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4 continents, 8 countries with LH/CX/TG/SQ/NZ

4 continents, 8 countries with LH/CX/TG/SQ/NZ

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Old Aug 7, 14, 8:38 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Programs: *S (TK), Hyatt Explorist, Hilton Diamond, AA Gold
Posts: 2,337
4 continents, 8 countries with LH/CX/TG/SQ/NZ

This is my first TR and first time flying premium cabin. Here's my experience in the air, on the ground, and with booking



Highlights:
-8 countries in 3 weeks | 81 hours, 40,147 miles flown
-7 days in French Polynesia, 3 in Bora Bora over-water bungalow
-F on LH, TG, CX
-J on CX, TG, SQ, NZ
-12 lounge reviews

Background

[Flights & Lounges]
Code:
31   hours flying F fully flat
4    hours flying J fully flat
7.5  hours flying J angled
16.5 hours flying F/J recline
22   hours flying Y

Layover (under 24 hours each): 53 hours
Chicago to Singapore via Europe, F ticket, 70,000 UA miles + $33 (pre-devaluation)
AC J, ERJ-175, ORD-YUL | United Club ORD T2
LH F, A330-300, YUL-MUC | AC Maple Leaf Lounge YUL International | LH First Class Lounge MUC
TG F, 747, MUC-BKK | TG First Class Lounge & Royal Orchid Spa BKK
TG J, 777-200, BKK-SIN

Singapore to Tahiti RT, J/Y ticket, 40,000 UA miles* x 2 + $215 (pre-devaluation)
SQ J, 777-200, SIN-PVG | SQ SilverKris J Lounge SIN T3
NZ J, 767-300, PVG-AKL | CA J Lounge PVG
NZ Y, 767-300, AKL-PPT | Emperor Lounge AKL
NZ Y, 767-300, PPT-AKL | Salon Manuhiri Lounge PPT
SQ Y, 777-200, AKL-SIN | Emperor Lounge AKL (again)

Tahiti to Bora Bora RT, Air Tahiti (VT) Y ticket, 42,268 XPF x 2
Tahiti to Bora Bora and boat transfer
Bora Bora to Tahiti

Singapore to Indianapolis w/a stopover in SF (before AA eliminated stopovers), F ticket, 67,500 AA miles + $75 (incl/$25 phone fee)
CX J, 777-300ER (77G), SIN-HKG | SkyView Lounge SIN | CX Arrival Lounge HKG
CX F, 777-300ER (77H), HKG-SFO | CX The Wing First Class Lounge
AA F, 757, SFO-DFW | AA Admirals Club SFO T2
AA F, S80, DFW-IND | AA Admirals Club DFW A23

* Outgoing = 25K in J, Return = 15K in Y

[Hotels]
Chicago O'Hare Marriott, 1 night, $100 + tax
Radisson Tahiti, 3 nights, 2 x 38,000 Club Carlson points (booked before 2014 category change; last night free from CC)
Hilton Bora Bora Nui, 4 nights, 2 x 95,000 HHonor points + 2 free weekend nights from Citi Hilton Reserve card.
Auckland: Airbnb @ $55/night.

[Destinations]
Montreal, Canada - 1/2 day
Munich, Germany - 1 day
Shanghai, China - 1/2 day
Tahiti - 2.5 days
Bora Bora - 3.5 days - see Hilton Bora Bora Nui
Auckland, New Zealand - 3 days
Singapore - 5 days
Hong Kong - 1 day

Head-to-head comparisons

Misc

Conclusion

Last edited by italdesign; Aug 13, 14 at 9:33 pm
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Old Aug 7, 14, 8:40 pm
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Background

Background

I got into miles and points a year and half ago (knew nothing before then). They say you should earn and burn. Been on the earning side until now. Here I am, reaping the benefit of my hard work and getting a little taste of heaven.

