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Lufthansa Business Class B747-800i Upper Deck Frankfurt Germany FRA to Newark EWR

January 23, 2024
Osman Dadi
Despite the aging hard product, Lufthansa still holds itself as a top-notch carrier on this route. The service is shockingly good, and the food on this flight was incredible. The seat was exceptionally comfortable and offers great storage and counter space. There's nothing quite like flying in the Upper Deck on the Queen of the Skies!

This Lufthansa Business Class flight was one of my best flights of 2023; unfortunately I wasn’t able to publish the review in time due to other commitments. I’ve flown this route previously on Delta and Singapore Airlines.

From
Frankfurt Germany FRA
To
Newark EWR
Duration
8h05m
Via
Lufthansa
Seat(s)
81K (Upper Deck) Business Class
Points Used
60,000
Cash Spent
CAD $250

I ended up on this flight as a super lucky last-minute booking. Just two days before a planned departure from Frankfurt Germany to the USA, I noticed that Lufthansa Business Class opened up the whole set of award availability on their direct flight from Frankfurt to Newark. It was on their top-tier Boeing 747-800i.

Since the 747 is one of my favorite planes (who can say no to the Queen of the Skies?), and Lufthansa is one of the few remaining operators, I took the decision to make a last-minute switch.

I noticed that the very first row on the upper deck was available on the 747-800i. This influenced my decision.

I cancelled the first booking on United and booked again as a direct flight on Sunday, two days before the planned Tuesday departure.

I have to say that despite the aging hard product, Lufthansa still holds its own as a top-notch carrier on this route. The seat was exceptionally comfortable even when you see it has seen heavy usage.

The service is shockingly good, and the food on this flight was incredible, the best I’ve ever had on Lufthansa. The soft product was spectacular and is some of the best service I’ve seen on an airline. The aircraft had excellent Wi-Fi and a Brilliant IFE system.

Overall, I had very little to complain about on this flight.

Booking a Lufthansa Business Class Ticket

Booking this award was relatively straightforward, and I used what is one of my favorite loyalty programs, Air Canada Aeroplan. Several days earlier I had booked a combined United-Lufthansa itinerary through London Heathrow – a pair of flights left at 9 AM out of Frankfurt, and put me in a United 767 Polaris seat from London to New York.

Just two days before a planned departure, I noticed award availability opened on the direct routing.

In the big picture, the award was outstanding value and came in at a very reasonable 60,000 Aeroplan points and under $200 USD.

Once I booked, I had the option of the very front seat on the main deck front on the right side of the plane. Alternatively, I could have a very front and right seat in the premium upper cabin, which was probably worth trying on his flight since I’ve only been on the upper deck once in my life.

My final confirmed booking
My final confirmed booking

Unfortunately, I did have to pay a cancellation fee for the first flight for a total of C$150 (US $110), and pay the additional 60,000 points and approximately US$200 – which is still a fantastic deal for last minute trans-Atlantic business class. The stars aligned!

Online Check-In

Prior to even traveling to the airport, I first decided to Check-In online. I do this habitually even when I plan to visit the counter at an airport – after too many experiences where I arrive at the airport, only to find massive lines at Check In or at Security.

Luckily, Lufthansa’s process is easy and seamless. I reconfirmed my documents and also my seat selection.

At this point it looked like I’d have the whole front row to myself – alas, in the last minute I did receive a seatmate rebooked from another flight!

Lufthansa Business Class Ground Experience

This morning I fortunately had lots of time – I woke up around 10 AM today and was off to the airport in an Uber by 11 AM for a 1:25 PM departure.

Arriving at Frankfurt Airport in an Uber
Arriving at Frankfurt Airport in an Uber

I was staying in the Hotel Leonardo for the night to see a concert in town – the hotel is located 15 minutes from Frankfurt airport. By 11:20 am, I was at the airport and ready to begin my journey.

New York weather and time advertised at Frankfurt airport - what timing!
New York weather and time advertised at Frankfurt airport – what timing!

Checking status in the morning, I noticed my flight was leaving from Gate Z69K in Terminal 1, the main Lufthansa and Star Alliance terminal.

