A short hop with Lufthansa

This is my first morning flight out of Heathrow or any European airports for that matter. I have always flown the evening flights to Asia so getting up at 4 am felt a bit surreal. For most, though, it was not that unusual, for the coach to Heathrow (via Stansted) was fully booked and some people couldn’t get on.

I slept the whole way from Cambridge to Heathrow and got up around 7:30 am when we were still battling traffic on M25, but with my flight leaving at 11 am, I wasn’t too fussed. (I got on an earlier coach so I would beat the traffic, though!)

Arriving at the check-in desk almost an hour later, after dealing with some chores and other things, the Star Gold desks were as customary quite empty. Lufthansa is probably the only airline within the Star Alliance to give Star Alliance Gold members the privilege to check in in their First Class desks. Occupied, though, I chose to check in in the Business Class desk.

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With no luggage to check in, the agent and I did not talk much. She merely asked where I was headed to and I said Munich. Since I have done my online check in, she issued my boarding pass and told me where the Fast Track security was.

Note for Lufthansa: you will always want to do online check-in. For the past three years, I have successfully secured exit row seats through online check-in at no extra cost. I don’t know whether this is a perk afforded to because I am a Star Alliance Gold member, but it is worth bearing in mind of.

In Terminal 2, there is a Star Alliance Gold Track for security. Basically, it is a fast track security lane for passengers with Star Alliance Gold status or travelling First or Business Class. I have only previously utilised it during the quiet hours of late afternoon where it was no different to the normal security lane.

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But, in the morning, the Fast Track does it job. Even though the automatic machine checking your boarding pass was done, the agent was quick in identifying Gold members and the passengers on First and Business Classes, and with three X-ray machines being in use, I was in and out of security in 5 minutes. Not bad!

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There is always uncertainty surrounding where regional flights are going to depart. I have been on a Swiss flight that would depart in satellite B, but no point of going to the lounges there unless I know for certain that the flight would go there. So I settled for the Lufthansa lounges.

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Again, unlike other airlines, Lufthansa treats their elite flyers a bit better than their fare-paying Business Class flyers with the dedicated Senator Lounge. In Heathrow, the Senator lounge is inside the Business Class lounge. Usually, the door between the two remains open, or is guarded by an agent. Today, I was issue a ticket with a barcode that would allow me to access the lounge:

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Just normal breakfast offerings in the Senator lounge. The offerings in the Senator lounge is not too different to those in the Business lounge, except the better spirits collections and wine selections, I believe.

Haven’t had breakfast myself, I chose to go for most of the hot items, but they were quite disappointing. You know something’s wrong when even the baked beans tasted a bit off… Though, the smoothie, the tea and the sparkling water were alright:

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Tea was nothing special, too, though – just Twinnings’ Every Day tea. One could definitely agree that Lufthansa could have done better in a lounge in Britain.

I spent the rest of my stay in the lounge just catching up on work on my iPad. The lounge has really good wifi and I was able to do my emails in peace. I left the lounge at boarding time (10:30), and to my delight, the gate was just 2 minutes away.

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The flight was pretty full and when I arrived, boarding was well underway. The economy queue was…

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And I chose to use my privilege as Star Alliance Gold to go for the Business Class lane:

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I quickly settled down in my seat after placing my backpack up in the overhead compartment – no storage under the seat in exit row – which works to my favour anyways – more legroom.

Outside of my window today is quite a gloomy British day and a Turkish Airlines A330 (and I feel sad now with the recent incident in the Istanbul Airport).

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My legroom was not too bad for an intra-Europe flight!

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And some plane spotting after an on time push back.

I think this is an AC 767

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An AC 77W – which I dread of flying on in coach, but will do so in August!

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Taking off from running 09R

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The BA terminal

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The Queen’s Terminal

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I then feel asleep for 20 or so minutes despite not being able to recline my seat. When I woke up, the weather turned for the better!

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And I was offered drinks – I chose tea with milk (not very good by British standards) and sparkling water (decent)

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We were offered a sandwich for lunch – it was okay but I did not see the point of the red pepper in it! I guess it is just me – who despises red pepper!

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Soon enough we were approaching Munich.

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The Captain warned us that Munich was very windy and sure enough the approach was a bit bumpy – but during the final approach, everything quieted down slightly and we were treated to a smooth landing!

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We arrived well ahead of schedule, due to the on time departure and short flight time (1h 20m).

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LH A346

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A SQ 77W departing Munich after arriving from Manchester

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We parked next to a Swiss aircraft with this Zurich Airport paint

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Deplaning was efficient. And in a few minutes I was off to check out the Senator lounge!

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Bonus: Lufthansa Senator Lounge Munich

I have read elsewhere on the internet that if you arrive on a Star Alliance ticket into Munich and you would have access to the lounges too. So I went and tried it out – and I was not disappointed (in terms of gaining access) – I was asked to show my Gold card and I was allowed in.

The lounge was reasonably big, but not too big.

The limited food option – there aren’t even sausages!

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Typical drink selections – nothing special

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But there’s a very good bar – on par with the bars found in Cathay’s lounges in Hong Kong. The bartender could make a lot of different cocktails – so for those fans of cocktails – this is the place to be. I did recall a very good champagne but I did not take a picture of the bottle!

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I just utilised the wifi for a bit and then I headed off!

In sum, Lufthansa had a decent offering. It was not the best with the lack of entertainment, limited food and horrible tea. But it was on time, the seats were comfortable and everything else was okay compared to other intra-European flights.

If the price is right – I wouldn’t hesitate to take Lufthansa again.

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