tom911 enjoys SFO-FRA in First Class on the Lufthansa A380

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by tom911, Apr 8, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Happy Easter! Hello from the Lufthansa International First Class Terminal and Lounge just outside the main terminal at the Frankfurt Airport. Had to actually exit the main terminal to walk down here for access, as it's supposed to have a few more amenities (well, it's bigger, but otherwise just looks like the lounge I used inside the terminal last year). . As I have over 7 hours until my next flight there's plenty of time. Thought about going to Mainz where the high is forecast to be 48F but my duffle bag with all the electronics and cables just weighs too much and it wouldn't be a comfortable visit (with about $1,500 of computers and cameras I don't dare even think about leaving it in a locker at the train station). Too risky for me.

    Flight time from SFO on the A380 was 9 hours 50 mins with arrival at 10:20am Sunday. We boarded directly to the upper deck (recall this is a double-decker plane). Had a short delay on our 2:45pm departure while they removed two passengers bags who did not arrive for the flight and were airborne at 3:30pm. Smooth flight the entire way. I was in the first row on the upper deck. There are some stairs about 15 feet across from me but they are barricaded once we're in the air so very little foot traffic in the cabin. The bathrooms are on either side of the stairway. There's a sofa and behind what looks like a closet door is a urinal.

    I had an ottoman for storage in front of me under the TV screen, and behind that my own personal locker with hangars to store clothing and bags. It had a combination lock but I didn't see much of a need to set it as my bag just contained cables and a day's worth of clothing with the netbook and tablet in the ottoman storage.

    I stayed awake the first 4 hours and watched an episode of The Borgias and one movie (Iron Lady with Meryl Streep). In the bright sun the video display, which is above the ottoman in front of my seat, was hard to see, but once the cabin lights dimmed and the window shades were darkened it was perfect. My seat was turned into a bed for the next 4 hours but don't think I slept more than an hour. Usually on these overnight flights there's always someone that wants to keep their overhead light on, but the 4 other passengers in my 8 seat cabin all tried to sleep after dinner so didn't have to deal with that. The cabin was a little warm and I'm not used to going to bed at 7:30 CA time.

    [​IMG]

    I had some French champagne (D de Devaux Brut, Champagne Veuve Devaux from a champagne house founded in 1846), along with macadamia nuts when boarding, and during the flight a glass of Argentine Malbec and another champagne during my main course (Poached Lobster Tail and Claw served with Saffron Reduction, simmered mushrooms and Butternut Squash) which the flight attendant recommended to accompany it. The other options were Tenderloin of Beef, Pasta and Fingerling Potato, and Chicken Breast. Happy with my selection and certainly something I would not have at home.

    I selected the Caviar, Grilled Shrimp and Slices of Sirloin appetizers and passed on Beef Ravioli stuffed with creamy goat cheese. The flight attendant recommended vodka with the caviar (small glasses on the serving table right next to the caviar), so had some of that too. Not being a caviar person I took it plain (they offered eggs and two other options with it).

    [​IMG]

    I selected some brie and gruyere cheese for dessert along with a milk chocolate panna cotta (a scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate pudding on the side). After dessert, some Baileys and chocolates.

    [​IMG]

    At breakfast time I didn't have much of an appetite and had some yogurt with fruit and scrambled eggs with bacon. I passed on bowls of fruit, salmon, roast beef, chicken, pastrami, a basket of breakfast breads and various cheeses. I had reached my limit. Two flight attendants working this cabin could not have been nicer and came back a couple times to make sure I didn't want any other beverages or breakfast items. Hard to say “no” but I just couldn't eat or drink anything more and probably had too much as it is.

    I did take a look through some of the TV programming available and they had Hart to Hart, which hasn't aired in 20 years I think, as well as Knight Rider, Glee and Mad Men. They had some older movies like Flashdance (1983) and All the Presidents Men (1976) mixed with new movies including J Edgar, so something for everyone.

    Just had a shower and I'm 3.5 hours from departure now. Time for lunch. Upload speed here was really slow until the afternoon bank of travelers bailed out, leaving just a few of us behind.

    A bunch more photos in the featured gallery here:
    http://tom911.smugmug.com/AirlinesI...O-FRA/22333039_vLPMH2#!i=1784556330&k=sFfwLsN.
     
  2. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Looks great!
     
