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Palma For An Hour: DUS-PMI-DUS W/ LH In C+Y  
User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4696 posts, RR: 42
Posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3588 times:

About the trip

I recently found out that Lufthansa had great offers on their newly introduced “warm water flights”. These new services are scheduled for the duration of this summer timetable in order to maximize the block hours of their short haul fleet, which would otherwise sit idle during mid-day. The new services connect regional German cities with destinations around the Mediterranean. One of the offers was a day-return trip to Palma de Mallorca for just 98 Euro, an offer I just could not refuse. As it turned out, I got much more out of these 98 Euro than I deserved. So please follow me along on my brief afternoon ride – “Mallorca for an hour”. Big grin

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Duesseldorf International Airport

I had already checked in for my outbound flight by telephone the evening before and got assigned seat 7F, which is relatively close to the wing root. Unfortunately, this is about the only row on Lufthansa’s B737-300 without a direct window, because some sort of wiring or hydraulic pipes are running through the fuselage at this position. My only chance to peek out of the window was to stretch very much forward. So let this be a warning for you next time check in for a Lufthansa flight!

My problem was the check-in for my return trip –due to my very short stay in Mallorca (just an hour), I urgently wanted to check in for my return flight already before my outbound departure. But much to my disappointment and to the unpleasant surprise of the very friendly and competent check-in staff in Lufthansa’s dedicated Terminal A at Duesseldorf, it was not possible to call up the seat map for the return leg. The final explanation was that a third party handling company would be responsible for checking in Lufthansa’s passenger’s in PMI and that the two systems were incompatible. Instead the girls recommended I should contact the crew on my aircraft and ask them to call the station in PMI in order to already check me in.

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Photo © Manfred Biel


I spend the next hour inside Lufthansa’s pier A, which was renovated only a few years ago and offers a surprisingly good collection of fashion, souvenir and travel value stores as well as several bars and bistros. Traffic was fairly tranquil during this lazy Saturday afternoon; the first wave of charter flight arrived back from their morning rotations to destinations around the Med. The Lufthansa gates, however, were almost deserted, with only a sole A320 departing for MUC and another A321 flying the short 25-minute hop to AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA.

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Photo © EDDL Photography


While I was wandering around the terminal, I noticed our Boeing 737 already sitting alone at Gate A80 in the “A Hof”, the apron between the northeastern side of Pier A and the hangars. A few baggage carts were unloaded and suitcases and bags transported into the front baggage hold. A catering truck arrived, loading goods into the aircraft through the 1R door.

In the meantime, the gate area already filled up with travellers, most of them being either older couples, young couples with young children or groups of young and middle aged men travelling to Mallorca - most likely to partake in the infamous drinking contests at “Ballermann”.
Boarding started twenty minutes before scheduled off-block time and within ten minutes, everybody had made their way into the Baby Boeing, myself among the first passengers to arrive on board.


The flight (DUS-PMI)

Duesseldorf International Airport (PMI) – Palma de Mallorca Sont San Joan (PMI)
Flight number: LH4406
Scheduled block time: 1235h – 1500h
Off-block: 1242h
Take-Off: 1255h (RWY 23L)
Touch-down: 1447h (RWY 24L)
On-block: 1452h

Boeing 737-330
D-ABEP „Naumburg an der Saale“
c/n 26430/2216
delivered: February 13, 1992

Seat 7F (Economy Class)


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Photo © Jan Szidat



I quickly walked through the empty passenger boarding bridge and entered the cabin of “Naumburg an der Saale” (i.e. the name of the city, which is godfather to the aircraft). The purser, a brown-haired middle-aged man, welcomed me onboard with a very friendly smile, but was very irritated when I got him out of his sweet Saturday afternoon routine with my rather unusual request to call the station at PMI. He asked me for my boarding pass and my return and promised to try the best he could. After thanking him profusely for his dedication, I quickly made my way to my assigned seat in order not to hold up the boarding process.

The cabin of our 12-year old Boeing 737 was in remarkably good shape and looked much better than the worn out Lufthansa 737’s I had recently travelled on. While my fellow travellers boarded the plane, I took the chance to look around the cabin. D-ABEP was one of the Boeing 737-300, which was recently reconfigured by Lufthansa into a “high density configuration”. By removal of the rear galley and the installation of new, thinner seats, another two seat rows could be added, increasing the revenue potential of these planes. Another interesting trivia fact about this subfleet is that these aircraft are based on regional German airports for tangential routes, i.e. those flights not serving one of the hubs in F R A or MUC.

Having never flown on one of the reconfigured “high density” birds, I have to admit that all the fuss and bad criticism about this very controversial Lufthansa strategy is just about right. Instead of the comfortable and very cushy grey leather seats, which are standard on the rest of Lufthansa’s “Kont-Fleet”, this 737 was fitted with the worst seats I have ever come across.

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Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt


The seats are covered with a cheap-looking grey fabric, the seat backs and bottoms are rock hard, which isn’t surprising at all considering that the back is now only about 3 centimeters wide and the seat pitch has been reduced to Ryanairesque proportions. Dreading the next two hours of travel time on this aircraft, I finally accepted my fate, digging the Lufthansa Magazine out of the seat pocket. While I was reading a few articles, the purser finally announced that boarding was completed and that we would be off-block a few minutes late because of a slot shortage in PMI.

By 1242h, we finally went off-block, the trusty CFM-56’s spooled up with their characteristically dry belch, and a few minutes later, after the pushback tug was disconnected and our flight “waved off”, we were on our way, taxiing alongside the deserted LTU hangar to the threshold of RWY 23L.

After letting another Air Berlin 737-800 take off in front of us, it was finally our turn for departure, so our little “Classic 737”, slowly turned onto the active runway, the engine sound increased to a deafening roar and we thundered and rattled down the runway, rotation followed and with one minute, our wheels lost contact to terra firma and we were on our way across the lush green banks of the River Rhine to warmer climes.

About twenty minutes after departure, we executed a sharp right and left hand turn before finally ascending continuously to the south under a beautifully clear blue summer day A message from the flight deck introduced Flight Captain Kroeger and his crew: “Welcome about this afternoon’s flight so sunny Mallorca. Our flight path today will lead us from Duesseldorf via Krefeld to Liege, where we have made a left turn towards Luxemburg. We are currently passing west of Strasbourg and will continue our flight towards Geneva, Marseille and, finally, Mallorca. Cruising altitude today is 35.00 feet at a speed of 500 miles per hour.”

Unfortunately, there is neither audio nor video equipment on board Lufthansa’s continental European fleet, so there was no AirShow available for the duration of this trip. Thankfully, and quite different to all my more “business-like” flights with Lufthansa before, the cockpit crew really made their best efforts to inform their self-loading freight about sights along our path. From my impression, the captain really seemed to enjoy having a somewhat different and colourful passenger load this afternoon instead of the usual grumpy men (and very few women) in dark suits or costumes.

Not so enjoyable however, was this flight from the perspective of the cabin crew, which was definitely overwhelmed by today’s lively crowd. After making a few futile attempts to block Peasant Class passengers from using the Business Class restroom in the front, they finally gave up and started cabin service.

Talking about cabin service, today was my first contact with the new “enhanced” (that’s Lufthansa lingo for “reduced” Big grin service concept: instead of a small cold plate and salad, the only food available for Peasant Class was either a cream cheese bagel or a ham baguette, which I chose.

The quality of this baguette was, to be very honest, rather limited. The bread was dry and hard like a rock, so it was a fortunate coincidence that two drink runs were performed by the crew in the course of the flight, which made swallowing down the flour brick somewhat easier. On a comparable flight with any German leisure airline, the food usually is much netter and more substantial, usually consisting of a small plate with cold cuts, fruit salad, some bread and a cake – items a “quality airline” obviously deems to be below their standard.

The rest of the flight went by fairly quick. We passed along Lake Geneva, with a snow-covered Montblanc in the background, crossed the Rhone river and finally traversed the port city of Marseille on our way to the Balearic island.

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Photo © Stephane Moitry


About 25 minutes before scheduled touchdown, throttles were pulled back and descent initiated. The cabin crew struggled to secure the cabin for landing, which was almost a comical experience to watch. The two female flight attendants and the male purser were certainly overwhelmed and had quite a rough time trying to calm the rather rowdy crowd of young (and slightly loaded) men in the rear part of the cabin. Guess, they are used a different audience on their “business flights” during weekdays!

