I arrived at the airport well ahead of the scheduled departure time. Lufthansa check-in at Stockholm Arlanda terminal 5 is handled by SAS. While economy class passengers are asked to use a self-service machine to check in there were three desks open for premium customers, two for business class and one for first class and EuroBonus/Star Alliance gold card holders.
However opting to use the priority check-in area is not always the best decision. All three desks were occupied with passengers who either had problems the staff needed to resolve, lots of special baggage to check, or special requests. It took nearly ten minutes before a desk was available. Bad luck perhaps.
Once at the desk the check-in process was swift as I had already selected seats and entered my passport details in advance. The suitcase was tagged all the way with a priority tag and I received boarding passes for both the flight to Frankfurt and the onward flight.
Lufthansa business class passengers are allowed to use the fast track channel through security, which was virtually empty. Afterwards I made a quick visit to the lounge. Lufthansa uses the SAS lounges in Stockholm and my gold card allowed me to visit the SAS Gold Lounge, which has a nicer interior and a better selection of drinks.
Pasta with chicken and salmon was offered this afternoon as well with a full selection of drinks. Unfortunately the lounge was also very crowded.
Lufthansa flight LH 807
The aircraft seemed to have spent the afternoon on the ground in Stockholm rather than making an immediate turnaround. This was probably to allow more and better connections in both Stockholm and Frankfurt, which are both major Star Alliance hubs.
Boarding started early at gate 9, already 30 minutes before departure time, with proper priority boarding offered using the left side of the podium and the passengers who came forward during this first boarding stage were promptly checked by the ground staff. Once the main boarding started the left hand side was still used for priority boarding, meaning premium passengers who arrived later were still able to board without any wait at the gate. This is really the way it should always be, but which is far from always the case.
The Airbus A320 had the traditional cabin interior with the dark grey Remova seats. Surprisingly no local newspapers were offered. In the past they were available from a rack at the gate but according to the ground agent this stopped in January this year. After all passengers had boarded German newspapers, magazines and the Financial Times were offered in the cabin.
Pushback a few minutes ahead of scheduled departure time with an estimated flight time to Frankfurt of one hour and 45 minutes.
There were some showers during the takeoff roll and the initial climb but these soon disappeared and turned into a nice afternoon view of southern Sweden.
Seat and cabin
Three rows were assigned to business class on this flight and we were four passengers in total, meaning plenty of space. I was seated in 03D and had a full row to myself while a Japanese man was seated in 02A and a German couple in 02D and 02F.
The seats and cabin were the standard intra-Europe cabin product with the rather thin Recaro seats, with acceptable legroom for a two-hour flight.
In business class all middle seats are kept free with a seat cover saying “Ihr Freiraum, Your Space”.
Food and drinks
Soon after takeoff dinner was served, or rather a late afternoon snack, together with bread rolls from a basket as well as drinks.
The meal was a bit of a disappointment, very little food for a 5 pm departure on a two hour flight in business class and there was nothing hot on the tray. The meal consisted of some cold cuts with turkey, shrimps and vegetables and a panna cotta for dessert, and well, that’s about it.
I asked for a glass of red wine to drink as well as a glass of still water, which were both served in proper glasses rather than in plastic glasses, as is the case further back in the cabin. After serving in business class the two flight attendants disappeared to assist their colleagues in economy class.
As the cabin crew passed through the business class cabin on their way back to the galley coffee and tea were offered as well as more drinks. I asked for a black coffee and a gin & tonic. A chocolate bar was also available on the tray. Later more drinks were offered.
The service was friendly and attentive but initially a bit reserved. But when the purser heard one of the reasons for the trip, attending the opening and the inauguration of the new Lufthansa satellite terminal in Munich, things turned much better. During the approach I even received a small gift, something nice to drink before going to bed in the evening, which was a very nice gesture.
The early departure also meant an early arrival in Frankfurt, just as I had finished my drinks we had already started our descent.
The weather in Frankfurt was beautiful and sunny with a temperature of 21 degrees, which is certainly above average for April. We landed already 20 minutes ahead of timetable on the new northern runway and taxied to, surprise, a remote stand. One of the passengers onboard was a HON Circle member, being met at the apron by a personal assistant and a limo. For the rest of us a bus transfer was waiting. On the positive side they used both the front and the rear exits of the aircrafts as well as two buses, and it all went surprisingly fast. We left the aircraft just about five minutes after the doors were opened.
As I already had a boarding pass for the connecting fight the transfer was easy.
The Lufthansa shorthaul business class product seems to go up and down from year to year, from providing proper hot food and a menu on two hour flights to only providing a smaller snack with some cold cuts a year later on the same route. Unfortunately they seem to be on the cost-cutting side of the scale right now. But other than that the flight departed and arrived early, there was plenty of space in the cabin and the service was friendly, with an extra bonus of the small gift from the purser.