The airline with the best average rating is Lufthansa with 7.3/10.
The average flight time is 8 hours and 45 minutes.More information
Report No: 2021-307
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to this new series with Lufthansa on my way for another trip to the USA. In normal cases, I was supposed to fly with another airline on this trip, however, with the other airline providing me no options other than a full refund or a voucher, I have booked a ticket with Lufthansa which was the cheapest option for the dates I were intending to fly about 16-17 days before travel. Another option was to travel with Qatar Airways, although, they cancelled their overnight SAW-DOH flight which provided a really good connection to the morning bank of US departures so I'm glad that I didn't book them as I would have needed to leave Istanbul the evening before which wouldn't have worked with my plans for the previous day.
This report would cover a Lufthansa A330-300 experience on the Premium Economy cabin on a flight from Frankfurt to Washington Dulles. On this occasion, I have visited the Lufthansa Senator Lounge in Frankfurt Terminal 1B and this report would cover a brief review of that lounge as well.
Here is the routing for this series
Loads for this flight
Business Class: 65-70%
Premium Economy Class: 40-45%
Economy Class: 35-40%
After arriving from my previous flight, I was already in Terminal 1B and thought how could I spend a 4h30min layover.
As I had lounge access, I decided to visit the open Lufthansa Senator Lounge at Terminal 1B which involves clearing double security. However, on this occasion, clearing double security was a better idea than sitting in terminal chairs.
As a data point, during the day I travelled, the only Lufthansa Lounge open in the Non-Schengen area open was the B43 one. All other open lounges were at the Schengen area, which I don't have access due to the border restrictions.
A side note that the Lufthansa Senator Lounge in Terminal 1Z has re-opened in May 2021.
After an empty security experience and a short walk, I have arrived at the Lufthansa Senator Lounge. After scanning my boarding pass, I was granted access to the lounge. The lounge agent reminded me that due to the local restrictions, food&beverages are only available for take-away and it's not allowed to consume food&beverages inside the lounge.
That's why the bar was closed that day.
And, the buffet was empty
The area near the entrance was empty during my visit, however, the sleeper chairs and the sofas next to window were all occupied.
During my stay at the lounge, I asked for the paid upgrade price for Business Class at the lounge desk and I was told that an upgrade would cost €489 so I politely declined it.
During the lounge, I was able to spot D-AISL which is the aircraft that brought me from Istanbul to Frankfurt, earlier that morning.
The buffet had similar offerings compared to my last visit, however, the sandwich option was different.
Today's sandwich was a red cabbage sandwich with cottage cheese and mint.
Surprisingly, it tasted really good. To enjoy my sandwich, I needed to go downstairs and eat it at the staircase.
While enjoying my sandwich, I spotted this Air India 787
As well as this American Airlines 787
About 2h30mins before my flight, I asked for shower room, however, the attendant told me that there was 4 people in front of me which meant a wait. At that time, I decided to get another cup of tea and a pretzel and enjoy it at the same place, downstairs at the lounge staircase.
I realized that the American 787 was replaced with this Lufthansa A350-900 at that time.
About 1h30mins before my flight, the shower attendant told me that still there was 2 people in front of me, thus I handed back the pager for the shower as I had a trek to another part of the airport which would take about 20-25 minutes, so I left the lounge without having a shower.
The airside transfer bus between Z and B gates is not running because of the pandemic so I needed to use the Skyline to go to Z gates where my flight would depart.
The Skyline was empty during my ride
After arriving at Terminal 1Z, I needed to reclear security, however, this time, the wait was also minimal. I didn't wait for an empty lane and the process was smooth.
FIDS for the day in Z gates
D-AIKE named Landshut was parked at gate Z19 when I arrived
At the gate, there was a queue for document checks. There was a long line with 15 people, however, there was a First/Business/Star Gold desk which had no wait. At the document check desk, my eligibility to fly to the USA from the Schengen Area, my COVID test and my attestation that I tested negative was rechecked and I was all set after the agent put a sticker in back of my passport.
About 40 minutes before departure boarding has started with passengers requiring extra assistance which was followed by passengers seated in Business Class and holding Star Gold status. I was one of the first passengers to board that day.
After being welcomed by the crew at the aircraft door, I headed to my seat 19A which was located at the last row of the Premium Economy cabin. A blanket and a pillow was already available at the seat.
Here is the legroom.
A bottle of water was also present at the seat area. As I didn't have any neighbors for this flight, both of the bottles were for my usage.
The remote for the IFE. A side note that as the IFE screen reflected my face due to the sunlight, I would not be providing images of the IFE screen on most parts of this report.
An amenity kit by Replay Blue Jeans was available at the seat pocket.
Seats in the Premium Economy cabin have power outlets as well as USB ports under the IFE screen. However, the power outlets were not functioning until we took off and reached our cruising altitude
Our neighbor was this Lufthansa A319 for the day
Boarding didn't took that long and the seatbelt signs were turned on after boarding was completed.
At that time, the Lufthansa A319 next door had pushed back and this United 787 heading to Chicago O'Hare become present.
However, shortly a Condor A320 had parked next door.
At that time, the crew came to distribute earphones and disinfectant wipes.
Shortly before we started our pushback, I visited the lavatory; which was not 100% clean but alright.
Shortly after I returned to my seat, menus were distributed by the cabin crew.
On this flight, there would be a lunch service after takeoff and a snack service before arrival.
Here are the drink options in Premium Economy which has been significantly reduced after the pandemic started.
As soon as the safety video had started to play, we have started our pushback.
