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LH Italia, You Won’t Be Missed! ARN-MXP C (pics)  
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1715 posts, RR: 18
Posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 13645 times:

Hello dear friends, and welcome to my first and probably only report of this fall. This time I’ll cover my most recent trip to Milan on Lufthansa Italia, during their very last week of operations. As always the report will be accompanied with a lagom amount of pictures that I hope you will enjoy.


Background


In 2009 our beloved airline Lufthansa decided to add a new subsidiary to their list. The name of this newborn baby was Lufthansa Italia who operated 8 Airbus A319 aircraft from their hub in Milan Malpensa Airport to various destinations around Europe. The airline proliferated themselves as somewhat of a premium airline, offering service standards higher then those on the mainline Lufthansa, with very competitively priced tickets. With Economy Class starting at just €99 for a roundtrip, and Business Class for a jawdropping €239.

As luck would have it, ARN happened to be on the list of destinations served by this new subsidiary of Lufthansa, so I became instantly keen in trying out one of those cheap-o business class fares. There were however a few things that kept me from jumping the gun and booking them right away. Firstly the departure time from ARN was set quite late, at around 9pm it’s not the ideal time when you want to go for a weekend trip. Secondly, there was a minimum 3 night stay for these trips which sadly meant that I’d have to look for someone to join me on this trip. Of course, motivating someone to pay an extra €140 for a slightly better meal and lounge access (which btw most people don’t seem to know a rat’s ass about) made things much harder for me.

Booking

As time passed by, I was met with the news that Lufthansa will be killing of this premium italian baby of theirs. By the end of the summer time table of 2011 operations will cease. This naturally had me thinking, ”will I ever get the chance to try this airline out”. As luck would have it once again, I noticed that it was now possible to find those cheap C class fares for one night stays. This of course was a no brainer for me, so I quickly looked up my schedule and found a hole on the 24-25th of October. Then I went off to the LH website to find a €241 fare on those dates, so with no further due, the good’ole proper VISA card made its appearance and a minute later the e-ticket was issued and sent to my inbox.


October 24th 2011


After two months of not having seen the inside of an airplane, it was finally time for me to set off once again. The alarm was set off at 7am, my usual time since I had a lecture in the morning and my flight wasn’t due to leave until the evening. Despite this, the pre-flight excitement had once again struck me bad and I had only managed to get three hours of good sleep.

Feeling quite tired, I took a nice hot shower before grabbing my stuff and headed for school. I arrived in class bang on time at 9.15am, and was able to sleep through the whole lecture, giving me some good two hours of sleep. After the lecture, I headed down to the bus station to catch my 11.20am Swebus to Arlanda. For those of you who’ve might read my previous report, I decided to use my ”unstamped” ticket (which btw worked brilliantly), saving me a massive €14.

At the airport

At approximately 1pm, the bus arrived to Terminal 5 at Arlanda, and I made my way into the SAS concourse. My flight wasn’t due to leave for another 8 hours, which really wasn’t an issue for me since I had planned to spend them in the Lounge, catching up on some school work... And getting some bang for my buck!  So, I headed over to the SAS Business Class/ Star Alliance Gold check-in counter.


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View of the deserted SAS Concourse at T5.


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Business Class check-in.

As I turned up at the empty counter, the man handling it refused to make eye contact with me for several seconds, the same applied for his female colleague. Both of them looked stone cold, so naturally they must’ve assumed I was standing at wrong desk. So in order to catch their attention I made a loud faux cough, after which the man greeted me and was handed my passport. After some typing on the computer, he suddenly turned friendly and asked ”Sir, do you for some reason happen to be moroccan”, to which I replied ”Yeah sort of, my mother comes from there so that kind of makes me one”. And from there we had a nice long chat, turns out he knew one of my mom’s friends in Västerås.

After that, he went on with the usual security questions to which I was addressed in Arabic. A very nice touch, and something I never would’ve expected from SAS. Nice to see other people then the grumpy old ladies working there. Soon, I was handed back my passport and a paper BP with my pre-selected seat 1F. I wished the man a nice day, and headed over to the fast-track security

As I made my way over to the deserted fast track security lane, my BP was scanned by a grumpy male agent in his late 50s, the green light was illuminated and I was allowed to pass. With no one manning the X-ray machine, I just put my stuff in one box and let it through machine myself. For some reason, the security agent required a 2nd screening of my backpack, so he violently took it off the belt and put it in a new box. I wasn’t very happy about him treating my backpack with fragile and expensive camera equipment like that. Nevertheless to say, I was able to pass the detector with no beep, and after an inspection my camera was fine, so I headed off to the lounge.


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Airside T5, walking by the usual WHSmith, Sweden’s only!

Since I hadn’t eaten breakfast or lunch that day, I decided that it would be best to head off to the lounge right away to pig out on whatever food is offered there. Also there wasn’t really much to see at ARN T5 airside anyway.


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Entrance to the SAS Business Lounge... Well also the Scandinavian Lounge, I think they should consider changing the sign.

At the entrance I was greeted by a friendly lady in her late 30’s, wearing a yellow name tag. I didn’t bother reading the name on the tag, but as our friend P noticed a few days earlier her name was in fact Rock ’n’ Roll. I handed over my BP which Mrs Rock ’n’ Roll promptly scanned before welcoming me into the SAS Business Lounge.


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View of one of the main seating areas.


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View of the iMac PC workstations. Yes they have Windows installed on them...

Given the late hour of the day, and the fact that I hadn’t eaten anything for the whole day I decided to go straight for the food section to grab myself some lunch.


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Food offerings. Only cold food is offered in SAS Lounges.


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Various breads on offer.


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View of the drinks section.

On offer today was the usual smoked loin of pork with the usual cold pasta, ruccola salad and cream cheese. The food offering doesn’t seem to have changed since my last visit, as was the case with our friend Eric’s visit two months ago. I know the ARN lounges have for long been criticised for their poor food offerings, and I think SAS should really consider making some changes here. At least offer something more then cold pork, like for instance giving the option of choosing between read and white meat. Nevertheless, I made myself a plate with a generous helping of that cold pork which tasted great.

At first glance the bread offerings looked nice, fresh and generous. But at a closer inspection I noticed that most of the breads were cold, dry and old. I’m guessing they must’ve been leftovers from the previous day, not good at all. I did however managed to find myself a piece of sunflower bread that wasn’t too old and chewy.


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My light lunch for today.

The food tasted surprisingly nice and fresh, and one portion was enough to make me stuffed. After finishing my meal, I grabbed some diet coke and decaf coffee and started catching up with some studies.


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Lounges are among the few places where I can really focus on my work, no idea why...

After spending a mere three hours studying, I thought it was time for me to call it a day and do some spotting. The main drawback with the SAS Lounge compared to the rubbish Menzies one is that the views of the apron are very limited. I did however manage to find myself one small section that offered some decent views of the apron.


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Spotting... Well not much to see really.

It was now 7pm, and after having spent more then six hours in the lounge I was starting to feel a bit bored. So I bid Mrs Rock ’n’ Roll goodbye and went for a stroll around the shops in T5. The shops didn’t offer anything of interest, so with more then one hour until boarding I decided to head back to the lounge. Also after a quick glance at the screens I noticed that my flight had been delayed by ten minutes.

At the entrance I was once again greeted by Mrs Rock ’n’ Roll who was happy to see me again. Since I didn’t feel much like spending more time in the Business Lounge, I asked Mrs Rock ’n’ Roll whether it was okay for me to use the Scandinavian Lounge instead. She strictly told me that I could only access it with a Eurobonus Gold or *G card, neither of which I have. But after some thinking she thought it was okay to let me in anyway. Very nice of her!
Upon entering the lounge, one could really notice the difference between it and the Business Lounge. I’ll let the pics speak for themselves.


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View of the main seating area.


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If I remember correctly this area used to be the old smoker’s area. Maybe someone else can fell me in on this?


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Cozy corner or confined workspace? You decide!


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View of the drinks section.


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A well stocked bar.


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Food and snack offerings are the same as in the Business Lounge.

I spent the last hour prior to boarding zipping on a G&T and surfing the free wifi on my iPhone, and before I knew it, it was now time for me to head to gate 8 where my flight to Milan was leaving from. So I bid Mrs Rock ’n’ Roll goodbye, and thanked her once again for letting me use the lounge before heading down the glass elevators and off to my gate.

