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LAXintl
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2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:47 pm

At today's earnings results presentation it was mentioned that Lufthansa seeks to become Europe's first 5-star airline in 2015.

In order to achieve this goal Lufthansa will accelerate approx €400mil in product upgrades and service initiatives in the next two years.

Highlights include:
o Retrofit of entire long-haul fleet by 2015 with new superior comfort cabins
o Designate longhaul markets for 2 vs 3 class products to manage revenue quality
o Premium Economy roll out
o Upgrade of IFE and WiFi on long-haul aircraft
o Introduction of WiFi on short/medium-haul A321 aircraft
o New airport lounges (e.g. T2 satellite at MUC)
o Customer service upgrades across route network
o Competitive network and product edge to win more corporate customers

Carrier said its well places to achieve its goal, and while symbolic, it believes earning the rating would provide edge to generate yield premium and higher revenues in the decade to come.
They also said the premium market already generates approx 35% of LH passenger revenues and is the highest profit margin segment in its passenger business.


Some more details can be found in the earnings info.
http://investor-relations.lufthansagroup.com/en.html

=
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SFOA380
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:56 pm

I absolutely love LH. Their aircraft are spotless and like all things Teutonic, punctual and functional. That having been said, I think the service component will be difficult for them....
 
a380787
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:58 pm

LH is not far from that goal at all. Their long-haul F, customer service, and lounges at FRA/MUC are definitely 5-star quality rivaling CX/SQ. They just have to make some minor improvements.
 
AIR MALTA
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:17 pm

Quoting a380787 (Reply 2):
LH is not far from that goal at all. Their long-haul F, customer service, and lounges at FRA/MUC are definitely 5-star quality rivaling CX/SQ. They just have to make some minor improvements.

5 stars involves having a good product for shorthaul. LH is serving crisps on their early morning flights from BRU to FRA. I don't call that 5 star.

Other than that, they are spotless and reliable but their cabon crew are a bit robotic.
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AADC10
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:09 pm

I flew economy in one of LH's old 744s last year and it was one of the few times that I would have preferred UA. A crappy UA 744 would have been better and a UA 772 would have beat it by a mile. I am sure LH would be better on newer planes and the front cabin is likely a good experience but I do not see them equaling the better Asian carriers like SQ.

Perhaps it is five stars out of six or only counts Europe. Of course, unlike European hotels and Michelin guide restaurants there is no airline star rating, so FR can call itself a "five star" airline if it wanted to, although most of us would give FR one star, reserving zero for some really nasty charters and dangerous third world airlines.
 
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:12 pm

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 4):
I am sure LH would be better on newer planes and the front cabin is likely a good experience but I do not see them equaling the better Asian carriers like SQ.

I can't speak for economy, but for First, I can definitely say LH matches the best of Asia (and I've personally sampled F from CX, NH, TG, OZ)
 
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LAXintl
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:48 pm

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 4):
Perhaps it is five stars out of six or only counts Europe. Of course, unlike European hotels and Michelin guide restaurants there is no airline star rating, so FR can call itself a "five star" airline if it wanted to, although most of us would give FR one star, reserving zero for some really nasty charters and dangerous third world airlines.

LH is looking at SkyTrax the airline rating benchmark as the measure which is its espousing to achieve 5-stars in.

For record FR is a 2-star airline.
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L410Turbolet
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:05 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
In order to achieve this goal Lufthansa will accelerate approx €400mil in product upgrades and service initiatives in the next two years.

Why not just buy enough advertising from Skytrax and maybe add some "bonus" on top of that? It should come significantly cheaper than €400mil. They should just ask Hainan how to do it.
Skytrax ratings... what a joke.
 
rwy04lga
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:34 pm

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 4):
reserving zero for some really nasty charters and dangerous third world airlines.

Reminds me of a kid in 4th grade, when explaining to a parent a zero on a test, he said 'The teacher ran out of stars so she gave me a moon.'
Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
 
bwvilla
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:29 am

Quoting sfoa380 (Reply 1):
the service component will be difficult for them....

You nailed it there

They've got all the gear, but no idea..
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AFGMEL
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:57 am

LH J was excellent. Service was slightly cold, but efficient. In fact I actually prefer that to over effusive service. Good airline with immaculate aircraft and staff.
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:44 am

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 4):
I flew economy in one of LH's old 744s last year and it was one of the few times that I would have preferred UA.

