Is Lufthansa’s Business Class Really That Bad? Trip Report on Lufthansa’s A330 from Frankfurt to Washington

Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource

FRANKFURT & WASHINGTON – Lufthansa’s Business Class is a product which many people try to avoid due to their outdated seat layout. So, we ask the question, is it really that bad?

They’re known for cost-cutting in the name of covid and massively reduced service. But are they really that bad? Let’s find out!

Lufthansa operates a daily flight from Frankfurt to Washington which is operated by their A330-300 aircraft. The aircraft offers a total of 255 seats.

Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource

These are spread across 3 cabins. The forward business class cabin has 5 rows in a 2-2-2 configuration, the smaller backward Business cabin offers another 2 rows in the same configuration, totaling 42 Business Class seats.

Behind the smaller Business Class Cabin, there is a Premium Economy which is arranged in a 2-3-2 seat layout spread across 4 rows totaling 28 seats.

In the back of the cabin, you’ll find the economy cabin which offers 185 seats spread in a 2-4-2 layout.

Lufthansa Flight 418: Frankfurt to Washington

Flight Details:

  • Flight Number: LH418
  • Departure Airport: Frankfurt (FRA)
  • Arrival Airport: Washington (IAD)
  • Registration: D-AIKM, 13 years old at the time of the flight
  • Aircraft Type: Airbus A330-343

Arrival at Frankfurt

This time, instead of driving all the way to Frankfurt from Berlin. I decided I’ll fly there.

The flight was rather unspectacular.

I flew this route in Economy and was seated in an emergency exit row. Connecting in Frankfurt is quite easy. With a connection time of over 2 hours, I made my way through immigration and then headed right to the gate.

Check-in and Security at Berlin

I checked in the day prior to departure because I had trouble checking in online. I dropped my bags on the day of departure at the Economy Class check-in, as it was morning rush hour, the queue was longer than expected.

Thanks to the professional check-in personal at Berlin I made it through in no time and soon headed through security. Security was a breeze this morning, I soon made my way to the gate and boarded the flight.

Terminal at Frankfurt

It took me about 20 minutes to get from my arrival gate to my departure date, making my connection easily. The terminal offers duty-free stores and a handful of other stores.

They offer smoking areas and dining areas as well. The terminal is easily accessible with a wheelchair.

Boarding

Flying Business Class usually gives you the perk of boarding first. Not today since we’ve been waitlisted due to overbooking.

A family couldn’t finish their covid tests, which then resulted in us getting our seats as planned.

We were the very last to board and as soon as I sat down, I already had a welcome drink in my hand.

The Seat

I was seated in 5K for our hop over the pond. This seat is located at the rear end of the forward business cabin. 5K is a standard window seat with no extra perks, a part of the best engine view on board.

Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource

A pillow and a blanket, an amenity kit, and a water bottle were awaiting me at my seat.

The pillow and blanket felt very comfortable. The amenity kit consisted of a toothbrush, headphone covers, a pair of socks, and a handful of creams as well as a mint.

The cabin was completely full, but I still felt like my seat offered me a good amount of privacy. The seat featured two armrests. The middle armrest included the table, the seat controls, the IFE controls, and a USB charging port.

Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource

Below the armrest, I could find a life vest. The table was easy to get out, it was very sturdy and clean, offering enough space for a laptop and a drink.

The seat controls were very easy to use. I found them to work quite well, though it was sometimes tough to get comfortable. The IFE control looked like a return to the ’80s.

It was hard to use and didn’t work well, but as I only watched the inflight map during the whole flight, that didn’t matter to me. An older guy sitting across the aisle had a lot of trouble using it, the very helpful flight attendant tried to help him but only got sworn at by him.

Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource
Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource
Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource

The armrest itself offered enough space for my arm to get comfortable. On the window side, there was another armrest, which I could lower when sleeping.

The seat was very comfortable and offered enough storage space for a backpack and a small pouch without intruding on my personal space, while still being easily accessible at any time.

The IFE screen was adjustable and had an acceptable quality. Overall, the seat was good for a flight like this in my opinion.

First Service

Right after takeoff, the crew started handing out the menu. They then started the drink service and offered us drinks of our choice. With a wide range to choose from, I couldn’t decide what I wanted. I then opted for a simple coke.

Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource

Following the first drink service, the crew came around and collected our meal choices.

Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource

I opted for the Spiced Salmon with Avocado Parsley Mousse as a Starter, followed by a Roasted Breast of Corn-fed Poularde with Chicken Jus, Ratatouille, and Pearl Barley. Dessert choices were collected after the main was completed.

The crew then came around with second drink service.

Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource
Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource
Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource
Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource

This time I opted for champagne and a gin tonic, accompanied by warm nuts. The flight attendant then made my table ready for lunch and with that the starter was already served.

The starter was accompanied by a warm bun and butter. I really liked the starter; the salmon was smoked to perfection and the Avocado Parsley Mousse was the perfect addition to the salmon.

The bun seemed to be very fresh, as it wasn’t dry, sounds weird, but that’s one of the things I value a lot. A good warm bun.

The crew regularly came around to refill drinks, so whenever I started a meal service, I had another Gin Tonic waiting for me.

As soon as I finished my starter the crew came around and served my main course, while I found the presentation to not be business class, the meal really was.

Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource

The chicken was juicy, the Pearl Barley wasn’t too hard, and the Ratatouille was the perfect finish to the main.

The crew came around, collected our dessert choices. As I knew I still had 7 hours till the next service, I went for both options. I choose the cheese platter and the ice cream; the cheese platter was nicely presented and had a great variety of cheeses.

All of them had an intense taste, together with crackers and a grape they were combined perfectly. The ice cream was good, nothing special to be honest, but was a welcome refreshment.

With the dessert, I went for another Champagne, at this point of the flight I fell in love with the Champagne.

Cruise

Most passengers soon started to sleep, I did too. The bed was very comfortable.

I had enough space to lay down and to turn around easily. I fell asleep immediately, probably due to the amount of ethanol consumed at this point.  I slept for about 2 and a half hours and woke up somewhere south of Greenland.

Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource

Before I woke up the crew placed a little candle on my armrest. What a great gesture! As soon as I woke up, I was offered a drink and was asked if I’ll need any snacks.

I only opted for a drink and the FA asked me if I wanted “the same as usual”. I asked whether she meant the Gin Tonic or Champagne and she replied with both! I felt like I’m living the dream.

Cruising at 39.000ft, sitting in Business Class, and waking up to a Gin Tonic. Well, I certainly was living the dream, the crew kept on bringing drinks (most of them from now on not alcoholic) and little snacks.

They were so attentive and friendly. I loved it. Time flew by and the cabin was soon getting ready for the second service.

Second Service

I grabbed my menu and soon tried to find out what I’ll have for a snack prior to landing.

To my surprise, there was a warm option. While both options sounded great, I really wanted to try the warm option.

Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource

So, I went for the vegetarian option which was an Indian curry, to be exactly “Palak Paneer, Chana Masala and steamed Basmati Rice”. The Meal came with Roasted Almond Cream as dessert and as always with champagne.

The hot meal was definitely a great choice, it tasted as good as it looked. It was very spicy and tasted good for an airplane meal.

The star of the meal was the desert! Oh my god. It was so delicious. If anyone knows who to make it or where to buy it – I need to know!

Descent

With that, I came to realize that this flight comes to an end. As we started our initial descent over Maryland, I got ready for arrival.

Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource

I ordered another round of drinks, a gin tonic, and a tea, with the latter one having a great taste. I then enjoyed the beautiful views of our approach into snowy DC.

Arrival at IAD

Due to lots of snow on the ground at IAD, we had to wait for a little until our gate was cleared.

We soon deboarded. Upon leaving the plane I had a little chat with the crew and explained my gratitude for the awesome service.

We used the awesome busses at IAD to transfer to the other terminal (really liked that).

Immigration took a little longer due to a lot of inbound traffic and extra questioning.

After this was finished, I soon made my way to get my luggage and then made my way into DC.

In the end, I don’t suggest flying into IAD due to the long car ride, I’d rather connect in JFK or EWR and fly into DCA next time.

Conclusion

All in all, the hard product of Lufthansa is definitely outdated but still does its job perfectly.

The seat itself is very comfortable and easy to use. The crew overshot all my expectations. Their service was great, they’ve been very attentive and helpful.

Definitely one of my best flights with Lufthansa, this one was unforgettable!

About the author

Joris Wendt

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment