Review of Lufthansa flight Sao Paulo Frankfurt in Economy

Airline Lufthansa
Flight LH 507
Class Economy
Seat 49C
Aircraft Boeing 747-400
Flight time 11:25
Take-off 03 Apr 15, 18:20
Arrival at 04 Apr 15, 10:45
LH   #54 out of 142 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 1136 reviews
A350Flyer
By 3780
Published on 21st November 2015
It was still early october of 2014 when i started planning my next vacations. Europe was a certain choice and I had it pretty clear in my mind that whichever itinerary I would follow it would include Germany. Amazing country, tons of history (through good and awful years), amazing airports (yes, that's important for me lol) and a travel plan that had already been delayed much more than it should. That in mind, I managed to swallow my brazilian pride (sorry folks, 1x7 in the world cup was too much for us all) and decided not only go to Germany, but too spend 11 days to fully explore Deutscland.

My ticket was purchased in Lufthansa's website that is clear, functional and easy to use for anyone, payment was uneventful, the only sad thing about it is the - considerably high - price for seat reservations. Congratulations for lufthansa website staff, the portuguese version of the website is really good. Rare to see.

It was friday just after lunch time when I left the chaotic, yet amazing, Sao Paulo in a taxi and headed to Guarulhos International Airport, the airport that serves Sao Paulo megalopolis and its surroundings. It's located about 30km of downtown Sao Paulo, that is where I live. 40 minutes later, and not much traffic in our way I got to the, 1 year old, International terminal of the so called GRU AIRPORT. One of the most important hubs of south america, finally has a terminal on the level of its mightiness in the continent.

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GRU AIRPORT departure level

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Got to the check-in area and went straight to check-in F self check-in kiosks, my check-in was actually already done, but I wanted to get a printed version of my boarding pass and to see if my booking was as it should be.

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I think it's quite clear that this is check-in F, right?


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It was on those kiosks where I had an unpleasant surprise. For an unknown reason, this partucular flight would not be operated by the 747-8i, that usually flies this route. So the experience of flying the biggest of the jumbos would have to wait untill the flight back. Fortunately I knew the 747-400 of our flight had its cabin renovated.

Then, I went straight to bag drop-off check-in that was absolutely empty! The total process of printing my boarding pass and dropping my luggage took (believe me) 5 minutes. Well done GRU, Lufthansa and the 'early bird' right here.
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Time to go!

Anyone who flew in GRU's older terminals knows it was a huge sacrifice going through security checks and immigration in the old and small terminals 1/2. Fortunately, this was solved in the new terminal 3, the security check area is massive, couldn't count how many positions there were, and so is the imigration desks right after. Even if it's rush hour, the line keeps flowing and you never spend much time there. Too bad we had to wait so long for a decent terminal!

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Entering the security check area.

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Security checks.

Going through immigrations, right after.

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This is a sequence showing the way between the terminal, after immigrations untill the gates area. It's called GRU Avenue, is where the stores are located and those who can, get to spend their precious money.


Nice place for some last minute spotting, no airplanes on display though.


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At the gates area, i still had 1 hour before boarding, and there was some interesting visitors, at least for me, so I went on to say hello.

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Hasta España, amigo!

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Speedbird.

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Chillean dreamliner.

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Our Spanish friend on its way - in the tip of the departure area.

Enough with the walking tour. The time of our boarding was getting close, so I headed to our departure gate on this afternoon: 42-43.

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A little more walk…

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At the departure gate, people were already gathering expecting the boarding procedure that began 5 minutes prior to the scheduled time. I knew we had a busy flight but, when you see all those people in line waiting to board the 744, you realize how amazing aviation is.

Boarding took place respecting priorities: disabled people, elder citizens and frequent flyer program status. I didn't mention First and Business Class passengers because with the double jetbridge one of the gates (42) was exclusive for them.

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Our ride to Germany.

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On our way down.

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Don't ask me why the bananas, because I have absolutaly no idea!

I was greeted by the purser on the door 2L and went on walking towards the rear of the aircraft, untill my seat 49C aisle seat.

