Dienstag, 5. August 2014

Lufthansa New First Class 747-8 from Leipzig and Frankfurt to Mexico City


After the mediocre First Class Experience with SWISS from Bangkok, I now wanted to try Lufthansa´s First Class in the 747-8 from Frankfurt to Mexico City. Let´s see, if they can do it better than SWISS:


31.01.2014
Senator Lounge Leipzig
The small airport in Leipzig has a combined Business and Senator Lounge. At the entrance the friendly Lounge Dragon gives admittance to the right (Business Lounge) or left (Senator Lounge). As a First Class passenger I was able to enter the Senator part. Though I would have been allowed here with my Star Allaniance Gold staus, also.
 
The Lounge is of small size and in the middle of the Terminal, so there is no natural light here. However, there are some comfortable seats, a bar and some snacks, so it´s definitely better than waiting in the public areas.

Rocky´s on the road again...

crowded Lounge due to many doctors coming form a workshop in Leipzig

Bar and Buffet



LH 157 LEJ-FRA
A 321
Seat 10 F (Business Class)

Because of so many passengers there was a change from the small Embrae to the bigger A321, so the boarding was from the gate this time. Very comfortable in Winter time...
The new Cabin of Lufthansa for European flights is in my opinion not much more comfortable than the old one. However, Business Class was so big this time, I had plenty of space.


Hopefully the 747 is more comfortable...

The breakfast served was very nice for such a short flight. We had cereals and some ham and cheese.

The flight to Frankfurt was only a short hop of 55min and then...

YES, no gate, but a remote stand...

So, why was I so happy not getting a gate and having to drive to the terminal? Here is the answer:



Lufthansa HONs and First Class Passagiereget their own private transfer to the Terminal. The driver got me directly to the internationsl Non-Schengen area and after a short Passport control I was on my way to the First Class Lounge. 
 

First Class Lounge
Frankfurt Terminal B

Other than the legendary First Class Terminal (which I will try on my way back) the Lounge in Terminal B does not have a private transfer to the plane, but therefore you have a view to the tarmac.

The Lounge is for such a big airport surprisingly small. But it never feels crowded, as it is one of three and admittance is for Miles&More HONs and First Class Passengers of Lufthansa and SWISS, only.

Lounge
 Relaxseats
 TV Area

Beside the usual seats for relaxation and a business area there are also two day rooms, showers (with the famous Lufthansa rubber duckies) and a spa. The showers are much more elegant than the ones of British Airways in London Heathrow, but the spa treatments are not for free.

Besides a great and big buffet there also is the possibility to order from a small a-la-carte menu in the Restaurant.





The lounge offers a bar for the booze fans and also a big selection of Mineral waters from all over the world.

Bar
Water... 


About one hour before Boarding I left the Lounge. Of course it was much too early to get to the gate, but I wanted to peek into the Business Lounge. Quite a disappointment. Have a look for yourself:




Therefore, I was very glad to be able to proceed to the gate soon. 

Hello Beauty...

In the gate area it was full and chaotic already. Not only the Economy Queue was quite long. There was a priority lane, but Lufthansa boards First and Business Class as well as *A Gold members together and this bird hosts 80 to 92 Business Class Passengers alone.

LH 498
Boeing 747-8I
Seat 1A (First Class)
Finally I got on board and took the left turn. Lufthansa now has a quite spacious and elegant design in their First Class. They have only 8 seats put into the nose of the bird, other than British Airways, who cramped 14 seats into this space. Lufthansa also decided against closed suites, which gives the cabin an ample and spacious feeling. However, you still can get privacy as every seat has its own screen to be raised, if necessary. On this flight 5 of 8 seats were occupied..

Seat 1A. Rocky likes it :-)

747-8 First Class cabin


Having stored my trolley into one of the lockers at the entrance of the cabin, I was ready to settle into my home for the next hours. Champagne and Rimowa amenity kit were offered and gladly accepted. How can refuse a Grand Siècle? Certainly not me.


I found the seat very comfortable for sitting as well as lying down. The padding allows relaxed travel also for longer trips.
 
