The airline with the best average rating is Lufthansa with 7.3/10.
The average flight time is 1 hours and 51 minutes.More information
Hello everyone, and welcome to part 4/4 of my current series. This one will be covering the final leg of flights from my "Maturareise", or senior trip, which my class and I enjoyed in Istria, Croatia. As I've flown LH1706 twice before and this was an entirely ordinary flight, I'll keep this report fairly short. Let's get into it!
I booked these flights as a multi-city itinerary. As I needed to be in Sofia on July 19th, I terminated the trip there. The trip would include 4 flights on 3 different airlines, flying on 4 different aircraft types, and passing through 5 different airports. The routing is as follows:
Munich Airport is undoubtedly one of the best airports to transit through in Europe. As soon as I arrived at the terminal after the drive from my CRJ and bid farewell to my friends with whom I was travelling with, I took an escalator up and found myself airside in the non-Schengen section of the airport.
Air travel at MUC seemed to be completely back to normal, as there were scores of departures that afternoon.
My flight was scheduled on-time. Prior to Covid, LH1706 was LH's evening departure to SOF and left around 8 PM. However, Lufthansa decided to scrap LH1704, the afternoon departure which left around 4:45 PM, and move LH1706 to depart earlier.
I bought myself a tasty sandwich from Boconero, an Italy cafe/restaurant in the departure area. It cost 6 Euros and tasted much better than the sandwich I bought at Frankfurt Airport in part 2!
I decided to make gate H47, located at the southern end of the terminal, my home for the duration of my layover.
I spend most of my layover Snapping with my friends, who were dealing with torrential rainfall on their drive back to Innsbruck. Indeed, my flight took place right as catastrophic flooding was hitting Germany and other parts of Europe. Luckily, the area around Munich was mostly spared, so flights were operating normally.
As boarding neared, I headed towards my gate to be gate lice.
My ride down to Sofia was D-AIZF, named 'Fulda'. Zulu-Foxtrot was built and delivered to Lufthansa in April 2010, making her 11.2-years-old at the time of my flight. She's also one of Lufthansa's A320s equipped with FlyNet WiFi onboard (all D-AIZ* tails have WiFi, as well as D-AIUA to D-AIUP).
Just like on my FRA-PUY flight, I was allowed to pre-board, and I had also selected my seat in the exit row for free after booking.
Despite being on Lufthansa's home turf, boarding was pretty chaotic, especially due to the amount of inexperienced Slavic travellers on my flight. As families with small children were boarding, a group of middle-aged Bulgarian men tried to board as well. The gate agent politely informed them that they would have to wait until their groups were called. The 'ringleader' of the group was assigned group 5, and snarkily asked the gate agent "Why group 5?! Why not 1?!". Somehow, the gate agent managed to keep his cool and told him that it wasn't his decision. The two German men ahead of me, who were flying in Business Class, seemed to enjoy watching the exchange so much that they kept talking about it as they made their way down the jetbridge 🤣
A look at the nose of Zulu-Foxtrot.
The First Officer and the purser were standing at the door greeting passengers, while a second flight attendant was holding a box of sanitzing wipes for passengers to take. I quickly made my way down to aisle to row 12.
The A320ceo has exactly the same cabin dimensions as the A320neo, so I wasn't surprised to find that I had lots of space to stretch out.
Emergency exit notice on the tray table.
A bit of wear-and-tear on the tray knob.
In the literature pocket were the safety instructions card, the FlyNet information card…
…and the Onboard Delights menu.
As boarded was wrapping up, Captain Stefan came on the PA to wish us all a pleasant, safe flight.
Pushing back at 6 PM, 5 minutes after our STD.
Taxiing to Runway 26R.
Rolling. Despite being behind the leading edge of the wing, I was still able to hear the awesome buzz of the engines!
Left turn towards the south.
Nasty clouds all around us.
One of the perks of being on an A320 with WiFi is that you can monitor your flight's progress using the Lufthansa app.
View of the cabin.
A look at our CFM56 engine.
Even as we climbed higher, clouds were still surrounding us. As it turned out, there was also a lot of heavy rainfall and flooding in Eastern Europe that day, too.
As we reached our cruising altitude, I took a few pictures out the window before conking out. After all, I had been awake since 4:30 AM!
I slept for what felt like quite a long time, and suddenly woke up to find out that we were still cruising, even though the clouds had finally caught up to us.
I checked my watch to see what time it was, and became slightly concerned when I saw that it was 8:45 PM, the time that we were scheduled to land. As we had departed virtually on time, I immediately started to think back to the story of Northwest Flight 188, and was imagining that the same thing was happening to us.
I opened the Lufthansa app to check out where we were, and was surprised to see that our position was close to Craiova, Romania. What on earth were we doing over Romania?
But alas, my fears were unjustified, as a few moments later we made a right turn and commenced our descent into Sofia.
While descending the flight attendants passed around the signature Lufthansa chocolates. I missed the service, but I saw that my seatmates had empty bottles of water, so I figured that, once again, Lufthansa gave out bottled water to everyone for free.
Cabin during descent.
Not much to see on our way down.
First sights of the Bulgarian landscape below.
Commencing our approach.
I was happy to realize that we would be landing on Runway 09, which meant that I'd have a great view of the Bulgarian capital during our final approach.
Passing Central Sofia, with the windows annoyingly starting to fog up.
Over the runway.
Touchdown at 9:06 PM, 21 minutes late, after a flight time of 1h58m. As a point of comparison, the average flight time of LH1706 is 1h30m.
Vacating the runway.
Pulling in towards the terminal with the window almost completely fogged up.
Once we parked, I bid the crew farewell and made my way to immigration, which was packed. A Ryanair flight from Vienna, an Aegean flight from Athens, and a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul had all arrived at the same time. Only 4 lanes were open, which didn't help the flow.
Given our long flight time, I figured that we flew an interesting routing, but even I didn't expect to see such a crazy routing! We first flew towards Klagenfurt, Austria, then flew east, past Graz, towards Budapest. From there, we flew in a heading that would have brought us to Sofia, but even before reaching Belgrade we turned east again towards the Carpathian Mountains, and then towards Craiova, from where we commenced our descent to towards Sofia. I don't know exactly why we flew such a routing, but I'm sure that weather played a factor. Our cruising altitude for the entire flight was 35,000ft.
So, dear readers, we've reached an end to this series. I hope that you enjoyed it a lot, and I hope to see you again in the next series, which will cover my first trip back to the United States after 18 months of being stuck in Europe. The journey began the Friday after this flight, and should have been on board a Turkish Airlines A321 to Istanbul. Unfortunately, that wasn't what fate had in store for me, so stay tuned in the coming days to see what actually happened. Until then, happy flying! ✈️
Not much to report about this flight, especially because I slept for most of it.
+ Lots of legroom in the (free) exit row
+ Friendly crew
+ WiFi-equipped A320
LH is always a solid bet on intra-European flights, even though they no longer serve free food.