Traveling from Frankfurt to Oslo for a vacation, there were two reasonably priced options. The first was a direct flight that would leave Frankfurt at 9:40 p.m. and land in Oslo at 11:40 p.m. For a similar price there was a morning flight with a connection in Munich arriving in the city at 11:05. Hoping to maximize our time in Oslo before flying north to Tromsø, we opted for the connecting flight.
While a 7:15 a.m. departure might not seem too early at first glance, once you add in the delays for travel to the airport and baggage drop-off, you suddenly set the alarm at 4:30 a.m.
Booking our flights to Norway was not the easiest process. Four of our flights have been placed on the same booking (FRA-MUC, MUC-OSL, TOS-OSL and OSL-FRA), one of them being SAS codeshare (TOS-OSL). Given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we opted to add travel insurance to the booking (although luckily we didn’t need it in the end) and selected seats as they were included in our price.
A total of four flights cost around €800 for two people. Photo: Lufthansa booking engine
When we got to the last step, the system kicked us out and lost our reservation. It didn’t take long to enter the details a second time, but the total price had gone up by around €100 by this point. While the system blocked our original seats, we could choose them separately the next day.
We had opted for the “Economy Classic” rate because it included luggage, essential for traveling to a place where the average temperature is -3.7° in February. It also gave us slightly better flight change rules and the aforementioned seat selection. In total, the route costs around €800 for two people, including travel insurance.
Getting to Frankfurt Airport
In my experience, getting to Frankfurt Airport can be a breeze or a total nightmare depending on which carrier you are traveling with and therefore which terminal you need to go to. Recently, work has taken place on the small train connecting the stations to Terminal 2, which means that a walk from another station or a shuttle is necessary.
Fortunately, Lufthansa uses Terminal 1 at its busiest airport. This means that when you get off the S-Bahn (local train) you have a short walk to the Lufthansa check-in counters via two escalators.
Drop off the bags
Baggage drop off in Frankfurt was also surprisingly easy. Seeing a (albeit small) queue for the staffed check-in counters, I opted to try the self-service bag drop.
I’ve had mixed experiences using such setups in the past. They can feel particularly slow (Emirates) or cumbersome (Ryanair). Just wait until you read about the Tromsø experience in a future review! My experience with Lufthansa’s system was by far my best to date.
We used Lufthansa self check-in facilities. Photo: Oliver Roesler via Lufthansa
I had to use two different machines. I simply scanned my boarding pass first and the machine spat out a bag tag. These were quickly applied to our suitcases before we headed to the device that would take our bag. After placing it on the carpet, I had to confirm it had no batteries, then treadmills carried it into the belly of the airport.
Passing through Frankfurt Airport
As Frankfurt Airport sees passenger numbers rebound, the airport appears ready to handle the influx of customers. As we were assigned gate A22, we proceeded to the Area A security checkpoint. Almost all security checkpoints were open. This meant that the short queue progressed quickly even though each only had room for three people at a time.
By the time we passed through the checkpoint, it was around 06:25. There was a visible line snaking from the entrance to the business class lounge. Our reservation was not eligible to use the lounge and I did not wish to pay for this privilege.
The security check was quick and efficient. Photo: Fraport
Instead, we went straight to the door. With some outlets open so early, it seemed like your first choice for breakfast in the terminals was a hot dog or a candy bar. We quickly reached the boarding area where our plane was ready, waiting to make the short hop across Germany to Lufthansa’s other base in Munich.
Embark on the flight
While the flight to Munich had been sold as being operated by an Airbus A321, a nine-year-old A320 was waiting for us at the gate. Boarding was done in groups on a single overhead walkway attached to the front of the aircraft. Groups one and two were called together. This included business class passengers and frequent fliers with status, two boxes we couldn’t tick.
Group three was called next as the final group. Rather than rushing to board, we opted instead to let the queue thin out a bit. After all, all seats were assigned and we didn’t need to put our hand luggage in the overhead compartments.
A single jet deck was connected to the front of the aircraft. Photo: Tom Boon – Single Flight
Lufthansa has launched a biometric experiment at Terminal 1. However, evidence of its existence is scarce. Previously, I signed up for the program using the Star Alliance app. The only evidence of the system seen at the airport was at the entrance to security screening, although these were not active. The door had no biometric functionality.
It was a short walk to the plane. A crew member was waiting at the entrance to greet us and we were welcomed onto the flight with the gift of a sealed Lufthansa branded hygiene wipe. I found it interesting that despite traveling on a German domestic flight operated by a German carrier with a German crew on a German aircraft, the staff chose to greet everyone on the flight in English.
By the time we boarded the plane, its wings had already been coated with a bright green Type IV de-icing solution, as evidenced by the glow of the wings and the green puddle below.
The wings were coated with de-icing fluid. Photo: Tom Boon – Single Flight
Although this meant we wouldn’t have to wait for de-icing before departure, other things caused us a delay. Seats towards the rear of the aircraft have a front-row view of baggage containers and loose baggage loaded at the rear of the aircraft.
Just as it looked like the loading was complete, the captain pressed the intercom or spoke the words dreaded by anyone expecting a close connection.
“We should have pushed back now, but we need to find and remove the luggage of a passenger who did not show up for the flight. We hope to complete this within five minutes.”
Fortunately, the bags were quickly located and removed, and before too long the plane began to roll back under the power and guidance of the pushback tug. It was then time to take a taxi to leave. We drove to my favorite runway for departures, 18. This runway is only used for traffic departing in one direction and provides a great vantage point when not flying.
Runway 18 is only used for southbound departures. Photo: Fraport
Considering the length of the flight, the service between Frankfurt and Munich lived up to expectations. Each passenger was offered a bottle of Elisabethen Quelle still water. Interestingly, Lufthansa now appears to be distributing 330ml bottles, compared to 500ml bottles in summer 2020.
Each passenger was also offered a small Lufthansa-branded chocolate. The crew member insisted that I take more than one, so I left the flight with a handful of these. There was no other service offered beyond this, but it was neither needed nor missed given the incredibly short flight time.
On these short flights, each economy class passenger receives a bottle of water and chocolate. Photo: Tom Boon – Single Flight
The seat itself was everything you would expect from a short haul flight in Europe. The seats were in a 3-3 configuration, and with the flight fairly full, all six seats in our row were occupied.
Despite my height, I never found a problem with legroom in these seats, and that continued to be the case in economy class on Lufthansa’s A320s. I found that I had rather room to spare. The only downside was that the space to store bags under the window seat seemed reasonably compact, although this is also the case on other carriers due to the location of the rails to which the seats attach.
Arrival in Munich
It was as if as soon as we ascended into the skies above Germany, we descended again. The snow-covered white fields of Munich had replaced the green fields of Frankfurt.
As we approached Munich, the fields turned from green to white. Photo: Tom Boon – Single Flight
The flight landed on runway 26R at 08:05, a total flight time of 35 minutes. Arrived in Munich, it was only a short taxi to gate 28.
Row-by-row managed disembarkation rituals introduced during peak COVID times have been axed at Lufthansa, replaced by the free-for-all that many expect. Despite this, it wasn’t long before we were standing in the Munich airport terminal.
Flight LH94 from Frankfurt, Germany (FRA) to Munich, Germany (MUC) was operated by a nine-year-old Airbus A320 registered D-AIZP.
The flight took off from Frankfurt Airport at 07:30 (expected 07:15) and arrived in Munich at 08:05 (expected 08:10). This gave a total flight time of 35 minutes.
Have you flown domestically on Lufthansa Airbus A320s? Let us know in the comments below.
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