Travelling In Style

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(Lounge at Singapore Airport)
If you want to travel in style – trust me – you better have enough money to fly at least business class. Anything less is torture. You better stay at home.

I, of course, did not heed my own advise. I booked my flights in the most crazy way, all with the intention to save a few bucks. When my husband heard of my travel arrangements, he rolled his eyes … you know the kind of rolling that earned Anastasia Steele a severe spanking. But I digress.

Even though I am usually not endorsing big companies, this post will end up to be a praise of Lufthansa – a partial praise would be more correct. Why, because their inland planes suck. There is no softer or kinder way to convey it. They have all the trimmings of a normal air plane, BUT the layout of the seating is designed for the transport of people not taller than 135 centimetre or 4 foot something. So you can’t sit and you can’t stand because that is forbidden during flight. Unless you want to use the ‘facilities’ which of course are – again – for little people. I still don’t know how the 300 pound heavy passenger fitted in there, he barely made it through the aisle. And I won’t even talk about the food. I won’t!

After having spend my day flying around Germany, covering Hamburg, Munich, and onto Marseille, my flight from Marseille to Frankfurt (don’t ask, it was cheaper that way!) was delayed by about 30 minutes. A devastating fact given I had only one hour time to change air planes. When asked, the smiling Stewardess assured me that it will be plenty of time, I will have no problems, the plane will wait for me. Whom was she kidding??? I have seen TV reality shows like Easy Jet. They don’t wait. They leave you stranded!

Then finally, sitting on the little people plane – I was smart enough to get an aisle seat, so at least my legs had some space – stressing out just a wee little bit, a guy came and took the seat next to me who looked liked one of the gun slinging guys one sees on the news when they report of unrest and anti-American demonstrations in the Gaza strip. He appeared very nervous, twirled his fingers, and read in a very worn book with arabic signs. So my mind goes crazy imagining headlines like “Plane disappeared over Frankfurt”.

After having had my usual 4 minutes pre-take-off-paranoia, I was fine and landed well in Frankfurt. No terrorist activity – it turned out later he was just as nervous as I to catch his connecting flight. I am deeply sorry for suspecting an innocent man for a few minutes just because of his attire and beard. I had thought better of myself.

And now the ‘praise Lufthansa’ bit! Because we were late they had to park the plane on some distant paddock. BUT they managed to bring special busses to the plane, whisked me and 5 other passengers to a special pass control point and customs, drove like crazy all around the air field to drop us off at the plane to Singapore with 5 minutes to spare. That was absolutely marvellous. Of course it would have been saving some stressful minutes had they told us already during the flight, but who is complaining? I still wait for my luggage to catch up with me. I think it’s somewhere between Nairobi and Hanoi – but that is a small price to pay!

I repeat: Go business class or stay home!

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