➔ Lufthansa Business Class, Airbus A320, LHR-FRA
➔ Lufthansa Business Class, Airbus A320neo, FRA-FCO
➔ Starhotels Metropole, Rome
➔ Rome City Guide
➔ Swiss Business Class, Airbus A320, FCO-ZRH
➔ Radisson Blu, Zurich Airport
➔ Swiss Business Class, Airbus A330, ZRH-LHR
Well, it wouldn’t be a COVID trip without some changes would it?!
Initially when I booked this trip, the outbound sector to Frankfurt was scheduled to be operated by one of Lufthansa’s new(ish) Airbus A321neo aircraft. However, a week or so before departure this changed to the smaller A320neo. So what, right?
Well, aircraft wise, there isn’t too much difference between the two. However inside, the A321neo features the latest generation cabin. Gone are the wafer thin space saver seats and in comes something a little more substantial.
Still, that was a minor substitution compared to what would happen a little later. More on that another time though.
As Italy looked to be the safest bet quarantine wise, that was where I looked to head for. And the bargain price of a little under £300 for the flights sweetened the deal.
The Day Of Departure
The day started with a bus journey from the long stay car park over to terminal 2. At least the long stay was open this time around, unlike my previous trip.
Upon arrival at the terminal, much like terminal 5, the fast track wasn’t open. However there were a number of lanes open at the regular security channel.
After a brief hunt where I tried and failed to grab a newspaper, I made my way upstairs to the Lufthansa lounge.
Upon arrival, it wasn’t too busy. And understandably, more than a little different to the last time I was here.
Gone was any self serve options regarding food and drinks. In came a pretty basic menu of a ham and cheese croissant, a plain croissant, a muffin or a small fruit bowl.
In addition, no newspapers were offered – hence my earlier attempt to buy one.
As it came closer to boarding, I decided to check the inbound flight. It turned out that there had been another substitution. The previously unanticipated A320neo had now turned into a vanilla A320. Although the particular aircraft that would be operating this sector was one of the final deliveries to the airline, having been in service for just over a year. So newer than a number of their A320neo’s.
London Heathrow – Frankfurt
Airbus A320 D-AIWG
Boarding was… well a little confusing. They did a fairly long winded introduction but I didn’t really understand a word that was said. Luckily, there was another member of staff manning the gate area, who made things more simple. They called out for groups 1 and 2, so I made my way forward. As it happened, they needed to check my passport, so I was ushered to the podium anyway. Once everything was checked, I was placed at the front of the queue.
Boarding began a few moments later, and from the outside at least, it seemed a lot more efficient than on the IAG airlines of a couple of weeks previously.
Once I reached the aircraft, I was told the mask I was wearing wasn’t suitable. Ugh. I can’t say I’m a particular fan of them as it is (is anyone?), but now that I’ve found one that’s not too uncomfortable to wear for a period of time, it’s now no good for flying.
Seating wise, there were no surprises here.
As per usual these days, an antibacterial wipe was handed out on boarding.
Pushback came more than a few minutes ahead of schedule. Goes to show the efficiency of this boarding process compared to last time around. The flight was reasonably full, although the aisle seat on my row was free.
A reasonably quick taxi to the active followed. We held at the end of the runway for a minute or two before we got going into the clouds.
As it happened, Jerry from BigJet.TV was on hand to capture the departure, live for his channel.
Just a few seconds after the seatbelt sign went off, the crew started the service. The breakfast option was simply take it or leave it. They didn’t quite phrase it this way however.
What was served up was good enough however. And more or less a usual service. This was joined by a round of drinks.
Usually, Lufthansa offers WiFi on their flights. However, nothing was offered on this particular aircraft. Instead, I made do with the paper (I managed to find one eventually) and stared out the window.
Descent stared the usual 30 minutes or so prior to arrival. Nothing too spectacular happened until on short finals, where it appeared we did a last minute runway change.
As we were on one of the older runways, there wasn’t too much of a taxi that followed. Despite arriving on to a stand that featured a jet bridge, we still ended up being herded on to a bus. This led to a good opportunity for some ramp pics.
Following the usual formalities, it was off to the next flight.
It would appear that Lufthansa Business Class has a somewhat opposite set up of British Airways. Where as the lounge offering has taken a hit, the on board service is pretty much as usual. This meant for a pretty standard flight with them between London and Frankfurt.
By way of comparison, here is what you’ll find on British Airways on the same route at a similar time of day. Pre-Covid times.