Review of Lufthansa flight Munich Sofia in Economy

Airline Lufthansa
Flight LH1706
Class Economy
Seat 4F
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 01:50
Take-off 08 Feb 20, 19:55
Arrival at 08 Feb 20, 22:45
LH   #54 out of 142 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 1136 reviews
NewYorker
By SILVER 731
Published on 24th May 2020

introduction


A very warm welcome to this new series, dear Flight-Report community! This one will be covering another short week-long journey to Sofia, Bulgaria. This was also my last trip before the Covid-19 pandemic effectively shut down world travel, and was taken while the virus had just spread to Europe. In fact, just a week before this journey began, the virus had spread to Munich, so I was a bot more cautious than I'd usually be.


trip information


This trip was very boring, as it only included two Lufthansa A320 flights in Economy Class, so nothing that I hadn't experienced before. The flights were as follows:


Routing

  • LH1706 - Economy - Munich → Sofia - Airbus A320 You are here
  • LH1703 - Economy - Sofia → Munich - Airbus A320 Coming soon

photo screen-shot-2020-05-23-at-43502-pm

In order to earn miles, I booked these flights via LH.com under an Economy Classic fare.


the day of departure


The morning started off as a normal Saturday morning in Innsbruck. At 2:20 PM, I took a Eurocity from Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof. Eurocity trains from Innsbruck to Munich leave every 2 hours. At 4:15 PM, I arrived at Munich East station (München Ostbahnhof).


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71004-pmphoto screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71116-pm

After a short 9 minute connection, the S8 train that would operate the 30 minute journey from Ostbahnhof to Munich Airport arrived. I was lucky that it arrived at the platform across from the one that my train from Innsbruck arrived at, as Ostbahnhof doesn't have any escalators, which can be a pain for those who travel with a lot of luggage.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71215-pm

Sunset on the way to the airport. It would be a beautiful night for flying!


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71233-pm

After a 30 minute journey, the S-Bahn pulled into Munich Airport's train station. While the journey was pleasant, I wish that there would be a nonstop train from Munich to the airport. MUC is my favorite airport in Europe by far, so I just wish that they made it a bit more accessible.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71305-pm

munich franz josef strauß airport (MUC)


Passing by through the Munich Air Center on my way to Lufthansa's Terminal 2. The ad on the terminal at the time was an ad for BMW. Not nearly as cool as when Lufthansa advertises their A350 on the terminal 😉


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71333-pm

As an architecture and design geek, I also love admire MUC's Terminal 2. It's design is the open, modern, and minimal. The purple mood lighting that evening was especially cool.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71403-pm

Airport advertisement.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71412-pm

The Lufthansa Business Class check-in was empty as usual.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71431-pm

Security was done in less than two minutes thanks to my little-known "secret" priority checkpoint, and then I found myself airside.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71451-pm-66014

lufthansa senator lounge non-schengen munich


My initial plan was to go to the Lufthansa Senator Cafe, which I wanted to visit the last time I flew from MUC, but I forgot that it's located in the Schengen part of the terminal, so instead I headed to the Senator Lounge, which I'm oh-so familiar with.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71532-pmphoto screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71545-pm

The lounge was much emptier than I was used to seeing, which might have been because of the pandemic.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71557-pm-97713

The evening's departures.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71710-pm

I sat at a table to grab a bite before the flight. First I got a plate of delicious cold cuts…


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71615-pm

…which was followed-up by my beloved Lufthansa waffles, though this time they were served with compote instead of chocolate sauce. Still delicious!


