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From CPT to YYZ, NYC (or not?) and DUB - A Honeymoon TR in *A J (w pics)

From CPT to YYZ, NYC (or not?) and DUB - A Honeymoon TR in *A J (w pics)

Old Mar 24, 11, 12:47 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: JNB
Programs: Voyager
Posts: 107
From CPT to YYZ, NYC (or not?) and DUB - A Honeymoon TR in *A J (w pics)

Before you read this trip report:

I am by no means a professional photographer (or even close), nor does my equipment reflect that level, although I did try my best!

There are very few pics of the inside of the aircraft (and none of the food). This is one of my developmental areas, I guess!

I use miles and fahrenheit for ease of reading.

English is not my first language, so I am trying my best!

Apart from that, enjoy and feel free to share your thoughts!

Introduction and Background

As Julie Andrews very aptly put it, "Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start..."

My partner and I have both lived in South Africa our whole lives. (My longest stint out of the country was 2 years in LON and 5 months in AMS respectively, while he has never spent more than 10 days outside SA)

We knew that we wanted to get married from (pretty much) day one. Enough of the soppy stuff. This honeymoon was one of those that we planned together, although I gave him the option of where to go. When you look at the first few pictures you will see what December typically looks like. Our Christmases are usually spent lounging around a swimming pool or the beach and turkey is replaced with cold meats and salad, as a Christmas with weather of 110 degrees Fahrenheit is not uncommon.

It is exactly for this reason we decided to swim against the stream, as it were, and head to where it is freezing! Most South Africans who get married choose to go to island destinations for their honeymoon (Think Mauritius, Seychelles, Zanzibar or Thailand) Now the purists may differ with me that there are much colder places than YYZ and NYC, but we had to keep time and budget in mind.

We were, at a time, considering moving to YYZ, an idea I have since discarded. Canada remained on top of the itinerary, nonetheless.

I am currently at the end of reading my MBA on a full-time basis here in JNB and one of my fellow classmates worked for LH. In Jan 2010 I told her of our intended honeymoon in Dec'10/Jan'11 but that I could not book that far in advance. Well, she told me, that is nothing to worry about. 2 days later, with the help of LH South Africa we found and booked dead cheap Y fares for CPT-YYZ-NYC-CPT on LH via FRA spending 6 nights in YYZ and NYC respectively. Although we stay in JNB we got married in CPT and drove down (appr 900 miles) as the whole holiday end to end would be just under 5 weeks.

More on the routing etc later...

Before I share the details of the journey, I thought it best to show you a little of South African summer. On our way down to CPT we spent just short of a week at my parents' home in Dana Bay. Dana Bay is a small coastal town next to Mossel Bay, a popular holiday destination approximately 3 and a half hours' drive from CPT.

Here are two pics denoting the fantastic scenery we were greeted by every evening when standing on the patio/veranda (we call it a "stoep")

Anyway, as the time grew closer and the jitters started to jitter (or whatever it is they do) we drove to CPT. The wedding was to be held at Morgenhof, a wine estate just outside of Stellenbosch, on the road to Paarl (for those of you familiar with the environment). All in all, well-known wine country.

The night of, and night preceding the wedding, we stayed at L' Avenir Country Lodge, a mere 1 mile away from Morgenhof. Overall impression was good. Very tranquil, clean and private. I would gladly recommend it to one and all:

Our room (the bigger of two honeymoon suites)

We had our own private splash pool and outdoor shower (gotta love the view!)

The wedding went very well as did the reception. Not to bore you with too much detail, I thought it best to share 2 photos denoting some of the area's charm:

So after the wedding and the family breakfast the next day we booked out of the charming lodge and made our way to CPT city centre. This was Sunday 19 December and our flight to YYZ was on Monday 20 December.

I told my (now spouse) that we would be staying at my brother because he will take us to the airport the next day. He WAS NOT impressed! Anyway, just as he was huffing and puffing I pulled into the Westin Grand Cape Town. Formerly known as the Arabella Sheraton this hotel forms part of the Starwood chain and I planned this little rendezvous well in advance.

