After spending 4 days in Rome (see tourism bonus for some pics), it was time to head back home, and complete my trip with two flights with Lufthansa. I hadn't flown them since March 2020 so I was curious to see how their offering changed in Economy. In this report you'll find: my experience at the Fiumicino airport in Rome, the flight on Lufthansa CityLine CRJ900 and a review of some items from the new catering concept, and of course a little tourism bonus from Rome.
Boarding passes for today's flights. I really like the design of Lufthansa Group boarding passes, with the world map in the background.
Flight details: Flight number LH237 Route Rome Fiumicino - Frankfurt Flight date 15th June 2021 1805-2000 (actual 1818-1950) Scheduled flight time 1:55 (actual 1:33) Aircraft model Bombardier CRJ900 Aircraft registration D-ACNK Seating configuration CY90 (3 rows of Lufthansa Business) Aircraft age (at the time of flight) 11.7 years Seat number 6D Departure gate E5 (bus gate) Arrival gate bus gate at FRA Load factor (approx.) 90% Flight price 280 PLN/60 EUR for FCO-FRA-WAW (Eco basic)
aeroporto di roma fiumicino
My journey started at the Roma Termini train station which has a very convenient and cheap connection with the airport (either directly or with a connection). I took a connecting journey as it was twice cheaper. Trains were on time and reasonably clean.
From the Fiumicino train station it's a 5-minute walk to Terminal 3 departure hall, where most flights (including mine) currently depart from.
The check-in hall was airy but not too impressive. It felt slightly hectic even though it wasn't too busy. Check-in counters were a bit "hidden". There were temperature screenings conducted at the entrance.
There were 3 Lufthansa Group check-in counters open, but that was enough, there was no queue. They might have got busier later on, since everyone had to collect their boarding pass from the counter to enable COVID documents check. I nearly had a heart attack because of the COVID test I undertook in Rome… the English version had a wrong date on it (one day too early = test expired), whilst the Italian version had two dates (one correct and one wrong). Thankfully the check in agent - and the border guards in Warsaw both didn't realise that.
Security was very quick and well-organised so I found myself airside in no time. The airport did not seem busy at all, yet nearly all the shops and restaurants were open. And T3 at Fiumicino has loads of shops, however mostly luxurious ones which most of people can't afford to even step into. I went straight into the food court to grab some food - it's on the first floor.
I must say that although the design of the airport interior is pretty nice, it looks too much like a shopping centre to me and not enough like an airport… (my subjective opinion!) And one thing - I hate the toilets at FCO - the automatic tap is design in such a way that borders on the miraculous to make the water flow!
I ate a prosciutto focaccia in Mastercard cafe - it was decent and not too expensive. And you can see it wasn't busy at all…
…however the FIDS showed quite a few more departures this evening. But no direct flights to Poland anymore (though I heard some Polish at the airport).
E gates - totally stranded!
Meanwhile, our gate showed as E5, it was a bus gate, as our flight will be operated by LH CityLine.
Even though we boarded by bus, passengers were called in usual groups 1-2, then 3, 4 and 5. We used 2 busses to board ca. 70 pax.
Thanks to the bus boarding (and the wide-angle camera of my iPhone), I was lucky to take a pic of the whole CRJ900. I had plenty of time to take some pictures as it took a while for all the people to board.
I was quite excited to step on board that new aircraft for me for the first time… and what did I do first?! Hit my head against the doorway top. I was then walking through the cabin with my hair brushing against the cabin ceiling. I am definitely too tall for this regional jet :p
Lufthansa put these little yellow squares on the fuselage, I believe, for the crew to be able to write a nice little message for passengers. Our crew however didn't want to make us a nice surprise :(
Speaking of the crew - I received a very cold welcome from the purser, and a rude answer to my usual question "How are you?". At first… no answer at all. Then I followed - "Tired?", and the answer was (with a pretentious voice pitch) - "Ask me when I'm in Dublin at 11pm". With this welcome I proceeded to my seat in row 6. It was supposed to be a window seat for nice departure views but turned out it has already been taken by my neighbour and I didn't want to make him change it, so I took and aisle seat.
