Are Etihad And Lufthansa Really Considering A Merger?! Here’s An Update


As I posted about earlier today, an Italian newspaper was reporting that Etihad was in talks with Lufthansa over the possibility of buying a stake in them. It was even suggested that the two airlines may enter a full-blown merger, which I was skeptical about.

The relationship between Etihad and Lufthansa is a new one, and is due to their mutual connection to airberlin — Etihad owns a big stake in struggling airberlin, and Lufthansa is essentially saving airberlin by taking over many of their planes, as a way of keeping other ultra low cost carriers out of Germany.

Despite Lufthansa’s previous vocal opposition to Etihad, the two airlines have extended their relationship beyond their connection to airberlin, and are now codesharing.

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Review: Lufthansa First Class 747-8 Frankfurt To Boston


We had an early morning flight from Vienna to Frankfurt, which I won’t be reviewing given that intra-Europe flights are mostly the same. We had a roughly three hour layover, so on arrival we walked to the First Class Terminal, a process that took about 20 minutes from the time we arrived at our gate.

We hung out there for a couple of hours, until the PA fetched us at 10:15AM and told us our flight was ready for boarding. The three of us were being transported alone from the FCT to the plane (if there are other first class passengers or HON Circle members, they’ll typically transport everyone together) in a Mercedes van. The ride took about five minutes, and as usual, I was like a kid in a candy store driving across the tarmac.

While I love the A380 from a passenger comfort standpoint, the 747 will always be the queen of the skies, so as an aviation geek there’s not a plane in the world I’m more in awe standing next to.

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Review: Lufthansa Lounge London Heathrow Airport


We arrived at Heathrow Terminal 3 on Garuda Indonesia at around 5:40PM, and had a separate ticket to Munich on Lufthansa at out of Terminal 2 at 8:15PM. So we took the bus to Terminal 2, had to clear security again, etc. In all, the transit took about 30 minutes.

Then we found ourselves in Terminal 2 (known as “The Queen’s Terminal), which is my favorite terminal at Heathrow. I was excited because the terminal has four Star Alliance lounges, and the Lufthansa lounge was the last one I hadn’t yet visited. I’ve already reviewed the Air Canada lounge, Singapore Airlines lounge, and United lounge. So I was excited to check out the Lufthansa lounge prior to our flight.

Once inside the terminal we followed the signage towards “Lounges A1-A2,” which includes the Lufthansa and Plaza Premium lounge. Terminal 2 consists of two concourses, and the Lufthansa and Plaza Premium lounges are in the near concourse, while the other three lounges are in the far concourse. Getting between concourses can take 10-15 minutes, so when you’re flying Lufthansa it’s a bit of a detour to use one of the other lounges.

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Lufthansa Cuts Magazines & Newspapers In Favor Of eJournals

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Airlines are always looking for ways to cut costs, and it looks like Lufthansa has a unique way they’re hoping to do so, without impacting the passenger experience too much. While Lufthansa has long offered onboard reading materials to all passengers, they’ve recently changed their policies a bit, presumably to cut costs.

Lufthansa is no longer offering magazines and newspapers in economy, but rather is giving passengers access to eJournals, which can be downloaded to your personal device.

To take advantage of this, enter your Lufthansa record locator and last name on this page and you’ll get access to hundreds of titles. You can download them starting three days before departure, all the way until the end of your journey.

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Review: Lufthansa Business Class A321 Frankfurt To London


I’ll keep this review relatively short, given that Europe is probably the worst region in the world when it comes to the quality of business class offerings.

As is the norm on Lufthansa, business class consisted of economy seats with a blocked middle seat. This gives the airlines a lot of flexibility, since they can adjust the size of the business class cabin on each flight.

On this particular flight, there were just three and a half rows of business class (the first row just has seats on the left side). That means there was total capacity for 14 business class passengers, though only seven of those seats were occupied.

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Review: Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt


Over the past decade I’ve visited the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt a countless number of times, and it certainly ranks as one of my favorite first class lounges in the world. However, it has occurred to me that I haven’t actually reviewed it since 2012, so it’s probably time to revisit it. In 2014 I wrote a primer on the lounge, including access rules, how to get there, etc.

Anyway, shortly after 9AM we were dropped off in the transit area at Frankfurt Airport. The First Class Terminal is intended primarily for passengers originating their travels in Frankfurt, since you can drive directly up to it and skip the airport altogether. It’s not quite as seamless if you’re connecting, since you have to walk to the FCT on your own.

After a transatlantic flight we were happy to get a bit of movement, so didn’t mind the walk. Regardless of what terminal you arrive at, you’ll want to clear immigration and then go through baggage claim. Once on the outside roadway of the airport, start walking left until you’re at the very end of the terminal.

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Review: Lufthansa First Class A330 Dallas To Frankfurt


Our connecting flight landed at DFW at around noon, so we headed to the Amex Centurion Lounge. Lufthansa has their own lounge at DFW located inside “The Club” (that’s the name of the lounge), though it’s a rather uninspiring setup, so we skipped it altogether. For anyone interested, it’s similar to the setup Emirates has, which I’ve reviewed before. About 90 minutes before departure we headed to our departure gate to have our boarding passes printed.

