Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, The world's longest passenger aircraft.
I was quite excited to get on the new Boeing 747-8i, the newest 747. Lufthansa is the launch customer for this model, and Dulles to Frankfurt is the first route. The initial delivery was just this one aircraft. I was a little nervous that something could happen, and I would miss my chance to get on this bird, but thankfully it all worked out. The first flight for Lufthansa's 747-8i was on June 1, and my trip was mid July 2012, so the aircraft I flew on was quite new. There have now been a few of these planes delivered to Lufthansa.
I didn't do a great job of exploring the plane, although i did walk through the lower deck business cabin. Nice to finally see flat bed seats in Lufthansa Business Class. I mostly enjoyed the lovely new First Class service. I was quite impressed with the improvements that have been made to modernize their first class product. The seat is virtually the same as what is on the A380, except that the seats are angled in their alignment due to the curvature in the nose of the cabin. Similar to the United First Class Suite, there is a shoulder strap for take off and landing, but the flight attendants actually neglected to remind us to use them when we landed in Frankfurt.
Champagne and warm macadamia nuts
Upon getting seated, the flight attendant offered to give me a tour of the features of the cabin. She admitted this was her first flight on this plane as well. This led to somewhat less of the typical polished Lufthansa service, but I couldn't fault her honesty. The seat is very private, with a nice large video screen. There is some storage in the ottoman, and there is a locker assigned to each seat. Row 1 has those storage lockers adjacent to their seats, the other passengers have to go to the rear of the cabin near the galley at door 1.
The seat itself is a huge improvement on the old First Class seat offering on Lufthansa. Its a nice wide seat, with lots of adjustments if needed. Both armrests contain controls. The left has TV controls, including an easily accessible play/pause button. The remote is inside the armrest.
The right side armrest has the seat controls, and a button to raise and lower the privacy screen.
Despite the plane being quite new, I noticed several ink marks on the seat:
A nice feature that was new to me was the electronic blinds on the windows. There was 2 separate shades, an opaque shade and one that completely blocks lights. It is controlled by a switch on the window. Push up or down to open or close, but pushing it again would stop the shade at the current position.
Photo showing closed blinds, open photo is shown above.
The lavatories were rather modern, which made the experience much nicer than the typical on board experience. This is similar to the fixtures on the Lufthansa A380 first class lavatory, but not as spacious.
There was still plenty of room and a fold down table which was helpful for changing into the pajamas Lufthansa provided.
In the early portion of the flight, I was fortunate to have a great view of the setting sun. I also noticed a British Airways 747 crossing below us.
Can anyone name this city?
(Correctly identified as Halifax, Nova Scotia by mametester in the comments)
Here are menus for the meal services on board:
Choice of Hors d'oeuvres
* Caviar with the traditional Garnishes
* Citrus cured Scallop with Avocado Creme
* Teriyaki glazed Beef Brochette with Sesame Seeds
* Tian of Tomato with Burrata Cheese and Arugala with Pine Nuts
* Seasoned Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Parmesan Cheese presented with dressing
Choice of Main Courses
* Tenderloin of Pork with stewed Sweet Potato and Leek, Ginger Plum Chutney
* Seared Cod with Bacon and creamy Corn Sauce, Fingerling Potatoes and Snow Peas
* Sesame Soba Noodles with Cashew Nuts and mixed Asian Vegetables
* Slow roasted Duck with Kailan, Jasmine Rice and Curry Kaffir Sauce
Select of Cheese and Dessert
* Humboldt Fog, Camembert, Manchego, Gorgonzola and Vella Jack Cheese
* Green Tea Layer Cake with fresh Mango
* Banana Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream
2004 Champagne Laurent-Perrier Brut, France
2011 Cloudy Bay, Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand
Walcher Pommegnac, Italy
Sherry Amontillado Hidalgo
2010 Erdbacher Hohenrain Riesling Erstes Gewächs, Schloss Reinhartshausen,Germany
2007 Château de Rully, Rully Premier Cru, Antonin Rodet, France
2005 Redoma Tinto, Dirk van de Niepoort, Portugal
2005 Montemareto Countacc!, Monferrato Rosso D.O.C.,Michele Chiarlo, Italy
2005 Château Belgrave, Cru Classé, Haut-Médoc, France
The meal began with an amuse bouche, as do all meals in Lufthansa First Class, and this was better than usual. As for that and the rest of the meal service, I'll let photos tell the story:
a mix of fruits and coconut. A nice fresh appetizer.
Tian and caviar appetizers
pork tenderloin main course
Green tea layer cake
When sleep is desired, the seat goes fully flat, and a mattress pad is put down along with a duvet. After dinner I wanted to take advantage of bed mode. Unfortunately, my seat had some issues which required several flight attendants to work on it, and one of them even had a manual out. Thankfully, it didn't take too long, so I eventually was able to rest. Since I would be flying on another redeye flight not too long after my arrival in Frankfurt, I didn't worry too much with sleeping on this flight, but with the comfortable bed, I did nap for several hours. This new seat is a great improvement on past designs for sleeping comfort.
bed mode, with privacy screen up making for a cozy sleeping spot
After a little sleep, it was only a few hours from Frankfurt. These transatlantic flights from the US east coast are short! I watched some TV, and soon I was invited to have some breakfast. Here is the menu:
If you prefer more time to rest, we will serve the breakfast variety of your choice until we begin our descent from travelling altitude and approach landing.
* Orange Juice
* Fresh Fruit
* Cereal Granola Mix
* Orange Juice
* Yogurt with dried Fruit
* Turkey Breast, Sausage Salami, Cheddar and Brie Cheese
* Orange Juice
* Fresh Fruit
* Boursin Omelet with grilled Asparagus, Irish Back Pork Bacon and Mini Potato Pancake
After a multi course meal and a relatively short flight, I ate a light breakfast on board. I had another long haul flight, plus a stop at the First Class Terminal coming up, so I certainly didn't need more food on the plane.
We landed in Frankfurt, and had a relatively long taxi, but were soon at our gate. I had several hours until my onward flight to Tokyo. I could have stayed airside and visited the very nice First Class lounges, but I opted for some fresh air and better yet, a visit to the First Class Terminal.