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MrGrumbert
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Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:38 am

Flying with the Germans - Lufthansa Business Class Frankfurt to Sao Paulo

Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:36 am

In the past I wasn’t a big fan of Lufthansa's business class product. Nowadays, since Lufthansa has modernized its cabin, I mostly enjoy flying with the Germans. Especially on flights to South America, where my company usually books me on LATAM 777-300.

Re-booked on short notice due to British Airways IT problems

My company’s corporate travel policies are strict: They always book the carrier that offers the lowest fares - as long as the flight times match my business schedule. That's why I usually end up in one of LATAM’s Boeing 777-300 when flying to South America. This time though, things didn't turn out as planned.

For a business trip to Sao Paulo at the end of May, once again, I had been booked on LATAM with a British Airways feeder flight via Heathrow.

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But as a consequence of British Airways IT problems, I didn’t make it to Heathrow in time. Thus, BA re-booked me on Lufthansa for the following day.

Not too bad if you ask me, considering LATAM’s lie-flat configuration vs. Lufthansa's full-flat seat!

Lufthansa online Check-in

Just one hour later, I could already check-in online for flight LH 506. Despite the last-minute booking, everything worked fine. Lufthansa had already received my flight details and I could check-in as usual, including seat reservations.

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In my opinion, Lufthansa’s website is really superb! The layout is intuitive and you can choose from a whole bunch of options and extras. Furthermore I like the small details Lufthansa provides, such as automated e-mails with a download link of the flight’s menu prior to the flight.

Starting my long-haul trip from Stuttgart Airport (STR)

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It’s always a pleasure to start a trip from my home base Stuttgart Airport. Everything is very close together and it takes only a few steps to move between the check-in counter, security check, lounge and gate areas.

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Before boarding I spent some time at the Lufthansa business class lounge. The lounge is ok for a European domestic lounge but nothing special. During peak hours it may also get very crowded.

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This time I was lucky though. Enough seats for everybody after the daily evening flights to Milan, Berlin, Brussels, Hamburg and other European destinations had left.

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Boarding started on time and soon I was sitting in the plane:

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Lufthansa usually deploys an Airbus A320-type aircraft for the flights between Stuttgart and Frankfurt - except for the last flight of the day. LH 136 is regularly performed by smaller planes, which means that you don't get to board through a jetway.

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Irrespective of the plane type, seat pitches on European business class routes are always the same as in economy class. In that regard, the plane type doesn't really make a difference.

Upon arrival at Frankfurt I witnessed a beautiful sunset:

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Although the flight from Stuttgart to Frankfurt only takes about 40 minutes, Lufthansa serves a full meal with accompanying drinks. Personally, I would prefer if they didn’t. You only get 10-15 minutes to clear your plate and most of the time a lot of food is wasted.

Arriving at Frankfurt Airport

Flight LH 139 landed on time. The plane parked at a remote position which delayed the de-boarding process. After reaching our final parking position, we had to wait for about three minutes until the transfer bus finally arrived.

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The transfer bus brought us to the Schengen arrival gate in sector A. From there, due to a lack of airside connections at the time, I left the security restricted area and walked landside to sector C where I passed security (again!) and immigration. In June Frankfurt Airport opened a new Sky Line station, so that it should be possible to connect airside from A to C from now on.

Lufthansa Business Class Lounge at Gate C14/ C15

Having cleared security, I proceeded to the Lufthansa Lounge at departure gate C14/ C15.

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the lounge during that trip. So here are two pictures of the business class lounge at gate C16 from October 2016 instead:

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Obviously the lounges in this area aren't the best Lufthansa has to offer as far as food and atmosphere are concerned.

But they do have one big benefit: Direct access to the plane!

Lufthansa Boeing 747-8 business class cabin

Due to a lack of alternatives, I had selected seat 88K on the upper deck for my flight to Sao Paulo. By the time I checked-in, all the good seats had already been blocked by other passengers. The only seats that were left were those next to the windows.

