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shankly
Topic Author
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Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:43 am

I recently took my first ever Lufthansa flight, LHR-CPT via FRA, traveling on Business Class.

Now before I moan too much, I would qualify that the planes left and arrived on time and where flown beautifully (especially a wonderful beat up around table mountain on approach to CPT). However, for a leading world airline LH is at least 10 years behind it's competitors with it's Business Class product, for example:

1. Those lounges - LH clearly bought a job lot of grey leather a few years ago and literally through it at it's lounges. The lounges at LHR T2 is a mass of grey chairs. It has a great picture window, but guess what, all the chairs have their back to it and face inwards towards the other grey chairs and grey walls. I believe snacks should extend to more than a few roasted nuts. I was unable to take a shower at FRA on the way back, despite being in the lounge for an hour as there where not enough facilities

2. The flight attendance - Have seen friendlier and more efficient service on a 3am Britannia charter flight out of Corfu

3. IFE - A reminder of what IFE used to be like...in the 70's. Hopeless programming and no on-demand.

4. Food - Refer to 2 above.

5. Seats - Clearly salvaged from CV-990's and DC-8's languishing in a desert somewhere. Does the term "flat bed" not exist in the German language?

6. Added value - I mean things like razor blades in the wc, magazines, the personal touch. No added value.

7. FRA - If you are transit through FRA, bring a map, a sherpa and just let someone at home know where you are, just in case you get lost in the labyrinth. FRA clearly stands for Fu**ing Ridiculous Airport

As we all know, you pays your money and takes your choice. Well for me next time it's BA.
L1011 - P F M
 
Avianca
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:45 am

as we all know, LHR is much more better...as you say it is your choice

Avianca
Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
 
N1120A
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:50 am

>Does the term "flat bed" not exist in the German language?<

Flachbett.

They have suites in F and their new Business has flat beds. Then again, many people seem to prefer the older style cradle seats to the flat beds that you constantly slide off of.
Also, LH has some of the best food I have had on an airplane, especially if you get something with fish.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Vimanav
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 5:02 am

I heard a great quip from one of the instructors at the LH training centre in QSH about the LH color scheme:

"If you move, Good Morning to you. If you don't, we paint you grey!!"

Pretty much sums up LH's passion for grey.

rgds//Vimanav
Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
 
ZRH
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:33 am

I changed aircrafts at FRA a few times, but I avoid this airport when ever it is possible. It is the worst airport in Europe. Usually I am really very good in finding my way but in FRA I always get lost. Either the don't have directories or they are not understandable (BTW my mother tongue is German and I speak and read quite well the English language)
 
macc
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:40 am

well, its grey, is it? but at least it could be worse. like the OS happy color hour...

but for food, airport, crew...: funny, exactly the reason i refrained from flying BA again...  Big grin
I exchanged political frustration with sexual boredom. better spoil a girl than the world
 
SNATH
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:41 am

It is the worst airport in Europe.

No offense mate, but LHR beats it by a mile.

I've connected many times through FRA. I never had any problems. Yes, sometimes it's a bit of a walk. But I've always found the signs clear enough and by following them I always ended up where I was supposed to. You do have to know how to recognise the Latin character set mind you...  Acting devilish

As for LH's business class. I got a lucky upgrade before Xmas from BOS to FRA. It was actually very nice. The (old-style) seat was very confortable and the food pretty good and plentiful. The only reason I didn't get overwhelmed was that I had flown F class on them a few months earlier and that experience is very hard to top.

And, finally, the lounges at FRA are actually among my favourite, especially the large one close to gates B23 and B25. And, after a long-haul, I've always found the shower facilities in them absolutely excellent.

Tony
Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
 
wdleiser
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 7:16 am

Why would Lufthansa have a descent lounge at LHR? EDDF and EDDM are their hubs.

Any ways' Lufthansa is upgrading their business class, and are adding FlyNet to their entire long haul fleet now. You tell me what other airline has that.
 
shankly
Topic Author
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 9:13 am

Wdleiser. Why would LH have a decent lounge at LHR? You are joking. The UK-German air routes are some of the most well trodden business routes in the world (BTW ,the world is outside the US).

LH is indeed upgrading their Business Class. Its just that most other leading airlines did it 5-10 years ago and some (BA, Virgin) are now on their 3rd generation products.

SNATH, I'm glad you enjoyed your lucky upgrade. Its just when you fly up front regularly (and pay for your own ticket) you'll begin to sort the chaff from the wheat.

N1120A. The food is indeed edible, just not really very imaginative. Now I flew Finnair Business Class back in May. Here is an airline that despite not perhaps having the greatest seats and fleet, more than makes up for it by having excellent food and wine and airline staff who are courteous and generous with service. Ironically the best food we had on LH was on the final A300 flight from FRA-LHR...a refreshing wake-up breakfast of fruit, yoghurt and warm croissant...nothing flash just well executed. This also happened to be the only flight that was empty so might have something to do with an improved service over the longhaul 744 amd A343.
L1011 - P F M
 
Sabena332
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 9:31 am

It is well known that LH's Economy Class product is the worst in the whole industry but actually I am quite surprised that I read more and more bad things about their Business Class. LH is currently installing their new Business Class throughout the whole fleet but nevertheless is it a joke that you received such a bad service in a Business Class (no matter if it was the old or the new one).