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Economy class cabin

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The 3 seats row where me and my companion would be seated for the next 11 hours.

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Waiting for the boarding to end.

During the boarding procedure absolutely nothing happend, and I say that in a good way. Everything was going on smoothly.

As I said, I was on the aisle seat 49C on the last economy cabin of the 744. It's hard to say something about economy class seats nowadays since they are all pretty alike. I can say I'm not a skinny person, so to fit and find a confortable position on Lufthansa seats were as hard as it would have been in any airline around the globe. What I can say is that the pitch and width were CORRECT, the seat cushion was also ok and nothing more than that. No good surprise, no disappointment. As people say: I got what I paid for. The good thing is that in the 3 seats row i was, the middle seat was empty, so i was able to raise the armrest and get a few extra inches.

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Doors were closed on time and Our Jumbo began its Taxi to rwy 09L. Since I was not in a window seat, I kept exploring the IFE system.
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It was a good surprise, since the aircraft interior had been renovated, I was afraid the PTVs would be small as some older planes have. I was wrong, the size was good, the system is really easy to use. It didn't work on ground, so the safety instructions had to be performed on the old way. In flight system was perfect.

We took off with no delays, and so our 747 began its heavy journey.

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As soon as fasten seat belts signs were off, cabin crew began their service, offering us a hot towel, followed by a quick snack before dinner.

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Sunset in northwestern Brazil.

Not long after the snack the dinner service began. The options were beef or pasta and wide variety of drinks. Chose the pasta. A penne with cheese, with a salad and a delicious dessert that I have no idea what it was, and all this with orange juice.
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The aspect of the pasta wasn't inviting, but it was good actually.
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The mysterious dessert on high speed.
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We were leaving Brazillian soil over Natal when the crew dim the lights and the passengers began to surrender themselves to sleep, me included. Had to much walking that day.
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Slept for three hours and woke up with a moderate turbulance over the atlantic ocean , When everything was calm again and seat belt signs Were off , went to the galley to get some water . Water , juices and a few snacks Were available . The Lufthansa cabin crew was very polite and correct. Spent about half an hour stretching my legs and got back to my seat . Tried to watch a movie , but slept again, woke up When sun was already shining and people Were forming those huge lines to restroom. Common on the morning of red -eye flights .

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My battery died on that moment so i could not take pictures of breakfest that was also good, fruits, yogurt and ommelete with ham and cheese. Everything as expected.

About two hours later, we began our descent to Frankfurt airport. Heavy and cold rains was our welcome gifts from germany. Our arrival was expected to happen 25 minutes in advance. WAS. Probably because of the weather we kept waiting and the landing time was as scheduled after all.

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Landed smoothly in Lufthansas main hubs and made our way throug the gate basically among 747, A380.

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Parked along his brothers.

Just as soon as we parked, the the entire airplane got up desperate to get out. I knew I was on the last cabins, so to rush is useless. Fifteen minutes later (and yet confortably seated) I left our friendly jumbo and went for another long walk untill the bagage claim.

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There was a point where passengers connecting to other destinations would have to take another way. Then, I could undestand how important is Frankfurt as a hub for Lufthansa. I can say that around 50% of the plane was in connection.

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Staircase to immigration procedures.

Immigration was a breeze, Thought it would be crowded, since i was on of the last passengers to leave but it was incredibly empty.

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Reached Bag claim and the carroussel wasn't even working yet, but as soon it started (5 minutes later) something incredible happened. MY LUGGAGE WAS THE FIRST. and I wasn't in buisness or first class. Maybe It's just Germany apologizing for humiliating me on the world cup. lol.

As you see, in the first days, Germany didn't seem happy to see me. It got better a few days later!

+BONUS



See more

Verdict

Lufthansa

8.3/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering7.0

Sao Paulo - GRU

7.8/10
Efficiency9.0
Access6.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Frankfurt - FRA

9.4/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.5
Services9.5
Cleanliness9.5

Conclusion

Lufthansa: Is what we say about economy class. You get what you pay for. What I can say is that Lufthansa service is perfectly compatible with the best economy class services around the world. The seat wasn't the best, the food was not like the best restaurants in the planet, but it would be the same anyway, anywhere.

