Tried & Tested

Lufthansa A319-100 Economy

2 Mar 2010 by Tom Otley

FIRST IMPRESSIONS I checked in for LH479 departing 1715 the day before, and selected a window seat 10A in the hope that this might give some extra leg room since it seemed to be close to the emergency exit, although not actually an exit row (these were all blocked, possibly for gold tier card holders in Miles & More?). I arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare and checked in a bag as I was flying on to Hong Kong using Munich as a hub.

As an economy class ticket holder, your only chance of access to the Star Alliance lounge at Heathrow Terminal 1 is by either having a Gold Star Alliance card or a business class ticket. I have the former courtesy of bmi, and so went into the Star Alliance lounge which is situated in the corner of T1. It’s a fairly new lounge, but it is showing some wear and tear. I wanted to work but many of the stations had the plugs taped over because of some technical problem, and the food and drink selection wasn’t huge. Flights are not called from this lounge. I worked for about half an hour and then decided to use the Bmi International Business Class Lounge because it was close to the gate (5C). This lounge is superb, large, airy, well designed and with few people in it. I sat and watched the planes taxiing on the runway until the flight was ready to depart.

BOARDING The flight departed from Gate 5C. This was done quickly with a minimum of fuss – there was priority boarding for families and those needing help, and then the rest of us were all called at once.

THE SEAT The configuration of the aircraft is 3-3 with a moveable curtain for business class. Click here for the seating plan.

On this flight the seat rows went up to row 24, omitting only row 13.

All Lufthansa’s short-haul economy class seats have a pitch of 31-32 inches except its Airbus A320 and A321s, which have a roomy 34 inches. Seats are all 17.5 inches wide and recline 20 degrees from vertical. I had chosen seat 10C seeing that it was close to the emergency exit, but it has a standard amount of leg room with the row in front (row 9) having the extra legroom. That said, there was plenty of space, particularly since the flight was only lightly loaded and there was no passenger in the middle seat between myself and the gentleman sitting in the aisle seat.

There was no in-flight entertainment, but after take-off we were served with a choice of drinks and a sandwich. It was only a short flight and a little bumpy at times.

ARRIVAL We arrived on time at Munich for a connecting onward long haul flight on Lufthansa’s network.

VERDICT Excellent. On time, efficient, and with plenty of leg room for a short flight – we even got a drink.

PRICE A mid-week return in March starts from £97 online.


Tom Otley

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