SNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3250 posts, RR: 21 Posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 13255 times:
Alternative titles would have been
What 100,000 miles can buy., Captain, can you please fly around for another 5 hours?, Food in the air, food on the ground!, or Where is my rose?
First, let me start with a warning: this is a looooong trip report! So, make sure you're sitting comfortably with a cup/glass of your favorite ointment/alcoholic beverage!
I had a big pile of FF miles and I have been trying to spend them for quite some time, but I have been unable to get the flights I've wanted. Finally, my attempts paid off and I got a F class ticket on LH to fly home for the holidays (a very nice Xmas gift to myself). The routing was BOS-FRA on F class and FRA-EDI on C class.
Fri, Dec 22, 2006: LH432, BOS 16.40 to FRA 05.10, B747-400 (D-ABTH), Gate E8B, F class seat 84K
After 4.5 long months, the wait was over and it was time to fly. My favorite taxi driver (Chris) drove me to Logan's Terminal E. We arrived around 3pm, so just over an hour and a half before the flight. As I was getting out of the cab, the LH crew for my flight were also getting out of their small bus right next to us; a good omen I thought! The terminal was generally quite busy, I assume due to the holiday traffic (it was after all a couple of days before Xmas). I went straight to the F class check-in desk and there was just one person in front of me. A couple of minutes later it was my turn. The LH agent was polite and cheerful, she checked me in promptly, put priority tags on both my suitcases, and encouraged me to visit the LH lounge.
I went to the F/C class security line and, again, I was just behind the LH crew who were also going through security at that time. A couple of mins later it was my turn, but a lady holding a very young baby had just joined the line, so I let her through and helped her a bit with her hand luggage. After that, passing through security was a breeze and I made my way to the LH lounge... which was totally mobbed. It was quite disappointing actually, as I wanted to make another flight reservation for January over the phone and I needed a quiet place with a bit of privacy (as I'd give personal details, etc.) and there was no one little corner that was not occupied in the lounge. So, I made my way back down to the gate area, found a little booth with a payphone, and called my company's travel agency. Ten mins later I had a BOS-FRA-LYS return booked for January (in Y though! Yikes!).
I hang around a little bit at the terminal and eventually it was time to board. Families with small children were allowed to get on board first... and there were many of them! F and C class passengers were next. I walked down the jetway and towards the plane. I have to say that, even though I've flown many many times, I still enjoy the approach to the plane, hearing the generator's buzz getting louder as I get closer, feeling the chill from the air-conditioning system, and smelling that, well, plane smell (I can't describe it any other way). It's still a blast after all those years!
I got on board, I showed my boarding pass, and I was pointed to the stairs. The upperdeck was quite dark during the flight and I couldn't take any decent pictures (and I didn't want to use a flash not to bother the other passengers). Here are a couple from a.net, for anyone who hasn't seen what it looks like:
This was the second time I've flown on the upperdeck. (The first time was with my parents when I was 9, when we flew on a TWA B747 in ambassador class; Oh, the memories!) I was the first F class passenger to board, I was welcomed by a very tall and super polite male F/A, and I was shown to my seat, 81A. Something to drink? Apple juice would be nice. OK, here it is, along with some nuts and the audio-entertainment and duty-free shopping guides; would you like pyjamas and slippers? Of course! OK, I'll just put them on the overhead bin for when you're ready. Thank you!
It turned out that there were only 5 passengers in F class: myself, a teenage kid of around 15-16 travelling by himself who had the seat next to me (81C), a lady with her daughter (she was maybe 10-12?) who had 81H/K, and another gentleman who had 83K. After boarding was completed the kid next to me moved to the row behind us. This was going to be a super comfortable flight!
We pushed back 5 mins early and we were in the air less than 10 mins later, taking off from runway 15R. Take off and the climb were quite smooth, with only some minor turbulence when we entered the clouds. I noticed two things about flying on the upperdeck. First, it was considerably quieter than the main deck, even when the engines were spooling up for take off. Second, during sudden turns, while taking off and landing for example, the upperdeck moved noticeably more than the main deck (I assume because it is located quite higher to the plane's center of gravity). The first couple of times it happened, it really surprised me but I got used to it (can anyone else confirm / deny this?). I wonder whether it will be the same for the A380.