Two United Dreamliner's at Z gates.
Lufthansa A320neo at Terminal 1B
An Emirates 777-300ER in the Expo 2020 livery taxiing to Terminal 1B.
Lufthansa A321 at a remote stand
Another Lufthansa A330 and an Air India 787
And another Lufthansa A330-300
Some Lufthansa Cityline aircraft
Air Canada aircraft at remote stands near the cargo area. Presumably, they were operating freight-only flights.
After a 5-10 minute taxi, it was our turn to take-off and we took off towards the south.
Some photos after takeoff
After take-off, the FlyNet service was activated.
There are three package options for Wi-Fi on this flight which are not cheap at all, however, it's nice that they don't have any data limit. I haven't purchased a package on this flight so I can't comment on the quality.
The first hour of the flight was uneventful as Lufthansa has cut their aperitif service in Premium Economy and Economy Class. About an hour after takeoff, lunch was served. I have opted for the pasta option and asked for some red wine which was promptly served. Also, as the cabin crew doesn't come back for coffee/tea anymore, I have asked for a decaf coffee which arrived 10 minutes after my tray was served.
The tray had a salad, a dessert, bread, butter, salad dressing and cheese alongside with the main course.
Although the official description included that the salad would be served with Italian Dressing, the tray had French Dressing
Mixed Salad with Cherry Tomato and Mozzarella Ball accompanied by Italian Dressing
The main pasta course which was delicious. The other main course option for this service was salmon.
Rigatoni in Creamy Tomato Sauce
My decaf coffee
And the cappuccino cream cake for dessert
A few minutes after the meal service, the trays were collected and I slept until the second snack service begun.
For the second service, no option is available; however, the snack was OK in terms of quality. I would have appreciated a warm snack although Lufthansa has decided to cut hot options on flights under 10 hours on their second service.
Here is the light meal which was served with fruits, bread and butter. For this service, I have opted for a tomato juice and a cup of tea as a drink.
Slices of roasted Veal in Vitello Tonnato Sauce with Capers
Fruit Salad with dried Cranberries and Honey
About an hour ago, the trays were collected and we were somewhere around Connecticut
Before arrival, the cabin crew made their final checks and I have opened my window blind for landing.
The weather wasn't perfect that day
Before landing, I was able to spot this United A319 landing at a parallel runway at the same time as we were going to land.
We have landed at Washington Dulles Airport on time.
This Qatar Airways 777-300ER had landed just before us and was taxiing to his gate. This was bad news as this meant extra wait at immigration
Mobile lounges which are an iconic symbol of the airport
The main terminal and a United Express regional jet
We were parking at the gate at the same time as this QR 777-300ER was parking.
Although, our neighbor was this Emirates 777-300ER
We were going to park at gate B45/B47
After the seatbelt sign has been turned off, it was announced that we were going to deboard row by row, however, as Business Class, Premium Economy and row numbers under 30 in Economy has been announced at the same time, the aisle was a bit crowded.
After stepping inside the terminal, I took the last photo of D-AIKE for the day.
I also had the chance to take a photo of this Austrian 767-300
Later on, I headed to the mobile lounge that would take me to immigration. There were two separate mobile lounges available. One for transfer passengers and one for passengers terminating their journey at IAD. As we needed to wait for the crew to come, we waited about 20-25 minutes before departing to the immigration hall.
As Qatar Airways passengers had arrived to the immigration before us, there was a 10-15 minute wait but the process was smooth. At the line, someone from CDC were distributing these flyers; however, as self-isolation is not mandatory in the USA and as most people wouldn't follow their advice, I saw a lot of people throwing these flyers to the trash can.
My bags were already there when I arrived and then I directly headed to the exit.
It was a perfect timing as I was going to take the bus to Washington DC from the airport and I have arrived at the bus stop 2 minutes before the buses scheduled departure time. The next one was within an hour so it wouldn't be nice to wait when it was raining.
I have left the airport with the bus and this report has come to an end.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this series.
I hope you to see you all in another report.
To conclude this report, I could tell that it was this flight was an average LH transatlantic flight in their Premium Economy cabin. Even though the security lines in FRA are really efficient these days, the lounge offerings are mediocre and if LH wanted, they could have offered better grab&go offerings. The flight itself was uneventful and similar to my previous LH Premium Economy Flight-Report. The meals were fabulous as always on ex-FRA flights, always I still don't appreciate the cost-cutting on cutting the pre-departure beverage, spirits&digestive, no snacks being available and the second service being so basic. The lavatories were clean throughout the flight which was a plus, although the entertainment options are a bit weak compared to their competitors. However, LH offers high-speed Wi-Fi which is a bit expensive. Despite that, it's still a nice touch that LH is still offering amenity kits on PE. The arrival experience at IAD was pleasant with decent wait times for immigration and my bag already being at the belt as I cleared immigration, although it wasn't nice to wait the whole flight to deplane for the moon buggy to depart which was 20-25 minutes.
(+) Security wait times
(+) Organized boarding process with priorities being respected
LH Senator Lounge B
(+) Friendly lounge staff
(+) Availability of power outlets
(-) No proper food and beverages
(-) Showers were crowded
(+) Comfortable seats and decent legroom
(+) The quality of the meals, however, the second service could be improved
(+) Lavatories were mostly clean throughout the flight
(+) Amenity kit
(+-) High-speed Wi-Fi being available, however it's expensive
(-) Lack of the aperitif service and mid-flight offerings
(+) Bags were already there when I arrived
(+) Acceptable immigration wait time
(-) Long wait for the moon buggy to depart