It’s the last day of the year, 31 December 2011. The Tivoli in Copenhagen closed its door for the season the night before. The shops don’t seem to be open either and the streets of Copenhagen are surprisingly quiet as I cross the road to access the railway station. And indeed, as the old years draws to a close, it’s time for me to return home as well.
Date: 31 December 2011
Aircraft: B 737-300
Class: Business Class
Getting to the Airport
At around noon I check out of the hotel. Copenhagen’s main railway station is right across the road.
Danish trains are rather comfy and well maintained, but lord they’re so ugly to look at from the outside!
The railway station and platforms at Kastrup airport are located one floor down from the terminal. As soon as you get off the escalator you’re already standing right in the middle of the check-in area.
I try one of the self-service kiosks. For some reason it prints my boarding pass for the flight from Frankfurt to Basel but not the one from Copenhagen to Frankfurt. When I try a second time a message appears on the screen telling me I need to contact Lufthansa when I get Frankfurt, which seems somewhat difficult to achieve without a boarding pass to get to Frankfurt. So I head over to one of the counters for check-in, where I receive my boarding pass with no difficulty at all.
I’m flying Lufthansa, so no SAS Fast Track for me today. If only! The queue is something nasty. Eventually it takes me 20 minutes to reach the actual security check.
Surprisingly though, once I arrive airside, the terminal is nearly deserted. Where is everyone?
I really like Copenhagen airport. It just looks so nice with the low winter sun peering in through the windows.
The SAS Lounge
The Scandinavian lounge is very quiet and peaceful, which gives me a good opportunity to take some pictures of course…
At around 16h00 I leave the lounge and go on a walkabout. By this time the airport is nearly deserted and most of the shops are already closing or have already closed. Note the absence of humans in the following pictures.
There are three passengers in Business Class. Surprisingly, the aircraft has the new ‘Eurokabine’. I was under the impression that Lufthansa was getting rid of its Boeing narrow-bodies, so I didn’t think they would bother to refit them. In any case, those seats are just so thin!
It gets dark quickly up north. And by the time we push back it’s nearly night.
Obviously there are no queues for take-off and once we break though the low clouds the scenery is actually rather nice and very poetic.
The meal service is typically German fare, with loads of Wurst and Speck, both of which are not top of the list of my favourite foods. At least the starter is good. It consists of red snapper in a saffron sauce.
The crew on this short flight is excellent. They are all very attentive and the purser even makes sure to address passengers by name, something you don’t get very often on short-haul flights these days.
Transfer in Frankfurt
We land on the new runway in Frankfurt. By this time though it is already dark, making it difficult to get some good shorts. At least we park on a remote stand!
The Lufthansa Lounge
I travel through Frankfurt quite often and I think I can truly say I have never seen the Senator lounge so empty. There are only about ten people in it and the staff look as though they’re bored absolutely senseless. One of them strikes up a conversation with me. She complains to me that she’s already wiped every single table at least four times and still has a few more hours to go to the end of her shift!
Date: 31 December 2011
Aircraft: CRJ 700
Class: Business Class
Eventually boarding begins and we all head downstairs and onto the bus that will take us to our aircraft. I count 30 passengers on this flight, with only two of us in Business Class.
The Canadair Regional Jet is certainly a beauty to look at. From the inside however, I must say I find them rather cramped. Furthermore, Lufthansa’s somewhat drab cabin design on these birds – shades of depressing grey with shades of more grey – does not make them any more appealing to the passenger.
Take-off on this little bugger is powerful, especially with such a light load. With a flight time of only 35 minutes, the cabin crew more or less start with the service as soon as the gear goes up.
Actually I am quite surprised to get anything at all, even if, again, the main event is Wurst with an enormous salad. The dressing is something strange.
Still, the chocolate makes up for the Wurst I guess.
Basel airport, like Copenhagen and Frankfurt, is deserted and very soon I am though the terminal and back on the bus home.
So what about Lufthansa? The usual actually: not very stylish, not really inspired either, but reliable and efficient. I never thought I’d see the day but I’ve come to prefer Lufthansa over Swiss recently (except for the Wurst bit perhaps). It’s the professionalism of the entire operation and of the staff that tips the scale in their favour. The new Eurokabine is also definitely a major improvement over the previous cabin design and gives the aircraft a very stylish appearance.