After the seat belt sign was switched off, I got up, grabbed my pyjamas (white top with navy blue collar and navy blue pants; compared to the ones I had got last time I flew F class on LH they were slightly thinner and more comfortable), and changed in the bathroom. Are there any pictures of me in the pyjamas? Yes. Will you see them? Absolutely not. I also moved from my seat to 84K, on the last row, so each of us had an entire row to ourselves. The purser came up, introduced himself, shook everyone's hand, and gave us the menus. The food choices were the following:
Hors d'oeuvre from the Appetizer Cart
Caviar with the traditional Garnishes
Grilled Vegetable Antipasti with Hot and Sour Sauce
Pistachio crusted Shrimp with Sweep Pea Tarragon Flan
Penne Pasta Salad with Tomato, Capers and Olives
Five spice dusted smoked Duck Breast
Wild Mushrom and Leek Salad with Port Lime Dressing
Seasonal Greens with dried Yellow Tomatoes presented with French Mustard or Cucumber Mint Dressing
Bread, Rolls, Toast and Butter
Pan seared Turkey Escalopes with Sweet Potato Gratin and Cranberry and Orange Compote
Vanilla Thyme roasted Cod, Baby Bok Choy and Fondant Potato
Horseradish-pepper crusted Beef Tenderloin, Spätzle, Asparagus and Rosemary Jus
Saffron Fettuccine, roasted Vegatables with chunky Tomato Sauce
Cheese and Dessert
International Cheese: Sage Derby, Parmesan, Gruyère, Cambozola and Humboldt Fog served with Grapes
Wild Berry Charlotte in its Consommé with Sweet Cream
Apple Raisin Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream
Speciality Dessert Wines
Jacobs Coffee, Espresso, Cappuccino
Shortly afterwards, the service began. Hot towels were distributed. The F/A who attended to me most introduced herself as Sabine. She laid a table cloth on my (huge!) table and gave me a small appetizer (can you call that an amuse bouche?) with a few small prawns and some finely chopped tomatoes, peppers, etc.
For aperitif I asked for the kirsch (Ziegler Wildkirsch Nr. 1) as it's not something I have often and it was the recommended option on the drinks menu (it was quite nice, but I think I'll stick to malt whisky!). Sabine brought it promptly, along with a glass of water (the kirsch in the picture is on the left):
What would you like for main course? The cod please. OK, and if you fall asleep, would you like to be awakened for breakfast? No, thank you. She then placed cutlery, butter, salt/petter, bread plate/knife on the table and apologized because there were no roses on the flight! They somehow never made it on board. I was a bit bummed (not for any other reason, but I just wanted to give it to my mum when I got home, as I had told her about the roses in F class) but eventually I got over it... Oh well. She also showed me the bread basket and I went for a ciabatta:
(As an aside: have American carriers got over the plastic cutlery in F/C class yet? LH gives proper cutlery even in Y.)
We started with caviar. Would you like all the traditional garnishes? Of course! Some cold vodka with it? (By now I had finished the kirsch.) Oh, well, OK (It was red Smirnoff I think)! And, I'll give you a couple of slices of toast too. Please!
It was a good caviar portion and it was nicely presented (notice the lemon!); I liked it and the vodka went nicely with it. After that, the tray with the appetizers arrived. Which one would you like? I'll have the prawns and the duck breast please. Any vegetables? Nah!
Both were delicious. In particular, I'm a big sucker for smoked duck and this one was perfect. By this point I was very happy! (And it was not only due to the alcohol!) While I was enjoying the appetizers I asked for a glass of the Chardonnay (2004 Grand Reserve Chardonnay, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Villa Mount Eden, USA). I'm not a big wine connoisseur (as I said, I'm more of a malt whisky person), but I was very impressed by it; it was refreshing, aromatic, with a subtle oak finish and it was perfectly chilled. Very nice.
Then, the salad, with french mustard dressing, followed:
The sauce went perfectly with the cod and the bok choy was nicely cooked. If I can be a bit picky, I have to say I found the cod overcooked. I still enjoyed it though!
Finally, desserts were offered and I had the cheese option, I chose just parmesan and gruyere, with grapes (I should point out that around this time we hit some heavy turbulence, which was the only real turbulence we hit during the flight).
I asked for a German dessert wine and, even though it was quite nice, I found it a bit uninteresting (I can't remember the name I'm afraid).
Finally, coffee/tea were offered and I went for an earl grey, which arrived in a pot! Amazing! The second F class F/A brought a big box of small chocolates. Which ones would you like? Oh, you can just leave the whole box, thank you! Ahem... I'm just kidding! Let's see... I can give you two of each if you want! One of each will do! Thank you!
After I finished my tea and chocolates it was time for bed. I popped in the bathroom to brush my teeth and freshen up before trying to get some sleep. I also snapped a couple of pictures of the bathroom (which had a big mirror and a window too!!!):
I went back to my seat, turned it almost flat (it does go fully flat; I just like my head to be a bit high; in fact I normally sleep with 2 or 3 pillows; so airlines take notice: not everyone wants a totally flat bed!!!), covered myself with the comfortable duvet, and tried to sleep. I did wake up a couple of times I but overall slept pretty well; it really was very cozy.
I was awakened by the pilot making the announcement that we had started our descent towards FRA and we would be landing in 25 mins. At that point, the lights came on and Sabine offered fresh orange juice (it was really quite refreshing). The tall male F/A was also back and asked me whether I wanted a cup of coffee. Sure! We got another hot towel too. At this point, I was in a total panic, as I had to drink the orange juice and the coffee, rush to the bathroom to change to my proper clothes, and pack everything I had taken out during the flight. I was all set in around 10 mins or so and I was ready for the landing.
Since I had a few mins to spare I asked the F/A whether it was worth going to the F class terminal or I should just stay in one of the F class lounges at FRA. He said: Let me put it this way. Last week I flew back to Frankfurt from Sao Paolo and one of the F class passengers was first flying to Frankfurt and then on to Munich. I asked him why he didn't take the direct flight to Munich. His reply was that he really wanted to spend the day at the F class terminal and fly to Munich in the evening. I think you should go too, you will enjoy it. I was sold! (BTW, come on guys, admit it: who was the guy he referred to? He must be an a.netter!!!)
The landing was smooth and we reached our gate reasonably quickly (it was somewhere on the A peer). I got out, collected all my stuff, shook the hands of all the F/As in F class, thanked them for the excellent service, and wished them Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year. I eventually walked downstairs, only to be confronted with a horde of very sleepy and grumpy looking people coming out of the economy cabin. Ouch! It was so peaceful and quiet until then! I was particularly amused by a group of Greeks who loudly (Yanni, apo do vre!) immediately rushed to the nearest smoking area... I expected nothing less from my countrymen!
I snapped a picture of D-ABTH (not only in a Star Alliance livery, but with a football nose too!) before moving on.
This flight was nothing less than awesome: very relaxing seat, excellent amenities (the pyjamas were super comfortable and the blanket nice), tasty food, and super attentive crew made the time just fly by. I just really wished the captain could have flown around for a bit longer... another, I don't know, 5-6 hours perhaps? And, Sabine, if you ever read this: thanks so much for the super attentive service!!!
Sat, Dec 23, 2006: FRA, LH First Class Terminal
I walked for a bit until the other end of the A peer, cleared immigration very quickly, and set out to find the F class check-in desks. I got there and they were closed, but I could see a LH agent through the grill (in fact, he had checked me in about 3 weeks before!). So, I waited for a bit and they eventually opened. A family with 2 kids were also waiting too and we all asked the agent whether we could get a ride to the F Class Terminal. He called, told us that a driver was on her way, and asked us to take a seat. 5 mins later, a driver did indeed appear and ushered us all into a minivan. Less than 10 mins later we were at the F Class Terminal.
First impressions, by looking at the reception area, were: wow, that's posh! The design was modern but at the same time quite tasteful, with quite light and cheerful colors. A host greeted me (there's no reception as such), checked my boarding passes, and took my passport. Don't worry, your passport will be very safe; you will get it on your way out. I was not worried. I passed through a security check and my host showed me around. There is a big lounge area, a restaurant area, work areas, rest areas, showers, a big bar, an (enclosed!) cigar smoking area, etc. (Apart from the smoking area, the rest are strictly non-smoking which is a huge improvement over LH's other lounges in Frankfurt.) Also, there are no announcements. When they need you for something, they actually come and find you instead of calling you. I was very impressed. Here are some pictures that I snapped throughout my stay at the bar / lounge area:
My first order of business was to freshen up with a shower. So, I put my name down in the list and the lady there told me that she'll come and find me. I sat down and tried to relax for a bit. Ten mins later she indeed came and asked me to follow her. The shower room was huge, with nice amenities including a robe and slippers! Here's a bunch of pictures I took:
The shower was excellent and very invigorating. I felt refreshed instantly, but I took my time as I quite enjoyed the warm water after the long-haul flight. Eventually, it was time to have some breakfast. There was a quite impressive buffet (maybe not in terms of size, but definitely in terms of choice!). You can also order a la carte. Here are some pictures of the breakfast items, as well as the rest of the buffer (the second picture really does not do it justice).
Then I went for the main breakfast items: scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, potatoes, and a croissant! (I should point out that the scrambled eggs were the very best scrambled eggs from a buffet I've ever had; they were fresh, creamy, and totally yummy):
This breakfast was really considerably better than 95% of the hotels where I've stayed (and I've stayed at some very nice hotels in the past). I was extremely impressed! But, I was also extremely stuffed too!
After that I decided to surf for a bit (there's complimentary wireless, of course!) and I found a quiet corner where I spent the next three hours or so (notice in the picture where I'm surfing! also notice the USB charger for my Nokia phone, a very useful addition to the large stash of electronics I carry with me):
Throughout my stay, waiters would come and ask me every 30 mins or so whether I wanted a top up or anything else. I just stuck to water, as I wanted to get rehydrated after the flight and all the alcohol I had consumed during it. I killed time surfing, exchanging IMs with a few a.net members (you know who you are!!!), walking around, and relaxing. Time passed quite comfortably and I could have happily stayed there all day. I should also point out that the lounge never really got very busy. The busiest it got was until around 10am or so. After that I could only see a couple of people around.
Finally, it was (sadly!) time to go and my host came to fetch me. We took an elevator one floor down, my passport was checked by the immigration officer located there and returned to me, and I was introduced to my driver. The ride of choice today: a Porsche Cayenne S.
The drive asked me whether I wanted to sit at the back or at the front and of course I took the front; he didn't let me drive though! The plane was parked at a remote stand, so we drove through the airport and passed many large jets.
We parked in front of it and the driver got the thumbs up from the crew that I could board. At the same time, a bus arrived with a couple of elderly people; I assume they needed a bit more time to board. It was actually great from LH to send them out on their own first so that they are not pressured from the other passengers behind them. I got out of the bus and snapped a picture of D-ABXN
He then walked me right into the plane and introduced me to the crew. We shook hands, I wished him Merry Xmas, and he drove away. I put my luggage on the overhead bin and took my seat, 1A. I think I still had a huge smile on my face after the Porsche ride!
The plane had LH's new seats and that meant that the middle seat was blocked in C class and had fold down little table for drinks. I was on the front row with good legroom, so I was quite comfortable and I could stretch quite nicely. A big sign on the wall at the front of the cabin made sure you didn't forget you were in C class!
The bus was not too full and I thought that, for a change, the flight might have a light load. However, shortly afterwards, a second bus arrived and Y should have been mostly full. C was about 50% full with noone sitting on 1C; I was not complaining. Boarding completed. We then closed doors and pushed back. I have to say I was a little bit surprised that no pre-take off drinks were offered (not that I really wanted one; but I thought it was standard procedure...).
Eventually, we started speeding down the runway. We took off and I managed to snap a few good pictures of FRA “by air”, which give you a good overview of Terminal 1. There is a good selection of types and liveries. See if you can spot the newly-built A380 gates (at least, that's what I think they are)!
The main snacks were prosciutto with melon and shrimp with asparagus (both were very nice), the dessert was a mousse with a very intense cinnamon flavor (me liked a lot!), and there were some chocolates too. The F/A also offered bread from the bred basket. I was not really hungry, but I was greedy so I ate the whole thing and asked for water and some coffee. If I hadn't eaten at the F class terminal, it would not have been really filling, but it was a good size and tasty snack.
After the tray was taken away, I put on my sleeping mask, switched on my mp3 player, and closed my eyes. I managed to snooze for just under an hour until I was again woken up by the pilot announcing that the we had started our descent towards EDI. During the descent I took some nice pictures of the gorgeous Scottish landscape underneath:
Unfortunately, I had the sun to my face and this prevented me from taking any decent pictures during the final approach (just too many reflections). I'll just include these two just so you can get an idea:
and we promptly reached our gate. A couple of minutes later the door opened and, being on the front row, I got out of the plane first. When I got into the terminal I snapped a nice shot of D-ABXN (excuse the reflections on the glass; you can at least see how nice the weather was):
We then had to follow a BD agent (BD do the handling for LH in EDI) towards immigration. Unfortunately, every time we reached a door, it was locked and she had to wait for a different person to get it unlocked (which involved typing combinations in keypads and at the same time pressing buttons several meters away from the door... it was all a bit surreal!!!). This happened two or three times and we spent over five minutes waiting for doors to be unlocked; it was not a big problem but kind of annoying. Eventually we reached the immigration area, which was not very busy so I cleared it very quickly. I reached the luggage reclaim belt and I immediately spotted my first bag; the second one appeared a minute later. Shortly afterwards I went through customs and my trip was over. It took maybe 20 mins from the moment of touch down to the moment I went through customs. My kind of airport!
