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Topic: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2008-12-22 12:11:38 and read 32767 times.

Feedback always appreciated.

Trip Report: 060
Flight Category: J-ILR (See Report End)
Date: 05 Dec-08 (See Report End)
SDT/SAT/Dur/Delay: 1540/1825/08:45 hrs (Additional 00:42 due to strong headwinds)
Flight: Lufthansa/Privatair LH 424, 3851 miles
Routing: MUC-BOS
Aircraft: 73H
Seat: Business, 10F

I > Background:

I went to undergraduate university in Boston and it is somewhat of a tradition for a few of us to meet up in December and re-live our youthful days. God, I sound like such the quintessential 30 year old. Anyways, since I was in München, I decided to take the Lufthansa nonstop (Privatair) flight as I wanted to maximize my short time in the city of the Charles.

I believe this is the first Privatair trip report in over 6 years, and the first on the MUC-BOS segment.


II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport:
PrivatAir is an airline based in Geneva, Switzerland, specializing in scheduled and charter flights. One of the services it provides, is operating exclusively business class flights for Lufthansa, Swiss, and KLM using a mix of 73H and 319 aircraft. It’s MUC-BOS flight is done on part of Lufthansa. Since this route has tons of leisure demand, it is done using a 340 during peak times and now reverts to all J during winter months.

Ticketing for the flight was done through an online site as I always remain confused by Lufthansa’s own site and its inability to have lower fares. By going through an external site, I saved almost 1,000 Euros … pretty substantial amount I must say! Anyways, I find www.lufthansa.com extremely annoying. The inability for a paid business class passenger to chose their own seat, add FF details, and do other modifications is absolutely absurd and inadequate.

b) At Airport:
Compared to the over-crowded Frankfurt, what always surprises me about Munich is how empty the entire terminal is. Perhaps a scope for further LH expansion? But, at what cost? Vienna? Frankfurt? Zurich (which by the way, I also find remarkably uncongested for an Euro hub).

LH has a dedicated row of J class counters and these were extremely empty today … so without much wait time, I got my boarding pass and my bag tagged priority to BOS. I did wonder how amusing it must be to have each and every bag on this flight being tagged priority … hehe.

Anyways, after a quick immigration and security … in both instances, the Y line moved MUCH faster than the J line (what is up with that? I thought LH being a premium product would have figured this by now), I made it to the LH lounge..

Now, the lounge attendant was absolutely rude. The lounge is cordoned off to a First/Star Gold section and a Business class section. She would absolutely not let me in to the First/Star Gold section without seeing my physical Star Gold card. Apparently, having “*G” printed on the boarding pass was not sufficient. Worse, she was such a b**ch about the whole thing. Anyways, after digging through my carry-on, I decided to be a b**ch back (I know, extremely juvenile). Put out 3 *G card and asked her which of the ones she wanted. Anyways, after all that, I was expecting this amazing lounge. Guess what? It sucked! It was like a UAL RCC or something. Extremely crowded – almost no sitting room for the major duration, horrible food options, no free internet, few newspapers, and apparently no shower. It was basically one room – nothing more. I missed the lounge at Istanbul so much at that point. I had been a b**ch for this? This is a First lounge? I shudder to think that the Business class lounge would have been.

All flights departing the U.S. go through a secondary security process … which is pretty much exactly like the first process. Since there is only two checkpoints for 6 U.S. bound flights departing the same time, the queue was insane. 45 minutes later, I was in the calm of my boarding gate.

One of the best things about the Privatair flight is boarding … it was announced just 10 minutes prior to departure … and very soon, all the 42 passengers were on board. Very calm, collected, and efficient. Upon entering the aircraft, we were greeted by 2 FA’s … though, no help was forthcoming to the passengers during anytime. J load was 90% … and in a first for me, ENTIRELY male! Weird. At the boarding gate, there were 2 women, but they were apparently not on our flight.

Airport - External:

(München Airport)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/44536f33.jpg

Check-in:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/22105884.jpg

Airport - Internal:

(Pre-Security: beautiful inside)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/2e1127a8.jpg

(FIDS)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/8566271e.jpg

Scenes of the tarmac:

NONE

Lounge

(Small, crowded, and really nothing home to write about)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/961fada9.jpg

(Food)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/e7bf3ea0.jpg

(Paid internet … BAD)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/f94a89ad.jpg

Boarding:

(Very smooth boarding)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/5ecc57fe.jpg

III> In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions:
Upon boarding, newspapers and magazines were distributed. I was appalled that an international airline like Lufthansa had NO English newspapers and one English language magazine. This was not a loading issue as MUC is a home base and I had encountered the same disdain for English periodicals on a ZRH-FRA a few days earlier. Thank God, I speak German. If I was non-German speaker, I would not have been impressed at paying high fares and getting no options from such a global airline. Anyways, welcome drinks (champagne or water) and hot towel service prior to take-off. After take-off, DVD players were distributed along with menu, then drink service, then meal service, and 90 minutes prior to boarding, another meal service. Amenity kits and hangars were already at our seat when we arrived.

b) Aircraft + Seats:
Privatair 73H was immaculately maintained, including the lavs. The entire J layout definitely gave a relaxed private jet feel to the aircraft. It is hard to describe, but the cabin felt “private” and intimate.

Ok. Let us talk about the seats. The pseudo-lie-flat was NOT comfortable. These are super old generation seats and I really do wonder when Lufthansa will upgrade these. Like many of its peers, it is extremely comfortable during seat mode, and you can get a nice cradle like position while watching IFE or reading a book. However, in the “lie-flat” mode, it is not comfortable at all. Like many of its peers, too many pronounced “breaks” and 3 different angles of recline ensure that there isn’t one seat … but 3 different ones at 3 different angles, making a sleep extremely difficult. Perhaps its only saving grace was the additional legroom over the standard Lufthansa J product. Else, give me a traditional cushioned J “arm-chair” anyday!

Aircraft:

(Privatair 73H – sleek and slender)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/58ec62e7.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/05bdb5a3.jpg

Views from Aircraft:

(Gate-mates – bigger brother)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/88e6f4b3.jpg

(343 to LAX)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/35dd182d.jpg

(Beautiful colors en-route)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/ccc65233.jpg

(Sunset)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/54b132bb.jpg

General Seat Views + Seat Legroom

(Front of seat)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/a442840e.jpg

(Seat controls – needing of a change?)


(Seat legroom)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/1abff7b6.jpg

Seat Recline + Angle View:

(Uncomfortable and “breaks” in recline mode)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/029e6d77.jpg

(Cramped legroom)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/56df452c.jpg

(Side view)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/691b3497.jpg

Cabin:

(Cosy cabin)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/103e5c66.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/ac8145b6.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/dc3840a6.jpg

(Bathroom – tons of important utilities)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/ff69db02.jpg

c) Meal + Beverage:

While on the ground, a beverage service is done where you can chose between champagne and water.

Menus were distributed soon after take-off and meal service commenced thereafter. First drinks were served with nuts … I chose white wine … from a not-so-exciting wine menu (see picture).

Dinner was served soon thereafter and included an excellent shrimp appetizer followed by my choice of pike Perch served with wild rice. Now several things that must be commented on. First, the presentation itself was poor. The fish was over-burnt and as you can see tasted as mediocre as the presentation. The woman FA came to us and basically held out the two offerings on our face and asked us which we wanted. Not really classy at all. Finally, dessert was skimpy at best. No alcohol was served with dessert, and no post-meal beverage service was done.

Between the dinner and the pre-land meal, there was not a single additional beverage service by the crew. Only after 3 dings on my crew-call button over 21 minutes was a café brought to me.

