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Posts from the ‘Lufthansa’ Category

Lufthansa’s family check-in counters a win!

July 19th, 2013

Kinny Cheng

Lufthansa promotes their new family counters at Frankfurt and Munich:

Something is happening at the family counters in Frankfurt and Munich! Even from a distance children and their parents can see where they get their boarding passes and check in their baggage: a great archway with Lu and Cosmo, the two Lufthansa mascots, invites children to take part in check-in. As a family you walk along a red carpet to the counter where Lufthansa staff will take your baggage without fuss and hand you your boarding passes.

You will also be given a copy of the ‘The Family Pilot’ brochure. This contains valuable tips on the location of children’s play areas, baby changing units, family-friendly restaurants, pharmacies and the nearest viewing terrace.

The family counters are located in Frankfurt in Departure Hall B at counters 336–338 and in Munich in the departure hall at counters 422–423. The counters are open to parents and their children up to 12 years old.

Mascots — check.

Visibility — check.

Involvement — check.

Parental guidance — check.

Sounds like a winning formula to me!

Oh really, Lufthansa?

April 16th, 2013

Kinny Cheng

Kerry Reals, from The APEX Editor’s Blog:

First class cabins still have a future but will have to become more luxurious as business class increasingly takes on the attributes of the old first class, according to Lufthansa head of product management and airport passenger services, Joachim Schneider.

The German carrier is not looking at moving away from offering a first class cabin on certain routes but believes that a new “super first class”, which offers passengers “complete insulation in a room”, is “going to be an important trend in the future”, Schneider told delegates at a conference session preceding the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.

Did someone conveniently forget about Singapore Airlines’ Suites product, which has been in existence since the introduction of their first Airbus A380 superjumbo aircraft back in October of 2007?

For an airline with very-average-only cabin products, Lufthansa has come out speaking the obvious and showing off their ignorance.

Lufthansa: Business first…

April 3rd, 2013

Kinny Cheng

Lori Ranson, writing for the APEX Editor’s Blog, explores the progress of Lufthansa’s cabin refurbishment:

Asked by the APEX editor’s blog about the status of the premium economy development during a press briefing in New York, Lufthansa CFO Simone Menne stated that the carrier has taken a decision to create a premium economy product on its long-haul fleet, but explained the airline cannot “do it when we are at a certain stage of refurbishment of business class”. Lufthansa debuted the flatbed seats on its new Boeing 747-8Is, and is in the midst of installing them on its intercontinental fleet that includes 21 747-400s, 13 Airbus A340s, eight A330s and 10 A380s.

Makes good sense to take things one step at a time. Laying down the groundwork before the undertaking of another major change in passenger experience can only be a wise decision.

Imagine a passenger, more specifically a loyal frequent flyer, having to deal with multiple aircraft configurations (think Emirates and their multitude of premium cabin setups, which isn’t getting any more clear-cut!)

Lufthansa’s major legacy airline competitors in Europe – British Airways (which is part of IAG) and Air France-KLM – offer a premium economy, so in some respects Lufthansa is a bit late to market with its offering. But the carrier appears to be waiting for completion of new business class seat installations to ensure proper product distinction between the two classes.

Nothing wrong with being “a bit late” when you consider the level of certainty that Lufthansa wants in deploying its cabin products. Classification aside, I believe the biggest question-mark surrounding any premium economy product is their true value or worth to the air traveller — both intrinsically and extrinsically. Attempting to define this remarkable product can be hard.

Being very much accustomed to Asian-based carriers, I’m personally not a fan of the European airlines (for various reasons). Hence, I’m not surprised to see airlines like Air France, British Airways, and KLM pulling the “Y-plus” (an industry call-sign for premium economy) card to ascertain a level of competitive advantage in attempts to deal with the greater international market.

Lufthansa’s decision to wait until installations of the flatbed seats are complete before introducing premium economy could be a method to ensure premium economy does not cannibalise higher-paying business class passengers. Once the flatbed seats are featured across Lufthansa’s long-haul fleet, the carrier can match its business class fares to the new product premium.

Numbers-wise, such a move is reasonable. Some may call this a possible delay tactic to ultimately get the premium economy product inaugurated. But for Lufthansa, a somewhat-conservative airline, I believe this is only natural for their aircraft cabin evolution.

The German carrier expects to inaugurate its premium economy product sometime next year (2014). Not so long a wait, really.

Foursquare your Lufthansa travels for rewards and recognition…

July 3rd, 2012

Kinny Cheng

Renowned Lufthansa guru, Lufthansa Flyer, shares with us this rather interesting development:

“Earlier this evening Lufthansa introduced a fantastic new social media application in conjunction with “foursquare” and Facebook which will allow Lufthansa “loyalists” to receive badges, coupons and promotional opportunities when they use “foursquare” to check in during their Lufthansa based travels.”

