StarMegaDO4: ZRH-FRA-SFO, A Trip On The A380
While the majority of MegaDOers were heading back on a direct Swissair flight from ZRH to SFO, a smaller group would be heading back through Frankfurt earlier in the morning. While that meant getting up super early, it also meant a ride back on the A380. I’d flown on this plane the year before and greatly preferred the newer version of the Lufthansa business class seat to the older one on the 747-400.
It had been the better part of a decade since I’d been in ZRH. We got there early and poked our head in the Lufthansa Senator Lounge. It was a fairly small lounge without much in the way of food, so we ended up downstairs at a fairly decent restaurant called La Corbeille. It was reasonably priced, fairly quick and the food quality was better than expected.
A short while later, we were onboard our short flight to FRA. Upon landing we pulled up right beside a Luftahnsa A380 (though not the one we would be boarding). It still strikes me as a bit odd to see a plane withtwo rows of windows along the entire length of the fuselage.
It was a fairly tight connection in FRA and one of our party got stuck for a bit in passport control, so it was a brisk walk/run from one end of the airport to the other. We were onboard with enough time for a pre-departure beverage, and then we were off. We were joined by a handful of MegaDOers, including organizers Tommy and Melinda.
One of the cool features of the A380 and the in-flight entertainment system Lufthansa installs are cameras on the nose and tail of the plane that you can watch from your seat. More on this later, but here’s a quick picture shortly after takeoff where (while not the best quality) you can see the rain fanning out as the wings cut through the moisture.
While the rest of the group slummed it in Business Class, Mommy Points had found her way into First Class. We got a great before and after set of pics with her. First one is prior to take-off sporting a glass of Champagne, then a few hours later sprawling in the lap of luxury (with polka-dot socks, of course).
In my experiences, the food on Lufthansa flights and in the Lufthansa First Class Terminal has always been a very good quality. However, some of the menus don’t mesh well with my palate. A good example of that was the wine list on both of our flights (almost identical). There are some wonderful German Rieslings but it’s not a varietal I prefer. And, I find most German reds to be a bit thin. The menus on this second trans-Atlantic turned out to be a mixed bag for me. Here’s the menu:
I enjoyed the first courses so much I never bothered to take pictures of them. I chose the Venison Terrine as my first course. I think it needed to warm up a bit (it was pretty close to frozen upon service) to realize the flavor of the terrine along with the lingonberries. The main course was an easy choice, the roast goose. I inhaled the goose and really thought the potato dumplings that accompanied it tasted exceptional. It’s easy to make decent dumplings. It’s very hard to make great dumplings, and probably even more difficult to do in the genre of reheated airplane food. This was one of my favorite meals in recent memory on an airplane.
The dessert course was fine, but sleep was calling.
When I woke up, the crew had begun serving the soup & salad. I’m not a huge goulash fan. This wasn’t a standard goulash, but nonetheless wasn’t my favorite. The salad was not my speed, either, so I asked for a cheese plate which was just fine. As you can see from the pictures of our flight map below, we had gone “over the top” of the planet. A growing number of flights that distance head over the polar ice cap.
A short while later we were landing in SFO. I caught one more good shot of the tail cam through IFE as we pulled up to our gate after a long journey. A few minutes later we were on our way to customs and then to the hotel to kick off the domestic portion of StarMegaDO4.