ahh, i was so excited to be on an A380 flying home today from Frankfurt (after a couple days in Krakow and New Year’s Eve in Vienna), though i was kind of disappointed it wasn’t D-AIMA, aka Frankfurt am Main, the A380 i took from JNB to FRA in the summer of 2011.
i was getting worried because when they started boarding, they didn’t do Star Gold priority (or at least they didn’t make an announcement in English or German, even for Senator and HON Circle) and i was in the last group to board and wanted to make sure i had room for my carry-on in an overhead bin. that, and it took them 20 minutes to board families with young children (yes, there were that many) and i, well, was not looking forward to dealing with all of those little kids, one of whom was laying on the floor in front of the gate (O_o). i even attempted to google what the LH policy on Star Gold boarding was, but didn’t find anything quickly, so resigned myself to the hand i was dealt.
long story short, i scanned my boarding pass at the self-service boarding gates and a slip of paper emerged. i read it twice and almost cried. MY FIRST INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS EXPERIENCE. (if you don’t count the economy with old-school business seats i had with Air Canada this past summer ATH-YYZ).
i had heard of operational upgrades on a carrier that’s not your elite status one (for the record i’m a newly-minted, as of a couple days ago, United Platinum), but i didn’t think it’d ever happen to me. but it did. can you imagine: economy on an A380 — 420 seats — being oversold and not enough Lufty elites to fill it so they had to go to alliance partners? and on top of that, the seat next to me (19D) was empty.
sidenote: that ended up being a good thing, since 19C, D, G, and 20D and G were on the fritz with the seat control lights on the remote quickly flashing on and off and the buttons doing bupkis. they managed to fix 19C with a hard reset (which i think the FA said would take 20 minutes). i moved up from 19G to 18G (yes, that was also unoccupied) and the people in 20D and G moved up to 19D and G which i think also were fixed with a hard reset. they tried the quick reset a couple times (there’s a hidden button underneath the outer seat base, i think) which didn’t help, and before landing there was a problem with 18D where it wouldn’t move up all the way (it was close, but not close enough) so they had to flip open the outer armrest (revealing mechanical buttons and plungers) and manually move it in to the upright position. i’m not exactly sure what’s going on, but hopefully it’s resolved for the return flight to FRA.
in terms of service, great flight attendants, the food was decent (major steps above economy), and even though the seats don’t turn into 180-degree lie-flat beds (seatguru reports 168 degrees), i managed to get comfortable on my side and slept for much of the flight. (which was great since i only slept 3 hours the night before due to staying out in Vienna for NYE and then a 7 AM flight to Frankfurt).
anyways, thank you Lufthansa for the great start to the new year!