Best: Structure in Frankfurt airport and IFE system.
Worst: I know paying for seat reservation is common nowadays, but the price seems pretty high for these purpose.

GRU: Way better than it once was, big, organized, well dimensioned. Maybe employees should make a way not to make the boarding procedure so confusing.
FRA: Confortable, easy to reach from/to city, well signed. Its bigness results in huge walks, but that's part of the show.

Related

10 Comments

  • Comment 150875 by
    A350Flyer AUTHOR 10 Comments

    EDIT: An general Sorry for my English. Not a native speaker.
    EDIT 2: I'm an engineer that works with airports, so you see that some extra attention was given to this subject. Sorry again. It's stronger than me. Lol!

  • Comment 150898 by
    Rl 777 810 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    Terminal 3 at GRU looks spacious and very modern!

    Unfortunately this 744 actually has the old cabin, that IFE system shown on your pics is the older one that I also got on their A346. Their new IFE that I found on their A333 is miles ahead of this one. Some of their 744s have the new cabin but you were unfortunate to get the older one, it didn't seem to bother you too much though.

    The first meal looks pretty decent.

    See you!

    • Comment 328843 by
      A350Flyer AUTHOR 10 Comments

      Glad to know they improved their IFE, this one was not bad at all, but was a little dated when compared to other aircrafts. Not long ago Lufthansas 744 didn't even had PTVs, so when I noticed that 744 would be flying I was expecting the worst. Maybe I was the one who was outdated hahaha.

  • Comment 150925 by
    Benoit75008 GOLD 7324 Comments

    Thanks for your report,

    LH is pretty good for long-haul flights, meanwhile they could upgrade catering a bit.
    Thanks for this nice report including shoah memorial

    See you

  • Comment 150934 by
    momolemomo GOLD 6240 Comments

    Thanks for this report that means quite a lot to me. I lived a few years in Frankfurt and I go to Sao Paulo at least once a year.
    I really love the new terminal. I knew very well the old ones and flying in and out of T3 is such a relief !
    The only reason that could push me to fly with LH between Europe and Brasil would be the 748 but that's all.
    You had the old LH cabins on this flight. The newer ones that can be found on A330 and some A340 are much better, especially when it comes to the entertainment system.
    Nice bonus ! I can see you had some good weather in Frankfurt, I hope you enjoyed :)
    Thanks for this report!

    • Comment 328847 by
      A350Flyer AUTHOR 10 Comments

      Germany is amazing, It was great pleasure to finally visit this place. I totally agree, Terminal 3 is great compared to the hell we were used to live in the past, it's already quite busy sometimes but even then, it doesn't feel claustrophobic or messy as it was.

      I realized that i was the one outdated about to LH's cabin hahaha the one I thought was the renewed was actually the old one. Nice to know they keep updating their IFE and inteior. The return flight was in an 748 premium economy. My advice? Consider that in your next trip. It's really worth it.

      The bad weather was just for landing hahaha, 4 hours laters skies were clear and I was dry.

  • Comment 150950 by
    KL651 TEAM 4476 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.

    Was LH among the cheapest options to get to Germany or did you pay extra to fly the 748i ?

    The catering once again looks very basic but at least the quantity seems better than what LH usually gives out.

    Nice bonus, I can recognize most of the places!

  • Comment 151303 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5251 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this first report with us. Lots of good detail and pictures. LH seems like a decent ride for the 10+ hour trip to Europe. The cabin looks good despite the 744's age. Meals look decent.

    Welcome to Flight-Report!

  • Comment 151378 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report with us.

    LH offers a decent product and although it might not be the cheapest, it at least provides direct access to where you wanted to go without connecting somewhere. You are absolutely right, you always get what you pay for and it looks like LH was a decent option. You are never going to find generous seat width in the current airline market, even a lot of J cabins are not generous with seat width.

    The catering looks pretty average, what was the pre-arrival meal?

    The B744 is definitely not as nice as the B748, the IFE is definitely old school with that vintage moving map.

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