Wednesday newsletters always feature a hotel or flight review.
I recently enjoyed a FABULOUS holiday in Thailand, including a stay at my favorite hotel in the world, Soneva Kiri. You can read my trip reports here:
- Review: Lufthansa First Class Terminal at Frankfurt Airport
- Review: Lufthansa Airbus A380 First Class from Frankfurt to Bangkok (today)
- Review: Soneva Kiri, my favorite hotel in the world
- Review: Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai
- Review: The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection resort & spa, Phuket
- Review: Park Hyatt Hotel Bangkok
- Review: Banyan Tree Hotel Bangkok
- Review: Thai Airways Boeing B747 First Class from Bangkok to Munich
Today (April 11, 2018): Trip report: Lufthansa Airbus A380 First Class from Frankfurt to Bangkok.
On February 9th 2018, I flew First Class in a Lufthansa Airbus A380 from Frankfurt Airport (FRA) in Germany to Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), also known unofficially as Bangkok Airport, in Thailand. Lufthansa is Germany’s flag carrier and a founding member of the biggest airline alliance in the world, Star Alliance. When combined with its subsidiaries Swiss Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Germanwings, Lufthansa is the largest airline in Europe, both in terms of passengers carried and fleet size of 650 aircrafts. The latter comprises many aircraft subtypes, including 14 Airbus A380 planes – the largest number of A380s in a fleet of a European airline. Lufthansa’s A380 First Class cabins offer one of the most exclusive and sought-after experiences in the skies, and although there are now newer and visually more striking First Class products available, Lufthansa still offers a sublime First Class experience, mainly because of the flawless service, delicious food, extremely comfortable bedding, and exceptional First Class lounges (when traveling via its hubs Frankfurt).
Lufthansa features in my top 10 list of the most luxurious A380 First Class products.
Have you ever flown Lufthansa’s First Class? What was your experience? Leave a comment below.
- Trip: Frankfurt (FRA) to Bangkok (BKK)
- Airline: Lufthansa
- Aircraft type: Airbus A380
- Aircraft registration number: D-AIMN (nicknamed Deutschland)
- Flight Number: LH772
- Date: February 9th, 2018
- On time departure: yes (10 pm)
- On time arrival: yes (2 pm; + 1 day)
- Miles: 5570
- Flight time: 10 hours
- Seat: 1K
- Class: First
In this review (more information & photos below my Youtube clip & slideshow):
- Cost of my ticket
- Lufthansa First Class Terminal at Frankfurt
- Facts & figures about Lufthansa’s A380 longhaul fleet
- First Class cabin
- First Class seat (+ best & worst suites)
- Onboard internet
- Other inflight experiences (views, crew, lavatory)
- My verdict (score)
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1. COST OF MY TICKET
The cost of my one-way ticket from Frankfurt to Bangkok was 280 euros + 130,000 Miles& More miles. Miles and More is the frequent flyer program of Lufthansa.
2. LUFTHANSA FIRST CLASS TERMINAL AT FRANKFURT
One of the great perks about flying First Class with Lufthansa is that it gives you access to the über-exclusive Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, widely considered one of the best airport lounges in the world and essentially thé Mecca for frequent flyers. Everything in the lounge (which is housed in its own separate terminal) is geared to your personal well-being while spending your pre-flight hours. The space has relax chairs, quiet rooms with day beds, spacious bath and shower rooms, fine wining and dining with cuisine by Michelin-starred chefs, a cigar lounge, a bar where the drinks include more than 130 different varieties of whisky, offices, and a spa. Best of all, once your flight is ready for boarding, you are driven from the terminal to the plane across the tarmac in a limousine.
You can read my extensive review of the Lufthansa First Class Terminal here (with plenty of photos).
3. FACTS & FIGURES ABOUT LUFTHANSA’S A380 FLEET
The A380 is the world’s largest and heaviest passenger aircraft. It is just under 73 meters (240 feet) long, 24 meters (79 feet) high and weighs 560 tons at takeoff. The Lufthansa version can accommodate 509 passengers: 8 First Class seats, 78 flatbeds for Business Class travelers and 423 in Economy and Economy Plus. Each of the plane’s four engines can develop a thrust of 70,000 pounds. That’s equivalent to something like 3,500 cars all running at full power. The A380 is much quieter than older models, more fuel-efficient and even intelligent: It brakes automatically when it touches down on the runway.
4. FIRST CLASS CABIN
Lufthansa’s First Class cabin is located in the front of the A380 upper deck. It’s a small and intimate cabin with an airy and spacious feel because it does not have overhead bins and lacks completely enclosed suites like the ones you find on the A380s of Emirates and Etihad Airways. Instead, Lufthansa choose for open seats, based on passenger feedback, although sliding partitions can be put up to transform the seats into semi-enclosed suites.
There are 8 First Class seats in total, spread across two rows and arranged in a traditional 1-2-1 configuration. Of course, all seats have direct aisle access. The 4 seats on the side are ideal for solo travelers (with 3 windows per seat, although the A380 windows on the upper deck are quite small), while the 4 seats in the middle are perfect for those traveling with a companion. But if you are a solo traveler and you end up in one the middle seats, there’s no problem as you can rise a divider for complete privacy.
