Review of Lufthansa flight Frankfurt Bogota in Economy

Airline Lufthansa
Flight LH542
Class Economy
Seat --
Aircraft Airbus A340-600
Flight time 11:35
Take-off 13 May 13, 14:25
Arrival at 13 May 13, 19:00
LH   #69 out of 120 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 1183 reviews
Chibcha
By 8232
Published on 9th December 2013
This is the fifth and final installment of my trip to France and Switzerland in May 2013.

Previous flights:

LH 543 BOG-FRA
LH 1226 FRA-GVA
U2 1397 GVA-ORY
LX 1072 ZRH-FRA
LH 542 FRA-BOG (you are here)
_____________________________________

So, picking up where we left, a late incoming flight from ZRH, only 15 minutes to get to my gate (C15 I reckon) practically forcing me to cross T1, I was pondering my options whilst riding the bus to the Terminal. But there is always time to spot


I would usually try to be as nice and gentelmanly as possible and let people off the bus before me, and so on…but considering my short time I had to run. Initially I pretended to cross the Terminal through the secure zones so I wouldn't have to cross security again. But then again, I had read in other forums that even if you thought you knew FRA well enough, the best way around was following the signs. So the signs led me out of the airside, and I had to cross the terminal, I don't know if any other route would be faster, but eventually I discovered that either way I would have had to cross security again anyway.

photo IMG_3366

The first stop towards my gate was passport control, I was practically following a guy who was on my same incoming flight who was able to pass through the burger queue, I was stuck in the other passports lane instead, the policeman checking info and whatnot in his PC took some time to finally stamp me out.

The planes around were very interesting, sadness filling in for not being able to properly inspect them
photo IMG_3367

Instead I had to run through these hospital-like corridors ( I still find FRA much more appealing than AMS, even if the latter is more straight forward for connections)
photo IMG_3369

The second stop was a security check, ever present in FRA, hassle and pain free (this time) and now I was at the C gates. Probably the worst concourse in FRA, it has only one Duty Free store, somewhat lane and some meh cafés.

Against all odds, I made it to my gate, I made it, everything was O.K, even if I couldn't make most of my stop in FRA…(or so I thought)

The culture shock (after being in CH where most things if not all are organized) was somewhat overwhelming, one could tell this flight was leaving to LatAm because everyone (even the Europeans) were disorganized and standing up ready to get into the plane even if their rows were not called. I was also very impressed to see many people connecting from Asia and other interesting origins.

Whilst waiting for my flight in ZRH I checked in FRA's website which would be my plane for the hop across the Atlantic today, unfortunately for me, it would be again D-AIHK a.k.a. Mainz:
photo IMG_3370

LH's Airbus 4-holers:
photo IMG_3371

Eventually I managed to go in…
photo IMG_3372

As I was one of the first ones in my zone, I was able to take some cabin shots without disturbing anyone
photo IMG_3373

It also meant I had a long time while the plane got filled, fortunately for me I didn't get a seat mate, which Is practically the best you can hope for in a long haul flight. And so, I spent my time whatching planes…


I really hope so…to much stress that morning
photo IMG_3379

And so after some time we were towed and on towards Runway 18 a.k.a. Startbahn West, again some spotting.


And soon…off we were nach Kolumbien
photo IMG_3396

Weather was not the best in Europe that day
photo IMG_3398

So the only way to know our place was via airshow, kindly provided by my second seat
photo IMG_3399photo IMG_3404

Over us some N-S traffic…
photo IMG_3401

And sometimes some stuff could be seen
photo IMG_3406

Eventually over France, drink service began… I felt like having some red wine.
photo IMG_3415photo IMG_3413

The view wasn't improving
photo IMG_3416

But at least I managed to have some interesting views…
photo IMG_3419

This was the most I could see of France's Atlantic coast
photo IMG_3420

And so we were out of the Old Continent…
photo IMG_3421

Food service begun, I chose chicken, don't recall the other option.
photo IMG_3422

Cabin view from my zone in the meanwhile
photo IMG_3424


One of the reasons I wasn't excited about riding on Mainz was that I knew my window have some condensation problems, I had picked the exact same seat I had taken BOG-FRA
photo IMG_3426

It was a rather uneventful flight, I spent my time reading, sleeping and watching some of the boring movies LH puts on their IFE

The best part for me was seeing the sunset over the Caribbean and seeing the full splendor of Paraguaná peninsula in Venezuela
photo IMG_3431photo IMG_3434photo IMG_3436

As we crossed Northwest Venezuela into Colombia we were served our second meals, this time chicken (again…)


This second service was picked up pretty quickly and soon it was already night and descending into BOG…

It's funny how fast descent and landing feels after a transatlantic flight, it feels the other way round in shorter flights.
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Verdict

Lufthansa

7.6/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering8.0

Frankfurt - FRA

6.5/10
Efficiency10.0
Access5.0
Services2.5
Cleanliness8.5

Bogota - BOG

8.5/10
Efficiency10.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

As I mentioned on the beginning of this series, I find LH one of the best options ex-BOG to Europe, and probably anywhere that is not America. Still, I find that LH's IFE offering is somewhat lame, and the IFE hardware is sometimes glitchy. Catering is ok on the booze and drinks, it's way beyond AVs offering, and you're always well hydrated throughout the flight.
As for the meals for this (first) time I found them actually good.

The cabin crew is nice, language seems to be a problem with LHs crews to Bogotá, as not all speak spanish, and when they do its not without difficulty. I could easily make my way because I speak English, but I'm sure this must be a very frustrating experience for some of my compatriots, maybe that's how some Europeans feel on AV's flights to Spain.

Sometimes announcements are really annoying as they take too long as they are always translated from German to English and Spanish.

Also, I was glad I could make it hassle free in my connection, no pampers though, but still I made it to my flight which is what matters the most. On the other side of the coin, my bag did not make it, which somewhat ruined my whole experience for the day with LH.

Thanks for reading,
Saludos!

Related

16 Comments

  • Comment 94736 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5302 Comments

    Nice report. Glad the flight went well after what seems to have been a stressful start to the day. FRA is a mess. People talk a lot about CDG, but CDG has improved a lot over the past few years and FRA is still a huge maze. The catering doesn't look very appealing, but if it tasted good, that's what's important.

  • Comment 94739 by
    02022001 SILVER 4362 Comments

    Thanks for this FR

  • Comment 94749 by
    AirCanada881 1622 Comments

    Thanks for sharing, I can only share your sentiment about FRA, I only transited there once last year and it was really long and order less... A complete contrast with MUC which is my favorite European airport to date.

  • Comment 94753 by
    marathon GOLD 9566 Comments

    Anybody who has experienced a tight connection involving security and passport checks in a large airport can appreciate that you still managed to take pictures whenever you had some respite !
    Good air to air shot - specialists will identify the airline from the livery and the aircraft - I am the laughing stock of the website for that.
    Seems decent although not very exciting offering - seat and food - on board, but the empty seat was a significant plus. Small wonder that the luggage did not make the connection; the interesting point is when and how you collected it ?
    Thanks for this report !

    • Comment 285085 by
      Chibcha AUTHOR 432 Comments

      yeah in the end the connection wasn't as horrible as I thought.

      The luggage issue really pissed me off when AF did manage to get my bag to BOG in similar conditions. My bag gas taken to my house on the next day.

  • Comment 94770 by
    Leadership TEAM GOLD 4743 Comments

    Thank you for this interesting FR, glad you made it, I don't like FRA with endless corridors.

    Cabin is ok but IFE is limited with a low resolution, catering is pretty basic but chicken pieces seem generous.

    If you are flying AF from/to BOG most of the FAs will probably not speak spanish either, and when I flew with AV their english were indeed limited.

    Thank you and hope to read more of you soon!

    • Comment 285122 by
      Chibcha AUTHOR 432 Comments


      It seems the general low grade for catering in LH is presentation, indeed it is not pretty, but its edible and generous (sorry I haven't taken any pictures of catering in AV's flights to Spain, but trust me they have a far much better catering in LH)

      Indeed, I've realized this is an issue in most LatAm-Europe( excl. Spain) flights...as you say, European airlines don't have enough spanish-profficient crews (i'm not sure if that's the case in Brazil flights) whereas, in the case of AV (don't know about LA, AR and AM) English is enough problem, don't even bother asking if they know French, German or even Italian. Regarding AF, I will address this in a future FR, but as you've said, not even in AF they have enough spanish speaking crew...somehow I thought it would be different (Romance languages and so on..)

  • Comment 94790 by
    Numero_2 GOLD 9930 Comments

    Thank you for publishing the last leg of your trip !
    How lucky you've been to catch the flight even with the late arrival and the run through FRA.
    The A346's cabins and IFE look pretty old, regarding the new ones in the A380s and B747-8i.
    The meals look OK but it seems there isn't much food to eat !

    About the languages spoken onboard, I've never expected from another airlines than AC, AF and LX to have FAs who speak French. ;)

  • Comment 94799 by
    KL651 TEAM 4491 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    Well a typical LH experience of stressful connection at FRA and average food and IFE onboard.
    Will you be flying LH next time you go to Europe or would you rather try another airline?

    • Comment 285143 by
      Chibcha AUTHOR 432 Comments


      I had the chance to have two more trips to Europe after this one, for the next one I chose KL/AF and then I chose LH again. For me the issue lies on the price, usually KL/AF has higher prices than LH, and I find services somewhat compensating (eg. IFE in AF v. Catering in LH), KL doesn't have a direct flight to BOG, so I would have to ponder the transit thru PTY, LIM or UIO also.

      So if the prices are the same I would probably end up tossing a coin, or maybe because of where I'm going I'll end up picking one or the other.
      I would chose AV only if it is significantly cheaper than LH or KL/AF and until IB upgrades its A346 fleet I will still avoid them like the plague.

      Probably the one I'd pick if they had direct flight ex-BOG is KL, or even try my chances transiting @ YYZ and the US with AC and DL.

  • Comment 94867 by
    Papoumada SILVER 5895 Comments

    Thank your for this interesting report.

  • Comment 94973 by
    A380B77W 4306 Comments

    Thanks for this good FR :)

    Nice wing view !

  • Comment 95030 by
    lagentsecret GOLD 12395 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    Most of the time you have to go landside in FRA when transiting

    The meal doesn't look appealing at all

    The cabin looks worn

    See you soon with other FRs

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