Aboard Lufthansa’s Flying Lab – To Boston, with Lufthansa and Recaro
Featuring The Lufthansa Flying Lab, APEX Expo and Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas
In this adventure
- A call from Germany
- Off to Heathrow T2. Wait. Terminal 2??
- LH2473 London Heathrow to Munich Airport
- Exploring innovation on the ground at Munich Airport
- LH424 Munich to Boston with Lufthansa and Recaro Aircraft Seating
- Into Boston, The Holiday Inn Bunker Hill
- Exploring Boston
- Robot and Bowl Food – Exploring Spyce… and lessons for the Passenger Experience?
- Oodles of Noodles – Pho and Ramen in Boston
- The APEX Conference and Expo – What you missed
- Back to Boston Logan International airport
- LH423 Boston Logan to Frankfurt am main
- The joy of Frankfurt Airport
- LH924 Frankfurt to Heathrow… with a neo
- Train? Thataway.
- The outlook for the next six months
Editors Intro: So yes. To some – in writing this trip report – I’ve sold my soul by partnering with a big company to deliver a passenger experience set of posts, as well as live tweeting myself to oblivion when this occurred. To those, I say this: believe it or not – to write quality content, a lot of my own cash goes into this (and seen minimal returns)
I’ve never redacted an opinion because a company told me to – and I’m not starting now. With considerable cost that an event like this, revenue ticketing was… near enough an impossibility on my budget.
At least I don’t flog credit cards. Just be thankful for that grace and mercy (and I’ve lost count of when I’ve written about credit cards in the UK.. least of all the FCA has stringent rules on that sort of thing).
To those who have hung around thick and thin – This trip is a lot more usual style I write when I’m at trade shows… I thank you from my keyboard for your support.
A Call from Germany
In the middle of the hot summer of 2018 in the UK, I got a phone call. Picking up my phone, it was a number from Germany.
I haven’t been nasty at all about the German football team, and phone-jacking spammers don’t tend to use Germany.
Over the past few years, I’ve been building contacts, and when flying – as you know – I try to give my honest impression of a seat. And I’ve slowly been building a good relationship with Recaro (from chatting about media releases to the latest products deployed… and spending time talking about the passenger experience).
Recaro Aircraft Seating kindly reached out to me, and asked what I was up to in September, and explained they would like me as a guest aboard the Lufthansa Flying Lab, which would fly before APEX Expo and Aircraft Interiors Expo North America.
So what’s the idea of the Lufthansa Flying Lab?
A flying lab is to demonstrate ideas – be they technical, fashion or aviation related, and present those ideas and some demonstration ideas in the air.
And it’s important to note that these flying labs aren’t charter flights or specially put on flights – these are scheduled flights in the Lufthansa reservation system on a commercial service – with LH424 between Munich and Boston due to take the load for the day.
Lufthansa has run some Flying Labs before to South by South West, Fashion weeks and so on, so it would be interesting to see how Lufthansa would step up to the plate – and with a range of speakers from the Aviation industry (including Lufthansa Systems Airbus, Recaro, Panasonic, T-Mobile, Star Alliance and even Finnair), it was shaping out to be an interesting flight).
Recaro kindly booked ticket for me on LH424, with an interesting routing to and from Boston:
- London Heathrow to Munich – Airbus A319
- Munich to Boston, MA – Airbus A350-900
- Boston to Frankfurt-am-Main – Boeing 747-8i (that’s not a typo…)
- Frankfurt-am-Main to London Heathrow – Airbus A320 “with sharklets”
Hmmm… some interesting things in the booking to say the least, with two new generation planes listed in the booking.
Onto the hotels – and let’s say that hotel pricing in Boston was… insane. There’s no other polite way to put it.
Initially, I tried to AirBnB my way around the hotel issue. That – as most of you know ended very badly, with at least 2 booking rejections.
With time running out, I did what any points collector does – and reach into the pile of hotel points. With capacity around Boston… tight to say the least, it was a matter of finding a Holiday Inn or something reasonable that wouldn’t bankrupt me in the Cash and Points battle.
And I found one at the Bunker Hill area of Boston. 45,000 points and £212.
I wasn’t sure if to laugh or cry at that price, but that was the price declared. And still cheaper than the Holiday Inn Express Boston that I stayed in once – (which was 30,000 points a night + cash)
Finally to join the dots together, I booked a cheap Virgin Trains service between Birmingham and London, whilst keeping an open mind for the return journey.
I had 1 hour to transit Frankfurt Airport. I’ve been burned before at Frankfurt Airport on short transit times, and I’m sure as hell not going to play run the risk for any airline.
So here’s the map. Let’s fly and learn!
FULL DISCLOSURE: Recaro Aircraft Seating kindly invited Economy Class and Beyond, as a guest on the Lufthansa Flying Lab, as well as paying for the flights as part of this.
Economy Class and Beyond attended Apex Expo and Aircraft Interiors Expo North Americas as a media delegate
All opinions and thoughts are the author’s own, and are not directed by Recaro Aircraft Systems, Lufthansa Systems, APEX or Aircraft Interiors Expo.
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