In a normal mileage run, you spend as little money as possible to earn as many frequent flyer miles as possible (so you can afford that one award you're longing for). I have done quite the opposite for a mileage run: I had some miles in my account that were about to expire, and as someone who really enjoys flying, I wanted to get as many flights out of my miles as possible.
I ended up attending the Assembly computer fair in August 2006, and my routing was DTM-MUC-HEL and HEL-FRA-MUC-DUS. I've booked my award flights quite late, and just couldn't get any other routing:
My flight started at the bus station outside my house in DTM around 9am. After an hour on the bus, I arrived at the airport at the other end of the city. Checkin there was a breeze (DTM is quite small), and I can still remember the puzzled look of the checkin agent when she looked at the itinerary on the passenger receipt. The first leg, DTM-MUC, was on a Canadair RJ 200, with only a drink service in Y. We've climbed out of DTM towards the West, and through some holes in the clouds I could see my house! We've arrived in MUC and parked on a remote stand, being bussed to the terminal.
It was my first time in MUC, and also the first time ever I had to make a connection. Therefore, I've allowed myself some comfortable 3 hours. All passengers from DTM were delivered at one end of terminal 2, and (you've gussed) it, I had to walk to the other end for my gate. There, a shiny A330 was docked! Unfortunately, my flight to HEL was called out on a bus gate in the lower level, and the equipment was an A320. I have been upgraded to business class, seat 1A, on this flight. Lufthansa actually does not use dedicated J seats, but has got the same 3-3 seating throughout the aircraft. For the rows disgnated as J, they block all middle seats and have got small tray tables there. Very good place for your laptop!
After a rough climb through thick clouds and some turbulence, we've reached our flight level. Soon the first drink service began, followed by lunch: some nice chicken with rice and carrots in some brown sauce, accompanied by a roll with butter, a salad and some dessert. It was very good and more than welcome (no pics, sorry). The rest of the flight was rather uneventful with some more drinks, as I had to prepare some stuff on my laptop. Soon, we were above the baltic sea and approaching HEL:
Near the baltic sea:
The coast of Finland:
This picture was taken around midnight (note the still very bright sky):
The dome of Helsinki:
Ferries in the harbor:
After some great days in Helsinki (you should definately go there), it was time to get back home. I was a bit worried because I had to make 2 rather tight connections this day. The SAS checkin in HEL was very crowded, and the checkin agent said she could only route me DUS-FRA-MUC, and I couldn't get a boarding pass for MUC-DUS in HEL. Fortunately, she was wrong, and her computer printed three boarding passes, and a baggage tag all the way to DUS.
The first flight was again on an A320, although this time with a very high load, and myself being placed in Y class. I was very surprised to be addressed by name this time (!), and got a nice pasta lunch (some tortellini in a rich tomatoe sauce, accompanied by the usual roll, salad and dessert):
"Off block" in HEL:
Over northern Germany:
We were parked at a remote stand in FRA, which would eat into my connection. I blazed through FRAs terminals A and B, found my departure gate, and would be bussed to the next plane for FRA-MUC... which was a shiney A340-600! Yes!
4 engines 4 uuuh - a short hop?
The massive tail of D-AIHH:
Over southern Germany:
This short hop offered a drink service even in Y, along with a very smooth flight. In MUC, I connected to the last flight of the day, MUC-DUS on a A320 (again). The last flight offered a drink service yet again, and I approached home as we were flying into the sunset:
Probably somewhere near FRA:
I hope you've enjoyed my trip report, and I'll appreciate your comments!