My friend, Ryan from MA, recently took a trip to Italy and Taiwan during which he flew Lufthansa First Class, Asiana First Class, Thai First Class, ANA First Class and entered some of the world’s nicest lounges. I’ve asked him to do a series of trip reports, so we can all be inspired by some of the otherwise out-of-reach experiences miles can afford us. This is the first trip report on Lufthansa First Class.

After 5 days in Rome and 1 day in Bologna, my wife and I took a short Lufthansa business class flight from Rome to Frankfurt. I really enjoy flying Lufthansa business class because their food is always delicious even for an hour long flight. American airlines should really step up their food offerings especially for domestic first class passengers.

Delicious cured meat, hot toasty breads, and panna cotta

When we arrived at Frankfurt Airport, we went to the Lufthansa Senator Lounge. The Lufthansa Senator Lounge is the main lounge for all first class passengers that are not flying Lufthansa First Class. This was my first time in this lounge, and I knew it wouldn’t be as nice as Lufthansa First Class Lounge or First Class Terminal but looked forward to trying a new lounge out.

Lufthansa Senator Lounge

How was the Lufthansa Senator Lounge? How was Asiana First Class?

When we arrived we were welcomed by two lounge attendants and checked in with our boarding pass. Upon entering the Senator Lounge, we noticed how large and spacious it is–the good–but it’s not as private and quiet as most first class lounges–the bad.

Main Room

The chairs were comfortable, but not as luxurious as the First Class Terminal. For me, the quality of a lounge is largely based on the food, so I was looking forward to see what was being offered. There was a decent selection of hot food. The meat patties we had were really salty, but the mashed potatoes were homemade and delicious. I didn’t want to eat too much because I was so looking forward to Asiana First Class food, and I had heard from many how amazing it was.

Meat Patties with Mashed Potatoes
German Hot Dogs
Buffet

There was a good variety of hot food, pretzels, cured meats, vegetables, beer and liquor. The dining area felt more like a nice cafeteria but did the job.

Dining Area

Unlike the First Class Lounge or First Class Terminal, you have to watch the clock and TVs to know when to start boarding–the agents don’t come and get you. We spent our time in the lounge eating a bit and catching up on emails. When it was time to go, we headed to our gate.

Asiana 747-400 Combi

Asiana 542
Frankfurt (FRA) – Seoul (ICN)
Depart: 7:00 PM on Sunday, June 30
Arrive: 12:20 PM on Monday, July 1
Duration: 12hr20min
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400 Combi
Seat: 4E, 4F (First Class)

I was so excited to fly Asiana. I’ve read trip reports and heard how great Asiana is and, as I said earlier, I couldn’t wait to eat the food! When we entered we were warmly welcomed by the Asiana flight attendants. We were taken to our seat.

First Class Seat

Now the First Class hard product on this plane is a bit older, but the seat itself was very comfortable. I didn’t see any signs of wear and tear.

Monitor and Footrest
IFE and Controller

The monitor really caught me by surprise because other trip reports made me fear it was quite small. The size of the monitor was about 15 inches, way better than the 7in monitors on Lufthansa Old First Class. The IFE was great too as it has more movie and TV selections than Lufthansa.

Monitor and Bose Headphones
View from my seat

The bathrooms were nice but what really stood out were the L’Occitane amenities.

Bathroom Amenities

We decided to sit in the only two first class seats right next to each other. I was concerned about our privacy but the first class cabin was only half full so it was okay.

Couples First Class Seats
USB and Power Outlet
Reading Lights

When we sat down we had 3 flight attendants come by and welcome us on the flight. Their English wasn’t the best, but I understood what they were saying as they were always saying everything with a smile. We had soft drinks and some hot roasted nuts before take off.

Drinks and Nuts before Takeoff

Before takeoff, we first received our amenity kit which was very high end with Bulgari amenities. The red slippers are the most comfortable slippers I’ve received with any airlines thus far.

Bulgari Amenity Kit and Red Slippers

Next we received our first class pajamas. The picture below doesn’t show how ridiculous you looked wearing the pajamas as it looked like I was a waiter in India.

Funky Looking Pajamas

Take off was really rocky. I wasn’t sure if it was because it was the 747 plane, the piloting, or the weather, but I was surprised how loud it was. I was just hoping nothing broke off during take off.

