This post is in partnership with Lufthansa USA. All opinions are my own.
Visiting Germany during the Christmas Market season has been on my bucket list from the beginning. As a native Floridian, it’s not often that I get to experience cold weather destinations, especially ones that truly encompass a “winter wonderland” feel. From everything I have heard, Germany was breathtaking in the wintertime, and the markets were just icing on the cake.
Needless to say, when I found out that Lufthansa launched a new, non-stop flight from Tampa, Florida – my home base—to Frankfurt, Germany, I was ecstatic.
TPA is an international airport, but it’s non-stop flights out of the country are limited. Nine times out of ten we have at least one layover when traveling overseas— a non-stop makes leaving the county SO MUCH EASIER when you have a family. I knew Lufthansa’s TPA-FRA route would be perfect for us, taking us from Florida to Germany in less than 9 hours. And guess what? I was right!
My family, which includes my husband and our 11-year old daughter, took the new route to Frankfurt during the week of Thanksgiving. Our goal was to visit as many Christmas Markets as we could fit into our 6-night stay. Yes, that meant spending Thanksgiving in Germany— but we all agreed that it would be worth it.
Lufthansa Tampa to Frankfurt
Since this was our first time flying with Lufthansa, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I attended a media preview a few months prior, and by all accounts the flight experience looked great— especially compared to other international flights that I’ve taken.
When we arrived at Tampa International Airport we went straight to the Lufthansa counter to check-in and drop off our bags. I made sure we were at the airport well in advance of our flight, but was still happy that our wait time was less than 5 minutes. Once we had our boarding passes, we breezed through security and had a pre-flight meal before our 6:00pm departure.
Our flight to Frankfurt was in Economy Basic, which has a 2-4-2 configuration. We flew home in Premium Economy and I will compare that experience in another post. Boarding was as usual, and we selected seats in advance that put my daughter and I side by side at a window with my husband directly across the aisle. I was actually really surprised with the amount of recline for economy, which I tested right away. It was enough room without feeling too cramped for a long haul flight. A pillow and blanket were folded up on each of our seats.
Our flight took off just before 6:30pm without incident. My family and I have a bit of a routine to combat the jet lag that often comes with traveling through six time zones. Step 1 is to set our phones for the new time zone. Step 2 is to wait for drink service and have the in-flight meal. Step 3 is to sleep. Seems easy enough, right? Actually it was. The Lufthansa flight attendants had a great flow going, promptly beginning once we reached cruising altitude.
The personal in-flight entertainment systems had a nice variety of new releases, movies, TV shows and music. My daughter was pleased with the children’s offerings, and started on the movie PIXELS right after take-off. Head phones were provided.
When the first round of drinks and snacks came around I discovered one of the most useful additions to an aircraft that I have ever seen— a cup holder! This may be common on other airlines, but I had never seen a cup holder that opened up separate from the tray table. It’s such a simple, and useful feature.
Children were not ignored on our flight and about the same time as drinks were served one of the FA brought around a basket with crayons and other small items for the kids. My daughter received a teen magazine that was all in German. Believe it or not, she thought this was the coolest thing ever, even though she couldn’t read a word of it!
After beverages, the flight attendants came around with hand wipes, a nice touch, and then began dinner service. The food was pretty standard, though I wasn’t too hungry because we had a meal at the airport. I enjoyed a complimentary glass of wine and settled on a movie before dozing off for the next few hours.
At some point in the flight we each got up to walk around, a necessity on long hauls. I visited the lavatory and was blown away by the little details for the economy cabin. What kind of details could possibly be in an airplane bathroom you make ask? There was a fresh cut flower displayed on the counter. A FLOWER! —What other airline does that in economy!?
We each slept as much as we could because as soon as we arrived in Frankfurt we made plans to take the train to Heidelberg for the night. This meant there was no room for jet lag! I know we each got a few hours of shut-eye, but I’m not sure how much. My daughter and I both slept through breakfast, but the FA was nice enough to leave a portion for my daughter on her tray table.
The landing, which was just after 9:00am Frankfurt time, was great— though I didn’t expect to have to take a bus to the gate. It seemed as if only the jumbo jets had direct access to a gate; for comparison we were on an A340-300 operated by Lufthansa Cityline. To be honest, this wasn’t much of an issue because we were so excited to be in Frankfurt, Germany! Exiting the plane was well organized and it took hardly any time to get through immigration and customs. From there it was an easy walk to the airport train station for start of of German adventure!
