The other day as we were talking, someone – I think it was Ruth – said that it seemed like I spent a significant amount of my downrange town hanging out at one PAX terminal or another waiting on a flight.
Probably true. Even more than flying commercial, taking military aircraft always seems to involve an inordinate amount of time hanging out and waiting if you are any rank below GO.
This brings us to today, Sat, 11 June 2011. George and I are flying back to Germany. I printed out my e-ticket prior to leaving home. It says my flight departs at 11:45. Now that is rather early for an East Coast flight to Europe, but hey – I don’t run the flipping things, I only board as a passenger. Since we are staying in New Jersey this means an early departure for JFK.
Arriving smoothly with little traffic the requisite three hours prior to departure, the drop off zones and the terminal is almost empty. I look at the flight board (note the lack of printing out of boarding passes the night before). My flight does not seem to be listed. George looks more closely and there it is. LH411 ……departing at 1745. That makes sense, the earlier time does not. However, here we are before 0900 with hours to kill and the check-in counters not open. Since we can’t check in, we can’t get through security to the Lufthansa lounge for hours.
Talk about not fun. Hanging out with continuous useless security announcements.
The check-in opens four hours before the flight (George’s, not mine). Since he is one of those extra special gold card customers, he can check in anytime, anywhere. We use the First Class counter since no one else is standing there. The supervisor looks at my print out and shakes her head. The flight is and always has been 1745. I agree that it didn’t make sense, but this is what Lufthansa sent me. George’s flight, of course is oversold. They will wait list me for just in case, but don’t hold out much hope.
The Senator Lounge is fine. If you get the option, travel in the company of someone with entry options. Coffee, lattes, tea and formal tea looking sandwiches make up for the breakfast that we never got.
Time passes. George leaves for the gate. They keep paging a couple of passengers for the flight, but they don’t call me. Guess that I will be here till I get a change to go to via Munich to go home.
JFK Lufthansa Lounge