We were met by a porter who took care of our luggage and our car. Check-in was a breeze and I made sure to tell the agent that we were on our honeymoon (it is the one time when that excuse is legitimate!) We were notified that we were upgraded to a Grand Deluxe Room on the 18th floor, but the room was not yet ready. We did not mind waiting, and had a drink in the bar.

When we got to the room the 45min wait was worth while! Complimentary chilled champagne awaited us, accompanied by chocolate covered strawberries, pralines and fresh nougat. Bliss!

The room has one of the best views in the hotel, stretching from Lion's Head to Cape Town Harbour. Here are some pics:

During the afternoon we went to the Executive Club on the 19th floor for drinks and canapes. At that time I made reservations for dinner in the same restaurant later the evening. The dinner, by the way, was exquisite also accompanied by copious quantities of champagne!

At this stage I was keeping a very close eye on the weather, as it was at this point that the snow in Europe started acting up. Nevertheless, OLCI went well. The next morning, after breakfast in the Executive Club I called LH who confirmed that the flight has not been cancelled (after the Westin's concierge failed to get hold of them). We set off to my brother's to drop the car and catch our ride to the airport.

Last edited by agstene; Mar 24, 11 at 1:49 am
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Old Mar 24, 11, 12:48 am
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Join Date: Sep 2010
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Posts: 107
As mentioned, I promised to get back to the routing… and fare class.

Towards the end of 2010, when the year became really long and the combination of one income, study pressure and wedding arrangements got too much I asked my partner whether we could consider upgrading our fare class to business. The main reason for this was that we had a change of metal from the 346 to the 744, meaning no AVOD in Y. In the beginning I only wanted to upgrade the in- and outbound legs to and from Europe, as these are the longest, but as all the flights were purchased as one ticket, this proved impossible. Luckily, after some persuasion, my partner agreed. At this point, as neither of us has ever visited North America, I tried finding some codeshares etc to try out as many airlines as possible. By doing this I managed to get our FRA-YYZ leg switched to AC and the NYC-FRA leg to CO. At this point in time I started to do some research on the various sites mentioned on FT. Luckily I got us seats 1 H&K on both legs. A lot of good that did, because a few months later they switched the aircraft back to the 346.

Lufthansa LH577, December 20th, 2010
Cape Town International (CPT) to Frankfurt-Main (FRA)
Gate- B01
Seats- 3H&K
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 19:15/19:30
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 5:55/10:40 (!!!)
Aircraft- 346

After an uneventful trip to the airport we got them in plenty of time as I wanted to thoroughly explore the novelty of the lounge. Check-in was equally uneventful with a courteous “Maybe on the way back” when I enquired as to the possibility of an op-up due to our newlywed status. The lady was kind enough to book us through to YYZ and gave us our boarding passes:

Passport control was easy as well. I was pleasantly surprised, as there are various long-haul flights to Europe leaving at similar times to ours (5 flights to LHR alone).

*A uses the South African Airways Baobab Lounge at CPT for all J and F pax as well as *A status holders. There is no FCL at CPT, but there is one dubbed Cycad at JNB. I was surprised to find the lounge quite empty. Food range was limited to sandwiches and crisps:

The lounge does not really yield a view of any significant scenery, so after a refreshing shower I took the opportunity for some planespotting:

BA 777

Horrible SA 342 with no AVOD

BA 744

Our LH 346, prior to being catered

During this time I realised why the airport was so quiet – all LHR flights were cancelled due to the snow! Lucky for us we went via FRA and all seemed clear at the time.

We made our way to the gate prior to boarding opened. The miles and miles of Y pax already queuing made me grateful for the trip in J, although I have read about the dreaded seat ad nauseam.

Priority boarding for F and J pax commenced and we were welcomed aboard. We made ourselves comfortable while the cabin rapidly filled up. Champagne was handed out and with a fitting toast we were looking forward to the holiday ahead.

