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I booked the flight using United miles as part of my journey from Washington, D.C. to Asia. United does allow routing via Europe to Asia. Availability for First Class opened up 7 days out for the flight on the A380 to Tokyo, Japan (NRT). It is the most available route to fly the new First Class on the A380 with Lufthansa.
German engineering meets Asian luxury would be my first impression. It loosely resembles the Thai First Class on the first look. However Lufthansa has upped to ante by adding a custom floor that dams noise and vibration. The window panes are coated with a special leather like material which looks great but is apparently not easy to clean. The whole First class cabin feels very spacious. The 2 bathrooms (for 8 passengers) are enormous – you almost feel lost in them!
The whole cabin was squeaky clean. Just the bathrooms sink looked pretty ugly (and I was the first user).
Seat (Space, Adjustability)
The seat is wide and just about right between softness and firmness. It is very comfortable and provides multiple adjustments.
Inflight Entertainment (User Interface, Movie selection, moving map)
The new screen is huge and crisp. It looks fantastic as it has no shell as in many other configurations. However Lufthansa has the same movies on offer as anywhere else. Very limited selection compared to Singapore Airlines, Emirates or dare I say it – United.
The moving map is awful and never really shows you where you are on your trip. The A380 has a number of outside cameras but bar the approach not much can be seen there.
The remote works well though and the system is relatively easy to use.
Food (Presentation, Taste, Selection)
After that rich breakfast and lunch in the First Class Terminal I could not really see any food anymore. So I decided to sleep first and eat later. The flight attendants were happy to serve food later but warned me that my selection would not be available anymore.
Indeed when I woke up 8 hours later just about everything but the one main course I reserved was gone. The appetizers were nothing I'd eat. So this limits my review a bit.
I found the food ok, but a far cry from my flight the day earlier or the food in the First Class Terminal. The Japanese items I tried as appetizers were rather bland. The salmon was more like a Thai airways meal (which is bland and chewy usually). Food on LH Europe to Asia routes never really convinced me. If you like to spoil yourself with LH food make sure you enjoy it in your flight from the US to Europe!
The breakfast was better with some high quality items and a fantastic Maracuja Quark.
Sleeping (fully flat, comfort, mattress, side sleeping)
The new seat provides a really wide and long bed. It goes flat but does not provide a fully flat surface (i.e. compared to Singapore Airlines First Class).
However sleeping on your side/stomach is very doable and enjoyable. The mattress is soft enough and the comforter provided is , well, very comforting. I slept a solid 8 hours dreaming away just minutes after we reached 10,000 feet and the flight attendants had made my bed.
The pajamas provided (van Laack) are high quality and really increase the comfort on board.
Service (Friendliness, Responsiveness)
Two flight attendants were working the First Class cabin. The male attendant was very jovial and one of the best I ever seen. The female was more withdrawn and, maybe because of my rusty German, communication was a bit of a challenge. The purser came by several times to check on us 4 passengers in the F cabin and offered me a A380 'tour' which I gladly accepted.
Great service again – just not as perfect as on other Lufthansa flights.
On arrival in Narita I was welcomed by LH ground staff who escorted me to the ANA lounge through security (got to jump the long lines in the morning). That was unexpected and much appreciated!
Lufthansa' new First Class can compete with any airline and mostly wins out. The seat/bed is one of the best out there (bar Singapore Airlines probably) and the service/ food are great. Combined with the incredible ground experience in the First Class Terminal I'd fly the product any day again.
Book your flight on Lufthansa here.