What It’s Like to Fly Business Class With German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel faced mechanical problems while headed to the G20 summit in Argentina. So she wound up having to fly commercial.

[S]he arrived late due to technical problems on the German military plane that was to have taken her to Argentina. The plane problem forced Merkel to take a commercial flight via Madrid after staying at a hotel in Bonn on Thursday night.

A passenger in business class on Merkel’s Iberia flight shares what it’s like to fly 13 hours next to a woman that’s been described as the most powerful in the world.

He says, “She ate yogurt, read a book and slept a little bit,” but had no special requests and wasn’t treated differently than any other passenger — although she visited the cockpit an hour prior to arrival and took photos with the crew.

Other than Merkel and her entourage being escorted off the aircraft prior to everyone else, she was “a normal person.”

(HT: @xgerman)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Interesting post and pathetic comments. Glad the Germans still have a leader believing in democracy, human rights and freedom of speach. Lots of societies could learn from her. If Germans would bash about a certain US president, they would be in troubles.

  2. @Nope: agreed.

    “If Germans would bash about a certain US president, they would be in troubles.”

    Change that to “If Americans would bash about a certain US president, they would be in troubles.” Like, a visit from the FBI, perhaps?

    I just returned from 2 months in Germany, and am I impressed. The climate is great for businesses, large and small. Overall the standard of living for the average person is higher. Sure, taxes are higher and they cover a multitude of social services, but as a result the crime was lower and hence, there was less of a need for police and security services, as well as medical and insurance/theft coverage.

    Politics aside, I’m hoping her IB business class seat was more comfortable than the LH seat I flew in.

  3. I agree with Nope (commenter above). There certainly are a bunch of mean spirited commenters on your board, Gary.

  4. Politely ask Merkel for a photo with her, and then (just as the pic is being taken), sneak in a Nazi salute. Hurry and upload the pic to Instragram or Twitter. Instant fame. Profit.

    Just kidding, that would be a totally douche move, but funny to contemplate.

  5. The commenter Ryan must be a tRUMP suck up and a guy. With no moral compass. Don’t allow him on board your blog Gary!

  6. @nope and @Kimmiea:
    You’re obviously not familiar with German law. Freedom of speech? It’s a crime to insult someone, punishable by jail time… and that’s just the start

  7. Ryan,

    There is a substantial Lebanese/Syrian community in Argentina, and at least one of the key figures in Argentine political history is one of those “turcos”.

    I suspect that Argentina has taken in more refugees from Syria in the past 23 months than the US. And Germany has taken in more too than the US, and yet German crime figures are lower now than say some 20-30 years ago.

  8. Did Merkel invite everyone in coach to storm through the “border” of business class and go on to demand that each business class passenger must provide for the coach class “refugees”? Did Merkel thereafter inform the flight crew that they were racist for trying to enforce IB’s rules?

  9. LOL. Can you smell the stench. Unwashed Anti-American lefties are coming out to play. Buy some deodorant and shower once in a while.

  10. She’s actually a very normal person who used to do her own grocery shopping while in office before that became an issue.

  11. @Luke Vader~ Best if you to keep such thought bubbles out of print altogether, if you have them at all. If the flight had been headed in the opposite direction, you would have been escorted off the flight and possibly prosecuted. Saying that rubbish is an actual offence in Germany, and could land you behind bars.

  12. I’m puzzled…does the German Air Force not have another plane capable of making the flight? Does she travel with no security detail?!? Can you imagine a US President hopping a commercial flight? The Secret Svc would commandeer the whole plane, for cryin’ out loud.

  13. “does the German Air Force not have another plane capable of making the flight” – they did have another plane on standby, but sent it back to its home base (Cologne) after the original flight had departed. When the original flight had returned (also to Cologne), the crew had already worked too long to be able to complete the flight within their permitted work hours.

    “Does she travel with no security detail?!?” – of course not, but we are talking about a couple of police officers only – there are very few people who would have an interest in killing her.

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