Now imagine their Economy Class! Last weekend I flew HAM-FRA-JFK-FRA-HAM and the experience was as usual, rude flight attendants, disgusting food, the lack of comfort and entertainment. Thanks God I only paid ~260 EUR for the whole trip but - as I already wrote in another thread - these flights were even not worth the 260 EUR. I felt sorry for the passengers who paid a higher fare for the flights.

LH completely lost my business, I already returned my Miles & More Visa card and in the next weeks I will spend my remaining miles (of course on another airline than LH). Then I will change to an airline/alliance which provides customer service i.e. British Airways/Oneworld (additionally I will continue to fly Air France/Skyteam). I don't see a point to give LH my hard earned money only to get treaten like self loading cargo.

I hope that more and more people will realize that there are "better ways to fly".

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
LHSTR
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 5:20 pm

@sabena332

As a former Delta Gold Medallion and KLM Royal Wing and later Platinum I wish you fun at with Air France, Delta and KLM. Because I sure didnt have fun with them.

They have a decent inflight product in coach, but nothing to write home about. However, service has become lower in Coach, just live with it. On European flights, AF offers water, tea, coffee and a cookie, SK, LX and OS offer nothing anymore, IB is in the same boat with them. KL serves no alcoholic beverages in Y anymore, while on BA and LH you at least get most drinks and a snack for free. If you pay higher fares, which no tourist hardly ever does, some airlines however offer a premium economy class, like AF and SK.

I also dont remember that my longhaul flights in coach have been giving better service over the last few years. The service used to be higher, however it has come down on almost all airlines. As all airlines are trying to save some money.

KLMs World Biz seat on the B777 is horrible, NWs World Biz and DLs BizElite was a great product years ago, but not anymore. AFs old C, which is currently upgraded, however, also not finished yet, is basically the same style than LH.

The problem here is that AF and KLM are probably the worst airlines in Europe, maybe add AZ and OA into this, when anything goes wrong with your flight plans. After having spend hours at ticket desks, waiting in endless lines in AMS and CDG on KL and AF, getting loads of different information about the same issue or losing my luggage rather often, I really appreciate the reliablity of LH.

By the way, dont forget that other airlines dont have PTVs on all their flights. All CO 757 transatlantic flights, not sure about the 762 service, will surely not have PTVs. Both Delta and KLM have PTVs in coach only on their new B777. On Deltas B763, which is used on most Transatlantic Routes, and on KLMs B747, M11, and B763 there is also no such thing. NW D10s, which are still used often over the Atlantic, and B744s have no PTV. To be fair, the D10s are currently faced out. UA also has no PTV in its B744, and I am not sure about the B763, cause I have been on one without PTVs, but heard they have them now.

Dont forget to bring $5 notes when you want to have an alcoholic drink on American carriers. I think US also charges for headsets now. Delta also just reduced the number of FA on transatlantic routes to enhance the service levels.  Sad

Having flown on the high rated (I personally dont understand the hype about them, neither I do about the Dubai Duty Free) Emirates airlines in coach on a B777-300 with 10 seats in a row, just make sure you dont get on those. Because this aint comfortable, specially when you have a PTV box underneath the seat in front of you.

And finally just make sure you dont sign up for BA Executive Club, as low fares will get hardly any miles, much less than they do in Miles and More. Not sure about which other airlines offer a mileage earning Credit Card in Germany, so you might miss out on a lot of miles, which you could burn on SQ, TG or other Star Airlines, if you dont want to fly LH.
 
ZSSNC
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:10 pm

N1120A,

They have suites in F and their new Business has flat beds. Then again, many people seem to prefer the older style cradle seats to the flat beds that you constantly slide off of.

LH has lieflat seats in Business Class and not flatbed seats. You would never slide down on a flatbed seat as they are not sloped down to the floor.

ZSSNC
Airbus A340-600 - the longest temptation in the sky
 
WF2BNN
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:28 pm

It's a german airline...

What goes up, must come down.
 
TriStar500
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Re:

Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:39 pm

Lufthansa - there's no greyer way to fly. Big grin

This somewhat tongue-in-cheek version of Lufthansa's real slogan sums it up pretty well. Flying the German national carrier ("national" not in the sense that it is state-owned - it is not, but in the sense that it is the largest airline in Germany and sort of the "business card" of our country elsewhere in the world) certainly leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to fancy frills, elegance or warmth. If you are looking for anything special regarding comfort and perks or are craving that little extra smile, you better take your business elsewhere.

That's why I hardly ever fly LH for my private travels, when I am paying out of my own pocket and when I want a good time.

HOWEVER - they are a great transportation tool. Not more, but certainly also not less. If you book an LH flight, be it from HAM to MUC or from SVO to SCL, you can be sure that the airline takes good care of you from the start of your journey to the very end of your trip. Even on the landside part of your journey, i.e. from booking to the security checkpoint, they offer a host of well-working information and check-in tools. Once you have checked in, they will get you to your destination - on time and with the least amont of hassle. If something is going wrong, they will sort out these problems and take care for your travel plans.

