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Lufthansa LH 593: FEB/12: ASM-JED-FRA: J Cabin  
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5098 posts, RR: 55
Posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 18620 times:

Feedback always appreciated.




I > Background:
Remote countries have always fascinated me. The allure to understand how people live there, and the landscape that frames this has always been the driver to go to countries where most don’t venture to. Most of these times, I have been rewarded by incredible vistas and reminded of the generosity of the human spirit. One such country I wanted to explore was Eritrea. Formed in 1993 as a breakaway from Ethiopia, the former darling of the international community had retrenched under a single-dictatorship and had recently earned the moniker of being the “North Korea of Africa.” Censorship is so high in Eritrea that DPRK is apparently dubbed as “free” by comparison …

All this fascinated me, and as my calendar opened up in 2012, I was packing my bags to head to the country by the Red Sea. In this trip report, I capture the first trip report on Eritrea, and the first flight on Lufthansa’s vital link via Jeddah. Alongside, I will provide some glimpses of the country and try to convince you that Asmara is probably the nicest city in Africa – far better than Cape Town ☺.

II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport:
Deutsche Lufthansa AG is the flag carrier of Germany and the largest airline in Europe in terms of overall passengers carried and fleet size. Employing around 120,000 employees, the world's fourth-largest airline in terms of overall passengers carried, operates to 18 domestic destinations and 203 international destinations in 78 countries across Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe. Operating out of its hubs at FRA and MUC, Lufthansa is a founding member of Star Alliance, and basically you should not belong to the aviation community if you have not heard of them. Recently, it has been mired in poor profitability and labor unrest as it tries to adapt to the realities of a newer world – of increasing LCC competition, mega-Asian carriers, and an European market in turmoil.

Booking for my flight was done on Lufthansa’s excellent website at www.lufthansa.com. Probably, one of the best websites by a major airline, online services are a breeze to do there. Within minutes, I had a nice looking e-ticket printed and delivered to my inbox after having spent some time studying the online seat map. One of the things I love about LH’s site is the ability to continuously pull up tickets and make several seat selections. It did not have a change booking facility, but that is hard to do given LH’s notoriously complicated ticketing fare basis’.



b) At Airport:
After an amazing week of adventure in Eritrea, it was sadly time to leave. Several people had warned us of the notoriously ineffective airport, so we allowed an abnormal (for me) 3 hours cushion prior to the flight.

Asmara airport is forever stuck in time, and the first thing you notice is the synonymous feeling of a sleepy African airport where lights are dim as the country struggles with an energy shortage. Even prior to entering the airport, your bags are screened and your “exit visa” checked to see if you have the freedom to leave. No wonder my tour guide (under some alcohol) said that they were living in a prison. Apparently, getting a foreign visa was far easier than getting the Eritrean exit stamp.

After passing through this interrogation, you walk through a shed to the small terminal where LH’s flight was the major thing that evening. Check-in is busy, but the woman is quickly able to process me through the dedicated Business Class desk. There is even a First Class desk where an expat (most probably World Bank) Honors Circle member is welcomed like an old friend. Meanwhile, the woman is a little confused with my passports. I had entered Eritrea on my Venezuelan one, but of course need the Liechtenstein one to enter Europe. She struggles to put this information in and has to get supervisory help. However, she is pleasant throughout the whole thing, and unlike in West Africa where overzealous French guards are deployed on Air France flights protecting fortress Europe, the Germans are much more dignified and can conduct the process with grace. Minutes later, I have a boarding pass and my preferred seat 3A which happens to be in the quieter mini cabin on the 340. When asked about a lounge, she smiles and shakes her head. C’est la vie.

I don’t know why people scare you with these horror stories about Africa – none hold true in Eritrea. Quick immigration (except an Italian woman who has “again” outstayed her welcome), security, and customs (mostly to Eritrean nationals and expats) later, I am air-side with over 2 hours to spare, one small café, and a duty free store that is ubiquitous with countries that have never quite emerged from the 1980’s. All one can do is observe the various passengers and try to construct why they are in Eritrea.

With 45 minutes to go, boarding is announced which basically implies that you move from one section of the terminal to another nearer to the boarding gate. The entire process seems silly to me, but I guess provides an employment generating activity in the country to the LH agent who tears off your boarding pass. However, as we close in to the departure time, the LH agent seems to have disappeared and been replaced by a growing sense of restlessness amongst the passenger group. Interestingly, this frustration is mostly amongst us white people including an Italian man who is super nervous about missing his Bologna connection. I don’t blame him as MCT’s in FRA are almost never realistic especially when doing Schengen/non-Schengen transfers and with so many LH flights arriving at a bus gate. Why LH and some other Star Carriers do it remain a mystery to me, with worst offenders being LH/AC 45 minute transfers on Schengen/non-Schengen. Anyways, after the boarding time passes, the same LH agent comes and tells us that boarding will be delayed (seriously?) and departure will now happen 50 minutes later. During the entire time, no apology or explanation is given, and I am disappointed that the German LH manager makes no attempt to come and greet his premium passengers (like the Italian) who would be missing their onward connection and are in a state of panic.

When boarding is announced, the typical Star priority scheme is replaced by a general mad dash to the plane via disembarking through a dingy staircase and walking to the tarmac. I must say though – the LH 340 in the evening light of Asmara airport looked absolutely stunning. Too bad my camera did not work, and I did not want to linger on the tarmac for a super long time. Another novelty was boarding the aircraft through 3L on to the aircraft where a crew that was in chaos trying to finish everything for departure greeted me.

After a little while, champagne/OJ/water was offered, and I settled in with some water. F load was 0% (as with all LH African flights I have been on), J load was 60%, and Y load was 90%.

Airport - External:

(Asmara Airport)
Check-in:

(LH Check-In)


Airport - Internal:

(Pre-Security @ ASM)


(FIDS)
+ There were none +

(Post-Security @ ASM)

*


Scenes of the tarmac:

+ No aircraft on tarmac +



Lounge

+ NO LOUNGE @ ASM +



Boarding:


(Gate Area)

*

*


(Chaotic Boarding)


III> In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions:
On the seat, typical LH amenity kit awaits you with the covering for the headphones which are connected to the seat.

On ASM-JED:

+ Water/OJ/Champagne (pre-departure)
+ Skimpy hot towels
+ Light snack service

On JED-FRA:

+ Newspapers distributed prior to take-off
+ Skimpy hot towels
+ Another light meal service
+ Breakfast prior to arrival / Or, packaged.

