Trip Report: Lufthansa (B747-8I) Business ORD-FRA

The Details

  • Flight: LH431
  • Aircraft: B747-8I
  • Class: Business
  • Seat: 87A and 87C
  • Route: Chicago O’Hare (ORD)-Frankfurt Main (FRA)
  • Distance: 4,497miles
  • Flight Time: 7hrs 24min
  • Departure: 4:28PM
  • Arrival: 6:52AM (+1)

The Preflight

This would be my fiance and my first trip of 2022 together and we were headed to Prague for the week. After parking in the economy Lot G and taking the O’Hare shuttle bus to Terminal 1 we checked in at the dedicated Business Class counters. Terminal 1 is dominated by United Airlines but Lufthansa and ANA flights also depart from the terminal. Other Star Alliance members department from Terminal 2 (Air Canada) or Terminal 5.

We were both vaccinated and boosted and had negative COVID-19 PCR test results ready to give to the check-in agent. However, we were not asked to provide any of these documents.

There were no passengers in the TSA Precheck lane and we cleared security quickly. Since we were flying international business class on a Star Alliance partner, we had access to the excellent United Polaris lounge.

Immediately upon entering the lounge was a beverage station with flavored water, beverages, tea, and coffee.

The buffet area was located to the right of the lounge. Cold food was arranged along the wall while hot food was arranged on the island.

There was a decent variety of hot food but nothing looked particularly appetizing.

There was also a stylish bar further into the lounge with an expansive array of alcoholic beverages available.

Individual sofas lined the windows with great views of the gates.

The highlight of the Polaris lounge was The Dining Room. During our stay, my fiance and I were the only passengers seated there.

There was a separate menu for breakfast and lunch/dinner.

Our server Maria was incredibly friendly and very attentive. She presented us with both the food and beverage menu and offered her recommendations on what food to get.

To start we shared the cheese plate with blue cheese, cauliflower raisin jam, and toast.

For her main, my fiance ordered the chicken paillard which was tasty.

I had the beef short rib burger, cooked to a perfect medium-rare. It was a delicious juicy burger.

Maria recommended we try two separate desserts. The gooey butter cake with butterscotch drizzle was a bit too sweet for us.

On the other hand, the warm chocolate chip cookie skillet was very tasty.

Just before leaving, I went to use the restrooms. There was one long mesmerizing hallway down which there were individual rooms with toilets.

We left the lounge very impressed with what United had created in the Polaris lounge. It was by far the best airline lounge we had visited in the United States.

Boarding began on time at 3:35PM. First, Business, and Star Alliance Gold passengers were invited to board together first.

Our B747-8I, registration D-ABYF, was delivered to Lufthansa back in October of 2013. She was 9.4 years old and was named Sachsen-Anhalt.

Our B747-8I today had a total of eight First Class seats in the nose. There was a large business class cabin between the first and second set of doors and then a smaller Business Class cabin behind the second pair of doors. Upstairs featured 32 Business Class seats arranged in a 2-2 configuration.

We boarded through door 2L which led us directly to the flight of stairs up to the second level.

Today, the upper deck business class cabin was just 50% full.

We were seated in 87A and 87C, the second to last row of seats in the upper deck.

There was a dated touchscreen IFE that had a horrible glare in the sunlight.

The screen itself could slide outwards to be centered with the seat and tilt forward and backward.

Below the screen was a literature pocket.

Below the literature pocket was a small storage bin with a bottle of water and amenity kit. This bin was broken and hung loosely on a hinge.

Between the seat and the window were large storage bins perfect for smaller personal items and backpacks.

The footwells were separated by a thin divider. Above the footwell was a small coat hook.

Below the foot cushion was a small area perfect for storing shoes.

Each seat also featured a reading lamp that could be folded out from the headrest. There was no privacy divider between the seat pairs.

The center console had a small drink holder as well as seat controls.

Underneath the center armrest was the tray table, IFE remote, and headphone bin.

The bi-fold tray table was very sturdy.

Below the center console was a USB port for charing personal electronics.

The armrest along the windows could be lowered to increase the seat width.

At each seat was a pair of headphones.

There was also a fairly comfortable pillow.

As well as a thick blanket. No mattress pads were offered.

Each passenger was also provided a bottle of water and an amenity bag.

Bag contents included a dental kit, mints, hand cream, facial cream, socks, and headphone covers.

Once we got settled into our seats, the flight attendants came through with a tray of pre-departure beverages. Options included sparkling wine, champagne, or water.

Menus were also distributed.

Boarding was completed at 4PM and the captain introduced himself over the intercom and gave a short description of the flight. We pushed back 10 minutes later and had a long 20-minute taxi to the runway.

We finally took off at 4:29PM on runway 10L.

We had some cloudy views of Lake Michigan and the Illinois and Michigan shores.

Service quickly began 15 minutes after takeoff with our tables being set.

Service started with beverages and some cold mixed nuts. I had a glass of the Duval-Leroy Brut champagne.

50 minutes after take-off, the appetize course was served. Flight attendants came down the aisle with a trolley and asked which appetizer we would like. I had the duck breast which was delicious. A warmed bread basket was also offered (no pretzels, unfortunately).

My fiance went with the scallop and shrimp appetizer which was zesty and refreshing.

Service was leisurely and twenty minutes after the appetizer course the flight attendants came down the aisle with a galley cart with the main courses. I had the salmon with a ginger glaze that was a bit dry.

My partner had the grilled beef filet which was cooked to a more medium-rare.

I finished dinner with a disappointing basic cheese course.

My fiance had the chocolate cake which she enjoyed.

Once the table cloths were collected, the flight attendants passed out small boxes of chocolate truffles.

The dinner service was finished within an hour and a half of takeoff and the cabin lights were dimmed for the night. While the bedding was comfortable, the cabin was kept very hot and I found it difficult to fall asleep.

Halfway through the flight, I used the rear lavatory in the upper deck cabin. It was a very basic set-up without any additional amenities.

I finally managed to dose off for an hour or so between Greenland and England.

An hour before arrival, the cabin lights were turned back on and the breakfast service began.

There was a single option for breakfast which was a coconut chia pudding. We were also offered a bread basket with warmed croissants and cinnamon rolls. The pudding had a delicious strawberry and rhubarb mix on top with sliced almonds.

The cabin was prepped for landing about 30 minutes out from Frankfurt.

We landed in Frankfurt at 6:52AM and had a seven-minute taxi to the gate.

One thought on “Trip Report: Lufthansa (B747-8I) Business ORD-FRA

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s