sr117
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Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2000 2:00 am

Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:52 am

(Point mouse over pictures for captions)

Pre flight

This trip was part of a more comprehensive SAN-IAD-MUC-FRA-HKG-NRT-HNL-KOA-SFO-SAN trip. However I'll only be reporting on the more interesting sectors that have some razzle dazzle to report. The motive of this trip was a visit to Hong Kong, however I decided to make it interesting and stop in Munich for 2 days and turn it into a short round the world trip. Here's a few images from my 24 hours in Munich:

(Point mouse over picture to see caption)






















LH to FRA

Flying the A340-600 from MUC to HKG would have been more interesting due to the PTVs, and MUC being a nicer airport, however the arrival time to HKG was a bit inconvenient for me.

After about 24 hours of much walking and sightseeing in Munich, I hopped on an 11am shuttle flight from MUC to FRA. I had originally planned on taking a midday flight so I could have a leisurely walk around the airport, since I've always been there on a rush, however when I checked in the LH lady suggested I try to hop on the flight that was currently boarding, hence I had to rush once again :P.





Service on the 30 minute flight was surprisingly a full beverage service by a very nice cabin crew, they were all neatly groomed except for one guy who looked like he just rolled out of bed (and he had the hair to prove it). Service was perfectly adequate for such a short flight I think.





Lufty 747 at it's home base

Arriving in FRA at around 12pm, I had 5 hours to kill at the lovely and fabulous Frankfurt airport. It actually wasn't as bad as it may seem. Did some grocery shopping in the nearby Tegut market inside the DB station, had some snacks and drinks at the AAdmirals Lounge (bless you Priority Pass!), at around 3:30pm I proceeded to passport control and my gate to HKG.



It must be said that FRA is messy, I wouldn't call it hellish but it certainly wouldn't call it cozy or warm. Walking to the C gates where the HKG flight was departing seemed to take ages, by the time I was through with passport control and security there wasn't too much time to lounge about and lollygag at the gate before boarding.


LH738
B747-400
FRA-HKG
17:55-10:45+1


Lufty 747-400 to Hong Kong



Guy in the middle says:

On to the flight itself... It wasn't completely full so thankfully things went by quite smoothly. Being on standby I was not asigned a seat until boarding time, so once boarding began, I started to roam around the gate like a vulture, waiting to see what empty airplane seat I could scavenge  

LH staff were friendly enough and asked me if I was on standby without me having to inquire them. I gave them my undescript and seatless standby boarding pass in exchange for a magical and wondrous aisle seat ! Hmm where could this mysterious 34D be located? Lets go inside the plane and find out !



Cabin crew seemed friendly enough, and actually, the economy class purser was quite a friendly and perceptive lady. Since I was lugging my camera around my neck she inquired if I had a window seat. I told her it was an aisle seat and she was friendly enough to say "Oh don't worry, we're not completely full so I might find a window seat for you". Nice to see FA's engaging in small talk even with an almost full flight.

Ahhh it's steerage !!!

I found my seat and to my amusement it turned out to be a bulkhead aisle seat  . Legroom was a bit tight but at least I would be able to escape the clutches of my seat with ease. The purser passed by and commented "Oh you have one of the best seats in the cabin  " She then of course knew I was quite happy with the seat I had gotten.

Once boarding was completed, the purser also made a point of approaching the Star Gold passengers to thank them for their business, as well as offering any assistance should they need it, I thought this was a very nice touch on her part.



At this point, exhaustion began to set in.. it was almost 6pm and I had been up since 4 that morning, sightseeing, walking around airports and whatnot. Taxi and takeoff were a bit blurry, besides, there is not much in the way of entertainment in these LH 747s, if you're in the bulkhead aisle seats it's hard to watch the overhead monitors, and you can't look out the window either, so you can either sleep, read, or look around and see other passengers pick their noses.



Soon after takeoff our FAs sprung into action. They were mostly german ladies and a couple of apparently HK based F/As, a nice bunch really.

Headsets and Menus were distributed... yes I said menus, apparently LH is not consistent in its menu distribution policy, guess I was lucky.



FRA-HKG by Ricardo TG, on Flickr">Lufthansa economy class menu <acronym title=FRA-HKG" />

FA's went through with the first drink and snack service, and afterwards they distributed the now infamous "wet napkins" which were better than no napkins I in my opinion, at least they helped me wipe all of the airport grime off of my hands.





