My ride to Frankfurt, a Condor 767-300ER (reg: D-ABUB)
I recently decided to take a trip over to Frankfurt for a few days and, thankfully, I was able to take it in Premium Economy.
This was going to be my first flight with Condor, and also my first taste of a long-haul leisure carrier (think low-cost, but to vacation destinations). Â I was flying on their non-stop service from Seattle to Frankfurt. Adding to the number of firsts for me were also a new airport (Frankfurt) and my first time flying internationally out ofÂ Seattle.
The Premium Economy section in Condor’s 767
The flight was scheduled to depart mid-afternoon, which for me felt a little bit different than normal. Â Generally, I end up on flights departing first-thing in the morning or late in the evening. Â So having most of the day to relax, make final packing arrangements, and spend time with my wife was a good thing. Â The bad partÂ is being prime timeÂ for international departures out of Seattle. Â This meant that while the line for check-in withÂ Condor was short, even with priority access, security would beÂ an absolute mess.
Ryanair Boeing 737-800 – Photo: Steven Paduchak
Thatâ€™s right, people, it happened!Â Last weekend, I flew Ryanair with my buddy Dan.Â It was a quick weekend getaway from Frankfurt to London.Â Weâ€™re here in Germany on a semester abroad, and neither of us had been to the United Kingdom.Â Before coming over “the pond”, we knew it was on the list of places to visit.
It all started on a Wednesday afternoon.Â We booked the trip a few weeks prior, and we were counting down the days.Â We all know Ryanair.Â Theyâ€™re known for having the cheapest airfare in the industry; makingÂ the airlineÂ beloved here in all of Europe.Â The Dublin-based air carrier offered us each a forty euro (yes, you read that right) roundtrip from Frankfurt to London.Â Thatâ€™s a huge deal, flying between two major European markets.
I knew after a deal this unbelievable, thereâ€™d be some sort of catch. Â In the end, there definitely was. Left and right, we were advised we had to pay for everything; printing off boarding passes, seat selection, food, etc… Being cautious of something like this, we came well prepared with food and boarding passes already printed off, so we managed to avoid all the imposed fees.
The day finally came, and we were on our way.Â To our surprise, however, the airport we flew out of was FOREVER away.Â It was one of the biggest catches we didnâ€™t realize until our journey.Â The airline flies into the smaller and medium-sized airports in order to avoid the hefty landing fees imposed by the major international locations. This is completely understandable – we all want to save money whenever we can, right?
From December 6th to the 9th, one of Boeing 747-8 Intercontinentals, RC021,Â Â was flown to Frankfurt Germany, so that Lufthansa could complete pre-delivery testing at the Frankfurt Airport. Three Lufthansa and two Boeing pilots made the nine hour journey from Seattle to Frankfurt. The aircraft will be the fifth 747-8I that Lufthansa will take delivery of and the first delivery is expected sometime in “early 2012.”
Luckily, Lufthansa took quite a few photos of the Intercontinental’s visit and it is time to share:
HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Lufthansa's 5th Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, RC021, in front of their Technik Repair facility in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.
HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Lufthansa's 5th Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, RC021, inside the Technik Maintenance facility in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.
HI-RES PHOTO (click for larger). The Boeing 747-8I rocks the GEnx-2B67 engine. Photo by Lufthansa.
HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental has one sexy backside. Photo by Lufthansa.
- HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Nose shot of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.
HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Lufthansa's Technik facility in Frankfurt is HUGE and has a way of making large aircraft look small. Photo by Lufthansa.
HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental on the tarmac in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.
OTHER GOOD RELATED STUFF:
* Photos of Boeing 747-8I in full Lufthansa livery
* My tour of the TechnikÂ MaintenanceÂ facility and an Airbus A380
* Reveal, first flight and more of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental
* Photo of two Lufthansa Airbus A380s and one Boeing 747-400 Dreamlifter in the Technik facilityÂ
Lufthansa Airbus A330 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) waiting to go to Frankfurt (FRA).
Recently I had the opportunity to fly from Seattle (SEA) to Frankfurt, Germany (FRA) on a Lufthansa Airbus A330 in Business Class. This was my first Lufthansa A330 flight and figured it is time to do a review. I was flown to Germany by the airline to experience the first Airbus A380 flight from Frankfurt to Miami, but getting there is half the fun.
