On the Ground: There is nothing luxurious about arriving at JFK, but the Lufthansa check-in desk made me forget I was there. I stepped up with my carry-on and one bag to check. The agent was the epitome of efficiency. I had passport, boarding pass and lounge pass in hand within seconds. I wouldn’t have minded a smile from her, but I was in good hands for my imminent departure to Seoul via Frankfurt.
Pre-Flight: The dedicated Lufthansa lounge at JFK is a breath of fresh air. Located just after security and European in design, the lounge is comfortable and a good spot to get a snack or do last-minute work before boarding. I boarded at my leisure, and a friendly flight crew welcomed me as I took my seat in the massive business class downstairs in the Boeing 747.
In-Flight: I always enjoy flying on a 747. My business-class seat was located toward the nose of the aircraft. I was looking forward to the dinner, as I knew Lufthansa created a Star Chef program for their in-flight menus. Andres Jimenez, executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Denver, designed the menu on my flight from JFK to Frankfurt. The hors d’oeuvres were pickled shrimp with glass noodle salad; soy-glazed New York strip steak with green onion skewers; and a traditional American iceberg salad with dates, toasted pecans and crumbled Maytag blue cheese. For the entrée, I opted for the pan-seared chicken breast with orange balsamic reduction, roasted potatoes and caramelized pearl onions. I passed on dessert, although the Häagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche did look good. Overall, the food tasted good, but I was a little disappointed in its presentation, which seemed to take away from rather than enhance the experience of dining at 35,000 feet with a custom-designed business-class menu.
After dinner, I was ready to get some rest. It took me a little time to get comfortable on the nearly lie-flat bed, but I slept soundly for most of the flight. Lufthansa will incorporate a new business-class seat in 2012, which will be an exciting enhancement to the business product as well as the entertainment system. I woke refreshed and enjoyed a breakfast of bread, cheese, meats and coffee. The menu offered a breakfast-to-go option, a great idea for passengers who want to sleep longer.
The flight from Frankfurt to Seoul offered a nice variety as well, including the Korean specialty bibimbap, designed by Chef Anna Matscher from the restaurant Zum Lowen in South Tyrol.
The Experience: Both flights were pleasant. I arrived refreshed, the most important element for any non-stop or connecting flight. The transit period was easy and one I’d recommend for those not flying direct to Asia from the East Coast. At Frankfurt Airport, business-class passengers can access a highly recommended welcome lounge for a shower and breakfast. I had time to shower in the transit lounge, a huge bonus. The lounges were comfortable and naturally lit, which I appreciate between long-haul flights. I look forward to flying Lufthansa’s new business-class product.
- Less than 10 minutes for check-in
- Friendly and helpful agents
- Priority tagged bags
- Airport lounge
- Complimentary in-lounge food and beverages
- Priority boarding
- Helpful and courteous in-flight staff
- Pre-flight beverage service
- Pre-flight newspapers and magazines
- Amenity kits
- Lie-flat seat/bed
- Mattress pad and comforter
- The Valley Wing at the Shangri-La HotelIn-flight menu offering choice of three entrées
- Top-shelf wines and liquors
The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua recently announced the final phase of a $100 million resort-wide transformation, set to be unveiled by the end of 2022. Located across 54 acres of pristine, wide-open space overlooking Honokahua Bay, The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua is a sanctuary for guests seeking a luxurious escape.
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