Planning started Jan 2014. DH would be in Singapore and I in USA, and we wanted to do some travel together using points. UA miles were about to devaluate big time, so we looked there. A sweet spot from the old UA award chart was SE Asia to Oceania (including Tahiti) for only 15K each way in Y, 25K in J. My eyes lit up and there was no turning back. Going to Tahiti naturally leads to one of the beautiful islands such as Bora Bora and Moorea. Bora Bora is the poster child for why I love miles and points. It was one of my aspirational destinations I hoped my miles and points could one day take me.


Bora Bora

Well, I was pretty excited when that day came! We locked in the SIN-PPT RT flights for 40,000 UA miles per person - the first thing booked for this trip. Everything else built on from there. We just needed to figure out how I was to get from USA to SIN and back, and accomodation in Bora Bora. Although inexperienced, I was confident I could pull it off thanks to the wealth of information on the internet.

Tahiti and Bora Bora are about 170 miles apart. Since we're going to Bora Bora but flying into Tahiti, we decided to spend 3 nights in Tahiti using DH's Club Carlson points at their Tahiti resort.

The flight had been booked for mid July and I wanted to lock in the hotel ASAP. I looked to Hilton points, which we had none. It was the fastest and the only way for us to earn 4 nights at a top tier property from scratch in a matter of weeks (Hyatt is also possible if you haven't had their CC, but I already did). I applied for the no-fee Hilton cards from Amex and Citi, each giving me 50K points, and the Virgin Atlantic card which gave me 50K miles, which converted to another 100K Hilton points (this has since been devaluated). DH applied for the Citi Hilton Reserve card which gave him Gold status plus 2 free weekend nights at any Hilton property. The points posted after we met the minimum spending requirements in the first billing cycle (not hard), and the nights were booked with 190K points + 2 nights cert by end of Feb. At the time the Hilton was wide open from April to the end of the year, but since my dates were already set it only takes one unavailable night to screw up the plan, so good to book early.

Meanwhile, I had enough UA miles for a one way partner first class award to Asia via Europe (70K). I looked to the classic route of LH F to Europe, then TG F from the LH hub to Asia, as TG serves both FRA and MUC with F service. It required some flexibility but I was willing for something this aspirational and indeed perhaps once in a lifetime given the tremendous UA devaluation ahead. I then checked the OneWorld side to make sure I can return SIN-USA (I had enough AA miles), which worked out with CX F (another ultra-aspirational product). So I got 2 one-way F awards, one with *A using UA miles and one with OW using AA miles.

I like to leave 8-12 hours in between flights to check out the city and as buffer time for IRROP. On this trip, checked out Montreal, Munich, Shanghai, Auckland, Hong Kong, and San Francisco, mostly one day each. It is more tiring this way but I like seeing the city.


Hong Kong

I'll also mention that both the AA and UA itins didn't get ticketed properly. I always monitor the ticket status after booking and when I noticed they were in pending mode rather than ticketed after a day or two, I know something is wrong. It turned out the UA ticket didn't charge the right amount of miles while the AA had wrong credit card information for payment (see this thread). In both cases, agents didn't know what was wrong or how to fix it right away. It probably took 3 hours of phone time to finalize the UA ticket and 1 hour for AA.

So sit back with some popcorn while I highlight our mini world tour.

Last edited by italdesign; Aug 7, 14 at 11:49 pm
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Old Aug 7, 14, 8:40 pm
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Chicago to Singapore via Europe, F ticket, 70,000 UA miles + $33 (pre-devaluation)

Chicago to Singapore via Europe, one way F ticket, 70,000 UA miles + $33 (pre-devaluation)

AC J, ERJ-175, ORD-YUL
LH F, A330-300, YUL-MUC
TG F, 747, MUC-BKK
TG J, 777-200, BKK-SIN

Booking

As mentioned in the introduction, this was booked right before the UA devaluation of Feb 2014. I also changed it after the devaluation when LH F became available.

