Today, I invite you to join me on a Lufthansa flight to Naples in Italy, departing from Frankfurt in Germany.
Operated by an Airbus A320-214 Sharklets, we departed from Frankfurt International Airport.
We are July 20th, 2021. It is quarter to nine in the morning, and I arrived by car in Frankfurt. I am very familiar with this airport as I go there a few times a year.
First, I went to the self-check-in desks of Terminal 1, the terminal which is mainly used by Lufthansa and their partners. There was almost no queue.
So, I printed my bag tag but lack of luck, all conveyor belts were inoperative in the entire Economy class section. Lufthansa and Frankfurt Airport's agents asked us to move to the Business Class desks, a few meters from here.
With all passengers traveling in Economy class, the queue on the other side was much longer, but I managed to check my bags quickly.
Once my luggage was checked in, we headed for the security checks.
As always (or almost always), these controls in Frankfurt are very efficient. You rarely spend more than 15 minutes in the queue. Personally, it took me 5 minutes.
We are now in the airside. We headed then our gate, the A32, walking through the duty-free area of the airport.
After a little time of spotting, it is time to board.
As you know, Covid-19 has disrupted airline practices. It is then by groups that we board. First Business class passengers, then groups 3, 4, and finally 5. I had originally booked a seat at the back of the plane, 17F. At check-in, I finally opted for a seat further forward, 8F. I still boarded among the last because my boarding group had remained as a result of my first seat, which would explain why all the passengers in my row were already on board when I arrived.
Our boarding is a bus boarding. The way wasn't so long. Indeed, our plane was only a hundred meters away.
On board, the chief purser welcomed us with a big smile, clearly visible behind his mask. The crew gave us wipes to clean our seats, our tray table, and our hands. I also took the opportunity to clean my two windows!
The crew was also ready to hand out masks if a passenger's mask was not adequate or broken. Speaking of masks, remember that only FFP2 and surgical masks are allowed on board Lufthansa (a Flight review also serves to warn future passengers of what to expect, even if it's not the most glamorous thing).
Cabin and seat
Once on my seat, we waited a bit. Due to a bus problem, all passengers were not on board yet.
It is then a take-off time that we started to push back so that the crew could trigger the safety demonstration.
We had to travel with the old short- and medium-haul Lufthansa cabin for that flight. The seat was however correct for a European flight like this one. There was a tray table, a seat back pocket and a compartment for the safety card, the menu (a bit ripped for my part), and a bag for waste.
A coat hanger - which is not very practical, at least in my case, because when I hung up my jacket, I no longer had a window - is also present on the seat.
Unlike the last A320neo aircraft received, there was no power outlet on board. Wi-Fi was not available on this flight, although it is available on much of the airline's fleet.
Finally, above our heads, the luggage compartments were large enough to accommodate 4 cabin suitcases. Of course, the lights and the individual ventilators were there.
The legroom was more than enough for me, who is 1m70. In front of me, the 20 cm separating me from the seat allowed me to extend my legs completely!
Taxi and takeoff
After a quick taxi, we take off from runway 18 of the airport. Located to the west of the terminals, it is only used for take-offs and is very convenient for flights to the south/southwest (Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland, etc.). At 4,000 meters, it can accommodate all types of aircraft from the small Embraer to the giant A380.
The take-off is going well and we could see on the right the spotters located on the Aussichtpunkt "Startbahn West" (literally the observation point of the west runway), a platform completely dedicated to Planespotting. Unfortunately, I was not able to take a picture of it.
Since the COVID-19 crisis, Lufthansa no longer offers free meals and drinks on board its short flights, at least in Economy Class. It has recently started offering a range of onboard food available for purchase, from salads to hot meals and drinks.
Like its subsidiary SWISS, Lufthansa offers all passengers chocolate and a small bottle of water.
This is the only negative point I can find with Lufthansa on this flight, especially when you have known for decades the perfect service of the German airline...
For those of you with a sweet tooth, I've put the menu and prices below.
Approach and landing
After flying over the Alps, Venice, the Adriatic Sea, and part of Puglia (a region of Italy), we start our descent to the Neapolitan airport.
The sky is clear of clouds, so we had the right to some small Cloud-Surfing.
The approach was a bit turbulent because of the wind.
After flying over the motorway, we landed on runway 24, facing the sea, with Vesuvius on our left. The touchdown was smooth but the sudden and powerful braking caused some passengers to gasp.
We exited the runway on the last exit lane and parked next to an easyJet Europe A320 that landed a few minutes before us.
Deboarding and Naples Airport
Following the Covid, the deboarding also took place in small groups, from the front to the back.
I then took a tour of the cockpit and spoke with the pilots!
The deboarding went well.
On the tarmac of the airport, an Air France A320 with the new "Crevette" livery was parked as well as a brand new Volotea A320.
Once off the plane, we went to the terminal to collect our luggage. The wait was endless, but it finally arrived!
Then, to get out, nothing could be easier: you go out through the only door of the hall.
Lufthansa has, as always, satisfied me. We arrived on time and the flight went wonderfully well. The cabin crew and pilots were very serious and friendly. With a smile on their faces, they were at our service throughout the flight and present for our safety.
The airport in Frankfurt was perfect. The staff was very professional, there was no waiting, everything was very smooth, and the services were present. I think it is the perfect image of a big international airport. Of course, the small incident with the check-in machines made some passengers unhappy, but the staff was able to find adequate solutions.
Naples Airport, on the other hand, disappointed me for the first time. The baggage service was very long and there was little or no agent available.
Overall, I enjoyed this trip and would highly recommend Lufthansa for future travel. The prices in Europe and even in Business are very affordable, sometimes even more than some low-cost airlines. The only downside of this flight is that Lufthansa no longer offers meals and drinks on board, at least for free...