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An Expected Trip To India (LH F) - Part 2 W/ Pics!  
User currently onlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 13833 times:

An Unexpected Trip To India (LX, LH) – Part 2

At the end of Part 1, I had just got to Ludhiana, Punjab. So this part picks up from there. The next few days were quite emotional for the family as me being the only grandson in the family had to take care of all the necessities / rituals for my grandmother. Part of that included going to Haridwar. In our culture, after cremating the body, the ashes (also called flowers in hindi) are to be deposited in the Ganges, which is considered to be the holiest of the rivers in our culture. Furthermore, the city of Haridwar is where this would take place. We set off on a road trip to Haridwar. I will exclude all the emotional details, but if anyone has any questions regarding this, please feel free to ask.


Early am departure for Haridwar


The National Highway from Ludhiana to Ambala


After Ambala, this is the national highway one takes to go to Haridwar. Pretty much single lanes throughout


Amazing passing maneuver


This was awesome


Passing a city


On the banks of the Ganges








The crowded market


Lots of people taking a dip in the Ganges. I also did that. It was a nice reprieve from the scorching heat.














My father engaged in prayers


A Gurudwara


Heading back to Ludhiana


Near the Rakh Baag






Neighborhood where my grandmother lived


A richshaw in scorching heat



After all the necessities were completed, I had just about 2-3 days to catch up with old friends and try to relax a bit. This was the first time since 1997 that I had visited India in the month of June, and boy, was it Hot. Everyday temperatures would reach a blistering 45 degrees C. It was almost like you couldn’t have enough fluids. This restricted my movement during the day. Because of the heat, it was almost impossible to go outside, especially since I had no vehicle to roam around in. I had to rely on my cousin to come to/from work so that he could take me places, or I had to rely on a rickshaw. If only there would be an Avis / Hertz so I could rent a car. I don’t think that has arrived in India yet; although I was told that you could rent cars that came with a chauffeur. I got to know about this information a bit too late, otherwise I would have hired one for the stay in India. Nonetheless, I had some things to buy, and I did just that. The evenings consisted of hanging out with my childhood friends, a couple of them who I met after 14 years. It was amazing that we still remembered old times and except for them getting married, none of them had actually changed. Friends being friends, they were after me to stay another week or two so that they could find a girl for me. Hehe. Maybe next time boys!!!

Thanks to my friends, my last 2-3 evenings in Ludhiana were very relaxed. It was good to get away from the atmosphere at home and a welcome change. As much as I love India, the blistering heat, and boredom made me want to come back to the US. That departure time couldn’t come fast enough. I wanted to just get on a plane, head back. In all the midst of activities, I had forgotten to get a ticket booked back to New Delhi. I had a few options to get there.
a) Try and get an overnight bus that would drop me off at the airport
b) Try and get to Delhi a bit early; meet up with a friend for a little bit, who would then drop me off at the airport
c) Try and get a ticket on Swarna Shatabdi, get to the airport by midnight and then head straight to the lounge
Option C sounded quite viable as my friend wasn’t available that particular day. So my cousin tried to get me a ticket on Swarna Shatabdi. If you aren’t aware of the reservation system in India, you have quotas. Unfortunately, I had to get the ‘tatkal’ quota (which is almost equivalent of a walk-up fare) and that too I could only manage in Executive Class. Who am I to complain when my dad is arranging this for me?   Apparently the train route between Ludhiana & New Delhi is one of the busiest routes during the summer months and I was told that people actually get their reservations done months in advance.

Train 2:
LDH - NDLS
Swarna Shatabdi
Departure – 6:58 pm
Arrival – 11:05 pm


I had my e-ticket in hand and the next day, I was all packed & set to go to the Ludhiana train station. My parents had their flight 3-4 days later. They couldn’t get the same train, so they took the Shatabdi that goes via Rohtak. Similar class of service; however the train makes a couple more stops & takes longer to get to New Delhi. My cousin showed up on time to take me to the Railway Station. My mom & dad joined him. I said my goodbyes and we were off to Ludhiana Train Station. I was actually excited & sad about this trip. Excited because a) I was heading back home; b) I was going to experience my FIRST long-haul F product and that too on Lufthansa and c) I was leaving the scorching heat; however I was still sad that I was going away from all friends & family that I saw after such a long time. No matter what you say, India is still very much a part of me and it’s always a bit tough saying bye…

The trains in India are quite punctual. This particular train only stays on the platform for about 4 minutes. So boarding has to be quite rapid. I being the dumbo that I am didn’t read my e-ticket correctly. I mixed up my seat number and the berth number. So I boarded the wrong berth. I got to my seat and there was someone sitting there. I whipped out my ticket and bam, my seat was in another berth. Fearing that I would miss my train, I had to move all of my stuff without leaving the train. My father was on board to see me off and he had to get off. The train started moving and I quickly said my byes to my cousin and my parents. I then started walking to my berth and finally got to my seat. The executive class was definitely a notch above the AC Chair Car I had traveled on the last train. It was spacious, and furthermore, the leg space was enormous. There was hardly a spare seat in the berth and I even spotted a few expats traveling to DEL from Amritsar.

http://i.imgur.com/0KMQ8.jpg
Swarna Shatabdi Executive Class Cabin

http://i.imgur.com/qW9Tl.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/WyMlY.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/nuiIo.jpg
The Leg Room Shot

The train service was quite similar to the AC Chair Car; however there were a few more courses to be precise. I was given the 1L water bottle to start things. The next course was a piping hot tomato soup. I thought this wasn’t such a good idea since trains in India aren’t really the smoothest of the rides. Because of turbulence, I spilled some soup in the tray table and I literally had to hold my tray table with one hand so I could consume the soup. It wasn’t anything special. I didn’t finish my soup and then I turned to my entertainment system (iPad to watch a couple episodes of House).

While watching some TV, the dinner service started. Again there were three options: Indian non-veg; Indian veg; and continental. I selected for the Indian non-veg and it came with butter chicken, rumali roti, rice and raajma (kidney bean curry). Needless to say, the dinner was quite delicious and I finished all of it except for the Yogurt (dahi). Dessert & coffee service was next. I opted for the dessert and was given some butterscotch flavored ice-cream. Quite delicious.

http://i.imgur.com/phSck.jpg
The Non-Veg Dinner Option

While reviewing my documents, I asked my seat-mate which exit I should head to (Delhi Train Station has two different exits) so that I can take a pre-paid taxi to the airport. My seat-mate who was kind of looking at my ipad all the way, asked me where I was from and where I was going. So I said I was heading back to Columbus, OH and he started talking about how he has been to various cities in the US because of his work. It seemed like a pleasant conversation until he started talking about how he gets to travel business class & first class and his company pays for it. All I could say was, ‘that’s really good for you!’ and then he asked me why I was traveling on the 8:50 am flight. Literally he wanted an explanation as to why I couldn’t take the flight via FRA that would leave that same night. I told him that a seat wasn’t available. So he said that I could pay Rs. 300 and get into a ‘guest’ lounge at the airport where I could spend some time. I said I’m traveling business / first so I will have access to a lounge at the airport and I hope to spend my time there. He didn’t really communicate after that.

The train arrived in NDLS on time and once I got out of the train, it was a mad-house. There are usually porters (coolies they are called) who will carry your luggage for you. I was approached by one, and after some touch negotiation, he started walking me to the taxi stand. On my way there, I was hoarded by a lot of taxi drivers asking me where I was going. I’m quite fluent in hindi/Punjabi so I let everyone of them know that someone was picking me up. That seemed to do the trick and my ‘coolie’ helped me out as anyone who approached, before they could ask, my ‘coolie’ would answer that someone’s picking him up. I was dropped off and then I had to walk a little bit to the pre-paid taxi stand. There was quite a big line for the pre-paid taxi stand. Guys, this is where your patience is tested. Even when you are standing for the pre-paid service, there will be a lot of ‘post-paid’ taxi drivers that will try and get your business. They will say that their car is A/C, and that there aren’t any pre-paid taxis available, etc. etc. but you have to keep cool and decline them. I chose to just ignore and give them a ‘huh?’ look. As if I had no idea what they were talking about. I finally got to the window and I was assigned a taxi. This is awesome. If anyone is traveling from NDLS to Airport, please select these taxis. They are tracked by the company. They have to log in any unauthorized stop; they wear proper uniforms and are metered. Probably the safest way to travel if you are a bit paranoid like I am.

