Anyone have any experiece with Lufthansa from Newark or DFW to Europe? Seems that United in it's wisdom, or lack of it, has put their lower free miles flights on Lufthansa through Frankfurt. Maybe we waited to late to get the good United flights at low miles (4-5 months out) or this is something new? Points are 30,000 each way with an option to buy economy seats with more leg room. United flights are 55,000 miles each way for a standard coach seat. Loved Continental, but with the merger not sure it was a good thing.
Hi Jim from Dallas, you should be very pleased with Lufthansa. Until recently, I was opposed to flying with anyone other than a US carrier. Aren't you also the fellow who takes his M-I-L on some trips? My eldest daughter lives in Germany and had been trying to convince us to use Luft, with some reluctance we did. Best flight we've had in some time; treated well....just like the good ole days. My M-I-L has mobility issues, Luft treated her and us as though we were VIP's. I could go on and on. To bad I don't drink on flights anymore, free beer and wine both ways. Generally Luft is a few dollars more expensive then domestic airlines.....but....they don't charge a luggage fee at the time we used them. Btw, we flew out of DFW.
It's nothing new. United and Continental have always done this because Lufthansa has more capacity; they fly bigger aircraft. I use my United miles all the time with Lufthansa out of Newark, but I prefer to connect via Munich as I despise everything about Frankfurt airport. You won't be able to select your transatlantic seat until after you have purchased your tickets. You pull up your reservation at United.com and it will display Lufthansa's confirmation code. Then go to Lufthansa's site to select your seat.
I agree with the second Jim. I always prefer European airlines when possible, as they tend to use newer planes with better audio/video and charging options, serve better food, and (not important to me, but very important to some) are better about free booze. I've flown Lufthansa several times. They're not quite as nice as Turkish Air or SAS, but definitely a cut above US airlines. This applies to coach; I have no experience with their Economy Plus or business class. And, while Michael has intense loathing for Frankfurt Airport, I've only had good experiences there. Once in my jetlagged state, I misread signs and went to baggage claim instead of to my connecting flight, so I had to go through security again. I still made my flight with time to spare. Munich is not as huge and so is supposed to be easier to change in (I've only arrived and departed there), but I have no problem with changes in Frankfurt if that works best.
Hi Jim my mantra? Avoid all US airlines at all times, except Southwest. The only reason we have the United Card and put everything on it and pay it once a month is so we can fly Lufthansa. They have a Denver to Frankfurt non stop. In a month we are flying it to frankfurt and then a short shop to Paris. This is our third flight with them. We can leave Denver at 6 pm instead of 9am. We love Lufthansa. That said we have to stop at Dulles on the way back and switch to United because as you can expect. On the 330th day before the flight (that is when you can book using miles), the free flight on the return non stop Frankfurt-Denver disappeared. I am not looking forward to getting on United. I don't trust them at all (ask me sometime about what happened on the way to my mom's funeral, but that is another story). One other tip? We always makes hotel reservations next to the airport we are connecting in, since I don't trust United whatsoever and with a 15 and 11 year old we are not sleeping in the airport if our flight is cancelled.
Thank you one and all. You have totally changed my attitude toward foreign airlines and I've decided to try Lufthansa. Maybe their being the only ones with the lower miles is a blessing and not a curse. And Brad, I'm with you on Southwest. Really love their service and attitude and don't mind the open seating.
Same opinion with the Delta/Air France alliance. We always opt for AF given the choice.
We love Lufthansa. We have flown out fron Denver to Frankfurt and from Newark to Frankfurt. Also have flown with them from SF to Vienna. Last 2 trips were business class and the seating and service was excellent. We also love Lufthansa because they are very dog freindly (Our Jack Russell always flys with us). I think a good example of the difference is last August we flew United to Newark and had nothing as far as amenities and cramped seating to boot. We arrived at Newark and boarded our flight to Zurich on Lufthansa Business Class...what a huge difference...warm friendly greetings, excellent food and drink, hot towels, and almost fully flat reclining seats. When we arrived in Frankfurt to get our flight to Zurich we were well rested and ready to go.
Earlier flights we have had with them in economy were good too. Friendly and attentive service good food and drink.
We have flown Lufthansa a couple times. They are a good airline but I fail to see their superiority to American carriers. We once arrive 3 hours early at the Munich airport only to discover that our flight was severely overbooked and already full. The counter clerk was at her wits end. She suggested we (family of 4) could go to the gate for standby. I asked if that was likely, she said no. She disappeared for a while and worked to resolve the issue. They got us home on Swiss Air through Zurich and well reimbursed us for our troubles. I would not hesitate to fly Lufthansa again but...
My last four trips I've flown USAir to Munich, Lufthansa to Frankfurt, Lufthansa to Munich, and United to Munich. The best flights were Lufthansa, the worst, USAir. Given the choice, I will always pick Lufthansa - better gates, better service, free wine, better breakfast before arrival in Germany.