That's why I take - unless their prices are sky-high compared to alternative offers, which they usually are - Lufthansa for business trips, when punctuality and reliablity is the name of the game. Hardly any other airline in Europe is so fail-safe. I know I can relax when I step on an LH aircraft before or after a business appointment - they will get me where I want to go.

As a conclusion, I guess, it really boils down to what kind of traveller you are, what purpose your trip is serving and what your expectations are. One thing is fore sure IMO though - while LH still has the safety- and reliability bonus, eventually they will have to work hard on the service side, because their competition is fast improving their product too, so one day LH might just lose the edge in the few (although important) core competencies they have.


[Edited 2005-01-30 10:44:31]
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
VS045
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:42 pm

The food portions are way too small. Loads and loads of decorative bits and bobs on the side and then a tiny piece of meat in the middle!?!

Cheers,
VS045
4 engines 4 long haul
 
LHSTR
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 7:18 pm

@TriStar500

Lufthansa is usually more expensive in Germany than other airlines. But this is no different than AF treats the French market, or KL the Dutch or BA the British market. All these airlines have a high market share on their home turf, offer usually better connections or faster travel than international airlines and have lots of members in their respective frequent flyer programs.

From other countries LH is usually very competitive on the price, like BA, AF, KL are in Germany.
 
icarus75
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 7:37 pm

It is well known that LH's Economy Class product is the worst in the whole industry ......

I've flown economy class on longhaul and european flights with AF, BA and LH : LH is not worse than the other two!!! (even if AF is the best!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

In my experience, FRA is a very bad airport for connection, sometimes, because you have to walk a lot, a lot, a lot!!
For all the amenities, I think its a great airport compared to LHR or CDG (especially T1)
Flying is amazing!
 
Zweed
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 8:16 pm

the germans,
they gave us schlager, the mullet and lufthansa!
 
OHLHD
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 8:24 pm

Ever tried OS, if you fly them propably you will complain about the colour red.
(I do sometimes  Smile/happy/getting dizzy )
Several million pax travel through FRA every year, and they still make the plane without gettin lost......
LHR is in no way better than FRA.

About service: PTV? ever tried reading a book?
LH´s isn´t the best, if you want supreme service try QR or EK???

For all those who cry about LH service in Y-Class: Why are they always full and why has LH a profit????
And why do you keep flying them, if they are so bad?

Anyway, what counts for me is, to get from A to B.
 
godbless
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 9:20 pm

Just write a topic like this about Iberia... Man, whoever does will for sure be flamed. Big grin

Max
 
tripple7
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 9:25 pm

I have connected through FRA several times and I can assure you, that you ONLY want to connect through FRA when you are flying on LH or partners. If you are flying any other carrier, connecting at FRA is bad! Not as bad as LHR, but it gets close. For connecting flights I prefer AMS. Usually I fly from DUS to AMS and connect there to anywhere I want to go. Skyteam offers great and easy connections at AMS.However I do my fair amount of traveling on LH as well.

Concerning LH, the airline does not really stand out on terms of service, nor does any other European mainline carrier. I think LH is as grey as AF, BA, KL, etc....Personnaly I do not need a PTV, I can read a newspaper, read a book or sleep on a plane. That is as much entertainment as I need. The main thing I care about is that an airline provides me connections a normal service level and flies me to a destination safe. LH is great in doing that properly!

[Edited 2005-01-30 13:27:22]
 
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bully707
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 9:40 pm

@ Zweed: Graag gedaan !!

Well...like OHLHD said...why is LH going strong, if their service is so bad???

I have to admit that I have not flown LH in a looong time...(rather went to AMS to fly KLM / NW...) and so I can't rate their service.

That they should rethink their colour-strategy is a given...  Big grin

Plus IMHO their old, pre 1960 livery is one of the finest ever used.

Godspeed

Bully
"That's the good thing about the 707...it can do anything, but read!" Joe Patroni, Airport '70
 
IberiaN
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Sun Jan 30, 2005 10:11 pm

Hi!
I have been at FRA T2 and, in my opinion, it's one of the best airports I have ever been at. It was very modern and spacious, although there weren't any restaurants or shops in the boarding area.
Never flown on LH, so I don't know how its service is.
Rgrds
Has decidido puntualidad, has decidido Iberia ;)
 
Sabena332
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Mon Jan 31, 2005 12:30 am

On European flights, AF offers water, tea, coffee and a cookie

Factually incorrect. On the early morning flights you have the choice between water, apple juice, orange juice, coffee and tea as well as between two kinds of croissants. On all other flights they offer full bar service including beer as well as booze and long drinks respectively.

The problem here is that AF and KLM are probably the worst airlines in Europe, maybe add AZ and OA into this, when anything goes wrong with your flight plans.

AF is one of the worst airlines in Europe? Are you kidding me? Last year I was passenger on 16 Air France flights and all of them were perfect, no matter if long or short-haul. AF's Economy Class product on long-haul flights in probably the best among all European airlines, they usually offer cheap fares, very good food and wines (even bubbly in Eco), a self-service bar with drinks and snacks and flight attendants which provide excellent service with a smile. Not one of these 16 flights had a delay and not one piece of luggage got lost on these flights. Furthermore is their frequent flyer program one of the most generous, I became Frequences Plus Blue member after I took the following flights in the last year:

- DUS-CDG-DUS
- DUS-CDG-MAN-CDG-DUS
- DUS-CDG-BKK-MNL-BKK-CDG-DUS
- DUS-CDG-AGP-CDG-DUS

I spent approximately 1400 EUR for all these flights and got a status in their FFP, can you show me how to get status in another FFP while spending only 1400 EUR?