My taxi-driver was one of the nicest people I chatted with. He told me about the entire pre-pay taxi network and how it has made their jobs easier. He said that the other post-paid taxi drivers quote you a price, but in the middle of the trip, sometimes they will either hike the fair up or make stops to put in gas which you have to pay for. Since I haven’t experienced that, I won’t comment, but it seemed like this guy enjoyed his job. We made a stop for gas, and he had to call it in. He called and told that he was stopping at the gas station close to the airport. Once we filled up, he called again to let them know he was on his way. I was impressed! I was also in no rush whatsoever because my flight was the next day at 9 am. I had almost 8 hours to kill at the airport.

I was dropped at the airport and when I tried to get in; I was told that they only allow people to come in within 3 hours of their flight time. I was asked to head to the guest lounge, where if you are a passenger, you get in for free. Otherwise you have to pay Rs. 30 to get in. There is also a security guard post inside this lounge so that people can directly enter the airport through the lounge. Trying my luck again, I tried to enter via that security guard. He told me the exact same thing and told me to sleep. He said he would even wake me up when it’s time to let me in. What a nice gesture! He he. I tried to argue to say that I can go sit in the lounge inside as I’m traveling business class. He said that I needed a lounge pass or invitation. I didn’t have either so I tried to go to the Lufthansa counter to see if they could get me one. To my surprise, I was told, “Sir, your flight doesn’t open till 5 am. We won’t be able to provide you with a lounge pass till that”. (This is while they were still checking in the last few passengers for the flight leaving to FRA). No problems, I picked a seat and took a nap.


Entrance to the lounge. You can see the airline counters beyond the sliding doors. I was already inside the lounge


This is the security guard area where you can directly go inside the terminal


More lounge


The relaxing chairs that one can sleep on


A better view of the lounge




The lounge emptied as more and more flights departed


The busy FIDS at DEL (My flight finally listed as Open)


Check-In counters being prepped


Inside the terminal


No lines at all at Lufthansa Check-In


Early AM Java




Economy check-in getting busy



This was the first time I was visiting T3 at DEL. I was more than impressed by the sheer size & cleanliness of the terminal. The facilities were very clean, and the entire terminal was quite airy & modern. I really couldn’t believe this was a terminal in New Delhi, India. A much much improved & better terminal than the predecessor & dated T2.

I finally decided it was time to go check-in. I walked to the First Class check-in Area and again was told that this wasn’t the economy class line. I smiled and said, “My flight from MUC-ORD is in F, and DEL-MUC is J, does that count?’. The gentleman laughed and said, ‘I’m sorry sir! Please continue on.” I got to the counter and the cheerful lady welcomed me, thanked me for flying Lufthansa and asked about my trip while she plugged away on her computer. I thought this was nice of her. After a few more strokes, she handed me my boarded passes, the lounge pass, and also informed me that there wouldn’t be anyone sitting next to me on this flight. I was more than happy. I headed towards the immigration control line. I had to fill out a departure card and there were pens / flat surface provided where people could fill them out. I filled one out, headed to immigration. I went to the premium class line which was empty and once again I was met by a person who’d rather be in bed than doing this job. There was no smile, no greeting, no questions asked. Some examination of the documents and a stamp saying I had departed India.


International Departures (You can see people filling out departure cards)

Upon clearing the security, I was in the duty-free shop which led to the airport’s rotunda that’s filled with a lot of top name brands and a lot of food options on the 2nd floor. I made my way to the lounge and while waiting to enter there, there was a family with a friend who were trying to get into the lounge by paying their way. They were asked to wait (apparently one guy had status so his Mrs. & child could come in; but their friend wasn’t being allowed) and I presented my lounge pass. I was let in without any issues and I guess a few minutes later, I saw all of them in the lounge. They must have been allowed in.


After immigration / clearing security


It’s like a shopping mall. Quite impressive.






Turkish A330 to IST

AI 777


More AI / IC jets


Heading to the lounge now


The Lounge that Lufthansa uses at DEL


The clean bathrooms




Seating area


Pretty deserted at 6 am

After freshening up, I went and got some breakfast. I was quite hungry at this point and could use some food. There were quite a lot of options (such as small sandwiches, pastries, cookies), but I settled for Idly with Sambhar and some fresh fruit. I hadn’t had a soft drink in India and I thought before I would leave, I at least have to have one. So at 6 am, I went with Mirinda!


Yummy breakfast at 6 am

The sambhar was actually quite good. The idly’s could have been a bit softer, but I wasn’t about to complain at this hour.  
Some more seats

After spending a lot of time in the lounge, it was time to head to the aircraft to board my flight. While heading there, I wanted to check out rest of the T3. So I started to walk around and see if there were any interesting stores to check out. I found a couple, but boy were they expensive. I decided that I didn’t want to purchase anything; rather head to the aircraft and relax.


Kid’s playing area




Snacking Options (most of them closed at this hour)


The central seating area. Sort of similar to LHR






This was the store I was talking about. Very interesting; however super expensive




The Delhi DareDevils Sports Bar


Nice fancy chairs inside


Near the gate


Quite a large terminal



By the time I got to the gate, boarding had begun. There was a HUGE line for Economy. Luckily there was no line for the premium passenger boarding, so I quickly proceeded to board the plane.

Flight 4:
DEL - MUC
Lufthansa 763
Airbus A340-600
Departure - 08:50 am
Arrival - 1:30 pm
Seat: 6A



My ride to MUC


LH First Class – I would experience this soon enough


My seat 6A


The vast leg room


Other J Class Passengers settling in

Once I was settled in, a welcome drink was offered. The choice was: water, champagne, or mango lassi. Obviously I went with the Mango Lassi and it was quite delicious. We were also given hot towels once boarding was complete.


The Welcome Drink

Soon enough, boarding was completed and we set off for an 8 hr (approx) journey to Munich. I had been to Munich before so I was familiar with the airport. I was looking forward to the service I was going to receive in LH J Class. The FAs seemed quite cheerful / friendly and genuinely wanting to be there. We started, for what felt like an eternity, taxiing. Being that there weren’t a lot of flights departing at this hour, we were #2 on the take-off list. The A346 fired up those engines and we were thundering down the runway. Once again it seemed like an eternity before the plane rotated and we were airborne.


9W A330




A private jet?


View from my seat




BA 747 to LHR


T3 overview after take-off






Already quite bright outside


Some high-rise apartments


The visible haze




Anyone want to guess where this is?


After we were level. The haze made it almost impossible to see what’s down there

Once we were level, I had to use the lavatory. I did just that. It was nice & clean and there were quite a lot of amenities available in the lavatory.

http://i.imgur.com/O3Pe8.jpg
The Amenities inside the Lavatory

Soon, it was time for the service to begin. Here is what was on offer.

http://i.imgur.com/hu7Pr.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/OOqp7.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/EtT8h.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/RLw58.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/nSStZ.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/d7GU7.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/kfa3k.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/0KGPZ.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/0m88M.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/t0Ite.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/V1tVY.jpg
Menu

The service started with a drink service. I opted for the champagne again and was given this.

http://i.imgur.com/Z9P80.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/0hsa4.jpg
The LH Logo on the Champagne Glass

Next, it was the fresh fruit with Granola and a Croissant & Indian bread.



It was quite delicious and the end result was:



I also tried the Bitter Lemon for the first time and let me just say it won’t be the last time. It was quite a refreshing drink and next time I’m on LH, I will definitely try it again. On this flight, however, I had some bubbly to drink   While having some champagne, I turned to my entertainment, which was the moving map and looking outside the window. It was still quite hazy & sunny, so sorry about the picture quality.




Over Afghanistan


A lake (can you spot it?)


Interesting Terrain







Next, the main course came.


The chicken was made to perfection. Couldn’t say the same about the Veggie portion of the meal









After having food, I put my seat in a relaxed mode to get some sleep. I was quite tired and dozed off immediately.


The seat in the sleep position

When I woke up, we were about 1.5 hours from Munich. The FA asked me if I was ready for some food. How could I say no? So after a few minutes, the FA came back with this:



I started to look outside the window again to see if anything interesting was there…




Can anyone guess this region?


The massive engine


Another guess at this region?


Anyone wanna guess this airline?

We were now on approach into MUC.




Another opportunity for guessing the area

We landed and started making way towards our gate.


The EK A380 while Taxiing


A closer look

Overall, I’d say this was a great flight. Top Notch service, a very friendly crew along with the comfort of the Business Class seats. I would say that this flight was probably a notch above the ZRH-DEL J class flight on LX. And this is only because I felt the crew was slightly better.

