Ibiza 2013: Part 7 – Lufthansa Old First Class Frankfurt to Toronto on an A-340

This is the seventh post in a series about my 2013 trip to Ibiza for the closing parties. Part of the free plane tickets were funded by the 40,000 point sign up bonus of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. I redeemed 135,000 points for First Class flights from Miami to Ibiza on Lufthansa.

When you book last minute, you are often at the mercy of what equipment is available in the class you are flying in.  In my case, First Class was available for both leaving and returning, but only one of them had the new First Class configuration.  Coming back from Frankfurt to Toronto was in their old First Class on an Airbus A-340.  Well, my loss is your gain because now you get a review of both the new and the old!  The old Lufthansa First Class is a “Throne” configuration instead of the “Capsule” configuration of the new. This type is actually a bit more comfortable in the seating position and it feels like a big Lay-Z-Boy chair.IMG_7048 It has this strange metal box towards the front part of the seating area that is used when putting the seat into the fully lie flat bed position.IMG_7049Lufthansa gave the first class cabin an amenity kit by Bogner that included lotions, toothbrush and toothpaste, socks and a hairbrush.
IMG_7051 I’m not much of a champagne and wine connoisseur, but I did try some bubbly before takeoff.  When in Rome…..IMG_7052 IMG_7053 I did try their special “Monthly Proposal” which was called Etter Vielle Quitte, Schweiz and made from pear quinces.  It was quite tasty but strong!  Whiskey fans will note that Jack Daniel’s Blue Label is available.IMG_7054 The menu looked quite good but they were surprisingly out of the lamb shank by the time they came to me since I was at the back of the First Class section.IMG_7055 It started out with the usual caviar service to go with my champagne. I skipped the vodka sidecar this time.IMG_7057In an attempt to make up for not having the Lamb Shank main course, they brought me all of the starters which I didn’t complain about. I liked the lobster and artichoke salad the best.
IMG_7058 I don’t normally include bathroom photos, but when there is a window in the bathroom, I think it warrants a shot!IMG_7059 And here is the seat in the fully flat bed position which was comfortable enough to get several hours of sleep on the way to Toronto.IMG_7060I have to say that while the old Lufthansa First Class was certainly comfortable, it really felt a bit dated and the new First Class is really a superior product.  If your schedule allows it, I would arrange my flights around the new First Class to get the best value for your miles.

I actually am doing one more quick article in this series on the lounge in the Toronto airport.  That should be up in a few days.

As always, feel free to comment with any questions and follow me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

Ibiza 2013: Part 6 – The Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt

This is the sixth post in a series about my 2013 trip to Ibiza for the closing parties. Part of the free plane tickets were funded by the 40,000 point sign up bonus of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. I redeemed 135,000 points for First Class flights from Miami to Ibiza on Lufthansa.

In the points and miles world, the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt is the stuff of legends.  A whole separate terminal at the airport restricted to just First Class passengers.  And not just any first class passengers: Only Lufthansa First Class passengers.  A place where unicorns roam freely and mermaids serve you drinks out of a conch shell.  Well, maybe I am exaggerating a bit there, but it is awesome.  Let’s start with the building itself which is completely separate from the main terminal.

photo 5You can either enter at the dedicated drop off area on the top floor, or walk over like I did from the main terminal and enter on the bottom level then take the elevator up.  As soon as you get there, someone quickly approaches you, confirms your Lufthansa First Class status and gets your personal concierge for your time in the FCT.  At this time, they will take your checked baggage and lead you through a dedicated metal detector before you enter the terminal. My first stop was the sleeping area for a nap since I arrived right when the terminal opened at 5:30 AM and I was still a bit worn from Ibiza.IMG_7019My flight didn’t leave until 2:15 PM so I had time for a couple of hours nap before my flight left. My next stop was a relaxing soak in the bathtubs they provide in their shower rooms (yes, they have bathtubs in the airport lounge).photo 4They had an assortment of Etro products to choose from to make your soak and / or shower a pampered life.photo 3 (1)I was upset to find out that they were out of the signature Lufthansa Rubber Duckies that come when you reserve one of the bathrooms with a tub.  They did have a nice selection of past duckies that my friend Scott would love.IMG_7044I then took a stroll around the terminal and checked out the extensive amenities.  My first stop was the cigar lounge.
IMG_7020There was a nice selection of complimentary stogies.IMG_7043The lounge was very comfortable and had all sort of chairs that you could lounge in depending on your mood.
IMG_7021I started with an excellent Bloody Mary from the attentive bartender.IMG_7026I was a bit hungry at this point so I decided to try their sit down complimentary dining that was available. They had an Oktoberfest special going on.IMG_7024You could also order from a comprehensive menu.IMG_7036I decided to just roam around the buffet and see what looked good.
The freshly shaved pork was particularly yummy.IMG_7034For drinks they had a comprehensive water bar.  Yes this is a whole bar of different types of water from around the world.IMG_7030If you wanted something a little stronger they also had an area devoted to other liquors including a ton of different whiskies.IMG_7031After I ate, I still had a few hours to relax before my flight and have a few beverages.
IMG_7022I have a pretty big sweet tooth so I was happy to see all sorts of candies spread out through the terminal.IMG_7025If you needed to get some work done or check your Facebook, they had private offices available with computers.IMG_7027They had these things called “PowerKiss” that you could get for your phone to wirelessly charge it on any of the tables around the lounge.IMG_7029I found these amazing rocking massage chairs and was in heaven.

