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Lufthansa A320NEO Business LHR-FRA - where's the dopamine shot?

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:00 pm
by Ryanair01
London Heathrow to Frankfurt
Lufthansa A320 NEO
Business Class Seat 1F
LH905
D-AINI
Flight time actual 0:53
Gate to Gate: 1:34




I once jokingly called Euro Business the “Nigerian Prince email” of luxury travel. There's certainly no dopamine fix from other's slack-jawed awe, "Wow, this must be where the rich people sit". We’ve all probably heard of the scenario. A traveller comes from another continent, expects First Class and gets confronted with horror by Euro Business.

Are those people just a little bit entitled or did they get ripped off? Lets find out.

Lufthansa’s A320 are high up the list of intra European workhorses. As an early adopter of the A320, a lot of these old nags have been around the block many times before.

Recently Lufthansa have got themselves some shiny new NEOs, inadvertently becoming the launch customer after Qatar backed out. A wedding invitation in Frankfurt gave me a chance to try one out.

Check in and security

Travelling with hand baggage, I checked in using Lufthansa’s app and selected seat 1F. It worked perfectly efficiently so I headed directly to Fast Track security.

Fast Track was actually pretty slow, but Heathrow is busy with transatlantic departures mid morning, so it was probably to be expected. The Lufthansa Lounge is located immediately after security on the right.

Lufthansa Lounge

The Lufthansa Lounge is open plan with views of the southern runway. In pictures I’ve always thought it looks a little, well, dull. However in person the design was pleasing on the eye and comfortable.

The buffet offered a comprehensive range of food from nibbly snacks through to hot meals. Lufthansa’s bar, whilst more limited than BA, offered a good range of spirits and beer but I felt the wine selection could have been better. None the less, Do & Co’s F&B was generous in terms of range and quality for a short haul lounge.

Lufthansa LHR Lounge
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Snacks
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Salad
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Soft drinks and beer
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Liquor
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Breakfast
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The breakfast was especially nice.

For research purposes, I tried some of the Asian vegetables when they came out, they were OK but no better.

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Wifi speed was more than adequate and at no time did the lounge feel crowded, despite quite a few people waiting around for long haul connections.

On board

Lufthansa’s cabins are pretty workman like and the A320 NEO is no different. There are no mod cons and not a single nicety. There are just 186 identical two tone grey leatherette seats and blue carpet. Although not from a NEO, this is exactly the same:

Standard Lufthansa A32x cabin, economy and business seat


I had three seats to myself, although the middle one is never sold, guaranteeing an empty one next to you.

View from Seat 1F
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The captain welcomed us aboard with a friendly and thorough announcement. He took pride in pointing out, “in fact today we’re flying the very latest airframe to be delivered into Lufthansa’s fleet”. It was true, this aircraft had been delivered only a week beforehand.

We took off on runway 25R, passing LHR’s resident Concorde.
G-BOAB
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The NEO on take off was noticeably sportier than usual, apart from that I’d struggle to pick out any difference with older aircraft.

Very shortly after take off the crew took drink orders and I fancied a red wine ahead of lunch whilst enjoying some wonderful views.

Drinks service
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Note the attention paid to placing the glass and napkin logos in line.

Gatwick
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English Channel
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About ten minutes later lunch was delivered. To be honest I can’t recall a choice but there might have been.

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It was a fairly typical central European affair. I didn’t try the salmon, however everything else was delicious. The other meat was pork, very lean and tasty. The apple dessert was especially nice. Some coffee to finish would have been nice, but alas it was not to be.

The cabin crew disappeared into Economy afterwards and reappeared shortly before landing to clear my tray away. Having said that, this was probably only 10-15 minutes. Overall they were not the most welcoming people I’ve ever flown with, although to be fair I usually find Lufthansa’s crews to be fairly attentive.

Before long a murky looking Frankfurt emerged from beneath the clouds.

Sachsenhausen and Hauptbahnhof
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(actually this is from the return flight, but I like the photo)
Two LH A320s
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Somewhat surprisingly for Frankfurt, where buses are almost the norm, we docked at an actual gate and within five minutes I was on the S-Bahn platform.

