Comparing LH and LX in C
Hello folks, welcome to my latest trip report, covering a roundtrip to Lisbon in Business Class. The outbound trip would be operated by Lufthansa, and the inbound trip by Swiss, so this trip was an excellent opportunity to compare both carries in C intra-Europe. Please refer to my previous trip report Mission Bromma And Saab 2000 (BRU-BMA-MMX-BMA-SDL) (by roberts87 Nov 16 2012 in Trip Reports)
for a more thorough introduction to this trip. It basically tells you how I ended up in Stockholm Arlanda (ARN
) from where I needed to ‘burn’ some Miles&More frequent flier miles on an intra-Europe roundtrip. To make full use of the Business Class experience I chose one of the further destinations and longer flights; Lisbon (LIS
), via Frankfurt on LH
. Since I didn’t necessarily had to return to Stockholm and the conditions of the award flights also allows you to return to a different destination I decided to fly back to Rome (FCO
), via Zurich on LX
. Although this airport is covered quite a bit here on A.net it would be a new airport for me. From Rome I would return back home on AF
via Bordeaux, as part of an open jaw ticket from another trip. Since I have already reported on a number of AF
flights I took in 2012, I will focus this report on the Lufthansa and Swiss flights. Please allow the wonderful Great Circle Mapper to illustrate the flights covered in this report:
[/url] Saturday August 25th 2012
Lufthansa Flight LH801
Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN) – Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
174th overall flight
11th flight on Lufthansa
6th flight on an Airbus A321 (45th flight on an Airbus A320 Series)
4th visit to ARN
and 10th visit to FRA
1st time flying the ARN
Departure Time (Scheduled/Actual): 10.15 / 10.12
Arrival Time (Scheduled/Actual): 12.30 / 12.29
Block time (Scheduled / Actual): 2.15/ 2.17
Flight duration: 1 hour, 55 minutes
Mileage: 762 nm
So I spent the night at Stockholm Arlanda Airport, in the famous Jumbo Hostel. It was a neat experience. Although once your inside your room you don’t really notice anymore you’re in an old 747, the operators of the hostel did do their best to enhance the entire experience. So it was interesting none the less. Added benefit of staying in the Jumbo Hostel was that I didn’t need to get up all that early to go to the airport. With plenty of time to spare, I took a shuttle bus towards Arlanda’s Terminal 5 at at around 8 in the morning and made my way towards the Scandinavian Airlines check-in area, who also handle their Star Alliance buddy Lufthansa here at ARN
Lufthansa allows Business Class passengers within Europe to pre-select their seat in the Manage My Booking module. I was able to secure a window seat well in advance for all sectors, except FRA
, where I selected 2D
in the end. When I performed online check-in – via the Scandinavian Airlines website - the night before I noticed that 1A had become available, but I could not select that seat. The next morning, when checking in online again, the seat was still available but I still couldn’t select it. The same also happened when using the Self Service check-in machines. So I approached an empty Business Class check-in counter, to ask if they could select the seat. Also here the agent was not able to select the seat, and he suggested that I should ask at a transfer desk in Frankfurt. He suspected, that row 1 (which only have an A and C seat) was held by Lufthansa for their frequent flyers.
There was hardly a queue for security, but in the regular line as in the priority line. I of course used the latter, I don’t get to fly Business Class all that much, so I might as well enjoy the little perks. As it had been a few years since I last visited ARN
I first took a little stroll around, did some aircraft- and operations watching before I made my way to the lounges. Scandinavian Airlines operated two lounge here, which are located adjacent to each other and use the same service desk. First there is the Business Lounge, for Business Class passengers of SK
and affiliated carriers, and secondly there is the Scandinavian lounges which is only available for top tier passengers in SK
’s own program. I had a light breakfast in the lounge – a decently stocked buffet – and did some people watching in the not all too busy lounge. After a little while I decided to try my luck and see if I could have a visit to the Scandinavian Lounge as well, which was granted, probably because it was also rather quiet there. Not much differences between the two lounges to be honest, except for some extra choice in booze perhaps.
Scandinavian and Star Alliance check-in area.
No lines for security
Also not so busy on the apron.
Must have a 717 in a report. Oh no, wait that’s for trip reports about HEL.
Visitor from the US in the far back
Finally a shot with some more aircraft in it, including a Boeing 737-600, of which SK is one of the few operators in Europe.
View of the Business Lounge
And the Scandinavian Lounge
And the Lufthansa Airbus A321 that will take me to Frankfurt
Boarding was already well underway when I arrived at the gate. At the entrance of the aircraft I was greeted by a friendly purser and I took my seat 2F, which is the bulkhead seat. Row 1 is only on the left side aircraft, as there is cloak room located at the area where seats 1D and 1F would have been. Already a little before ten o’clock a ‘boarding complete’ announcement was made, so that was quite early for our 10.15 departure. A look towards the back of the cabin revealed an average load of about 75%. 8 rows were dedicated to Business Class, of which only three had more than 2 passengers in them. Most of the passengers, including myself had three seats for themselves. It appeared that two members of the Cabin Crew would be working on the Business Class section today, the female purser and a younger male FA
. The latter distributed Newsweeks and/or Time Magazines after the boarding was completed and he also performed the manual safety demo which a large smile and grin on his face. As he was standing right in front of me I had to pay attention. Just before pushback there was a small word for the cockpit announcing an ontime departure and an expected flight time of 1 hour and 55 minutes. Pushback was indeed a few minutes early, and with only a short taxi my first intra-Europe Business Class flight had begun a few minutes later.