Heavy traffic at Frankfurt's Terminal 1 Departures
Heavy traffic at Frankfurt’s Terminal 1 Departures

That gave me one hour to get through check-in, immigration, and security, and also try out the lounge and make it to the gate with a little bit of extra time to spare if I could. I wanted to board early since I definitely wanted to take some nice pictures of this plane.

I'm already a huge fan of the Architecture of this airport
I’m already a huge fan of the Architecture of this airport

The curbside calmness just outside the terminal completely belied the situation inside…

Inside Frankfurt Airport's quintessential Terminal 1
Inside Frankfurt Airport’s quintessential Terminal 1

Once inside the airport, I noticed there was chaos everywhere, and there were huge lines for Business Class Check-In!

Lufthansa Business Class Check-In

I noticed the business class check-in area had the longest, and it was about 30 people deep and not moving at all.

The insane line at Lufthansa Business Class check in
The insane line at Lufthansa Business Class check in

Thankfully, I had already checked into my flight the previous day, so I only had to drop my checked baggage. Due to the long queue at the business line – around ten people had been redirected to check in at the self tagging area.

I was directed to the self-tagged baggage area to finish my check-in
I was directed to the self-tagged baggage area to finish my check-in
Using the automated baggage tag machines
Using the automated baggage tag machines

However, just before starting the process, an agent noticed that my bag was oversized while I was doing this and then told me to go a little further to “Counter 301,” where I was actually able to check in directly with an agent at the oversized baggage counter – and with no wait!

Walking to counter 301...
Walking to counter 301…

Luckily, I made my way to the priority baggage drop area since I had an oversized bag. Here I was able to process my baggage and print off my tags VERY quickly.

...which turned out to be immediately to the right!
…which turned out to be immediately to the right!

Once at the counter, I checked in my two bags, had two boarding passes printed, and got some directions to the Lufthansa Senator lounge in the Frankfurt Airport C terminal area.

Onwards to emigration and security
Onwards to emigration and security

In the end, I made my way through security and immigration within just a couple of minutes. Interestingly, in Frankfurt Terminal 1, there’s a large old-style departure screen where numbers and letters rotate instead of having a digital display.

The huge departures board at Frankfurt FRA Terminal 1 is beautiful and classic
The huge departures board at Frankfurt FRA Terminal 1 is beautiful and classic

This gives the airport a very iconic look and feel, giving it a classic airport flying experience.

Lufthansa's WorldShop has some well designed products
Lufthansa’s WorldShop has some well designed products

I also explored Lufthansa’s very interesting WorldShop, which I’ll write about separately.

My flight assignment at Gate Z69 is the very last gate in the facility and at the far end of the terminal concourse. Getting there can be up to a 15-minute walk.

Lufthansa Business Class Lounge and Boarding

I headed to the Lufthansa Business lounge at the junction of the A/Z wings, although I did not spend much time there. It was quite crowded today with many flights scheduled for the 1 PM to 2 PM window. Everyone pops into the lounge just before the flight like a right of passage.

I have to say that I found the Lufthansa ground agent to be very gracious, including taking a photo of me in front of the B747 model that I would be flying out of Frankfurt. Sometime I’ve found Lufthansa agents not to be the friendliest or in the best mood – today was the exception.

Maybe today was just an exceptionally gracious and friendly day, where everyone was in a good mood, and the entire airport was pleasant to see. Perhaps flying on Monday or Tuesday is the right way to go!

Due to the shortness of the stay, I didn’t do a full review since I needed a longer stay to give the lounge its dues. On a future visit I’ll definitely write a full-scale review of the Business Lounge in Frankfurt.

On today's visit, the lounge was crowded and full of activity
On today’s visit, the lounge was crowded and full of activity
Having a coffee at the Business Lounge

Staff were changing out the food at the time. In addition to coffee, I got to try some delicious meatballs over pasta and delicious coffee for just a couple of minutes.

Our B747-800i at FRA's Gate Z69, in a view only possible in Germany
Our B747-800i at FRA’s Gate Z69, in a view only possible in Germany

After using the lounge, I made my way to gate Z69 at 12:25 pm.  This gate is at the very end of the entire airport facility – It is quite a long walk to the gate area. That said, it does have its advantages and made for some incredible photography angles of our aircraft.

