I stayed only three nights in Dubai as the city was bit too demanding for the backpacker's budget. After Dubai, the next destination was Cairo but via London and Frankfurt. Many people would ask why I didn't fly to Cairo directory from Dubai and the reason was I had a Star Alliance's award flights which starts from London and travels around Middle East and Europe on first class. I'd saved up ANA mileages more than 90,000 miles by mostly credit cards, and with the mileages I booked the following flights; London -> Frankfurt -> Cairo -> (by self transportation on the land) Istanbul -> Tel Aviv -> Frankfurt -> Lisbon -> London. In fact, there were only two sections which had actual first class settings(Frankfurt -> Cairo, Tel Aviv -> Frankfurt) but I didn't mind this at all as the most important factor of this route was using Lufthansa's first class at Frankfurt.
That's because this Lufthansa's first class inspired my funny idea of flying on first class. The dream was born when I was working on a web site development project for Lufthansa in Tokyo some years ago and astonished with their facility called "First Class Terminal".
Lufthansa has a special terminal exclusively used for the first class passengers at Frankfurt Airport which is their home ground airport. At the terminal, what the passengers need to do are only two things; checking in the luggage and passing their passport to the personal assistants. After these easy procedures, they can enjoy delicious meals at the real restaurant and a luxurious limousine sends them to the airplane for the boarding. When I was developing the web site for Lufthansa, I simply wished to taste this kind of service and started saving up Star Alliance mileages. And at length I managed to accumulate an enough amount of the mileages for the first class flights.
However, just a month ago of the flight, when I was in Melbourne, ANA called me regarding this flight. According to them, only my flight was going to be operated without first class due to an aircraft issue. In other words, my flight was automatically downgraded to business. What a bummer! Besides, there would be no refunds since the flight is a part of a reward flight series and I have another flight on first class. Although I sent a sort of petition to Lufthansa asking to let me use only the terminal, they coldly turned it down for this was the rule. The only possibility to use the first class flight was changing my schedule but I had to wait 10 days at Dubai. No way, I can't help it. I reluctantly accepted the downgrade.
Anyway, I flew to London from Dubai by British Airways' first class. Yet the flight was in the middle of the night and I went to bed straight away. Well, I hope to enjoy BA's first class meals the next time when I'm going to North America from London in September.
After moving to Frankfurt from Heathrow, I had to wait more than 20 hours at the airport. Since I'd anticipated using the first class lounge and terminal, I intentionally set the long hour transit. I'd never imagined such a consequence. Nevertheless, Lufthansa's business lounge was quite spacious and very well equipped for it's their basement airport. It was a reasonably nice place to stay as long as I could stand the paid wi-fi system and big crowds.
I'd had a little sleep at terminal for the lounge was closed at the midnight and at length the boarding time came. Confirming the time written on the ticket, I arrived the gate but somehow no people were there. I asked the staff nearby why and she answered 'the airplane has gone already.'