  3. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    I am the only guest in the restaurant. It doesn't get better than this. Got some shrimp from the buffet line and have ordered a Thai chicken soup with coconut milk that has just appeared and wiener schnitzel for lunch. The soup is delicious. They're out of both NZ and Chilean sauvignon blanc so I'm having a chardonnay from somewhere (can't remember where right now). Still have 2.5 hours until they call my next flight.

    Sad that this will be my one and only time here (I have been in the First Class lounge in terminal) because I'm just about out of UA miles and don't plan to rack any more miles up with them.
     
  4. perryplatypus

    perryplatypus Gold Member

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    Great photos tom911. Things look good in first!
     
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  5. wrxmom

    wrxmom Gold Member

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    How was the Borgias?
     
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  6. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Thanks for sharing, tom911!!

    :)
     
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  7. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    Tom,

    Sounds like a great trip. One of these days I'm going to beakdown and use my UA miles to fly LH J instead of C.
     
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  8. SQ LPP
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    SQ LPP Gold Member

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    Agree! The soup is delicious. It's like the signature dish of LH FCT/FCL. :)
    The freshly squeezed orange juice is very refreshing for beating the jet lag for me.
     
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  9. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    The lounge (at least the F one in the terminal) had a really good Asian-inspired menu with some sake pairings last month).

    BB to 031512 040.jpg BB to 031512 041.jpg
     
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  10. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    this seat looks very much like the one i st had on the 340 and is very different from the sq 380. menu sounds very similiar too (I flew sfo muc b/c couldn't get seatbon the 380 onmiles).

    I really likechampagne and the first class lounge in fra has the best selection I'VE ever seen in a lounge. a real treat! I think they also have the best sleeping rooms I've experienced ina lounge.

    I dont know what it is, but both lh and thai served Italian caviar. I didn't inow there even was such a thing!! It wasnt bad IMHO, but not comparable to the others eg russian. I know there's a big eclogical/extinction problem so I'm not upset just wish there was a safer/farmed way to get the good stuff, but better for my health not to have it I guess;)

    I love the thaisoup too and was really surprised at how well they did it.
     
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  11. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    Curious, how did you get F? Was it with miles? Or with J + SWU? I've been looking at SFO-FRA LH availability and it's been nonexistent.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
  12. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    Great trip report and photos. Thanks for sharing.

    When I've had long layovers in FRA before, I checked my carry-on bag in the lockers they have at the Senator Lounges (have not been fortunate enough to visit the FCL/FCT, but I'm sure they have something similar). They just need a secondary ID like your drivers license as deposit. Just need to remember to keep your boarding pass and passport so you can get back into the terminal :)
     
  13. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    They pretty much are the same seats but the 340 has less storage space and a different IFE system since it's a lot slower and doesn't have a few features like the one on the A380. The cabin in the A380 is super quiet too..
     
  14. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    Thanks so much for putting that together for us, Tom. That picture of you in the F seat really brought back to my mind all the reports I had read about LH not going for luxury in the A380 to the extent that other carriers such as SQ and EK, and even QF, did. I'm sure it was comfortable enough, but it just doesn't look all that special considering it is international first class.

    Tom I do have one question: In your report you say "A bunch more photos in the featured gallery linked below." But in my browser (Internet Explorer on Windows 7) there is nothing linked below. Yes, there is a sig line that starts with you being an AA EXP 3MM and then mentions galleries, but in my browser none of those gallery titles is "clickable." Am I missing something?

    Thanks again for all your work putting your report together, and thus for keeping us posted. Happy Travels, sir.
     
  15. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    For now use tom911.smugmug.com
    Looks lik the link icon on MP might be disabled right now.
     
  16. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    Thx!

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
  17. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Netbook internet is real slow so I'm on the tablet. Will try to move files and photos to it and upload next segment later today. Too time consuming todo at the airport. Think the wifi problem at FRA was on my side.

    I'm at HKG in the arrivals hall.
     
  18. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Netbook seems to be working again. Just came into Kowloon on the A21 bus.

    Photos from this part of the trip report start here:
    http://tom911.smugmug.com/AirlinesI...O-FRA/22333039_vLPMH2#!i=1785972234&k=7xxMnJj
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hello this Monday afternoon from Hong Kong. Just arrived after a 10 hour 45 min flight from Frankfurt on the lower deck of a Lufthansa 747. I was up in the first row again which has a wall in front of it so no cabin noise to speak of. Once we were in the air about 6pm Frankfurt time I was sound asleep and slept a solid 6 hours straight through. I knew the lack of sleep the flight before would catch up eventually. Seats aren't as flat as the A380, and not as wide, and there's no flight attendant to make my bed because that's not offered on the 747 in business class. Had a comfortable pillow and I was fine. Breakfast was a rather sad looking poached egg, diced potatoes and a sausage.

