Date: May 16, 2018
Flight No.: LH492
Route: Frankfurt Main to Vancouver International
Type: Boeing 747-400
Currently, there are three airlines operating between the German financial center of Frankfurt and Vancouver, the largest city in the Canadian province of British Columbia: Air Canada, Condor, and Lufthansa.
Back in May, I took Lufthansa’s flight on the route, giving me a chance to experience the airline’s Boeing 747-400 in economy class. If you are interested in seeing what premium economy is like on the aircraft, check the review of a Frankfurt – Osaka flight I wrote a while back.
Transferring at Frankfurt Airport
I arrived at Frankfurt airport from Paris onboard another Lufthansa flight, and walked straight from “A-gates” to “B-gates” where my connecting flight was departing from.
While there was a fairly long line at the immigration counters I saw first, there was also a sign pointing to “further passport checks.” And, indeed, when I followed that sign, there was another set of counters with barely anyone there, meaning I could get through in less than a minute.
Since I had a fair bit of time before getting on the flight, I went to check the airport’s outdoor terrace which offers very limited views of the apron, and then grabbed a quick lunch at McDonald’s.
Finally, with the departure time approaching, I went to my flight’s departure gate, B20, where I was let into the waiting area after answering a couple of brief questions about my travel plans.
Boarding a Lufthansa 747-400 and Departing Frankfurt
Inside the gate area, I met with a friend that I was traveling with. Since there were still some minutes left until boarding would commence, we spent that time admiring the Queen of the Skies – especially its shiny engine no. 3.
Boarding started at 1PM, and so, after letting most of the passengers get on, we finally handed our boarding passes to the gate staff and headed down the jetway, and onboard the 747.
Philippe headed to his seat, and I settled in 53D instead of my originally assigned 45E since it looked like I could get the whole row of four to myself that way.
On the seat, there was a pillow and a blanket. And, each seat was equipped with a fairly high resolution screen and a USB port. There was a shared universal power outlet between each pair of seats.
At 1:30PM, our scheduled departure time, one of the pilots announced that we were almost ready to go, but a few bags still had to be loaded. The aircraft doors were closed at 1:52PM, and we were pushed back at 2:01PM with a 31 minute delay.
Finally, at 2:19PM, we took off from runway 07C and got on our way to Vancouver.
Lufthansa In-Flight Entertainment System
Once the seatbelt signs went off about ten minutes after take off, headsets were distributed to be used with the in-flight entertainment system.
As far as the IFE content is concerned, I didn’t look at it in too much detail, but based on a quick look while we were taxiing for departure, there was plenty of movies to entertain most people on even the longest flights.
And, as we discovered with Philippe later, there was also a puzzle game that was quite addictive…
Lufthansa Economy Class Lunch Service
With all of the passengers having received their headsets, the meal service could begin.
First, a bag of pretzels was served followed by a round of drinks. In my case, a cup of Coke Zero. Another ten or so minutes later, a hot towel was provided.
From there on, the service got to nearly a standstill. It took nearly one hour from the time I got the hot towel until the meal cart got to my row with the options of vegetarian pasta and spicy chicken.
I went for the spicy chicken which came with metal cutlery, and which was quite tasty.
After the meal was served, I was also offered coffee and tea.
Cruising Towards Vancouver
After finishing the meal, I started playing the game mentioned earlier on the in-flight entertainment system.
Then, Philippe and I decided to go get some wing shots out of the second pair of doors – an excellent place to see the wing and engines of the Queen of the Skies while onboard.
We also spent some time hanging around in the galley where a box of Kit-Kat bars, as well as a selection of drinks were available for passengers to enjoy throughout the flight.
Before the second meal service, we went out of our seats and to the R2 door’s windows two more times.
The first one was when we were flying over Greenland where the views of the snow-covered mountains below us were simply breathtaking.
And, the second time was above northern Canada where we could see some more “winter wonderland.”
Vegetarian Pasta or Beef Goulash?
The second meal service begun a bit more than an hour before landing and the options included, once again, vegetarian pasta, and beef goulash. While Philippe went with the beef goulash, I decided to go with the pasta.
The pasta was decent. And, for some reason – likely because the crew run out of “economy” version of the pasta – my meal came in premium economy class glassware.
Landing at Vancouver International Airport
The flight started to come to its end when the seatbelt signs were switched back on at 2:22PM Vancouver time.
Not long after that, the cockpit crew asked the cabin crew to prepare the cabin for landing, and at 2:56PM, we landed in Vancouver.
We arrived at our parking spot at 3:05PM, forty minutes behind schedule. We waited for most of the passengers to disembark to be able to get clean cabin shot, and then followed the suit.
Once inside the terminal, we took one last look at the 747 and then we headed through the immigration and onto the train to downtown Vancouver.
Lufthansa 747 Long-Haul Economy Class Summary
Lufthansa is a fairly good airline in economy class and it provided a perfectly fine service on this flight between Germany and Canada. The seat was comfortable enough, the IFE offered plenty of options to keep one busy, and the meals were fairly tasty. Especially so compared to its main competitor on the route, Air Canada.
The above coupled with the fact that the flight was operated by the 747 made for a very enjoyable trip across the Atlantic.