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71637-pm

Since the lounge was empty, I figured I could now give a little tour of it, starting with the sleeping area.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72015-pm

Designer chairs and the buffet.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71836-pmphoto screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71825-pm

In the back of the lounge, there's some high top seating, as well as comfortable chairs and TVs.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71801-pm-13260

Business Center.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71724-pm

As you can probably guess, I'm a big fan of the lounge, though the view is very disappointing.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-71740-pm

I also took a peek at the Business Lounge, which is connected to the Senator Lounge. It was also super empty.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72049-pm-26968

At around 25 minutes prior to boarding, I left the lounge to walk around the terminal for a bit. The only interesting aircraft that I saw was this Avianca 787-8, which was getting ready for its flight to Bogota.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72112-pm

Heading towards my gate, H38.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72149-pm

My aircraft had already been on the ground for a little over 2 hours after a flight from Athens. Flying me down to Sofia was D-AIZM, an A320 in Star Alliance colors. It had been built and delivered to Lufthansa in July 2012, making it around 7.5-years old at the time of my flight.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72128-pm

boarding + initial impressions


Boarding commenced on time and priorities were respected. I was the first one down the jetbridge.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72210-pmphoto screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72229-pm

Bad shot of the nose and cockpit windows of the aircraft.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72242-pm

I was greeted by a very friendly purser and her British colleague and made my way to my seat, 4F.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72300-pm

As row 4 is usually a Business Class row, legroom was excellent, at 32" (I think).


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72400-pmphoto screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72408-pm

Literature pocket and contents.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72336-pmphoto screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72421-pm

The only thing about the row 4 that's slightly annoying is the cabin divider, but the legroom more than makes up for it.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72349-pm

Wing view.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72513-pm

Classy antimacassar.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72553-pm

Modern Airbus PSU.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72612-pm

Row 4 before it filled up. As you can see, the cabin felt very fresh.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72630-pm

A gate over, this Lufthansa A320 'Troisdorf' was preparing for its flight to Barcelona. Next to that was an ANA 787-9 to Tokyo Haneda.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72649-pm

lufthansa 1706 - munich to sofia


Once everyone was onboard, the captain made his welcome announcement and said that the doors would soon be closed and that we'd have an on-time flight.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72705-pm

A few minutes later, we pushed back and started our engines.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72728-pmphoto screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72746-pm

Beginning our taxi.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72817-pm

I wasn't sure why we were taxiing without slats/flaps, but my question was answered as soon as we pulled into the de-icing pad. Since the captain didn't mention that we'd be de-icing, I guess it was probably a last minute decision.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72834-pm

Getting de-iced.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72858-pmphoto screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72923-pm

Taxiing to the runway with slats/flaps.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-72937-pm

departure from munich


"Lufthansa 1 Foxtrot Tango, Runway 26 Left, cleared for takeoff."


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-73000-pm

Rolling takeoff.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-73029-pmphoto screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-73054-pm

Rotation.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-73153-pm

Airborne.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-73204-pmphoto screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-73220-pm

Left turn after departure.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-73229-pmphoto screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-73247-pm

Munich City Center lit up.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-73302-pm

Cabin after departure. Row 3 was empty for the entire flight.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-73309-pm

Takeoff video:



One last look at the CIty of Munich as we turned towards Sofia.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-73439-pm

The seatbelt sign was switched off around 10 minutes after takeoff, so I went to the lavatory and took a photo of the cabin looking forward. Despite the emptiness of the airport, I'd say the flight was around 80% full.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-73458-pm-15269

Innsbruck and the Inn Valley in the distance.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-73524-pm

Passing over Alpine Villages in Austria.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-111815-pm

snack service


As we neared our cruising altitude, the service commenced. I got a glass of lemon water to drink.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-111753-pm

A choice of vegetarian or non-vegetarian sandwich was given for the snack, and I chose the vegetarian one. It's nice that LH still offers free sandwiches on intra-European flights, even if they are rather small. I hope they continue to serve these post-pandemic, but I'm not sure. If they don't, I hope that they at least serve pretzels and free drinks rather than adopt a BoB menu like BA has.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-73539-pm

The sandwich had egg cheese and chives, and it was probably the one of the best Lufthansa sandwiches that I'd been served in my may years of flying with them.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-73552-pm

mid-flight


The A320 that I was on was equipped with Lufthansa's FlyNet WiFi service, but I didn't bother using it on such a short flight. Instead, I relied on the Lufthansa Magazin for entertainment.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-111829-pm

In addition to the awesome cover article about 2 British pilots flying a Spitfire around the world, there was also an article about the place that I lived right before moving to Austria, the San Juan Islands in Washington state, which are located 70 miles north of Seattle and 40 miles south of Vancouver.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-111845-pm