After this long journey to MUC, I was in dire need of a shower. I also wanted to stop to pick up a couple of bottles of Scotch for my dad. So I stopped in the Duty Free store and picked up a bottle of Glenrothes and The Dalwhinnie. I made my way to the LH First Class Lounge. Upon entering, I was asked, “Yes Sir! Can I help you?”. I showed my boarding pass that had a big F on it, and the lady say, “Ah yes! Please give me your passport”. So there is a little window with a guy behind it who keeps your boarding pass and passport while you enjoy the First Class Lounge. Anyone know why this is?

I found the shower and after some time, felt amazingly fresh. It was time to grab a snack and a drink or two. I went to the bar and ordered myself a shot of Glenrothes on the rocks. Had to try what I just bought   and I wasn’t disappointed. The food selection was quite amazing in this lounge. There was a menu. Seeing a lot of the currywurst pictures here on A.net, I decided I had to try it and see what it was all about. Boy was it delicious. I didn’t really eat the French fries as I was quite stuffed. But it was good nonetheless. I got another shot of Glenrothes and by the time I finished my snack, boarding was being announced for my flight to ORD. and I had yet to clear security.


The shower in the LH First Class Lounge

http://i.imgur.com/9A8W9.jpg
My snack at the lounge

http://i.imgur.com/vOI04.jpg
And the CurryWurst


Flight 5:
MUC - ORD
Lufthansa 434
Airbus A340-600
Departure - 3:35 pm
Arrival - 6:20 pm
Seat: 1K


I quickly made my way towards security. Being that this was a flight to the US, I had to clear security once again. And boy is it strict. They x-ray your bags, and then they actually open them up again and look through them. What’s the point of x-raying them if you have to look at them anyways? Kind of redundant isn’t it? Then you get the pat down, which is almost borderline molestation. How did I leave a secure area at MUC airport? Sorry, but Rant Over…

I made my way to the boarding area and went to the premium boarding line. I boarded and was greeted by a beautiful FA by my last name. She showed me to my seat 1K and while I was still putting my stuff, she asked what I would like to drink. I went for bubbly again, and when she brought it she introduced me to my seat. Showed me a few things and greeted other fellow passengers. The F class today had a total of 4 passengers.

While I got settled in, the purser came and introduced himself and asked me about my travels. Once again, calling me from my last name. I was impressed already. He asked my size and then went and got me my pajamas and slippers along with my amenity kit.


The First Class Cabin, FINALLY!!!


My seat for the next 9 hours


Storage Space


The Welcome Drink with warm nuts


My huge TV Screen


LH First Class


The Bubbly open with roses

The pilot came on and told us that they were still waiting for some connecting passengers due to late incoming aircraft. The purser came to me and said, it would still be about 15 minutes before we would take off and topped off my champagne glass. Needless to say, I didn’t have to ask for champagne. As soon as the glass would be close to emptying, it would magically be filled again. That’s what I call service. I had already consumed about 3 glasses and the Purser came and kiddi

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 12862 times:

For some reason the post got truncated... Here's the rest!!!


Flight 5:
MUC - ORD
Lufthansa 434
Airbus A340-600
Departure - 3:35 pm
Arrival - 6:20 pm
Seat: 1K

I quickly made my way towards security. Being that this was a flight to the US, I had to clear security once again. And boy is it strict. They x-ray your bags, and then they actually open them up again and look through them. What’s the point of x-raying them if you have to look at them anyways? Kind of redundant isn’t it? Then you get the pat down, which is almost borderline molestation. How did I leave a secure area at MUC airport? Sorry, but Rant Over…

I made my way to the boarding area and went to the premium boarding line. I boarded and was greeted by a beautiful FA by my last name. She showed me to my seat 1K and while I was still putting my stuff, she asked what I would like to drink. I went for bubbly again, and when she brought it she introduced me to my seat. Showed me a few things and greeted other fellow passengers. The F class today had a total of 4 passengers.

While I got settled in, the purser came and introduced himself and asked me about my travels. Once again, calling me from my last name. I was impressed already. He asked my size and then went and got me my pajamas and slippers along with my amenity kit.


The First Class Cabin, FINALLY!!!


My seat for the next 9 hours


Storage Space


The Welcome Drink with warm nuts


My huge TV Screen


LH First Class


The Bubbly open with roses

The pilot came on and told us that they were still waiting for some connecting passengers due to late incoming aircraft. The purser came to me and said, it would still be about 15 minutes before we would take off and topped off my champagne glass. Needless to say, I didn’t have to ask for champagne. As soon as the glass would be close to emptying, it would magically be filled again. That’s what I call service. I had already consumed about 3 glasses and the Purser came and kiddingly said prior to departure, “I’m sure there are still a couple more passengers left to board. Here’s another one. I’m sure you can fit this in before we take off!” I laughed but also thanked him. What an amazing personality. I must also say as a side note that this gentleman was very cheerful & attentive throughout the flight. Hands down one of the best FAs I’ve ever had a chance to meet.

Boarding was finally complete, doors were shut and as I finished my last glass of champagne, we started to push back. I was asked if I wanted another glass of champagne quickly, but I politely declined. The taxi time wasn’t too long this time and after another long roll, we were air-borne.


After take-off




Another guess at this area?


MUC Airport


Flying right over it now


Tried to take an overview shot


The empty F cabin


Fully Level at Cruising Altitude

The drink service commenced and I had a shot of Blue Label prior to the food servings started. The food menu was quite similar to the previous flight; however there were some more options. Sorry I forgot to click pictures of the actual menu.


Some Air Traffic


Interesting Clouds

The service started with this Tuna Tar-Tar



Cruising


Caviar with some bread


Caviar


Some more starters


Soup


Touching England




Duck with Rice


Red Bordeaux


Is this Dover?


A view of the English Channel


Racing another Jet (anyone want to guess the airlines?)


The infamous LH Rose


Dessert


German Chocolates

After a nice meal, I said that I wanted to sleep. I went to the bathroom and by the time I got back, my seat had been transformed into a bed. I guess the champagne must have helped as I slept quite comfortably for the majority of the flight. When I woke up we were still about 2.5 hours from Chicago. I went to the bathroom and when I came back, the seat was set up for sitting once again, and the Purser came with a hot towel. Once refreshed, without asking, he brought me a glass of champagne and said, “Good Morning. This is breakfast of champions!” I laughed and said, Thank you! The landing card had also been distributed.

For the second meal / snack, I selected the steak option. Sorry I forgot to take a picture of it, but as I remember, it was slightly over done. A bit on the dry side. Still delicious nonetheless. I remembered to at least snap a picture of the dessert that came with the second meal.


Another Dessert

After this meal, and another glass of champagne, we were beginning our descent into Chicago. The purser came to me and asked for some feedback and my experience. I told him that it was my first time in F he said, “I hope I was good enough so that I can see you on another Lufthansa flight soon!” my reply was, “you were fantastic. I really enjoyed the flight and would look forward to Lufthansa everytime”. This brought a smile to his face and he came back with another glass of champagne. Haha. This guy was getting me drunk!

I filled out my landing card and was soon going to touch down into Chicago.




Another plane landing with us


Some tails at ORD


RJ at ORD






Aer Lingus

Overall, I think this was hands down the BEST flight I’ve ever had. Being in First Class obviously helped, but I get the feeling that the purser was just fantastic. He was cheerful, happy and anytime he came, there was always a genuine smile on his face. There was always an attempt to go above & beyond. The food was excellent, the drinks amazing and the lounge experience was fantastic again. If I had to give this a rating, it would definitely be a 10/10!!! That’s how perfect this flight was for me.

