Last year my friend Michel and I decided we wanted to have a weekend soaking up some early Spring sun to get rid of our winter blues. Since I never had been to Malta before, and Timothy was so lyrical about his experience there, we decided to jet off to the small island in the Mediterranean Sea. Since Michel had a gold status with Star Alliance we decided to fly on Lufthansa so we could make use of all the benefits this would provide us.
As we flew from Brussels Airport we could make use of ‘the Loft‘, the Brussels Airlines lounge in Pier A where all intra-Schengen flights depart. It’s a nice and airy lounge with both views over the inside of the terminal as well as an outside view over the tarmac where we could already see our little Canadian jet that would fly our short hop towards Frankfurt.
- Flight LH1007
Brussels (BRU) to Frankfurt (FRA)
Flighttime 32 minutes
Bombardier CRJ-900 D-ACNB “Wermelskirchen”
Operated by Lufthansa Cityline
Originally delivered to Eurowings on 16/05/2009
Even though the plane was parked at a gate with a boarding bridge, we still had to take a flight of stairs and walk across the tarmac to board our plane. Because of its small size it is unable to connect to a boarding bridge. Personally I prefer this way to board a plane so I get to hear the tarmac noises and breathe in the smell of kerosene in the morning.
Walking up the stairs into the cabin we were immediately greeted by the cabin crew and given a chocolate cookie to snack on during the flight. The cabin even though smaller than any plane I had been on before was modern and spacious enough for this flight. The flight itself was uneventful, but because we flew relatively low I got to enjoy some very nice views along the route. Despite the short flight time the crew even managed to perform a full drink service. We landed on Frankfurt newest runway and then taxied to a remote stand from where we were bussed to the terminal building.
During our transfer in Frankfurt we could make use of the Lufthansa Senator Lounge thanks to Michel’s golden Star Alliance status. The lounge was significantly larger than the Brussels Airlines one in Brussels, which is of course a no-brainer when taking into account the sheer size of the terminal and the scale of the Lufthansa operations in Frankfurt. The lounge is decorated in a typical German business style, offering a variety of drinks and snacks, both warm and cold. The German potato salad is to die for and of course you can never go wrong with a pretzel and some frankfurter sausages.
- Flight LH1310
Frankfurt (FRA) to Malta Luqa (MLA)
Flighttime 2 hours and 11 minutes
Airbus A320-200neo D-AINB
Delivered to Lufthansa on 31/04/2016
As we walked up to our departure gate, I spotted something was off “aren’t those engines bigger then they usually are?”. Upon closer inspection we could make out we would be flying on one of Lufthansa’s brand new A320neo planes, which of course made me extra-excited as this would be another first for me. Boarding the aircraft you could clearly see it was still a new plane, very bright and modern looking inside but of course equipped with the standard NEK seats. Since Lufthansa does not offer any in-flight entertainment on board this aircraft was not equipped with fold-down screens and the cabin crew performed a good old-fashioned manual safety demo.
We got a bit delayed during departure as traffic was quite busy in Frankfurt with a lot of long-haul flights taking the skies as well. During take-off you could notice the biggest difference between the ‘old’ A320’s and this neo one, The engine was much quieter and sounded more like the deeper rumble of an A330 engine. Throughout the flight you could also tell the noise level was lower.
The service consisted of a full drinks service and a pre-packaged sandwich of typical sourdough bread with some meat or cheese.
After arriving at the aircraft stand it was only a short bus ride to the terminal where our bags where already waiting for us to pick them up. As there was a driver waiting for us at the exit, we got to our hotel, the Intercontinental Malta, within half an hour from landing, a new personal record!
On the way home we arrived at a quite busy Malta airport, with long queues for check-in. Luckily we checked in online and after dropping off our bags we could make use of the fast-lane security and head up to the Malta Airport Lounge. To get to the lounge we had to go up a set of narrow stairs which felt more like an emergency exit, so this got us wondering whether we weren’t trespassing somewhere we shouldn’t. When we got to the top of the stairs we were relieved to see a lounge entrance, and a very nice lounge behind that. It looked as if it was just opened, very nice and modern looking with quite a nice spread of food and drinks (especially for a contract lounge). The nicest part however was the open air terrace with a view over the tarmac and all flight movements and soon enough we could see our plane come in. This time again we scored a special bird, the A321 in Lufthansa retro-colours (which look nicer then Lufthansa’s regular colours imho).
- Flight LH1277
Malta Luqa (MLA) to Frankfurt (FRA)
Flighttime 2 hours 16 minutes
Airbus A321-200 D-AIDV
Delivered to Lufthansa on 21/12/2012
When we headed downstairs to our boarding gate, we discovered that the gate area was like a zoo, you could clearly see the terminal was too small for the amount of people travelling through there.
As there are no boarding bridges in Malta we boarded a bus that took us for a scenic drive across the tarmac to our beautifully painted A321, with the tarmac boarding providing for some photo opportunities.
Once again the flight was uneventful, being largely a carbon copy of the previous flight including a similar sandwich and drink service.
During our transfer in Frankfurt airport we headed up to the Senator lounge again for a bite and a drink, before beginning out long trek to the boarding gate for our next flight at the complete end of the terminal.
- Flight LH1018
Frankfurt (FRA) to Brussels (BRU)
Flighttime 37 minutes
Airbus A320-200 D-AIPP “Starnberg”
Delivered to Lufthansa in august 1990
During boarding we again received our snack, a salty mix this time, with the drink being served in-flight. You could clearly spot this was an older bird, because of the smaller overhead lockers and the darker grey/beige colours used in the cabin. But as Lufthansa takes care of their planes everything was clean and fully functional. Once again it was a very uneventful flight and all too soon our small escape to the sun came to an end
In the future I would not hesitate to fly Lufthansa again as they offer a reliable and steady product, they deliver what you can expect from them .