PROMOTION LINE PLACEHOLDER
SHARE

Review: Lufthansa's Long-Haul Flight in Economy Class

aircraft photo of Lufthansa above the clouds
Lufthansa flies to 220+ destinations in 80+ countries, ranking among the world's largest airlines in international reach.

The content on this page includes affiliate links. While clicking on these links won't cost you anything extra, we may earn a modest commission from any purchases you make.

I had my first Lufthansa long-haul flight experience when I travelled from Munich to Singapore and back. This review highlights a detailed experience resulting from flight cancellation caused by the airline.

My Lufthansa Long-Haul Experiences in Economy Class

On my way home to the Philippines for over a month's vacation, I had the first opportunity to experience a long-haul flight with Lufthansa in economy class. This review outlines my comprehensive encounter on a round-trip Lufthansa flight between Munich and Singapore.

Booking Flights

I booked my flights directly from Lufthansa with Helsinki as the origin and Manila as the final destination two months before the departure date. As usual, I searched and compared different options via Skyscanner and finally booked via Lufthansa which offered me the preferred route and suitable price. The booking process went smoothly and I got my confirmed e-ticket and itinerary in my email.

PRO TIP
Skyscanner is an excellent tool to compare flight prices. It gives you the freedom to book flights directly from the airline or via an online travel agency.

However, 17 days before my flight, I got an email from Lufthansa informing changes to my itinerary and urging me to contact their service centre. They had changed the first two legs of my outbound flight Helsinki-Frankfurt-Pudong and offered an alternative flight route, Helsinki-Munich-Pudong, at different departure times. The last leg of my flight Pudong-Manila remained unchanged. If I had taken the proposed new flight, it would have been risky not to make it to the next flight to Manila since there was a very short connection time (only 20 minutes) in Pudong, China. Hence, I didn't have a choice but to call their customer service.

email from Lufthansa regarding itinerary change
An email from Lufthansa informing regarding itinerary change of the originally booked flights.

I called the Finnish Lufthansa customer service based in Helsinki Airport and obviously, the customer agent couldn't speak Finnish. I had to call them at my own expense spending 30 minutes in total over the phone on separate occasions before I finally got a new flight which turned out to be a new route. The confirmed new flight was from Helsinki-Munich-Singapore-Manila and also the same route for the return flight. For the phone bills I incurred related to this call, the customer agent to whom I spoke told me that Lufthansa won't be compensating for this extra expense.

Outbound Flight to Singapore

My flights from Helsinki to Munich and Munich to Singapore were operated by Lufthansa while the last leg was operated by Singapore Airlines. I had only one check-in luggage included in my economy class ticket which was up to 23 kg. In addition, cabin luggage was up to 8 kg. Once I did my check-in at Helsinki Airport, the customer agent of Lufthansa at the check-in counter confirmed to me that my check-in luggage would be delivered directly to my final destination which was Manila. This meant I didn't have to pick up and do a separate check-in during connecting flights. I got my mobile boarding passes for all of my flights via email and they were also available on the Lufthansa app.

flight map of Lufthansa long-haul flight from Munich to Singapore
A flight map visible on the flight entertainment system of Lufthansa showing flight info for my Munich-Singapore flight.

The connecting flight time in Munich was just enough to board the next flight leaving for Singapore. The outbound flight went smoothly. Despite the delayed departure, we arrived at Changi Airport ahead of the scheduled time of arrival.

Cancelled Inbound Flight to Munich

The flight back from Manila to Helsinki was more complicated. As soon as I boarded the first leg of my return flight, I got text messages from Lufthansa regarding the flight cancellation of my next flight from Changi to Munich and that I got rebooked to the next available flight operated by Singapore Airlines.

screenshot of cancelled Lufthansa flight
A screenshot of a cancelled Lufthansa inbound flight.
A screenshot of text messages from Lufthansa regarding flight cancellation and rebooking.
A screenshot of text messages from Lufthansa regarding the flight cancellation and rebooking.

Never travel without travel medical insurance. Read what you should know about choosing a good travel insurance.