Pushback commenced and take-off was smooth as silk. I noticed, however, that we were not really climbing and I soon found out why – The pilot did a gorgeous fly-by of False Bay, all the way around Cape Point and as soon as we reached Sea Point the engines opened up and off we went! The pilot spoke on the PA and said that FRA was open and running and we should land on schedule, however he will keep us posted.

Before long menus were distributed:

The food was enjoyable and washed down with more than enough bubbly and cognac (not mixed!)

Before long the cabin quieted down and we settled in for the night. I will probably be crucified and banned from FT for life, but I found the J seat excellent and super comfortable for sleeping!

After a good 6 or 7 hours of sleep I awoke with the smell of breakfast being prepared. After a satisfactory start to the day we prepared for the descent. Approximately 30 minutes prior to touchdown the pilot announced what we feared the most… FRA has been closed due to heavy snowfall during the night and that we were diverted to MUC where we had to await further news.

We then taxied for an eternity and lined up next to scores of other aircraft like sardines, awaiting the same fate. During this time the foremost door of the aircraft was opened, but nobody was allowed to disembark. Later a decision was made to disembark passengers, but their luggage would continue to FRA.

The captain announced that FRA will be reopened and that we were one of the first A/C to depart, after de-icing of course. During this waiting game I became much more relieved that I upgraded!

After hours of waiting we departed, flying at a low altitude (appr 14000ft) from holding pattern, to holding pattern, to holding pattern, as each and every aircraft wanted to get to FRA! (or so it seemed) After a painful 16 hours and 35 minutes we landed (and a trip of more than 2 hours from MUC to FRA). An interesting post I started regarding this topic can be found here

Overall the service delivery was good. I have to admit I found the FA's clinical and, dare I say it, German! They were very precise and prompt in their service but that is where it stayed. No intention of striking up a conversation or even smiling wider than industry standard

At this point in time I was sure we had missed our connecting flight and I was sure we missed the opportunity to try AC’s ExecutiveFirst product!

All the threads on FT regarding connecting at FRA would not have helped us. The airport was absolute chaos and I now understand why people avoid it at all costs! Luckily my fears were unfounded, as the connecting flight was delayed to 15:30. This meant that we could find the closest Lounge and relax!

What a change in weather and scenery it was! I find it hard to compare photos of CPT above with these:

An AC 77W, similar to our ride to YYZ:

And some LH birds:

Next up, the lounge and connecting flight!

Last edited by agstene; Mar 25, 11 at 3:15 am
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Old Mar 24, 11, 12:49 am
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: JNB
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Posts: 107
After some plainspotting it was off to the LH Biz lounge. I have to admit that a nice refreshing shower and good cold beer was on top of our to-do list! However, after seeing the sheer mass of people trying to fight their way through FRA we had no idea of how the lounge would look and if we would be able to get a slot in the shower!

We were pleasantly surprised when we got to the lounge and saw its relative emptiness (Under the circumstances):

General impression of the lounge was good and, in fact, miles better than the Baobab lounge in CPT. After taking a much wanted shower (no waiting), we explored the food and drink possibilities:

And finally relaxing:

(The passport on the left is the “old-style” SA Passport and the one on the right features the new design with the new South African coat of arms)

Lufthansa LH5426 (operated by Air Canada as AC873), December 21st, 2010
Frankfurt-Main (FRA) to Lester B. Pearson International (YYZ)
Seats- 5K&6K
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 10:00/16:23
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 12:00/18:49
Aircraft- 77W

After two or three of the local “product”, laziness set in and we dozed off for a while. Before long we gathered our belongings and made our way down to our departure gate where our bird patiently awaited us. Just by looking around we could see that this flight was going to be packed. I checked availability on the AC website the previous day and the flight showed approximately 75% of capacity, but due to all the cancelled and delayed flights this resulted in spill-overs.
There was a big delay in boarding as the AC Staff wanted to ask every individual passenger why they were travelling to YYZ etc, something I have never encountered before. Perhaps my fellow FTers can clear this up, as this is normally done by passport control staff upon departure and arrivals respectively?