And finally just make sure you dont sign up for BA Executive Club, as low fares will get hardly any miles, much less than they do in Miles and More.

Last week I had a big thread here in the Civil Aviation Forum about the Oneworld FFP's and some experienced members told me that I should go for AAdvantage. I am planning a few flights in discounted Biz Class this year, after this flights I will become AAdvantage platinium elite which is Oneworld Emerald Status. When I would book these flights on Star Alliance and collect miles via LH's Miles & More I could be lucky when I get Frequent Traveler status since you need 150.000 miles in a year to become Senator now and not only 100.000 like it was before. Miles & More has become the biggest joke of all FFP's, actually is it logical, the worst airline has the worst FFP  Laugh out loud.

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
LHSTR
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Mon Jan 31, 2005 2:13 am

I have never claimed that AF is the worst airline in Europe. I said AF, is the worst airline, if anything goes wrong. Reliability is just not a big thing with AF. I have had so many unpleasent experiences with AF, and AF is really not handling those well. There was a thread about this from Mozart a few days ago, and I can totally agree with him.

Regarding your comment about Frequent Flyer programs.
AF does differ give out status, depending on where you live. AF, like a lot of airlines, including LH, discriminates against the people in their own country. Makes Business sense for the airlines and is therefore very understandable.

The Frequent Flyer programmes of AF and KLM are going to merge this year, according to the information I received from KLM. As KL has just taken away the Lounge access for Platinum members regardless of airline flown, the special award availability for their top tier, no mileage earning for lower action fares, I do not expect the combined program to be better then the existing program. I fear it will be worse than before. IMHO, no miles or few miles on discount fares is an industry trend, as the prices for flights are going down more and more.

You claimed that you paid 1400 EUR for all your flights and you got AF Blue status in 2004. I highly doubt, that when the new combined program comes out, this will be possible again.
 
Trijetman
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Mon Jan 31, 2005 3:23 am

FRA is a pain for the walking distances: Especially the mile-long hallways in T2 (AF usually has one of the gates towards the end...) or the numerous escalators (up and down again!!!) if you're headed for the railway station. But it's not so hard to find your way around IMO.

CDG is a complete chaos: T1 is a completely different bldg. only accesible by shuttle bus for transfer (they're building a monorail now) and the T2 terminals are in two rows facing each other and not many people notice that there's a connecting tunnel between them...

Lucky for me I know CDG quite well after all those years... everybody else: Really study a map of the airport before making any moves if your on transfer.

Nothing beats KIX for simplicity BTW; you can only go left or right and it's well indicated where your flight is.

Happy flying everyone!
 
Sabena332
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Mon Jan 31, 2005 3:35 am

Reliability is just not a big thing with AF. I have had so many unpleasent experiences with AF, and AF is really not handling those well.

I only experienced one incident while flying AF. In July 2000, I arrived from LAX and got stuck at CDG for a few hours because ADP staff was on strike. AF immediately provided food and beverage vouchers and booked me on the next available flight to DUS in the late afternoon. Unfortunately did my luggage not make it but they delivered it to my home address within 24 hours. Later I complained at AF and got a 250 DM voucher together with a written apology as well as 500 extra miles. I was very pleased with AF's handling on this day and with the compensation I got later.

AF does differ give out status, depending on where you live. AF, like a lot of airlines, including LH, discriminates against the people in their own country.

This is one reason why I see no point anymore to stay Miles & More member. I can get elite status in another program with already 25.000 miles while I need at least 50.000 at M & M. Furthermore is it nearly impossible to reach a higher level than Frequent Traveler (Star Alliance Silver) for German and Austrian residents, you can't even reach Senator status when you fly on a few long-haul flights in Biz Class within one year because you need 150.000 annual miles  Nuts.

You claimed that you paid 1400 EUR for all your flights and you got AF Blue status in 2004. I highly doubt, that when the new combined program comes out, this will be possible again.

Actually I don't care that much, Frequences Plus will stay my secondary frequent flyer program beside AAdvantage. I already know that I have to give away my AF status in the next year because I can not afford to be elite in two FFP's.

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
buckieboy
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Mon Jan 31, 2005 4:04 am

All,

Please let me add my comments to a quite interesting topic.

I fly regularly to Asia in business class with LH; recently both MUC & FRA to PVG (& return) and FRA to NRT. No faults whatsoever, except from static electricity from the blanket.....

As I live in Switzerland, I am always offered Swiss via HKG to China, however at 40% more cost, I can't justify that my company pays this.

Almost universally, at any point in time, all airlines are restructuring. Most of my BC flights to Asia have been on new A346s, with a few 744s thrown in. As I am of slight build, I prefer the 346 over the 777; I once found the BC class 777 seat too big as my feet could not comfortably touch the ground.

I think LH may discriminate against non-German passengers although all I can really say is that I (really my company) get a good product at a good cost.

So, all in all, I am happy to continue to use LH and whether they are "grey", well, that doesn't bother me at all. My local football team plays in a rather garish claret & amber which I believe warrants an extra six bookings a game. (This last point: speculation)!

