Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Trip Report #1: North America to Asia, The Long Way: Lufthansa B747-8 First Class Washington to Frankfurt

Lufthansa B747-8 First Class Washington to Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Lounge & Terminal in Frankfurt
Lufthansa A380 First class Frankfurt to Tokyo
ANA Business Class Tokyo to Hong Kong + Lounge in NRT
Thai Airways New B747 First Class Bangkok to Tokyo
Cathay Pacific Business Class Tokyo to Hong Kong

Lufthansa 419
Washington Dulles( IAD) - Frankfurt( FRA)
Departure: Aug-22  17:55
Arrival: Aug-23 8:05
Aircraft: B747-8
Seat: 1A 

Lufthansa has a 2-floor senator lounge at Dulles. It's similar to the senator lounges in Germany.  
There is a shower room on first floor, which is a big + for me as I have the habit of taking a shower right before boarding long-haul flights. The lounge was extremely crowded, so I didn't bother sticking around after the shower. Instead, I head straight to the gate to get a few good shots of the new bird before boarding.

overwhelming view of the Plane
New Wings, similar to the 787.

Boarding started about 50 minutes before departure. 6 out of 8 seats in first were taken for this flight, so I lined up early in order to board first and take some pics of the cabin before other first class passengers get on board.
My Seat 1A,
a look at 2K & 3K
I loved the new LED lighting display in this cabin. However, I found the overhead bins to be extremely unnecessary since every first class passenger gets their own lockers by the gallery. Plus, the ottoman can be opened up for storage.
4 windows to myself. You can never complain about that.

Seat control
IFE control. I rarely use IFE, so I can't really comment on it.
 Pre-departure champagne was served with macadamia nuts.

Full Pajamas and amenity kit were given before takeoff along with the menu. I miss the old Rimowa and Porsche Design kits. This one is too big and ugly for my liking. 
We were ahead of schedule by an hour, which meant only 6 hours in first class!! NOT COOL!!

The dinner menu includes:
Choice of Hors d’oeuvres
Caviar with the traditional Garnishes
Citrus cured Scallop with Avocado Crème
Teriyaki glazed Beef Brochette with Sesame Seeds
Tian of Tomato with Burrata Cheese and Arugula with Pine Nuts

Seasonal Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Parmesan Cheese presented with Dressing

Choice of Main Courses
Tenderloin of Pork with stewed Sweet Potato and Leek, Ginger Plum Chutney
Seared Cod with Bacon and creamy Corn Sauce, Fingerling Potatoes and Snow Peas
Sesame Soba Noodles with Cashew Nuts and mixed Asian Vegetables
Slow roasted Duck with Kailan, Jasmine Rice and Curry Kaffir Sauce

Selection of Cheese and Dessert
Humboldt Fog, Camembert, Manchego, Gorgonzola and Vella Jack Cheese
Green Tea Layer Cake with fresh Mango
Banana Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream

Dinner service started shortly after takeoff. We were going through some strong turbulence during meal time, and I was taking photos with my cell phone, so I apologized in advance for some blurry shots.
There were 2 little girls in First, and they didn't want the caviar, so my neighbor seated in 1K and I requested extra caviar.
I had a shot of vodka with the caviar. Lufthansa's catering service is always top notch , but the one thing that always bug me is the fact that they only offer Smirnoff as the vodka choice in first. Seriously?!! Even their "kid" Swiss offers Grey Goose in First.
Anyways, back to the appetizers, I chose all 4 options as I always do. Lufthansa present their appetizers with such care, I can't help myself but to pick them all. lol
 Love the red rose at the background. The attention to details by Lufthansa(and Swiss) are miles ahead of all the North American carriers.
 "Citrus cured Scallop with Avocado Crèm", very tasty indeed
 "Teriyaki glazed Beef Brochette with Sesame Seeds", I didn't like this one, the beef was too dry.
 The "Tian of Tomato with Burrata Cheese and Arugula with Pine Nuts" was surprisingly good, very refreshing.

I skipped the salad and chose the duck for my main course.
Here is a blurry picture of Mr 1K's choice, "Seared Cod with Bacon and creamy Corn Sauce, Fingerling Potatoes and Snow Peas".
"Slow roasted Duck with Kailan, Jasmine Rice and Curry Kaffir Sauce", VERY VERY GOOD
 I was quite full after finishing the duck, so I passed on the cheese and got both the "Green Tea Layer Cake with fresh Mango" & the "Banana Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream" with some dessert wine.

After the meal service, the FA offered turn down service. I used this opportunity to walk around the plane. All the new 747-8s come with Lufthansa's new flat-bed business class seats. I wasn't able to take any pictures of the seats due to darkness, but I did try the seat in flat position. There's more foot space than I thought. However, it is very possible to bump knees with your seatmate.

Here are some pics throughout the cabins and the first class lavatory:
 Nespresso machine in the first class gallary
 Stairs to the upper deck business class cabin.
 nice toilet seat cover
 I like the new sink

I returned to my seat after changed into PJs,
 Bed was made
 water, Bose, pillow
I didn't find this new seat to be very comfortable to sleep in. When converted into a bed, the headrest was sticking up, and the seat was pretty hard itself. There was also a small gap between the end of the seat and the ottoman. We were also going through a long range of turbulence at the time, so I wasn't able to get any sleep. 
I miss the REAL bed on the retrofitted 747-400s'! After trying to sleep for about an hour, I finally gave up on that.

I decided to roll up the window shades to see the sunrise. I like all the new automatic two-layer shades in first on the new planes these days. It gives you the private jet feeling.
Nice sunrise view

I just ate dinner less than 2 hours ago, so I passed on breakfast and ordered a nice double shot of Nespresso while taking a few more pics before landing.
 told you I was on the Intercontinental

 more rose!
We landed in Frankfurt around 7am local time, which is an hour ahead of schedule.

747, The Queen of Skies!

Overall, it was a fantastic flight onboard the new 747-8. One thing I really noticed was the quietness of this new plane comparing to the old 747-400s. There were 2 thick noise cancelling curtains behind the first class cabin, which blocked the noise from the gallery etc. Unfortunately we had a rough time with the turbulence, which meant less rest than I would had hoped, but the great service and the plane itself more than made up for it.

Next stop, we will be lounge hopping between Lufthansa's first class lounge and first class terminal. Stay tuned..
Here is a sneak peek: