Tim Foolery

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Frankfurt Airport: Check-in and Lounges

We headed back to the Frankfurt Airport after spending a few hours exploring the City.  Our bags had been checked through to Hanoi, but every other time we’ve flown with various carriers we’ve had to get new boarding passes with the carrier we were actually flying on. In this instance, we figured our Lufthansa boarding passes for the Thai flight wouldn’t cut it.

We found the Thai check-in counter and the Economy line was quite long – but the counters weren’t even open yet. The first class check-in wasn’t even set up (the stanchions weren’t in place and the first class carpet wasn’t extended). We stood in what appeared to be the first class check-in area.  After about 15 minutes, a woman with a trolley stacked with 6 suitcases all wrapped in cellophane cut in front of us.  I didn’t care for that one bit. The conversation with the cutter went as follow:

Me (to MS): I guess we weren’t already standing in line here, were we?
MS (to me): Grumbles and is frustrated that I’m being rude to Line Cutter (LC).
LC: Oh, I’m sorry, did I just cut the line?
Me: Yes, but that’s ok. Go ahead, you’ve got so much more luggage than we do, it just makes sense for you to go first.
LC: Oh, thank you…wait, that doesn’t make sense, please go ahead. Being number three in the Business Class Line isn’t that bad.
Me: OH! You’re flying business class?  We are flying First…go ahead to the front of the business class line.

The line opens up and the first class ticket agent collects our passports and types away for probably 5-7 minutes without saying a word. She initially claimed she had problems with our Vietnamese visa.  Once she let us go, we turned around and we were greeted by a Thai Airways representative, who would act as our escort through the airport.  Score!

While our escort didn’t speak much to us, she did push her way through the crowds and made sure that we were closely following in her wake. Several times she did loudly exclaim “First Class passengers coming through, First Class”.  I must admit, I loved this — absolutely loved it.

We headed to security and the lines were outrageously long.  Our escort didn’t like the lines, so she bypassed the lines she planned on taking us through and took us to another security area. This time there was no line.  Loved it.

Our escort showed us the Lufthansa Business Class Lounge (even though we were flying First Class, there was no other lounge for us to access).  The escort told us she would be back to collect us and bring us directly to the plane — handing us off to the flight attendant.  Loved it.

We took a quick shower in lounge and had a bit of a snack.  The food was pretty blah – much better than what you get at a US based lounge. There was hot food and a full bar. I enjoyed the tortellini, but that was really all that I found to be edible.

After relaxing in the lounge for a couple hours, we headed out to find me a new camera and MS wanted to find an inexpensive travel watch. I was successful, MS not so much.  We walked around the airport for about 90 minutes then decided to return to the lounge and wait for our escort.

Since we knew the in-flight experience to Bangkok would be phenomenal, we wanted to be one of the first people on board.  We were quite excited and couldn’t wait for our escort. 30 minutes before departure we head for the gate.

We arrived before boarding had commenced and who did we run into shortly after our arrival? Our escort. She found us and, like earlier in the day, she pushed her way through the crowd noting that “First Class Passengers, Coming Through”.  Loved it.  There were really so many people all crowded around the doors to the jet bridge, but not in a line — just a mess.

The sea of humanity crowding around the door to the jet bridge.

The Thai Airways A380 that would be our home for the next 10 hours
Part way down the jet bridge, we took the upper
path which led us to the first class cabin.

She walked us all the way down the jet bridge and handed us off to the First Class Stews…

What is your favorite Ground Experience when traveling?

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