Hello everyone, I work in Luxembourg but live in North Carolina. I was originally scheduled to fly out on the 26th back come via LUX-ZRH-JFK-CAE however, I decided to go back a day earlier. I had a special event on the 27th and did not want to risk any issues along the way. My originally fare was non-refundable or exchangeable, so I was in a pickle. One-way flights back to the US are expensive this time of year so the next best option was to redeem points.
I had a good many on Miles and More, so I started looking and found for 56,000 points plus ~$200 LUX-MUC-CLT in BUSINESS!! I could not pass up the opportunity to fly directly home and in business for what was essentially half of my points and a fee that amounted to a normal change fee in the U.S. On my inbound flight to Europe I flew economy on the Lufthansa A380-800, but now its time for business on its A350-900!
Lufthansa L Non-Schengen Business Lounge
Airline: Lufthansa (LH)
Aircraft: Airbus 350-900
Departure Gate: L21
Departure Runway: 8L
Scheduled Departure Time: 12:45
Actual Departure Time: 12:59
Scheduled Arrival Time: 16:25
Actual Arrival Time: 15:51
Landing Runway: 36R
Arrival Gate: D:10
Scheduled Flight Time: 9:40
Actual Flight Time: 8:52
I was prompted to check in online 24 hours in advance through Luxair’s website as they are the first leg of my journey. I went through the usual procedures and on the other end had a mobile boarding pass for LUX-MUC, however the best I could do for MUC-CLT was a paper pass. No big deal as I had to check a bag at LUX anyway. I will make sure I have the MUC-CLT leg on an acceptable BP stock if they allow me too.
I had pre-selected 5D as my seat. Lufthansa flies the very outdated 2-2-2 in business. This will change in the future but for now its the reality. I chose a seat in the middle section to be 100% sure I had aisle access and that I would not have to contend with my neighbor needing to get out to the aisle at a less than coinvent for me time. Lufthansa has a larger Business cabin with 6 rows and a smaller with 2 rows. I contemplated the smaller one but knew that passengers for the other cabins would be passing through to board and as a result not the most peaceful experience.
I arrived in T2 via a bus from my prior flight at 8:10. My next flight was scheduled to leave from the L gates which are the non-Schengen gates of T2S. I followed signs towards K/L gates. The walk through T2 was short and before boarding the people mover to T2S, I stopped at a Lufthansa kiosk and printed my upcoming boarding pass on Lufthansa stock. Sadly the "SSSS" was still on my BP , which meant I would be subject to extra security before boarding my flight. T2 and T2S are very modern with more food and shopping choices than you have time to spend.
The people mover runs ever 2-4 minutes and the travel time between the two terminals is only 1 minute. After arriving in T2S I followed signs up two levels to the Non-Schengen L gates. Before entering the area, I went though the automatic gates that they have set aside for certain non-EU citizens. The process was straight forward and upon exit, the boarder agent called me over and stamped my passport. In just 12 minutes from entering T2, I was past boarder control in T2S. After entering the L gates I turned right and followed signs for the "Lufthansa lounges". The walk to the sole Lufthansa Business lounge was just several minutes.
The business Lounge L is in a “L” shape. As you walk in you turn left for business/ right for first class and senator. As you walk down the spine of the “L” you see a business center on your right and nice plush seats everywhere. In the hinge of the “L” is a bar with tarmac views. The short side of the L has your food/beverage options and more seats. It appeared outlets were widespread. Wifi was available for the lounge. Wifi was 21.67MBPS download and 7.47 upload.
Maybe 20 people in the lounge when I arrived.
Food featured 3 hot options: scrambled eggs, sausages, tomatoes, cold cuts, grains, yogurt and bread. Beverage options included fountain drinks/ water, coffee machine as well as a bar.
I checked with the shower attendant to see if the wait list was short and to my shock no waitlist existed! I really didn't need a shower but for the sake of this review I took one anyway. The shower stall was large but basic. L'occitane brand products were available inside the shower but as far as I know, no toothbrushes or shaving kits were available.
Even 2 hours in plenty of seats left but it has been gradually getting more and more crowded.
10:12 is was pretty packed and lots of kids running willy nilly. Come on parents this is a business lounge.
Overall not a bad lounge to spend a few hours prior to a long-haul flight and the shower is a nice way to refresh.
Two hours prior to departure, my flight was assigned gate L21. I left the gate at 11:25 and headed towards L21 which was located in the USA bound flight section (L21-L30) of the L gates. At document check, they informed me that I had been selected for special security screening and was directed to a nearby room for that. For the sake of keeping the process a secret I will not mention what all occurred. However, I was able to enter the USA section at 11:35 so the process was smooth and efficient.
The USA section had one small kiosk for food and no shops. Plenty of seats were available even with the large capacity jets at the gates. Any hope of having the neighbor seat free quickly faded when I realized Lufthansa was offering upgrades from Economy to Business for EUR 449 and Premium Economy to Business for EUR 350. For a projected 9 hour flight this was a complete steal in my book.
At 12:01 boarding began for those who needed assistance and at 12:06 Business class passengers were asked to board. Business passangers boarded through 1L and all others through 2L.
The A350 has a wide cabin but with a 2-2-2 config for Lufthansa it makes things a bit tights for its passengers. However, the 777X will have 1-2-1. I found plenty of storage at my seat. Lufthansa has overhead bins installed throughout the cabin as well as storage under the footwell that was big enough for a small bag. Under the monitor is a magazine rack that I used to hold the menu and a smaller, narrow storage compartment that contained the amenity kit and a bottle of water. I used this area for my wallet, passport, and other thin items.
The cabin was crisp and clean. I could not identify anything that was in need of a clean or needed to be fixed.