Flight: LH3715 ARN-MXP
Departure: 20.50
Arrival: 23.35
Duration: 2h 45m
Date: October 24th 2011
Seat & Class: 1F Business Class
Aircraft & Reg: Airbus A319-114 D-AKNF

Soon I arrived at the gate to find it being not so packed, given the few people there I estimated the load on this flight to be around 50-60%. At 8.45pm boarding was called, fifteen minutes behind schedule. Passengers seated in Business Class, along with Star Alliance Gold members were allowed to board the plane first, followed by people seated behind row 15. Since I was seated in C, I decided to board the plane among the first.

At the door I was met by the crew for this flight, consisting of three female flight attendants in their mid 20s, early 30s. No smiles or greetings this time, which wasn’t too god but not as bas as on my last flight with AF.


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Cabin during boarding.


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My bulkhead row seat 1F.

As is the case with all aircraft in the LH Italia fleet, this one was fitted with the signature Lufthansa grey leather recaro seats, the ”old” version that is. And as we all know, the only thing that distinguishes them from the standard LH seats are the headrests with the stitched italian flag.

The seat was very comfortable, although the legroom at the bulkhead row wasn’t good at all, and even worse was the fact that I had chosen to wear my Palladium Pampa boots that made it even more cramped.


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View of the legroom... Not so good!

Very soon boarding was completed, the door was closed and the crew began handing out refreshing wipes and newspapers. I choose my usual Newsweek.


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Newsweek and refreshing towels.

Soon pushback commenced, and the crew began the manual safety demonstration. The load in Business Class tonight were six passengers including myself, spread out on eight rows. In the seats opposing me were italian men in their 40s giving me some nasty stares, in the row behind me two Somalians having an extremely loud conversation (suppose I wasn’t the only one to snag a dirt cheap fare   ), and in the third row a woman in her 40s. With plenty of space in the cabin, I decided it was more worth moving to one of the back rows after take off.

With the CFM-56 engines spooled to life we began our taxi to runway 01L/19R, aka Runway 1. This was followed by a short and powerful takeoff, as one would expect from the light load. On this flight there was no such thing as derated thrust, wonder is this is the case on all LH Italia flights or perhaps just the pilot not giving a s**t anymore since he’s loosing his job anyway.

The seatbelt sign remained on for a good 30 minutes, and was turned off just as we reached cruising altitude. Just after the sign was turned off, I grabbed my stuff from the overhead bin and moved over to seat 4F, after that I made a visit to the loo for a change of sweater and some freshening up before the meal.


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Legroom was much better at 4F.

One thing that really bothered me was the fact that the curtain to Y class remained open throughout the whole flight. What the devil is this!!? Are those people not taking their job seriously anymore or is this standard practice on this airline? When motivating people to pay a premium of 150-1000% of the Y fare on short haul flights, one of the most obvious things people expect is that they make sure that darn curtain is shut throughout the flight!!! As a result of this major flaw, Y pax began using the front lavatory despite there being no queue at the ones in the back.

Soon the crew began the meal service, and with the light load in C, there was a trolley less service this time. No pre-meal drinks or dinner choices were given.

Dinner Menu

Starter: Green salad with red bell peppers, baby mozzarellas and artichoke along with dressing of balsamico and olive oil.

Main Course: Steamed roulade of cod fillet with saffron rice, haricot verts and hollandaise sauce.

Dessert: Amaretto chocolate cake with sliced clementine.

Bread

A selection of non-alcoholic beverages, beer and wine.

Coffee or tea



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The meal for this flight.

The meal came as a bit of a letdown, mainly due to the fact that I had expected the presentation to be better. Please don’t get me wrong, it’s a standard EU C meal, but after reading a review on LH Italia’s C on the ARN route, I was expecting the food to be served on a linen clad tray, and the main course portion to be a bit larger. The review can be found here:

Shortly afterwards the crew came by with the drinks cart and I requested a Gin&Tonic and some sprite. What came as perhaps the biggest bummer of them all was the crew telling me they did NOT serve spirits in C on LH Italia flights. Neither did they have tonic. This was just simply unbelievable! I could live without the champagne, but no Gin!? C’mon some airlines even serve that in Y on 1hr flights. So I had to settle with a glass of white wine instead... And for some reason the wine came out red. Who drinks red wine with fish!?


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Red wine and sprite, just what I ordered...

The starter salad tasted nice and fresh, the vegetables had a nice crunchy texture, and the baby mozzarellas and artichoke added a good substance to the salad, making it a proper starter. The dressing blended in perfectly! The main course wasn’t much special, the haricot verts tasted quite bland, the fish tasted pretty okay although a bit on the bland side as well. What really made up on that main course was the saffron rice and hollandaise sauce which tasted absolutely fantastic. Too bad the portion size so small.


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Coffee and dessert.

The chocolate cake didn’t taste as good as I had expected, it was far to sweet. The coffee however tasted excellent, and made up for the so-so dessert. Then again this was an Italian’ish airline, so the least thing one would expect is for the coffee to be great.

After the meal service was finished, the lights were dimmed and the cabin slipped into a nice relaxing atmosphere. I decided to take it chill and order in some more of that white wine, which btw tasted very great.


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Kicking back with a nice glass of wine, and some good music.

This is where the trouble with the open curtain occurred. People from the back began queueing up for the front lavatory, despite having two perfectly fine, normal and vacant lavatories in the back. What was even more disturbing was the running, the chit-chatting and the light from the galley (caused by the frequent opening and closings of the curtain). Sure this wasn’t the biggest problem in the world, but having payed for a business class ticket (yes even a cheap-o one) one would expect a little more privacy.

Before I knew it, the engine thrust was reduced and we began our descent into Milan Malpensa Airport. I didn’t manage to get any good views from the descent as the aircraft basically plummeted into a big cloud fog. 20 minutes later we broke out, and shortly after that the aircraft made a smooth touchdown, followed by a five minute taxi to a remote parking position.


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Cabin during de-boarding.

Upon exiting the aircraft, I bid the crew farewell and headed out in the rain over to the waiting bus that would take us to the arrivals hall at Malpensa Terminal 1.


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Leaving the aircraft.

Soon the bus filled up with pax, and we set off to the terminal. The bus ride was short and didn’t offer any good views of the aircraft. Upon arrival to the terminal we were sent through the baggage hall. Since I hadn’t checked in any baggage, I proceeded straight through the exit and out to the arrivals hall where my hotel shuttle transfer would pick me up.


The Italian Nightmare


As I reached the pickup point at door seven, I was up for a nasty surprise. The shuttle was nowhere to be seen, and after making several phone calls to the hotel I was told that the driver had gone home. This was unbelievable rude of them, since I had called just earlier that evening to inform that I would be arriving at midnight sharp, to which they had agreed to pick me up.

So I was left with no other choice then to walk out in the rain, and figure out how to get to the hotel by foot. This turned out to be a really bad idea. According to the map, the hotel was said to be located 900 meters from the terminal. Despite that I ended up walking for almost one hour. Soaking wet, and dead tired I was standing by the side of the road trying to hitch a ride out of pure desperation.

Luckily the driver of the passing by terminal transfer bus was kind enough to pull over and pick me up. I asked him for directions to my hotel which was the Idea Hotel, to which he kindly dropped me off at one stop which he said was only a 100 meter walk from the hotel. So from that point I assumed it was smooth sailing from there... But I was wrong, again. The area turned out to be a maze of backstreets. So after another hour of walking around in circles, getting soaked in the rain, and smashing my umbrella into pieces I finally managed to find my hotel. It was now 2am. Picking the IDEA Hotel wasn’t such a good idea after all...



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My room at the Idea Hotel Milano Malpensa Airport.

Check-in was a breeze, and in a matter of minutes I was in my room. As you would imagine, I was still raging with anger, making it impossible to sleep. So to ventilate all my fury, I spent one hour on the floor making situps and crunches, before finally passing out on the bed.


October 25th 2011


I woke up at 9am the following morning after a mediocre six hour night’s sleep. Since my shuttle back to the terminal was leaving in one hour, I quickly hopped in the shower, packed up my stuff and headed downstairs for the breakfast buffet.