A happy little camper...
 
 
Seat with privacy screen up

After take off the flight attendants sprung into action. First offer were an oshibori and more Champagne. The purser introduced herself to each passenger personally and gave a short review of todays menu. She also reminded us, that we could have of the menu whatever and whenever we want.

First Class Menu:
Caviar from Service Cart
Caviar with the traditional Garnishes

Choice of Appetizers
Focaccia with King Prawns, Scallops and raw marinated Fennel, smoked Mayonnaise and Saffron Lime Cream
Yogurt and Tandoori marinated Breast of Poulard with Avocado and Soy pickled Tomatoes
Coconut Mousse with Eggplant, green Curry, Bok Choy and Ginger

Leaf Salad with Cherry Tomato and Oyster Mushrooms accompanied by your Choice of Raspberry Walnut or Sweet Mustard Dressing

Soup
Creamy Chestnut Soup with glaced Apple and black Nuts

Choice of Main Courses
Flavored Saddle of Venison, Juniper Jus, Compote of Venison Shoulder, Celery and Brioche
Fried Sea Bass on Mediterranean Pearl Barley and Pulpo Stock with Aioli
Breast of Spring Chicken and Leg of Poulard braised in Madeira and Rosemary, Topinambour in Cream Sauce and Ricotta Herb Ravioli
Tomato Polenta Tart, Cremolata, grilled Vegetables and Pine Nuts, Basil Olive Oil Sauce and Artichoke Cream

Selection of Cheese and Dessert
St. Agur, L’Explorateur, Goat Cheese with Honey, Langres and Rock Salt Cheese with Apricot Mustard Chutney
Chocolate Crémeux with Creole Pineapple and Tahiti Vanilla Ice Cream
Mousse of Dulcey Chocolate with Fruit Jelly and Mango Coulis
 

Amuse Bouche

Trio of appetizers

Creamy chestnut soup

Breast of spring chicken

Chocolate cremeux

and finally, JW Blue Label


The wine selection you can find here: 
http://www.lufthansa.com/mediapool/pdf/16/media_714949916.pdf

After lunch I had a little walk to Business Class. I can totally understand the critics, Lufthansa got for this "new" class. Trying to cramp 6 seats into the row and making them full flat resulted in quite tight seats. especially the feet area in the outer rows is extremely small. Even normal sized feet might get problems if you are lying sideways. So the only hope is to snatch one of the centre seats at check in. Especially at overnight flights I would always prefer a centre seat because of the space and direct aisle access.


Stairs to the Upper deck, now with a view...

new Business Class

Back "home" it was time for a couple of hours of relaxation and also a small nap. I am not the one to use the entertainment system during flights normally, except for the Flight map. But in my opinion the screen is not too small. It could be bigger, of course but it's totally acceptable.

Lufthansa does not offer any snackmenu during the flight, but this does not mean, you have to starve. Midflight there was a small snack from the trolley and about 2 hours before landing a small dinner was served.

Snack

Snack

Dinner:
Oktopus carpaccio mit marinated fennel, medium-rare saddle of veal with tuna sauce and filet of anchovy with pine nuts. And, of course, the famous German pretzel bread...

Filet of red mullet on saffron rice

Unfortunately, even in First Class, every flight has come to an end. 

I never took such a northern route to Mexico before...

But flying Lufthansa to Mexico City, this end is a little farer away than usual. As the 747-8 is too long for a direct approach to the terminal, you take a right turn and then access the terminal by crossing both runways.

At the exit a nice lady was waiting to guide First Class passengers (and HONs) through immigration. The bad thing flying to Mexico City from Europe normally is, that all European airlines arrive almost at the same time. As they all come with the bigger metal, there is quite a line at immigration (last time it took me almost two hours just to enter the country). But this time our guide brought us (after the usual looong way to the immigration hall, no gulf carts) to the crew and diplomats booths, which First Class passengers are allowed to use, too. A nice service from Lufthansa, which cuts the waiting time to 10 min. The luggage was already waiting, too and customs was a breeze thanks to the green "traffic light". And there I was again in my second home country.