The new Germanwings (4U) had to face severe criticism in the first months after taking over several routes of Lufthansa. In my opinion, the product offered is pretty solid. The value for the money is very good, especially when you get one of the 33 euros tickets. There were many things I liked, but what was not good though is the organization. That has several reasons.
Germanwings has a good marketing. I’ve always been impressed by the Social Media-Team, the promotions and the advertisement. Yet, I had no opportunity to fly with Germanwings due to starting my journeys in Munich most times. Anyway, I decided to start my journey in Stuttgart this time, so I was able to fly with Germanwings.
The Online Check-In was the first positive experience with the “low-cost-airline”. It was smooth, went fast and they even offered tickets for the mobile phone (I’m always losing paper tickets, that’s why I love having the ticket on my mobile). At the airport, not everything was as good as the Online Check-In.
We had to sit in the waiting area of the airport in Stuttgart for at least 30 minutes, even though we arrived only five minutes prior the boarding time. Sadly, there was no communication about the delay at all. They just called for the boarding after the delay, not losing a single word about what went wrong. Boarding was not perfect as well but it was okay overall. On the return flight there was no return but (and it’s a big BUT) they did not board with boarding groups. Ever tried boarding on a finger without boarding groups? It will take hours, literally.
After the bad experience there was a good one again. The seat pitch in the airplane (an Airbus A319) was pretty solid, even though we did not book a seat with extra legroom. The comfort is somewhat medium, but at least okay. Yet, there is no inflight-entertainment at all.
That does not only mean that there are no screens, there are no newspapers, no magazines and not even the “radio boxes” on the armrest. If you did forget your magazine of choice or your electronic device, you’ll need to sleep. Otherwise, it will get boring as hell.
Anyway, at least the flight attendants tried their best to make the flight entertaining. Try paying with a credit card, I bet it will be fun. When we were returning back from Rome to Stuttgart, it took more than five minutes to proceed the payment. The stewardess had no clue what I ordered (I’m speaking German, so nothing to severe to understand) and had to ask a colleague what this sandwich is. After three minutes the sandwich arrived, the payment was in progress though because the attendant never received a payment with a credit card before.
After she had asked her colleague, it worked, but took another three minutes. For us, it was really funny to watch, so at least they deserve some stars for good entertainment. But more important: The food is good, the prices are cheap (6,50 euros for a big sandwich and a 0,5 sparkling water) – nothing negative to say. Just a recommendation: Book the “Smart” rate and buy your drinks and snacks on your own, the included snacks are nothing special and are way smaller than the “to buy”-snacks.
Overall, the flight was pretty solid, yet there was no in-flight-entertainment at all. The seats are comfortable, the staff is kind. Food was surprisingly good and not too expensive as well. When you de-board the plane, you’ll get some farewell words but no special treatment (I want my chocolate!). Anyway, I felt that Germanwings is a good choice for your flight. If you buy a cheap ticket, you’ll be on the safe side to enjoy a very good value for the money. For us the value was higher than when flying Lufthansa. Good job Germanwings!