Before our trip I read up on the various opinions regarding AC’s herringbone seating arrangement, especially when travelling with a partner. After various considerations I decided to book 5K and 6K, the last two starboard seats of the forward J cabin.

When we finally boarded we were greeted in a friendly fashion. My first impression of the cabin was how airy and big it looked. The mood lighting is a new concept for me and I found it fascinating, although the “in-charge” told me that not everybody liked it. Well for what it’s worth, I’m a fan.

Apart from two seats the J cabin was full. Here is the view from my seat, 6K:

I settled in and familiarised myself with my surroundings. I noticed the vast amount of (wasted?) space at the back of my seat, saved for the seat reclining. What I did not like, however, was the amount of rubbish there – old plastic duvet cover, magazines, empty water bottle, etc. Anyhow, I decided not to let it bother me – the day was long enough as it is – and cleared it up. I am glad I chose 6K, as it certainly is one of the more quiet and private seats. Traffic to and from the toilet was negligible and noise from the galley down to a minimum.

Coats were collected, champagne distributed and menus handed out:

Dinner orders were taken and pushback commenced pretty quickly. What surprised me is that all announcements were made in 3 languages – English, French and German. I didn’t expect the 3rd language.

Apart from the odd bump or two, take-off was smooth and before long the dinner service commenced. Food was really good, better than LH IMHO. Cabin lights were dimmed, which I found strange, as it was a day flight. A surprising amount of passengers slept throughout the flight. I made a point not to, as we would be landing in the early evening and I knew that I have a night’s sleep ahead of me. My partner felt differently and slept for a full 5 hours!

The cabin with mood lighting:

I struck a conversation with the female FA serving our side of the aircraft and was amazed at how friendly and warm she was. After a while I put the seat in flatbed mode and explored the AVOD at my leisure. I was surprised at how small the ottoman part of the seat was and the curvature of the foot-part was very uncomfortable for my size 11 feet. I could not fit my feet into the space and had to either curl my legs up or put one foot on top of the “ledge”.

After another interesting conversation with the “in-charge” he returned, not too much later with a wrapped bottle of bubbly, compliments of the staff! I gave him my sincere thanks.

About 70 minutes from YYZ the cabin lights came on and another meal service commenced. During this time the female FA greeted me with a smile – and another complimentary bottle of Champagne! I did the right thing and politely declined, saying I couldn’t possibly due to the fact that the in-charge was kind enough already.

Landing was smooth, and so was disembarkation and passport control. Our luggage was the first to pop onto the luggage belt and off we went. At this time I was extremely tired. We took the airport bus to our hotel for the stay, the Sheraton Toronto Centre.

Upon arrival at the hotel we were greeted and, after learning we were on our honeymoon, we were upgraded to a bigger room on the 46th floor (the highest floor with rooms). As the club lounge was closed during that time, we were given complimentary full buffet breakfast for our entire stay!

Here is the view from our room:

I was dead on my feet and dropped into bed. After a sleep from heaven we felt ready to explore and embrace the zero degree weather we so yearned for!

We enjoyed our time in Toronto immensely and my highlight, which I was looking forward to for months prior, was the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I have been an avid follower of the TSO for years.

Here are some photos:

Air Canada Centre filling up:

Is that really the last time the Leafs managed to win a title?

In Action:

How about a drum set?

Before we knew it, one highlight after the other, our time came to a close. Keeping an eye on the weather, once again, as this time it was the East Coast acting up with snow, I confirmed our flight to NYC was still scheduled and I printed our boarding passes after OLCI the evening before the flight.

The next morning we headed back to the airport for our flight to the US.

Last edited by agstene; Mar 25, 11 at 4:10 am
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Old Mar 24, 11, 12:49 am
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Location: JNB
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Posts: 107
As soon as we got to the airport I immediately knew something was wrong. The amount of people at the airport was a sure sign. Although the following photo is not a clear indication, one can see the lines forming at the AC desks:

We were informed that our flight was cancelled. We were shown a group of telephones to be used to call AC reservations to make alternate arrangements. When I asked whether ground staff can help us, as we were fling 1st class, I was told that is was a service for SuperElites only – One reason to try to attain that level!

While my partner got me some much needed coffee and sandwich I called reservations. While waiting for an hour and a half I met a brother and sister who were also trying to get to NYC. At this point LGA, EWR and JFK were closed and flights were being diverted to, amongst other places, YYZ! They told me they got on a flight to PHL late the next day and would make other arrangements from there. Train services were also running late or were being cancelled due to the weather.

So, when I finally got through to an agent I was told that the next available flight to NYC was on Dec 31st, 4 days later! I then went the PHL route and got a flight the very next morning. At this point, when all was confirmed, I told my partner that we better hurry along to the Airport Sheraton hotel to book a room, as I was not looking forward to spending time on an airport floor! And seeing that flights to the US were being diverted to YYZ there will be a lot of airlines trying to find accommodation for their pax. Luckily this was relatively early, approximately 9:00. We were in luck! After hearing that we were on our honeymoon, we got a great room at the lowest rate! I asked for a room with a view of the runway, as this was the perfect time for some planespotting! She gave us a great room, originally reserved for a SPG Plat! (Therefore I will not divulge her name She also gave us free breakfast and access to the executive club, which I found would come in very handy later.

Herewith the room:

The view from our window:

While my partner caught up on some sleep, I went up to the executive club room to inform family and make necessary
adjustments to our itinerary

The room exceeded my expectations:

Later that day we saw the most amazing sunset ever!

Air Canada AC 340 (originally AC 710), December 28th, 2010 (originally 27th)
Lester B. Pearson International (YYZ) to Philadelphia International (PHL) (originally LaGuardia
Seats- 1D&F
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 11:15(Dec 27th)/8:45(Dec 28th)
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 12:40(Dec 27th)/10:10(Dec 28th)
Aircraft- E75 (originally E90)

After a good night’s rest and satisfactory breakfast, we made our way to the airport via the LINK Train. Check-in was quick and off we went to the MLL.

The lounge was quite full for this time of the morning (not surprising considering the amount of cancellations) and food variety was quite limited:

Luckily we had breakfast already so we settled for a cup of coffee.

About 50 min prior to departure we made our way to the gate. The flight was full and boarding was smooth. Priority boarding was called and I was surprised, as this is a short flight with a 1st class of only 9 seats.

We were the first on the aircraft and here is the view from my seat (I had the aisle seat):

I have to say that I prefer EMB to CRJ and the flight to PHL was smooth and quick. A hot breakfast (omelette) was served which we declined, as we already ate. The flight from YYZ to PHL was enjoyable and satisfying, although cold! I wore my coat for the entire flight, as I found that sitting in row 1 was quite chilly!

By this time my partner and I had debated on the best way to reach NYC. As we had a limo booked from LGA to our hotel (Grand Hyatt) which we cancelled in time due to the weather, we decided to hire a car was the best option. As we would be flying out from EWR we decided to drop the car there and buy a return express bus ticket. My partner was stressed to the max due to the fact that we drive on the left side of the road and now had to adapt to the right side! Luckily I was going to do the driving and it did not stress me out much.

We landed and collected our luggage without much trouble. I have to admit that I found PHL to be quite depressing! It certainly needs a big overhaul…

We thought we saw snow in Toronto but we were wrong! The eastern US was covered in a snowy blanket unbeknownst to us!

After dropping off the car and enduring quite a tedious bus journey, we finally reached our hotel late that afternoon. After a quick check-in we went up to our room:

They sent up a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine (which they called champagne). Nevertheless, after an early dinner we fell into bed, half dead!

Our (now) 5-night stay in NYC was a whirlwind of highlights! The pace of the city cannot be compared to that of Toronto. We enjoyed a mix of touristy attractions and non-touristy attractions (the bodies exhibition was a sure highlight!) We also saw 3 shows.

The hotel was satisfactory and I was surprised by the size of the room, as I read that hotel rooms in NYC are generally minute, as space comes at such a premium. There were a couple of things that disappointed. There were no coffee making facilities or minibar in the room and the one afternoon we were even greeted with a Chinese take-away menu being pushed under the door!

