A Small Comparison

I have been flying with several air-travel companies for some years now. They have been taking me from several points within Europe, and there were some long-haul flights that I have had with only two companies so far. Now, my understanding about long-haul flights is that they are much more entertaining, much smoother and offer a great deal of extras along the way than short distance flights. At least that is what I learned from previous Lufthansa flights.
Star Alliance
There are, however, some exceptions to my rule. I have found the first one while I was headed to Chicago two weeks ago. Theoretically my flight was booked, again, using Lufthansa flights, but the “to” trip was handled by United Airlines instead of Lufthansa, as they are both members of the Boeing 777, a theoretically new and modern plane, but it seemed a bit… old… In some areas the paint was gone, there were scratches all over the plane, so I got a bit worried, that this was the plane which was supposed to take care of me for the following 9 or so hours. I started to worry even more, when we were taking off: the plane was shaking like crazy and the noises were worse than the ones heard in a light, short-distance plane. This was especially funny, because it was a bright sunny day, with very little turbulence. I think they should look after their planes more frequently… I never saw this at Lufthansa, their planes always look nice and new, and never make the shaky noise. To top this, the landing was just nasty. To use the words of a friend: “I do not know if we actually landed or if someone just shot us down…”.

The service was also a bit interesting. I mean, yes, they were there for us, they did everything they had to, but I always felt that they could not wait to get rid of the “stupid job they were doing”. I never saw this at Lufthansa. They might not enjoy their job, they might have bad days, but they never make you feel it ( and in the 3 long haul flights I had with them I never saw it). This is actually the definition of professionalism.

The return flight was handled by an actual Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 plane and crew. On it everything got back to normal: an enjoyable flight, with excellent service and of course a smooth take-off and landing. I think when it comes to big companies the standards are very different. I might have had my standards set too high… I am not sure. Are they really that bad? Was I simply just at the wrong place at the wrong time?


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