I originally booked LH J JFK-FRA. As you are well aware, LH only releases F to *A a few days before departure. As this ticket was booked months in advance, I only had access to LH J and booked it in hopes of changing to a LH F that would open up last minute. As luck would have it, not long after ticketing, LH F miraculously opened up for several routes, including YUL-MUC on a A333 with their new first class (some routes have the old F, so do your homework), so I called UA to change the LH J JFK-FRA to LH F YUL-MUC (and the other flights in the itin around it). As the adjustment took place after the UA devaluation, agents had trouble making the change at the original mileage cost (70K vs 130K), even though that's what they were supposed to do. So it took several calls to get the change made without additional miles.

Why start in Chicago

By the time of booking, UA had instituted a "max of 4 segments" rule for a one-way ticket to Asia, and I couldn't satisfy it if I flew out of my home airport of IND. ORD is our big neighbor and there are many ways to get there, hence my decision to start there. I bought a Megabus ticket to Chicago for under $10. I wanted to get in the night before to minimize the chance of delay from the Indianapolis side. This was to be my first premium cabin experience with a bang and I erred on the conservative side to minimize disruption.

p.s. I hate Megabus.

Last edited by italdesign; Aug 10, 14 at 2:31 am
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Old Aug 7, 14, 8:41 pm
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Chicago O'Hare Marriott, 1 night, $100 + tax

Chicago O'Hare Marriott, 1 night, $100 + tax

I stayed here the night before my morning flight out of ORD. The Megabus I took to get to Chicago was a fiasco (loud people talking, far less legroom than Y, traffic jam delay - had it all), so I was happy to see a nice home for the night upon arrival. It has nice exterior and interior. There was a nice looking pool with jacuzzi which I had no time to enjoy. I did enjoy the bedding. Lush, soft pillows and comforter. Wish I had more time to indulge.


view from my room

This wasn't the cheapest airport hotel but I wanted a reliable way to get to ORD early morning and it had good reviews. The cheapest rate was $180 but I got it down to $100 after BRG.

The complementary airport shuttle was prompt for my 5am-ish departure.

Last edited by italdesign; Aug 7, 14 at 10:34 pm
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Old Aug 7, 14, 8:42 pm
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United Club ORD T2

United Club ORD T2

Confession: I love airport lounges. I had my first lounge experience in at the Plaza Premium Lounge KUL a few months ago. Loved the shower experience. It was spotless compared to my bathroom. I had imagined it would be like a shared dorm shower (eww). And I love free food, privacy, ambiance, etc no less. So I took refuge in a lounge whenever possible on the trip.

ORD is the home of UA and they have several United Club (UC) lounges. My AC J flight departed out of T2 so I opted for the T2 UC, which I had read was the newest at ORD and the nicest.

The interior is very nice for a domestic lounge. It's not huge but what I care about is not total size but spaciousness per guest. In that regard the occupancy was sparse with plenty of seats open at 6 am. There were basic snacks, fruits, and beverages. Wifi worked well and there were more power outlets than the average lounge.




sleep is possible on the couch





I'll be using the following criteria for each lounge in this report. Scores are out of 5. A score of 5 means excellent, 1 being terrible. I'm illiterate when it comes to alcohol so you won't find much report on that.

Time of visit: 6-7 am, Friday, July 11

WIFI: 4

POWER OUTLET: 4

PRIVACY & COMFORT: 3

FOOD: 2

SHOWER: 0 - none

SERVICE: 3

ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN: 3

Last edited by italdesign; Aug 13, 14 at 9:58 pm
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Old Aug 7, 14, 8:43 pm
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Ac j, erj-175, ord-yul

AC J, ERJ-175, ORD-YUL

For booking information, see Chicago to Singapore via Europe, F ticket, 70,000 UA miles + $33 (pre-devaluation)

AC 7410, J
Embraer ERJ-175 | seat 2A
ORD-YUL
Friday, July 11, 7:30 - 10:35 am (2:05 hr)

ORD is an airport I avoid as much as possible. I had my worst delay there a few years ago, and every time I'm there it is a hassle. But that was in Y. Would flying premium make a difference?

