Hamburg to Frankfurt on Lufthansa: It Felt Like I was in 1955

Last night I took an early evening Lufthansa flight from Hamburg to Frankfurt. I've got to say, it felt like I had stepped into a time machine.

In the United States it is rare to see people dress up when they fly. With few exceptions, perhaps the DCA-BOS/LGA shuttle flights on US Airways or Delta would be among them, I cannot remember the last time the last time I got on a flight where the majority of passengers were dressed up.

Until last night. I was sitting in business class and it felt like I was on United's "men only" service from New York to Chicago 55 years ago.


The cabin was all men, and nearly every single one was wearing a suit and tie, myself included. That may be commonplace in Europe, but it was a novelty for me.

I may not have received a steak dinner and been able to smoke a cigar, but the flight was only an hour and Lufthansa did manage a pretty decent snack:

While the "glory" days of flying may be over in America, they seem to live on in Germany, at least on this particular flight.


Most of the flights that I have taken are packed with leisure travelers. I have never seen anyone wearing a suit. At best, a sports jacket.

NYBanker April 8, 2011 at 08:14 am

This is quite common in J for shorthaul flights on the Continent. Most are business pax - and many/most proper businessmen still wear a suit and tie. They are typically going for a meeting - and will return home same day, worst case overnight.

FRA-LCY, CDG-MXP, AMS-LHR you'll see this all the time in business...amongst many other routes. Flights are less than two hours, and its not a pain in the neck to get to the airport there as it is in places like New York or LA.

Finally, most carriers still serve a meal in J--even in Y on some routes--there. Though many Americans complain about the J seating on intra-Europe services, overall, I think you'll find it quite agreeable. Lounge access is included with your J ticket, too.

Marcus April 8, 2011 at 09:25 am

I'm always impressed how airlines other than US carriers are capable of serving snacks or meals on short flights. I remember getting soup on a 25 minute intra-Taiwan flight!

Rory April 8, 2011 at 10:57 am

I think it's still pretty common in Europe. I'm in the business lounge at Oslo right now and every single person is wearing a suit. The morning and evening flights between Edinburgh and LHR/LCY are also pretty formal.

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