I was more excited for this flight than any previous flight. My favourite aircraft is the 747 and I was flying upper on a 747-400 for the first time. Due to some confusion I has been led to believe it was a 747-800.
So what a disappointment when I climbed the stairs in anticipation walked up and down the aircraft looking for business to be told I was in it.
Seating and cabin
Tatty and substandard, this was well below the standard I expected. This cabin had seen better days, as had the staff. And the greeting matched the dour cabin. The attitude was 'sit down and shut up'. My seat was not in the modern herringbone pod that I’d had with ANA but a seat next to the window. It did lie flat but I was blocked in by the person next to me so I could not get up and move about without tripping over a sleeping person’s legs and the seat space felt squashed so every time I turned over I risked knocking a glass or IFE controller onto the floor.
The seating configuration in the cabin was 2-2 and I had a window seat on the left of the cabin. The seat controls were located in the arm rest as such a place that if you wanted to scratch you back, the seat started to whir into action when not required because it was far too easy to brush against the controls by accident. To be fair there was plenty of legroom and the widow-side of the seat had some good space to dump the unneeded pillows and blankets. The lie-flat seat was comfortable but there was a notable lack of privacy and the person next to me was visible when lying in bed unless I faced the window.
The IFE was slightly better than ANA but still disappointing. My flights on my October trip to Japan and South Korea had some of the worst IFA I’ve experienced since the 90s.
There was also only one toilet in business class too, at the front of the cabin.
Food and service
The quality of the food was good especially the breakfast before arriving in Frankfurt but the real problem was the quality of the service. Sulky-faced order taking and questions were barked and while the wine glass was refilled frequently it was make to feel like a major inconvenience and the lack of care let to the wine spilling over the top of the glass.
Everything felt rushed. Twice the hostess tried to take away my food while I was still eating it, the second time I had to hold onto the tray to stop her. As I had a glass of water I was skipped over for coffee, the hostess seeming to think that I already had a drink 'so no coffee for you'. I pressed the attendent button to ask for some coffee. After 20 minutes someone came, took my request with a glance of ennui and a sigh and then didn’t come back.
As for complimentary products, we received a small washbag which looked nice and contained adequate products although the moisturiser had all the moisturising effectiveness of toothpaste.
In summary, a highly disappointing flight. The seats and cabin were not up to modern standards and there is a real lack of privacy compared to other top tier airlines in long haul, but the real let down was the service. Easily to poorest business class service I’ve experienced.
Food and drinks 7.5/10
Cabin comfort 5/10 (wasn’t boiling hot like ANA but felt like more like Premium Economy Plus)
Seat 4/10 (wasn’t a pod but did lie flat and was fairly comfortable, but with little privacy)