IMG_7028Just when I got comfortable in this chair, an attendant came up to me and asked for my passport so he could go get my immigration stamps and he offered me some champagne.  Ummmm, I don’t mind if I do!  He brought back my passport when it was time to board and took me downstairs to the limousine department for my Mercedes ride over to my waiting plane.
IMG_7045I have to admit that the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt surpassed all of my expectations.  This is truly a different way to fly and now that I have experienced it, I want more! 🙂 If this sounds like something you would enjoy (and really who wouldn’t enjoy this) then why not apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred today and get 40,000 points as a sign on bonus?

In our final article, I will review the First Class flight home on Lufthansa that was in their old first class seating.

As always, feel free to comment with any questions and follow me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

Ibiza 2013: Part 4 – The Lufthansa First Class Lounge in Munich

This is the fourth post in a series about my 2013 trip to Ibiza for the closing parties. Part of the free plane tickets were funded by the 40,000 point sign up bonus of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. I redeemed 135,000 points for First Class flights from Miami to Ibiza on Lufthansa.

I had a pretty tight connection to Ibiza in 1 hour and a half but made it through immigration and customs quickly.  When I saw the huge line to go through immigration though I began to panic.

IMG_6911I luckily saw that the Lufthnsa First Class Lounge was right next to the huge line so I stopped in to see if they could skip me to the front of the line since I was traveling first class.  But when I went inside and asked them they said “No, First Class passengers don’t have to go through that line.  We have a dedicated immigration officer just for our First Class Passengers located right here in the lounge.”  Whaaaaat?IMG_6918So I go up to the window and in 30 seconds I was through immigration and actually had some time to enjoy the lounge before my flight!  The staff then asked me when my flight was and told me when it was time to board to go downstairs to the limousine department where a car would drive me across the tarmac to my plane.  Whaaaaat? 🙂

I decided to take a shower since the I had been flying for hours.IMG_6916They also have some rooms with bathtubs if you would rather have a nice soak to forget all about the stresses of traveling (although First Class is decidedly not stressful). IMG_6917After my shower I wandered around and took a look at the amazing assortment of goodies available for the taking in the lounge.IMG_6910A healthy number of Pretzels (hey, we are in Germany) and a nice assortment of breads and cheeses. IMG_6912They also had some healthier choices such as fresh fruits.IMG_6919Since I have an insane sweet tooth, I was happy to see pastries, all sorts of candies and even candy apples!IMG_6923They even had little glasses of candies spread out all over the lounge (here showcased next to the awesome Bloody Mary they made me).IMG_6913When in Rome……IMG_6920Although I didn’t have time to enjoy it they also had fine dining available.IMG_6922I was still stuffed from all the food on my flight so I just snacked, but it looked like a good assortment of choices.
IMG_6921I took a quick look around and saw the sleeping rooms they have available which comes in handy when you have a long connection or a flight delay and want to work on your jet lag.
IMG_6925When it was time to board, I went downstairs and was whisked into a waiting Mercedes which drove me across the runways directly to my plane. No walking to the gate for this guy!IMG_6926IMG_6928As I flew over the Bavarian Mountains on the way to Ibiza, I reflected on my my First Class flight experience. Flying this way is truly a different way of traveling and I really enjoyed it!IMG_6930The flight from Munich to Ibiza (which FYI doesn’t fly every day of the week) didn’t have a first class cabin so I was in their business class which is just a row of coach seats with the middle seat blocked off so no one is sitting next to you.  They still have upgraded food and free drinks. IMG_6931As the island of Ibiza came into view, I started to get the butterflies in my stomach that only Ibiza can bring, full of not expectations, but possibilities.IMG_6932In my next article I will show you the amazing condo we rented in a great location near Pacha.

