My 12 yo son and myself were very excited about our upcoming trip from TLV to MIA in Aug of 2017, we are both aviation fans,and the thought of riding the A380 in Business class on the upper deck was exciting in particular .We counted the days( not to mention saving for for months as it is not cheap ,about 6000 euro RT for both.)
Our first step down hill on this journey was the lack of business class on the TLV-FRA-TLV flights.My poor lower back.LH uses an ALL economy A321 on the route( a 4 hour flight) with the seat next to you blocked .No extra leg room,no extra recline,no Business pillows or blankets,no IFE,no internet,no beverage service on the ground.WOW. What a shocker that was.I knew they have a product called 'European Business Class' ,I didn't expect flat beds,but did expect comfortable 2-2 armchair style seats,leg rest,IFE.None of that ,without any pre warning.
Needless to say we arrived FRA tired,just as any Economy class passenger would feel after a 4 hour flight that left TLV at 0450 am.
The lounge was very crowded,and it took us a while to secure proper seats rather than the only high 'bar like ' chairs that my son found extremely uncomfortable,and so did I.
We finally headed to the gate to meet our A380 with much excitement ( the agent at reception said all was on time)
As we arrived the gate,we had the pleasure of hearing that 'our' A380 was in....Munich.It was diverted there on its flight from Delhi due to bad weather in FRA,and now they were expecting a 2-3 hour delay.Why were we made to leave the lounge? Obviously the diversion was already know to LH since 6 am when it happened,but they were still sending people to the gate at 9am as if all was on time? Strange.
We stayed at the gate,as we didn't feel like walking all the way back to the lounge .
Finally we boarded the whale,and were greeted by a very sad looking male cabin crew,who tried to make an effort to be nice,but not with much success.
The internet we paid for didn't work ( file for a refund' we were told) they ran out of mid flight snacks very quickly ,they had none suitable for children( we ordered a child meal) the dishes from the pre arrival meal were not cleared,and I myself took them to the galley before landing.Also the headphones were not fresh from a plastic bag,they were permanently hooked to the seats( to avoid stealing maybe) and so they are used again and again without cleaning.
And if they do disinfect them somehow,it's hard to imagine they have time to do it on such quick turnarounds with 100 business seats.Why not provide a fresh pair of headsets in a sealed plastic bag like all other airlines I flew with?
We slept most of the flight as we were exhausted from not sleeping the night before ( left home at 1am) and with the sad face of our host,we were not sad at all to get off.We expected a WOW experience from LH business,but found it very very average.
The return journey was nothing but a nightmare.Check in in Miami opened 20 minutes late,and we spent sometime in LH's lounge in Miami that is run by Avianca,small and crowded,very poor food offerings,crowded bathrooms,and hosts desperately looking for seats to accommodate the increasing number of guests flooding in,as AV has lots of afternoon flights to South America.
We boarded an unairconditioned A380 in the heat of an August afternoon in Miami.My son started to feel ill from the heat and lack of fresh air.I myself was uncomfortable,and so many others who were using their menus as an air fan.Our friendly host promised 'things will get cooler ' when we taxi,but by then my son already vomited,and the whole luxurious experience was quickly deteriorating to a very distressed one.Obviously LH was saving money on running their APU,subjecting their guests to a 'sauna like' atmosphere.The worst part was that after over an hour on the ground grasping for some cool air that didn't blow,they kept the temp quite high during the flight.Passengers were sleeping without blankets,and a polite request from the pursuer to maybe lower the temperature a bit was refused.
Boy,we were happy to get off that plane in FRA.We also had the pleasure of finding a used pair of socks from the previous flight,which were removed by a very embarrassed f/a.So much for feeling 'special'..won't mention food or drinks,as we we didn't eat,my son was ill,I felt nauseated from the heat most of the way,we just drank and wanted that flight to end.
Than it was back to the 'comfy' A321 ,struggled into the crowded Economy seats,but here at least the air conditioned worked.We could not be more greatful for not sweating or feeling ill.
My poor son,exhausted from his illness fell asleep right away,and I enjoyed listening to a sweet baby girl who didn't stop screaming for the duration of the flight.The poor thing was probably ill,but still made to travel,and turned the flight to a nightmare.I must commend the passengers for being so understanding to that crisis.I really felt sorry for the poor baby.She was obviously in distress,if she had the energy to scream 3.5 hours nonstop,and her poor embarrassed parents could not do anything to calm her down.
30 minutes before arrival in TLV ,all passengers must be seated due to a decree from the Israeli Federal Security agency.That is to avoid or detect unwanted movement in the cabin while on approach to Tel Aviv.Same measures were used in the USA after 9/11. No moving around while the aircraft flying over DC or NYC.Same idea here.
I woke my son up 35 min before arrival,so he can use the bathroom .When we reached the vacant toilet,a male cabin crew asked me to return to my seat as the 30 min dead line was approaching,and I did.He did however say to 'leave my son with him,and he will take care of him'...which I assumed letting him relive himself.By now he was already in pain and strong bladder pressure.Surprisingly a minute later my son returned to his seat telling me he was NOT allowd into the toilet ,as another crew member 'jumped the line'.When she came out of the toilet ,it was already 28 minutes to landing,but still the friendly cabin crew who jumped the line signaled my son to enter the bathroom.The male cabin crew,the one who promised me to take care of the child,Surprisingly refused entry to the toilet to my son,who returned in tears to his seat.He was left to suffer 25 minutes until landing,when he finally was allowed to use the bathroom.Not very impressive judgement call on his behalf.The child needs only 30 seconds in the bathroom.I would even go as far as saying it was cruel.
What can I say? And we looked forward to this trip!!! Never again LH,and you can keep your 200 euro offered as compensation for that misery trip.