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Old 23rd August 2009, 16:36   #61
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Frankfurt is efficient - not a mall like London Heathrow!
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Old 23rd August 2009, 18:38   #62
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My logic (since I work in the industry) is that a D check happens every 5 years and you get like a 80% new airframe (think of a new body for the car plus a chassis overhaul), not to mention the yearly tuneups.
Nice to know this, I've always been fascinated by aviation industry and would love to be part of it if there ever is an opportunity! But since I don't work in the industry, I'll write a traveler and give you my suggestions/apprehensions-

1. Check the IFE on both airlines- I generally assume that younger planes have better IFE, but I could be wrong.

2. Correct me if I am wrong, but old planes generally point a finger to financial health of an airline. Again, this points to poor service, bad management etc. etc. But since you're in the industry- easy for you to find out and take a much informed decision than suggested by anybody else here, except in case we've got pilots/airline crew from Kuwait and Egypt as members here .
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Old 23rd August 2009, 18:46   #63
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London Heathrow is not a Mall.

It is five malls! At least!
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Old 25th August 2009, 15:28   #64
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Default Which Travel insurance?

My parents will be travelling to Australia. Im looking for good and responsible Travel Insurance. Parents ard ard 55 yrs old and absolutely healthy.

There are few of them like, Reliance, TATA AIG, Bajaj Allianze, ICICI, Oriental, etc. Reliance plan looks good. Can you people recommend me few Travel insurance?
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Old 25th August 2009, 16:27   #65
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As I've never been to Frankfurt airport before, anything I need to watch out for? My layover there is just under 2 hours for both the journeys, which is just the way I like it.
Although not Sam but my 2 cents, I just flew from Bangalore to US and took the connected flight from Frankfurt which was in 2.5 hours gap.

There was lots of walking involved from one terminal to another plus through a tube rail and security check. If you are alone then fine but if you are with kid, pls ensure you are not loosing time enroute. I reached Frankfurt at 8AM peak time so security check was too long Q (luckily I had an infant so we were bypassed the crowd and gone for security check earlier).

But Frankfurt was very well organized even at that peak time. Yes, definitely better than Healthrow.

Abhi
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Old 25th August 2009, 17:14   #66
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Between Kuwait Airways (A300/A310) and EgyptAir/Jet (A330/737-800), which would you guys recommend? Any first hand experiences?

The former is about 3000 cheaper (27.5k vs 31k) - hence the question

/of course Fleet age Kuwait Airways - Airfleets scares me - 17 year old planes!
Fleet age EgyptAir - Airfleets - their A330 is only 4 years old!
Kuwait Airways is one of teh worst Airline that operates with old aircraft and Cabin Crew attitude that makes even Air india look awesome.

And Kuwait Duty Free is more expensive than European high Streets
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Old 11th September 2009, 09:08   #67
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Have anyone had a first hand experience travelling Air China to fly Delhi-> Beijing -> US.
How are the aircrafts and do you get Indian food options on this leg ?
Appreciate any inputs in this regard.
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Old 11th September 2009, 14:45   #68
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But Frankfurt was very well organized even at that peak time. Yes, definitely better than Healthrow.
I have always found Frankfurt to be stunningly efficient. No surprises there. Ze Germans on top of all things. Compared to this, Airports like Heathrow and CDG are terribly managed.

The Fraport authorities are courteous and blisteringly quick at everything. However Lufthansa staff can be quite unfriendly.

This is actually the perfect thread to post a short warning with regards to flying to Frankfurt on Air India.

Air India usually operates a flight from Bombay to Frankfurt and the same flight goes on to Chicago after refuelling.
Usually we take this flight, we like AI and the food/service is excellent and they are at par or cheaper with Lufthansa (which has decidedly unfriendly crew and awful food)

However it has happened once too often that the baggage can take upto an hour to appear on the belt. This has been terribly frustrating.

The Fraport authorities (Air India uses Fraport to manage their Frankfurt operation) told us that this was mostly the fault of the baggage handling in Mumbai and that segregation was done badly.

While we've never lost a bag yet, be prepared to lose time waiting for your bag at Frankfurt (if you're flying Air India)
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Old 11th September 2009, 16:22   #69
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My worst experiences have been with Lufthansa....there was a time when I was traveling to Frankfurt and Munich every month for 10 odd days...

I dont know about the Lufthansa flights from other cities in India, but the Bangalore flight is just pathetic, with below average food, way below average service and economy class is by far the most uncomfortable one around. The only good thing was that they were always on time, so no missed flights etc.