The breakfast offerings were quite generous, consisting of the usual hot items e.g bacon, eggs, sausages, various croissants and breads, yogurt, muesli, a San Pellegrino® juice dispenser and a Lavazza® coffee machine. Sorry Suryo, I didn’t get a picture of the buffet this time. But next time I promise!  

Feeling quite stuffed from the breakfast, I dropped off my keycard at the reception and headed out to the waiting van that would take me to the terminal. The ride to the terminal took 10 minutes, and for some reason the driver chose to head out on the highway. This despite the fact that the terminal was right next door... At least according to the map. Upon arrival at Malpensa Terminal 1, I headed down the escalators to the train station, where I purchased a one day return ticket on the Malpensa Express for the reasonable price of €14. A few minutes later I was on the train heading for Milan’s Cadorna station.

At 11am sharp I arrived to the city centre of Milan. As it was still raining from the night before, smashing up my umbrella turned out not to be the smartest idea. But still determined to explore this new city, I headed out into the rain.


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Rainy streets in Milan.


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The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.


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The Cathedral of Milan.


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Some shops.

After having spent a good three and a half hours exploring the city, enjoying some freebie espressos (yep, got them for free since they didn’t take VISA, or maybe the café owner just wanted to be nice. Hear that P, we do get something back from those tax money we spent!) and a lovely Gelato, it was now time for me to head back for the airport to catch my flight back home to Stockholm.

At the airport

After a smooth ride on the Malpensa Express, I arrived at Malpensa Terminal 1 at around 3.30pm. I quickly made my way up the escalators and over to the Lufthansa check-in counters to pick up my boarding pass for the flight.


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View of the check-in area.

As I stood in line for the business class counter, I was waived over to the empty First Class & Star Gold counter, where a friendly male agent in his 50s was more then happy to have my check-in formalities taken care of. No silent treatment this time! After my passport and boarding pass was handed back to me, I was given instructions on how to find the fast-track security and lounge. After that I was wished a pleasant flight.

With the BP in hand, I headed over to the fast track security which wasn’t too hard to find. As I made my way over to the counter, I had a quick gaze over the regular security lane which looked pretty crowded. After showing my BP to a somewhat grumpy female agent, I was let through the white zig-zag corridor that lead to the security. Security was a breeze, and within less then a minute I was through.


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Various duty-free shops and a café... Place doesn’t look too nice.

Finding the lounge turned out not to be that hard at all, one simply had to follow the signs, meaning you had to walk through the duty-free shops and into a long corridor where you will find a yellow sign at the end.


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Not sure whether to call this lounge location discrete or undignified?

At the door, I was greeted by a somewhat cold’ish attendant. She promptly scanned my BP and welcomed me into the lounge. The lounge wasn’t as cramped and confined as I had expected, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it had undergone some renovations, i.e in accordance to the new Lufthansa lounge concept.


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View of the main seating area.


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There were two of these bar chair sections.


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View of the food and drinks section.

The food and drinks offerings in this weren’t impressing at all, in fact they were quite poor. On offer was a cold ”buffet” with sliced turkey, Parma ham, Parmesan cheese, cold pasta, olives and vegetables. Cold pizza slices were later served by the staff, sneaking them out of those mirror walls. The drinks section included a Lavazza® coffee machine, soda fountain, beer on tap, Campari, and some disgusting italian sparkling wine.


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I settled down with some sliced turkey, ham, Parmesan and a G&T minus the G...

I spent a good hour and a half surfing the free wifi on my iPhone, which basically was the only thing you could do as the only views of the ”tarmac” were the long term parking lot. Upon leaving the lounge, I decided to nick three packs of those lovely almond biscotti’s. No shame in that really, since I saw another man stuff ten of those in his bag, hehe 

At 4.50pm, I left the lounge and headed for the gate.

Flight: LH3714 MXP-ARN
Departure: 17.30
Arrival: 20.15
Duration: 2h 45m
Date: October 25th 2011
Seat & Class: 1A Business Class
Aircraft & Reg: Airbus A319-114 D-AKNJ

As I arrived to the gate area, I noticed that it was a bit more people there, then on the outbound flight. I estimated the load to be at least 80%. At five minutes past five boarding was called, five minutes behind schedule. The reason for this small delay was an elderly man in a wheelchair who had to be carried on to the plane. The man also turned out to be a SAS Eurobonus Gold member, in fact a lifetime member, since his card didn’t have an expiry date on it.

As usual, business class passengers and Star Alliance Gold members were allowed to board the plane first, and I was the first person to walk down the jetway. At the door I was greeted by the friendly (*read friendlier*) crew, which today consisted of one young male and two female flight attendants. I quickly stowed my backpack in the overhead compartment, and sat down at my seat 1A on the bulkhead row.


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Be sure to always spot the cheesy sign!


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Legroom was actually better on this side, so no point in switching row.

During the boarding process, I could simply come with the conclusion that the majority of passengers on this flights were swedes, most of them weekend travellers. Economy class appeared full, while Business class had five passengers scattered through three rows.

Soon boarding was completed, the aircraft pushed back, good old CFM-56 engines screeched to life and the crew began the manual safety demonstration, the usual stuff... Following that was a quick taxi to the runway, after which we took off. The takeoff was quite a bit heavier then on the outbound flight.


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Takeoff.


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View of the cabin shortly after takeoff.

Just as on the previous day’s flight, the fasten seatbelt sign remained on until the aircraft reached cruising altitude. The climb was rather slow, despite the pilots not derating the thrust. Soon as we began reaching cruising altitude, the crew came out to take dinner orders. I was offered a choice between a meat or a pasta dish. I chose the meat.


Dinner Menu

Starter: Green salad with sun dried tomatoes, red bell peppers, and balsamico dressing.

Main course: Roulade of veal stuffed with spinach, and potato gratin.

Dessert: Almond cookies.

Bread

A selection of non-alcoholic beverages, beer and wine.

Coffee or tea



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The meal for this flight.


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Starter salad.


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Main course.

The starter salad wasn’t much to write home about. Basically it was the same as served on the outbound flight, with the sun dried tomatoes as a substitute for the baby mozzarellas. This basically made it a rather unsubstantial starter dish IMHO. Nevertheless, it tasted just as nice and fresh, and the balsamico dressing blended in perfectly.

The main course however was a big catastrophe. The so called veal was nothing more then a big lump of broth and fat, I had to spit it out right after the first bite. The spinach filling tasted really bland, and that yellow stuff in the middle was impossible to identify mostly due to the fact that it didn’t taste anything either. The potato gratin was more like heated boiled potatoes, no creaminess at all. The worst part about the meal was the minimal portion size, basically it was finished in two bites. What came as a bigger disappointment was the fact that economy class got their meals server in bigger portions than this one. Maybe I should have asked for one of those meals instead...

After the trays were cleared, the crew came around with the dessert that was served on a separate tray. Tea and coffee was served along with this, and just as on the previous flights no digestifs were offered at all. So I had to settle with just the coffee.


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The dessert tray.

I actually got mad when the dessert was served to me. As I gazed into the galley, I noticed that there was another dessert on offer, some sort of cake, and still for some reason the crew didn’t ask me which one I would prefer. There wasn’t really a chance to have my dessert changed since they ran out of cake anyway. Two tiny dry almond cookies don’t make up for a proper dessert, and this is in fact the worst kind of dessert imaginable. I don’t even see a point for the separate tray when they could’ve just handed them over to me in a napkin. Neither did I bother eating them, so instead I stuck with the coffee and ordered in two more glasses of white wine.

After the dessert trays had been cleared, the crew asked every passenger in business class if they fancied an espresso to round off the meal. I gladly accepted one. A very nice touch indeed!


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Post-dinner espresso. The one part that didn’t leave me disappointed.

When the meal service was over, I decided to get up from my seat and have a walk down the cabin, and my usual visit to the loo. By now I think you all know how an aeroplane toilet looks like, so no point in me explaining that to you!


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View of the full cabin.

On this flight there were only two small curtains that separated business from economy class, i.e not the big one that covers the aisle. This of course caused the same problems as on the outbound flight, i.e passengers from Y queueing up for the front lavatories... And some small children running up and down the aisle. Of course the crew couldn’t care less since they were too busy chit-chatting in the galley.

