Saturday, April 21, 2007

10000 miles

A journey of a close to 10000 miles to and fro and 6 flights later...

The journey started at Houston - IAH, George Bush airport, my first time in the international terminal here and its not unlike any other airport I've seen in the US, infact all of them are pretty similar. However the duty free seemed good, lot of Texas souvenir stuff to choose from, bought a couple and a couple of 'Don't Mess with Texas tees'. The only other airlines I've traveled with in the past... East West, Indian Airlines, Air India and British Airways not including the domestic US airlines. Enough for a comparison?, maybe, maybe not...

On flight :- Lets start with IAH to Frankfurt on Lufthansa...Pricey but comfortable is what I'd heard of this airline from a few of my colleagues, pricey yea it was...but comfortable....hmm... well... the experience wasn't particularly great or better than the only other long distance carrier, BA, I've traveled with in the past, more so it was slightly horrendous. The journey was jerky and turbulent but obviously that's just beyond a muggler's( is that the plural of muggle)control.

Economy class seats... well they are just like economy class seats! even tho the business and first class looked really cool...complete with top level seating. Dinner was okay, complete with a number of rounds of beverages, alcoholic and not.
Inflight entertainment totally sucks in EClass. I wasn't even able to switch to Video mode on my headphones, the flight attendant tried all that i tried and then just gave up, Marie Antoinette was one of the movies on, but couldn't watch it. The headphones, not international standards at all, kept slipping off, size fits a person with a big head, and adjustable only a certain limit!.. continental airlines provides the better clip on type ones! take a page from their book lufthansa!

This was the worst one: Every time i tried reclining my seat even a little bit the passenger from behind(lets call her backseat lady) would completely push it upright, tried it a couple of times only to hear muttering and cursing from behind. Finally I could take it no longer and had to summon the flight attendant, she spoke about rights to the backseat lady!!! and reclined my seat, finally i thought i could get some sleep... weird thing was that backseat lady had reclined her own seat... wow

I was sitting in the middle section, four seats and i had an aisle seat. My co-passenger... well he reeked when he got into his seat itself and a number of Lufthansa served 'beverages' later including a spill of wine on my shirt sleeve and after all the passing around of 'beverages', and hanging out with friends in the aisle, he wanted to switch seats with me. I must say this, I hate middle seats but if I had to count the number of times he had got out of his seat and the number of times he was likely to get out of his seat, well the mathematics and statistics was starting to give me a headache, even though i had a 100 and 99 in these subjects respectively in my PU2 boards...ditching the numbers and using my better judgment i took up on his offer and switched seats. Some hours of sleep later and we were in Germany.

Frankfurt airport: Huge and beautiful, the duty free shops...very inviting, very European. Passengers from US flights could directly go the gates without a security check, with my previous experience in an aisle seat, i decided to switch the seat allocated to me which was 'aisle' again for a window and was able to get one, the last one available. A cursory check of the bags is done at the gate itself before boarding, he just lifts up the bag with his hand and if he feels its over then asks you to check it in. I was carrying a trolley kind of bag, which was beyond permissible hand baggage limits and was asked to check it in, but since i was one of the last passengers to get my bags checked, and all the luggage was already sent to the cargo hold or wherever... they let me board with my extra 4 kgs worth of goods!

On flight : The seat change was a good one, found myself in the tail of the airplane. The usual side section held 3 seats , however the last three only had 2 and i was in the penultimate row. There's a little space between the seat and the window, i.e. i couldn't lean against the window. Nice co-passenger, cute well-behaved kid in the seat in front and a comfortable seat for a good sleep. Headphones were working fine this time around but same style and they kept slipping off, no chance that my head could have grown bigger en route to Frankfurt from Houston. A Boolywood flick was on, watched only a bit before dozing off, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Preity Zinta, don't care enough to look up the name... some day.

Adjusted my watch to IST and some 9 hours later we landed in Bangalore, India... back after exactly a year.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmm.. after a long time reading your blog... :) pretty nice improvisation on the situation... Looks like you had quite and experience in the flight to Bangalore... I have been on the Lufthansa flight as well and I found it rather comfortable than others.. however not a very good in-flight entertainment. And surprise, I did manage to get Indian food all the way from my journey from Delhi to Frankfurt and US, and the food did taste like Indian food ;)...
Nice to read your experiences.. :)

HUH!

Rajz said...

My response to your flight conditions WILL get longer than your original post... hence refraining ;)
Just a quick one... ever wonder why "Lufthansa's great" is usually quoted by guys?? ;)

RZD said...

No, never did wonder...
deutsch flight attendants?