Deutsche Lufthansa AG (FWB: LHA), commonly known as Lufthansa is a German airline and also the largest airline in Europe, both in terms of overall passengers carried and fleet size when combined with its subsidiaries.
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Good service but still room for improvement
It was an 11-hour transcontinental flight from Munich, Germany to San Francisco, California on one my favorite airliners Airbus A340-600 series. I like the seat configuration 2-4-2. On both sides of the aisle you can take a seat with just one person next you which may feel for some or at least for me, very comfortable. Moreover, I have admit that as soon as I sat on that seat i felt very comfortable. You know, it is rare nowadays to for comfortable economy seats, but on this plane it was true.
As with other international flights I have taken on Lufthansa this one was no exception in terms of the fact that boarding was slightly delayed. Don't know why, since there were virtually one or just two pre-boarding announcements to tell any information, if any at all. At some point the announcement came that due to ongoing fueling the boarding will be delayed and it will happen soon but at a lower paste.
Even though I found the seat itself very comfortable, oh boy, the economy class is cramped. Seats are so close one behind the other that one can hardly even bend over if need to pick something from the floor. The seat-pocket is really small and one cannot put much. I had my electronic reader, reading glassed, and some other items and they barely fit.
In terms of food they had some highs and lows. The dinner was exceptional. Of the 2 choices for dinner ordered the chicken with spinach. It was delicious and the desserts really good. However, what they served for breakfast surprised me. it was chicken again, even though they had pasta dish but it was spicy so I went with the chicken which was with BBQ souse which in terns I found a little unusual for breakfast choice. Maybe they were trying to appeal to the American passengers in terms of taste, who knows.
After dinner as we were flight west into the daylight some passengers pulled their window shades down but not all. So I finally asked one of the flight attendants to ask everyone to pull the shades down so we can all get some sleep. Was that my job to do? During the log hours after dinner the crew kept going with refreshments which was really good.
Overall it was a typical service and nothing exceptional. During beverage service asked for tea but they did not have on the cart, so I was told to wait for 10 min. Certainly, I thought to myself. In a similar situation in the same cabin class on a Swiss Airlines flight the flight attendant did not say a word but a minute later came back with my tea. Wow! Great job Swiss. Can Lufthansa catch up?
The airline still maintains quality of service
Lufthansa is one of the handful airline left in Europe I think still maintain the quality of their service as the industry changes so much withe invasion of the budget carriers. The created me upon boarding the plane as well as I was passing in the cabin while going to my seat. I was impressed that announcements in the cabin were made in German, French, English, and Bulgarian languages.
Upon boarding at first I noticed that there was no fresh air in the cabin to the point when I felt a little short of air. The departure was slightly delayed due to the backlog of passengers being processed late at the airport. The flight was smooth. The customer service as expected from Lufthansa - courteous and friendly. They served light breakfast if fruit croissant and refreshments. Plane arrived on time.
Delayed departure but excellent on-board service
We travelled on Lufthansa LH1428 from Frankfurt International Airport to Sofia, Bulgaria on July 12, 2017. This is a short 2 hour flight operated by the airline with Airbus A320-200. Here is our flight review from our critical point of view.
Lufthansa ground gate crew consisting of 2 people gave little pre-boarding announcements. The plane arrived late so the boarding was delayed by 10 minutes initially. As the boarding time approached passengers at the gate started to congregate and form lines thinking that boarding would start soon and everyone will get on the plane all at once. Gate crew did not announce that people should remain in the seating area as people with disabilities and families with small children should board first not to mention premier customers.
Lufthansa employee approached 3 people seated at the area for people with disabilities and started to wheel them on-board one by one. One passenger even sat in the people with disabilities seating area. The standing crowd was obstructing the access to the people with disabilities. The gate crew did not make an announcement the area to be cleared as if they did not care at all.
At the gate all announcements were made in German and English only. However, there were a lot of people that did not speak neither of the two foreign languages but Bulgarian only. Many other airlines at other airports make announcements on the native language of the country where the flight is bound. Not to mention that Bulgaria is an EU country and one would assume that announcements in Bulgarian should be provided. At the end the boarding has turn onto a small chaos. Everyone was trying to board as people swarmed the gate. The gate crew as if it did not care to try to control the boarding process at least a little and make it more comfortable for the passengers.
