I had the opportunity to test the new and current Lufthansa First Class on the 747-400 between Frankfurt and Dubai. Among many great moments, the most extraordinary is probably the seating. In addition to a normal first-class seat, there is also a mattress bed. You read that right: an additional bed with a mattress! It should be noted that this product is currently only available on Lufthansa’s 747-400. All other long-haul models of Lufthansa also have the new first-class installed, but without the bed.
Connecting flight Zurich-Frankfurt with Swiss
It all started at Zurich airport. I positioned myself on a Swiss RJ-100 Jumbolino to Frankfurt. As there is no first-class on such short-haul flights, one is nevertheless provided with the best service in business class. Of course, you are also allowed to use Swiss’ manageable but extremely fine first-class lounge in Zurich. In addition to an a la carte restaurant, there is also a deliciously presented buffet available. The lounge was well attended. As the plane was parked in an outdoor position, I was picked up on time 40 minutes before departure for the limousine transfer to the plane. Upon arrival at the plane, the cabin chief, called Maitre-de-Cabine at Swiss, was standing at attention and saluted almost submissively. It is clear that this man still belongs to the old guard of Swissair, pardon me, I meant Swiss employees. He shook hands, introduced himself, and personally escorted me onto the still-empty plane. The captain also stood at the door and greeted me warmly. This is exactly what first class should be, a model example. A wonderful service. Even before the other passengers arrived by bus, the welcome drink was served and a few personal words were exchanged. He had already noticed, of course, that the onward journey was in Lufthansa’s first class to Dubai. During the flight, I was to learn that he has over 25 years of Swissair or Swiss professional experience. Unmistakable!
Frankfurt is one of the most confusing airports for me worldwide. Upon landing, I had already prepared for a marathon to the First Class Terminal. I was only partially right. After landing, we were parked at one of the countless outdoor positions. To my surprise, a limousine was waiting with a driver and a sign with my name. I was surprised, greeted, and got in. But disappointment followed immediately. Instead of going directly to Lufthansa’s own First Class Terminal, I was dropped off alone and luxuriously at the normal exit. They could have definitely handled that better. So the marathon to the First Class Terminal was not spared. But it was the only criticism of the entire flight.
First Class Terminal in Frankfurt
Upon arrival at the First Class Terminal, a personal security checkpoint was available without the need to queue. The Lufthansa First Class Terminal is visited by a maximum of 300 people per day, so there is no need to worry about rush hour. After passing through the security checkpoint, guests are personally greeted and directed to the terminal. An extensive à la carte restaurant combined with a buffet is available, and to my surprise, it was catered by my favorite caterer, Do&Co. As expected, the culinary experience was exceptional. Guests also have access to bathrooms, including a bathtub and a yellow rubber duck, all in the Lufthansa branding. After ordering from the delicious menu and sampling the buffet, I was asked to hand over my passport so that the Federal Border Guard could complete the departure formalities on a lower floor while I continued eating. I was picked up approximately 45 minutes before the flight and escorted to a limousine, where my passport was returned to me. The Lufthansa 747-400 was parked at a gate position, so we parked next to the aircraft and went directly to the gate via a lift and then boarded the aircraft through the jet bridge. The crew welcomed us and directed us straight to the upper deck.
Onboard the Lufthansa 747-400 in First Class
The upper deck of the Lufthansa 747-800 contains only First Class with “only” eight seats. The older flight attendants were exceptionally friendly, which was quite pleasing. At first, I was a little skeptical, but the crew had the mood and clientele perfectly under control. Once again, it was evident that the crew is an absolutely critical factor for the well-being of passengers on board. Of course, there were also welcome drinks, special Lufthansa mint water, and the usual snacks. However, my attention was primarily focused on the fantastic seating product. In addition to a very comfortable seat and generous seat pitch, there was also a private bed with a mattress available. The respective seat was in the aisle row, and the bed was next to the window. Therefore, there was only ever a seat neighbor across the aisle. Everyone had their side of the plane. This was not surprising, given the few seats available.
Catering and Wi-Fi
To my surprise, I discovered that, for the first time for me, a Wi-Fi internet connection was available after takeoff. The network was maintained by Deutsche Telekom, and I was able to purchase a 24-hour access pass for around 20 EUR using my hotspot login, which I could still use after the flight. Once we reached cruising altitude, the four-course meal service began. A glance at the menu revealed that choosing a dish would not be easy. Here’s what I chose:
- Caviar service from the trolley
- Autumn leaf salads with mushrooms, dried tomatoes, and carrots with French dressing
- Venison medallions with basil spaetzle and mango
- Assorted cheese
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Service and comfort
Of course, after the meal, a test of the inflight entertainment was necessary. This seemed much more modern than my last Lufthansa long-haul flight in business class in 2009. Upon boarding, a Lufthansa sleep suit was also distributed, divided into sizes S, M, L, and XL. There is also a distinction between males and females. I didn’t want to miss this opportunity and tried out the bed. And that’s where the most impressive point of this trip came in. It was a comfortable mattress bed over 2m long, but slightly narrower than a single bed for home use. However, this was not a problem at all. At least as pleasant was the lying height. This is relatively high and located directly by the window so that the windows are always arranged at head height. It is quite a decadent feeling to fly over Iran, full belly, lying on a mattress bed while a Skype video conference is running over the WLAN with colleagues. But the enjoyment outweighs the decadence so strongly that it is quickly displaced. Onboard in First Class are mostly HON Circle members. HON Circle is the highest frequent flyer status in the Miles & More program. 600,000 miles must be flown in two consecutive calendar years. Experienced and exciting audience is of course guaranteed.
It is also worth mentioning that during the flight, the purser introduced herself personally and inquired with two or three sentences if everything was in order. She inquired about the further plans at the destination and the return to Europe. No forced conversation, but really friendly and interested. The entire First Class crew always consisted of at least three people. A pax/crew ratio that can certainly be seen in this class. After landing and arriving at the gate, it took a good 5 minutes for the complete farewell in the upper deck. As the last passenger by far, I walked down the stairs and only then did I realize that the entire plane, including business class, had to wait until I disembarked. Only then did the crew release the aisles for the remaining passengers to disembark. This gave Lufthansa’s First Class product the extravagant finishing touch.