So, welcome back to the routing for what starts to be the interesting part ! If I took positioning flights to SOF and booked the error fare from SOF to JNB, it is obviously to enjoy this very flight, the only long haul roundtrip of the year, sadly. And because it is C class, there is a lot to enjoy !
We first went to the LH Business Lounge located gate Z 26.
On our way, we saw that this part of the terminal was completely empty
This is the lounge entrance
After checkin-in, you either have a moving belt or stairs
Up there you have the toilets + showers on your left hand side as well as a desk with multiple agents dealing that day with a flight to PVG apparently cancelled The toilets look like this :
Very clean and modern looking. This is the catering area
You can sit wherever you want
There was plenty of space on that day
Before eating something, I went for a shower. A cleaning lady was waiting with a register where you had to write flight details, most (if not all) of the passengers taking showers were flying the LH572 to JNB. She said a shower cabin was available immediately so I quicky returned to my seat and asked my mother if she wanted one, so she went to register with me because she does not speak english, but she had to wait with a small electronic bipper that told her when the shower room was ready.
So I went for mine because I badly needed one after 4 flights. The water pressure was more than enough and the temperature easy to adjust.
It was warm enough in the cabin, everything was utterly clean Back to the rest area, the wifi was fast and easy to access
We had a small view over the apron obstructed by the curtain
Then I went looking for some food (Frankfurt sausages and sort of gnocchis) to wait and charged my devices on the power outlets located on every furniture in the rest area.
When the time came to board, hopefully there was a FIDS to check if the boarding gate had changed. It will be Z69 for us, last gate of the pier…
Here is a bad view of D-ABYO, our beast for the night
Warm welcome on board from the FAs Up the stairs and we arrived into this well known 2-2 layout along the nice side stowage compartments
We took water as PDB because wine makes me sick when flying, so I'm not really an alcohol person
And the bad point about the seats many FR pointed out immediately came into view
The ottoman is ridiculous even just for feet. Under it, you can stow your shoes. The amenity kit and a still water bottle are located under the seatback pocket which is itself located under the IFE. The seats are nicely indicated though with a kind of metal bar
The seat controls are fairly simple but a bit used considering the cabin's age
The menus were then handed by our friendly blonde female FA that introduced herself
"A warm welcome on board"
Noise cancelling headset : Bose QC15 I think
The safety video was then displayed on the IFE, which image quality I have to say is mediocre
We pushed back on schedule and took off a while later
The service started of course with a hot oshibori
We were around here
Then came the hot nuts along the wine. However the vinothek not up to date A very sweet white wine from New Zealand was suggested by our FA but it did not appear on the "Vinothek" part of the menu provided, our first choice was not available. most of the wines as you could see on the menu are fairly recent so not very mature enough. The tray table felt solid and stable.
The beverages trolley
The branded polyester napkin was set by the FA
We took the "Spiced Salmon with Turnip Celery Salad, Frankfurt Style Pesto and Pumpkin Seeds" as a starter. A very bright idea because it tasted excellent
Metal LH branded cutlery
Here is a small simple salad
As for the main course, I opted for the Ravioli with pesto sauce and mediterranean vegetables (zucchini)
I declined the dessert, this was already way too much for me being the fifth flight in a row. But took the small chocolate box provided :-)
After that I went to the toilets to check if everything was clean and if there was some amenity items : answer was "yes"
Same smoke detectors as in the AA 787 I flew between SCL and DFW last year.
A hand cream from Korres
Shaving cream, paraben free please, along with actual shaving kits
A pocket comb
And finally a mouth wash, but I know you can read all of that for once that it is well lighted
This is what I was seeing with alcohol in my blood^^
Now it is time to sleep a bit
After having slept for a good 5 hours, these are the views we were treated to on the outside
Breakfast : I obviously chose the full version
Some branded metal cutlery here as well
Everything on the tray was well prepared and tasty. You really feel ready for your day after this kind of meal. The sun was by then completely set
I enjoyed a bit more my seat and charged my devices
A kind of seatbelt I had never seen before
With the light you can better see the size of the side stowage compartments
The amenity kit was privded by "Bree" and contained - a headset cover - a mask - socks, - earplugs, - a hand cream and a lip balm, - a refreshing tissue, - 2 lens wipe (nice to think to pax with glasses, smartphones or DSLRs) - a pocket comb, - toothpaste, - a toothbrush
We had a gorgeous approach over Johannesburg
As for the landing, it was a smooth one
With a bit of spotting while taxiing
I will probably try Emirates next year to New Zealand in J class as well.
Before leaving, I forgot safety card !
I had asked before descent if I could pay a visit to the flight deck after landing, which was granted in its principle by our friendly FA but she told me she will have the confirmation of this later on. Which she did.
So after everyone had left the Upper Deck, she called me and I went there.
We shook hands both with the Captain and FO and talked a little bit about fuel consumption (100 tons) but the parking checklist had not been done yet and I could feel I was not very welcomed at that moment, although it was nice hearing this "live".
Furthermore, when the captain asked me not to share the pictures I was taking on social networks, I felt he was treating me as a kind of stupid youtuber taking selfie every 5 minutes or so. I did not take the trouble to answer to explain the purpose of the pictures, which is to share them with avgeek like you, readers, but it was not very friendly like I experienced last year flying American Airlines from JFK to EZE when the FO even left his seat and offered to take pictures.
This was nice to be welcomed obviously but if they feel it is an obligation because I was flying Business Class, then it is better not agreeing receiving pax visiting them in the first place. If passengers have an aviation interest, then it is something to share, to discuss, it shouldn't be kind of a burden. So that is why I won't put a 10 for the crew, even if our FA on the Upper Deck were very pleasant people.
So as Flight-Report labelled itself as a social network, I can't directly share the pictures with you. What I can do is uploading them to a Flickr album and give you the link via e-mail for those interested, but I really don't want to break my word by posting them here, sorry for that!
And on that last weird feeling, it is time to end and leave D-ABYO that landed here perfectly on-time.
And unfortunately we got into the world's second worst airport after Vienna, in my opinion of course : JNB ! Perhaps one of the most confusing airport I've been through.
Lufthansa performed well on that flight. The only point I haven't mentionned here is the IFE, except as for the liveshow, the image quality really is not there. I wouldn't like to watch a movie on these horrible screens. But of course, flying Business means sleeping, so this is not a catastrophy.
The Z Business/Senator Lounge in FRA was superb, and I mean it. FRA itself is a peaceful airport, very large, not too packed on that evening. The only bad point was that at the last gate of the pier, our gate Z69, there is not much room for the queues which generates a mess.
JNB is not practical at all, the border police is slow, does not want to do its job, it is annoying. Bags arrived quickly to be honest, so the priority tags attached at SOF airport served well. The most annoying thing at JNB is the "Porter luggage scam" where you have bunch of people wearing what seem like official badges and uniforms trying to help you with your luggages, asking for your destination if you are transiting to get money from you when they will have carry your bags.
So... BEWARE ! Do not let anyone take your bags, please use common sense, nothing is done for free ;) Do like me : either go voluntarily into the wrong direction or tell them "wherever I go, I will go alone", thought that one was fun. And they did not insist.
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