I thanked the Purser for a memorable flight and made my way to the arrivals hall. It was super packed and there wasn’t any separate line for premium passengers. Luckily I was still one of the first off the plane, but because other flights arrived, the lines were HUGE and packed. After about 30 odd minutes I was stamped & welcomed back home and I made to baggage claim to connect to my last flight to CMH. Carrying the duty free bottles, I opened my luggage and put both bottles inside and then left my luggage at the connecting belts. I made my way to the connecting terminal and headed for the United Club. My flight was to leave at 9:40; however when I got to the United Club, I found out that my flight was delayed to almost 11 pm departure. The lounge would close at 9, so I sat there till 9 pm. At this point, I was super tired…

Flight 6:
ORD - CMH
United Airlines 1580
Boeing 737
Departure - 9:40 pm
Arrival - 11:47 pm
Seat: 35C

My flight finally departed at around 11:30 pm due to late incoming aircraft. I was back to reality on this flight sitting in the back of the plane in Y. hehe. I guess it was good while it lasted. I boarded my flight, got to my seat and lo & behold, crying kids behind me. I felt like punching the parents because they didn’t do anything to silence them. The father put on his noise-canceling headphones and dozed off. The mother looked outside the window and seemed to ignore their kid who was pretty much screaming at the top of his lungs. I tried to catch some sleep but was not able to. I put on my headphone and closed my eyes and hoped for the best. This hour long flight couldn’t pass quick enough for me. I kid you not, the kid cried from the moment the door was closed until the moment the door was opened and people started getting off the plane. This was the only sore point on otherwise what was a perfect trip back home!!! My baggage was the first to arrive and in no-time I was outside with my sister there to pick me up. I was finally home at 1:30 am!!!


Thank you so so much for reading this uber long trip report… It was something very special for me, so I wanted to share a lot… If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask…


User currently onlinecaleb1 From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 364 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 12380 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

What an excellent report. I truly enjoyed the photos of your time in India. I one day hope to visit that great country.

User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3281 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 12251 times:

Problem, there seem to be pictures missing at the end of the report.

And what a great report that was, the food on the train looked great, almost smell it.
Great pictures, like a trip report that included the local culture and views.
Nice that you included the menus, it all adds to the report.   



you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offlineKaran69 From India, joined Oct 2004, 2891 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 12062 times:

First and foremost condolences for your loss

And congratulations on a fantastic TR (including part1) , must have been a nice place of solace for you

Also really enjoyed your journey through India and the instagram pics do enhance the look of your TR well done

Karan


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 11314 times:

Hi


once again my condolences for your loss.
Neverthless, thanks for putting up the report. Nice that LH pleased you. Their new F does look pretty impressive indeed.

Thanks for sharing the India pics as well, nice to see how real life goes there.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1283 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 11026 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

The photos seem to be too many. Is there any way you can repost this perhaps with three to four posts on here, instead of two.....Such amazing photographs, it is a shame not to able to view them all.....You have a good eye for photography, and your pics of India are just amazing.....

User currently onlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 10950 times:

Sorry about this. But I just realized that where it says, "Duck with rice" it actually has a duplicate picture. It was supposed to be this...


Duck with Rice

I'll try and post them again. Any way of editing the original posts? I don't know why the pictures aren't showing up. They were showing up fine earlier. I'll try again...

Thank you for pointing it out...

[Edited 2012-09-26 10:08:06]

[Edited 2012-09-26 10:08:26]

User currently onlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 10942 times:

The next few days were quite emotional for the family as me being the only grandson in the family had to take care of all the necessities / rituals for my grandmother. Part of that included going to Haridwar. In our culture, after cremating the body, the ashes (also called flowers in hindi) are to be deposited in the Ganges, which is considered to be the holiest of the rivers in our culture. Furthermore, the city of Haridwar is where this would take place. We set off on a road trip to Haridwar. I will exclude all the emotional details, but if anyone has any questions regarding this, please feel free to ask.


Early am departure for Haridwar


The National Highway from Ludhiana to Ambala


After Ambala, this is the national highway one takes to go to Haridwar. Pretty much single lanes throughout


Amazing passing maneuver


This was awesome


Passing a city


On the banks of the Ganges

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The crowded market


Lots of people taking a dip in the Ganges. I also did that. It was a nice reprieve from the scorching heat.

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My father engaged in prayers


A Gurudwara


Heading back to Ludhiana


Near the Rakh Baag

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Neighborhood where my grandmother lived


A rickshaw in scorching heat

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After all the necessities were completed, I had just about 2-3 days to catch up with old friends and try to relax a bit. This was the first time since 1997 that I had visited India in the month of June, and boy, was it Hot. Everyday temperatures would reach a blistering 45 degrees C. It was almost like you couldn’t have enough fluids. This restricted my movement during the day. Because of the heat, it was almost impossible to go outside, especially since I had no vehicle to roam around in. I had to rely on my cousin to come to/from work so that he could take me places, or I had to rely on a rickshaw. If only there would be an Avis / Hertz so I could rent a car. I don’t think that has arrived in India yet; although I was told that you could rent cars that came with a chauffeur. I got to know about this information a bit too late, otherwise I would have hired one for the stay in India. Nonetheless, I had some things to buy, and I did just that. The evenings consisted of hanging out with my childhood friends, a couple of them who I met after 14 years. It was amazing that we still remembered old times and except for them getting married, none of them had actually changed. Friends being friends, they were after me to stay another week or two so that they could find a girl for me. Hehe. Maybe next time boys!!!

Thanks to my friends, my last 2-3 evenings in Ludhiana were very relaxed. It was good to get away from the atmosphere at home and a welcome change. As much as I love India, the blistering heat, and boredom made me want to come back to the US. That departure time couldn’t come fast enough. I wanted to just get on a plane, head back. In all the midst of activities, I had forgotten to get a ticket booked back to New Delhi. I had a few options to get there.

a) Try and get an overnight bus that would drop me off at the airport
b) Try and get to Delhi a bit early; meet up with a friend for a little bit, who would then drop me off at the airport
c) Try and get a ticket on Swarna Shatabdi, get to the airport by midnight and then head straight to the lounge

Option C sounded quite viable as my friend wasn’t available that particular day. So my cousin tried to get me a ticket on Swarna Shatabdi. If you aren’t aware of the reservation system in India, you have quotas. Unfortunately, I had to get the ‘tatkal’ quota (which is almost equivalent of a walk-up fare) and that too I could only manage in Executive Class. Who am I to complain when my dad is arranging this for me?   Apparently the train route between Ludhiana & New Delhi is one of the busiest routes during the summer months and I was told that people actually get their reservations done months in advance.


User currently onlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 10942 times:

Train 2:
LDH - NDLS
Swarna Shatabdi
Departure – 6:58 pm
Arrival – 11:05 pm

I had my e-ticket in hand and the next day, I was all packed & set to go to the Ludhiana train station. My parents had their flight 3-4 days later. They couldn’t get the same train, so they took the Shatabdi that goes via Rohtak. Similar class of service; however the train makes a couple more stops & takes longer to get to New Delhi. My cousin showed up on time to take me to the Railway Station. My mom & dad joined him. I said my goodbyes and we were off to Ludhiana Train Station. I was actually excited & sad about this trip. Excited because a) I was heading back home; b) I was going to experience my FIRST long-haul F product and that too on Lufthansa and c) I was leaving the scorching heat; however I was still sad that I was going away from all friends & family that I saw after such a long time. No matter what you say, India is still very much a part of me and it’s always a bit tough saying bye…

The trains in India are quite punctual. This particular train only stays on the platform for about 4 minutes. So boarding has to be quite rapid. I being the dumbo that I am didn’t read my e-ticket correctly. I mixed up my seat number and the berth number. So I boarded the wrong berth. I got to my seat and there was someone sitting there. I whipped out my ticket and bam, my seat was in another berth. Fearing that I would miss my train, I had to move all of my stuff without leaving the train. My father was on board to see me off and he had to get off. The train started moving and I quickly said my byes to my cousin and my parents. I then started walking to my berth and finally got to my seat. The executive class was definitely a notch above the AC Chair Car I had traveled on the last train. It was spacious, and furthermore, the leg space was enormous. There was hardly a spare seat in the berth and I even spotted a few expats traveling to DEL from Amritsar.

http://i.imgur.com/0KMQ8.jpg
Swarna Shatabdi Executive Class Cabin

http://i.imgur.com/qW9Tl.jpg.

http://i.imgur.com/WyMlY.jpg.

http://i.imgur.com/nuiIo.jpg
The Leg Room Shot

The train service was quite similar to the AC Chair Car; however there were a few more courses to be precise. I was given the 1L water bottle to start things. The next course was a piping hot tomato soup. I thought this wasn’t such a good idea since trains in India aren’t really the smoothest of the rides. Because of turbulence, I spilled some soup in the tray table and I literally had to hold my tray table with one hand so I could consume the soup. It wasn’t anything special. I didn’t finish my soup and then I turned to my entertainment system (iPad to watch a couple episodes of House).

