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A Weekend of Old and New - Lufthansa first & business, Air New Zealand business

A Weekend of Old and New - Lufthansa first & business, Air New Zealand business

Old Apr 24, 11, 12:56 pm
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A Weekend of Old and New - Lufthansa first & business, Air New Zealand business

Index to my trip reports

If you like this report, you may be interested in some of my other trip reports.
  1. AKL-YYZ with NZ/AC in F & C - my first trip report
  2. Europe to Iceland & return on Icelandair (FI) - somewhere different
  3. Some FTers DO the Inaugural Worlds Longest Flight SIN-EWR vv 28 June 2004 - 2 long flights back to back
  4. 7 Crazy Days - includes an almost inaugural flight
  5. Champagne and figure eights on ice - Antarctica flightseeing
  6. a Lit.tle sPRinG.Ly JoUrney (BUDding KiwiS Can zig-ZAG around Europe) - mostly central and eastern Europe
  7. Big DO DOs - or a Kiwi Flyer's Month of Madness - lots of flights
  8. Another Manic Month for Kiwi - again lots of flights
  9. Mini Tour of NZ - over 100 domestic flights in New Zealand covering all domestic routes (ongoing)
  10. Across the Globe in 5 Continents - criss-crossing the globe
  11. Auckland to National Park by Train - train in New Zealand's North Island
  12. Across the Globe in 5 Continents Again - criss-crossing the globe, but this time mainly on One World
  13. A Warm Embrace of the Tropics - short trips to the tropical South Pacific
  14. Singapore (SQ) new first and business class, plus a medley of 12 F & C SQ flights - name says it all really
  15. Across the Globe in 4 Continents - around the world on star alliance, including some unusual flights
  16. Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Sampler - a sampling of Qantas flights, domestic and international, in economy and business (ongoing)
  17. Around the World in Under 60 Hours - around the world in a weekend
  18. The Heat is On - another longhaul economy trip in under 60 hours - what a contrast, Asia and Qantas' new first class lounges
  19. Fast on the ground and in the air - it must be Shanghai – a flying visit to Shanghai + Maglev
  20. It's a Fine Line Between Pleasure & Pain: 4 wacky weeks 2 RTW C, inaugural longhaul Y – mostly One World
  21. Back and forth across the Pacific on a variety of airlines in a selection of classes - 16 crossings of the Pacific plus some other related flights
  22. It isn't every day that you witness a hijacking attempt + NZ's forgotten 4th island - a visit to Chatham Islands coincides with New Zealand's first hijacking attempt
  23. There and back - first day Air NZ flies to Coolangatta (Gold Coast)
  24. A Run Around (part of) The Axis of Evil: A Perfect *A RTW in C? - Axis of Evil 0 US Immigration 1
  25. Wellington to Auckland by train - self-explanatory title
  26. A mad couple of days flying, including domestic international flights - a double longhaul inaugural, domestic international shuttle and domestic leg of an international flight
  27. Regional C *A RTW & (hopefully) finishing flying every route (100+) for an airline - featuring new QF First on A380 special flight, "you have to get off now", and 105th different current route with NZ
  28. One World Revolutions - Around Mostly the Southern Hemisphere - mostly Southern Hemisphere and mostly on One World on a mix of products
  29. Cris-cros the Med & the Globe on Emirates, Qantas & Star Alliance in mix of F/C/Y+/Y – starting with EK First on A380 and ending with Qantas economy, with a lot of travel mostly on *A in between
  30. An FTer flies to a Do (or Why take the nonstop when you can fly 10 flights instead?) - combining an FT Do with an aerial tour of northern Queensland
  31. The Ultimate Qantas Flight - short report on the ultimate flight
  32. Premium Flying Across the Ditch (Between New Zealand and Australia) - experiencing the forward cabins on Trans-Tasman flights (ongoing)
  33. 5 Boeings Straight to the Airbus Do - FTer feasts in first, business & economy - my journey to & from the *A / Airbus Mega Do
  34. NZ route oddities & One World turns by night (redeye special) - an odd collection of flight routes & schedules around the world
  35. From my first low cost redeye to a first class trifecta - an insane fortnight - some firsts of all types
  36. G'day, kia orana - it's another inaugural flight in Air New Zealand business class - a day & night tripping around the South Pacific on Air NZ
  37. A Feast of First Class Flying on British Airways, Qantas and Emirates - long distance in style
  38. A Weekend of Old and New - Lufthansa first & business, Air New Zealand business - a quick longhaul trip featuring some old and new products
  39. Star Alliance tres primo, and tres biz - a trio of first and business on Star Alliance
  40. A few flights to end 2011 - a quick trip around the world + more
  41. Five Continents in 3 Days and Some Other Mad Trips in 2012 - a selection of my 2012 travels
  42. Sky Team madness - 14 weeks, 200k miles, 5 continents, CI brand new business – mostly Sky Team
  43. Off to Star megado on Oneworld - mostly business incl brand new AA 787
  44. A Glutton for Punishment: red eye, new world's longest flight & more, in comfort?

