First time in LH first SEA/FRA/ZRH/FRA/SEA Very cool experience.

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Punki, Mar 24, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    I don't usually make trip reports and this one is not for you LH first veterans, but instead for other LH first newbies like me. ;)

    We were dropped off at the SEA South Terminal access point and checked in at the LH first-class desk. My first impression was that the desk clerk was a bit of a snot who made way too big a fuss over the weight of our single carry-on--the exact same carry-on which has accompanied me for over 1,500,000 miles around the world. I mean seriously, how much difference could it make how much one regulation carry-on weighs, spread between two first-class tickets?

    They did, however, pay pretty close attention to our instructions NOT to remove our heavy green plastic Air/Rail baggage tags which were intended to somehow magically get our ski gear from Seattle to Wengen without any interference from us along the way.

    The gate agent then proceeded to escort us through security which was very fast and efficient. The first-class room in the BA club was small, but very nice and the service was truly excellent. After a truly delicious bloody mary. The attendant told us that this was a new Bloody Mary mix that they had just started using and that it had received rave reviews from all passengers.

    bloody marys.jpg
    which was fetched from the bar by the club attendant, we, along with the other three first-class passengers, were escorted on board.

    We were in 1 D&G and really enjoyed the lovely champagne and roses that greeted us as we boarded.

    boarding champagne and roses.jpg

    We started off with a champagne toast,

    champagne toast.jpg

    and were then presented with pajamas, which Hunki decided to wear. I stuck with my Chico's travelers uniform which is even more comfortable as pajamas. The FA's gave Hunki the "Very best PJ model ever" award. I must admit that he looked pretty darned good in those PJs. ;)

    Hunki in LH jammies.jpg

    Then we enjoyed what IMHO was the high point of the flight--the caviar service. Hmmm, I really do love that caviar service.

    caviar service.jpg

    My dinner was so-so. I had salmon and should have known better. Hunki makes the absolute best fish in the world, so nothing ever compares.. :(

    The LH first entertainment system is a bit antiquated, nowhere near as nice as the entertainment in UA Biz, but the selection was pretty good. I watched "The King's Speech" which was excellent and then tried, not particularly successfully, to sleep.

    Upon arrival in FRA we went to the arrivals lounge, along with our seatmates (the darling Chinese couple in the seats behindn us in the picture), who were also going on to ZRH and were told that we had to go to the first-class departures lounge in order to get a ride to our connecting flight. ????? There seemed to be a great deal of confusion among LH employees as to the exact function and location of this mysterious departure lounge, although most agreed that there was no longer any transportation provided and that we would have to walk.

    The four of us finally managed to stumble upon the First Class Building and when we arrived there was no one there. :confused: One of the private security agents advised that "they were coming". After ten minutes we again approached the security agents and were extremely rudely advised that they would not tell us more than once that the agents were coming. WOW, I have never seen such rude behavior on the part of a security crew anywhere, and that's saying something.

    Finally an LH agent appeared and advised us that we had been ill-advised and that there was no transportation from the first-class departures building to the plane. Our travel partners were very upset at this information, after all we had gone through to find this place, and demanded to see a supervisor. When the supervisor arrived, he wanted to know who exactly had told us to come to the lounge and who exactly had told us that we were not permitted to enter the lounge. ????? What a comedy of errors. :) :) :)

    We finally were escorted through security and into the lounge where the true LH FRA first-class experience began to unfold. This lounge features an amazing dining room, excellent wine, sleeping rooms, showers, free internet, and these wonderful programmed rocking/massage lounges.

    When it was time for our flight to ZRH, the agent gathered us up and escorted us through the private passport control and to the luxury vehicle that drove us across the tarmac, directly to our plane. This was a very, very nice touch.

    Of course Intra-Europe business class is even a step down from US domestic first-class, so it was pretty unremarkable, except for the fact that the one bag we had checked through to ZRH, was the very first off the belt.

    As we were claiming our bag, we noticed this crazy Swiss guy outside the glass waving first an American and then a Croation flag.

    arrivals by rudi.jpg

    Now I need sleep, so I will have to continue this trip report tomorrow.

    Zzzzzzzzzz
     
  2. excelsior
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    excelsior Silver Member

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    You are a sweet and tolerant person. Most first class passengers I know would have gone completely ballistic at this sotrt of bumbling incompetence!
     
  3. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    Our traveling companion is a professor at the UW Foster School of Business, specializing in dynamic customer relationship management, so he was looking at it as a case study. ;)

    It was so bumbling that I was laughing.
     
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  4. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    The next leg of our journey was a very short train trip from ZRH into Zurich where we walked to our friend's office. When we arrived, I was so exhausted that I begged to just take a nap while Hunki and Rudi went out to lunch. We found a fold-out couch tucked away in a secluded office where I napped while they ate.

