To begin our journey home, we flew from Malta to Frankfurt on a Lufthansa Airbus A321-200 in economy class before connecting the following morning on the same aircraft type to Copenhagen. The flights were pleasant and (mostly) uneventful.
Lufthansa A321-200 Economy Class Review
We booked our tickets for 44K United miles from Malta to Los Angeles via Frankfurt and Copenhagen and about $121 in taxes.
Our Uber driver to the airport was a Ukrainian refugee who was translating all the driving directions into Ukrainian on her navi. She was so kind, even jumping out of the car to try to grab our heavy bags from the trunk. I know several Ukrainian refugees who look forward to the day they can return to their homes.
We arrived about an hour before departure, which did not give us enough time to enjoy the La Vallete Lounge, but the check-in line was nearly deserted…I guess others checked in earlier?
We had the choice of our tagging our bags just to Frankfurt or all the way to Los Angeles and chose to tag them all the way home to avoid having to drag them to our hotel in Frankfurt where we would be for only about 10 hours.
After a brief visit to the lounge, we walked downstairs to the boarding gate, where boarding was nearly complete.
Malta does not have jet bridges, so we were ushered onto a bus, which drove us about 200 meters to our aircraft (Claire Marie bravely insisted upon standing) and then we had to climb a flight of stairs. Can you imagine trying to do something like that in Ft. Lauderdale?
Malta (MLA) – Frankfurt (FRA)
Monday, August 7
Depart: 05:05 PM
Arrive: 07:40 PM
Duration: 2hr, 40min
Distance: 1,023 miles
Aircraft: Airbus A321-200
Seat: 18A, C, D, F (Economy Class)
Onboard, we wondered whether our gamble would pay off. And indeed it did…
Oh, there’s nothing great about the Lufthansa short and mid-haul economy class seat: it’s a slimline Recaro seat with minimal padding and recline and legroom of only 30 inches.
But we strategically assigned ourselves two windows and two aisles in row 18, hoping the middle seats would stay open.
And they did.
Looking around, we truly were fortunate because the aircraft was fairly full. All the rows around us had every seat taken.
These seats have coat hooks, but still no power ports.
The kids stayed busy coloring and reading, with Augustine “blogging” on his iPad. Watch out…he’ll be contributing here before you know it.
We departed late due to air traffic control in Frankfurt (per the captain), but he assured us an on-time arrival in Frankfurt.
Wi-Fi + IFE
This aircraft has no in-flight-entertainment and the wi-fi feature was broken, per the flight attendants.
We actually spent most of the flight chatting with our seatmates, a Maltese man who married an American woman. It was nice to chat with them and the conversation helped the flight to fly by.
Augustine had great views out the window of Valletta as we took off:
Food + Drink
Lufthansa has eliminated complimentary meals onboard in favor of an “Onboard Delights” buy-on-boad menu. We tried the dean&david crunchy chicken bowl, which included:
Bowl with fried chicken fillet strips, Bavarian rice, edamame, fruity mango, fresh baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, pomegranate seeds, crunchy onions, and soy sesame sauce.
The chicken was bad..the other ingredients were fine. It was €10.50 I wish I had saved.
We also ordered a cup of coffee (€3.50) and some chocolate pralines (€8.50), both from Dallmayr, which were much better than the chicken dish.
Complimentary still water bottles and Lufthansa-branded milk chocolate are offered to all passengers:
As a look back in time, the last time I took this flight was in May 2013…about 10 years earlier. Then, all food and beverages were complimentary. A hot pizza was offered:
A word on service. It was satisfactory. No complaints, but no praises either. The crew was efficient, but once the initial meal service was over we did not see them again. The crew quite hurriedly wheeled the trolley through the cabin and retreated to the galley.
The lavatories were clean…I had to take my daughter up to use the facilities and she dropped her pacifier in the toilet while attempting to flush the toilet…
I fished it out, threw away the pacifier, and watched my hands twice. Thankfully, we had a couple of extras.
We landed on time in Frankfurt to a beautiful evening.
The following morning we boarded the same aircraft type (a different plane, though) for our connection to Copenhagen after a very early wake-up call.
Frankfurt (FRA) – Copenhagen (CPH)
Tuesday, August 8
Depart: 07:10 AM
Arrive: 08:30 AM
Duration: 1hr, 20min
Distance: 422 miles
Aircraft: Airbus A321-200
Seat: 15A, C, D, F (Economy Class)
This will be a very easy flight to sum up, which is why I am not doing a separate post on it.
Claire Marie slept.
And I zoned out.
By the way, the middle seat trick worked again on this flight…something to at least consider when traveling with a group of four.
Great aircraft spotting:
Water bottles and chocolate were offered shortly after takeoff. I had consumed all the coffee I needed for the morning in the A26 Lufthansa Lounge prior to boarding (a former first class lounge with barista coffee service).
On this particular flight, wi-fi did work and was FlyNet internet was available for purchase at a rate of:
- Chat – 3EUR
- Mail and Surf – 5EUR
- Stream – 10EUR
But my work was done and I was not in the mood for any electronics devices. I did enjoy leafing through the duty free catalog…the little bear and the beverage cart caught my attention:
Augustine woke up as we approached Copenhagen and was suddenly “starving” after eating a huge breakfast in the Panorama Lounge an hour earlier…but he made do with the chocolate.
We landed on-time in Copenhagen Kastrup Airport, passing by an Air Greenland A330-800neo.
That still left us only 45 minutes to make our connection on SAS and our flight was already boarding…
Two very smooth flights on Lufthansa. On the one hand, flying Lufthansa economy class is really nothing special in terms of seating or amenities. On the other hand, even without the complimentary meals it still feels just a little more dignified than Ryanair or EasyJet.