Eurowings, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, is one of the fastest growing airlines in Europe – with bases in 14 European cities, both in Germany and elsewhere. Following the acquisition of much of Air Berlin’s former fleet, Eurowings now serves over 210 destinations, with 205 aircraft and is Europe’s third-largest point-to-point carrier. Today, with such a large footprint in the European aviation industry, and with a new plan for the future – focusing on short-haul operations – I decided to sample Eurowings’ onboard product, comparing it to the airline’s competitors.
Eurowings Flight 7063, Düsseldorf-Hamburg
Aircraft: Airbus A320, D-ABDU, ‘Hertz’ Livery
Seat: 5A (More Legroom)
Having flown initially from Manchester to Dusseldorf, I experienced what it is like to connect at Germany’s third largest airport. The process was very simple – despite involving a passport control check due to my non-Schengen origin – and I found Dusseldorf airport to be extremely pleasant. It offers a plethora of restaurants and bars, which feel exclusive and tranquil, compared to the usual atmosphere of international airports.
Boarding for my flight began promptly, with my incoming aircraft arriving on-time. Both of my flights with Eurowings were extremely punctual, with both flights eventually arriving ahead of schedule and departing within 5 minutes of pushback time. An analysis by Flightstats backs this up, with a recent report proclaiming Eurowings as a European leader in punctuality and reliability, with over 90% on-time flights and a 99% reliability rating.
My flight to Hamburg would be operated by D-ABDU, an Airbus A320 inherited from Air Berlin, which has since been painted in the ‘Hertz’ livery, to publicise Eurowings’ partnership with the car-hire rental company.
Eurowings’ Airbus A320 aircraft is the backbone of their fleet and can accommodate up to 180 passengers, with BIZclass occupying the first three rows of the aircraft.
Eurowings’ BIZclass functions much like any other European short-haul business class on a legacy carrier, like British Airways. Passengers receive á la carte catering, a free adjacent seat, lounge access where applicable and priority check-in.
I appreciate that – as a low-cost airline at heart – Eurowings offers the chance for passengers to upgrade to satisfy the needs of business travellers.
I allocated seat 5A, in the ‘More Legroom’ section of the cabin, for a reasonable price prior to departure. At the time of booking, this seat also contained a complimentary drink and snack whilst onboard. These seats can be allocated for an even lower cost, if you select Eurowings’ SMART fare at the time of booking. You can look at an overview of Eurowings’ fare types here.
These seats have approximately 32″ of seat pitch, which makes a tangible difference on short-haul flights – especially when coupled with slim-line seats.
I would highly recommend choosing these seats, over seats at the rear of the cabin, for the extra comfort and quick disembarkation.
Eurowings had RECARO seats on this particular aircraft, which offered both a seat back pocket and storage behind the tray table, which was very practical.
Additionally, the slim-line seats maximise legroom whilst still providing enough comfort for the length of intra-European flights Eurowings operates.
I would like to give a special mention to the cabin crew on this flight, who were extremely accommodating, friendly, humorous and diligent with their onboard service. From offering free refills of passengers’ drinks in the forward part of the cabin, to giving recommendations for my short time in Hamburg, the cabin crew were exceptional for a low-cost, domestic flight.
Snacks were offered to all guests in BIZcass and sat in the first few ‘More Legroom’ rows, immediately after departure from Dusseldorf. Guests could choose between a sandwich and a chocolate cake, with a beverage of choice. I had a sandwich, a cup of tea and the crew kindly came around the cabin again prior to landing and refilled drinks, at which point I asked for a glass of water. This service was impressive for a budget airline on a 45-minute domestic flight.
Unfortunately, it does appear that this complementary snack will no longer be offered to guests sitting in ‘More Legroom’ seats unless they are booked on a BIZcass fare – as part of the new initiatives to return Eurowings to profitability.
Here are some photos of my time in Hamburg:
My flight touched down in Hamburg ahead of schedule and the crew wished everyone a pleasant day, with a light-hearted “Tschüss” to each passenger.
A good budget airline should provide each and every passenger with a punctual, reliable and comfortable flight.
Eurowings fulfils this, and even goes beyond – with hospitable crew, extremely punctual services and great value-for-money extra legroom seats. Whilst Eurowings may have some way to go in retrofitting older aircraft with Wi-Fi – for example – it is most definitely one of the leading budget airlines in continental Europe.
Disclaimer: This flight was paid for by myself and views expressed are entirely my own.