Adventures with Lufthansa and FTU Amsterdam – An (un)expected layover at Frankfurt
- Would I like to speak at FTU? Umm. Yes!
- To the airport, LH953 Birmingham to Frankfurt
- An (un)expected extended layover (This section)
- LH996 Frankfurt to Birmingham (Business Class)
- The Park Inn Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
- Speaking at FTU Amsterdam
- LH997 Amsterdam Schiphol to Frankfurt Main
- What is the meaning of the words “Reasonable Connection” at Frankfurt?
- LH958 Frankfurt to Birmingham
- Learning goes both directions
After getting off the plane, it was obvious we had arrived at a hard stand, and would need to be bussed to the terminal. In a way, I expected this as all Frankfurt arrivals I’ve had in the past from Birmingham have ended up with a bus ride around Frankfurt.
As usual, there was a wait for the buses to fill up before departing – further cutting into the connection time that I had. With the booked 45 minute connection, there was hope, but it was minimal.
Still, I got another free ramp tour.
Arriving into the terminal, I hightaild it from B Arrival and begun to the follow the signs to the A Gates. Considering my flight was going from A40 – the back end of the A gates, this was turning into an exercise in futlitiy. Still, the exercise had to be completed.
Alas, I was treated as an “unclean” arrival (having to go through passport control and customs clearance) – which meant I had to backtrack practically to the main arrivals/departures hall, before peeling off at the last moment to the security queue that seemed to stretch on and on.
With no priority security for me – that was my connection gone.
Security took about 20 minutes to clear, and with 20 minutes to get from the plane to the security queue… with 5 minutes to go and my plane at the far end of the A gates… nope. Not happening.
Still – I followed procedure, and headed to the A gates
Not as good as the United brainwashing tunnel in Chicago.
I popped out at the A gates, and followed through – completing the long hike to A40.
I got there – and unsurprisingly the plane had went, with the gate staff wrapping up. I’m not sure what they were expecting me to go into a rage, or strop, or something completely negative… because I just shrugged and said “It’s not your fault”.
I then kept on being nice as they begun the process of rebooking me – to the point where I think I was scaring them with my niceness.
Well – there was no point getting angry or upset. The plane had gone, and I wasn’t aboard it. It was easier to just go with the flow. I did ask they try and get me a seat on the next flight – which they managed.
I was issued a new boarding pass for the evening flight to Amsterdam, along with a €10 food voucher. They thanked me for my paitence and understanding, and soon I was off again.
The empty gate… sigh.
With that done, I hiked back through to the main terminal. With an expected gate of A13 – near the centre of the airport – I headed for the main Business lounge.
Lounge Stop: Lufthansa Business Lounge
I was beeped into the lounge and headed in to a very busy lounge. Well it was Friday, and everyone was buzzing around.
I found some seats that seemed reasonable (and more importantly, near a power point), and settled in.
As I was nowhere near finishing a slide deck for the presentations I was doing, this was actually welcome downtime that I could work in peace in.
Well, the work in peace thing would be a joke with the noise in the lounge, but it was better than the main terminal to work in.
The urge for food was coming, so I explored the drinks and food options
The food options were quite nice, with the food refreshed often. It was suitable for the lounge it was – which is no bad thing.
Drinks as well, with everything well stocked (with soft drinks coming out of a fountain dispenser).
The views from the lounge were passable too.
The Wifi was at a passable speed, allowing me to get my presentation decks from “sort of reasonable” to “passable”, with more than enough to do ensure I’d be working on them with minutes to go before the presentation.
The lounge got busier as the day continued – I was too burried in the slide decks to notice, until 4pm came. At that point, it was time to head out of the lounge and to the gate.
Thankfully, the gate had not changed, with our service due to depart from Gate A13 – which was just down the corridor from the Business Lounge
Gate A13. Much less of a hike than A40.
Now for those of us who don’t have lounge access (such as me from Feb 2015 on Star Alliance), there is one very nice feature offered at the gate with Lufthansa
Drinks and papers for all customers on Lufthansa .
It’s a small thing, but such a great thing to offer customers – a drink before you get aboard along with the papers not clogging the jetbridge.
Outside, my plane was waiting – and it was one of the older workhorses in the Lufthansa fleet – a Boeing 737-500
Boarding begun a bit late, with business class passengers told to use manual gates. Once they were boarded, economy class passengers were invited to board through the automatic gates.
I lined up and beeped my boarding pass. There was another beep and a recepit spat out of the gate. That doesn’t happen normally…
Turns out that contained something rare – a battlefield upgrade
That rarest of rare things in Star Alliance – a battlefield upgrade from K to B, and upgraded to Business Class!
Out of all time times I’ve flown on Star Alliance airlines, this was the second time the battlefield upgrade gods have looked upon me and said “It’s YOU!”.
With a bounce in my step, I headed down the airbridge.
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