Sunday, September 11, 2011

Almaty Adventure: FRA - ALA on Lufthansa First Class


We took the cab (~25 Euro) instead of the train back (7.90 Euro) to Frankfurt airport figuring it would be nice to experience what a First Class check-in experience would be like through the First Class Terminal and were not too keen about lugging about bags to and from the train station. The cab ride took only ~20 minutes from the hotel and before we knew it, we arrived at the FCT. We were met at the door by a Lufthansa staff with our luggage promptly collected.  Another 2-3 minutes to verify our flights on the computer and to pass through security, we were inside the terminal and having breakfast. Talk about efficient – no lines, TSA and long walks!
"Check-in" Area

Since this was our second time to the FCT, there was no need of a tour by the Lufthansa staff. We went to the dining area right as they were about to switch the breakfast options to lunch choices (I believe the lunch options starts at 11 am). We hung around the dining area for a good 2 hours or so having brunch essentially – some stuff from the breakfast selection and then later, some other selection from the lunch option.
At the dining table


Steak & Salad

We didn’t take too many pictures of the FCT this time round as this was our second time. (Pictures and review from the first visit available here). However, this time round there was something new in the FCT that I thought was really cool – an ice cream and sorbet bar. We tried a bit of everything and love the vanilla and champagne truffle flavors. Yummy!

After brunch, we moved to the bar area and continue to enjoy more champange and the extensive whiskey list. We procrastinated till about an hour before departure to take a shower which was more to collect the FCL duckies and for a dip in the bath. By then, the room with the bath was already taken and was not available before we had to leave to take the flight. 
The Bar
We were collected for departure about 45 minutes before departure and proceeded downstairs were our passports were stamped by immigration before boarding the Mercedes to our plane. The car ride on the tarmac to get to the plane never gets old! Our plane was parked in an apron position so it took a “long” 10-15 minutes before we got to the plane.

Love this shot of the 747

The A330 taking us to Almaty

Once on board, we were warmly greeted by the attendants that would be taking care of us today and was told that we would be the only ones in First Class today. Woohoo - private cabin! The inflight manager came by and introduced himself and wanted to make sure we were well taken care of. Soon came the champange and warm macadamia nuts. Amenity kits, slippers and being a day time flight, only a sweater was provided. The captain came on the speakers and informed us that we would be slightly delayed since we lost our take-off slot. Didn't matter to us as it gave us more time to enjoy the champange on the ground.

Since we were the only ones in First Class, we moved to the window seats for take-off to enjoy the views. 
Shot of runway right before take-off
View of Frankfurt from the sky
We were still full from brunch in the FCT and pushed off lunch till about 2.5 hours after departure.  In the meantime,thankfully there were some movies that we wanted to watch on the somewhat limited IFE. The screens are TINY especially for first class!

Right on time, the flight attendants rolls out the carts and tables for lunch. The best thing was the large serving of caviar and cheeses with the rest of the food like the chicken and veal cheeks being mediocre. Maybe I'm just a fan of Asian food?

First Class Butter



Palate cleanser - Apple Sorbet & Champange

Coq Au Vin

Veal Cheeks

Looks at the amount of cheese!

Cheese Plate

Dessert - Crepes
With all the food from the day, we went into in a food induced nap. We only woke up about an hour before landing and by then, we were still full so we skipped the snack service and instead just had some fruit and tea. 

There's a lot of mention that service on Asian airlines like Singapore, Cathay, etc are generally a lot better but in my opinion, Lufthansa is an exception. We liked the service and care from the flight attendants. There were extremely friendly, warm and could hold a conversation. If only the hard product on Lufthansa was a lot better - can't wait to try the new First class cabin or the A380 in First Class!