Those old 744s will all be gone by 2015; they are being replaced one-for-one by new 748s. (LH is keeping and refurbishing its newer batch of 744s.)

[Edited 2013-10-31 18:45:15]
 
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WROORD
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:30 am

Their long-haul aircraft have 30 inches of space in y compared to 34 or 36 inches of some Asian carries like OZ or NH. I flew with them in August and the food on the return leg was terrible I am glad I had some crackers. They also need to do something about driving you around the tarmac for 30 min in a bus with no air-conditioning. There is no real difference between their domestic j and y class.
I think they still have a long way to go to be 5 stars...
 
jpetekyxmd80
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:02 am

Air Canada just got 4 stars. Enough said.

Let's just say actual quality is, ahem, of secondary consideration.
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chootie
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:45 am

A Five star airiline does NOT use its Low-Cost subsiduary to connect its non-hub flights within Europe, (anything that is not connected to FRA or MUC), as will be the case effective Summer 2014.

From then on, any Domestic and European routes outside of FRA/MUC will be operated by Germanwings.

Not really a seamless 5-star network.      
chootie
 
hoons90
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:55 am

Quoting jpetekyxmd80 (Reply 13):
Air Canada just got 4 stars. Enough said.

Let's just say actual quality is, ahem, of secondary consideration.

   x1000

Air Canada has the same star rating as JAL, Korean and Thai?

Skytrax is starting to sound more like The Onion.
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Carfield
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:56 am

Lufthansa First Class is definitely one of the top first class products in the world, and I love the seat and bed concept on the 744s. The F/As are some of the best trained. I like it. The First Class Terminal is brilliant and the First Class lounges are nice in both Frankfurt and Munich.

However other than its top notch first class product, everything is not really up to even 4 stars. Its business class is pretty bad, and even the new lie flat seats on the 747-8s are not competitive compared to the individual mini suites featured by CX, SQ, NH, AA, US... If LH wants 5 stars rating, it needs those mini business class suites. Not to mention the inconsistent catering in J, and those pre-arrival meals are on the small sides. The F/As are a bit indifferent.

Its economy class product is even worst - the pitch is tiny at 30 inches, and even the new PTV cannot distract you from the small seat pitch. If it wants top 5 stars rating, it needs to at least introduce 32 inches of legroom. Catering is acceptable now, but if it wants 5 stars, LH might want to learn from EK, QR, and SQ.

Carfield
 
FlyingAY
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:24 am

I for one find the LH cabin crew mostly very good. They've got much better idea how to serve a Northern European customer than some 5-star rated Asian airlines do. What I like in LH (and to some extent in AB as well) is that the service is constantly on a good level. AY has some very good ones and some average ones, but when I compare this to the Germans, they'll manage to be consistently good.

However, I think the product in European economy class is a bit too bare bones when compared to the other 5-star airlines service on short haul flights...
 
Nicoeddf
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:41 am

Quoting AIR MALTA (Reply 3):
5 stars involves having a good product for shorthaul. LH is serving crisps on their early morning flights from BRU to FRA. I don't call that 5 star.

True - thats why Singapore & Cathay have such an excellent short haul product on their narrowbodies.

Oh wait, they don't have a short haul product or narrowbodies for that matter.

Quoting chootie (Reply 14):
A Five star airiline does NOT use its Low-Cost subsiduary to connect its non-hub flights within Europe, (anything that is not connected to FRA or MUC), as will be the case effective Summer 2014.

From then on, any Domestic and European routes outside of FRA/MUC will be operated by Germanwings.

Not really a seamless 5-star network.

Yep, a true 5-star airline rather burns money against the LLC competition than taking their LCC subsidiary to secoandary market. Like CX...oh wait, they founded Dragonair, right?
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FlyingAY
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:22 am

Quoting nicoeddf (Reply 18):

Oh wait, they don't have a short haul product or narrowbodies for that matter.

Singapore airlines definitely do short haul, even if the do it with wide bodies. CGK-SIN must be one of the best 1,5 hour flights in economy class I've had catering wise. What you would call that if not short haul?
 
CXfirst
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:37 am

Quoting chootie (Reply 14):
From then on, any Domestic and European routes outside of FRA/MUC will be operated by Germanwings.

If that is the case, then that solves it! The 5-star rating shouldn't even take into account short-haul then, as that isn't operated by Lufthansa!

