For this flight, I was driven to the plane directly and head up the side entrance into the ramp. While there was no elevators, my assigned chauffeur helped me with my hand carry luggage. As such, I did not notice the gate that we departed from. Back on the rampway into the plane, there was a bit of a queue as it seems the plane is nearing the end of the boarding schedule.
Waiting is not that bad especially if it is a retro jet that I was boarding and thus I got a nice profile of the airplane from the rampway.
LH1034 Frankfurt International FRA – Paris Charles de Gaulle CDG
Airbus A321-200 D-AIDV
Once onboard, I found my seat quite easily and considering this is a flight within Europe, the seats are basic bare bones slimline seats.
That means these seats are alright for the short one hour hop between Frankfurt and Paris but it may be a stretch for a 3 hour flight. What is more is that there is virtually not much to differentiate it from Economy class seats.
Legroom in Business Class is also quite pathetic really. Though at least the cabin was not full, or I count only 4 passengers in the relatively large Business class cabin. And these seats have a middle seat blocked off for Business Class travel within Europe.
There was no other service going on while we were waiting on the tarmac as passengers waited for boarding to complete. The rainy weather in Frankfurt that afternoon also meant the view from the window was tarnished with water droplets. And being Frankfurt, it was all filled with the slightly boring Lufthansa liveries. Except the plane I was on of course.
On the seat back pocket, there was the Lufthansa magazine, the safety instruction manual for the A321 jet and an inflight shopping catalog. Though they were basically of little use for this short flight.
Eventually, the plane completed its boarding and there was just 6 Business class passengers including myself which meant more than 30 empty seats in the cabin. Needless to say, it was a light load as I believe the Economy class cabin is not that crowded either.
The plane took its time to taxi around the terminal, passing by the Lufthansa Technik hangar and a parked Lufthansa 747-400. These jets that use to play major airports would soon be in the history books so it was nice to spot some of these jets now while I could.
There was a bit of a queue but it was a quick taxi to take-off for a major airport in Europe. I remember my last flight in London Heathrow had a long wait for take-off. Once we reached above the clouds, sunlight began streaming into the cabin which certainly made it better than the gloomy weather in Frankfurt that day.
As the seat belt sign was turned off, I got off my seat to take some photos of the empty Business Class cabin. Lufthansa certainly added a lot of premium seats on the A321. Perhaps these seats might fill up for flights to major cities like London and Paris for the peak season?
The A321 dimensions and the large Business class section meant there was an exit row in this cabin. I wonder how the 2 seats before the emergency exit would work in the Business class cabin considering all the other rows have the middle seat blocked off for Business class passengers to give more space. On the 2 adjoining seats though, there was no special headrest to indicate one of them would be left empty.
In this nondescript cabin, Lufthansa still tried to dignify it with a ‘Lufthansa Business Class’ sign. While not exactly a true Business Class, I guess I cannot be afford to be choosy since there are few routes within Europe with real Business class cabins. That is what you get with less competition.
Being a short flight, I returned back to my seat as the cabin crew started to prepare for the inflight service. Business class passengers are served a nice meal though Economy class passengers do get complimentary snacks and drinks as well. Lunch was served on a tray and there was no choice. Bread was also offered after the tray was served. The main course was some shrimps served over sliced mango with 2 slices of chicken breast. The dish was tasty and the colours sure brightened up the plate. There is also a dessert bowl which was chocolate mousse with some raspberry bits.
On top of dessert, there is a small box of chocolates that had an advertisement featuring a consulting company. The crew serving the cabin also offered multiple beverages as I asked for water and apple juice.
Along with the meal tray, there was also a packet of refreshing towel and Lufthansa does have a nice packed towel. For that flight, the towel featured an advertisement of the Peanuts movie.
After the meal was concluded the crew offered tea and coffee to the passengers. I declined the offer since I was quite full from the brunch at the First Class Terminal and the nice lunch served onboard. With that I just relaxed silently in the cabin as I watched the scenery change on the last 15 minutes of the flight. There was little clouds during our descent and it was definitely fine weather over France that day.
The nice scenery continued as we made our approach into Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. There was a bit of a turn-around during our descent but otherwise we landed on-time.
After our safe landing into CDG, there was actually a bit of a long taxi before we eventually docked into Terminal 1. What was interesting was passengers were asked to prepare their passports for additional security check before we were let off the plane. I figured this was due to extra security measures in place due to the Paris terrorist attacks.
However as I disembarked from the plane, there does not seem to be anything out of the ordinary. I even captured a photo of the plane at CDG before making my way following other passengers to luggage claim. Apparently our passport were not checked as what was advised from the flight.
Given that it was my first time arriving at Terminal 1 of CDG, the experience was novel with the interesting travellator that goes down and up underneath the bowels of the airport. While it might be nice for the first time traveller, I did notice how aged and run-down the airport looks. This was definitely out of character to Paris’ stature as the city of lights.
I also appreciated the quirky and ‘futuristic’ looking travellator atrium in Terminal 1 and it does look like a scene of the future. Something different again that makes CDG distinctive as an airport.
Though with all that being said and done, the luggage certainly took a while to appear on the belt and that meant I had all the time to actually walk around the terminal which is an international terminal as I noticed passengers collecting luggage from a Qatar Airways flight from Doha. Terminal 1 of CDG certainly does not make an impressive welcome for international visitors and could do with some refurbishment.
My flight on this short flight between Frankfurt and Paris on Lufthansa’s intra-Europe Business Class was part of an award ticket and I did not really pay extra for it as I redeemed a First Class ticket. In other words, it was included along with the First Class Terminal. If I had to pay for it out of my own pocket, I would not even consider it. Since the only differentiating factor is that meal and maybe a blocked seat next to you. That does not really justify a premium cabin in my opinion. And arriving into Paris CDG might be novel for a first time visitor like myself but I would be sick of it if I had to arrive here again as it felt outdated and chaotic on the arrival hall.