Trip To Crete
Planning a Trip to Crete
Review: Lufthansa Business Class Seattle to Frankfurt on a 747-400
Review: Lufthansa Business Class Frankfurt to Athens
Review: Aegean Business Class Athens to Heraklion
Musings on Crete
Lufthansa Long-Haul Business Class
In Seattle, Lufthansa uses a contract lounge for business class, The Club at SEA. This is shared with several other international airlines in the South Satellite. It’s not the best lounge in the world…it’s typically quite overcrowded in the early afternoon, when many international flights depart. It does have some basic snacks and drinks, but generally isn’t very appealing during peak times.
Last year, Lufthansa dropped first class for its Seattle-Frankfurt route. It now uses the 747-400 on that route, which has no first class but 67 lie-flat business class seats and around 300 economy seats. The business class seats are in two cabins, comprising the entire upper floor of the 747, and the forward part of the lower floor. On the upper floor, the seats are configured in a 2-2 layout, and on the lower floor in a 2-3-2 layout.
Because I changed flights relatively close to my departure date, the only pair of seats available were in the middle 3 of the lower cabin. These three seats are configured so that two are angled toward each other, and the third is parallel to the middle seat but set slightly back. For two people traveling together, it’s much better to use the seats which are angled toward each other, since this is a good configuration for speaking to each other.
Lufthansa’s in-flight entertainment system is quite good; it has extremely responsive controls and a good selection of movies and television shows. It also has a great flight map, with 3D views including a useful global view, which easily shows why West Coast to Europe flights fly close to or over the Arctic and Greenland, something not obvious on classic flat mercator projection maps.
After we boarded and got settled, a flight attendant came over to introduce herself, distribute menus and offer a pre-departure beverage. I opted for champagne. Amenity kits, noise-cancelling earphones, and slippers were already at the seat.
The menu had a West Coast theme, which included Beecher Cheese (from Seattle’s Pike Place Market) and mentions of Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood as inspiration for a couple of the dishes. However, none of the wines were from the US.
Dinner service began about 45 minutes after takeoff with a hot towel, a beverage (I chose red wine), and a ramekin of nuts.
Afterwards, flight attendants came around to set the table.
I selected the Chicken Spring Roll with Peanut Dressing for my appetizer. It was good, but not great. That was followed by a salad and bread: I chose the pretzel roll, which was delicious.
For the entree, I had the pumpkin ravioli, which was quite tasty.
For dessert, I chose the cheese tray, since I’m not a big fan of ice cream usually and I can get fresh fruit anywhere. The cheese selection was great.
There were also some dessert chocolates offered.
I ended with a cup of herbal tea, since I wanted to get some shut eye.
After dinner, I watched TV for a couple of hours while getting tired enough to go to sleep. Overnight flights that depart early in the afternoon are tough, since by the time I’m generally tired enough for a decent nap, the flight is almost over. This flight was no exception; I put the seat into bed mode around 6pm Seattle time, but only tossed and turned without getting much rest until we were a couple hours out of Frankfurt.
The bed was reasonably comfortable, although not as spacious as first class beds. The cabin was a bit warm for my taste, especially after a large meal, and that probably contributed to my lack of rest. The bedding consisted of a medium-sized pillow and a thick, comfortable blanket. There was no mattress pad, but I didn’t feel one was needed.
About an hour and 20 minutes out of Frankfurt, the flight attendants began serving breakfast to those who were awake. It was served all at once, and consisted of coffee and juice, an omelette, some deli ham and cheese, fresh fruit, and a croissant. It was good and filling, but certainly not anything to inspire.
In all, this was a nice, comfortable flight, with good service, good food, and good entertainment via the IFE. It’s what you expect when you fly business class – you’re generally not wowed, but you’re comfortable. This is in stark contrast to my later flight on Turkish Airlines, which did wow me, but that’s for a subsequent post.