Review of Lufthansa flight Johannesburg Frankfurt in Economy

Airline Lufthansa
Flight LH573
Class Economy
Seat 64D
Aircraft Airbus A380-800
Flight time 10:50
Take-off 07 Dec 14, 19:40
Arrival at 08 Dec 14, 05:30
LH   #55 out of 81 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 1472 reviews
By 4936
Published on 3rd November 2015
Intra-Africa travel can yield a great value when using United MileagePlus awards, if done correctly. Travel between most city pairs in Africa are usually the same award price, whether they're an hour apart or across the continent. When travelling from far southern Africa to far northern Africa, you can often get a complicated routing through Europe. For someone looking to get from point A to point B, this may be viewed negatively, but for a backpacking AvGeek, it's a huge positive. My itinerary below cost 52,500 Mileage Plus Miles and $192.30 in taxes and fees. It was ticketed as a roundtrip from Johannesburg to Casablanca, but it afforded me an 8 hour daytime layover in Frankfurt, a two night stopover in Cairo, and a 17.5 hour overnight layover in Lisbon. For comparison's sake, a one way Business Saver Award from Frankfurt to Johannesburg is 55,000 miles plus taxes and fees. Even Frankfurt to Casablanca would cost 55,000 miles, a bad value for such a short distance, but that's the price of Europe region to Northern Africa region. I was technically just travelling from Southern Africa region to Northern Africa region and back. The value of itineraries like this are even greater when you consider the high cash price of intra-Africa airfares.

Johannesburg to Frankfurt (Economy, Lufthansa): You are here
Frankfurt to Cairo (Economy, Lufthansa):
Cairo to Casablanca (Economy, EgyptAir):
Casablanca to Lisbon (Business, Portugalia):
Lisbon to Frankfurt (Business, Lufthansa):
Frankfurt to Johannesburg (Business, South African):

photo Dec2014 Map

My journey to the airport started at the Sandton station on the Gautrain, a clean and efficient rail network in Johannesburg. The Sandton station was walking distance from my hotel, and from there the Gautrain took me all the way inside the airport. The Sandton station is modern and clean, but pretty bland. I took these pictures at Park Station in downtown Johannesburg. The boarding platforms of most Gautrain stations look pretty much the same.

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Modern interior of JNB. Touts often make their way inside the terminal and offer to help you find your way around, carry your bags, etc. These touts are not sanctioned by the airport and you shouldn't engage with them.

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Before heading to my gate, I meandered around the airport to do some light spotting.

I was right behind the Lufthansa crew as I made my way towards the gate.

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Our A380 getting prepped at the gate.

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This is a pic of the document check that I actually snapped a couple weeks later when I was at JNB for a different flight.

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The boarding line. They boarded by rows, back to front, but there was no enforcement of any kind.

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This is a pic of the tail end of boarding that I also took when I was back at JNB for that other flight a couple weeks later.

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Boarding. This was my first time on an A380. I didn't expect much of a difference experience between this and other widebodies, but the cabin did feel a lot more spacious. I was seated at 7:06 PM, scheduled departure was 7:40 PM.

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Very impressive detailed map. We pushed back and started taxiing at 7:44 PM.

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Takeoff. We were wheels up at 8:08 PM.

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At about 9:00 PM, an initial round of drinks were served and cleaned up at around 9:30 PM. Dinner was received at 10:14 PM, with another round of drinks shortly after. During the middle of the flight they passed out water and apple juice.

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A nice after dinner drink.

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The multiple viewpoints offered on the map were great.

The cabin lights came on just before 5:00 AM with breakfast served shortly after. The breakfast trays were collected at 5:37 AM.

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We were wheels down at 6:29 AM (5:29 AM Frankfurt time). Taxi was relatively quick and we didn't have to wait for a gate.

One last look at the plane while on the way to immigration.

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After immigration (which went smoothly), I headed for the train station and went downtown.

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I stopped in this coffee shop to use the WiFi to check in to my EgyptAir flight and choose my seat. EgyptAir allows check in 48 hours before departure. This coffee shop also had some great food. I had a bit of trouble before I found this place. The WiFi of the first coffee shop I went in to was broken (found out after spending $8) and the second place had a complicated log in procedure involving a local mobile phone number (also found this out after already buying something). The coffee shop I ended up in just required a straight-up password and the connection worked great.

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Spotted this nice C-17 over downtown.

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After walking around downtown a bit more, I got on the train to make my way back to the Flughafen for my onward flight to Cairo.

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Getting through security was brutal when I got back to the airport, it took about 40 minutes. Even the business class lane was clogged. I'll probably end up skipping a full trip report for the Frankfurt to Cairo flight since it was just standard Lufthansa short haul. But here's a quick pic of our meal, it was actually pretty good.

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Cabin crew8.5

Johannesburg - JNB


Frankfurt - FRA



Great overall flight on Lufthansa. This was my first trip on an A380 and it was great. As I mentioned earlier, I didn't expect to see much of a difference between the A380 cabin and other widebodies, but it did seem more spacious and made the long flight a little more comfortable. The level of service by the crew was fantastic. Multiple rounds of drinks and smiles from the crew aren't something I'm accustomed to on US airlines, haha. I definitely look forward to future Lufthansa long haul flights, even in economy.

Information on the route Johannesburg (JNB) Frankfurt (FRA)


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 150714 by
    KL651 TEAM 4527 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.

    I agree that MileagePlus really offers interesting itineraries for the same amount of miles.

    Once again I see that the meal portions are among the worst for a legacy airline.

    • Comment 328678 by
      Nick AUTHOR 172 Comments

      Yeah, they weren't stingy with drinks, but the food was very standard.

    • Comment 328805 by
      Nick AUTHOR 172 Comments

      Haha, sadly that's not surprising.

    • Comment 328682 by
      Jetset 50 Comments

      I once flew with LH to Miami and the salad contained just a single lettuce leaf torn in pieces.

    • Comment 328679 by
      Nick AUTHOR 172 Comments

      Haha, I agree! I think there's an inverse relationship between how complicated airline food is and its quality. Serving pre-prepared marinated chicken, rice, and two types of vegetables didn't turn out that well. But the simple pasta dish on my Cairo flight tasted just the same as it would have in my own kitchen.

      JNB certainly is great for spotting, lots of interesting aircraft going to exotic destinations. That remote parking lineup behind my gate (the one with the Air France A380) was really nice to look at. Usually it has even more aircraft than those in my picture.

  • Comment 150750 by
    Benoit75008 7247 Comments

    Thanks for this report,

    I took same flight 4 years ago and i remember immigration was a nightmare, it was smoothy as you say?
    Nice meal onboard and IFE is quite good too.

    JNB is a big mess, huge but messy

  • Comment 151377 by
    NGO85 GOLD 1871 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR.

    Nice background on the use of MileagePlus miles, I guess there still is some value if you know where to look for it.

    I like how European carriers still serve beer in bottles, classy touch. The rest of the catering looks pretty weak. No cheese offered? Looks more like a US carrier’s catering than a European carrier’s…

    Haven’t been on an A380 yet, is it really that roomier feeling?

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