Hello everyone, and welcome to another Flight review!
Today, I set myself the challenge, to make four flights in one day to try the first Boeing 787-9 of Lufthansa.
In my two previous reviews, I took you with me to Munich from Paris-Charles de Gaulle, on board a Lufthansa A320neo, and then I got to the heart of the matter by presenting you the Premium Economy onboard Lufthansa's Boeing 787-9 from Munich to Frankfurt. In this last but not least episode, I will try the Business Class offered by Lufthansa aboard this German Dreamliner.
I meet you at gate A50 at Frankfurt Airport, the arrival gate of my previous flight from Munich.
I won't spend too much time on the airport in this review, that's not (in my opinion) the subject of it.
The aircraft didn't move since the previous flight. This is D-ABPA, the first Boeing 787-9 received by Lufthansa in late August 2022. It is part of an order for 32 787, including five aircraft that were originally scheduled to be delivered to Hainan Airlines. Lufthansa kept the Chinese airline's configuration, only changing the seat covers. The configurations you are about to see are therefore part of a kind of transitional product between the old Lufthansa cabin (including the 2-2-2 Business Class) and the new "Lufthansa Allegris" product that will be introduced on the next Airbus A350 and from the sixth Boeing 787 onwards, from 2023.
On the other hand, you might find it exotic to see 787 flying on 40-minute domestic flights. The purpose of these flights, operated over a few weeks, is to train crews on the new aircraft. Lufthansa plans to introduce the 787 on its long-haul network from December 1st 2022. The first destination to receive the German Dreamliner will be New York-Newark.
Now back to my review. Since I'm travelling in Business Class, I'm in boarding group 2. I'm almost the first to board.
Entering the aircraft through door 2L, I go this time to the left, in Business Class, located in the first cabin of the plane.
Cabin and seat
This cabin is configured to accommodate 26 passengers in a 1-2-1 configuration, with direct aisle access seats. You heard right, direct aisle access by Lufthansa in Business Class !! It was about time...
The seats are Collins Aerospace Super Diamond in a reverse herringbone configuration. This is a well-known seat, used by plenty of airlines in C Class, such as Hainan Airlines of course, but also American Airlines, British Airways, Air Canada…
We can say a word about the colors of these seats. The shell and the different elements of the seat (except the seat covers) are keeping the original materials present in the Hainan Airlines' aircraft, which justifies the cream and brown colors. The seat covers, modified by Lufthansa, have the blue color of the German airline.
In the photos, I found the juxtaposition of these two shades a bit weird. But in the end, when I saw the cabin in person, I found it very pleasant. The creme aspect brings a premium touch. It's almost reminiscent of the colors of Lufthansa Allegris' future First Class product.
My seat will be 07A, in the last row of the cabin.
The legroom is excellent. A footrest is available.
The seat features a beautiful, bright, high-definition 18-inch Panasonic EX3 touchscreen. The screen is not steerable, but it is already oriented in the direction of the passenger.
In terms of system and functionality, the IFE is the same as the one available in Premium Economy and Economy Class: several languages, a wide range of content, no cameras available unfortunately (as on most 787) but a good, powerful, customisable and user-friendly mapping system.
A bit more about the seat
Underneath that screen is the table, which comes closer and unfolds into a large table. It remains the wood look of Hainan Airlines.
Above the main armrest, there's a mood light as well as the seat “pocket”, which contains the Safety card, the Onboard Delights menu, the WorldShop magazine and a sickness bag.
Just above the seat, a reading light is provided.
The seat and lights are customizable from a touch controller located near the armrest. This small screen is still in Hainan Airlines' colors. It appears that at the time of publishing this review, the controller colors have been changed to Lufthansa's colors.
The seat lies down completely. The armrest on the aisle side can be lowered. This seat, with its good width and huge length, should be perfect for sleeping, unlike the current 2-2-2 configuration which could be found in most of the current Lufthansa fleet.
At the front of the seat, there is a personal coat hook.
Since the seat is included inside a hard shell, it has a three-point seatbelt.
A big advantage of this seat is that it offers many storage spaces. Personal belongings can be stored in several places. Especially inside the armrest on the aisle side…
…in the main armrest (under the table)…
…and on the main armrest, where two compartments are available. The first one, which is not a real storage space (as the label states), contains the remote control that controls the screen, a dual jack port for headphone connection, a universal power outlet and a USB-A port.