With ten more minutes until touchdown, the purser came back to my seat and handed back boarding pass and ticket with a gesture of apology – it wasn’t possible to contact the handling agent at PMI about my return, so I would have to make my way to check-in as quickly as possible. Lucky for me, our Boeing glided across the brownish and barren plains of the Mallorca interior without any delays and we touched down in typical Lufthansa fashion – earlier than planned. A few minutes of taxiing alongside a plethora of British and Spanish holiday airliners ensued, before our bird finally came to a halt on the apron adjacent to Terminal A in the middle of the searing Spanish afternoon sun.

Two more minutes of waiting until the boarding bridge finally arrived, and we were off the plane, entered the “Iberia” bus and drove to the arrival hall at the main central terminal.


Palma de Mallorca Airport

PMI is the epitome of an airport in a holiday region – struggling to keep with an onrush of travellers during high season (April –October), it is bustling with activity during June. Seriously. I have never experienced such a crowded place ever before, even Malaga during August is no comparison to this beehive!

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Photo © Manuel Marin - IBERIAN SPOTTERS


There are several hundred check-in desks available in the spacious entrance level, however, it took me only a minute to find the check-in counters for the Lufthansa flight back to DUS. At this point I was rather nervous about getting stuck on the worst seat in the house, because I was certain to be among the last passengers to check in for the flight.

All my stress vanished within split seconds and turned into the warm and fuzzy feeling you most likely last experienced during Christmas eve as a small kid: being sequence number 125 for check-in, there was no seat available in Peasant Class anymore, so with a gesture of apology, the friendly check-in lady bumped me to – Business Class! Nice one!

After purchasing some stamps from the “Tabacco” in the landside terminal hall, and perusing through the Aldeasa (Spanish chain of Travel Value stores) offers, I made my way to airside via one of the two open security checkpoints.

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Photo © Julio Ribeiro - IBERIAN SPOTTERS


Once inside the sterile portion of the huge H-shaped terminals, I decided to stroll around for a while in order to learn more about the functionality and architecture of the terminal (this is the nice aspect about merging your hobby and professional interests).  Big thumbs up The mood inside the terminal was hard to describe – PMI is made from polished beige limestone with relatively few indows and fairly massive walls in order to isolate the inside from the searing heat of the summer months. There were flights arriving and leaving at virtually every gate, but thanks to the very wide internal architecture with very few obstruction, the place didn’t seem to be overly crowded.

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Photo © Julio Ribeiro - IBERIAN SPOTTERS


Within a few minutes after my arrival at gate A18R, boarding commenced for the flights back to Germany.
Just like after our arrival an hour before, we were again bussed to our aircraft. With my miraculously achieved “ticket to heaven” firmly in my hands, I suddenly could hardly wait to be back inside the Lufthansa bird – not having the perspective to be stuck between some rowdy vacationers at miserably seat pitch and with another baguette brick being hauled at you certainly helps to raise one’s mood!


The flight (PMI-DUS)

Palma de Mallorca Sont San Joan (PMI) – Duesseldorf International (DUS)
Flight number: LH4407
Scheduled block time: 1600h – 1830h
Off-block: 1605h
Take-off: 1615h (RWY 24R)
Touch-down: 1815h (RWY 23L)
On-block: 1818h

Boeing 737-330
D-ABEP
c/n 26430/2216
delivered: February 13, 1992

Seat 3A (Business Class)


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Photo © Mario Aurich



Once inside the aircraft, I said “hello!” to the purser, who reacted with a big grin –he certainly must have remembered the weird guy with the one hour stay in PMI from the inbound flight. Putting my backpack into the overhead bin, I slid into my seat row and took a look around the cabin, while our engines started up and we sluggishly made our way to the active runway amidst several Spanair MD-80’s and a few charter birds from all over Europe.

The quality of the seat is just the same as in Economy Class – which wasn’t a surprise to me, because this flexible cabin layout is standard among virtually every European carrier. Seat pitch, however, was a few centimetres better – this is again pretty much standard on European flights, most airlines are configuring the front of their aircraft with a slightly better seat pitch because this is where their Business Class passengers are likely to travel.

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Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt


The only comfort bonus on Business trips with Lufthansa inside of Europe is the vacant middle seat – although I wouldn’t necessarily call this the greatest invention since sliced bread, I certainly appreciated after being stuck in a crowded Economy cabin on the inbound leg.