One thing Lufthansa MUST be complimented for is the amount of “localization” it provides to flights befitting of a global carrier. On this flight, I was rather impressed with the safety information and all announcements made in both Arabic and Tigrinya (!) – the official language of Eritrea. Really, hats off, as LH can clearly demonstrate that one can be proud of their German heritage and yet be able to adapt to a global clientele. Hear that Air France …

b) Aircraft + Seats:
The Airbus 340 remains one of the most graceful aircraft ever built, and looked stunning on THE Asmara tarmac. Too bad about the dubious economics. Inside this Lufthansa bird, was the typical J class layout that I am ever so familiar with (I have CCS-FRA as the #1 segment I have ever flown and most of it is in these confinement). LH’s J-class leaves a lot to be desired. The lie flat is always thoroughly uncomfortable … but still better than say the 2/3/2 madness that you see on AF’s 77W’s. Deconstructing the seat, you realize it is fine in the upright position. However, the moment you begin to recline, it becomes extremely tight. On several occasions, my leg would just get stuck ... and I am NOT tall by any means. Finally, as mentioned, the seat is uncomfortable in the sleep position. I mean, I do like some lie-flat seats ... like SQ old Raffles, but LH continues to be definitely pre-historic. I simply cannot believe they went for this same utter crap when the 380 was launched, and remain convinced that the only person who had a good night sleep here is the woman featured in the LH ads (trying to find it BTW). Overall, this particular aircraft seemed tired. The bathrooms had not been thoroughly cleaned and I found litter even though I used it immediately after boarding. Amenities were missing and only stocked after I alerted the purser. Overall, I think it is time to refurbish these aircraft, or retire them.

Aircraft:
(Stunnng 343 – stock)


Views from Aircraft:

(Goodbye awesome Eritrea: Asmara Airport)


(Approaching Jeddah)


(@ JED)

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*

*

*

*

*


General Seat Views + Seat Legroom



(Legroom)


(Around Seat)


Seat Recline + Angle View:

(Recline)


(Angle view)


Cabin:

(Always chose this when booking)


(Empty F Class)


(Bathroom)


(Kinda nasty @ boarding)



(Where are the usual amenities?)


(Around Aircraft)

(Yet, never have seen an aircraft with it …)


c) Meal + Beverage:
As many long term readers know, I find Lufthansa’s JCL meal service to be positively horrible. Even if the quality of the food is SA Czech Airlines">OK, the quantity makes me feel I was living in some ration controlled East German town. On their CCS-FRA flight, I actually ask for Y-meals these days. It is actually quite bizarre as FCL meals on LH are generous and very good, and even comparative Y-meals are decent. Somehow, it is the JCL meals that seem to fail against global benchmarks.

This flight was no different. However, I feel it is hard to judge as the odd flight time plus the stop in Jeddah makes it difficult to judge whether the service was appropriate or not.

On the leg from Asmara to Jeddah, there was no choice (poor), and you were given some very basic Arabic mezze with a cheesecake. It was strange not to have any “western” option. To be fair, the mezze plate was actually rather good – while the dessert was more Y-class than J. This was washed down with some Diet Coke as the wine and champagne offerings were rather weak – except the Riesling which was good as always on LH.

On the leg from Jeddah to Asmara, again there were no choices. We were offered some excellent fresh fruit and some equally nice canapés. This is one meal that I thought was rather good and portioned well for the time of the flight. Lack of choices though was very poor in JCL for any flight that is over 6 hours.

Finally, prior to landing, one could have a breakfast … or could (like me) do the “breakfast on the go” option. Personally, I find these to be a great thing on LH and got the same with a nice sandwich and some yoghurt to boot.

Overall, an average performance, though the flight hour and nature made it hard for me to be as critical as I normally am with LH JCL meal delivery.

(Menu)

*

*


(ASM/JED)


(JED/FRA)


(Water before you sleep)


(Breakfast-To-Go)


d) Inflight Entertainment:
Lufthansa’s IFE is clearly a generation behind. While their “new” AVOD is better than the past, the limited amount of movies and TV shows get tiresome as do the old controllers. Moreover, it really is time to change those nasty headsets and tiny screens. Thankfully, the 748 is a huge improvement, and I look forward to it being rolled out across the fleet. The LH inflight magazines continues to be one of the best out there with a section on their fleet which even our A.Net resident expert “PH” will approve. Though, I am convinced sometimes PH wrote it …

(LH AVOD – with local lingo)

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(Those seriously LH-needs-to-change-this-headset)


(Our route & Red Sea Crossing)


(“In-flight magazines”, Boarding Passes, etc.: Just look at all the stuff I got from them)


e) Crew:
The crew on-board was typical Lufthansa. Pleasant (but not overly friendly), task oriented, and (for the lack of any better word) very German. In very typical LH fashion, they were not too helpful during the boarding process and there was not into much smiling. Like many of their counterparts, they did not have the Asian flair for service, nor the dry humor that makes me really adore crew on SOME BA, VS, SA, etc. flights. Yet, at the same time, they efficiently went about their job and got everything done. I appreciated them asking me about my interest in “breakfast-to-go”; I liked the fact that the did water runs; I liked the fact that they responded to call button requests with ease; I liked the fact that they were not rude to their passengers. So in the end, very typical LH. On a side note, I think the best LH crews are when you have a diverse group including some Asians (Japanese and Indians are the best) and the awesome ex-SN Belgians that have infiltrated the ranks!

IV> Post-Flight:

Unsurprisingly, the aircraft landed at a remote dock in FRA. The pecking order of flights on Lufthansa is clearly evident from where they send their aircraft – almost ALL flights from Africa I have been on land remote; half of my CCS flights land remote; nearly all my flights to Asia (NRT/HKG/DEL/BLR) and North America (BOS/JFK) land at a gate …

Even though the pilot made up most of the time in the air, a bunch of people missed connections, and disembarkation in general was very haphazard. For God’s sake LH, send a bus solely for your premium customers! It amazes me that Fraport runs such a good operation elsewhere and in its home base, it is a model of inefficiency at times! Thankfully, I had no connection, and was landside in 45 minutes … not too bad for FRA.

(My new favorite gin makes it!)


V> Impressions + Scores:
This was a classic Lufty experience for me. Nothing overly stood out in terms of product – both hard and soft. The check-in experience was good, and LH cannot be faulted for not having a lounge at ASM. Perhaps, they could do what’s done at other African airports and offer a meal voucher at the one café? Boarding was chaotic and disappointing. On the flight, both the hard product and the soft product were acceptable without being anything that will stand out. And as always, LH got me to my destination without too much drama or negative feelings about poor crew.

However, as I have said in the past many times on A.Net, and in private to LH management, this is simply not enough. The risk LH has is that it continues to lose its middle premium segment (JCL travelers) to better equipped Asian and Gulf carriers. Heck, even the product on U.S. legacies such as US Airways, Delta, and United is a whole lot better. The super premium demand will always be there – Germany is a rich O&D market and M&M (as crappy as it has become) still has a loyal following. However, these super premium traffic is small (as shown on this flight) and the middle premium segment is the one who ultimately gets to be high premium.

Lufthansa has done a lot of things right – it has globalized its product offering and made more attempts than ANY European carrier to become more international. This is particularly evident in a market like India where it has taken over as the preferred European carrier – instead of British Airways. For this, it must be congratulated. However, that is no longer enough.

The flight itself gets no thumps up or down. Of course, I will continue to fly LH. However, this will continue to be because of its network depth and schedule reliability, and not because of its service. If an alternate airline exists on a route, I will seriously consider it, and even pay a premium for the better service.



