The airline with the best average rating is Lufthansa with 7.4/10.
The average flight time is 1 hours and 38 minutes.More information
Warning: Due to the limitation of 150 photos per flight-report by the management team, I had to make considerable changes between the French and English Version for the following flights:
* Lufthansa 1058 From Nice (France) to Frankfurt-Am-Main (Germany)
* Lufthansa 720 From Frankfurt-Am-Main (Germany) to Beijing (China)
For my 2018 holidays, I wanted to travel to Asia once again. Although I loved my trip to Japan, I decided to visit another country, like China for its history. This trip also included an express visit in Hong Kong.
For this trip to China from NCE, I preselected the following airlines :
* Air France - KLM :
France's main airline offers several flights to Beijing via CDG or AMS and with Air China's partnership. The arrival is estimated between 6.00 a.m. and 8.00 a.m. according to the operating airline for 730€.
* Aigle Azur:
Second French airline. The airline usually flies around the European continent, but most of its flights were between France and Portugal and France and Algeria.
When the German airline Air Berlin (AB) went bankrupt, Aigle Azur picked up 2 A330-200, which were used for flights going to Bamako (Mali), Sao Paulo Viracopos, (Brazil) and, coincidence, to Beijing, (Republic of China).
It would have been a great occasion to experiment a long-haul flight with a quite discreet airline like ZI (Aigle Azur's IATA code). If the price was very cheap (around 500€), the scheduled time of arrival was very early (6.35a.m.) and you could fly only from Paris ORLY.
Nowadays, this airline also went bankrupt.
Germany's national airline offers a satisfying product in all classes and has a lot of lfights to China thanks to its numerous partnerships with the other Star Alliance airlines.
To do so, I must transit:
- Either at Frankfurt-Am-Main (FRA) airport.
- Or München Franz-Josef-Strauss (MUC) airport.
Ticket price around 750€.
* Singapore Airlines:
Known for its quality. However, I'll have to make 2 stops although flights are operated with wonderful aircrafts such as the A380-800, 777-300ER or A350-900.
The departure time since NCE airport is either early in the morning (7.00 a.m.) or late at night (7.00 p.m.) to arrive at PEK around 2.40 p.m. As for the price, it exceeds 1000€.
After my last journey with them, I was quite surprised. If Emirates had a clear advantage for its A380, its IFE, the acceptable transit time, good catering and its price (around 500€), the arrival time is scheduled 3.35 p.m. which is too late.
Because I'm joining a group, I mustn't arrive later than 10.00 a.m. In other words, Both EK and SQ are out.
I also try to avoid AF-KL, not for the airline, but for the tedious transit in Paris CDG. Besides, between Paris and Beijing, the flight could be a potential disaster. Despite the French reviews gave more credits to Air China, I'd rather stay on a solid value.
ZI was very interesting but I can't select it either because there was no flight at the date of departure. Besides I'll have to buy a NCE-ORY-NCE separately, which could be dangerous for my connection in case or delay or cancellation.
As for LH, although both hubs can make a route to Beijing, Each one has its own aircraft: the one from/to FRA is an Airbus A340-600, while the one from/to MUC is no other than the A380-800.
In the end, I choose to fly with Lufthansa. However, international flights will all transit in FRA but two China Eastern domestic flights will be included in this circuit.
To go to China, whether you are a French or Canadian citizen, you need a visa that you will only get at China embassy's website. If you travel with a tour operator, the visa's fees are generally included and they will supervise the whole procedure.
In all cases, if the delay is estimated to one week, getting the precious visa can become very arduous. After I sent everything, the embassy can ask your last 3 salary slips. All of them must show a minimum amount of 1200€ a month (around 1300 US $).
A few days later, the agency is calling me again. The embassy demanded this time my bank statement, which must be more than 1000€ (around 1088 US $). Personally, I do not approve sending any bank statement because of privacy reasons but I did it anyway.
Once I finally got my booking number, I noticed my ticket allowed me a normal upgrade only on NCE-FRA flights for 110€ each, which I was not interested in.
However ! LH does the "bid" upgrades: You can then choose the amount you're ready to pay to travel either in Premium Economy ou in Business via your booking. The airline usually replies 2 or 3 days before the departure if your offer has been accepted or not.
I gave it a try by making the lowest fare at all long-haul flights and they both got accepted.
Of course, the amount is per person and is paid ONLY if your offer has been accepted.
If this kind of upgrade is possible for any customer who wishes to travel in a more luxurious class, it is impossible to take part on tickets bought in India or in Japan. That also applies if you travel among a group (at least 9 people travelling under the same booking).
Bad point for LH: I never received my e-mail answer about my upgrade request whether it was accepted or not. I only had my answer during the OLCI.
Lufthansa is located at Terminal 1 in NCE. It hosts most of Oneworld and Star Alliance's airlines. (except Finnair which operates at Terminal 2).
My parents accompanied me at the airport and stopped at the kiss-and-fly.
Caution: if you stay more than 5 minutes, you will pay.
Back then, tram line n°2 was operational between the city's administration and the Olympia Harbour. It was a matter of time before the tram line 2 could reach the airport's terminals.
T1 is quite calm for a flight scheduled in the middle of the morning. Lufthansa Group's check-in desks are in area F as usual.
Straight ahead the First and Business desks. On the right the Economy desks. I went via the Fast Track but the agent didn't check if I was eligible or not.
