Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

Airline
Lufthansa
Flight
LH1053
Aircraft
Airbus A321neo
Registration
D-AIEB
Class
Economy
Seat
06A
Date
18/08/2020
Flight time
00:55

  Trip to Frankfurt

Lufthansa Paris (CDG)  →  Frankfurt (FRA) A321neo Economy Class 18/08/2020 Current review
Lufthansa Frankfurt (FRA)  →  Paris (CDG) A320neo Economy Class 19/08/2020 Short review - 3.2/5

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  Trip to Frankfurt

Lufthansa Paris (CDG)  →  Frankfurt (FRA) A321neo Economy Class 18/08/2020 Current review
Lufthansa Frankfurt (FRA)  →  Paris (CDG) A320neo Economy Class 19/08/2020 Short review - 3.2/5

Introduction

Hello everyone and welcome to this new Flight review. After six months on the ground because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am really happy to finally get back on board a plane. Today I will take you with me on a flight from Paris to Frankfurt with Lufthansa in Economy Class.

This route is not very interesting, especially in Economy Class, but as I frequently fly this route with Lufthansa, the objective for me will be mainly to share with you the changes that took place between before and after the arrival of the pandemic.


Paris Airport

So, I'll see you at 5:45 am in Paris. The changes start now: goodbye Terminal 1 (where Lufthansa has been for almost ever at CDG) and hello Terminal 2A! This will allow me to retest a terminal that I had not visited since 2017 while changing the old "camembert" of T1.

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

The post-covid changes start now with controls at the entrance of the airport building. In order to minimize the number of people in the terminal and therefore to facilitate the respect of the physical distance between people, only travelers with a boarding pass or a reservation document can enter the airport.

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

As airlines encourage online check-in, the check-in hall is really empty. I didn't have any luggage to check in and I already had my boarding pass on my smartphone, so I went straight to the security checkpoint.

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

Few terminals are open at the moment in Roissy, I was forced (even though my destination is within the Schengen area) to pass the immigration. In any case, very few people to report compared to usual at these hours; the controls went rather quickly.

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

The large duty-free area that passengers have to cross to reach the transit area is closed. Therefore, one has to use a rather narrow service corridor.

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

In the transit zone, not much is open either. The vast majority of restaurants and stores are closed.

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

Only a Relay in front of my gate remains open but many things are missing...

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

As far as sanitary measures at CDG airport are concerned, the staff tries to make sure that physical distances are respected. Wearing a mask is of course mandatory upon entering the terminal. Dispensers of hydroalcoholic gel are available throughout the airport.

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

Here is my aircraft of the day: D-AIEB, an Airbus A321-271NX delivered just over a year ago at the time of the flight in June 2019.

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

Boarding

Finally, it was time for boarding. I had heard that boarding is now done from the back to the front, without taking into account the priorities according to the travel class. I don't know in which airlines this principle is in force, but this is not the case at Lufthansa. On my flight from Paris at least, the boarding procedures were identical to the pre-covid period. Indeed, the few passengers checked in Business Class always board first, accompanied by Gold Star Alliance cardholders as well as Lufthansa Senator and HON Circle members. Economy Class passengers then board in no particular order.

Note however that the boarding procedures differ a lot from one airport to another. A quick aside: on my return flight to Paris (the day after this CDG-FRA flight), boarding in Frankfurt was much better organized than in Paris with Business Class passengers boarding, followed by Economy Class passengers who boarded row by row, from the back to the front of the plane, in order to minimize contact between passengers.

Let's go back to our flight of the day: we boarded at 06:40. Small fuselage shot for this magnificent Airbus A321neo!

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

The flight attendant gave us a wipe to disinfect our hands when we entered the plane.


Cabin and seat

On board, as in all the A321neo of the fleet and the last A320neo received, we find the new short/medium-haul cabin of Lufthansa. A sublime cabin with brand-new dark grey leather seats.

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

I settle into my seat, the 06A, which offers excellent legroom. Being 1m82, I can fully extend my legs in front of me without ever touching the seat in front of me with my knees.

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

I later learned that this space was not available on all seats in the cabin. Since Lufthansa reserves the right to adjust the size of its Business Class from flight to flight, rows 1 to 11 are equipped with extra space, in case Business Class is extended to the 11th row. So, a little tip if you're traveling in Economy Class on a Lufthansa A321neo, try to book a seat before row 11, and believe me, you won't be disappointed with the space!

Lufthansa announces that it disinfects and cleans all its planes and their cabins on a regular basis to avoid the transmission of the virus as much as possible. I don't know if this measure is real or if it's just a publicity stunt aimed at reassuring future passengers - as many airlines are doing at the moment - but in any case, the cabin was clean!

