Tried & Tested

Lufthansa CRJ900 economy

12 Nov 2013 by GrahamSmith

CHECK-IN

Arriving at the airport at 1505, after sharing a taxi with someone whose flight was due to take-off 45 minutes before mine, I had plenty of time to spare before my own flight's scheduled departure at 1640.

Dusseldorf Airport's large terminal building was almost empty and very easy to manoeuvre around. As I had checked-in online and had no luggage for the hold, I made my way to security where there was no queue and the whole process took less than three minutes.

After whiling away a few minutes in the departure lounge shops, I made my way to passport control, which was immediately followed by a boarding pass check.

I then found Gate A78a on the ground floor and was seated at 1530. There was only one other person in the lounge, which was unsurprising given that the flight was scheduled to depart at 1640.

BOARDING

Boarding onto a shuttle bus began at 1615. This took about five minutes until the bus was full and we were then driven the minute or so to the aircraft.

At the gate, I had been given a tag for my hand luggage, presumably to place it in the hold should there be too much baggage in the small cabin, although this wasn't explained. However, I boarded the plane and stowed the bag above my seat, in full view of flight attendants, as per normal.

I was in my seat at 1626 and we then waited another 15 minutes for a second load of passengers to arrive via the shuttle bus.

Unfortunately, before they boarded we were informed that due to Heathrow being busy we would have to sit on the tarmac for half an hour. During this time the aircraft became uncomfortably hot, despite it being autumnal and overcast outside.

THE SEAT

I was sat in aisle seat 12D - the aircraft was configured 2-2 (A, C, D, F) and can accommodate 90 passengers. The seat was narrow but comfortable enough. The ceiling was very low, although the cabin looked smart decked out in two-tone light grey leather upholstery.

There was no in-flight entertainment on this short regional flight, but copies of papers including Der Spiegel, Daily Mail and The Economist were available to read.

WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE?

Business class was configured across rows one to five in a 2-2 layout, and was separated from economy by a curtain.

Rows 16 and 18 (there is no row 17 on Lufthansa aircraft) by the emergency exits have more legroom.

THE FLIGHT

We pushed back at 1705 and taxiied for a short while before taking off at 1712, 32 minutes behind schedule.

Once we were airborne, the flight attendants moved through the cabin handing out chicken and mozarella sandwiches (actually half of a two-slice sandwich), which was on white bread and bland.

This was swiftly followed by the drinks trolley offering tea, coffee, water, Coke, fruit juices, beer, and red and white wine. I chose the red wine, which was as you'd expect - cheap, but perfectly adequate.

ARRIVAL

After a swift flight we began our descent at around 1710 and landed at 1733 local time (1833 in Dusseldorf). Then, as is customary at Heathrow, it took ten minutes to taxi to the gate.

It then took a further 25 minutes to disembark, walk and queue at passport control, before passing through customs.

VERDICT

A short flight on a small aircraft that was delayed by more than half an hour due to congestion in the skies above Heathrow (at least, that's what we were told). The wait at Dusseldorf was unpleasantly hot. Otherwise, the flight was unremarkable.


FACT FILE

  • Seat configuration 2-2
  • Seat pitch 31"
  • Seat width 17in
  • Price Internet rates for a midweek return flight from Heathrow to Dusseldorf in December started at £142
  • Contact lufthansa.com


Graham Smith

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