Date: May 16, 2018
Flight No.: LH1027
Route: Paris Charles de Gaulle to Frankfurt Main
Type: Airbus A321-200
There are about ten daily flights connecting Paris Charles de Gaulle airport with Frankfurt. Most of the capacity on the route is offered by Lufthansa which connects the two cities with its Airbus A320 series aircraft, mainly A320s and A321s.
When making my way from Paris to Vancouver back in May, I took one of Lufthansa’s morning flights, LH1027, from the French capital to the German financial capital. The flight was operated by an Airbus A321 and I took it in economy class.
Checking-in at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Upon entering the terminal and checking the flight information displays, we realized that while we were under the impression that we were booking the same flights, in fact, Philippe booked a flight departing about an hour after mine.
At least we were taking the same flight from Frankfurt to Vancouver!
I checked in and dropped my bag off, and since Philippe had already checked in online and was only traveling with hand luggage, we went through the security and towards our departure gates.
Getting there involved taking the terminal’s relatively famous escalators which look like something from the Jetsons up, and then taking a very long moving walkway to the actual concourse.
Since we were flying within the Schengen zone, there was no passport control. The security check took a bit, though, as the staff decided to take a closer look at my bag.
Getting Onboard the Lufthansa A321
Boarding for the flight started at gate 61 at 9:05AM, and so I bade farewell to Philippe for the time being and headed down the jetway, onboard one of Lufthansa’s Airbus A321s, D-AISO.
At the door, I was welcomed not only by the flight attendant, but also by a nice rendering of the Lufthansa logo on the aircraft’s wall.
Lufthansa’s A321s are equipped with 190 seats with a business class cabin of variable size. In other words, the business class seats are the same as the ones in economy with the sole exception being a guaranteed empty middle seat.
I will write about what I think about intra-European business class in a separate post, but for now I will note that I wasn’t disappointed at all that I had to walk past the curtain separating the business class cabin from economy class.
I walked towards the end of the airplane and settled in my aisle seat 33C. There was enough leg room for the short hop, even with my bag under the seat. And, since the airplane was half empty even as the doors closed at 9:20AM, I moved over to the window seat, 33A.
And, I enjoyed the same “comfort” as I would have had if I flew the flight in business class…
Departing Paris CDG Bound for Frankfurt
Around the same time the doors were closed, the captain announced that we were ready to depart on time and head to Frankfurt where it was overcast and 14 degrees Celsius.
In the end, though, we ended up leaving our gate – there was no push back since it was one of the gates where we could just taxi out – at 9:32AM, seven minutes behind schedule. And, after a short taxi, at 9:36AM, we took off from runway 09R into the foggy skies.
As we continued climbing, an announcement was made that all passengers were required (instead of the usual recommended) to fasten seatbelts as soon as they took their seat – even when the seatbelt sign was off.
Lufthansa Intra-European Economy Class Service
The seatbelt signs were switched off less than five minutes after take off at which point the service could begin.
While I wouldn’t have been surprised if there was nothing other than a drink service, the flight attendants – besides the drinks – also handed out rather large and tasty white chocolate chunk and cranberry cookies.
The aircraft was also equipped with in-flight wi-fi with the following plans:
- FlyNet Message: 3 EUR (or 1,000 miles)
- FlyNet Surf: 7 EUR (or 2,300 miles)
- FlyNet Stream: 12 EUR (or 4,000 miles)
Given that it was just a short flight, I decided not to try the Internet (I tried the same one onboard Austrian before during its free testing period). I found the pricing to be decent, though.
At least the cash prices. The mileage prices were outrageously high.
Arriving at Frankfurt Airport
Not long after the snack service was completed, shortly after 10AM, we started descending towards Frankfurt International Airport. And, at 10:14AM, the seatbelt signs were switched back on.
Then, we flew over the city of Mainz and over Rhine River.
At 10:23AM, the cockpit crew lowered the landing gear, and at 10:25AM, we gently touched down on Frankfurt’s relatively recently built runway 07L.
Getting from the runway into the terminal took almost as long as the flight itself. While taxiing to our gate, we stopped twice. To prevent people from standing up, the second time, the crew announced:
Ladies and gentlemen, this is ALSO not our parking position. Please remain seated. Thank you.
Then, since our originally assigned gate was occupied, the plans changed, and at 10:44AM – almost twenty minutes after landing – we parked at a remote spot.
It took another ten or so minutes until the buses arrived and we could finally disembark the aircraft. Not long after that, I got off the bus and followed the transfer signs, ready to wait for Philippe before catching our connecting flight to Vancouver onboard Lufthansa’s 747.
But, more about that in the next instalment.
Lufthansa Intra-European Economy Class Summary
Overall, Lufthansa provided a sufficient service on this sub-one-hour flight from Paris to Frankfurt. The seats were comfortable enough and the in-flight snack exceeded my (fairly low) expectations.
That said, the long wait on the apron in Frankfurt was quite frustrating. Especially so given that it was almost as long as the flight itself. But, then again, delays like that are not unusual at busy airports.