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trexel94
Topic Author
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:44 pm

Another serving of schnitzel: DEN - MUC on Lufthansa A330-300

Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:14 pm

Greetings fellow aviation enthusiast! This is my first ever trip report published on a.net. I've been a lurker for nearly ten years and thought it was high time to post. After reading, if you have any suggestions or tips feel free.

Background

Although the duration of the trip was only five days it was a trip of many firsts. My first time flying a foreign carrier (Lufthansa), my first trip alone, my first time in Germany and my first time flying the A330. Though the thought of traveling to Germany this time of year (early February) might seem strange it was technically a business trip for my startup as I was attending a trade show called ISPO Munich (a trade show for outdoor clothing and athletic brands). I will be honest however, during the days and hours before the travel date I was riddled with anxiety and stress with concerns ranging from if the trade show would be a success to basic worries such as finding my way in a foreign city making me short tempered, sweaty and a little irrational. In any case I bet you're ready for some pics!

Route: DEN - MUC

Flight Number: LH 481
Aircraft: A330-300
Registration: D-AIKE
Seat: A33
Class: Economy
Flight Time: 10hrs and 45mins
Date: February 3rd, 2017

The Beginning

Taking into consideration my worries, my mom drove me to the airport and decided to stick around until it was time to proceed to TSA to ensure I checked-in ok and possessed the necessary information. We reached Lufthansa check-in desk and there was virtually no line as we were among the first passengers to arrive. The agent invites me over to proceed and I hand him my passport upon request. Interestingly enough for some reason his polished appearance and calm/professional demeanor instantly cleared my anxiety and assured me that I was in good hands (or it could be that the reality of finally being a paying passenger on one of Europe's most well know and respected airlines was beginning to set in!). As a small celebration of victory I grab a small handful of LH bag-tags, raise one to my mother and proclaim that i've finally earned a Lufthansa tag!

ImageIMG_2530 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

F9 and DL narrow bodies
ImageIMG_2531 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

Ah! Guten Nachmittag Frau Lufty!

ImageIMG_2532 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

The ship being prepped for her long journey home
ImageIMG_2536 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

ImageIMG_2537 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

Departure gate (A45 for first/business class while A47 for everyone else)
ImageIMG_2534 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

Boarding

At around 3:20 the boarding call was announced and great anticipation was building. I almost still couldn't believe I was boarding Lufthansa! I get in the queue and eventually hand over my passport and ticket to the gate agent who quickly glanced at the photo, scanned my boarding pass and with a friendly "Thank You, Bye!" I was merrily trotting down the jetway like a giddy 7 year old smiling like a psychiatric patient. Reaching the A330 boarding door I was greeted by a pleasant FA who guided me to the correct aisle. Holy cow! Im in! Once onboard, its easy to forget how much time it can take to reach your seat onboard a widebody. The seat itself although on the firm side was comfortable enough for a long haul and pitch was surprisingly decent with no entertainment box in the way. I will admit once settling down and looking out the window I felt high and mighty looking down at the domestic jets. After getting settled I was joined by my seat mate, a gentleman from Fayetteville on his way to Prague.

Pitch/leg room
ImageIMG_2546 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

Wing-view with a humble little Mad Dog on preparing to fly to ORD
ImageIMG_2543 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

ImageIMG_2544 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

An FA with what appears to be a tray of plush toys for the younger passengers. I didn't know LH (or any airline for that matter) still lended toys to kids
ImageIMG_2547 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

Lufthansa Entertainment OS
ImageIMG_2545 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr


Push Back & Taxi
Not surprising for a German airline our flight pushed back right on the dot. During push back the safety video commenced which was a smart and efficient presentation with soothing electrica background music. Once Frau Lufty regained consciousness and slowly sailed away from the gate we stroll past other wide bodies: A BA747, Mama Lufty 747 and a sleek looking Icelandair 757.

ImageIMG_2551 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr


ImageIMG_2552 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

Take-off and first few hours of flight

The aircraft reaches the active runway and we sit for a few moments waiting for the go-ahead from tower. Finally, the RR's come to life and once again in typical DIA fashion Lufty takes her sweet time getting airborne. I will note however, the take-off was a little strange. Minimal power was applied initially and little by little increased until we lifted off. The airbus confidently soars into the sky and we quickly disappear into the dense clouds not to be seen again for another 10 + hours. The first few minutes were quite bumpy as we flew through dense clouds and clear air turbulence from the nearby mountains but over time dissipated. Later, the purser comes through the intercom to inform us on the inflight service and then roughly 45 mins inflight the FA's offer drinks and a light snack. Feeling festive I order a glass of white wine.