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I decided that the smaller, more private, business class cabin on the upper deck is still better than its larger version on the main deck. Plus, window seats on the upper level come with extra storage room.

Lufthansa's business class seats are slightly angled towards each other in the food area. Apart from that, the seat is really comfortable and transforms into a full-flat bed for the night.

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The only person I want to be that close to is my wife! [Archive picture]

Flight times from Frankfurt to Sao Paulo

Flight times from Frankfurt to Sao Paulo are really perfect for a business trip! The long-haul flight departs around 10 p.m. and arrives in Brazil at 5 a.m. in the morning.

With an overall flight time of 11.40 hours that leaves enough time to have a multi-course dinner, watch a movie and get 7 - 8 hours of sleep.

Welcome aboard flight LH506

Shortly after taking my seat, a flight attendant greeted me by name and offered me a welcome drink. I could choose between orange juice, water or sparkling wine (no champagne prior to departure!).

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Of course Lufthansa also offers an amenity kit with the usual cosmetics and socks - as well as pillows, bedding and a bottle of water at each seat.

The menu

A few minutes after take-off, the flight attendants started to prepare dinner. As soon as the fasten seatbelt signs had been switched off, a flight attendant approached me and wrote down my choices for food and drinks.

For starters I had beef with roasted chestnuts:

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After that, I had German Asparagus accompanied by a glass of Riesling:

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Finally I could choose between dessert and cheese. As usually I opted for cheese with a glass of Port wine. The food and wines were really good!

Service during the flight

Lufthansa's service has improved a lot over the past years. While flight attendants used to be unfriendly and almost rude in recent years, my last flights with Lufthansa were extremely positive in that regard.

All the flight attendants I met during my flight from Frankfurt to Sao Paulo were really friendly and helpful. During dinner, they pointed out different suitable wines and made recommendations. Over the whole flight the service was attentive without being pushy - something I really appreciated!

Arriving at Sao Paulo

About two hours prior to landing, the flight attendants served breakfast:

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We touched down at Guarulhos International Airport on time. Having slept for almost 7 hours, I was well-rested and ready for a day of business meetings ahead!

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Conclusion

Overall I had a very pleasant flight experience on board Lufthansa LH 506 to Sao Paulo. The flight was on time and everything went as planned.

While I don't really like Lufthansa's seat configuration where you can almost touch your neighbour's feet - everything else was really great. Especially the very friendly and attentive service, as well as the selection of food and beverages.

It's a pity that Lufthansa didn't install a more private business class seat in its planes. That would really make the German flag carrier one of the best. But even with this slight disadvantage, they're still among the better airlines out there. For me it's always a pleasure to fly Lufthansa to South America!
 
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AirAfreak
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Re: Flying with the Germans - Lufthansa Business Class Frankfurt to Sao Paulo

Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:59 pm

"Danke" for sharing your LH Business Class Trip Report! I hope you earned valuable miles for your journey! Also, I really enjoyed reading your report accompanied by the nice selection of photos. Photo upload is a pain on this website and I stopped posting trip reports because of this so thank you for taking the time, too!

I haven't experienced LH in a very long time but those experiences were all positive. My personal experiences flying with Lufthansa were a series of roundtrips (LH418/419 on the DC-10) between Washington/Dulles and Frankfurt.

I only flew LH as a UM-Passenger so I was in excellent care and the crew were always lovely and particularly generous with the extra children's toys I could take home post-flight! In Frankfurt, there was a dedicated UM Lounge complete with puzzles, toys, and games to pass the time. These lounges would only become available to UM Passengers when the parents/legal-guardian were late.

