September 28, 2001
MUC-LAX Flight #452
This was a return flight for my husband and I. We vacationed in Germany for three weeks and flew to Munich on 9/7. I was going to include that trip report while in Germany but due to the events of 9/11, it was not a priority.
The first leg of the trip started at Berlin-Tegel to Munich. We arrived two hours early, which was way too early due to this being a domestic flight. Security was very tight, we were groped at and "felt up" for at least 3 minutes each. The flight was nice and uneventful.
Upon landing in Munich, we had about 1 hour and 20 minutes to catch our flight to L.A. We passed through passport control to yet another security check. Again, security was very thorough. Our carry on bags were opened (all of them) and thoroughly checked. I was asked to take out my camera and my husband had to take out and turn on his laptop. We were checked out and felt up again, and then we spent about 15 minutes in the Business Class lounge before departing.
Before take off, we were served sparking wine or orange juice. We took off from Munich promptly at 13:40 local time. The take-off was bumpy and we climbed to 35,000 feet. We were served dinner, and had a choice of souffle with shrimp, ravioli with mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes, or lamb. My husband chose the ravioli and I the souffle. I immediately noticed that upon opening my silverware, there was a regular fork, two spoons, and two PLASTIC KNIVES. Sign of the times I guess. Both meals were delicious!
Lufthansas business class offered a PTV. I watched two movies during the flight, "Heartbreakers" and "Shrek". My husband kept telling me to be quiet because I guess I was laughing to loud at Shrek. What a cute movie.
The flight was somewhat bumpy flying over Greenland and Canada. The seat-belt sign came off about 2 hours after the flight but the bumps continued for another 4 or so. We flew over the Great Lakes and the bumps were gone for the rest of the flight. Not a cloud in the sky, gorgeous clear weather. Lufthansa's business class seats are great, we were in the nose section in the second row seats, which was the same seats we had on the way to Munich. Total relaxation and comfort!
During the flight, we were constantly being offered drinks, fruit and snacks. Sometimes we were offered sandwiches or cake. All of the flight attendants were extremely friendly on both trips and one of them even commented on how good my German was, which I thought was very sweet! I still need a lot of practice though!
About 2 hours before landing in L.A., we were served another hot meal. It consisted of a stuffed chicken breast on salad with dressing, hot rolls and cherry cheesecake for dessert. Again, it was absolutely delicious! Plastic knives were included again.
My husband and I decided to take a walk around the plane and visit first class upstairs. It was amazing how EMPTY the plane was. Usually as most of you can attest to, flights to L.A. are always PACKED. Business class was virtually empty, there were 3 people on First and economy class had many open seats.
Landing was smooth and unventful. My husband and I quickly deplaned and walked rapidly to baggage control and customs. Was struck me was that the entire area was COMPLETELY EMPTY! It was like a ghost town. Not one carousel was spinning! Unbelievable. We quickly got our bags, went through customs without a problem and we were curbside in 20 MINUTES! This has never happened before. I have flown to Germany many times and recently to Mexico and the customs area has always been a zoo. Not anymore!
LAX was not allowing passenger pick-ups or airport parking. We waited for a shuttle bus to take us to LOT B which is about a mile and a half from the airport. There, we had a family member park our car. There was a tent with people awaiting family and busses to take them to the airport as well. A great location, as the planes were flying very low overhead to the landing strip. Something you "spotters" may want to consider...
Anyways, I can say that Lufthansa's long-haul business class service was absolutely fabulous. The flight was comfortable, great service and the flight attendants were efficient, and always friendly. For me, Lufthansa is the only way to fly to Germany!!!