Modern Airport Luxury

On any travel day, you’re on edge. Whether it’s due to the anxiety of flying and goodbyes or dreading the processes and long lines, something that was once a luxury, has turned into a hassle. Shoes off, bag weight, carry-on size, delays and over bookings are all inconveniences that we fight through before taking our seats. Today’s travel activities lived up to these expectations. After arriving at the airport to hop on an Amsterdam to Zurich connection, it was announced that the flight had been cancelled. So sorry, nothing we can do, bad weather, good luck! When it appeared there was going to be no help from the airline staff, it was time to take matters into my own hands. Multiple calls to map out last minute options and running around the airport from desk to desk revealed the best option was to fly with Lufthansa through Frankfurt in the next hour.

After checking in, being asked to remove all computer and technology cords from my backpack at security, participating in a random bag search and purchasing an overpriced sandwich, it was time to board. At the gate, the carry on bag that had made it through the check in desk attendant and security, was now too large and without the “approved luggage” tag affixed to the handle. As a result, it’s stuffing time — time to make the bag fit in the perpetually shrinking metal box that dictates which bags are free to pass without an exorbitant fine. Once you’ve made it past this final hurdle, you are generally left to your own peace and quiet for the duration of the flight, but this is when things changed for me. From the minute I stepped into the walls of the aircraft, I was treated royally. The NYT and Wall Street Journal available at the door, smiling flight crew and spacious leather seats were just the beginning. When the crew began to roll beverage carts through the aisles, I felt a twinge of jealously that I wasn’t in first class and didn’t want to spend the extra cash on pricey snacks. But then, I was handed a packaged sweet roll and offered my choice of beverage. All this on a 45 minute commuter flight? For free? It felt like Christmas. Such a simple pleasure completely changed my current perception of flying. I remember when I would travel with my family as a kid and get excited to choose what type of soda I would have during the flight.

Today, I was able to experience that luxury again, and it dawned on me how impressive it was that this airline was holding on to their values of service and quality in an industry of cutting costs and raising prices. As a frequent flyer, the next time I travel, I will opt for Lufthansa flight. Isn’t this the type of customer airlines are desperately seeking in a market void of brand loyalty? Maybe the answer lies in a pastry and mini can of Coke…

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