The airline with the best average rating is Lufthansa with 7.3/10.
The average flight time is 2 hours and 29 minutes.More information
Greetings, dear Flight-Report community, and a very warm welcome to this new report of mine! After a bit of a break, I'm back with part 2 of this current series, involving a brief trip to Sofia that I took last summer. In part 1, I flew from Vienna to Sofia aboard an Austrian Airlines A320 in Business Class. For the return, I chose Lufthansa over Austrian, and decided to fly back to Innsbruck via Frankfurt. Glad to have you here, and I hope you enjoy the report!
The routing of this series is as follows:
I booked these flights as two different itineraries with miles, as my dates were inflexible and prices weren't good for those dates. Both itineraries, VIE-SOF and SOF-INN cost 8k United miles to book.
This flight was originally meant to be operated by an A320neo, though the night before departure Lufthansa swapped that for an A320ceo. I flew this exact same route on an A320neo 20 days later, so feel free to check out that report if you're interested.
I got to the airport at 5:20, 90 minutes prior to departure. Annoyingly, at the time of the flight, German regulations required that passenger's documents be checked by ground staff before anyone could receive a boarding pass, so despite the fact that I checked-in via the Lufthansa app, I still had to queue up and get an actual boarding pass. Fortunately the line moved quickly and I was airside in no time.
Around the time I got airside, the Austrian E195 to Vienna was getting ready to depart.
Parked at gate A1 was my ride up to Frankfurt.
I made myself comfortable at the north end of the terminal, and bought a sad-looking croissant and disgusting espresso for 5 Lev (~$2.70)
A view of the sunrise from the terminal.
Boarding was called at around 6:25, and I was one of the first to line up. At the gate, a hawk-eyed agent spotted my suitcase and forced me to check it. While underweight and totally able to fit in the overhead locker of an A320, I didn't feel like making a scene and resigned to my suitcase's fate. Luckily it would be sent all the way to Innsbruck without needing to be re-checked.
Face to face with the morning's aircraft. Flying me to Germany was D-AIUY, which was built and delivered to Lufthansa in September 2016. In September 2021, Uniform-Yankee left the Lufthansa fleet and now flies the colors of Eurowings Discover with the same registration.
Walking down the jetbridge
With a polite "Guten Morgen" from the crew, I made my way to my seat, 4A.
Seatback pocket contents.
Great legroom at row 4, which isn't surprising given that it's usually part of the Business Class cabin.
Modern Airbus PSU.
Boarding finished around 10 minutes prior to departure, and once everyone was onboard, the captain welcomed us all on board and announced a flight time of 2 hours and 10 minutes.
While the flight was very full, my middle seat remained empty, so I moved my bag under 3E and gifted myself some more space to stretch out 😜
Something interesting about the crowd - most of the passengers in the rows around me were Omni Air flight attendants returning home to New York after being based in Sofia crewing US Military charters. Cool!
After the Bulgaria Air A319 to London Heathrow pushed back, it was our turn to leave the stand.
Beginning our taxi to Runway 09 by passing a cool Antonov 26…
…and a 737-300 from the now-defunct Tayaran Jet.
Passing some more local traffic, including a Bulgaria Air E190 resting…
…an albino Bulgaria Air A320 to Amsterdam…
…a Bulgaria Air E190 from Varna…
…and another albino Bulgaria Air A320.
Looking back towards the two terminals, with the Bulgarian Government's A319 off our wing.
Till next time, Sofia!
Left turn after departure.
Tracking northwest over some hazy Bulgarian industrial towns.
Cabin after departure.
As soon as the seatbelt sign was switched off, the crew sprung into action. I used that time to clean the areas around my seat with disinfectant wipe provided during boarding.
Passing the Ogosta Reservoir, the second-largest reservoir in Bulgaria, located in the Montana Oblast.
This was my first flight with Lufthansa since the introduction of their buy-on-board menu, and while I didn't feel like buying anything, I did take a look through the menu.
All that was offered for those who didn't purchase anything was a bottle of water and a chocolate.
As a chocolate enthusiast, I must say that the Lufthansa chocolate is definitely the weakest offered between LH, LX, and OS. I maintain that, despite all their shortcomings, OS offers the best chocolate in the group 😋🍫
Some signs of wear and tear around my seat.
The ever-classy LH swan on the antimacassar.
Views of the Danube down below.
The cabin from behind.
Novi Sad, Serbia.
The view from row 31.
Once I got back to my seat after my little walk, I put on some music and looked out the window: my favorite form of entertainment! Though it's very disappointing that a "5-Star Airline" doesn't offer any sort of entertainment, not even chargers, on a fairly new aircraft 😉
Lake Balaton, Hungary.
Clouds forming over Austria.
Once we were in German airspace, the First Officer came on the PA to announce some information about our arrival into Frankfurt. We commenced our descent shortly thereafter.
First sightings of German soil.
Swinging over to Runway 25C. Good morning, Mainhattan!
Over the airport. Note the Lufthansa A319 from Venice on approach to the parallel runway over our sharklet.
Smooth landing at 8:05 AM, 15 minutes after, after a flight time of 2h7m. It felt great to be back in Frankfurt, an airport I used to visit all the time, for the first time since Covid!
Vacating the runway.
Pulling into our remote stand…
…next to a Lufthansa A321 which would fly to Düsseldorf later that morning.
One last look at my seat.
I bid the crew farewell at the door and made my way out onto the tarmac and into the bus, snapping 2 final shots of D-AIUY.
I'll end this report here, stay tuned for the final installment! 👀
Not much to say about this flight. It was just about as average as an intra-European flight could be.
+ Friendly, professional crew
+ Punctual operation
- No form of entertainment apart from the views
- New BoB menu with fairly high prices
The flight was perfectly fine for its duration, but Lufthansa isn't anywhere close to 5 stars by any stretch of the imagination...