Trip Report: Lufthansa Economy Class FRA-PEK Boeing 747-8
At Frankfurt, I had a short amount of time to connect. There was a long walk from my MAD-FRA gate to immigration, but no line at immigration. I ducked into the Senator lounge, got the agent there to print out my boarding pass for Air China PEK-XIY (we had to fiddle a bit to get my frequent flyer number to stick), and had just a bite to eat. Chicken tikka masala was great! Also tried a hard-boiled egg in “green sauce,” and a delicious nut bundt cake.
Then it was time to board my flight to Beijing. This was my first time on a Boeing 747-8i, so I was quite excited! The latest (and last) variant of the Boeing 747 family, it’s distinctive for its particularly graceful wings with a light sweep at the ends, and the engines with a ruffled “chevron” edge at the back of the nacelles.
Service started with a packet of snack mix, with a mix of Ritz-type crackers and pretzels, hot towel service, and beverage.
I was surprised to also receive a menu for this flight! I’d previously flown Lufthansa from Germany to the United States, and from Germany to Colombia, and have never received a menu in Economy Class, only in Premium Economy and Business.
I love having the printed menu! It gives me a chance to look at the different options and think about them, rather than needing to make a split-second decision between “beef or chicken.” I might guess that Lufthansa provides these menus on the China flights, because it seemed like 80% of passengers were domestic Chinese who didn’t speak much English (or German), and they could just point to their menu choice and the flight attendants would understand based on the order it was listed.
Since the menu touted that the “Pudong Shangri-La head chef” had chosen the dishes “according to traditional recipes,” I thought I would try the Chinese meal for lunch.
This was a “fried chicken leg with lemon sauce,” and I must say it wasn’t the wisest choice. Not surprisingly, when something is breaded and fried, then drenched in sauce, then frozen and then reheated, the breading became gummy and mushy, making the chicken pieces stick together. The sauce was a bit sweet, too.
This was served with a side salad, with Thousand Island dressing. I like the little oblong dish for the salad - makes mixing in the dressing easy.
Dessert was a brownie topped with walnuts. It was a typical brownie, and the nuts were a welcome textural contrast.
Overall, it was a decent meal. I like how Lufthansa’s meals always look quite bountiful, in contrast to United’s sparse presentation. Here, the roll was a bit dry (surprising, since I usually like Lufthansa’s bread on flights departing Germany). I also appreciated having real silverware, as well as chopsticks. Finally, there was a rather substantial package of hazelnut wafers, which I saved for a mid-flight snack later.
For the pre-arrival meal, I once again chose the Chinese entrée. This was noodles with a spicy ground pork and diced eggplant sauce. Originally I was confused by the accompaniment of sweet and sour sauce, but after tasting the sauce I did add the sauce to perk it up a bit, since the pork and eggplant was a bit too flat and salty. Also, the noodles became rather too soft after cooking and freezing and reheating I suppose.
The main course was served with melon and apple, and the same dry roll from lunch.
These meals weren’t the best, but they also could have been much worse. Plus, I’d say the presentation and thoughtfulness with nice touches, like the sauce packets and the hazelnut wafers, and most of all the printed menu, made for a pleasant experience.