 747-400. We took the elevator up and then were escorted to our seats by the driver. Once there the flight attendant came over to welcome us and proceeded to let us know that we were two of three in first class that day and that if we wanted to move around we could. Also, what would we care to drink, Champaign of course. We settled in and proceeded to have an amazing flight. The Flight attendant was absolutely amazing and took care of our every need. The food was also outstanding. The flight was amazing and made up some for the seat not working on the previous flight .

Until we got to the ground.

We both have GOES and can bypass immigration by going to a machine and just using our fingerprints to immigrate into the US. This worked flawlessly and we were right through to the baggage carousel waiting for our bags. As expected with first class our first three bags popped right out onto the carousel and we thought it would be only a couple of minutes for the fourth one to come out. One hour and fifty minutes later we finally get the bag. We get to watch immigration empty out and everyone else get their bags. We finally ask if that was all the bags to find out that yes it was. The baggage manager looked at our tags and determined that the bag was sent to the transit terminal and not the main terminal and that they had to go get it manually to bring it over. This was taking way too long so my partner mentioned that as a first class passenger this should be going a bit faster. Once she heard we were in first class she jumped up and got the bag herself. Luckily, the taxi cab driver we usually have waiting for us was running very late because of traffic but still had to wait for over an hour for us to come out. This was not the experience I was expecting at the end of our trip.

So to recap, the A380 is an amazing experience when itís working correctly. Otherwise it can be a frustrating trying to use a malfunctioning first/flagship product when expecting it to work flawlessly or just work. Also, having your bag sent to another terminal after having an amazing flight can put a sour taste in your mouth, especially after youíve traveled over 34 hours to get home and then have to wait another two just to leave the airport. The baggage manager still didnít know why it went to the wrong terminal. Everything was correct on the tags.

Thatís my story and Iím sticking to it.
ckc123 is offline  
Old Mar 11, 11, 10:56 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 37,486
Were you offered any kind of compensation for the broken seat?
ScottC is offline  
Old Mar 11, 11, 11:30 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Washington DC
Programs: Premier Executive, Continental Platinum, SPG Gold, IHG Platinum, Velocity Gold, Alaskan MPV Gold.
Posts: 461
Nope.
ckc123 is offline  
Old Mar 11, 11, 12:30 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: *G, SPG, OW Sapphire
Posts: 2,563
Originally Posted by ScottC View Post
Were you offered any kind of compensation for the broken seat?
Originally Posted by ckc123 View Post
Nope.
Did you ask?
johndeere19 is offline  
Old Mar 11, 11, 12:39 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: TPE, LAX
Programs: LH Senator, IHG Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 592
any photos? please post them. Working or not, flying LH A380 F will still be envied by many many FTers.

nice report!
flyhen is offline  
Old Mar 11, 11, 4:19 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: LAX-SNA
Programs: BA Gold, AF/KL Gold, AA LT PLT 2mm, TP Gold *G
Posts: 19,545
Agree that photos would really be nice.
SFO777 is offline  
Old Mar 12, 11, 2:49 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 232
+1 on photos. I know some people like just reading about a flight experience, but for me, I want pics. I usually don't even read a trip report with out photos. Who is to say what someone says in a trip report even happened? Having said that, lucky you. I would love to try First class in the A380 one day.
bennijiggs is offline  
Old Mar 12, 11, 3:27 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: SIN/ZRH (time, not preference)
Programs: UA1K, LH GM, AA EXP
Posts: 34,275
Originally Posted by bennijiggs View Post
..I want pics. I usually don't even read a trip report with out photos. Who is to say what someone says in a trip report even happened?..
You want photos of a non-op switch ???

Or maybe of the lovely behind of the FA when bending down into the mechanics of the seat?

The Morbus Facebookii is spreading !
weero is offline  
Old Mar 12, 11, 3:41 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Purgatory
Programs: Too many to list. Status is a half dozen.
Posts: 9,232
Originally Posted by weero View Post
You want photos of a non-op switch ???

Or maybe of the lovely behind of the FA when bending down into the mechanics of the seat?

The Morbus Facebookii is spreading !
I want a "like" button for your post.

Choosing to not read a text-only trip report is one's choice but one misses out on valuable insight this way. And the seat was broken - I know this is the internet but is there valid reason to doubt a poster's statement of such?
ArizonaGuy is offline  
Old Mar 12, 11, 5:18 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 232
Originally Posted by weero View Post
You want photos of a non-op switch ???

Or maybe of the lovely behind of the FA when bending down into the mechanics of the seat?

The Morbus Facebookii is spreading !
A Picture of a cute FA bending over never hurt anyone. As far as a pic of the non op switch, I don't really think that would be a very entertaining picture, however a picture of the seat itself would be cool for someone who has never been on an A380. Sure, I can go to the LH website and tour their promo pages, but I prefer real world photos and one stop shopping. My point was, if your going to start a thread about a broken seat, liven it up with some photos. IMO.^
bennijiggs is offline  
Old Mar 12, 11, 5:34 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: FAT, LHR
Posts: 6,624
Unfort about your seat, will try a F seat on a 380 soon.
chanp is offline  
Old Mar 12, 11, 6:59 am
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Washington DC
Programs: Premier Executive, Continental Platinum, SPG Gold, IHG Platinum, Velocity Gold, Alaskan MPV Gold.
Posts: 461
A380 Pictures

Let me know if this link works.

A380 Pictures
ckc123 is offline  
Old Mar 12, 11, 7:26 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 232
Thanks CKC! I cant believe how big your personal TVs are! ^









bennijiggs is offline  
Old Mar 12, 11, 7:29 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: TPE, LAX
Programs: LH Senator, IHG Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 592
picture works, any more? can't get enough of this A380 F!

jealous, nontheless!
flyhen is offline  
Old Mar 12, 11, 7:47 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: LAX-SNA
Programs: BA Gold, AF/KL Gold, AA LT PLT 2mm, TP Gold *G
Posts: 19,545
^
That's more like it.
Most of us have basic neanderthal guy-type needs... food, sex, money and pics of First Class cabins, and not necessarily in that order.
SFO777 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: