Review of "Lufthansa"
I flew from London Heathrow to Munich for a weekend last year. We arrived amongst the usual Heathrow chaos, and made our way to the dingy check in desk in Terminal 2. The check in staff were very good, and we were quickly on our way to security. The problem with flying Lufthansa from Heathrow is that you have to put up with Terminal 2, which is thankfully being demolished soon. When we arrived at the gate, we found a clean A320, looking as good as it did when it came out the factory, despite it being a older aircraft, manufactured in the early 1990s.The staff were very good, and the plane was efficiently secured and we pushed back for the taxi. Once we were up, the cabin crew started the service. We got a drink, and a little ham or cheese roll, and a small Bounty chocolate bar. It's really all you need for a short flight of only about 2 hours, departing at 3pm.
The plane on both flights was an Airbus A320-200, and was very comfortable. The A320 is wider than the competing Boeing 737 series, and it showed. Lufthansa used the extra width of the cabin to increase the width of the seats, which were great. Much more comfortable than the Economy Seats in British Airway's 747s. The cabins were very tidy, and there was plenty of space for bags in the overhead bins on the return flight, which was almost full, (the outbound flight was only half full, so loads of space!). The flight out to Munich was smooth, but the return flight was a bit bumpy coming in to land at Heathrow, but that was beyond Lufthansa's control. The only problem with the A320 is that they do make some strange noises, but A320s (especially the older ones) have always made odd noises. Apparently it is to do with the Hydraulic systems that power all the controls. Lufthansa do not provide in flight entertainment on the A320, but it is not needed. The in flight magazine, however, was quite good, probably 8/10.When we landed we were quickly bussed to the terminal, and our luggage was on the carousel by the time we had cleared immigration, which was quick and efficient, as you'd expect coming in from another EU country. Munich Airport is fantastic: empty, immaculate and very easy to find your way around. I'm sure that it's not quite as empty at rush hour, but it seemed to be well suited to cope. Terminal 2 serves Lufthansa and other 'Star Alliance' airlines, and some others who are affiliated with Lufthansa. The building is a long strip, but with moving walkways it's not a problem. We then got on the S-Bahn into central Munich.
On the way back, it was equally stress free. Lufthansa are trying to ween their passengers off the conventional check ins at Munich, and have several people helping the passengers to check in with the computerized system. Unfortunately, my mother pressed the wrong button on the screen and ended up in the row behind the rest of us, but we sorted that out on the plane. Getting through security was a breeze, as there were plenty of lines available, and they were operating quickly. Once through, we looked round the few shops in the terminal building. This is the only problem with Munich airport: there is nowhere to eat once you have gone through security, apart from a very expensive cafe.Boarding was slightly confusing, as we turned up to a gate, and there was an A320 outside, but we were directed down a passage, with a door at the end, which didn't look like it led to a Jetway. It lead down some steps, to a small holding area, where we waited about 5 minutes for a bus to come and collect us, and take us to the plane. I think that the German passengers might have understood, but I don't remember any signs in English (that doesn't mean that there weren't any!). The flight was uneventful, like before, and we got the same bread rolls with ham and a Bounty bar. This was perhaps cutting it a little fine, as it was an evening flight, where some might have expected a meal, but I really wasn't bothered. When we reached Heathrow, the flight got a bit bumpy, as there was a storm. We landed, and taxied off to Terminal 2, only to find out that they didn't have the normal gate, and that we would have to park at the EuroPier, a section of terminal shared between Terminals 1 and 2.
This meant a slightly longer walk to immigration. The roof was leaking on several places on this walk, with bins placed on the ground to catch some of the water, but it wasn't enough. I don't think that anything short of controlled demolition is enough to solve the problems of Terminal 2. When we arrived at the immigration area, we were greeted by the delights of the famous Heathrow queues. After waiting half an hour (and having conflicting signs saying that we would have to wait another 15 minutes, then some minutes later, an hour) I arrived at the immigration desk, and was quickly waved through by a sullen officer. We then waited about 30 minutes more for our luggage, which eventually arrived in the dingy hall with its low ceilings. In all honesty, the sooner Terminal 2 is demolished the better. I'm really looking forward to Heathrow East, replacing Terminals 1 and 2.Neither flight was delayed at all, both departing promptly, in true German fashion, which was great.
The best bit: They were cheaper then any Low Cost Airline, at £70 for a return ticket. Tickets bought (with Hotel) through Lastminute.com. Throughly recommended, though if you can fly through a different airport than Heathrow, then it would be much better. Lufthansa cannot move out of Terminal 2, though after the great shake up when Terminal 5 opens, then I believe the are moving to Terminal 4, which is slightly less dire.
Product Information : Lufthansa
Manufacturer's product description
Listed on Ciao since: 21/06/2000