- Booking the Flight
- Calling Asiana Airlines to Book the Award Ticket
In late December, I managed to fly back to the US on a Lufthansa first class flight from Frankfurt, Germany to Washington, DC. This was the first time I flew on a Boeing 747 in first class.
Since the first class flight on Lufthansa originated in Frankfurt, Germany, I was eligible to use the separate Lufthansa First Class Terminal instead of the regular Frankfurt airport terminal. Customers with access to the Lufthansa first class terminal receive car service that drives directly to the plane for boarding and bypass the crowds at the airport gate.
I was driven directly to the boarding area of the Boeing 747 in a Mercedes S class from the First Class Terminal. The drive to the airplane lasted only 2 or 3 minutes from the first class terminal, but what a way to board a plane!
Booking the Flight
I booked the Lufthansa first class ticket with Asiana miles. Asiana is considered a partner airline with Lufthansa. Partner airlines have access to award ticket inventory on Lufthansa flights.
I booked the ticket with Asiana Airlines because it offers the lowest cost in miles on Lufthansa. Lufthansa charges (150,000 miles + taxes) for first class using Lufthansa miles. However, Asiana charges just 50,000 miles + plus taxes for the same first class ticket on Lufthansa.
The first step for booking the ticket required identifying available award ticket space. I searched for open flights using United Airlines flight search. United Airlines and Lufthansa are both members of the Star Alliance. As a result, Lufthansa flight information is searchable through United Airlines.
I found an open first class award ticket on United Airlines for a flight from Frankfurt to Washington DC for 175,000 Lufthansa miles. I now knew that an award ticket was open and I also knew the specific flight information and dates. At this point, I had all the necessary information to call Asiana to see if they could ticket that flight for a lower miles cost.
Calling Asiana Airlines to Book the Award Ticket
Reaching a customer service agent on Asiana’s US based phone number was not easy. The first two times I called, a recorded message told me that call volume was very high and that I needed to try again later, after which they immediately hung up on me. By the third try, I did manage to reach an agent.
Once I was able to speak to someone, the booking process was easy. I provided the agent with the flight information and date. The agent confirmed that flight was available for a one-way award ticket booking for 50,000 Asiana miles and $432 of taxes.
I accumulated 30,000 Asiana miles by opening the Asiana credit card. I earned the other 20,000 miles by transferring 20,000 Starpoints to Asiana. It’s not easy to earn large amounts of Starpoints. However, Marriott’s recent acquisition of Starwood offered a unique opportunity (see: SPG Platinum Shortcuts for Marriott Rewards Members).
- Airline: Lufthansa
- Flight: Frankfurt, Germany to Washington DC
- Departure: 1:56 pm
- Arrival: 4:12pm
- Duration: 8 hours and 16 minutes
- Aircraft: Boeing 747
- Cash Cost: $8,377
- How I paid: 50,000 Asiana Airlines miles and $432 in taxes
Lufthansa offers 8 first class seats on each Boeing 747 flight. The seats are arranged in a triangle with 3 seats lined up in a single column on the right and left side of the cabin. This arrangement creates open space in the center.
A small mini bar sits in the center aisle space. The remaining two first class seats are directly behind the mini bar. The first class servers use the mini bar for drink service during the flight.
Lufthansa’s first class seats include a video monitor with a library of movies, TV shows, flight information, and news. The seats also recline to a fully flat position for sleeping. The Lufthansa first class seats include a few notable differences from what I observed on other first class flights such as Etihad First Apartments, Emirates first class, and the Singapore Suites.
Storage Compartment and Foot Rest
Lufthansa’s first class seat included a small padded storage container below the video monitor. The storage container offered good space to keep tablets, laptops, or any other items you’d like to use during the flight. The other main difference was the tray table.
The Lufthansa tray table opened by the video monitor and needed to be slid towards you by the seat. I liked this setup because if you needed to stand up while eating or drinking, you just slide the tray forward towards the video monitor.
Another difference on the Lufthansa first class seat included the privacy bar. When you first sit down, the first class seats don’t seem to offer much in the way of privacy compared to the seats on an Airbus A380 (flown by Etihad, Emirates, and Singapore Airlines). The Lufthansa seats include a button on the seat that controls a privacy wall that rises up when sleeping.
Lufthansa’s first class menu included an extensive range of drinks and food.
- Tuna with caper and veal sauce, accompanied by green asparagus.
- Grilled vegetable terrine, chive curd, and air dried beef.
- Quail egg and black salsify salad, presented with bolzano sauce.
- Mixed leaf lettuce with grilled zucchini, bell pepper, and olives, accompanied by passion fruit or basil dressing.
- Pink lentil cream soup with prawns.
- Sous-vide prime boiled veal with red hot pepper mostarda, root vegetables and parsley potatoes.
- Fried winter cod with roasted onion stock, green beans, shiitake mushrooms and potatoes.
- Spinach cannelloni with oven baked tomatoes, taleggio, and parmesan cheese.
- Chicken Roulade with carrots and braised potatoes.
Selection of Cheese and Dessert
- Rock salt cheese, St. Agur, goat cheese with honey, L’Explorateur and Langres garnished with apricot mustard chutney.
- Chocolate truffle, apple and rosemary caramel ice cream.
- Raspberry buttermilk tart with lemon and verbena ice cream.
Available on Demand During the Flight
- Italian Spuntino – melon and ham skewer, bresaola with cream cheese, guinea fowl confit, arugula veal roll, parmesan cheese, and tomato olive tapenade.
- Pasta – penne with braised leek, chorizo, feta and cherry tomatoes.
- Stew – pumpkin ginger stew with pumpkin oil seeds.
- Gourmet salad – caesar salad presented with chicken breast.
- Sweet treat – apple pie with cinnamon crumble or seasonal fruits.
What I Ordered
The Lufthansa first class menu was excellent. Restaurant quality food, hard to find anything not to like about it.
- Car service directly to your flight.
- Excellent food and service.
- Comfortable seats that convert into fully flat beds.
- The seats on the Boeing 747 don’t offer as much privacy as the first class seats on the Airbus A380 flights. However the Lufthansa first class seats include a privacy wall controlled by a panel on your seat.
The best way to fly Lufthansa first class is to depart from Frankfurt Germany. This gives you the opportunity to use the First Class Terminal in the Frankfurt airport which offers you direct car service to your flight. When you combine that with the excellent service and food, Lufthansa really offers a unique first class flight experience.