My last trip through Frankfurt back in June, to put it mildly was a bloody nightmare. This time I was travelling in First Class, so it was significantly better.
I disembarked the A380 via the upstairs jet-bridge and followed the signs to connecting flights and the ‘A’ gates. This lead firstly to immigration, which was pretty quick via the e-Gates, and then onwards to security. There was a dedicated line for first and business class, but it was still around 08.30 in the morning so the whole area was pretty busy. Around fifteen minutes later I was airside again in the main terminal area of the Schengen part of the airport as I was connecting on to Milan Linate.
Following the signs to the lounge complex, I found the entrance, walked up the stairs where I was warmly welcomed into the lounge with a scan of my boarding pass.
It had a great view over the apron to watch the comings and goings of the airfield. Having just spent nine hours on an aeroplane I headed for a shower and then suitably refreshed decided to grab a bit of breakfast. I didn’t have too long to connect here, roughly ninety minutes.
What struck me was how consistent the service and product was with the First Class Terminal – the food, decor, everything was virtually identical and just as high quality. It’s also just struck home as to how oddly inconsistent the overnight flight I’d just off was.
It wasn’t long before one of the members of lounge staff came to find to me to get me taken to the aircraft. One of the huge benefits of the service is that they will drive you to the aircraft. In this case, the aircraft was parked on a remote stand so made it even more useful.
Being the geek that I am, it was a brilliant opportunity to take a few pictures.
It’s also where you get a realisation of the sheer size of Frankfurt Airport – I’ve got no idea where our aircraft was parked, but it must have been a good 10 or 15 minute drive before we finally arrived at the aircraft. I joked to the driver that he was driving me to Milan instead!
Being driven to the aircraft meant I was first on board where I managed to grab a couple more photos. And then we waited for another fifteen minutes before any other passengers turned up. The flight was only two third full so boarding didn’t take too long and we pushed back around fifteen minutes late. It was only an hour’s flight down to Linate.
I’d checked in a bag, which took around 25 minutes to arrive, where
Breakfast was served but having just eaten in the lounge I declined. It didn’t take long before we were on final approach and we landed about ten minutes late. Linate is a pretty small airport so was surprised that when we arrived and pulled up to the terminal we had one of the only three or four jet-bridges at the airport, taking us straight out into the arrivals area.
I’d checked in a bag, which took around 25 minutes to arrive and was straight out into the arrivals area. Being such a small airport, it was only a single escalator upstairs from arrivals into the departures area, where the British Airways desk was a few steps away. There was no queue for check-in, and my bag was untagged and re-tagged for London. Security had no queue either and perhaps 40 minutes after landing I was in the dungeon like British Airways lounge. I’d around an hour to wait before boarding so time for an espresso and catch up on social media.
The non-Schengen area at Linate is very small and is just three bus gates accessed by a fairly variable immigration queue. It took me about ten minutes to get through that, by which time they were boarding groups 1, 2 and 3 onto the bus. Then the magic beep happened – 11A to 4C. The flight seemed utterly packed so was a great end to the trip.
I wrote a couple of days ago that travelling in Europe is pretty ‘meh’. That hasn’t changed. Whether you’re in economy or business, I’m not sure it really matters. However the Lufthansa first class ground experience is excellent – Frankfurt is awful and actually turns it into a place that’s a pleasure to connect through.