A view the other way at gate Z69
A view the other way at gate Z69

Once I got to the area, I noticed it seemed heavily congested, with many people lining up in anticipation of the very first boarding announcement. Alas, it was all in vain.

Boarding

In the end, our boarding time was delayed well past 1 pm. An announcement was made at 1:03, notifying all passengers in the checking area that boarding was delayed due to issues with the in-flight entertainment system, which needed to be reset.

Lufthansa technicians working on the issue, but no time frame was given for fixing that problem. They would let us know as soon as possible when it was done. Two more similar announcements were made over the next hour.

After what felt like forever, boarding eventually started at 1:55 pm without even an announcement – like wild animals, everyone at the gate clobbered into the two open Boarding gates.

Last look at the aircraft before boarding
Last look at the aircraft before boarding

Unfortunately, even though I queued up on the right side for the last two gates, it turned out that these were being used for premium economy, and the entire time I spent waiting in the front of the line on the right side was wasted.

That said, I still was one of the early folks to board the Business Class cabin. Knowing the plane design, I ended up using the economy class door so I could get ahead of the queue and get up the stairs to the upper level quicker.

The B747 stairs to the upper deck are located right at the economy doorway and just behind the lower deck level lower deck business class cabin.

Once up, there were two flight attendants. The pre-departure drinks were already set up in the partitioned business-class cabin, along with the series of absolutely gorgeous displays of champagne, flowers, and additional drinks for departure.

At this point, the flight looked like it was almost 1 hour late upon departure and likely would be at least 30 to 45 minutes late on arrival into New York. However, at least we now had a working entertainment system and Wi-Fi.

Lufthansa Business Class B747-800i Cabin and Seats

The upper cabin is different from the lower Lufthansa business-class cabin. This is an extended upper deck in a 2×2 configuration. You can tell if you are in the upper or lower business class cabin by your seat number. If you have seats 81-88, you’re in the upper deck.

The cabin itself is divided into two sections, with an intermediary space for the emergency exit between rows 3 and 4. This separates the cabin into three rows in front and five rows in the back.

The emergency exit space divides the cabin forwards and backwards
The emergency exit space divides the cabin forwards and backwards

The cabin is decorated with plain white finishes, with Lufthansa gray fabric seats and texture. However, Black, Gray, and Tan finishes are on the seat’s hard surfaces and consoles.

Overall, the cabin was beautiful, felt open and spacious, and was prepared with meticulous attention to detail.

Bathroom (Upper Deck Front)

The Lufthansa Upper Deck has a single restroom located at the front of the cabin. This is adjacent to the main upper cabin coat storage closet and next to the pilot door. Typically, this section of the aircraft is cordoned and curtained off.

Once inside, you are struck by how plain everything is. Almost everything seemed to be White, and no special décor of any kind. The restroom was functional and included a tray table that folds down for baby changing.

The tray table deployed
The tray table deployed

One very cool thing I noticed was that the toilet cover has an auto-close function when flushed. Once I held the button down, the seat automatically closed, and then the flush activated. Very cool; I’ve never seen this before in an aircraft.

The Lufthansa business-class bathroom had a few amenities that were well-stocked.

Bathroom Amenities

  • Hand sanitizer wipes
  • Comb
  • Eye mask
  • Earplugs
  • Mouthwash

There’s also a full-length mirror inside.

My major gripe and feedback about the restrooms on this flight is that they should be cleaned more frequently, especially given the usage of this bathroom. Sitting at the front of the cabin, I don’t think I saw the restroom cleaned even once on the flight. I did take some time to clean this myself for the photographs.

Lufthansa Business Class Seat 81K

Lufthansa Business Class Seat 81K is the very front right-side seat on the Upper Deck of the B747-800i. It is located on the right-hand side of the aircraft and has three windows.

One window overlaps with the rear passenger at 82K, and it can be argued this window is shared and thus at the mercy of your neighbor behind you. However, I did not have any disagreements about the window use on this flight.