Dinner service seemed to take quite a while though, cabin crew didn't come through with it until we were past Warsaw.

Over Warsaw, where's my meal?? grrrr



Finally I was presented with my fun dinner tray. I say fun because dinner service is always the entertainment highlight of the flight for me. Who can resist the charm of the mystery meats? the fun little condiment packages, and the challenge of elbow to elbow eating. In this case the eating was all the more challenging because my elderly chinese seatmate had no problem claiming parts of the armrest and beyond as his own, he was old and frail so I couldn't really be too much of a bully.. rats !



Dinner itself was good, the presentation was a bit dull but the taste was not bad at all. I was only concerned for the safety of my Warsteiner, it was always tethering and dangerously close to the edge of the tray which would be fine in other circumstances, except that on one side was my seatmate with his wildly flailing arms who could easily cause a barley scented disaster, while on the other side was the aisle, with it's ever present threat of a hit and run by a rougue bottom.

Closeup of Lufty's Beef Goulash

Once done with dinner, I was certainly ready to crash out. FA's passed round with coffee and tea but I don't think I remember much about it. I slipped soundly into sleep despite the tight quarters, I can't usually sleep while sitting but I guess exhaustion is your best friend when flying Y.

I woke up after a few hours of dozing off and took this shot. Felt nice to be flying over these parts of the world.



FA's were continuously walking around the aisle offering water or juice so I never went thirsty.

IFE with Lufty on these 747s is a bit basic but it's not a complete loss. They have this amusing way of always showing a small preview documentary of the movie they're about to show. I love it ! When the movie finally starts you can't help but get a bit excited... "oh joy, I'm so lucky, it's that movie they were just talking about"  (Yes I admit, perhaps I'm easy to entertain, they might as well dangle some car keys in front of me)

I couldn't help but watch this amusing Hong Kong movie about an unmarriable businesswoman who hires an actor to make her parents believe she's getting married or something of the sorts, I was in such a somniferous daze that I don't even remember the plot correctly (anyone know the name with the scarce details I provided?), but it was very entertaining actually, and it made one and a half hours go by smoothly.

Are we there yet?

After more dozing off and stretching out it was time for the next meal. Crewmembers passed by the cabin with more wet napkins and then a choice of either omelette or noodles. As omelettes are boring I chose the exciting pork noodles with sauteed eggplant!. To be honest the taste was not terribly exciting but it wasn't awful either. And the pieces of fruit were nice.

It's tastier than it looks

Plates were cleared and we were zig-zagging over China, one more hour to go   Thank heavens I had loaded some good TV episodes on the pod as they proved a nice break from the neck crunching overhead tv monitor.

Are we there yet???? Yes ! 1 hour away...

Descent and approach into HKG were rather scenic as it was clear and we had a nice view of Macau, as I was far from any window I missed out on most of the fun though. Still, a worthy tradeoff as escaping from a window seat in economy is a nightmare unless you like imposing your arse on the faces of others.

After some twisting and turning around puffy white morning clouds and we were landing at HKG's runway 25R. We were a whole 15 minutes ahead of schedule  

Immigration and Customs were as breeze as they always are in HKG.

Verdict

So, how was the 10 hour 20 minute treck on LH economy? Not bad, not bad at all ! While the 747 is very spartan in regards to IFE, there is little to complain about in terms of inflight service. Crewmembers were efficient and friendly, particularly our purser which was excellent. Food was adequate and beverage runs were constant. It was far from luxurious, but it got the job done in a very German way.

It would be a mistake to expect asian style service standards on LH, and if you board your flight with that in mind I don't think you could be disappointed.

Ricardo

[Edited 2009-08-27 23:57:48]
 
airpearl
Posts: 849
Joined: Tue May 01, 2001 7:42 pm

RE: Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:30 am

Hi Ricardo,

Thanks for this trip report. Love the clear crisp pictures and it certainly looks like LH offers not a bad Y class product after all, pretty much as I remember them from my previous flights. The absence of PTVs (currently being rectified) is probably the only key negative.

Thanks again for posting your experience.

Regards,
airpearl
 
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OA260
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Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:03 am

Hi great report and nice to see a well balanced view. Lack of PTV's would be a downer for me but the rest looks ok. Nice that they welcomed their Star Golds, it does make a difference. I always appreciate it when on a Star carrier.