The Marriott hotel shuttle dropped me in front of Air Canada's check-in station. The agent was only able to check my bags to MUC, while I was continuing into BKK and SIN. It didn't sound right and I did push back, but she was firm. I would later realize I should have been firmer - more on that later. I had entered my Known Traveler Number on the AC website about a day ago, and indeed my BP had TSA Pre-check, which invited me to the front of a lengthy line. Good turnout for my first TSA Pre-check experience.

Boarding commenced on time, though there was a 30 min delay once everyone was onboard. The system needed to be rebooted, which sounded like it could have been worse. My first class dream was now within reach!

This was actually my first premium cabin and I imagine it's as low key as it gets on this small regional jet. Nonetheless I was offered hot breakfast with fruits. While the hot food was rather bad, it served its purpose since I hadn't had hot food in almost 24 hours thanks to the Megabus fiasco.



Seat 2A was a single seat with window and aisle access. Since it was my first time in J I had no idea where to find the tray table. The man across the aisle was evidently more of a regular.

Upon deplaning, I checked with the AC transit office to see if they could retag my bag to the final destination. They refused at first but after some back and forth called LH (operating airline of the segment where the bag was checked to), who happily offered to retag. This was above and beyond for AC at Montreal to help and I appreciated it. Really, I should have pushed back at the ORD agent who checked my bag to a transit airport and escalate as needed. The luggage thing took 30 minutes and I was ready to take in the city.

Last edited by italdesign; Aug 8, 14 at 4:50 pm
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Old Aug 7, 14, 8:44 pm
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Montreal, Canada - 1/2 day

Montreal, Canada - 1/2 day

I went through immigration as a transit passenger (not sure if telling them actually made a difference), which only took a few minutes. I withdrew $50 CAD from the ATM, which imposed a fee of $2 - annoying but no big deal. It's worth noting this was the only country on this trip whose ATM imposed a fee for withdrawing. Anyway, I bought a bus ticket to the 747 line for $10 at the airport machine, which takes you to downtown and includes an unlimited all-day pass, including coming back to the airport on the same bus. As for how to occupy the 4 hours I had in the city, it was a toss up between Mont Royal and Old Montreal. I chose the latter because it was a hot day and hiking up a mountain didn't seem particularly attractive.

I paced my walk down Rue Hotel de Ville, taking in the historic architectures.


Notre Dame Bascilica



I arrived at Le Vieux Port to find few visitors on this Friday afternoon.



I always wanted to visit the park across the river, but this wasn't the time due to limited transit time. In the mood for some Chinese food, I found Noodle Factory on Yelp. It's a little cash-only shack on the edge of Chinatown. The noodle was hand made and the taste showed. Good food is the way to my heart.




#25 is the best, according to the waiter.

My final stop was Place des Arts, home of my favorite "eye ball" light poles. It was hot and the lounge was sounding better and better. So I hopped on the bus back to the airport, using the all-day pass I got with the original ticket.


Place des Arts from my previous visit

Last edited by italdesign; Aug 8, 14 at 4:44 pm
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Old Aug 8, 14, 12:31 am
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: CA, USA
Programs: United Silver Premier, HHonors Gold, Platinum Ambassador, Hyatt Platinum, Starwood Gold, Marriott Go
Posts: 76
looks like the type of trip I would try and do, looking forward to reading this!
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Old Aug 8, 14, 1:25 am
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Originally Posted by italdesign View Post
p.s. I hate Megabus.
haha I'm right there with you
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Old Aug 8, 14, 2:37 pm
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Wow. Sounds like a great trip. Looking forward to following the report.
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Old Aug 8, 14, 5:05 pm
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Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge YUL International

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge YUL International Terminal

It took 30 minutes to get through the YUL security. I was a F pax but used the regular line (there may be expedited service for premium pax, as discussed here). This AC Maple Leaf Lounge (MLL) was near capacity: 80% full upstairs and 60% downstairs. I would say there were at least 100 guests there. Miraculously the single shower room they have was available. It was easily the worst lounge shower of this trip though: the room temperature was way too hot, much higher than the lounge temperature, and the water temperature would fluctuate between too hot and too cold, never actually at a comfortable temperature. The fact it looked ugly was the least of my concern at that point.