The side of the seat has an enormous amount of storage – especially Seat 81K, which has one additional massive deep seat storage that can easily fit multiple bags.

This seat has a small footwell ottoman. Unfortunately with this design, you’ll be playing footsie with your neighbor. These are still good couples seats, all things considered.

The footwell is pretty small and close to your neighbor
The footwell is pretty small and close to your neighbor

The footwell is approximately 1`5” deep, 12” at the widest point and 7” at the narrowest, and is about 13” tall.

You can find a storage bin to the front with literature safety cards and such. Below that was another storage cubby holding a water bottle and amenity kit. However, I found this to be very easy to miss.

Above the ottoman, you can find a 14” TV that pulls out so it can be angled for a good viewing angle.

To the side of that, you can find a coat hook.

Now let’s look back at the seat – these are arranged in a V-shape on the upper deck. You can find seats swayed to the same angle (towards the outside of the plane) on the lower deck.

Each seat comes with pillow and blanket for the flight
Each seat comes with pillow and blanket for the flight

The seats came with very comfortable and beautiful pillows – something about the color scheme works in Germany, and I associate it with class and comfort.

The armrest on the side can be raised or lowered. On the opposite side, there’s an inset storage into the seat.

Be careful as cell phones and things can disappear into the seat in this little slot.

Each seat has an adjustable reading light
Each seat has an adjustable reading light

Each seat has an adjustable reading light that insets into a special part of the seat cushion. This has a button on top with a single setting.

I thought these were cool and really easy to use – sufficient reading light without disturbing others around you.

The center console includes controls and drink insets
The center console includes controls and drink insets

The center console has two drink insets, and the seat controls are over part of the tray table and storage cover.

When you lift the cover, you’ll find a remote, the tray table that can pop out, and storage for the headphones.

Headphones and a USB charger are found inside the storage bin.
Headphones and a USB charger are found inside the storage bin.

This side storage is narrower but quite deep, and comes with the headphones. It’s still a mystery to me why Lufthansa doesn’t include the headphone covers here, or simply hand them out.

The tray table pops out by pushing it down. It then pops up, and you can lift it out and open it up. Once open, you can adjust its location forward or backward.

The tray table pops out of the center console
The tray table pops out of the center console
Tray table half folded
Tray table half folded
Tray table fully deployed
Tray table fully deployed

It folds out into a pretty large and stable work surface.

Power ports in front of the seat
Power ports in front of the seat

Finally, there’s a power module set in front of the center console – these were switched off during Take-Off, Landing, and Taxi.

Seat Controls

The Lufthansa business class seat has a basic set of manual seat controls. It is located on the center console, right on the main cover.

I noticed that my seat controls were pretty worn out, but everything was still working. There are three main buttons: Take Off and Landing, Lounging, and Sleep Mode.

There are also Individual controls for operating the seat back and ottoman footrest independently.

The controls also have a lumbar adjustment, which is great on long flights, and two buttons to slide the seat back and forth.

Lie Flat Mode and Turn Down Service

I can’t really comment on either of these since it was a daytime flight, and I did not request a turn-down service, nor did I sleep since I spent most of my time working.

Lufthansa provides very comfortable seating material
Lufthansa provides very comfortable seating material

However, the one thing I will say about this type of seat, which is an issue, is that you must jump over your neighbor to access the aisle.

The narrow footsie footwell design
The narrow footsie footwell design

The design makes the seat ideal for couples, but is a major flaw if you’re a solo traveler. It can be trouble for both people, especially the one being jumped over if they are trying to sleep.

Lufthansa Business Class Amenity Kit

It had to be said that Lufthansa has some of the most unique Amenity Kits I’ve seen, and they’re weird and cool. Lufthansa has since upgraded these amenity kits in 2024.

The kits come in a collection of city-branded bags, and you have seven different cities to choose from:

  • Dubai UAE
  • Munich Germany
  • San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Tokyo and Mount Fuji
  • Beijing and the Great Wall
  • Rome and the Colosseum
  • NYC and the Brooklin Bridge (that is not a typo; that is how it is spelled on the tag).

