The airline with the best average rating is Lufthansa with 7.3/10.
The average flight time is 1 hours and 2 minutes.More information
Hello and welcome to the flight report of probably one of most amazing flights I have ever taken until today. The flight respectively this trip has quite a background story but I'll try to keep it short :).
It all started back in December of last year, when Lufthansa started to deploy their A350-900 weekly on Tuesdays on LH117 from Munich to Frankfurt and on LH122 from Frankfurt to Munich, to change the crews and airframes of the temporary A350-900 base in Frankfurt, which was started in late 2020 due to, who'd guess it, Sars CoV-19. One of my friends contacted me per Messenger: "Hey Lars, you wanna fly that with me, just for fun?" and I, of course, told him that I'd sure take part on that trip! I had a MUC-GVA-OPO-FRA-MUC Business Class routing on Lufthansa for the second week after Christmas, with the return from Porto to Munich via Frankfurt on a Wednesday so I called the Callcenter and they changed it to Tuesday for free, so that I could fly the A359 with my friend. This all happened early December. But as the situation in Portugal got way worse in just a few weeks, I had to cancel the whole trip, which I was really upset about as I was looking damn forward to it, because you don't get to fly an A350-900 in Business Class in with Germany that often at all.
These domestic A359 crew shuttles were planned to end in late February, but then getting extended and extended as the situation was not good enough to substitute the preliminary A359 base with old, less economic and bigger planes like the A343. As of now the services are extended up to mid-December, if I were you I wouldn't miss this chance of flying the A359 domestically in Germany!
Over the time, there were, additionally to the weekly Tuesday flights, extra rotations on mostly Saturday and Sunday, about one every one or two months, but also an one-off flight on a Thursday. Normally I am not able to just fly that routing during the week and that's why I am extremely happy to have a friend at Lufthansa here in Munich who contacted me each time when an extra-flight was planned for a weekend. That's what happened on the 22th of April. I got a message from him, saying that there would be an extra A359 flight on the 1th of May, on flight LH113. This was the point I knew I would have to take this opportunity. I booked within hours. Directly after booking I contacted two of my best friends, one from Dusseldorf, the other based in Halle, who would be flying that on the 25th May, a Tuesday and adviced them to join me on the first of May. They were both up to it as it even fitted their scheduled better because it was on a weekend and they called the Callcenter to get re-booked onto my flight, which was possible for free due to Lufthansa's very accomodating re-booking policies.
All in all, booked only one and a half weeks in advance, this would be our final routing on the first of May.
At this point you may still be wondering why I am talking the whole time about the A350-900, but in fact flew on the A340-300. Just wait a little bit, you will see!
The last seven days before finally flying again where hell, I steadily kept checking the seat maps, booking status and the load factor of the booking classes of both flights as Lufthansa started to cancel flights on short notice, what happened to my friend from Dusseldorf, thanks god with the possibility to take another flight the same day so she wouldn't have to cancel her trip.
The real shock then came on Saturday, exactly one week before departure, when our German president, Mister Steinmeier, signed the so called 'Bundesnotbremse', a statute containing many more cuts into the normal life, but way worse, a curfew after 10pm. My problem: My flight back from Frankfurt, LH122 was arriving in Munich on 10:25pm, that is already twenty-five minutes after the beginning of the curfew. I really did not know what to do anymore as the Hotels were all closed for touristic stays and called everyone possible, from the administrative district office, the town hall and someone from the responsible authority of the Bavarian government. No one was capable of helping me, so I saw no possibility apart from calling a lawyer and explaining him the situation. He told me he would look for a possibility to overcome the curfew. And so did he! He found out that i, as a passenger, had the right to get an exceptional permission for my journey back home from the airport in Munich. That's why I called the administrative district office again and, at a stroke, they knew what I was talking about and immediately sent me the permit per Mail, the trip could finally start.
On Friday then, fourteen hours before departure, my friend working at Lufthansa here in Munich wrote me that, parallel to my A350-900 flight, which would be the passenger flight, an A340-300 would be taken on a ferry flight from it's storage here in Munich to Frankfurt as it was now needed there for cargo operations. He told me that normally the A359 flight would got cancelled and the A340-300 would fly with the passengers to Frankfurt then, but as this ferry flight was planned by the Lufthansa Operations Center in Frankfurt and not by the one in Munich where my friend works at, there would be both flights at the same time. Damn it, flying the A340-300 would have been way cooler.
Even though I would not have to take a Covid-19 Test for the flight, I marked an appointment for 10 o'clock as I would be meeting a friend of mine in Frankfurts Terminal 1B Senator Lounge, which is Non-Schengen and in some cases you need a test when coming back from Non-Schengen B to Schengen A. After the test at 10 o'clock, getting the negative result at 1030 o'clock, I started driving to Munich airport. There weren't that many cars on the street and I reached Munich in 1 hour and twenty minutes, which is a really good time. After parking directly in P8, next to the MAC, I finally met my travel partners which had already arrived a bit ahead, Michael from Halle by train and Julia from Dusseldorf by plane. Because we all were absolutely up to date we already knew in advance that in the lounge only snacks and water to go would be offered, so we all had a good Big Mac in the McDonalds before entering the deserted Terminal.
But then it happened. Just after my arrival in Munich, still eating my Big Mac (Which was way too dry) I got a call. From my friend working at the Lufthansa Operations Center in Munich. Our flight just got an aircraft change! Our A359 would be ferried to Frankfurt one day later while we would get the chance to fly on an A340-300 from Munich to Frankfurt! How crazy is that? I was bubbling over with joy.