I felt a lot of pressure to get some rest on the flight over to FRA since I was only spending 24hrs there before heading back to the US. Flying in a premium seat better prepares a passenger to arrive well rested and ready to go — something I needed, but never got.Â The down side of flying in a premium seat, at least for me, is I want to enjoy the experience and I fight sleeping through it.
On the day of the flight, I decided to leave home early to get to the airport. Although Lufthansa does not have their own lounge at SEA, they share one with British Airways in the S-Terminal. I was able to hang out in the lounge for about three hours with free drinks and snacks until my flight was ready to board — never a bad way to spend an afternoon.
What flight can be complete with out a winglet shot?There are so many business class seats, they go to the wing.
Lufthansa flies from Seattle to Frankfurt daily and is the only flight they operate out of Seattle. The great thing about only operating one flight per day is the aircraft was already sitting at the airport and we boarded and departed right on time.Â I remember the days when an Airbus A340 flew the route (not exactly sure of the dates) but today they have the A330. Luckily for us aviation nerds you can still catch the Air France A340 that flies to Seattle.
Once you get to cruising altitude on a wide bodied airliner, it is easy to forget you are flying. Most people shut their window (even me, I know, I know) to better view your in-flight entertainment screens . A flight on a wide body airliner is just a different experience, even in economy, allowing less of a closed-in feeling. Half way across the ocean, I couldn’t help but stop and realize how amazing it was traveling from Seattle to Frankfurt in just under ten hours. To think what that trip would have entailed just 100 years ago to accomplish the same task makes me happy that airlines offer a much better solution.
The seats provided quite a bit of room and there was a pretty good selection of entertainment, but I wished there was a bit more privacy between me and the person next to me. I have no problem sleeping in economy in standard seats, but when I am lying flat, I feel a bit more exposed and would enjoy more privacy. I also wish the TV screen was closer, since, when lounging back, the screen got Â smaller. I ran out of movies I wanted to watch on the flight over there, but luckily my flight back was on the A380, which had additional options for me to enjoy.
Yum! This was one of three courses. Being served in glasses with the airline's logo is a nice touch. Yes, I was watching a movie with Matt Damon.
Up in Business Class, one has ample choices for food during your long trip. There is an appetizer, entree and desert and for each category, you have three choices. I decided on the, “chilled honey roasted Chicken Breast with water crest salad and cranberries, then Zinfandel braised short ribs with garlic mashed potatoes and baby carrots and finally finished it up with sage derby, gruyere and cambozola cheese.” The food quality is what would be expected from an international business class experience. I only wish there were more offerings of German in nature. If possible, I prefer to have the cuisine of the airline’s home country versus standard fare. Back in economy, they didn’t have it too shabby either. They didn’t have all the choices, but at least they were still getting meals that looked pretty decent for airline food and it was all free (well included in the price of the ticket).
I know this is silly and really not a reason to choose an airline, but Lufthansa’s warm wash cloths that are handed out at theÂ beginningÂ of the flight and before the meal, smelled amazing. I can’t even tell you what the smell was like, but if they made that into an air freshener I would definitely get it.
After meal service almost everyone in the front of the plane went to sleep. I tried, but it just wasn’t happening. I even took part of a sleeping pill (something I do not usually do while flying), but I never got tired. This was bad news because when we landed it was midnight my time, but 9am local time and I had a full day of events to participate in. I welcomedÂ jet-lagÂ with open arms.
One reason I think I couldn’t sleep was it never got dark outside. The concept was pretty cool, but not getting any sleep wasn’t so cool. Yea, sure, the shades were all down, butÂ mentally, I knew the light was there. Even the eye mask can’t stop the mental sunlight getting in.
When arriving in Frankfurt, we had to take a 10 minute bus ride back to the terminal.
Once we landed I was confused when we started taxiing away from the airport. I had forgotten that Frankfurt has many airline parking spaces where buses take people to and from the terminal. This was a bonus for me, being able to de-plane on the tarmac, then taking a five minute bus ride through the airport, but I could see how that would be a huge annoyance for people who are not into planes. I really wouldn’t want to ride an airplane for 10 hours, then get stuck on an even more crowded bus. You better believe the first class passengers are not riding the bus; many get a private Mercedes or Porsche to take them to the terminal.
Lufthansa also has an arrival lounge at FRA, but I was tired and in need of a shower, so I headed out of the airport and to my hotel. The flight went quick and was a great combination of comfort, high-end service and entertainment. I can’t wait until the next international flight.
CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS OF THE TRIP