Not the best shower

After the shower I headed downstairs where there was hot food and a staffed bar, also fewer people. There was also a decent selection of both sweet and savory cold food upstairs and the Brazilian tapioca was pretty good. Anyway, I had the made-to-order pasta with wine sauce and it was actually really good. I could tell a lot of work went into the sauce. The wifi however was slow.


Brazilian Tapioca


Pasta with wine sauce

Although I enjoyed the food, I could hardly wait for what was to come next: Lufthansa first class!

-----------------
Time visited: 6:30 - 8 pm, Friday, July 11

(scores out of 5)

WIFI: 2

POWER OUTLET: 3 - at least downstairs

PRIVACY & COMFORT: 2

FOOD: 3 - snacks + basic hot food

SHOWER: 1 - barely functional

SERVICE: 3

ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN: 3

Last edited by italdesign; Aug 13, 14 at 9:59 pm
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Old Aug 8, 14, 6:30 pm
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Lh f, a330-300, yul-muc

LH F, A330-300, YUL-MUC

For booking information, see Chicago to Singapore via Europe, F ticket, 70,000 UA miles + $33 (pre-devaluation)

LH 475, F (new)
A330-300 | seat 2A
YUL-MUC
Friday, July 11, 8:20 pm - 9:55 am [+1 day] (7:35 hr)

For the last year or so, I've spend, I would guess, on average 4 hours per day on miles and points: reading, thinking, planning, doing. I love it but it's nonetheless time consuming. Why does that matter? Because all that work has led up to this moment. When I step onto that Lufthansa plane in First Class, it would be the beginning of a new era for me.

They were boarding Y pax when I got to the gate. The agent hinted for me to get back to the Y line as I approached the expedited line, to which I smiled. "First class," I showed her the ticket. They must get a lot of false positives.

Noticing a separate corridor for F and J (remember this is my first time beyond Y), I marched on. "2A", I announced to the door agent as I neared. She didn't greet me by name but said in a nice tone: "to your left." I was devastated. My heart sank as I fell to the floor and started sobbing... just kidding. I walked past the J pax in 2-2-2 config and tried my best to hold back the "I feel sorry for you" look, LOL. Arriving in F, I saw a man getting things ready, who welcomed me by name. He was Nick, my FA for the next 8 hours. "You're the only first class passenger today," he told me. Holy cow! I couldn't believe my luck. Then again, I was surprised this route even had the new F, since Montreal doesn't seem like a big market. Still, I figured more FT'ers would have snatched seats during the rare release of seats in advance, for which this was one of only 2 routes. Anyhoo, I had reserved seat 2A, which is also Lucky's favorite seat. It was private and had a good overview of the cabin. Of course I could have sat anywhere in this cabin.



Just a reminder, LH does have an old F on some aircrafts which isn't as attractive, so do your homework before booking.

Now, you have to understand, though I had read about First Class service, there is no substitute for experience. Right off the bat the dedicated service brushed upon me wave after wave. It was gentle but constant. I had no chance. Before I could react, Nick had put my carry on in the overhead bin, handed me a hot towel, brought me warm nuts and champagne, brought the amenity kit, offered to take a picture, and showed me the seat features. There was no doubt: I am in first class! I needed a slow-mo though!



I have to comment on 2 things: the Bose headphone and the music. Now, I've had a Sennheiser headphone for a while that I consider pretty good, but nothing could have prepared me for the utter quiet produced by this Bose. And as soon as I put it on, an otherworldly soothing music came on that transported me to the clouds outside. It was truly a heavenly indulgence. At first I thought this was the default music when you don't have anything specific selected, but upon closer inspection it seems to be from audio Channel 8 - the lounge (which makes sense, since I normally find lounge music relaxing, but this was something else).

The ambiance was just perfect. A rose at your seat and in the front of the cabin, sleek and posh furniture, and comfortable color scheme. It was heaven upon heaven.