Our first experience with Lufthansa was really wonderful! I can’t even tell you how great it felt to have a non-stop from Tampa. Even with 8 hours between the destinations, I still felt more refreshed after landing than on shorter journeys with connections. The flight really flew by 😉
Also See: Lufthansa Premium Economy experience and Christmas Markets in Germany!
Lufthansa Frankfurt to Tampa Schedule
Currently Lufthansa is operating flight LH 483 from TPA to FRA four days a week— Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays — with departure at 6:00pm EST and arrival in Frankfurt at 8:50am (the following day).
You can check schedules and book directly Lufthansa.com.
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle
It sounds like you had an awesome time. There's nothing better than a seamless flight with a great airline.
Looks like an amazing trip. I've never flown Lufthansa but hope to in the near future!
I have always heard good things about Lufthansa. The flower in the bathroom is a nice touch.
I'm glad the trip went so well. I'd be so relieved having such a long flight be so comfortable and welcoming.
It sounds like you had a great flight. I like that they have the cup holders. I hope you had a great trip.
Seattle Travel Blogger
Sounds like your daughter had a real treat!
I always wanted to go to Germany; my husband studied the language a bit by taking a few courses in college.
Visiting Germany at Christmas time sounds like an excellent idea (I may have to copy-cat you on this 🙂 ).
Thanks for the helpful article!
You took some beautiful and cute pictures also.
Looks like a really great trip. I haven't been on a plane since I was 8 and that was the only time I was on one. You have some great pics, I can't wait to fly somewhere new soon!
Lisa Joy Thompson
I've been on a lot of international flights, but I've never flown lufthansa. It looks like you had an amazing experience. I will definitely be checking them out for future international flights.
Chrystal | Nevermore Lane
What an awesome trip! I would love to visit Germany some day. I currently live in Michigan so I get to experience all 4 seasons. Winter , it can be good and bad. We have a town next door, Frankenmuth, that is a German town. Its a big tourist attraction and is actually a sister city with a town in Germany. It is really a neat experience.
Wow this is so cool! A trip to Lufthansa! It looks like your kids really enjoyed it too 🙂
A trip *ON Lufthansa!! sorry!
I;m sure that was an amazing trip. I’ve never flown Lufthansa nor have I been anywhere that far. Sure to hope I will in the next 3-5 years.
So much fun! I'd love to visit Lufhansa! Looks like you all had a blast!
I would love to visit Frankfurt! Everything about Lufthansa makes me want to fly with them. The seats look comfy, the food looks good and they sound very accommodating..
I would love to travel to Germany, it looks like you had a great time!
We got a cute toy too. I love Lufthansa and always check flights with them first when I'm flying overseas.
What a way to travel! your family definitely looked comfortable during your flight! Loved your accommodations
What an airline! Seems like they really went the extra mile to make the flight comfortable and enjoyable.
Thanks for sharing your experience. We are flying to Tampa next month on the same flight and I was worried about my 2 years daughter. However, after reading your review I am feeling relaxed now.
Loved this! PLEASE post the follow up about Premium Economy. We travel the same flight next month and this is so helpful.
I suspect the author got the flight free from Lufthansa because she posts online and if so it would have been more transparent to say so. I may be wrong but it read a lot like an ad for Lufthansa.
Lufthansa did assist in arranging these flights for my family, as disclosed at the top of the post. I paid for all of my travel in Germany, including travel, hotels and food. I am sharing my honest experience— we had a great flight and I've flown this route (on my own dime) two additional times since posting 🙂
I have taken this flight 15 or more times
Every single time the flight is delayed for one reason or another
Just last night again 1 hour delay why no clue I was at least 2 hours before at the airport and the plane had landed already end was ready to go ofcourse Lufthansa managed to get it delayed. Remember they are a pro in delay
You arrive in Frankfurt. A very primitive airport. For the last 25 years you have to get out in the middle of nowhere and buses bring you to the terminal. Rain or shine. In snow and ice
An accident waiting to happen sooner or later
All around the world in the smallest airport the have jetway. Not in Frankfurt
After I got in late and missed my flight for 5 more hours. I am standing in line now to go to Warsaw
And ofcourse we are delayed again
Lufthansa is the world champion in delays
So for me I fly anyone but Lufthansa and I reccomend the same for you unless you want to spend hours if waiting like and arrive wherever you 2 to 6 hours later