Yeah yeah, I know I misspelled Barcelona. I learned Spanish here in the states and have never gotten used to their lisp. In the intro to this report I mentioned that I grow tired at times of traveling alone. There’s something to be said for solitude, but we were created for community, and things are generally best when shared. So, after a short stint at the First Class Terminal, I boarded my flight to Barcelona. It was a really normal flight to Barcelona, a brief meal was served in Business Class (which is really just economy class with the middle seat blocked off). The meal was so brief, in fact, that I slept through it. I was, however, awoken for a coffee by the flight attendant as we began our descent.
Recommended listening for this post: Common Ground by Andy McKee, it sounds like it was written about someone on a journey I’m back! You all have been so patient while I’ve been on my blogging sabbatical which I took in order to take care of a very complex project at my real job. I love my clients, and this specific one deserved my full attention (the project is going to be a success and finish on schedule, for those wondering). So, where was I? Oh yes. I had just arrived at Frankfurt’s amazingly complex airport. I was the first person to clear German customs that day and quickly scampered past the international transfers desk and into the arrivals area. Why in the world would I leave the airport when my flight to Barcelona left after a relatively short (2.5 hours) layover? Because it was time to make a return visit to Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal. My first experience was eye-rollingly full of adverbs, and I made some rookie mistakes, but this time I’d do better, I told myself.
Recommended listening for this post: I’m Not Alright, by Shinedown (for everyone who tells me I’m nuts for taking weekend trips to Europe) Lufthansa currently has quite a few variants of First Class seating, “hard product” is the term. Earlier this year I flew their oldest product (it closely resembles Rimowa luggage) on an A330. It was a perfectly good experience, but it didn’t really have that punch/pizzazz/whatever that makes for really good blog posts. I had to do better, I told myself.
At the beginning of a recent weekend trip to Europe (trip report in the works), I had the chance to check out American Express’s new Centurion Lounge at DFW International Airport. Pictures to follow, but first, some build-up… Life as a frequent flyer based out of DFW I live in Dallas and my primary airport is DFW, the fortress hub of American Airlines. This is both a blessing and a curse. The pros include being a 3-3.5 hour flight from either coast, usually on a nonstop flight, and DFW is fairly easy to navigate. The cons, though, can be severe at times. American doesn’t really have to try that hard at DFW. Take DFW-LGA, for example. My daytime job as a financial software consultant has me in and out of New York fairly often, so I know the DFW-LGA market well. American, for a long time, had a monopoly on nonstop flights on this route, and would routinely charge $200-300 more than its competitors, because they knew they could and they knew I (or, rather, my clients) would end up paying it. Even when Delta recently started flying this route they couldn’t muster up more than a regional jet for it. So most people just end up paying the premium for American (although we grumble like heck). Similarly, American’s lounges at DFW aren’t to the flagship standard of some of their other lounges. There is not a Flagship First Class lounge at DFW airport. Even though they have four Admiral’s Clubs, very… read more
Planning Re-planning Lufthansa A330 Old First Class DFW-FRA Driving the Nurburgring Nordschleife Lufthansa First Class Terminal Oslo to celebrate Chris Guillebeau Singapore A380 Suites Class FRA-SIN Singapore Airlines Private Room and Singapore 777-300ER First Class SIN-HKG Hong Kong and the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui Cathay Pacific’s The Wing Lounge and 747 First Class HKG-SFO “All good things must come to an end” -Some Pessimistic Jerk I slowly awoke from an incredible night of sleep, opened my windows, and thought “man, there’s nothing like Hong Kong under a blue morning sky”. It’s true, and I someday hope to experience that, since it was really cloudy that morning. It didn’t look Airline Delay Cloudy, so I lazily threw on some clothes and scampered up to the Regency Club for a light breakfast with one of the great urban views in the world. Between the breakfast, the great night’s sleep, unmaking my bed to take a picture of it to frustrate all those who are annoyed by those pictures, and packing, it was almost time to leave for the airport. This trip was going to be different for a lot of reasons. First, I was crossing off another Travel Bucket List Item: flying at the front of a 747. Seat 1A was mine for my flight from Hong Kong to San Francisco. Second, the reason I decided to route through San Francisco was to see a client in Palo Alto for a few hours on my layover. This meant the unthinkable: I’d have to… read more