Notice my feet in the above photo. It's sitting on an ottoman that you can slide back and forth (with a button). It was great and I missed it in later flights (which had immovable footrests).

It didn't take long for the food to come out. First was an amuse bouche - salmon with cream cheese, which I loved.



Then came the caviar. Since I haven't tried it before, Nick expained how to eat it and brought me ice cold vodka, which he explained was how real Russians enjoy it. I have a feeling I was going to like caviar, as I usually like "stinky" food. And indeed I did. I apologized to Nick for the mess I made! He offered me another round of caviar (looks like they had a few prepared), which I gladly accepted. Double caviar in LH F!



Then came a trio of 3 appetizers, which were just OK.



Now here comes an ambarrassing story. I asked for wine. After Nick poured a sample, he held the bottle like this:



There was a pause and I was confused. Was he waiting for me to accept, reach out and take the bottle, or what? Seeing my hesitation, he explained it was just a pose while I tasted the sample, and he would pour more on my request. Good to know!

Then came the entree, which was some kind of beef with mashed potatoes. The beef was pretty good with the wine. The veggies were OK.



Speaking of wine, Nick is a connoisseur and explained the old world vs new world of wine to me and suggested what I should have with the food. His knowledge and suggestions definitely enhanced my experience.



I considered ordering another fish entree but was also ready for bed, though not before Nick brought out delicious dessert.



Then he made the bed in a separate seat (so I can switch between upright and flat at will):



and there I have it, my first lie flat bed in the sky! I slept for 3-4 hours, then it was time to wake up. I had informed Nick to wake me up at the latest time possible for a quick continental breakfast, and he woke me up at T-40 minutes, which was great (later flights woke me up much earlier). I put on the headphone and enjoyed more of their lounge music, which never seems to get old.

The amenity kit, pajamas and bathroom were identical to Lucky's review I linked to.

To finish off, Nick handed me a box of premium chocolate he had offered during dinner which I then had no room for. It served my friends and I well later on.

Then it was time to say goodbye. I thoroughly enjoyed my first First Class experience. What better way to start out than on LH F. Put your feet up (on the ottoman), let the otherworldly soothing music transport you, enjoy plenty of food, sleep in a comfy bed, with someone looking after you the whole time - all in the sky. What more could one ask for? No doubt the service was made even more attentive with me being the only passenger in F. I only wish the flight were longer so I could enjoy more sleep on the comfy bed, and that my stomach were bigger so I could try even more food.

As the plane came to a stop, I didn't see a gate connector. Instead I saw this:



A Porsche and a Mercedes, waiting in the lot. Could it be - the famous Lufthansa ground service, was it really here for me?

Is there a better way to end a flight?


Last edited by italdesign; Aug 8, 14 at 7:00 pm
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Old Aug 8, 14, 6:43 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Chicago, but my mind is on vacation in SE Asia.
Programs: Price wins over loyalty.
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Awesome, TR, subscribed. That United Club looks decent, better than the ones I have seen.

Also you were so close to me but so far
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Old Aug 8, 14, 9:45 pm
  #14  
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Lufthansa First Class Lounge MUC

Lufthansa First Class Lounge MUC

LH is famous for their First Class Terminal in FRA. They don't have such facility at MUC, so the next best thing was the FCL. As is standard for arriving F pax landing in a remote stand, I was driven in a Mercedes S-class to go through security and then escorted to the FCL. The ladies at check-in were all smiles and made me feel right at home. I had read on FT this lounge doesn't store bags, but they were happy to store mine for 10 hours while I check out the city.

Initially I just wanted to wash my face and brush my teeth, but upon seeing the jacuzzi room, I decided to indulge. It was refreshing after only 3-4 hours of sleep on the plane.


Jacuzzi room with the famous rubber duckie.

I wasn't hungry at all (that's one experience you will never have in F) so I headed straight for the city (covered in a separate post). Because of the screw up of the ORD AC agent, I didn't have my next boarding pass, and TG doesn't open until ~3 hours before departure, so I would have to get it upon return.

