JL418 From Italy, joined Jun 2009, 493 posts, RR: 6 Posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 7930 times:
Good morning everyone, this is my first TR - and my first post on A.net as well. An MXP-BUD return TR may sound quite like a trifle if compared to the reports I use to read here, but I'm confident you'll find it worth reading, given the lack of reports about the young carrier on which I had the pleasure to fly.
Anyway, let's get started with the outbound leg.
Milano - Malpensa (MXP) T1 - Budapest Ferihegy 2a
4th January 2010
LH 1834 (Lufthansa - Italia)
Departure: 5:20 PM scheduled, 5:25 PM actual
Arrival: 7:00 PM scheduled, 6:51 PM actual
Airbus A319 D-AKNG "Varese"
I arrived quite early to Malpensa, but that wasn't a conscious decision: connections with Western Piedmont, the region where my birthplace is, are quite scarce and appalling if you don't own a private car (as do I): just a simple shuttle bus running between T1 and Novara's railway station.
Forecast expected snow and, indeed, flurries were falling on much of Piedmont, from Turin (where I left) to Novara but, luckily enough, Malpensa was clear from it all.
Anyway, after an hour of apparently pointless wandering around Novara's industrial neighborhoods, we reached Malpensa. Below are two pictures of the new Sheraton building site:
MXP was quite busy that day, with plenty of holidaymakers returning/departing towards the Caribbeans or Thailand. Despite that, I made my way to the upper floor, where I found LH's baggage drop-off counters and automatic ticket machines. Having been doing the on-line check-in, I skipped the queue and went straight to the drop-off to leave my bag in LH's hands, whereI was greeted by a smiling LH employee who quickly checked my passport and M&M card and, seconds after, I was holding my printed boarding pass. He was really a gentle person, brava Lufthansa!
Queue at passport checks seemed eternal, but it lasted the time it took me to listen half of "I've heard it through the grapevine" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Almost every gate was open indeed, and plenty of security staff around. They seemed to be quite on the alert, given what nearly happened on Christmas day, and passengers bound to London, EWR and - I guess - Tel Aviv were given an additional check. Everything seemed fine for me, at least until I've seen - while putting my belt on again - that a small crowd of blue-dressed security staff was staring at a monitor, looking...yeah, my bag's x-ray.
Apparently, the problem was a bridge camera I was holding inside it, in a small present package: it was the start of a kind of surreal discussion:
"Why are you travelling with two cameras?"
"Well, one it's mine and the other is a present"
"Maybe the one in the paper-covered box with a big ribbon, huh?"
"Can't you open it?"
"But I'd ruin the package, why on Earth would I do that?"
I think you might guess how this ended: I've left passport check area slightly annoyed and without the cover I hardly put up together.
Anyway, a few shots from inside&outside T1's Satellite 1.
TAM's Airbus 345 and the Satellite 3's building site.
LHI 319 (bound for Madrid if I remember well) and Emirates' 343 bound to DXB, the first of two daily flights from MXP. I was expecting to see their 77W anyway.
Satellite 1 is, I think, the best part of a poorly-built airport. It doesn't lack shops and restaurant, including this brand new "Mozzarella bar" which I tried in Turin (avoid it, it's ridicolously overpriced). What SEA, MXP owner, should do is to refurbish radically the toilets: they're kept in a clean state, but they're really old-fashioned.
Sorry for the poor images.
As I was eating something, my cellphone rang: it was an SMS from LH to tell me my flight's gate number. A gentle touch indeed, really appreciated.
Boarding started some 30 minutes prior to departing, as a small but tidy queue formed with little rush: not a common view, in Italy. I was one of the last to pass through the finger and I found nobody sitting in the Business class cabin: such an appalling LF was to be repeated on the return leg.
Y class was about 60% full,but still looked empty. I was sitting in seat 5A, first row, and had the entire row for me to spread out, a thing I did immediately. Seats were absolutely comfortable and well-made: I'm not a big fan of leather, but the one used on LHI is nice, soft and full of good-scented.
A good legroom, sorry for the blurry image.
See? the typical Italian lady can even cross her legs!
The flight included a small in-flight service carried out by three smiling German female FAs, all of them fluent in Italian. Pilots had a less convincing accent, but they were nice and easygoing. As soon as the "belt-on" sign went off the FAs started their serving this:
Coffee wasn't bad at all, and the suspiciously-looking focaccia wasn't that bad either.
the front-seat pocket content: the LHI magazine is a gentle touch, despite being badly translated from English to Italian.
That's all for the outbound leg, feedbacks are greatly appreciated.
JL418 From Italy, joined Jun 2009, 493 posts, RR: 6 Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 7874 times:
Budapest Ferihegy (BUD) 2a - Milano - Malpensa (MXP) T1
7th January 2010
LH 1835 (Lufthansa - Italia)
Departure: 7:40 PMPM scheduled, 7:39 PM actual
Arrival: 9:15 PM scheduled, 9:10 PM actual
Airbus A319 D-AKNG "Varese"
After just three days in Veszprém, my girlfriend and I took the train back to Budapest Déli pályaudvar, station terminus for southern Máv lines. After some times spent wandering around, we took the M3 to K�'bánya-Kispest, where we found the bus which took us to Ferihegy.
It was a snowy day, as the others I passed there, but no one seemed to care and there were no apparent delays, thanksfully.
Ferihegy 2a is, as well as 2b, small and can get easily overcrowded:
but it's modern, agreeable and absolutely clean, as its low-cost partner, the Terminal 1.
Passport checks take place in a small, crowd and horribly overheated room, and it took literally ages, for us, to wait for our turn. interestingly, all women were asked to take off their shoes, and were hand frisked by some annoyed female officers. Just women. I was simply asked to turn on our Mac laptop, and nobody checked my documents.
The departure lounge is as small as the check-in lobby, but it hosts some nice shops and two business clubs, the Duna club for One World, and another one for everyone else I suspect.
D-AKNG again, waiting us.
Boarding was a breeze, and soon we were de-icing. LF was higher this time, about 70-75% in Y, and I was alone no more: my girlfriend was sitting close to me on 9F, and a Chinese-Italian man (who was texting SMS while taxing!) on 9D. However, the pitch and width of the seats were large enough to make it still a pleasant flight.
A man, dressed up as Amundsen en route to South Pole, decided to jump up from his seat (remember we were taxing towards the landing strip) and to open up some baskets looking for his hand baggage, from which he took out an apple. then he started eating it standing still, as if he was on a bus. The pursuer, an Italian woman in her late '40s, was quite uncertain on what to do, but remained calm and gentle. She asked the man to return to his place, since we were due to take-off in a few minutes, but without any feedback from the apple-eating polar explorer. Then the captain came on the intercom, asking again, and this seemed to be working. He finally sat, but reclined his seat. The pursuer put it back in position, and we were fine.
Unfortunately, soon after take off he moved again - with the airplane still climbing up! - and decided to sit on the first Economy row, which was kept empty (and was listed as "already booked" on the online check-in system), complaining during all flight.
The FAs were really gentle with him, and did their best to help him out, but with little outcomes. I guess he must have been exaggerating on Dutch courage though.
We landed bang on time, and went straight to the Sat.1, catching just a glimpse of the airside activity: the Emirates 77W ready to take-off. Baggage was on the carousels as soon as we marched in the area, and we kept ourselves entertained by looking a police sniff dog checking a mountain of US Army gray-camo painted backs and rucksacks.
That's basically all: the bus ride to Turin was uneventful, apart from heavy snow which has slowed us down on the A4. It was my first trip on Lufthansa Italia and I'm pretty satisfied with it, being its pricetag not to far from Wizzair's one (including baggage surcharges). I hope they'll keep on working as they are, maybe opening some long range routes as well as some new ones in Italy and around Europe.
FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1705 posts, RR: 41 Reply 5, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6799 times:
Interesting report, this confirms my suspicions that LH Italia is not doing very well at the moment - they've withdrawn from a number of routes recently, most notably MXP-FCO. Fares appear to be very low as well, confirming the bad loads. What's good is that they offer sensible one-way fares, something the regular LH very seldomly does (and only on a very limited number of routes).
Quoting LTU932 (Reply 4): Nice report, but I wonder why you had to go through passport control for both flights? Isn't Hungary part of the Schengen agreement now?
Yep, if you read more carefully, from the context it becomes clear that he actually meant the security control, not the passport one.
LH Italia is a really good company, in my opinion. customer care and in-flight services are way above what you'd expect from, say, AZ (of which I got terrible memories, unfortunately).
Sadly though, it's basically just an upper-class copy of Easyjet, and this is the outcome. In my opinion they should open some new routes (towards Italy's main islands, or Eastern Europe) which can be filled simply with p2p passengers, since it doesn't seem they'll open up some long-haul flights in the forthcoming months.
Mtaabq From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 81 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6673 times:
Welcome to A*Net! I thought yours was a very nice report. Thank you for sharing.
Quoting JL418 (Thread starter): An MXP-BUD return TR may sound quite like a trifle if compared to the reports I use to read here, but I'm confident you'll find it worth reading, given the lack of reports about the young carrier on which I had the pleasure to fly.
I, too, thought that others might feel that my first trip report was a bit of a "trifle" as well and I said as much in my introduction. I was genuinely surprised to receive a great deal of positive feedback and many, many kind words. I learned that the community here -- by and large -- simply appreciates ALL trip reports whether you fly first, business or economy (coach) on SQ, LH, BA, AA, DL, CO, WN or whomever. And yes, I DID find your report worth reading -- very much so! I look forward to further contributions from you to this website.
Thanks. Well, it seems that LHI is opening some new routes, (WAW, ARN, PMO and OLB), good for p2p passengers. I keep on thinking what they need is some long-haul flight anyway. We'll see when they'll eventually get their AOC.