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Lufthansa prepares to operate its longest flight ever

Jan. 20, 2021
3 min read
Lufthansa prepares to operate its longest flight ever
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With hubs in Frankfurt and Munich, Germany's flagship carrier, Lufthansa, is well positioned to serve much of the world without a stop. Flights to parts of Asia and Africa come in at less than 5,000 miles each way, for example, and even the West Coast of the U.S. requires less than 6,000 miles of flying.

It's especially rare to see Lufthansa operating flights much longer than 7,000 miles, aside from regularly scheduled service between Frankfurt (FRA) and Buenos Aires (EZE), which clocks in at 7,140 miles and over 13 hours each way. When it departs on Feb. 1, Lufthansa flight 2574 will be anything but ordinary, though.

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With a total time of roughly 15 hours, the airline's upcoming record-breaker will cover some 8,500 miles — roughly the same distance as Frankfurt to Perth, Australia (PER) — traveling from Hamburg (HAM) to Mount Pleasant (MPN), a Royal Air Force station in the Falkland Islands, a British Overseas Territory not far from South America's southern coast.

Flight 2574 will carry 92 passengers onboard an Airbus A350-900, with seating for almost 300. Half of the passengers are scientists headed to Antarctica, while the other half are the ship crew members that will take them the rest of the way from MPN.

Lufthansa solicited flight attendant volunteers to work the flight, and received some 600 applicants, despite the strict 14-day quarantine required for all passengers and crew.

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Photo courtesy of Lufthansa.

The usual Antarctica connection through Cape Town (CPT) is currently unviable due to the pandemic, and the risk of exposure in South Africa, leaving a connection in the Falkland Islands as the only option at the moment.

After the flight, the scientists will join a ship for the rest of their journey to Antarctica, onboard a specially equipped icebreaker called the Polarstern, or "pole star." (Notably, United's business-class product is also named for a pole star, called Polaris.)

The Lufthansa A350, meanwhile, will return with its pilots and flight attendants as flight 2575, enroute to Munich (MUC) two days later, on Feb. 3. The aircraft will also bring home the Polarstern's current crew, along with any waste generated during the round-trip flight to the Falklands.

Featured image by Photo courtesy of Lufthansa
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

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  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

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Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees