Cobblestone Flight Review: CPH-FRA-CPH on Lufthansa

For such short flights, there are not too many success criteria. My main ones are timeliness, ease of check-in, a decent seat, and coffee.

Lufthansa, though I generally regard them as reliable, did not quite manage to deliver on all of these. Firstly, the check-in process is still not quite smooth when you fly LH out of CPH. Basically, you check in via SAS – also via the SAS app on a smartphone, and there seems to be glitches between the LS and SK systems. In this case, I experienced my status not transferring correctly, despite being on the booking. Minor thing maybe, but makes it necessary not only to show the mobile boarding card for fast track security but also bring out the Eurobonus card. Not first time it happens, either.

Secondly, the seat. Quite new A319-100 – and, for the record, I am never fond of 3-3 configurations. But here, the economy seat pitch was so tight that you could not have a tabloid-size newspaper in your lap and turn the page without hitting the seat in front. That’s overdoing it. And the Recaro slim-profile seats may give room for some extra rows, but their seat backs are just too low. When I laid my head back to rest, it was resting against the upper edge of the seat – which is hard. So it never got to be a pleasant early-morning trip, seatwise 😦

On the outbound flight, that was…

lh1Homebound, things changed and not for the better. Though the check in was on the Lufthansa app, the process was a little glitchy  in actually getting the boarding pass to appear so that it could get stored in Passbook. Eventually it got there. But where things really went downhill was when I boarded through the gate in the airport. Upon reading my mobile boarding pass, the gate spewed out a little printed note: seat change. Now, with AC (as previously described), I have tried the delightful variant of this and gotten an upgrade. This time, it was the other way – from an exit row aisle seat to a standard row middle seat. Or, if you will, from the best, hand-picked seat to the worst, computer-assigned one.

I did actually choose to give the crew a hard (but of course polite) time about it – and as I expected, they wrote it down to aircraft change. But anyhow,  I just can’t get my head around why an aircraft change completely scrambles seat assignments – it seems that it should be doable to make a computer move people based on where they were originally seated and reseat them in order of original check-in so that first come first served doesn’t turn into “oh well, we got you a seat, didn’t we?”

Timeliness was fine – a few minutes off either way is, for all intent, on time.

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Based on the outbound trip, I gave three Cobblestones. But after that seat experience, now Lufthansa is bumped down to one. I’d say 1 1/2 – but as I wrote this in the dreaded middle seat, the decimal this time will be rounded down… Lufthansa, you can do better!

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