While watching some TV, the dinner service started. Again there were three options: Indian non-veg; Indian veg; and continental. I selected for the Indian non-veg and it came with butter chicken, rumali roti, rice and raajma (kidney bean curry). Needless to say, the dinner was quite delicious and I finished all of it except for the Yogurt (dahi). Dessert & coffee service was next. I opted for the dessert and was given some butterscotch flavored ice-cream. Quite delicious.

http://i.imgur.com/phSck.jpg
The Non-Veg Dinner Option

While reviewing my documents, I asked my seat-mate which exit I should head to (Delhi Train Station has two different exits) so that I can take a pre-paid taxi to the airport. My seat-mate who was kind of looking at my ipad all the way, asked me where I was from and where I was going. So I said I was heading back to Columbus, OH and he started talking about how he has been to various cities in the US because of his work. It seemed like a pleasant conversation until he started talking about how he gets to travel business class & first class and his company pays for it. All I could say was, ‘that’s really good for you!’ and then he asked me why I was traveling on the 8:50 am flight. Literally he wanted an explanation as to why I couldn’t take the flight via FRA that would leave that same night. I told him that a seat wasn’t available. So he said that I could pay Rs. 300 and get into a ‘guest’ lounge at the airport where I could spend some time. I said I’m traveling business / first so I will have access to a lounge at the airport and I hope to spend my time there. He didn’t really communicate after that.

The train arrived in NDLS on time and once I got out of the train, it was a mad-house. There are usually porters (coolies they are called) who will carry your luggage for you. I was approached by one, and after some touch negotiation, he started walking me to the taxi stand. On my way there, I was hoarded by a lot of taxi drivers asking me where I was going. I’m quite fluent in hindi/Punjabi so I let everyone of them know that someone was picking me up. That seemed to do the trick and my ‘coolie’ helped me out as anyone who approached, before they could ask, my ‘coolie’ would answer that someone’s picking him up. I was dropped off and then I had to walk a little bit to the pre-paid taxi stand. There was quite a big line for the pre-paid taxi stand. Guys, this is where your patience is tested. Even when you are standing for the pre-paid service, there will be a lot of ‘post-paid’ taxi drivers that will try and get your business. They will say that their car is A/C, and that there aren’t any pre-paid taxis available, etc. etc. but you have to keep cool and decline them. I chose to just ignore and give them a ‘huh?’ look. As if I had no idea what they were talking about. I finally got to the window and I was assigned a taxi. This is awesome. If anyone is traveling from NDLS to Airport, please select these taxis. They are tracked by the company. They have to log in any unauthorized stop; they wear proper uniforms and are metered. Probably the safest way to travel if you are a bit paranoid like I am.

My taxi-driver was one of the nicest people I chatted with. He told me about the entire pre-pay taxi network and how it has made their jobs easier. He said that the other post-paid taxi drivers quote you a price, but in the middle of the trip, sometimes they will either hike the fair up or make stops to put in gas which you have to pay for. Since I haven’t experienced that, I won’t comment, but it seemed like this guy enjoyed his job. We made a stop for gas, and he had to call it in. He called and told that he was stopping at the gas station close to the airport. Once we filled up, he called again to let them know he was on his way. I was impressed! I was also in no rush whatsoever because my flight was the next day at 9 am. I had almost 8 hours to kill at the airport.

I was dropped at the airport and when I tried to get in; I was told that they only allow people to come in within 3 hours of their flight time. I was asked to head to the guest lounge, where if you are a passenger, you get in for free. Otherwise you have to pay Rs. 30 to get in. There is also a security guard post inside this lounge so that people can directly enter the airport through the lounge. Trying my luck again, I tried to enter via that security guard. He told me the exact same thing and told me to sleep. He said he would even wake me up when it’s time to let me in. What a nice gesture! He he. I tried to argue to say that I can go sit in the lounge inside as I’m traveling business class. He said that I needed a lounge pass or invitation. I didn’t have either so I tried to go to the Lufthansa counter to see if they could get me one. To my surprise, I was told, “Sir, your flight doesn’t open till 5 am. We won’t be able to provide you with a lounge pass till that”. (This is while they were still checking in the last few passengers for the flight leaving to FRA). No problems, I picked a seat and took a nap.


Entrance to the lounge. You can see the airline counters beyond the sliding doors. I was already inside the lounge


This is the security guard area where you can directly go inside the terminal


More lounge


The relaxing chairs that one can sleep on


A better view of the lounge

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The lounge emptied as more and more flights departed


The busy FIDS at DEL (My flight finally listed as Open)


Check-In counters being prepped


Inside the terminal


No lines at all at Lufthansa Check-In


Early AM Java

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Economy check-in getting busy

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This was the first time I was visiting T3 at DEL. I was more than impressed by the sheer size & cleanliness of the terminal. The facilities were very clean, and the entire terminal was quite airy & modern. I really couldn’t believe this was a terminal in New Delhi, India. A much much improved & better terminal than the predecessor & dated T2.

I finally decided it was time to go check-in. I walked to the First Class check-in Area and again was told that this wasn’t the economy class line. I smiled and said, “My flight from MUC-ORD is in F, and DEL-MUC is J, does that count?’. The gentleman laughed and said, ‘I’m sorry sir! Please continue on.” I got to the counter and the cheerful lady welcomed me, thanked me for flying Lufthansa and asked about my trip while she plugged away on her computer. I thought this was nice of her. After a few more strokes, she handed me my boarded passes, the lounge pass, and also informed me that there wouldn’t be anyone sitting next to me on this flight. I was more than happy. I headed towards the immigration control line. I had to fill out a departure card and there were pens / flat surface provided where people could fill them out. I filled one out, headed to immigration. I went to the premium class line which was empty and once again I was met by a person who’d rather be in bed than doing this job. There was no smile, no greeting, no questions asked. Some examination of the documents and a stamp saying I had departed India.


International Departures (You can see people filling out departure cards)

Upon clearing the security, I was in the duty-free shop which led to the airport’s rotunda that’s filled with a lot of top name brands and a lot of food options on the 2nd floor. I made my way to the lounge and while waiting to enter there, there was a family with a friend who were trying to get into the lounge by paying their way. They were asked to wait (apparently one guy had status so his Mrs. & child could come in; but their friend wasn’t being allowed) and I presented my lounge pass. I was let in without any issues and I guess a few minutes later, I saw all of them in the lounge. They must have been allowed in.


After immigration / clearing security


It’s like a shopping mall. Quite impressive.

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Turkish A330 to IST


AI 332


More AI / IC jets


Heading to the lounge now


The Lounge that Lufthansa uses at DEL


The clean bathrooms

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Seating area


Pretty deserted at 6 am

After freshening up, I went and got some breakfast. I was quite hungry at this point and could use some food. There were quite a lot of options (such as small sandwiches, pastries, cookies), but I settled for Idly with Sambhar and some fresh fruit. I hadn’t had a soft drink in India and I thought before I would leave, I at least have to have one. So at 6 am, I went with Mirinda!


Yummy breakfast at 6 am

The sambhar was actually quite good. The idly’s could have been a bit softer, but I wasn’t about to complain at this hour.  
Some more seats

After spending a lot of time in the lounge, it was time to head to the aircraft to board my flight. While heading there, I wanted to check out rest of the T3. So I started to walk around and see if there were any interesting stores to check out. I found a couple, but boy were they expensive. I decided that I didn’t want to purchase anything; rather head to the aircraft and relax.


Kid’s playing area

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Snacking Options (most of them closed at this hour)


The central seating area. Sort of similar to LHR

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This was the store I was talking about. Very interesting; however super expensive

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The Delhi DareDevils Sports Bar


Nice fancy chairs inside


Near the gate


Quite a large terminal

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By the time I got to the gate, boarding had begun. There was a HUGE line for Economy. Luckily there was no line for the premium passenger boarding, so I quickly proceeded to board the plane.


User currently onlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 10937 times:

Flight 4:
DEL - MUC
Lufthansa 763
Airbus A340-600
Departure - 08:50 am
Arrival - 1:30 pm
Seat: 6A


My ride to MUC


LH First Class – I would experience this soon enough


My seat 6A


The vast leg room


Other J Class Passengers settling in

Once I was settled in, a welcome drink was offered. The choice was: water, champagne, or mango lassi. Obviously I went with the Mango Lassi and it was quite delicious. We were also given hot towels once boarding was complete.