When the seat belt sign was turned off, we had one of our smiling attendants come by and offer us the menu. This was what I was excited for the most on this flight. You’re offered two choices on this flight: Western or Korean. My wife decided to get the Korean dinner option while I chose the Western option.

First Class Menu
Western Dinner Menu
Korean Dinner Menu

We also looked at what might be offered later at the “refreshment menu” and “breakfast menu.”

Refreshment Menu
Western and Korean Breakfast Menu Options

For Starters, the western menu offered a Grissini with Coppa Ham, Beef Mozzarella Croquette, then Caviar, Roasted Veal Saddle and Roasted Prawns, Carrot Cream Soup, and Mixed Greens.

For the starters on the Korean menu was Korean dried shrimp cake, Eggplant roll, and Korean Traditional Walnut Porridge.

Overall, the western starters were okay. The Grissini was tasty, but the sauce was too subtle and the stick too soft. The Korean starters were just okay too. The dried shrimp sounded weird, but was unique and tasty. Caviar was caviar. Nothing really stood out to be honest. It was just okay, which for me was quite disappointing. If you are less familiar with Korean food, the Korean starters might have been more exciting (or scary), but I’m of Korean descent, which may explain why the Korean starters didn’t blow me away.

For the main dish, I went with the Beef Tenderloin and my wife had the Korean bimbimbap, which is probably the best dish for first time Korean food eaters to try out. You put whatever toppings you’d like in your bowl, you add some spicy sauce for more flavor, and you just mix it all up. The beef was again fine, nothing too amazing about it. The Korean bimbimbap was just fine too. I think what stood out during our meal was the service as the flight attendants checked on us regularly, filling our drinks, and asking if everything was okay.

For dessert, I got the Sacher Torte with Cinnamon custard sauce, and my wife got a plate of fruit and cheeses. The Sacher Torte was warm and yummy, but not spectacular. My wife and I barely touched the fruit and cheese plate since were so full.

As we finished our meal with tea and an espresso, we asked the flight attendant to make our beds.

Lie Flat Sleep Mode

Lying down on this bed I noticed that the duvet was nice, but not as nice as the Aer Lingus business class flight I took last April. It did it’s job but it wasn’t overly plush.

I’m only 5’7”. There was enough room for my shoulders, but the length barely fit me, and I thought Scott wouldn’t like this seat at all. It also didn’t feel truly 180 degrees as the upper half was tilted upwards ever so slightly. Don’t get me wrong; I slept great on this flight but just something for you to know when considering your first class options.

I slept about 5 hours while my wife was watching television. When I woke up the flight attendant quickly came by and asked if I needed anything. I was really impressed by their quick reaction and appreciated the service even more. They offered some hot tea and some yummy tea cakes.

I continued to watch some more movies and television when breakfast was served. We both decided to go the Korean breakfast route as to just try something new. We were offered a plate of fresh fruit and Korean porridge. The porridge came with lot of side dishes to put in the porridge, and overall it was a good dish.

We landed in Seoul-Incheon Airport smoothly and were given a goodbye gift! No other airline I’ve flown does this. We were given the option of a business card case or a candle. We both chose the candle option to give as gifts and to our surprise it was a Salvatore Ferragamo candle! Now I would never buy a candle from there but to give it as a gift would be pretty awesome.

Overall

Overall, I really enjoyed the service. I feel that Asiana had great service throughout the flight. Sadly, the expectations I had for the food weren’t met and I have no idea why many trip reports rave about the food. We all have different palates I suppose.

Compared to Lufthansa, I would say that Asiana’s food was below what I received on my previous flight from Boston on Lufthansa which was the best I’ve ever had on a flight. However, I find Lufthansa’s food inconsistent. At worst, it’s not bad. At best, it’s unbelievable. Though this is my first flight with Asiana, I have a higher degree of confidence that their catering is more consistent. Both Asiana and Lufthansa’s seats were of the old variety, but both roomy and comfortable. However, Asiana’s seat length when in lie-flat mode was not as long as Lufthansa’s lie-flat bed.

I think my high expectation for Asiana were not met but I do want to fly their brand new 777-300ER flights from JFK-ICN with industry-leading 27″ TV screen, and I hope the food will be better the next time I fly Asiana. The service from both Lufthansa and Asiana are top notch though Asiana’s attentiveness stood out. Lastly, the IFE was much much better on Asiana. Lufthansa’s selection is very small. However, I believe the best IFE I’ve had so far is the new Thai IFE! More on that in my next trip report!




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