A Flight to Remember

What a way to begin a Live Voyage! Champagne in Business Class aboard Lufthansa 493 from Vancouver to Frankfurt. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

The saying goes that “getting there is half the fun,” and my flight from Vancouver to Frankfurt Germany was that and so much more.

To get me to the historic city of Nuremberg for this Live Voyage Report, we’ve partnered with German airline Lufthansa. I was so impressed with their flights, aircraft and service when I flew with them to Stockholm this past summer that they were easily my first choice.  But Lufthansa had a little surprise in store for me: Business Class.

The second Business Class section of Lufthansa's Airbus A340-300. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

In an age where more and more cruises are departing away from North American shores, it’s a given that at some point a long-haul flight will be in store for you.  But what may surprise you is just how much better these international long-haul flights are than regular North American domestics.  And as I discovered today, Lufthansa’s Business Class is a quantum leap above that.

My seat, 11A. Nearly everything has been thought of in these clever seats designed for Lufthansa by Recaro. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

To start with the obvious, the Business Class seat I held on Lufthansa’s Airbus A340-300 (11A) offered me more legroom than I’ve ever seen before.  I’m roughly 5’ 8”, and yet even with my legs outstretched, I couldn’t touch the back of the seat in front of me.  I then quickly realised that my economy-class roots were beginning to show themselves: I hoarded my carry-on luggage under the seat in front of me the way a jealous lover might guard a beautiful woman, and I fumbled around looking for a spot to store my headphones until I realized I don’t need headphones: Lufthansa includes some tremendous noise-cancelling Sennheiser ones in the armrest of the seat.

Taking off through the clouds, bound for Frankfurt! Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

A take-off glass of excellent champagne launched me into a veritable slice of meal-heaven at 39,000 feet.  From the menu (a menu!!), I was able to select one of three appetizers, one of three main courses, and one of three desserts.  All of this was complimented by a vast array of German beers, fine wines, spirits, or simply juice, tea, coffee, water, or soda.  And let me tell you: it’s not every day you can enjoy a fine German beer at cruising altitude while munching on some carefully prepared chicken salad.  Or enjoy a glass of port before drifting off to sleep in your reclining seat.

What's a great flight without a tasty German beer? Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Speaking of the seat, it’s so feature-laden that a small manual is slipped into the magazine pocket.  It reclines, offers lumbar support, has a foot rest, and can adopt a number of comfortable positions for eating, watching the onboard Video on Demand, or sleeping: a position that places the passenger in a comfortable, almost fully-flat sleeping position.

Don’t get me wrong: I love flying.  Love it.  If I’m crammed back at the tail of the plane, next to the four washrooms, the aft galley, and that screaming kid in 44K, I’m completely happy.  But I can never sleep on long flights, and my legs tend to get all squirrely on me.  Not so on this flight.  Today, I managed to watch a single hour of Contagion before deciding to grab my pillow and blanket, recline the seat, and catch perhaps 30 minutes of shut-eye.  After that, my plan was to do hopefully write the blog using Lufthansa’s FlyNet onboard Internet feature.

It didn’t happen.

Lufthansa’s Business Class seat was so comfortable that I slept for four straight hours.  After hundreds and hundreds of flights, I’ve finally managed to sleep on an airplane!  And those who find long-haul flights difficult would do wise to consider spending the cash to upgrade to business class.  Is it expensive?  More so than economy, of course. But those hours of sleep can be priceless.  Just ask someone like myself who can’t seem to sleep on a plane.

The sun greets us as we fly over the UK after I managed to actually sleep on a plane. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

When I awoke, the sun was illuminating the clouds below us that obscured England and lit up the  two port-side engines with a glorious amber color.  Yes, it was indeed the dawning of a new day, and as I ate my breakfast served atop a proper tablecloth, with proper cutlery and glassware, I marveled that flying really can be this amazing.

A final delicious meal rings in the dawning of a new day, and a remarkable way to travel. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Stay tuned for more as we fly from Frankfurt International Airport to Nuremberg, Germany to embark AmaWaterways’ AmaLyra!

Disembarking Lufthansa 493 on the tarmac at Frankfurt Airport. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Curious to know more about Lufthansa’s Business Class service and their network of destinations? Be sure to pay a visit to their website to learn all the details.

Our Live Trip Report from aboard AmaWaterways AmaLyra continues tomorrow, as we join our river cruise ship in Nuremberg, Germany!  Looking to book your very own river cruise with AmaWaterways? Get all the details from our friends at Cruise Experts Travel!


3 Responses to AmaLyra Live Voyage Report – Day 0

  1. Kim says:

    glad to see your having a great time! looks wonderful on your flight.

  2. Jonas says:

    What exactly are you referring to as surprise in store? So you got upgraded to Business Class at the gate, or did you pay for the ticket yourself.

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