It was a lovely morning that greeted me as I stepped outside of the FRA
Park Inn just after eight to wait for the taxi that would drop us off at the FRA
Lufthansa First Class Terminal. Aircraft were crossing high in the sky above and the big heavies were arriving one after the other at the airport just a short hop on the other side of the motorway.
We pulled up outside the FCT entrance and had hardly set foot outside when a LH
employee with trolley in tow was already waiting at the back of the car to take cntrol of our luggage. A LH
female assistant welcomed us and asked for our flight details as well as our passports and we followed her into the entrance. Security is but a few steps away and so surprised was I at this I forgot to take my camera off my belt…..no wonder the machine beeped as I walked through it.
We were handed our boarding passes in a First Class envelope and entered the main lounge area where we were given a short tour of the facilities by our escort. It was quiet this Sunday morning.
As we had still to have breakfast we found a table in the dining area and settled down to help ourselves to the breakfast buffet. The buffet was splendidly set out and contained just about every item one could possibly want. My wife went for the healthy option whilst I headed for the hot offerings. Fresh scrambled egg, bacon, sausages, tomato and beans all of very good quality. A coffee and orange juice order was taken by a very smart staff member.
We retired to the sofas to do some web surfing and I headed for the cigar room to enjoy a cigarette. The cigar lounge has it's own drinks selection although it was a bit too early for me unfortunately.
I suddenly remembered about the FCT rubber duck that have featured on many a LH
F report. So I took myself off to the toilet and shower/bath area area where I found the attendant. I asked if it was possible to receive a duck without having a bath and he said yes….I got two and returned to show them to my wife who got a bit of a surprise at the sight of me returning with two rubber ducks in my hands.
The FCT has its own duty free shop….although small I was quite surprised at the variety of products available to purchase. Between us we managed to purchase several items including a bottle of 15 year old malt for a fishing mate of mine…….it was reduced in price but he doesn’t know that.
Soon we were informed it was time to board and we were asked by a staff member to follow her downstairs. We came out the lift into the area where the limos were all lined up. After being introduced to our driver the agent wished us a pleasant flight and we were shown to our Mercedes which would take us to the aircraft.
The driver was a pleasant chap and we chatted away on the five minute drive to the gate where our 747 was waiting for us.
After a couple of snaps we followed our driver up the stairs and onto the jet bridge and into the aircraft. We followed him up the stairs to the F cabin where he handed us over to the crew.
We found our seats in row 84, the first pair on the right as you enter the cabin. My carry-on wouldn’t fit into the overhead luggage space which was a surprise as it isn’t the largest of bags. Along with another small holdall they were taken off me and put in a cupboard behind the stairs.
Champagne was offered so I took it, my wife had the orange juice instead. Amenity kits were given along with shirts and slippers. I asked if it was possible to have some pyjamas instead but was informed that as it was a day flight this wasn’t possible. Considering we had been given pyjamas last year by Qantas in Biz class for a similar length day flight this rule by LH
in a F cabin is ridiculous. The male shirt was not to my taste so I asked if I could have another female one instead so it would be of some use to my wife after the flight.
The Bogner amenity kits were sufficient and of a design that could be utilised for short weekends away unlike some other offerings I have had. They contained the usual items. Shaving kits and creams were also available in the toilets for those that needed them.
The F cabin crew who would be looking after us were all female…two mature and one younger. Our fellow F passengers consisted mostly of male single business types, another couple like us as well as two females who seemed to be LH
My first impressions of the F cabin were of how close one is to your seat neighbour. Given the lack of privacy one has to what could be a total stranger I would be concerned if I was travelling alone. It certainly doesn’t give the feel of being in a First Class cabin in fact it gave me the impression of being more like a Biz Class cabin. My wife actually asked me if we were in First Class.
We left the gate ten minutes behind schedule which was certainly better than last years J flight where we departed an hour late. Once we reached cruising level the seat belt sign went off and I remembered I had some stuff in the bag that had been taken off me. I went back to retrieve the items. A flight attendant who was already looking in the cupboard was rather abrupt when she saw me appear telling me that it might not be possible to retrieve the items as the cupboard was full of other bags…..which it was. I borrowed her torch and luckily one of the bags at the front was mine. She mellowed after that but I was rather surprised by her firm attitude.
Drinks were offered so I had a beer which was accompanied by a small canapé…smoked meat I think it was. I ate my wife’s as well.
The CSD came to introduce herself and asked if we were heading home or going on holiday. I informed her we were going home and she told us this was to be her first time visiting Buenos Aires as she usually serves on the Far Eastern routes. I assured her she would find it an exciting city and that she would have a great time.
Tables were laid with the red rose included and the meal service began.
Caviar to start which looked as if had been measured out using a tea spoon so small was it in quantity…..maybe another consequence of the full cabin? Still, what I did have was tasty, tastier in fact than the caviar I had on TG
F last year. My wife had the pear in honey mustard sauce. I declined any other starter and asked for the lettuce and ginger soup.
Must say its colour didn’t look very inviting but it was very nice and warm enough to be enjoyed. Wine top ups weren’t exactly regular and I did at one point have to ask for one…..yet another consequence of the full cabin I wonder?
I was feeling adventurous so chose the roast pigeon for the main dish…..the FA
taking the order seemed very glad to hear this which made me think it wasn’t proving too popular amongst the other passengers. My wife chose the Tyrolean pasta as her main dish.
The pigeon was emmmm like pigeon. Strong in flavour but moist and tender. I don’t think I shall be having pigeon again in a hurry though. With every bite I couldn’t help seeing a picture of the scabby pigeons one sees in any city centre rather than the wild plump pretty ones seen in the countryside.
I gave dessert a miss and went for the cheeses….all three varieties I tried were excellent and the most memorable part of the meal I would say. My wife had the dessert and was none too impressed to see that the ice cream had completely melted.
After some decent tasting coffee and chocolates I settled down to read and watch some IFE which contained enough variety to keep me going…..and yes the screen is very small.
The cabin crew were always about so if there was anything that you needed one could always ask. A snack service followed a few hours later….with a choice of filled rolls, canapé cheesy things and tea or coffee.
About two and a half hours out from EZE
the last meal service started. A lighter affair than the main meal but adequate enough. The first course was a choice of various cold offerings most unrecognisable to me so I just asked for a bit of everything. A hot quiche and tomato followed. Both were tasty and sufficient in quantity for that time of the flight.
Sunset was happening as we crossed the Parana delta. The cabin manager appeared again to wish us goodbye and hoped that we had enjoyed the flight. 13.5 hours after departing Frankfurt we arrived back at Ezeiza. Exiting the aircraft was quick as they held back the passengers to allow us to exit. Our luggage was amongst the first to appear on the belt which made for a quick exit through immigration and customs and into the arrivals hall.
Ricardo our ever reliable driver was nowhere to be seen so we went outside. A quick phone call and he said he had been held up due to a procession for the Saint at Lujan and would be with us in ten minutes. This actually worked in our favour as it meant he could drive in collect us and drive out without paying a parking fee.
So what did I think of LH
F hard product on the 747 does not even match some Biz class products in some of today’s premium class cabins. The seat was comfortable but take away the rather OTT headrests on the LH
F seat and you’re left with an ordinary side by side biz class seat to be honest. My wife was in the window seat and did have some trouble getting in and out of her seat when I had my footrest fully extended…..on a F flight that just shouldn’t happen.
If seated at the back and the cabin is full you are in for a long meal service….our main meal service took three hours from start to finish. I suspect the single aisle access also slows the service down appreciably. This is not really a problem for me but I can imagine for those who just want to get their head down it could be. There is a lot of foot traffic during the service as the cabin crew make numerous trips back to the galley. Food was of decent but not spectacular quality.
The crew were always very pleasant. They worked really hard during the whole flight….in fact they were one of the hardest working crews I have had on a flight in F. If you like being called by your name then you would have been disappointed. No name calling by any of the crew apart from the boss woman……seems to be the norm nowadays with many airlines.
The area LH
did excel in was of course on the ground. The check-in process as well as clearing security in the FCT is excellent and stress free. Always a good start to any F experience I would say. The lounge service is very good along with the food quality although I wasn’t too keen on the ambience of the lounge compared to other F lounges I have visited…… I felt it lacked atmosphere…..Oh and I do like a view of the airfield which the FCT doesn’t give. The boarding process however is top quality and cannot be faulted whatsoever.
So, if flying alone and you like some privacy then I wouldn’t really recommend you fly with Lufthansa….especially in a full 747 cabin as you just won’t get any. I felt the excellent service in the FCT didn’t carry on over on to the flight itself. Given another day where the cabin wasn’t as full then my opinion might have been different.
The sooner they get the new F hard product fitted to all their aircraft the better…..the present one falls well short of what some airlines have been offering in F for many a year.
Oh and remember those ducks I acquired in the FCT? They have been attracting some attention at home since we came back.