Ouch: Lufthansa A340 Returns To Boston Twice

Ouch: Lufthansa A340 Returns To Boston Twice

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As reported by The Aviation Herald, passengers on last night’s Lufthansa flight from Boston to Munich were in for quite an adventure….

Lufthansa A340 returns to Boston due to engine issues

On Tuesday, November 8, 2022, Lufthansa flight LH425 was scheduled to operate from Boston (BOS) to Munich (MUC), with an initial departure time of 8:05PM. The flight was operated by a roughly 16-year-old Airbus A340-600 with the registration code D-AIHP.

Interestingly this plane only returned to service in mid-August 2022, after being in storage for an extended period of time. Lufthansa was supposed to retire its fleet of A340-600s, but brought back a handful of them temporarily, until the airline takes delivery of Munich-based A350s with first class. I digress…

The flight departed Boston as planned, though stopped its climb at 27,000 feet. 12 minutes later, around 190 nautical miles east of Boston, the pilots advised air traffic controllers that they needed to return to Boston due to engine issues.

The A340 had to dump some fuel, and landed safely back in Boston just under 80 minutes after it departed.

Lufthansa’s Boston to Munich flight returned to Boston
Lufthansa’s Boston to Munich flight returned to Boston

Lufthansa A340 returns to Boston a second time

Roughly 3.5 hours after returning to Boston, and presumably after troubleshooting the issue, Lufthansa gave this flight another shot. While I’m sure the delay was frustrating, passengers were presumably happy that it looked like they’d still get underway to their destination.

The flight took off, and climbed to 27,000 feet. Wanna guess what happened next? Yep, the plane stopped its climb… again. This time around pilots reported a minor engine issue, and said they had to return to Boston again. The plane once again dumped fuel, and landed back in Boston just over an hour after it departed. At this point it was after 2AM, and the flight was canceled.

Lufthansa’s Boston to Munich flight returned to Boston again
Lufthansa’s Boston to Munich flight returned to Boston again

Bottom line

Passengers on a transatlantic Lufthansa A340 flight had a pretty eventful trip to nowhere. The A340 took off from Boston as planned, had an engine issue, dumped fuel, and returned to Boston. After nearly four hours, the A340 took off again, had an engine issue again, dumped fuel again, and returned to Boston again.

It’s kind of amazing how many double diversions to the same airport we’ve seen in recent weeks, including a Finnair A330 to Helsinki, an Aer Lingus A330 to Hartford, and a TUI 737 to Brussels.

What do you make of this Lufthansa A340 diversion?

(Tip of the hat to Klaus)

Conversations (29)
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  1. Molly Guest

    I was on this flight. LH was zero help - gave us a number to call but didn't help with rebooking or finding a hotel. Thankfully we were with a knowledgeable travel agent who hopped behind the counter to help get our group rebooked the next day. Then we had issues coming home and also had to spend an unexpected night in Munich. It was an adventure but we are all safe!

  2. Wasiu Davies Guest

    Safety comes first and great ideas returned back to Logan.

  3. FlyerDon Guest

    They have four engines...I think they should have kept going.

  4. Klaus Guest

    G-EILA: not sure what’s going on with that plane, but there’s another 600€

  5. Gen Beau Guest

    It's better Safe than sorry. Nobody got hurt or Die. Good that pilot return then lose plane & passengers.

    1. Markus david Guest

      Nobody but the environment, all that super high octane fuel dumped on who?, what? Where? Fine Lufthansa big [email protected]@

  6. Klaus Guest

    It seems like D-AIHP is still on BOS. Yesterdays flight (D-AIHI) operated as scheduled and will be landing in Munich in about 30 minutes.

    Not sure what LH9581 is: that flight is scheduled to depart BOS today at 18:00. Maybe they are trying to get D-AIHP back to Deutschland.

  7. Sharon Guest

    It makes me nervous thinking I will be flying in April with this airlines. I hope there aren't any issues.

  8. bastilashan999 New Member

    Lucky, did you see the potential negative changes coming to the Alaska Visa Signature card? Companion fares might soon require $6,000 in prior year spending! Please write an article on this.

    Links below:
    https://thepointsguy.com/news/alaska-airlines-credit-card-changes/
    https://www.reddit.com/r/CreditCards/comments/yptn6e/changes_to_boa_alaska_visa/
    https://www.doctorofcredit.com/bank-of-america-alaska-airlines-card-70000-miles-100-offer-plus-card-changes/

  9. Ryan Guest

    Between 600EUR , hotels and food for every passenger and whatever dumping a good chuck of whatever an A340 holds
    In jet A that’s a very expensive flight for LH

    1. Jordan Gold

      Insurance will cover this.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      you sure about that?
      Insurance is for accidents, not operational problems.

      LH took a significant financial hit on this flight. There simply is no sugar-coating it.

    3. Nick Guest

      Every airline uses a strategy based on their financial position. A startup would be bankrupt after one flight being forced to dump fuel and return due to an unruly passenger if there wasn't insurance for the airlines that choose to insure those events. So, insurance is not just for accidents.

      This is not a situation requiring insurance, at least not Lufthansa's insurance. The engine manufacturer will cover all of this. When you spend many...