ImageIMG_2555 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

ImageIMG_2556 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

ImageIMG_2563 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

ImageIMG_2559 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

ImageIMG_2562 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr




    Inflight Service

    Once the snack was finished I took the time to familiarize myself with LH's inflight entertainment OS. A good selection of movies both domestic and foreign along with a travel guide that gave insightful tips on what to see and do in Munich as well as advice on German culture. The overhead lights and the FA call button were also operated via the touch screen PTV. First these buttons were above, then they migrated to the armrest controller and now you access them through the screen. The music selection was a little disappointing as the OS did not come with a radio stream but instead a pre-programed limited selection of music that I've never heard of as the artists were predominately German and Scandinavian. The biggest let down was the dysfunctional inflight map. It constantly froze and flickered thus rendering it impossible to watch. Everything else worked fine.
    I decide to stretch my legs for a few moments to review the lav. Everything appeared to be in order. Once returning to my seat the FA's begin a hot towel service in preparation for dinner. A welcome relief for my dry skin.

    ImageIMG_2564 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    ImageIMG_2565 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr



    No menu was offered as the FA stated the options to the passengers. The predictable usuals of chicken or pasta were offered. I chose the chicken but the pasta option with garlic pesto was quite tempting. Despite reading numerous trip reports i've forgotten how tiny the portions were. The food was actually quite good as the rice was tender and sticky, the chicken was moist and flavorful and the salad cool and crisp but the brownie (although decent enough) was unremarkable. The only downside was the ciabatta bread which was cold and hard and as mentioned already the small portion but it did the job and kept hunger at bay.


    Bone app the teeth
    ImageIMG_2568 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    ImageIMG_2572 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    After dinner drink offerings
    ImageIMG_2574 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr


    Cabin walk around

    After the dinner service had concluded why not take a quick lap around economy!

    ImageIMG_2575 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    ImageIMG_2576 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    ImageIMG_2579 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    Lights Out

    ImageIMG_2580 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    At this point I've already consumed two servings of two-buck chuck quality wine along with an after dinner hot tea which was making it extremely difficult to stay awake and since i've already watched the films I was interested in I might as well catch some zzzz's while I still can. On the PTV's, there is a function on the screen that enables passengers to set a message that states "Please wake me for meal service" to the FA's. Despite welcoming this feature I was highly doubtful the busy FA's would bother to look and notice so I set my phone buzzer to the estimated time they would commence the breakfast service. All in all, I've managed to achieve about 2 1/2 hours of poor quality sleep (I don't sleep well on planes)


    Wake-up, breakfast and arrival

    By the time I woke up we were well within EU aerospace with the breakfast service commencing somewhere over southern England with about 90 mins before landing. Again with a hot towel service then shortly followed by the actual meal.

    ImageIMG_2581 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    ImageIMG_2559 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    No options were given for breakfast (usually there isn't an option for economy) but offered on this flight was an egg omelette served with potato cakes and a side of spinach (nice and hot) along with a fruit cup (frozen solid, tasteless and had seen fresher days) and a roll that was again cold and hard (why don't airlines ever warm up the bread) along with an assortment of jams and butter. It was a little greasy but overall a surprisingly good meal and definitely hit the spot although the spinach was inedible.

    ImageIMG_2584 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    After the final meal/beverage service ended the captain (or was it the purser?) comes through the intercom notifying passengers that we would be arriving in MUC shortly and to take care of any last minute tasks before the seatbelt sign switched back on.

    Last minute packing and preparation for descent and arrival
    ImageIMG_2587 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    One of my favorite aspects about this flight was the landing. An absolute visual treat to view the quilt like patchwork of farms and rural villages. Willkommen in Bayern! A magical land with fine beer, luxury cars and all the bratwursts to your heart's desire. The song "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka came to mind during the process. Fun Fact, the 1970s film Willy Wonka was actually filmed in Munich!

    ImageIMG_2588 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    ImageIMG_2592 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr


    "If you want to view paradise
    Simply look around and view it"

    ImageIMG_2594 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    Arrived at last! During touch-down we made what was arguably one of the smoothest landings i've ever felt. My only indication that the wheels hit the ground were the deployment of the spoilers

    ImageIMG_2598 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    This Shark Fin A330 next to us ended up being the aircraft I take on the return trip

    ImageIMG_2602 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    ImageIMG_2604 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    ImageIMG_2607 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    It was a pleasure flying with you Frau Lufty!