The associate who checked us in was super nice, and said she’d pick us up from the Centurion Lounge when the flight was ready for boarding, which was a nice touch.

Our flight was scheduled to board at 3:40PM, though boarding ended up only starting about five minutes after that, at 3:45PM, with wheelchair passengers and then first class.

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Introduction: Christmas Markets With A Touch Of Garuda


As is usually the case, the motivation behind this trip started innocently enough. Ford and I were going to take Ford’s mom to the Christmas markets in Germany and Austria. Initially we were going to do a simple five day trip to Munich and Vienna (while I know there are other great markets, we wanted to keep the logistics as simple as possible).

So we redeemed Aeroplan miles (transferred from Amex Membership Rewards) for Lufthansa first class for the three of us. However, that didn’t last very long.

In late November I wrote about how Garuda Indonesia was having a Black Friday sale for travel originating in the UK. The fares were available for travel in both first & business class, and they had some of the lowest fares I’ve ever seen.

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The Airberlin, Etihad, And Lufthansa Threesome Heats Up Even More


I just can’t get over the situation in Germany right now between Lufthansa, Etihad, and airberlin. On the surface this all seems so backwards — Lufthansa is essentially bailing out their biggest regional competitor, and Lufthansa is also finally partnering with Etihad, a carrier they’ve claimed has threatened their very existence for years. But over a very short period of time, that has all changed.

I feel like it’s easiest to explain this in bullet point format:

— Airberlin has been in a horrible financial situation for a while and has been bleeding money with no end in sight
— Etihad owns a 29% stake in airberlin, and has basically threatened to cut them off, which has meant that radical changes are needed
— As part of this, Lufthansa will be taking over 38 planes from airberlin, and using them primarily for Eurowings, which is their low cost division
— It seems odd for Lufthansa to essentially bail out their biggest competitor (since it’s very possible Lufthansa will also lose money when they operate these planes), but the goal is really to keep Ryanair and EasyJet out of Germany as much as possible, and Lufthansa knows that if airberlin goes out of business, those airlines will flood the market

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If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em: Etihad & Lufthansa Announce Codeshare Agreement


As I’ve written about several times over the past few months, airberlin is in financial trouble, and Etihad has a big stake in them. The airline has fundamentally had an identity crisis, and hasn’t been able to decide whether they’re a leisure carrier or business carrier, and has been bleeding money with no end in sight.

Fortunately it looks like some changes are finally happening. As I wrote about in September, Lufthansa will be leasing several dozen planes from airberlin, and using them to operate flights for their own low cost division, Eurowings. I’m not actually confident that Lufthansa will perform much better in those markets, but I’m not sure that’s their primary motivation.

On the surface it seems odd for Lufthansa to help their biggest domestic competitor, rather than just letting them go out of business. However, their motive is clear — the biggest threat to Lufthansa on regional flights is carriers like Easyjet and Ryanair, which up until now haven’t been able to gain too much market share in Germany. Lufthansa knows that if airberlin goes out of business, those carriers will flood the market.

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Lufthansa A330 First Class In 10 Pictures


On Saturday night Ford and I flew from Dallas to Frankfurt on Lufthansa in first class, which we booked using Aeroplan miles transferred from American Express.

Ideally I was hoping to route us through a hub with a flight operated by an A380 or 747-8, though everything was pretty full. I assume that has to do with Lufthansa’s pilot strike the week prior, which caused a lot of passengers to be rebooked. While I’ve flown Lufthansa first class more times than I can count, this was Ford’s first time on Lufthansa, so I was excited to have him experience “my” airline.

Lufthansa’s A330 first class cabin has a total of eight seats, spread across two rows in a 1-2-1 configuration. Nowadays Lufthansa has the same new first class product across their fleet, so the differences between planes are fairly minor.

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An End Is Finally In Sight For The Lufthansa Pilot Strike!


Today Lufthansa’s pilots are striking for the sixth day since last week, which has led to about 4,500 flights being canceled, and over 500,000 passengers being inconvenienced. Up until now there has been no end in sight for the strike, as the pilots have been unwilling to sit down with management until they come back with a better starting offer.

Lufthansa pilots wanted a retroactive pay raise dating back to 2012. While management was willing to negotiate, they weren’t willing to meet the conditions that the pilots wanted in order to even begin negotiations.

So I’ve been wondering which side would give in:

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Lufthansa Pilots Are Going Back On Strike This Week!

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This past week has been a rough one for Lufthansa, as their pilots went on strike for four days (on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday), causing hundreds of thousands of passengers to have their travels disrupted.

The pilots have been unwilling to sit down with management to discuss terms further until management comes back with a better starting offer, though neither side is budging. The strike wasn’t extended to Sunday, so I was a bit confused by what was going on. Surely the pilots aren’t simply going to give up without having accomplished anything.

I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the strike has now been extended. Per the Lufthansa travel information page, Lufthansa pilots will go back on strike this Tuesday and Wednesday, November 29-30. This strike will impact shorthaul flights on Tuesday, and both shorthaul and longhaul flights on Wednesday (ouch!). In the next day or so Lufthansa should post the planned schedules for these dates.

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