During the last 90 minutes of the flight, the cabin lights were dimmed and I decided to relax by ordering in two more glasses of that white wine. The remainder of the flight was spent sipping on that wine, listening to music and enjoying the views from the window. And before I knew it, we were already on approach to Arlanda’s runway 01L/19R. The touchdown was smooth, although the breaking was pretty hard. This was followed by a short taxi to our gate at Terminal 5. Getting up from my seat turned out to be rather difficult having chugged some six or seven glasses of wine. I bid the crew farewell and headed up the jetway into the terminal, and out to the curb side area of the arrivals hall, where I hopped on my Swebus back home to Västerås. The report ends here...


Conclusions


This was my first and most likely last time ever to fly this now defunct airline. I can’t say anything other then feeling very disappointed and unhappy with them. Firstly the fact that the crew didn’t even bother shutting the curtain to Y, gave the impression of them either not taking their jobs seriously or the fact that the airline on purpose have chosen not to have this kind of differentiation between the classes. What’s even worse was the poor drinks selection in C. Offering only a very basic selection of soft drinks, wine, beer and no spirits is very poor. Worse was the fact that Y got served wine from the same proper glassware. And not to mention the portion sizes which were twice as big in Y then in C.

The crew weren’t much friendly either. No smiles, no extra attention, no effort in delivering those small touches. This of course made up for a rather bland experience. In other words the crew were no different from Y.

The whole point of offering Business Class on European short haul routes is to be able to offer a product that differentiates from Economy. We all know the seating is the same, so what we at least would expect is some better food, better drinks and friendlier crews. None of which Lufthansa Italia were able to deliver. Not even the extra privacy!

All in all what summarises this is a faux business class product. And now you’re all thinking ”why is this guy complaining when he didn’t even pay for a full fare ticket”. Well Lufthansa Italia aren’t the only airline in Europe to offer discounted Business Class tickets. The most notable airlines to offer this are BA and SWISS, both of them offering perhaps the best short haul business class products in Europe. Better lounges, better crews, better food, better drinks (yes proper champagne) for the exact same price as LH Italia. I am just glad this airline no longer exist, so that no one will ever have to go through the same things as I did...

Of course this trip wasn’t a complete disaster. Apart from the frequent flyer miles I earned that helped me qualify for a higher status, SAS were the big winner here. Don’t think I’ve ever come across ground crews as friendly as theirs, and I’m looking forward to be using their facilities many times again in the near future.

Feel free to leave any comments or questions. Thanks for reading!

//Jonas


SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLH4532 From Germany, joined Sep 2011, 81 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 13487 times:

Hello Jonas ,

I have been waiting a long time to read you Trip Report . I had the chance of flying Lufthansa Italia on MXP-LIS-MXP . My dad booked via lufthansa.de and I flew FRA-MXP-LIS-MXP-FRA for only 184,90€, that´s what I call a bargain . I have kept Lufthansa Italia in good memory . The flight attendants were very friendly .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
And from there we had a nice long chat,

It is always very nice talking with the staff . That was very nice of him asking you   .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Entrance to the SAS Business Lounge

Great picture , Jonas .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
But after some thinking she thought it was okay to let me in anyway

Very nice of her   .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The meal for this flight.

It looks very well presented .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I was waived over to the empty First Class & Star Gold counter

The same thing happened to me when I was standing at the LH Check-In at TXL . Always nice of that to happen , when the lines for Y are large .


I really enjoyed the entire Trip Report . I was reading it with great joy . Your photos of the Cathedral in Milan are very nice . Thank you , for writing this Trip Report .



Cheers ,

LH 4532 ( Daniel )

 


User currently offlineJL418 From Italy, joined Jun 2009, 493 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 13325 times:

Hi Jonas,

I'm quite impressed by your TR and by your harsh reprimand of the now defunct LHI. I have been flying with them more than 10 times in a couple of years, always in Y class I have to say and I haven't witnessed any of the faults you noticed with the cabin crew.

Perhaps you've been unlucky because on, for example, every flight I did with them, even in the - unfortunately many - occasions when the C cabin was empty, the curtain was well closed and the crew always nice and attentive towards the passengers.

Sure enough, LH mainline crew showed a degree of skill that couldn't be matched by the all-Italian new folks who served along the aisles until a couple of days ago. I guess that poor training or "national" attitudes aren't to be blamed as every crewmember was trained by LH and, of the MUC and FRA-bases crews we had before the arrival of the new guys, many of them were Italians. I guess the new arrivals aren't yet up to the level of the veterans and, perhaps, a veteran pursuer should have been kept on some flights.

About all the rest, please let me correct on two facts: portions on Y class aren't as big as in C, what I've been served on MXP-ARN was a tray as big as, let's say, an Iphone and a half and it was barely half full. Wine is served from sealed bottles in plastic cups, the same you're given when asking for an apple juice or a Coke. Cutlery is plastic as well.

Fabrizio


User currently offlinechopchop767 From Italy, joined Aug 2010, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 13122 times:

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Well Lufthansa Italia aren’t the only airline in Europe to offer discounted Business Class tickets. The most notable airlines to offer this are BA and SWISS, both of them offering perhaps the best short haul business class products in Europe. Better lounges, better crews, better food, better drinks (yes proper champagne) for the exact same price as LH Italia.

Firstly, thank you for the great trip report. With regard to your bus in MXP, that's truly awful, although if you go further South, it's par for the course.

As for your air experience, I too was disappointed with the standards on LHI. While they were far better than Alitalia and EasyJet, the only other carriers to serve NAP to MXP, they were no where near BA or LH out of FRA or MUC. I purchased a cheap Business fare as well. Being used to US and Asian J, I still find the Euro middle seat open a bit odd, but then again I rarely fly Business.

While LHI wasn't nearly up to LH's standard, they were an attractive alternative to Alitalia and EasyJet. In that regard, I'll miss them.



this year: nap, lgw, fra, dub, fco, add, jib, muc, iad, sea, dca, bos, cdg, ist, bah, prg, ord, hsv, cmn
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3360 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 13000 times:

oh dear, doesn't sound like you had a very good time!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
As I turned up at the empty counter, the man handling it refused to make eye contact with me for several seconds, the same applied for his female colleague. Both of them looked stone cold, so naturally they must’ve assumed I was standing at wrong desk. So in order to catch their attention I made a loud faux cough, after which the man greeted me and was handed my passport. After some typing on the computer, he suddenly turned friendly

A perennial problem of the young! Happens on pretty much every airline. I've had some bad times with BA at LHR.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
She strictly told me that I could only access it with a Eurobonus Gold or *G card, neither of which I have. But after some thinking she thought it was okay to let me in anyway. Very nice of her!

Very nice of her indeed

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The seat was very comfortable, although the legroom at the bulkhead row wasn’t good at all, and even worse was the fact that I had chosen to wear my Palladium Pampa boots that made it even more cramped.

I never go for row 1 unless it's longhual F or C. Row 2 have more space if you're tall.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
On this flight there was no such thing as derated thrust, wonder is this is the case on all LH Italia flights or perhaps just the pilot not giving a s**t anymore since he’s loosing his job anyway.

Aren't the pilots going back to LH Germany?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Shortly afterwards the crew came by with the drinks cart and I requested a Gin&Tonic and some sprite. What came as perhaps the biggest bummer of them all was the crew telling me they did NOT serve spirits in C on LH Italia flights. Neither did they have tonic. This was just simply unbelievable! I could live without the champagne, but no Gin!? C’mon some airlines even serve that in Y on 1hr flights. So I had to settle with a glass of white wine instead... And for some reason the wine came out red. Who drinks red wine with fish!?

I'm surpised they don't have Gin in C. Not very impressed. Does proper LH have it in C? And no champagne either? So, basically Y class drinks.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Luckily the driver of the passing by terminal transfer bus was kind enough to pull over and pick me up. I asked him for directions to my hotel which was the Idea Hotel, to which he kindly dropped me off at one stop which he said was only a 100 meter walk from the hotel. So from that point I assumed it was smooth sailing from there... But I was wrong, again. The area turned out to be a maze of backstreets. So after another hour of walking around in circles, getting soaked in the rain, and smashing my umbrella into pieces I finally managed to find my hotel. It was now 2am. Picking the IDEA Hotel wasn’t such a good idea after all...