It was nice to be reading about the small place that I lived while flying over Serbia at 35,000 feet on an A320 😎 Outside, there wasn't much to see, but since it was a clear night, I could still see the lights of places below. Passing what I believe was Tuzla, Bosnia.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-111914-pm

Caught the strobe light.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-111937-pm

Flying over some small Serbian towns.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-111953-pmphoto screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-112011-pmphoto screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-112028-pm

arrival into sofia


As we began our descent around Niš (pictured below), First Officer Joshua came over the PA to provide some very detailed information about our routing from Munich and our approach to Sofia. He also apologized about departing a bit late, due to our de-icing.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-112056-pm

Over Bulgarian territory.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-112135-pm

Our CFM56 engine lit up by the landing light.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-112206-pm

Turning final.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-17-at-112219-pm

On final approach.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-18-at-115644-am

Past the village of Dolni Bogrov.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-18-at-115658-am

Short final.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-18-at-115715-amphoto screen-shot-2020-05-18-at-115725-am

Over the runway.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-18-at-115735-amphoto screen-shot-2020-05-18-at-115744-am

Deliciously smooth landing on Runway 27 at 10:47 PM, 2 minutes after our scheduled arrival time, after a flight time of 1h30m.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-18-at-115752-am

Slowing down.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-18-at-115810-am

Vacating the runway.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-18-at-115824-amphoto screen-shot-2020-05-18-at-115833-am

Landing video:



Pulling into Terminal 2, near the Lufthansa A321 'Wetzlar' which had arrived from Frankfurt 30 minutes earlier…


photo screen-shot-2020-05-18-at-120028-pm

…a Germanwings A319 in Sofia for maintenance…


photo screen-shot-2020-05-18-at-120052-pm

…and the same Bul Air 737-300 that I flew from Prague to Sofia in August 2019, which was undergoing maintenance work as well.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-18-at-120110-pm

One last look at my home of the evening.


photo screen-shot-2020-05-18-at-120127-pm

Thanks for the ride, D-AIZM!


photo screen-shot-2020-05-18-at-120151-pm

routing of lh1706


photo annotation-2020-04-12-143847

We had a very straightforward routing which started off with the BIBAG 3N departure out of MUC. From there we flew at 35,000 feet more or less directly to Sofia Airport, where we flew the NISVA 1K RNAV approach.


While immigration was quick, the baggage delivery process was outrageously slow. There weren't more than 3 arrivals still being processed, yet the baggage deliver took over 45 minutes! For such a small airport, I find that completely unacceptable. It took so long that the Captain of our flight actually went to have what looked like a very spirited discussion with the baggage desk to inquire what the hell was going on. Finally, when my suitcase finally did show up, I went to grab a taxi, only to find that there were 3 taxis left! I missed all of them, and had to wait with a bunch of other angry passengers in the cold for another 10 minutes before I finally got in a taxi and left the airport. Thanks very much for reading, and I hope to see you back here for the return flight in a few days.

See more

Verdict

Lufthansa

8.5/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering8.0

Senator Lounge - Terminal H

8.2/10
Comfort9.0
Meal/catering7.5
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Services8.5

Munich - MUC

9.2/10
Efficiency10.0
Access8.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness10.0

Sofia - SOF

5.6/10
Efficiency1.5
Access6.5
Services6.5
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

This was yet another very pleasant Lufthansa intra-European flight.

+ Empty Senator Lounge with comfy seating and plenty of space
+ Newer A320
+ Excellent legroom
+ Fresh cabin
+ Chipper, professional crew
+ FlyNet WiFi onboard
+ Tasty sandwich
- Awful efficiency at Sofia Airport

For intra-European flights, Lufthansa really shines. I'm really glad that they are the most convenient airline for me, and that they are a part of my alliance.

Information on the route Munich (MUC) Sofia (SOF)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 6 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Munich (MUC) → Sofia (SOF).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Lufthansa with 7.4/10.

The average flight time is 1 hours and 51 minutes.

  More information

0 Comments

Login to post a comment.