The airline with the best average rating is Lufthansa with 7.4/10.
The average flight time is 2 hours and 33 minutes.More information
Welcome to a new series of Flight-Reports! This report is painful to write about, as it's from a great Summer trip I took, but I smashed up my portable hard drive where the pictures and videos of all the other flights are, except for one. I do have a few photos from my iPad which I will add to the end of this report and at the end of the next report. The awesome itinerary looked like this:
I booked this trip as 3 separate itineraries.
- Sofia → Frankfurt → Seattle booked for 70K United Miles.
- Seattle → San Francisco → Newark booked for $190.
- Newark → Munich booked for 30K United Miles.
And now, on to the actual report. I arrived at Sofia Airport Terminal 2 at around 4:45 PM, plenty early for the scheduled 6:55 PM departure time.
When I went inside the terminal, I learn that my flight, LH1431, would be approximately 35 minutes late. No problem for me, though, as I had lounge access and an overnight in Frankfurt.
An empty Lufthansa check-in area.
I got my boarding pass, and within 10 minutes, I found myself airside.
While Sofia Airport is a very drab place, at least there are very nice views of the tarmac. Here's an Air France A319 (F-GRHL) preparing for it's flight back to Paris-CDG.
LOT E170 (SP-LDK) from Warsaw as LO633.
My flight's info.
West Atlantic 737-400 (G-JMCH) to Bucharest as NPT4094.
Swiftair ATR72 (EC-JRP) to Belgrade as WT1275.
Bulgaria Air E190 (LZ-VAR) to Athens as FB807. Flew this bird in July 2016 from Sofia to Zurich.
Ryanair 737-800 (EI-EKC) to Eindhoven as FR6013.
As I already spotted every aircraft at Sofia Airport at the time, I headed to the Aspire Vitosha lounge.
It's a nice enough
lounge waiting room, but doesn't really offer much.
I got a few finger sandwiches and sweets to nibble on.
After I consumed my snacks, I went back out to do some more planespotting. Here's LOT's Embraer heading back to Warsaw.
Alitalia A320 (EI-IKB) arriving from Rome-Fiumucino as AZ520.
Austrian E195 (OE-LWG) arrived from Vienna as OS797. Flew this bird in February 2018 from Sofia to Vienna.
Bulgaria Air A319 (LZ-FBA) off to Brussels as FB407.
In the meantime, my aircraft arrived. Flying me to Frankfurt would be D-AINB, Lufthansa's second A320neo, delivered to the company in March 2016.
Boarding commenced, and I found my seat for the day, 2A.
Great legroom (then again, when you're 5'6, you don't need much legroom to be comfy :-) ).
Nice view of the gorgeous PW1000G.
The only hard product difference between J and Y.
The contents of the seatback pocket.
Once boarding was completed, Captain Thomas added his welcome on board and explained that the reason of the delay was due to the late arrival of the aircraft. Very descriptive. Shortly after that, the door was closed and the jetbridge was disconnected.
Cute little Tarom ATR42 (YR-ATG 'Dambovita') to Bucharest as RO298.
A glimpse of the super cool A320 work of art. (See https://twitter.com/lufthansanews/status/1055824715779063810?lang=en for more about it).
Taxiing to Runway 27 for takeoff.
Last views of Sofia Airport.
Mt. Vitosha (7,150 ft).
Right turn and a nice view of Sofia city.
Dobroslavtsi Air Base (LBSD).
Leveling off over Serbia.
Dinner is served!
Chicken Parmesan, Soba Noodles with Tuna and Wasabi, and Liptauer.
Some kind of delicious dessert, as well as some cookies.
Fresh and tasty. Home run, Lufthansa, home run.
Close up of the engine and the sharklet.
The European skies, gradually getting darker.
The Business Class cabin.
A couple of lakes in Austria's Salzkammergut region.
Austrian E195 (OE-LWE) flying Salzburg - Frankfurt as OS269.