VI> Other Trip Reports:

PREMIUM:
9.27: JET AIRWAYS **FIRST** (110): LHR-BOM: 10/2010
9.27: THAI AIRWAYS **FIRST** (108): BKK-LHR: 07/2010
9.00: All Nippon: ANA (133): NRT-FUK-BOM: 12/2011

8.66: Brussels Airlines (93): FIH-BRU: 01/2010
8.64: Turkish Airlines (59): JFK-IST: 11/2008
8.63: Jet Airways (88): JFK-BRU: 10/2009
8.61: Air Canada (49): YYZ-SCL: 06/2008
8.54: Turkish Airlines (77): GRU-DKR-IST: 04/2009
8.36: Kingfisher (98): BOM-HKG: 01/2010
8.30: Jet Airways (74): KWI-BOM: 04/2009
8.23: United Airlines (72): SFO-SYD: 03/2009
8.11: Aeroflot (33): MOW-DEL: 09/2007
8.05: Air India (80): CCU-JFK: 06/2009
8.04: Korean Air (40): NRT-ICN: 10/2007
8.02: Delta Airlines (24): JFK-CDG: 08/2007
7.82: UNITED AIRLINES **FIRST** (110): SFO-ICN: 10/2010
7.82: Singapore Airlines (06): EWR-SIN: 09/2006
7.66: Sri Lankan (104): DEL-CMB: 07/2010
7.64: Royal Jordanian (91): AMM-YUL: 12/2009
7.61: China Southern (103): LOS-DXB: 04/2010
7.57: Pakistan Airlines (102): ORD-BCN: 06/2010
7.55: Air Canada (132): YEG-LHR: 06/2011
7.46: LAN (55): YYZ-JFK: 09/2008
7.38: AMERICAN AIRLINES **FIRST** (112): LHR-JFK: 10/2010
7.38: CATHAY PACIFIC **FIRST** (109): HKG-LHR: 10/2010
7.36: Turkish Airlines (134): IST-LAX: 10/2011
7.25: Iran Air (88): BOM-IKA: 12/2009
7.23: Air Pacific (120): NAN-APW-HNL: 01/2011
7.23: Virgin Atlantic (81): BOS-LHR: 07/2009
7.14: Swiss (52): SCL-GRU: 06/2008
7.11: Aer Lingus (105): MAD-IAD: 05/2010
7.11: Austrian (79): VIE-JFK: 06/2009
7.07: Privatair (84): BOM-FRA: 08/2009
7.02: Qatar (68): DOH-JFK: 01/2009
6.96: Etihad (61): JFK-AUH: 12/2008
6.93: Delta Airlines (18): SEA-JFK: 11/2006
6.91: Lufthansa (139): 02/2012
6.88: Egypt Air (123): LHR-CAI: 03/2011
6.84: ConViasa (65): CCS-DAM: 01/2009
6.82: Air Burkina (106): BKO-OUA: 06/2010
6.81: Air Canada (17): ICN-YYZ: 10/2006
6.75: Afriqiyah + Libyan (113): CAI-TIP: 11/2010
6.70: KLM (32): EBB-AMS: 08/2007
6.52: Emirates (99): LHR-DXB: 02/2010
6.39: South African (97): EZE-JNB: 01/2010
6.36: Privatair (60): MUC-BOS: 12/2008
6.29: TAM Brasil (96): POA-EZE: 02/2010
6.25: Korean Air (45): NAN-ICN: 10/2007
6.21: Iberia (87): BOS-MAD: 10/2009
6.11: A SKY (107): OUA-COO: 06/2010
6.11: TAP Portugal (53): GRU-OPO: 06/2008
6.00: Gulf Air (75): BOM-BAH: 04/2009
5.88: African Express (89): DXB-NBO: 11/2009
5.75: Singapore Airlines (16): CCU-SIN: 10/2006
5.64: SATA Azores (101): BOS-PDL: 04/2010
5.64: NorthWest (46): ICN-NRT-SEA: 10/2007
5.54: Ethiopian Airlines (95): ADD-BOM: 01/2010
5.46: Icelandair (83): KEF-BOS: 08/2009
5.39: LOT (54): WAW-JFK: 06/2008
5.21: Egypt Air (73): CAI-IST: 02/2009
5.11: Tunisair (115): TUN-ORY: 12/2010
5.07: TACA (66): JFK-SAP: 01/2009
4.89: TAAG Angola (117): TMS-LAD: 12/2010
4.42: Air France: CDG-JNB (25): 08/2007

ECONOMY: Long + Medium:
9.26: Air India (48): JFK-DEL: 02/2008
9.04: First Air (129): YEG-YFB: 06/2011
8.74: Japan Air Lines (130): NRT-BOS: 04/2012 – INAUGURAL
7.99: WestJet (131): YYZ-YYC: 06/2011
7.38: Avianca (01): BOG-LIM: 07/2006
7.07: Sri Lankan (62): KWI-CMB: 12/2008
7.00: LAN (94): IPC-SCL: 01/2010
6.81: STP Airways/Euro Atlantic (116): LIS-TMS: 12/2010
6.74: Air Asia (136): VTE-KUL: 12/2011
6.67: Air Malta (124): MLA-FRA: 04/2011
6.63: Vladavia (126): KHV-PEK: 06/2011
6.41: Air North (127): YEV-YEG: 06/2011
6.41: Avianca (78): JFK-BOG: 05/2009
6.41: American Airlines (58): LHR-BOS: 11/2008
6.39: Condor (85): SEZ-FRA: 09/2009
6.26: Jet Blue (21): CUN-JFK: 02/2007
6.11: Caribbean Airlines (119): POS-FLL: 01/2011
6.06: Air Canada (04): YYZ-YVR: 09/2006
5.89: USA 3000 (19): PUJ-BDL: 01/2007
5.85: Spanair (69): MAD-LPA: 02/2009
5.80: Canadian North (128): YEV-YVQ-YZF-YEG: 06/2011
5.79: Air New Zealand (42): RAR-NAN: 10/2007
5.52: Aerolineas (86): USH-AEP: 10/2009
5.46: TAP Air Portugal (23): OSL-LIS: 05/2007
5.19: Air Europa (70): LPA-MAD: 02/2009
5.16: Iberia (71): MAD-BOS: 02/2009
5.11: Air China (82): FRA-PEK: 08/2009
4.59: IR Aero (125): IKT-VVO: 06/2011