Sounds like an awful experience. Did you have a go about the lack of transport when you arrived?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Finding the lounge turned out not to be that hard at all, one simply had to follow the signs, meaning you had to walk through the duty-free shops and into a long corridor where you will find a yellow sign at the end.

I remember the one time I used this lounge, I was flying MXP-SIN on SQ. I hadn't even realised there was a LH lounge that I could get into with my LH Silver card, so it was great to be there! I think i only had time for a quick beer though.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
and sat down at my seat 1A on the bulkhead row.

Interesting that A has more space than F

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Maybe I should have asked for one of those meals instead...

You should have - they'd have hardly said no!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineJL418 From Italy, joined Jun 2009, 493 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 12941 times:

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
Aren't the pilots going back to LH Germany?

Yep. Nobody is going to be fired according to what a FA told me, provided that they pass a German exam every crew member will be transferred to LH mainline. Most of captains, though, are Germans while a smaller % of FOs have been hired by LHI itself.


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27303 posts, RR: 60
Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 12855 times:

Hey Jonas ,
Great report and at times an amusing read   Shame the catering was not better. Nothing worse then spending extra money for a J class ticket and to be let down by catering as for me that is a big part of the J class product. No Spirits in J Class on any European route is a bit bad. Gin is a normal thing to have.

Still very nice photos and very well written so great work . The hotel issue was a bad experience I would have been brought to tears LOL... But thats me   In fact reading that has made my mind up to pre book a transfer for my up coming trip  

Look forward to the next TR .

Regards

Philip  


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6671 posts, RR: 55
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 12586 times:

Hi Jonas !

Sorry to hear about your bad experience but I think you make it out to be bigger than it reallly was, at least the flights. Food looks great on both flights and I would expect a big starter on a short intra-European J class flight. Crew seems to be okay; not bad and not great.

Very bad of the hotel to not pick you up when you said you would arrive there late.

Nice of the Rock N Roll lady to let you in to the Scandinavian Lounge as well.

Nice pictures of Milano, especially Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele and Il Duomo.

I agree with Gabriel; avoid row 1 in F or J on a narrowbody.

Looking forward to your next report!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineROGERBCN From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 12553 times:

Hola Jonas,

Great TR on this very special airline, they offered the best prices in C class.

In fact I have done some travels with them in the last years and I am quite surprised at what I read in your TR. I have travelled with them, basically mileage runs and they always had champagne on C and after the meal I always asked for a 'grappa' which they supplied without hesitation together with the espresso.
Maybe it was because they were on their final stages and they did not bother to cater any or simply the crew felt demotivated, which would be even worse as customers must be taken care of... sad to see them go like this.

The hotel story may sound surprising for Northern Europeans but sadly that is how many things work here in the South... we are good at improvisation but when you need to plan things you may not take them very seriously and be ready for any inconvenience that may appear on the way.

BTW, great pictures all the way. Milan is always a nice destination to spend some days at.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1843 posts, RR: 19
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 12519 times:

Hi Jonas

Thanks for the interesting read. I was was somewhat surprised that your experience did not meet with your expectations. Lufthansa never is extraordinary or outstanding but at least they usually have a solid and consistent product. But perhaps not with their Italian affiliate.

Incidentally, I really liked the pictures you took of Milan.

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 12435 times:

No wonder their little experiment with a "premium" airline didn't work. You actually have to offer a premium product for that.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
”why is this guy complaining when he didn’t even pay for a full fare ticket”

No, I never think that. You paid the going rate, end of story...and the experience you had certainly did not rate a 150% premium over the going rate for economy class.

Also your experience with the hotel shuttle- truly disgusting. I don't know what your legal recourse is in Europe but if that had happened to me here I would be disputing the charge with my cc company.


User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1788 posts, RR: 30
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 12303 times:

Hi Jonas,

Thanks for your profound and critical analysis of LH Italia. I see from your pics why you got angry when the security staff were about to mistreat your bag: classy pics of high quality can only come with high quality photographic material (and skill of course  ). I am sorry you were not treated with the LH we all got to know as a pretty decent airline with an almost rock solid performance record. Perhaps it's not only the price war that killed them?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
With Economy Class starting at just €99 for a roundtrip, and Business Class for a jawdropping €239.

I knew about the € 99 fares in Y, but I did not know their C class was affordable as well?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I decided to use my ”unstamped” ticket (which btw worked brilliantly), saving me a massive €14.

Ha, I remember yes!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
But after some thinking she thought it was okay to let me in anyway. Very nice of her!

Cool, next time I'll try this as well and I hope she does some positive thinking too   

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
the fact that I had chosen to wear my Palladium Pampa boots that made it even more cramped.

Palladium is great footwear indeed but where's the link with the legroom?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Y pax began using the front lavatory despite there being no queue at the ones in the back.

Not acceptable, I agree. But you know the biggest portion of Y class traveller's are not frequent traveller's and don't even have the notion that behind the curtain, the rules are different...

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I decided to take it chill and order in some more of that white wine

Huh, now the white wine is white iso red?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
So to ventilate all my fury, I spent one hour on the floor making situps and crunches, before finally passing out on the bed.

I am glad you did not tear down your room. In fact it looks rather nice.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
since his card didn’t have an expiry date on it.

How did you get to know that  Wow!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Worse was the fact that Y got served wine from the same proper glassware. And not to mention the portion sizes which were twice as big in Y then in C.

So next time it would be obvious which class to choose, but not anymore on this airline!

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3024 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 12225 times:

Hi Jonas,
thanks for the report. You, too, seem to have made the most of the lounge!
It certainly seems like you got a good price for the business ticket, though perhaps you get what you pay for  
Obviously I can't comment on taste, but the meals look good for a short flight, even if in C, though I agree about the portion size - it says something when the starter salad is bigger than the main course!
And also thanks for the few pics of Milan - I will spend a morning there in December in between flights myself!
Thanks again
signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently onlinebwaflyer From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 690 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 11963 times:

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Shortly afterwards the crew came by with the drinks cart and I requested a Gin&Tonic and some sprite. What came as perhaps the biggest bummer of them all was the crew telling me they did NOT serve spirits in C on LH Italia flights. Neither did they have tonic. This was just simply unbelievable! I could live without the champagne, but no Gin!? C’mon some airlines even serve that in Y on 1hr flights. So I had to settle with a glass of white wine instead... And for some reason the wine came out red. Who drinks red wine with fish!?

I have worked many of the LHR-MXP and LHR-CGN flights that bmi operate for LHI and LH. We have the standard LH(I) catering loaded. I can confirm that miniature spirits (and cans of tonic) are loaded in the business bar carts, but not in the economy bar carts. There is always a chance that there was a catering mix up in MXP, and an economy bar cart was loaded by mistake. There's also the possibility that LH were running down the catering operation at MXP and limited the loaded of certain items during the end of the operation.


User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 11841 times:

Hej Jonas!

Nice tripreport with a bunch of great pictures!
Turns out I was on that very same flight as you, just a few rows back on 5A: Hello And Good Bye LH Italia! ARN-CPH-MXP-ARN (by deltamartin Oct 28 2011 in Trip Reports)
Too bad about your bad experience with LHI. That main course on the return leg did not look nice at all!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Spotting... Well not much to see really.

Well, there's 737's, and lots of them!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
This was unbelievable rude of them, since I had called just earlier that evening to inform that I would be arriving at midnight sharp, to which they had agreed to pick me up.

Ouch. Not what you want to experience when arriving at midnight and just want to get to your hotel as soon as possible.

Martin


User currently offlineAlwaysOnAPlane From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2010, 305 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 11395 times:

Hey Jonas.

Firstly, really nice pictures. I recognised some of the places in Milano.

Yes it seems a shame that the product did not live up to your expectations. I can see your point regarding the curtain, to be fair many Euro airlines don't enforce the no use of front lavatory for Y. I always see people going through and must become slightly annoying especially if you are next to the curtain and it's always being moved.

I thought the food looked ok. Never really rated LH mainline C Euro meals either, so this is about normal here.

