Flight Review: FRA to SEA Lufthansa Business Class
Bleary eyed and severely hungover after 18 hours in Liverpool, I was on my way back to Seattle. On the way there, I had an incredible flight in Economy on Singapore Airlines, and for the return I was thankfully flying business class on Lufthansa with a layover in Frankfurt.
A few friends and I split a large stash of Avianca Lifemiles during the recent sale which I was able to use on this flight. During the sale Lifemiles were available for effectively $.01375 cents a mile. While availability is spotty, we figured between us we'd be able to use them.
This entire itinerary from MAN to SEA cost a total of 63,000 Lifemiles and $297.76 in taxes/fees. My effective outlay for the flight $1164.01 which I considered a pretty good deal for a last-minute, one-way business class flight to the west coast. Flights in business class on the same leg were in starting at around $2,500. If I had used United miles, I could have booked this for 70,000 miles and around $120 in taxes/fees, but I preferred to burn these Lifemiles first.
After knocking out completely on the first flight from Manchester, I had a quick 1 hr and 45 minute layover in Frankfurt - where I love the Lufthansa lounges (full review here). I made it to the Senator Lounge to take quick shower before heading to the gate.
By the time I arrived at gate Z52, it seemed that most of the plane had boarded. Before getting to the gate there was a additional security clearance where you are asked random questions about your travels. There was no line at the gate turnstiles. They have self-scanning technology - the lights go green and the gates fling open after you scan your boarding pass.
The Cabin and Seat
I was particularly excited for this flight since I was able to snag a seat upstairs on the 747. There's something magical about sitting upstairs on a 747 or an A380. This bird was one of Lufthansa's older 747-400 but I find them pretty comfortable in all cabins - I did this trip in economy last year.
The seat itself was equipped with a colorful pillow, blanket, amenity kit, headphones and a water bottle. The cabin itself looked a bit dated, but still felt comfortable.
I found the amenity kit particularly ugly - the grey color was drab and it felt like an iPad mini case from Wal-Mart. It's contents were fine though - a toothbrush, lotion, chapstick, blindfolds etc.
The controls for the seat were on the armrest and pretty easy to use. In "lie-flat" mode, the seat was super comfortable - I was able to sleep for almost 8 hours straight.
There was a small storage space next to the window seats in between the seat and the window. This was a great place to store a small bag or backpack if you had one, and a nice benefit of sitting upstairs.
Both times I used the bathroom, it was in pristine condition. It was stocked full of amenities (toothbrushes, combs, razors etc.) and had a fresh flower which was a nice touch.
Being extremely tired from the whirlwind 36 hours and running on no sleep, I spent the majority of the flight sleeping. When I did interact with the flight attendants, they were always extremely professional and worked with German efficiency. I missed the first meal of the flight though the menu looked really good. I would have went with the Fried Halibut.
There was a small spread of snacks towards the back of the cabin with things like chips, crackers, chocolate and fruit if passengers were hungry in-between meals.
I did catch the pre-arrival snack which was delicious and the perfect pick-me-up. The mushroom soup was creamy but not overly rich, the veggies in the salad tasted fresh and Lufthansa's caterers definitely know how to make a good pretzel.
This was my first time flying LH Business Class in a while. While it probably isn't the best business class product in the skies, it is a solid option to get across the Atlantic. LH is also one of the few direct options into Seattle from Europe which I really appreciate - I hate connecting international to domestic flights within the US. I was also stoked to be able to use Lifemiles on this flight which were burning a hole in my pocket. All in all, it was a great experience and I'd be happy to redeem miles on an LH business class flight in the future.