Lufthansa, flies from Hong Kong to Munich and Frankfurt daily, offering first, business, premium economy and economy class service.
In my perspective, Lufthansa’s first class lounges are top-notch, with extremely professional, friendly but non-intrusive service typical of Germany. The food and beverage spreads are extensive and of very high quality. In Frankfurt, Lufthansa has its own dedicated first class terminal, accessible exclusively for first class passengers; status holders of frequent flyer programs will not be admitted, creating an exceptionally private and exclusive environment, including cigar and wine lounges, bedrooms and lush showers. Once your flight is ready for boarding, you will be driven from the first class terminal directly to the aircraft in a Porsche or Mercedes limousine, meaning you won’t have to set foot in the main terminal at any time at all. It doesn’t get more luxurious than this, and other carriers could learn a lesson or two from the Lufthansa first class ground experience.
Priority was given to first, business class passengers and Star Alliance Gold status customers. At the door, I was addressed by name and given a heartfelt welcome before being escorted to my seat. This was the beginning of an incredible on-board experience. The chief purser and another senior flight attendant were in charge of the first class cabin. They were among the most polished and professional crew I have ever encountered. Everything was done by the book, an experience that easily rivalled luxury brands such as the Ritz.
As I was settling into my very chic seat, I was offered a pre-departure beverage of my choice – 2007 Taittinger Millesime champagne in my case – and warm macadamia nuts in a ramekin. Shortly thereafter the crew distributed slippers, Rimowa amenity kits, and Van Laack-branded pyjamas that I’ve been using at home ever since.
The cockpit made a number of very detailed, yet jolly announcements regarding our flight time, flight path. It’s rare nowadays to find a cockpit crew that really engages with the passengers, so kudos to the pilots.
The first class cabin consists of two rows only, laid out in a 1-2-1 abreast configuration and while it may not be very private, Lufthansa has one of the most beautiful first cabins out there. The design is very chic and elegant, the ambient lighting cosy.
Needless to say, the seat converts into a fully-flat bed. The crew will be happy to make the bed for you, complete with a mattress pad and comforter. I found the bed as comfortable as my own at home.
There’s an individually adjustable privacy screen and height-adjustable headrest, and Bose noise-cancelling headphones. Also, there are various multi-function storage ‘cupboards’ that hold a mirror and your personal belongings. The provided connectivity is extensive with a dedicated power point in each seat, as well as a USB port, and iPod and AV connectors so you can watch your own videos through the entertainment system. The IFE selection was equally impressive and I was able to catch up on the latest HBO shows and blockbusters.
The most memorable element of this flight was the professionalism and attentiveness of the staff working the first class cabin, paired with excellent food and beverage choices and very good in-flight entertainment.
The supper service started with caviar complete with the traditional garnishes and freezer-chilled Grey Goose vodka. This was followed by a choice of three appetizers – carpaccio of corn-fed poularde, marinated radish carrot rolls with smoked salmon or goat cheese with grilled vegetables. I had picked the carpaccio but the crew quickly convinced me to try them all. Each dish appeared fresh, tasty and beautifully presented.
For mains, there was a choice of white asparagus spears with hollandaise paired with a duet of black forest and boiled then cured ham accompanied by parsley potatoes; fried turbot with cherry tomato confit, grilled leek, bell peppers and orange rice; braised pork neck, spring onions, spinach and broccoli; or guinea fowl saltimbocca with kohlrabi and broccoli cream accompanied by truffle walnut linguine. Dinner was followed by a selection of cheeses, fruits and dessert.
For drinks, there were four whites and four reds on offer, in addition to the 2007 Taittinger, port wine and countless spirits, as well as Nespresso coffee and Eilles teas. I particularly enjoyed the ‘off the beaten path’ recommendation – the 2014 Forster Ungeheuer Riesling. The Ungeheuer in Forst is one of the best vineyards in Germany; Otto von Bismarck once said “dieser Wein schmeckt ungeheuer gut” (“this wine is terrifically good”), which explains the name, ‘ungeheuer’ meaning ‘terrific’ in German.
Another fun addition to the Lufthansa drinks list is a selection of beers, including white beer served in the traditional long-neck half-litre glasses.
Before arrival into Hong Kong an extensive breakfast was served, starting off with freshly-squeezed orange juice, mango passion fruit smoothie, fresh fruits and berries, chocolate strawberry muesli with milk or yogurt, curd cream with raspberry coulis, a selection of hams, including Parma and San Daniele, salmon, cheeses, jams, honeys and a wide selection of bread.
Best of all, on all Lufthansa first class flights, the crew will freshly prepare eggs, bacon and sausages for you for breakfast using a small cooker and a pan in the galley. This easily beat any other airplane breakfast I’ve had before.
We landed in Hong Kong behind schedule due to untypically strong headwinds throughout the flight. The captain and crew apologized for this repeatedly. It was a short five-minute walk to immigration. My bag was out first and I was landside at less than 30 minutes later.
Absolutely outstanding. This flight blew my mind. I’ve flown international first class on many airlines but this was the best one yet. The seat is fantastic; the attentiveness of the crew was textbook, the journey passed in no time at all and the food was better than most Michellin-starred meals I’ve had on the ground.