ECONOMY: Short
8.56: Paramount Airways (38): BLR-MAA: 09/2007
8.56: Kingfisher (64): HYD-CCU: 12/2008
8.24: Kingfisher (14): IXA-GAU: 10/2006
7.87: Indian (34): BOM-MAA: 09/2007
7.72: Alliance Air (13): CCU-IXA: 10/2006
7.57: Indian Airlines (10): DEL-CCU: 09/2006
7.23: West Jet (03): YYC-YVR: 09/2006
7.15: JetLite (37): BOM-GOI: 09/2007
6.98: Air Koryo (100): PEK-FNJ: 04/2010
6.96: Maldivian (137): MLE-TRV: 12/2011
6.96: Lao Airlines (135): VTE-KUL: 12/2011
6.70: Spice Jet (09): CCU-DEL: 09/2006
6.63: Air Fiji (44): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.63: Jazeera (67): DAM-KWI: 01/2009
6.58: Air Tran (02): EWR-MDW: 08/2006
6.48: Air India Express (63): CMB-MAA: 12/2008
6.44: CO Micronesia (39): ROR-YAP: 10/2007
6.41: Pacific Sun (43): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.37: Buffalo (138): YZF-YXY: 10/2007
6.37: Skybus (47): SWF-CMH: 02/2008
6.33: Kenya Airways (29): NBO-BJM: 08/2007
6.33: Sky Europe (56): LTN-BTS: 10/2008
6.31: Indigo (15): GAU-CCU: 10/2006
6.31: easyJet (57): BUD-LTN: 11/2008
6.22: Air Link Swazi (28): MTS-JNB: 08/2007
6.22: Air India (36): HYD-BOM: 09/2007
6.13: Adam Air (07): SIN-CGK: 09/2006
6.13: Air Rarotonga (41): RAR-AIT: 10/2007
6.04: Suriname Airways (118): PBM-POS: 01/2011
6.00: Transairways (27): INH-MPM: 08/2007
5.95: Air Canada (05): ALB-YYZ: 09/2006
5.85: SAS Norge (22): OSL-AES: 05/2007
5.81: LAM Mozambique (26): JNB-MPM: 08/2007
5.69: Air Deccan (12): IXZ-CCU: 10/2006
5.67: Rwanda Air Exp (30): KGL-NBO: 08/2007
5.52: Sevenair (114): TOE-TUN: 11/2010
5.37: Felix Airways (92): SCT-SAH: 12/2009
5.11: Aero Republica (76): BOG-CCS: 04/2009
5.07: Go Air (35): MAA-HYD: 09/2007
5.04: Biman (121): DAC-CGP: 01/2011
5.00: Sky Airline (51): IQQ-SCL: 06/2008
4.96: United Bangla (122): CGP-DAC: 01/2011
4.96: Valuair (08): CGK-SIN: 09/2006
4.78: Air Comet Chile (50): SCL-IQQ: 06/2008
4.74: Fly 540 (31): MYD-LAU: 08/2007
4.33: Viva Aerobus (20): ELP-MTY: 02/2007
4.11: Air Sahara (11): CCU-BOM: 09/2006

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

VII> Other Pictures:

(LH’s JCL Amenity Kit)


(And, now the stunning Eritrea: Go there before it changes!)

(Asmara: Africa’s best kept secret)


(Not southern Europe)

*

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(Amazing café @ Asmara)

*

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(From Asmara, you take a spectacular road to the coast)

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(To coastal towns that make Zanzibar seem ordinary)


(And beaches that are some of the best in the world)

*

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* Unbiased view on how an actual traveler may view the flight
* Not a professional photographer (so please keep in mind)
* Commitment that I won’t identify myself to the airline as “reviewing them”



Live, and let live.
46 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineretrolivery From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 205 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 18226 times:

Wow, those photos you've posted from Asmara are incredible. I knew that there was an Italian influence in the region, given the historical connection between Italy and Ethiopia, but I had no idea it was to that extent. It really does look just like a town in Southern Italy. Thank you for sharing these!


A3, AA, AC, AI, AK, AM, AP, AZ, B6, BA, CO, DL, EK, EY, FL, FI, FR, KL, KM, LH, MA, MH, MS, OA, OK, OS, SR, TA, TG, U2,
User currently offlineMHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1105 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 18021 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
One such country I wanted to explore was Eritrea. Formed in 1993 as a breakaway from Ethiopia, the former darling of the international community had retrenched under a single-dictatorship and had recently earned the moniker of being the “North Korea of Africa.” Censorship is so high in Eritrea that DPRK is apparently dubbed as “free” by comparison …

Oh boy, sounds interesting for sure!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I don’t know why people scare you with these horror stories about Africa – none hold true in Eritrea.

It probably has to do with the fact that many foreigners are in Africa against their will (i.e. for work and not for tourist reasons). They get frazzled when their airport experience doesn't go exactly as it goes at home.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Anyways, after the boarding time passes, the same LH agent comes and tells us that boarding will be delayed (seriously?) and departure will now happen 50 minutes later. During the entire time, no apology or explanation is given, and I am disappointed that the German LH manager makes no attempt to come and greet his premium passengers (like the Italian) who would be missing their onward connection and are in a state of panic.

This is pretty poor handling of a delay.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
On this flight, I was rather impressed with the safety information and all announcements made in both Arabic and Tigrinya (!) – the official language of Eritrea.

This is very impressive and just how a global airline should operate.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Asmara: Africa’s best kept secret)

WOW. I want to go. How difficult was the visa? Where did you stay?


User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5098 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 17911 times:

Quoting retrolivery (Reply 1):
Wow, those photos you've posted from Asmara are incredible. I knew that there was an Italian influence in the region, given the historical connection between Italy and Ethiopia, but I had no idea it was to that extent. It really does look just like a town in Southern Italy. Thank you for sharing these!

= The Italian influence is amazing ... more importantly, it is alive in the culture and the notion of just chilling over coffee  .

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 2):
It probably has to do with the fact that many foreigners are in Africa against their will (i.e. for work and not for tourist reasons). They get frazzled when their airport experience doesn't go exactly as it goes at home.

= Perhaps in Angola ... but in general, no EXPAT outside Chinese slaves are held against their will. Most expats are in Africa to make money or enhance their career ... some bitch and whine about home, and I don't get it ... a lot of them would be very middle back home and know that  . Agreed on the airport experience.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 2):
This is pretty poor handling of a delay.

= The fact that the Lufthansa station manager was seen hanging out and having a coffee with the crew and not responding to passengers come across in poor light.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 2):
WOW. I want to go. How difficult was the visa? Where did you stay?

= YOU MUST GO! It will displace your beloved Angola (BTW, where is that TR?). Visa was easy to obtain and I stayed at the Sunshine Hotel I believe? Let's talk more! I'd love to go back and do Somaliland as well.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineMHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1105 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 17818 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 3):
= Perhaps in Angola ... but in general, no EXPAT outside Chinese slaves are held against their will. Most expats are in Africa to make money or enhance their career ... some bitch and whine about home, and I don't get it ... a lot of them would be very middle back home and know that  . Agreed on the airport experience.

Sorry I simply meant they were there for work instead of pleasure. AKA they are not there to enjoy themselves and experience the culture.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 3):
= YOU MUST GO! It will displace your beloved Angola (BTW, where is that TR?). Visa was easy to obtain and I stayed at the Sunshine Hotel I believe? Let's talk more! I'd love to go back and do Somaliland as well.

Haha alright I'll look into it then! And that trip report is coming. My cameras were confiscated by the Angolan police in Luanda after I took a picture of some building that was some government office blah blah blah. Long story short, my Angolan friend got it back for me but has been lazy and has yet to send it to me. So I am still waiting for that, which has been very frustrating. The trip was interesting to say the least, and I think you'll get a kick of my reports whenever I can post them.


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 17583 times:

Hi Alex,

great report, it was about time to present us a classic LH review! You clearly point out LH's weaknesses - but new seats in all classes are being installed. LH certainly should have started doing so much earlier.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Too bad about the dubious economics.

I wouldn't use the term dubious. The A340 is simply not as efficient as other types, but it still can be used economically.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The bathrooms had not been thoroughly cleaned and I found litter even though I used it immediately after boarding.

Not good...

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
F load was 0% (as with all LH African flights I have been on)

Really? What about the A380 service to JNB? I guess LH still makes much money with (high?) J and Y fares on African routes.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Overall, I think it is time to refurbish these aircraft, or retire them.

Some A343s and 744s have already been retired, others will follow - but the majority of aircraft has been selected for refurbishing. I'm not sure though how many A343s and 744s have already been retrofitted.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The LH inflight magazines continues to be one of the best out there with a section on their fleet which even our A.Net resident expert “PH” will approve. Though, I am convinced sometimes PH wrote it …

Correct. LH's inflight magazine is excellent in terms of layout and content. I cannot remember any mistakes in the fleet info section.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The pecking order of flights on Lufthansa is clearly evident from where they send their aircraft – almost ALL flights from Africa I have been on land remote; half of my CCS flights land remote; nearly all my flights to Asia (NRT/HKG/DEL/BLR) and North America (BOS/JFK) land at a gate …

Very interesting!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2429 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 17363 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
One such country I wanted to explore was Eritrea. Formed in 1993 as a breakaway from Ethiopia

Nice TR and very interesting country- great pictures!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
In this trip report, I capture the first trip report on Eritrea, and the first flight on Lufthansa’s vital link via Jeddah.
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
If an alternate airline exists on a route, I will seriously consider it, and even pay a premium for the better service.

I am very disappointed... I was expecting something more "exotic" (knowing your taste)- like Eritrean Airlines (which also operates ASM-FRA-ASM.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Helmut Schnichels

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
When asked about a lounge, she smiles and shakes her head. C’est la vie.

Very poor ground service! It would be so simple to offer at least a bottle of water to their premium passengers at check-in. Not to mention a voucher for the bar/cafe....

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
after the boarding time passes, the same LH agent comes and tells us that boarding will be delayed (seriously?) and departure will now happen 50 minutes later. During the entire time, no apology or explanation is given, and I am disappointed that the German LH manager makes no attempt to come and greet his premium passengers

Was this a truly (German) LH agent- or just a "supervisor" from the local ground handling company?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Another novelty was boarding the aircraft through 3L on to the aircraft where a crew that was in chaos trying to finish everything for departure greeted me.

Are you sure? Don't worry- I do believe you! Very, very strange- this is normally an emergency exit door only and absolutely not suitable for boarding (let alone for the height of the door frame and the integrated overhead lockers):


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Florian Kondziela

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
LH’s J-class leaves a lot to be desired. The lie flat is always thoroughly uncomfortable …

The old J-seats on board are "angled-flat business class seats" and not "lie flat business class seats"...
The newer seat might be a truly lie flat seat and a huge improvement in comfort- but I dislike the V-shape design (just horrible!).


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt



User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 17293 times:

Hi Alex


Glad too see the classic LH report to finally be up. It's nice to have the benchmark.
LH's J is indeed running behind and your report clearly shows it. My LH flights in the past have been mediocre to good.
Which my longhaul thankfully was one of the good ones.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1092 posts, RR: 31
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 16820 times:

Hi Alex,

Terrific report there, but of course I really only had eyes for those destination photos! Staggering - I tried to route up through Djaboutie, Eritrea and then cross into Sudan on my Africa trip but for visa reasons, was unable to. Where did you get your visa?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
flight on Lufthansa’s vital link via Jeddah.

Amazing link - never knew about this.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Most of these times, I have been rewarded by incredible vistas and reminded of the generosity of the human spirit.

A man after my own heart.. . so often the 'worst' places are the best places!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Even prior to entering the airport, your bags are screened and your “exit visa” checked to see if you have the freedom to leave. No wonder my tour guide (under some alcohol) said that they were living in a prison.

This sounds like Saudi were one can easily get trapped as it where.

The scenes of Eritrea tally with how it might be in my mind, I had heard the Italian influence had really stuck, and I only met very proud, good Eritreans on my travels. Well, I will put that one beside Socotra in my 'Destinations Alex has inspired me to travel to ' list.

Rgds

Luke



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlineglobalflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 928 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 16586 times:

Hi Alex...as usual a wonderful TR. Asmara does seem a place out of time with the colonial influences. I had no idea it was such a dictatorship which is quite sad. I am shocked with your multiple passports that they could figure that out or else we would never hear from you again!   Thanks for sharing! Cheers, Will


Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
User currently onlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 16531 times:

Thanks for posting Alex. The photos of Eritrea look amazing...and it's safe?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
One thing Lufthansa MUST be complimented for is the amount of “localization” it provides to flights befitting of a global carrier.

Am I wrong or was it you that said LH weren't good at "localising" compared to SN?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Unsurprisingly, the aircraft landed at a remote dock in FRA. The pecking order of flights on Lufthansa is clearly evident from where they send their aircraft – almost ALL flights from Africa I have been on land remote; half of my CCS flights land remote; nearly all my flights to Asia (NRT/HKG/DEL/BLR) and North America (BOS/JFK) land at a gate …

Hm, not surprsing, but a shame for these flight (which often have higher average fares). It's the same with SQ in SIN, flights to "nice" places (Europe/US/N.Asia) get the new T3, flights to "2nd tier" places (Africa/India/S.E.Asia) get old T2.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlinechopchop767 From Italy, joined Aug 2010, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 16126 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The risk LH has is that it continues to lose its middle premium segment (JCL travelers) to better equipped Asian and Gulf carriers. Heck, even the product on U.S. legacies such as US Airways, Delta, and United is a whole lot better. The super premium demand will always be there – Germany is a rich O&D market and M&M (as crappy as it has become) still has a loyal following. However, these super premium traffic is small (as shown on this flight) and the middle premium segment is the one who ultimately gets to be high premium.

I've flown on LH's J class twice in the last three months, to Boston and to Bahrain. In my experience, Alex, you hit the nail on the head: nothing special. The flight attendants are friendly, the food decent and the seat, well, better than a Y seat, but not very comfortable. LH is my carrier of choice out of NAP, and I'm really hoping that the new J seats allow LH not only to improve the hardware, but also the services.

Thanks for a wonderful report.



this year: nap, lgw, fra, dub, fco, add, jib, muc, iad, sea, dca, bos, cdg, ist, bah, prg, ord, hsv, cmn
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2293 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 15988 times:

Hey Alex,

Eritrea... Amazing!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
No wonder my tour guide (under some alcohol) said that they were living in a prison.

I think in North Korea that comment would've gotten the tour guide into a real prison...

An interesting route, too, but I still like the Eritrean pictures more. That road looks great... and the towns... look as if straight from a movie... Really great.

Just wow. Thanks for writing it up!


User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2190 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 15762 times:

Interesting TR. Thanks for sharing.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
On the leg from Asmara to Jeddah, there was no choice (poor), and you were given some very basic Arabic mezze with a cheesecake. It was strange not to have any “western” option. To be fair, the mezze plate was actually rather good – while the dessert was more Y-class than J. This was washed down with some Diet Coke as the wine and champagne offerings were rather weak – except the Riesling which was good as always on LH.

Champagne? On flights to and from the KSA? I thought this wasn't allowed...