The amenity kit was of solid construction. It contained chap stick, ear plugs, eye shades (not of the best quality), socks, toothbrush with toothpaste and a mint, and covers for the headphones.
the seat itself was fully lie flat with controls on the side. The tray table was hid in the center consol. The seat featured an adjustable head rest but it did not have wings on it. When you arrive onboard a pillow of decent quality and a very thick blanket are waiting on the seat. A reading light is also provided on the head rest.
I found the seat very comfy as you can adjust the firmness of the seat on the A350. This also helps when you try to sleep. I did attempt to sleep for several hours and managed to get a good 2 hours in. I could absolutely see where this seat would do the job on a red eye. No individual air spouts are provided. One drawback is in the middle section the footwell is side by side and its very easy to play footsy or rub up against your neighbor. Like I mentioned earlier, this problem will be solved on the 777X.
Bathrooms were nice and elegant. Two restrooms near door 2L and 2R are provided for business class. Wood paneling is used inside and the bathroom is stocked with a comb, mouthwash (with cups) and shaving kit. I did find that the stock dwindled as the flight progressed and restocking was less than promptly. L'occitane lotion and soap was provided.
The monitor on this craft was huge!!! I mean just huge! The picture quality was great and touch screen very responsive! The screens were also tinted so that you could not see the screen at all of those around you (you can of those in front of you though). The seat had a university power point below the center console and a USB outlet right next to the seat. The handheld remote worked well too and noise cancelling headphones (two prong) of solid quality are waiting in the center console of your seat. the magazine compartment held a safety card, duty free magazine and the Lufthansa magazine.
The movie selection was ok. I believe this is one place where Lufthansa can improve. They did have a nice mix of older movies but the list of new releases was not the best that I've experienced.
The flight cams are great! I loved watching the downward view as we flew over a cloudless England and upon landing.
Lufthansa offers wifi via Flynet. They offered 3 different levels but I chose the largest as I planned on texting throughout and wanted to also be able to load webpages as needed. I found the $34 price tag a bit high but the speed was fine and coverage extensive so it was fine in the end. The tray table was more than large enough to use to work on your laptop.
For pre-departure water, sparkling wine or orange with mint was offered. I tried the orange with mint and loved it! I saw plenty of refills on the sparkling wine but they did not offer on the others.
Before Pushback, menus were distributed. These menus are the most substantial that I have experienced. It was half a dozen or more pages with thick stock and color pictures.
After takeoff, a hot towel was distributed. After 22 minutes, a FA came by to take my order and I was greeted by name (the only time during the flight and this is a bit disappointing as I do have status). I made my selection for my appetizer, main meal and also for desert for the main lunch service.
Shortly after beverage service was offered with warm almonds. I ordered a sparkling water to drink.
44 minutes after take off lunch service began with Marinated Black Angus Beef with Mango and Celery Salad, Asparagus and Wild Cranberries. I found this cold dish very flavorful. The dish contained plenty of beef as well. As soon as I was finished a FA cleared my plate and brought a Fresh mixed Leaf Lettuce with Soy and Sesame Dressing Salad. The salad tasted fresh but could have used a touch more dressing. Again, the FA were very attentive and as soon as I was finished they cleared my dish and brought my main.
Oddly, FA also brought another salad. I told her that I had already had a salad but she said they had extra and I was welcome to another one with my main. I was not opposed to another salad. It tasted as fresh as the first. My main was Salmon Steak glazed with Honey and Peppercorn, Wild Broccoli and Risolee Potatoes. I found the potatoes very well cooked as well as the Salmon. The fish was of good portion size and very flavorful. A warm roll with room temp and spreadable butter was served with the main. I very much appreciate butter that isn't froze solid.
For desert I had the ice cream which was raspberry flavored and served in its packaging. I would have liked for it to be served in its own Lufthansa branded dish but that is my only complaint as it was very tasty.
Drinks were refilled as needed throughout the service. In all the service moved at the pace of the guest. For me the service was complete in only 40 minutes which seemed perfect as I was never waiting more than a few moments for the next course.
The galley has plenty of drinks and snacks available to you throughout the flight. You may also call a FA for any beverage option that you so wish. I chose a coffee at one point and my neighbor ordered many alcoholic beverages. The FA were also happy to accommodate your request.
2 hours before landing a cold snack was served. The snack consisted of peppers and olives in a pesto mix and was very flavorful. A warm towel followed this treat.
The main snack before landing was a salad that contained slices of ham and a crayfish soup. I was surprised that they would serve shellfish on a plane given allergies but they did. The salad was fresh and had multiple slices of ham. The soup was very tasty and had lots of meat in it as well. A roll with butter was on the side but sadly this time the pretzel was luke warm at best and the butter frozen so it was hard to use. The meal was quick and efficient like the first and once completed we had around 90 minutes to CLT.
Boarding was complete at 12:30 and the 2 boarding gates were pulled away from the plane. We pushed back right on time at 12:45 and made our way to Runway 8L and at 12:59 we were wheels up to charlotte! Talk about that German efficiency.
the flight was very smooth with little to no bumps. We made excellent time and landed at 3:51 on 36R. We had a very short taxi and parked at D10 by 3:55. We used 2L to exit the aircraft and began our trip to Immigration. Two other AA planes from Europe landed at the same time. Luckily I walked very fast and was one of the first to reach Immigration but another 5 minutes and I would have been behind ~500 odd people. CLT does not offer Mobile Passport but does offer Global Entry.
At 4:12 the baggage belt started to move and by 4:14 I had my bag and was out the door.
I really enjoyed this flight. The wifi was good. Food was maybe the best I have had on a plane. This is really the best way to travel to Europe (ok.. maybe Singapore to FRA or MAN and Emirates to either MXP or ATH is better) but I have little to no complaints. The 2-2-2 is outdated but it seems they are slowly addressing that.