To confirm that I could book the Lufthansa flight, I checked if the same ticket was bookable through another one of Lufthansa’s partner airlines, namely United. So I plugged in the same details into the search engine on United’s website. An identical award flight came up, but for more United points than Aeroplan points, which made Aeroplan my best bet.
Since I’d already transferred my points, all I had to do was click the confirmation button on the Aeroplan site. I got a reservation number in my email a few minutes later. It was that easy. I breathed a sigh of relief; the award wasn’t a phantom ticket after all, I would be able to get home, and I’d do so in style.
I should say, I jumped on the opportunity as soon as I could because booking an award ticket for Lufthansa first class is something of a white rabbit. Lufthansa only releases first-class award seats to partners like Aeroplan within, at most, two weeks of departure. I like to book travel well in advance, and so trying to snag a ticket so soon before departure is, for me, cutting it a little close. That said, if you’re ever stuck in a sudden emergency like I was, maybe a Lufthansa first-class flight is your best option.
Kicking back in first class
After an uneventful flight out of Athens (the first leg of my trip was in Lufthansa’s regional business class, nothing to write home about), I landed at the airport in Munich and made my way to the Lufthansa First Class Lounge, where I was greeted by a pair of friendly ground staffers: “Mr. Ortile, we’ve been looking for you.”
Apparently, I had gotten off the plane too fast: I was meant to be chauffeured in a car from the plane directly to the lounge. To make up for it, the staff arranged for me to be driven to the gate for my connecting flight. Then they checked me into the lounge, showed me the various seating options in the small but polished space, and pointed me toward the shower suites.
I took a quick shower—in a bathroom much bigger and fancier than my first bedroom in New York—then settled into the lounge‘s a la carte dining area. Since takeoff wasn’t for another couple of hours, I indulged in an early lunch of a deliciously creamy parsnip soup, one of the best Wiener schnitzels I’ve ever had in my life, a stunning chocolate and beet dessert, a rosemary and bergamot cocktail, some rosé champagne, and a cappuccino. The whole meal, including the service, was on par with a Michelin-starred experience. It was tempting to have more, but I wanted to save room for my meal on the plane. (Though I didn’t say no to a quick cognac tasting at the bar.)