90 minutes prior to landing, a second meal service commenced. Interestingly, the same woman FA had no idea of the menu and when I asked her for the “Roast Beef”, she gave me the other dish (“Asian Specialty”) and kept on insisting that it was roast beef! Absurd. Even the fellow Austrian passenger commented on how bad the service had been. Anyways, apparently they had run out of the roast beef, and I made do with the Asian specialty. In Lufthansa’s defence however, the “Asian Specialty” actually was very good and definitely the highlight of the meal service.

(Menu)


http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/7f295279.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/577912c9.jpg

(Pre-take off champagne)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/256706ea.jpg

(Appetizer)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/423eab56.jpg

(Main)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/cd54a26c.jpg

(Dessert)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/9fbd9324.jpg

(Café)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/c3e24664.jpg

(2nd meal)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/af8efc5f.jpg

d) Inflight Entertainment:

Lufthansa/Privatair planes do not come with inbuilt AVOD. Instead you get this little personal movie player loaded with an abysmal choice of 12 pretty crappy and obscure movies. For those of us who do this route often, you are out of movie choices pretty soon. Moreover, the headphones were sub-standard and more fitting for Y class than J. In fact, they were so bad that I had to give up using them! The only saving grace is the above average in-flight magazine.

(IFE system)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/d9856164.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/a96cad2d.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/39eae5b5.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/089efb53.jpg

(“In-flight magazines”, Boarding Passes, etc.)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/LH424/250b4a67.jpg

e) Crew:

Indifferent and average are the two adjectives best describing this Lufthansa/Privatair crew. They seemed to do the bare minimal and disappear into the galleys. Out of the 4, one woman was VERY good. The other was the loopy one who had no idea about basics such as meal options on board. They all seemed to have an attitude – like put the food on your face, respond to call button after a long time, and be rude about it. Moreover, they were lazy. I did not see them lift a little finger to help during boarding … and they were nowhere to be seen between service runs. Overall, mechanical and absolutely no warmth whatsoever.

IV> Post-Flight:

Boston is by far my favorite U.S. port of entry and I had done immigration in a record 4 minutes. Also, baggage delivery was smooth and I was out of the door within 15 minutes of arrival. It was amusing to see every bag coming out of the carousel marked “PRIORITY”.

V> Impressions + Scores:

I wish I could say positive things about the Lufthansa experience. There was not really any part of the experience I enjoyed thoroughly. Ground handling (check-in, baggage delivery) were excellent; but the inadequate lounge at MUC left a lot to be desired. On board, the “hardware” was antiquated … the IFE was poor and the seat was way behind industry benchmarks. Usually, poor “hardware” can be saved by good “software”. Alas, this was not the case in this instance as the crew was cold, indifferent, and lazy. Poor food and beverage selections ensured at best an above average ride.

Lufthansa will continue to do well and be profitable due to its sheer size and its ability to capitalize on the economies of scale. If I were an European consumer, I would strongly want anti-competitive authorities to scrutinize LH take-over deals. If LH standards become the European benchmark, God save us all. Lufthansa succeeds because it consistently and reliably gets one from point A to B. This is even more appealing when it serves markets where the local carrier is far from reliable. However, service standards on LH are average at best. Its J product is severely outdated and in need of a complete refurbishment. There are far better carriers out there. Hey, it could even learn a lot from its owned Swiss – which still provides a far more pleasant experience than LH.

If given a choice, I would avoid Lufthansa. Of course, if I had to go somewhere on an important business meeting and it was between LH and a “maverick” carrier, I would have to chose LH by defauly. Let us hope that does not become the norm … it would be sad if we chose airlines due to the lack of competition.

1.0 > RESERVATION: 6.5
2.0 > CHECK-IN: 8.0
0.5 > LOUNGE: 4.0
0.5 > BOARDING: 9.0
2.0 > SEAT: 5.0
0.5 > AIRCRAFT OVERALL AMBIENCE: 9.5
1.0 > IFE: 5.0
2.0 > CREW: 5.5
2.0 > FOOD: 5.0
0.5 > BEVERAGES: 6.0
0.5 > A.KITS + OTHER FREEBIES: 6.5
0.5 > DISEMBARKATION: 10.0
1.0 > ON-TIME RECORD: 8.0
WEIGHTED OVERALL IMPRESSION (WOI): 6.36
(Pre-flight WOI of all reviews: 6.47)
* Weighted Overall Impression (WOI) aligns scores with what matters most. Weights are indicated alongside each category.
(Scores are based on comparison with other airlines in THAT class of service – No comparison of Y vs. F for example)

VI> Other Trip Reports:

PREMIUM:
8.64: Turkish Airlines (59): JFK-IST: 11/2008
8.61: Air Canada (49): YYZ-SCL: 06/2008
8.61: Air Canada (49): YYZ-SCL: 06/2008
8.11: Aeroflot (33): MOW-DEL: 09/2007
8.04: Korean Air (40): NRT-ICN: 10/2007
8.02: Delta Airlines (24): JFK-CDG: 08/2007
7.46: LAN (55): YYZ-JFK: 09/2008
7.82: Singapore Airlines (06): EWR-SIN: 09/2006
7.14: Swiss (52): SCL-GRU: 06/2008
6.93: Delta Airlines (18): SEA-JFK: 11/2006
6.81: Air Canada (17): ICN-YYZ: 10/2006
6.70: KLM (32): EBB-AMS: 08/2007
6.36: Lufthansa/Privatair (60): MUC-BOS: 12/2008
6.25: Korean Air (45): NAN-ICN: 10/2007
6.11: TAP Portugal (53): GRU-OPO: 06/2008
5.75: Singapore Airlines (16): CCU-SIN: 10/2006
5.64: NorthWest (46): ICN-NRT-SEA: 10/2007
5.39: LOT (54): WAW-JFK: 06/2008
4.42: Air France: CDG-JNB (25): 08/2007

ECONOMY: Long + Medium:
9.26: Air India (48): JFK-DEL: 02/2008
7.38: Avianca (01): BOG-LIM: 07/2006
6.41: American Airlines (58): LHR-BOS: 11/2008
6.26: Jet Blue (21): CUN-JFK: 02/2007
6.06: Air Canada (04): YYZ-YVR: 09/2006
5.89: USA 3000 (19): PUJ-BDL: 01/2007
5.79: Air New Zealand (42): RAR-NAN: 10/2007
5.46: TAP Air Portugal (23): OSL-LIS: 05/2007

ECONOMY: Short
8.56: Paramount Airways (38): BLR-MAA: 09/2007
8.24: Kingfisher (14): IXA-GAU: 10/2006
7.87: Indian (34): BOM-MAA: 09/2007
7.72: Alliance Air (13): CCU-IXA: 10/2006
7.57: Indian Airlines (10): DEL-CCU: 09/2006
7.23: West Jet (03): YYC-YVR: 09/2006
7.15: JetLite (37): BOM-GOI: 09/2007
6.70: Spice Jet (09): CCU-DEL: 09/2006
6.63: Air Fiji (44): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.58: Air Tran (02): EWR-MDW: 08/2006
6.44: CO Micronesia (39): ROR-YAP: 10/2007
6.41: Pacific Sun (43): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.37: Skybus (47): SWF-CMH: 02/2008
6.33: Kenya Airways (29): NBO-BJM: 08/2007
6.33: Sky Europe (56): LTN-BTS: 10/2008
6.31: Indigo (15): GAU-CCU: 10/2006
6.31: easyJet (57): BUD-LTN: 11/2008
6.22: Air Link Swazi (28): MTS-JNB: 08/2007
6.22: Air India (36): HYD-BOM: 09/2007
6.13: Adam Air (07): SIN-CGK: 09/2006
6.13: Air Rarotonga (41): RAR-AIT: 10/2007
6.00: Transairways (27): INH-MPM: 08/2007
5.95: Air Canada (05): ALB-YYZ: 09/2006
5.85: SAS Norge (22): OSL-AES: 05/2007
5.81: LAM Mozambique (26): JNB-MPM: 08/2007
5.69: Air Deccan (12): IXZ-CCU: 10/2006
5.67: Rwanda Air Exp (30): KGL-NBO: 08/2007
5.07: Go Air (35): MAA-HYD: 09/2007
5.00: Sky Airline (51): IQQ-SCL: 06/2008
4.96: Valuair (08): CGK-SIN: 09/2006
4.78: Air Comet Chile (50): SCL-IQQ: 06/2008
4.74: Fly 540 (31): MYD-LAU: 08/2007
4.33: Viva Aerobus (20): ELP-MTY: 02/2007
4.11: Air Sahara (11): CCU-BOM: 09/2006