    After lunch, we jumped on a local train which delivered us to the main train station where we boarded a train to Bern. At Bern, we jumped off one train, onto another train that within just a couple of minutes carried us to Interlaken, where we switched to another train to Lauterbrunnen, which also left in just a couple of minutes form our arrival. Finally, in Lautrebrunnen, we board the little train that takes us up to Wengen.

    Wengen_station2.jpg
    As we walked into the train station, Hunki spotted a ski tube that he thought looked like his, and lo and behold, as if by magic, they were his. The skis and ski gear which we had checked in Seattle somehow arrived on the same train that we were on. Will wonders never cease. ;)

    We had a truly amazing time in Wengen and I just could not stop looking at the view from our host's balcony. This is just one angle.

    view from balcony.jpg

    I damaged my knee a few years back, dancing on concrete while wearing tennis shoes, so my skiing days are pretty much over, but Hunki and Rudi had an amazing time, skiing everyday. Hunki's all-time favorite run was down the Schilthorn, which was made famous by the James Bond movie, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", after they had the James Bond Breakfast in the rotating Piz Gloria.

    You can check out the 360 degree view here. http://www.schilthorn.ch/?uid=58

    Hunki took this picture of the run.

    schilthorn.jpg

    It probably does not come as any surprise that we consumed a lot of cheese during our stay. The Swiss Fondue was wonderful as was the traditional raclette.

    0026 Raclette-Grill.jpg
    There are as many ways to serve raclette as there are people who serve it, but my very favorit way to eat it is to mash up the white fingerling potatoes with my fork and smother them in the hot cheese.

    fingerling potatoes.jpg

    Now that I am back home again, I will be having nothing but salad for a month.

    Time for me to go to work. The next chapter will be our trip back to Seattle.
     
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  5. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    For what it's worth about the carry-on baggage thing, LH has, for several years now, been very picky about carry-on bags and their weight, regardless of class of service or status.

    On my LH flights earlier this month, they seemed to be extra-vigilant about the size of carry-ons. I just did something I rarely do, checked a bag on my US-to-Europe itinerary.
     
  6. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    They weren't at all concerned about the size, it was the weight. I tossed some stuff in the bag that Hunki was checking and they were fine with it.

    On our return trip, when we checked in at the FRA first-class departures building, they could have cared less about the weight or the size of our carry-ons. I had suspected that that would be the case, which is one of the reasons that I walked over there rather than using of of the other first-class lounges in the airport.
     
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  7. Junca
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    Junca Silver Member

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    My first time in LH F to FRA (from IAD) will be in May, and we too are continuing to ZRH. I was planning on going to the first class terminal, so I laughed at your reception there. Exactly the type of thing I would expect to happen to me ;)! Glad everything worked out. We'll have to watch our carry-on weights. We don't have big bags but carrying electronics (cameras/lenses, laptop) can make small bags heavy. Thanks for posting.
     
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  8. cockpitvisit
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    cockpitvisit Gold Member

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    Great trip report, thanks!

    Did you arrive on the lower level (where you have to ring a buzzer), or on the upper level (where cars arrive, and where the security screening is located)?

    And most important, did you manage to get a duck at the First Class Terminal? :D
     
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  9. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    We walked through the door on the lower level and took the elevator up both times we visited. There was no buzzer.

    We didn't take showers or get ducks. Maybe we will on our way to Croatia this summer.

    The second time they greeted us with the effusive friendliness we expected the first time. :)
     
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  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Sounds vaguely similar to my experience in F flying MUC-JFK...other than the lounge nothing to write home about. The caviar service was cute but not all that delicious IMO, save for the vodka shot. I would much prefer a stellar in-flight experience for a long-haul trip over the lounge experience that LH offers. I actually enjoyed our LX C experience more than the LH F one.

    Next time you can also just go to the FCL in the terminal instead of schlepping out to the FCT. Same service and without the walk. You don't get the ride to the plane but it beats the confusion and dealing with the access issues.
     
  11. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    It is just a short walk to the FCT and now that we have it figured out, that is probably where we will go in the future, unless, of course, we have a tight connection. Actually, after our next LH first flight into FRA, we have a connection on Croatian Airlines so God only knows where we will end up in the airport. I guess I should check it out.
     
  12. Sean Colahan
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    Sean Colahan Gold Member

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    Great report! Love the pictures.
     
  13. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    Amazing report!
     
  14. cockpitvisit
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    cockpitvisit Gold Member

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    I doubt they will provide a car transfer to a Croatian Airlines flight. As an arriving F passenger, you should still be able to use the FCL in the terminal though.
     
  15. JetSet
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    JetSet Silver Member

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    Thanks for the report, the pictures are amazing! I have my first LH First flight coming up, on the A380, so this report is very timely for me.
     

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