I did notice that most passengers have opted not to take these, I have taken these and use these bags all the time! They’re probably one of my most used “Amenity Kit” collections from flights over the past two years. I regularly use these bags for laundry, dry cleaning, and taking around with me to meetings in the city.

Amenity Kit contents

  • Headphone covers
  • Porsche Design Travel Hand and Body Cream
  • Porsche Design Travel Facial Cream 24 hours
  • Compass Peppermints
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Socks

Inflight Entertainment & WiFi

Even though our flight was delayed, I was grateful we had working WiFi and some IFE. Specifically having the former made this into a very productive flight.

In Flight Entertainment

I only tried the IFE system near the end of our flight. This was the cause of our delay, and from what I could tell using it – some parts still didn’t work! I tried a movie and got an unexpected error.

Lufthansa offers a wide variety of choices, a plus. I was also amused that there’s a section included for Advertising, while trying to watch a movie.

Headphones

Lufthansa provides its passengers with headphones that can be found in the center console. Interestingly, I noticed the headphones’ covers are within the Amenity kit!

This struck me as pretty odd since it would be counterintuitive to most people. No one generally even opens the Amenity Kit with Lufthansa. Lufthansa should look at another way to distribute these covers.

Since I was pretty busy all flight, I did not try these headphones. However, my seatmate reported they worked well for noise-cancelling headphones.

Wi-Fi

Thankfully, there is Wi-Fi on this flight since I can’t work without it. The service was announced prior to departure and is available from Gate to Gate upon boarding and prior to deplaning.

To connect, simply log on to the Telekom flyNet WiFi network. There you have three different options, both Mobile as well as Desktop. As well as texting. The three price plans are as follows:

  • Messaging – free
  • WiFi 2 hours – 19 Euro
  • WiFi full flight – 29 Euro

While they said it was gate-to-gate, that was not strictly true, and the Wi-Fi was turned off prior to landing for the last thirty minutes or so. That said, once connected, everything worked very smoothly.

Even over the Atlantic, I was able to smoothly send and receive work emails for the full flight. If I were to be critical, I would say the Wi-Fi was slower than Singapore Airlines, but it still got the job done for my purposes. The 2 hours pricing is pretty steep, all things considered.

Lufthansa Business Class Flight Experience

What can I say about the crew? They were amazing. I felt welcome from the moment I walked on the plane, and they were some of the most professional I’d witnessed. They spoke two languages on the flight, German and English, and announcements were made in both.

I don’t know if I was just lucky and had a spectacular crew in this cabin or if this is the norm, but this was one of the most professionally delivered flights I’ve ever witnessed. Every single passenger received an absolutely professional level of service.

First, the lead flight attendant, Maite, welcomed each individually and by full name. She introduced herself and very professionally addressed each passenger by name and status, welcomed us on board Lufthansa, apologized for the delay in boarding, and advised us on the service quality of the flight.

Maite provided excellent and highly polished service on my flight
Maite provided excellent and highly polished service on my flight

Knowing I was writing a review of this flight. She requested to see where the reviews are published. Maybe because I was writing a review or not, but in mid-flight, I was offered a warming bag! I’ve never seen this before. I didn’t even know this is something airlines have!

The warming bag I received mid-flight - yes, it was warm!
The warming bag I received mid-flight – yes, it was warm!

Then, there was a Greeting at the end of the flight before landing: “It’s time to say goodbye now; it was really a pleasure to have you on board, and thank you for flying Lufthansa.” Interestingly, even my seatmate, who was sleeping through mine and the rest of the front of the cabin, got his twenty minutes later when he woke up.

Special Edition chocolate I received with my warming bag
Special Edition chocolate I received with my warming bag

I have to say they delivered a Singapore Airlines and Air France level of service at times. The experience was polished and smooth. You can tell the crew is trained incredibly well and has camaraderie.

Pre-Departure Service

As soon as we boarded, there were trays of Champagne, Orange Juice, Sparkling water, and even flowers on display in the cabin, ready for service.

This time around, the crew actually ended up offering us two rounds of pre-departure drinks.

I must say that two rounds of pre-departure drinks were a first for me; no wonder Lufthansa is so well-known for its service.

