Naples to Bangkok: Third Time’s the Charm

When you fly, all sorts of things are out of your control. From weather, to bird strikes, to maintenance and other operational issues. Sometimes, things don’t always go as planned, but by making the right decisions, you can be on your way with as little of a delay as possible.

My original itinerary had me flying Turkish airlines out of Naples at 7:10 PM on August 15th, but due to a bird strike on the aircraft’s arrival into Naples, I wasn’t able to fly out on that particular flight. Everyone waited for a couple hours while the station manager tried to get a new plane, but by 11 PM, we were told to come back in the morning to get rebooked.

Always try your best to get on the phone and get the airline to rebook you instead of waiting in a line at the airport. Unforunately, in this case, the system wasn’t updated to reflect the cancelled flight, so I wasn’t able to make a change on the phone without incurring an expensive change fee. Thus, I had to make my way back to the airport the next morning and wait in a long line.

The next morning, after a two hour wait in line, I was able to get rebooked on a Turkish flight leaving that afternoon, which turned out to be the same aircraft that was supposed to be operating the flight the evening before. After waiting for a few more hours, that flight was cancelled too. Always try your best to get on a new plane when your flight is cancelled for mechanical issues.

After all that chaos with Turkish, I was able to get on the phone with Singapore Airlines and finally get my ticket changed after the agent confirmed this flight was also cancelled. This time, I would be flying Lufthansa and Thai and would arrive into Kuala Lumpur 25 hours later than planned. It wasn’t perfect, but sometimes you just have to roll with it.

 

Finally Headed to Frankfurt

Lufthansa flight 323
NAP [Naples] to FRA [Frakfurt]
August 16, 2018
Depart: 6:30 PM
Arrive: 8:30 PM
Duration: 2hr0min
Aircraft: A319
Seat: 1D

After a couple hours in the VIP lounge, I made my way to the gate.

Our arriving aircraft was a little behind schedule and arrived at the gate shortly before depature time. After a sizeable delay, we boarded the plane at exactly 6:30.

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Lufthansa A319

Boarding was completed rather quickly, but due to some more delays, we didn’t take off until around 7:15.

Once in the air, a light meal was served.

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Light dinner on Lufthansa

After a flight of exactly two hours, we pulled up to the gate at 9:15 PM, exactly 45 minutes late and took a bus over to the terminal.

 

Off to Frankfurt

Lufthansa flight 772
FRA [Frankfurt] to BKK [Bangkok]
August 16, 2018
Depart: 10:00 PM
Arrive: 2:10 PM
Duration: 11hr10min
Aircraft: A340 
Seat: 5D

I raced through the terminal at Frankfurt and made my way to my next flight just after it started to board. Even though this wasn’t my first choice for flights when I booked, I was excited to finally get the chance to fly on the out of production Airbus A340, one of the planes on my aviation bucket list.

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Lufthansa A340-300

Since I got one of the last two seats, I ended up with an aisle seat at the back of the business class cabin with seat 5D.

A340-300
Lufthansa seat map
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Lufthansa business class
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Seat 5D in Lufthansa business class

Once seated, I indulged in a pre depature beverage served by the lovely crew.

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A glass of Ferrari Rose sparkling wine

At my seat, I found an amenity kit, a bottle of water, and a pair of Bose headphones. I also checked out the seat controls which would turn my seat into a bed later in the flight.

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Business class amenity kit
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Business class amenity kit
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Bose headphones
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Seat controls

We pushed back right on time and once we reached cruising altitude, dinner was served.

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Lufthansa business class menu
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Lufthansa business class menu
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Lufthansa business class menu

For my appetizer, I went with the Asian roast beef salad to start, followed by a seasonal leaf salad with wasabi dressing, and for the entree, I picked the prawns with vegetables.

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Asian roast beef salad
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Salad with wasabi dressing
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Prawns and vegetables

Finally, to end the meal, I chose the cheese course with port, followed by a delicous panna cotta with lemon thyme and mango passion fruit compote.

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Cheese course with port
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Panna cotta with lemon thyme and mango passion fruit compote

The meal was quite delicous and provided a good baseline for my first long haul with Lufthansa.

After the plates were cleared, I was ready for some much needed rest. I folded out my bed and laid down the provided mattress pad before donning my earplugs and eye mask and falling soundly asleep.

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Lufthansa business class bed

After several hours of semi-decent sleep, it was time for breakfast. The cabin crew slowly turned the lights up and began the breakfast service.

I ordered the Belgian waffles, which I was quite happy with, but also decided to order the scrambled eggs too and give them a try as well.

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Lufthansa business class breakfast
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Scrambled eggs

As far as airline breakfasts go, Lufthansa really knocked this one out of the park. Most meals are hard to mess up, but breakfast is one of the harder ones to get right.

Shortly after breakfast, we began our descent, where I watched our progress on the moving map display until we made our arrival in Bangkok, only a few minutes behind schedule.

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Lufthansa moving map display

Overall, I enjoyed my first long haul on Lufthansa. The service was decidedly German: formal, polite, and efficient, but not as warm as on some other airlines.

The only things that could have been better were the seat and the bedding. As you can see, the seats are angled toward each other and are this way on much of the current Lufthansa fleet. When you recline, your legs can brush up against those of your seat mate, which can be a bit awkward if you don’t know them very well. The pillow they give you is also not too supportive, which makes sleeping a bit uncomfortable. Those issues aside, I certainly wouldn’t have an issue flying Lufthansa again.

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Lufthansa business class seating

Once I arrived in Bangkok, it was time to check out the Thai Airways lounge and wait for my next flight to take me to Kuala Lumpur.

 

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