A German Masterclass: Lufthansa First on A340

One of the most reviewed premium cabin offering on the internet, Lufthansa showed me how a proper service for first class customer is done. Efficiency and modesty truly is timeless.

Although not as generous as in early 2000’s, Lufthansa still provides a decent amount of premium cabin award availability to their Star Alliance partners. If you are based in the US or Germany, this means you usually won’t be short of options to choose from. In my case, I decided to try one of their less well-known Detroit route, or what I like to call the ‘autobahn’ route.

The Flight

  • LH 443 First Class
  • Detroit (DTW) – Frankfurt (FRA)
  • 15:30 – 5:40 +1 (8 h 10m)

I was already impressed at the check in counter when the agent offered to escort me through security as this is not something that I expect from a minor outstation, so you can say that my trip was off to a good start. Despite only having one daily departure, LH operates their own lounge in Detroit with a separate section for First Class customers and Senator/HON elite members. Although the facility and food inside were nothing special, it’s a major upgrade compared to what United has in the DTW (and many other US airports).

At the time of boarding. an agent approached me saying that she would escort me to the plane, so who am I to say no? She brought me to the front of the line, where the gate agent welcomed me and allowed me to enter the jetbridge without even a glance to my passport or boarding pass. So this was my first time being the first passenger onboard, and to my surprise, I was the only passenger in the front cabin that day.

LH has a subtle, warm color scheme for their cabin design which perfectly suits my taste. The seat layout is the typical 1-2-1 and although there is nothing groundbreaking about the seat itself (e.g., no sliding doors), it’s very comfortable with ample storage and easy-to-operate seat control.  I may be a bit biased as I had the whole cabin for myself but I found the service onboard to be very professional and attentive. They really tried to make me enjoy the experience without being pushy. Again, it’s good to be the only one in the cabin as they let me use different seats for dining and sleeping. As for the amenity, LH had a cool rimowa amenity case, a very durable set of pajamas, and a great bedding. Speaking of sleep, their thick cabin curtain and the Bose headphone really helped minimize the noise from other parts of the plane and created a good ambience to sleep.

Another thing that sets LH apart is their lounge offering in their hubs. They have a dedicated First Class terminal in Frankfurt and Munich (as in, a separate building) where you can get transported to your plane directly with their cars. For this trip, I only used their lounge in the main terminal but even so, the dining, bedroom and shower facilities were great. And don’t forget to bring home on of those Lufthansa ducks!

2016-01-01 01.55.48

Despite all of the above, there is one area needing a major improvement: in-flight entertainment. I mean, seriously, I thought no one could match ANA’s lack of selection for movies or tv shows but looks like we have a competitor here.

Final words

Overall, this is a very solid offering which met all of my expectation. Some people might dislike the ‘openness’ of the seat but I think the privacy divider and the sound-proof design should make up for it. Also, special thumbs up for their ground service! Now let’s just hope your trip won’t be disturbed by a german strike.

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