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1161 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 15669 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi abrelosojos,

Thank you very much for another fantastic report, really enjoyed it as always!
Not a solid performance by LH this time, that JCL really is in need of refurbishment!
Love your pictures of Eritrea, looks like a great and beautiful country

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
One thing Lufthansa MUST be complimented for is the amount of “localization” it provides to flights befitting of a global carrier. On this flight, I was rather impressed with the safety information and all announcements made in both Arabic and Tigrinya (!) – the official language of Eritrea

Very true, LH is always good in that

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Those seriously LH-needs-to-change-this-headset)

wow, looks more like a YCL headset!

cheers,

Brendan


User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 426 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 15575 times:

Hi abri !
ok for me this is your best trip report ... or better to say this combination is somehow "you" or what is my perspective of "you-your work "... you're more eloquent than usual , you evaluate very rationally company that you really know well and you have a motivational approach by destination and off course cunningly provoke  
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
and basically you should not belong to the aviation community if you have not heard of them

hahahhahahahahha come on ...this is too strong statement ... even my mother knows for LH

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
No wonder my tour guide (under some alcohol) said that they were living in a prison.

sad sad sad sad sad but nobody cares

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
overzealous French guards are deployed on Air France flights protecting fortress Europe

it must be love, love, love .... nothing more, nothing less lalalaaaaaa madnessssss  
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
are almost never realistic especially when doing Schengen/non-Schengen transfers

so... I do not understand ...for OU/LH combination I always wear my running equipment , smile No. 5 and 3-Weather- taft hairspray and extra deodorant ...

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
As many long term readers know, I find Lufthansa%u2019s JCL meal service to be positively horrible. Even if the quality of the food is SA Czech Airlines">OK, the quantity makes me feel I was living in some ration controlled East German town.

hahahahahaha 1. CSA have dissent food ... 2. LH cares about your health and appearance ... 3. what German cuisine considers for a meal : dark wheat bread, sausage and glass of beer and what do you expect more ... boiled potato ...joking

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Yet, at the same time, they efficiently went about their job and got everything done

and this is way my relatives remain loyal to LH although I tried to expand their horizons

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
the stunning Eritrea: Go there before it changes!

this is way I am faithful reader of A.net for decades ...opened my eyes to study things that I maybe never see ... nice ambient,artdeco and modernism,nature ...

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
And beaches that are some of the best in the world

wow ... a wild beach ...you have a private picnic there ?

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 3):
a lot of them would be very middle back home and know that

cough cough cough hihihhiihih
what next ... stipica  



Open your eyes and think
User currently offlineHachikoDog From Finland, joined Dec 2010, 13 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 15118 times:

Excellent TR. I like the way you described aircraft, cabin, seat, crew and meals. You should work in travel industry  

User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5098 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 15112 times:

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 4):
Sorry I simply meant they were there for work instead of pleasure. AKA they are not there to enjoy themselves and experience the culture.

= Ya. I know. I was giving you a hard time ... trying to make sure your Angola trips are not only spent in expat ghettos ... someone has to keep you in line after all   ...

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 4):
Haha alright I'll look into it then! And that trip report is coming. My cameras were confiscated by the Angolan police in Luanda after I took a picture of some building that was some government office blah blah blah. Long story short, my Angolan friend got it back for me but has been lazy and has yet to send it to me. So I am still waiting for that, which has been very frustrating. The trip was interesting to say the least, and I think you'll get a kick of my reports whenever I can post them.

= Aaah ... Angola. All I have sometime for Angola is saudade ... BTW, a very good friend of mine is heading to visit your area ... you two should hook up. He is pretty high up in airline management and I think you'd get along.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
great report, it was about time to present us a classic LH review! You clearly point out LH's weaknesses - but new seats in all classes are being installed. LH certainly should have started doing so much earlier.

= Thanks. Ya. You know, it is super hard for me to review a "classic LH". As I have mentioned, my most flown route on my entire life is CCS-FRA and FRA-CCS. People knows me, and I get preferential treatment. It is not everyday that I can phone from my car 45 minutes ahead of arrival in CCS and make my flight with my preferred seat (and usual upgrade to F). The folks @ CCS are super good. This is why I have saved writing on LH ... besides, I know a lot of their upper management.

Finally, you may see more of LH on here   ...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
I wouldn't use the term dubious. The A340 is simply not as efficient as other types, but it still can be used economically.

= Let me explain why I say dubious ... ANY aircraft with the right RASM would be more efficient and profitable than an aircraft with worse metrics. In the case of the 340, Airbus built an aircraft that provided no incremental CASM benefit, very little incremental performance benefits vs. the 330. Besides a handful, why would anyone buy the 340 vs. the competition? Notice where the 340 is deployed ... on a lot of routes with thin competition ...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
Really? What about the A380 service to JNB? I guess LH still makes much money with (high?) J and Y fares on African routes.

= Yes. LH makes money on their Africa network, and the 380 does well for them to JNB. However, there is a bunch of other routes where the F cabin is totally wasted ... ACC, ADD, CAI, ABV, etc.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
Correct. LH's inflight magazine is excellent in terms of layout and content. I cannot remember any mistakes in the fleet info section.

= And, I think it strikes the right balance between aviation and non-aviation articles and between German and non-German.

Quoting debonair (Reply 6):
Nice TR and very interesting country- great pictures!

= Thanks.

Quoting debonair (Reply 6):
I am very disappointed... I was expecting something more "exotic" (knowing your taste)- like Eritrean Airlines (which also operates ASM-FRA-ASM.

= You ALWAYS provoke me   ... first the DC3, and now this ... let me see what I can do   ...

Quoting debonair (Reply 6):
Very poor ground service! It would be so simple to offer at least a bottle of water to their premium passengers at check-in. Not to mention a voucher for the bar/cafe....

= Exactly. And, this is what I admire about SN Brussels in the other part of Africa. In Ouagadougou, there is no lounge. But, SN Brussels gives you a voucher to use at the airport "bar".

Quoting debonair (Reply 6):
Was this a truly (German) LH agent- or just a "supervisor" from the local ground handling company?

= This guy was as German as currywurst   ...

Quoting debonair (Reply 6):
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Another novelty was boarding the aircraft through 3L on to the aircraft where a crew that was in chaos trying to finish everything for departure greeted me.

Are you sure? Don't worry- I do believe you! Very, very strange- this is normally an emergency exit door only and absolutely not suitable for boarding (let alone for the height of the door frame and the integrated overhead lockers):

= You're absolutely right. I don't know why I did not notice the error.

Quoting debonair (Reply 6):
The old J-seats on board are "angled-flat business class seats" and not "lie flat business class seats"...
The newer seat might be a truly lie flat seat and a huge improvement in comfort- but I dislike the V-shape design (just horrible!).

= Agreed. I was on the 748 inaugural and hated the seats. They are an improvement, but I could not understand why they went for it. Or, why they did not start with the refurbishment with the 380. It makes no sense.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 7):

Hi Alex


Glad too see the classic LH report to finally be up. It's nice to have the benchmark.
LH's J is indeed running behind and your report clearly shows it. My LH flights in the past have been mediocre to good.
Which my longhaul thankfully was one of the good ones.

