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This trip was part of a more comprehensive SAN
trip. However I'll only be reporting on the more interesting sectors that have some razzle dazzle to report. The motive of this trip was a visit to Hong Kong, however I decided to make it interesting and stop in Munich for 2 days and turn it into a short round the world trip. Here's a few images from my 24 hours in Munich:
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LH to FRA
Flying the A340-600 from MUC
would have been more interesting due to the PTVs, and MUC
being a nicer airport, however the arrival time to HKG
was a bit inconvenient for me.
After about 24 hours of much walking and sightseeing in Munich, I hopped on an 11am shuttle flight from MUC
. I had originally planned on taking a midday flight so I could have a leisurely walk around the airport, since I've always been there on a rush, however when I checked in the LH
lady suggested I try to hop on the flight that was currently boarding, hence I had to rush once again :P.
Service on the 30 minute flight was surprisingly a full beverage service by a very nice cabin crew, they were all neatly groomed except for one guy who looked like he just rolled out of bed (and he had the hair to prove it). Service was perfectly adequate for such a short flight I think.
Arriving in FRA
at around 12pm, I had 5 hours to kill at the lovely and fabulous Frankfurt airport. It actually wasn't as bad as it may seem. Did some grocery shopping in the nearby Tegut market inside the DB
station, had some snacks and drinks at the AAdmirals Lounge (bless you Priority Pass!), at around 3:30pm I proceeded to passport control and my gate to HKG
It must be said that FRA
is messy, I wouldn't call it hellish but it certainly wouldn't call it cozy or warm. Walking to the C gates where the HKG
flight was departing seemed to take ages, by the time I was through with passport control and security there wasn't too much time to lounge about and lollygag at the gate before boarding.
On to the flight itself... It wasn't completely full so thankfully things went by quite smoothly. Being on standby I was not asigned a seat until boarding time, so once boarding began, I started to roam around the gate like a vulture, waiting to see what empty airplane seat I could scavenge
staff were friendly enough and asked me if I was on standby without me having to inquire them. I gave them my undescript and seatless standby boarding pass in exchange for a magical and wondrous aisle seat ! Hmm where could this mysterious 34D be located? Lets go inside the plane and find out !
Cabin crew seemed friendly enough, and actually, the economy class purser was quite a friendly and perceptive lady. Since I was lugging my camera around my neck she inquired if I had a window seat. I told her it was an aisle seat and she was friendly enough to say "Oh don't worry, we're not completely full so I might find a window seat for you". Nice to see FA
's engaging in small talk even with an almost full flight.
I found my seat and to my amusement it turned out to be a bulkhead aisle seat
. Legroom was a bit tight but at least I would be able to escape the clutches of my seat with ease. The purser passed by and commented "Oh you have one of the best seats in the cabin
" She then of course knew I was quite happy with the seat I had gotten.
Once boarding was completed, the purser also made a point of approaching the Star Gold passengers to thank them for their business, as well as offering any assistance should they need it, I thought this was a very nice touch on her part.
At this point, exhaustion began to set in.. it was almost 6pm and I had been up since 4 that morning, sightseeing, walking around airports and whatnot. Taxi and takeoff were a bit blurry, besides, there is not much in the way of entertainment in these LH
747s, if you're in the bulkhead aisle seats it's hard to watch the overhead monitors, and you can't look out the window either, so you can either sleep, read, or look around and see other passengers pick their noses.
Soon after takeoff our FAs sprung into action. They were mostly german ladies and a couple of apparently HK
based F/As, a nice bunch really.
Headsets and Menus were distributed... yes I said menus, apparently LH
is not consistent in its menu distribution policy, guess I was lucky.
FRA-HKG by Ricardo TG, on Flickr">FRA-HKG" />
's went through with the first drink and snack service, and afterwards they distributed the now infamous "wet napkins" which were better than no napkins I in my opinion, at least they helped me wipe all of the airport grime off of my hands.
Dinner service seemed to take quite a while though, cabin crew didn't come through with it until we were past Warsaw.
Finally I was presented with my fun dinner tray. I say fun because dinner service is always the entertainment highlight of the flight for me. Who can resist the charm of the mystery meats? the fun little condiment packages, and the challenge of elbow to elbow eating. In this case the eating was all the more challenging because my elderly chinese seatmate had no problem claiming parts of the armrest and beyond as his own, he was old and frail so I couldn't really be too much of a bully.. rats !
Dinner itself was good, the presentation was a bit dull but the taste was not bad at all. I was only concerned for the safety of my Warsteiner, it was always tethering and dangerously close to the edge of the tray which would be fine in other circumstances, except that on one side was my seatmate with his wildly flailing arms who could easily cause a barley scented disaster, while on the other side was the aisle, with it's ever present threat of a hit and run by a rougue bottom.
Once done with dinner, I was certainly ready to crash out. FA
's passed round with coffee and tea but I don't think I remember much about it. I slipped soundly into sleep despite the tight quarters, I can't usually sleep while sitting but I guess exhaustion is your best friend when flying Y.
I woke up after a few hours of dozing off and took this shot. Felt nice to be flying over these parts of the world.
's were continuously walking around the aisle offering water or juice so I never went thirsty.
IFE with Lufty on these 747s is a bit basic but it's not a complete loss. They have this amusing way of always showing a small preview documentary of the movie they're about to show. I love it ! When the movie finally starts you can't help but get a bit excited... "oh joy, I'm so lucky, it's that movie they were just talking about"
(Yes I admit, perhaps I'm easy to entertain, they might as well dangle some car keys in front of me)
I couldn't help but watch this amusing Hong Kong movie about an unmarriable businesswoman who hires an actor to make her parents believe she's getting married or something of the sorts, I was in such a somniferous daze that I don't even remember the plot correctly (anyone know the name with the scarce details I provided?), but it was very entertaining actually, and it made one and a half hours go by smoothly.
After more dozing off and stretching out it was time for the next meal. Crewmembers passed by the cabin with more wet napkins and then a choice of either omelette or noodles. As omelettes are boring I chose the exciting pork noodles with sauteed eggplant!. To be honest the taste was not terribly exciting but it wasn't awful either. And the pieces of fruit were nice.
Plates were cleared and we were zig-zagging over China, one more hour to go
Thank heavens I had loaded some good TV
episodes on the pod as they proved a nice break from the neck crunching overhead tv monitor.
Descent and approach into HKG
were rather scenic as it was clear and we had a nice view of Macau, as I was far from any window I missed out on most of the fun though. Still, a worthy tradeoff as escaping from a window seat in economy is a nightmare unless you like imposing your arse on the faces of others.
After some twisting and turning around puffy white morning clouds and we were landing at HKG
's runway 25R. We were a whole 15 minutes ahead of schedule
Immigration and Customs were as breeze as they always are in HKG
So, how was the 10 hour 20 minute treck on LH
economy? Not bad, not bad at all ! While the 747 is very spartan in regards to IFE, there is little to complain about in terms of inflight service. Crewmembers were efficient and friendly, particularly our purser which was excellent. Food was adequate and beverage runs were constant. It was far from luxurious, but it got the job done in a very German way.
It would be a mistake to expect asian style service standards on LH
, and if you board your flight with that in mind I don't think you could be disappointed.
[Edited 2009-08-27 23:57:48]