Review: Lufthansa CityLine CRJ-900 Business Class

With literally only seconds to spare after the passport incident, we made it on our connection to Basel, a flight operated by Lufthansa CityLine. Currently, Lufthansa offers much better software on these short flights than Air France does in business class.

Lufthansa CityLine CRJ-900 Business Class Review

Lufthansa CityLine is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lufthansa with hubs in Frankfurt (FRA) and Munich (MUC), from where it operates a dense national and European network as a member of Lufthansa Regional. (Lufthansa also has the regional versus main debate, but that’s a different topic…).

Our flight departed from a remote stand, which made our missed visit to the first class terminal and therefore the loss of the plane’s driver all the more painful. But what’s the point of crying over spilled milk, right? We would be “home” for Christmas, which was really the most worthy goal.

Lufthansa 1204 (operated by CityLine)
Frankfurt (FRA) – Basel (BSL)
Friday, December 24
Departure: 12:40 p.m.
Arrival: 1:30 p.m.
Duration: 0h, 50min
Aircraft: Bombardier CRJ-900
Distance: 175 miles
Seats: 3C, 4A, 4F (Business Class)

I thought we took the last bus because there were so few people on board, but it turns out there were just so few people on the flight, probably about 12 in all. After welcoming us on board, the captain explained that our flight time to Basel would be around 30 minutes.

Business class seats are the same 2-2 seats in economy class, but all other seats are blocked, guaranteeing you a free seat next to you. This way, business class can vary depending on the needs of the specific flight. Here there were seven rows of business class even though there was only my family of four (actually only three seats plus a baby on the lap) and three other passengers.

The seat pitch is 31 inches and the seats are 17.5 inches wide. There is no wi-fi or in-flight entertainment on board.

We took off and about three minutes after takeoff the stewardess intervened. We were offered a very decent lunch on this short hop, which included a meal from Lufthansa Heimat Menu (homeland):

  • Beef shank terrine with green asparagus, celeriac and hay purée, raspberry vinaigrette
  • Vanilla mascarpone on pear and apple red fruit compote

I’m not usually a fan of terrine, but I actually ate this meal and thought it was very good. Compare that to Air France, which now just serves a little sweet and savory snack packaged on a flight of similar (and longer) duration.

Full bar service was available, as well as strong coffee. The dishes were ceramic. The glasses were actually glass, porcelain cups and metal cutlery…a pretty

And just like that, the stewardess collected the meal trays and shortly after we landed in Basel.

During the pandemic, border checks are taking place even on these intra-Schengen flights. In Basel, you choose to enter Switzerland or France. We entered from the French side but then walked through the Swiss side at the top before returning to France for the drive to Germany. Technically Switzerland has a small strip of land (road) that connects it to the airport and the airport is across two countries, but it really looks more like a French airport.

Oh yeah, and our bags didn’t arrive…but that requires a separate courier.

CONCLUSION

We enjoyed our brief CRJ-900 flight on Lufthansa CityLine from FRA to BSL. I’m frankly amazed at what Lufthansa manages to deliver on a 175 mile business class flight…the service and meal was a really nice feature. More importantly, we went home for Christmas!

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