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IAD To MRS With LH Via MUC - Great Flights  
User currently offlineOB1783P From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 326 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 5649 times:

My 30th and 31st transatlantic crossings.

Back in April, I decided with my parents that September would be a good time to visit them in Aix en Provence. I got the dates approved at work and looked at the possibilities to use miles on United.com. Few *A carriers fly to Marseille, therefore the choice was mostly whether to transfer via Frankfurt or via Munich. I picked Munich because it is much more pleasant than Frankfurt for a transfer... and for the possibility to have breakfast at Dallmayr.

The last time I visited my parents, I had flown from EWR. This time, I decided to leave from IAD. (I live in a spot practically equidistant from IAD, EWR, BWI, and PHI). The day before my flight, I was able to check in and print my boarding passes at Lufthansa.com. The computer picked great bulkhead seats for me for both long flights without me having to ask.

I left work at 16:00 sharp, picked up my bag (only one bag, no checked luggage) at home, and drove to IAD which went very fast (2 1/4h). I parked in the Blue Lot long term parking. It was still daylight, and I felt I had a good grip of where I left my car. Furthermore, I wrote the row on the ticket.

Security was well organized and relatively prompt, after which I experienced, for the first time, the new train system.
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As always I was way early, and the B concourse was like a ghost town at this hour of the evening.
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But I had a plan. As a Mileage Plus Explorer card carrier, I got two passes to the United lounge. I've seen those lounges in all your trip reports here, and I expected an exclusive, refined - and filling - experience. So I schlepped to the United concourse (with the train) and found the lounge near gate C7. The entrance was forbidding enough, and the hostess was classy in an executive way. But the lounge was a letdown: tired businessmen with their shoes off working on their laptops, espresso in styrofoam cups, and Milano cookies. What? Where is the satay? the bruschetta? the congee? Ah well, maybe that's earlier in the day... So I took the train back to Concourse B and waited patiently at the same gate - B49 - where I had taken a 747 to FRA three years earlier. Boarding was orderly and fast: quiet crowd, and full flight.
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Sept 14, 2012
LH 415 IAD to MUC
22:05 - 12:30 (on time)
A330-300
Seat 24A

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The safety announcements were done on the screens, in a Pixar style.
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Dinner was okay, no more (it would be better westwards). The entertainment was not the best: the touch screen was temperamental and the choice of movies was lackluster. However, the classical music choices were great (audio and video) and that kept me occupied. The service was uniformly superb: classy and charming.
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Breakfast was cold, but fine. The approach was smooth, and so was the landing, followed by sharper braking than I am used to (true for all four flights).
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Passport control into Europe was easy and quick (that's the part that was awful in Frankfurt).
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The Marseille flight was reached via a rather long bus ride
Sept 15, 2012
LH 2264 MUC to MRS
14:50 - 16:25 (on time)
ERJ-190-200LR 195LR
Seat 3C

Not much to say: I will let the photos to the explaining.
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The ramp at MRS was quiet, but we didn't get a gate. Again, a bus was needed. We arrived at the same time as a larger Air Algerie flight, and the arrival hall was a bit hectic, but my parents were there, reliable as always.
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After a wonderful 6 days together, it was time to return home.
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I was able to print the transatlantic boarding pass from my mom's computer, but not the boarding pass for the first flight. I checked in at the counter in MRS and they printed me a boarding pass on Lufthansa card stock.
Sept 21, 2012
LH 2263 MRS to MUC
13:10 - 14:45 (on time)
CRJ-900LR
Seat 9F

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Back in Munich, I didn't have as much time, so I went straight to the gate, through various controls. Not the wisest choice: that gate - H02 - was isolated, with little food choices. I should have spent my last Euros on the way.
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Sept 21, 2012
LH 141 MUC to IAD
15:55 - 19:20 (on time)
A330-300
Seat 24K

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As I said, the food was better in this direction. The service, once again, was outstanding.
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I enjoyed this section of the entertainment programs: short movies about arriving and clearing customs at all the major airports of the world.
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Strange pre-landing snack, but it was good.
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Passport control was fine, but I took my parking ticket out of my wallet too early, and I managed to lose it. I remembered my row and the Blue lot. The Iranian shuttle driver was quite helpful, and it took me a while to find my car in the dark. I was tired by then. At the gate, the attendant took note of my license plate and confirmed the 'in' date I had given him. I was not charged extra. I probably drove too fast on the way home, but I made it in one piece.

Conclusion: Lufthansa offers a consistently magnificent product, even in coach. Its regional arm is equally reliable. (The touchscreens of the entertainment system on the A330-300 are...touchy!) The Dulles Parking staff is gracious and well prepared for tired travelers who lose their tickets.

Maybe when I go see my parents next year I can book segments on the A380 or the 748.



I've flown thousands of miles and I can tell you it's a lot safer than crossing the street!
2 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1118 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4515 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report with some nice pictures, thanks for sharing.
Nice to see you had some enjoyable flights with LH!

cheers,

Brendan


User currently offlinelxa333 From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 279 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 4306 times:

i was in aix in 2009, had a great time. would definitely go back, looks like you had an awesome trip.I went from paris to aix tgv station, a bit out of the way from aix en provence, but getting off the train you can smell the great aroma of the area.


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