Flight review: Lufthansa Business Class – Boeing 747-8i

I was originally booked to fly the Lufthansa A350 from San Francisco to Munich in business class, with a late night departure. Fortunately, I received an email from Lufthansa informing me that my flight had changed and I was re-booked on a route via Frankfurt, leaving almost eight hours earlier! A pleasant surprise.

Lufthansa Business Class Review – San Francisco Airport Check-in Experience

I rushed and made last minute changes so I could be at the airport much earlier in the day. The Lufthansa registration was maintained by a large number of agents. Unfortunately, my reservation had changed, but the ticket was never reissued. I was sent to a stern agent who was helping to sort out reservations.

SIMPLEFLYING VIDEO OF THE DAY

There were a number of other passengers (seemingly already very anxious) waiting to be helped, and the overly harsh agent didn’t help much. She wasn’t rude but sure, a few kind words would have made the situation so much easier for everyone.

After 30 minutes of waiting, it was my turn and the agent replied that she couldn’t do much but “have to call” and that I should leave my passport and go. Fair enough. Came back another 30 minutes later (no lounge access without a boarding pass at SFO) and everything was done and my boarding passes were ready.

Lufthansa Business Class Review – United Polaris Lounge at San Francisco Airport

Good news – the United Polaris lounge reopened after two years of closure at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) a few days before my flight. The living room was huge when it first opened and just seems oversized now. There must have been less than two dozen passengers (and about as many staff). I think the interior designer who was hired for the lounge was a great choice, and it looks stunning – with bedrooms, showers, and a full restaurant plus bar and buffet. Everything was open as far as the eye could see.

Photo: United Airlines

The sad secret of this lounge is the extremely poor quality of catering, even in the restaurant – often worse than United Airlines business class catering (which itself is poor). I took a few photos but wasted no time and headed to the Priority Pass restaurants – there are now three (!) excellent restaurants in the connected parts of the International Terminal and Terminal 3.

Photo: United Airlines

Lufthansa Business Class Review – Boarding Experience

Boarding revealed less than 50 passengers on the flight for this huge plane! My name was called shortly after boarding began and was told my seats were now full. I was ready to transfer to first class – but no luck.

Alas, a new business class seat had opened up on the upper deck – yes, I was ok with that change!

Lufthansa Business Class Review – The Crew

It was only my second time on the 747i’s upper deck – a space much revered for decades.

I knew that Lufthansa only had one business class seat model (which is not anyone’s favorite) and the same was waiting for me upstairs.

Also waiting for me were two stern air hostesses who seemed closer to prison guards than air hostesses. They immediately told me not to take pictures.

They heckled all the passengers for not using a mask properly and punishing the wrong words (using the wrong language or the wrong word) or using their phones for the duration of the flight.

Yes they dropped food and drink but it came with so much attitude I was shocked. I have never had such overt hostility from flight attendants towards all international business class passengers.

Lufthansa Business Class Review – The Seat

Business class seats are arranged in a 2-2 configuration upstairs. The passengers were well distributed and I had no immediate seat neighbour. This makes flying in Lufthansa Business Class a very pleasant experience as there is no direct aisle access for window passengers otherwise. When the seats are reclined, it is incredibly difficult to get out of your seat if your seat neighbor also has a fully reclined seat.


The business class cabin offers no privacy.

The seats are decent enough for lounging and dining and come with lots of different configurations. However, they don’t go completely flat and leave an uneven “bed surface” that often makes it difficult to sleep.

We pushed back in time from the gate and taxed to runway 28L. Our takeoff was fast and furious in a layer of thick fog over San Francisco. Once out of the fog, the Golden Gate and parts of San Francisco would appear nicely on the right side.

Lufthansa Business Class Review – Catering

Lunch and dinner service is often incredibly slow with Lufthansa. I felt it was faster this time (it was less than 50% full too).

The food looked great and was quite good (but not as good as it looked).

I also tried the breakfast which wasn’t great – it was nicely presented, but the muesli was just tasteless. I didn’t dare ask for an espresso so as not to further anger my “prison guards”.

Lufthansa Business Class Review – Sleep Experience

Despite the lack of reclining comfort, I never had trouble falling asleep in the Lufthansa Business Class seats. So it was this time, after lunch I was able to fall asleep straight away for a few hours, and after a TV show I fell asleep again as we walked through the final sections of the Atlantic. I was quite surprised – I slept almost 9 hours – despite it being a daylight flight. Maybe something was added to my food by the flight attendants?

I felt quite rested when I woke up 45 minutes before landing.

Landing in Frankfurt was easy on this calm winter morning.

Lufthansa Business Class Review – Conclusion

Lufthansa offers an outdated business class “hard product”, but generally excels in its soft product, with decent catering, knowledgeable staff and punctual flights.

I was shocked by the attitude and open hostility of the flight attendants towards ALL passengers. I felt like a victim of abuse after finally getting off the plane in Frankfurt.

I was also shocked at how much I slept during the “daytime” flight. This way I didn’t need to interact further with the horrible staff.

This post was sponsored by Mighty Travels


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About the Author

Michael J. Chiaramonte