Remember I said that I will come back to our routing in due course? Anyway, the original routing was CPT-YYZ-NYC-CPT but as this was our honeymoon and as just getting to our destination took 2 long-haul flights, I decided to include 3 nights in DUB on our way back. I booked this as a separate ticket (in LH Y) and arranged the stop-over in the original ticket. I told my spouse about this on our Honeymoon and he was ecstatic!

I have been to DUB before, but for work only and, as he has never been there, we were looking forward to this very much!
Before we knew it our stay in NYC came to an abrupt end. We took the bus back to EWR for our trip to DUB, via FRA.
EWR was a mad house, to put it lightly. This was a Sunday evening after New Year’s and now I understand why so many FTers refuse to connect or fly from EWR!

Y check-in was a joke with lines seemingly stretching for miles on end! We quickly made our way to BusinessFirst check-in. Here the lines were shorter, but we still had a good wait. I have to admit I am not a fan of these self-service check-ins. Anyway, after checking in and being issued with a (rather cheap-looking) paper ticket, we went through security. We made our way to the lounge.

The lounge was ridiculously busy and the food and drink on offer disappointed. I have to admit that, for a 2-class airline they can spruce up their lounges for premium travellers. Anyway, we tried to relax in the maddening crowds:

Here’s a glimpse of our ride – the 77ER:

Last edited by agstene; Mar 29, 11 at 8:55 am
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Old Mar 24, 11, 12:50 am
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: JNB
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Posts: 107
Lufthansa LH7602 (operated by Continental as CO50), January 2nd, 2011
Newark International (EWR) to Frankfurt-Main (FRA)
Seats- 3K&L
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 19:25/19:35
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 09:15/09:25
Aircraft- 772ER

I followed the 777’s conversion process to the new BF very closely during the course of the year and was very relieved when it was completed early in December! It was a gamble that had paid off and I looked forward to experiencing the new seat.

We made our way to the boarding gate at approximately 18:30 and we were greeted by a long line – another full flight! Well given the day of week and time of year I was not surprised.

Just after 19:00 an announcement was made that the aircraft was yet to be catered. Anyway, boarding commenced at approximately 19:10 with priority boarding for premium travellers and those with status. Given that this was EWR the priority line was very long!

We were greeted when we boarded and went to our seats. My first impressions were good and I found the cutout for the feet was not as small as many on FT suggested (decidedly bigger than AC!) The J cabin filled up pretty quickly (with only 3 seats being vacant).

The seat:

Champagne was distributed and shortly afterwards I asked a FA for a second glass, only to be informed that they were all out (???) but that she will check. Well she never got back to me and we prepared for take-off.

After quite a bumpy take-off we headed east and were greeted by tail winds of up to 160 mph! After which seemed like an eternity (nearly 1 hour) the seatbelt signs were switched off and choices for dinner were taken. At first I thought the captain kept the seatbelt signs on due to turbulence, but after reading the various posts on FT it might just be another US-carrier-thing!

The menu:

The dinner was really good and, after reading about the crew rest area on the 77L I asked the FA whether she was looking forward to getting some rest she mentioned that, as the flight was less than 8 hours (a mere 10 minutes!) that they were not allowed to sleep. Amazing how one grows accustomed to the status quo. I noted quite a few CO Plats preferring to sleep in the Z position, as per the old seat! (I noticed they were Plat at time of check-in)

As dinner ended (very tasty indeed), cabin lights were dimmed and people went to sleep. I found the flat bed to be very comfortable. During this time the tail winds subsided (although the bumps did not) and I was trying to get comfortable.
Well I managed to get basically no sleep during the night which can be attributed to one major reason – the FA’s! They proceeded to spend the entire flight chatting away in the galley, due to the fact that they were not allowed to sleep. I found this to be disturbing (and I was in row 3!). Furthermore, for some reason they felt the need to continually walk up and down the aircraft with heavy thuds! My partner, on the other hand, slept like a baby!

