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Lh f 747-400 ord-fra

Lh f 747-400 ord-fra

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Old Dec 9, 13, 2:15 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: DFW
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Lh f 747-400 ord-fra

All,

See below for a part of my TR from a quick weekend to Europe in LH F from Chicago to Frankfurt. I posted some more pictures at http://andystravelblog.com/2013/12/08/euroweekendii/

[note: these are written for people who have never really flown on these types of planes before (my main audience), so a lot of it will be redundant for FTers. In that case, enjoy the pictures!]

Recommended listening for this post: I’m Not Alright, by Shinedown (for everyone who tells me I’m nuts for taking weekend trips to Europe)



Lufthansa currently has quite a few variants of First Class seating, “hard product” is the term. Earlier this year I flew their oldest product (it closely resembles Rimowa luggage) on an A330. It was a perfectly good experience, but it didn’t really have that punch/pizzazz/whatever that makes for really good blog posts. I had to do better, I told myself.

Airline miles and hotel points are one of the most volatile currencies in the history of the world, well, maybe second place to Bitcoin I guess. Miles can be devalued with a stroke of the pen and a PR email. I’ve known this for a while, and have seen the various devaluations over the years. I really lucked out with this one, as I used 67,500 United miles (that I transferred over from Chase Ultimate Rewards instantaneously) to book the trip, and upon my return found out that starting next February, that booking will cost almost twice as much (Gary from View from the Wing has a great article explaining the United devaluation). So I lucked out booking the trip when I did.

My day started fairly early, as I got to DFW really early to experience the fantastic new American Express Centurion Lounge. I spent most of my time there and about 45 minutes before boarding I took DFW’s Skylink train to Terminal E to catch my flight. I was in First Class from DFW-ORD with United, then onward to Frankfurt from there. I had a fairly tight connection in Chicago, which doesn’t really lend itself to tight connections, so I was worried a bit, but really there wasn’t much I could do, so I tried as best I could to sit back and relax, wondering why United flies a regional jet from DFW-ORD when American flies 737s and MD80s.

[I was going to put a picture of the United regional jet here, but let's be honest, that's not what you came to see]

We landed at O’Hare on-time, and I made a hasty exit off the plane and scampered toward my connecting flight. I only had to walk over one terminal, and O’Hare is kind enough to provide a horrifyingly creepy tunnel to get you from one terminal to the next, I posted a video on my instagram account (follow me!): http://instagram.com/p/f0n9YzHO1r/

I made it to my gate with about five minutes to spare and caught a good shot of the Boeing 747-400 that would be taking me to Frankfurt.



I asked for a Lufthansa boarding pass (they’re a bit nicer than my paper United one) and the gate agents very Germanly (oh no here come zie German jokes) gave me a proper boarding pass and Lufthansa First Class sleeve. They then told me to wait in the “VIP section” so I could board first. I turned and looked at where the lady was pointing and it was the place that they were corralling all of the wheelchaired and elderly folks that needed to preboard. So I walked over there and immediately felt out of place, seeing as I’m able-bodied and under 70. Uncomfortable glances aside, we soon were permitted to board for an annoyingly short flight.

I was the first down the jetway (shoving everyone else aside, ok not really I just walked fast) and onboard our flight. At long last I was finally going to ride in the upper deck of a 747! The flight attendant asked for my boarding pass and then probably got upset as I accidentally completely ignored her in my exuberance to walk up the stairs to the upper deck. I walked up the stairs (they angle toward the back of the plane), turned around, and this awesome view greeted me:



Now, in my last post I told you the reasons I wanted to fly on this particular version of Lufthansa First Class: 1) I had never ridden in the upper deck of a 747, 2) Lufthansa’s 747-400 is the only remaining airplane to have First Class in the upper deck, and 3) I would have my own personal bed on the plane!

You read that correctly. Lufthansa, on their 747-400, have 8 seats on the upper deck, and each “seat” includes a completely flat bed next to it (against the window). It was awesome, everything I had hoped for. I thought to myself, “How could this get any better?” Then I met the flight attendant. She saw the various cords for all my gadgets and joked, “You know, I think zie cords could start a revolution and take over zie world, zere are so many! Until zey do, can I get you some champagne to start?”

You guys. I had a German flight attendant that was funny and told jokes. I thought about getting of zie plane to buy a lottery ticket, with that kind of luck.

The seating area was very nice, and efficiently laid out, like you’d expect from a German airline.

As I sipped on my champagne, the flight attendant came by and handed me my jammies and a brown Rimowa amenity kit (which astute readers already noticed in the picture of the bed). The load in First was pretty light, only 4/8 seats were taken. I was the only one walking around with a stupid smile on my face taking pictures, so I guess the other ones were First Class veterans, or just didn’t have a lot of excitement in their lives (hopefully the former).

Before I knew it, boarding was complete (I knew this because someone said on the PA “boarding iz completenfusgarten”). The in-flight entertainment system was live on the ground, which is always nice, but I wasn’t incredibly impressed with the selection, it had about the most random assortment of movies I’d ever seen, so I just put on some music for a bit (they had a great music selection) as we took off after a very short taxi. During dinner I watched Iron Man 3, which was a pretty good movie, so long as you like snarky comments and gratuitous explosioning (I do.).

The flight attendant came by and refilled my champagne and presented me an amuse bouche, which I liked (they love putting cucumber on their amuse bouche). The attendant then came by with the appetizer cart and I made a few selections in addition to the caviar service.