Good to get use of the SAS EB G lounge. The decor is much nicer.

Thanks for your posting.
Cheers, Lee.


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5186 posts, RR: 55
Reply 16, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 11334 times:

Hi, Jonas,

really interesting to follow you´re biz ride to Milano. Detailed pictures all the way, good.
Shame with the weather, warm and sunny for me yesterday.

Also intersting to follow you´re experience with the hotel which we talked about earlier.
Not that easy to reach and "well" organized style there. But the room looks like nice.

The SK lounge looks good.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1715 posts, RR: 18
Reply 17, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 11114 times:

Hello guys, thanks for the replies. I'm glad you enjoyed reading!

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 1):
I have kept Lufthansa Italia in good memory . The flight attendants were very friendly .

Hey Daniel! Yes those were the good old days it seems!  
Quoting LH4532 (Reply 1):
The same thing happened to me when I was standing at the LH Check-In at TXL . Always nice of that to happen , when the lines for Y are large .

Very nice of the agent to do so. Yes the Y class lines are always a mess, and traveling with checked baggage in these days of self-service kiosk outsourced check-in, those bag drop lines are massive. Last time, I ended up queueing for 30 minutes.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 2):
I have been flying with them more than 10 times in a couple of years, always in Y class I have to say and I haven't witnessed any of the faults you noticed with the cabin crew.

Hi Fabrizio. I have read your LH Italia Y report(s) at least one of them   ) and I must say the service there seems great. As mentioned in the report, if I was flying Y the outcome of this report would've come out completely different.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 2):
About all the rest, please let me correct on two facts: portions on Y class aren't as big as in C, what I've been served on MXP-ARN was a tray as big as, let's say, an Iphone and a half and it was barely half full.

Well all Y meal portions have a standard size, i.e the tin foil. As for the plate or bowl in C, it was half that size. Still any hot meal in Y would've made me very happy.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 2):
Wine is served from sealed bottles in plastic cups, the same you're given when asking for an apple juice or a Coke. Cutlery is plastic as well.

That might have changed. At least read P's report and turns out he got wine served in proper glassware. This was back in 2010 though...

Quoting chopchop767 (Reply 3):
While LHI wasn't nearly up to LH's standard, they were an attractive alternative to Alitalia and EasyJet. In that regard, I'll miss them.
Quoting chopchop767 (Reply 3):
While they were far better than Alitalia and EasyJet, the only other carriers to serve NAP to MXP, they were no where near BA or LH out of FRA or MUC.

You have a very good point there!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
oh dear, doesn't sound like you had a very good time!

Hi there Gab! Yeah the trip could've been better, but still not a complete catastrophe

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
I've had some bad times with BA at LHR.

I'm guessing this must've been quite some time ago?

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
Very nice of her indeed

Hehe, yeah told her it was a one-off  
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
I'm surpised they don't have Gin in C. Not very impressed. Does proper LH have it in C? And no champagne either? So, basically Y class drinks.

I was just as surprised. As it seems neither LH Italia of mainline Lufthansa have Champagne in C. They only have it on long haul flights.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
Sounds like an awful experience. Did you have a go about the lack of transport when you arrived?

I was too tired and cold when I arrived. So didn't feel like picking a fight with the receptionist.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
Interesting that A has more space than F

It's pretty strange, but I believe it has to do with the position of the bulkhead wall. It's around an inch more space.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
You should have - they'd have hardly said no!

Perhaps I should. Then again, the attitude of the crew made me feel quite scared of asking so I just stuck with the wine...

Quoting OA260 (Reply 6):
Shame the catering was not better. Nothing worse then spending extra money for a J class ticket and to be let down by catering as for me that is a big part of the J class product.

Hey Philip. Yes that's a big part of the experience, hence something to differentiate from Y. Must say your bad luck with the food on TP is a reminder, hope it doesn't happen again.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 6):
The hotel issue was a bad experience I would have been brought to tears LOL... But thats me

Well, I ended up smashing my umbrella. Same thing, lol  
Quoting The777Man (Reply 7):
Crew seems to be okay; not bad and not great.

Hejsan Lars, thanks for reading! Well the crew weren't exactly bad, just lacking that extra warmth one would've expected to receive.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 7):
Looking forward to your next report!

Thanks! Fingers are still crossed, you know! 
Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 8):
I have travelled with them, basically mileage runs and they always had champagne on C and after the meal I always asked for a 'grappa' which they supplied without hesitation together with the espresso.

Hola Roger! Wow, I didn't know they served Champagne, how long was this? Grappa sounds great too, service back them really seemed to match with the italian cuisine, or culture  
Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 8):
The hotel story may sound surprising for Northern Europeans but sadly that is how many things work here in the South...

Well sort of had that coming. Yeah the southern mentality is quite a bit different from ours. Having spent countless summers as a kid in Morocco with my relatives, I quickly realized that people down there don't seem to care much about sticking to the clock. Afternoon means early evening, and so on...

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 9):
I was was somewhat surprised that your experience did not meet with your expectations.

I suppose I should've set the bar lower. Next time I will...

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 9):
But perhaps not with their Italian affiliate.

Hehe, well let's just hope their SWISS affiliate will offer a more consistent long haul product  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
I knew about the € 99 fares in Y, but I did not know their C class was affordable as well?

Hey Nils, thanks for stopping by  
Their C class is in fact equally affordable, though the fare from most other EU destinations was €199 ow, so ARN was definitely cheap with its €119.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
Palladium is great footwear indeed but where's the link with the legroom?

Well, you see the Pampa boots are quite big and bulky so naturally those extra centimeters sticking out from the tip of the boots took some of the legroom. Taking the boots off however turned out to be quite a different story. Bade the bulkhead quite okay actually... At least on my return.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
Not acceptable, I agree. But you know the biggest portion of Y class traveller's are not frequent traveller's and don't even have the notion that behind the curtain, the rules are different...

That could very much be the case. Still the crew should've done some efforts in preventing this, I mean on some other airlines those crews are guarding the curtains with machine guns... For real!!!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
Huh, now the white wine is white iso red?

Always stick with the white!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
I am glad you did not tear down your room. In fact it looks rather nice.

Well I'm not a monster, so  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
I see from your pics why you got angry when the security staff were about to mistreat your bag: classy pics of high quality can only come with high quality photographic material (and skill of course &nbsp Wink.

That is true, camera equipment is very very sensitive and I'm not talking about the glass (it's rock solid), it's the lens bearings that are done even after a slight bump. The pics did come out slight unsharp which I suspect was something with the focus, never had that problem before and it could be caused by that stupid security guard. I will file a complaint!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 11):
So next time it would be obvious which class to choose, but not anymore on this airline!

As long as there's proper food, it shouldn't be a big issue  
Quoting signol (Reply 12):
thanks for the report. You, too, seem to have made the most of the lounge!

Hey there, thanks for reading! Yeah, well just wanted to make the most bang from my buck  
Quoting signol (Reply 12):
It certainly seems like you got a good price for the business ticket, though perhaps you get what you pay for  

Well the same money could've bought me a much better ticket on BA... Or LX for that matter (the equivalent legs, i.e)

Quoting signol (Reply 12):
Obviously I can't comment on taste, but the meals look good for a short flight, even if in C, though I agree about the portion size - it says something when the starter salad is bigger than the main course!

Perhaps the tiny portions is just a way to differentiate their product from the mainline Lufthansa.

Quoting bwaflyer (Reply 13):
There is always a chance that there was a catering mix up in MXP, and an economy bar cart was loaded by mistake. There's also the possibility that LH were running down the catering operation at MXP and limited the loaded of certain items during the end of the operation.

Well I was told by the crew that they used to have miniature spirits in C, and that they now no longer have them. So It's as you say then, most likely them cutting down on the items at the end of their ops.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 14):
Turns out I was on that very same flight as you, just a few rows back on 5A:

Hey there. Yes think I might've spotted you. You must've been the guy with the camera  
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 14):
Well, there's 737's, and lots of them!

Yes, they're my favourite type  
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 14):
Ouch. Not what you want to experience when arriving at midnight and just want to get to your hotel as soon as possible.

True, two hours of less sleep is not good at all. Payed for a whole night, not a half one  
Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 15):
I can see your point regarding the curtain, to be fair many Euro airlines don't enforce the no use of front lavatory for Y.