In any case, I'm happy you had a nice time with Lufthansa. Tschüs!
Economy Class. You vision of loveliness; Prince Charles called and he wants you to fill in for him next week.
 
dredgy
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:13 am

Re: Flying with the Germans - Lufthansa Business Class Frankfurt to Sao Paulo

Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:52 pm

Looks good! I'm booked on the same flight (and on that same seat) in November!
 
ba319-131
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Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

Re: Flying with the Germans - Lufthansa Business Class Frankfurt to Sao Paulo

Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:41 pm

Nice read and pictures, thanks for sharing.

I must say, my experiences with LH have been pretty good, though I'm not keen on the current J class seat, it's only good if it's your nearest/dearest next to you.
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
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MrGrumbert
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Re: Flying with the Germans - Lufthansa Business Class Frankfurt to Sao Paulo

Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:29 pm

AirAfreak wrote:
"Danke" for sharing your LH Business Class Trip Report! ...


Hello AirAfreak,

Thank you so much for your kind comment! I'm really glad that you liked my trip report and the pictures.

Your experience as a UM-Passenger sounds really pleasant. I always think that it takes a great deal of trust in the airline to send a child on a long journey alone. It's good to know that Lufthansa took good care of you. Maybe you get the chance to fly LH again sometime.

Grüße aus Deutschland :-)
 
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MrGrumbert
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Re: Flying with the Germans - Lufthansa Business Class Frankfurt to Sao Paulo

Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:32 pm

dredgy wrote:
Looks good! I'm booked on the same flight (and on that same seat) in November!


Such a coincidence with the seat! I hope you enjoy your flight - let me know how you liked it.
 
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MrGrumbert
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Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:38 am

Re: Flying with the Germans - Lufthansa Business Class Frankfurt to Sao Paulo

Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:35 pm

ba319-131 wrote:
Nice read and pictures, thanks for sharing.

I must say, my experiences with LH have been pretty good, though I'm not keen on the current J class seat, it's only good if it's your nearest/dearest next to you.


You're welcome. Thanks for taking the time to write a comment.

I totally agree with you about the seat. It's ok when travelling with my wife - with a stranger next to me I definitely prefer more privacy.
 
lychemsa
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Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: Flying with the Germans - Lufthansa Business Class Frankfurt to Sao Paulo

Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:27 pm

In economy they suck like the US carriers; limited legroom, average food and confusing / busy connecting airport / Frankfurt. At least United offers extra legroom for $100 bucks.
 
11725Flyer
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Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 4:51 pm

Re: Flying with the Germans - Lufthansa Business Class Frankfurt to Sao Paulo

Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:48 pm

So nice to see the 747-8s. Lots of great pictures and thank you so much for sharing them with us!
 
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MrGrumbert
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Re: Flying with the Germans - Lufthansa Business Class Frankfurt to Sao Paulo

Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:14 pm

lychemsa wrote:
In economy they suck like the US carriers; limited legroom, average food and confusing / busy connecting airport / Frankfurt. At least United offers extra legroom for $100 bucks.


My last economy flight with Lufthansa was back in 2012 from LAX to FRA in Lufthansa's A380. It was quite pleasant actually, as the flight attendant was very nice and offered various drinks during the flight. But of course that depends on the mood of the cabin crew.

I agree that connecting through Frankfurt can be exhausting. As far as extra legroom is concerned, LH offers Premium Economy seats, which usually cost a lot more than $100 though. I paid about 400€ for a return flight FRA-JFK-FRA. It was nice to have some extra legroom, but it's still rather expensive.

Which airline do you recommend for a long-haul economy flight? In my experience, they're all more or less the same these days...
 
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MrGrumbert
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Re: Flying with the Germans - Lufthansa Business Class Frankfurt to Sao Paulo

Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:16 pm

11725Flyer wrote:
So nice to see the 747-8s. Lots of great pictures and thank you so much for sharing them with us!


Same here - I'm always happy to see the Queen of the Skies. It's really sad that more and more airlines retire their 747s.

Thanks for your nice comment - I'm glad you liked my trip report :-)

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