The obligatory leg room shot.
The blocked middle seat and the unoccupied aisle seat.
Taxiing out and entering the runway.
Take-off over the beautiful Swedish landscape until we headed into the clouds.
Shortly after we headed into the clouds the younger FA
came around asking if I wanted breakfast. Well of course. As the load in business was light, all passengers were served individually from the galley which was a nice personal touch. On the Stockholm route a warm breakfast is served, and this time it was a German dish of which I didn’t quite get the name but it was some sort of warm coockie-crumble and tasted pretty good. Additionally there was some fruit, some cold slices of meat and the usual breads. I had an orange juice and a coffee with it. Service during the flight was excellent with many refills being offered.
Breakfast in the sky.
Somewhere over Denmark.
Huge amount of legroom in seat 2D, where I was so far seated in for the FRA-LIS flight
When we were heading into German airspace the amount of clouds increased which made for some great scenery outside. In spite of the clouds, flying conditions were good and during descent the usual connecting flights information was given. For some shorter connections the gates were announced, and a gate change was announced for the flight to Mexico, which was repeated in Spanish – well done. Our arrival gate would be A15 – not a busgate, a welcome surprise as this would give me some extra time in Frankfurt.
Descending towards Frankfurt
It soon become clear that we would be landing on the new runway, which was a first for me. The views of downtown Frankfurt are pretty amazing when landing on this runway
Touchdown and exiting runway quite rapidly.
Nice viewing hill next to the runway, with some spotters present.
Nice collection of Lufthansa long haul aircraft.
Frankfurt Airport, here we are.
Saturday August 25th 2012
Lufthansa Flight LH1810
Frankfurt Airport (FRA) – Lisbon Airport (LIS)
175th overall flight
12th flight on Lufthansa
7th flight on an Airbus A321 (46th flight on an Airbus A320 Series)
11th visit to FRA
and 1st visit to LIS
1st time flying the FRA
Departure Time (Scheduled/Actual): 13.55 / 13.52
Arrival Time (Scheduled/Actual): 15.55 / 16.01
Block time (Scheduled / Actual): 3.00 / 3.09
Flight duration: 2 hour, 55 minutes
Mileage: 1165 nm
Right, so the first stop in Frankfurt would be a transfer desk. There was one conveniently located in the vicinity of our arrival gate to where I quickly proceeded. A few passengers ahead of me in line, but it was quickly my turn and I explained to the agent that I currently had an aisle seat but preferred a window seat and I inquired if 1A was still available. Indeed it was, and the agent issued a new boarding without hesitation. Great!
The next stop: the Business Lounge. Lufthansa has quite a few lounges throughout the Frankfurt Airport, but since I was flying in and out of the Schengen A terminal I had only had one lounge at my disposal. It turned to be a pretty nice lounge. Quite a few food options on offer including soup, salads, breads, yoghurts, snacks, etc. and a well-stocked bar as well. And as a bonus some great views of the apron as well! A nice addition in the back of the lounge was a Sportsbar.
Lunch in the lounge. I absolutely loved the soup. Pretty good wine as well.
Great views from the lounge.
Interior of the lounge
And the – empty - sports bar.
The aircraft that would take me to Lisbon, another A321. Now I don’t usually keep track of registrations, but this one is hard to miss: it’s D-AIRY
After spending an enjoyable hour in the lounge it was time to go flying again. Again a jet bridge for this flight, so once again a small walk. Again, boarding was well underway and I was among the last to be on board. 4 Rows of business class this time, with most seats taken. Not the usual business class crowd though on this Saturday afternoon: 2 passengers in their mid-twenties (including myself), a gentleman in his forties but very leisurely dressed, a family with two kids probably around 10 years and one gentleman in a suit. I overheard of the FA
’s mentioning that Y was fully booked for this flight. When boarding was completed the captain on the FA
apologizing for the delay, which was interested as we pushed back early. Flight time was announced as 2 hours and 50 minutes with a routing Luxembourg-Paris-Brittany-Bay of Biscay-North Spain-Portugal. Manual safety demo was presented during the long taxi towards the Southerly runway.
Yeah, looks like I’ll be flying Business Class today on the city of Flensburg
Great service again by the crew on this flight. First a drinks run accompanied with some nuts. I opted for a champagne / sparkling wine. Afterwards, menus were distributed, with two options for the hot main course. During the meal service two drinks runs and/or drinks were offered. And after that coffee and tea. In the last hour of the flight yet another drunk run was made.
Champagne above the clouds…
I chose the braised beef with polenta, which tasted excellent. Especially the beef was very well braised and was delicious. The other items were also good, except for the fennel and olive salad, but that’s more of a personal taste – not such a big fan of olives. And the bread was a bit dry
Cruising over France
And reaching the Bay of Biscay, followed by the Spanish coast
The clouds started to clear as we reached Portugal
And when we approach Lisbon, an amazing view over the city was offered with a great final descent into the airport. I’ll just let the pictures do the talking.
Touchdown after 2 hours and 55 minutes of flying
Great looking Air France retrojet
And into the gate…
And so this part of the journey concluded. Time to spent an afternoon in Lisbon!
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