(Note on Codes: Y – Economy, J – Business, F – First :: I/D – International/Domestic :: SR/MR/LR – Short/Medium/Long Haul)
(Note on Date: Dates are modified to be +/- 3 days from actual flight date to not reveal actual flight pattern)

VII> Other Pictures:

(Skimpy amenity kit – and what is up with the presentation?)

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Lufthansa747
Posted 2008-12-22 12:28:36 and read 32767 times.

A masterpiece as usual!

However makes me not not really enthusiastic about the upcoming DXB-FRA in C. At least FRA-DXB is in F...

I thought they had done away with those dog bowls for main courses and use proper plates... apparently not. The main course looks awful.

Sure that pre-departure stuff was champagne? They have this nasty habit of serving some 3 eur/bottle piss on the ground on mainline LH.

Regards,

Lufthansa747

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: DALCE
Posted 2008-12-22 12:39:25 and read 32767 times.

Hi Abrelosojos,

A very complete and interesting report!
I think this option is a great one if you have to fly from A to B, and would not have problems with anything of the product offered.
You always have a good and objective opinion about airlines, but this time I somehow have the feeling you already had an opinion on forehand.
Nevertheless you pay a lot of money, and then you have some expectations.
As we all know, LH is widely known about their punctuality and not for their top notch service.
Thank you for sharing this report, it was really worth reading, as we don't read to many BBJ reports on here.

Merry Christmas and brgds.
Joost(D-ALCE)

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2008-12-22 12:56:34 and read 32767 times.



Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 1):
FRA-DXB is in F...

= Lufthansa is actually pretty good in F ... so you should not have a problem. I especially like their Mercedez limo transfers at MUC and FRA.

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 1):
Sure that pre-departure stuff was champagne? They have this nasty habit of serving some 3 eur/bottle piss on the ground on mainline LH.

= Jaja. I never said it was good champagne  Smile.

Quoting DALCE (Reply 2):
You always have a good and objective opinion about airlines, but this time I somehow have the feeling you already had an opinion on forehand.

= Hmm ... why do you say that? Are you getting biased because of your "D-ALCE" nickname  Smile? Jaja. A report is a report - and I apologize if you didn't think it was objective. I have nothing against Lufthansa ... and it is the airline I fly the most ... almost 3-4 times monthly out of CCS connecting in FRA to wherever my work takes me. However, I never write about work trips. Anyways, LH are a very profitable operation and working in the industry I know there are extremely shrewed. At the end of the day, this is just one trip report ... and one experience. I don't take my TR's too seriously ... and again, in this instance, Lufthansa was just mediocre.

Quoting DALCE (Reply 2):
Nevertheless you pay a lot of money, and then you have some expectations.
As we all know, LH is widely known about their punctuality and not for their top notch service.

= So you basically agree with my write-up in the end  Smile?!

Quoting DALCE (Reply 2):
Merry Christmas and brgds.
Joost(D-ALCE)

= Merry Christmas to you my friend. I cannot wait to go to the warmth of Venezuela. It is really depressing here in Damascus. I am on standby for the Conviasa flight ... else, its on Lufthansa. Don't worry, I won't post a report  Wink.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Knightsofmalta
Posted 2008-12-22 13:04:23 and read 32767 times.

Hi Abrelosojos

Thanks for a good report. Interestingly this confirms my experiences with LH. I flew LH First from FRA to JNB in September as was so disappointed by the whole experience I actually wrote a letter of complaint about it to LH!

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: CityofAthens
Posted 2008-12-22 13:06:08 and read 32767 times.

Fantastic report - thanks for the photos and what a treat to get a Privatair trip report ... I doubt I will ever have a chance to use such a service, at least I'll have to get a different job Big grin

I am very surprised, primarily by the attitude of the crew on your flight. I don't know much about what LH wants Privatair to be (I guess just a clone of their mainline business class), but even so, I would have thought that they would have had the choice (voluntary) to operate an all-J class service; as a result, I would expect them to be very keen to provide their customers with a premium service.

Whilst reading the comments and viewing the photos, I couldn't help but compare LH J to my own carrier, and to my experiences flying with AF and LH mainline .... to be honest, I think the overall product offering on the 'big 3' is broadly similar .... some perform better in this and that department, but overall .... I don't know whether you would agree or not.

I would have to say the exceptions in Europe are companies such as OS, LX and yes, Turkish as you appear to have found out earlier! I think the service in Y is as good as, if not better than their European counterparts.

Anyway, many thanks ....

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2008-12-22 13:26:51 and read 32767 times.



Quoting CityofAthens (Reply 5):

I am very surprised, primarily by the attitude of the crew on your flight. I don't know much about what LH wants Privatair to be (I guess just a clone of their mainline business class), but even so, I would have thought that they would have had the choice (voluntary) to operate an all-J class service; as a result, I would expect them to be very keen to provide their customers with a premium service.

= You know what is funny about the whole thing ... I actually had an airline valuation client in Europe and was based out of our NYC office. I would take the Privatair flight operated by Swiss weekly (roundtrip) for almost 2 months ... (this is January 2008). The crew were fantastic and I never had anything to complain about. Sure, the seats were old ... but the crew made up for it. I have no idea what was wrong with this crew though. Having said that, I should again mention (like I do in the report), one of the 4 ... was fantastic.

Quoting CityofAthens (Reply 5):
Whilst reading the comments and viewing the photos, I couldn't help but compare LH J to my own carrier, and to my experiences flying with AF and LH mainline .... to be honest, I think the overall product offering on the 'big 3' is broadly similar .... some perform better in this and that department, but overall .... I don't know whether you would agree or not.

= Hmmm ... I actually think there is quite a difference ... especially if you refer to BA as the 3rd carrier. In my humble experience, BA intercontinental hardware is FAR FAR superior than LH or AF in F and J. Lie-flat seats and AVOD make for a much more pleasant journey than the counterpart offerings. Crew is generally better ... though some BA captain think way too much of themselves and need to get over their neo-colonial mindset  Smile. Moreover, what I like about BA is their appreciation of diversity and understanding of its global clientele.

LH ground is far more efficient than BA or AF. BA has been hampered traditionally by LHR ... and AF has the crap called CDG.

Now, in short-distances (especially intra-Europe), I find their service to be remarkably at par. Most surprising is AF ... I have NEVER had a positive experience with them on intercontinental segments ... but on intra-Europe, they are actually bearable.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 4):

Thanks for a good report. Interestingly this confirms my experiences with LH. I flew LH First from FRA to JNB in September as was so disappointed by the whole experience I actually wrote a letter of complaint about it to LH!

= I am glad you wrote a letter. If enough of us keep on reminding them, perhaps they will change? One can always hope right  Smile?

