Air Dolomiti Trip Report
Just want to write a quick report about this excellent Italian boutique airline, Air Dolomiti! For some reasons, I have always wanted to fly this boutique airline and with its Lufthansa partner airline status, it makes this task achievable. I finally am able to issue a roundtrip business class award ticket from Madrid to Verona via Frankfurt (outbound)/Munich (inbound) and this report will focus on the Air Dolomiti segments.
September 17, 2010
LH/EN 3944 FRA-VRN Lv1300 Arr1420 EMB-195AR I-ADJL “Nabucco di Giuseppe Verdi”
September 18, 2010
LH/EN 3935 VRN-MUC Lv0945 Arr1100 ATR-72-500 I-ADLS “Ernani di Giuseppe Verdi”
I used the ANA website to look for award seats and then called United for the flights. Fortunately Starnet blocking did not affect me much since those are all intra-European segments. Seating for EN (Air Dolomiti) can be done through United website, as well as the Lufthansa website.
Check-in was efficient and I used the business class line with no issue. Verona airport is a regional airport and LH desks were well manned with no wait in either J or Y line. The agent was friendly and not much to report back.
I used the Spanair lounge at Madrid, which was fine with limited snack selection but good beverage choices and lots of space to sit and spread out. There are plenty of computers available to use, but some of them are out of order though. No free wifi! Lufthansa lounge at Frankfurt in the A Concourse was a waste of time to get it and was pathetic. Cannot even find a seat and both the senator and business class sections were crowded. Unacceptable for a hub and LH needs at least three times the space and does not seem to be interested in doing anything to alleviate the crowded situation. Verona has a common lounge and I am able to access it with no issue. Plenty of snacks and drinks and space to sit on! You can check out the pictures.
In Frankfurt, a bus gate was used as expected and the whole boarding experience was efficient, despite the lack of priority boarding. Things were running a few minutes behind as our plane was parked quite far away at stand F224. In Verona, bus gate was used as well, but due to its smaller size, things run more smoothly. Everything ran on time even early. Due to the rain, most people wanted to get on the plane quickly, and of course there are the usual passengers blocking the aisle despite knowing that it is raining outside and you can chitchat with F/As or friends later.
From Frankfurt to Verona, boarding was completed at 1:07pm and received our pushback clearance at 1;15pm, Flying time was a short fifty-seven minutes with a cruising attitude of 33,000feet. Despite the further parking bay, it was closer to R/W18, and we were able to takeoff at 1;25pm. Descent began at 2;08pm and then landed on R/W4 at 2:22pm.
From Verona to Munich, boarding was completed at 9:40pm, and we taxied into R/W4 at 9:50am and took off at 9:56am. Flying time was fifty-nine minutes with a cruising attitude of 20,000feet. Descent began at 10:34am and landed on R/W26L at 10:55am and parked at stand “306” at 11:01am.
One excellent aspect about flying Lufthansa regional jets and turboprop planes is that they allow each business class passenger to have two seats to themselves. With the excellent cabin design of the EMB-195, it was a very good experience. Compared to the ATR 72-500 on the return, EMB-195 had better seat pitch and seat width, and in general a nicer experience. Anyway, EN decorates the cabin with nice green leather seats and the overall ambience is modern and Italian. I took ample pictures of both cabins and you can say yourself, and of course I preferred the EMB-195. Anyhow both aircraft types are new to me and I am more than happy to add them to my log. The ATR-72-500 experience is pretty cool and the noise level is acceptable, although I preferred the Dash 8-Q400 due to its nicer cabin design and a bit quieter. But I will be interested to see how ATR 72-600s are, and what kind of improvement will be introduced?
Beverages and meals:
Another surprise was the pass out of a menu. The menu was more like a brochure promoting local Italian wines and SPA experience, and a specific LEFAY branded virgin olive oil brand. However it is still nice to get a menu on short flights. The description is sort of generic and different from what is actually served. However, it is a nice for a collector like myself.
Here is the menu transcript:
Air Dolomiti’s wellness journey by Lefay
Well being has become a fundamental part of the modern lifestyle and during 2010, Air Dolomiti has become an ambassador of wellness lifestyle with the launch of a series of Wellness Appointments. Lefay Resorts has been selected as an official partner based on its reputation in the Italian luxury wellness market.
From September 15th to 29th, all Air Dolomiti passengers will enjoy the exclusive Lefay extra virgin oil. During the flight the catering service will offer delicious Lefay Vital Gourmet Snacks, while passengers in the Spazio Italia area at the airport of Munich, will be able to taste the intense flavor of its extra virgin olive oil in vegetable-dip snacks.
From September 15th to 24th at Spazio Italia there will be two Lefay SPA therapists who will soothe travelling tension and fatigue with a relaxing anti-stress Lefay SPA method energy massage.
It will be a more relaxing wait for your flight to Italy!
Air Dolomiti Settimocielo
Business Class passengers will be offered special dishes depending on the time of the day, while Economy Class passengers will be offered tasty Summer salads with Lefay Vital Gourmet Olive Oil.
Marbled cheese quenelles with lemon fruit mustard and vegetable omelette
Lemon cake with candied fruit
Veal in tuna sauce
Morning snack and Lunch
Spelt salad with ‘pachino’ cherry tomatoes
Iced melon pulp and yogurt
Mackerel salad with potatoes and olives
For business class passengers, the meals are all served in proper chinaware and glassware with metal utensils. A bag of Tarallini Caserecci, which are savory biscuits in extra virgin olive oil, accompanied both meals, and given together with the meal. No bread rolls were offered in both meals, which are interesting, because breads seem to be the staple of most European diets. A selection of champagne, white and red wines, and non-alcoholic beverages are offered, and since the F/As need to work the first Y section, the F/As can only do a quick refill section later. From FRA to VRN, the Mediterranean salad contains some pancakes with brasila, marinated lemon slice, and cream cheese with chives. And the return breakfast service features cold cuts – Prosciutto & ham, sliced cantaloupe & kiwi, Pecorino cheese, cream cheese, mini crepe, a pack of Melba toasts, strawberry jam, and butter. I personally prefer the breakfast service on the way back to Munich. Tea and coffee were offered. Economy meals were served in a box from I saw. Jelly candies were offered in business class prior to landing (not Y though).
The flight attendants are pretty good in both directions especially compared with Alitalia. They pretty work throughout the flight with two rounds of food service and tray collections, so not sure if they will hide in the galley on longer flights. Anyway, they are pretty accommodating and friendly.
There is obviously no entertainment option, but given the short duration of the flight time, it is a very good experience. Flights run on time and efficient operation is always nice. Bags came out within acceptable time frame in both ends, and priority tags seem to work here. I really like Air Dolomiti and will not hesitate to fly it again in the future, and can’t wait to fly a dinner flight in the future.