Well, my brother and mom began their trip to Egypt this morning, and boy am I relieved!
They were originally booked on IAD-ZRH with United, and fortunately it was showing the new premium product in first class. A few weeks ago when United eliminated Starnet blocking I decided to play it safe and book them on ORD-FRA with Lufthansa instead (in first class on the A340-600). Well, as it turned out IAD-ZRH ended up being the old configuration today, so I’m incredibly happy that I rebooked them on Lufthansa. I’m sure their experience will be superior to even the new United First Suite, minus the risk.
That being said, I got an interesting call from my brother from the Lufthansa gate at ORD. Apparently my mom’s seat was broken, and they wanted to reseat her in business class since first class was sold out. In exchange they were offering to refund the miles, but of course I wanted more details, since I knew it wouldn’t be that simple for Lufthansa to refund United miles. As I advised my brother to ask for clarification, the agent informed him that the mechanics had fixed the seat while on the ground in Chicago. While the seat was fine when I spoke to them shortly before the door closed, I reminded him to to request compensation if it ended up not working (which wouldn’t surprise me). Regardless, I look forward to hearing about their experience, including the journey and the destination.