With the arrival of my lost luggage tonight, I can close the book on my 48 hours power trip to Washington on Lufthansa. The verdict is not favourable.
As I mentioned previously, the service is ok, but it lacks the certain panache that is required in a truely first class service. Just a few examples: They fill up wine glasses, of which there is only one size btw. Also, you may get champagne in a wine glass, even though the proper glassware is clearly available. Announcements are annoyingly loud, but the occasional background music is inappropriately muted so that you only get the faint din of the percussion. Not even the nice Van Laack gift polo and track suit will make up for that.
But all that is still bearable. Where it gets quite bad is where it really counts. My final connection on the way home was booked rather daringly, so when we run into the inevitable departure delay at Dulles, things became critical. From my earlier experience with Swiss, I expected at least the same level of service when it became apparent that it might just work in the final approach. However - nothing! Not only did I have to ask what was happening (there were only 3 FC passengers) rather than the crew would inform us proäctively. They virtually didn't know anything.
Eventually I was told that I was re-booked to a later machine, and that they didn't wait for connections. But nevertheless, I was told to ask the ground personnel, so obviously they weren't sure what was happening. Upon landing, there was no ground personnel at hand, and the transfer desk was helplessly clogged. So I decided to try and make it to the rather distant departure gate on my own devices in order to avoid an unplanned five hours interlude at Frankfurt airport. 'Lo and behold, I was lucky! The gate staff asked jokingly whether I had flown in, so evidently they knew about the delayed connection, and that's how I made it to Basle in time, without much help from Lufthansa - quite on the contrary, in fact. Naturally, my checked luggage only arrived tonight, but that's another story.
So, my experience travelling with the crane was well below expectations. I am looking forward to my forthcoming trip to Singapore on Swiss in late August. The trip to London on Tuesday (for three days) will be more of a commuting experience, compared to that.
Update (25.6.): I thought the book was closed on this, but it wasn't really. This morning, 24 hours after the fact, I received an SMS notification that my booking had been changed to flight LH 3812, departing from gate NULL. I might just have to review my German stereotypes ...