Lufthansa Flight 4758, London to Munich
Admittedly, I arrived at London Heathrow’s Terminal One a bit late for my flight, 26 hours late to be exact. I did have a good excuse, however: the 35 cm of snow at JFK that delayed my initial outbound flight. London had snow as well, all flights were delayed, and my scheduled flight was not until 8 p.m. (I arrived in London around noon). Despite the long lines everywhere, I only had to wait ten minutes on the business class line. The friendly and helpful agent put me on a flight scheduled for 3:15 p.m. as a standby passenger and she was fairly confident I would get on.
Flight 4758 was already delayed until 6 p.m. so I headed to the Star Alliance lounge to avail myself of a variety of hot and cold dishes, beverages, numerous seating options, and free WLAN. (The lounge also has showers and a children’s play area but I didn’t require either on this trip.)
The gate was an altogether different matter: it was hot and stuffy. Boarding finally started and since business class passengers can board at any time I was one of the first on the aircraft.
The flight crew was welcoming, taking passenger coats and jackets and offering moist towels before departure. I was seated in the first row and the aircraft was completely full.
Once we were aloft, the flight crew began the meal service. Lufthansa wants its passengers to experience some of Europe’s popular dishes through its “Discover European Favourites” program. Recipes come from Scandinavia and Central and Southern Europe.
The appetizer was Italian antipasti: button mushrooms and marinated balsamic onions, fried aubergine, grilled zucchini, and red and yellow bell peppers. My main course was a nicely prepared brisket of beef pastrami, served with green sauce and a hard boiled egg, a specialty of Hesse. For dessert, we were served a very tasty Tiramisu, an Italian classic.
The Airbus A320 grey leather business-class seats aren’t terribly different from those in the main cabin except that the middle seat (it’s a 3-3 configuration) is always left vacant. They were very comfortable and more than sufficient for a trip that would last less than two hours.
Upon arrival, I was one of the first off the plane. No baggage was coming from the carousel labeled for our flight and it took about 20 minutes until I (along with several dozen other passengers) found the right carousel and bags.
Friendly service and tasty food, along with plenty of room to relax and work – what more could a business traveler wish for?
Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.