I left the surprisingly decent United Global First Lounge and wandered through Hong Kong airport towards my gate. Not being hugely familiar with the airport it transpired that my flight would be leaving from the satellite terminal which required a short train ride out. Boarding hadn’t started yet and there was already a queue forming at the business class and economy class boarding areas. I decided to start the first class one.
After around ten minutes we started to board. I had checked the seat map online earlier and knew that like the outbound flight, the cabin was going to be full again.
The crew busied themselves handing out drinks, pyjamas and amenity kits. The Champagne had changed from my outbound flight, so instead of being the utterly delicious Henriot Cuvée Enchantaleurs 1998, it was the not quite as incredible, but still amazing Pommery Cuvée Louise 2003. Still a delicious drop.
It was also when I encountered my first service failing with Lufthansa for the entire trip – they only had large pyjama tops which they were hugely apologetic about. Given this is possibly the most minor thing you could have, it was pretty impressive. Menus were also handed out and I had a peruse of the selection.
We pushed back a little later than planned, mainly as the Captain explained that due to the winds, we didn’t want to arrive too early into Frankfurt otherwise we’d break the curfew at 5am. Oh well, more time to enjoy the champers.
After a few more minutes on the ground we eventually took off and the crew started the service with a hot towel and then I moved on to the obligatory gin and tonic. Lufthansa have Star of Bombay on board, which I hadn’t actually tried before. Do, it’s delicious.
The amuse bouche was delicious and then the caviar service commenced.
Caviar isn’t one of those foods that I have very often; it’s not something that I tend to ask for much either. However there’s something about the way Lufthansa do it that is just quite lovely especially the way that crew turn it into a ritual, coupled with the glass of perfectly chilled vodka.
The starter trolley was wheeled out and once again, as with the outbound, everything was placed on my table.
For my main course this time, I opted for the salmon as I wanted something a little lighter. Unlike the main course on my outbound segment, it was actually delicious, and whilst not medium-rare, wasn’t overcooked.
I decided to pass on the cheese trolley this time, however opted for the dessert instead with the exceedingly yummy chocolate thing.
By this point I was pretty sleepy so asked the crew to make up my bed. However to help me head off to sleep, I noticed that they had some Rémy Martin Cellar Master No. 28 on the menu. Purely for medicinal purposes I asked for a snifter, and a somewhat reasonable measure was provided.
Suffice to say, I passed out and awoke with about 1h 20m to go somewhere over the Baltic Sea. Breakfast was served and decided to have some fruit with some freshly scrambled eggs and smoked salmon.
It was a nicely light breakfast after such a big dinner only a few hours before.
Around half an hour to landing the seat-belt signs were switched on, and the crew prepared the cabin. I think we were perhaps the first arrival in to Frankfurt that morning as about ten seconds after five o’clock, we touched down and taxied to the gate.
The whole experience was remarkably similar to my outbound however despite that consistency, it didn’t feel impersonal in any way. The crew happily spent time chatting and making it a memorable experience.
The quality of the food was outstanding, the drinks equally so. The bed is one of the most comfortable in the sky. The service I found more personable than Singapore Airlines, however still somewhat Germanic, but in an efficient rather than cold way.
Lufthansa have one of the best first class products flying today. They get the details right.