Flew return from Heathrow to Koln on the 15th and 17th October and both flights left a very good impression. On the flight out of Heathrow the ground staff advised about a 10/15 minute delay due to the late arrival of the inbound flight once seated the captain advised that he would make up time and we would still be able to arrive on time which we did so all was good. The inflight service was good and efficient as one would expect from a German based company. The seats in the Smart section were comfortable and had plenty of leg room. The ground staff in the UK were efficient however one of the check staff in Koln was rather much too strict in not letting us check in at her desk even though we were the only ones checking in at the time. As seasoned long haul travellers overall Germanwings as a low cost carrier have left a very good impression on my 2 colleagues and myself and I am sure that we will use and recommend this carrier again and again.
Flight from Vienna to Cologne - VIE-CGN - on the standard A319 airbus. Using the smart price "class" (level) my wife and myself had comfortable seats and legroom for this trip of 1h10min. The snack box offered and its contents are just poor the only reason for paying the surcharge called "smart price" is preselected seating and one piece of checked in luggage. The general quality of service is acceptable - friendly crew efficient service clean planes plus the feeling of safety/security you buy in a plane of the Lufthansa group. But do not forget: it is still a low cost flight - as a long time Lufthansa frequent traveller I will never get accustomed to the fact that they try to charge £4.90 for a wine. No passenger bought any alcoholic beverage.
CGN to FAO Cologne to Faro on an A320. Outbound flight a little late due to late arrival of aircraft. Flight was on a jetway but passengers had to use the stairs. Crew were nice and flight was full same on return flight from Faro. I had a smart price ticket so you should sit in row 4 to 14 with more legroom onward flight I was seated row 15 return row 23. As miles and more member in my profile they knew that I needed a lactose free meal but you only get a snack box (cheese sandwich/roll or chicken/salami sandwich/roll) but both are not with butter/margarine they all contain cream cheese as basic spread so I was not able to eat that. When the crew came around I was entitled to only one soft drink you have to pay for wine or a beer. Spirits not available at all. Since both flights were full and only 3 crew members were on board it was a hard job for them. They have less toilets compared to the old LH planes so we had only 2 toilets for almost 150 passengers on the return flight one WC was not serviceable.
Outbound the passengers were sent to gate clear we were considerably delayed but no information shared. Onboard the Captain informed us the cabin crew arrived late due to local motorway problems. However passengers had made it! The snacks offered were poor value for money. The crew disinterested. Return flight (my fault) I'd not included cabin baggage. The staff's manner of relaying this information was mocking and dismissive. The only positive is that the flight cost is reasonable. I'd avoid this airline if you want to be treated with respect.
Flew over the weekend CGN-ZRH. Booked Lufthansa but got Germanwings due to LH changing operation in Europe to 4U. First leg was late over 40 minutes with no explanation done when the gate crew announced a 2nd delay of another 15-20 minutes due tyres had to be changed the gate was open to board. Take off was just after boarding so there was no tyre change. So no more Snacks and Drinks unless you pay for it. Bought muffin and coffee quality ok but you pay. Return flight was on time crew at gate much nicer. Cockpit gave information about the flight. Crew served beer for 3 Euros. Would that this flight would be LH again.
29th July 2013. London Heathrow to Cologne flight 4U461. I checked in online for the flight as instructed on their website and then went to the airport ‘bag drop. The queue was very long and only one lady was in charge of the entire queue. She understandably looked stressed. Flight was on an A319 and the seats were comfortable enough for a short trip. A snack was offered for sale as this airline is a Budget airline but one which allows for through baggage. I picked this airline for my trip down to Italy partly based on price and partly based on the reputation of being the best of the lower price airlines. The captain was informative and the crew seemed to be pleasant and very well turned out indeed. During quite bad turbulence not enough was done to calm the fears of passengers. Arrival into Cologne was a pleasure and the modern and friendly airport made for a good stop over on my way to Italy. I shall report my next flight in more detail in a separate report.
29th July 2013 Flight 4U838 from Cologne to Bologna. Flight was the second of two that day with the same airline. Flight delayed 1 hour due to the late arrival of the inbound flight. Staff kept the passengers informed in a polite and professional manner. Boarding was orderly and sensibly managed. The cabin crew warmly welcomed the passengers. The flight had severe turbulence and the crew did little to allay the fears of passengers. The lady Pilot made a few semi-audible announcements and did seemed to be focused on making up for the delay. Disembarkation was chaotic as Italian passengers pushed to exit the flight. The cabin crew did nothing to try and control what could have been a dangerous situation. The fare was not the cheapest of fares on offer and due to the abrupt manner of the cabin crew on this flight my experience of Germanwings has been soured somewhat. I won't use Germanwings on this route again.
BRE-STR. Normal LCC. Staff friendly prices on board ok plane clean. Travelled with hand luggage only which was not weighed.
Flown Verona to Cologne connecting to Manchester. I think this airline deserves its 3-star status. It's peculiar as a low-cost airline as it offers connecting flights though prices average double compared to the cheapest point to point options. The space for legs on a Standard A319 is the best I've found in the last 6 years of low- cost travelling. Personnel look professional throughout. Onboard prices quite competitive for euro nationals. I will definitely fly with them if I need to go to Germany in future.
