After all too little time in the First Class Terminal, it was off by car to the plane. I miss the days when you almost always gotta a private Porsche or Mercedes transfer…these days it almost always seems to be a small shared VW luxury van. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. It’s just nostalgia. How could you complain when this is your view during boarding?!
Elevator up to the jetbridge, then walked to the door with your driver politely moving all waiting passengers to the side so you can cut to the front of the queue. The moment called for a photo for posterity’s sake!
Time to board, and enjoy the real birthday Lufthansa First flight…the previous flight just a few hours prior had only been an appetizer!
Lufthansa flight 728
Frankfurt, Germany (FRA) to Shanghai, China (PVG)
Depart 17:10, Arrive: 09:55 next day, flight time: 10:45
Airbus A380, Registration D-AIMJ, Manufactured 2011, Seat 2K
Miles Flown Year-to-Date: 131,636
Lifetime Miles Flown: 2,824,224
First thing I noticed during boarding is that we were on D-AIMJ today…funny enough this was exactly the same A380 that had brought me from Delhi to Frankfurt just 12 days before. Fortunately, today, I was in the correct end of the plane!
Second thing I noticed? The stench of fast food the minute I entered the plane. Had I accidentally gone onto the main deck and into economy class? Nope, this dude and his female companion had two large boxes of chicken McNuggets and it was stinking up the entire cabin. Are you for serious?! All the food in the first class lounge and on the plane and you need to bring on your McNasties?! It’s not like you can’t get them in China!!!
Fortunately, I was rescued by the lovely crew and a wonderful glass of Alexandra. The driver had made a point to tell the crew about the birthday, so the next 10 minutes were an endless stream of crew members stopping by to wish me a Happy Birthday. It was pretty awesome!
I had wondered if maybe this whole trip was a little too much, was I trying too hard to do something crazy and special? Nope…it was amazing every minute of the way!
Even the birthday duck agreed. Duck plus Alexandra plus macadamia nuts…it was a pretty amazing start to the flight!
…throw in a warm towel with lemon and a rose petal, and what felt like the entire crew stopping by to sing Happy Birthday…this was going to definitely be a flight to remember!
So, what’s for birthday eats and drinks?
As we pushed back from the gate the Lufthansa crane made sure to say goodbye and wish me a Happy Birthday.
“Unfortunately, there is only one bottle of Alex here today on the flight….so you will have to enjoy her while you can….but Mssr. Laurent Perrier would be happy to accompany you to Shanghai to continue your birthday celebration…with best wishes from your crew.” Little moments like this are precisely why I love Lufthansa.
Alex joined me for the smoked fish canapé to get things started. I love the lighting in this shot as well.
There’s something delightful about the Lufthansa crane on the glass, First Class stamped into the butter…and a pretzel roll.
What more could I ask for ? The caviar cart was wheeled straight to me. Lufthansa logo facing me, to present one of the most beautiful in-flight sights you could ask for on your birthday. I won’t like…I pretty much wanted to grab a mother-of-pearl spoon and just start devouring it straight from the tin…but….one must be civilized.
Fortunately, a couple passengers (not naming names) had stuffed themselves on McNasty, so an extra large birthday helping of caviar was helping today. Seriously…thats one impressive helping! There were even leftovers after the entire cabin was served and a second round was offered. I’m not going to confess either way…
Fabulous appetizer selection once again today: sous vide cooked lobster with singapore sauce (YUM!), obatzda Bavarian cheese spread with pumpernickel and pickled red radish (quite unusual for me, but I really enjoyed it), and shaved black angus beef with wild mushrooms. Three for three once again!
Next up? “delicious pearl barley soup with white cabbage and chives” – you know when they put “delicious” on the menu….it’s advertising a little too hard. It wasn’t bad, just kinda meh. I decided after a few bites to save my stomach for the upcoming courses.
None of the main courses really excited me too much, so I went with the fried turbot with potato and artichoke stew since it sounded relatively the lightest. It was relatively light and tasty.
…and this is what I’m talking about! As usual, an amazing cheese course on Lufthansa. Tonight we had kellerhocker cheese, brie de meaux, Taleggio and fourme d’ambert. Yum!
…and to finish off the birthday dessert was a chocolate tartlet with pineapple and brioche cubes with vanilla ice cream. Normally I don’t think pineapple and chocolate go all that well together, but with a glass of Johnny Walker Blue it was a tasty combo!
…ok, fine…I’ll have a couple of pralines as well with a glass of wine. In fairness, pretty sure this came before dessert since what civilized person would go back to wine after whiskey?
With that, I was getting sleepy again, and ended up sleeping the next 5-6 hours into Shanghai. I’d decided this trip was so quick that I’d sleep when the body told me to, and not worry too much about the time on the clock. Seemed to be a good strategy, since I got a good amount of sleep on this flight.
It also helped that the cabin was nice and cool, which made sleeping much easier. As I was on the way to Dulles Airport, I thought maybe this was going to be too much – too many awesome flights in too short of a time – and I really wouldn’t appreciate the whole thing.
I wasn’t all that hungry when I woke up, but the crew convinced me that a small breakfast would be nice before landing. Can’t really argue with logic like that…plus I’m a sucker for fresh orange juice!
That couldn’t be further from the truth. So far, I was having an amazing time and loving every moment of it. Next up, A whole 24+ hours to enjoy in Shanghai!!!