When I deboarded my airplane in november 2016 after a more or less horrible journey I swore that I would never get on a Lufthansa plane again....until July 27th 2019.
And this trip started as confusing as the last one ended. A packed Terminal 1 at FRA and a check-in machine which didn't worked properly. So what do you do ? Of course you ask a employee for help and this young man sent us to a check in desk in hall B where we got checked in properly by what I found out AFTER she checked us in was indeed the cousin of my mother... We had a nice little chat because I saw her the last time in 2012 which may the reason why I didn't recognize her at the first place.
But what she gave me was a nasty looking "SSSS" on my boarding pass...that means special treatment at security so off we went to security which was not that crowded considering it was the first weekend of summer holidays in Bavaria and Baden Württemberg.
I thought it would take as long as in the US to get through security with that "SSSS" on the pass but it turned out that either none of the security agents have ever seen four S and didn't know what it means or they don't care about it in Germany.
They just told me to get into a special area behind the normal security (you could just pass this by going straight through duty free). When I asked the agents there what to do they just told me to pass through....So apparently that's what you call a special treatment in Germany.
We went through duty free and another passport control to separate the passenger flow (north america and Bombay on one side and the rest on the other side. I know it was just to split up passengers but it was a bit annoying to pass another boarding pass check. So we handed out our boarding passes for a quick check of destination and continued to our gate.
Usually that's the point where I introduce you to my aircraft but there wasn't one. So I made the decision to walk around and check out terminal 1Z, which is the newest concourse at Frankfurt Airport. It is much more modern than the rest of T1 with some nice corners to relax or test the newest video games on a XBOX.
When I returned to my gate, I finally saw my aircraft that would bring met to Washington. It was the newest Boeing 747-8 of Lufthansa - D-ABYU - named after the city of Cologne. She is 4.5 years old and was delivered to Lufthansa on April 30th 2019.
Boarding began 20 minutes behind schedule which caused some discomfort at one of my fellow travelers because we only had a layover at Dulles of about 100 minutes (note: she is always a bit nervous at the airport). I found my seat 18A immediately and sat down to not only watch other passengers to walk past me but also to laugh about this joke that LH calls "cabin". If you read my review about my flights to Berlin onboard their 747-400 you will know that I was relatively pleased with their interior but they haven't equipped their newer -8 aircrafts with it.. The seats are comfortable but nothing special.
The funny thing about the cabin layout of Lufthansa's -8 is that behind business class you have four rows of basic economy class. Behind doors three there are five rows of premium economy class located before they start again with normal economy class.
I sat in this first layer of normal eco which we booked to get off the aircraft faster in IAD.
The pilots lit up ABYU's four GEnX engines and we taxied to runway 25C where we took off smoothly and made our way towards the english channel.
After takeoff service began with some beverages, shortly afterwards it was lunchtime and holy cow that was one of the best meals I've ever eaten in economy class !
Lufthansa offered optionally chicken or pasta..I went with chicken which was served with rice, green beans and a curry'ish sauce. With this they served a traditional "kaiser bun", some butter and camembert, green salad and cake (not as good as the one I ate onboard LATAM but still a very good one). I felt a little swiss feeling when I saw a small bar of chocolate; traditionally served at Swiss Air.
But the outstanding fact was that the bowls for salad, cake and butter was made out of recycled thick plastic. You really had the impression that Lufthansa don't throw their plastic dishes away but clean them and use them again. I haven't seen that in economy class yet.
As we made our way out to the atlantic ocean I scrolled through Lufthansa's IFE system. In my opinion it's pretty good but the major problem is the older display which is built in this cabin and is already a few years old. So the touchscreen isn't as responsive as I would have liked it. You can choose between all kinds of movies, TV-series, music and games (which you can play against all people across the airplane). They also built in a big area where they show Lufthansa created videos about the rebranding of LH (you should definitely watch it !) and a nice documentary about Lufthansa's partnership with BMW and their iNEXT program (also all on their youtube chanel).
I was satisfied with the design of the system which had a lot more color in it than the rest of the cabin; it was to much white and light gray in it.
Throughout the entire flight cabin crew members walked through the cabin to hand out more beverages; not to often but also not to less.
They also served another snack prior to landing in Washington. A basic sandwich which was I think the best snack they could have served. Brown bread with a thick layer of butter with what I believe was at least a pound of salami - I liked it very much !
The weather over the US was very good as we started our descent into Virginia. With winds from the south we got our clearance to land on runway 19C. Touchdown occurred at 4:02 pm which woke up everybody who was asleep. There was absolutely no flare by the pilots so we hit the runway very hard. Personally I thought we had to go around or that something broke during that hit.
But nope...we decelerated and exited for a taxiway to taxi to or parking position B47.
After this 8:11 hour flight I definitely have to admit that Lufthansa is a really decent airline on long haul routes. The quality of their meals was absolutely great and of course the recycled tableware. I didn't liked the clean white interior without colors and of course the cabin seats itself should be replaced by their new cabin or even a newer cabin.
All in all I was very pleased by Germany's biggest carrier and I have to say that this flight restored my confidence in them a lot.
FULL FLIGHT VIDEO