The Welcome Drink

Soon enough, boarding was completed and we set off for an 8 hr (approx) journey to Munich. I had been to Munich before so I was familiar with the airport. I was looking forward to the service I was going to receive in LH J Class. The FAs seemed quite cheerful / friendly and genuinely wanting to be there. We started, for what felt like an eternity, taxiing. Being that there weren’t a lot of flights departing at this hour, we were #2 on the take-off list. The A346 fired up those engines and we were thundering down the runway. Once again it seemed like an eternity before the plane rotated and we were airborne.


9W A330

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A private jet?


View from my seat

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BA 747 to LHR


T3 overview after take-off

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Already quite bright outside


Some high-rise apartments


The visible haze

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Anyone want to guess where this is?


After we were level. The haze made it almost impossible to see what’s down there

Once we were level, I had to use the lavatory. I did just that. It was nice & clean and there were quite a lot of amenities available in the lavatory.

http://i.imgur.com/O3Pe8.jpg
The Amenities inside the Lavatory

Soon, it was time for the service to begin. Here is what was on offer.

http://i.imgur.com/hu7Pr.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/OOqp7.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/EtT8h.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/RLw58.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/nSStZ.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/d7GU7.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/kfa3k.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/0KGPZ.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/0m88M.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/t0Ite.jpg
Menu

http://i.imgur.com/V1tVY.jpg
Menu

The service started with a drink service. I opted for the champagne again and was given this.

http://i.imgur.com/Z9P80.jpg.

http://i.imgur.com/0hsa4.jpg
The LH Logo on the Champagne Glass

Next, it was the fresh fruit with Granola and a Croissant & Indian bread.

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It was quite delicious and the end result was:

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I also tried the Bitter Lemon for the first time and let me just say it won’t be the last time. It was quite a refreshing drink and next time I’m on LH, I will definitely try it again. On this flight, however, I had some bubbly to drink   While having some champagne, I turned to my entertainment, which was the moving map and looking outside the window. It was still quite hazy & sunny, so sorry about the picture quality.

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Over Afghanistan


A lake (can you spot it?)


Interesting Terrain

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Next, the main course came.


The chicken was made to perfection. Couldn’t say the same about the Veggie portion of the meal

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After having food, I put my seat in a relaxed mode to get some sleep. I was quite tired and dozed off immediately.


The seat in the sleep position

When I woke up, we were about 1.5 hours from Munich. The FA asked me if I was ready for some food. How could I say no? So after a few minutes, the FA came back with this:

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I started to look outside the window again to see if anything interesting was there…

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Can anyone guess this region?


The massive engine


Another guess at this region?


Anyone wanna guess this airline?

We were now on approach into MUC.

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Another opportunity for guessing the area

We landed and started making way towards our gate.


The EK A380 while Taxiing


A closer look

Overall, I’d say this was a great flight. Top Notch service, a very friendly crew along with the comfort of the Business Class seats. I would say that this flight was probably a notch above the ZRH-DEL J class flight on LX. And this is only because I felt the crew was slightly better.

After this long journey to MUC, I was in dire need of a shower. I also wanted to stop to pick up a couple of bottles of Scotch for my dad. So I stopped in the Duty Free store and picked up a bottle of Glenrothes and The Dalwhinnie. I made my way to the LH First Class Lounge. Upon entering, I was asked, “Yes Sir! Can I help you?”. I showed my boarding pass that had a big F on it, and the lady say, “Ah yes! Please give me your passport”. So there is a little window with a guy behind it who keeps your boarding pass and passport while you enjoy the First Class Lounge. Anyone know why this is?

I found the shower and after some time, felt amazingly fresh. It was time to grab a snack and a drink or two. I went to the bar and ordered myself a shot of Glenrothes on the rocks. Had to try what I just bought   and I wasn’t disappointed. The food selection was quite amazing in this lounge. There was a menu. Seeing a lot of the currywurst pictures here on A.net, I decided I had to try it and see what it was all about. Boy was it delicious. I didn’t really eat the French fries as I was quite stuffed. But it was good nonetheless. I got another shot of Glenrothes and by the time I finished my snack, boarding was being announced for my flight to ORD. and I had yet to clear security.


The shower in the LH First Class Lounge

http://i.imgur.com/9A8W9.jpg
My snack at the lounge

http://i.imgur.com/vOI04.jpg
And the CurryWurst


User currently onlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 10930 times:

Flight 5:
MUC - ORD
Lufthansa 434
Airbus A340-600
Departure - 3:35 pm
Arrival - 6:20 pm
Seat: 1K

I quickly made my way towards security. Being that this was a flight to the US, I had to clear security once again. And boy is it strict. They x-ray your bags, and then they actually open them up again and look through them. What’s the point of x-raying them if you have to look at them anyways? Kind of redundant isn’t it? Then you get the pat down, which is almost borderline molestation. How did I leave a secure area at MUC airport? Sorry, but Rant Over…

I made my way to the boarding area and went to the premium boarding line. I boarded and was greeted by a beautiful FA by my last name. She showed me to my seat 1K and while I was still putting my stuff, she asked what I would like to drink. I went for bubbly again, and when she brought it she introduced me to my seat. Showed me a few things and greeted other fellow passengers. The F class today had a total of 4 passengers.

While I got settled in, the purser came and introduced himself and asked me about my travels. Once again, calling me from my last name. I was impressed already. He asked my size and then went and got me my pajamas and slippers along with my amenity kit.


The First Class Cabin, FINALLY!!!


My seat for the next 9 hours


Storage Space


The Welcome Drink with warm nuts


My huge TV Screen


LH First Class


The Bubbly open with roses

The pilot came on and told us that they were still waiting for some connecting passengers due to late incoming aircraft. The purser came to me and said, it would still be about 15 minutes before we would take off and topped off my champagne glass. Needless to say, I didn’t have to ask for champagne. As soon as the glass would be close to emptying, it would magically be filled again. That’s what I call service. I had already consumed about 3 glasses and the Purser came and kiddingly said prior to departure, “I’m sure there are still a couple more passengers left to board. Here’s another one. I’m sure you can fit this in before we take off!” I laughed but also thanked him. What an amazing personality. I must also say as a side note that this gentleman was very cheerful & attentive throughout the flight. Hands down one of the best FAs I’ve ever had a chance to meet.

Boarding was finally complete, doors were shut and as I finished my last glass of champagne, we started to push back. I was asked if I wanted another glass of champagne quickly, but I politely declined. The taxi time wasn’t too long this time and after another long roll, we were air-borne.

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Another guess at this area?


MUC Airport


Flying right over it now


Tried to take an overview shot


The empty F cabin


Fully Level at Cruising Altitude

The drink service commenced and I had a shot of Blue Label prior to the food servings started. The food menu was quite similar to the previous flight; however there were some more options. Sorry I forgot to click pictures of the actual menu.


Some Air Traffic


Interesting Clouds

The service started with this Tuna Tar-Tar
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Cruising


Caviar with some bread


Caviar


Some more starters


Soup


Touching England

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Duck with Rice


Red Bordeaux


Is this Dover?


A view of the English Channel


Racing another Jet (anyone want to guess the airlines?)


The infamous LH Rose


Dessert


German Chocolates

After a nice meal, I said that I wanted to sleep. I went to the bathroom and by the time I got back, my seat had been transformed into a bed. I guess the champagne must have helped as I slept quite comfortably for the majority of the flight. When I woke up we were still about 2.5 hours from Chicago. I went to the bathroom and when I came back, the seat was set up for sitting once again, and the Purser came with a hot towel. Once refreshed, without asking, he brought me a glass of champagne and said, “Good Morning. This is breakfast of champions!” I laughed and said, Thank you! The landing card had also been distributed.

For the second meal / snack, I selected the steak option. Sorry I forgot to take a picture of it, but as I remember, it was slightly over done. A bit on the dry side. Still delicious nonetheless. I remembered to at least snap a picture of the dessert that came with the second meal.


Another Dessert

After this meal, and another glass of champagne, we were beginning our descent into Chicago. The purser came to me and asked for some feedback and my experience. I told him that it was my first time in F he said, “I hope I was good enough so that I can see you on another Lufthansa flight soon!” my reply was, “you were fantastic. I really enjoyed the flight and would look forward to Lufthansa everytime”. This brought a smile to his face and he came back with another glass of champagne. Haha. This guy was getting me drunk!

I filled out my landing card and was soon going to touch down into Chicago.

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Another plane landing with us


Some tails at ORD


RJ at ORD

.

.


