“Now I know what everyone else is talking about.”
- Introduction and trip planning
- Lufthansa First Class Dulles to Munich
- Lufthansa Munich First Class Lounge
- Lufthansa Business Class Munich to Oslo
- SAS Economy Class Oslo to Longyearbyen
- Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, Spitsbergen
- Exploring Longyearbyen
- Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Oslo
- Exploring Oslo
- Park Inn By Radisson Oslo Airport
- Lufthansa 747-8i Frankfurt to Dulles
- Park Hyatt Washington DC
I was extremely excited to fly on my very first International First Class flight. Traffic in DC is absolutely dreadful on Friday afternoons so I gave myself a few extra hours just in case. The traffic didn’t end up being too bad so that just meant I could spend a little more time in the lounge, another first for me on this trip. The Lufthansa agent checked me in promptly and let me know where the Senator Lounge was located. She also noted boarding takes place directly from the lounge. Very cool!
The Senator and Business lounges are co-located behind the space-age Lufthansa exterior.
The lounge itself was nice, though nothing spectacular. There were a few German snacks in a small buffet setting along with soft drinks, cappuccino and my favorite, German beer on draft! I was clearly a rookie because I started pouring my own draft beer and immediately noticed the sign forbidding self service. An agent was quick to help me finish off my pour.
An hour before my flight was scheduled to arrive I heard my name paged. I went back to the lounge reception area where the staff informed me as a First Class passenger, I had the option of dining in the lounge. I had noticed an area blocked off with white tablecloths and the Lufthansa roses on the tables though I quickly declined. It was a nice gesture but I wanted to save my appetite for the food inflight.
I can’t vouch for the Business Class side but I found the Senator lounge very crowded and loud with nearly every single seat taken.
Boarding was called 30 minutes before the flight. I loved the ability to board the plane directly from the lounge.
I had been tracking the tail numbers of the Lufthansa A330-300’s with the new First Class and noticed only a few days before they had swapped the new First Class off of the IAD-MUC route. Bummer.
It was the ‘old’ First Class product though that really didn’t mean much to someone who has never flown International First Class. This seat was absolutely amazing to me!
The very polished Lufthansa flight attendant approached me immediately and offered Laurent-Perrier Champagne and warm nuts which I happily accepted. In addition I was handed a Bogner amenity kit complete with van Laack pajamas. I could get used to this…..
Takeoff was smooth and since this was an evening flight, the meal service started shortly after takeoff.
The meal kicked off with an amuse-bouche. The cheese was very flavorful though the use of what appeared to be a pretzel stick was a little bizarre.
From there the bread basket came around. I went with the pretzel roll which was so amazing. I could have eaten five of those as my entire meal. I have a bit of an addiction to soft pretzels.
For hors d’oeuvres, I went with both the caviar and Thai Beef Salad. Unfortunately I wasn’t really thinking about how one eats Caviar. The flight attendant offered toast, which I politely declined. After she said, “Are you sure?” I realized I was probably missing something. I laughed and confessed my lack of knowledge. She then recommended straight Vodka to complement the caviar and toast. Of course I accepted that offer. I can’t say I would go out of my way to eat caviar again, but hey, you only live once.
Then came another yummy salad that I probably didn’t need but ate all of anyways.
And then the main selection. I went with the Miso Bass with Udon Noodles. For someone who flies Southwest every week, eating a meal this good up in the air is a real treat.
For dessert I went with Port. I felt obligated to compliment it with some food item from the menu so I went with Berry short cake.
Here was the full menu in case you are interested.
By this point in the flight I had about 5 glasses of Champagne, several German beers, a straight shot of vodka and a glass of port under my belt. I tried as hard as I could to stay awake and enjoy the service but unfortunately I fell asleep pretty quickly on my bed in the sky. I slept solidly and was awoken for breakfast upon my request.
I went with the continental breakfast and was underwhelmed. I have had similar breakfasts in economy.
I had a few minutes before landing so I played with the entertainment system. For someone who flies several long hauls per year in economy, the entertainment systems are critical. I was a little surprised to find movies and music being played on a loop. (Not On-Demand) The screens themselves were in very poor shape. Since I was headed North of Norway to the northernmost city in the world, I found it fitting to watch a few minutes of ‘Big Miracle’, a movie set in Barrow, Alaska. Barrow, Alaska was of course the inspiration for this trip.
I slept great, I ate great, and I simply didn’t want to leave the plane when we landed in Munich. For someone who has never flown in International First class, I can confidently say, “now I know what everyone else is talking about!”