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Apr 1, 16 at 3:40 pm
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Old Apr 24, 11, 1:55 pm
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Index to this trip report
  1. Intro
  2. Wellington to Auckland economy space+
  3. Auckland transit
  4. Auckland to San Francisco business and menu
  5. San Francisco transit
  6. San Francisco to Frankfurt first and menu
  7. Frankfurt transit
  8. Frankfurt to Tallinn business and menu
  9. Tallinn transit
  10. Tallinn to Riga economy
  11. Riga transit
  12. Riga to Tallinn economy
  13. Tallinn transit
  14. Tallinn to Munich business
  15. Munich transit and menu
  16. Munich to Los Angeles first and menu
  17. Los Angeles transit
  18. Los Angeles to Auckland business and menu
  19. Auckland transit
  20. Auckland to Wellington economy

Map by great circle mapper


Regular readers of my trip reports know I take a long trip around Easter each year. I love travelling at this time of year. The change of the seasons is great for those like me who do not like extreme heat or cold. There are also often great bargains to be had on air travel and accommodation. Not to mention it is usually a few months since my previous longhaul trip and the siren call of travel cannot naturally be withstood for too long.

Originally (pre-FT and sometimes since) I'd travel to Europe and back (e.g. Iceland 2004). Then I took longer around the world trips (e.g. zig zag around Europe 2005, 5 continents 2006, 4 continents 2007, axis of evil 2008, 2009). Last year it was back to a quick trip to Europe, in great comfort, by way of first class trifecta 2010.

This year I don't have enough time for a RTW so I planned a quick weekend trip to Europe instead. I had the usual constraints - decent fare, limited time, a desire to go someplace new, rack up a lot of miles quickly & in as much comfort as possible, and try to experience some new products.

With a bit of playing around with fare rules and schedules I booked a trip that met my constraints. Unfortunately there are no hotels at the destination that are affiliated with my chosen hotel program but I was still able to use points to get a decent hotel for a good rate.

The past couple of months have been very hectic and one thing keeping me going was the thought of this trip, assuming I would not have to cancel it. To some it would seem hellish flying all that way to spend little time on the ground. Especially with the hassles of flying today - nude-o-scopes, liquids rules, increased flight cancellations, etc. Not me.

This is fun, and I was looking forward to the trip.

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Apr 1, 16 at 3:41 pm
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Old Apr 24, 11, 3:53 pm
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Excellent, Kiwi Flyer and eight black giving us new trip reports, at the same time? Man, life is awesome. All we're missing is a new Seat 2A.

Looking forward to this.
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Old Apr 24, 11, 6:15 pm
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Originally Posted by muzthe42nd View Post
Excellent, Kiwi Flyer and eight black giving us new trip reports, at the same time? Man, life is awesome. All we're missing is a new Seat 2A.

Looking forward to this.
My thoughts exactly! ^
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Old Apr 24, 11, 6:36 pm
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Good to have you back KF! Was only thinking about you the other day.
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Old Apr 25, 11, 2:17 am
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WELLINGTON to AUCKLAND on Air New Zealand A320 in economy space plus

I arrived at the airport early because I'd need to check in manually (epass RFID chip won't work on international itineraries and nor will the kiosk) and my past experience has been that manual check in at Wellington can take an age due to under-staffing.

The people who feel a need to check in hours early before any international flight had turned up in numbers for the mid-afternoon flight to Sydney, and so there was a decent queue at manual check in. While I waited I wondered how I'd react if I got a call requiring the trip to be cancelled? The past few weeks have been so crazy that even now standing at the airport I couldn't rule it out. The phone vibrated. I jumped. People stared. Did I just swear out loud to myself?

I answered with trepidation but fortunately the call was innocuous. My attention distracted I now realised I was at the front of the queue and was being asked to come forward to the counter. Checking in took slightly longer than normal on account of I hadn't provided API information, specifically my address in USA. Well if you look at my itinerary you'll see I'm just in transit to another country. Oh, yeah.

That sorted, I was given 3 boarding passes and an explanation I couldn't get boarding passes for the further onward flights as check in wasn't open yet for those.

Up to my second home (well it feels like it), the koru club. At the entrance I went to place my phone against the scanner and then realised it wouldn't work this time and fished out the boarding pass which I'd shoved inside the carry on. There are so many things I do often with mind switched off, running on autopilot. A brief chat with the staff on duty and then time to send some messages and a stiff drink - not in order of priority.

I was finally starting to relax. My mind wandering with thoughts of the next few days. Boarding was called. I ignored it. A final call was made. I ignored it. A second final call was made and I headed for the gate. For the lounge had been rather full and simple maths together with an idea of upcoming flights had led me to deduce there were rather a lot of passengers on this flight who had been in the lounge. The next logical thought is it would take a while for them all to get through security at the gate. So I may as well stay in the lounge a while longer and have another drink.

Sure enough when I stumbled downstairs and turned towards the gate I got just a couple of paces before joining a queue that was still more than 50 people deep. Crud. I could have had another drink before leaving the lounge. The security queue was moving fairly quickly. After a couple of minutes a rather anxious looking woman stormed past the queue to ask the security if she could skip the queue so she didn't miss her flight. I glanced at the monitors and noticed that despite there being two gates served by this screening point there was only one flight due to depart from either gate in the next 3 hours - namely this flight. Sure enough security told the woman to go to the back of the queue as everyone else is on the same flight. A few people cheered. Perhaps I imagined that bit?

Then I trod on some keys. I asked the people around me if they'd lost theirs. Not us. I picked it up to hand to security when I reached the station shortly afterwards, and pointed out exactly where I'd found them. I was soon through security and made the same mistake as I had at the lounge entrance - namely try to use my RFID tag to board then fumble with my boarding pass which I'd again put into the carry on. Sheesh - mind like a sieve today.

There was just enough room in the overhead bin to stow my carry on. One thing I've noticed in the last couple of years of domestic flying in New Zealand is that more and more passengers are carrying on more and checking in less. It hasn't yet reached US epidemic proportions, but there are flights when if seated in the first few rows and boarding late your carry on ends back over row six or similar and a proverbial pain in the butt when it is time to disembark.

Air New Zealands domestic A320s are brand new and unlike the international configured A320s still have the generous space plus seating section at the front with 35" pitch. The bulkhead is removed on ABC side, much like Jetstar's A320. There is moodlighting during boarding. The seats are slightly wider than on 737, but the seat pockets are much smaller and cannot fit a decent sized report or paper.

Doors closed a few minutes behind schedule, which is pretty good considering at least 100 passengers boarded in about 10 minutes. We had the awful new Fit to Fly with Richard Simmons safety video. I think it is great that for the past few years Air NZ has invested time & effort to make safety videos interesting so more people watch them. But this latest effort is truly cringing and I for one am not sure how many more times I can take viewing it. On reflection I should have put this warning before the link so the innocent are warned. Oops. Perhaps you can be distracted from the awfulness by playing spot Mr Fyfe, CEO, in the safety video?

The lucky .......s in row one are seated too far forward to see any screen and thus get a manual safety demonstration (a rather glaring design flaw). I bet that isn't listed on seatexpert as an advantage of those seats.

While the video was playing we'd taxiied almost to the runway. There was a short delay waiting for some flights to land and then it was our turn.

I didn't pay much attention to the flight as I was absorbed in reading and annotating a report which I needed to send some messages about while in transit in Auckland. There was the usual choice of vege crisps, biscuit or jet plane lollies, tea, coffee or water. The trivia quiz continues to play on cycle on the overhead screens, with more and more ads added each year it seems, and the questions are getting more and more obscure.

We must have had a strong headwind because instead of the usual 40-45 minutes flying time we had about 60 and thus landed slightly late. When we arrived at the gate there was no one on the airbridge so another few minutes delay. Fortunately my transit time is decent so no worries about making the onward flight.
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Old Apr 25, 11, 2:34 am
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Auckland transit

It was a lovely day, warm even given it was well into autumn. So mindful of the many, many hours of sitting aboard planes ahead of me I walked across to the international terminal. I love the walk as you can get a good view of a third of the international apron and, with a bit of familiarity with airline schedules, spot which flights are on time & which are late. At this time of day it is relatively uninteresting - the middle of the day flights by the Asian airlines have all been and gone, LAN and Aerolineas Argentinas if you are lucky to be passing during their short transits, a few Air NZ widebodies although most are parked on remote stands where they've been sitting all day before flying to 3 continents in the evening, some Emirates (although usually only one aircraft will be visible from the inter-terminal walkway), maybe a lone Qantas aircraft if you are lucky.

