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Privatair LH 424: 05/DEC/08: MUC-BOS: J Cabin  
User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5076 posts, RR: 55
Posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 32744 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?)



Live, and let live.
42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 32694 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



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineDALCE From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1677 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 32654 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)



flown on : F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,319,320,321,333,AB6.
User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5076 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 32582 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.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1756 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 32542 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!


User currently offlineCityofAthens From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 32542 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 ....


User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5076 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 32455 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.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 32406 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



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineDALCE From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1677 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 32276 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)



flown on : F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,319,320,321,333,AB6.
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26854 posts, RR: 58
Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 32182 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


User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17362 posts, RR: 46
Reply 10, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 32184 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?


E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineCityofAthens From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 32178 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.


User currently offlineBentley55 From Panama, joined Mar 2008, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 32167 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¨


User currently offlinePHLstudent From United States of America, joined May 2006, 498 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 32102 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!


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1710 posts, RR: 14
Reply 14, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 31909 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



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineComeflywithme From Argentina, joined Sep 2006, 265 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 31634 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 


User currently offlineB707forever From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 459 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 31491 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.


User currently offlineFlyPrivate From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 105 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 31307 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

User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5076 posts, RR: 55
Reply 18, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 30889 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.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineAirGabon From Switzerland, joined Dec 2003, 879 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 30832 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!


User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5076 posts, RR: 55
Reply 20, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 30481 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.



Live, and let live.
User currently onlineLH526 From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 2352 posts, RR: 14
Reply 21, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 30411 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR



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

 checkmark 

My thoughts exactly!

Mario
LH526



Trittst im Morgenrot daher, seh ich dich im Strahlenmeer ...
User currently offlineTDubJFK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 29915 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.


User currently offlineOjas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2963 posts, RR: 24
Reply 23, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 29874 times:

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


A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12411 posts, RR: 37
Reply 24, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 29741 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.


25 PlaneHunter : 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 fl
26 AirGabon : 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 rig
27 Abrelosojos : = 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 VER
28 Abrelosojos : = 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
29 Avianca : Great report, as always ! btw, what happened with our plnd trip on the Conviasa flight...?
30 MilesDependent : Wonderful report as always. I do look forward to reading about your travels. Are you *G with LH and did it say LH*G on your boarding pass? If your boa
31 Abrelosojos : = 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
32 Airbuseric : 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 se
33 Avianca : 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 Co
34 Panamair : 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
35 BA319-131 : 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 wo
36 TurkishWings : 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
37 Globetraveller : Hi Abrelosojos, This is the first Privatair trip report I have ever read and it has somewhat dampened my curiosity about the 'airline'. Nevertheless,
38 Abrelosojos : = Eric, gracias. Happy 2009 to you as well. I cannot believe its already 2009. = Hey man. I am going to PM you. Those dates might not work for me ...
39 Avianca : 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 se
40 Post contains images Lufthansa411 : To answer your questions about the product: Normal Lufthansa staff take care of all of the ground procedures: check in, lounge, luggage, gate, operat
41 PP705 : AM The pic (343 to LAX)...I think its a 330 and not a 340. I may be wrong though.
42 Abrelosojos : = Thanks a lot for this. I am sure it is a very useful piece of information for both me and other A.Net readers. = You are absolutely right of course
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