STRONG ESSENCES ARE KEPT IN SMALL BOTTLES

A flight with Air Dolomiti from Munich to Palermo

Recently I was flying from London to Palermo via Munich with Lufthansa and the last sector was operated by Air Dolomiti, an airline which, at the moment of booking, didn’t tell me too much. Of course, I did my homework and research the virtual world of jet-setter, but the information founded didn’t describe the real on-board experience.

The Italian regional airline is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lufthansa which operates a network of routes from several Italian destinations to and from Munich. It was interesting to find that although most Lufthansa Regional subsidiaries operate under their parent’s name and colours, Air Dolomiti retains its own identity.

As I had never flown, or even hear about, Air Dolomiti before I was a little bit sceptical about this new flying experience. But never judge a book by its cover, as they said, even at 39 000ft…

Air Dolomiti prides itself on coupling “German efficiency with Italian style” and the short flight (just under two hours between Munich and Palermo) was outstanding, both in terms of the hospitality and the food and beverage service available on this short-haul flight.

The boarding in Munich was quick and with the expected priority for Business Class passengers despite the fact that after boarding the bus I had to wait another 10 minutes until the rest of the Economy passengers boarded the transfer coach. It was quite funny that after we arrived at the remote stand where our plane was waiting for us, the ground staff discovered that no steps were in place, so we had to wait another 10 minutes before the boarding started.

Air Dolomiti uses 14 pre-owned Embraer 190 and 195 aircraft transferred from sister company Lufthansa CityLine and therefore the aircraft looked a bit dated but once inside I found the Embraer sparkling clean and functional.

Seating on-board this ERJ-195 is 2-2 in both cabins. In business class, every other seat is blocked, so each passenger has a row of two with legroom in business class more than enough for a short flight. Every seat includes a coat hook. Given that intra-Europe business class just consists of economy seats with a blocked middle, you can’t beat a modern Embraer jet, where you get both an aisle and window seat when in business class. There are no power outlets available in the seats and the literature rack above the tray table includes a Lufthansa magazine and Air Dolomiti’s own magazine. According to the setback headrest cover, wi-fi was available on-board. There was indeed Wi-Fi available on-board but I didn’t manage to connect my phone, and to be honest the entire experience was so pleasant that I didn’t need to use my laptop during the short flight.

Immediately after boarding the flight attendant approached me and offered me a bottle of water and a moist towel (packaged). It was just the start of a very efficient, elegant and pleasant service which took me back in time when big airlines (like British Airways) were considering short-haul routes like an important part of the business and not only a feeder for their long-haul flights.

Due to the short duration of the flight, breakfast/brunch was served shortly after take-off. Air Dolomiti has its own green-coloured crockery that I like very much. The breakfast included cold cuts and cheese with warmed bread and the service was done by hand (a really nice, personal touch) with an extended beverage service including Prosecco, beers, wines and liquors, as well as juices, soft drinks, followed by hot drinks. The business class product it is branded “Settimocielo” (translated in English to “seventh heaven,” an apt name for the service). Everything was done in a very polite, elegant and efficient manner which made impossible to don’t make a comparison with the rushed, “low-cost” style of the service received in one of my recent BA flight from Vienna to London.

For sure one of the biggest assets of Air Dolomiti is the on-board crew with their styles, calm, polite and efficient style. After the main service, the one in charge of Business class didn’t vanish as most of their colleagues flying out of Heathrow or Gatwick and wow!!!! she could teach what service with a smile means to many out there: personal, attention to details and never leaving the business class passenger feeling forgotten on the aircraft. In fact, all cabin crew was professional, serving, smiling and taking care of you in every second of the flight.

During the final approach the gracious flight crew walked through the aisle with a large silver dish of Italian chocolates

While I did not expect too much from Air Dolomiti, on a flight between Germany, and Italy, I welcomed the experience which exceeded all my expectations showing, once again, that is better to under promise and over-deliver. I rate Air Dolomiti a cut above the competition in the Lufthansa Group, and even British Airways or KLM when it comes to intra-Europe travel.

What a pleasure it was to fly this little Italian Lufthansa subsidiary. I enjoyed the warm service and hearty brunch. Don’t hesitate to fly Air Dolomiti if you have the chance.

Click here to see a video report of the Air Dolomiti flight Munich to Palermo

~ by leonard69 on May 12, 2019.

One Response to “STRONG ESSENCES ARE KEPT IN SMALL BOTTLES”

  1. Never heard about this airlines either. Thanks for trip report 🙂

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