Greetings
Marc

= Thanks Marc.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 8):
Terrific report there, but of course I really only had eyes for those destination photos! Staggering - I tried to route up through Djaboutie, Eritrea and then cross into Sudan on my Africa trip but for visa reasons, was unable to. Where did you get your visa?

= I sweet talked my visa out of Washington DC. They usually have no qualms with the visa as long as you can get an invitation letter. If you need one, let me know.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 8):
A man after my own heart.. . so often the 'worst' places are the best places!

= LOL. "Worst", "Best", are all relative.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 8):
The scenes of Eritrea tally with how it might be in my mind, I had heard the Italian influence had really stuck, and I only met very proud, good Eritreans on my travels. Well, I will put that one beside Socotra in my 'Destinations Alex has inspired me to travel to ' list.

Rgds

Luke

= Luke, I need to inspire you more ... how long are you in Saudi Arabia/?

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 9):
Hi Alex...as usual a wonderful TR. Asmara does seem a place out of time with the colonial influences. I had no idea it was such a dictatorship which is quite sad. I am shocked with your multiple passports that they could figure that out or else we would never hear from you again!   Thanks for sharing! Cheers, Will

= Haha. Thanks Will.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 10):
Thanks for posting Alex. The photos of Eritrea look amazing...and it's safe?

= Super safe.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 10):
Am I wrong or was it you that said LH weren't good at "localising" compared to SN?

= LH has come a LONG way ... SN Brussels is definitely a pioneer on this front.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 10):
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Unsurprisingly, the aircraft landed at a remote dock in FRA. The pecking order of flights on Lufthansa is clearly evident from where they send their aircraft – almost ALL flights from Africa I have been on land remote; half of my CCS flights land remote; nearly all my flights to Asia (NRT/HKG/DEL/BLR) and North America (BOS/JFK) land at a gate …

Hm, not surprsing, but a shame for these flight (which often have higher average fares). It's the same with SQ in SIN, flights to "nice" places (Europe/US/N.Asia) get the new T3, flights to "2nd tier" places (Africa/India/S.E.Asia) get old T2.

= SIN is very different than FRA. SIN is divided based on aircraft usage and optimal towing time. T3 gets mostly long haul flying without swaps and destination that has swaps. T2 gets their short/regional haul fleet - parts of India and parts of S.E. Asia (BWN, DPS) are higher yielding than parts of N.E. Asia (mostly China, CAN and PVG). Look at Silk Air which uses T2 because of fleet commonality and serves all of them, or Scoot which serves low yielding secondary Australia, secondary China, and high yielding NRT ... fleet and operational commonality.

Quoting chopchop767 (Reply 11):
I've flown on LH's J class twice in the last three months, to Boston and to Bahrain. In my experience, Alex, you hit the nail on the head: nothing special. The flight attendants are friendly, the food decent and the seat, well, better than a Y seat, but not very comfortable. LH is my carrier of choice out of NAP, and I'm really hoping that the new J seats allow LH not only to improve the hardware, but also the services.

Thanks for a wonderful report.

= Glad that our experiences are similar.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 12):
Eritrea... Amazing!

= Thanks.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 12):
An interesting route, too, but I still like the Eritrean pictures more. That road looks great... and the towns... look as if straight from a movie... Really great.

Just wow. Thanks for writing it up!

= Haha. Are you going to go now? Maybe, on Sky Pesos  ?

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 13):
Champagne? On flights to and from the KSA? I thought this wasn't allowed...

= Flights to KSA when they overfly cannot have alcohol AFAIR.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 14):

Hi abrelosojos,

Thank you very much for another fantastic report, really enjoyed it as always!
Not a solid performance by LH this time, that JCL really is in need of refurbishment!

= Thanks a lot for your comment - thankfully, some are being refitted.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 14):
Love your pictures of Eritrea, looks like a great and beautiful country

= It is!

Quoting stipica (Reply 15):
Hi abri !
ok for me this is your best trip report

= Wow. My best ever huh? My personal favourite remain the one on African Express. Have you read that one?

Quoting stipica (Reply 15):
or better to say this combination is somehow "you" or what is my perspective of "you-your work "... you're more eloquent than usual , you evaluate very rationally company that you really know well and you have a motivational approach by destination and off course cunningly provoke  

= Haha. Thanks. I try to be rational ... and I do hope that the least I can do is pique an interest to travel.

Quoting stipica (Reply 15):
hahahhahahahahha come on ...this is too strong statement ... even my mother knows for LH

= EVERY Crotian mom knows LH   ...

Quoting stipica (Reply 15):
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
overzealous French guards are deployed on Air France flights protecting fortress Europe

it must be love, love, love .... nothing more, nothing less lalalaaaaaa madnessssss  

= Ya, love .... for who is to be decided ...

Quoting stipica (Reply 15):
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
are almost never realistic especially when doing Schengen/non-Schengen transfers

so... I do not understand ...for OU/LH combination I always wear my running equipment , smile No. 5 and 3-Weather- taft hairspray and extra deodorant ...

= Haha. I have a friend at Fraport and I joke with her that I lose weight everytime I transit FRA.

Quoting stipica (Reply 15):
hahahahahaha 1. CSA have dissent food ... 2. LH cares about your health and appearance ... 3. what German cuisine considers for a meal : dark wheat bread, sausage and glass of beer and what do you expect more ... boiled potato ...joking

= Hmmm ... I have flown OK once in my life ... a creaking 310 on PRG-YUL with some super ex-Communist crew.

Quoting stipica (Reply 15):
wow ... a wild beach ...you have a private picnic there ?

= Absolutely! I now need to find the picture.

Quoting stipica (Reply 15):
what next ... stipica  

= Where do you think?

Thanks a lot for your kind comments everyone. It inspires me to keep writing, and for that, I am grateful.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 18, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 15070 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 17):
In the case of the 340, Airbus built an aircraft that provided no incremental CASM benefit, very little incremental performance benefits vs. the 330.

Range was a major selling point for a long time.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 17):
Besides a handful, why would anyone buy the 340 vs. the competition?

No one would do that today, but there were good reasons in the past because both the A340-200/300 and the A340-500/600 were available earlier than the 777 counterparts. And the early A330s weren't as capable as later versions. Additionally, many operators had doubts about ETOPS.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 17):
Notice where the 340 is deployed ... on a lot of routes with thin competition ...

That may partly be true in LH's case, but don't think that can be said for A340 operations in general.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 17):
However, there is a bunch of other routes where the F cabin is totally wasted ... ACC, ADD, CAI, ABV, etc.

LH has already removed F Class from numerous A340s and more will follow. CAI doesn't even get widebodies any longer.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 17):
And, I think it strikes the right balance between aviation and non-aviation articles and between German and non-German.

  



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6569 posts, RR: 55
Reply 19, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 14978 times:

Hi Alex!

Thanks for another fantastic report with amazing pictures !

Eritrea sounds intriguing and looks amazing! I definitely need to go there some time. Like someone said above, looks just like something from a movie. Love the colors!

LH seems okay just like you said but nothing special. I have only flown them in Y long haul but just like you said, nice but not great. Not bad though.

