Flight Review LH919 LHR to FRA Easter MondayBack to Forum
This is my first flight review, so please be kind.
I am a BA Gold, but decided to not chase Gold, so this expires end of April.I have a MM card but no status with any Star airline.( BA loyal, or was)
I had a job in Mannheim, Germany so had to book a flight to and from Frankfurt. I looked at FlyBMI from Bristol, but not an option, so it was LHR.
Looking at LH and BA websites, LH was half the price of BA, I paid £193 for an handbag only fare, LH call it Economy Light. One piece of cabin baggage no more than 8kg.
I checked in on line the day before, and reserved a seat, on what looked like, and was a full flight. I had the boarding document sent to my phone.
My flight was at 19.30, with the gate closing at 19.05 sharp. I left home in South Wales, expecting traffic, and hit delays all along the M4, taking 4 hours instead of the usual two and a half to reach LHR. As i was flying from T2, I used the NCP Flightpath car park. I used the premium service, and found a spot easily next to the office, and very near the bus stop. NCP were the lowest cost provider, even with premium parking. It was 6pm when i got on the shuttle, so a little anxious about time.
The bus passed T2, dropped off at T3, then went back to the bus stop under T2. I headed to departures. This was my first departure from T2, so I was not familiar with the location of things. I found the lift, as did many others waiting to go to level 5 to check in. The lift were slow, and very small, not like the big ones at T5. Got to level 5 and as i was checked in , hand baggage only, I proceeded to security.
The lines were moving quickly, and in general it was an OK experience for LHR. However one staff member was quite rude and clearly on a power trip. Shame, as he spoiled an OK experience of LHR security.
Got through and noticed a water fountain, as seen in T5. I had an empty water bottle so filled it up, very slowly. Very frustrating. These fountains are a great idea, but they need more of them, and faster filling ones too.
I looked for the gate notification, and the TV screen said it would be advised at 18.50. Only 15 minutes prior to gate close. I hoped it was close by. At 18.50 it was announced as A17, so very central and quick to get to.
Boarding started about 18.55, for special assistance and Business class. They advised flight was full and carry on above allowance would not be allowed. They offered to load in the hold free. The whole process was efficient and they were very strict, weighting and taking away overweight bags,one lady had a bag at 14kg, with an 8kg allowance. It was put in the hold. BA could do with this type of pre boarding check.
Once on board, I found my seat, 27A, a window seat near the back I put my carry on, in the locker and sat down. The seat was in a grey leather, thin, but felt comfortable, and it was for such a short flight. Eventually everyone was on board. It was full. I had a family behind with 2 small children.
We took off about 20 minutes later, on the north Runway. Whilst waiting a strong smell of engine exhaust came into the cabin. I later found out it was because we were stuck close to another aircraft in front during taxi.
Shortly after take off, service began. The choice was cheese or salmon sandwich. I chose Cheese. It was a small sandwich of cheese on sunflower bread. It was in fact quite nice, and did the job. Then drinks. I asked for a beer. This was a surprise as i was handed a 330ml glass bottle of good German beer, very agreeable, to wash down the cheese sandwich.
Soon after we were on final approach, waste collected, lights down, and we landed. Short, for FRA, taxi to the main A Terminal. De planing was slow, as i was near the back, but eventually I was off, a quick walk through immigration, and out into the terminal.
I was booked in at the Hilton Garden inn, which is housed in the wonderful building that is located the other side of the motorway, and accommodates the Inter City trains, of which i was booked on, for Mannheim the next day.
All in all, from start to finish it was a good experience. I would not have had time for a lounge visit, so no issue there, though on a longer wait, T2 does not seem very appealing, so a lounge would be useful. The in flight service, for such a short flight was good. If LH can do it, why cant BA. Clearly LH only ply FRA and MUC, so options are limited. I would use LH again, if the fare was lower than BA.
And, i felt no guilt at not using BA.
Well that is it for now. I hope my return tomorrow goes as smoothly.
Best wishes to all readers.18 Apr 2017
Agree that LH short-haul offers a great service. Despite my local airport being ABZ, I have a choice of flight to hubs – BA LHR, AF CDG, SAS CPH, LH FRA, KL AMS and to a lesser extent EI DUB. I detest LHR T5 and BA service and 99/100 will fly LH via FRA. Efficient service, no circling the sky, in fact, no messing about, you just land at FRA! I’d recommend them to anyone.
I’ve not flown BA for 3 years now despite 9 flights a day to LHR18 Apr 2017
Thanks for the review Ontherunhome. Pretty well sums up my opinion of LH as being very good and efficient. Like Swiss in Y they always offer a small snack with two options, a meat or cheese, and a drink. Even G&T if you want and for free!
