Trip Report: Surprise upgrade to Lufthansa Business Class BCN-FRA
I had slept very poorly the night before Barcelona, due to a hotel room where I could hear every trickle and flush of surrounding rooms as if there were a gushing waterfall falling on the thin ceiling, in an otherwise beautiful, stylish, and functional room.
So it was a groggy morning getting on one of the first Aerobuses to leave from Plaça de Catalunya, but I was heartened by two things upon checking in. First, my bag was overweight but the check-in agent specifically applied the "Most Significant Carrier" rule to allow the bag without extra charge. This means that the baggage rules of United, being the airline that would carry me the furthest on the journey, would apply, and being a Premier Gold member I could check in the heavier bag (up to 70 lbs as opposed to 50 lbs). This was actually odd to me, because often they go by the rules of the carrier with whom you check in, i.e. the rules of the airline that operates the first leg, or Lufthansa in this case, who wouldn't have allowed more than 50 lbs without a fee in Economy Class. So I lucked out!
Secondly, this same check-in agent actually told me where the fast track security was at BCN airport, which is through a totally separate door to the left of the main security entrance. I had not known this, despite being the third time flying from BCN in the last three months! In that "secret" fast track security, there was only one person in front of me. Score #2!
So it was on to the Pau Casals lounge, as always.
There's plenty of space here, and always passing through during early morning breakfast hours, the spread was the same as before: bread, lots of condiments in little single-serve packets, cheese and cold cuts, and a fridge of yogurt.
Based on previous practice, I've come to like this combination the best for breakfast: one yogurt and bread with pate on one side, and grated tomato and olive oil and salt on the other.
Then it was a quick walk to the gate, where I encountered my third pleasant surprise of the day: the boarding pass reader beeped loudly rejecting my boarding pass. I was handed a new boarding pass, and told that I was upgraded!
Well, Lufthansa Business Class on short haul flights basically gets you: a "Lufthansa Business Class" placard on the bulkhead, empty middle seat but with the exact same seats as Economy Class, and a meal.
The meal on this short 2 hour flight was cold cereal, but this granola was a couple steps above "cereal" on US carriers (that often seems to be Cheerios or Chex from a box), and a step above the granola that was served to me on SWISS. And I liked the cute bottle that the milk came in!
This cereal was filled with slivered almonds and pumpkin seeds, adding protein and good fats, filling me up. There were also cocoa oat clusters, white chocolate or yogurt chips, and little chocolate cookie pieces like mini Oreos.
Besides the cereal, there was a little dish of smoked cooked ham and prosciutto, raspberry jam, butter, and an offer of bread and croissants. I also decided to try tomato juice for the first time, having read about the uproar following United's decision to eliminate it, and then its subsequent return due to the uproar.
So while short-haul business class isn't the giant leap over economy class, as it is on long-haul flights, it was still a surprise and a delight!