Lufthansa first class aboard the 747-8 is among the poshest ways to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. And with Lufthansa retiring its entire A380 and A340-600 fleet, the 747-8 has become the official flagship aircraft. This means that Lufthansa’s 747-8 first class is the German flag carrier’s most luxurious product.
Indeed, while many airlines have been cutting back on in-flight offerings due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lufthansa has pulled away from the pack and continued to offer a remarkable first class experience.
My only regret was that it wasn’t longer.
Los Angeles – Frankfurt (FRA) – Cairo (CAI)
Thursday, October 22
Depart: 3:10 PM
Arrive: 11:00AM (+1 day)
Duration: 10 hr 50 min
Aircraft: Boeing 747-8
Miles Used: 98,560 LifeMiles transferred from Amex Membership Rewards (LAX-FRA-CAI)
Average First Class Ticket Price: ~$10,661
Average Economy Ticket Price: ~$661
Taxes and Fees Paid: ~$69.19
Booking Lufthansa First Class
Booking Lufthansa first class is both incredibly difficult and very straightforward. Besides using Lufthansa’s own frequent flyer program Miles & More, you can only book Lufthansa first class at most 2 weeks before departure!
Normally, planning very far ahead is preferable, and it’s one of the fundamental principles of travel hacking to fly first class.
However, if you are flexible and can stomach booking your flights less than 2 weeks before departure, you’ll find that Lufthansa first class is extremely easy to book using points.
In fact, you can even find up to 6 first class seats available on dates where the cabin is mostly empty. Being able to access this many first class seats would be perfect for family vacations and travel.
We decided to book Lufthansa first class just 2 days before departure, and we redeemed a total of 98,560 LifeMiles transferred from American Express Membership Rewards for the complete itinerary in Lufthansa first class from Los Angeles (LAX) to Frankfurt (FRA) and then onwards in Lufthansa business class from Frankfurt (FRA) to Cairo (CAI).
If you just flew from the U.S. to Frankfurt in Lufthansa first class, you’d redeem 87,000 LifeMiles. However, one little-known secret is that you can book Lufthansa first class to Europe for as little as 50,000 points per person, which is one of our best post-pandemic first class deals you can book using points!
Overall, I transferred 98,560 Amex points transferred to LifeMiles and paid $69.19 in taxes and fees per person for this $10,661 seat, netting a value of 10.7 cents per point! Believe it or not, there are more expensive plane tickets out there, including Japan Airlines first class.
This was an exceptional deal because I would’ve had to pay a whopping 700,000 Amex points if I booked it through Amex Travel. Surprised? Check out the top things people get wrong about credit card points and luxury travel!
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Our flight was scheduled to depart at 3:10 p.m., so we planned to arrive at the airport around 90 minutes before departure.
Most international flights at LAX depart from Tom Bradley International Terminal, so we headed to the appropriate first class check-in line for Lufthansa flights.
Although the terminal was nearly deserted, there was 1 other passenger in front of us in the first class line. Also, there was significant confusion surrounding what documents are required for your itinerary, ranging from coronavirus tests to proof of health insurance.
The entire check-in process took longer than expected, but we cleared security with around an hour to spare.
Unfortunately, there were no lounges open at the time, but Lufthansa first class passengers would normally have access to the Star Alliance First Class Lounge at LAX, which is actually not one of our top airport lounges in the U.S., despite how awesome that lounge is (there are even better lounges at LAX!).
We made our way to the gate after clearing security; at the same time, it was eerie to see LAX so empty in the middle of the day.
Our aircraft was Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-8, which is the only aircraft being operated that offers its famed first class product. Furthermore, there were just 8 of these flying globally at the time.
We boarded first through door L1, and flawless German service and luxury awaited us.
Lufthansa’s first class cabin is one of the most intimate and exquisite out there. In total, there are 3 rows with 1 seat on each side and a single set of 2 seats together at the back of the cabin.
There are only 8 first class seats in total, and they’re all situated in the nose of the aircraft. There are also just 8 first class seats in Emirates 777 first class, which we booked using points for our returning flight.
The seats each boast a whopping 31 inches of width excluding any compartments, 83 inches in pitch, and a massive 81 inches in bed length.