    ImageIMG_2609 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    Our flight was parked in terminal 2, which means you'll have to take an underground tram to get to the main concourse for customs, baggage, external transport etc. Once disembarking, it took me a bit of minute to figure out where exactly I needed to go as I had to inquire an agent as to where customs were located. Eventually I make it to baggage but it took ages for the luggage to be delivered I began to think that maybe I missed the window. Customs was across the hall where I joined a long queue for non-EU citizens. I hand over my passport to the customs officer where he asked the usual questions such as my purpose in Munich and for the duration. For whatever reason he takes a longer time to analyze my passport and it begins to make me somewhat anxious and I almost replied "Ist da etwas falsch mein herr?" but by then he stamps my passport and says "thank you" and from there I was exposed to the crisp Munich air.

    ImageIMG_2610 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    ImageIMG_2611 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    Despite the fact I spent most of my time at ISPO Munich I still allocated plenty of time for leisure.

    ImageIMG_2618 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    ImageIMG_2636 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr

    Odin's Beard! By the God's of Asgard we feast!
    ImageIMG_2659 by Jesse Hester, on Flickr


    I did it! I survived and prospered from my first foreign trip alone. Overall aside from the technical and catering quirks I enjoyed my flight with Lufthansa and will certainly consider travel with them for future star alliance flights. The FA's were pleasant and professional but not overly friendly and the A330 is now my preferred method of TATL travel (fewer middle seats and it feels more spacious than a 777) However one aspected that really erked me was having to shell out 35$ per leg per seat in order to pre-select my assigned seat. Please don't go the way of LCC's Lufthansa you're too good to having to stoop that low. Having a non-stop option to Munich from Denver is terrific and Flughafen Munchen was one of the coolest airports i've visited so far. Its so clean and modern and I love the commercial plaza. As far as the trade show ISPO it was enormous and frankly a little overwhelming but I've managed to make some great contacts. The night before I flew back home I had dinner with the family of an old friend of mine that I haven't seen since I was 8 and they treated me like I was apart of their family. This trip ended up being more than simply a business trip but more so of an enriching cultural exchange filled with opportunity and challenges. Stay tuned for upcoming trip reports including my trip to AMS on KLM this May,

    Thanks for viewing!
     
    lychemsa
    Posts: 1864
    Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

    Re: Another serving of schnitzel: DEN - MUC on Lufthansa A330-300

    Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:51 am

    The food on Lufthansa has gone downhill. They decided to copy SWISS and the US carriers. The usual lettuce, that awful chocolate brownie and smaller main course portions.
    As to the legroom like British it is a measly 31" compared to Air France, Aer Lingus at 32" and South African at 34".

    Do the armrests at least fully lift up 90 degrees. On SWISS they don't which is pretty crummy if there is no one sitting next to you.
    Good to see they were not on strike when you booked.
     
    User avatar
    ACCS300
    Posts: 573
    Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:05 pm

    Re: Another serving of schnitzel: DEN - MUC on Lufthansa A330-300

    Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:27 pm

    I think the food looks pretty decent for Y. Hot breakfasts are almost non-existent in Y on TATL these days. AC dumps a muffin directly on the table, BA give you a tiny box with a hard croissant, AA provides a box with a tiny yogurt and super-sweet tiny muffin. I hope LH doesn't dump the hot breakfast any time soon.
     
    345tas
    Posts: 184
    Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:05 pm

    Re: Another serving of schnitzel: DEN - MUC on Lufthansa A330-300

    Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:41 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to write a report. It's nice to read a report from someone so excited, not someone for whom's it's their 200th long haul.

    Lovely picture of the Bavarian countryside through the window, too.
     
    FirstBizFlyer
    Posts: 39
    Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 4:37 am

    Re: Another serving of schnitzel: DEN - MUC on Lufthansa A330-300

    Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:53 pm

    Thanks for a great report! I am normally not interested in economy trip reports, as the seats and food look the same on all airlines, but yours kept me interested and was very well-done. I haven't been on LH in years (will be in early 2018), so it was fun to get a glimpse at your trip. Thanks!
     
    syvjeff
    Posts: 21
    Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:17 pm

    Re: Another serving of schnitzel: DEN - MUC on Lufthansa A330-300

    Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:12 am

    Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us. I hope your future business ventures go well. Not everyone can shell out the money for the bigger seats in the front and gourmet food on a trip overseas, so what you are posting is really relevant.

    Just 2 1/2 years ago I was invited to meet with a European company to see if we were a fit for each other. Thanks to the opportunity I'm now a mid level road warrior traveling within the US market, but get to go to Europe twice a year.

