Old May 16, 09, 9:48 am
  #1  
Flying Buccaneer
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: TPA
Programs: DL Plat, AA Plat 2MM, HH Diamond, WoH Explorist, SPG Gold
Posts: 2,199
Germany: Driving the Romantic Road and Rhine Valley

My previous trip reports, in case anyone is interested :

My First Trip to Turkey - How It Came About - Where I'm Going June 2008
Going to California, and We're... July 2008
Istanbul and Amsterdam to End 2008 and Start 2009

To burn some more of my remaining UA miles, Mr. FB and I decided to plan a week-long trip to someplace where F award seats across the Atlantic were available. So we started looking last November, and we chose Germany. Here's the itinerary we were able to book:

Saturday, May 16, 2009
UA 825 Depart TPA 8:53 p.m., Arrive IAD 11:08 a.m.
UA 946 Depart IAD 5:48 p.m., Arrive BRU 7:30 a.m.

Sunday, May 17, 2009
LH 4601 Depart BRU 8:45 a.m., Arrive MUC 10:05 a.m.

Monday, May 25, 2009
LH 4620 Depart FRA 8:00 a.m., Arrive AMS 9:05 a.m.
UA 947 Depart AMS 12:20 p.m., Arrive IAD 2:47 p.m.
UA 704 Depart IAD 5:35 p.m., Arrive TPA 7:58 p.m.

The TATL flights were confirmed in F, the LH flights in C, and TPA-IAD flights in the remnants of Ted.

Our original plan was to visit a friend/former colleague in Berlin, but the more research we did, the more we realized that renting a car in MUC and driving to FRA would be a better way to spend a week.

I am usually the control-freak trip planner, but somehow I ignored much of the planning for this trip during the past 5 months. Other than booking a few hotel nights, I left the itinerary within Germany to Mr. FB. I didn't start reading about the places we would visit until the beginning of May, and now I am excited.

The itinerary, briefly

Our plan is to spend Sunday afternoon and Monday morning exploring Munich. Then we will pick up a car and drive to Füssen and spend a couple of nights there. Next, we will drive north along the Romantic Road for the next two days, stopping in Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Würzburg. We will meet Mr. FB's parents' flight from LHR at FRA on Friday morning, and they will join us as we explore the Rhine Valley. We drop off the car on Sunday, May 24 at FRA and fly home the next day.

The trip begins

When we arrived at TPA this morning, the UA ticket counters were wide open, so there was no wait. Because the UA flight to IAD had become a two-cabin plane, the UA agent was able to confirm seats 1C and 1D for us. Yay! We flew through security, and we decided to spend our time at Airside E in the Delta Sky Club.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

United Airlines 825
TPA-IAD
Scheduled Departure/Arrival: 8:53 a.m/11:08 a.m.
Actual Departure/Arrival: 8:40 a.m./10:50 a.m.
A-320
Seats 1C and 1D


We left the Sky Club at 8:20, and by the time we arrived at gate E-75, boarding was already underway. The red carpet allowed us to bypass the line and get aboard quickly. We stored our bags, took our seats and settled in. The FA offered and served pre-departure drinks, and at 8:35 a.m. the gate agent indicated that everyone was aboard. All 12 seats in F were occupied, and Y looked about 3/4 full. A little before 8:40 a.m., the door closed and we pushed back soon after that.

This was my first UA flight in F from TPA since May 2004. Actually, there was another time: November 14, 2006, when a UA A319 made an appearance in TPA. For breakfast, we had a choice of cheese omelet or fruit plate. We both took the omelet, which was served with 2 yukon gold potatoes, two sausage links, pineapple and grapes, cheese and crackers, and a croissant. The FA was outstanding, and it was nice to start our trip with someone besides Ted!

A cockpit announcement at 10:10 a.m. told us that we were a little south of RDU, and 20 minutes later it was time to prepare the cabin for landing. We touched down at 10:45 a.m. and reached our gate about five minutes later. Faced with nearly 7 hours until our departure to BRU, we decided to head to the International F Lounge to take care of some work-related emails, do a little more research for our trip, and relax.
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