Great food, tons of movies to catch up with and ice-cold champagne. When a transatlantic crossing becomes so much more than just a flight from A to B.
It´s been only a little less than a week since I last flew over the Ocean, but this time it was not part of a work trip, but for pure pleasure. It´s vacation time for me. Three weeks of the warmth of the Caribbean sun, the crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches of colorful islands and magical places.
And what could make the start more pleasurable than the luxurious flight in Biz Class?
Our journey starts at my homebase Munich. Lufthansa and Munich Airport just recently (April 2016) opened a new satellite terminal as annexation to the existing T2 which is connected via an automated people mover underneath the apron.
Having already received the Skytrax 5 Star status last year and becoming Europe´s best airport, Munich has done very well with the construction of the airfield terminal which takes the open and airy architecture of Terminal 2 even one step ahead.
While the Check-in is still conducted in the main building, the satellite offers an extensive shopping, dining and lounge environment. So you can comfortably spend your waiting time in between flights in one of the secluded hideaway before making use of the priority boarding that is offered on all flights to all premium class passengers and frequent flyers.
Business Class passengers, Lufthansa´s Frequent Travelers as well as Star Alliance Silver card holders are entiteled to use the Business Lounges. Good news for passengers with a confirmed booking in the brand new Premium Economy cabin. For an extra 25 EUR per person, you can buy access directly inside the lounges as a so-called Walk-in offer! This might be a good idea if you would like to spend your time before the flight without having to mash with the masses right at the gate.
Business Class on the Airbus A340-600 is divided into two cabins separated from another by a large center galley and altogether three lavatories. The forward part lies directly behind First Class and covers rows 3 to 7 (30 seats in a 2-2-2 layout), the rear part counts 26 seats (also in a 2-2-2 configuration) and lies behind the main galley counting from row 10 to 16.
If I have the choice, I always try to get a seat in the forward part as it is in general the calmer area of the two Business cabins. The most popular seats are in rows 3 and 4. I actually don´t mind to take an aisle seat in the center (seats D & G) since you always have direct aisle access and no other passengers needs to step over you while you sleep. This time we were seated in row 7. Having the galley and two washrooms right behind us, you could suspect this to negatively influence the air travel experience, but on this flight there was neither too much noise from the galley, nor constantly crowded aisles due to massive use of the washrooms.
Since this is the beginning of November, the menu and wine list as well as the entertainment program are brand new.
I can highly recommend for the Appetizer the Paté of Venison with Waldorf Salad, Wild Lingonberries and caramelized Apple Wedges or the King Prawns on Mango Carpaccio with Lime Dressing and Wasabi Mayonnaise. The paté had an elegant game taste and the Waldorf Salad was perfectly creamy while no being too plump and fatty. I loved the prawns! They were fresh and crisp and went well with the lush fruit of the mango.
In November and December, Lufthansa ALWAYS carries the traditional Roasted Goose with Red Cabbage and Potato Dumplings as an entrée. This is a dish that is served in many German households around Christmas time, so something I get to eat on a regular base during this time of year. But the meat was most delicate. Absolutely tender, not too greasy and still deliciously juicy. I opted for the Pan-fried Salmon Trout with Coconut Lemon Grass sauce, Broccoli and Saffron Pearl Barley. Along with the seasonal Leaf Lettuce covered with Soy Sesame dressing, the fish was a tasty and light lunch choice and went perfectly fine with Jacquart´s Brut Champagne.
As always I concluded with the selection of Cheese: Rosemary Feta, Gouda and Teatime Cheese with Apricot and Ginger Chutney. Hearty, delicate with a tiny bit of sweetness. Just perfect!
A freshly brewed illy espresso and some chocolate were then the perfect sweet ending to a delicious meal.
Personally, I actually really like the selection of films this month. We normally enjoy going to the movies from time to time, but since we both had been extremely busy these last couple of months, I had missed most blockbusters in the theatres and was more than happy to be able to catch up on some of them now on the flight: Like the one and only Absolutely Fabulous, Finding Dorie, Independence Day Part 2 or Into the Wild with the amazing Reese Witherspoon. I finished them all and even did find a little time for a power nap in between!
Thankfully, the seats on the Airbus fleet offer individually adjustable seat cushions. So you decide for yourself wherever you would like to sit/lie firmly or softly. I am a convinced lie-flat softie, but try for yourself what your personal favourite is.
The only thing that really is missing at the seats is personal stowage. Particularly for mobile phones or tablets. While you can charge via USB or power sockets at the same time, you never really know where to put your phone or tablet. If you have it on your armrest, you don´t know where to put your elbows. If you leave it to the side of the seat, it most likely slides down into the seat´s structure and might get broken when you move your seat to find it. And if you leave it on the floor, somebody (or even you yourself) might step on it. Definitely room for improvement there!
Other than that, it´s a decent and very comfortable Business Class product, that even made this 11 hours flight pass like it was a domestic hop to Lisbon. Together with the wonderful meal selection and the attentive and humorous service by the cabin attendants, Lufthansa proved once again that German efficiency is so much more than simply functioning. It´s delivering high quality service with the right twist for every individual taste.