When I first booked the award trip to Africa we were booked in business class the whole way. After all, if you’ve got the points might as well use them. And then the refinements of the itinerary came along and the option opened up for a non-stop home from Munich rather than the connection. And that non-stop option also happened to be in first class. Yeah, I think we deserved it. A quick call to change the itinerary (no charge, one of my favorite elite benefits) and we were confirmed in Lufthansa’s first class cabin on the Airbus A340 from Munich to New York City. This is not the first time I’ve managed to book a proper first class award; last year’s New Year trip had a similar booking on THY Turkish but we had some problems on that trip so we had to abort. This time we were going to keep the first class seats and get the experience.
The experience started on Tuesday morning with the train ride out to the airport from downtown. We made our way into the private first class check-in area to be greeted with a bit of a line and a bit of disappointment. The line was no big deal and the coffee maker in the check-in area was a nice touch during the wait. The loss of our previously assigned seats, however, was not so nice a touch. I’ll be the first to remind people that assigned seats are not a guarantee, but when I was holding boarding passes for adjacent seats only to be told that we were now going to be sitting on opposite sides of the cabin it was definitely a bit disappointing.
Again a bit of a line going through security – the non-F/HON line actually moved faster – but that happens sometimes. We made our way through and up to the First Class Lounge to pass the couple hours prior to the flight. No, it isn’t the famed First Class Terminal at Frankfurt but the FCL is still supposed to be one of the better lounge options out there. I guess it is, but I still am not all that amazed by it.
We asked for shower rooms and, after a bit of a wait, managed to get in. The bath room was occupied so my wife settled for a shower instead, but no rubber duckies available. Sure, it is a silly little gift, but not being able to pick up that souvenir was another in a quick succession of little disappointments that seemed to sour the whole experience a bit more than it probably should have. The shower was pretty nice and the shower rooms are some of the better I’ve seen in lounges so it had that going for it.
After the shower we headed to the restaurant area for breakfast before boarding. The food service in the lounge is one of the highlights of the lounge. Cooked to order meals and wait staff always around to see if there’s anything more you need. That was definitely nice. We just had a regular breakfast – bacon, eggs and toast – but it was pretty good.
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