Lufthansa A330 Old First Class DFW-FRA
Driving the Nurburgring Nordschleife
Lufthansa First Class Terminal
Oslo to celebrate Chris Guillebeau
Singapore A380 Suites Class FRA-SIN
Singapore Airlines Private Room and Singapore 777-300ER First Class SIN-HKG
Hong Kong and the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui
Cathay Pacific’s The Wing Lounge and 747 First Class HKG-SFO
Well, I just got back and I think I crossed so many time zones (24 of them, in fact) in such a short amount of time that I’m not even jetlagged too badzk,jnbfgxrjrfhnrgxjnkgjnhgfhkj (sorry, fell asleep all of a sudden and face hit the keyboard).
Last you heard from me, you were all excited for me because my flights ended up working out perfectly. I arrived at DFW airport’s Terminal D, mainly a Oneworld terminal, but Lufthansa and I believe Korean Air fly out of here as well.
Upon checking in, they asked if I knew where the lounge was. I had a really hilarious line for that, and promptly forgot it, but I did mumble something. The check-in agent, unentertained, called over a lovely young lady who said she would escort me to the lounge and the plane. BAM, that’s service. She went through security with me, made some pretty good idle chit-chat, and did not rest until I was properly stowed in the First Class closet (seriously probably 16×10 ft.) of the Lufthansa lounge.
There were 3 German gentlemen talking amongst themselves dressed very Germanly in nice business attire. I was wearing jeans and my trusty 16 year-old Brazos Air t-shirt that I always wear on international trips (dating back to 2000). They all looked up at me and showed utter contempt (in German, utterkonptemtenfahrtengutenfrigin) for my attire. Confidently, I sat down in the leather chair, which made a REALLY LOUD farting sound, drawing the attention of zie Germans, who thought I had blessed the lounge with my essence. I looked at them, nodded and winked, and sat back with my Shiner while they all stared, horrified. I then began to feel a bit self-conscious, but then I thought, “hey, beer” and enjoyed a few Shiners. Out of nowhere, my lovely escort lady appeared and said “You have to be first on the plane before we can board anyone else, please follow me.” Game. On.
Lufthansa has about 304 different First Class variations, and I was privileged to experience their…um…most “vintage” seat on our A330.
I was promptly greeted by the very attentive and regimented flight attendant staff. They offered me a pre-flight beverage, and of course champagne was the request, quickly delivered (along with macadamia nuts) with the utmost German precision and umlautiness (any time something was set in front of me, without fail they quickly rotated it until Lufthansa’s logo was facing me).
Part of the fun of these flights is getting the ensuing swag from the airlines. To them you don’t just need champagne and macadamia nuts, no you ALSO need an amenity kit, slippers, and pajamas. Lufthansa’s pajamas offered to me were blue with a checkered lighter blue collar, ensuring that if I ever wore them off of the plane I’d be roundly mocked at how ridiculous my clothing choices were. (There’s a 100% chance that someone reading this LOVES BLUE SHIRTS WITH CHECKERED BLUE COLLARS, to which I humbly apologize for not being sorry about that recent statement. In the USA, due to arcane packaging laws, you cannot purchase a creme liqueur called Sheridan’s. You can, however, purchase it abroad and bring it back in duty free. I’m into my third glass right now, which explains the lack of sympathy.)
Ok, where was I? Yes, Sheridan’s. Also, Lufthansa.
After a quick wait of however many minutes, we were pushed back from the gate and began our relatively quick taxi out to the runway. I looked out the window as we took off and enjoyed the lovely view of…absolutely nothing. Dallas isn’t a scenic city from the ground, much less so from the air. The pilot quickly turned off the fasten seat belt sign, and the attendants promptly and Germanly refilled my champagne and nuts.
Aside from the nagging feeling that you’re sitting in a piece of Rimowa luggage, the seat was really comfortable. I kicked up the legrest and looked forward to the meal service, one of Lufthansa’s specialties.