As always, feel free to comment with any questions and follow me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

Ibiza 2013: Part 3 – Lufthansa First Class New York to Munich on an A-330

This is the third post in a series about my 2013 trip to Ibiza for the closing parties. Part of the free plane tickets were funded by the 40,000 point sign up bonus of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. I redeemed 135,000 points for First Class flights from Miami to Ibiza on Lufthansa.

As I left the lounge I was able to get a glimpse of the Airbus A-330-300 I would be flying on from New York to Munich.

IMG_6881I had actually spent as much time in the lounge as possible so had missed the premium cabin preboarding call but as I went down the jetway, I realized there was a separate entrance at the front of the plane for First Class passengers so I wouldn’t have to wait in line after all.IMG_6882This dedicated entrance whisked me right into the First Class cabin where the flight attendants were waiting for my arrival. I had arranged seat 1K and it looked like it would be comfortable for the 7 hour flight to Munich!IMG_6883They offered me a snack and a drink so I got one of their selection of German beers.  And what a beer it was! No little cans here!IMG_6887As you can see, even though I am 6’2″ there was plenty of room for me to stretch out my legs. There was also a giant video screen(I think it was 17″) for watching TV shows and movies on demand or listening to music.IMG_6888I particularly liked that since Lufthansa is a German airline, they used a turntable for the “Audio” icon in the AVOD system.IMG_6897

They provided an amenity kit, a pair of pajamas and some slippers.

IMG_6889The amenity kit included toothbrush and toothpaste, an eyemask, some socks, some ear covers for the headphones and some facecream to help with the dry air of the cabin.IMG_6893

Shortly after take off they brought me the menu and you could tell right away this was first class due to the caviar service and other choices.IMG_6890They brought me some sort of a salad first which was tastyIMG_6895Then came the caviar service with vodka, the Peppercorn Beef, and the green papaya salad.  Since First Class wasn’t full they gave me an assortment of appetizers to choose from!IMG_6898For my main course I had the Masala Lamb with Curried Cauliflower and Fingerling Potatoes which was perfectly seasoned and cooked.IMG_6900They had a comprehensive wine list and I tried a few glasses including the Spanish LAN a Mano Red as well as some champagne.IMG_6892I finished off with some ice cream, fresh berries, and some coffee with Bailey’s to help me sleep on the way to Munich.IMG_6903They had given me a pair of pajamas and sleeping in jeans isn’t exactly the best way to arrive rested so I changed into the Oh So Stylish PJs. When in Rome….IMG_6902While I was changing, the steward converted my seat into the completely lie flat bed. This is really the way to fly!IMG_6905I was able to get a good 5 hours of sleep on the way to Munich but I did have them wake me up for my omelette for breakfast since I wanted to experience everything first class had to offer.IMG_6907As I opened my window shades (I had 4) I saw the rolling countryside of Germany enveloped in fog.  IMG_6908I only had an hour and twenty minute layover in Munich before my nonstop flight to Ibiza which I thought might be a tight connection.  I didn’t realize that one of the best parts of my first class experience was yet to come! Read about that in my next article 🙂

As always, feel free to comment with any questions and follow me on Facebook or Twitter!

Ibiza 2013: Part 2 – Lufthansa First Class lounge in New York – JFK

This is the second post in a series about my 2013 trip to Ibiza for the closing parties. Part of the free plane tickets were funded by the 40,000 point sign up bonus of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

I started off at the same JFK Lufthansa lounge that I went to on my Eurotrip 2013, except this time instead of going to the Business Lounge, they let me into the keyed elevator to go to the top floor Senator Lounge.


You could tell a difference immediately with the quantity and quality of the wines and liquors compared to the somewhat limited Business Lounge downstairs.IMG_6866They even had Patron in case I was in the mood for shots before the plane!

