Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Fine Day at FRA

Our overnight flight from JFK to FRA was terrific, mainly because we slept through it. We had a bite to eat in the Lufthansa Lounge at JFK, took a tour through it (we're already getting used to being treated like VIPs), boarded the Boeing 747 and fell asleep within a half hour after takeoff. Brian didn't wake up until 39 minutes before we landed, a new personal record.

As Business Class passengers, we took advantage of the invitation to drop by a fairly new Lufthansa Arrivals Lounge in FRA. After showers and a tasty breakfast buffet, washed down by several cups of good German coffee, we were ready to check in at the Sheraton and organize ourselves for the afternoon.

We enjoyed a great tour of Lufthansa Technik. We visited a couple of huge hangars and wandered around underneath Airbus 340s and Boeing 747s, including tours inside both planes that extended to the crew rest areas that passengers never see. Brian's favorite sign in the crew rest area... "Fasten seat belt when laying."

We also toured the flight attendant training area, that includes cabin mock-ups of a variety of planes. The organizers of our Flyer Talk Mega DO were busy training to be flight attendants on tomorrow's charter flight. We also climbed seven flights of stairs or so to have a look at three of Lufthansa's flight simulators. Lufthansa pilots have to requalify on these annually. They look like nothing more than giant versions of those "simulator rides" seen in malls, but at many millions of dollars each the cost of a ride is much higher.

We capped off the day with a banquet hosted by Lufthansa and Star Alliance in the main dining area of their facility. The speeches were interesting and not too long, and the food and wine were excellent. Now for a few hours of sleep before awakening at 4:00 a.m. to be at the gate on time for our charter flight to Oslo (SAS) and Toulouse (Airbus factory) on Condor before returning to Frankfurt for another dinner.

Lots of standing around and lot sof walking but well worth it. It's a grueling schedule but somebody has to do it.

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