      Every airline uses a strategy based on their financial position. A startup would be bankrupt after one flight being forced to dump fuel and return due to an unruly passenger if there wasn't insurance for the airlines that choose to insure those events. So, insurance is not just for accidents.

      This is not a situation requiring insurance, at least not Lufthansa's insurance. The engine manufacturer will cover all of this. When you spend many hundreds of millions on engines you get solid reliability guarantees.

      LH is not taking any financial hit for this. Even if LH was responsible for the expenses, it wouldn't even be noticable in the quarterly income statement. This is very routine.

  10. JeffinMass Guest

    I am wondering what they repaired or thought they repaired the first time. It was subcontractors and not LH employees as LH has no base in BOS. LH probably flew in mechanics the next day. Just sayin

  11. JB Guest

    That's a lot of money wasted on fuel (and pretty bad for the environment I assume).

    Why didn't they just continue to MUC? The plane has 4 engines. If it was a minor issue the second time around, why didn't they just shut that one down and continue to their destination.

    1. wings Guest

      I agree that it's a huge waste of money and terrible to think that they had to dump fuel twice. However, even with having four engines, safety protocols would dictate that with engine issues and still within a certain radius from their departure airport they have to return. Would they have had those issues midnight somewhere south of Greenland, they would've probably analyzed the situation and either diverted to somewhere in the UK or continue to Germany...

    2. Jr Guest

      LH is one of the best airlines in the world. They have an excellent safety record and one of if not the best maintained fleet in the world. I have zero doubts this crew did the right thing by turning back. Safety is job one at LH, Glad everyone is safely on the ground.

    3. Sarah Guest

      That has to be one of the funniest comments I’ve read. I’m thrilled you’re not flying planes - but would not object to your being subject to the type of aviation decision making for which you advocate. Cheers!

    4. John Guest

      If one engine is inop it basically becomes an airbrake the diameter of the engine. To compensate you need to add thrust on the other engines and add rudder input which also increases drag. You are also altitude limited on 3 engines which increases drag as you’re in denser air. Long story short they can’t make it to MUC due to substantially impaired gas milage.

    5. Nick Guest

      There is an extra set of safety requirements to begin an oceanic crossing. With one engine already having issues they don't have the required redundancies to start the crossing. crossing.

      In the history of oceanic crossings there hasn't been an aircraft lost due to engine trouble far from land. United had a 777 that was a close call, but they made it to Hawaii safely.

  12. NFSF Gold

    How are these aborted flights handled in terms of earning miles? Or do they not count because it didn't make it to its destination?

  13. Esse Mann Guest

    A340 are very good planes....issues may happen till to new planes, too.

  14. Ben Holz Guest

    Sure thing with the 600€ compensation, but anyone that wanted/needed to get there by the 9th was royally f'ed over... Any information if LH sent an extra plane to BOS today?

    1. Klaus Guest

      Haha. Have you read the article about how it took Lufthansa 34 hours to not send a replacement jet to Istanbul?

      I suppose passengers where rebooked.

  15. Sergio Díaz Guest

    As in this case it was a maintenance failure of the aircraft, then the airline must compensate all passengers with lodging and meals, and accommodate them on another flight.

    1. Shaun Guest

      We were recently on UA219 ORD to HNL on Nov 5th. After 8 hours on the plane we went 3 miles (all on the ground) and ended up where we started. UA somehow found a second set of 787-10 pilots and a 3rd set of FAs. A terrible start to the trip but the got us there same day. Long delays suck...but just gotta roll with the punches.

    2. Nick Guest

      United has not had the best of luck with engines going to Hawaii. Flight delays for maintenance is something to appreciate rather than complain about.

      2 different 777 flights with united going to HNL have had uncontaminated engine failures that certainly would have resulted in forced ditchings if the failure had occurred anywhere near the mid point of the ocean crossing. The first one occured within 45 minutes of HNL. If the engine had...

      United has not had the best of luck with engines going to Hawaii. Flight delays for maintenance is something to appreciate rather than complain about.

      2 different 777 flights with united going to HNL have had uncontaminated engine failures that certainly would have resulted in forced ditchings if the failure had occurred anywhere near the mid point of the ocean crossing. The first one occured within 45 minutes of HNL. If the engine had failed even 20 minutes earlier, passengers would be swimming.

      The second one was the incident with parts falling near Denver. If it had occurred very far from land they also would have been swimming.

      Especially when there is an ocean crossing involved, delays for maintenance are welcome. I once experienced a rejected take off due to engine trouble leaving HNL on a Continental DC-10. After less than an hour of parking near the maintenance hangar we returned to the runway to try again. I really would have preferred the opportunity to get off the aircraft and let them really make sure it was fixed before taking me across the ocean.

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Toncolino Guest

Kaching = 600 euros

4
NFSF Gold

How are these aborted flights handled in terms of earning miles? Or do they not count because it didn't make it to its destination?

3
Klaus Guest

It seems like D-AIHP is still on BOS. Yesterdays flight (D-AIHI) operated as scheduled and will be landing in Munich in about 30 minutes. Not sure what LH9581 is: that flight is scheduled to depart BOS today at 18:00. Maybe they are trying to get D-AIHP back to Deutschland.

2
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