IMG_6870From the top floor First Class lounge you had a great view of the gate where your plane was.IMG_6873One of the differences between First Class and Business Class is the availability of sit down multiple course dining in First Class.  I had been traveling since 8:30 in the morning so was excited to put their kitchen through its paces.IMG_6874The menu had several tempting a la carte options in addition to the salad bar and hot buffet.IMG_6875I chose the Seared Sea Scallops which was a great choice!IMG_6876I enjoyed the desserts as well from the buffet. For the purposes of the article I had to try them all!

IMG_6871 IMG_6872I had about 4 hours to enjoy this lounge before my flight so I after my leisurely lunch I decided to take a shower before my transatlantic flight.  The bathrooms which were located down on the Business Lounge floor did the trick to refresh me before my third flight of the day.IMG_6877

I enjoyed a few beers and the free wifi while I waited for my plane to start boarding. In the next article I will cover the First Class experience in the Lufthansa A-330.

As always, feel free to comment with any questions and follow me on Facebook or Twitter!

Eurotrip 2013: Part 17 – Lufthansa Business AND New First Class FRA-IAD on Boeing 747-800

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This is the seventeenth and final post in a series about my 2013 trip to Ireland, Scotland and Great Britain. Part of the free plane tickets were funded by the 40,000 point sign up bonus of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

After almost 3 weeks in Europe I was ready to sleep in my own bed, but there were a few more flights to make.  Since Lufthansa availability for partners opens up two weeks out, I had been checking online trying to get my Dad and I upgraded from Business Class to First Class.  We were booked on the massive 747-800 and while our seats were reserved in the upper deck Business Class, First Class for the first time was what I was really after.  With about one week left, I was able to snag one First Class seat for my Dad but another one never opened up for me!  Looking at the bright side, I would be able to review both the Business and First Class on the 747-800.

When we arrived at the Frankfurt airport, we went our separate ways as he went to the First Class Lounge and I to the Business Class lounge (we split up because I wanted some pictures of the First Class lounge as well).  The Business Class lounge was busy but spacious with tons of snacks, drinks, and other things to make you comfortable.

IMG_6643 These chairs were motorized rocking chairs and played this soothing music through built in speakers in the headrest.  So relaxing!IMG_6645 The bar was fully stocked with premium liquors, wine and champagne.IMG_6646 Here are the pics from the First Class Lounge in Frankfurt.  Note that this is the First Class Lounge not the First Class Terminal.  My Dad didn’t want to walk over the the FCT so he missed out on the private driver to his plane, but he was quite happy with this lounge he said. There was sit down multi course dining available.First Class Lounge... Frankfort... A large selection of delectable desertsFood bar in First Class LoungeThere was also a good assortment of hot and cold dishes.DSCN0286 You can see the cigar lounge at the back of this picture if you want a stogie while you wait for your flight.DSCN0290

After a few hours enjoying the lounge, it was time for the main event.  The 747-800 has two different Business Classes, one upstairs and one downstairs and the 8 First Class seats are located in the nose of the plane with the pilots above it. I was in the Upper Deck Business Class which was amazingly quiet and isolated from the rest of the passengers below.

Lufthansa 747-800For the first time I was able to take the stairs to the upper deck of a 747-800!

IMG_6647 I had one of the side seats and luckily had no one next to me. That seat was reserved for my Dad but when he was upgraded it remained empty.IMG_6648They offered a somewhat standard Business Class amenity kit with products by Nivea, earplugs, toothbrush and toothpaste, a sleeping mask, and a stylish striped bag to hold it all.IMG_6653The Business Class menu looked quite tasty.

IMG_6650 I started with the King Prawn Confit with Avocado and Bean SaladIMG_6652 Here was the salad but I forgot to take a pic of the beef tenderloin I had!IMG_6654My Dad on the other hand was living it up in First Class downstairs at the very front of the plane. You can see a huge difference in the First Class seats right away.

DSCN0294I have to admit, I was a little jealous of my Dad’s first class experience, but he seemed ok leaving me slumming in Business Class 🙂DSCN0296Here I am with some of the great Lufthansa staff that took care of him.DSCN0297My Dad is 6’1″ so I am sure he appreciated all the room to stretch out
DSCN0302 Caviar service is included in First ClassDSCN0304 It looks like he chose the fish entree.DSCN0306I am sure the cheese platter was his favorite part of the meal!
DSCN0307 How happy does this guy look!?DSCN0308

After landing in Washington IAD airport, we spent a little time in the Lufthansa lounge there before taking our respective flights back to Fort Lauderdale and Nashville.