Hi Lee. True, not much pointing it out on that flight. Of course I never use the front lav with respect for the pax seated up front, it's not really nice doing so. Only time I would find it okay is if only deadheading crew is seated there.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 15):
I always see people going through and must become slightly annoying especially if you are next to the curtain and it's always being moved.

Well it was very annoying since the cabin was dark, I tried to have some relax and the light from the galley kept shining in my face.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 15):
Good to get use of the SAS EB G lounge. The decor is much nicer.

Scandinavian Lounge is lightyears ahead of the Business Lounge. Still Business Lounge is much better then the Menzies  
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 16):
Shame with the weather, warm and sunny for me yesterday.

Hi Markus, thanks for the reply! Yeah you're quite a frequent visitor there, and for me the weather wasn't much different from home that day  
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 16):
Also intersting to follow you´re experience with the hotel which we talked about earlier.
Not that easy to reach and "well" organized style there. But the room looks like nice.

Yes, the hotel was nothing wrong with good value for the money. But despite contacting them several times, even made that note in the booking that I will be arriving late. It just left me hugely disappointed.

//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 18, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 10868 times:

Hi Jonas

Nice trip report you have got there! It was an enjoyable read! The ARN pics really make me look forward to the meeting in January! Sorry to hear that LH italia did not treat you so well in J and the hotel mishap!


Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 19, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 10197 times:

Hi Jonas,

Very interesting to read your view and opinion on things, as usual! I agree LH Italia doesn't exactly has a business class product to match mainline LH, BA or even SK, but it still was a nice carrier and a very interesting experiment by LH - shame things went the they they did...

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
and was able to sleep through the whole lecture, giving me some good two hours of sleep.

So why did you bother going there anyway? Or was that one of those "mandatory attendance" tick your name off the list kind of things?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
And from there we had a nice long chat, turns out he knew one of my mom’s friends in Västerås.

Now that's so nice? It's a small world and all that!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
As I made my way over to the deserted fast track security lane,

Why, oh why? That security setup at Arlanda Norra is so horrible. I always use the one next to SkyCity - far shorter queues, closer to the lounges and it doesn't dump you into the duty free store.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I didn’t bother reading the name on the tag, but as our friend P noticed a few days earlier her name was in fact Rock ’n’ Roll.

Yes, that's what it said.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Lounges are among the few places where I can really focus on my work, no idea why...

You are weird. But I told you my theory on working at lounges yesterday, didn't i?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
. But after some thinking she thought it was okay to let me in anyway. Very nice of her!

Very good, although it doesn't look very busy there at that time.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
just the pilot not giving a s**t anymore since he’s loosing his job anyway.

No, all the members of the flying crew were offered replacement positions in Germany, so if he is losing his job it is his own fault,.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The meal for this flight.

Yes, reminds me of my LHI flight in business last year - nice looking but very small.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Who drinks red wine with fish!?

The majority of Swedes (and Finns) who are happy to get alcohol for free no questions asked?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Hear that P, we do get something back from those tax money we spent!)

Well, Italy has an economy far too large to help (or allow to fall, how's that for a dilemma?) anyway. But so far those money's haven't been going for Italy...

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Not sure whether to call this lounge location discrete or undignified?

Oh yes, looks familiar. What I find annoying is that there are no toilets within the lounge.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The meal for this flight.

Hmm, it looks like you have a bigger appetizer than the actual main course?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Post-dinner espresso. The one part that didn’t leave me disappointed.

It is very hard to be disappointed by an espresso! Looks just like the ones my home espresso machine makes.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I am just glad this airline no longer exist, so that no one will ever have to go through the same things as I did...

Well seriously I can't really figure out what you are referring to? It's not like you'd been insulted or being forced to do something you rather didn't. Sure, the service wasn't really up to par of most of the comparable airlines, but it really doesn't sound that bad or neglective to me - more like lacklustre.


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2500 posts, RR: 53
Reply 20, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 10017 times:

Hello Jonas,

Once noticing the title of your TR, I wondered what seemed to be the problem. Judging on your experience, I can imagine your deep disappointment . Pity that LH Italia did not meet your expectation as I always heard positive comments about LH Italia.

Nevertheless, I still enjoyed your writing along with excellent pictures as usual.  


Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Despite this, the pre-flight excitement had once again struck me bad and I had only managed to get three hours of good sleep.

I know that feeling.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I decided to use my ”unstamped” ticket (which btw worked brilliantly), saving me a massive €14.

Very handy for your Malpensa Express ticket.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
And from there we had a nice long chat, turns out he knew one of my mom’s friends in Västerås.

It is a small world.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
For some reason, the security agent required a 2nd screening of my backpack, so he violently took it off the belt and put it in a new box

Did you file a complain about this treatment?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
But after some thinking she thought it was okay to let me in anyway. Very nice of her!

She was wonderful! You and P should come back to give her a box of chocolates like Burj.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
In the seats opposing me were italian men in their 40s giving me some nasty stares

I hope you waived them back with your C boarding pass.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Luckily the driver of the passing by terminal transfer bus was kind enough to pull over and pick me up. I asked him for directions to my hotel which was the Idea Hotel, to which he kindly dropped me off at one stop which he said was only a 100 meter walk from the hotel.

Wow, this is something different to P’s experience with Italian taxi drivers.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
So to ventilate all my fury, I spent one hour on the floor making situps and crunches, before finally passing out on the bed.

Your ripped six-pack must have been the blessing in disguise, then?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Sorry Suryo, I didn’t get a picture of the buffet this time. But next time I promise!  

I will be waiting.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.

Beautiful!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
No shame in that really, since I saw another man stuff ten of those in his bag, hehe

So, you could have liberated six more without feeling ashamed.


Thanks for sharing.

Best wishes,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlinePs76 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 9724 times:

Hi!

Many thanks for the report. Although you weren't too impressed with the airline it was nice to experience your flights and trip to Milan. I agree it would have been nice to have the curtain closed having paid for business class. From what I remember British Airways always do that, although I am always on the economy side of the curtain! The pictures of Milan look really nice too and your hotel room looks pretty good.

Many thanks.

Pierre


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6937 posts, RR: 77
Reply 22, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 9568 times:

Hi Jonas,

nice report with good pictures. While I agree that certain issues were certainly disappointing, you seem to exaggerate a bit, as Lars said. The food on the flights looks quite good - you simply shouldn't expect long-haul J Class catering and other amenities on a short-haul C Class flight.

You also complain a lot about the food selection in the lounges. Well, what do you expect to find in these ordinary Business lounges? Which Business lounge is stuffed with great choices of hot food? This all has to be paid by someone. Airlines aren't charity organisations. How many travellers purchase full-fare premium tickets? Some airlines can rely on such customers, others cannot. There's a reason why Lufthansa can run a First Class Terminal at FRA - because it has enough customers paying ultra high fares.

I don't get the lounge-mania anyway. Lounges are nice and sometimes useful, but as an enthusiast I still prefer to see planes rather than crowds of C Class travellers in black suits. But tastes are certainly different.

Sorry, sometimes you sound a bit like a guy who used to fly First Class only for decades and has now been downgraded to a slave ship...  

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The seat was very comfortable, although the legroom at the bulkhead row wasn’t good at all

That's why I always try to avoid bulkhead rows.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
On this flight there was no such thing as derated thrust, wonder is this is the case on all LH Italia flights or perhaps just the pilot not giving a s**t anymore since he’s loosing his job anyway.

There are numerous aspects (weather conditions, load, etc) which determine takeoff thrust.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
One thing that really bothered me was the fact that the curtain to Y class remained open throughout the whole flight. What the devil is this!!? Are those people not taking their job seriously anymore or is this standard practice on this airline? When motivating people to pay a premium of 150-1000% of the Y fare on short haul flights, one of the most obvious things people expect is that they make sure that darn curtain is shut throughout the flight!!! As a result of this major flaw, Y pax began using the front lavatory despite there being no queue at the ones in the back.

Oh come on - that's not the end of the world. I wouldn't bother about that, honestly. Do these people back there take anything away from you just because there's no curtain? And even if someone stands there next to you in the aisle for two minutes - how does it negatively affect you? What if another C Class passenger stands in the aisle for a while to stretch out?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
People from the back began queueing up for the front lavatory, despite having two perfectly fine, normal and vacant lavatories in the back.

