This review is part of a trip to Germany.
- Lounge Review: Admirals Club Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Terminal D
- Flight Review: American Airlines First Class – Boeing 777 Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Frankfurt (FRA)
- Hotel Review: Holiday Inn Frankfurt Airport
- Lounge Review: JAL First Class Lounge / Sakura Lounge Frankfurt (FRA)
- Flight Review: American Airlines First Class – Boeing 777 Frankfurt (FRA) to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)
- Lounge Review: Admirals Club Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Terminal A
I took the hotel shuttle bus from the Holiday Inn to Terminal 2, where my flight will depart. First of all, no announcement again in the shuttle bus. This is pretty bad service, at least it was easy to figure out and you only had to read the signs outside, but still. After unloading my bags I headed straight into the Terminal building looking for the check-in counter. I got here very early to have some time to check out the JAL First Class / Sakura Lounge. This is also the lounge, the check-in agent recommended. But first I had to find the check in counters. The hall is pretty big and I entered it approximately in the middle of the building. I was looking around but no signs where the actual airlines are. So of course, I walked first in the wrong direction on my search for American Airlines. If you need to find the Amerian Airlines check-in, make a left as soon you enter the building and walk all the way down. They will be right in front of you.
After checking in, I headed through passport control continuing to the Japan Airlines Lounge. I gave myself enough time to make it to the security checkpoint, which was very close to the lounge. As usual, the pulled my bags out for inspection. Germany is so strict about the rules. You have to turn your camera on and show them it takes pictures, I had to open my spare lens so they can look through (and that my lens can collect dust). Then they did the swipe for explosives and boom! First time ever in my life I got a positive result. Not that I had anything to do with explosives, but their machine flagged everyone positive they tested. So Police came over and watched while the security officer at the x-ray machine checked my bags. They took everything out and looked it through. However, I had 3 spare batteries for my drone in my carry on (which I have to because I can’t check batteries). I had them in a bag and they were not even interested in them. I told them this are spare batteries and that’s all he wanted to know. Didn’t even look at them. They were TB48 batteries, so quite big and they look like a brick. I don’t want to continue my thoughts here right now, but I guess you get what they could be used for. Anyway, that took quite some time and as I had my bags packed again I went over to the waiting area. To get in there I have to get my boarding pass scanned. I took a couple of pictures and then they already started pre-boarding and I was next, thanks to my first class ticket. My timing was just perfect. No time wasted standing around in front of the gate, also due to the nice experience being flagged positive for explosives 😉
I was one of the first few to walk down the jetbridge and got welcomed by a flight attendant at the airplane to guide me to my seat, which I already knew where it was as an aviation nerd ;). This is still a great service the airlines do on big planes to speed up the boarding process and try to avoid that passengers walk down the wrong aisle.
After stowing my carry-ons away, I settled in my seat and a few minutes later a flight attendant came by offering champagne, orange juice or water as a pre-departure drink. I settled for the champagne – hey its’s first class, you might as well. Another flight attendant offered newspapers and PJ’s and came by once again to take the order for the in-flight dining. Boarding finished on time and we pushed back from the gate a few minutes early.
After take off I spun my seat about 45° to the right, facing towards the windows and brought up the screen of the in-flight entertainment system. I have to say American Airlines Boeing 777 they use for this long-haul flights are antique pieces. They don’t offer a regular power outlet, only a 12 V cigarette lighter plug style power outlet. The screens in first class are even smaller than in Business Class by quiet a bit. The entertainment system doesn’t have a huge selection of movies, compared to American Airlines new A321, which have an amazing entertainment system with a bunch of movies.
Shortly after departure, they crew started to distribute the Bose headsets and I started watching movies I missed last year in theater. After about an hour into the movie, the in-flight dining service started. I really liked the food on American Airlines, maybe because I am used to Main Cabin food?! But food is always a personal opinion for every person itself. I was happy with what they offered and how it tasted and I could watch a movie on the side of it.
I kept watching movies and about halfway of the flight I took a nap for 2 hours and got back up watching more movies. It’s the best way to make the time go by quick. Flight attendants came around regularly and checked on the passengers if they needed anything. Really great service.
About an hour before landing they served another meal, basically lunch again looking at the current local time.
Half an hour before landing the crew started collecting the Bose headsets and distributed chocolate for every passenger in my class. A few minutes later we were on the ground. Once at the gate and with my bags in tow, we all had to go to the immigration area. I am so happy so have signed up for Global Entry. Scanned my passport, grabbed the receipt and I was off to customs. Everyone continuing in the United States had to grab their bags here and re-check it. Because of our on-time arrival and the quick immigration process, I rebooked my connection flight to an earlier time, which would get me into Seattle 1,5 hours earlier. In the customs area, there is also a dedicated lane for Global Entry passengers, which speeded up that process as well.
Upstairs I had to go through security again, but it was easy peasy compared to the one in Germany and my TSA-Pre status definitely helped here as well. No opening of my bags or searches. Everything went straight through and I walked through the metal detector. I was located now inside Terminal D but my connecting flight was at Terminal A. It’s easy to go from terminal to terminal with the Skyling train. Once in Terminal A, I still had over an hour left before my next flight would departure. I decided to use the Admirals Club in Terminal A, which was not very far from my connecting gate. Overall it was a great long-haul trip and I am looking forward to another one in the future.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.