After another lovely visit to the wonderful Lufthansa First Class Terminal, I was riding in a Mercedes S-Class across the tarmac at Frankfurt to the plane that would take me to Tokyo. This would be my first flight on a Airbus 380, and the first trip to Japan where I would actually spend more than a few hours. The Lufthansa First Class A380 product is not that new anymore, but it is new to me. Kevin discussed his experience in Business Class.
There were 6 people in the First Class Terminal that were on the Tokyo flight. Thankfully, we rode in 2 separate sedans rather than a minivan that sometimes gets used. The 2 gentlemen who rode in the car with me must have been Lufthansa HON Circle members, since they were sitting in Business Class. The 3 others were in another vehicle, and who shared row 1 of first class with me. There was one other passenger seated in 2A, so a total of 5 of the 8 seats were occupied. Once at the plane, we got on an elevator which took us to the jet bridge connected to the upper deck. I turned left, and climbed aboard.
Onboard Lufthansa First Class on the A380
The seat itself is the newest generation of the Lufthansa First Class suite. This is the same seat I experienced on the Lufthansa 747-8i and this is what is on the reconfigured 747-400s and Airbus fleet. While the newness of the 747-8i was great as was sitting in the nose, I actually prefer the 1-2-1 configuration on the A380.
hot towel upon boarding
I took my seat in 1K, and was warmly greeted by the flight attendant. The Lufthansa First Class seats have a lockable closet adjacent to the suite; in my case, it was right on the bulkhead, so it was very convenient to store my carry on luggage. These closets are in front of the cabin for the window seats in row 1 and the rest are behind row 2. There are no overhead bins, so these storage lockers are useful.
Lufthansa First Class A380 lavatories
Another very impressive feature of First Class on the Lufthansa A380 is the huge bathroom in the front of the cabin. This is just huge:
I can see how the Emirates version makes room for a shower. This is not a feature of the Lufthansa configuration, however, male fliers can take advantage of a urinal hidden behind a door…
3/5 of the first class passengers on my flight wouldn’t find this amenity useful given that they are female. I guess I liked it for the novelty, but I’m not sure why Lufthansa opted for this.
Lufthansa First Class A380 Stairway to Heaven
Okay, maybe that’s overstating it a bit, but Lufthansa First Class on the A380 is a great way to fly. This photo is looking up towards First Class from the front stairs. The lavatories are on either side parallel to the stairway railing. There is a railing/gate that blocks these stairs during the flight. Flight attendants use it on occasion during the flight, and it is stored out of the way for take off and landing.
Once we had leveled off, I took a look at the menu. This menu was split into Western and Japanese cuisines.
WESTERN CUISINEWe will gladly serve you with an individually composed meal created by our star chef.Please let us know what you would like.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
* Arugula Salad, Frisee and Radicchio with Brown Mushrooms, Fennel and CarrotJuliennes presented with your Choice of Yogurt and Dill or Sun Dried Tomato Dressing
Choice of Main Courses
* Saddle of Reindeer, Curry flavored Lentils and Aniseed Plums
* Parsley crusted Turbot, Swiss Chard and Tandoori Potato Cream
Select 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
We are please to serve you a selection of canapes, onigiri and fresh fruits during the flight.
* Caviar with the traditional Garnishes
* Grilled Eel on Seaweed Salad with marinated Cucumber in Vinegar and SoyDressing and Goma Dofu * Steamed Tofu with Sesame Seeds, Keta Caviar, Cucumber, green Horseradish andFish Dressing
* Suimono with boiled Pork Belly, Vegetable Juliennes and black Peppercorn
* Steamed Liver of Monkfish with fresh Chives and Citrus Jelly, Tilapia Sushi, Sushiwith Crab Meat and Seaweed, poached Scallop with Egg Yolk au Gratin, marinatedCherry Tomato, Poularde Teriyaki, Japanese Omelette with Seaweed and green Beans
* Japanese Noodles with Chives and Wasabi
* Grilled Pork Slices with Soy Bean Paste, stewed Carrots, Shiitake Mushrooms,Radish and Sweet Root accompanied by Japanese Rice with Sesame Seeds * Fried Bream in Soy Sauce with grated Radish, baked Silk Tofu, grilled red BellPepper, sauteed Herb Mushrooms, deep-fried Sweet Root, Baby Bok Choy,accompanied by Japanese Rice with Sesame Seeds
* Miso Soup
* Pickled Baby Eggplant, marinated Japanese Cucumber and Radish pickled with
* Matcha Green Tea Cake
“Allegra” Champagne Jacquart, France
2011 Cloudy Bay, Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand
Walcher Pommegnac, Italy
Sherry Amontillado Hidalgo
2010 Erdbacher Hohenrain Riesling Erstes Gewächs, Schloss Reinhartshausen,Germany
2007 Château de Rully, Rully Premier Cru, Antonin Rodet, France
2005 Redoma Tinto, Dirk van de Niepoort, Portugal
2005 Montemareto Countacc!, Monferrato Rosso D.O.C.,Michele Chiarlo, Italy
2005 Château Belgrave, Cru Classé, Haut-Médoc, France
The meal begins
After my Wiener Schnitzel and other food in the First Class Terminal, I wasn’t exactly in need of another multi course meal, but I waited a little while, then went ahead with it. This flight was serving lunch and then breakfast. It departed Frankfurt in the early afternoon and arrived in Tokyo the next morning.