The window seats each have exclusive access to 4 windows as well.
We were lucky enough to reserve the only pair of couple’s seats, 3D and 3G.
Lufthansa’s first class seats are more like open-air suites than private pods found in Etihad first class, for example. As a result, the whole cabin felt more spacious yet intimate thanks to the exclusive seat layout. However, these open-air suites have the drawback of being less-than-ideal for social distancing. Check out our top 10 first class seats for social distancing!
These two seats are the only sets of seats truly together, and you can easily enjoy the company of your travel companion here.
These first class seats have privacy dividers that offer a bit of extra privacy.
There was an ottoman in front of the seat, which could also be used as a storage compartment for a small backpack or shoes.
At the top corner of each seat is a reading light.
The in-flight remote was thoroughly sanitized before boarding, although I found it difficult to press at times.
The seat controls are found in the other armrest, and they were easy to use.
As soon as we settled into our seats, we were immediately pampered with warm macadamia nuts, glasses of welcome Champagne, and tons of amenities (more on that later).
The amenities offered in Lufthansa’s first class are immense. They aren’t as extensive as the amenities on Emirates first class, but they were much better than we were expecting in light of the cutbacks at other carriers like British Airways.
First, there was a pillow placed on the seat before boarding.
Most of the in-flight amenities were carefully placed on the ottoman, much like presents under a Christmas tree!
To kick off the flight, there was a comfortable lounging blanket, and sleepwear from van Laack, a German luxury fashion company.
The pajamas were light, breathable, and comfortable.
The slippers were unlike anything I had ever seen. These particular slippers were so incredibly puffy that I felt like I was walking in clouds!
I was thrilled to see the (temporary) return of Rimowa amenity kits in Lufthansa first class!
The contents of the first class amenity kit were:
- La Prairie lip balm
- La Prairie skin caviar luxe cream
- La Prairie skin caviar luxe eye cream
- A comb
- A container of mints
- A dental kit
- An earplug case
- An eye mask
- A pair of socks
- Headphone covers
Lufthansa also offers Bose QuietComfort 15 headphones (QC15) in first class, although you might find Bose QuietComfort 25 (QC25) headphones from time to time.
Food and Beverage
The food and beverage program is where Lufthansa completely outshone its other airline competitors during the coronavirus pandemic.
In some situations during the pandemic, other airlines offered cold boxed food in first class, which is a complete atrocity and an obvious cost-cutting move.
Luckily, Lufthansa’s only modifications were the removal of hot towels, the absence of caviar, appetizer, and cheese carts, and no roses at every seat.
When we settled into our seats, we were provided with a hand hygiene wipe, warm macadamia nuts, and a glass of welcome Champagne.
Located just in front of our seats was the in-flight bar, and this was where the first class flight attendants were preparing the welcome festivities.
Within 5 minutes of take-off, the seatbelt signs were turned off, and our purser came back to distribute the food and beverage menus.
Our in-flight service began again with another generous pour of Champagne. Today, our bottle was a 2005 Noble Cuvée Lanson, which retails for around $90 per bottle
The Champagne was accompanied by a glass of still water.
Our in-flight meal service began with the amuse-bouche, a delicious crawfish concoction.
Once that was finished, our table setting was placed down, and an extensive breadbasket selection was offered.
I opted for a slice of garlic bread, which was crispy and savory. It was accompanied by a wedge of warm butter, olive oil, and balsamic vinaigrette.
Shortly after, the caviar course was distributed, complete with crushed egg whites, crushed egg yolks, sour cream, a lemon wedge, and a slice of toast. I opted out of the diced onion condiment.
Although the presentation wasn’t the most refined out there, the taste was incredible.
As a hopeless fanatic of caviar, I ended up enjoying 2 more servings after that.
Next was the appetizer course, which was delicious.
First off, I started with a fresh salad mix with red cherry tomato, julienned red radish, and dressed with a vinaigrette.
I made my way to the next appetizer: pan-seared scallops with grilled tail-on shrimp, a lime edge, papaya and cucumber salad, and a lime ginger soy sauce.
