I’m pretty sure that the Lufthansa folks have never had over 100 passengers show up for the Star Gold boarding line. Yet there we all were, a hundred of us, lined up waiting to board Lufthansa’s flight 405 from New York’s JFK airport to Frankfurt. And we had a ridiculously good time.
We filled up the plane. Literally. We had almost all the seats in business class and a whole bunch in coach, too. The plane was 100% full, plus a couple extras. The Lufthansa employees from NYC coming over to Frankfurt for the event had to ride jump seat rather than even getting seats in coach. There were literally no seats left on the plane.
The good news is that the seats we filled were done so with great fun and excitement. The bad news, such as it was, is that the tailwinds on our flight meant that total flight time was just a hair over 6 hours to get to Germany. That’s really fast. So fast that full enjoyment of the meal service and the Business Class experience and also getting some sleep is really hard to do. Almost impossible, really. But that didn’t stop us from trying.
Here are a few photos from in flight:
And then, before I really had time to understand just how much fun I was having, we were less than 4 hours from arrival in Frankfurt!
Through some means that I have yet to fully understand, one of the folks in our group got access to the flight deck and rode up there for the landing in Frankfurt. Seriously. And he’s given me copies of the photos to prove it!
Yeah, that was our plane coming in for a landing in Frankfurt. Finally, a shot that is often repeated but always enjoyable upon arrival in Frankfurt, the reflection of the plane:
More tours, lounges and incredible fun later in the day on arrival. Those posts to come eventually. Right now I’m too tired and drunk for my fingers to really work any more.
Our flight was early. Almost ridiculously so. We actually circled a bit near London and slowed down coming into Frankfurt and we were still ridiculously early. What we lost in terms of sleep time in-flight, however, was made up for in terms of time spent in the Welcome Lounge arrivals facility in airport.
For me that meant grabbing some food – I slept through the brekkie service on the flight – as well as a bit of a pick-me-up drink. The bar had all the makings available for Bloody Mary’s, including a nice little setup of Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, black pepper and lemon. But no Vodka. And when asked the agent seemed dumbfounded that such a thing could even be considered. Alas, I was relegated to a glass of beer instead. These are the sacrifices I’ve learned to make for my devotion to the cause.
We managed to be parked at one of the most remote hard stands which meant a 15 minute long taxi and then an additional ride on buses over to the immigration facilities. We spotted the Lufthansa retrojet along the way. She’s a beautifully painted Airbus A321 and looks just as lovely as the Continental retrojet.
Everyone headed off in their own direction at this point, mostly to the hotels to freshen up and prepare for tours of the Lufthansa facilities or other events on-site Wednesday evening, including a dinner hosted by Star Alliance and Lufthansa.
Participants have begun their travels to join in the 2009 Star Alliance Mega DO festivities, preparing for a VERY long day tomorrow that will start in Chicago and end somewhere over the North Atlantic on a Lufthansa 747-400 bound for Frankfurt. Follow the Star Mega DO journey through this blog and by searching for hashtag #starmegado on Twitter.