Flying from Tel Aviv through Frankfurt to Tokyo this week, I was on two Lufthansa flights on the same day. So same environment: same airline, same crew (not the actual people of course) and same service.
The main difference between the two flights was that most of the passengers on the Tel Aviv-Frankfurt flights were Israelis while most of the passengers on the Frankfurt-Tokyo flight were Japanese. The other difference was the duration of the flight: 3.5 hours for the first flight vs. 10.5 hours for the second.
For the sake of brevity, let’s call them the “Israeli flight” and the “Japanese flight” accordingly. Here below are some observations about my experiences on these two flights. Keep the above differences in mind and draw your own conclusions:
- On the Israeli flight, 10 minutes after the “boarding completed” announcement (i.e. all passengers on board) was made, people were still fumbling with their bags and standing in the aisles. On the Japanese flight, everybody was seated.
- Throughout the Israeli flight, except for take-off and landing (first and last 20 minutes of the flight), most of the aisles and the area near the galleys were blocked by people standing and talking to each other. On the Japanese flight, the aisles were free throughout the flight except for the occasional person hurrying to/from the bathroom.
- The one time I needed the bathroom on the Israeli flight I had to wait in line for 5 minutes. The three times I needed the bathroom on the Japanese flight I never waited.
- The bathroom I frequented on the Israeli flight had paper towels on the floor and the toilet was not flushed by the previous user(s). The bathrooms I used on the Japanese flight were spotless (there might have been some water drops near the basin, I’m not sure).
- I sat near the galley (exit row on both flights). Throughout the Israeli flight I kept hearing the “ping” sounds that warn the flight attendants that someone pushed the call button. I never heard one “ping” on the Japanese flight.
- As the plane was approaching the gate, and upon hearing the pursar utter the words “flight attendants, all doors in park”, almost all passengers on the Israeli flight jumped from their seats and dove for the overhead compartments to fetch their bags. Needless to say, the “fasten seat belts” sign was still on. On the Japanese flight nobody moved before the “fasten seat belts” sign was off.
As I said, draw your own conclusions…