Being school holidays and the start of a public holiday weekend, the check in area was busy despite being off peak for departures - too early for check in for the evening flights and too late for the early afternoon busy period. With boarding pass in hand I strolled into the entrance of the premium check in lobby and stepped straight into the lift to premium immigration. The layout is really poor for restricting usage of premium immigration to those entitled to use it. There was a short queue and after a brief exchange of pleasantries I was soon waved through. The security queues had been reconfigured slightly since my previous international trip. Now there is a snake beyond non-premium immigration which the exit from premium immigration bypasses, thus you can get to the head of the queue for security. Previously those using premium immigration joined the same snaking queues as other passengers.

Security didn't take long and I managed to avoid the random pat down. Upstairs to the lounge and this time I remembered to scan my boarding pass for admittance.
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Old Apr 25, 11, 6:04 am
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8900/ Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/130)

Hey Kiwi! Glad to see you back in the air and, rightfully in style I assume. Looking forward to the next posts. Hopefully they'll be online by the time I go to bed tonight CET.
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Old Apr 25, 11, 10:23 am
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Originally Posted by muzthe42nd View Post
Excellent, Kiwi Flyer and eight black giving us new trip reports, at the same time? Man, life is awesome. All we're missing is a new Seat 2A.

Looking forward to this.

And don't forget the other TR Master - Mr. Moomba!
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Old Apr 26, 11, 2:59 am
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Originally Posted by muzthe42nd View Post
Excellent, Kiwi Flyer and eight black giving us new trip reports, at the same time? Man, life is awesome. All we're missing is a new Seat 2A.

Looking forward to this.
+1, perfectly said.

Calling Seat 2A...
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Old Apr 26, 11, 3:30 am
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Awesome time for a new Kiwi trip!

subscribed as usual but really looking forward to the posts about Air NZ business hoping you have the new 777-300ER in there... hopefully
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Old May 1, 11, 12:52 am
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AUCKLAND to SAN FRANCISCO (AKL-SFO) on Air New Zealand 747-400 in business class

I had enough time to send off the messages, have a shower and a quick drink. Not necessarily in that order.

Boarding was called. The extra screening at the gate for US bound flights is still in existence but has been scaled back further so that only a small number of passengers have to go through. Last time it was only a small number who could bypass the extra screening. Boarding was underway by the time I reached the gate so I skipped through the economy queue to get to the premium line.

Once onboard I walked to my usual seat, switched off my phone and started to relax. No last minute cancellation of the trip. Do not pass go. Go straight to pre-departure mode. Bag in overhead bin. Check. Large pillow out from behind seat. Check. Paper to read. Check. Champagne? Yes please. Check.

The new amenity kit was on the seat. It is a small box that looks good but is bad design. Who has a box-shaped space in their carry on? The box has a pretty ribbon and is lined with paper. Inside there is an eye mask - these now come with various designs on the front, and today's selection is old aviator googles. Other designs include cut lemons, cats eyes, etc. The nice socks which I love (because they are a good size for my big feet and have comfy padded bits on the soles) are gone, replaced by bright stripy things which barely get over my heel and do not even reach the ankle. The rest of the kit/box is more conventional. Some La Prairie goops, toothbrush and toothpaste, and a pen to fill in any arrival forms.

On the ottoman is the menu. The cover has changed but still a dark brown colour and similar size.

I picked a movie to watch and was well settled in while the rest of the passengers in the cabin sorted themselves out. Another drink? Why yes please. Thanks.

We had the Rico safety video - another abomination and surely not a good idea to have a muppet flouting so many safety rules during a safety video?
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Old May 1, 11, 12:54 am
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Air New Zealand
Business menu
Auckland to San Francisco
April 2011



Trio of sesame miso tuna,
coriander prawn, smoked salmon with karengo potato salad (karengo - New Zealand seaweed)


Sourdough bread, dark rye with caraway seed bread and garlic bread

Main Course

New Zealand lamb loin
with horopito salt, roasted baby potatoes, carrot puree and beans (horopito - New Zealand bush pepper)

New Zealand snapper
on smoked potato mash with wilted spinach, ginger roasted carrots and water chestnut and caper salsa

Confit of chicken thigh,
kumara puree, warm leek, green bean and watercress salad with chicken jus

Light choice of mushroom,
spinach and feta strudel with beetroot relish


Gourmet dessert
of white chocolate raspberry ice cream and hokey pokey ice cream with chocolate almond wafer

Coconut and lemon tart
with passionfruit mascarpone

Cheese and Fruit

A selection of fine New Zealand cheese and fresh seasonal fruit

Hot Drinks

Freshly brewed or decaffeinated coffee, tea, jasmine tea, herbal tea or hot chocolate

Self-service Snacks

Help yourself from our range of snacks available for you to enjoy during your flight


Fast Dine Breakfast

Please let your flight attendant know if you would like to sleep-in and we will wake you as late as possible and offer you a hot bacon roll and a beverage of your choice.