I prefer to take SQ as far as possible, specially since even economy class passengers are treated well and the space is better. I recently traveled on Thai, and again its no where in comparison to SQ.

I have not used Emirates, but from what I have heard they are very good.

I think the main issue here is that we are spoilt by our local airlines, specially the likes of Kingfisher and Jet. Once you are used to that level of service, most international airlines fall short. In fact I would say even Air India has better service than Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways or any of the american ones.

I have travelled by AI from Frankfurt to India, and the level of service is just miles ahead, though the aircraft is miles behind..
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Old 11th September 2009, 16:36   #70
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I dont know about the Lufthansa flights from other cities in India, but the Bangalore flight is just pathetic, with below average food, way below average service and economy class is by far the most uncomfortable one around. The only good thing was that they were always on time, so no missed flights etc.
Flying Lufthansa has simply never been a good experience for me either.

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I have not used Emirates, but from what I have heard they are very good.
Service and attention on Emirates is excellent.Food is terrific too. But they employ staff from every part of the world and that results in mixed attitudes too.

But definitely, SQ and EK rank amongst the best flying experiences.

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Originally Posted by mav2000 View Post
I think the main issue here is that we are spoilt by our local airlines, specially the likes of Kingfisher and Jet. Once you are used to that level of service, most international airlines fall short.
You have a valid point. But this stands true for all service industry.

Have you tried ordering at a small cafe or restaurant or anything else that requires stuff to be done anywhere outside India?

We park at pumps, refuse to get outside our cars, keep the AC running while one man fills gasoline, another cleans the windscreen, a 3rd runs with your credit card into the cash station to swipe, a fourth brings you the copy with a pen to sign and a fifth fills air into your tyres.

We are simply spoilt.
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In fact I would say even Air India has better service than Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways or any of the american ones.

I have travelled by AI from Frankfurt to India, and the level of service is just miles ahead, though the aircraft is miles behind..
I love Air India. Some of their planes are new, but some are old, I agree.

And for those who complain about the "Aunties" on board - remember it's a flight, not shaadi.com. You want chicks, go to a fashion show.
I love it when the aunty gives me 3 drinks when I ask for one and when the other aunty says "Have something na" when I say "no thanks" - all I have to do is smile and thank them.

They're so used to Indians not smiling or thanking them (chhchsschhh drinks hai?) that they spoil you, lol.

I simply love AI.
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Old 11th September 2009, 16:38   #71
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Originally Posted by mav2000 View Post
I dont know about the Lufthansa flights from other cities in India, but the Bangalore flight is just pathetic, with below average food, way below average service and economy class is by far the most uncomfortable one around. The only good thing was that they were always on time, so no missed flights etc.
Flying Lufthansa has simply never been a good experience for me either.

Quote:
I prefer to take SQ as far as possible, specially since even economy class passengers are treated well and the space is better. I recently traveled on Thai, and again its no where in comparison to SQ.
SQ is a class apart. Fantastic airline and it would simply be wrong to compare lufthansa to them.

But for that matter what european airline can you think of that ranks high on service or food? None.

You want awful food and friendly staff? Fly Alitalia.
You want OK food and staff with bad attitude, fly Air France.
You want bad food and unfriendly scowling staff, fly lufthansa.

I could go on with the magic of KLM, Swiss and more, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mav2000 View Post
I have not used Emirates, but from what I have heard they are very good.
Service and attention on Emirates is excellent.Food is terrific too. But they employ staff from every part of the world and that results in mixed attitudes too.

But definitely, SQ and EK rank amongst the best flying experiences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mav2000 View Post
I think the main issue here is that we are spoilt by our local airlines, specially the likes of Kingfisher and Jet. Once you are used to that level of service, most international airlines fall short.
You have a valid point. But this stands true for all service industry.

Have you tried ordering at a small cafe or restaurant or anything else that requires stuff to be done anywhere outside India?

We park at pumps, refuse to get outside our cars, keep the AC running while one man fills gasoline, another cleans the windscreen, a 3rd runs with your credit card into the cash station to swipe, a fourth brings you the copy with a pen to sign and a fifth fills air into your tyres.

We are simply spoilt.
Quote:
In fact I would say even Air India has better service than Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways or any of the american ones.

I have travelled by AI from Frankfurt to India, and the level of service is just miles ahead, though the aircraft is miles behind..
I love Air India. Some of their planes are new, but some are old, I agree.

