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The last time I travelled in BA F (June), they made me find my own seat at the door, ignored the call bell three times, overcooked my special meal until it was inedible, forgot to offer me afternoon tea and the crew member serving was generally disengaged and only interested in talking to one passenger, ignoring the other 6.
I’ve never experienced anything like that on LX or LH and that’s before you start looking at the density of the cabin.
Ignore the rudeness from the local troll.19 Dec 2013
A good suggestion from Senator there – you could fly on one out and the other back. If you check with an agent they mght be able to get a slightly cheaper rate. Note that there is a 28 day Apex on these fares and need to have a Saturday night stay.
BA do have some reasonable F Class fares. But I think there is no comparison in product / service – LH/LX win hands down. Also if you happen to fly from a regional airport in First I think they still include a transfer fo you – but not from LHR. Obviously if LHR is easiest then no use to you.19 Dec 2013
I normally speak from my own experience, as I have sampled all the above-mentioned products. In the past three years, I have sampled all three products about four times each. This should give me the ability to provide a fair assessment on the basis of my own, and personal experience. So be slightly careful, before you pass judgement next time. You don’t know who I am, nor my travel experience.
Having said that, my view on this is rather simple:
When I purchase a Club World ticket to let’s say JFK for roughly £1,400 and upgrade this using Avios I find BA to be an excellent bargain. With the recent changes to Miles & More, the holistic value of the same sort of transaction on lets say Swiss is poor in comparison.
However, that is not to say the BA has a better overall product from end-to-end. In this example, I find that BA provided me better value for my money spent.
Furthermore, there are some simple, verifiable facts that separate these three airlines:
Check-in, home airport: Lufthansa hands down with the FCT. Swiss check-in in Zurich and BA First in BA are nothing special either one. Perhaps a small advantage to Swiss as it feels more luxurious
First Class Lounge: Obviously few lounges, if any, can compare to the FCT in Frankfurt. Even the two FCLs in Frankfurt are of a high standard. I would rank the FCL in Zurich second, and the Concorde Room third.
Transfer to seat: needless to argue when you need to move from the Concorde Room to T5C vs LH S500 to the door.
Cabin: my recent experience with eight seats in the LH B747-8i vs the 14 in BA’s B747-400. Enough said. The downside to the LX A330-300 is the tiny lavatory. Too small.
Seat: had my best ever sleep recently in the LX A330-300 seat. Nothing wrong with the other seats. They are all good.
Food & Beverage: LX hands down winner, followed by LH. BA mostly functional.
Wine & Drinks: here BA tends to excel in my experience.
Staff: I like to banter and I am very casual as a person. I find that Germans can be perhaps too stiff. Normally, it works best for me to be with Anglo-saxons, but since the Swiss have some Saxons in them I suppose they work the best for me. Maybe I am always lucky, but I always tend to have great staff when I travel on all these airlines. I am always well taken care of.
Arrival service away from home station: here all fail in my book, but I suspect it is down to what the local airport can provide and allow. Normally I have been able to get help from LH and LX upon arrival. We were greeted personally at IAD on LH. Two staff members took six F and one HON to arrivals and made sure we were first off the “Lunar Landing Module” at IAD. BA has never picked me up anywhere, but perhaps I have been to the wrong airport.
So you see my dear NCO, I look at a fair and balanced view of this on the basis my own experience mixed with some facts.
If I am going to pay for a First Class ticket with my own money, this money will always go to Swiss and/or Lufthansa. If I am going to take advantage of a mix of Business/Club and upgrade, BA will provide me with an excellent value albeit, not the best product out there based upon my reasonable experience.19 Dec 2013
For those of you who are interested, here’s the piece we published way back in 2011 about Lufthansa’s unique first class offering on the B744: “A seat and a bed.”19 Dec 2013
Great balanced post there Senator, following some tedious, boring and I guess predictible posts by a regular poster.
Excellent idea to mix LH and LX! lloydah do report back!19 Dec 2013
It’s a lovely product, but Lufthansa lost €204m in the last half year.
It’s also been forced to remove F cabins from around a quarter of its fleet, as well as retire its 747s early.
The engineering arm is making around 650 people redundant.
Then add in to the mix some serious Frequent Flier plan restrictions announced recently…..19 Dec 2013
SergeantMajor, given that I am perhaps a bit slow today due to lack of sleep, could you enlighten me to the relevance to this specific discussion of the following facts that you just presented:
1. Lufthansa lost money
2. “Forced” to retire fleet and reduce the amount of aircraft with F
3. Redundancies in the engineering arm
I am a very open minded person, and love a good discussion. I merely need the help to link these three facts to why BA’s First Class product would be better than LH? Please help, because I am actually all ears.19 Dec 2013
Although a link lauding BA’s F wine award was stated, why did the poster then fail to also state that the same awarding body did not list BA at all in its top ten “Best Airline for First” award? Or the fact Luftie and Swiss were both in the top 10? Somewhat highly selective and obtuse methinks as well as rather (intentionally?) misleading the OP.
Best Airline for First Class
5.Swiss International Air Lines
10.Cathay Pacific Airways
Personally Lloydah I would go via ZRH as I had my fill of FRA after having worked for Deutsche Bank for several years and couldn’t separate the two airlines – though haven’t flown F with either in recent years,19 Dec 2013
Yes, Outbound go via FRA to experience the great FC-Terminal.
Back use LX via ZRH, they also have a great F-Cl lounge with a good restaurant…serving better than microwaved burgers.
BA, as BigDog pointed out above, is certainly no match with cramped and tight seating, cheap and dirty lounges, mediocre food.
LH/LX serve Balik salmon, Caviar (LH), great wines and not “braised pork belly”. And the lounges offer deli food instead of microwaved burgers…and more than 100 whisies to choose from in FRA.
Viking, as a passenger I couldnt care less about LH losing money or not, Viking.19 Dec 2013
It is quite extraordinary that anybody might try to introduce BA F into a discussion about LH and LX.
I would find it hard to chose between the latter two, but if was a choice between one of them and BA, then, providing there was not a huge gap in price (which normally there would not be), BA would be second choice.19 Dec 2013
The initial post was comparing LH & LX, so let’s not introduce other carriers.
I’m heading from London to Miami very soon & wondered if I could obtain competitive First class fares with LH.19 Dec 2013
So much good advice from so many experienced travellers.
I wasn’t considering BA in any case, this was a bit of a treat rather than a working trip.
I do, however have to return direct to LHR as I’m travelling with colleagues who are already committed. So it’s got to be one way with one carrier.
Now thinking – is it the upstairs with the separate bed or the general ambience of the 330 with the transfer at ZRH?19 Dec 2013