Lufthansa 747 First Class
Lufthansa 747 First Class

Trip Report: Flying Home on Lufthansa B747-8 First Class

After spending five months in the US, and seeing more and international flights resuming, I decided to fly back to Dubai (my home). There were several options I could choose from for the trip from LA to Dubai; Emirates have resumed non-stop flights, whilst Lufthansa, Air France, KLM and British Airways are all offering connections via Europe.

I chose to fly with Lufthansa with 3 reasons.

  • I could easily use miles to find award seats. The First Class redemption seats open up 7-14 days before departure and there are plenty of Business Class award seats available
  • From my research, Lufthansa have maintained most of their pre-COVID level of in-flight services
  • I can fly on a Boeing 747 again! (never take it for granted!)

The one way journey from LA to Dubai cost me 96,000 miles with Avianca Life Miles. This included First Class from LA to Frankfurt and Business Class from Frankfurt to Dubai.

Video of Lufthansa First Class

LAX Tom Bradley Int'l Terminal was eerily quiet on my day of departure.

a group of people at an airport

All of the airline lounge services are currently closed, along with duty free shops and most food outlets. Overall the options available airside are very limited.

a black and red sign in a room with black chairs
an empty airport with an escalator

My ride to Frankfurt was operated by D-ABYD, an 8 year old B747-8i delivered in Aug 2012.

a large white airplane at an airport

There were around 220 passengers on the flight; the Lufthansa B747-8 has a capacity of 364, so the load was reasonable and most passengers had space enough for social distancing. My seat was 2A, located right up in the nose.

a seat in a plane

Welcome drinks, macadamia nuts, pyjamas, slippers, menus and disinfection wipes were all presented before take-off.

a hand sanitizer wipes on a handle

I also had the opportunity to go to the cockpit, whilst we were on the ground, to meet up with the pilots. There were 2 Captains and 1 First Officer.

a group of men in a cockpit of an airplane
two men in the cockpit of an airplane

The upper deck of the Lufthansa B747-8 looks like a B737 on its own.

Lufthansa B747-8 Business Class
Lufthansa B747-8 Business Class

We took off on-time from runway 24L. Flight time to Frankfurt was 10 hours and 20 minutes and the flight cruised at 37,000 ft.

The feeling of getting airborne and listening to the front gear retraction was fantastic, I felt alive again!

an airport with airplanes parked on the ground

We flew Over Palos Verdes, just above where my PPL pilot training practice airspace was!

an aerial view of a city and a body of water

Once we had reached our initial cruising altitude cabin service began, this was started off with champagne and prawn amuse bouché.

a tray with food and a glass of wine on it
a table with food and wine on it
a hand holding a packet of hand hygiene

The flight attendant told me that they no longer "rolled" the trolley to serve in front of the passenger in First Class, instead they set it up in the galley and brought out dishes to the passengers individually.

a table with plates of food on it

The first course was caviar with a garnish and served together with a trio of starters (these could also be served separately if requested).

Lufthansa First Class Dining
Lufthansa First Class Dining

The sauces were covered with plastic container tops.

a plate of food on a table
a plate of food on a table

All passengers were required to wear a mask, except while eating and drinking.

a man sitting in a chair with a face mask holding a glass of wine
a plate of food on a table
Main course was beef steak but arranged in the shape of crab 🦀

We flew over Nevada, Las Vegas, Colorado and in a general Northeasterly direction towards Canada and the North Atlantic. There were some great views from my window at 37,000 ft.

aerial view of a landscape with a river
a plate of fruit and a dessert on a table with wine glasses
Blueberry crumble with ice cream as dessert.

I was also able to take a quick look at the food served in the other cabins. The Business Class starter and main course were served in the same tray as First. In fact, the main courses were identical to those in First Class apart from the presentation.

The below pictures are the meals from Premium Economy and Economy Class.

a tray with food on it
a tray of food on a tray

After food was finished the cabin turn down service began. Lufthansa have maintained pillows, duvets and mattress in First Class.

Lufthansa B747-8 First Class Cabin
Lufthansa B747-8 First Class Cabin
Lufthansa B747-8 First Class Cabin
Lufthansa B747-8 First Class Cabin
a woman wearing a mask standing next to a bed in an airplane
a group of items on a table

I did have to wear a mask to sleep which was difficult after some time.

My advice is not to wear a cloth one, but something a little easier to breathe in.

a man lying in a bed with a mask on

About 1.5 hours before landing, I woke up for breakfast. To my pleasant surprise, the Lufthansa crew were preparing freshly scrambled eggs in the galley.

a pan with a spatula on it
a man wearing a mask cooking eggs in a pan
a man and woman wearing face masks holding plates of food
a table with plates of food and fruit on it

Usually I am not an egg person but I finished the whole plate. Freshly prepared eggs are so much tastier, when compared to the frozen ones!

Lufthansa First Class Breakfast
Lufthansa First Class Breakfast

Shortly after we started a gradual descent towards Frankfurt, the airspace wasn't busy and we landed 15 minutes ahead of schedule on runway 25L of Frankfurt.

To me, there was just so much pleasure watching the engines and the forward edge of the B747 wing. I felt alive again!

a plane wing with two engines
a plane flying over a landscape
a plane wing with two engines
an airplane wing with a view of the city and trees
a plane on a runway

Is Air Travel Safe at The Moment?

I don't have a specific answer to this question. The virus is invisible and any activity will have an associated risk. I'd say right now international travel should be maintained for essential travel and not for pleasure journeys. The mood onboard was defiantly more sombre. I am glad to see that Lufthansa have maintained most of their pre-pandemic standards, my B747 experience was outstanding as usual. The crew were fantastic, I really enjoyed the sense of humanity they projected throughout this difficult time. I would like to thank all of the wonderful crew that were on my flight.

Lufthansa currently has 19 B747-8s, 11 of them are in storage with 8 actively flying to LA, Chicago, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Bangkok.

a group of people wearing face masks
a group of men in a plane with masks

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