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In 2001, I had my first taste of first-class travel on a Lufthansa A340-300 flight from Detroit to Washington. It was also my first Air Canada Aeroplan redemption that allowed me to enjoy four different first-class products on an around-the-world trip for only 120,000 points. The luxurious experience, especially on Lufthansa First Class, left a lasting impression on me, and I vowed never to miss an opportunity to fly first class again.
Fast forward to more than 20 years later, first-class products have come a long way. Seats can now be transformed into fully lie-flat beds and enclosed within a private suite or cabin with doors. Although Lufthansa’s First Class product may not be as cutting edge as its competitors in 2023, it remains one of the best ways to travel transatlantic and beyond. Lufthansa’s First Class experience is unparalleled in many aspects, from offering one of the world’s most comfortable beds in the sky to the exclusive First Class Terminal in Frankfurt.
This flight review continues a day after my Oman First Class Flight Experience. This is the 4th first-class flight as part of my 7 countries, 4 First Class flights, the no-jet-lag experience where I got to experience back-to-back Singapore First Class, Qatar First Class, Oman First Class, and now Lufthansa First Class.
Booking Strategy & Positioning
Booking Lufthansa First Class on a reward ticket can be fairly easy if you are adaptable and utilize effective booking strategies. I prefer using Air Canada Aeroplan for booking, as it allows me to secure award space through the Air Canada App easily. I recommend checking out my recent guide on How to Fly Lufthansa First Class using Aeroplan to gain more insight into techniques for securing a Lufthansa First Class award ticket.
As I travelled near the tail end of the Covid-19 pandemic, plenty of award space was available at T-14 days departing from Frankfurt, with options to fly to Newark, Chicago, or Washington. To account for the uncertainty of the airport I would be flying into, at the beginning of my trip, I had booked fully refundable tickets from each of these cities to my home in Ottawa, Canada.
I began my journey in London a day after taking an Oman First Class flight (Review). I needed to position to Frankfurt, where my first-class flight Lufthansa flight was scheduled to depart from. To get there, I booked a Lufthansa Business Class award ticket through Air Canada Aeroplan that became available at the same time as the Lufthansa First Class flight to connect perfectly together.
During my research, I observed that when a long-haul Lufthansa flight becomes available through an award from Frankfurt, a positioning married segment also becomes available. This is precisely what occurred, and I was able to cancel and refund my backup positioning flights. The example below shows a London-Munich flight becoming available only when the Munich-Boston flight became available.
Here’s a summary of all the bookings I made to give myself the maximum probability of flying on Lufthansa First Class from London to Ottawa:
- London-Frankfurt (Lufthansa Business or Economy)
- Frankfurt-Newark (Lufthansa First Class)
- Newark-Ottawa (United Full Flex Revenue)
- London-Montreal-Ottawa (Air Canada Business)
- London-Frankfurt (British Airways Avios)
- Newark-Ottawa (United Full Flex Revenue)
- Washington-Ottawa (United Full Flex Revenue)
- Chicago-Toronto-Ottawa (Air Canada Aeroplan)
This concept of booking multiple flights can be extended to any aspirational travel and is the key to being successful. I highly recommend you read and employ the strategies in The Art of Flight Positioning article and How to Fly Lufthansa First Class using Aeroplan.
Pivoting back to my journey, I chose Newark as the destination as it was an afternoon departure from Frankfurt, which meant a) ample time to make my connection from London and b) maximizing the time spent in the first-class terminal.
What is the Door Score?
A quick reminder of what the Door Score🚪is. This scoring system is out of 5 that I have employed, given my infatuation with doors on business and first-class hard products.
Lufthansa Ground Experience/Lounge – First Class Terminal (Frankfurt)
Door Score: 🚪🚪🚪🚪🚪
After landing from my early morning London-Frankfurt flight, I went through EU immigration, left the main terminal building, and walked for about 0.5 kilometres to reach the Lufthansa First Class Terminal. If you’ve taken this walk before, you know how exhilarating it is as you get slowly approach the building!
After entering the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, I felt like I had entered a small airport. The staff greeted me, verified my flight information, and printed off my boarding pass. Next, after a quick security screening, you enter the lounge or the heart of the terminal.
As a first-class passenger, I indulged in various luxuries, including a la carte dining, a fully stocked bar, and comfortable sleep rooms. It’s noteworthy that mornings can be particularly busy with numerous transatlantic departures, but things are usually quiet after lunchtime.