Aer Lingus

Overall, I think this was hands down the BEST flight I’ve ever had. Being in First Class obviously helped, but I get the feeling that the purser was just fantastic. He was cheerful, happy and anytime he came, there was always a genuine smile on his face. There was always an attempt to go above & beyond. The food was excellent, the drinks amazing and the lounge experience was fantastic again. If I had to give this a rating, it would definitely be a 10/10!!! That’s how perfect this flight was for me.

I thanked the Purser for a memorable flight and made my way to the arrivals hall. It was super packed and there wasn’t any separate line for premium passengers. Luckily I was still one of the first off the plane, but because other flights arrived, the lines were HUGE and packed. After about 30 odd minutes I was stamped & welcomed back home and I made to baggage claim to connect to my last flight to CMH. Carrying the duty free bottles, I opened my luggage and put both bottles inside and then left my luggage at the connecting belts. I made my way to the connecting terminal and headed for the United Club. My flight was to leave at 9:40; however when I got to the United Club, I found out that my flight was delayed to almost 11 pm departure. The lounge would close at 9, so I sat there till 9 pm. At this point, I was super tired…

Flight 6:
ORD - CMH
United Airlines 1580
Boeing 737
Departure - 9:40 pm
Arrival - 11:47 pm
Seat: 35C

My flight finally departed at around 11:30 pm due to late incoming aircraft. I was back to reality on this flight sitting in the back of the plane in Y. hehe. I guess it was good while it lasted. I boarded my flight, got to my seat and lo & behold, crying kids behind me. I felt like punching the parents because they didn’t do anything to silence them. The father put on his noise-canceling headphones and dozed off. The mother looked outside the window and seemed to ignore their kid who was pretty much screaming at the top of his lungs. I tried to catch some sleep but was not able to. I put on my headphone and closed my eyes and hoped for the best. This hour long flight couldn’t pass quick enough for me. I kid you not, the kid cried from the moment the door was closed until the moment the door was opened and people started getting off the plane. This was the only sore point on otherwise what was a perfect trip back home!!! My baggage was the first to arrive and in no-time I was outside with my sister there to pick me up. I was finally home at 1:30 am!!!


Thank you so so much for reading this uber long trip report… It was something very special for me, so I wanted to share a lot… If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask…


User currently onlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 10916 times:

Quoting caleb1 (Reply 2):

Thank you very much for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the trip report. I'm guessing there have been some difficulties posting the pictures. Not sure if it's picasa or something at A.net's end. Just can't seem to get it working. I hope you visit India soon. It's a fantastic country  
Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 3):

Thank you for pointing it out. I tried to post the trip again by breaking it down in smaller portions. Hopefully it works now. Thanks a lot for your kind words   I'm glad you enjoyed the trip. The food actually was quite delicious on the train.

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 4):

Thank you Karan. Glad you enjoyed both part 1 & part 2. Albeit, I should have been a bit more careful in the formatting of this report. I guess when you copy from Word onto here, something absurd happens. No idea why, but it does.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 5):

Marc, thank you once again for taking time to read my report. It encourages me to write more reports in the future  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 6):

Thank you for pointing this out. I have tried to re-post by breaking them down further. Hopefully they work now. Don't know why but when I copy from Word and paste it here, the code seems to get messed up after I hit 'Preview Post'. Thank you for the kind comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures I took   and glad you enjoyed the trip report as well!


User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 426 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (2 years 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 10801 times:

Hi buck3y3nut !
me again ... this is my reading for tonight ...
so so glad that you put some pictures of your tradition and that you share your personal thoughts with us ...
you have a wonderful experience and I am so glad and also glad with progress with airports infrastructure across India ...
thanks stipica  



Open your eyes and think
User currently offlineNimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3237 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 10322 times:

Wow - LH F seems like an awesome experience. Glad you had a safe and enjoyable journey back home - loved the report - thanks for posting.


Latest Trip Report - GoAir BLR-BOM-BLR
User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined exactly 14 years ago today! , 1740 posts, RR: 39
Reply 15, posted (2 years 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 9928 times:

(First off, please accept my condolences on your loss.)

An excellent set of trip reports buck3y3nut, really amazing!

I have yet to try out DEL's new terminal as I always end up flying to BOM when I go to India. Your pictures just make me want to try it more. It really does seem like a very modern airport.

Quoting buck3y3nut (Thread starter):
The Lounge that Lufthansa uses at DEL

Believe it or not, there is actually a Star Alliance lounge in BOM. We no longer have to use a 3rd party lounge like that in DEL. I am sure DEL will follow soon.

Quoting buck3y3nut (Thread starter):
Obviously I went with the Mango Lassi and it was quite delicious.

Very nice, can not say I have had that option on LH before.

Quoting buck3y3nut (Thread starter):
I also tried the Bitter Lemon for the first time and let me just say it won’t be the last time.

Bitter lemon really is good isn't it? I used to drink quite a bit of it when I lived in Germany.

Quoting buck3y3nut (Thread starter):
Overall, I’d say this was a great flight. Top Notch service, a very friendly crew along with the comfort of the Business Class seats. I would say that this flight was probably a notch above the ZRH-DEL J class flight on LX. And this is only because I felt the crew was slightly better.

You are the first person to tell me that as I always hear about how much better the Swiss crew is compared to LH. I myself have yet to try Swiss to actually form an opinion myself.

Quoting buck3y3nut (Reply 1):
I had already consumed about 3 glasses and the Purser came and kiddingly said prior to departure, “I’m sure there are still a couple more passengers left to board. Here’s another one. I’m sure you can fit this in before we take off!” I laughed but also thanked him. What an amazing personality. I must also say as a side note that this gentleman was very cheerful & attentive throughout the flight. Hands down one of the best FAs I’ve ever had a chance to meet.

I fly a lot of LH, in fact just walked off another flight this weekend with them. I actually have no issues with their cabin crews. I always for some reason end up chatting with them in galley when I want to stretch my legs and have never once felt uncomfortable when interacting with them. Even during the cabin crew strike earlier this month, in flight service was still up to the usual standard. Sure they don't pamper you like many Asian airlines but I have always received everything efficiently and with a smile. It is actually reassuring as I know exactly what to expect when flying Lufthansa, which is more than I can say for many other airlines around the world. They are if nothing else, consistent!

Quoting buck3y3nut (Reply 1):
Racing another Jet (anyone want to guess the airlines?)

Looks like another Lufthansa aircraft to me.

Quoting buck3y3nut (Reply 1):
After about 30 odd minutes I was stamped & welcomed back home

30 minutes? Consider yourself lucky. Earlier this month I spent 90 minutes waiting in line and I was one of the first off the aircraft! All the bags from our aircraft were already on the carousel just spinning round and round.


User currently offlineVIDP From India, joined Feb 2010, 161 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 9887 times:

Hi buck3y3nut

Sorrie to hear that your Grand mother passed away. Really enjoyed your trip report indeed well documented one. Radio cabs are nowdays easily available in New Delhi lots of competetion between them. (There are now 8-9) odd companies operating these kinds of radio taxi services and charges vary from INR 10 per KM to INR 20 per KM. Shatabdi,s rule in New Delhi . There are 7-8 odd Shatabdi,s which ply to various important cities in North India and return back in the same evening. Since Ajmeri Gate side Paking is huge thats always the right place to flag taxi,s for airport or other areas.

Next time you dont have sleep overnight at T3 . There is a transit hotel with both international and domestic wings. While international wing is accesible to people in transit or after immigration the domestic wing can be approached by all passengers who might have a flight to catch in the later part of the day. I had tried the Silver Kris Lounge which was recently opened by SQ. Much better than Plaza Premium or ITC Green lounge.

http://newdelhiairport.eatonhotels.com/index.html

Thanks
VIDP


User currently onlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 12 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 9496 times:

Quoting stipica (Reply 13):
Hi buck3y3nut !
me again ... this is my reading for tonight ...
so so glad that you put some pictures of your tradition and that you share your personal thoughts with us ...
you have a wonderful experience and I am so glad and also glad with progress with airports infrastructure across India ...
thanks stipica  

Thank you once again Stipica. I'm glad you enjoyed this report as much as the previous one. I always like to share my experience from the place I visit. I feel like it adds a bit of a personal touch to the usual aviation / airlines reporting   Plus I myself like to read trip reports that have some pictures of the destinations as well  
Quoting Nimish (Reply 14):

Wow - LH F seems like an awesome experience. Glad you had a safe and enjoyable journey back home - loved the report - thanks for posting.

Hi Nimish. LH F was definitely a pleasant experience. I was lucky enough to experience it; although I'm not so sure when the next time will be   he he. I'm glad you enjoyed the report. Thanks for reading  
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 15):
(First off, please accept my condolences on your loss.)

