Review: Air Dolomiti Business Class Munich to Catania

Introduction
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Lufthansa 1964 (operated by Air Dolomiti)
Munich (MUC) ā€“ Catania (CTA)
Friday, May 24
Depart: 9:25AM
Arrive: 11:35AM
Duration: 2hr10min
Aircraft: Embraer 190
Seat: 2B (Business Class)

I’ve always been fascinated by Air Dolomiti given that they’re one of Lufthansa’s regional partners with unique branding. Their planes are painted in their own colors and they have their own crews, even though they operate certain flights exclusively on behalf of Lufthansa.

Upon boarding we were acknowledged by the Italian flight attendant — who was sporting big, puffy, hair, coral lip gloss, a bright turquoise uniform, etc. — and directed to our seats. While Air Dolomiti isn’t Lufthansa Italia, it sure reminded me of this Pam Ann skit (NSFW):

Since the Embraer is in a 2-2 configuration, the two window seats are blocked in each row. On this particular flight there were three rows in business class.

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Business class cabin

I have to say, the seats themselves were well padded and legroom was decent, so I found this configuration to be much more comfortable than what you get on Lufthansa intra-Europe with their slimline seats.

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Legroom in row two

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Fleet of Air Dolomiti planes at remote stands

The flight was fairly full and it was kind of funny to watch the passengers board and the reactions that the flight attendant at the door had to everyone. In one case a lady and her granddaughter took two seats in business class, loudly saying that they thought the plane had open seating, and the flight attendant walked up to them and said “no, no, you take your seats pronto.”

In another case a lady tried to place her bag in the business class bin and it didn’t quite fit. The lady said to the flight attendant “hmm, I don’t think it’s going to fit,” and the flight attendant said “no, of course not.” Beyond that, the way that the flight attendant stared at everyone head-to-toe as they boarded kind of made me laugh.

As boarding finished up packaged refreshing towels were offered to everyone.

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Refreshing towels

The captain came on the PA and informed us of our flight time of two hours, and shortly after that we began our taxi to the runway. Safety announcements were made in three languages… I believe two of them were meant to resemble English and German, though I have my doubts. šŸ˜‰

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Taxiing to the runway

Once at the runway there were two Lufthansa planes ahead of us, so within five minutes or so we were airborne.

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Taxiing to the runway

There were some bumps on the initial climb out due to thick clouds, though once we got above that cloud layer the ride smoothed out.

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Views after takeoff

Once we leveled off the flight attendant offered each business class passenger a deli plate, as you’d expect on Air Delimeat Dolomiti.

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Deli plate

The flight attendant working business class was rather attentive and actually charming after warming her up a bit, so I talked to her for a while about the routes she flies, the airline’s relationship with Lufthansa, etc.

I spent the other odd hour or so just staring out the window.

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Views enroute

About 30 minutes out of Catania we reached the coast of Sicily, where the views got progressively better.

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Coast of Sicily

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Flying over Sicily

As we approached Catania we flew right by Mount Etna, which made for some amazing views.

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Mount Etna

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Mount Etna

As we began our final descent the flight attendant came around the cabin offering each passenger chocolate.

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Pre-arrival chocolate

During our final descent we flew out over the harbor and then turned back towards Catania to land.

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View on approach

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View on approach

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View on approach

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View on approach

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View on approach

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Touchdown

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Taxiing off the runway

After a smooth touchdown it was just a quick taxi to the gate. Yes, that’s right, a gate, which I was thrilled to see after a series of remote stands.

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Taxiing to the terminal

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Taxiing to the terminal

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Taxiing to the terminal

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Deplaning

Once in the terminal it was only about a five minute walk till we were in the arrivals area, where we were met by our friends.

And that’s where three days of pure Sicilian madness began…

On the whole Air Dolomiti was a perfectly pleasant way to fly intra-Europe, and based on seat comfort I actually preferred it to Lufthansa. There was something really unique about flying them given that I’m just used to the “standard” Lufthansa intra-Europe service, so if nothing else it was a nice change of pace. I’d fly them again in a heartbeat.

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Comments

  1. Hi Lucky;

    Nice report!

    Is this something you booked with miles? Separately, or included in your Transatlantic award?

  2. @ beachfan — Yep, this was booked as part of an award. Air Dolomiti is the same as any other Lufthansa flight for all practical purposes.

  3. You really lucked out with such a clear day! Those are the best non-eruption Etna pictures I’ve seen.

  4. I really like the Embrarer 190 series. There a big reason I fly AC a lot. They are great when you are travelling with a companion and when you are by yourself the seat you often have no seatmate

  5. 10 years ago, Air Dolomiti used to have incredibly awesome meals even in economy. Pity those days are gone.

    +1 for the pure Sicilian madness report requests

  6. Hi Lucky: I’ve been trying to book Air Dolomiti as part of a United award ticket (MUC-VCE). It’s not coming up. I called United and they don’t show any space on EN flights (or the LH codeshare). Is EN only ticketable as an award ticket using Miles & More? Or can it be booked through Mileage Plus? Thanks very much.

  7. @ Flyerdad — It absolutely should be bookable using United miles, but only if it’s actually marketed by Lufthansa. If it’s an Air Dolomiti flight not operated on behalf of Lufthansa then you can’t redeem MileagePlus miles for it.

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