For dinner I had the seared pork with ratatouille and potato fondant, which was freakin delicious.

After dinner I had a nice petit fours and some Baileys on the rocks (my girly drink of choice post-dinner).

It was at this point that I was kind of perplexed. It was about 5pm my time and it was time to go to bed. That’s the one thing that I didn’t like about this flight, it leaves at 3pm Central time and arrives in Frankfurt really early in the morning. It was scheduled for I believe 8 hours, but today our flight time was only just over 7 hours. So I didn’t exactly get a great amount of sleep, although I will say the bed was incredibly comfortable.

I did manage to doze off for about 2.5 hours and awoke to a very quiet cabin that smelled of the rolls that were being prepared in the galley. Within an hour, breakfast was served and we started making preparations for landing.

It was a really quick flight, but I can’t compliment the hard product enough! It’s a shame that Lufthansa isn’t using this type of seating arrangement on their newer 747-8i’s and A380′s, the novelty of having your own bed wouldn’t wear off quickly! The flight attendants were great, professional like I expected and incredibly sarcastic, which was a nice surprise. We landed just before 6am at Frankfurt and I was literally the first person to enter Germany at Frankfurt airport that morning, according to the customs agents. So, I’m adding that to my wikipedia page.

It’s going to be a while before I fly Lufthansa First Class again, but I’m glad I got to sample their older product and their newer product in the same year. Hopefully everyone can get in a flight before United’s devaluation kicks in!
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Old Dec 9, 13, 4:22 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2013
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Nice report, loved it, down to earth and easy to read, very cool!
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Old Dec 9, 13, 5:01 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2012
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One of the more enjoyable ones lately.
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Old Dec 11, 13, 7:56 am
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Thanks guys!
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Old Jan 30, 14, 8:26 pm
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Here's my post covering the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt.

Recommended listening for this post, Common Ground by Andy McKee, sounds like it was written about someone on a journey to me

So, where was I? Oh yes. I had just arrived at Frankfurt's amazingly complex airport. I was the first person to clear German customs that day and quickly scampered past the international transfers desk and into the arrivals area. Why in the world would I leave the airport when my flight to Barcelona left after a relatively short (2.5 hours) layover? Because it was time to make a return visit to Lufthansa's First Class Terminal. My first experience was eye-rollingly full of adverbs, and I made some rookie mistakes, but this time I'd do better, I told myself.

It was pretty cold as I exited the terminal and was greeted by the cool gust of a German autumn morning (koolautumnmorningusten). I kind of felt like I was heading to a secret club and grinned to myself as I turned left. So imagine, if you will, a jet-lagged looking fairly large American grinning to himself turning left out of an airport exit door at 6am. Sounds creepy, right? Don't worry, I kept it classy, right down to the moment when I was checking my phone and walked into a luggage cart. I know what you're thinking, and yes, the phone was ok.

After a brief walk, I came upon the majesty and grandeur of...that taxi parking lot. But AFTER that, there it was, the First Class Terminal. This is a common picture I know, but this was taken before dawn, to make it more unique.


Lufthansa First Class Terminal

Familiar with the drill, I entered the lower lobby and took the elevator up to the main lobby, where I was checked-in, securified, passport controlled, and then deposited into one of the best lounges in the world. And when I say best, I MEAN CANDY BUFFET BEST.


Adult-Onset Diabetes Buffet

As I stood there like a buffoon pondering the ethical and metabolical impact of eating sugar that early in the morning, a lady walked up and asked if I'd like something to drink. I asked for coffee, and she asked again if I would like something to drink. I've said it before and I'll say it again, there is no culture that embraces drinking in the morning like airline lounges. A coffee with a kick to it was promptly delivered and I found a seat. Before getting too settled, I walked over to the shower attendant and asked for a room with a tub whenever one was available. It was one of those times where I wasn't just taking a shower because I was in a lounge (I tend to do that), I was going to hit the ground running in Barcelona and needed to primp beforehand. And by "primp" I mean that thing guys do when they put like 1/15th oz of product in their hand and then run it through their hair for about 12 seconds before giving up and deciding that'll do.

Ok, honestly, I did it for the duck.


Lufthansa FCT Duck

Observant readers will notice that the duck is different than the one from my last visit, which was yellow. Lufthansa has a rotating series of ducks, inspiring people like me to try and collect 'em all. So far I have two, which leaves me with only like 20 to go, as I realized later when I saw the display of all the various duckies.


All the various duckies

As pre-dawn turned into dawn, and dawn turned into hey how about another one of those nice coffees with the kick to it, the coffee turned into my lounge attendant telling me it was time for me to board zie flight to Barcelona. We headed down to the launchpad (launchenpadzenokiknowioverusethisjoke) where my driver and and my 2014 Mercedes S-Class were waiting.


What my garage looks like at home, except for all the space and the nice cars

We headed out to the tarmac and, like most, I was hoping for another grand tour of Frankfurt Airport like I had last time.


Airplanes!

Sadly though, soon after the above picture we took an abrupt left turn to my gate. Total time enjoying the S-Class: less than 4 minutes. That said, if you're complaining about how little time you spent in an S-Class while being driven to your airplane by a personal chauffeur after flying to Germany in a seat next to your own personal bed for about $140 in fees, you have it pretty good.

As I boarded the flight, I was greeted by a f......................................(imagine me sitting down and falling directly asleep)

Last edited by bthotugigem05; Jan 30, 14 at 9:00 pm
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