IMG_6655Overall this was an incredible trip and I am glad I was able to spend some time with my Dad galavanting around Europe.  I will treasure it always.

Go to Ibiza next season with the 50,000 Mile Lufthansa Mastercard!

Edit: July 1, 2014: As promised the Lufthansa Premier Miles & More® World MasterCard® has dropped their bonus back to 20,000 miles with the first purchase.  We will let you know if they bring back the bigger bonus in the future.  Congratulations to everyone who got in on it!

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Back in June we wrote about the Lufthansa 50K bonus for their Mastercard but they had decreased it to 35K back in August.  Now the 50K offer is back and ready for use and is enough for a coach ticket to Ibiza next summer.

If you are like me and already have a ton of Chase, Citibank, and Amex cards, then having a Barclays card to also nice to round out your card portfolio. 🙂 Before I get into how you can use it to get to Ibiza, here are a couple of the highlights about this card.

  • Earn 20,000 award miles with your first purchase or balance transfer
  • Earn an additional 30,000 award miles when you spend $5,000 in
    purchases within the first 90 days after account opening
  • With 50,000 award miles you can redeem for a round-trip award
    flight to Hawaii, Europe or the Caribbean!
  • Earn 2 award miles per $1 on ticket purchases directly from Miles & More integrated airline partners
  • Earn 1 award mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • Cardholders receive a companion ticket annually after each account anniversary
  • No foreign transactions fees on purchases made outside the U.S. This makes it perfect to use once you get to Ibiza!
  • $79 Annual Fee. Please see Terms and Conditions for complete details

If the $5000 spending requirement scares you, then check out my article on How to Spend Money Without Spending Money and How to get Miles by Paying your Rent.  I’ve done a bit more research on this card and the best way to use the miles is surprisingly to not use them for Lufthansa flights! This is because they charge really high surcharges on many of the airlines including their own flights.  This makes the fees when you use the miles even more than just paying cash for a ticket which makes no sense at all.

But if you redeem the miles for US Airways flights (which you should be able to do until the merger with American is completed and they leave Star Alliance) there are no fuel surcharges.  This means you will only have to pay $5 and 50,000 miles for the whole ticket from North America to Europe!  I just checked and there are low level coach award seats available for the Ibiza closing parties next year! You can go from Miami to Madrid from September 30-October 8 and catch most of the great closing parties like I did this year. If you want to go somewhere else check out this award chart to see how far your miles can get you.

Lufthansa Award Chart

There are other good options with this chart as well such as Hawaii to New Zealand for only 40K round trip.  If you bought a cheap ticket to Hawaii that they have been running lately, you could turn one vacation into two by adding on New Zealand to your Hawaii trip with the miles you get from this card!

Click here for more information on this card. Click here, get this card, go to Ibiza!

If all of this sounds too complicated and you would rather have a card that gives you a $400 worth of points that you can spend on any travel expenses, then check out our review of the Barclays Arrival Card.

As always if you have any questions add a comment below and I will answer it for you.

Lufthansa launches 50,000 Miles and More Mastercard

Lufthansa 50K

Another day, another great miles card offer.  This time for Lufthansa’s Miles and More program.  Lufthansa is a giant German airline based in Frankfurt and a member of Star Alliance(which United and US Air are also members of).

This offer is for 50,000 Miles, paid out 20,000 after your first purchase and another 30,000 after spending $5,000 within the first 90 days. It gives the standard 1 Mile/$ spent and has an annual fee of $79.  For an idea of what this can get you, here is their award chart from North America.

Lufthansa Award Chart

If you get this card and spend the required $5,000, you will end up with 55,000 miles.  They have a special transatlantic deal for 50K miles if you redeem them on Lufthansa, Swiss Air or Austrian Airlines.  They do charge fuel surcharges as well as taxes on European redemptions so you will need to check the pricing of the award booking to determine if this is the best use of the miles.  Maybe 40,000 miles to Hawaii is a better choice with less fees and charges.

The important thing is to start getting miles NOW before you want to use them.  This offer is from Barclays Bank which requires excellent credit, but if you already have lots of Chase and Citibank cards like I do, it is a great way to spread your card issuer usage out so your eggs aren’t all in one basket.

So what are you waiting for?  Apply now and you could have an extra 50K miles by next month and plan that Ibiza trip!