The amuse bouche that began the meal was more typical of past experiences with this course in Lufthansa First Class. Nothing special. It was some sort of meat wrapped around some creamy cheese. I will try most any food once, but one taste was enough of this.
2011 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand
One feature of the menu that I was pretty happy about was the monthly featured wine. I am by no means a wine expert, but I have had the opportunity to explore various wine growing regions in my travels. Its not often I see a wine on a menu and can say that I know that particular wine and have even been to the vineyard. That was the case with the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc. My wife and I visited the cellar door on our bike tour of Marlborough on the south island of New Zealand.
As for cuisine, I opted for primarily the western menu, figuring, I’d get plenty of Japanese cuisine during my stay there.
First course was the Guinea Fowl, which was tasty and I enjoyed the confit.
I couldn’t pass up either the pretzel or garlic bread.
Obligatory photo of First Class butter.
Then I had saddle of reindeer for a main course. I’ve eaten venison before, but not reindeer. It was fine. Nothing too special. I just felt weird eating ‘Rudolph’.
For dessert I had some grapes, and the Matcha Green Tea Cake from the Japanese menu.
Relaxation in flight
I also went with some Japanese green tea after lunch. After the meal, I watched some TV and Movies. The in flight entertainment system is nice, but the selection is somewhat lacking.
Yes, this photo is from the 747-8i, but the seat and IFE is the same
I eventually asked the flight attendant to make my bed, and I settled in for a comfortable rest.
After several hours of sleep, I woke up maybe 2 hours prior to arrival, so I did some more exploring of the entertainment system. Once I was awake, the flight attendants offered me a breakfast menu.
WESTERN BREAKFASTCold and hot specialities
Freshly squeezed Orange Juice
Yogurt, Elderflower Yogurt with chopped Macadamia Nuts, Cornflakes with Milk
Emmental, Cream Cheese with Herbs, Prague Bay Leaf Ham, Tyrolean Bacon
Japanese Omelette, Fish Pie flalmed, Chili flavored Cod Roes, Salad of Radish, Carrot, Shiitake and Tofu, marinated and poached Tuna Dices, Seaweed Roll
Deep-fried and cooked Eggplant with Crab Meat and light Fish Sauce
Fried marinated Salmon presented with Ragout of Salsify, Lotus Root, Carrots and Sugar Snap Peas, jellied Starch accompanied by: Steamed Rice
Okayu Rice Soup
Pickled yellow Radish, marinated Baby Eggplant, Coltsfoot
I again opted for the western breakfast. I remembered that both the orange juice and eggs are prepared fresh on board on Lufthansa, so I went for both of those.
Overall it was a simple, but tasty airline breakfast. I had a full day of exploring Tokyo ahead of me, so I was fueled up and ready.
Approach into Narita
Soon, the flight attendants began to prepare the cabin for arrival and we began our descent towards Narita. As we approached the airport, I began to play with the various camera options on the IFE. This was a fun feature, with both nose and tail cameras.
This photo was bumpy as we were taxiing to the gate
I was gathering my belongings, and the flight attendants realized they didn’t distribute arrival documents to First Class passengers. Whoops, while not a big deal, it did lead to somewhat of a line once at immigration.
In all, I was very impressed with my first A380 flight. Lufthansa’s newest first class is a great way to fly, with a seat comfortable for sitting, lounging and sleeping. There is enough privacy, and the lack of overhead bins allows for a very open cabin. I’m definitely a fan of the big bird, at least in First Class. It wouldn’t likely be too pleasant in one of the 420 economy seats downstairs, and unfortunately business class is 2000’s era angled seats.
Soon I was off to the train station and my Tokyo exploration was about to begin.