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Lufthansa begins a new era with the 747-8 Intercontinental

On a Thursday afternoon anticipation is building in a Lufthansa hangar in Frankfurt, Germany. That's because the German carrier is just about 18 hours away from being the first airline ever to operate the 747-8 Intercontinental.

Helmut Schneider is a long distance purser for Lufthansa. He won't be on the inaugural flight, but that wont's stop him from taking a peek at his favorite new feature of the Intercontinental. "My personal workstation over there. The control center for the entertainment system and the lighting and temperature system."

The next day, the Intercontinental takes off to the delight of a full flight of passengers. In economy class, passengers enjoy new features like more spacious overhead bins and a vibrant lighting system. "A lot of people, even in first class, want to come back and see what economy looks like", said economy class passenger, Alyson Cane.

Perhaps the most popular aspect of the Lufthansa plane was the new seats in Business Class, with the ability to fully extend allowing passengers to lie flat. "I think the seat is fantastic. I didn't make it completely flat, I didn't want to fall asleep."

This historic event ended with a smooth landing at Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C. "We are all pioneers today", said 747 Vice President and CEO, Elizabeth Lund. "Getting to be the first people to fly on a brand-new aircraft for many years to come."