Thursday, June 6, 2013

And We're Back...

Flight #59 – Lufthansa 404
Frankfurt (FRA) – New York (JFK)
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Depart: 5:10PM / Arrive: 7:50PM
Duration: 8hr 40min
Aircraft: Boeing 747
Seat: 24D, 24E, 24G (Business)
Earned: 0 miles (3,855 miles flown)
Lifetime Miles: 113,859 miles

By the time everyone's reading this in the morning, I should be back in NYC probably fighting some jet lag as we landed last night at 7:50PM NYC time (1:50AM Frankfurt time).

It's been an amazing past few months for me, but I think we're all looking forward to spending a few months at home. My father will go back to work and my mother will go back to teaching me how to be a proper young lady who doesn't scream at the sight of old people. But before I talk about what's coming up next (not much), let's take a quick look back at our Business Class flight back home.

Overall, our return flight home was pretty great. In addition to using United miles for our seats in business class, we had access to the Lufthansa Senator Lounge in Frankfurt Airport. Unlike many of the American lounges on United, US Airways and American that I've been to, the international carriers tend to have great lounges, especially in their home hubs (like Lufthansa in Frankfurt).

Interestingly enough, in addition to their famous First Class Lounge experience, Lufthansa had two separate lounges for their mid-tier passengers: (a) The Senator Lounge for Star Alliance Gold members and (b) their regular Business Class Lounge. After checking out both, we unanimously agreed that the Senator Lounge is always better than the Business Lounge. Probably because it takes 50,000+ miles flown a year to qualify for Star Alliance Gold, whereas any suit on a work trip can get a business class ticket and access the Business Class Lounge. But as you can see, the lounges were pretty massive and had enough seating for more.

The Senator Lounge had a wide assortment of foods (including a sandwich bar with a chef on standby, hot wings, frankfurters, soups, salads, etc) as well as a pretty good selection of alcohol and soft drinks. While the Senator Lounge had all these items, the Business Class lounge didn't have the sandwich bar or quite as large a selection of other items.

If you were more about relaxing, you could spend your time at the computer stations or the recliners. Or you could have taken a shower if you were coming off a long overnight flight and needed to freshen up.

And they had things for my mother (shopping area) as well as me (a family changing bathroom with the nicest pull out changing area I've ever seen).

By 4:30PM, we were starting to board. Unlike the U.S. carriers, Lufthansa called for passengers needing special assistance and passengers with young children to board first (ahead of first class). Since my parents can walk faster than old disabled people on the jetbridge, we were the very first passengers on board!

This 747 plane had the older configuration for First Class and Business Class, so these seats weren't quite as nice as what they're showcasing on other long haul routes, but we were used to flying economy so anything was a step up from that! This plane had 2 different business class sections separated by the galley. We wanted to sit together so we chose Row 24 in the back section (only rows 24-25).

That ended up a great decision because while we were only supposed to have 2 seats (A & C), 8 of the 14 business class seats in our back cabin was empty. So we were able to switch to the middle section (seats D, E & G), meaning I got my own seat!

The flight was pretty long but during daytime hours so we chose not to really sleep on the flight and to land tired so we'd fall asleep immediately on NYC time. I watched more of my videos on our iPad and some Disney Junior cartoons on Lufthansa's in flight entertainment system. My father had his choice of some rather mediocre movie options but went with Identity Thief (Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy), Side Effects (Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum) and Broken City (Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe).  He had never heard of the last two, but found them to be passable for an 8 hour long flight.

Dinner was served and we went with some seasonal white asparagus with a side of veal steak. Yes, the asparagus was the main course.

While they had a decent selection of wine, I went with my orange juice and milk (though not at the same time, because that would be disgusting).

My father and I skipped dessert (a selection of cheeses or mixed fruit), because we were pretty comfortable in the reclined position watching our shows and didn't want to sit up straight to eat yet more cheese and fruit on this trip.

But the best part was how great the flight attendants were about babies. Not only did they have baby food for me (they even heated it for me), but they also gave me some Lufthansa swag (nice little baby pillow and a wrist toy! My new favorite airline!

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