Today I flew from Lufthansa’s Frankfurt hub to Manchester aboard the Airbus A320. The experience was certainly an interesting one and not your everyday flight review. Buckle up your seatbelt to hear all about the flight including Lufthansa’s new complimentary German sauna experience.
The flight to Manchester was due to depart at 13:25 local time, however, the flight was delayed by 71 minutes. As such the flight departed at 14:36. After a 1-hour 23-minute flight, the aircraft touched down at 14:59, 54 minutes after the expected time of 14:05.
Booking the flight actually wasn’t too bad. I completed the booking on the Lufthansa website. However, halfway through the process, the booking engine switched to German. Additionally, my booking confirmation was provided in German. Thankfully, with my basic grasp of the language, I had no worries. The flight cost a total of €49.44, equivalent to around £44.
Strangely, the price of the flight was only €1, with the remaining €48.44 consisting of taxes and additional fees. Bizarrely I was emailed not one, but two “Risk Coverage Certificates”. These explained that I was insured against the airline going bankrupt. I received the second today, however, couldn’t tell the difference between the two.
Booking Score: ✈︎✈︎✈︎
The check-in process could’ve been better. Overall, the Lufthansa app seems rather cumbersome. The app informed me that we would be flying on an Airbus A321. As such, I chose the seat 27F giving me a window view behind the wing. This morning I went to double check the aircraft.
Without any notice from Lufthansa, we had been moved from an A321 to an A320. I was now sitting toward the back of the aircraft, however still in seat 27F. As I was only travelling with hand luggage I didn’t need to visit a check-in desk, however, they looked to have no lines.
Check-in Score: ✈︎✈︎✈︎✈︎
The process for boarding the aircraft was an interesting one. About 30 minutes before we were due to board a little ID check was set up. Here it was necessary for everybody to have their passport or ID checked. In exchange, we were each given a piece of paper with a stamp to give up when we began boarding.
The flight was completely full, and as a result, passengers were invited to gate check their bags. Now, I wasn’t in a rush and had nothing essential in my suitcase, so I happily obliged. Interestingly, the ground staff said that they would even waive excess and overweight bag charges for passengers wishing to check their bags.
The crew of our plane were delayed due to the late running of their inbound flight on a different aircraft. Boarding the aircraft was supposed to commence at 12:55 CET for a 13:25 departure, however, we only began to board at 13:40. Business and status members were boarded first. Following this, everybody else boarded in a huge rabble as opposed to a line.
Boarding Score: ✈︎✈︎✈︎
The cabin environment is not something that I’ve rated a flight on before. However, there is a huge chunk of the flight review that would be missing if I didn’t flag it up today. Our aircraft’s auxiliary power unit (APU) was labelled as inoperative.
As the flight was already delayed we missed our slot and had to remain at the gate. With no APU, our aircraft had no air conditioning, and was sitting in the sun just getting warmer and warmer. Things got so bad that the captain ordered the crew to reset the doors to manual, and open them to get airflow through the cabin.
This was the free German sauna experience provided by Lufthansa as we were literally sweating from the heat. Thankfully, the pilot was able to refile his flight plan, and we were finally on the move at 14:18.
Cabin Environment Score: ✈︎
I was sat in seat 27F toward the rear of the aircraft. The seat had amazing legroom, especially considering it was a regular economy seat. Unfortunately, the padding in the main part of the seat felt as though it had endured an awful lot of bottoms. There was a large lump at the rear of the seat which was uncomfortable to sit on. Despite this, for the majority of the flight I didn’t realise.
The Seat Score: ✈︎✈︎✈︎✈︎✈︎
The in-flight service was nothing out of the ordinary. Lufthansa provided free drinks and snacks. There didn’t appear to be a limit on drinks, so I took a coffee and an orange juice. Other passengers took complimentary alcoholic refreshments. Overall the drinks tasted pretty standard.
Now, regular Simple Flying readers will realise my cheese sandwich on Thursday’s Eurowings flight was nothing to write home about. In my opinion, the Lufthansa sandwich was even worse. The ingredients were definitely better quality, however, it wasn’t a cheese sandwich as offered to me. It was a cheese and pepper sandwich.
As I’m really not a fan of peppers, I only managed one bite of the sandwich for this review. Based fully on the fact that there were peppers in the sandwich, it was not for me. In general, I now hold the opinion that buy on board is better than complimentary snacks.
In-flight service Score: ✈︎✈︎✈︎✈︎✈︎
WiFi in flight is another new section in my trip reports, due entirely to the fact that every other review would state “this flight had no WiFi”. Well, the Lufthansa A320 does offer WiFi. Three packages were available, starting at €3 for basic WiFi to send texts and emails, €7 for enough bandwidth to browse the internet, and €12 for WiFi good enough to stream media on.
For the purposes of this review, and in order to work whilst on the plane, I opted for the more expensive option. My reception was mixed as I clocked a speed of 15.68Mbps on a speed test, however, the upload speed was only a measly 0.69Mbps. Thankfully I only needed to upload a couple of images.
In-flight WiFi Score: ✈︎✈︎✈︎✈︎
Overall the flight was okay. Despite the delay and the sauna experience, the WiFi really made up for the negatives. And I’m not alone in thinking this. Indeed, An Inmarsat 2018 survey showed that 67% of passengers would be likely to rebook with an airline if WiFi were available on the flight.
Have you flown Lufthansa? What was your impression? Who would you fly with from Frankfurt to Manchester? Let us know in the comments!