The Setback

Since my flight to Munich was cancelled, I was rebooked by Lufthansa onto a Singapore Airlines flight to London, flight SQ 322. However, upon arrival in Singapore, I faced a significant delay due to the unavailability of a mobile boarding pass, leading to a missed connection.

The missed connection was caused by the following issues:

  1. The inability to do online check-in via the Lufthansa mobile app or website exacerbated the delay and contributed to the missed connection.
  2. A queue of over one hour at the transfer desk of Lufthansa at Changi Airport to obtain a boarding pass.

With a tight schedule to reach the gate of my connecting flight, I moved swiftly once I arrived at Changi Airport. I tried to quickly locate the transfer desk of Lufthansa since I was not able to get a mobile boarding pass for my supposed new flight with Singapore Airlines. My flight from Manila arrived at Changi Airport at 22:13 in Terminal 4 and I had to get quickly to Transfer F where Lufthansa Service Desk is located in Terminal 2 of Changi Airport.

airport layout of Changi Airport
The airport layout of Changi Airport. Reaching Terminal 2 from Terminal 4 required taking a shuttle bus.

The Singapore Airlines flight SQ322 bound for London was leaving at 23:45. I tried my best to quickly obtain my boarding pass from the transfer desk of Lufthansa since it was impossible to obtain a mobile boarding pass by running like crazy in the terminal. However, a worse scenario was waiting at the transfer F desks. There was a very long queue of many stranded passengers trying to get a new flight. Therefore, I was not able to get into this alternative flight booked by Lufthansa.

transfer service desk F of Lufthansa in Changi Airport
Transfer F service desk of Lufthansa in Changi Airport.

Reasons for the Cancellation

At the assistance service desks of Lufthansa, passengers including me affected by flight cancellations were given a printed notice for the reason behind why the flights were cancelled: A freezing rain in Munich. Lufthansa promptly provided me with complimentary accommodation for the night at the Grand Park City Hotel. I was also told that taxi transportation would be shouldered by the airline by just informing the taxi driver. Since it was already too late, I bought a takeaway dinner for myself before taking a taxi to the hotel. I kept the receipt for the compensation request later from the airline.

hotel voucher provided by Lufthansa due to cancelled flight
I got a hotel voucher under my name issued by the service agent at the Transfer F desk of Lufthansa.

The service agent of Lufthansa was not able to manage to rebook me on the next available flight to Munich. Instead, she asked me to contact the Lufthansa Ticketing and Reservation office. While I was still at the transfer desk together with many stranded passengers trying to call the line simultaneously, it was so difficult to get through as the line got too busy. Since I was already getting exhausted, I decided to get out of the airport first while planning to call the service line once I got into the hotel. Finally, after over half an hour on the phone talking with the ticketing officer of Lufthansa, I got rebooked for the next flight with the same schedule as the cancelled flight the previous day.

An Unexpected Adventure

As I settled into my temporary accommodation for the night, I couldn't help but feel a sense of excitement at the unexpected turn of events. Rather than dwelling on the delay, I embraced the opportunity to explore a new city, if only for a few hours. Armed with a map and a sense of adventure, I stepped out of the hotel to discover the sights and sounds of Singapore the next morning before my evening flight.

Lufthansa provided a one-night accommodation affected by flight cancellation at the Grand Park City Hall Hotel
Lufthansa provided me with this room at the Grand Park City Hall Hotel for one-night accommodation arising from flight cancellation.
RECOMMENDATION
If you are looking for a pleasant hotel in Singapore, I can recommend staying at the Grand Park City Hall Hotel.

I wandered through the city streets, soaking in the vibrant energy and unique charm of Singapore. With only a few hours, I got the opportunity to witness the bustling street markets. It was a serendipitous adventure that I never would have experienced if not for the cancelled flight.

The Journey Continued

The following evening at around 8 PM, a shuttle bus arranged by the hotel staff took us to the airport. Together with these passengers and others affected by the previous flight cancellations, we had to queue once more at the transfer desk of Singapore Airlines to secure the printed boarding pass. This was also to ensure that the check-in luggage would be forwarded to the correct flight. Since I still had time left before resuming my journey to Munich, I had the opportunity to visit SATS Premier Lounge (T2).

shuttle bus in Grand Park City Hall Hotel taking passengers affected by cancelled Lufthansa flight
I together with many passengers affected by a cancelled Lufthansa flight were taken by this shuttle bus from the Grand Park City Hall Hotel to Changi Airport.
passengers queuing to Lufthansa Assistance Service Desk
Together with other stranded passengers, we had to check in at the service desk of Lufthansa for the rebooked flight.