With my luck, just as I was dozing off, the smell of breakfast greeted me, together with bright cabin lights. Breakfast was served and preparation began for landing. Landing was much smoother than take-off and, with little time to spare, we made our way to our connecting flight:

Lufthansa LH978, January 3rd, 2011
Frankfurt-Main (FRA) to Dublin International Airport (DUB)
Seats- 12A&B
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 10:35/12:07
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 11:35/12:58
Aircraft- A321

As mentioned, I booked the FRA-DUB-FRA separately and, after reading up on LH’s European J product (or rather the complete lack thereof!) had no problem in booking Y-seats.

I hate the middle seat but decided to give my partner the window seat for this one. We boarded (another full flight) and awaited push-back. The pilot mentioned on the PA that, due to a couple of no-shows, their baggage was to be offloaded. After about 20 minutes we were expecting pushback and… nothing. The pilot spoke again and mentioned that there was an “issue with the fuselage which had to be attended to”. Well this “issue” lasted about an hour. An hour I found myself drifting off to sleep in a most uncomfortable way!

Finally take-off commenced and a cold snack (a wrap of sorts) was served. Before long descent began and immediately I remembered why I loved Ireland so much. Gorgeous scenes of green scenery greeted me, intertwined with patches of white. The Emerald Isle and I were to be one again!

Landing was smooth and so was disembarkation and passport control. We were unfortunate in that our luggage was stuck in FRA (probably due to the short connection time) but would be reunited with us that evening.

After a bus trip, Molly Malone greeted us at the bottom of Grafton Street and after a short walk we arrived at our hotel, the Westbury. Check-in was efficient and we were given another honeymoon-upgrade to a Studio Suite.

I have to admit that this hotel, located a mere 70 yards from Grafton Street, exceeded all our expectations.

Here are some pics of the room:

And the bathroom:

This whirlwind stay was completely worth it (even if it just for the people and local liquid product!)

Highlights included the Book of Kells and a tour of the brand-new Aviva Stadium.

Quite a few “Alive-alive-ho’s” and Irish pubs later, our stay came to an end, and off we went to catch our connecting flight back to CPT.

Our return bus trip to the airport was fine and so was check-in and security. Although we had Y-tickets for this leg of the journey, my Priority Pass gave us access to the Anna Livia Departure Lounge.

We found this quiet wing to relax in:

My partner utilised the waiting time for a nap (no surprise by now!) and I decided to walk around with my camera:

LX’s ride:


EI’s A333, dubbed "Padraig":

Some US-counterparts:

Last edited by agstene; Mar 29, 11 at 6:36 am
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Old Mar 24, 11, 12:50 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: JNB
Programs: Voyager
Posts: 107
Lufthansa LH979, January 6th, 2011
Dublin International Airport (DUB) to Frankfurt-Main (FRA)
Seats- 8 E&F
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 12:20/12:31
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 15:20/15:17
Aircraft- A321

After quite a while in the lounge we made our way to the departure gate, which happened to be almost half a mile from our lounge!

Our ride plus a FR in the background:

Boarding started as per usual, although there was not walkway to the entrance and we had to endure the DUB tarmac

The “Darmstadt”:

We were greeted and went to our seats. I was surprised to get seats 8E&F, as these were heavily discounted Y-fares and this is the only row on the aircraft with only 2 Y-seats and is normally marketed for J-pax.

The seat with its inhabitant:

The flight was once again uneventful. We landed in rainy FRA, so rainy in fact that we only made it through the clouds about 100 yards from the ground! We were transported to the gate by bus and made our way through passport control to our lounge.

Some of the walks in FRA seem ridiculous!

Our boarding gate was C15 and I was glad to see that our lounge provided direct access to the airplane. As we had a layover of nearly 8 hours the lounge was quite empty with a few Asian-bound flights leaving but filled up quite rapidly during the day as it had pax departing on a JNB 388 as well as our CPT 346:

I spent quite some time in duty-free purchasing some cologne and perfume as gifts as well as some prime bubbly and cognac for home use!

The rest of the day was spent in the lounge using the internet and filling up on some snacks.