Really, what can I say? Apart from a few very minor and picky complaints, this was the best trip I've ever done. Period. I had flown LH F class once before, but the visit to the First class terminal in Frankfurt just made this trip much more memorable. I know some of you will complain about the LH F seats being behind compared to the competition but this was not an issue during the flight, given the light load. And the seats are nice and comfortable anyway! So, thanks, Lufthansa. This was an excellent Christmas gift.
I'll be surprised if anyone actually reaches here without falling asleep! I'll try write up the return trip, when it happens, to give you more sleeping material.
Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
Marquis From Germany, joined Sep 2005, 277 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 13204 times:
This was a simply awesome trip report to read through and some of those pictures were also very impressive. I am glad you liked the trip and I am looking forward to see more trip reports of you in the near-term.
Did you get to choose your wheels? Or was the choice already made for you? still, not a bad way to get from terminal to plane! Which Cayenne model was it? Because of it was the turbo I am very jealous! 450bhp, 0-60 5.6 secs pushing all the way to 165mph!
Anyway...keep it up! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee
I already have 13 pix for EDI-FRA from last Thursday, the return to BOS is on Sunday. So, here's the deal: I'll take more pictures on the way to BOS, as long as there's noone sitting next to me (I'm too embarrassed otherwise!!!).
I'm not 100% sure, but I think it's because the lounge also caters for people who fly domestically. So, taking your passport as soon as you enter the terminal is one way for them not to forget to give it to the immigration officer on your way out. In fact, while I was sitting in the lounge, my host gave me a replacement boarding card with "docs ok" written on it. So, most likely, they check your passport while you're waiting.
Quoting BKHaley (Reply 10): Who wouldn't want the driver job? Get to drive amazing cars and look at planes all day?!
That's what I told him too! A bit more information: You have to have a special permit to drive around the airport. Apparently, it takes a day's orientation to get that (I assume it's to learn all the rules and signage). My driver said he drives on average 10-15 people to their planes per day.
Quoting Coal (Reply 11): that must've been quite an experience!
No. It's between a Mercedes and a Porsche and it had been prechosen for me.
Quoting Gkyip (Reply 15): Which Cayenne model was it? Because of it was the turbo I am very jealous! hissyfit 450bhp, 0-60 5.6 secs pushing all the way to 165mph!
I'm not really sure to be honest! And do you really need a turbo at the airport anyway, as the speed limit seemed quite low? BTW, I've always slagged off Porsche for making an SUV, but I think I'll forgive them for the moment.
Djb77 From UK - Scotland, joined Sep 2001, 246 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 8 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 11176 times:
Am traveling C-class EDI > FRA on the evening LH service in early March. Were you given lounge access at EDI before departing? I will have some time to kill and thought that it could be best spent in a nice quiet lounge. There is, however, no mention of such at EDI on the LH website.
SR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1744 posts, RR: 37
Reply 19, posted (8 years 8 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 11065 times:
Great report with some amazing pictures. I always wanted to see pictures of the LH F terminal and you did a great job describing it as well. Shame my alliance has no such thing, otherwise I would gladly fork over the extra miles to experience something like this.
LH doesn't have a lounge at EDI, however you can use the bmi one. It's quite nice, nicely decorated, free alcohol, and a few snacks. You'll have to wait for the return trip report for some pictures from that lounge!!!
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18): amazing report and great pictures! Interesting to see that you also have a Sony DSC-W5!
Thanks! Aha! That explains why your pictures look great too! Nice little camera and very fast too. I use it mainly as my "vacation camera" and when I don't want to carry my bigger around. In fact, I took my most popular photo on a.net with my W5!
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 19): Shame my alliance has no such thing, otherwise I would gladly fork over the extra miles to experience something like this.
Clearly, time to change. Seriously, thanks and I'm glad you liked the report!
Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
Flpuck6 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 2123 posts, RR: 27
Reply 24, posted (8 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 9737 times:
I am a local of BOS as well and was interested in your BOS-FRA flight. I have a few questions :
For your meal service, was each dish brought out separately via serving tray or did the crew use a cart in the cabin (I hope not!) ? How did they serve your main course, was the fish brought to you and served on a dish in front of you or was it already plated ?
Also, in the F lounge, was the person who greeted you at the entrance an actual Lufthansa staff in an LH uniform ? Same question for the driver ...
Thanks again for this report. I work for another major European carrier and have flown in F as well so it was nice to read and compare.
: You will not regret it! Hi! I live in Burlington, so a short ride from BOS. Well, they did bring a cart with all the appetizers on it. The cart had b
: The return trip report can be found here: http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/92842/ Enjoy! Tony