Cheers

Buckieboy
I'm taking orders from bottles of wine
 
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flybynight
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Mon Jan 31, 2005 4:58 am

Trying flying SK next time. Still get your Star Alliance miles. CPH is a good connecting airport for Europe.

Of course I'm somewhat biased being a Norwegian, but if SK sucked, I wouldn't fly them.

Besides, hot, tall and blonde flight attendants!
Heia Norge!
 
fraT
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Mon Jan 31, 2005 5:50 am

Whoever gets lost in FRA connecting on LH or Star Alliance flights shouldn't travel alone. There are signs everywhere and the worst thing that might happen is that you have to walk a bit, but you will stay in the same terminal. Even if you need to change the terminals it's a lot easier than in other major hubs.
If you take the top 3 airports in Europe (number of pax) than FRA beats LHR and CDG hands down.

 
jfkaua
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:21 am

yea i think airports are the easiest place to navigate... everyone is basically going to a numbered gate and you just follow the signs hanging from the ceiling... and if its really bad ask a security person.
 
Cactus739
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:41 am

Couple questions for ya......

"4. Food - Refer to 2 above"

Number 2 is comparing flight attendants to Britannia at 3am, what's that gotta do with food?

"6. Added value - I mean things like razor blades in the wc"

Ok, gotta ask... what airlines do offer razor blades in the wc?

Oh, fly someone else next time.  Smile

You can't fix stupid.... - Ron White
 
shankly
Topic Author
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:59 am

Cactus739, couple of answers for ya......

In terms of my food reference, I have been served better food on BY out of Corfu at 3am...sorry I had to spell it out for ya.

Which airlines offer razor blades in the wc? Finnair, a nice little number complete with integral shaving foam!

As I said, I am flying someone else next time; BA albeit it will cost me a couple more quid
L1011 - P F M
 
PA101
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:59 am

Well Folks, my comments to this subject:

LH
- yeah, I guess it's pretty much the greyest airline flying around. Their allwhite-planes, their grey seats, the ugly furniture in their lounges - generally no sense for "the little extra" such as smiles, or just some decorations
(expecially in BC, the BA product ist much better). And I keep wondering why they won't approve their Y-Class. Even the new A330s don't have PTVs, which matters to me the most on longhaul flights (I don't want to hurt my neck, be stuck to one film, and their showing-schedule).

- on the other hand, I agree to the reliability arguments. I've flown AF and LH several times - AF has always been delayed, it somehow seems that the chaos in CDG works by itself and relates to regular delays. LH has proven to be pretty good on that matter - and in one case, last year, I had 30 minutes connection time left in FRA for a flight to PDX, due to a mechanical delay in HAM - but I still made it. The A343 waited for all connecting passengers coming in late, so with 30 minutes delay on the departure, we still arrived on time in PDX.

- concering Miles&More: Yeah, it's definetely not a great program. Now, whenever I fly LH - even within Germany - I simply credit my miles to Mileage Plus. So, no problem with that...

FRA:
- yeah, it can get quite nasty, when it's full, esspecially in T1 (that's because of its size and therefore congestion). However, compared to other airports its size, it's still much better than LHR (bus rides till you die, and parts of T1 look like a flashback into the 70s) and CDG (even transfers within T2 are horrible, due to its 6 buildings). AMS is quite good, but still not handling as much pax as FRA, so it can't be really compared.

So, after all, they are definetly not my preferred product (except for their nonstop to PDX, where I'm travelling quite often, that's really conveniant), but they are still pretty decent overall.

Greetz
Fritz
 
mozart
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Mon Jan 31, 2005 9:33 pm

what do you expect? Lufthansa is a German airline. Which means it is world number one for things like efficiency, reliability and good management. Even if things do go wrong, they do so less often than at other airlines and they are handled with more professionalism and efficiency than elsewhere. But if you’re looking for style, class, comfort, inspiration – Germany and LH is not the place for you (don’t flame me, I am half-German myself). When LH has a choice between investing into things their pax may find comfortable or into something they may find useful, they go for the latter. For instance, they think it makes more sense installing WLAN on board their planes than having the world’s best IFE. And when it comes to a choice between putting in new seats or training the competence of their sales agents, it’s the second choice. And so on. I agree with you, they are dull and grey (just look at their colour scheme – what could be less inspiring or classy?), the average attractivity of their FAs is worse than elsewhere, and their food is bad. If you want class and style from a European airline, take Air France: the most curteous and classy on-board service you can find. But then don’t complain about hassle-some procedures on the ground, not being told that a plane is late, incompetent sales agents, etc. I think if you want both, you won’t find it with any major network carrier in Europe (the old Swissair had both). Go to Asia.

As for FRA, again, it is one the best managed major hubs – AMS is better, and so is SIN. But look around Europe: Madrid: figure it out. London LHR: feels like the entire population of the planet is using the same gate. Paris CDG? A reminder to humanity that hell does exist.

