I walked from the Sheraton over to the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, and despite being at one of the most relaxing places at any major airport, I was somewhat frustrated and concerned about my upcoming travel experience.
Visiting the First Class Terminal before departure
The original routing to get home was to fly from Frankfurt to Toronto on Lufthansa, then United to Chicago. That was the best option I could find when I made the final changes to my ticket before travel. The nonstop Frankfurt to Chicago finally opened up several days before my flight, and despite multiple calls to United to switch flights, they couldn’t sync my ticket. Lufthansa confirmed space, and I actually had seats, but United couldn’t get the change to go through. I spent several hours on the phone in both Bangkok and Frankfurt trying to sort this out.
Eventually I just gave up, and hoped the wonderful staff at the First Class Terminal could help me sort it out. I was in Lufthansa First Class either way, and I just wanted to simplify my trip home, and get there in the late afternoon, rather than the evening with the additional connection.
Great to be back at the FCT, this the second visit of this trip. I explained my ticketing situation, and the personal assistant that greeted me told me not to worry, to go and relax in the lounge. She would sort it out and update me. Within 10 minutes of arrival, I had my boarding pass for the nonstop to O’Hare. (This trip was months ago, but sadly, the computer/ticketing issues still persist at United).
Lufthansa 747 First Class in the old configuration
I already covered my visit to the First Class Terminal on the outbound leg. It is always a wonderful experience, topped off with a ride in a fine German automobile across the tarmac to the waiting aircraft. While I was pleased to get on the nonstop to Chicago, I was disappointed that it was in the old 747 configuration. Lufthansa is further along in their 747 reconfiguration program than when I flew these flights last year, but this old configuration is still out there on a few 747s and other planes in the long haul fleet.
Here is a view from the top of the elevator, just before boarding the flight.
View from my exit row seat in the old configuration
The Old Lufthansa First Class cabin
The First Class cabins on Lufthansa 747-400s are unique. The old configuration used to be easy to redeem awards for since there were 16 seats. Now only 8 seats are sold, since the new configuration on the 747-400 has 8 aisle seats and a flat bed by the window. Now no Lufthansa plane has a First Class cabin with more than 8 seats. This old configuration still has 16 seats, but only 8 passengers are ticketed. The flight attendants offered to make up either seat as a bed soon after take off. Since this was a day flight, I didn’t sleep much. These old seats aren’t private at all, but the space is excellent, since this cabin now has half of the passengers as it was designed for.
Pre-departure beverage and Macadamia nuts
Upon finding my seat upstairs, I was offered a drink along with a ‘sweater’ which is basically a long sleeved polo shirt and an amenity kit and slippers. As usual, I’ll link to Darren’s thorough review of this amenity kit. The contents of the kit I received are the same as in his post.
Soon we pushed back and headed off towards the Atlantic crossing. Soon after, the flight crew sprung into action, offering drinks and taking meal orders. The flight left late morning, so it was a lunch service, followed by snack service with a “salad buffet” before arrival. Photos follow of the meal service, but first the menu:
Wine list is the same as my outbound flight between Dulles and Frankfurt on the 747-8i. Some of the items are the same as my previous flights, particularly the lunch service to Tokyo on the A380.
Choice of Hors d'oeuvres
* Caviar with the traditional Garnishes* Grilled Scallops with Quartet of Pumpkin * Gently cooked Guinea Fowl, Orange and Chicory Confit, Basil Vinaigrette* Tomato Salad 2012 with marinated Pineapple
Salad and Soup* Arugula Salad, Frisée and Radicchio with Brown Mushrooms, Fennel and CarrotJuliennes presented with your Choice of Yogurt and Dill or Sun Dried Tomato Dressing*Gazpacho of Beetroot, Pistachio Oil
Choice of Main Courses
* Saddle of Reindeer, Curry flavored Lentils and Aniseed Plums
* Parsley crusted Turbot, Swiss Chard and Tandoori Potato Cream* Orecchiette Pasta with Eggplant Caviar, Parmesan Cheese Sauce and Pumpkin Seed OilLufthansaClassicsIn July: Fried Pork Sausages on creamy Sauerkraut with Potato MashSelect of Cheese and Dessert
Coulommiers, Blue d’Auvergne, Pont l’Evêque, Banon Goat Cheese wrapped inChestnut Leaf, Rahmberg Cheese, Tomato Chutney, Grapes, Cherry Tomatoes andPecan Nuts
Green Shiso Sorbet on Lychee Fruits, Raspberry and Hibiscus Tea
Soft-centered Bar of Chocolate spiced Pineapple and Olive Ice Cream
Let the show begin…
hot towel, sans typical rose petal, although rose perfume was used
Lavatory with a view, and a rose
This is the same amuse bouche I had on the 747-8i between Dulles and Frankfurt. Meh.
Place setting with tasty garlic bread, a pretzel and a glass of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc.
some signatures of Lufthansa First class dining
Guinea fowl and Tomato Salad appetizers
I already had the reindeer earlier in the trip, so I opted for the Orecchiette pasta main course.
Green Shiso Sorbet
This was a decent meal, pretty typical for Lufthansa First Class. In my 3 Lufthansa long haul legs on this trip, some of the menu items were the same. Not too surprising since at least their menu rotates every month, which is better than some other airlines. I preferred the meals I had on Thai.
Since I had 2 seats, I had 2 screens, so I left one on the moving map and the other on various TV shows. On these seats, the IFE screens are tiny, and the amount of content is minimal. Between my 3 Lufthansa flights, I had seen most of the programs I was interested in. I opted to nap for a little while. Soon I was awake and enjoyed some time to relax and read.
As we were approaching Chicago, the second meal was served. Dubbed the Salad Buffet.
Cold and Hot Specialties
Variation of Leaf and Wild Herb Salad
presented with your Choice of
Champagne or Yogurt and Herb Dressing
Duet of smoked Salmon and Tuna
Grilled red and green Bell Pepper
Slices of Cucumber
Toasted Pine Nuts
Wiener Schnitzel, Escalope of Veal with its Garnishes
Sicilian Cassata Tart
This was actually a pretty nice arrival meal, one of the better meals I’ve had on Lufthansa. Its essentially a salad bar that the flight attendants serve from, and allow you to custom make a salad. Keeping things simple is a good thing.
more tasty bread options
Wiener schnitzel – not as tasty as what I had in the First Class Terminal, but pretty good
I toasted the conclusion of my trip with a glass of 10 year old Bushmills single malt
Arrival into O’Hare
Soon we were on the ground at O’Hare, which is very familiar to me, although with this flight we were arriving at Terminal 5. It took longer to walk to the Immigration area than it did for me to clear thanks to Global Entry. Customs was quick as well, and soon was was officially back in the US. The aroma of McDonald’s french fries is strong in the International Arrivals area at O’Hare, and while its always nice to return home, I did not have any desire to eat that. I made my way to the bus curb, and boarded my bus home to Milwaukee. Going from Lufthansa First Class to a coach bus is certainly a reality check. No doubt about it, my trip was over.