I’m going to be a bit briefer on this entry than the trip down, mostly because many of the flights were relatively similar…just in reverse. That said, there were quite a few differences so I’ll go into a bit more detail about them.
Check-in at Johannesburg was a piece of cake despite the fully loaded A380, and we had our boarding passes within 10 minutes of getting off the Gautrain. Past the ticketing counters, on the way to security, we saw this interesting gem:
I’m going to guess that enough people flying out of JNB have weapons to check that not only do they need a special place for it, but they need a giant sign to let you know where to do it. I guess this makes you feel a little safer? Maybe?
No wait for security, but the wait for immigration was close to 20 minutes. With A380s of Lufthansa and Air France departing, as well as a couple long-haul South African and BA flights it was no big surprise, and can’t really complain about it too much. We did a bit of duty free shopping, and maybe a couple things worth mentioning: if you want Africa-themed souvenirs, you can find just about anything you want at JNB. There are several shops selling just about every sort of mask, statue, necklace, and trinket you could imagine. If you want to buy South African wine…not so much. There’s one shop, with a small selection, and they do NOT package or ship. Sort of disappointing, but saved me a good deal of money I guess.
Shopping done, it was time to spend a bit of time in the South African business lounge. Plentiful drinks served by bartenders, a bit of pre-packaged food that was so unappetizing I didn’t touch any of it, and internet that was about as fast as Oscar Pistorius…no wait, too soon. It was slow. Almost unusable slow. So slow I used data roaming on my iPhone slow. Oh, and if you want to plug in your device….you best forget it. I think the whole lounge had about 10-15 outlets all of which were in use. Womp womp.
Boarding for the A380 was total chaos due to it being a completely full flight.
Lufthansa flight 573
Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB) to Frankfurt, Germany (FRA)
Depart 19:05, Arrive 5:45 next day, Flight Time 10:40
Airbus A380, Registration D-AIMC, Manufactured 2010, Seat 27K
This flight was nearly identical to the way down there. I’m not going to post too much, because honestly…not much is different. Pre-departure juice, water, or champagne (one glass, and one glass only), quick and efficient meal service from a very friendly crew, and I managed to sleep a solid 8 hours on the way to Frankfurt. I can’t ask for too much more. The menu:
I had the chicken thai coconut stew, and it was pretty tasty, but a pretty small portion. I did get a second helping of cheese after the desert course (hey, I’m a growing boy) and with a few glasses of wine got an incredibly solid sleep as mentioned above.
When we deplaned in Frankfurt, there were German immigration officers just outside the jetbridge checking passports. I’m not certain how this works, but I guess they want to catch people who ditched their passports in flight (hoping for asylum?) coming off the plane before they mix in with other flights so they can at least tell where they came from? Anyone know more about why they do this? I flashed mine, and we were off. Quick re-do of security, and we were in the A/Schengen-gates senator lounge where a nice shower awaited:
Showered and happy, grabbed a lite breakfast including lots of coffee, and some of the brightest and most festive easter eggs I’d ever seen. But come on Lufthansa, you’re a couple days late…easter was a couple days ago!