-CXfirst
 
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EPA001
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:00 pm

Quoting sfoa380 (Reply 1):
I absolutely love LH. Their aircraft are spotless and like all things Teutonic, punctual and functional.

I feel the same way about LH. My favourite airline in Europe.  .

Quoting sfoa380 (Reply 1):
I think the service component will be difficult for them....

I neve had anything to complain about when it comes to the service of LH.

Quoting bwvilla (Reply 9):
They've got all the gear, but no idea..

Not my experience, but you might have had other experiences.

Quoting FlyingAY (Reply 17):

I for one find the LH cabin crew mostly very good

As do I.  .
 
papertec
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:06 pm

Quoting AIR MALTA (Reply 3):
5 stars involves having a good product for shorthaul. LH is serving crisps on their early morning flights from BRU to FRA. I don't call that 5 star.

Given that time in the air FRA-BRU is about 30 minutes total, I'm not sure what else they could serve. Eggs benedict?  
 
VC10er
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:16 pm

After at least 50 TATL flights on LH + a few ULH, all in widebody Business Class, I just had to give up and just use United because of Lufty's business class angled flat seat. It's just awful, at least on UA, I will get a comfortable real flat bed seat in either sUA or sCO configuration. Neither have aisle access yet, so it came down to a comfortable sleep. I also find that the food in Business tries TOO hard to be fancy and just misses the mark. On UA, the new food is better for at least one reason; the menu does not go overboard trying to make each dish read like Jean George menu. Therefore, no over promise. It's now edible and fine. I've had food on both LH and LX that read like real high-end gourmet and came as over cooked slop on top of over boiled pasta. They need to do a lot to get that extra star. All IMHO!

As for Lufty's First Class, yes; 5 star. I could move into the lounge tomorrow it is SO beautiful and the bedrooms so comfortable, great food. On an A340 from Rio to FRA, in First was just amazing. I wish the kept going past FRA for another 12 hours I loved the suite and service so much (the details are perfect).

I believe they can be Europe's 5 star airline, but is BA so far behind?
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:32 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 6):
For record FR is a 2-star airline.

This begs the question of what it must (not) take to be a single star...
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autothrust
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:52 pm

Quoting AIR MALTA (Reply 3):
5 stars involves having a good product for shorthaul. LH is serving crisps on their early morning flights from BRU to FRA. I don't call that 5 star.

Other than that, they are spotless and reliable but their cabon crew are a bit robotic.

Couldn't agree more. The friendlyness of the cabin crew could be improved.

LH made out of Swiss a LCC, i think they are going into the same direction, very far from 5 star. (except longhaul)
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txlbased
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:21 pm

True, on longhaul LH has a very good product. On short- and mediumrange flights, they are facing a hard competition with airberlin and others, as well as LCC. only very few people are willing to pay enough $€£¥ to let them fly profitable on shorthaul, so they had to outsource a lot to Germanwings to cut costs but keep the routes. 20 years ago, LH served hotmeals on flights lasting 45 minutes, today you get crisps. Times have changed.
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PHX787
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:05 pm

I never flew LH but I've heard nothing but utmost praise for them...and Germany in general. I can easily see them being Europe's first 5-star airline. And the reforms they mention are quite welcoming indeed.
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LAXintl
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:14 pm

Quoting txlbased (Reply 26):
True, on longhaul LH has a very good product. On short- and mediumrange flights, they are facing a hard competition with airberlin and others, as well as LCC. only very few people are willing to pay enough $€£¥ to let them fly profitable on shorthaul, so they had to outsource a lot to Germanwings to cut costs but keep the routes. 20 years ago, LH served hotmeals on flights lasting 45 minutes, today you get crisps. Times have changed.

  

It was mentioned this week that LH for 5-years running now has continued to lose money on its European network, and with all the changes is hopes to finally reach breakeven in 2014, and back in profit by 2015.

But even while turning its shorthaul network around, LH knows the manner the market has evolved with pricing and competition there simply is not much hope it will generate significant returns in the future, which is why there is the major focus on longhaul and offering top notch premium product to go along with it.
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SIA747Megatop
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:20 pm

A 5* airline needs to have direct aisle access in Business Class, their current angle flat product in the A380 is atrocious and their latest effort on the 748s is not much better.

A 5* airline needs to have quality catering which LH only delivers in First Class.

A 5* airline needs to have top notch IFE, their current offering in their A380 is appalling.