Our ride to CPT arrived quite early:

And the 388 to JNB quite some time later:

Lufthansa LH576, January 6th, 2011
Frankfurt-Main (FRA) to Cape Town International Airport (CPT)
Seats- 3D&G
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 2250/23:05
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 10:55/11:02
Aircraft- A346

Both flights were completely full – not one empty seat between the two!

Later, much later that evening a boarding call came for priority pax and we proceeded to board. I was happy that we had these seats (Although we had seats in row 1 of the nose of the 744 prior to a/c change and I would have loved to try them) as they were quite private again. I tried to get the same seats as our first journey (3H&K but they were blocked months prior) This turned out to be a good thing, as 3H refused to recline fully!

The same order of events happened – bubbly, pushback, take-off, and then menus were distributed:

Orders for dinner were taken and halfway through Wall Street 2 I faced the dilemma of finishing the movie (which I loved) or catching some sleep. I opted for option number 2 and once again enjoyed about 7 hours of the most comfortable sleep on LH’s J product!

Once again I awoke with the smell of breakfast. Before long the descent started and I hoped that the pilot would do a similar fly-by, but alas he did not. Landing was smooth, as it was a clear hot summer’s day. This time only 2 of the 3 bags made it to CPT, with the 3rd being stuck in FRA, along with those of a good 40 or 50 pax on this flight! How that happens is beyond me.

Long story short, my bag was finally reunited with me NEARLY TWO WEEKS later, minus all the gifts it contained but still containing all the dirty washing… mmm… Anyway, 6 weeks later and we were duly compensated.

We were once again met by my brother and our return trip to JNB by car commenced the next morning (after a good South African barbeque the evening before) and we overnighted next to the mighty Orange River on the way back.

The flights:
Service: AC
Seat: CO
Food: AC
Lounge: LH
Privacy: AC
Overall: AC
The Hotels:
Service: Westin Grand CPT
Cleanliness: Westbury DUB
Room Size: Westbury DUB
Restaurant: Westin Grand CPT
As there is no clear winner, the clear loser is: Hyatt NYC!

Overall this was an experience of a lifetime and a honeymoon never to forget. Thank you for reading this far and feel free to post comments or questions.

Until next time, Bon Voyage!

Last edited by agstene; Mar 29, 11 at 6:35 am
agstene is offline  
Old Mar 24, 11, 1:08 am
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Originally Posted by agstene View Post
Part 1 of 6
Sorry but probably something wrong ? Nothing is wriitter except part 1 our 2 or 3 ?? Please check.
cesar0683 is offline  
Old Mar 24, 11, 1:14 am
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Originally Posted by cesar0683 View Post
Sorry but probably something wrong ? Nothing is wriitter except part 1 our 2 or 3 ?? Please check.
He’s just setting up his posts so they don’t get scattered amongst the replies.
IAHRyan is offline  
Old Mar 24, 11, 1:52 am
Original Poster
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Originally Posted by IAHRyan View Post
He’s just setting up his posts so they don’t get scattered amongst the replies.

Part 1 now up and running!
agstene is offline  
Old Mar 25, 11, 12:25 pm
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Your second language is very much in command.
standby my man is offline  
Old Mar 25, 11, 1:16 pm
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Congratulations and thanks for sharing. Wish you hadn't cropped out your faces. You should be very proud.
BlissWorld is offline  
Old Mar 25, 11, 3:05 pm
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Congratulations to the both of you and wishing you the very best!

Enjoying the report and looking forward to your conclusion!
EXP4ME is offline  
Old Mar 25, 11, 4:25 pm
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,144
Thanks. Always wanted to go to Cape Town.

So what reduced your interest of moving to YYZ? The weather? Try Vancouver next time.
Bretteee is offline  
Old Mar 26, 11, 4:22 pm
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Nice report so far - looking forward to the final installments.
bmw9983 is offline  
Old Mar 26, 11, 10:39 pm
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: LAX
Posts: 282
Great report! And Congratulations to the both of you. I await the rest of your honeymoon journey.
upgrade lover is offline  

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