Then we got our boarding passes as we wanted to get airside as fast as possible. We all had already checked-in at home before but all wanted the boarding pass in hard copy as a memory :). While Michael used the First Class Check-In as he is a SA*G, I had to use the normal Business Class counters which had almost as double as many people in queue than the Economy Class ones!
The terminal was literally deserted.
Afterwards, we went straight to the only Lounge open in whole Munich Airport (!), the Lufthansa Business Class Lounge directly after the security in front of gate G28, which features nice furniture and amenities of which not all can be used right now, e.g. the showers. Furthermore, you were not allowed to consume food in the lounge because of the 'Infektionsschutzgesetz', ah I love that term, the German Infection Protection Act. At the lounge we met Philipp who had also booked this special flight for himself, was great to meet you!
The surely most iconic LH Lounge in Munich. Seat Factor was at approximately 10 percent.
Directly after unlocking my iPhone, I was directed to the access site for the WiFi, well done LH haha.
WiFi was super fast and more than sufficient, nothing to complain about.
As there was really nothing to do in the lounge, we decided to take some food and leave about two hours before departure to go to a restaurant which surprisingly had already open, where we after purchasing one sandwich and a drink for everyone could sit around a table without masks on.
The offer in the Business Class Lounge G28 was the following:
- Apples and Bananas
- Chocolate Muffins
- Some kind of Mini-sandwich with creme and Serrano ham in it
- Hard, German Pretzels
- Water as well as coffee
All this was provided for take-away only at the exit.
The chocolate muffin was extraordinarily sweet and succulent so I did not even finish it (3/10), the pretzel was an impertinence (2/10) but the sandwich was actually okay (7/10).
After eating and drinking we proceeded to the gate, which would be the one at Gate G32, passing by 'our' A359 which would get ferried to FRA the day after.
Our new plane for that day! D-AIFE (Delta Alpha India Foxtrot Echo) an almost twenty year old A340-300 in Star Alliance Special Colours, given name 'Passau'. This is one of the A340-300 which flew for Lufthansa CityLine under the JUMP project for several years, only featuring three rows of Business Class back then but nowadays already reconfigured to the A340-300 standard 5 rows. And we already knew that that'd be a problem! The A350-900 seat map already was relatively well filled but featured 8 rows, this airframe has as mentioned one line above only 5 rows though! Furthermore, we had additional passengers from Sylt, whose direct flight from Westerland to Frankfurt got cancelled so they got re-booked via Munich without notice! These factors caused that, unfortunately, Philipp and a bunch of other passengers who had only got a Stand-By Ticket, could not fly with us to Frankfurt. It was still amazing to meeting you Philipp, hope to fly one day with you again!
After the shock that he could not fly with us that day, it was already time for boarding our A340-300!
As we were all flying Business Class, we were assigned to boarding group 2, directly after the Lufthansa HON Circles and families with young children, which of the latter were none onboard.
Let the fun part begin!
Before even going to the seat, directly after boarding the plane, I asked for permission to visit the cockpit. The crew was absolutely amazing on this flight and of course let us into the cockpit, then providing us with many very interesting information about the flight route and the plane, which came directly out of longterm storage!
Now presenting: The cabin
Any eye catcher? Yes, there are no head-rest covers! The purser explained that the aircraft change was just too on time so preparing the plane for a passenger flight in an acceptable manner was not possible any more.
Directly after boarding and even before takeoff, I made a quick stop at one of the lavatories. There was no soap in the container but something looking like very hard, old chewing gums….
My seat for the flight, 5A, last row of the Business Class compartment.
Right behind me, the Economy Class passenger were boarding. The three rows of Premium Economy could be chosen for 25€ but were free to Senators and HON Circles.
Soon after and just slightly behind schedule, we started our pushback and made quite a long taxi all over to the only opened runway in Munich right now, the 'Nordbahn' (08L/26R for the freaks) as the 'Südbahn' was undergoing maintenance at that moment.
What an amazing engine view!
Safety instruction video.
At the very end of the runway in Munich. We were one of the very few movements on that Saturday evening.
And we were up in the skies! We used almost the whole runway for takeoff.
Such an amazing view of those engines.
Meal is served!
As you can see, it consisted out of a piece of plumcake, cream, grapes and some slices of orange. All in all, it tasted very good and was more than appropriate for such a short domestic flight.
I had finished, before the flight attendants even brought the drinks.
Sadly, due to a loading error on the side of LSG Skychefs who had only catered enough glasses for an A320 flight which is normal on that route, there were no more glasses left and my drinks were served in plastic cups. In my opinion not that of a big deal though.
Ere long it was already time for the descent into Frankfurt.
But due to the fact, that we started in Munich with 54.000 Kilograms of fuel to be just above MTOW, Minimum Takeoff Weight, we were way to heavy and above MLW, Maximum Landing Weight. If you go to flightradar and look at our flightroute, you can see that we made several turns above Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate before touching down in Frankfurt.
And touchdown! We landed extremely smoothly and exactly on the touch-down zone! Which was really necessary as we needed the whole length of the runway, which has got 4.000 meters.
Leaving the runway.
Taxiing to our gate, passing by the Condor Retro in some distance.
The iconic DFS Tower.
Approaching our gate.
And there we are, safely arrived in Frankfurt!
What a hell of an amazing cockpit!
Decided to add some more pictures of the cabin I took whilst talking to the crew.
Thank you for the very enjoyable ride, D-AIFE!
Thanks for reading and see you on the return flight (on a normal A319 though) but with very extensive lounge hopping.
One of the greatest experiences I have ever had, thanks again to my friends and my fellows at Lufthansa for making it that amazing.