Thanks all for reading. I have some interesting TR's in the pipeline. Now y'all go pray that I get onboard the Conviasa flight from DAM to CCS in a few hours!

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Lufthansa747
Posted 2008-12-22 13:36:35 and read 32767 times.



Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 3):
= Lufthansa is actually pretty good in F ... so you should not have a problem. I especially like their Mercedez limo transfers at MUC and FRA.

Yeah, I've taken LH F a number of times and enjoyed it, but will be my first time at the F terminal this trip. I couldn't justify the 20K mileage difference to go F DXB-FRA, shared C/F lounge and some sort of breakfast served.

Regards,

Lari

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: DALCE
Posted 2008-12-22 14:14:55 and read 32767 times.

hahaha,

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 3):
= Hmm ... why do you say that? Are you getting biased because of your "D-ALCE" nickname ?

It was just the feeling I had in your text, no offense whatsoever  Smile
For sure I have a sort of special feeling with LH, but more on the cargo side, but a package doesn't write reports  Wink

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 3):
So you basically agree with my write-up in the end ?!

that's where they are known for  Smile

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 3):
I cannot wait to go to the warmth of Venezuela. It is really depressing here in Damascus. I am on standby for the Conviasa flight ... else, its on Lufthansa. Don't worry, I won't post a report .

In the Netherlands the weather is depressing too, too hot for snow, too cold for shorts.
Either one is ok for me, but not the dull grey weather with rain and fog!

Keep up the good work, I always read your reports with lots of pleasure!
Joost (D-ALCE)

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: OA260
Posted 2008-12-22 14:41:37 and read 32767 times.

Hi thanks for the report. The first I have ever seen. Only thing is I thought the product would be alot better than it was. Dont think Id consider paying that money for it now. Id prefer another carrier with a better J class cabin and better service.

Paid internet is horrible . All lounges should have free internet with at least 4 terminals.

Anyway thanks for the insight into their service.

OA260

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2008-12-22 14:41:34 and read 32767 times.

That didn't look very good at all--have you flown the KL BBJ service at all? On the BBJ where does the LH part "end" and the Privatair "begin"? Is the service noticeably different from an LH crew/plane? Is it even an LH crew?

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: CityofAthens
Posted 2008-12-22 14:43:45 and read 32767 times.



Quoting DALCE (Reply 8):
Either one is ok for me, but not the dull grey weather with rain and fog!

Well I'm glad to hear it's not just the UK that gets such pathetic weather!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 6):
Hmmm ... I actually think there is quite a difference

Sorry, my point was pretty pointless as I only ever fly Y (very few exceptions, and then only with my own airline).

What impresses me about LH is their network ... anyway, startting to go off-topic.

Thanks again, keep up the good work.

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Bentley55
Posted 2008-12-22 14:44:25 and read 32757 times.

Great TR as always!!
BTW- where did u do your undergrad in Boston? I also did mine there and also go there every few months to relive the ¨days¨

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: PHLstudent
Posted 2008-12-22 15:05:39 and read 32692 times.

Wonderful report,

I had the same expierences with the Lufthansa lounges in FRA. They were way to small for the amount of traffic that was going through them. Atleast FRA had showers, but who knows how long the wait was, I didn't even bother to ask.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 6):
Thanks all for reading. I have some interesting TR's in the pipeline.

Cannot wait!

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: LH4116
Posted 2008-12-22 16:20:09 and read 32499 times.

Another well done trip report Mr A!

It isn't very often that we get to see LH J reports on the forum, and it's even more rare that we get to see Privat Air reports.
I can agree with you on that the LH booking system is crappy. Many times the system gives a ridicoulusly ticket price. And many times it haven't been able to complete the booking, for certain destinations. I have tried to book CMN on LH for TWO years now, and the system still doesn't want to process my booking. And when i mailed the internet support they claimed that there was nothing wrong with it, yuck...

From what I've heard the LH business lounge in FRA is known to be one of the (or maybe the) worst J class lounge. But when i saw that the First Class lounge was very similar, i was almost disgusted (now if that's even the right word to describe it).

The seats on the Privat Air planes are made by Contour Premium Aircraft Seating, and as a matter of fact they are exactly the seats as the old Virgin Atlantic Upper Class. Privat Air should really consider getting those planes wired, or at least expand the IFE selections.

When it comes to the food i must say that it looked pretty nice. Though i didn't like the looks of the starter being served on an Y class tray, aswell as the pre arrival meal. They should at least cover the trays up with a proper sized piece of linen.
The nice thing though is that the main doesn't come on a tray, but it looked a bit lonely. The presentation would have been much better if it came with a pair of salt and pepper shakers and a bread plate.
And when you mentioned that the fish was burned, i realised that it wasn't the first time that had happened to you Big grin

The dessert looked nice but the portion looked very very small. The pre arrival snack looked nice too, though it shouldn't have been served on an Y class tray.

I'm looking forward to your next reports, thanks for sharing  Smile

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Comeflywithme
Posted 2008-12-22 18:21:19 and read 32224 times.

British Airways kicks ass over all carriers across the Atlantic by a mile. Seeing this report just confirms my opinion that BA have nothing to fear. If this goes under the LH flag I hope that mainline LH offer better as I have a FRA-EZE in J coming up next year....It all looks very poor more to me and more like Premium Economy than Business Class.

Many thanks for the report and pics.  bigthumbsup 

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: B707forever
Posted 2008-12-22 19:26:24 and read 32081 times.

Wow. Shockingly bad, across the board. I'm sorry you had such a lousy trip on Privatair/LH. I had been under the impression, though it was a few years ago from a friend who often used their EWR service that they were excellent. Your trip report, if you'll excuse the expression, opened my eyes!

I'm a big LH fan normally but this really made me take a step back. I couldn't believe the state of the seats and the F/As attitudes. There is really no excuse for either, considering you were paying a premium fare for the premium cabin. Disgraceful. I hope someone from LH reads this with enough authority to point it out to the right people to effect some change.

Oh, and the entrance into the club, really awful.

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: FlyPrivate
Posted 2008-12-22 21:18:39 and read 31897 times.

I flew on Swiss BBJ Privatair service in the summer- I Felt the same way - Dinner service took 2 hours and the Seats were awful! actually it might be the worse lie-flat seat i have ever been on - i would do it again if i had too - but id much rather fly on a multiclass widebody longhaul

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2008-12-23 02:42:28 and read 31479 times.

= Hello all. Thanks everyone for your comments and posting. I did not know that LH-J was considered with disdain amongst fellow A.Netters.

Quoting DALCE (Reply 8):
For sure I have a sort of special feeling with LH, but more on the cargo side, but a package doesn't write reports

= Now, how cool would that be?! I know we have a LH (WILCO is the ID?) cargo pilot and have always loved reading his cargo trip reports. And, isn't the MD-11 (D-ALCE) such a wondeful aircraft? Why your special connection? I am curious.

Quoting DALCE (Reply 8):
In the Netherlands the weather is depressing too, too hot for snow, too cold for shorts.
Either one is ok for me, but not the dull grey weather with rain and fog!

= Weather in Damascus was not too bad. I just wanted to get out. BTW, was not able to get on board Conviasa's flight - it was sold out!!! (Of course, by sold out, I mean the amount of seats actually available).

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 10):
That didn't look very good at all--have you flown the KL BBJ service at all? On the BBJ where does the LH part "end" and the Privatair "begin"? Is the service noticeably different from an LH crew/plane? Is it even an LH crew?

= Good question ... and I am curious as well. I have never flown KL's service to IAH - but have done LX on the "Bankers shuttle" several times between EWR and ZRH. Service on those Privatair flights were much better ... but then again, I usually find LX J to be better than LH J.