The J class seat in you pictures looks very uncomfortable and VERY camped when in lie-flat position. Looks like much less legroom than the old UA C class seats.

Looking forward very much to your next report!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1092 posts, RR: 31
Reply 20, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 14821 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 17):
= Luke, I need to inspire you more ... how long are you in Saudi Arabia/?

I have left! 5 months was all, and now I am free as the proverbial bird. Heading off to Indonesia to get lost in a rainforest.



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 14727 times:

Hi Alex!

Great report, and very interesting to read about Eritrea, sure seems like it's a place worth visiting, those beaches looks great!
As you said, LH seemed like usual LH.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The Airbus 340 remains one of the most graceful aircraft ever built

Agree with you on that one!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
LH’s JCL Amenity Kit

I really like those metal A380 boxes.

Martin


User currently offlineimiakhtar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 14451 times:

Thank you for a very interesting TR Mr abrelosojos. Your pictures of Asmara airport remind me of ISB; that is, extremely basic and falling apart in places.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 21):
really like those metal A380 boxes.

Likewise. This is the second TR I've seen which has featured them. I shall have to keep an eye on ebay and see if any pop up.


User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5098 posts, RR: 55
Reply 23, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 13875 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18):
No one would do that today, but there were good reasons in the past because both the A340-200/300 and the A340-500/600 were available earlier than the 777 counterparts. And the early A330s weren't as capable as later versions. Additionally, many operators had doubts about ETOPS.

= We will have to agree to disagree  . The 340 entered service only 2 years before the 777 and that gave ample time to alter the specs in the production life cycle. It is the same mistake that I think the Max is making with a rush to get it out vs. really trying to come up with something better. Both are paper airplanes, but the Max looks weaker than the Neo - but then again, Airbus has a reputation among airlines I have worked with to overpromise. So time will tell ...

Quoting The777Man (Reply 19):

Thanks for another fantastic report with amazing pictures !

= Thanks a lot for the kind words.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 19):
Eritrea sounds intriguing and looks amazing! I definitely need to go there some time. Like someone said above, looks just like something from a movie. Love the colors!

= Isn't it awesome?

Quoting The777Man (Reply 19):
LH seems okay just like you said but nothing special. I have only flown them in Y long haul but just like you said, nice but not great. Not bad though.

= Yup. They have a good OPS manager @ LAX BTW.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 19):
The J class seat in you pictures looks very uncomfortable and VERY camped when in lie-flat position. Looks like much less legroom than the old UA C class seats.

= I HATE the LH J seat - though after so many flights, I have made peace that I won't get good sleep. The UA C seat was a LOT better - infact, 8K was my favorite on the 777.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 20):
I have left! 5 months was all, and now I am free as the proverbial bird. Heading off to Indonesia to get lost in a rainforest.

= When do you leave?

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 21):
Great report, and very interesting to read about Eritrea, sure seems like it's a place worth visiting, those beaches looks great!
As you said, LH seemed like usual LH.

= Thanks Martin.

Quoting imiakhtar (Reply 22):
Thank you for a very interesting TR Mr abrelosojos. Your pictures of Asmara airport remind me of ISB; that is, extremely basic and falling apart in places.

= Oh come on. I lived in ISB, and ISB is a lot nicer than ASM.

Quoting imiakhtar (Reply 22):
Likewise. This is the second TR I've seen which has featured them. I shall have to keep an eye on ebay and see if any pop up.
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 21):
I really like those metal A380 boxes.

Martin

= Of you two, whoever responds here faster, I can send a box to your mailing address. If I find a second extra, I can send to both.

Thanks a lot for stopping by everyone.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 779 posts, RR: 12
Reply 24, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 13693 times:

Alex,


I was really wondering when you would go back to Africa,
Another premiere here, well done, even if like Debonair wrote i was "expecting" too something less conventional   . Never mind!

beautiful pictures of the road, and the "British chain of cinema" Odeon. lol

i truly hope that more TRs have yet to come  

regards


Léo



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
25 Quokkas : Hi Alex, A very interesting report on a country that most have not been to, myself included. It certainly looks attractive. Although it is some years
26 kiramakora : As usual, fascinating report. I had no idea Eritrea was so beautiful. Thank you for opening my eyes!
27 Post contains images deltamartin : Hi Alex! Thank you very much for the offer, but I am lucky enough to have one already! So send it to imiakhtar. Martin
28 Post contains images stipica : Hi A. ! yawn .... boring one ... how dare you just to ask those questions !? I am self proclaimed "the most famous reader on a.net "... and off course
29 Post contains images abrelosojos : = Léo, thanks for your kind comments. I am actually in Africa right now ... in Ghana on an airline project. Sadly, I cannot say much about it ... bu
30 Post contains images eastafspot : ALex Lucky you! some carriers have vanished from the skies, do you think there are too many operators in that region? I rely on you to transform this
31 palmjet : Hi Alex An airline I am well familiar with, but not the route - thanks for bringing this one to us. I really loved the pics of Asmara and Eritrea gene
32 Post contains images SRQKEF : Great report! Eritrea seems to be a place to visit. One of many many many places in the world where I want to go! I guess it's both good and bad that
33 Post contains images abrelosojos : = Preciously ... why I think there is a tremendous void here. Remember, that besides Nigeria, Ghana is the next big choice for a West African operati
34 palmjet : Hi Alex I've been and gone (got back a few days ago). Thank you so much again for providing me with those contact details. I was in touch and was able
35 abrelosojos : = Cool. I am glad it all worked out. Just finished your YYT report, and look to the next. Saludos, A.
36 IL62Mdakar : Hi abrelosojos, Thank you for this brilliant report. I normally wouldn’t have bothered reading a LH report but when I saw that you wrote one on this
37 Post contains images SRQKEF : Haha, it depends on where you are and how much time you have. Of course, if you have time, you should try out Air Iceland, the main domestic airline
38 SR 103 : Thanks for a rather informative and insightful report on Lufthansa business class. Strangely enough, it looks like you and I agree on something. I do
39 reifel : Excellent report! Never had an idea how Asmara could look like and your pictures were lovely! What they served in J seems pretty bad actually. Not imp
40 Post contains images abrelosojos : = Thanks for the comments and honor . As I have said many times on this forum, I have a hard time writing LH reports from my home airport of CCS as t
41 Post contains images SRQKEF : Haha, ok. As the aviation market is small in Iceland (as everything else), my dad would know the guy you're meeting for sure... Everyone knows everyo
42 Post contains images Avianca : you anounced for a very long time an LH report and I was quite sure it will cover the Asmara route, or something else very exotic like Port Harcourt e
43 Aviaco : That is just not possible. 3L is an emergency exit only.
44 Post contains images abrelosojos : = Yes. That was my mistake and I already corrected it as per "debonair" who noticed it: = Haha. Yes, I KNOW how small Iceland is ... especially the a
45 SRQKEF : Nope, my dad fully left FI early 2012 and now runs the aviation lease company IceLease along with 2 others. Regards, Sveinn
46 Post contains images Avianca : well I can imagine a report ex Malabo or Port Harcourt should be in the pipeline and maybe something not so exotic like MUC-DEL? well I was refering
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