Take Off

Due to the delays, we left the gate about 50 minutes late. However, right after departure, mild thunderstorms and rain crossed over Frankfurt airport.

While traffic didn’t stop, we ended up having to queue for the main take-off runway to the west.

We ended up taking off in very heavy thunderstorm rain and through openings in clouds. On the plus side, I had some great views of Germany from my seat, and the take-off was super quiet.

Post Departure Service

I was initially surprised to have no immediate hot towel service. However, this was remedied as the flight attendant team walked around serving hot towels. These were piping hot and individually given from a hand tray; they smelled really good and were collected within about five minutes.

Service began with warm towels
Service began with warm towels

Once we were airborne for about twenty minutes, the FA came down the aisles to take drink and food orders. The Menus were distributed when we were about thirty minutes in the air.

Warm nuts and water served after departure
Warm nuts and water served after departure

I was also offered a cup of nuts that were neither warm nor cold, perfectly room temperature. These tasted great and were very fresh.

I asked for a red wine recommendation
I asked for a red wine recommendation

This was followed with the first course of drinks. While looking at the menu, I asked for recommendations for red wines, and in the end, I ended up sampling a few on the flight.

The wine paired well with the nuts
The wine paired well with the nuts

The first wine I tried was the Chateau Le Monteil d’Arsac, a French blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Menu

Lufthansa offers a beautiful, classy menu in Business Class. I think the graphics and art really represent the design sense of the airline. They remind me of the same in flight menus offered on Singapore Airlines on the same route.

I appreciate the simplicity of the design and options. It’s also warm and welcoming.

Primary Meal Service “After Takeoff”

Lufthansa Business Class provides an awesome multi-course meal experience you sometimes get on other airlines. In my case with the crew we had on board, it was an exceptional experience.

It’s also worth noting that Lufthansa offers an express service. As per their brochure, this is “a cold Express Meal at any time… with your choice of an appetizer, salad, cheese and dessert upon your request.” Of course, I went for the full experience.

I was offered to switch to a different wine, the Merlot, which I liked more
I was offered to switch to a different wine, the Merlot, which I liked more

I was first offered a new wine, a Merlot that wasn’t listed on the menu. I enjoyed it more than the Chateau.

Appetizers

  • Duck breast with Red Cabbage, Cashew Nut and Lingonberries – this was utterly yummy according to my seatmate.
  • Pickled Pumpkin with Onion and Grapes – My choice. It was recommended by the flight attendant, Maite, who also said she does not eat meat and cannot comment on the duck breast.
  • Tuna tatki with Rouille Sauce, Broccoli, and Cashew Nut

These were delicious, and at least three or four different flavors melted in my mouth.

Three different types of bread were offered – pay attention to this with the second meal service.

Pickled Pumpkin with Onion and Grapes

This is a cold but delicious dish that included caramelized onions and lettuce garnish. It also came with a pecan nut and brown Onion sauce. Has a tart, fruity flavor, a bit like turmeric or cherry. The Caramelized onions were juicy, and there were no grapes but chopped squash bits instead.

It was utterly delicious!

Main Course

For main course service, the entire tray was taken away and replaced with the main course served directly on the tablecloth

  • Traditional Beef Goulash with pan-fried Spatzle and Brussel Sprouts
  • Skin Fried Pike-perch with Beluga Lentil Stew and Truffle Mashed Potatoes, enhanced by Lemon Pepper Sauce
  • Pumpkin filled Ravioli served with Orange Sauce, pan-fired Pumpkin Wedge and Pumpkin Seeds

Traditional Beef Goulash with pan-fried Spatzle and Brussel Sprouts

This was cooled to perfection and again very tasty and included:

  • Pan-fried spatzle – felt a bit like pasta or a pan-fried pasta; this was firm yet soft but not soggy. I was worried by the appearance it might be soggy, but it was not.
  • Beef, gravy, warm, tender, and delicious, and served piping hot.
  • Four Brussels sprouts are included.
This was an incredible dish
This was an incredible dish

Here’s a close up of the cute pepper and salt shakers alsoset on my table.

Nice attention to detail.