Let’s talk about the famous Lufthansa rubber ducks. You may have heard of these and wondered what’s the big deal behind them. The idea was conceptualized during the terminal’s construction as a way to add a personal touch to the first-class experience. The ducks are so popular that some travellers solely fly Lufthansa First Class to add another duck to their collection, especially the special edition ones available only at select times of the year.
Whenever visit the first-class terminal, what I look forward to the most is the car service that takes me right to my plane. The charm of stepping out of a chauffeur-driven Porche next to an enormous Boeing 747 never gets old.
Remember that If you’re flying Lufthansa in First Class, try to make an effort to spend a few hours at the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt. It is the best way to experience all that Lufthansa offers its first class customers.
Lufthansa First Class Seat
Door Score: 🚪🚪🚪🚪
The layout of the first-class section on a Boeing 747 differs from the traditional 1-2-1 layout found on the Airbus A340 and A380. The unique layout is situated in the front of the plane and offers a panoramic view from 4 individual windows per seat. Almost all seats are window seats except for 2 in the middle.
Each time I enter the aircraft and turn left, I can’t help but contain my smile as I know I am about to have a fantastic journey across the Atlantic. The first thing I notice as I approach my seat 3K are the windows. I mentioned it already, but going from 3 to 4 windows per seat is absolutely amazing!
The seat itself is dated but is still warm and inviting. It’s wide enough for someone short like myself to sit crisscross. The ottoman can also be brought forward to rest my feet atop it. Privacy is added by extending a partition that works quite well. The seat in various lounge positions was comfortable, but sleeping was the real highlight. The sleeping pad, duvet, and pillows that were provided really made you feel on cloud 9. The bed is one of the best if not the best, I have ever slept on in the sky.
Let’s now talk about the elephant in the room, or the lack thereof: The Door. Where is it? There isn’t one! In 2023, a first-class seat without doors should be blasphemy, but it isn’t. I somehow managed to overlook this shortcoming by considering the overall first-class package from Lufthansa, which is quite spectacular! The seat itself (minus the door) is very comfortable, the bed is one of the finest in the sky, the first-class terminal experience never gets old, German cuisine is fantastic with caviar, and service is always top-notch.
Lufthansa First Pajamas & Amenity Kit
The amenity kit was by the German watch brand Sinn, and included the standard fare with La Praire creams, eyeshades, socks, etc. What was really exciting about the kit was its case, which could double as a watch holder! As a mechanical watch enthusiast who travels with 2-3 watches on trips, I repurposed this amenity kit to house my watches during my travels.
The first-class pyjamas provided were from Van Laack but have since changed to Porche Design in 2023. The pyjama top is collared, which is something unique and gives it a bit of a formal look. The overall PJ set was merely just OK. The fabric was rough, and the collar was annoying. However, the slippers that were also included were incredibly comfortable; they might be the most comfortable pair I have ever received from an airline!
Lufthansa First Class Food and Drinks
The dining experience aboard Lufthansa First Class met my expectations for what I would expect from a first-class product:
- Paperback Food and Wine List
- Good selection of food items on the menu
- Caviar is available, albeit only 1 serving
- Selection of appetizers to choose from the cart; I was able to try them all
- No dine-on-demand concept except for the anytime snack meals
- The service pace was good between courses
- No cocktails but a good wine list
- The food presentation was excellent
Let’s talk about the champagne. Two are available, but my favourite is the Rose by Laurent-Perrier, 2004 Grande Cuvee Rose Alexandra. It was absolutely delicious and one of the top champagnes I have had in the sky.
Lufthansa First Class Lavatory
There is a dedicated restroom for First class passengers with ample space and a window. Am I the only person who likes a loo with a view? No special amenities were provided in the lavatory; no designer brand creams, soaps, sprays, etc.
Lufthansa First Class is an excellent product that should be considered by everyone who wants a dose of luxury air travel. Given how easy it is to earn Air Canada Aeroplan points and the relatively good availability, it’s worth putting in some effort to fly the product, especially for transatlantic travel, where first-class flights are limited.
Lufthansa First Class isn’t a top-tier first-class product like Emirates, Singapore Airlines, etc, but it is surprisingly still, just so good. Wir sehen uns am Himmel!