The remote control has a screen that allows you to control the display and quickly access certain information, such as the map.
The second compartment contains the headphone.
It seems that it's the same headset that is found in Business Class on board other long-haul aircraft of the airline (including the A350). An AKG headphone that offers a fairly good sound quality and good passive noise cancellation. However, no Bluetooth compatibility to connect our personnal devices (we are waiting for Lufthansa Allegris' product for this feature).
The rather high walls of the seat give a real impression of solitude and intimacy. Coupled with the reverse herringbone configuration, it's almost impossible to see other passengers. However, the seat does not have a door, as it's the case with the latest versions of the Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seat.
My seat has access to only one window, as opposed to two for the previous rows. I'll probably choose another seat next time, as a single window, combined with the rather large distance from the seat, makes it feel so far away from the window that you almost can't see out without bending in half (a negative point of the Reverse herringbone configuration...).
This does not prevent having a nice view on the left engine (hidden for the moment ^^).
We are welcomed by several very nice announcements from the crew. They explain the aircraft's history and the reason to make these flights (FRA-MUC-FRA) with a 787. They also invite us to take pictures, to walk around the cabin during the flight… This shows the passion of the crew for the plane. An interest that you don't find in all airlines!
We push back and taxi to runway 18. Without forgetting to contemplate the beauty of the 747!
We line up on runway 18 and take off, with a 15-minute delay.
The Wi-Fi is of course available on board this Dreamliner. The offer seems to be identical to what is done on long-haul flights. Three rates, respectively at 5€, 15€ and 25€.
The flight attendants, proud of their new toy, vary the lighting moods in the cabin, thanks to the 787's adaptive lighting. The result is very nice!
A small service is offered in Business Class on this FRA-MUC. It will consist of a cream cake and an apple, all "by Heimat", the catering offer on Lufthansa's short-/medium-haul Business Class since 2021.
I will accompany this with water and apple juice, nothing very original. There is an important drink offer: cold/hot drinks, even “Sekt” (sparkling wine) will be proposed.
Nothing extraordinary but a more than sufficient service for this very short flight.
The flight is so short that as soon as the tray is brought in, the descent to Munich already begins.
Descent and arrival
We made an approach on runway 26R. This is my third time of the day on 26R at MUC (and spoiler alert: it won't be the last ^^).
We finally touch down in Bavaria at 15:05, 5 minutes early, under rather average weather :/
We taxi to gate G28, the same as earlier in Munich.
Very quick deboarding.
And a last goodbye to Papa Alpha, a wonderful and magnificent plane! Hoping to fly it again one day, on long-haul flights!
Some pictures in Munich to finish my review. I will never get tired of the beauty, modernity, fluidity and cleanliness of this airport, which makes it in my opinion one of the best airports.
This will bring me three hours later to my fourth and last flight of the day, the LH2214 to Paris Orly, operated by Air Dolomiti's Embraer 195. A flight I won't tell you about.
This concludes my third flight of the day, this time in the Business Class of Lufthansa's first Boeing 787. My conclusion will be mainly about the product offered on board this plane, more than the flight itself.
If on the outbound flight (in Premium Economy) I already liked this plane, this second flight (in Business Class this time) was a real success. The 787 is a nice, comfortable and quiet plane. The Lufthansa cabin on this plane (ex Hainan Airlines cabin) is great. Finally a 1-2-1 at Lufthansa!
The seat is very comfortable and spacious, there are several compartments available, a large table, not to mention the privacy of the seat (even with the absence of a door): in short, the comfort is really there. As for entertainment, whether it's the Wi-Fi or the 18-inch high-resolution screen with a wide selection of content, this 787 is well quipped.
As for the flight itself, the crew was really lovely and passionate. The service offered is quite sufficient for such a short flight. There is absolutely nothing to complain about.
Frankfurt-Main and Munich Airports
When it comes to Frankfurt and Munich, I didn't have the opportunity to walk around and take my time. However, according to my previous experiences, both airports are very good. The fluidity and reliability (especially for Munich) are unquestionable. The terminals are clean, modern, and pleasant. There is a large choice of restaurants/bars/shops on both sides.
And so this trip comes to an end. I hope you have enjoyed reading my reviews of these three experiences, as much as I have enjoyed living them, reporting them, and sharing them with you.
Thanks for reading and see you soon ;)