Cheese and Dessert

Desserts were offered on a tray, and looked very appetizing:

  • Opera cake with a red berry compote
  • Montagnio Blue Cheese, Olive Cheese, Goat Cheese
Desserts were offered on a tray, and looked very appetizing
Desserts were offered on a tray, and looked very appetizing

I ended up grabbing both to try.

I also received fresh coffee and a box of chocolates.

Cheese Platter

The cheese platter included a selection of cheeses, including

  • Brie
  • Montagnio Blue Cheese
  • Olive Cheese
  • Goat Cheese

The cheese platter came with crackers and a delicious brown glazed jam that had a tart but sweet and savory taste.

Opera Cake with a Red Berry Compote

An opera cake with a red berry compote came with pistachios for dipping.

Finally we were offered a box of chocolates.

Second Meal Service “Before Landing”

Lufthansa offers two main course options for the second meal service:

  • Glass noodles salad was awesome with an Asian flavor, served with avocado, parsley mousse, edamame, and baby Pak choy
  • Skin-fried Corn-fed Poulard with creamy Polenta, fresh Tomato Sauce, and Leaf Spinach

There is also a Dessert – Bavarian Cream with Cherry and Pistachios.

Another round of hot wet towels was offered for the arrival service
Another round of hot wet towels was offered for the arrival service

The second meal service started at 1h30m before landing and began with another round of hot towel service. These were once again piping hot. Very quickly, our tables were reset.

Main Course

I asked for a recommendation between the vegetarian and meat dishes, and the flight attendant suggested the salad. I’d also receive the second course to try it.

Another round of very fresh bread served for our final meal on the flight
Another round of very fresh bread served for our final meal on the flight

Bread was again offered – a nice variety German selection. I opted for a pretzel this time.

Focus on the Dessert and the Wine
Focus on the Dessert and the Wine
Focus on the bread, butter, and food course
Focus on the bread, butter, and food course

The course was brought out at once on a tray, and bread served individually.

Glass Noodles Salad

The funky-style glass noodles salad was awesome with an Asian flavor, served with avocado, parsley mousse, edamame, and baby Pak choy.

The salad included a medley of lemon, cashew nuts, boiled lettuce, glass noodles flavored, tomato, edamame beans, cilantro parsley, some peppers, and avocado as a sauce.

This whole concoction went together amazingly well. I loved being able to mix different parts of the dish together and creating different flavors, which makes this more difficult to describe. Some parts were sweet, others had the avocado “green” taste, and others had the flavor of classic Chinese noodles.

Skin-fried Corn-fed Poulard

The other option on the menu is the Skin-fried Corn-fed Poulard with creamy Polenta, fresh Tomato Sauce, and Leaf Spinach. I was offered to try this dish as well, since there were some extras available.

This dish tasted exactly as described but was a little lacking overall. The tomato sauce tasted like pure tomato. The spinach tasted like spinach, although it had more of a melty than a firm texture. I didn’t really need to chew.

The Corn-fed Polenta has a mashed potato-like taste with two layers of flavor, which reminded me of mashed potato in the end. The chicken was a bit tough, which made it difficult to cut, however, it was cooked perfectly.

Dessert

Bavarian Cream with Cherry and Pistachios was offered for dessert.

I found the dessert was brilliant, it was super creamy, but not the typical cheap, sugary dessert texture I’m used to on flights. The dessert was well made, with perfect balance, and was the perfect level of “melt in your mouth creamy” while not being too watery or sugary to throw away. It was topped and garnished with pistachios.

I finished the whole thing. And I usually never eat desserts!

I must confess that all around on this flight, the food was out of this world.

Landing & Arrival

With about an hour to go, the pilots announced the landing times, and we were scheduled for a 4:34 pm arrival, only 45min late.

Starting our descent over Vermont in the USA
Starting our descent over Vermont in the USA

We gained quite a bit of time in the air. I was happy to see the atmosphere clear over the eastern USA.

Final approach at Newark EWR
Final approach at Newark EWR

By 4:25 pm we were into our final approach from the North. The flight was due into Gate 62, Terminal B.

Approaching our gate in Newark EWR Terminal B
Approaching our gate in Newark EWR Terminal B

Soon we pulled into the gate next to an SAS A330. Despite both planes being large, the 747 really dwarfs these other aircraft.

