this report you have just opened is about to follow my return flight from San Francisco back to Europe after spending a fantastic week in the Californian city with my lady. We had a great time and when it was time to return, sudden sadness hit us. But there are always positive sides, at least if you are flying.
Returning home from nice places around the world is always difficult, but this time it was probably emotionally the toughest return I have experienced so far. I always try to find at least some positives and this time it wasn´t that difficult with two great first times for me : First of them was flying the legendary 747 which I dreamed about for years and before starting flying few years back I maybe even didn´t believe I´d be able to fly it one day. When booking the trip some 9 months ago, we originally booked on United 747 for SFO-FRA leg, but Lufthansa moved us to their own 747. Although I wanted to try United, it was probably better to fly LH as UA doesn´t have PTVs on most (if not all) of their 744 fleet. Another fine thing I looked forward was transiting at Frankfurt. I wanted to visit this airport and I think this was good opportunity to discover it and see some of the traffic flying around. I could also add it to the list of European largest airports I have already visited, together with CDG, AMS, FCO. I was at LHR as well, but I didn´t fly in or out of there.
Now let´s get back to flying experience. To get to SFO from the city center we opted for BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) which is really fast and pleasant. This journey was little less than 10$ per person and took about 20 minutes until SFO´s terminals opened in front of us and also provided us with a view of mainly United heavies around. While arriving at the airport it was also first time ever I saw Boeing 747-8.
Seems like you can get everywhere when flying from SFO
My lady shows where are we going to fly to. She actually doesn´t look that sad, does she? :-)
Check-in area for Lufthansa flights. We arrived at the airport some 3 hours to departure and went straight to check-in which took only about 5 minutes as there were only few people
On our way to security. It was a bit crowded around, I think we spend there about 15 minutes but it still wasn´t that bad time and we were easily given all green. I could feel security is different compared to Europe, mainly the staff looked pretty strict
After that we had a short walk and enjoyed views of some wide-bodies being prepared for their long flights
In few minutes this guy arrived on scene - I knew it was D-ABVY before as I checked flightradar24 some 1 hour ago, a 10 years old B744 - finally the first Queen of the Skies I´m gonna fly
Looking like I´m going for you!
Meanwhile I try to enjoy another traffic as well, UA 757
Parking at the same position as our A346 a week ago on our arrival
I love these nose views of 747, this one is United and I think it is bound for Frankfurt - so that´s the aircraft we were set to fly originally.
D-ABVY parked and enjoying her rest now
And a sexy United jumbo again
We started getting hungry and settled for this Chicken sandiwch for lunch. I don´t remember the price now, I think it was around 6$ or 8$ + coke but… it was great!
After finishing my meal I went to have a look around and catch some aircrafts, lady decided not to join me this time Air China 777
I don´t have to say who´s the major player here
I hope to fly you one day too ..
This is view of our gate from the upper level. As I saw agents started operating their computers we decided to go and take a seat there.
Eva Air Cargo
And it started getting bussy around
United B767 looking for a gate to park
Here I felt I had gotten into place I consider to be an aviation paradise :-)
Just to check she didn´t depart without us
Air China departing for Beijing
Final moments before boarding started
Here you are, final steps before entering jumbo!
View of the business class seats
But this time again, this kind of seats is prepared for us
I find Lufthansa´s B744 much more comfortable to A346. Sure it´s better to fly in config 2-4-2 compared to jumbo´s 3-4-3, but seats were better here with better legroom as well
Legroom view, I felt comfortable even when the seat ahead reclined. Everything was set for a pleasant flight
PTV was the same as in A346 which means… I turned on an Airshow and opened in-flight magazine..
A woman around her fifties took remaining seat next to us. From her boarding passes it seemed she headed for Tallin in Estonia. She was either in bad mood or couldn´t speak english as she didn´t say anything throughout the flight. And she also started fall asleep soon after take off which was not a good news for us as we are both frequent toilet visitors
United´s Dreamliner taxiing by
Already during taxi
I think it was 28L we headed for
United Boeing 757 coming for landing
Begining our take off roll. It was probably pretty windy because we clearly felt the steering of 747 racing down the runway
Rotating under close supervising from United 747s
Engines at full thrust as we wondered the amazing wingflex
It was very clouded that day, but at least for few moments we were offered nice views of the city. Bye bye San Francisco, I will miss you so much
And then we disappeared in the clouds
Our cruise altitude was at the top level of clouds and first two hours were really pretty bumpy with seatbelts light on for the first hour and something of flight meant FAs couldn´t get into any action
About two hours into the flight the dinner was distributed. I went for vegetarian pasta and was not particularly impressed with it, but still it was edible. My girlfriend went for Teryaki with rice and wasn´t pleased with it too
Overflying snow-covered Canada
The Sun started to set and this was my first overnight flight
We took oportunity of our neighbour waking up and both went to toilet. I also grabbed last pictures before complete darkness
Shades had to be closed throughout the night so we had to close ours. I decided take a rest but managed to sleep only for about 20 minutes. I later opened inflight magazine but as it was the same as on our MUC-SFO leg, it didn´t entertain me long. So I convinced myself to be tolerant and opened IFE to look for some movie. I went for Cool Runnings, my favourite movie. I watched the whole movie, but the experience was poor mainly due to very bad sound quality. At least I know the movie very well so I managed to do the most of dialogs in my head :-)
This time as we were approaching Europe I knew it started getting brighter outside. I wanted to have a look through the window, but my lady slept on my arm and I couldn´t move at all.
After she woke up I was like Hi! and immediately opened the shade :-)
Less than two hours until landing breakfast was served and this time it was very good
So I enjoyed my meal and then relaxed and enjoyed views of sunny morning outside
Cabin before starting our descend
This airport is CGN
During descend the Sun started to be pretty annoying and made taking pictures almost impossible
Here we are on a short final already, for 07R I think
Touchdown wasn´t really gentle and was followed by some heavy braking
First it seemed like we landed back in SFO, didn´t it?
Some heavies at FRA
An Air Canada B767
Followed by Lufthansa A321 in retro livery
We parked next to many company 747s and arrived few minutes ahead of schedule
I was surprised by the mess that appears after a long haul flight. We were the last passengers to leave the aircraft, at the door we were greeted by FAs
Good bye to our beautiful bird
After leaving the aircraft we found ourselves in gate area. We had a look around and headed for Schengen gates to find our connecting flight to Prague. This is actually where this report ends and next time I will bring you with the last FRA-PRG leg.
Thank you for reading up to here and if you have anything on me or the report - simply post it bellow !
Have a nice day everyone, Michael
San Francisco - SFO
Frankfurt - FRA
I find Lufhansa´s B744 to be much better than A346. Seat comfort was very good and made the 11 hours experience a positive one. Their meals were nothing fantastic but at least were edible. The crew was rather invsibile throughout the night flight but when I wanted something to drink and hit the button, somebody always came and gave me what I wanted so that´s fine.
IFE was the same as in A346 - everything was slow with not very good response. If you are ok with Airshow running for the whole flight, you´ll be fine.
Both SFO and FRA were very quick in all procedures and I enjoyed both airports for their traffic. Unfortunatelly we were at the places with limited views.
Overally we had a very good flight and if flying Lufthansa in the future - I´m gonna aim for their 747s
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