Hello everyone, and welcome to this new Flight review!
Today, I set myself the challenge, to make four flights in one day to try the first Boeing 787-9 of Lufthansa.
In my previous review, I took you with me to Munich from Paris-Charles de Gaulle, on board a Lufthansa A320neo. In this second episode, it is time for what I came here: the first flight with the brand-new Lufthansa Boeing 787!
I will be flying in Premium Economy Class. Let me make it clear: as this is a short flight, the Premium Economy cabin is sold as Economy. So, no, there will not be additional services; only the seat itself differs from the Economy Class one.
I meet you at gate G28 in Munich, the gate I left you at in my previous review.
I won't spend too much time on the airport in this review, that's not (in my opinion) the subject of it.
Our plane has just arrived from Frankfurt.
This is D-ABPA, the first Boeing 787-9 received by Lufthansa in late August 2022. It is part of an order for 32 787, including five aircraft that were originally scheduled to be delivered to Hainan Airlines. Lufthansa kept the Chinese airline's configuration, only changing the seat covers. The configurations you are about to see are therefore part of a kind of transitional product between the old Lufthansa cabin (including the 2-2-2 Business Class) and the new "Lufthansa Allegris" product that will be introduced on the next Airbus A350 and from the sixth Boeing 787 onwards, from 2023.
On the other hand, you might find it exotic to see 787 flying on 40-minute domestic flights. The purpose of these flights, operated over a few weeks, is to train crews on the new aircraft. Lufthansa plans to introduce the 787 on its long-haul network from December 1st 2022. The first destination to receive the German Dreamliner will be New York-Newark.
As soon as the landing is over, the boarding starts in order of priority. Groups 1 and 2, then 3, then 4 and finally 5.
I am in group 3, so I quickly get on board.
Arrival through door 2L.
The fuselage shot!
Cabin and seat
No need to go through the Business cabin, we access directly to the Premium Economy Class cabin. The cabin has 21 Premium Economy seats in a 2-3-2 configuration. The seats are Collins Aerospace MiQ. I'm in the second Premium Economy row, on seat 09K.
I really like the design of the seat. I think the finishes are very nice, especially the "Premium Economy" headrest.
The seat is wide (over 55 cm) and really comfortable.
The legroom is very good. The seat pitch is almost one meter long.
A retractable footrest is available.
The touch entertainment screen is a Panasonic EX3: quite large (13 inches), bright and has a good resolution (Full HD).
IFE is available in several languages.
On the IFE, we can find films, series, music… As the flight time is very short, I will not test the IFE in detail. Interface and content are quite comparable to the offer on other long-haul flights, especially on the most recent ones.
No cameras on the Dreamliner. The Boeing 787 obviously does not have this feature. Really sad…
However, a good, powerful, customisable and user-friendly mapping system. A bit different from the one on board the A350 of the German fleet.
What a wonderful view on the right leading edge from this seat!
Boarding completed, the safety video starts.
We push back to the north and taxi to runway 26R.
After several landings, we lined up and took off almost 15 minutes late.
We climbed quickly.
A bit more about the seat
Back to the seat…
In the seat pocket, we find the safety card, the WoldShop Buy-On-Board magazine as well as the Onboard Delight menu (the long-haul one).
A personal coat hanger is also available.
On the left-hand side of the seat, within the central armrest, is the remote control for the screen. A remote control that I have not been able to dislodge from its place. I don't know if this is normal, maybe because of the training flights...
On the left side of the remote control are buttons to adjust the seat tilt and leg rest.
The seat has a tilt of more than 15 cm. The position is quite comfortable!
Still on the left, under the main armrest, there is a large compartment for storing personal belongings: very practical! This is where the headphones and amenity kit will be stored on long-haul flights.
At the bottom of the compartment, there is a universal power outlet, a USB-A port and the double jack port for headphone connection.
On the other side, at the outer armrest, the seat has a tray table that extends from the armrest.
It is folded first and can be unfolded completely. It's a really good size.
A sort of flap comes out and allows you to hold an electronic device such as a smartphone or tablet. I had never seen this system before, I find it very well-designed!
However, the table does not seem to adjust to allow you to leave your seat.
An extra cup/glass holder comes out of the main armrest, in addition to the one already available.
Concerning drinks, the only service during this flight will be a bottle of water and a small chocolate. It's a 40-minute flight, so we won't complain...
The seat gives access to almost 2 windows. These are two very large windows (characteristic of the Dreamliner), which can be adjusted via a controller to adjust the opacity of the window as desired (as on all Boeing 787).
This feature has the possibility to be controlled by the crew. In this case, I can't reduce the opacity more than halfway.
Wi-Fi is of course present on this 787. A second network is also present, probably for testing purposes…
The prices are the same as those found on long-haul. Remember that this is a long-haul aircraft that has not been designed for the short-haul version of FlyNet, Lufthansa's Wi-Fi offer. Anyway, you don't really need Wi-Fi for a 40-minute flight ^^
Small view of the Premium Economy Class cabin inflight.
During the flight, I decide out of curiosity to go to the back of the cabin to discover the Economy Class. In the last cabin of the aircraft, the crew is practising cabin lighting and "closing" the windows. So it's interesting to see the case of the cabin in the dark this time.
I think the Economy cabin looks really good too! The blue finish of the seats is great, especially when combined with the blue lighting in the cabin!
The Economy Class has 247 Recaro CL3710 seats, divided into two cabins in a 3-3-3 configuration. The seat pitch is almost 80 cm.
The tray table is folded in half and can be unfolded completely.
Each seat has a 12-inch Panasonic EX3 full HD screen.
Small pass-by the rear galley, very spacious!
Then back to my seat, passing through the first Economy cabin, which was occupied.
Descent and arrival
We already started our descent into Frankfurt. It goes on…
We line up for the 25L, with the city of Frankfurt and the Deutsche Bank Park in the background.
We land at 11 o'clock, right on time!
Our German Dreamliner is leaving the runway and we are now taxiing to gate A50, in Terminal 1.
Once arrived, a last picture of the Premium Economy Class cabin.
And a quick visit to the Economy cabin to immortalize the first Economy cabin, without anyone.
Then, it is time to leave Papa Alpha, last ^^
But that's just a “see you soon”, we will board again in Papa Alpha in less than 3 hours on the way back to Munich.
To kill time, a few photos in FRA's A50-A69 concourse, almost deserted at this time.
This concludes my second flight of the day and my first aboard Papa Alpha, Lufthansa's first 787. My conclusion will not be about the flight itself but about the product offered on board this Dreamliner.
This is not my first time on a Boeing 787. I've been lucky enough to take it a few times before but this experience on D-ABPA was unprecedented. The cabin is really great. Having mainly tested Premium Economy, it's superb. The space, the comfort, the number of compartments available, the IFE, the Wi-Fi, and the seat facilities. Everything seems just right to make the most of your journey.
As for the flight itself, the crew was nice. The service offered (an Economy Class service) is limited but perfectly justifiable for a 40-minute flight.
Munich and Frankfurt-Main Airports
As far as Munich and Frankfurt are concerned, I did not have the opportunity to really walk around and take my time. However, in line with my previous experiences, these two airports are very good. The fluidity and reliability (especially for Munich) are unquestionable. The terminals are clean, modern, and pleasant. A wide selection of restaurants/bars/stores are available on both sides.
I hope you enjoyed this second Flight review. I'll see you soon for the last but not least episode, which will take place this time aboard Lufthansa's first Boeing 787-9 in Business Class.
Thanks for reading and see you soon ;)