Ingolstadt Manching Airport (IGS/ETSI).
Left turn over Ansbach, Germany.
Descending through some clouds.
Our destination, Frankfurt Rhein-Main Airport (FRA/EDDF).
Lufthansa A320 (D-AIQA) flying Oslo - Frankfurt as LH867.
On long final.
Gotta love the sheer size of this airport!
Over the runway.
Smooth landing on Runway 25R at 8:48 PM local.
Taxiing off the runway.
Very humid in Frankfurt.
One final look at seat 2A, my very comfy home for the past 2ish hours.
Thanks for the ride, D-AINB!
Following the signs to the exit.
Shortly after we docked at the gate, I checked-in to the Sheraton and called it a night before my upcoming flight to Seattle (see the bonus section for that flight's mini-review). Before we get there, though, this was the routing of LH1431.
Click on the bonus to keep reading!
I ate a small breakfast at the Sheraton and headed to the terminal at around 8:45 AM. I already received my boarding pass for the flight in Sofia the previous day, so I headed straight to the Senator Lounge, where I grab a quick shot of the Boeing 747-400 that would fly me to Seattle. Doing the honors would be D-ABVO ('Mühlheim a. d. Ruhr'), Lufthansa's oldest 747, delivered to the company in May 1996.
I stayed in the lounge until 5 minutes before boarding, which commenced on-time at gate Z20. I quickly found my seat on the upper deck of the queen, 83A. I was invited into the flight deck by the wonderful flight attendant, Nora, who saw me peering in. There, I was introduced to the three pilots of the flight: Captain Hans, Check Airman Captain Jörg, and Senior First Officer Björn. There were two captains, because it was Captain Han's first flight on the 747, which he was looking forward to. Hans occupied the left seat, while Jörg took the right seat.
Within 5 seconds of me returning to my seat, Nora offered me a beverage. I decided to be simple and just get water.
We pushed back around 30 minutes late, and about 15 minutes later took off from Runway 25C.
A look at the menu.
A lot of good options!
Almonds to start off the meal service.
I decided to spice things up a little bit and get Tomato Juice.
For my appetizer, the Goat Cream Cheese with Mango Salsa and Arugula.
Up next, a small salad.
For my main, the delicious Ravioli with Pesto Sauce and Antipasti Vegetables.
And the wrap up a great meal, Panna Cotta.
Watching some Bundesliga highlights after Lunch. With Lufthansa's IFE, I guarantee that you won't be bored.
As we were over Greenland, a sweet snack was offered.
The view from door 2L.
The nice and quiet upper deck Business Class cabin.
Over Northern British Columbia, 'Dinner' was served. Which is funny, because it wasn't even 10 AM local :-) The soup was good, but I didn't care for the salad.
Somewhere over Canada.
Left turn over the US-Canada border.
And finally, descending over the North Cascades.
The approach was, surprisingly, very bumpy. There was no wind in Seattle, yet we kept rocking left and right until the slammed on to Runway 16L. And if the landing felt so hard on the upper deck, I can only imagine how hard it was on the main deck. I guess that a 747 is hard to land after coming from the A330/340. I really enjoyed this flight: the service was flawless, and the food was good. My only complaint is the seat, but next year, LH's new 777 Business Class is coming out. I look forward to trying it. Back to this flight, if I find my original pictures from this flight, you can be sure to expect a thorough, in-depth review. For now though, I'll leave you with the routing of the flight.
If you've made it this far, thanks for reading, and I hope to see you in the next part!
Lufthansa keeps on proving that it's a great way to fly in and to/from Europe!
+ New A320neo
+ Fresh, Comfy Cabin
+ Delicious Food
- Subpar Lounge in Sofia
+ Nice Senator Lounge in FRA
+ Quiet Upper Deck
+ Delicious Food
+ Superb Service
+ Great IFE
- Uncompetitive Business Class Product
I look forward to my next Lufthansa Business Class experience. They are solid, consistant, and never dissapoint.