And for those who complain about the "Aunties" on board - remember it's a flight, not shaadi.com. You want chicks, go to a fashion show.
I love it when the aunty gives me 3 drinks when I ask for one and when the other aunty says "Have something na" when I say "no thanks" - all I have to do is smile and thank them.

They're so used to Indians not smiling or thanking them (chhchsschhh drinks hai?) that they spoil you, lol.

I simply love AI.
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Old 11th September 2009, 17:05   #72
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"chhchsschhh drinks hai?.
this had me in splits
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Old 12th September 2009, 01:01   #73
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Sam's "auntie" is probably my wow. Especially if she is wearing a sari

But I'm stuck with BA, unless i want to change somewhere, which I don't.
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Old 12th September 2009, 02:45   #74
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Well thats good,

i will be flying Air India for the first time in October for Lon-Del-Lon.

And hoping that the so called "aunties" give me same kind of courtesy and wont mind few extra drinks.
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Old 12th September 2009, 19:36   #75
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Maybe it is time for me to pipe up with my positive experiences on Lufthansa, seeing as a lot of others are dissing the airline. I have a lot of flying experience, and my two best experiences have both been on Lufthansa.

1. May 2000: I was flying Ottawa --> Toronto (Air Canada), Toronto --> Frankfurt (Lufthansa), Frankfurt --> Mumbai (Lufthansa) and Mumbai --> Bangalore (Jet Airways).

My flight from Toronto to Frankfurt departed four hours late. The Lufthansa staff at Toronto airport were very courteous and sat with us and explained how the transfer desk at Frankfurt would help us, etc. I reached Frankfurt about half an hour after my connection to Mumbai had left. The (very pretty) lady at the transfer desk arranged a Delta flight from Frankfurt to Mumbai for the next day and another Jet flight from Mumbai to Bangalore, printed a boarding pass, rerouted my baggage and gave me the new baggage tags, gave me a hotel voucher, and accompanied me to the immigration desk and explained things to the immigration officer there. The immigration officer took my passport and gave me a one day Schengen visa (this was pre 9/11, probably won't receive such service today). The Lufthansa lady then showed me how to go through immigration and explained where I could get the bus to the hotel. I had a relaxing night at the hotel with a buffet dinner and breakfast. The next morning, I showered, enjoyed the buffet breakfast and took the bus back to the airport, and caught the Delta flight to Mumbai. At baggage claim in Mumbai, my checked-in bags were among the first to come off the conveyor belt and I was able to clear customs, transfer to the domestic terminal and board the Jet flight with time to spare. A very pleasant experience overall.

2. December 2004: I was returning to India after staying in Paris for six months on work. I was flying Paris --> Frankfurt --> Bangalore. I didn't have a set of weighing scales with me, so I couldn't weigh my baggage, though I was sure it might be a bit overweight because of all the shopping I had done. I tried to put more items in my cabin baggage as many airlines don't weigh cabin baggage. I arrived at the airport and checked in at the Lufthansa counter. First my checkin baggage went on the scales. 34 kg! Crikey, I was only allowed 22 kg or so. The lady at the counter didn't say anything and let the bag go. She then asked me to weigh my cabin baggage. Yikes, this one was 18kg when I was only allowed 10 kg. She told me "Mr. Jacob, I can allow the extra checkin baggage weight but you will have to remove some items from your cabin baggage to get it within the allowed weight". I removed boxes of chocolates, books and CDs and finally got the weight down to 12 kg or so, which the lady allowed. I told the lady to keep the chocolates for herself instead of wasting them.

I then went disconsolately to go through security check and passport control. Some Sri Lankan tamil people had been watching the whole episode and they asked me if they could take my chocolates from the lady at Lufthansa check-in counter. I ignored them.

After going through security check and passport control, I was sitting disconsolately in the departure lounge when I heard a female voice say "Mr. Jacob?" It was the same lady who had been at the check-in counter when I had checked in my bags. She said "I didn't want you to lose your chocolates and CDs so I have packed them in another bag and brought them to you". And she had a Lufthansa cabin bag which had "staff" and "priority" markings and held all my stuff! Wow! I thanked her profusely, and she left, and I boarded the aircraft a few minutes later. At Frankfurt they made me check-in the additional bag, but when I reached India and opened it up, I realised it did have everything in it. So ended up carrying much more than the allowed weight, for free.

So I can't recommend Lufthansa highly enough!
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