Fly Lufthansa

Well we’re back. 22 hours door to door – Tulsa to Huddersfield.

Tulsa had started to cool down as we left for the airport, in fact it rained for a few minutes en route. So it was sad to leave. Gail had been the perfect hostess during our stay, even giving up her bed, her bedroom and her en-suite to accommodate us. All very much appreciated. I felt a tad guilty when one of the cats punctured her (good quality) air bed midway through our stay. Note to self: must not let cats into room with air bed unless you have removed their claws/paws beforehand.

All of our flights were on time and apart from the 5 or 10 minutes delay in berthing at Manchester, all arrived at their destination early. Both Chicago and Frankfurt are huge airports but at least Chicago has the terminals to cope with the traffic. At Frankfurt we were dropped on the Tarmac and bussed to a terminal that seemed to be disorganised and too small for the passengers passing through. It was also a long way away from the plane and our bus was overcrowded, especially when everyone on it has just got off a cramped 9 hour+ transatlantic 747 flight.

The main flight was not good on a number of counts. First of all, it was with United, Lufthansa’s American partner, and Lufthansa they are not! The jumbo was an old, not so recently refurbished 747 and seating was very tight. Even 1″ matters on flights of this length, but I suspect that I had as much as 2″ less ‘knee room’ coming back with United as I had going with Lufthansa. When the (thoughtless, inconsiderate but well within his rights) chap in front of me put his seat back I was trapped! I couldn’t even read my book. He’d put his seat back as soon as the plane levelled off after leaving Chicago, so it looked like I was in for a night of frustration. Luckily, the girl next to Sharon decided to move over to sit by a friend after about half an hour, so we ended up with three seats between the two of us, which made the flight more bearable.

crap foodWhile I’m on a grumble, I have to mention the food. It was crap. Really; not just airline food poor, but really crap. All of it. Sharon had a pasta dish (recommended by the steward over my chicken) that tasted like overcooked pasta mixed with lukewarm tomato purée. My chicken was curried (ish) but the chicken was ropey and chewy! The salad was just lettuce, the bread was hard and the pudding was a pre-wrapped flapjack. Breakfast consisted of a strawberry yoghurt and a piece of banana cake. Compared with the quality and choice offered by Lufthansa on our way out, I’d like to suggest that they, Lufthansa, do some urgent quality control on their American partner.

In fact, given the flight discomfort and food, I’d suggest they look for new American partners. Jet Blue were good when we flew east coast to west coast last year.

Despite having to work almost every weekday, we had a great time. This was entirely thanks to Gail. We were well fed (WELL FED) and entertained throughout. Despite Gail having moved to Tulsa only about two to three weeks before we got there, she made sure that we saw and experienced as much of Oklahoma as possible including Route 66, live rodeo, wild bison on the prairie (see pic above), red vinyl roadhouse cafes, biscuits and gravy (although that was more Jaime than Gail). We saw two movies (Salt and Inception) and two T.V. series of Dexter, the serial killing forensic guy, which was made possible by the 17meg Internet download speed with upload speeds reaching twice the speed of my best uploads speed at home! Note to BT Total Broadband – WTF?

It was also great that Jaime could make the time to come to Tulsa while we were there (should that be whilst???). It’s always good to see Jaime as we both enjoy her company very much. I particularly enjoy her adventurous attitude to food (see last year’s New York meal – antebellum shrimp grits with andouille) And we were just a little sad that she couldn’t get to see the bison with us.


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