The cabin’s clear lines and muted colours – soft yellow panels contrasting with dark brown seat covers – create a feel of understated luxury. The decor is not as opulent as on Emirates nor as refined as on Qatar Airways, but it feels warm, relaxing, and above all, very German. A small vase with a single red rose is attached to each seat wall, next to the entertainment screen, adding a classy touch to the soft and creamy colored space. A small wet bar (with water, Champagne, and orange juice) is located between the cabin’s front wall and the middle two seats in the first row, which is used by the flight attendants to store the wine and small plates during the extensive meal service (more on that below). There are also several private lockers in the cabin’s front, with each passenger being assigned one locker upon boarding.
Click here for the seat map of Lufthansa’s Airbus A380.
5. FIRST CLASS SEAT (+ BEST & WORST SEATS)
For the 10 hour flight from Frankfurt to Bangkok, I had chosen seat assignment 1K (window seat). Prebooking this seat was an adventure in itself. I noticed on ExpertFlyer that this particular seat was the only window seat available on my flight, but I was not able to pre-book it online. A call to the Lufthansa First Class helpdesk learned me that this seat could not be pre-booked because it’s a bassinet seat. However, when I called again the next day, I had another agent on the line, who promptly reserved this seat for me.
The first thing you notice about the First Class seat is that is doesn’t feature a closed suite design which is now standard for most First Class products. This was a well-balanced choice though of Lufthansa, based on customer feedback. While visually less striking and impressive as enclosed suites, I did like the ‘open seat’ a lot, in fact more than an enclosed suite as I don’ like being ‘locked up’ for hours in a small, sometimes claustrophobic box. And Lufthansa combines the best of both worlds, since you can rise a partition to transform the seat in a suite with complete privacy if that’s your preferred seat configuration.
The seat is extremely comfortable in all positions and features generous dimensions with a width of 31 inches (78 cm) and a pitch of 90 inches (230 cm). The Lufthansa A380 First Class seat ranks among the widest seats in the airline industry, and also has a little extra room compared to the First Class seats that you find on Lufthansa’s other aircraft (Boeing 747-8 and Airbus A330/A340). One arm rest holds the seat controls as well as the control for the privacy screen, while the other arm rest holds the handset for the inflight entertainment system, a USB port and two universal adapters. The window side of each window seat (or the central side of each middle seat) also features some storage boxes, a cabinet with the inflight magazines and the safety briefing, and a small fixed table (for drinks and snacks); it also holds a very large tray table which need be pulled out for any use. In front of the seat is a large retractable ottoman, which can be positioned to create the ideal footrest and doubles as a storage box. A 17 inch entertainment screen is fixed above the ottoman, which is on the small side considering some airlines now offer 30 inch TV screens.
Upon request, the flight attendants turn the seat into a fully flat-bed with a length of 81 inches (205 cm). The bed is covered with a comfortable mattress topper and temperature-regulating duvet, and dressed with Fleuresse cotton sheets, a throw, and a thick pillow. The bed(ding) is superb and I was able to sleep for a couple of hours (which doesn’t happen to me a lot).
What are the best First Class seats on Lufthansa’s Airbus A380? Click here for a seat map.
- Solo travelers should go fo the window seats, while companions should choose the middle seats.
What are the worst First Class seats on Lufthansa’s Airbus A380? Click here for a seat map.
- There are no bad seats in Lufthansa’s A380 First Class cabin.
Lufthansa’s First Class passengers receive the following amenities:
- An amenity kit which comes under the form a navy blue bag created by Jil Sanders. The bag contains the essential items for longhaul travel (e.g. eye mask, ear plugs, a comb, shoe horn, toothbrush, and toothpaste) in addition to three tubes with La Prairie skin products (e.g. moisturizing lip balm, cellular hand creme, and cellular swiss ice crystals).
- Superb bedding (cf above), including a mattress topper, temperature-regulating duvet, Fleuresse cotton sheets, a throw, and a thick pillow.
- Bose noise-cancelling headphones (you cannot keep these as the crew collects them before landing).
- A pair of slippers.
- Van Laack branded pajamas, with top and bottom separately packed.
Lufthansa’s First Class product is known for its excellent menus that have been prepared using seasonal and regional produce.The carrier’s on-board catering is provided by LSG Sk Chefs, a subsidiary of Lufthansa and the biggest airline caterer in the world. On this particular flight, dinner was served right after takeoff, and breakfast about 90 minutes prior to landing (although you could have your meals at any time you wanted).
