Review of Lufthansa flight Vienna Frankfurt in Business

Airline Lufthansa
Flight LH1235
Class Business
Seat 3F
Aircraft Airbus A320neo
Flight time 01:05
Take-off 21 May 20, 10:40
Arrival at 21 May 20, 11:45
LH   #54 out of 141 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 1130 reviews
FConceicao
By SILVER 995
Published on 23rd May 2020

Hello Dear Reader,

This is the report of flight LH1235 from Vienna - Schwechat International Airport (IATA: VIE - ICAO: LOWW) to Frankfurt International Airport (IATA: FRA - ICAO: EDDF) with Lufthansa (IATA: LH - ICAO: DLH), member of Star Alliance, in Business class, during the Coronavirus, on May/21st 2020.

It was founded in Jan/1953 and is based at Frankfurt and Munich Airports, currently has 306 airplanes, with an average age of 11,8y, operating routes to 220. Only 76 airplanes (25%) were reported to be in operation.

The entire group (Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, Brussels Airlines, and Eurowings) has over 700 aircraft and are one of the largest airlines in the world.

The entire group reported last year a revenue of 36 400 million Euros, 1 117 315 flights (1,2% increase compared with 2018), 145 190 000 passengers (more 2,3%) and a load factor of 82,5% (1% more occupation than in 2018). The group last year had a total of 138 353 employees.

On 19 March 2020 Lufthansa cancelled 95 percent of all flights due to a travel ban because of the COVID-19 pandemic. From that date until June LH always ensured 2 daily flights operated by an Airbus A320 Neo.

Apart from the virus the air connections with the most important cities in Europe were always assured via its hub in Frankfurt.

Check my video with the full flight report:



Routing

  • Vienna to Frankfurt You are here

Departure airport


Lufthansa operates from Terminal 3 at Vienna International Airport, together with Austrian, the Star Alliance Partners and during this crisis, all the other passenger flights, as the T2 (Gates B/C & D) is closed.

The terminal 3 is divided into gates F (for Schengen flights) and gates G (for Non-Schengen flights), located one floor above to allow a more versatility to Austrian Airlines swapping the airplanes between Schengen and Non-Schengen destinations.

This airport, located 20km east of Vienna, counts with 2 Terminals and 2 runways. There are future expansion plans for a 3rd runway and now construction works are being made to connect both terminals and also include more shops.

Last year, 31,7 million passengers were in VIE and more than 266k movements. During April 2020, only 2 370 passengers passed by VIE, on average 79 passengers per day and a decrease of 99,6% in Passenger Volume (compared with Apr/2019), a total of 259 movements, a reduction of 94,3% and 1 162 tonnes of cargo (-12,9%).

The check-in counters for Lufthansa in Vienna are the same as for Austrian, Brussels and Swiss, but only a few desks were opened for Economy Class and 3 for Business Class. 



After check-in, I proceeded to the X-Ray screening, which was empty. Then there are desinfectant dispensers before the duty free area.

The Austrian Airlines and the Airport Lounges, located on a floor above the Schengen departures (Gates F), were closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

All the stores at the airport (gates F) were also closed and was only possible to find some vending machines of water and some soft drinks thru the terminal. At the arrivals public area, there is a Spar Supermarket, opened everyday (expect Sunday and Public Holidays, like was on May/21st), so was not possible eat anything neither drink a coffee. Hope Vienna’s Airport improve this situation very soon and allows at least one or two cafés to open.

Most of the toilet facilities were closed and the only in use was near gates F01-F03. 



Boarding


The boarding gate for this flight was the F01, as usual during the lockdown, located in the beginning of Terminal 3.

The airplane from the outbound flight (Frankfurt) arrived at 09h40 (15 minutes earlier).

The schedule boarding time was at 10h05 and an announcement regarding the mandatory use of the face mask and the 1,5m distance between passengers was made, following the boarding.

The boarding started with passengers of group A and B followed by the rest. I was the last passenger boarding at 10h28.



Flight


This flight was operated by an Airbus A320-271 Neo, Registration D-AINC, with 4 years old. The cabin had a standard European Business Class in 3 rows (configuration 2-2, with the middle seat blocked for more space to the passengers) and the rest of the airplane with the Economy Class.

The maximum capacity of the airplane is 186 and in this configuration 180. For this flight was 8 passengers in Business Class (out of 12 seats), 116 passengers in Economy (out of 168) and a total load factor of 69%

I was seated at 3F in Business Class.

The aircraft pushed-back 11h50 and taxied to the runway 29. The transit of the airplane was around 1 hour.