Lufthansa has a reputation for fantastic service and this flight did nothing but confirm it. I was served a cucumber and salmon amuse bouche, which was delicious. Now, I’m not a foodie by any means, so I wasn’t really sure of the appropriate way to eat it, so I just grabbed the whole thing and ate it in one big bite, after which I glanced over to the rest of the cabin and saw zie Germans from the lounge earlier, who seemed to shake their heads disapprovingly. So, no idea if I did it right or not, but for a guy who likes neither cucumbers nor salmon, it tasted really good.
And you know what? Lufthansa is dang classy. You’re not just going to eat. You’re going to eat with a rose at your seat.
After the amuse bouche, my table was set for me. My flight attendant took a step back, took another look, and moved the tablecloth over 3/4 of an inch, THEN it was right. German efficiency.
Caviar was promptly served, where my non-foodie part really comes out. Still not quite sure how to eat caviar, other than joyfully and thankfully. I mixed it with some of the trimmings, nodded when the attendant asked me something (I had my headphones on and couldn’t hear), and it all seemed to be going well. I didn’t look over at zie Germans, who I’m sure would’ve shaken their heads at how I was eating it. The caviar tasted fine, but I’m not sure I’d ever pay for it on the ground.
Up next was the Beef tataki appetizer, which consisted of: beef, and 7 pounds of vegetable shards. It was delicious.
Why get two appetizers, you ask? Because ‘Merica, that’s why.
Onto the salad, which featured Capsicum, which is apparently a fancy word for a bell pepper.
The main course, featured four options. The problem is that I was already mondo full from everything earlier, so I went with a braised chicken boob with a really nice sesame glaze.
I was feeling REALLY full after the main entree. My flight attendant walked by and said, “Can I offer you dessert, perhaps our key lime tart with strawberry consomme?” I was almost too full but out of nowhere I heard my voice say “yes. that.”
After dinner, I opened my window shade and was greeted with a beautiful scene as we passed over the upper Northeast part of North America.
There was a really lovely breakfast served, but unfortunately I did not capture any pictures of it.
What a great flight. The hard product was outdated, but the flight crew made up for it with an attentive level of service reflective of the best of German efficiency and promptness. The load was fairly heavy at 6/8 seats in First Class occupied, but the crew never seemed to be rushed and managed to pull off two very fast meal services.
I got a decent night’s sleep in the seat, which folded flat. I sleep on my stomach, so it took me quite a while to find the right position of the seat to accommodate me, as it seems like most of these seats are built for people who sleep on their back.
In flight entertainment was about as good as would be expected on a plane with such old equipment. I had my choice of about 20 movies to watch on-demand. I chose, for some reason, Here Comes The Boom, which is a movie about I have no idea because I turned it off pretty quickly, and Rotten Tomatoes says I made a good decision. The screen folded into the seat when I was done with it and was the same screen a lot of other airlines use in coach (American I know uses it on their 777s). Nothing great, but it’s an old product. Unfortunately, I believe this is one of the flights marked to lose First Class in the coming months, after which I’m assuming it’ll just be a Economy, Premium Economy and Business flight. This is a disturbing trend to me, because how am I supposed to fly up front for almost nothing if all of the First Classes are going away?
I knew going into it that the hard product on this flight wouldn’t compare to any of the next three First Class flights I’d be on, but that’s not the crew’s fault. They went to every effort to make everything perfect for me, and were proud to work for Lufthansa: at one point there was a small bit of caviar juice (which would be a great name for a rock band) on the table cloth. When the flight attendant noticed it, she immediately apologized (to me, the guy who had gotten the caviar juice on the tablecloth) and gave me a new tablecloth immediately. I insisted it was unnecessary, but the flight attendant proudly said, “It may be unnecessary on other airlines, but we are Lufthansa.” That represented the spirit of this flight to me: an airline that is comfortable in its own skin and proudly does things its own way.
Even zie Germans seemed to enjoy the flight.