I chose the following selection from the dinner menu:
- Appetizer: spicy beef tartare
- Caviar with the traditional garnishes
- Starter: mix of
- Stuffed beef ham with gorgonzola and date sesame chutney
- Spiced carrots with curried yogurt
- Salad of shrimp and green papaya with chili
- Fresh leaf salad with grilled vegetables and yogurt lime dressing
- Main course: skrei (winter cod) with beurre blanc, bean cassoulet, smoked bell pepper mash, and Passe-Pierre seaweed
- Dessert: warm curd cake with lemon thyme, yogurt oat crumbles and sour cream ice cream flavored with lime leaves
Every single meal tasted excellent and was beautifully presented, although unfortunately I wasn’t too hungry after spending my pre-flight hours in the food feast of the Lufthansa First Class Terminal.
The breakfast menu read as follows:
- Freshly squeezed orange juice
- Tropical yogurt smoothie
- Assorted fresh fruits
- Muesli with yogurt
- Yogurt with blackberry coulis
- Gouda and brie
- Black forest ham and bresaola della Valtellina
- Graved salmon
- Scrambled egg
- A selection of different breads and rolls, croissant, muffins and Danish pastry
- Butter, jam, honey and nutella
The First Class in-flight entertainment program offered a large choice with more than 100 films in up to eight different languages. Hollywood blockbusters, new German and European productions and films from Japan, China, India and many other countries catered for all tastes. There were also 200 TV programs available as well as a big choice of entertainment content for families and children. In addition, you could follow the latest news via the live TV channels CNN and Euronews, as well as sports highlights via Sports 24. The audio section featured a large selection of CDs, audio books, playlists and podcasts from around the world. Bose noise-cancelling headphones were provided to guarantee the best sound quality.
There were two things though that I did not like that much about Lufthansa’s inflight entertainment system:
- The TV screen is rather small (17 inch), especially when you know that some airlines now offer 30 inch TV screens in their premium class cabins.
- The inflight entertainment is controlled by a handheld remote, but scrolling with the handset through the selection of movies and TV shows is a bit slow.
9. ONBOARD INTERNET
In 2004, Lufthansa was the first airline to offer inflight internet to its passengers on international flights. What is pretty much the norm these days, was a ground breaking change at the time. Lufthansa offers onboard internet via Deutsche Telekom. On this flight, there were 3 individual tariffs for using the internet service:
- One hour of internet: 9 EUR / 10 USD / 65 CNY or 3,000 miles
- Four hours of internet: 14 EUR / 15.50 USD / 100 CNY or 4,500 miles
- Internet during the entire flight: 17 EUR / 19 USD / 125 CNY or 5,500 miles
Since this was a red-eye flight, I did not use the internet, so I cannot comment on the quality of the WiFi signal.
10. OTHER INFLIGHT EXPERIENCES
# CREW: The Lufthansa flight attendants on this particular flight were awesome, efficient and superfriendly. I don’t know why, but I always feel safe when in Lufthansa’s hands.
# LAVATORY: There are two palatial lavatories for First Class passengers in the A380’s nose. Both lavatories feature a bench, large mirrors, a sink, luxurious toiletries, and flowers. In contrast to Emirates and Etihad Airways, there are no showers. Remarkably, they do have a urinal though.
11. MY VERDICT
- First Class Terminal (Frankfurt): 10/10
- Cabin design: 7/10
- Seat comfort (upright): 10/10
- Seat comfort (bed position): 10/10
- Food (quality): 8/10
- Food (quantity): 9/10
- Inflight entertainment : 6/10
- WiFi: 7/10
- Service: 9/10
- Overall experience: excellent: 9/10
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Love your blog and reports. The problem that I have found with the new First Class cabins is that they are not conducive to couples traveling together especially when they are enclosed suites. Lufthansa and Singapore seem to have solved this problem. Keep up the good work
Intrigued. How easy was it to find availability? And am I getting confused or is there a version of their First Class which has a separate seat ant bed?
I really enjoy your trips reports (I’m using them as guides for my Vietnam trip coming in May)…..but
I was very disappointed and unimpressed with LH F. My November 747 LH flight was IAD-FRA, seat 1A. At the door, “1A, your seat is over there” he pointed. From then on I had to ask for everything. No offer to take my jacket. Seat 1A has no storage, so I had to ask. Apparently some VIPs in F got constant attention, FAs were really fawning over them. Food was pretty horrible as well. Oso bucco with risotto nearly inedible, really looked like cow poo. When I commented to Purser, I was told “others liked it” No offer of dessert, FA started clearing my table until I asked about dessert. “Oh, you want dessert?”
2 FAs for eight seats, not good service, I had to use the call button too many times. Worse, this was a PAID ticket, not some upgrade or miles redemption . I’d scratch LH F from any must do list…..don’t.
It was very difficult. I booked the ticket one week before departure since it was only then that an award seat became available in First Class (and it was the only First Class award seat that became available on one of the Frankfurt to Bangkok flights during that period). Lufthansa’s B747-400s used to have a separate bed and seat in their First Class cabin, but this configuration has been phased out.
I believe that the LH 747-800 may have a separate bed
Was there any ground service when you landed in Bangkok ? Wondering what to expect on this same flight I have booked. Thanks!
Yes there is. All First Class passengers are transferred by (shared) gulf cart to customs, and then escorted to the baggage carousel (with priority luggage drop off). Enjoy your flight!