Today, I'm taking you with me on one of the first flights of the new Boeing 787 of the German national airline, Lufthansa. This flight between Frankfurt and Munich is quite short but it allows pilots to train on this new model that has entered the fleet and also to show you the interior of the German Dreamliner.
But first, let's start at the beginning, Frankfurt Airport. We arrived with the Lufthansa Bus, which connects Strasbourg to Frankfurt several times a day. We arrived at the airport station and headed for the check-in desks.
It is important to know that passengers taking the bus have a special area to check in their luggage. There is therefore hardly ever a crowd. The system is entirely self-service. Terminals allow you to print out your baggage tags and then simply place your bag on the belt. In the end, it took 10 minutes to complete.
Let's go to the gate.
Our flight will leave from gate A50. The gate is part of the long line of 747s that almost enter the terminal.
We pass through security where there are quite a few people! Even the Star Alliance Gold Track was crowded.
After 45 minutes of waiting, we are finally on the other side. We cross the Duty-Free and we are in front of the planes.
When I arrive in front of the door, D-ABPA, or Papa Alpha for the most intimate arrives. Enough to try to take some pictures despite the reflections on the window. The brand-new plane is magnificent! The curves of the nose and the thinness of the wings are magnificent!
To remind you, Lufthansa received "Berlin" at the end of August. The aircraft, originally destined for the Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines, was retrofitted with the German airline's cabin colours. At the beginning of October, Lufthansa launched a campaign of test flights in Germany (e.g. Rostock, in northern Germany). Then, on October 17th, it was christened in Berlin by Carsten Spohr, the airline's CEO. The first commercial flight occurred between Frankfurt and Munich on Wednesday, October 19th.
Let's get back to the point. At 12:35 pm, boarding begins.
Desperate to get on the plane, I discreetly slipped into group 1 and was among the first passengers to enter the white and blue bird.
As I entered, I discovered the spacious cabin of the German Dreamliner. I first walk through Premium Economy, which consists of three rows of 7 seats each in a 2-3-2 configuration.
Then comes the Economy Class. Arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration, the cabin is spacious and bright. At first sight, the seats look comfortable.
I arrive at my seat, the 12K, on the window side. The blue seat is very comfortable!
There is enough legroom (at least for my 1m70). In the seat, the pocket contains the new safety card with the yellow border which indicates that the cabin is not originally Lufthansa's, but Hainan Airlines in the case of the Dreamliner and Philippine Airlines in the case of the A350.
The window is huge! Even bigger than the A350 I think.
In front of me, the screen is actually quite big. There is a large selection of movies and music but for this flight, I will leave that part aside. As for the map, it is interactive and there are several modes, including cockpit view, 360° view, and night view. It is available in several languages. Also, Lufthansa offers its customers the possibility to manage their IFE via their smartphones. I tried to use this function, but it was obviously not activated during the flight. In short, an IFE has all the qualities!
As far as my surroundings are concerned, the tablet can be folded halfway down, which is very practical when you only have a bottle of water or a glass to put down (as is the case on short and medium-haul flights with Lufthansa). Unfolded, the tray table is more than big enough to accommodate a medium-sized laptop.
The window, as said before, is huge. It is equipped with the system to tint it, but it did not work for that flight, too bad for me who absolutely wanted to test it because it was also my first flight in 787.
On the internet side, Wi-Fi is available throughout the aircraft for a fee.
Push and start
We fasten our seatbelts and at 13:23 we start the pushback. Then the beautiful GenX engines of the 787 start to roar. A beautiful sound but is not as good as the GE-90 of the 777.
Taxi in Frankfurt
We start then our way to runway 18 of the German airport.
Take-off and climb
The take-off is extremely quiet. It is a pleasure to watch the 787's wings curve as the speed on the runway increases.
Here we are in the air. Next stop, Franz-Josef Strauß International Airport in the Bavarian capital, Munich.
Cruise and onboard service
The cabin crew brings us a bottle of water and the traditional Lufthansa chocolate. For such a short flight, I didn't expect anything more than more choice of drinks.
I take advantage of these short 35 minutes of flight to admire the view and the wing of the Dreamliner.
Approach and landing
As for the crew, they were great. We could feel that they were proud to present us with this new machine which is the 787. There were long announcements. Always with the smile that I had missed during these two years of pandemic.
I play with the interactive map and we are already on our way down to Munich. The approach goes perfectly well. A bit of a bump in the clouds but nothing too bad.
After 37 minutes of flight, our dear Papa Alpha lands on runway 26R of the Bavarian airport. The braking was a bit violent but the pilots are forgiven.
Taxi in Munich
The end of our wonderful flight is near and we taxi to gate G31 in terminal 2. From inside the plane, we see the airport staff taking pictures of the newborn "Berlin".
During the disembarkation, I take the opportunity to have a look in the cockpit and to take some pictures of the Business Class. This new Business Class is in a 1-2-1 "full aisle access" configuration. I find the seat not bad at all, even if a small programming bug made me smile.
Thanking the crew, I leave the 787 with a smile on my face and discover the Munich Airport for the first time.
Very clean and bright, Munich Airport is now one of my favourites. Moreover, the large windows make it possible to take beautiful pictures. There was hardly anyone there so this short 2-hour stay in Munich was very pleasant.
Why a two-hour stay? Because my trip is not over. Indeed, I'm connecting to another flight, this time to Oslo on an A320, still with the German airline.
The 787 back to FRA
To finish this Flight review, here are two pictures of this beautiful Lufthansa 787 taking off for its base in Frankfurt
This brings us to the end of this Flight review.
To conclude on this first 787 flight, I would say that on a long-haul flight to North America or even further, the Dreamliner could be perfect! The cabin is spacious, very pleasant and the plane is quiet. As for the service, of course, this flight is not representative of the service that will be provided in the future on this type of aircraft. But I think that a small snack would not be too much on this domestic flight.
Frankfurt Airport, as usual, did not disappoint me despite the crowds at security.
As for Munich Airport, for the first time and for a 2-hour stopover, it is very pleasant and allows us to have a good time.
That's it for me. I hope that you have enjoyed this Flight review and that it has made you want to fly on board the new Lufthansa aircraft.
I'll see you soon for a new review and until then, stay safe!