Quoting CityofAthens (Reply 11):
What impresses me about LH is their network ... anyway, startting to go off-topic.

= Yes. And that economy of scale is the reason LH has done so well.

Quoting Bentley55 (Reply 12):
Great TR as always!!
BTW- where did u do your undergrad in Boston? I also did mine there and also go there every few months to relive the ¨days¨

= I went to undergrad in Cambridge. You?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 14):
The seats on the Privat Air planes are made by Contour Premium Aircraft Seating, and as a matter of fact they are exactly the seats as the old Virgin Atlantic Upper Class. Privat Air should really consider getting those planes wired, or at least expand the IFE selections.

= There are plenty of times when the seats suck - Aeroflot's J class for example. However, at least Aeroflot IFE is at least equipped with a decent range of movies.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 14):
Though i didn't like the looks of the starter being served on an Y class tray, aswell as the pre arrival meal.

= True. However, the appetizer was actually good.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 14):
And when you mentioned that the fish was burned, i realised that it wasn't the first time that had happened to you

= Jaja. To be honest though, for the amount of flights I do, poor experiences are usually the exception rather than rule ... most flights I have is average.

Quoting Comeflywithme (Reply 15):
British Airways kicks ass over all carriers across the Atlantic by a mile.

= Now now ... let us not get carried away  Smile. I think BA is definitely better than the other majors ... LH and AF.

Quoting B707forever (Reply 16):
I had been under the impression, though it was a few years ago from a friend who often used their EWR service that they were excellent.

= Again as mentioned, I have had above average experiences on the EWR-ZRH LX tagged flight.

Quoting B707forever (Reply 16):
Your trip report, if you'll excuse the expression, opened my eyes!

= Jaja. Gracias  Wink.

Quoting B707forever (Reply 16):
I'm a big LH fan normally but this really made me take a step back. I couldn't believe the state of the seats and the F/As attitudes. There is really no excuse for either, considering you were paying a premium fare for the premium cabin. Disgraceful. I hope someone from LH reads this with enough authority to point it out to the right people to effect some change.

= See this is the problem with LH. The magnitude of their operations and the benefits they derive from economies of scale, coupled with lack of true competition in many markets mean that LH can getaway with doing the bare minimum.

Saludos and thanks for reading,
A.

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: AirGabon
Posted 2008-12-23 03:15:46 and read 31422 times.



Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 18):
Most surprising is AF ... I have NEVER had a positive experience with them on intercontinental segments ... but on intra-Europe, they are actually bearable.

Well on intercontinental segments in Y (economy class) I find their product very good and a bit better than LH but equal than BA.
AF food and drinks in Y on long haul flights are generally great and at least still free real champagne! And cabin crew are generally youngs and dynamics.

Regarding J product, having flown MIA-CDG, BOG-CDG, ABJ-CDG, CCS-CDG, CDG-IAH, CDG-JFK-CDG nothing special to complain or maybe my expectations are very lows...

I guess after it's a question of personnal appreciation, I am more sensitive to a certain refinement of the AF cabin crew with something really particular, than an overall "global" ambiance without any particular touch.

For example while they communicate between them in front of passengers, AF cabin crew will always say "vous" (i.e usted) and never "tu" (i.e tu) in order to never appear familiar and always keeping something as a tiny "old fashion" refinement.

Maybe it's the French touch that is hardly understanding for many people in the world especially with globalization, but I like countries which fight (peacefully of course!!) to keep their particularities, culture and way of life, otherwise world would become very boring!

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2008-12-23 06:28:31 and read 31071 times.



Quoting AirGabon (Reply 19):
Well on intercontinental segments in Y (economy class) I find their product very good and a bit better than LH but equal than BA.
AF food and drinks in Y on long haul flights are generally great and at least still free real champagne! And cabin crew are generally youngs and dynamics.

= The beauty of a global internet forum is the ability to hear different opinions and appreciate the diversity of thought. I would have to strongly disagree with your assessment as I find AF intercontinental crew to be some of the worst in the world.

Quoting AirGabon (Reply 19):
I guess after it's a question of personnal appreciation, I am more sensitive to a certain refinement of the AF cabin crew with something really particular, than an overall "global" ambiance without any particular touch.



Quoting AirGabon (Reply 19):
Maybe it's the French touch that is hardly understanding for many people in the world especially with globalization, but I like countries which fight (peacefully of course!!) to keep their particularities, culture and way of life, otherwise world would become very boring!

= A strong culture is never insecure about globalization. Editing Darwin, in modern world the ones that survive are those who are adaptable to change. It is a fine line - what one calls "French touch" may be easily construed by many as Frenchcentric and unwilling to accept the presence of others.

I would argue that with globalization, strong cultures do not need to "fight". They adopt and influence the world through their strength. Air France might be a French airline ... but its clientele is diverse - if it wants to fly non-French, it must make its product appealing to them. Of course, you can use your French touch ... but not forget that there is a world outside France.

Unlike you, I strongly believe this appreciation of diversity makes way of life interesting as we learn from each other and this is reflected on the service onboard. The world's best carriers have all retained their cultural identity while becoming a global airline - Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, JAL/ANA, Jet Airways, British Airways, Qantas, etc. Do you really think their global product has sold out their culture  Wink?

Thanks for reading. It is always interesting to read diverging points of view.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: LH526
Posted 2008-12-23 07:01:25 and read 31001 times.



Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 18):
LX J to be better than LH J

 checkmark 

My thoughts exactly!

Mario
LH526

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: TDubJFK
Posted 2008-12-23 16:49:34 and read 30505 times.



Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 3):
I cannot wait to go to the warmth of Venezuela. It is really depressing here in Damascus. I am on standby for the Conviasa flight ... else, its on Lufthansa. Don't worry, I won't post a report .

Thank you for another phenominal report. You are so very lucky to be in a position to travel the way you do! Your reports are always an immediate 'must-see' for me.

Re: your upcoming potential trip on Conviasa .. promise me you'll dp a TripReport on that segment! Interesting that you mention you are on standby for the DAM-CCS segment. Evidently they do pretty on that route if the flight is full enough that you're on stand by for it!?

Safe travels and Happy Holidays.

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Ojas
Posted 2008-12-23 17:33:58 and read 30464 times.

Very good TR! Excellent pics, I can now clearly visualise Privatairs services to PNQ from FRA.

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Kaitak
Posted 2008-12-23 21:49:21 and read 30331 times.



Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 18):
was not able to get on board Conviasa's flight - it was sold out!!! (Of course, by sold out, I mean the amount of seats actually available).

So, how will you get home now? My immediate guess would be AF via CDG, but probably unlikely given your comments on AF; I'll be interested to see - and as ever, looking forward to your reports.

Quoting DALCE (Reply 2):
You always have a good and objective opinion about airlines, but this time I somehow have the feeling you already had an opinion on forehand.

In fairness, I think that after the experience A. had with the lounge staff (and particularly the individual at the front desk), I would have been quite cross; I think that if I were about to take a trip like this, the kind of attitude encountered would have put me in a pretty bad mood. I think it's something airlines need to bear in mind; one person's rudeness can often overshadow an entire experience and even if other staff are nice, friendly and helpful, it can make it extremely difficult for them to erase the negative impression; unfortunately, it doesn't work the other way around.

I rarely write letters of congratulation or complaint to airlines, as I don't see what good it does. Do you think LH would take any action against her? Maybe on the basis or two or three letters, they might take the hint and put her in a back office role, away from the paying public.

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-12-24 03:37:57 and read 30155 times.

Great report, Abrelosojos. I'm a bit surprised to hear about the partly poor service - that's not what you expect when you pay a lot for such a BBJ flight.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The inability for a paid business class passenger to chose their own seat, add FF details, and do other modifications is absolutely absurd and inadequate.