Wake-up Drinks

Start your day with a fruit smoothie, your choice of juice, freshly brewed or decaffeinated coffee, tea, herbal tea or hot chocolate.

Light Breakfast

A bowl of muesli topped with Greek style yoghurt and fresh fruit is available as a lighter option.

Full Breakfast

Fruit and cereals will be offered followed by a hot bakery selection and your choice of a hot breakfast.

Fresh fruit salad

Strawberry yoghurt or plain Greek style yoghurt

Toasted Muesli and Cluster Crisp Triple Berry cereal, Weetbix, Cornflakes


Croissants, muffins, Vogel's, brioche or fruit toast served with fruit conserve

Hot Breakfast

Potato, tomato, red onion and cheese omelette
with chicken sausage, mushrooms and roasted tomato relish

Banana and pecan brioche French toast
with vanilla cream

Hot Bacon Roll

A warmed roll, buttered and filled with grilled bacon, offered with caramelised onion jam and barbecue sauce



The premium wine selection onboard this flight has been chosen by our wine consultants : John Belsham of Foxes Island Wines, Kate Radburnd of CJ Pask Winery and Jim Harr, nationally recognised wine judge. For details of our onboard wines, refer to your Air New Zealand Wine Guide.

New Zealand Sparkling Wine

Offering a wide range of flavours, from rich, full-flavoured and vibrant styles to those which are finer and more delicate. A superb aperitif choice which also suits a wide range of light or moderately flavoured dishes.


Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut, France
This champagne bursts into the mouth with soft generous stone fruit flavours and sweet citrus characters. Traces of liquorice, wild honey and warm brioche add depth and complexity. The finish is fine and long with lemon zest and nuttiness.


Glenfiddich Malt Whisky, Chivas Regal Blended Whisky, Jack Daniel’s Black Label, Gordons Gin, 42 Below Vodka, Courvoisier VSOP, Coruba Rum, Ron Bacardi Superior

Port and Liqueurs

Portuguese Port, Grand Marnier, Baileys Irish Cream


A selection of beer featuring Steinlager Pure, Export Gold, Heineken and low alcohol lager

Soft Drinks

Mineral water, orange juice, apple juice, tomato juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, cola, lemonade, L&P (sparkling lemon drink), tonic water, ginger ale, diet cola and diet lemonade

Hot Drinks

Freshly brewed coffee, decaffeinated coffee, English Breakfast tea, hot chocolate, chamomile tea, lemon tea, decaffeinated tea, raspberry and peach, apple and blackcurrant, Earl Grey tea, peppermint tea, jasmine green tea, hot chocolate.

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Old May 2, 11, 2:00 am
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As is often the case with US-bound flights from New Zealand, we were slightly late in leaving due to a small wait for US clearance to be given.

The post-departure drink and vege crisps has morphed into a drink just before appetisers are served. Not that I miss the vege crisps - while tasty I can feel the arteries clogging up whenever I decide to have some.

I ate and drank while watching some movies and read some reports. Eventually I grew tired and dropped off to sleep, awaking when the crew were preparing breakfast. It made a nice change to be having breakfast at a sensible hour, thanks to the late afternoon departure from Auckland. I'm more used to the US flights leaving mid to late evening which means having breakfast before arrival early afternoon.

We'd made up time en route and the captain announced we'd be landing slightly ahead of schedule. Then a few minutes later another announcement that we'd been put into a holding pattern off from the coast. We ended up flying in circles for an hour and so arrived nearly an hour late. Fortunately my connection time wasn't too short.
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Old May 2, 11, 2:45 am
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San Francisco transit

We had a gate close to immigration and in the main corridor there were hordes of people coming off several flights. I powered up to immigration. Fortunately most other people were Americans and so the Visitors queue was empty. Nice to see the sign has finally been changed from Aliens. The formalities took just a few seconds and thankfully the stamp was on a used page rather than a blank one in my passport. With carry on only I scooted past baggage claim, pausing at customs to assert yes I had all my bags with me and then on to landside.

As I already had the onward boarding pass I went straight back through security. Next stop was the United First Class lounge. Since my boarding pass didn't state first class the lounge agent at reception was a bit sceptical but I convinced her I was flying in first so I was let in. After a shower to freshen up and a drink I headed out for a walk. On the way back I popped into the Singapore Airlines lounge. The lounge agent here recognised my seat number as being in first class It was quieter than the United First Class lounge but the amenities were very disappointing. It was soon time to board.
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