As I mentioned previously, we had first booked a premium economy flight from Manchester to Atlanta for 32,500 Virgin Atlantic miles plus about $300 per person. I didn’t think it made sense to book Upper Class as it was scheduled on an old A330-300 with the coffin-like herringbone seats that face away from the windows. With a 2-3-2 premium economy section, we would have had an easy nonstop flight home.
That plan went kaput when Virgin Atlantic decided to cancel the nonstop Manchester to Atlanta flight completely for a couple of months. They automatically switched us to a London-Atlanta flight on the same aircraft type which posed a few issues, the most pressing was that we would have to fly from London at 11am the morning after the Liverpool match and we had a rental car. I would have to drive the three hours to London Heathrow at something like 5am. Yuck.
I called Virgin and found space on a late afternoon London-New York flight in Upper Class on the new A350-1000 which I ended up booking. I was looking forward to visiting the Virgin Clubhouse and trying the new Upper Class product. I wasn’t looking forward to driving to London from Liverpool plus the flight was 57,500 Virgin miles plus an eye-watering $750 per person in taxes and fees.
In the end, space opened up on a Munich-Chicago Lufthansa flight in the first class cabin. I was able to book this through Avianca LifeMiles, including the connecting Manchester-Munich flight in business class with a civilized 10:45am departure time. The flight cost 87000 LifeMiles plus around $300 per person in taxes and fees thanks to UK departure taxes. I canceled the Virgin Atlantic flight to get back our miles and fees, and because of the earlier cancellation, I’m hopeful that they will also waive the £60 cancellation fee.
We left the Aloft around 7am after grabbing a quick coffee. We skipped the full breakfast as we would be eating and drinking plenty. I drove back to Manchester airport and it was a quick 50 minutes as Easter Monday is a holiday in the UK so we avoided any rush hour traffic.
I returned the car after stopping briefly for gas on the way. We took the shuttle over to Terminal 1 where Lufthansa operates. We checked in for both Lufthansa flights and were directed to the Aspire lounge. The lounge was fine and we grabbed some comfy seats near a window. There was a hot buffet of eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns and tomatoes, as well as a pancake machine and coffee drinks from an automated espresso maker. There was also granola, fruit and yogurt available. Alcohol was an extra cost.
There was another priority pass lounge next door, the Escape lounge, but I checked and it was full, so I suppose it was good we had access to the less-crowded lounge.
We saw our aircraft come in through the nice apron views from the lounge. There were a few rain showers in Manchester, but no weather delays. There were four rows of (fake) business class on the aircraft with a blocked middle seat in each row. We were wheels up around 11:05 so I was pretty confident we would have enough time in Munich to visit the recently re-opened satellite first class lounge. A light lunch was served onboard. It was some sort of fishcakes with salmon and a tasty brownie. There was no WiFi on this relatively new Airbus A321neo.
We landed in Munich right on time and our gate was only a few minutes walk from the satellite first class lounge. As it turned out, our flight to Chicago was also departing from the satellite terminal.
We had a little over an hour at the lounge and really enjoyed it. It’s much smaller than the Frankfurt First Class Terminal but still has all of the same features. There is a fantastic bar, a sit-down restaurant with a la carte menu and buffet, full service at any seat, private business booths and showers/bathtubs.
There were also snacks, candy and other offerings at the various seating areas:
Here’s the menu:
There is also a separate whiskey menu from which I sampled a couple of bartender recommended glasses.
The buffet was extensive and we sampled several dishes. We didn’t try the sit-down restaurant as we had a short layover and a flight in first class to come.
The lounge never got busy at all while we were there. It only reopened about a week before our visit. Prior to that week, we would have had to take the train to the main terminal and then back to the satellite terminal for our next flight so our timing was excellent. I have no negative comments about this lounge as it was excellent. I wouldn’t hesitate to fly first class via Munich as it’s just as good as the First Class Terminal. The only downside is that you won’t get driven to or from your flight unless you arrive at a remote stand and there just aren’t many of those at Munich. On our way out, I asked about getting some rubber ducks and we received two new ones, including a special one just for the lounge reopening.
Up Next: Lufthansa First Class Munich-Chicago and New Delta Sky Club ORD Review
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