As I boarded the plane once again, I reflected on the unexpected twists and turns that had led me to this moment. While the delay had been inconvenient, it had also provided me with the opportunity to embrace spontaneity and seize the moment, turning a setback into an unforgettable adventure.

Onboard Experiences

Aircraft

My flights with Lufthansa Airline from Munich to Singapore and back were operated with an A350-900 aircraft. They had a seat configuration of 3+3+3 in the economy class. Since it was a night flight, the crew encouraged people sitting next to windows to close window blinds so as not to allow much sunlight to come inside the cabin so that everyone could get rest to decrease jetlag.

economy window seats of Lufthansa
Each of the seats in the economy class were provided with a blanket, pillow and disposable earphones.
The economy class cabin of A350-900 Lufthansa aircraft.
The Lufthansa flight was full. The economy class cabin has a 3+3+3 seat configuration.

Services Onboard

At the start of the flight, the digital safety demo was shown in German and English language. Then the cabin crew started distributing a bottle of water and crackers. The meal service was carried out by serving passengers with special diets first, followed by other passengers. Having a lactose-free diet, I was served with pumpkin coconut curry and rice, green salad with dressings, White bread and butter and chocolate mousse for dessert.

inflight meals aboard Lufthansa
Inflight meal in the economy class aboard Lufthansa
crackers and water bottle provided by Lufthansa
Crackers and water were provided by Lufthansa.

For the drink options, there were juices of three different flavours including tomato juice, apple juice orange juice and soft drinks. Coffee or tea was also served.

toiletries in the economy class aboard Lufthansa flights
Some toiletries were provided in economy class aboard the long-haul flight of Lufthansa.

Flight Information System

The aircraft was equipped with a flight information system with a vast collection of movies, music, flight cameras and of course one can check the progress of the flight under the flight information menu. A rounded plug for headphones and 1 USB port for charging devices were also available. Lufthansa provided disposable earphones.

inflight entertainment system features of Lufthansa
The features of the inflight entertainment system of Lufthansa

It was quite disappointing that I wasn't informed about the need to pre-install the Lufthansa entertainment app on one's mobile device before departure to activate device pairing inflight. As a result, I was not able to connect to the internet.

pairing device instruction of Lufthansa
Pairing instruction to be able to utilize Lufthansa's Companion app on board.

Compensation

Once I got to Finland, I made a compensation claim via the Lufthansa website. Surprisingly, after a few days, I got a reply from Lufthansa:

email regarding compensation from expenses incurred during a flight cancellation with Lufthansa
An email I received regarding compensation from expenses incurred during a flight cancellation with Lufthansa.

Rating

Lufthansa deserves a 3-star rating considering all the circumstances that arose even before my flights and during the flights.

Bottom Line

Despite the setback, there was a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Lufthansa promptly provided me with complimentary accommodation for the night at the Grand Park City Hall Hotel for the cancelled flight connection in Singapore. Additionally, they arranged transportation to and from the airport, ensuring that passengers were well taken care of during the unexpected delay. However, the handling of rebookings for cancelled flights both for my inbound and outbound flights could have been handled more efficiently.

The unwillingness to compensate for phone bills related to the inbound flight rebookings is also a disappointment. Nevertheless, travelling is not always smooth sailing, but it is often the unexpected detours that lead to the most memorable experiences. My journey from Singapore to Munich with Lufthansa may have been delayed by freezing rain, but it was also enriched by unexpected discoveries and moments of unexpected delight. So the next time your travel plans are disrupted, remember to embrace the adventure and seize the opportunity to explore the world around you. After all, the journey is often just as important as the destination.

Tags: , ,
Destination: Germany

Add Comment

1000
Drag & drop images (max 3)

Comments

No comments yet. Be the first!