When I booked this flight in early July, it was originally planned on the inaugural service of KLM to Cork on the 3rd of August and hoped that Ireland would follow most European countries by opening it's borders for most travellers. Unfortunately it didn't and therefore I decided to change my flight to Stuttgart a few days ahead of my original flight. From Stuttgart I would fly the day after to Münster-Osnabruck Airport with AIS Airlines on their Jetstream 32, which is a Dutch airline I always wanted to try out, but this plan too got canceled five days ahead of my planned departure as the German authorities did not allow AIS to fly without HEPA filter, which you can rarely find on older turboprops (This flight I'll do when I can use their voucher). Now left with a flight to Stuttgart and a flight from Hamburg to Amsterdam, I tried to find a way to fly from Stuttgart to Hamburg and eventually found an interesting route with Lübeck Air to Lübeck (Thanks to the report of fellow flight reporter Euroairport68).
So the actual routing I did on this 2-day journey is as followed:
Booking a flight with Lübeck Air is pretty straightforward. It is currently running a 6 day schedule from Sunday to Friday with two daily flights to Munich and a daily flight to Stuttgart. I eventually bought myself a ticket in the lowest class possible for 98 euros one way from Stuttgart.
Check-in opens 24 hours before departure and only requires your surname and your bookingscode to be inserted. While the site doesn't necessarily make it that clear, but you'll have the option to change it to English next to the button ''Weiter'', which means ''Next'' in German.
It requires you to approve the conditions of the tickets and what kind of products/goods you may and may not carry on board of your flight before you are directed to the seat map of your flight. Considering that only four seats (including me) are currently blocked, it does not look promising for the load of today's flight given the fact that I only checked in a few hours before my departure.
Online check-in is completed and you're now given a choice to download your boarding card via PDF file, Send it to your mail or download it to your wallet on your mobile phone.
While I just arrived from Amsterdam about 30 minutes ago and the connecting flights door was locked, I was forced to enter Germany officially (luckily you do not need passport control in Schengen) and was required to do the entire process over again by heading to security. The departure hall was a level up and looked pretty spacious given the height of the ceiling. It was also not that crowded and security eventually did not take more than a few minutes to clear.
While the terminal on airside looks very deserted, it was definitely the opposite at certain peaks and due to the narrow passage it was impossible to practise social distancing to get to your gates. Also there were quite a few police officers walking around which seemed odd to me (odd as in the amount of them).
Apparently my flight would depart from the same gate I did arrive on by this E-175 of KLM Cityhopper who brought me over from Amsterdam about 40 minutes ago. A very sleak bird.
The only real practise of social distancing done by Stuttgart Airport was at the seating area in which they placed a green sticker on every other seat to remind us of this regulation.
While the terminal of Stuttgart is a bit more further than the beginning of the runway, it also gives you an excellent view of arriving aircraft if runway 07 is being used like the photo below when I saw my aircraft arriving about fifty minutes prior to our scheduled departure.
Today's flight would board via Gate 316 and loved the small traffic light in the right corner of the screen which indicated whether boarding was happening (green) and an orange/reddish colour when boarding was not happening or done already.
The ground attendant wished us a pleasant flight, walked down the stairs to ground level to be transported to our aircraft by bus. The picture below (except two people who would enter the bus a few minutes later) indicates the load for today's flight. I highly doubt it would have been a very profitable flight on it's way back and I hope these numbers are not going to be common for Lübeck Air, otherwise I'll fear for their sustainability.
Today's flight would be performed by a twelve year old ATR 72-500 and flew for respectively Golden Air and BRA Braathens Regional, before joining Air Alsie in February 2020. In July of the same year it started operating flights for virtual airline Lübeck Air. The aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW100 engines. The cabin is also equipped with 60 seats giving us an outstanding seat pitch of 35 inches, which is by far one of the best I've had on regional and even longhaul flights in Economy.
Despite the age of the aircraft, the ATR's cabin felt like brand new with no signs of wear and was in a great state compared to some -600 variants I've flown before.
While seat pitch was superior to any other competitor around, I found the patching of the seats to be limited. Though it wasn't a massive issue as the flight was going to be under two hours like all flights of Lübeck Air are.
The view from my seat.
Upon boarding the aircraft and greeted by two friendly flight attendants, we first had to disinfect our hands and received a pre-packed sealbag by one of the attendants.
