The 747-8i (Intercontinental) is a variant of the widely popular “Queen of the Skies” 747-400, and is the largest commercial aircraft built in the United States. In addition, it is the longest passenger aircraft in the world, and Lufthansa was the first airline to operate the 747-8i on June, 2012.
But more importantly, Lufthansa is consistently regarded as the premiere standard in 1st Class service and luxury. And because of these industry wide accolades, Lufthansa 1st Class comes attached with a hefty price tag. For example, the retail price on this one way flight cost just south of $10,000, which is the same cost as a brand new Nissan Versa!
Needless to say, my curiosity was killing me, and I needed to know if a 1st Class ticket could be worth the price of a small automobile!???!
- An “Around-The-World-Travel-Hacking” Extravaganza!
- ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner – Business Class (SJC-NRT)
- Thai Royal First Lounge + Royal Orchid Spa (Bangkok)
- Thai Airbus A380 – 1st Class (BKK-FRA)
- Lufthansa First Class Terminal (Frankfurt)
- Lufthansa Boeing 747-8i – 1st Class (FRA-IAD)
Route: Frankfurt (FRA) – Washington, DC (IAD)
Date: Tuesday September 2nd, 2014
Depart: 1:10 pm
Duration: 8hr 40min
Aircraft: Boeing 747-8i
Cabin: 1st Class
On first impression, the cabin is beautifully designed, and very sleek. The color scheme didn’t involve any bold colors, but rather a blend of neutral shades. It’s all very simple, yet elegant, and it made me feel as if I was stepping into some secret society.
In total, there were only 8 seats in the cabin, with one pair suitable for couples. The remaining six seats were more private, and better suited for solo travelers. As for me, I choose seat 1K, which is my favorite seat on the 747!
One of the most unique feature on the 747 is the location of the 1st Class cabin, which is at the nose of the plane. Typically, on most aircrafts, this area is designed for the cockpit. However, on the 747’s, the cockpit is on the upper deck, and located further back. Therefore, passengers on seat 1A and 1K, are closer to the front of the plane than even the pilots. How cool is that!
In addition, since the galley/lavatories are located behind the 1st Class cabin, passengers on seats 1A/1K, will receive almost no foot traffic from the flight attendants, or other passengers. Which makes these seats really isolated and private!
In the center of the cabin was a small bar area which offered water, champagne, and wine during the flight.
Everything onboard the 1st Class cabin was beautifully presented and immaculate.
If traveling with a companion, then the two middle seats, 3D and 3G, are ideal.
The width of the 1st Class seat measured 31.5″ wide, and is very, very roomy.
The entire cabin design was very modern, and truly made me feel like a big shot CEO.
In front of each seat was a large 17″ monitor, and an ottoman directly below. The ottoman served as both a foot rest, and as additional storage.
The seat controls were on the left armrest, and even the ottoman could be moved closer, if needed.
The TV controls were on the right armrest, along with easy accessible buttons like play/pause, and volume up/down.
Finally, the power outlets, and USB ports, were located below the right armrest.
There were two lavatories in the 1st Class cabin, and both were spotless on the entire flight.
Lufthansa also provided a lot of toiletries, such as facial spray, brushes, and razors.
After being exposed to the scorching sun in Thailand for 3 weeks, the La Mer lotion really helped to heal my dried skin.
The toilet seat lid was nicely padded, and could be used as a changing area.
And once lifted, the actual toilet bowl was revealed underneath.
Compared to the A380, the lavatories on the 747-8i were tiny, but still large enough for me to comfortably change into my pajamas.
Once seated, the FA (Flight Attendant) quickly offered me a glass of Pommery Champagne.
Then, she happily poured me a glass, along with some macadamia nuts.
After takeoff, and once at cruising altitude, my tray table was set, and the meal service began.
The meal service started with the Amuse Bouche:
- Spanish Tapas: olives, bacon wrapped plum and grilled bell pepper
I was a bit skeptical that bacon and plum would pair well together, but you know what? Everything does taste better with bacon, even plums!
