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For my recent trip to Norway, I was able to leverage United miles to fly in one of the best first class products in the sky, the “new” Lufthansa First Class. Obviously you don’t need a lie-flat bed, new pajamas, and multi-course meal to make it from Point A to Point B, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t pretty enjoyable.
I talked about planning this journey in the linked post below, and will be covering the various details of the trip in individual posts. This particular post will be dedicated to the Lufthansa First Class flight on a A330 from Dallas DFW – Frankfurt.
Lufthansa First Class A330 Dallas – Frankfurt (this post)
Lufthansa First Class Lounge in Frankfurt
Intra-European Flights to Oslo on SAS and Lufthansa
Radisson Blu Plaza, Oslo
One Night in Oslo
Radisson Blu Resort, Trysil
Skiing in Norway
Radisson Blu Oslo Airport
Lufthansa First Class A380 Frankfurt – Houston
Finding Lufthansa First Class availability is a little big like hunting for an Easter Egg. The availability is sometimes out there, but you have to search in different spots to find it. I don’t always care about which carrier I fly with, but sometimes for an amazing trip it can be fun to have an amazing flight. In this case it was worth the effort of checking Lufthansa first class availability daily starting at roughly 14 days before departure, which is when it typically begins to get released to partners such as United. I did the checking manually using United’s site and then cross checking with ANA and/or AviancaTaca to make sure the availability was real (as United can sometimes show availability that isn’t really there).
I was willing to fly from multiple US cities to Frankfurt including Houston, Chicago, Washington Dulles, Dallas, etc. Ultimately I found the first class availability from Dallas, and was happy to grab it and look forward to the flight.
I spent the time at the Dallas airport at the American Express Centurion Lounge. This is an amazing lounge that I was able to access using my The Platinum Card® from American Express. Here I was able to do some work, enjoy some lunch, and get both a 15 minute massage and manicure all complimentary thanks to my Amex Platinum card.
The lounge was located in Terminal D, right across from my boarding gate. I headed to the gate about 45 minutes before departure, and before too long we were all boarding. Lufthansa boards business class and first class at the same time, so it is a lot of people that start to board all at once. What was amazing to me is that Lufthansa boarded the whole big plane in less time than many airlines I fly often board a smaller 737.
However, once you are on board you are on a huge plane, but in a cabin with only eight passengers.
First Class Cabin:
I was in seat 1A, and most of the other passengers appeared to be in the US on business and returning home to Europe on this Friday night flight. The last time I flew Lufthansa first I was on the spacious A380 that had lockers for each first class passenger. My carry-on had easily fit in that locker, but this time my carry-on would not come close to fitting in the small overhead bins, and actually had to be put in a crew storage area. Granted I had over-stuffed the bag a bit with ski clothes for Norway, but the carry-on storage was quite small on this plane.
The seat was the same as I had experienced in the new Lufthansa first class before. It is comfortable, spacious, and has a little storage space at your feet that can easily hold a purse, laptop bag, and/or shoes.
A couple of minutes after boarding (and finally finding a spot for my big carry-on), the flight attendant came by with a glass of champagne which seemed to be the right way to start such an exciting flight.
Once boarding was complete, the pre-departure service was taken away and we taxied out for departure…or in this case deicing thanks to some light snowfall in Dallas. That caused about a 30 minute delay, but it really made the timing for dinner and sleep a tad bit better since the original departure was scheduled for 4:20 with landing in Frankfurt at just after 8AM. Leaving at closer to 5PM was a good thing in my book.
I would guess there was about 30-45 minutes from when we took off until the meal service began, so this was the perfect time to get acquainted with the in-flight entertainment. There are plenty of movies and tv shows to choose from, but the selection isn’t that stellar. For example, there are movies like Home Alone and old TV shows like Roseanne. Not bad choices, but the newer selections were a bit limited. I went with the newer choices of Last Vegas and Enough Said which were plenty good for a plane ride.
There was supposed to be in-flight internet available on this plane, but either it wasn’t working, or none of my devices were picking up the signal. I wasn’t too disappointed as I really needed sleep more than connectivity, but it is worth mentioning. I don’t recall them saying anything about it not working, so it could have just been an error on my end.
One form of in-flight entertainment that I quite enjoyed before the meal service, was the view from the windows. The sun was starting to set and the view was awe inspiring. Much better than any WiFi connection to be sure.
Meal service is a multi-course affair with many selections available on most courses.
I was asked if I wanted to be woken up in time for breakfast, but I declined as every minute of sleep is precious to me on these overnight flights to Europe…so I can’t comment on the breakfast other than to simply share the menu.
With dinner I participated in every single course, starting with a “special” sent out to everyone. The meat was a tad chewy for me, but the flavor was good.
Next came your choices from the bread basket. I really like their pretzel rolls, so couldn’t turn one of those down. The other bread I got was not my favorite.
Next is where things really got over-the-top for me when they brought out the caviar. At no time in my normal life am I offered caviar, nor am I anywhere where it is even really available. It was delicious spread on the toast provided and sprinkled with the onions and other goodies brought out. I can’t say if that is the way you are “supposed” to eat it, but it seemed to be the common method by sneaking glances at others in the cabin.
After the caviar came the appetizer cart. You can select whichever ones you want from the cart. I went with the prosciutto with melon and the ahi tuna with basil oil. Both were very good and the jalapeno with the ahi gave it a fun spicy kick.
I selected the poached cod with baby bok choy and cinnamon rice for the main course. I am always a little afraid of selecting fish on planes for fear that it will be…fishy. However, that was not a problem in this case as the fish was very fresh, well cooked, and the cinnamon flavor from the rice was delicious. It also was a meal that, while filling, wasn’t the kind that will make you feel like you are too stuffed to be comfortable.
I wasn’t really hungry for dessert, but had to at least try the berry shortcake with creme anglaise. I only had a few bites, but the shortcake tasted like pound cake and was moist, rich, and delicious. Throughout the meal service, I was offered many different wines, drinks, waters, etc. In fact, I think the flight attendant got a bit frustrated that I kept guzzling water instead of the fancy list of wines, but my priority is staying hydrated on flights.
Thanks in part to the delay on the tarmac, by the time dinner service was completed I had just about watched two movies and was ready to put my provided amenity kit and pajamas to good use and get ready for bed.
I headed to the lav that is nicer than most domestic lavs (hello window!), but certainly much smaller than the one on the Lufthansa A380, to change clothes and get ready for some rest. My favorite amenity provided by Lufthansa are the make-up removing wipes! So handy and helpful.
When I returned to my seat, it had already been transformed into a lie-flat bed and I was ready to get some sleep for the 5 hours or so that remained until we had to start getting ready for landing. Sleeping on these seats/beds is very easy for me, and my only complaint is that the cabin was kept a bit warm for sleeping.
When it was time to wake-up we were flying over Germany and the amazing flight was coming to an end. I had just enough time to change clothes, drink some OJ, and get ready for landing.
Upon landing in Frankfurt we saw some of the vehicles that were going to drive the first class passengers to the terminal, so while the flight was over, the over the top treatment was not quite finished. Stay tuned for the next chapter in this series on our trip to Norway!
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