When you look around the room here at the SMD2 dinner hosted by Lufthansa and the Star Alliance, you get a giddy sense of excitement from the newbies on this mileage run and a sense of calm satisfaction from day one events. Here’s why:
Off the plane from NYC, many members piled into the Senator Lounge in FRA for a quick snack before heading to the hotel. For some it was “bier.” Others it was the first pretzel of the day and for others it could be the bacon. Trust me, bacon is a big hit with this group. So, immediate cravings satisfied, it’s off to the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel.
With a few short hours of R&R, some more than others if you passed the Lounge experience at the airport and even less if you were among the many who had to check in with work and family to make connections, it was soon apparent that this group would face its longest day.
So, en masse, the group winds its way down to waiting busses headed for the A-380 Hall which after security gave most of the members their first up-close touch and feel of this magnificently large aircraft. And we’re not just talking going inside—we’re talking kicking the tires type of tour. Arranged into three groups with knowledgeable guides, we poured on the pictures with photos in front of the spinning turbine engines being especially popular. Now, for those of us that enjoyed walking or more specifically ducking our heads underneath this A-380, we learned that the weigh of the aircraft directly above us was about 610,200 pounds and a upon take-off it could weigh as much as 1,235,000 pounds fully loaded. Not sure we would have lingered as long as we did knowing that.
So, inside we went, and visited everything in the plane. Where the pilots sleep: check. Where the crew rest area is downstairs (and I do mean downstairs): check. First class bathrooms: check. Lay down in the comfy duvets of the fist class sleeper bed: check. Cockpit tour and the question was finally answered—pilots when hooked up to the system could actually log on the Web and access flyertalk.com: check.
After the A-380 “Do” we head by bus to the LAC (Lufthansa Aviation Center) where we hear from various departments and they really did enjoy the feedback. My group was especially vocal about the topic of mobile boarding passes and what that future looks like. Great to know that this airline, Lufthansa, listens because there were notes being taken both ways.
Now, on to dinner and then a very special private party—one in a location that is one of the truly last bastions of frequent flyer nirvana on my bucket list. Let’s get on to the dinner.