Check-in quickly passed. The ckeck-in agent didn't tell all the security questions (Is this baggage yours? ; Do you have any forbidden items in your suitcase ? Did you make your baggage yourself?…) while AF always does.
Although I prefer using my smartphone's Boarding Pass, I'm not against a ticket made with solid paper as a souvenir.
It took me 5 minutes to go through security. But I had a second control to go through (15 minutes). A very odd procedure because if you have to leave the Schengen area, you still have a third control before reaching your flight.
Long corridor that leads to a duty-free alley.
Airside view of T1, which let a feeling to be in an aircraft shed.
Our flight is expected at gate A35. The flight to MUC will be so late that the gate will change in A01, which means a boarding via paxbus.
By the way, T1 isn't spotter friendly, unlike T2. The only place we can spot is on the ground floor. But right now, there is almost no traffic. I'll get only this A320 Vueling (EC-MVE) going to Barcelona (BCN), Spain.
The same aircraft with an AF landing and EZY that took-off.
The lavatories, clean.
I tried to connect myself to the airport's Wi-Fi but the connection wassn't very effective because the airport site required some confidential data. I didn't insist.
Vueling left its parking to our aircraft, D-AIUE.
The boarding gate is ready for boarding.
Boarding started on time and priorities were respected. I noticed Business and Frequent Travellers boarded directly at the desk while other passengers boarded via self-boardings.
Here we go.
Our neighbor, SE-RJS, 737-700 SAS going back to Stockholm (ARN), Sweden. It started at SkyEurope Airlines before being transferred to SunExpress and Anadolu Jet before joining Scandinavian Airlines on the 25th of June 2014. "Nice to meet you".
Quick view on T2 with AF and DL.
Greetings of a smiling crew, his colleague seemed too busy to even say "hello".
A view of my Recaro seat.
The legroom is acceptable for 1,80m (6 foot tall)…
… but there's not much pitch left with a hand luggage and a big windbreaker under the seat in front of me.
Clean test OK.
Sharklet view with our swedish neighbor.
Passenger safety manual.
The LH european's network…
… and its worldwide network.
… with our aircraft.
Some of you may have noticed, we can use Wi-Fi onboard (of course with an extra).
10h19 Boarding completed and we don't wait for pushing. A220 LX.
Our aircraft is now free, onward. Asian's salutations clearly don't exist here.
A321 Finnair coming from Helsinki (HEL), Finland.
Take-off runway 04R
View on T2. EZY and AZ landed.
NCE and the city.
Off we go !!!
With the airport's famous right bend…
Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat and French and Italian's coasts.
10 minutes after we took off, the "fasten your seatbelt" signal's out and flight attendants immediately brought trolleys.
A first trolley passed for sandwiches, either chicken or cheese, followed by another one for drinks. I took a cheese sandwich with a tomato juice. At this moment, the stewardesses were surprised to hear me speak German.
I didn't eat the sandwich during the flight but I took it with me in case I would starve. It'll be good.
We had no turbulences until we started our descent.
Imminent diving into the clouds.
The weather at FRA is quite cloudy.
Last moments inflight.
A few aircrafts waiting before going to gate.
A330 LH with its new livery.
Welcome to Lufthansa Land. We're passing by Lufthansa Technik's sheds.
77W ANA heading to Tokyo Haneda (HND), Japan.
A388 SQ going to Singapore Changi (SIN), SIngapore.
I don't know why, but I have a bad feeling right now…
Boeing 767-400 Uzbekistan Airways going to Tashkent (TAS), Uzbekistan.
Bingo! We parked next to this CR7 IB flying for Air Nostrum. We are going to the terminal by bus.
Everyone got up to pick up their hand luggage.
Until I can reach the aisle, I flash a few aircrafts. Especially this 77W CX or, even better, this MD-11 LH Cargo in its final approach.
Last view of our aircraft, getting ready for its next flight, to Oslo (OSL), Norway.
Despite offboarding via a bus, we can make a satisfiyng spotting on our way.
And now, let's go to the lounge.
During the OLCI, I've been given the 03H seat. That was the best seat ever for the next flight. I'll tell you why on the next FR.
That's when I finally found which boarding gate I had to go: it was gate Z52. It wasn't bad at all because The LH Business Class and Senator Lounge Terminal 1 section Z is located just next to it.
The terminal leaves a bad impression at some places…
The FIDS didn't confirm our gate yet.
Here we are.
Let's go to the Business Class Lounge, located upstairs.
The lounge is very crowded, but it will be quieter after an hour.
You can store your belongings on those lockers. But don't forget your locker's key.
The buffets are available.
The drinks spot.
The hot selection…
… and the cold one.
My selection for my first lounge meal.
The desserts I chose.
And because we're transiting in Germany, it is out of the question to end this Chinese prologue without a famous bretzel. ;) I hope you enjoyed it. If so, don't hesitate to leave a like and subscribe. As for me, I'll meet you soon for the next flight, From Frankfurt to Beijing.
A good flight from one point to another.
The catering is sufficient for a short flight.
NCE: Very calm and convenient. Too bad there aren't lots of shops landside though.
FRA: I can't really explain why, but I feel like FRA looks like CDG quite a lot. If boarding and offboarding via Paxbus may not be appreciated, I have plenty of time as for my connection.
I'll tell more about the lounge on the next FR.