We flew Lufthansa for the first time last fall into Warsaw through Frankfurt out of Philly. I agree with all of the previous comments on the quality of the planes, as well as the in-flight service. Food and drinks were good, distributed frequently, and free. Two points of caution. We decided on Lufthansa partly because they are part of the Star Alliance network and we were told our flights would count towards our USAir frequent flyer miles. When we saw after the trip that we did not get credit and called (both Lufthansa and USAir), we were told that our particular flight and the grade of tickets we bought were excluded. Second, we bought our tickets more than 6 months in advance and had "reserved" seats. When we checked in for our flight home, we were put in seats in the middle of the middle row for the Frankfurt to Philly flight. When we complained that they were not our reserved seats, they told us there is no such thing and they assign seats when you check in. My husband has a back problem, and we eventually convinced them to give us aisle seats, but it took a lot of arguing in the Frankfurt airport to make that happen.
Based on our one experience with Lufthansa, I'd say there's no reason to avoid them or seek them out. Even for airplane food, the meal outbound was mediocre; and that inbound, inedible. The seats were about as (un)comfortable as any are in economy. They are part of our upcoming trip to Germany and Croatia. The choice was made on the grounds of price and convenience.
Just returned from Amsterdam on United... flight crews great but the rest of the experience was not. We have never had a bad experience on an overseas airline and plan to avoid United on our next hop over the pond.
Lufthansa is a pretty good airline and I can support pretty much all of the above. Even better are those Lufthansa flights operated by LX (Swiss)... i.e. any nonstop flight from the US via ZRH ;-)
We're budget travelers, so price is always a consideration. we love to use Icelandair out of Minneapolis, but they don't fly out of here after late October. Last year they didn't serve free meals, but we will always fly them if available. A little off topic, but a great airline.
Jeff & Dianne
We are thinking of using Icelandair also, SEA to Frankfurt, with a 40 minute layover in Reykjavik. Yikes...is that going to work? Anybody flown this route with this short connection? Lufthansa is about $300 more for a direct non-stop flight. Dan
@Daniel - 40 mins is about average for Iceland Air connection in Reykjavik, you shouldn't have any problem. I've done it with about 30 mins and had time to spare. Airport is not that large.
@Daniel, Have you tried Condor Air? They fly a nonstop (!) from Seattle to Frankfurt a few days a week and usually price out lower then IcelandAir.
I'm going to try Condor from Calgary to Frankfurt direct in June. They are $500 below Air Canada ... at that price I don't really care that much about service, just hope for decent leg room.
I've flown Lufthansa a number of times including DFW-FRA. No problems with the flights at all.
I prefer United Business First over Lufthansa Business (same mileage award) better seats and food.
Thanks for your comments Bronwen, I looked at business first on United and Lufthansa and they appear to be the same size and recline 180 degrees. What is the difference that you have experienced? I'm leaning toward going BF on Lufthansa going over because the same number of points (55,000) on United will only get me a coach seat.
We flew on Luft and used our Pts to go 1st class - had the whole upper deck of a 747 to ourselves - very roomy. Another time had a great flight until a fuel leak!
Dan - re Icelandair from SEA to FRA. We did this recently, and it worked fine. I was also worried about the tight connection in Reykjavik, but it's a small airport and there was no problem. Since both flights are Icelandair, I figured they would likely hold the second flight if need be. You'll probably be glad you're not spending much time in the Reykjavik airport - the waiting areas are small and crowded, with very few seats. Don't plan on purchasing food there, as the lines can be long in the one small snack bar. We enjoyed the opportunity to stretch our legs, rather than doing SEA-FRA all in one flight. Condor is another option, depending on when you are flying. In winter they only have one flight per week from Seattle, which made me nervous, but in summer I think they are more frequent. They have a good reputation for comfort and service.
Lufthansa's seats have a strange recline - you can never get your feet elevated. The meal choices were odd - don't recall but nothing very appetizing.
I typically fly United-Continental and USAirways due to their convenience to my home city. However, every time I have flown a European airline (Lufstansa, Air France) I have been most pleased and gotten spoiled. I fly Luftansa, business class to Europe in 2011 because it took fewer miles to book, and I did not regret that decision. It was very comfortable. We took good advantage of the Luftansa business class lounges, as well, since we did have two stops. Also, I needed to call my office, and was allowed to use the First Class lounge for that purpose because there were no phones available in the Business Class lounge. I appreciated that Luftansa "bent the rules" for me.
It depends more on the specific plane than airline. I like Lufthansa at least as much as any other airline but some of their planes are pretty packed (maybe the A320?) with seats. It's pretty bad when, in a sea of sardine can airplanes, one plane sticks out as the worst. Lufthansa is also very serious about carry-on bag limits. We carry-on only and stay within the strictest requirements. Don't expect to carry-on more than the maximum allowed.
We go Lufthansa from Newark every year. For me, it's the start of my German vacation. Haven't flown US airlines in years and have no desire to. Generally if you go to Frankfurt it's a 747, Munich is Airbus. Be careful it's not a codeshare and your Lufthansa ticket is for a United flight. Terminal location at Newark has relatively few airlines flying from it, - so it's not too packed. Coming back from Germany, you'll immediately find Lufthansa check-in locations and not have to hunt around for the US line. Did Tourist Class for years and tolerated it, spring for Business 3 years ago and will never go back (at least while the money holds out!)
We've always found Lufthansa people to be very accommodating and professional with German efficiency. Enjoy your flight.