Before our cabin was finally secured for take-off, our purser welcomed everyone of the eight Business Class passengers, wished us a good flight and offered us a selection of free magazines and newspapers (this is only available to Economy Class passengers free of charge at airports within Germany and at selected European airports).
Finally, with a few minutes of delay, it was our turn to taxi onto the runway, and with a spirited performance, our little bird lifted off, soaring across the azure blue and yellow shoreline of Palma before making a gentle right hand turn in order to continue climbing towards Barcelona.

After we had reached our cruising altitude of 35.000 feet some twenty minutes after take-off somewhere between Barcelona and Toulouse, cabin service started. On offer today were some snacks from the “Taste Europe” program, the recently introduced new catering service on Lufthansa’s short haul flights. Although the quality of the fruit salad, the cold cut, fried potato patty (“Roesti” Big grin and smoked salmon was certainly very good, and the warm and fresh baguette roll highly appreciated by everyone of my fellow passengers and myself, the quantity of the meal service can be described as somewhat minimalist. There were no additional rolls offered.

The only real advantage was the seemingly unlimited bar service –every few minutes, one of the flight attendants would make the effort to ask every Business Class passengers for his or her drink wishes, the available collection including several kinds of wines, spirits and – above all – Champaign. The cabin service could be described as attentive and very professional. Although the crew made their best efforts to actively ask the passengers for their desires, one did not get the impression that this was an intrusion into one’s privacy and relaxation. Thumbs up for this very good service training!

The rest of the flight went by fairly quick, which isn’t surprise considering that I now had slightly more space to stretch out my legs, a filled stomach and a very good Spanish red wine to my side. Sometimes you just have one of the few surprising and rewarding moments in life – this was certainly one of them.

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Photo © Tim Feise - APO Photos


After we had travelled across most of central France under a clear blue sky with an almost perfect view of the ground, clouds finally began to appear on the horizon, and a few minutes after we had touched the outskirts of Paris, descent was initiated and the nosecone of our –300 pointed into the clouds, obscuring the view until we were already very low on the downwind leg just south of DUS.

Some last minute manoeuvring ensued in order to line us up with the ILS of RWY23L right over southern Essen and the Baldeneysee, before we gently glided across the lush meadows of the Bergische Land, soared across Ratingen and touched down on the runway, vacating the stretch of concrete adjacent to pier A.

Only few minutes later, our trip ended only a few feet from the position of our departure six hours before – at gate A83.


Conclusion

The newly reconfigured Lufthansa 737 and the “innovative” new “Kont” service concept in Economy Class are certainly steps into the wrong direction if regarded from the customer side. Lufthansa has managed to water down their service standard to only slightly above the levels of so-called “no frills carriers”, which in some cases now offer a comparable product. Although the urge to cut costs can be appreciated, in this author’s opinion, it is the wrong strategy to cut costs where the customer feels it the most, i.e. seat pitch, seat quality and catering. How a “quality carrier” like Lufthansa can expect to charge a premium over low cost carriers if there is now virtually no difference visible to the passenger is a question open for discussion. With the impending “reform” of the Miles and More program, it will be much harder for “seldom flyers” to accrue any meaningful number of miles, rendering the program virtually useless for private travellers, further severing any ties of allegiance Lufthansa customers might have had with the company.

The Business Class product, although appreciably better than the Economy Class service, can be described as decent, albeit minimalist. As long as Lufthansa continues to fulfill the chief demands of business travellers however, i.e. reliability, punctuality, a wealth of connections and destinations at high frequencies, this minor flaw can be neglected. From the standpoint of a private traveller on these flights, paying a premium for Business Class service out of my own pocket would not have been worth the while though.

Thanks for reading my report – questions, comments, or criticism is always appreciated.  Smile



Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBa319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8588 posts, RR: 54
Reply 1, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3506 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Excellent report,as usual!

I found your 'conclusion' very good,and I totally agree with your comments.

From the looks of the meal on the return,it is not very much for the length of the flight,BA serves a bigger meal on the LHR-AMS route!

Quote from text:-

"The rest of the flight went by fairly quick, which isn’t surprise considering that I now had slightly more space to stretch out my legs, a filled stomach and a very good Spanish red wine to my side. Sometimes you just have one of the few surprising and rewarding moments in life – this was certainly one of them" - Loved that,great Smile

Many thanks

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4696 posts, RR: 42
Reply 2, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3446 times:

@Mark

Thank you for your kind words!  Smile

From my experiences, Lufthansa is not exactly well-known for their lavish on-board service concept, their style pretty much mirrors many of the stereotypes about Germany in general: clean, punctual, very professional, but totally lacking any charm and extra efforts, which make the customer feel special and welcome.

When I am booking a Lufthansa flight, be it as a business- or private traveller, I know the airline will get me from A to B on time and with the least amount of hassle. These are very important decision factors. Expecting an extra smile or great comfort would be illusional though.

Don't get me wrong, Lufthansa is a very professionally run airline, which is a rare occurence nowadays if you take the trouble into account, which many other airlines have run into, it is just not my favorite if I have to pay for the trip myself. I'd take AF and BA over them anyday, even for a small premium.



Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineBeowulf From Singapore, joined Jul 2003, 735 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3407 times:

@TriStar500

So, a little daytrip to Mallorca ... I see ... flying for a lousy EUR 98 and then rambling about Craphansa. Remember my paycheck ... they have to economize *somewhere*.  Wink/being sarcastic

But overall I agree with your conclusion. At least you got to fly C. Yesterday I flew back from KLU on OS and this time they served a Milki Way http://www.mars.com/The_Mars_Directory/Brand_search_results.asp?lstCountry=91. I didn't know that Mars, Inc. was actually capable of producing such miniature Milki Ways. Well, enough talking/writing about food, it's lunch time. Mahlzeit!

Nick


User currently offlineStarFlyer From Germany, joined Sep 2002, 987 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3318 times:

Hi Jens,

outstanding, very detailed report! Do you have any status with Lufthansa or did they really just upgrade you because you were one of the last passengers to check in? Anyway, treats like that are very nice and truly make for a good experience. I am happy for you!

Regarding Miles & More, I am a mostly low revenue flyer on Lufthansa myself and most affected by the impending "enhancements". However, from a business point of view this really makes sense assuming that low fare passengers base their choice solely on price. It is a general trend in management to focus on high revenue passengers that Lufthansa (and airlines such as BA) are following.

I do think that full service airlines like Lufthansa need to differentiate themselves from LoCos by offering a remarkably better product which would in turn, as you point out, allow them to charge a premium price, which IMO quite a few people would pay.

Oh well, let's wait and see where this leads to, and whether we'll see these 99 Euro flights to holiday destinations next year again... I snatched myself a HAM-BCN-HAM just in case!  Big thumbs up

Regards

*sf



Yours truly - StarFlyer
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3315 times:

Hello Jens,

an excellent and detailed report as always, I enjoyed reading, flying to Palma for just one hour is quite crazy but for sure a nice way to waste time on a Saturday. I did this by myself a few years ago while DBA offered flights within Germany for just 1 EUR/oneway, I flew to Munich just to have a Bavarian meal and a wheat beer in the garden of the famous Airbräu restaurant.

Nice that you got an upgrade into Biz Class on the return flight to DUS, but as you already mentioned in your report, the seats are still the same like in Economy Class, and I agree with you, these seats are the worst I have ever come across, the old leather seats were much better.

LH's meal service in Eco has become a totally joke compared to that what they used to serve on their longer European flights, I would even prefer the buy-your-meal concept if I would get a tasty sandwich instead of such a crap.

From November, LH isn't an option for me anymore, the new conditions of the Miles & More program are a real joke. Everything is going down the drain for Economy Class passengers at LH: the catering, the seat comfort, and the frequent flyer program. LH is on the best way to become the worst airline for Economy Class passengers (at least on flights within Europe).

Patrick


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5186 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3302 times:

Hi Jens,
excellent report, as always.
Exactly my opinion as I also wrote in my last report (Condor), they do effective business but dont wait for any specials like I had on other airlines.
If I pay self for the trips, the fare is clearly on the highest level to decision but as the fare is not cheaper than others, I choose another airline, to enjoy the specials.
I´m right, your flights are fully booked?
Greetings, Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4696 posts, RR: 42
Reply 7, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3275 times:

First of all, thank you very much to everyone, who has replied! Makes my work worthwile...  Smile

And now to the individual answers:

@Nick
Well, you know the people: they don't want to pay anything and still receive all extras.  Big grin Seriously though, I can't complain for the price I have paid, however, since there are certainly many customers, who are paying (much) more for their flights, I see the dilemma between the premium LH is charging over LCC's and the hardly existant extras Lufthansa is offering now.

