I need to go to the U.S. to see my parents for the Chinese New Year. Lufthansa is deploying its B747-400 on Dubai to Frankfurt route so after weighing all flight options, I decided to fly Lufthansa because of the B747. The second sector from Frankfurt to Los Angeles is operated by B747-8, so I get both -400 and -8 on one single itinerary which is fantastic for a 747 fan!
I used 75,000 Aegean Miles (Star Alliance Partner) for a mixed Business/First Class redemption.
From Dubai to Frankfurt only Business Class is available. From Frankfurt to Los Angeles, I will be traveling in Lufthansa First Class. This is a pretty reasonable redemption but the tax and surcharge are very high at 588 euros.
Aegean used to sell miles around euro 0.125 per mile during promotion (50% off) so 75,000 miles equate to 937.50 euros.
During booking, I chose seat 4D, which is the only single solo seat in the middle of the B747 nose. I found this seat unique and interesting so I gave up my usual window seat and give it a try!
Lufthansa Lounge Dubai
Lufthansa has its own lounge in Dubai but it was rather small and basic. It resembles other Senator Lounge offerings on Lufthansa network. There is also a business class section inside the lounge. It gets crowded in the evening as both Lufthansa and Swiss flights are using the same lounge.
I'd recommend using the Dubai Airport Ahlan Business Lounge if you have a priority pass, lounge key or credit card that gives you lounge access.
LH631 Dubai to Frankfurt
Walking down the jetbridge boarding the B747 makes my heart pump faster, you can hear the 747 unique sound (that I can't describe here).
I was given a quick tour and snap a few photos of the business class, premium economy and upper deck.
I ask the German captain, just how difficult to have a bad landing on the B747? He told me "any landing that you walked away with is a good landing!"
The captain said the B747-400 is needed due to the B777-9 delay from Boeing.
Check out his reply in my video below.
I have the only solo seat in the entire business class cabin. The solo seat 4D, is in the middle of the 747 nose area. The seat is rather exposed without much privacy but I can get in and out easily. It was an overnight flight so most of the flight was in darkness.
Flight time to Frankfurt was 6 hours 30minutes, cruising at FL380. The flight was completely full.
Breakfast was served 1.5 hours before landing.
I love the German crew efficiency. They didn't switch on much of the cabin light while doing the breakfast service by giving passengers maximum rest.
We landed in Frankfurt 10 minutes ahead of schedule with a speedy taxi to our gate B23.
Overall, I am grateful to fly on the B747-400 again, a proven reliable workhorse for the airlines. This was my 280th B747 flight and I am really glad Lufthansa return 8 B747-400 to the fleet. These B747-400s serve Dubai, Incheon, New York (seasonal), Delhi, Beijing, and also as backup of B747-8.
I'd say the Business Class experience was quite average as the window and middle seats do not have direct aisle access. The IFE is quite dated on the B747-400 and given the exit date of 2025, I am not sure if Lufthansa will refresh the cabin. But to be able to fly on the B747 again is still worth the ticket!
This is just the first part of my journey to the U.S. on Lufthansa. Next week, I will share my report of the Lufthansa First Class Terminal and onboard Lufthansa B747-8 First Class from Frankfurt to Los Angeles.