That last trip report took only, what, four months to finally put together? Hey, at least I’m leading right into the next one. I have only two International First Class products under my belt, and I’ve wanted to squeeze a few more in. About this time last year, Lufthansa briefly opened the floodgates on First Class award availability to partner programs. Like, multiple seats every day availability.
Normally, Lufthansa only opens up seats 15 days in advance — requiring a level of flexibility I simply don’t have. So, this seemed like a once in a lifetime opportunity to pounce on. To fly to Frankfurt to get a Lufthansa rubber duck for my 2-year old son, of course.
As always, I tried to squeeze in as much new material as possible in a short trip; I’m currently planning the following posts in this series:
- Air New Zealand Premium Economy, Los Angeles to London
- Plaza Premium Lounge London Heathrow Terminal 2
- Lufthansa Economy Class, London Heathrow to Frankfurt
- Hilton Mainz, Mainz, Germany
- Exploring the Medieval City of Mainz
- Review: Lufthansa First Class Terminal
- Lufthansa First Class, Frankfurt to Washington Dulles
- Lufthansa Senator Lounge Washington Dulles
The Flight Plan
Of course, this trip centered around trying out Lufthansa First Class, a product Brad has plenty of good things to say about. A secondary consideration: I want to fly on as many 747s as possible before they disappear for good. I seem to have started a tradition of an early March boondoggle; Lufthansa offered seats from Frankfurt to Dulles on the 747-8i on March 10th. Sold. So I booked a seat for 87,000 Avianca LifeMiles plus $142.66 in taxes (I transferred points in from Citi Thank You).
So then, how to get to Germany? Yet another goal of mine is to sample some International Premium Economy products. The problem, of course, is the often prohibitive one-way pricing to get to or from Europe. One option that made sense was Singapore Airlines’ Fifth Freedom flight from New York to Frankfurt. You can regularly find Premium Economy fares in the $800 range on that route. But then, a cursory ITA Matrix search suggested another option – Air New Zealand’s Los Angeles to London flight. With a tag flight on Lufthansa Economy to Frankfurt, the ticket priced out at $1,283. While not great, it’s on the top end of what I’ll tolerate, so I booked it.
At the end of the day, my flights looked like this:
- 03/07 DL 2533 Depart Dallas – Ft Worth (DFW) 08:25 Arrive Salt Lake City (SLC) 10:22
- 03/07 DL 1191 Depart SLC 11:15 Arrive Los Angeles International (LAX) 12:20
- 03/07 NZ 2 Depart LAX 16:10 Arrive London Heathrow (LHR) 10:40 (+1)
- 03/08 LH 907 Depart LHR 13:30 Arrive Frankfurt International (FRA) 16:05
- 03/10 LH 418 Depart FRA 12:50 Arrive Washington Dulles (IAD) 16:50
- 03/10 DL 2237 Depart IAD 19:48 Arrive Atlanta (ATL) 21:45
- 03/10 DL 2495 Depart ATL 22:33 Arrive DFW 23:55
I won’t review the domestic flights on Delta, as I’ve previously reviewed both Main Cabin and Comfort+.
And yes, I found the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt really nice. I think I somewhat prefer the La Première Lounge in Paris, but the FCT is no slouch.
And yes, I got my duck. Two, as a matter of fact, after I shamelessly mentioned my son really wanted one.
The Hotel Plan
I needed two hotel nights in Germany, and preferred something reasonably close to Frankfurt airport. My former blogging colleague Matthew always spoke highly of Mainz, so I decided to stay there. I chose the Hilton Mainz, right along the Rhine and a short walk to the historic old town. As an added bonus, it’s easily accessible to FRA, only about a 25 minute drive. With early March still off-season, paid rates were so cheap it made little sense to redeem points. I booked a “Twin Deluxe River View” room for €118 per night, including taxes. I quite enjoyed this view, I must say.
I had Friday night and all day Saturday free to explore Mainz. Unlike my usually frenetic pace, I took it pretty easy this time. On Friday evening, I enjoyed a quiet stroll through the old town square on the way to dinner. Saturday, I visited the Gutenberg Museum, but otherwise mostly just enjoyed walking around this charming Medieval town.
Also, with good weather Saturday morning, I fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine – a drive on the derestricted autobahn. Several sections of highway with no posted limit stretch south and west of Mainz. I didn’t have the guts to take photos while traveling at Ludicrous Speed, but suffice to say I’m glad I did it.
The Food Plan
I really had only one culinary item I absolutely wanted to try on this trip. At Matthew’s urging, that was the quintessential German desert spaghettieis. No, it isn’t desert made out of spaghetti; it’s shaped ice cream, strawberry sauce, and chocolate shavings meant to resemble spaghetti with marinara sauce. I finally found a place selling it, and it hit the spot, even on a chilly night.
Besides that, I enjoyed schnitzel two ways. The first, a pork schnitzel at a cellar restaurant in Mainz’s old town.
The second, a traditional Wiener schnitzel (veal cutlet) at the Lufthansa First Class Terminal.
And of course, I saved room for beer.
Hopefully, it won’t take me nearly as long to complete this trip report. I do plan to start out of order; I’ve received a few requests for my Lufthansa First Class report, so I’ll start with that next week. Hope you enjoy the show!