Thank you for your support! I appreciate it  
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 15):
An excellent set of trip reports buck3y3nut, really amazing!

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 15):
I have yet to try out DEL's new terminal as I always end up flying to BOM when I go to India. Your pictures just make me want to try it more. It really does seem like a very modern airport.

You should definitely try it. T3 is a as modern as any European or American airport (can't say about Asian airports, haven't been). The airport's vastness & infrastructure help in making it a much efficient airport. If only airline operations in India could be better, DEL T3 could become a very good connection point in India.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 15):
Believe it or not, there is actually a Star Alliance lounge in BOM. We no longer have to use a 3rd party lounge like that in DEL. I am sure DEL will follow soon.

That's great. I just found out (Via VIDP's post) that SQ has a SilverKris lounge at DEL. I didn't know about it. But I really didn't complain a whole lot. Was better to be sitting there instead of at the gate. I'm sure a *A lounge is in the books, especially if Jet ends up in *A  
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 15):
Bitter lemon really is good isn't it? I used to drink quite a bit of it when I lived in Germany.

Oh yes. I'd say I enjoyed it better than a Sprite or 7Up. Unfortunately I don't think i've seen it in the US!  
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 15):
You are the first person to tell me that as I always hear about how much better the Swiss crew is compared to LH. I myself have yet to try Swiss to actually form an opinion myself.

This was just my experience. The FAs on the EWR-ZRH flight sort of put me off! I got a couple glares from them and they weren't too friendly (per Swiss Standards that i've read here). Maybe that's why LHs FAs got a nod from me!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 15):
I fly a lot of LH, in fact just walked off another flight this weekend with them. I actually have no issues with their cabin crews. I always for some reason end up chatting with them in galley when I want to stretch my legs and have never once felt uncomfortable when interacting with them. Even during the cabin crew strike earlier this month, in flight service was still up to the usual standard. Sure they don't pamper you like many Asian airlines but I have always received everything efficiently and with a smile. It is actually reassuring as I know exactly what to expect when flying Lufthansa, which is more than I can say for many other airlines around the world. They are if nothing else, consistent!

Completely agree with you  
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 15):
Looks like another Lufthansa aircraft to me.

My guess would be as good as yours here  
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 15):
30 minutes? Consider yourself lucky. Earlier this month I spent 90 minutes waiting in line and I was one of the first off the aircraft! All the bags from our aircraft were already on the carousel just spinning round and round.

90 minutes at ORD? Even though the lines were big, they had quite a lot of desks open. So I guess 30 mins in line is what I waited. and then I was asked merely 2 questions. I got the stamp and was in  
Quoting VIDP (Reply 16):

Hi VIDP. Thank you for the tips on the hotel. I wish I had known that earlier. Would have gladly spent some Rs to spend a night there. Hopefully the next time I go to India, I won't have any issues like that   Or maybe I'll get some tips / pointers from users here and have it better planned! So what would you say is better at the SilverKris lounge? Is it better food? better ambiance? better seating? Just curious to know how it's better than the Plaza Premium...


User currently offlinemloew From Germany, joined Oct 2011, 32 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 12 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9326 times:

Great TR!
I just have to say wow what an experience. LH really seems to have a great F/J class.
Just btw, you did not fly over MUC but over Manching AB (IGS/ETSI), which is a bit north of MUC and is mainly used by Cassidian (EADS), and there are e.g. AWACS checks and the Eurofighter final assembly line (I just know because my uncle works there with the German Air Force).

Hope to see some more TR from you!

Cheers, Maurice



Proudly flying Oman Air
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5100 posts, RR: 55
Reply 19, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8978 times:

Sorry to hear about your loss. I am glad you were able to make it back home for it.

Quoting buck3y3nut (Thread starter):
The choice was: water, champagne, or mango lassi.

= And, this is why I say LH has done a great job localizing their product.

Quoting buck3y3nut (Thread starter):
Overall, I’d say this was a great flight. Top Notch service, a very friendly crew along with the comfort of the Business Class seats. I would say that this flight was probably a notch above the ZRH-DEL J class flight on LX. And this is only because I felt the crew was slightly better.

= Wow. I think you are in rare category  .

Thanks a lot or writing the report. It, and the pictures, were top notch.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineSketty222 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1778 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 8730 times:

Buckynut,

What a great report considering the reason you travelled over to India, a lot of people may not have written the report.
I must travel to India soon, it looks a fantastic place

Quote:
Is this Dover?

This is Sunderland on the North east coast of the UK

Quote:
A view of the English Channel

This is the North Sea with a view of the River Tyne and the outskirts of Newcastle



There's flying and then there's flying
User currently offlineVIDP From India, joined Feb 2010, 161 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 8487 times:

Quoting mloew (Reply 18):
So what would you say is better at the SilverKris lounge? Is it better food? better ambiance? better seating? Just curious to know how it's better than the Plaza Premium...

SQ lounge is a recent addition offcourse lot better than Plaza Premium and ITC Green lounge as they dont entertain any walk in guests unlike its peers. Liquor selection was better in the Kris lounge and was less crowded. Food i found was more or less at par with other lounges. But there is one place which is worth visiting in T3 for drinks and ie the Delhi Dare Devils Sports Bar and Lounge.

thanks
VIDP


User currently onlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 8207 times:

Quoting mloew (Reply 18):

Hi Maurice. Thank you very much for your comments. And thanks for pointing out the Manching AB as well. I would say, "Oops" on my part   I'm glad you enjoyed the report though! and I'm sure to write more in the future  
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 19):

Thank you so much for your comments. I would say to receive comments from a Trip Report Guru here on A.net, is quite a privilege   hehe. But maybe I was in the rare category because of the EWR-ZRH flight. The FAs seemed a bit robotic. I got a couple glares when I asked for Champagne refills and when the FA passed me and didn't collect my breakfast requirements, I had to say, "excuse me" and hand it to him. Mind you, this was after he had already collected everyone else's... I got a bit of a glare when I gave my b'fast card... on LH, I had nothing but smiles. They were all efficient. No glares, and anytime I asked for something I was given it without any qualms.

Quoting Sketty222 (Reply 20):

You absolutely should travel to India. It's a fantastic country with a lot of fun cities. Plus there is something to do that should cover every spectrum/interests/activities   Thank you for pointing out that was Sunderland. I wouldn't have guessed. Actually I did, and it was wrong.   I didn't know we were flying that far North. Maybe I should have kept my eye on the moving map when I took that picture, and taken notes. hehe. but maybe next time I will be more cognizant about it   Thank you for the comments on the trip report   Glad you liked it...

Quoting VIDP (Reply 21):

Got it. Thanks for the information. I wish I had known about the Delhi Daredevils Sports Bar & Lounge. I would have definitely popped in for a drink or two. Oh well, there's always next time (whenever that may be)!


User currently offlineidlewildchild From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 12 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 8072 times:

A great report! Thank you. When LH gets it right, there is no better.

User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5100 posts, RR: 55
Reply 24, posted (1 year 12 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7891 times:

Quoting buck3y3nut (Reply 22):
Thank you so much for your comments. I would say to receive comments from a Trip Report Guru here on A.net, is quite a privilege   hehe. But maybe I was in the rare category because of the EWR-ZRH flight. The FAs seemed a bit robotic. I got a couple glares when I asked for Champagne refills and when the FA passed me and didn't collect my breakfast requirements, I had to say, "excuse me" and hand it to him. Mind you, this was after he had already collected everyone else's... I got a bit of a glare when I gave my b'fast card... on LH, I had nothing but smiles. They were all efficient. No glares, and anytime I asked for something I was given it without any qualms.

= Haha. Thanks for the flattering comments. Hardly, a guru. But, you should write to LX however - and point them to the TR's - especially of LH.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
25 Post contains images buck3y3nut : Thank you very much for the comments Glad you enjoyed the report. Haha. You are quite modest A. I love reading your reports. BTW, How can I write to
26 Post contains images 9w748capt : What an excellent report - truly one of the best I've seen. Sorry for your loss - I have grandparents who are also getting up there in India, so I may
27 sjacob : Wonderful TR and sorry for the Loss.... Lovely pics, however, I don't know if this is cultural, but having lived in India before, up to now I wonder w
28 Post contains images buck3y3nut : Thank you so much for the kind message. I would never say good luck for that trip. But I wish all the best health & wealth to your grandparents A
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