Ridiculous. I just booked a trip (Economy) on EK's website using Skywards miles - everything was fine. Seat selection was easy, too.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Put out 3 *G card and asked her which of the ones she wanted.

Well done!  Smile
Quite shocking to hear how that lady talked to a premium customer.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I was appalled that an international airline like Lufthansa had NO English newspapers and one English language magazine.

Unbelievable! Didn't they have any in the gate area? There's usually a good selection of newspapers available, including English ones.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Beautiful colors en-route)

Amazing shot!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Seat controls – needing of a change?)

Wow, that looks worn...



PH

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: AirGabon
Posted 2008-12-24 05:15:18 and read 30143 times.



Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 20):
The world's best carriers have all retained their cultural identity while becoming a global airline - Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, JAL/ANA, Jet Airways, British Airways, Qantas, etc. Do you really think their global product has sold out their culture ?

I totally agree with you regarding this point about CX, SQ, JL, NH and even MH, TG and QF.
I think their product is great and they have found the right balance between their proper cultural identity, by taking all the best aspects in term of service and hospitality, and a strong global marketing mix to reach a worldwide global base of customers, both for high yields and low yields profiles.

I also agree they have very modern and functional airports as hubs, with a very high-performance ground-service and that CDG has everything to learn from them!!

For BA I wouldn't agree so much as since their huge advertising campaign from the 90s (i.e the world' favourite airline) I think they have lost a lot of their British soul and identity. OK their product in F and J is among the best but the tendency to globalize up can make the product bland..

I think it's the case for Gulf carriers: EK, QR and EY they globalize everything to a point of non-return, not only the product but also their staff.

That's why I loved some European carriers in their golden ages as SK, IB, AZ, LH and even KL: in First or Business Class I had always a truly Scandinavian experience or a real Spanish or Italian moment during a journey. But it is already the past century...

Out of topic I've a question: why in Venezuela since Viasa (and to lesser extent since Aeropostale, Avensa and Servivensa) there has not been real plan and a strong willing to form a large group in South America as LAN, Avianca, Grupo Taca or TAM?? Besides CONVIASA which is a political toy, the country would fully bear a major Venezuelan airline.

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2008-12-25 04:48:45 and read 29732 times.



Quoting AirGabon (Reply 26):
For BA I wouldn't agree so much as since their huge advertising campaign from the 90s (i.e the world' favourite airline) I think they have lost a lot of their British soul and identity. OK their product in F and J is among the best but the tendency to globalize up can make the product bland..

= You can scan this board ... I am not a huge fan of BA's product ... but I find BA's cabin crew to be actually full of soul and identity ... and VERY British. They have adapted to a global clientele ... but bland?

Quoting AirGabon (Reply 26):
I think it's the case for Gulf carriers: EK, QR and EY they globalize everything to a point of non-return, not only the product but also their staff.

= I think its FANTASTIC that these carriers have an international staff ... it creates a diverse culture and represents the world the way it is. EK is a crappy airline ... I don't think it has anything to do with their global approach.

Quoting AirGabon (Reply 26):

That's why I loved some European carriers in their golden ages as SK, IB, AZ, LH and even KL: in First or Business Class I had always a truly Scandinavian experience or a real Spanish or Italian moment during a journey. But it is already the past century...

= A real Spanish or Italian experience???! What? Spain and Italy are two of my favorite European countries and their airlines are the worst ambassadors for them. When has Iberia been globally acknowledged for its stellar customer experience? In fact, I would argue that airlines like IB and AZ are the worst introduction to their respective countries.

Quoting AirGabon (Reply 26):

Out of topic I've a question: why in Venezuela since Viasa (and to lesser extent since Aeropostale, Avensa and Servivensa) there has not been real plan and a strong willing to form a large group in South America as LAN, Avianca, Grupo Taca or TAM?? Besides CONVIASA which is a political toy, the country would fully bear a major Venezuelan airline.

= Personally, I do not believe in flag-waving national carriers. If a business case exists, an airline would overcome all odds and be incorporated.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2008-12-25 05:00:00 and read 29725 times.



Quoting TDubJFK (Reply 22):
Thank you for another phenominal report. You are so very lucky to be in a position to travel the way you do! Your reports are always an immediate 'must-see' for me.

= Way too kind my friend. Thank you. Well, some people save their money for new clothes, house, car, etc. ... I go see the world. However, I am well aware that I am a very lucky person.

Quoting TDubJFK (Reply 22):
Re: your upcoming potential trip on Conviasa .. promise me you'll dp a TripReport on that segment! Interesting that you mention you are on standby for the DAM-CCS segment. Evidently they do pretty on that route if the flight is full enough that you're on stand by for it!?

= No trip report ... however, I promise to do one by 2009. I could not go onboard. The whole system is weird. I had to connect from RB and their DAM-CCS leg cannot be booked by their ticketing offices (well, non-Syrian ones at least) ... apparently, it showed "under airport control". Anyways, I have no idea how the leg was all sold out.

Quoting Ojas (Reply 23):
Very good TR! Excellent pics, I can now clearly visualise Privatairs services to PNQ from FRA.

= Well ... not really ... that is a 319 service ... might be different?

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 24):

So, how will you get home now? My immediate guess would be AF via CDG, but probably unlikely given your comments on AF; I'll be interested to see - and as ever, looking forward to your reports.

= Jaja ... am I that predictable  Smile. Ya, no more AF/CDG. Why go through that? Anyways, flew via MAD on RB/IB combo ... interesting experience. On the road tomorrow again ... am headed to India (YAY!) so will get to see if all the drama has negatively affected service.

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 24):

In fairness, I think that after the experience A. had with the lounge staff (and particularly the individual at the front desk), I would have been quite cross; I think that if I were about to take a trip like this, the kind of attitude encountered would have put me in a pretty bad mood. I think it's something airlines need to bear in mind; one person's rudeness can often overshadow an entire experience and even if other staff are nice, friendly and helpful, it can make it extremely difficult for them to erase the negative impression; unfortunately, it doesn't work the other way around.

= Agreed. However, it takes one person to "redeem" a poor start to service. I think there has been several instances on my TR where later personnel have totally made up for a poor start to a flight experience.

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 24):
I rarely write letters of congratulation or complaint to airlines, as I don't see what good it does. Do you think LH would take any action against her? Maybe on the basis or two or three letters, they might take the hint and put her in a back office role, away from the paying public.

= I guess I am an eternal optimist. I ALWAYS write ... especially when I get good service.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 25):

Ridiculous. I just booked a trip (Economy) on EK's website using Skywards miles - everything was fine. Seat selection was easy, too.

= How is Skywards? I have a friend who is looking into it ... any thoughts?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 25):
Unbelievable! Didn't they have any in the gate area? There's usually a good selection of newspapers available, including English ones.

= Only Economist available.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Avianca
Posted 2008-12-26 15:56:16 and read 29104 times.

Great report, as always !

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 3):
I am on standby for the Conviasa flight .



Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 18):
= Weather in Damascus was not too bad. I just wanted to get out. BTW, was not able to get on board Conviasa's flight - it was sold out!!! (Of course, by sold out, I mean the amount of seats actually available).

btw, what happened with our plnd trip on the Conviasa flight...?

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: MilesDependent
Posted 2008-12-26 23:04:14 and read 28853 times.

Wonderful report as always. I do look forward to reading about your travels.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The lounge is cordoned off to a First/Star Gold section and a Business class section. She would absolutely not let me in to the First/Star Gold section without seeing my physical Star Gold card. Apparently, having “*G” printed on the boarding pass was not sufficient.