@Starflyer
No, I don't have any status with LH, in fact, I just them when there is absolutely no alternative or if they offer the only viable schedule (e.g. during some of my business trips). Therefore I guess I just was the lucky guy to check-in last for a very full flight. Big grin

It certainly makes business sense to modify a frequent flyer program in order to compensate for the cheap(er) tickets, however they are certainyl losing a few customers through this strategy. Until now, I was ready to pay a little premium for the miles, with the impending changes, I will choose whoever is cheapest on a particular route, and this is most likely often not the case with Lufthansa.

@Patrick
I think, we have already talked about this privately... I just wonder, whether Lufthansa will shoot themselves in their own foot this way in the long run. With many companies sending their employees on business trips in Economy Class, there is a certain market for a quality Economy Class left among frequent flyers... let's just hope that LH's calculation is precise, because otherwise this could really cost them some revenue.

@Markus
My strategy is almost the same, although I am willing to pay a little extra for assigned seating and a frequent flyer program, where I am participating (i.e. AF, LH or AB).
You are right, both flights went out almost full (outbound) and totally packed (inbound).



Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineBeowulf From Singapore, joined Jul 2003, 735 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3243 times:

Hi,

@Sabena332
The change in the M&M rules seems fair *taking-cover* because why should someone who pays EUR 99,-- for a Y class flight within Europe get the same miles as someone who pays EUR 500,-- for the very same flight. If one chooses to fly cheap, one has to face some drawbacks. LH's concept is to grant more flexibility to those who pay more.

@TriStar500 / Sabena332
Food service ... well, I better shut up or my paycheck for next month will arrive along my layoff notice.  Wink/being sarcastic Interesting service concept. I'm sure there is some higher meaning behind it which doesn't reveal itself to the ordinary schmuck.

Nick


User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4696 posts, RR: 42
Reply 9, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3206 times:

@Nick
I have pondered for a while and finally found a reason why Lufthansa tends to serve flour bricks in Economy as catering items according to their new concept.

Since they seemingly cannot afford serving well aged wine in Peasant Class, at least they are trying to make up this deficiency by storing their baguettes and bagels for a few weeks before they are ripe enoguh to be served to the undeserving pax. Big grin

You are so lucky that you got a Mars bar on your flight... they can't do much wrong with that, although one can never be sure, how many imaginative ways there are for a catering company to screw up their products.  Smile





Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineMerC From Sweden, joined Dec 2003, 590 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3136 times:

An excellent and detailed report as usual, TriStar !

Keep it up !



It's Scandinavian
User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4696 posts, RR: 42
Reply 11, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3084 times:

@Marcus
Thank you very much!  Smile Comments like yours make all the work worthwile!



Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineNdebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2901 posts, RR: 22
Reply 12, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3077 times:

Hi Jens,
interesting to read about Lufthansa's "enhanced" service. I have to say that the cabin looks quite nice with the new seats, but I can imagine that these thinner seats are not really comfortable. At least the baguette looks really cheap...
Thanks for sharing your impressions!
Regards, Alex.


User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4696 posts, RR: 42
Reply 13, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3061 times:

@Alex
Thank you very much for finding some time to read my rather longish report! Like one certain special a.net member would say: "These seats really are a joke."  Big grin Big grin And I am afraid that he would be right. Some news I have read in the meantime is that LH has stopped converting further 737's into this configuration because of heavy protest from their customers. This would almost be too good to be true.

BTW - You were certainly right about D-ACPE, however, I don't think that a trip report would be necessary because it would basically just consist of "EW and CLH flew us between DUS-STR-DUS and all we got is a narrow seat and a lousy soft drink." Big grin




Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 14, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3025 times:

Hello Jens,
once again great report - I enjoyed reading it very much. You were really lucky to get a Business Seat on your return flight!
I have also recently had a flight on one of LH's "new" 737 (STR-DUB-STR; Economy) and have experienced the new service concept. I agree with you in the points you mentioned. On the other hand, LH's fares (on average) have become much lower, at least if you book early in advance. At the moment we see a drastically reduction of service on short-haul flights on most European airlines. Let's see which changes we have to expect in the future...

Keep on with your great work!

Christoph


User currently offlineNdebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2901 posts, RR: 22
Reply 15, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2986 times:

The final explanation was that a third party handling company would be responsible for checking in Lufthansa’s passenger’s in PMI and that the two systems were incompatible.
Does this also mean that LH had to sell you a paper ticket for this route instead of the usual electonic ticket?


