London Heathrow to Frankfurt

First impressions: I had checked in the previous evening when I received an email inviting me to do so. I was flying with Lufthansa via Frankfurt to Hong Kong and checked in for both flights, requesting boarding cards to be sent both to my email (so I could access it on both my laptop and my mobile phone) and by text message. These both arrived shortly afterwards.

I arrived at London Heathrow’s Terminal 1 at 1530 for the 1705 departure on LH911. There was no queue at the check-in for business class passengers so I dropped off my bags and then went through security, which was also quick.

The lounge: Lufthansa uses the Star Alliance lounge in the corner of the terminal by the Barbour outlet. For once it wasn’t packed, so I sat and read for 30 minutes before walking down to Gate 19. Once there we boarded with priority given to business class passengers and top tier holders in Lufthansa’s Miles and More programme.

The seat: The flight was very full and most if not all seats were taken, with the crew asking that people put their bags under the seat in front. There were five rows of business class seating with the configuration being ABC – DEF like the rest of the aircraft, but with the middle seat left unoccupied to give more room. To see a seat plan, click here

I was in 4F, a window seat. This aircraft has the Recaro seating on it, and they are comfortable, with plenty of leg room, though the seat pocket is too small to be of any real use – I just managed to get a thin paperback book into it, but not much else. There’s nothing to choose between the seats in business class since they all have similar leg room with no IFE boxes under the seats.

The flight: We pushed back slightly early but then taxied at a fair speed around Heathrow for 10 minutes. Once airborne the passenger behind kicked off his shoes and the most revolting smell filled the cabin around me as he began to snore. Luckily with the meal service came a perfumed antiseptic wipe, and I found that by unwrapping this and tucking it into the top of my shirt like a bib it shrouded the worst of the smell, though his snoring was unavoidable. It is of course, possible to recline the Recaro seats but I did not want to get any closer to him.

The time is less than an hour across to Frankfurt, so the meal was a selection of small dishes “in association with essen & trinken” a German food magazine. On this flight the selection was

  • Veal meatball on bell pepper salsa
  • Chicken salad with tarragon,
  • Grana Padano, Taleggio, balsamic onion
  • “Shmankerl” cream cake.

A choice of wines and soft drinks were also served.

The flight was uneventful and the weather calm, and we arrived at Frankfurt ahead of schedule, but were then bussed off the aircraft, which if my flight connection was tight (as opposed to nearly three hours) would have made me nervous. Once in the terminal, my onward flight was not displayed but I eventually worked out that I should head for “Z” and did so, going through another set of security. To read about the onward flight on the B747-8 to Hong Kong, click here.

Verdict: Good flight – busy but departed on time, arrived early, comfortable seats, good food for such a short flight and good friendly service – just a shame about being bussed off the aircraft but even this was efficiently done.

Tom Otley