I returned to the lounge around 7pm. I didn't even think about it and handed them my next boarding pass, to which the agent quickly pointed me to the direction of the TG lounge, since it was a TG boarding pass. But another agent checked the BP and said warmly, "ah, Mr. Italdesign, welcome back." The first agent started apologizing profusely. These ladies are just awesome. Orientation: there are 2 levels to the lounge. When you arrive as a F pax from the previous flight, you enter from the 2nd floor. When you arrive as a departing F pax, you enter from downstairs. The downstairs entrance had a different set of agents and had been informed of my expected return. Great coordination.

I returned to the jacuzzi room after a day in the city. The Asian lady working the bathroom had none of the warmth of the receptionists but did get me what I wanted. Afterwards it was time to replenish the stomach. Although I was well fed coming off the flight, that was 10 hours ago so I was ready to eat.

[update] Here's the menu:


I started out with a Thai soup, which I loved. I then ordered the Wiener Snitzel but didn't care for it. FWIW, Gary vouches for the one at the FRA FCT.


Wiener Snitzel

The highlight, though, was the sturgeon. It was amazing.



I also had some of the cold buffet. The smoked salmon was fantastic, while the Thai shrimp mediocre.

Beyond food, the lounge itself is small but classy and not crowded in the morning or evening. There's a cigar lounge and the bar had plenty of alcohol. Clientele was mostly older businessmen as you would expect.

I was there the day before Germany played Argentina and won the World Cup. The TV was playing some football-themed program but otherwise no visible excitement in the lounge. Snacks were pervasively available in every corner of the lounge and looking inviting. Don't come here if you are on a diet!

-----------------
Time visited: 10:30 - 11:30 am, 7 - 9 pm, Sat, July 12

(scores out of 5)

WIFI: 4

POWER OUTLET: 4

AVAILABLE SPACE PER GUEST (ASPG): 4

FOOD: 5

SHOWER: 5

SERVICE: 5

CONDITION (ambiance, tidiness): 5

Last edited by italdesign; Aug 8, 14 at 10:20 pm
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Old Aug 8, 14, 11:02 pm
  #15  
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Munich, Germany - 1 day

Munich, Germany - 1 day

I've never been to Germany before so wanted to check out the city. As it turns out, Munich has a historical city center called Marienplatz. After leaving the LH FCL, I withdrew €50 at the airport ATM for anywhere not taking credit card. I used this page to know how to get to Marienplatz (S8 [shorter] or S1 train). Ticket costs €11 and includes unlimited rides all day, including back to the airport.

You buy the rail ticket from a machine and board the train by touch. You don't actually use the ticket. How does it know if you have a ticket? I thought it must use NFC or similar technology but not sure exactly.

I arrived at Marienplatz an hour later. It was Saturday with a big crowd.



In the middle of the plaza was a basketball game played by disabled kids, with obnoxiously loud dance music.



I climbed the few hundred steps of Alter Peter for the view:





I wandered the historical center a bit before hitting the Residenz, former royal palace of the Bavarian monarchs. This place is HUGE and you can visit most of the interior and see the original furnishings and collections.













I spent about 2 hours here. There were more to see but I wanted to see more of the city. I started walking and bumped into Hofgarten: part garden, part beer, part bocce/lawn bowling? Apparently the latter is quite popular.


Biergarten - everywhere in Munich


Bocce or lawn bowling?

The last place I wanted to see was English Garden, which precedes and is bigger than Central Park. You can imagine its massiveness. I quite enjoyed the walk. It rained earlier in the day so not many people lying in the grass, but I can imagine it would be nice on a sunny day. It was nice to see people playing football/soccer, as well as some nice scenery:



I walked until I saw the famous surfing on the fast-flowing river:



Some of the surfers are quite skilled.

At this point I was feeling pretty tired and ready for a soak in the FCL hot tub. The upcoming massage in TG's legendary lounge sounded pretty good too!

Last edited by italdesign; Aug 8, 14 at 11:24 pm
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