Lufthansa Frankfurt to New York (JFK) First Class Flight 400 – Review
Frankfurt Airport is by far Germany’s busiest transportation hub and reportedly serves more international destinations than any other airport in the world. It is also a major hub for Lufthansa Airlines, which is one of just a few select airlines that fly the double-decker Airbus A380, the world’s largest airliner. While Lufthansa does fly the A380 from Frankfurt to New York, my flight was on an Airbus A340.
Lufthansa is in the midst of installing new first-class seats in its long-haul aircraft. My plane had the older but still very comfortable seating but the in-flight service is the same regardless.
Since I was coming off a connecting flight from Munich with a short connection time, I immediately proceeded to my departure gate where I was the last passenger to arrive. The gate agent greeted me warmly and knew my name before I handed over my boarding pass. “Mr. Spira, come with me please,” she said, leading me down the jetway and escorting me into the first class cabin, which was not very full.
I settled in and was offered a pre-departure beverage (I chose mineral water), which was accompanied by macadamia nuts. I was also given a Bogner amenity kit that included a sweater, slippers, eyeshades, a plastic comb and brush, La Mer lip balm and moisturizing cream, and a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Since this was a daytime flight, I didn’t plan to sleep very much (and given the menu, it was good that I arrived hungry). I did take a brief nap and a few presses of the seat controller resulted in a very comfortable 78” bed. For sitting up and doing work, as well as for dining, the comfort and support were excellent.
Lufthansa Media World, the in-flight entertainment system, includes a wide variety of movies, music, radio programs, and games as well as a flight map showing current position. I had several movies stored on my iPad so I only used the flight map to monitor our progress.
Once we were at our cruising altitude, the friendly cabin crew transformed the cabin into a gourmet restaurant.
An amuse bouche was served first and then my place was set. A red rose (in a glass tube) was placed on the table and it later went into its dedicated holder in the seat.
The wine list included a splendid 2009 “Sempur Vivum” Riesling Spätlese trocken, from the Weingut Mötzenbacker. I enjoyed this wine so much I continued with it for the entire meal.
The menu says “choice” of hors d’oeuvres, but since it’s apparently very difficult to choose between them, each passenger receives four. On the top level of the étagere was mouse of tomatoes and bell pepper with pine nut pesto. In the center, duck foie gras and chicken in aspic (with celery salad and beetroot vinaigrette). On the bottom plate, I found salmon tartare (with lemon confit and fennel salad). A separate plate with caviar was placed in the center of my tray (garnishes were in a separate dish).
One appetizer was better than the next and the warm breads were a superb accompaniment. My only puzzlement was as to how I was going to even take a single bite of the main course.
Then came the next course, a delicious cream of potato soup, which wasn’t even on the menu.
For the entrée, I had ordered the filet of sole and crayfish that came with tarragon sauce accompanied by tagliatelle and spinach. This was the only disappointing part of the meal as the fish had very little flavor. The flight attendant offered to bring me something else but I was at that point so full from the appetizers that I declined. Other choices on the menu included a Mehlknödel (flour dumpling) with black salsify, chicken with rosemary sauce and Rösti, and Sauerbraten (marinated pot roast).
A selection of cheeses was offered but I couldn’t eat anymore. Little did I know that I really wasn’t finished and the best was yet to come.
I settled into my seat to do some work on my ThinkPad and listened to music on my Apple iPad. After two hours of work, I decided it was time for a nap and transformed the seat into a comfortable bed.
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