Old Jun 1, 07, 4:03 pm
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Tremelo, Belgium
Posts: 74
LH BRU - MAA in F (after downgrade & upgrade)

It was a dreaded rainy day in Belgium when I left my home at 7:00 to drive to the airport for a nice & cool flight out to Chennai, India. Did I know it would become a day full of surprises !

Ticketed Class: C
Flight 1: BRU - FRA
Flight 2: FRA - MAA (Chennai, India)

1) Check-in at BRU airport
I went straight to the Lufthansa C check-in counter, where I was helped by a 'Flightcare' attendant (the 'L' is patterned on the shirt & when you look from a distance it reads like 'Fightcare')... . I handed over my LH FTL card & e-ticket confirmation & eagerly awaited my 2 C-boarding passes, already looking forward to a nice & relaxing day in the LH NBC seat...The lady finally hands over my 2 boarding passes, I noticed she was really doing an effort to hide the FRA-MAA one behind the BRU-FRA boarding pass. This triggered a reflex of 'why is she doing her best to hide it', so I explicitly moved it to the side to find out that my long-haul leg boarding pass showed me in row 58, in Y. I politely asked: 'Excuse me, my company paid 3150 EUR for a C ticket & you put me in Y ? This must be a mistake, please correct it.' She double-checked C availability & then bluntly communicated to me: Sir, C is overbooked & you've been downgraded. There's nothing I can do.. Now please move aside so I can help (downgrade) some other passengers. By the way, don't complain as other people are in the same situation is you'. This was too much to take from this F(l)ightcare employee, so I decided to go the LH ticketing desk instead. She could unfortunately only confirm the problem BUT she promised to send a telex to FRA to ask them to rectify the situation...

You can't imagine how lousy it feels to be in such a situation ! You spend 2 hours thinking about how they've screwed you up & there's nothing you can do !

1) BRU-FRA LH 4571 Seat 3F
Flight was delayed by 30 mins.
Not much to say about such a short 45 minute leg. The flight attendants had to rush to deliver breakfast to the entire load. The guy in 3D had a tight connection to BOS & right before landing the captain announced that BOS passengers would leave FRA at 16:30 (bad luck, the bloke missed his flight & was rebooked one the 2nd BOS flight in the afternoon). Due to the 30 mins delay, we also had a tight connection in FRA.

2) Transfer in FRA
I rushed off the plane & after a 10-min run ended up at the MAA flight gate.
Went to the counter to request a C-seat and guess what...a shiny red F boarding pass was awaiting myself, as well as a colleague in exactly the same situation. We were even seated next to each other on the upper deck of the B744. Life was looking a lot better !!!

3) FRA - MAA LH758 Seat 84A
Boy was I happy to walk that staircase to the upper deck. I've flown AA in F a while ago, but was expecting this to be a bit better given the strong reputation of LH in F. Flying time was 8 hours. Given the time difference, you arrive in Chennai close to midnight.

The arrival in the cabine was awesome, as the seats are huge & the crew is super-friendly. I received a sweated & amenities back & slippers (which I ended up not using since it was a day flight). I suspect most people in the full F cabin to be upgrades from C, but obviously can't be sure of that (I didn't ask them).

The purser came to greet us personally & pretty much told us that service is 'as you wish' 'when you wish'. I tried the Champagne Piper Heidsieck Milesimé, tasted lovely.

Soon after take off, they started the 'extensive' lunch service. I went for a caviar appetizer (first time for me) & went for asparagus as main course.
5 stars for LH food. I was equally amazed by the extensive Indian choices on the menu. This was by far the best airline food I had ever had !!!

I went for a movie afterwards, my screen worked fine however my colleague couldn't get his AVOD to work for more then 10 minutes. Afterwards, he gave up and went to work on his laptop.

The seats are not in such great shape & deserve an upgrade. My seat electronics weren't reliable & it took my some trial & error to raise & lower the back support. You could indeed recline it to a 2 meter bed & could stretch out all the way (no sliding down the seat as in C).

Before landing in Chennai, they served another 3 course meal that once more tasted great. I went for the vegetarian Indian course & the variety of (spicy) tastes went in smoothly.

The funny thing on this upper deck is the cabin screen at the front of the F section. It's an old CRT television that looks like a retro 70'ies style tv set. It pretty much kills the stylish look of the F cabin ! Why don't they replace it with an LCD screen ?

Now for arrival in Chennai. For those who have never been to India before, don't forget these airports are quite old & Chennai arrivals had not yet been revamped so it's pretty old. With a bit of bad luck, you're stuck at immigration in a 1 hour waiting line. Of course, when you're in F you get off the plane first & that really helped in limiting the wait at immigration. 15 minutes later we found our driver who brought us to the hotel !!!

I'll try to also make a flight report on the return flight (C all the way). This was my ideal moment to compare C & F...

John69 is offline