Whoever said getting there is half the fun hasn’t flown commercial since about 1985 and certainly hasn’t experienced a long haul flight in the back of the bus. I know I’m dating myself here, but I still remember my first Trans-Atlantic flight. The year was 1972 (long gone), the airline was TWA (also long gone), and the service in Economy was superb (what’s service?). That flight bore little resemblance to the experience of flying in 2017. Back in the “olden” days, if you flew at all you were special, and if you were flying internationally you were really treated well. This is exhibit A – the menu from coach on my first overseas flight. Can you imagine someone going through a time warp machine and expecting this today?😳
Since we live in Houston, we normally fly the “friendly” skies where I don’t think anyone has smiled since the merger with Continental. Alas, a look at our account let us know we didn’t have enough miles for round-trip Business tickets (Jim is fond of reminding me I’m a retired educator!🙄), so the search was on. I’m all about comfort, and I’m a fidgety flyer at the best of times…the thought of 10 hours in one of United’s Economy Plus seats almost made me not want to go. On my flights in December and March it seemed like they had removed all the padding from the seats and replaced the cushions with overstock from Lumber Liquidators! That didn’t seem very “friendly” to me, and I knew there had to be something out there that I could tolerate and Jim would approve!😉
Anyway, back to the search. I discovered Premium Economy which is a fairly new concept…it’s a way of making people without the money or points for the front of the plane feel like they’re still getting something for their money…slightly wider seats, more recline, better food service, bigger IFE screens, etc. Another way of looking at it is the experience will probably be pretty close to flying Trans-Atlantic in the 70s!
We chose a Lufthansa flight, mostly because Jim wanted to fly on the A380, so we are flying Houston-Frankfurt-Rome on the biggest plane we’ve ever flown on. It seats about 100 people more than a 747, and looking at the seat map, today’s flight is full! Our seats are 51 H&K, which look to be about as good as you can get these days without paying for Business or First. I liked that the seats are a little secluded and there should be very little foot traffic. Maybe I’ll even sleep…I got up at 4:50 this morning, so I should be ready for a nap by the time we get to the Atlantic!😊
We got picked up a few minutes early, and when we were at the airport at 1:00 I thought we were home free. Unfortunately we still had to navigate Terminal D security, which had to be the most incompetent display of a security checkpoint I’ve ever seen. TSA pre-check? “Yes, ma’am, go here. No, go there. Oops, we need everybody to get out of line and go get sniffed by the dog.” We navigated that roadblock (by this time we were both sweating like pigs) and finally made it past the surly TSA agent to be told, “Oh, everybody’s pre-check today!” Of course, most of the people didn’t know what that meant, and there was nobody there to tell them, so they’re unpacking their bags at the x-ray machine anyway. It was a complete circus. I don’t know who was responsible, but I do hope that was the worst part of the day!
We finally crawled into a quiet corner in the United Club, and this is where we stayed until it was time to go to the gate. I don’t deal well with airports anymore. They are just SO crowded, and it seems like nobody knows where they’re going and half the people are angry.
Can you guess which drink is Jim’s and which one is mine?😆
We’re at the gate waiting to board. Hopefully I’ll be able to post again once we’re on the plane, but if not, Addio Houston, a presto a Roma!😂