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Verdict

So is it a scam?

At £175 ($228 USD) for a flexible ticket, fast track, lounge access, checked baggage, more points and a guaranteed empty neighbouring seat - it’s not bad value. I can’t imagine paying the same for First/Business on New York - Chicago; Sydney - Melbourne or Singapore - KL.

You get what you pay for, but then, for flights that are typically little more than an hour, why bother? So far as I can see, it's got to be the dopamine ;)

What do you think?

Re: Lufthansa A320NEO Business LHR-FRA - where's the dopamine shot?

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:14 pm
by mchei
Thanks for this trip report! It was nice to see what I often see and that got so usual to me :)
You got a very good fare! How much did you book in advance? I recently needed to book a flight from Bremen via Munich to Geneva and it’s more than 700 euros (return ticket, economy). And that was 4 weeks before the flight itself.

Did you like the sound of the NEO? If you get the chance to fly D-AIPA or PF, compare it ;)

Cheers again!

Re: Lufthansa A320NEO Business LHR-FRA - where's the dopamine shot?

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:26 pm
by seabiscuit
Great job on the trip report. The picture from Frankfurt A/P brought back a lot of nice memories.

Re: Lufthansa A320NEO Business LHR-FRA - where's the dopamine shot?

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:46 pm
by moby147
Good report, but sadly my friend has just returned form BKK to NCL with LX and had a terrible time with 3 of his 6 flights cancelled !! with a delay of 38 hours on his outward trip? glad you enjoyed it

Re: Lufthansa A320NEO Business LHR-FRA - where's the dopamine shot?

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:01 pm
by DAIAM2002
Thanks for this interesting Report.
In Business the A320 Neo is a nice aircraft,in a fully booked Eco it's a nightmare.
The LH NEC Seat is ok for 1 or 2 hours but I pity the people which have to sit 4-5 hours in these seats.
LH flies the A320/A321 to LIS and TLV for example.
In Germany we call them "Campingstühle" which means camping chair
Luckily LH compares this with clean and well maintenanced a/c and very professional crews.
But it could be so much better if they would have more comfortable seats.

Re: Lufthansa A320NEO Business LHR-FRA - where's the dopamine shot?

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:25 pm
by Blerg
DAIAM2002 wrote:
Thanks for this interesting Report.
In Business the A320 Neo is a nice aircraft,in a fully booked Eco it's a nightmare.
The LH NEC Seat is ok for 1 or 2 hours but I pity the people which have to sit 4-5 hours in these seats.
LH flies the A320/A321 to LIS and TLV for example.
In Germany we call them "Campingstühle" which means camping chair
Luckily LH compares this with clean and well maintenanced a/c and very professional crews.
But it could be so much better if they would have more comfortable seats.


I am glad someone else mentioned it. Recently I flew on a fully booked A320neo from FRA to MUC and I hated every single minute of the flight. I thought it was just me. What did they change? Is there less legroom?

Re: Lufthansa A320NEO Business LHR-FRA - where's the dopamine shot?

Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:11 pm
by mchei
The last row don’t even have windows and I wonder how they managed to make the lavatories even smaller. I’m 1.86m tall which is average I’d say. And I can tell you that it’s no fun to make use of the lavatories.

Re: Lufthansa A320NEO Business LHR-FRA - where's the dopamine shot?

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:39 pm
by DAIAM2002
Blerg wrote:
DAIAM2002 wrote:
Thanks for this interesting Report.
In Business the A320 Neo is a nice aircraft,in a fully booked Eco it's a nightmare.
The LH NEC Seat is ok for 1 or 2 hours but I pity the people which have to sit 4-5 hours in these seats.
LH flies the A320/A321 to LIS and TLV for example.
In Germany we call them "Campingstühle" which means camping chair
Luckily LH compares this with clean and well maintenanced a/c and very professional crews.
But it could be so much better if they would have more comfortable seats.


