Munich – Like Munch’s The Scream

With surprising efficiency, there were four Lufthansa employees waiting for our arrival. Each held a destination sign: Tokyo, San Francisco, Chicago, Newark. Once they collected their respective group, they escorted us directly to passport control. My intuition was correct about the Asians on our flight. The passport officers must have been called in especially for this, since only the people from our flight filled the two lines. The controllers were slow, browsing through everyone’s passport.
Our escort kept trying to move people from one line to another depending on the current speed of any given line at the moment. When she pulled three Japanese women to the other line, she had second thoughts and put them back in our line. They were originally right in front of us, so I let them back in their place.  It was those ahead of us who complained and tried verbally forcing them to the back of the line. Of course, they were Americans. I had overheard their conversation earlier. They were loud and verbal. When the women were about to move to the end of the line, I spoke up and told them to stay where they were, verbally sparring with the loudmouths. Their flight to San Francisco was scheduled for ten minutes later than ours was after all. Our needs were more urgent. On the other side of passport control, our escort reappeared rushing us all to the appropriate gate. The plane was boarded already, so only those of us later arrivals were the hold-up.

Just as I handed the woman my boarding pass, she said “We would like to offer you a seat in business class today.” Rather than say thank you and turning to tell Ron that I hoped he enjoyed his flight too and I would see him in Tokyo, the words slipped from my mouth “We are traveling together.” She responded with “Let’s see what we can do. Ah, here is one for both of you.”

Business class seat! Score one for us. The only time I had ever been upgraded was a flight from Houston to Dallas, barely enough time to enjoy the advantages. Ironically, the last time we flew through Tokyo, Ron had a kidney stone attack on the plane. They upgraded him only then. They would not even let me up to check on him. This being an eleven hour flight, we took were thrilled to take advantage of the services. When the meal service started, they put cloth placemats on our trays. The dinner service is 3 courses, each served individually after you select from a menu. The seats move electronically in all phases of sitting up to flat as a bed. There is so much room; there is no concern about your fellow travelers space being invaded. The service was excellent. We are now spoiled for future flights.

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