Hamburg-Nuremberg-Hamburg. Outbound flight 40 minutes late due to technical problems with the reservation system. Most web check-ins had been deleted and boarding cards had to be reassigned at the gate. Horrible seating. Inbound flight was 70 minutes late due to 'problems all day long' as the captain mentioned. Slightly better seating (older seats). Anyway if Lufthansa stakes their salvation on this airline they must have lost their mind. I am a Senator with LH but except Lounge access there are no advantages.
FTL-M&M Frequent flyer status. I can't believe LH will put their name to this. No priority check-in. As silver or gold member you are waiting together with Economy passengers. This took an hour both ways on my round-trip from HAM-VIE. With LH or another Star Alliance partner this takes less than 10 minutes especially for FTL or GOLD. There was an error on my ticket. Ticket counter could not help but kept the ticket and I could not use the check- machine for reprinting the ticket. Again 40 minutes waiting at check-in. Check-in opens 2 hours before departure in VIE. Check-in is located so far away from LH you won't believe it. Germanwings is departing from Gates where there are no Lounges. No priority check-in at VIE airport either. As FTL you have privileges when booking and choosing the seat. Reservations from row 1 are possible. The check-in procedure and amenities are awful. Next time I will choose a star alliance partner for sure.
We have just returned from Cologne to Manchester using Germanwings - we were very impressed - we have frequently used other cheap airlines and if you want more pay more! You can check in on line 72 hours before travelling and can select seats free of charge. The only criticism is that you can't check in for return at the same time as you can with other airlines - that means unless you have access to a printer while away you are assigned seats at the airport for the return journey.
SPU-DTM.30th May 2013. 08.20 Departure. Flight arrived in from Cologne on time. Upon boarding the return leg to Dortmund the senior male cabin crew member stood at the forward door and did not acknowledge any of his passengers when we boarded. Not a Good Morning or Hello or even the slightest hint of a smile. After Take Off the racket of banging galley doors continued throughout the flight! The senior male cabin crew member commenced service from the front of the cabin by himself I was clearly travelling on my own astonishingly his inflight service statement was "und Sie" (and you)! Not what would I like to drink or would I like a Cheese or Ham sandwich? Not even a smile and showing No enthusiasm! Upon leaving the aircraft I didn't expect a Goodbye and of course didn't receive One. Poor customer service.
Travelled from Manchester to Vienna with a 3 hour stop over in Koln/Bonn. First flight was good with an on time departure reasonably friendly cabin crew staff and a decent and comfortable journey. However from our stop in Koln/Bonn the trip deteriorated. We were segregated into a small area of the airport with very little to do see or even eat/shop. The second flight was 45 minutes late and had some of the most miserable cabin staff I have ever experienced. I wasn't even offer a drink to purchase. I would rate Germanwings as very average and certainly not what I would expect from a German carrier.
HAM-STR. Ground staff at Hamburg were pleasant and everything was swift on ground. A319 aircraft on this route was nearly 50% full. Legroom is acceptable and enough information was given by captain. Aircraft landed 5 minutes late and I had a tight connection for further travel by train. I had checked in a piece of luggage and feared that I miss my train connection but luggage arrive on belts in Stuttgart airport very quickly and I did make my connection. Snacks and drinks onboard are very expensive. All in all a good experience for the price paid.
Flew to Cologne from LHR on 29th March 2013 and back on 1st April 2013 and I have to say Germanwings were fantastic. The aircraft was comfortable and the staff friendly and cheerful. We were delayed taking off (through no fault of Germanwings) but we made up time. On the return journey we took off on time and landed on time. Would definitely fly with Germanwings again.
CGN-TXL A319. Evening service after Cologne Carnival parade. Lots of passengers and even captain disguised accordingly. Boarding delayed due to late arrival from previous flight but crew managed to catch up: departure on time arrival 10 min early. Crew quite neutral whereas Captain made funny announcements in view of the carnival. Seat comfort is okay for such a short hop. Only buy-on-board program with relatively high pricing compared to quantity of products - so I opted for nothing. Germanwings is low cost and you practically pay for everything you want extra besides the seat. Germanwings has taken over complete service from Lufthansa on that particular route. Being Star Alliance Silver/FTL at Lufthansa means nothing if you fly on Germanwings (a 100% Lufthansa subsidiary). Some weeks ago in 2012 when LH still served the sector FTLs were allowed to use the LH business lounge. Now they offer you lounge access for "an insignificant fee of" 25 € - what a joke!
Booked Lufthansa flight Cologne-Berlin on 28 Jan. On 2 Jan I got the information that the flight was operated by Germanwings a German low-cost carrier. So was the flight. Low cost: 1 hrs delayed for my beer I had to pay in Euros - cash. Lounge use was denied as the flight was operated under 4U code. No service for a high Lufthansa price. Not recommended very disappointed.
Sad affair on a flight from Treviso to Cologne. Due to non-availability of ILS landing at Treviso plane had to land at Venice airport 50 km away. At no time did the ground crew provide any information and simply carted us like cattle through the Italian countryside. Left us wait on the apron of Venice airport - without water or information. Terrible flight - without any customer service whatsoever.
Flew back from Cologne on the 10th December - flight returned after 20 minutes due to technical faults - attempted to re-board 2 hours and 10 minutes after original flight time but was told catering being loaded onto replacement thus further delay meaning flight delayed to 3 hrs 15 mins. No complaint forms as promised no non EU passenger cards given. Not a budget airline at £327 for 2 return tickets from LHR best avoided the rep in Cologne treated the whole episode as a joke.