Are you *G with LH and did it say LH*G on your boarding pass?

If your boarding pass didn't say LH*G, then isn't the issue that as a J pax you were entitled to use only the business lounge. As you were wanting to use the first lounge, LH would get some reimbursement from your FF program, so the lounge attendant had to swipe and/or record your card details. This is the norm in my experience. Nonetheless, there is no excuse to be rude, especially to a premium pax in the current economic climate.

Really looking forward to your EK report I saw you mention on another thread

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2008-12-27 00:05:03 and read 28826 times.



Quoting Avianca (Reply 29):
btw, what happened with our plnd trip on the Conviasa flight...?

= Was not able to come home on Conviasa. Flew back on RB/IB combo via MAD. I will PM you soon ... booking the entire Conviasa thing remains a mystery ... my travel agent can only do it round trip ex-CCS ... I believe you can still buy it online using despegar's Venezuean site ... but you pay too much.

Quoting MilesDependent (Reply 30):
Are you *G with LH and did it say LH*G on your boarding pass?



Quoting MilesDependent (Reply 30):
As you were wanting to use the first lounge, LH would get some reimbursement from your FF program, so the lounge attendant had to swipe and/or record your card details. This is the norm in my experience.

= I accrued to UAL MP on this flight - and I believe the boarding pass would say UA*G. Actually, the Star system gets the same information now when the boarding pass is scanned. It picks up the FQTV field and bills it to the airline. That is what surprised me. The agent swiped my boarding pass ... which had the UA*G field on it ... and it is my understanding that it populates the billing field as its all electronic. If the agent wanted to do anything for billing, she would have used the card and scanned it (like you said, I have totally seen that done before; and in some places ... like NAN's NZ lounge ... written in a log book). She didn't do anything with the card once presented.

Quoting MilesDependent (Reply 30):
Really looking forward to your EK report I saw you mention on another thread

= Oh God. Lets not talk about EK ... I am trying to forget that experience  Smile. You will get other TR's before that.

Thanks for reading.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Airbuseric
Posted 2008-12-27 02:33:03 and read 28749 times.

Hi A.,
I gladly read your report, wondering about the PrivatAir services. I think I share your opinion as you mentioned and showed us a below level service concept. Maybe it's again the staff making or breaking your day. Weren't they motivated to work? Maybe that's why they were rude to you. And why weren't they motivated? Maybe because of their employers decisions towards staff etc. What I will say is that the industry is more and more facing difficulties these days and cuts are done everywhere. Airlines should realize that they must provide a stable and good product nowadays to keep their customers for the future. Otherwise, they won't survive long!
Although LH is a big player and won't dissappear soon, they should provide better service to a passenger like you. They didn't this time, and that is a shame!
Best wishes for 2009, happy flying next year! And thanks for this great report.

Eric

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Avianca
Posted 2008-12-27 08:33:48 and read 28540 times.



Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 31):
= Was not able to come home on Conviasa. Flew back on RB/IB combo via MAD. I will PM you soon ... booking the entire Conviasa thing remains a mystery ... my travel agent can only do it round trip ex-CCS ... I believe you can still buy it online using despegar's Venezuean site ... but you pay too much.

you can get it for 2800 VEF or even 2600 VEF including tax return in eco... not too bad or?
The cheapest fares are surprinsingly not offered under Conviasa ticket-stock but on Iran Air.

The fares mentioned are for 24.01 Ccs/Dam - 27.01 Dam/Ccs to THR it is just 300 VEF more.

So lets book  Smile jeje

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Panamair
Posted 2008-12-27 09:14:06 and read 28478 times.



Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 10):
On the BBJ where does the LH part "end" and the Privatair "begin"? Is the service noticeably different from an LH crew/plane? Is it even an LH crew?



Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 18):
but have done LX on the "Bankers shuttle" several times between EWR and ZRH. Service on those Privatair flights were much better ... but then again, I usually find LX J to be better than LH J.

I do the LX BBJ EWR-ZRH regularly and have also flown the LH BBJ EWR-FRA a few times and I believe the distinction is as follows:

Crew: all PrivatAir (they even wear their own uniforms, not LH or LX's) though I don't know whether they are dedicated to the LX or LH services or whether they can switch. Some of the PrivatAir FAs were ex-Swissair and ex-Sabena but you get a mixture of German, Swiss, Dutch, and Belgian crews all around; on those LX and LH flights though, I believe German and English are the only two required languages.

Seats: all PrivatAir (they are not similar to the mainline LX or LH J seats): I also concur that they are quite horrible - once fully reclined, you feel like you're sleeping on the floor. Seat is worse than any LX or LH J long-haul seat except perhaps for the LX A330 J seat, which takes the top prize IMO for the most uncomfortable long-haul J seat across the Atlantic!

Meals/Menus: LX or LH provided/driven. This part is dictated entirely by LX or LH and it's basically the same menu/meal/presentation that LX or LH has on their own transatlantic flights

Amenity Kits: LX or LH provided/driven. Again, same as on regular LX/LH transatlantic flights

BTW, once again, a great trip report!  thumbsup 

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: BA319-131
Posted 2008-12-27 10:41:08 and read 28378 times.

Hi Abrelosojos,

Thanks for posting this, quite an interesting report and I must say, not what I had expected to be honest.

I figured these services would really be premium service as it's an all J service, I'll happily stick to the upper deck on BA's 744.

Club World has nothing to fear from LH if this is anything to go by!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
the lounge attendant was absolutely rude. The lounge is cordoned off to a First/Star Gold section and a Business class section. She would absolutely not let me in to the First/Star Gold section without seeing my physical Star Gold card. Apparently, having “*G” printed on the boarding pass was not sufficient

- From time to time this happens with BA, why do they need to see the card when your status is indicated on the boarding pass??!!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
after digging through my carry-on, I decided to be a b**ch back (I know, extremely juvenile). Put out 3 *G card and asked her which of the ones she wanted

- Top man, like it  Smile

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I was appalled that an international airline like Lufthansa had NO English newspapers and one English language magazine

- Very poor, especially since the flight was heading to the US!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Even the fellow Austrian passenger commented on how bad the service had been.

- I always like it when others make similar comments, shows we are not expecting too much.

Best Wishes

Mark

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: TurkishWings
Posted 2008-12-28 00:07:04 and read 28053 times.

Another fantastic report. You are truly an inspiration to most of us.

Why do you fly so frequently if I may ask? Are all these flight for pleasure or do you have a job that requires flying to all these exotic places in the world?

One day you pop up in the middle of Africa and the other day you are in Tashkent  Smile

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Globetraveller
Posted 2008-12-28 01:24:04 and read 28017 times.

Hi Abrelosojos,

This is the first Privatair trip report I have ever read and it has somewhat dampened my curiosity about the 'airline'. Nevertheless, thank you for an excellent trip report with great detail and plenty of pictures.

Your work is, as always, much appreciated.

Globetraveller

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2009-01-04 14:56:16 and read 27092 times.



Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 32):
Best wishes for 2009, happy flying next year! And thanks for this great report.

Eric

= Eric, gracias. Happy 2009 to you as well. I cannot believe its already 2009.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 33):
you can get it for 2800 VEF or even 2600 VEF including tax return in eco... not too bad or?
The cheapest fares are surprinsingly not offered under Conviasa ticket-stock but on Iran Air.

The fares mentioned are for 24.01 Ccs/Dam - 27.01 Dam/Ccs to THR it is just 300 VEF more.