OA260
 
rcaq
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:14 pm

RE: Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:53 am

Thanks for sharing your LH Y HKG experience. I'm quite surprise to see a "menu" offer in LH Y - My turn is going to be in a few days on the same route.

I quite enjoyed reading this TR & thanks again
 
PlunaCRJ
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RE: Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:08 am

Very nice TR. I really liked te pictures you took, very crisp and with the exact colors: congratulations!!

I like LH´s economy class, in particular their choice of color (grey and yellow) that makes it at the same time different and very German.

Regards,
 
BHD
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:42 pm

RE: Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:24 am

Great report, thanks for positing
The movie is perhaps "The Proposal" by the way
Woody
 
SQ772
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RE: Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:51 pm

Love the pictures, the best I've seen around. LH doesn't look so bad in this case, just the way I remember it to be.
There's always a better way to fly...
 
semsem
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:06 am

RE: Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:08 pm

How is the legroom? I heard it was tight.
 
ewrkid
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:13 pm

RE: Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:08 pm



Quoting SR117 (Thread starter):
It would be a mistake to expect asian style service standards on LH, and if you board your flight with that in mind I don't think you could be disappointed.


 checkmark , Glad you boarded your lufty flight with an open mind Big grin , Great Great TR!!! Your pictures are really awsome!!! I would like to see the pics that you took in HKG, I' m sure they are really good also.

Nice Title by the way :p
 
caleb1
Posts: 491
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:51 am

RE: Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:46 pm

Thanks for the TR. I appreciate the fact that you kept an open mind about your flight and you seemed to maintain a positive attitude, which is important while flying long haul these days. It was a pleasure to read your report.
 
PlaneHunter
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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:35 pm

Great report, Ricardo. Good to see a balanced review about LH's long-haul product.

Quoting SR117 (Thread starter):
Headsets and Menus were distributed... yes I said menus, apparently LH is not consistent in its menu distribution policy, guess I was lucky.

Interesting.

Quoting SR117 (Thread starter):
Finally I was presented with my fun dinner tray. I say fun because dinner service is always the entertainment highlight of the flight for me. Who can resist the charm of the mystery meats?

I can only agree.

Quoting SR117 (Thread starter):
Dinner itself was good, the presentation was a bit dull but the taste was not bad at all. I was only concerned for the safety of my Warsteiner, it was always tethering and dangerously close to the edge of the tray which would be fine in other circumstances, except that on one side was my seatmate with his wildly flailing arms who could easily cause a barley scented disaster, while on the other side was the aisle, with it's ever present threat of a hit and run by a rougue bottom.

I wish LH had another beer on offer. Warsteiner? No thanks!

Quoting SR117 (Thread starter):
As omelettes are boring I chose the exciting pork noodles with sauteed eggplant!.

It doesn't look very appealing...


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
ayubogg
Posts: 177
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RE: Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:33 pm

Great TR, always appreciate reading these! I chortle at how everyone is kinda referring to your positive attitude on LH's Y product in comparison to a certain TR recently posted also on LH's Y product.

Quoting SR117 (Thread starter):
It would be a mistake to expect asian style service standards on LH, and if you board your flight with that in mind I don't think you could be disappointed.

 checkmark 

Again, I think most of us are catching your drift on this comment....  Big grin

Thanks for this report, thoroughly enjoyed it!

-Ayubogg
Alba gu bràth
 
Econojetter
Posts: 356
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 11:24 pm

RE: Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:48 pm

Thanks for another fantastic report. I'm beginning to realize your knack for taking photos that tell stories. Great composition.

As much as I am glad to be given any opportunity to fly at all, I appreciate that economy class travel has its trying moments and enjoy reports that capture those facets with appropriately incisive comments without veering into cattiness, abuse or excessive self pity. I like the spirit of your reports.

Indeed, LH longhaul economy does not look anywhere close to hell even on older equipment. In fact, on their newer Airbus aircraft, I'd say they look pretty competitive and would probably try to fly them at a reasonable price.

Quoting SR117 (Thread starter):
I slipped soundly into sleep despite the tight quarters, I can't usually sleep while sitting but I guess exhaustion is your best friend when flying Y.

