Our trip to the US last month consisted of four flights: United Airlines from Frankfurt to Dulles, from Dulles to Orlando, from Orlando to Chicago O’Hare, and Lufthansa from Chicago O’Hare to Frankfurt. To read my review of flying United Airlines internationally with kids, click here.
Also, for tips on booking a multi-city itinerary like ours, see my previous post here.
Now, it’s important to note that I spend a lot of time on SeatGuru when I research and book flights. I painstakingly pick flights based on seating configuration and entertainment, two major factors for a good experience flying with children. It’s not nice to have all that work go to waste.
Or be wrong.
As I mentioned earlier, I love European carriers. Lufthansa is one of my main squeezes. When United offered a Lufthansa flight on their website as an option (and a cheaper one at that), I jumped at the opportunity. But not without checking SeatGuru first to make sure the flight had personal TV screens for all economy passengers.
I learned a lesson here I want to share with you: check and re-check.
If you care to follow along, here’s a link to the aircraft for Lufthansa Flight 431 from ORD to FRA. It’s a 747 with four seats in the middle (good). If you hover over the economy class seats, you’ll notice that it says “Video: Personal TV.” Great – that’s what I want.
If I had gone up to the In-Flight Amenities section and clicked on “Video,” I would have seen this message:
In Economy, some Lufthansa 747-400 have not yet been retrofitted and do not offer touch screen entertainment. In these cases, films and programming are shown via overhead projectors and monitors throughout the cabin.
Normally I check both places, but for some reason I didn’t this time. And we got stuck with overhead monitors. Showing three movies total for an eight-hour flight. Two of which we had already seen on the previous United flight. One of which was a documentary about animals. Whoop-de-doo.
Boy am I glad this was an overnight flight. And boy am I glad that again, my kids slept like pros. All. Night. Long.
On the flip side, the Lufthansa food lived up to its reputation. Excellent dark meat chicken with a flavorful soy sauce, sticky rice, and steamed vegetables for dinner. Breakfast was not hot, but it contained a name-brand granola bar and a good fruit cup among other things.
Other Lufthansa perks I appreciate: small toys to entertain children during boarding and take-off, comfortable pillows and real blankets, hot towels before meals, and friendly flight attendants who don’t mind if you ask to have one of their two-liter bottles of water all to yourself.
So would I fly Lufthansa again? You betcha.