Tuesday, July 21, 2009

On the Road Again!!

Well, it's THAT time again! Time to gather up my stuff, pack up my old kit bag and hit the road - so to speak. I am off again for more "fun in the sun". Once again, I tried to get a ticket on Emirates but they are still way overpriced in comparison to other airlines. Emirates is still asking for $8,500 USD for a round-trip business class seat!! Qatar Airways, which now operates a non-stop flight from Houston to Doha, is also considerably overpriced ($7,000 USD). Given the depressed US economy, the low, low oil prices and the need to cut costs within our company, I must choose my itinerary carefully and can only select from a list of 'approved' airlines (i.e., the cheaper the better!!). The airline I had to choose - once again - is good 'ol Lufthansa which is charging my company $5,000 USD. A relative 'bargain' in comparison to Emirates and Qatar Airways! Too bad ... I would have loved to try a different flight routing! Ah well, such is life!

I am packed, I got my sunscreen, wide brimmed hat, sun glasses, light weight clothing - all the essential items anyone needs for a visit to the summer-time desert climate of the Middle East. And of course I have printed out copies of my travel itinerary. Used to be I had to also carry along the actual plane tickets but I haven't used paper tickets anymore for the last few years! Everything is now electronic (except for when I had to have a paper ticket for a flight to Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia in 2007). Has anyone had to use paper tickets recently??

Wish me luck and a pleasant flight! I shall check in with everyone at some point once I am settled in and rested ....

Some good news: I managed to snag an upgrade to FIRST CLASS using some of my United Airlines frequent flyer miles. Having a large seat in first class sure helped with the overnight portion of my journey ... although as usual I could not manage to sleep on board the flight.

We arrived in Frankfurt at precisely 9 am local time (7 hours ahead of Houston). Total flying time from Houston = 9 hours + 7 minutes.

I checked in to the Sheraton Hotel (as I have many times in the past). The Sheraton is across the street from the main terminal building. Very convenient!

Once again I had to use one of Lufthansa's famous toilets with a view!! Unlike the toilet I encountered last November (see Nov. 8, 2008 post) on another Lufthansa flight, this toilet (or "lavatory" in airline speak) had a lot of room .... a true walk-in affair .... almost enough room for two people! (Not sure why I mention that!)
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PS: Before concluding this posting, I couldn't resist taking this photo of a giant saxophone outside the front entrance of a now closed and bankrupt Houston restaurant near Richmond Ave. and Fondren Rd.

2 comments:

SearchingSoul said...

Hi Chemist,

I am happy that you are back on the "road" because you will again share us snippets of amazements you encounter along the way.

I agree that an upgrade is always a welcome treat, especially for a very long haul. And by the way, that window in the lavatory is cool!

Have a safe travel. Looking forward to seeing your interesting posts.

John said...

What? You mean you don't need to carry paper tickets to board a flight? Hmmm... that's strange, since I thought all airlines, including the best in my region still require passengers to carry boarding passes for identification. Did you mean the tickets used for checking in? We used to need a ticket to check in but now only need a booking number.

Ooohhh... a lavatory with room enough for 2 pax is rare. Anyways, great to see you back blogging again :) Have a good and safe trip, Traveling Chemist!