First Class Terminal
For those who haven’t been, or might be visiting for the first time, the First Class Terminal is on the upper, departure level in a separate building, just west of Terminal 1. The building has a large “First Class Terminal” sign. There’s a pretty sharp turn-off, though, as you approach, which can be easy to miss. (It’s also walkable back from the Terminal 1 arrivals level where the hotel vans pickup and dropoff.)
Our car pulled up and a personal assistant met us out front. She asked for our passports, and I handed them over along with our boarding passes. She asked about luggage to check and I noted that our bags were already checked. She took our bag tags in order to check on them.
We were quickly through a perfectly pleasant and polite security screening, with no line of course.
Once we had our seats over in the far left hand side of the terminal, our PA came over to check on us and return our boarding passes in a proper First Class folder (something they didn’t have any of at Dulles).
I actually did have a matter for her to help sort out.
When playing around with various award flight options, our tickets were done correctly and our itinerary displayed correctly on the United website. Naturally, though, I called each of the operating carriers to get their record locators and request seats (and in the case of Singapore and Thai, to pre-order meals). When I looked up my Lufthansa record online at checkmytrip.com, I saw that there were extra segments!
Lufthansa telephone reservations told me they couldn’t make changes, as it was a United mileage booking, but that I was fine for travel. The extra segments worried me, though, because I would wind up no-showing one of them during travel and I was afraid Lufthansa would cancel the rest of the itinerary. But United couldn’t even see the segments were there. Others have had a similar problem when United reserves and then cancels segments, and one person mentioned on Flyertalk having United and Lufthansa conference each other. But somehow I just didn’t trust United to get it right, I was afraid that in the end they’d cancel the wrong segments and they wouldn’t be able to restore them, so…
I decided to wait until the First Class Terminal in order to get things in order. I showed her a copy of my Lufthansa reservation from checkmytrip, and I marked off the segments I wanted her to cancel. She understood, went away briefly, and confirmed that it was taken care of. I went online and checked and sure enough my itinerary was in proper order.
One note about internet, I do find it odd that the Lufthansa First Class Terminal has a pay internet connection for which you must get a username and password from the attendant in order to avoid paying. It seems like they could manage to have the internet in this terminal simply free. They’ll give you as many passes as you need, but some are one hour and some two hours and when you have five hours to spend here…!
Also of note is that the power outlets are European only. They may well have adapters, I didn’t ask since I carry my own, but again for a 5-hour visit… It would seem to be not that difficult to make various plug configurations possible.
We relaxed, had some refreshments, and checked our e-mail while munching on absolutely delicious nuts. Then we went into the restaurant and had the most wonderful – amazing, even — wienerschnitzel.
My wife has what she called her “Taronga Zoo theory.” A few years back when we were in Sydney we had fish ‘n chips as a snack at the Taronga Zoo. It was really good. We mentioned it later that day to my family in Sydney and they were aghast. To them that was the worst possible place to get fish ‘n chips, of course. But to us – to our American standards, which are much beneath Aussies’ on this subject – it was amazing. Even the worst Fish ‘n Chips in the country, at the Taronga Zoo, is likely to be better than what we’re used to at home. And so it was with wienerschnitzel, which at the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, Germany would almost have to be better than anything we’d get at home in DC.
First Class Terminal Menu
Sit down service
Consomme with vegetablesCreamy broccolisoupTom Ka Gai
Thai chickensoup with coconut milk, fresh cilantro and chili
Steak & Salad
Grilled “Loup de mer”
Veal with tuna sauce
White eggplant puree
Arugula with cherry tomatoes
Shallots with aged balsamic vinegar
Parmesan / Manchego
Prosciutto di Parma
Jamon Iberico / Pata Negra
Grilled green asparagusTapas (warm)
Calamares fritos / fried baby calamari
Alcachofas fritas / fried artichokes
Albondigas / meatballs in tomato sauce
Gambas a la plancha / fried prawnsSmoked Salmon
Scottish smoked salmon – Loch Fyne
Horseradish cream / toast or cream cheese / bagel
After that it was back online and the occasional snack from the buffet.
I had some calls to make, and needed to check my voicemail, so it’s worth noting that this was my first trip using an international sim card (09 mobile) and callbackworld.
As many folks know, the cheapest option is usually to pick up a local sim card. I hate this though as I wind up with too many sim cards, all with some money remaining at the end of a trip. And I’m not usually going to the same destination with enough regularity. So this is a pretty good option. 09 mobile from Iceland has pretty good rates and most importantly free incoming calls in 90 countries.
Paired with a callback service, you can make outgoing calls at the incoming call rate and pay only the callback service charge. From Frankfurt it’s less than 9 cents a minute from my cell phone to the U.S., which is really great in that I can avoid the hassle of a local SIM.
This functions as a ‘double callback’ which can take some getting used to. You dial the callback service, the call ‘fails’ and then 09 mobile calls you back. You pick up and you’re connected to your call with the callback service. That rings once, you hang up, and the callback service calls you back! Then you dial the number you’re trying to reach somewhere in the world.
There are simpler ways to do it, of course. You can trigger the callback service call from another phone, and since you’re not actually waiting for anyone to answer the call is free even from a regular US cell phone. Or you can trigger the callback directly with the number you’re trying to reach via the web.
It’s actually easier than it sounds, it’s all pretty straightforward after the first or second try.
At about 9:45pm our personal assistant – the same one who greeted us 5 hours earlier – came to collect us and brought us downstairs to their personalized immigration processing (it’s easy to forget that they never gave you back your passport when you arrived, you get it back here with your immigration already handled) and to the fleet of vehicles for transfer to the plane.
There were two other passengers headed to the same flight, so they brought us to a Mercedes van. There were many more private cars than vans, I only saw one other van in the lot at the time. And I had thought about requesting a private transfer (it’s no longer a right, but still I thought I’d ask) but didn’t bother.