Italy 2015: Dulles to Munich Lufthansa First Class

This is probably my favorite flight to Europe from DC because it leaves so late (10:30pm). It’s very hard for me to sleep on the 5-7pm ~6 hour flights to Europe that basically land at 1am “body clock time.” Munich is also “deeper” into Europe, so it’s more like a 7-7.5 hour flight, too, which is nice. The downside, of course, is that you arrive in Europe on the later side–particularly if you have to connect where you’re pretty much going to lose the whole day and probably not end up in your hotel room til about dinner time.

In our case, we didn’t really care, though, since we just needed to be in Naples by the following morning, and had no real desire to spend much time in Naples which is known for the smell, the petty crime and the pizza–pizza being something we could get elsewhere.  Instead of a ~2 hour layover and arriving mid-evening, we actually planned a ~9 hour layover and planned to take the train into Munich, go for a run, grab some German food and beer, and then just fly to Naples to sleep.

We arrived at Dulles around two hours before departure and found the first class line (around the backside of the business and economy check in counters) unstaffed.  Luckily, there was only one party ahead of us in the business class line. so not too much of an inconvenience, and they even had first class ticket jackets to give us.

My golden ticket

My golden ticket

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Dubai & Mauritius 2014: Emirates Lounge JFK

Our chauffeur was a nice lifetime New Yorker (when he heard I was from Virginia, he recounted a tale from decades ago of going into a grocery store in Richmond and only finding a single brand of marinara sauce that was in the “ethnic food” section … whereas in New York of course there’s almost a whole aisle of marinara sauce) and very funny guy. Based on the Flyertalk thread which reports lots of SUVs, I was expecting a Suburban/Escalade, but we were picked up in a late model Cadillac sedan which was just fine.

He dropped us off in front of the terminal, and we made our own way to the single first class check in desk.  According to our driver, there was supposed to be “bell staff” to help us with our luggage, but we couldn’t find anyone, and our suitcases had wheels anyway.  We checked in, got boarding passes, and were given directions to the lounge located on the second floor above the terminal.

Emirates Lounge JFK

Emirates Lounge JFK

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Maldives Trip 2014: Hong Kong Airport

Chauffeur + Washington Dulles Airport
Dulles to Abu Dhabi Etihad Diamond First
St. Regis Abu Dhabi Nation Towers
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Saadiyat Island
Abu Dhabi Airport and Etihad First Class Lounge
Abu Dhabi to Male Etihad Pearl Business
Conrad Lounge & Seaplane
Conrad Maldives
Male to Hong Kong Cathay Pacific Business Class (and Male Airport)
W Hong Kong
Hong Kong Airport
Hong Kong to Munich Lufthansa First Class
Munich Airport and Lufthansa First Class Lounge
Frankfurt Airport and Lufthansa First Class Terminal
Frankfurt to Washington Dulles Lufthansa First Class

The coolest part about HK Airport (my opinion) is the in town check in counters available at the Airport Express station.  You do need an Airport Express ticket in order to access the space (they have subway-style turnstiles), but it’s free to use with the ticket.  Not only can you get boarding passes here, but you can actually check your bags as well.  So from the moment you board the airport train, you’ve only got your hand luggage with you.

In Town Checkin

In Town Checkin

We got to the airport and walked past the Lufthansa counter where the first class line was, predictably, empty.  We were scheduled to be the only passengers in First on the HKG-MUC flight, and while the HKG-FRA flight leaves at basically the exact same time, it also had a pretty light load in First.  So had there been a line at the train station, we’d have been better off just taking our checked bags to the airport.

Security was pretty light, and we took the train out to the farther gates.  I looked online and the United Club was just a quick walk away from our gates, so we decided to use that lounge.   [Read more…]

Maldives Trip 2014: Abu Dhabi Airport and Etihad First Class Lounge

Chauffeur + Washington Dulles Airport
Dulles to Abu Dhabi Etihad Diamond First
St. Regis Abu Dhabi Nation Towers
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Saadiyat Island
Abu Dhabi Airport and Etihad First Class Lounge
Abu Dhabi to Male Etihad Pearl Business
Conrad Lounge & Seaplane
Conrad Maldives
Male to Hong Kong Cathay Pacific Business Class
W Hong Kong
Hong Kong Airport
Hong Kong to Munich Lufthansa First Class
Munich Airport and Lufthansa First Class Lounge
Frankfurt Airport and Lufthansa First Class Terminal
Frankfurt to Washington Dulles Lufthansa First Class

I asked the concierge at the Park Hyatt to confirm our chauffeur pick up with Etihad for 7:30am (for a 9:35am flight), which was taken care of with no problems at all (that I knew of, anyway…).

We figured that with free breakfast in the lounge and $80 breakfast at the Park Hyatt, there was no need to get up painfully early for breakfast.  At 7:25 the front desk called us to inform us the chauffeur arrived and asked if we needed a bellman.

After a thirty minute ride to the airport, we arrived at the “exclusive” first and business class check in area at Abu Dhabi airport.

Cara walking into the premium check in

Cara walking into the premium check in

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Croatia Trip 2013: FRA Airport, Lufthansa First Class Lounge & Terminal

Dulles Airpor & Lufthansa Senator Lounge
IAD-MUC Lufthansa First Class
MUC Airport & First Class Lounge
MUC-SPU Lufthansa Business Class
Le Meridien Split
SPU-FCO Croatian Business Class
St. Regis Rome
FCO-FRA Lufthansa Economy Class
FRA Airport, Lufthansa First Class Lounge, Lufthansa First Class Terminal

Frankfurt airport is one of our favorites — not because it’s efficient, easy to navigate or has anything especially exciting to do — because it has our favorite lounges and we have a long layover routine there.  We actually prefer 4-6 hour layovers here, which gives us time to leave the airport and work out for an hour or more nearby.

First, however, we wanted to check out the “A” terminal Lufthansa First Class Lounge as previously we’ve only been to the “B” lounge and First Class Terminal.  The first thing we noticed is a gentleman enjoying a drink with his lion:

Large pet for an airline lounge...

Large pet for an airline lounge…

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Croatia Trip 2013: MUC Airport

Dulles Airport
IAD-MUC
MUC Airport

As I said, I was hoping for a remote stand so that we would be picked up by private car and driven straight to the First Class Lounge, but no such luck today as we parked at a gate position.  We disembarked through door 1L, and while I didn’t notice if business class was held back, the four of us in first class all managed to beat them out, and walked directly into the terminal gate area of H28.

We followed signs for the Lufthansa First Class Lounge which was only about 100 yards to the right.

One of my favorite lounges!

One of my favorite lounges!

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