The national carrier of Germany has joined all other major carriers in a race for the bottom.  Once my favorite airline it has become yet another average experience in a world taken over by low cost carriers.

German airports are usually clean and efficient, especially Munich and Frankfurt considering how much foot traffic passes through.  Berlin Tegel, on the other hand, is a mess.  I believe it was built in Roman times and has never been updated, though it is due for closure sometime between five years ago and fifty years from now.

Check-in is efficient and easy as is standard in Germany.  Ticket agents have always been helpful and quite good(though in Chicago my ticket agent was quite incompetent, though that may have been do to never seeing a Saudi visa before).  Waiting areas are fantastic.  Excellent restaurants with superb beer, pay showers, and sleeping pods welcome you while waiting for your flight.  Boarding is actually a pleasure.  One domestic German flight I was on everyone actually waited until their section was called and didn’t crowd the gate.  It was a miracle.  But that was only once.  Normally the foreigner’s or bad Germans mess the system up like everywhere else in the world.  Me first, me first.

On the plane the perfect maintenance and cleanliness continues.  Lufthansa’s planes are consistently the nicest I fly on.  Seats are comfortable and there is an in-flight entertainment system.  The screens are beautiful though the library of films is not as extensive as some other airlines.  Cabin crews are good but not as good as ten years ago.  WizzAir and Turkish have better cabin crews.  The pilots have always been the best.  Smooth flights and landings with never so much as a hint of an issue.  But here we come to my biggest complaint.  Lufthansa has joined America in being way too safety first.  On my recent flight from Germany to Miami we had mild turbulence from take off to landing.  Most of the flight the cabin crew were asked to suspend meal and drink service.  So we never received a meal and only half the passengers received a drink.  This is terrible.  Cabin crews should work in mild and moderate turbulence.  A risk of injury comes with the job, just like firefighters risk dying and doctors risk getting ill.  You accept the risk when you take the job.  Also the passengers must accept their decisions.  If you order a hot coffee in turbulence and it gets spilled in your lap it is your fault, not the flight attendant who was trying to serve you.  Lufthansa, please tell your cabin and cockpit crews to take care of your customers.  Perhaps Lufthansa has gotten as bad as the USA with lawsuits and no personal responsibility.  If that is the case I shed a tear as I thought the USA was the only place where personal responsibility no longer existed.

Overall Lufthansa is still one of the best major carriers in the world but they are fading fast.  Only one free checked bag on international flights, charging for a seat reservation, and some of the worst airline food ever in economy.  I wasn’t actually too upset not getting a meal on the flight to Miami as the meals I have had with them the past few years are disgusting.  I’d prefer pretzels or a sandwich over the hot plate they claim to be food.  Bring on some Bavarian pretzels and sausage and not the gruel you have now.