Again, I am not LH-bashing, I am just giving you my view of the world after facing a choice between LH, AF and BA around three times every week. Depending on what I want, I take one or the other. You are right, LH is dull. They are doing well because there are many people who don’t care. Just as not everyone cares for the fanciness of a Porsche but drives around in an Opel or Ford instead, finding it just the thing they need. Reliable transportation.
 
pilotaydin
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:02 pm

1. The lounges are there for your relaxation. I find the chairs quite comfy, and quite frankly, i dont give a damn about their color. Also, if you want to watch the world out of the window, you can turn the chair around, takes about 5 seconds. There is any type of free beverage you want, along with snacks and fruits, not bad considering you could take as much as you want......

2. The flight attendance - Relative terms....just like there are nice/mean people, there are nice/mean F/As. Unfortunate for you to not like the ENTIRE damn airline based on your FIRST experience with maybe 0.01% of the total crews on LH.....you'd rather skip that you were ontime, but worry about the FAs....

3. IFE - Even though LH is upgrading their a/c and in flight ordeal, your statement makes me think of a fat, unhappy business man with a cigar who's wants are ENDLESS.... boohoo, some people live off a damn 1$ a day, how luxurious do you want to be? Don't give me this i paid so much crap, that's no excuse for you to have a list of luxury on a plane and ignore ethics....did you take the flight to get somewhere, or was the flight more important than your reason for getting there safe...

4. Food - umm...some airlines dont have a choice of their food, due to the catering contracts, and also, food is a SUPER relative term...so you shouldnt bash an airline because they didnt feed you what YOU wanted....others need to be considered too...

5. Seats - pay for first class, then you'll lay as flat as you want...problem solved...

6. Added value - magazines in the a/c toilet? do u weigh 95lbs or something? i cant even move both arms at once, u wanna spend luxury time where people always miss the seat and get it everywhere but the whole. Razors? is it hard to shave before u fly at home, or even dare to bring one along with you, let's see it costs what? 25 cents

7. FRA - Lufthansa doesn't own FRA just so you know, so take up your map skills with the authority involved at FRA. Don't bash an airline and it's incredibly hard working work force because u cant find your way around a damn airport. Then we should never fly delta because ATL makes u walk so much from A to E, and the trains are always full....oh bother.....

you give a FINITE amount of money when flying, YET you expect INFINITE luxury......like that's gonna gain suport....
The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
 
Andreas
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:04 pm

Ok, let the little kids bawl around their funny little ideas about how a carrier should work..and I even keep myself from bringing in AF's unwashed aircraft  Big grin
(Mozart sums it up pretty well, except one thing: Some people do care about reliability!  Big grin)

But one thing about airports, since I know most major airports in Europe (and you can compare FRA only to major hubs), and many around North America and Asia:

Whoever says that FRA is a connecting nightmare, has NEVER BEEN THERE, or tries to bash a little bit. What a nonsense I've been reading...ok, ways are long in certain cases, but then it is a very large airport, though still much smaller than LHR, which is indeed a nightmare if one is not used in the art of finding one's way around. Connecting times are short, 45 minutes do work extremely well, and your luggage is usually on the same aircraft as yourself. And to find ones way around...well, if you're capable of counting and have a marginal knowledge of the alphabet, you just can't get lost, period!

Some people urgently need to grow up!
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jsnww81
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:39 am

How on earth can anybody say Frankfurt is worse than Heathrow? Connecting in Frankfurt is a breeze. It's also nice to walk through an airport that has some windows looking out on the apron, instead of an endless string of sock shops, Tie Racks and World Duty Free boutiques blocking every pane of glass.

Give me FRA any day over LHR.  Smile
 
mozart
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:49 am

Andreas,

sorry, I was unclear, as I meant to say exactly that: some people don't care about comfort as much as about reliability, which is why LH is doing well. My example: last week I flew CDG-MUC-CDG twice, i.e. 4 flights, all on AF. Delays were between cancelled and 2 hours. I checked on the LH website, their planes were never more than 20-30 mins late. As a consequence this morning I flew LH. Not so nice in the morning, but I got to my destination on time.

I believe LH is one of the world's best managed airlines in one respect: they really know how to reduce comfort to a minimum, without ever going below a level that would scare away passengers. Like this, they have full planes at low costs for service. They do this very very well, they really have understood their customers' needs. Bravo.

Mozart

Pilotaydin: excuse me for picking you out, but your reply is actually quite childish. Any real arguments?
 
Indy
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Tue Feb 01, 2005 1:06 am

I personally didn't think FRA was all that bad. But I do speak and read German so I can find my way around the airport. I didn't connect in FRA but rather end my journey there. If you fly in to FRA be prepared to do some hiking. On my return trip to the US I took the train to FRA. I arrived in the fehrnbahnhof which is in a different country I think. Fortunately there are free to use luggage carts all over the airport. After considerable walking I came to a problem. Escallators. I stood there a while to try and figure out how I was going to get my luggage cart down the stairs. I couldn't believe people were actually taking them down the stairs. I mean that couldn't be safe. So I waited for some little old lady to do it. It was then that I noticed how the carts were designed to form to the stairs. You could let them go down by themselvesif you wanted. After much more walking and going through security a couple of times I was sure I was lost. I felt I was going around in circles. The only saving grace was that I noticed the gate numbers changing. Finally I arrived at my gate and I could FINALLY sit down.