Another nice little fact about this new cabin on board the A321neo: unlike the old cabin, Lufthansa finally brings USB ports to the seats, available throughout the plane! This is a long-awaited feature at Lufthansa, while the competition has been offering it for a few years already... There are 2 USB-A ports and 2 USB-C ports for 3 seats. Note, however, that the USB-A port and the USB-C port cannot be used simultaneously. In addition, the USB-C port is theoretically not powerful enough for charging a computer and is normally reserved exclusively for charging a smartphone.

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

Very few people were on board this morning. I had a whole row just for me!


Departure

Without further ado, we push back, with a magnificent view of the Pratt & Whitney PW1133G at startup.

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

Regarding the post-covid changes, some additional announcements have been made detailing the measures to be respected on board such as the mandatory wearing of the mask, and the safety distance to be maintained when waiting for the toilets... The safety instruction has also been slightly modified with an explanation of the procedure to be applied with the oxygen mask.

We see on our left an Airbus A380 of China Southern Airlines, a rather rare bird in this period...

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

After a taxi to runway 26R, we align ourselves and take off, by seeing an Airbus A350 of Air France landing parallel to us.

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

At the bottom, you can see the airport of Le Bourget and Paris in the background.

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

We go up then quickly until exceeding the cloudy layer and to be able to appreciate as it should be the magnificent sight on the engine!

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

Inflight service

No service on board for Economy Class passengers, except a bottle of water and a paper detailing the PCR tests offered by Lufthansa at Frankfurt airport (at a time when tests were not so widespread). Prior to the health crisis, Economy Class passengers received a drink of their choice from a wide selection, complemented by a sandwich or pastry. Business Class passengers received a real meal tray on this flight, exactly as in the pre-crisis period.

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

We start the descent and the captain himself makes an address informing us about the particular procedures of deboarding on arrival in Frankfurt. He explains that deboarding will be done row by row in order to limit contact between passengers and not to overload the central aisle. The captain also asks that upon arrival, each passenger remains seated in his or her seat. Only when his row is called, the passenger will be allowed to stand up, get his belongings in the overhead compartments and leave the aircraft.


Descent and arrival

After 55 minutes of flight, we landed on runway 25C of Frankfurt airport, 11 minutes early. Note that runway 25R - which was used during the lockdown as a storage area for some Lufthansa aircraft - was still closed that day.

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

Frankfurt Airport

We taxi towards gate A56. It was actually very strange to get to this gate. Gates 50-69 are usually reserved for Lufthansa's very large aircraft - A380, 747, A340-600 - and if three-quarters of these gates were empty this morning, the remaining quarter was only composed of A320 family and Embraer aircraft. No wide-body aircraft in sight…

During the taxi, the purser could not help but re-explain the special deboarding measures, the same as those previously mentioned by the captain. This did not prevent a majority of passengers from getting up to retrieve their belongings. The flight attendant had to intervene to force them to sit down again.

Once out of the airport, I couldn't help but do a fuselage shot again, of this wonderful airplane!

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

The airport of Frankfurt is really empty, impressive at this hour, and even more in the middle of August! Most of the stores and duty-free shops are closed, the Lounges I do not even speak about it... The Terminal 2 of the airport is also closed. Regarding sanitary measures, as in CDG, wearing a mask is mandatory throughout the airport and gel dispensers as well as visual markers to help physical distancing are placed throughout the terminal.

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

Not having any luggage to recover, I leave the almost deserted terminal of the airport rather quickly.

Flight review: Lufthansa from Paris to Frankfurt in Economy

Conclusion

Lufthansa

Lufthansa has managed to adapt well during this period of health crisis by offering very clean planes, revised boarding and deboarding measures, and adapted services with the distribution of disinfectant wipes, and water bottles... The lack of choice for drinks and snacks in Economy Class is in my opinion a bit unjustified and is only an excuse for the airline to reduce costs, especially when we see that a "classic" service is available in Business Class. Otherwise, as far as the aircraft is concerned, what a pleasure to travel in a superb brand-new aircraft like this A321neo, with a brand new and really nice cabin!

Paris Airport and Frankfurt Airport

Concerning airports, both Paris and Frankfurt have managed to adapt perfectly by offering numerous gel dispensers throughout the terminal, new dedicated signage and infographics, protective glass at the counters, and reinforced terminal cleaning... However, the offer of stores and restaurants in the terminals is really not great anymore, while the Lounges remain closed. I sincerely hope that the traffic and demand will resume as soon as possible because it is really very sad to see these two big international hubs in these conditions…


Ratings

Cleanliness
5/5
Accessibility and orientation
3.5/5
Efficiency
5/5
Services
2/5
3.6/5
Cabin and comfort
4.8/5
Entertainment
2/5
Food and beverages
2.7/5
Crew
4/5
Cleanliness
5/5
Accessibility and orientation
5/5
Efficiency
N/A
Services
N/A

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