The seats as you can see were slimline, and actually not too comfortable. I like however LH's colour scheme, and a plus for the recline option. Legroom was acceptable for a short hop to FRA.
The cabin was busy and felt busy, plus it was very hot inside… seems like CRJ's air condition didn't work well enough for Italian summer temperatures ;)
We departed on time, which I was very happy about - because of my later tight connection at FRA. For that reason I also didn't check in my hand luggage, I rather used the "Delivery at Aircraft". I managed to excuse my neighbours for one takeoff pic.
I was shocked how powerful the takeoff on the CRJ900 was, and how smooth it was as well, it seemed as though we were on a private jet haha. No turbulence during departure either. After a few minutes the crew was released and the fasten seatbelts sign got switched off too. The CRJ900 does not feature a full curtain to business class, only small curtains on the sides. But the purser did not even bother to close these (I am sorry to say that but she was so toxic, also to the other, young and nice crew member…).
Meanwhile, I had a look at the new Buy on Board menu from Lufthansa. (Okay I'm lying… I already had a look a few times before the flight). The younger crew member also handed out small water bottles (free of charge).
The disinfecting tissue was given on boarding. I appreciate the decent size of the tray table, even though it's a regional jet. After that, both crew members passed with trolley with paid catering. I took an apple pie and a cold green tea.
Whilst the drink was very tasty (I already knew it before), the apple pie tasted "artificial", as we say it in Poland, though it had a lot of apples inside. I would not take it again though. Just a short comment on the crew performance - the forgot to gave me: a glass, a fork and a napkin - I had to ask about each of these items myself. Come on Lufthansa, I know this catering concept is new for everyone but a short training would really make a difference.
After the meal was the time for toilet… the smallest toilet I have ever experienced, had to bend myself in half to walk inside (I'm exaggerating obviously). And there was no soap in the lavatory - at least there was toilet paper. But I think a 5* airline could at least provide a soap in the bathroom (I'm sorry for any Lufthansa fans reading this report).
On the way back, a picture of the cabin.
Then I took my seat for the rest of the flight. Suddenly the young crew member came with a little gift - maybe as an apology or maybe I was just a nice passenger (I tried not to show them my disappointment about LH service and was still trying to be friendly). The pralines were very tasty!
A look at the PSU. Personal air vents were very helpful as the cabin was hot.
We then started our final descent into FRA. I managed to take another pic, apologising my neighbour again. This time with the wing of our CRJ.
Once we landed we had a pretty long taxi to our remote stand. But as we landed ahead of schedule I was not afraid of my connection to Warsaw. As we left the aircraft, the purser was staying at the doors, holding a box with chocolates (but rather hiding it and not encouraging people to take them… so I was one of the only passengers to have taken the chocolate). It was not as good as the one you get from LX.
We then had a long bus ride to the terminal building.
This report series will continue with my connection experience at FRA.
Thanks for joining me today and apologies for the disappointing review of Europe's only 5* airline.
Bonus : Click here display hide
I've assembled a little tourism bonus from Rome here for you. Any questions, get in touch :-)
Di Trevi fountain.
The Spanish Steps.
Tevere - Rome's river.
The Roman Forum.
A secret keyhole through which you can see St. Peter's cathedral dome in the Vatican City.
And the cathedral inside
And some other random pictures - Italy in its glory!
Rome - FCO
Frankfurt - FRA
What can I say... it was unfortunately a very disappointing flight with Lufthansa (operated by Lufthansa CityLine). A standard cabin, not-so-tasty Buy on Board products, little entertainment and a rude cabin crew member. You could do better, Lufty! But they definitely win with their route network and convenient connections at FRA and MUC hubs.
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