I am glad someone else mentioned it. Recently I flew on a fully booked A320neo from FRA to MUC and I hated every single minute of the flight. I thought it was just me. What did they change? Is there less legroom?



They have reduced the legroom in A320 Neo economy from 76 to 74 cm while it's 81 cm in the rows they use for business class.
In the "classic" A320 they have 76 cm in economy.

Re: Lufthansa A320NEO Business LHR-FRA - where's the dopamine shot?

Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:51 pm
by DAIAM2002
I am glad to inform you that I will take a LH flight FRA-HAJ tomorrow. Aircraft will be an A320 Neo and eventually I will fly Economy.
At least the flight is not that long. :-)

Re: Lufthansa A320NEO Business LHR-FRA - where's the dopamine shot?

Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:10 pm
by mchei
DAIAM2002 wrote:
I am glad to inform you that I will take a LH flight FRA-HAJ tomorrow. Aircraft will be an A320 Neo and eventually I will fly Economy.
At least the flight is not that long. :-)


This flight is fun. It flies pretty low and sometimes it’s less than 30 minutes. And most of the times it’s super empty :)

Re: Lufthansa A320NEO Business LHR-FRA - where's the dopamine shot?

Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:54 pm
by stratosphere
So help me here Lufthansa A320 Business class is that they just don't sell the middle seat on an economy seat thats it? That is pretty sorry to me. I would never pay extra for that you better have a bigger seat if I am paying for business class.

Re: Lufthansa A320NEO Business LHR-FRA - where's the dopamine shot?

Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:40 am
by Ryanair01
mchei wrote:
Thanks for this trip report! It was nice to see what I often see and that got so usual to me :)
You got a very good fare! How much did you book in advance? I recently needed to book a flight from Bremen via Munich to Geneva and it’s more than 700 euros (return ticket, economy). And that was 4 weeks before the flight itself.

Did you like the sound of the NEO? If you get the chance to fly D-AIPA or PF, compare it ;)

Cheers again!


Thank you, never see fares that high on the routes I use, that's a rather excessive price! I didn't really notice much audible difference, other than take off. Compared to those real old workhorses, I was surprised how little had changed.

seabiscuit wrote:
Great job on the trip report. The picture from Frankfurt A/P brought back a lot of nice memories.


Thank you.

DAIAM2002 wrote:
Thanks for this interesting Report.
In Business the A320 Neo is a nice aircraft,in a fully booked Eco it's a nightmare.
The LH NEC Seat is ok for 1 or 2 hours but I pity the people which have to sit 4-5 hours in these seats.
LH flies the A320/A321 to LIS and TLV for example.
In Germany we call them "Campingstühle" which means camping chair
Luckily LH compares this with clean and well maintenanced a/c and very professional crews.
But it could be so much better if they would have more comfortable seats.


I think you're right. For me, on a short flight, the seat is fine. Much more than 2 hours and it wouldn't be great. I know LATAM use a better specification of the same seat and it makes so much difference.

stratosphere wrote:
So help me here Lufthansa A320 Business class is that they just don't sell the middle seat on an economy seat thats it? That is pretty sorry to me. I would never pay extra for that you better have a bigger seat if I am paying for business class.


Yup, you literally of get what the report says ;-) fast track security, lounge access, more ff points, better catering, seat next to you empty and better F&B. Same seat as those up back. Same on all the EUs shorthaul (apart from Air Serbia I believe).

Re: Lufthansa A320NEO Business LHR-FRA - where's the dopamine shot?

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:30 pm
by DAIAM2002
mchei wrote:
DAIAM2002 wrote:
I am glad to inform you that I will take a LH flight FRA-HAJ tomorrow. Aircraft will be an A320 Neo and eventually I will fly Economy.
At least the flight is not that long. :-)


This flight is fun. It flies pretty low and sometimes it’s less than 30 minutes. And most of the times it’s super empty :)



Yes it was fun because of the short flight and I got a lot to see.
The flight back was quite hard but it was not the fault of LH, the aircraft or the fellow passengers.
We had been on a wedding the evening before and I still suffered a "Hangover" from several beers.... :drunk: