After a spectacular Lufthansa B747-8 flight in First Class from LA, I transited through Frankfurt and waited for the next leg of my journey to Dubai. This flight would be in Business Class and I was eager to see the how the service would differ from First Class, due to the COVID-19 concerns.
The First Class Lounge airside at B23 was closed, along with the the First Class Terminal landside. The only First Class Lounge that was open was at A13, which is not available to transiting passengers outside of the Schengen area. So I had no choice but to use the Senator Lounge near gate B47.
Video of my Flight
Lufthansa Senator Lounge
The lounge wasn't too crowded, which was only to be expected due to how few people are travelling right now.
In terms of food and snacks, there was more on offer than just packaged snacks when I was there. The hot food options were back with potato soup, chicken schnitzel and sandwiches, these were served behind the counter by staff. All other items were individually packed. The self serve soda and beer machines were all also in operation.
In addition, I was surprised to see that the showers were back in service as well. The lounge staff said that these had only been made available to passengers just 2 days ago. It was great to see things slowly getting back to normal.
Frankfurt to Dubai
After a few hours waiting in transit it was time to board my next flight, a Lufthansa A330-300 to Dubai. It turned out that this flight was to be a sharp contrast to my last flight.
From August 1st, you need to provide a COVID Negative PCR Test Certificate before being able to fly/transit to Dubai. I have outlined the Dubai Arrival Procedures at the end of this report.
The flight was quite full, with over 200 passengers. I was sitting in row 5K and when I arrived at my seat I found a box waiting for me, as did every other passenger. It turned out that this would be the meal service on this 6.5 hours flight.
Our departure was delayed due to few connecting passengers that had been held up. We also took a Southern route to avoid Iran-Iraq airspace, which resulted in 45 minutes extra flying time over Saudi Arabia to Dubai. The flight time was 6 hours and 30 mins, cruising at Mach .80.
Instead of getting a glass of Coke, I received a whole 1 Litre bottle of it! Other than that, there were only sealed bottles of beer or juice available.
When I enquired with the flight attendant about the unusual food and drinks service on this flight, I was told these were the requirements issued to them from Dubai; the rules of which can be found here.
I thought the airline were doing some cost cutting, but I later realised from the reading the UAE Safety Decision that the food and beverage being served depends on the route and the authorities in the related countries.
Update: A friend of mine, who travelled 2 weeks after my flight, reported that the usual hot food on trays had been reinstated. Good to know that the situation is improving.
Passengers still received the same Business Class amenity kits but there were no pillows or blankets loaded on to this flight. It felt uncomfortable to sleep but I passed out shortly after takeoff, as I had been up for nearly 18 hours.
Update: The same friend of mine who reported back about the meal service also reported that the pillows and blankets are now also available. Even more good news.
It was interesting to experience a different flight with totally different standard, which were dictated by the arrival country authority. However, things are constantly changing and, as I mentioned above, I have heard the missing hot meals, pillows and blankets have all been returned now.
Dubai Arrival Procedures
We arrived an hour late in Dubai and parked at a remote bay. Passengers were bussed to Terminal 3 for the arrival formalities, as Terminal 1 was closed at the time.
Here are some of the up-to-date arrival procedures:
- You need a COVID Negative PCR Test Certificate before fly/transit to Dubai.
- When you arrive, you need to fill in a health declaration form.
- You may be selected for additional COVID PCR Test at arrivals, the test is free. If you're selected, you will receive result within 24 hours. If you have negative result, you do not need to quarantine. The PCR Test booth are next to baggage claim.
- Proceed to baggage claim and custom.