I seem to have improved my snooze game over the years; of course it helps that I am always armed with a pair of eyeshades and earplugs. I managed at least 5 hours of shuteye on the flight I took yesterday, sans alcohol.  Wink
 
StefanPAD
Posts: 279
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 7:15 pm

RE: Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:43 pm

Hi Ricardo,

thank you for posting this TR. It was interesting to read it because I will make the same flight on Tuesday. I'm really looking forward to it, though it will be a long flight in Y.

Quoting Rcaq (Reply 3):
My turn is going to be in a few days on the same route.

When will be your flight?

Regards,
Stefan
 
directorguy
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RE: Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:13 am

First off, great TR and some great pics. Well done.
Your TR is a classic case of how a certain product could be good for some and bad for others. At the end of the day, there is probably no such thing as a good airline, or a bad one-it all boils down to our indiviual experiences.
Thanks for sharing
Regards,
DG
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8153
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Sat Oct 17, 2009 5:22 pm

Hi Ricardo,

Nice report & pictures looks like you saw plenty in Munich & had a decent trip down the back of a Lufty 744.

Quoting SR117 (Thread starter):
Since I was lugging my camera around my neck she inquired if I had a window seat. I told her it was an aisle seat and she was friendly enough to say "Oh don't worry, we're not completely full so I might find a window seat for you".

- Nice FA, always a good start to a trip.

Quoting SR117 (Thread starter):
Headsets and Menus were distributed... yes I said menus, apparently LH is not consistent in its menu distribution policy, guess I was lucky.

- Interesting, not noted that mentioned before.

Quoting SR117 (Thread starter):
It would be a mistake to expect asian style service standards on LH, and if you board your flight with that in mind I don't think you could be disappointed.

- You have hit the nail on the head here, don't expect too much and you might be pleasently suprised.

Regards

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
 
YOW346
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:41 am

RE: Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:27 pm

I have to agree with econojetter. Your report is so refreshing. It is complete, unique, and conveys a "spirit" of content. Crafting pieces in any media that convey any emotion at all is a characteristic of advanced writing and creativity. On a related note, your photos are stunning. The colors are stunning, the composition is stunning, and the contents of every frame are stunning.

Su ingles es perfecto. Pocas personas en el mundo pueden escribir en varios idiomas, y muchos menos pueden escribir con belleza.
 
sr117
Posts: 681
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2000 2:00 am

RE: Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:19 am

Many thanks for all of your kind comments ! They are much appreciated.

Quoting BHD (Reply 5):
Great report, thanks for positing
The movie is perhaps "The Proposal" by the way

After much searching, I found out the movie was "All's Well that Ends Well 2009" And it was a hoot !! Why o why can't we get good foreign movies on Itunes  Sad

Quoting Semsem (Reply 7):
How is the legroom? I heard it was tight.

It's tight.. 31 inches. If you plan on keeping hydrated (and remember the consequences of drinking lots of liquids), do yourself a favor and get an aisle seat. Otherwise, getting out of your seat is a tough proposition.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
I wish LH had another beer on offer. Warsteiner? No thanks!

Funny, I found Warsteiner on the premium beer section of the supermarket here the other day : ) I didn't think it was that bad at all actually, my wall of shame is limited to Budweiser and Heineken, anything else is fair game  Smile

Quoting YOW346 (Reply 16):
Su ingles es perfecto. Pocas personas en el mundo pueden escribir en varios idiomas, y muchos menos pueden escribir con belleza.

Muchas gracias ! English and Spanish ain't too exotic these days though  Wink

Next up is NRT-HNL on All Nippon Airways and LAX-SJD-MEX-EZE on AA and MX  Wink
 
LHPII
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 1:30 pm

RE: Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:46 pm



Quoting Rcaq (Reply 3):
I'm quite surprise to see a "menu" offer in LH Y

LH offers menus in Y/cl on China, Korea and Japan services!
 
Comeflywithme
Posts: 249
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 7:51 pm

RE: Not Quite Hell: LH Economy From FRA To HKG

Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:55 pm

Hey great report and really enjoyed the photos.

Quoting SR117 (Thread starter):
Dinner itself was good, the presentation was a bit dull but the taste was not bad at all

That meal looks pretty good you know and a damn sight better than my LH Biz class meal I recently had on the FRA-EZE flight.......Think I'll fly economy next time. Big grin

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