Star Mega Do 3 Report: First Stop Munich
As I wrote about earlier this week, I'm currently on a 6 day whirlwind trip to 4 cities in 3 countries as a part of the Star Mega Do 3.
Day 1 was a light send-off party in the JFK Terminal 1 Lufthansa Senators lounge. After a couple Spaten beers and meeting up with some old and new frequent flyer friends from Flyertalk and Milepoint, we boarded the A380 and were on our way to Frankfurt. We were on the 3:40pm flight, which ended up landing at 4:45am Frankfurt time (10:45pm NY time). These afternoon transatlantic flights always throw me off, but it would allow us to connect to Munich and have several hours to settle in before the day began.
I'll save the flight experience for another trip report, but I will say I loved flying on the A380. Take-off was smooth and I really liked watching it from the camera mounted on the tail.
We ended up getting to Frankfurt so early the lounge wasn't even open yet. At 5:30am we raided the Senators Lounge at Terminal 1 and then boarded our short hop to Munich where we checked into hotels and then met up at 12:45pm for our tours.
I signed up for the LSG SkyChef tour (where they make all of the in-flight meals), but before we did that we got an exclusive tour of the airport (including a behind-the-scenes look at baggage operations) and maintenance hangar where we had almost free reign with a gorgeous Airbus 330 aircraft that was in for servicing. As a plane geek, this was my favorite part of the day. Just standing next to the behemoth aircraft and walking around and feeling the wheels was a really cool experience. It was a perfectly sunny and crisp day in Munich, so it was really enjoyable to be outside and "mingling" with the aircraft. We got to go inside and explore the cabins and even sit in the cockpit - all while talking to an experienced Lufthansa mechanic.
After that, we took the LSG SkyChef tour and it was interesting, but we were there during an off-peak time so there wasn't much action. It was still fun to don the apron and hairnet and see how the massive operation works. It was cool to see the separate Halal facilities and all of the different sections for the different airlines.
After that we went to Airbrau restaurant right at the Munich airport for dinner with Lufthansa and Munich Airport representatives. We swigged home-brewed German beers and ate from platters of tradition Bavarian fare - lots of meat, cheese and spreads. By 8pm I was exhausted and crashed, though I should have tried to stay up a little later.
As I write this I'm about to head to the Munich airport to catch a flight back to Frankfurt and then on to Chicago in business class on a Lufthansa 747 (which I've done before). In Chicago I'll meet up with Kathy who won my Great Seatmate contest and with the larger group. Wednesday evening is a reception with Hyatt at the Park Hyatt Chicago and then we meet with United on Thursday at O'Hare then board our chartered 757 to Montreal where we meet with Aeroplan Thursday night, Bombardier Friday and then on to the final stop of Denver where I have time in the United flight simulator!
A whirlwind week, but a dream one for the aviation and points geek that I am. Make sure you are following me on Twitter for all of my live updates. which I'll be better about once I'm back in the states and have regular cell service. Auf wiedersehen!