The contents of those sealbags were a face mask, rubber gloves, a tissue and a disinfection wipe.
The only literature content you've had was this safety card of the aircraft, which was pretty simple and clear to understand.
It also came with a sickbag in a format I've never seen before with any other airline and requires you to twist the top of the bag if you ever happen to use it.
The very busy cabin for today's flight.
The aircraft is also equipped with an individual reading light and an air vent.
Another feature of Lübeck Air to practise social distancing is to block the seat adjacent to you by the following sign.
Engines were started with a very short ride to our departure runway and required us to hold for a few minutes as flight attendants were performing their safety instructions, which was probably my biggest complain to Lübeck Air was that the entire safety demonstration was done in German and no repeat in English. Now I can speak/understand German, but I'm sure that there may be some non-German speakers on board so now and then who would not understand it.
Eventually we were airborne about 10 minutes past our boarding time for a northerly departure to Lübeck. Considering the low load of today's flight, you could really feel the power of those engines during departure with a very very short take off roll. The first few minutes were quite bumpy till all clouds were cleared.
Another shot of the impressive legroom I had on my flight. I think my hand could fit like 2.5 times from my knee to the back of that seat.
Still looking very neat and I love the colour scheme of the seats as it gave the cabin a very classy look.
The seats had somewhat of a headrest with a branded headrest cover.
About 20 minutes into flight, we were asked by the flight attendants if we wanted to have something to eat. I did say yes and received a foodbox.
The contents of the box were as followed:
- Sandwich Ham & Cheese with lettuce and tomatoes.
- Some sort of spinach quiche with some parma ham on top
- A Cherry Crumb Cake
All were very very delicious, yet very filling and had difficultiees to finish it.
You also received wooden cutlery instead of plastic ones and I actually found them very decent. Definitely better than the plastic ones served to you by most airliners.
The flight attendant also asked me what I would like to drink and opted for a beer, which was a Konig Pilsener served to you in a bottle. Next to Lufthansa, I haven't seen any other airline serving you a bottle of beer in flight.
And here is to a good flight. So far I'm really impressed with the product offered by Lübeck Air and would definitely hope for them to be sustainable in their operations.
Weather has been very good today and by now we were passing over the Frankfurt area.
Eventually needed to use the lavatory and made by way to the aft galley where the lavatory is located. The lavatory was very clean, yet very tiny without a lot of room to maneouvre as you can see in the photos below.
Guess what I just found in the lavatory. A OSHIBORI! I would definitely not expect that to be present on such a short flight.
Eventually did my delivery to the lavatory and made my way up the cabin.
While opening the oshibori, I was surprised to see an oshibori of this type of quality be available to Economy. I've seen worser ones being served to you in some business class flights on longhaul.
Soon after, the flight attendants came around with pillows as we still had to fly for about 45 minutes. The pillows were a bit too soft and did not offer that much of support, but it was a nice gesture of them and it even has some branding on it too if you look closely.
By now we were nearing Lübeck and the pilots checked in with us giving us the latest weather information, thanked us for choosing Lübeck air and gave us an estimation that we would be on ground in 15 minutes and that we would be late by approximately 5 minutes or so.
On long final for runway 25.
The landing was very very smooth and did take a while as the aircraft had to vacate at the end of the runway. Once again the flight attendant made an announcement in only German.
Disembarking was done very quickly and gave us some good last views of the aircraft that brought us over to Lübeck. Considering that Lübeck Air is only operating for two months, the ground staff was yet very enthusiastic and did welcome us in Lübeck by having quite a few chats with us.
Lübeck Airport is a very small airport and operates oonly with one single baggage band, it took not more than 30 seconds to exit the airport from aircraft (probably even less).
The entry of the terminal for departures with some construction on the right side of the terminal.
I eventually went up the bridge to go down by that elevator to catch my train to Lübeck Central Station to connect there to Hamburg, which takes about 90 minutes to reach (and another 30 minutes to reach Hamburg Airport) as I would be flying home tomorrow from Hamburg Airport with KLM.
The train station is a single track one and does come with a ticket machine. I believe a train runs to Lübeck every 30 minutes or so, though be careful that you take the right train!
Thanks for stopping by!
A very interesting and great little airline who surprised me a lot and I hope they'll be around for a while, but given the load factor on this flight, I fear for the worst.