User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2989 times:

Hi Jens,

I know that I will be repeating myself, but once again: excellent report!

Those flights are nice for people who love to fly, but imagine: when your DUS-PMI flight would have been delayed by one hour, the turn-around time at PMI would be reduced by for example 30 minutes to reduce the delay. In a situation like this, check-in would have been closed before you'd have arrived. This is a risk I'd never take since it is at your responsibility! Only for connections, LH would have to rebook you.

Anyway, it is sad to see how LH-service is going down and down... A friend of me who recently flew BRU-F R A, got a stupid Mars-bar. Even no sandwich anymore.

On the way back, LH Cityline offered him a sandwich (no choice), and no drink-service (they got a small orange juice packed together with their sandwich).

What I do have to say, is that LH have greatly reduced their fares. I was checking fares from DUS this afternoon, and was very surprised. For example: €160 for DUS-HEL-DUS. They must be feeling the heat of lowcost carriers operating from CGN.

Would love to try them out as soon as possible though!

Regards
Frederic


User currently offlineGodBless From Sweden, joined Apr 2000, 2753 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2923 times:

Great report Jens!

A few years back I flew LH in Business from FR.A to ARN every once in a while. But those were the days where you still got full service in all classes, a lot has changed since then...

I had looked into the new flights on Lufthansa out of DUS but after my two last trips which included DUS I am glad that I have no flights booked that leave or arrive there and for sure I won't book any just because LH has good fares available...
After all I flew Lufthansa twice in the past three weeks... LGW-CGN and CGN-ARN on Germanwings' A319-100 D-AILL which was in service for LH until only a few weeks ago... So I flew twice on LH for total of 50EUR. Can't beat that Laugh out loud

Max


User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 33
Reply 18, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2918 times:


Fisrt of all, of course this report befits the high quality category we`ve all come to expect from you TriStar500. Cost me a substatial amount of my time to read through it, but hey, there`s no way I`m leaving the office right now to go home, because there`s torrential Honduran rain going on. (So what if it`s the rainy season, I thought before going here. Ha!)

I also concur very much about your conclusio. Like I said in my report about IB (who have gone even a step further by not offering any free catering for Y pax any more), I`m convinced this strategy will backfire. Also, it`ll be interesting to see whether there will be some sort of roll back; in the case of leather vs. cloth, there was, after all.

Daniel Smile


User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4696 posts, RR: 42
Reply 19, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2906 times:

I have been away for a few days on a business trip to VIE, so please excuse my late reply!  Smile

@Christoph
I am not so sure whether I would attest to your statement that fares in general are coming down. Admittably, I have only paid the very lowest fare on these flights, but I am sure, many others have paid substantially more and received the very same lousy service. And this is exactly the clientele LH should worry about - not myself, flying for bargain basement prices, but the higher paying customers, who get alienated by these cuts, which swipe away one of the last visible differences between "no frills" and "full frills".

@Alex
You are certainly right, LH had to issue me a paper ticket, so if you take the processing costs into account, they have made even less money with me this way. Big grin

@Frederic
I am usually not the person to take risks like this, but this potential conflict was totally unknown to me at the time of booking. After my check-in attempts at DUS had failed, I acutally pondered my options for quite a while, but then decided to board the plane in case the departure would be on-time. And since the plane actually left within a very short margin around the STD, I decided to take the flight.  Smile
When I am taking joyrides, I usually schedule at least 3 hours between inbound and outbound trips.

@Max
After paying my parking fees at one of the cheaper parking lots in DUS this morning - 44 Euro for 2 days and 5 hours of leaving my car on a concrete 10 square meter square - I understand your hesitation to fly from DUS again, when CGN is closer to you, has cheaper parking and an equal rail access. If it wouldn't have been a business trip, where all expenses are paid, I would have never gone to DUS by car; whenever I am flying from here, I generally take the train. Since I am officially still a student, the rail ride is free....  Big thumbs up

@Daniel
Doesn't it feel good to be able to write about you being in the torrential Honduran rain? Big grin  Big grin

Sometimes I wonder, based upon on which criteria decisions concerning the optimization of products costs at airlines are made. It certainly feels like cuts usually take place in the fields, where the customer feels them the most... a strategy which will certainly backfire some day.






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