Pulling in next to an SAS A330, dwarfed in size by the massive B747-800i
Pulling in next to an SAS A330, dwarfed in size by the massive B747-800i

I grabbed a couple more shots walking to immigration – our aircraft is easy to spot.

Looking back at our B747-800i on the way to immigration and customs at Newark EWR
Looking back at our B747-800i on the way to immigration and customs at Newark EWR
Entering US immigration control at Newark EWR
Entering US immigration control at Newark EWR

I’d never tried Immigration and Customs at Newark. It was surprisingly incredibly fast, even though I got off the plane relatively late. I cleared customs in under five minutes.

Baggage claim with connecting gate information shown at Newark EWR on arrival
Baggage claim with connecting gate information shown at Newark EWR on arrival

One of my favorite features arriving into Newark on a Star Alliance carrier was the ease of instructions for onwards connections. Connecting flight information is shown right at the baggage claim.

Arriving at Newark EWR Terminal B

Other parts of arriving in Newark aren’t so easy. It took a while to get to the Airport Rail Station on the slow monorail system.

Waiting for the train at Newark Liberty Airport rail station

New Jersey Transit also times their trains poorly, and you might get stuck waiting over 40 minutes if you’re not careful. I managed to just make the last train of the hour.

I took New Jersey Transit home to Manhattan

After this journey and amazing flight, I was refreshed yet happy to be home.

Final Thoughts

First, I have to say that Lufthansa really delivered – it was the best flight I’ve had to date with the carrier. However, it was tough to evaluate this flight. Firstly, the crew knew, by virtue of my photography, my Air France bag, and my openness about being a travel journalist, that I was documenting the flight. I’ve noticed that crews usually react to my presence in one of two ways – they try harder, or they really drop the ball and treat me with contempt; yes, I am looking at you, Royal Air Maroc.

The crew knew I was journaling the flight, and proudly showed off the best parts of Lufthansa
The crew knew I was journaling the flight, and proudly showed off the best parts of Lufthansa

Luckily for me, Lufthansa’s crew took the former approach and chose to show off their service and let me tell you, it was fantastic despite the drawbacks of the hard product. Unfortunately for the German carrier, it competes for head-to-head with Singapore Airlines here. Both of those combined are beautiful flights. However, I seriously can’t even imagine how awesome it’ll soon be to fly Lufthansa with their new or leased cabins.

Despite the aging hard product, Lufthansa is a solidly awesome carrier
Despite the aging hard product, Lufthansa is a solidly awesome carrier

Overall, the flight was solid, the service was excellent, and it felt like a Singapore Airlines level of service. The food was delicious and plentiful, the WiFi was great, and the seat was also pretty good for its age.

Flying the Queen of the Skies is always a fun adventure
Flying the Queen of the Skies is always a fun adventure

Finally, the crew was amazing, and I have to say if they ever read this (including you, Maite). Danke se! auf Wiedersehen. The service really made this flight!

Pros

  • The 747 upper deck window seat offers an incredible amount of storage & side counter space.
  • I enjoyed the WiFi system, it was stable and I could get work done efficiently on my flight.
  • The food was really good! Everything was spectacular – Lufthansa even rocked Duck, according to my seatmate.
  • Lufthansa has really upped its game in the food department.
  • The warming kit was an amazing touch.
  • Excellent crew! Just wow, I really was not expecting it. The friendliness, approachability, and service is top notch and one of the best I’ve experienced.
  • Personability was over the top, but I witnessed it for other passengers in this cabin as well.

Cons

  • The bathroom could have been cleaned more frequently.
  • Minor issue with the amenity kit, including headphone covers; it’s hard to imagine anyone will find this inside the amenity kit, making the concept futile and useless.
  • Compared to the other products on this route, such as Singapore Airlines (which offers huge seats), unfortunately, Lufthansa’s product is definitely inferior…. But it goes without saying I got to fly in a B747, and that’s always a pleasure.
  • IFE was comprehensive and had plenty of great options and features, but not everything worked.

Verdict: 9.5/10