Tried & Tested

Lufthansa A320-200 economy

11 Nov 2013 by GrahamSmith

CHECK-IN

I travelled to London Heathrow Terminal 1 on the Piccadilly Line, arriving at 1035.

Although I had checked-in online, I walked over to the Lufthansa area in zone J on the far side of the departures hall, which was almost entirely empty. There were nine self-serve computer terminals to check-in, but not one was being used. Only a couple of people were at the two Lufthansa baggage-drop desks and there was no queue.

As I was only carrying hand luggage, I made my way to security at around 1050 and emerged the other side seven or eight minutes later. On checking the departures board, I saw that my 1210 flight was on time and that boarding was due to start at 1130.

However, after buying a bottle of water, I noticed that the flight and boarding had been delayed by 20 minutes. Sure enough, Gate 21 appeared on the board at 1150 and I arrived there after a ten-minute walk.

BOARDING

Boarding started at 1202 and I passed through the boarding gate at 1210. Complimentary newspapers and magazines were on offer on entering the aircraft (Der Spiegel, The Economist, Daily Mail). I was in my seat by 1215.

THE SEAT

The A320-200 was in a two-class configuration with 168 seats, including the middle seats that are kept free in business class. The cabin looked smart decked out in two-tone light grey leather upholstery.

I was in window seat 22A - there was enough legroom and the seat was comfortable. The seat-back tray tables were solid with a pocket for personal items and magazines below.

WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE?

Business class on this flight was configured across rows one to eight in a 2-2 layout (A-C, D-F), with middle seats B and E kept free. Therefore, the only decision to be made is whether to sit on an aisle seat or one by the window.

Economy class is separated from business by a moveable curtain, and is in a 3-3 layout. Rows 11 and 12 by the emergency exits have more legroom and are only the fourth and fifth rows back in economy so exiting the aircraft on landing is relatively swift.

THE FLIGHT

The aircraft was about 80 per cent full. We pushed back at 1220, some ten minutes behind schedule and then taxied for almost half an hour before finally taking off at 1251.

Once we were airborne at 1300, the flight attendants moved through the cabin (starting at the front) handing out a light snack of pasta with black olives, cucumber and tomato and a few pretzels. The food was quite tasty but definitely not filling.

A couple of minutes later followed a drinks trolley offering tea, coffee, water, Coke, fruit juices, beer, and red and white wine. I opted for a glass of red, which was adequate.

ARRIVAL

We began our descent shortly before 1330 local time (1430 GMT) and landed at 1342. Two minutes later and we were at the gate - 14 minutes behind schedule.

It then took three minutes to disembark, less than a minute to walk to immigration, another minute to get through passport control and three or four minutes to find my way to the taxi rank.

VERDICT

Despite the slight delay, the flight itself was smooth with polite cabin crew, a comfortable seat and a decent, if small, snack.
 

FACT FILE

  • Seat configuration 3-3 (A-C, D-F in business class)
  • Seat pitch 30"
  • Seat width 19.7in
  • Price Internet rates for a midweek economy return flight from Heathrow to Dusseldorf in December started at £142
  • Contact lufthansa.com


Graham Smith

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