As people boarded the plane the on-board crew did not make any announcements that smaller items should go under the seat in front of you and roller boards with wheels first in the overhead compartments. Some passengers had hard time finding space overhead as it was full of smaller items and clothing.
The departure was delayed for a little over one hour without any reasonable explanation or announcement. Plane stayed on the tarmac for 1 hour. However, the on-board service was excellent as expected!
It was not the expected Lufthansa Economy experience
My experience on this flight started with the boarding process which, at least for me, set the tone of the entire trip. It was a flight from San Francisco International (SFO) to Frankfurt, Germany.
Boarding the plane was rather chaotic. Lots of passengers were cramped at gate G101 for 500+ seats at Airbus A380 while at the same common waiting area another flight to China was boarding another jumbo jet. There was not enough space for the passengers for both flights departing almost at the same time. During the pre-boarding time I did not hear even one announcement from the gate crew regarding the boarding. As the adjacent flight to China started boarding our Lufthansa flight passengers also started to form a line for boarding causing confusion as many asked if the flight started boarding. At some time announcement came out that the 2.30 pm boarding is delayed to 2.50 pm.; gate display board did not show boarding time.
Don’t you hate it when you get on the plane and the captain starts an announcement that seems important but you can barely hear not because your hearing is bad but the audio system sucks? Well, that’s what happened once again on this flight.
The service overall was as expected with minor exceptions. Crew started with offering snack followed by hot towel before dinner which consisted, or rather I chose some chicken meal with green beans, salad, and brownie for dessert. While chewing on my beans I bit on some hard object in my food. Who knows what it was! The brownie was very dry and the salad dressing was very strong. Overall, did not quite like the meal but what can one expect in economy nowadays? Not much really!
Two hours into the flight and after the dinner was over at around 6 pm original destination time and when outside still had daylight I was literally ordered by one of the male flight attendants to close my window shade as he wanted to make the cabin dark. Well, he was rather rude, is what I mean, ordering passengers to go to sleep. Had a problem the head light which would not lit my entire area very well so in order to see well while reading I had to keep the window shade slightly open to supplement with the light form outside.
The economy seats now are so cramped that if you take your shoes off you cannot bend down to put them on since the space is really small if the seat in front is reclined. So if you’re seated by the window there is no way you can get out without having the aisle seat passenger to stand up to make you way out.
5 hours into the flight decided to look outside and opened to window shade again to enjoy the full moon in the dark sky. Guess what? A flight attended came to me right away to tell to pull the shade down. He ordered me: “Pull the shade down before the sunrise.” As if the sun was rising right at that moment. At first, when he approach my seat I thought he’d offer me refreshments. You know how now and then crew comes along the aisle and offers water and juice? Not even close. It was about the shade. And no drinks offered since dinner 5 hours into the flight.
The first tray with water and juice came out 3 hours before the end of the flight. But as I was so thirsty that had to go to the galley at the back of the plane before that to look for something to drink. Found a flight attendant reading something who asked me “Help yourself.” Wow, “thank you for helping me out,” I thought to myself.
The seat comfort was Ok but would not recline easily. I had to push really hard on the seat. It seems it malfunctioned.
Arrived 20 min earlier in Germany but had to wait in the plane for 20 min for gate clearance. .
Impressive: First time in Lufthansa Economy Premium
Paid for cash upgrade to fly the recently introduced economy premium class. Overall I had experience that met my expectations in almost all regards. Rated one star less for customer service not because the cabin crew service was not adequate but how Lufthansa handled my overall reservation. My upgrade to Economy Premium was not properly processed by Lufthansa so I had trouble checking in for the flight and ending up loosing my prior seat reservation and being given a seat I did not want. But let's forgive the airline this time. The overall experience regarding seat comfort, amenities, quality of food and service on board was up to standard and expectations as I fly Lufthansa precisely for that reason. The individual armrest, the ample more then extra legroom, the complimentary amenities and full feature entertainment was worth experiencing on this 12-hour flight from Munich to San Francisco. The food was tasty and served at the right temperature. We were offered 2 dinners due to the time of the flight and plenty of drinks and snack in between. Staff as always very friendly and attentive to details and personal needs. Will definitely book again economy premium.