My journey to Germany for rubber ducks finished up with a short hop from London. I’ve flown Lufthansa longhaul coach a few times, and left consistently underwhelmed every time. This time, though, I walked away pleasantly surprised with my short haul experience in Lufthansa’s A320 Economy Class.
Note: this post is part of my trip report covering my trip to Germany in March, 2019. Click here for the introductory post and trip report index.
Lufthansa (LH) Flight 907
- Friday, March 8, 2019
- Depart: London Heathrow Airport (LHR), Terminal 2, Gate A24, 13:40, 10m late
- Arrive: Flughafen Frankfurt (FRA), Terminal 1, 16:12, 7m late
- Duration: 1 hour 32 minutes
- Seat: 20A
- Equipment: Airbus A320
Check-In and Boarding
I checked in online the day before. After a stay in Terminal 2’s Plaza Premium Lounge, I headed to the gate a few minutes before scheduled boarding. Boarding began about 10 minutes late; since I’d camped out close to the gate entrance, I joined the line pretty early. The agent did offer priority boarding to Business Class passengers, after which Economy boarding began. The whole process proceeded fairly orderly – a change from the scrum I usually encounter at Heathrow.
Lufthansa A320 Economy Class Seating and Interior
Lufthansa’s A320 Economy class cabin features 126 seats in a standard 3×3 configuration. (Note that some “stretched” versions feature 138 seats, though.). While the seats suffer from a tight 30″ pitch, width actually isn’t that bad, at 18″.
The seats, unfortunately, are the dreaded Recaro slimlines prevalent throughout Europe. I’m yet to find one that’s comfortable, with thin padding providing little thigh or back support. Even after just an hour and a half, my legs started feeling the burn. Or maybe that was just the 24 hours of travel taking a toll…
The seats actually looked in fairly decent shape; it appears Lufthansa recently refurbished them.
Despite the tight 30″ pitch, legroom wasn’t too bad.
I just wish the cabin had a little more color. The white cabin with grey monotone seats feels rather cold. Even bringing back the yellow crane would help significantly.
In a word – none. Lufthansa offers no personal or drop-down TVs in its short-haul A320 cabins. I thought all intra-Europe aircraft now came equipped with the FlyNet WiFi system, but this aircraft didn’t have that, either. So, bring a book, some games on your phone or hope for a clear day to look out the window.
Lufthansa A320 Economy Class – Food & Beverage
Lufthansa offered a drink and meal service on this roughly 90 minute flight. About half an hour after takeoff, the FAs came though the cabin to offer a beverage of choice. Unlike domestic American carriers, coach passengers may order alcoholic beverages free of charge. Shortly thereafter, the FAs then offered a choice of sandwiches. I don’t recall the second choice, but I requested a cheese sandwich.
It doesn’t look like much, but I agree with Matthew – it’s actually a nice little treat. Alpine cheese and pretty tasty sunflower bread made a nice combo. As he put it, it tastes decidedly “German”, and apparently, a variation’s been a Lufthansa staple for many years.
On a flight this short, there’s only so much you can do to differentiate the soft product. But good service goes a long way, and this is where Lufthansa got it right on this flight. The older flight crew greeted passengers with a warm smile when taking orders. And despite a roughly 90 minute flight time, even offered drink refills. Previous Lufthansa Economy crews ranged from indifferent to surly on my previous flights. So count me pleasantly surprised by the warm hospitality on this one.
London Heathrow is one of my favorite airports for planespotting, and the planeporn certainly didn’t disappoint this time. At the next gate was a somewhat oddball plane – a Eurowings A319 with a Czech Airlines tail.
Next, as we headed to the runway, we passed a pair of Dreamliners. The first, courtesy of Air India, and the second, from Air Canada. I like the clean lines of Air Canada’s 787. But I think the Maharaja looks pretty good, too.
After takeoff, clouds obscured the view quickly, but I did manage a cool shot of the Heathrow airfield. As someone used to the sprawling DFW Airport, it still boggles my mind how Heathrow operates with just two runways. (And surprise, surprise – a traffic jam on the M25…)
We also enjoyed a brief view of the western London suburbs before the clouds took over.
The clouds eventually cleared as we entered western Germany. The land between Cologne and Frankfurt was just beginning to awaken from its winter slumber. The fading afternoon light even lent an orange glow to the landscape.
Finally, I spotted a couple more interesting planes after arriving at Frankfurt. First up, as we left the runway, a Royal Air Maroc 737 (sorry for the grainy photo).
And at last, a beautiful Lufthansa 747-8i in classic livery at the maintenance hangar.
Lufthansa A320 Economy Class – Final Thoughts
Overall, I found myself pleasantly surprised with Lufthansa Economy Class on this short flight. No, it’s not an earth shattering product, but friendly service and a decent meal made a pleasant 90-minute flight, in my opinion.