Around the time of the departure, in Vienna the wind speed was 13km/h, variable between West and East, air temperature of 17 degrees Celsius, dew point of 2, atmospheric pressure of 1022 hPa and clear sky.

The actual departure time was at 11h40, 5 after scheduled departure (at 11h35) 



After take-off, the airplane turned right to avoid flying over Vienna and proceeded to the destination. Around 6 minutes after take-off the airplane reached 10 000ft, the seat belt sign was turned off and the crew handed over a leaflet with the regulation for passengers arriving in Germany: from April/2020 only passengers living or with a valid reason are allowed to enter in Germany and have to accomplish a 14 day quarantine.

15 min after departure, a meal was served. The crew previously announced the reduction of the service in all classes. For business class they gave a cold meal containing cheese, salad, an omelette with potato, bread, butter, chocolates and a dessert. Together a bottle of water was handed over and no other service was offered.

The wind, reported at Frankfurt, was calm (5,5km/h) variable between North to Southeast, a visibility more than 10km, few clouds at 1500m, a ground temperature of 22 degrees Celsius, dew point of 11, atmospheric pressure of 1020 hPa and no changes of weather expected. Andrew 



The aircraft landed on Runway 07R at Frankfurt Airport at 11h45, 15 before scheduled arrival (at 12h00), then taxied to the stand A13 and arrived there at 11h50.



Arrival Airport


Frankfurt Airport, located 12km southwest of the city, 4 runways, is the 4th busiest airport in the Europe and the 13th in the world.

There are 2 main passenger Terminals: T1 for Lufthansa, Air Malta, Alitalia, Bulgaria Air, Iran Air, MEA, Oman Air and Tunisair. The T2 is used by all the other airlines.

Last year recorded 70,5 million passengers (an increase 1,5% compared with 2018), 513 912 movements (more 0,4%) and 2,1 million tonnes of cargo (a decrease of 4%)

On April, 188 078 passengers were registered (a decrease of 97% compared with Apr/2019), 6 512 movements (less 85%) and 141 thousand tonnes (-21%).  

Apart A13 is a stand with jet bridge, all arriving passengers are transferred by bus to the bus gate where a control check is made. Initially the passengers are split between connections to Non-Schengen destinations and other.



I had a Schengen connection and was directed to the passport control, where the officer asked me for my destination and plane ticket. 



After this I accessed the luggage livery area and the main exit afterwards. Unfortunately with this restrictions, the connecting passengers cannot directly go to gates A, and is needed to access the main departure hall and the security check again, which is still doable because there not many passengers and the lines at the security are not that long and the flights are only operating to gate A26.

I was at the public arrivals area 10 minutes after arriving at gate.

Thank you very much for browsing through my flight report,
Fábio Conceição

(Data source: Airfleets.net, Wikipedia.org, Airports and Airline’s Website)


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Verdict

Lufthansa

7.2/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering8.0

Vienna - VIE

6.2/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.5
Services0.5
Cleanliness8.0

Frankfurt - FRA

7.4/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

Very surprised for the business class service during this outbreak. The crew was nice and hope the confidence of the passengers continues to grow to restore the air traffic! Very sad to see the airports so empty! I hope at least some cafés reopen in Vienna very soon!

Information on the route Vienna (VIE) Frankfurt (FRA)

3 Comments

  • Comment 554802 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5226 Comments

    Interesting to see what intra-European Business class service is like in times of Covid. The catering doesn't seem much different from normal times, which is good to see. I see there is a bottle of water on the tray--was this all the drinks that were served, or was it possible to request champagne, wine, and spirits as usual?

    The 69% load factor is rather healthy, but not entirely surprising being that this is a LH Group Hub-to-hub route. I wonder on other routes; however, if Business class will be worth it during times of Covid, considering loads have generally been below 50% and usually the middle seat is empty in Y--where previously this was the advantage of Business class. Of course, intra-European business class will always be worth it for those who are connecting to long-haul, but it will be interesting to see if sales of J vs Y have fallen for point-to-point European itineraries.

    Thanks for sharing

    • Comment 554808 by
      FConceicao SILVER AUTHOR 24 Comments

      Hi Kévin,
      Thank you for your comment.
      On this flight anything else was offered, but considering the flight time and the situation I think is ok. In Economy they served a sandwich and also a bottle of water. I was checking the flight loads on another flights and in April the occupation was around 50%, but now, for the cities with 2 daily flights, usually the morning flight inbound to FRA and the afternoon flight outbound from FRA are very full and the other 2 not that much, so we can conclude most of the passengers are connecting via FRA because LH is one of the options to fly, and should also taking some advantage of this because the prices are a bit high for some routes.

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