So lets book Smile jeje

= Hey man. I am going to PM you. Those dates might not work for me ... but lets talk. I am in Algeria for work ... perhaps we can talk via phone when I am back. Those fees are awesome! Where are you getting them? My agent cannot even come close to those ... and good old despegar site is giving me ridiculous fares. One way for like 4000 VEF ?! on IR stock. Also, I can do it only one-way and combine it with a business trip I must make to Saudi Arabia (again, and ... uugh).

Quoting Panamair (Reply 34):
I do the LX BBJ EWR-ZRH regularly and have also flown the LH BBJ EWR-FRA a few times and I believe the distinction is as follows:

Crew: all PrivatAir (they even wear their own uniforms, not LH or LX's) though I don't know whether they are dedicated to the LX or LH services or whether they can switch. Some of the PrivatAir FAs were ex-Swissair and ex-Sabena but you get a mixture of German, Swiss, Dutch, and Belgian crews all around; on those LX and LH flights though, I believe German and English are the only two required languages.

Seats: all PrivatAir (they are not similar to the mainline LX or LH J seats): I also concur that they are quite horrible - once fully reclined, you feel like you're sleeping on the floor. Seat is worse than any LX or LH J long-haul seat except perhaps for the LX A330 J seat, which takes the top prize IMO for the most uncomfortable long-haul J seat across the Atlantic!

Meals/Menus: LX or LH provided/driven. This part is dictated entirely by LX or LH and it's basically the same menu/meal/presentation that LX or LH has on their own transatlantic flights

Amenity Kits: LX or LH provided/driven. Again, same as on regular LX/LH transatlantic flights

BTW, once again, a great trip report! thumbsup

= Thanks a lot for this. This is useful ... and I am sure many others on A.Net would concur.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 35):
Club World has nothing to fear from LH if this is anything to go by!

= I don't think so. However, LH's ground operations and network effect is where it has a one-up on BA.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 35):
- Top man, like it Smile

= Jaja. Some would call it being a bitch ... but I just had to  Smile.

Quoting TurkishWings (Reply 36):
Why do you fly so frequently if I may ask? Are all these flight for pleasure or do you have a job that requires flying to all these exotic places in the world?

= No. I fly for fun. I spend money on it. I CANNOT evaluate when flying for work ... for obvious reasons.

Quoting TurkishWings (Reply 36):
One day you pop up in the middle of Africa and the other day you are in Tashkent Smile

= Jaja. I wish I was Bond. He would make a good trip report writer.

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 37):
Hi Abrelosojos,

This is the first Privatair trip report I have ever read and it has somewhat dampened my curiosity about the 'airline'. Nevertheless, thank you for an excellent trip report with great detail and plenty of pictures.

Your work is, as always, much appreciated.

Globetraveller

= Don't consider it "work"  Smile. Always keep in mind, this is one report ... it might very well be one-off. However, having flown LH J pretty much weekly, I don't think so.

Saludos and thanks for reading,
A.

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Avianca
Posted 2009-01-04 15:09:40 and read 27077 times.



Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 38):
= Hey man. I am going to PM you. Those dates might not work for me ... but lets talk. I am in Algeria for work ... perhaps we can talk via phone when I am back. Those fees are awesome! Where are you getting them? My agent cannot even come close to those ... and good old despegar site is giving me ridiculous fares. One way for like 4000 VEF ?! on IR stock. Also, I can do it only one-way and combine it with a business trip I must make to Saudi Arabia (again, and ... uugh).

Hi Alex, well the fares are from despegar or from rumbo.com.ve, the cheap fares are always on IR ticket-stock. ok perfect I will wait your PM just send me possible dates.

regards
Avianca

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Lufthansa411
Posted 2009-01-05 00:44:22 and read 26805 times.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 18):
= Good question ... and I am curious as well. I have never flown KL's service to IAH - but have done LX on the "Bankers shuttle" several times between EWR and ZRH. Service on those Privatair flights were much better ... but then again, I usually find LX J to be better than LH J.



Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 10):
That didn't look very good at all--have you flown the KL BBJ service at all? On the BBJ where does the LH part "end" and the Privatair "begin"? Is the service noticeably different from an LH crew/plane? Is it even an LH crew?

To answer your questions about the product:

Normal Lufthansa staff take care of all of the ground procedures: check in, lounge, luggage, gate, operations, flight prep and everything else.

However the aircraft and crew are not Lufthansa. I would equate it to a wet lease. The crew is a Privatair crew, it does not go through regular LH training, however it does go through a brand/standards familiarization course.

Thus in terms of the hard product, although Lufthansa chose Privatair, Privatair chooses the aircraft features (seating, lighting, bathrooms fixtures etc). I have heard one of the reasons the hard product is the way it is is because of the weight of the aircraft. The newer business seats are too heavy for the aircraft, although now that it is only to BOS and not ORD they may be able to change them.

Service on board is a hybrid. It is a Privatair crew, paid by Privatair with a Privatair uniform. However some basic cabin modifications (headrest covers etc) as well as normal Lufthansa tableware, food and freebees are provided, although some modifications are made with regards to the a/c

Finally, although Privatair represents LH, ultimately it is not directly part of them. If the complaint is about cabin crew, it could certainly be sent to Lufthansa, although I would personally also send a copy to Privatair, as they are responsible for crew decisions. Admittedly, many staff members are not aware of all the differences, which ultimately serves to confuse the customer. Besides the meals, freebees etc. there should not really be a difference between a Privatair flight on behalf of LH/LX.

I have tried to be as unbiased as possible with this information but my username seems to give my leanings away  , besides, without people giving real feedback nothing would ever change.

Hope I cleared the differences up. If you have any other questions you can PM me.

Lufthansa411

[Edited 2009-01-05 00:48:53]

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: PP705
Posted 2009-01-31 00:45:34 and read 25351 times.

AM
The pic (343 to LAX)...I think its a 330 and not a 340. I may be wrong though.

Topic: RE: Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2009-01-31 13:15:09 and read 24963 times.



Quoting Lufthansa411 (Reply 40):
To answer your questions about the product:

Normal Lufthansa staff take care of all of the ground procedures: check in, lounge, luggage, gate, operations, flight prep and everything else.

However the aircraft and crew are not Lufthansa. I would equate it to a wet lease. The crew is a Privatair crew, it does not go through regular LH training, however it does go through a brand/standards familiarization course.

Thus in terms of the hard product, although Lufthansa chose Privatair, Privatair chooses the aircraft features (seating, lighting, bathrooms fixtures etc). I have heard one of the reasons the hard product is the way it is is because of the weight of the aircraft. The newer business seats are too heavy for the aircraft, although now that it is only to BOS and not ORD they may be able to change them.

Service on board is a hybrid. It is a Privatair crew, paid by Privatair with a Privatair uniform. However some basic cabin modifications (headrest covers etc) as well as normal Lufthansa tableware, food and freebees are provided, although some modifications are made with regards to the a/c

Finally, although Privatair represents LH, ultimately it is not directly part of them. If the complaint is about cabin crew, it could certainly be sent to Lufthansa, although I would personally also send a copy to Privatair, as they are responsible for crew decisions. Admittedly, many staff members are not aware of all the differences, which ultimately serves to confuse the customer. Besides the meals, freebees etc. there should not really be a difference between a Privatair flight on behalf of LH/LX.

I have tried to be as unbiased as possible with this information but my username seems to give my leanings away , besides, without people giving real feedback nothing would ever change.

Hope I cleared the differences up. If you have any other questions you can PM me.

Lufthansa411

= Thanks a lot for this. I am sure it is a very useful piece of information for both me and other A.Net readers.

Quoting PP705 (Reply 41):
AM
The pic (343 to LAX)...I think its a 330 and not a 340. I may be wrong though.

= You are absolutely right of course. I tagged it incorrectly and was referring to the picture above it. Awesome eye  Smile!

Saludos,
A.


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