The return trip took me through AMS. More hiking. I swear I arrived at one end of the airport and departed at the other end. Much like the crap in FRA. The return trip was on a NW DC-10. It was old. But the service was good. It was actually the best in flight service I have ever had in coach and I have flown international over two dozen times. The food was good and they served a small bottle of wine with dinner. Maybe I was spoiled because I had a bulkhead seat. Of course this was a few years back and I had to connect in the old DTW and again hike a mile. Fortunately I spotted a Burger King along the way and I was able to repair the damage  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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NumberTwelve
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Tue Feb 01, 2005 1:18 am

I didn't fly with LH for years but have heared from friends that Eco service within Europe is very bad.
Never heared complains about LH Busi and First service, also I never had problems with LH flight attendents, but if you (Shankly) are as grumbling and always griping (as in your 1st post), I can imagine that F/A's are not as friendly as they should be.

And what about the color "grey"? You expect purple-pink-yellow-poisonpink colors in interieur of a business airline? Where do you live?

FRA T1 at some places is a construction area because lots of the parts will be renovated. But there is no need to cry and whine, most of the Germans and airport employees speek English, so if you ask in a nice way, you get a nice reply.
Imagine your mother tongue isn't English and you have to find your way at an airport like LHR or LGW. Maybe you should use the Rotkaeppchen Service of DLH.

[Edited 2005-01-31 17:24:50]
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Leskova
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Tue Feb 01, 2005 2:25 am

Ah, yes... Lufthansa...

Reliable? Yes.

Helpful? Often yes, but don't expect anything - and, yes, I mean anything - if you're trying to get a decent response to them to a complaint.

Comfortable? Absolutely not in Economy, but - even if they're outdated - Business (the old C-Class... haven't flown on the new one yet) and First are OK. Nothing special, but no catastrophe...

Good food? After suffering from rather obvious signs of food poisoning after two LH flights, one in Economy, one in First, I'll still say that - in general - the food in C-Class and F-Class is tasty, and the amounts are good... then again, I can say the same about Hapag Lloyd and LTU on the flights between FRA and PMI that I've just returned from...

Having said all that, I try to avoid LH as much as possible - it's not that I'd start kicking and shouting if I had to board a Lufthansa flight in the future, but I certainly wouldn't complain about not flying on LH again.

On the other hand - most airlines I've flown on in the past were not really that much of a positive experience... at least not in Y-class. It's, rather obviously, a sign of the times, and probably won't change for the better anytime soon.


And to the side-discussion about FRA being confusing... saying LHR is less confusing than FRA is like saying the Sun revolves around the Earth.

Regards,
Frank
Smile - it confuses people!
 
vermeer
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Tue Feb 01, 2005 2:46 am

Interesting topic.
It's about 25 years I am flying with LH. I agree that the level of overall service aboard had severely decreased in Y.
I remember using china, real cutlery and glasses in intra-European flights in Y up to 1994/1995.
Then it went downhill from there both on short and long-haul.
It's since 1999 that I am only flying C ( with my money) and I choose LH.
For a series of reasons, many of which have been enunciated in the above posts: reliable, on-time, expert in rebooking and procedures. One clear example of their efficiency: less than a month ago in DUS I missed an intercontinental flight due to a technical; LH had immediately saved space for me and other SENs on the next LH flight out of another airport. I declined the offer and although flying on a discounted C ticket they rebooked me through an airline of my preference without any problem.
I find the personnel IN GENERAL extremely courteous and correct. They can be a little frosty at times but all it takes is a couple of smiles from the passenger and they become very warm and attentive. Call me heretic but they can have a great sense of humor ( in a very German way). They are not the "Honey" and "slap on the back" friendliness of US based carriers and not even the over respectful Asian based service. They are professional and unintrusive and they let you be alone unless you want to interact with them.
More often than not I leave a flight with an extra bottle of wine courtesy of the crew.
Sometimes I meet the same crews over the course of several flights and it is always a great pleasure. They treat me like family and "seem" genuinely happy to see me.
Food ( always in C) is very good - sometimes exceptional. LH was testing new catering by LSG on the 410 where the food was not cold blasted and then reheated but simply reheated, making it for a very exciting experience. Everything had to be super fresh and I could really taste the difference. I see room for improvement and something has started to change already ( an amouse-goule to start instead of the usual roasted pre-packaged nuts), grissini on the table and real salt and pepper shakers ( albeit plastic...).
First class is truly wonderful for food. I flew BA's transatlantic in First lately and the food was the biggest disappointment for quality/quantity/preparation and style of service ( and no more Krug).
Seats: I yet have to try the new lieflat, the old model is comfortable yet - I admit - old. I tend to fly on the small Privatairs with better seats than the regular, "old" C. Could they have done better? For sure and I am a little disappointed by what is basically the J 2000 seat of Virgin ( comfy but on its way out from VS). I would have loved a full flat. Yet the BA is nice but narrow and I really don't like the cramped 2-4-2 configuration of their C class.
Colorscheme: very functional and professional. Maybe I am too used to it now...I liked a lot when they were using more yellow but I think the cabins look airy and modern. And clean! It is rare that I find any dirt when I board an aircraft.
Lounges: better this new incarnation than the old one which was even grayer and blacker! The SEN lounges have new cream chairs and muted tones to replace the "ant" grey ones.
Food and drinks were better in the past. Still I can find real bubbly in the cooler and something to nibble. They could do much better to improve the produch though. Again, there is better just around the corner ( take a look at the SK lounges) and there is worse ( Red Carpet Club, anyone? I have to pay for drinks?).
Connecting in FRA: for me it is bad but not as bad as LHR. I hate to run and now I refuse to do it from one gate to the other. I rather prefer to transit through MUC which is easy and nice.
 