Next, the caviar cart came by, and I received a generous amount of caviar. Once again, I did my best to pretend I was sophisticated enough to know how to eat this delicacy 😉
There was actually a lot of caviar still left in the can, and the FA asked me if I would like another serving. Of course, I replied with the most logical response to such a question, “Yes Pleaseeeeeeeeee!”.
Next up was the appetizer, and I choose the Japanese Delicacies:
- Temaki with Keta Caviar
- Duck Breast marinated in soy sauce on Hijiki salad
- Salmon Nigiri
Out of the 3 appetizers, the Salmon Nigiri, and Temaki with Keta Caviar were my favorite! It almost felt like I was dining at a high end Japanese sushi bar. It’s truly amazing how they can prepare these complicated dishes in the plane galley.
Following the appetizer was the soup:
- French Lobster Bisque
This lobster bisque was really refreshing, and the one piece of lobster tasted fresh, and not chewy or over cooked.
And finally the main course:
- Italy: Variety of pasta filled with Porcini mushrooms, artichokes, asparagus, and broccoli.
By the time the main course came, I was so stuffed! But I pushed on, and really wanted to taste this pasta dish so I could compare it with what I had in Italy. Overall, it wasn’t as good as what I experienced in Italy, but the Porcini mushrooms were still really Gooooooood!
I really couldn’t tackle on any dessert after all the food I had just consumed, so I just asked for the cheese platter:
- Brie de Meaux
- Fourme d’Ambert
- Organize goat cheese
- Fig mustard
Prior to this cheese platter, I had never paired cheese with fig mustard before, and after trying it, I’m now hooked! Its a bit sweet, but adds a pungent kick to the cheese. Give it a try, and I’m sure your taste buds will love you!
After the meal service, I was in complete food coma, and decided to take a nap.
Then, 4 hours later, my belly was rumbling again, and I knew it was time for one last meal before arrival. Shortly after, the salad cart came around, and I ordered a salad with shrimp and chicken.
The salad was decent, but what I enjoyed the most, were the mouth watering pretzel bread (laugenbroetchen)! It’s made from the same pretzel dough that we all love, but somehow the Germans know how to bake it to perfection! In fact, these little babies were so delicious, that I kept asking for more each time the FA walked by.
Since the 1st Class cabin was essentially empty (only 2 passengers), the FA offered to make my bed in seat 1A. Therefore, I now had both a seat to lounge in, and another seat to sleep in, such amazing service!
I really loved the design of the flat bed on Lufthansa, because it truly felt like an actual bed. On other airlines, due to the design of the entertainment system, the width of the bed tends to get narrower towards the leg. But since Lufthansa uses an ottoman, the width of the bed is the same throughout the entire bed, which allowed me to stretch out my feet in complete comfort!
Here is a view of my bed in seat 1A, while lounging in seat 1K.
And here is the same picture, but with the privacy screen raised up, which meant I could take selfies without anyone noticing!
After an amazing experience in the First Class Terminal, I wasn’t sure if the service could get any better on board the 747-8i. Luckily, I was dead wrong, and this was probably my favorite 1st Class cabin experience to date!
All the FA’s were very professional, knowledgeable, and went out of their way to make me feel like royalty:
- I was always greeted warmly and by surname
- My wine glass was always full
- I had both a bed and seat to enjoy
- I received more caviar than I could humanly consume
- My palate was introduced to fig mustard, pretzel bread, and bacon wrapped plum
- And lastly, the flat bed was a bliss to sleep in
Overall, I highly recommend flying with Lufthansa in 1st Class. It’s truly an amazing experience, and it will make all future flights pale in comparison. The service is unlike any other airline, and the entire crew took great pride in their job. You could sincerely tell that everyone was enjoying their profession, unlike those unfortunate souls working for United Airlines.
But was the flight worth $10,000?
For some folks, maybe.
Would I spend $10,000?
And thanks to travel hacking, I don’t need to spend large sums of money to experience luxury travel. This flight was the closest I’ll ever get to living like the rich and famous, and I savored every second of it =)
Travel hacking has made me realize that “Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams” can come true!
Well…..technically, for me, it only comes true above 30,000 feet…….but hey, who’s counting!??!