Review: Lufthansa CityLine E190 Business Class (GWT-FRA)

Review: Lufthansa CityLine E190 Business Class (GWT-FRA)

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FROM: GWT
TO: FRA
CABIN: Business
DATE: June 2022
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: Lufthansa CityLine offers a pretty good business class experience on the Embraer 190. Each passenger gets an aisle and window, and there was a tasty snack and friendly service.
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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 RewardsCapital 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.

Lufthansa check-in counter Sylt Airport

Boarding for our 10:35AM flight started 30 minutes departure departure, at 10:05AM, from gate two.

Lufthansa departure gate Sylt Airport

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 Embraer 190 Sylt Airport

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.

Lufthansa Embraer 190 business class seats

The E190 is a pretty comfortable plane, and both legroom and seat width were decent.

Lufthansa Embraer 190 business class seats

The Embraer 190 is a pretty nice ride in economy class as well…

Lufthansa Embraer 190 economy class cabin

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).

Lufthansa Embraer 190 business class blocked seat
Lufthansa Embraer 190 business class blocked seat

Each seat back had a magazine pocket and a tray table that folded out.

Lufthansa Embraer 190 business class view
Lufthansa Embraer 190 business class tray table

The overhead console had both individual air nozzles and reading lights.

Lufthansa Embraer 190 business class overhead console

Overhead bins on the plane were a good size, and could accommodate standard size carry-ons.

Lufthansa Embraer 190 business class overhead bins

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.

Lufthansa Embraer 190 business class lavatory

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.

Lufthansa Embraer 190 business class cabin

We pushed back at 10:40AM.

Pushing back Sylt Airport

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.

Taxiing Sylt Airport
Taking off Sylt Airport

After takeoff we had our final views of beautiful Sylt, and then of the North Sea.

View after takeoff from Sylt Airport
View after takeoff from Sylt Airport
View after takeoff from Sylt Airport

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.

Lufthansa business class drinks

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.

Lufthansa business class snack service

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.

Lufthansa business class menu

The attentive flight attendant offered multiple drink refills, and prior to landing distributed chocolates.

Lufthansa business class chocolate

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!

View approaching Frankfurt
View approaching Frankfurt
View approaching Frankfurt
View approaching Frankfurt
Final approach to Frankfurt Airport

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.

Taxiing Frankfurt Airport
Arrival stand Frankfurt Airport

From there we had to be bused 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.

Remote stand bus Frankfurt Airport
Lufthansa Embraer 190 Frankfurt Airport
Lufthansa Embraer 190 Frankfurt Airport

I can’t blame the person who booked the airport VIP service to be picked up, because that’s a much more comfortable ride. 😉

VIP service Frankfurt Airport

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.

Bottom line

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?

Conversations (27)
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  1. Uwe Guest

    I did not like this plane very much... but it is with many other "things": it is a personal sense of the experience, the flight itself but also what was happening "around" the flight itself, the quality of the plane-production but sometimes even more: who is sitting next/before or behind you... but of course that can "hit" you in any kind of plane. Another critic, but not a point about this plane especially: l have...

    I did not like this plane very much... but it is with many other "things": it is a personal sense of the experience, the flight itself but also what was happening "around" the flight itself, the quality of the plane-production but sometimes even more: who is sitting next/before or behind you... but of course that can "hit" you in any kind of plane. Another critic, but not a point about this plane especially: l have some strong doubts about the LH-group "plane-buying choices" and sometimes l can't really understand the "final decision" to buy a plane-type... 2018 l travelled with LH overseas and the difference between a almost new B747 to a old A340 could not be much bigger... the noise-difference was significant, also the general comfort... but it is another story...

  2. Emily Guest

    Business class intra-Europe is consistently the most dismal product, globally. Really no point in wasting miles nor words on them.

    1. LarryInNYC Diamond

      On recent flights in Europe I found the accelerated check-in really helpful and enjoyed the small meal provided as well. Also, they paid no attention to my carry-on which has been weighed in the past in Lufthansa economy.

  3. Frankfurt Guest

    @Lucky

    Are you able to see the chaos in Frankfurt airport now? Tons of lost luggage, super long security line, hundreds of flights cancel or delayed and non-existent custom service.
    Can you see Frankfurt airport is a living hell for passengers now? And Lufthansa doesn’t do anything!!!

  4. Mark Guest

    Translating Heimat simply as "home" undersells it a bit. It is home, but more in the sense of homeland or the home country and either of those translations would have been a bit more evocative of the original German.

  5. YULtide Gold

    "From there we had to be bussed to the terminal."

    Pretty sure you were bused to the terminal rather than bussed.

    ("Bus" = a conveyance carrying many people; "buss" = a kiss)

    1. Mark Guest

      Bussed is the normal spelling in British English - the consonant is usually doubled after a short vowel when you're conjugating a verb. I'm not sure of the usual US spelling but bussed read fine to me.

    2. LarryInNYC Diamond

      Either version is acceptable in American English.

    3. YULtide Gold

      So, "she bussed him" is totally ambiguous.

      You probably don't even use the subjunctive.

  6. Ralph4878 Guest

    "...cuisine from a different German city is highlighted on each flight. On this particular flight the menu was from Leipzig...for dessert there was Bavarian cream..." HA!

  7. Tom Guest

    One issue that respondents critical of Ben flying Business Class on this short haul are missing, is that there are other perks associated with BC. European airports are hell right now. BC gives you priority access at security lanes and boarding. This is a nice perk traveling with an older Mom. Obviously, Sylt has no security lanes. But. before firing off critical, sarcasti, comments (that's you, Matt), please look at the big picture.

  8. Donato Guest

    I assume you made your connection. knowing that you were with your Mom I was concerned regarding the connection, it could be a long loong walk. Believe it or not, a bus gate arrival saves you loads of walking, especially if you are sleeping at the Sheraton or Hilton familiy.

  9. philelltt Member

    Let's compare train fares. First class direct from Sylt to Dusseldorf is about 75 Euros. Intercity, direct service. No changes. Includes a city ticket for arrival transfer. 6 hour journey. 2nd class is about 55Euros. The train leaves at about 9.30 in the morning. The airline option is faster, but changing planes with an old person to care for can be challenging at Frankfurt. Did you make special transfer arrangements for your mother?

  10. tom Guest

    On my last domestic LH Business Class flight (Munich to Berlin) approximately 3 weeks , I received a piece of dry marble cake wrapped in plastic (no menu). On the Barcelona to Munch sector (same day), I received a small cold plate with some inedible mousse type of thing. There was no menu either. Your meal looks spectacular compared to what I have experienced on LH intra-European Business Class lately.

    1. Dana Guest

      To that I say… deal with it.

  11. Matt Guest

    Ben in Italy: "Even though the train from Milan to Paris takes seven hours, I’d absolutely take a train over flying in a heartbeat."

    Ben in Germany: Sure, I'll pay twice the points for a pointless business class ticket for a 1hr plane ride...

    1. TravelinWilly Diamond

      Matt, do you have sand in your vagina?

      Because you sound like you have sand in your vagina.

    2. GLCTraveler Member

      Maybe even bunched-up panties!!

    3. betterbub Member

      My man converted a boring economy flight into content for his website for 7,500 Aeroplan points, sounds like a steal to me.

  12. Passive Poster Guest

    To each their own, but this journey seems like one that could've been easily been accomplished in economy instead of business class knowing that the flights are rather short, the hard product is the same as economy but with an empty seat next to you, and you booked using Aeroplan points (instead of cash). I mean, yeah it was only 15k for business versus 7.5k for economy so not a huge loss of points, but...

    To each their own, but this journey seems like one that could've been easily been accomplished in economy instead of business class knowing that the flights are rather short, the hard product is the same as economy but with an empty seat next to you, and you booked using Aeroplan points (instead of cash). I mean, yeah it was only 15k for business versus 7.5k for economy so not a huge loss of points, but still.

    I'm going to assume you booked business class for the extra baggage allowance and lounge access, and not because economy class is beneath you.

    1. Creditcrunch Diamond

      I imagine following an extended trip across Europe they had considerable checked baggage and the 2 free 32kg bags per person was the driver here.

    2. Omar Guest

      That's not likely the reason since he has *G from SQ points transfer earlier this year.

    3. Daniel Guest

      Don't you know Ben is a princess and he cannot take a Coach class flight that would be beneath him

    4. Colin Guest

      I asked when you last made such a comment why you are so jealous of Ben but you still have not answered. Please go ahead this time. I’m curious why you’ve let the jealousy get the better of you to the point you can’t help but make comments that embarrass yourself.

  13. Alex Guest

    The permanent seat blocking might be related to not exceeding a certain number of seats on the plane which then would mandate an extra flight attendant. LH also has this on most of their A321 fleet, where in rows 1-3 the middle seat is blocked by a fixed table.

    1. SENflyer Guest

      It’s related to that and by law you need to block the seat in an manner that it becomes unusable. Hence Easyjet is removing seats from their A319 to operate with three flight attendants at 150 Pax. So software blocking is not enough.

  14. GroeneMichel Member

    Interesting review. I thought you mentioned there were also direct flights by LH to DUS?

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

TravelinWilly Diamond

Matt, do you have sand in your vagina? Because you sound like you have sand in your vagina.

3
Tom Guest

One issue that respondents critical of Ben flying Business Class on this short haul are missing, is that there are other perks associated with BC. European airports are hell right now. BC gives you priority access at security lanes and boarding. This is a nice perk traveling with an older Mom. Obviously, Sylt has no security lanes. But. before firing off critical, sarcasti, comments (that's you, Matt), please look at the big picture.

2
betterbub Member

My man converted a boring economy flight into content for his website for 7,500 Aeroplan points, sounds like a steal to me.

2
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