The social media application, called Blue Legends, allow individuals to check-in on Lufthansa flights and lounges to earn the possible rewards. Approximately 9,000 locations have been loaded onto the Foursquare database, which does (and can) make the exercise a rather interesting one!

And a brief on how it works:

“Signing up is easy. Simply visit the Blue Legends Website, where you’ll need your Facebook account to help you log in and set up your “Blue Legends” account. You can also use Twitter to share with your followers the accomplishments you achieve as a ‘Blue Legend’!

Once you set your account up and customize your profile, all you need to do is to use foursquare as you normally would to check in from a location and “Blue Legends” will take care of the rest. From what I have seen from the design team for “Blue Legends”, there are a lot of exciting and fun opportunities that will be made available to “Blue Legend” users so make sure you take every opportunity to make the most of it!”

For me, personally, requiring a Facebook account (since it is a Facebook app) is a deal-breaker, as I don’t — and choose not to — use this social networking service. But I’m sure most people wouldn’t have any issues here.

Head over to Lufthansa Flyer’s blog to get more details on this innovative social media approach by Lufthansa, including some very interesting pictures too!

BER gets being put off; SXF and TXL to remain until March 2013

May 18th, 2012

Kinny Cheng

(Update 2 @ 20/06/2012 0020 [GMT+10]: Added reference to a blog post confirming the new opening date for Berlin Brandenburg Airport.)

(Update 1 @ 2100 [GMT+10]: Added reference to a piece of news regarding Air Berlin’s request to increase operating hours at TXL.)

And to think that I was going to miss the opening of Berlin Brandenburg Airport because of my #avgeek commitment to fly the first commercial Boeing 747-8I service (by Lufthansa)…

There was news last week about how BER (the IATA airport code for Berlin Brandeburg Willy Brandt Airport) would not open on the 3rd of June, being the day after when SXL (Schönefeld) and TXL (Tegel) airports officially close and move their operations to the brand-new-and-bigger complex. Rumour had the date being pushed back till after summer, or around three months from the original opening date.

Outside Berlin-Brandenburg Airport
(source: Reuters)

Yesterday, Reuters reported in an article that “because of problems with fire regulations”, the new opening date now “looks like March 2013”.

There is no denying that “safety first” is king. Yet, what’s most disappointing is how all this is happening just weeks before The Big Day for Berlin-siders!

It’s not just the people related to the airport that’s gonna hurt — but the airlines too:

“Keeping open the two older airports will cost about 15 million (E)uros a month and airlines that have been selling tickets for flights from Berlin-Brandenburg for months face additional costs.”

Just who is going to foot the bill here? (I don’t even want to go there…)

More cold hard facts:

“The 2.5 billion (E)uro new airport initially aims to attract up to 27 million passengers a year, making it about half the size of Germany’s main airport in Frankfurt and less than a third the size of the world’s busiest airport in Atlanta.”

So passengers who have booked flights going through BER, knowing that it would be “that brand new airport”, will either be very disappointed or shocked beyond belief to learn they’ll be using facilities deemed “new” back in the days of the Cold War!

I wonder if some of the airlines are open to accommodating for passenger re-routing requests on issued tickets. If I were booked to transit at BER, but realising that I now have to arrange my own transport between SXF or TXL to accomplish the very same, I’d be onto it right away!

In closing, just reported that Air Berlin’s CEO, Hartmut Mehdorn, had learned of the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport opening delay “from the media”:

Spiegel responded with a follow-up question, asking: “Seriously? We would have thought that the CEO of a major airline like Air Berlin would have been informed earlier.”

Mehdorn’s response:

“I would have thought so, too — and that’s one of the gripes that we now have about the way that the entire project has been undertaken.”

And, in one more nugget from the Q&A, Spiegel asked the CEO: “How did you react?”

His response:

“We were, of course, surprised and disappointed. But we couldn’t even react because, not surprisingly, no one working for the airport operator was answering the phone.”

It’s all in a shambles, I tell ya!

UPDATE 1: I just came across a post (via Air Transport World) which states that Air Berlin, sometime last week, had requested for longer operating hours (i.e. reduce its night curfew) at Tegel Airport post-June-3rd, which is when the airline was planning to increase operations after supposedly moving to Brandenburg — from 11pm to 6am, to 12am/midnight to 5am.

UPDATE 2: BoardingArea’s Ghetto IFE blog confirms the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport opening date to be 17 March, 2013.

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