This summer, I've decided to slash by Miles&More account and visit London with a friend. These award flights in fare class X were on Lufthansa mainline, so we had to connect in FRA twice.
A friend and me were eager to spend a few days in London this summer. After checking various expensive flight options (it's travelling season in Europe), I've stumbled across a milage deal: 7000 Miles&More miles each would get us from DUS to LHR—with an additional 18000 miles to pay for all fees and taxes. That was a pretty good deal: all decent flight options were well above 200€ per person (we even thought about booking DTM-STN on Ryanair—that's how desperate we were), and also all flights would be on Lufthansa mainline! How refreshing after a not-so-great experience with Germanwing's new inflight product two years ago. Oh, by the way: because we would be connecting through FRA, fees and taxes were a whopping 618€ for both of us! How lucky that we payed with just 36000 miles (100 miles have a nominal value of 1€) :)
I arrived on time at DUS after a lengthy ordeal with Deutsche Bahn, and met with my friend. The Lufthansa checkin kiosk couldn't read my passport (a usual occurence by now), so we were checked in at a counter. This morning, DUS-FRA was served by a Canadair Regional Jet, which meant boarding was via bus on a remote stand. We were really glad to leave rainy Germany for a few days abroad!
Our connection in FRA was rather tight, given that we arrived at a remote stand and had to make our way from Terminal A to Terminal B, and through German border control. We arrived at the gate on time, and due to some dealys I could even snatch a few pictures. The onward flight to LHR on an Airbus A320 was very pleasant, as was the Chicken and Feta sandwhich. This one is a definate improvement over the infamous cheese roll on previous Germanwings flights. We arrived on time at LHR, and took the Hotel Hoppa bus to the adjacent Renaissance Hotel. After dropping our bags, we set out to explore London.
I've already been to London (the last time in 2013), so I was the tour guide for my friend. If you've never been to London before, you have to see the top tier sights of course, such as Big Ben, the Tower Bridge, and Buckingham Palace. I highly recommend a walk along the Victoria Embankment to Charing Cross Station, and crossing the Thames over the Golden Jubilee Bridges. Taking a boat tour of the Thames is also a must.
Special treats on this trip were the London Eye opposite the Victoria Embankment, and The Shard. Taking a ride on the London Eye is well worth the rather long wait—you get to see Westminster and the Houses of Parliament in a whole new perspective! The Shard on the other hand is the highest building in Western Europe, and to my amazement there's a very nice rooftop garden on the top where you can stay as long as you like. You should go up in the very late afternoon the catch a bit of daylight, and also see London at night form high above.
All vacations have one thing in common: they're over much too quickly! After 4 days in London, is was time to head back home. Our flight would depart from LHR's Terminal 2 (dubbed The Queen's Terminal), where I've connected before. Our hotel was in the vicinity of the airport, so we arrived with plenty of time left after a short ride on the Hotel Hoppa bus service. As usually, the checkin kiosk couldn't read my passport, so a Lufthansa agent processed our luggage and handed us our boarding passes.
Terminal 2 is definately Star Alliance's turf, with lots of connections from and to the alliance's hubs: a TAP Portugal Airbus A321 was leaving for LIS, and a Swiss Airbus A319 for ZRH. On the satellite, lots of United Airlines and Air Canada planes were on block, waiting to cross the Atlantic. It's always nice to do some planespotting in LHR!
The return flight to FRA was very pleasant, although I had no window seat and missed some great photo opportunities! I also must say that the Chicken and Feta sandwich grows on me :) We had ample time to make our connection in FRA, even though we had to go through security again. A short hop to DUS concluded our travel day.