Flying Lufthansa First Class During World Cup!

Hallo vanuit Nederland! I would say good day, but for most people here that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Let me start off by saying that I’m not some crazy soccer nut. I’ve been Tweeting occasionally about the World Cup, and I’ve gotten a lot of responses along the lines of “since when are you a soccer fan?” The answer is only when it’s convenient and my country is doing well — I suppose you could call me a “bumper sticker” soccer patriot. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It has been exactly four years since I previously watched soccer. Ultimately I enjoy soccer a lot more than American football or baseball as it’s more “continuous” (why bother having a clock in football when you stop it every six seconds?). So oddly I get really into soccer during the World Cup, and then don’t give a crap again for another four years.

I figured I’d provide that disclosure so that no one tries to get me on Jimmy Kimmel’s Lie Witness News — I don’t know $hit about soccer, and can name maybe two people on the German team. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, this brings me to this past Tuesday. I’m in Europe through next week, and I had a couple of different options for getting to Europe, none of which originally involved Lufthansa.

But Germany was playing in the World Cup at 4PM ET on Tuesday, and I thought it would be really fun to fly Lufthansa on a flight at 6:10PM, just minutes after the game was (hopefully) scheduled to end.

Germans love soccer, and I pictured the flight would be absolutely insane either way:

  • If Germany won, everyone aboard would go nuts and get drunk…
  • If Germany lost, everyone aboard would cry and get drunk…

At least that was my expectation.

I figured I’d get to Washington Dulles early so that I could watch the World Cup game from the Senator Lounge. I mean, if you’re in the US, what better way to watch a German soccer game than in a German lounge presumably mostly filled with Germans?

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So I got there extra early and got my drink on. They have a hilariously partitioned off first class section, which isn’t actually different, but just makes you feel special to be in a roped off area… I suppose.

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I made friends with the bartender, who was actually (quietly) rooting for Brazil. And then at 4PM the game started. I think an expectations vs. reality meme would kind of be appropriate at this point…

Party-Expectations-Reality

I was expecting screaming and excitement. Instead there was a TV in the corner which was muted, with maybe three people watching.

I don’t have the ability to sit still while watching soccer, so I was pacing around the bar area (that way I wasn’t pissing off the people by the TV).

11 minutes in Germany scored their first goal. I screamed. No one else made a noise. I was so confused. The lady near me even told me to be quiet. Mind you, at this point I only had one glass of champagne.

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So I had told the bartender at the beginning of the game that I’d have one glass of champagne for every goal Germany scored. That wasn’t very ambitious, given how many 0-1 point World Cup games we’ve seen this year.

Then minutes 23, 24, 26, and 29 happened. @!#$&*&#@$%&!*@&$%^!!!!!!

party

I mean, it was like Oprah’s “Favorite Things” show, it was NUTS!

Germany-Goal

But what amazes me more than anything is that with each goal no one had any sort of a reaction in the lounge. Starting with the second goal they actually all kind of let out a pout as if Brazil had scored. So bizarre. I don’t know if everyone in the lounge was Brazilian or what, but it was almost Twilight Zone-esque. So yeah, I guess my expectations might have been just a bit off.

I was hoping there would be a bit more spirit aboard… and sure enough there was! I boarded during the 75th minute of the game. The crew was in high spirits, and shortly after boarding began the first officer announced that Germany scored another goal. Then 10 minutes later he announced that Germany scored yet another goal. And then a few minutes later he announced that the game was over after Brazil scored a goal in the last minute. The crew was ecstatic, as you’d expect.

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Fortunately the flight was fantastic. An American flight attendant — Troy — was working first class, and he couldn’t have been funnier and more professional. There was only one other passenger, so service was especially good (though with Troy working first class I’m sure it would have been great even with a full load).

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While I’m usually not impressed by Lufthansa’s food, this flight had the best food I’ve ever had on Lufthansa.

There was caviar to start.

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Then an actually edible trio of appetizers.

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Then crab cakes as a main course.

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And vanilla ice cream and a brownie for dessert. That’s right, a simple dessert! Not octopus flavored sorbet and transplanted watermelon gazpacho for once!

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Speaking of good food, someone’s gonna be eating filet mignon and caviar on Sunday night (and go to whatever college he wants)! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, contrast the lack of enthusiasm in the lounge to the Holland game last night. I was in my hotel room in The Hague sleeping at 10PM, and was woken up by the screaming on the streets just from the excitement over the game starting. And that continued for over two hours, despite the complete lack of anything interesting happen.

Was I crazy for expecting a kiki in the Lufthansa lounge? Who’s going to win the World Cup on Sunday? You guys tell me!

Comments

  1. Hey, I Am a Portuguese Canadian and was cheering for Portugal (ouch). I have to cheer for Argentina just because of their personality and charisma as a soccer team, (no offence to the German soccer team). But I think there would have been a more interesting game if the Dutch won. My bet is on Germany blowing the argentines away, though not as badly as they beat Brazil.

  2. On the World Cup front – they were showing live sports (WC wasn’t on so it was Wimbledon) on the LH F IFE during my MUC – YYZ flight on an A330.

    On the food front – I had excellent food on MUC – YYZ as well. The appetizers were: lobster medallion, medium-rare saddle of veal, lettuce cream with feta cheese, and of course the caviar service. It was quite impressive!

  3. It would be a Klose call but I’d go with Germany based on the current form. As for the lounge atmosphere I think a) most of the German crazy fans would have avoided to book on this flight so has to watch the match at their home/office/ hotel with full concentration unless they are those who fly for a living and b) most first class flyers are the top business executives who are the serious snooty types and do not let their hair down at public places. Chances in coach are more to find like minded cheerful fans!

  4. Where in The Hague are you staying? Des Indes by any chance?
    You around in Rotterdam at all over the weekend?

  5. I WAS IN THE LOUNGE WHILE YOU WERE THERE, in the business class section. I seriously thought about “jumping the rope” into the senator section, just because it didn’t look like I would be tackled and handcuffed and whatnot. I’d say a pretty “blah” lounge.

  6. With your help last year I booked a YYZ-MUC flight in LH F but without thinking chose the day of the final. I was kind of disappointed I may not get to see whoever was going to play but it seems my connecting flight will arrive in time. Now that Germany has advanced to the final, though I want to see Messi be a champion, I’m hoping Germany actually wins since my flight leaves an hour later.

  7. I was making a ton of trips (revenue) in LH first in ’06, including during the world cup – note that Germany hosted the even that year. I managed to pick up a couple of these black and white ducks, although this photo isn’t mine, thank you Google images: http://tinyurl.com/psexe6r

    I’ll also note that one of their signature desserts was served on an edible green “football field,” and while it might sound disgusting, it’s one of the few times I asked for seconds on dessert, it was that good. Google image search failed on this one.

  8. As a Brazilian with German backgrounf, I was stunned with the result but my backup team won :D. Actually after the 3rd goal started to root for the Mannschaft.

    I agree with people who say that real fans would not book flights at this time, you basically was with those who needed to fly or did not care too much.

    I believe that Germany will win, but it would be interesting to watch our president giving the world cup to Messi, maybe the trigger for the so needed political needed down there.

  9. @ Clifford lau — Yow! That’s exactly what I was expecting (except I feel sorry for Argentina — all that excitement will be for nothing come Sunday). ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. This post made me laugh out loud! Agree great pics! I was in Nice last week when France won their match, not the cup, just a match. It made the Chicago Bulls championship celebrations pale in comparisons. Then I was in Barcelona a few days later when Argentina beat Belgium and the respective fans were hilarious. Walking La Rambla, the fans were singing and dancing, even falling on the ground in front of the Belgium fans holding their leg faking injury.Ha! BTW, flew Austrian based on your review and I had the coffee menu!

  11. Out of all the “excuses” needed to fly Lufthansa First Class this has got to be the funniest one Ben. Just out of curiosity, how many times have you flown LH F Class?

  12. Just one question out of the topic for this post,

    Flying International United Global First would be allowed to enter Lufthansa lounges in Washington (IAD)? Guest allowed?
    Thanks

  13. Unrelated to the post, but can United BusinessFirst passengers flying through London use the AC lounge in the new terminal?

  14. @lucky

    Great illustrative photos ๐Ÿ™‚

    To confirm, you booked via Aeroplan as a one-way award with fuel surcharges?

  15. I agree with SS. The true German fans wouldn’t schedule a flight during the game and I doubt they’d be in Washington DC flying to Germany unless they have to for work. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Were you able to get the Lufthansa 2014 world cup rubber ducky at FCT? I just entered a contest they’re having by retweeting a tweet.

    By the way, I was surprised you didn’t opt to sit on the nose of the gorgeous 747-8i plane!

  16. Lucky, please plan to be in the LH F Terminal during the entire GER-ARG game on Sunday. We need a review of that.

  17. @ Adrian Wattamaniuk — Assuming it’s in the same terminal then yes, since you can use any Star Alliance business class lounge at your transoceanic gateway.

  18. Lack of anything interesting happening? One of the best Nil-Nil games in quite some time in World Cup history……….a beautiful match shamelessly ended on penalty kicks…………you probably should have been in Berlin or Munich to celebrate properly…………

  19. “…service was especially good (though with Troy working first class Iโ€™m sure it would have been great even with a full load…” I see what you did there. Ha!

  20. May be because all the die-hard german fans would have switched their flights to watch the semifinal

  21. That’s kinda sad to know, I have gone through the feeling many times -when you scream and people turn around in unison and stare at you ๐Ÿ˜€
    Anyway, nice dig at me ๐Ÿ˜‰

  22. @andy
    I’ll be doing that flight in September. (Thanks to help from Lucky’s team)

    REALLY looking forward to it. First for First for me.

  23. I think you meant to say: There was caviar…caviar…caviar…caviar to start. But hey, since the load in F was so light at least it didn’t go to waste! My wife would be in heaven to see that much quality caviar on a plate. Perhaps they could’ve divided it up into seven equal portions – one for each of Germany’s goals!

  24. So does that include the Singapore silver kris lounge? If so which one would you choose, united club, air canada maple leaf lounge or silver kris lounge?

  25. Would if I could, but travelling with three other people and only have a two hour layover ๐Ÿ™

  26. I miss the IAD Senator lounge! I used to visit every Friday on my way home.

    I have never seen them rope off a first class area, and that area was basically where people could sit and eat. Seems kind of odd.

  27. @Lucky:
    First things first: Your blog is a great success! I’m reading every post, and due to many work related travel I can absolutely understand your critics and situations when being out there.

    But what I wanted to say: I was unfortunately travelling when Germany had a match back then. And I’m German. And the flight was late. And no one could watch the game as planned at home after the flight. The captain for sure made at least 3 excusing announcements during that one hour flight.
    Next time you’ve to get over here and watch the game in Germany! Don’t miss that party!

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