    I haven't utilized Lufthansa yet, but plan to.
     
    rockyracoon
    Posts: 1067
    Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2003 3:58 am

    Re: Another serving of schnitzel: DEN - MUC on Lufthansa A330-300

    Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:08 pm

    Nice report, thanks for posting. I flew MUC-DEN some years ago on their A343. Your experience looked better than mine.


    trexel94 wrote:
    However one aspected that really erked me was having to shell out 35$ per leg per seat in order to pre-select my assigned seat. Please don't go the way of LCC's Lufthansa you're too good to having to stoop that low.


    Surprising, I didn't realize they had changed their policy. Is this fare class dependent?
    Airports I've flown from: CVG PIT MWO PHL PHX ORD DCA IAD MIA TPA MCO FLL ATL DTW DFW SJC LAX DEN SLC LAS HNL LIH OGG YVR GYE MUC ICN NRT PVG SHA SZX MNL PPS CRK BKK DMK KBV EOH MDE CLO CTG SMR BOG ACD MEX CUN MID AUA SAL RTB
     
    jeffrey1970
    Posts: 1481
    Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2001 1:41 am

    Re: Another serving of schnitzel: DEN - MUC on Lufthansa A330-300

    Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:10 pm

    Unfortunatly, it seems that most legacy carriers are going the way of the LCC's.
    God bless through Jesus, Jeff
     
    USAirALB
    Posts: 2346
    Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:46 am

    Re: Another serving of schnitzel: DEN - MUC on Lufthansa A330-300

    Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:08 am

    Nice TR!

    I'm flying on LH429 CLT-MUC in Y next Wednesday so it's nice to see what the experience will be like. Did they offer any amenities of any type (like toothbrushes or eyeshades)? Also, was sparkling wine offered? I've read reports that Sekt (German sparkling wine) was complimentary in Y.

    Again, excellent TR!
    RJ85, F70, E135, E140, E145, E70, E75, E90, CR2, CR7, CR9, 717, 732, 733, 734, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 744ER, 752, 753, 762, 772, 77E, 77W, 789, 319, 320, 321, 332, 333, 343, 359, 388
     
    User avatar
    CollegeAviator
    Posts: 558
    Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:55 am

    Re: Another serving of schnitzel: DEN - MUC on Lufthansa A330-300

    Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing this report! Great to see that your trip went off without a hitch - I hope the rest of it went perfectly as well!

    I love the A330s and A340-600s Lufthansa have. These planes based in Munich have the new RAVE IFE, which you had, a whole lot better than those on the B748i/A380 aircraft.

    Nice that you got a hot breakfast! I guess that was because this flight was 10hr+. My flight from ORD to FRA ended up with a very small cold breakfast.

    Looking forward to the return trip! :D
     
    trexel94
    Topic Author
    Posts: 160
    Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:44 pm

    Re: Another serving of schnitzel: DEN - MUC on Lufthansa A330-300

    Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:54 am

    FirstBizFlyer wrote:
    Thanks for a great report! I am normally not interested in economy trip reports, as the seats and food look the same on all airlines, but yours kept me interested and was very well-done. I haven't been on LH in years (will be in early 2018), so it was fun to get a glimpse at your trip. Thanks!

    Much appreciated! I try to make the reports somewhat fun and informal. Hopefully you'll like my next report with KLM this May
     
    User avatar
    LTU932
    Posts: 13726
    Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:34 am

    Re: Another serving of schnitzel: DEN - MUC on Lufthansa A330-300

    Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:41 pm

    Nice TR. BTW, that A330, Kilo Echo, is named Landshut, like the 732 (D-ABCE) that was liberated in Mogadishu.

    The federal police officer at immigration was probably just being very thorough when he checked your passport, given current events. I can relate to your anxiety though.
    Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer. - Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 208
     
    trexel94
    Topic Author
    Posts: 160
    Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:44 pm

    Re: Another serving of schnitzel: DEN - MUC on Lufthansa A330-300

    Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:40 am

    CollegeAviator wrote:
    Thanks for sharing this report! Great to see that your trip went off without a hitch - I hope the rest of it went perfectly as well!

    I love the A330s and A340-600s Lufthansa have. These planes based in Munich have the new RAVE IFE, which you had, a whole lot better than those on the B748i/A380 aircraft.

    Nice that you got a hot breakfast! I guess that was because this flight was 10hr+. My flight from ORD to FRA ended up with a very small cold breakfast.

    Looking forward to the return trip! :D


    Thanks! The trip went well considering I only booked 3 weeks beforehand. Yes, LH serves a hot breakfast on flights 9-30hrs or longer (Flights essentially originating west of the Mississippi). Also, I recently read your TR on flight-report on LH from ORD. Bummer your experience was a let-down

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