AC1
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:48 am

I flew LH from FRA-DEL and FRA-BOM and both sets of flights were superb. Efficient and curteous staff, ontime flights and good, hot food. I was even stuck in that darn middle seat in the 744. Didn't matter. Connecting in FRA was easy, even with luggage.
Only problem: change the livery to something other than all-white.
 
selcalcheckok
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:42 am

OK heres the point.

I think these discussions are supposed to be for discussing experiences and maybe an opinion about an airline. In this case for all LH bashers out there, for you to believe that your 2 or 4 or even 100+ experiences were all bad means that the airline is completely awful, you must have a real narrow mind. When you all consider how many flights a day each airline operates, for each bad experience you have someone is having a completely opposite event happen on another flight. Each flight is different and have different people, and that goes for any airline.

I am definetly biased to LH, but this has been going on forever. People are sentencing airlines to death for a couple of bad experiences they have had, and this goes for any airline- You can not possibly believe that the whole airline is bad due to these few experiences.

The FACTS are (some pointed out by others) that Lufthansa economy service offers drink service 3 times before you eat in Economy, have FREE alcohol in economy at any point you want. You are waited on in C with an upgrading Business class product, and was one of the first airlines coming out with on board internet. In First class, you have almost a whole person waiting on you alone in a suite environment. How bad could this be?( even if your crew are all jerks)

The negative FACTS are that there are No PTV's in economy.

The biggest fact is that numbers dont lie, if the airline is so awful that some proclaim, they would be struggling.

If you dont like the service, dont give them Business. but it is definetly unfair to deem a whole airline crap because you had one bad experience.

 
shankly
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:46 am

Dear all, appreciate all the feeback and won't pretend I want everyone to agree with me.(especially the LH shareholders!). One exception is Pilotaydin. Please read a post in detail before commenting...magazines in the toilet?! made me laugh. As for your seat comment, you just dont get it do you. One can fly many other airlines and lay flat with a business fare.

OK the planes were clean, on time and safely and efficiently crewed (thats efficient as opposed to friendly). I do not agree about FRA. It is a grim place and having experienced a remote ramp park and then a two terminal transfer with bags and a pregnant wife, FRA is bollocks when compared to AMS, SIN or KUL. For the record I never said LHR was better than FRA, although for a BA Club World pax it would be better.

What did realy grate me, which only a few people have picked up is LH is resting on it's laurels and is not leading with product but being dragged kicking and screaming into having to introduce it. Can you imagine BMW or Mercedes waiting for Ford to inovate before they do? No, of course not. BMW and Merc lead their markets. For LH there is a whole lot of catching up to do.

Regards

Shankly
L1011 - P F M
 
derman
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Tue Feb 01, 2005 8:18 am

Tried PVG-FRA-VIE-FRA-PEK. I have to say it is very bad idea to choose the FRA for connection flights if you are the first time to visit HUGE Frankfurt/Main
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Tue Feb 01, 2005 8:26 am

I know this is completely off-topic, but everytime I see this thread pop up near the top I read it as "Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Gayest Airline" and damn, I'm wrong everytime.  Smile
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PA110
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Tue Feb 01, 2005 8:33 am

Good Lord, you folks will find absolutely anything to bitch about!

I just flew LH recently SFO-MUC-KRK//KBP-MUC-SFO and they were outstanding. The inflight service was bright and cheery (I admit I was suprised). The food was good, and plentiful. Then new lieflat sleepers weren't as comfortable as I hoped for in the flat position. So big deal, I simply kept it in more of a cradle position. There was plenty of IFE when I wanted it.

The MUC airport is a picture of effieciency. The C class lounge is a bit spartan and dull, but the practical amenities (like a hot shower) were very welcome!

I've also transited through FRA, and yes, there are some long distances to be covered, but nothing nearly as bad as LHR. Having transited LHR dozens of times, I would love to see the place bulldozed and start over! I can't think of a worse transit airport. Even CDG is better for transit passengers - and that's saying alot.
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Knighty
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RE: Lufthansa...the Worlds Greyest Airline

Tue Feb 01, 2005 8:51 am

It's interesting the number of people who have said that LH runs on time. I flew with them SIN-FRA-BHX-FRA-SIN in November and all 4 flights were delayed at least half an hour. I will never forget sitting at the gate at FRA waiting for my flight on to BHX (keeping in mind that I'd just suffered 13ish hours in LH economy and 4 hours in the terminal at FRA) and the gate staff announcing 5 minutes after we were meant to start boarding "We apologise for the delay, but you will notice that there isn't an aircraft at the gate. We will rectify this as soon as possible". Despite my annoyance I still couldn't help but to have a bit of a giggle...
I won't fly with LH again, the service was crap, the IFE was crap, the food was crap, the leg room was non existant (I know I was flying in Economy but I had more legroom on a Virgin Blue 737) and like I said, every flight was delayed.

Ian
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