    This is my second segment on a United one-way partner award from SFO to Hong Kong, going the long way with over 20 hours in flight, the longest I've ever been in the air on a single continuous trip. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS IN COACH!

    I had thought about having dinner on the Hong Kong flight, but nothing jumped out from the menu (the only interesting choice was beef stroganoff), and before departing the first class terminal in Frankfurt I popped in for lunch at 2pm, having the entire restaurant with table service to myself. You can select items from the buffet line (some shrimp for me), as well as off a daily menu (I had a Thai chicken soup with coconut milk and wiener schnitzel). They offered both a New Zealand and Chilean sauvignon blanc on the menu but were out of both, so had to have a glass of chardonnay instead, though I don't recall what country that was from. Prior to my going into the restaurant the lounge had been very busy but once the early afternoon flights departed emptied out. The rest of the time in the lounge I had mostly water and one Coke (asked for Diet Coke and as the attendant was pouring saw that wasn't it).

    .[​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I think I'll do fine holding out for breakfast before landing in Hong Kong.

    Prior to lunch I had a shower in what I'd describe as a shower suite. Not only is there a shower stall with a rain forest shower head above, but also a tub and a rubber duckie in a separate area (which I now have in my bag) and a toilet. There are even sleeping rooms if you want to take a nap.

    [​IMG]

    One of the attendants came for me for boarding around 5:15 and we headed down a floor where I got my passport back from the Border Patrol officer and was escorted to my waiting Mercedes (yes, you're reading this right, waiting Mercedes) for the 10 minute obstacle course drive around the tarmac to the waiting airplane. I did have to share the car with one other passenger on the same flight, also in business. They had a fleet of cars available including Porsches and more Mercedes. No Porsche for me today.

    [​IMG]

    I'm here in Hong Kong for a few days. This was always my planned destination on my award ticket.
     
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  19. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    It was only one hour-long episode so I'm missing a lot being that I don't subscribe to the channel it's on at home. I've always liked Jeremy Irons and he seems to do a reasonable job of being the Pope. Saw some other episodes somewhere before (either another LH flight or a free preview weekend).
     
  20. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    70K for a one way UA award SFO-HKG booked two days out on their web site. Definitely worth the miles. I also did LH to Rome last year in F booked 8 days out and there's a trip report in this forum. That was on a 747 SFO-FRA on the upper deck.

    My original plan was to go to London but I didn't want to pay $300 in taxes to come home from there. Looked at alternatives home from DUB and BRU and they didn't work. My departure taxes later this week from HKG are $33. Easy choice to make and I really did want to try the A380 F class.

    Besides the nonstops SFO-HKG, I was offered routings via NRT, ICN, LHR and PVG (probably one or two more I can't think of). The routing from LHR to HKG was with Singapore in coach on an A380 so I ruled that one out right away. One or two of those required forced overnights. The LH A380 in F seemed to offer the best travel value when you added everything up.
     
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  21. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    The excellent service could balance out some of that. I've done a lot in international business with UA and AA on upgrades, but even with them it's not first but rather business. I don't have any currency but miles to get me into F on international. My Qantas trips have all been in business--just never took the time to look for first primarily because I didn't want to burn the extra miles with all the award travel I do. I'll be coming home later in the week with a different carrier in F.
     
  22. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    Thanks for that. I actually have a very similar routing to HKG later this month, but currently have SFO-FRA on UA F and checking like a madman on ANA's site for LH F to open up ... don't know how I will check once it's a week within since Aeroplan's and United's site have given me lots of phantom availability.

    Cool that you were able to get into the FCT even as a departing J pax! I thought LH was rather strict about it. Can't wait for my visit next week :D
     
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  23. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    I can't believe you described the LH A380 F bathroom as a urinal, Tom. :)

    -David
     
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  24. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    Well, when I was able to get into smugmug and see the suite/ottoman appearance of that same seat (which you had of course mentioned in your description), I felt a little more positive about it. Even more importantly, I am glad you find the service itself to be excellent -- second only to safety, that's what it's all about. Enjoy your journey. . . .
     
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  25. wrxmom

    wrxmom Gold Member

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    Thanks - I've seen the previews but wasn't sure if it was worth watching.
     

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