The only difference is I have never had my bag weighed at the gate. I wonder if this is at all stations or just LHR, or maybe because I have a Gold (Senator) card but I regularly travel on the light fares with two bags and my main wheelie is usually around 10-11 kgs. Be interesting to hear if others have had a similar experience.18 Apr 2017
Nice review Ontherunhome,
A full service functional airline (national carrier)that flies out of one of the most expensive airports in the world,, and can do it cheaper than the LCCC incumbent at the same airport.
And that’s why , I also choose not to fly my flag carrier, and prefer to choose a real LCC, or another countries carrier….Shame.
Next time you travel through 2 and have time, and don’t have access to the LH lounge, I’d recommended the Gorgeous Kitchen for a pleasant drink and a view of the southern runway coming and goings.19 Apr 2017
Ontherunhome – Thanks for the review. You didn’t mention which aircraft type you flew. Was in one of LH’s older A320s or the very new A320neo with the denser economy seating ?19 Apr 2017
I also flew LH BHX > FRA at end March and enjoyed the service. I have no status in StarA so I was also concerned about the 8kg weight as I am always 10-15kg. I never understand the weight restriction as it is volume that matters.
My homeward leg was FR FRA > FAO. Much more relaxing as up front seats, or whatever it is called, give priority boarding, a guarantee that your case is in the cabin and also a laptop or hand bag. It is amazing how Ryanair have improved, as have EZ.19 Apr 2017
Thanks for the kind words on my review.
The outbound was on an A320, quite old, but clean and perfectly OK. I have just returned this afternoon on an A319, as outbound functional and clean.
The return from FRA was interesting. There was a more lenient hand baggage allowance, no weighing scales,loads of passengers with 2 or 3 bags, no-one getting bags removed. This was a full, overbooked flight too. The crew on board dealt with it, took bags up front to use spare locker space.
The flight was late leaving, due to late inbound aircraft from LHR. On the flight back we had to circle for 20+ minutes. The sooner we get a 3rd Runway at LHR the better.
On board service quick and efficient, Cheese or Salmon, but in a bread roll this time. It was a snack, with a coffee and cup of water, and no charge. They did the whole plane in 30 minutes.
On arrival at LHR we had to wait to taxi to the gate. Deplaning was quick, and to my surprise the e gates were virtually empty. I was out the terminal some 10 minutes after landing, waiting for the car park bus.
One point about FRA, security, they were as rude and unhelpful, with a superior attitude just like LHR. After emptying my pockets, laptop, belt etc into trays, they closed the line, and told me to join the end of another long line.Why not tell me before. I spoke with some sour puss supervisor who simply shrugged her shoulders, could not care. I did not push it as 2 Police officers were overseeing the whole area. I wanted to get home. However these people need a reality check, passengers have had enough. Good to see that the United incident may make some changes.( in US to start)
Best wishes to all.19 Apr 2017
Ontherunhome: you are dropping your BA Gold but don’t have any status on a *A carrier….If you are quick you might still be able to get a status match…..this was still being offered very recently though in view of recent events you might be disappointed that the offer was from United….20 Apr 2017
Turkish will sometimes match gold in any other alliance to M&S Elite which is star alliance gold and one off the top of their own top level which in *A terms doesn’t give you any more. Sometimes they just give you the card, at other times they set a challenge to fly with them several times before they give it to you.
Aegean are also known to match to M&B gold fairly easily and the thresholds with them for retaining are relatively low.
Do beware though that LH use a number of booking classes that offer no credits at all with either Turkish or Aegean so you might need to look at how much *A travel you will do with other carriers. The thresholds for *G with LH are a lot higher than any other carrier and over the last ten years they have decimated earnings unless you are traveling on high fares in premium cabins on long haul.20 Apr 2017
onthehomerun: you should be able to find it under their MileagePlus offers….unfortunately to maintain Gold you do need around 4 sectors on UA….equally they have made collecting mileage much harder now on cheap (economy) tickets as with LH but spending points is not bad….18 months back I used 80K miles with negligible taxes for ZRH-BKK-MEL flying Thai business….
You could also check out the situation with Turkish or Aegean as John Harper suggests particularly if your main base is in Europe20 Apr 2017
Thanks for the ideas. United is a dead end, and to be honest Turkish or Aegean, don’t do it for me either. My travel pattern is mostly Europe short haul. This is why I never usually use Star airlines. BA has the route network, so I will stick with BA Silver, and use Easyjet and others as needed, and pocket the savings over BA, maybe get an AmEx Platinum card with the savings and priority Pass access. I also think Boots meal deals will do well, instead of BOB. I did look at KLM, but they have high fares, and still a 2 night rule to get best value.( from Cardiff anyway)20 Apr 2017