Who knows? I flew LHR-MUC on BA yesterday and one rear lav was out of service. So people were allowed to use the front lavs. I'm glad you weren't on that flight!  

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Sure this wasn’t the biggest problem in the world, but having payed for a business class ticket (yes even a cheap-o one) one would expect a little more privacy.

Remember that it was an ordinary European short-haul flight on a narrowbody. I wouldn't expect so much privacy on such a flight anyway. Privacy is what I usually expect to find on a widebody J Class cabin.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
What came as a bigger disappointment was the fact that economy class got their meals server in bigger portions than this one. Maybe I should have asked for one of those meals instead...

So did Y Class pax get more food in the end? I don't think so.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I am just glad this airline no longer exist, so that no one will ever have to go through the same things as I did...

Jonas, you sound as if you suffered from food poisoning due to the catering or if you almost crash-landed.



PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1715 posts, RR: 18
Reply 23, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 9191 times:

Hey guys, thanks again for the replies! I'm glad y'all enjoyed the report  

Firstly here is the LH Italia review I was referring to in the report. Looks pretty sweet, hence my somewhat high expectations on this airline: http://selectcollectiontravel.blogsp...italia-brings-glamour-back-to.html

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 18):
The ARN pics really make me look forward to the meeting in January! Sorry to hear that LH italia did not treat you so well in J and the hotel mishap!

Hey Marc. Really looking forward to the meeting as well, will be nice to meet everyone. Hopefully this kind of mishap won't happen again... At least not on LH or LX  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19):
So why did you bother going there anyway? Or was that one of those "mandatory attendance" tick your name off the list kind of things?

Hey there P as in your name   Well I actually graduated top of my class from Aircraft Maintenance school, and bare with me, I was home most of the times and when I bothered to show up I slept though the lectures. It's how I learn things 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19):
Why, oh why? That security setup at Arlanda Norra is so horrible. I always use the one next to SkyCity - far shorter queues, closer to the lounges and it doesn't dump you into the duty free store.

Well I did have 7 hours to kill after all. Also it'll probably be the only time for me to use this perk since it's only given to C pax and EBG's.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19):
You are weird. But I told you my theory on working at lounges yesterday, didn't i?

Yes, I partly agree to your opinion. Lounges are after all there to cater all needs, both the leisurely and the productive. Libraries are not my thing, too many drunks and low-lifes. Lounges are however the opposite, if you know what I mean.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19):
The majority of Swedes (and Finns) who are happy to get alcohol for free no questions asked?

Suppose it's the old way of jantelagen. If there's anything this right wing government have taught me, it's to defy it with all possible means!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19):
Hmm, it looks like you have a bigger appetizer than the actual main course?

That was absolutely the case! It's really strange, but if they added some gravlax or chicken to that salad i.e making it a proper starter it would've been a lot more acceptable.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19):
Well seriously I can't really figure out what you are referring to? It's not like you'd been insulted or being forced to do something you rather didn't.

Well true, I didn't exactly suffer but in my case the product I purchased was flawed, broken, insufficient. It's not fun!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 20):
Very handy for your Malpensa Express ticket.

Hi Suryo. Yes it covered that expense perfectly!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 20):
Did you file a complain about this treatment?

Since the camera wasn't broken, I thought it wasn't needed. Although if it happens again, I will.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 20):
She was wonderful! You and P should come back to give her a box of chocolates like Burj.

Well, by the time I become as much of a frequent visitor that the staff will recognize me, then I'll might consider it  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 20):
Your ripped six-pack must have been the blessing in disguise, then?

Hehe, I'm not as ripped as you are. But it's coming along 
Quoting akhmad (Reply 20):
So, you could have liberated six more without feeling ashamed.

That might have been a bit overkill. Two was fine  
Quoting Ps76 (Reply 21):
I agree it would have been nice to have the curtain closed having paid for business class.

Yes, a little more privacy would've been nice. Also many airlines shut the curtain even when C is empty.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):
The food on the flights looks quite good - you simply shouldn't expect long-haul J Class catering and other amenities on a short-haul C Class flight.

Hi PH. Surely, long haul J is a different bag of crisps I'm aware of that. But still those extra small touches were lacking, and that was essentially what made this a bad product. The smaller details do after all make up the big picture.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):
You also complain a lot about the food selection in the lounges. Well, what do you expect to find in these ordinary Business lounges?

I didn't complain about the food in the lounges, I found it sufficient enough. Although just that they could improve the offerings in the SAS ARN lounge to match with the offerings on the CPH or at least OSL lounge.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):
Which Business lounge is stuffed with great choices of hot food?

Quite many in fact, at least by judging the countless reports on the forum. Maybe not too many in this part of the world, but still.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):
How many travellers purchase full-fare premium tickets?

I guess it's more a question of how many pax who doesn't purchase full-fare premium tickets. Most airlines do after all consider the C offerings as an extra perk for buying a flexible ticket, therefore only selling full-fare tickets. The exceptions are of course LX and BA who do it on a regular basis, and of course other airlines during summertime when there aren't many business travelers.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):
Oh come on - that's not the end of the world. I wouldn't bother about that, honestly. Do these people back there take anything away from you just because there's no curtain? And even if someone stands there next to you in the aisle for two minutes - how does it negatively affect you? What if another C Class passenger stands in the aisle for a while to stretch out?

Given the lack of resources to differentiate Y from C on short-haul flights, one would still expect the curtain to remain closed, it's the least thing they could do. I wouldn't mind someone from C to do so, since they're allowed to be in that cabin. Only time I used the front lav as an Y pax, I had the crew banging on the door, forcing me out, despite the cabin being completely empty. So in this case it wouldn't be fair to us.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):
Who knows? I flew LHR-MUC on BA yesterday and one rear lav was out of service. So people were allowed to use the front lavs.

Yes, that's a different scenario. In this case both rear lavs were perfectly normal.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):
So did Y Class pax get more food in the end? I don't think so.

Apart from the unsubstantial starter, yes the Y pax got more food. At least since the main was larger and the dessert was the same, if not better.

//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1466 posts, RR: 33
Reply 24, posted (3 years 1 month 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 8672 times:

Hi Jonas,

Shame that your only trip on LH Italia has left you with such a negative impression. I've never flown on them myself so can't comment, but the other reports on here have usually been pretty positive.

Maybe in light of all the changes the crew weren't as motivated as they should have been, it's no excuse though. I thought the meals looked more than ok and they seem a generous enough portion.

What a story trying to find the hotel! Did you make a written complaint about the lack of promised shuttle?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
After two months of not having seen the inside of an airplane,

Definitely too long!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
the man handling it refused to make eye contact with me for several seconds, the same applied for his female colleague.

One of my pet hates indeed.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
WHSmith, Sweden’s only!

Interesting, didn't know they had any branches outside the UK.

Thanks for posting & hope you enjoy your next trip better, is it LX?

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
25 Post contains images Babybus : I think someone got out of bed the wrong side that morning? That food and presentation looks mighty good to me. I also thought the cabin looked rathe
26 Post contains images abrelosojos : = Jajajajaja Jonas. Welcome to the club . As those of you know, I have complained and moaned about LH catering in J for years. It has always been aby
27 Post contains links and images LH4116 : Hello Guys, thanks again for your replies! Hi Hannah. Yeah, haven't written a complaint to the hotel, suppose I haven't figured out how. But I did how
28 Post contains images Parton87 : Hej Jonas! Tackar for the nice report! Sorry for the late reply. I have been busy:D As always very well written and with some really good pictures! I
29 Post contains images LH4116 : Hejsan Robert, thanks for the reply! Thanks, I work really hard to get those results Yes they are often quite nice and friendly, somehow a bit stereo
30 Post contains images airbuseric : Hi Jonas, yes, I know, you expected my reply since a longer time, but I couldn't find time at an earlier stage. A busy schedule, and a bit less time f
31 Post contains images LH4116 : Hoi Eric, thanks for reading! No problem, take your time Hehe, yes I try really hard to keep the image quality goed. And so do you, I suppose Well, I
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