Next up was the red and golden beet puree with chèvre (goat cheese) in a pearl barley salad. The beets were wonderfully sweet.
The next appetizer in the medley was a black pepper-crusted duck breast with boiled quail eggs and a potato salad with white truffle oil. The duck was superbly tender, and the accouterments were rich in flavor.
For my main course, I opted for the grilled beef filet, which was cooked medium rare and served with grilled green asparagus, crushed potatoes with olive oil, sautéed baby spinach, and blanched white pearl onions. The plate was dressed with a cabernet veal jus.
It was superb.
For dessert, I had the dark chocolate pot de crème with raspberry compote, as well as the warmed blueberry crumble with vanilla ice cream.
To finish the meal, we were offered premium Belgian chocolates from Limar.
The food and beverage euphoria didn’t stop there because breakfast was fresh, simple, and splendid.
First, I ordered a home-made fresh smoothie.
I ordered the bread and roll selection, accompanied by butter and strawberry jam.
I also ordered a plate of smoked salmon, which was aromatic and tasty.
Then, I savored a plate of freshly scrambled eggs, bacon, and chives.
Overall, Lufthansa’s first class food and beverage selection is diverse, consistent in taste, and a pleasure to experience.
Entertainment & Service
The only qualm I had aboard the entire flight was the size of the in-flight entertainment screens.
While many airlines offer gargantuan televisions sometimes exceeding 30 inches at every first class seat, Lufthansa’s in-flight monitor is just 17 inches large.
Since the seat is also so large, the in-flight TV screens seemed even smaller.
Lufthansa’s in-flight selection also has room for improvement, but what really made up for it was the quality of service on the flight.
The flight attendants were extremely professional, efficient, and accommodating. Our crews asked us what we were headed to Egypt for, and they wished us a fabulous trip to Egypt. They took great care of us throughout the flight.
Being able to use points to fly first class to an exotic destination makes the entire trip much more enjoyable and fun, and Lufthansa’s first class flight attendants played a pivotal role in making us feel welcomed. That, along with the delicious food, the swanky amenities, and the elegant open-air suites made for a glorious flight.
One of the many benefits of flying Lufthansa first class is the ability to enjoy 24 hours of free in-flight Wi-Fi. All passengers receive their own Wi-Fi cards.
The onboard speeds were decent this time around, with download speeds hovering around 25 Mbps and upload speeds standing at around 1.5 Mbps. It’s not enough for streaming Netflix, but it’s more than enough for social media posts, email, light browsing, and instant messengers.
Running your own business? Check out our best tips to fly first class using points from your business!
The lavatories were spotless, oversized, and even had a window!
There’s a small bench to change your clothes, as well.
In addition, the lavatories had extra amenities like La Prairie hand cream, mouth wash, hand hygiene wipes, and uber-refreshing Evian facial spray!
As the first meal service winded down, our flight attendants generously offered to make our bed, which was complete with a hefty mattress pad, a thick duvet, and a pillow.
The bedding was fantastic and certainly contributed to one of the most comfortable beds in the sky.
Frankfurt Senator Lounge Shower Suites
When we landed at Frankfurt airport, we immediately headed to the Senator Lounge, which was the only lounge open at the time. This pales in comparison to the Lufthansa first class lounge, which is one of Europe’s best airport lounges, and also one of the best lounges in the world!
The goal was to take a reinvigorating shower and stay hydrated.
The shower suites are spacious and come with a toilet, a vanity, and a changing bench.
The shower also came with a rain shower head, as well as a wand.
Lufthansa utilizes L’Occitane amenities, including shampoo (not pictured), conditioner (not pictured), and body wash (not pictured), body lotion, and hand soap.
Lufthansa first class is an extraordinary first class product that travelers should strive to book when flying across the Atlantic Ocean.
Between the ability to redeem points for this first class ticket, the excellent catering, the abundance of amenities, the refusal to compromise its first class product in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and the outstanding in-flight service, there are fewer ways to get to your destination in style.
Even though we couldn’t take advantage of any lounge access perks in Los Angeles and we couldn’t experience the famed Lufthansa First Class Terminal or the chauffeur service, this experience will go down as one of the most memorable first class flights.