Lastly, as mentioned many times upthread, a 5* airline needs to have a warm service culture, the service I've received on my LH flights in J and Y has been functional and cold at best.

The airline has got First Class right, good food and beverages and a great hard product and ground service to match. The other classes need sorting out desperately as they're woefully inadequate.
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Btriple7
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:48 pm

I respect LH for working to upgrade itself to a 5-star service airline (I think it will benefit them in the long-run), but honestly, how much weight do the Skytrax ratings carry in this industry? Besides giving those select few 5-star airlines bragging rights, does it really make much of a difference for an airline to be 5-star vs. 4-star? This isn't the Michelin Guide.

I do find Skytrax to be a bit of a joke, but I humbly admit that is my personal opinion. Your thoughts?

//Bt7
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vtmaa
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:07 pm

I traveled long haul on 3 airlines within a short span, all on Y
LH - 343, 748
QR - 77W
UA - 77?

Hard Product:
LH was the worst. 748 is a little better, but nowhere near QR's comfort levels.
343 need to be either gutted completely or need a full do-over with seats etc. The seats actually were painful to sit on and hurt my back.

UA was second, with good seat comfort and an ok IFE (not sure if these were ex CO birds)

The best was QR with respect to seat comfort and IFE

Soft Product:
LH had the best in-flight crew. not only were they very experienced but they seemed genuine. I am noticing a difference in LH over the past couple of years in this respect. their crews are getting more warm and friendly. Used to be very curt and robotic in the past (not sure if this coincidence)

UA - Very brash and un-polished, but if you get a friendly crew, they were really nice, chatty and lots of smiles.

QR - hit or miss, very robotic.
 
infinit
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:46 pm

Quoting nicoeddf (Reply 18):
True - thats why Singapore & Cathay have such an excellent short haul product on their narrowbodies.

Oh wait, they don't have a short haul product or narrowbodies for that matter.

SQ doesn't fly shorthaul.. are you joking?

Neighbour-to-the-South Indonesia is one of their most profitable markets and it is still growing, being the "superpower" of ASEAN.
Jakarta-Singapore being among the busiest air routes. It's a 1 hr 20 min flight on average. SQ still serves a full meal in Y and still manages a 3-class layout..

And SIN is a big aviation hub with now established LCC competition. I can fly SIN-CGK roundtrip for S$100 (US$80) on AirAsia or Valueair but SQ which seems to price their roundtrip Y product on this route on average at S$400 manages to fill their 9 daily flights. No, there isn't some invisible force brainwashing people to fly SQ on this 1hr+ route...

So I'd conclude it's a matter of whether you sell a product people are willing to pay for.. If your product costs 4x more than another airline on the route and you're still flying the route profittably, you have a superior product (in the mind of the consumer) and you have established a competitive advantage.

Sure the markets and the dynamics are all different but it would be blatantly incorrect to say SQ doesn't fly shorthaul. They do and they do so amidst established and still rapidly growing LCC competion.
 
windowflyer
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:14 pm

Quoting AFGMEL (Reply 10):
LH J was excellent. Service was slightly cold, but efficient. In fact I actually prefer that to over effusive service. Good airline with immaculate aircraft and staff.

Could not agree with you more. Had the same experience on my recent LH J service JFK - FRA.
As to your over effusive service comment. I thought I was the only person who felt that way.
I flew Thai's "Royal First" service last year FRA - BKK and quickly realized why its called Royal. Service was impeccable to say the very least but I was not comfortable with the cabin crew kneeling down next to my seat every single time they addressed me. I know this is partly a cultural thing needing to be eye level when speaking to you but It made me uneasy.
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Viscount724
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:45 am

Quoting VC10er (Reply 23):
I believe they can be Europe's 5 star airline, but is BA so far behind?

LHR's problems don't help BA. For example, not all BA flights use the same terminal. And delays and disruptions are more frequent in the event of weather problems etc. at an airport operating at about 99% of capacity.
 
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seahawk
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:39 am

Service wise I think it is a matter of taste. LH is great imho when you are on business trip and are really working on the flight. They leave you alone as much as possible.

After a successful trip on the other hand the warmer service of other carriers feels better.
 
WAC
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RE: 2015 Lufthansa - Europe's First 5-star Airline

Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:34 pm

Surprised that LH group are not concentrating in getting LX 5 stars..far more achievable I think...

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