After an incredible week in Sylt, it was time to fly to Dusseldorf, our next destination in Germany. We flew via Frankfurt, so I wanted to review the business class experience on the Lufthansa CityLine Embraer 190. For those not familiar, Lufthansa CityLine is a wholly owned Lufthansa subsidiary that primarily operates short haul flights.
How I booked our Lufthansa business class tickets
To depart Sylt and fly to Dusseldorf, I booked the following flights in business class using Air Canada Aeroplan points:
06/16 LH223 Sylt to Frankfurt departing 10:35AM arriving 11:55AM
06/16 LH84 Frankfurt to Dusseldorf departing 1:15PM arriving 2:05PM
The cost was 15,000 Aeroplan points plus $58.84 per person in taxes & fees. As a point of comparison, economy would have cost 7,500 Aeroplan points per person.
It goes without saying that Frankfurt to Dusseldorf is a really short flight, and there are frequent trains between the two cities. That being said, we could include the connection at no extra cost, and for that matter I was curious to check out one of Lufthansa’s shortest flights.
Aeroplan points are easy to come by, as the program partners with American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One, and Chase Ultimate Rewards. On top of that, in the United States, there’s the Aeroplan® Credit Card (review), which is pretty lucrative.
Lufthansa business class check-in & boarding
In the last installment I reviewed the Sylt Airport Lounge. Sylt Airport is tiny, and our check-in experience was efficient.
Boarding for our 10:35AM flight started 30 minutes departure departure, at 10:05AM, from gate two.
Business class passengers were invited to board first. The airport doesn’t have any jet bridges, but fortunately the planes are parked close enough so that there’s no need to take a bus.
Lufthansa E190 business class cabin & seats
Lufthansa Embraer 190s feature 100 seats, spread across 25 rows in a 2-2 configuration. Intra-Europe business class typically consists of economy seats with a blocked middle seat. However, since the Embraer 190 doesn’t have middle seats, a business class ticket gets you a pair of two seats.
The size of the cabin can change with each flight, based on demand. On this flight there were four rows of business class.
The E190 is a pretty comfortable plane, and both legroom and seat width were decent.
The Embraer 190 is a pretty nice ride in economy class as well…
Okay, I find it kind of odd how Lufthansa places a tray on the “blocked” seat in business class on the Embraer 190, but not on jets with three seats per row. I’d find this to be useful on an A320, but on the E190 it meant I couldn’t sit in the window seat (the pattern of seat blocking differs in each row).
Each seat back had a magazine pocket and a tray table that folded out.
The overhead console had both individual air nozzles and reading lights.
Overhead bins on the plane were a good size, and could accommodate standard size carry-ons.
Unlike on other jets, there was no curtain between business and economy. Rather there were just small partitions above the head rests in the last row.
There was a lavatory at the front of the cabin, which was on the tight side.
All things considered, it was a pretty comfy ride. I appreciate the four seats per row, which means you get an aisle and a window to yourself. Unfortunately there were no power outlets or Wi-Fi on these planes, but they do tend to operate short flights.
Lufthansa departure from Sylt
Boarding was efficient, and by 10:30AM the main cabin door closed, with five of the eight business class seats occupied. Once the door was closed a manual safety demonstration was performed. A few minutes later the captain made his welcome aboard announcement, informing us of our flight time of one hour for this 338-mile flight.
We pushed back at 10:40AM.
We had a roughly 10 minute taxi to the departure runway. There was no other active traffic on the ground, but it was quite a distance to runway 32.
After takeoff we had our final views of beautiful Sylt, and then of the North Sea.
Lufthansa business class snack service
The seatbelt sign was turned off about 10 minutes after takeoff, at which point the crew started the inflight service. The flight attendant working business class was really friendly, and first offered us drinks. I had a glass of water and a cup of coffee, both served in proper glassware.
A snack was brought out shortly after that. This was from Lufthansa’s “Tasting Heimat” menu (which roughly translates to “tasting home”), where cuisine from a different German city is highlighted on each flight. On this particular flight the menu was from Leipzig.
I appreciate that Lufthansa provides a menu with each meal, so you know what you’re eating, because otherwise it could be hard to figure out. The meal consisted of a chicken salad with celery, juniper, and black walnuts. A warm roll was served to go along with that.
Then for dessert there was Bavarian cream with chocolate coffee ganache mousse, mascarpone cream, and chocolate coffee brownie.
The attentive flight attendant offered multiple drink refills, and prior to landing distributed chocolates.
Lufthansa arrival in Frankfurt
About 40 minutes after takeoff we started our descent, at which point the captain announced we’d be landing in about 25 minutes. What lovely views on approach!
We touched down at Frankfurt Airport at 11:55AM, and had a taxi of just two minutes to our remote stand, where we parked next to a Lufthansa CityLine Embraer 190 and Lufthansa A320.
From there we had to be bussed to the terminal. And my goodness, this was a long bus ride. While we were rewarded with a short taxi on the plane, we were punished with a very, very long bus ride.
I can’t blame the person who booked the airport VIP service to be picked up, because that’s a much more comfortable ride. 😉
From there we connected to Dusseldorf, which is where our summer travel really started to take a turn for the worse in terms of crowding.
Lufthansa Cityline Embraer 190s offer a pleasant passenger experience in business class, as you get two seats to yourself. The jet is comfortable in general, with decent legroom and a modern cabin. This flight also had friendly service and a snack I enjoyed.
It would be nice if the E190s had power outlets and/or Wi-Fi, but that’s not a huge issue on flights this short.
If you’ve flown Lufthansa CityLine Embraer 190s, what was your experience like?