So far this was our worst experience in traveling, just imagine the following story below. Let’s start with our departure from Helsinki going to Zurich. Our KLM flight was supposed to leave at 6:10 PM but it was delayed to a later time but since we have a short layover in Amsterdam on this flight KLM had decided to rebook us on another flight but using Lufthansa to avoid rushing through our layover, nice gesture KLM, I applaud you for that, this is Customer Service. Lufthansa flight was set to leave at 6:10, same time as our original flight but this is where things went really wrong, that Lufthansa flight was also delayed so now it was leaving at a much later time at 7:45PM and the connecting flight was 8:20PM, there is no way we can catch that connecting flight.
While we were on the plane, we asked the stewardess how would this work? and she told us to arrange the connecting flight with their ground staff when we arrive in Frankfurt, we arrived at 9:30PM of the supposed 9:10PM arrival time due to the traffic on Frankfurt’s airspace. As we arrived, we heard the news that they had shut down Frankfurt airport for several hours due to massive lightning strikes, there were around 300,000 people affected and hundreds of planes got delayed, now can you imagine the chaos.
As we walk down the halls of the airport in search for the ground staff, we were surprised that there is at least a kilometre-long queue (this is not an exaggeration) for the counters to have their flights rebooked, there is no way I will queue on that, so we found a way. On the farthest right-hand side of the airport we saw this First-class lounge and there was one person on the counter, we queued in there hoping they will entertain us, it’s an extreme scenario anyways. After 10 minutes waiting for the person in front of us, we were not asked to move, good sign, they also did not check our ticket type what’s even better there were snacks and juices they give for free. Then another unfortunate event happened, the airport police asked everyone on that zone to leave due to an unclaimed bag near the premises and they bomb squad was called for everyone’s safety. Bummer we really have to queue that kilometre-long line. Luckily there were four of us so I told them have a look if the police reopened again the place so we can queue there again.
Thirty minutes later it was cleared, and our line barely moved, I asked the wife to stay so I can queue back in the First-Class lounge, this time instead of one there where two in front of me, which is still better than 2000+ people in front of you. It was still a wait because they have to find flights of which most are full for the next day plus an accommodation for the night which starts to get full as well. Then it was our turn, they never had asked if we were in a First-class flight, so as a tip if ever this happened to you, queuing in the First-class lounge is fine, they will serve you whatever ticket class you hold. The ground staff gladly helped us, and we chose a flight near lunch time so we can have a good sleep, we also requested for a place near the airport, they gave us taxi vouchers and food vouchers which was €25.00 per person per meal, they gave us one for dinner and one for breakfast. We don’t have to pay anything as this is the airlines compensation for the delay.
It was around 10:30 PM when we left the airport, not too bad after we have that experience. We arrived in Michel Hotel Frankfurt Airport just before 11:00 PM, there were no restaurants near but luckily the hotel had prepared for the influx of passengers due to the delay, so their restaurant was opened and it was a buffet, they did not even ask for the voucher. Such a good hospitality, they even offered unlimited drinks and that includes beers and spirits, Wow this is service. To top it all up the head chef constantly looks at the diners and see if they are happy with their food, such a good gesture. This was totally unexpected for me.
Food on offer was simple but delicious, they served salads, vegetarian lasagne, penne pasta, fried pork cutlets with cream sauce, grilled chicken, chicken curry and rice. They here honest to goodness good, no frills and feels like home cooking. Every bite I had the chef looks in happiness because he knows I was enjoying his food, I told him “lecker” and gave a thumbs up. I also grabbed the unlimited drinks offer hence I grabbed several large mugs of Weissbier, happy tummy and that gave me a good rest.
Next day we woke up early as the lady from the airport told us to be early even though our flight was at 11:00 AM, she said it will be crazy busy due to the rebooking’s and school holiday. So, we woke up at 6:30 AM had breakfast in the same place and left at 7:00 AM. Breakfast was meat heavy, what do you expect from Germany? I’m not complaining, and I love it, they served frankfurters, bacon, all sorts of cold cuts that you can think of, cheese, egg (boiled and scrambled), more sausages and varieties of bread. There were cereals but I never touched them, all I want was the meat. We ate really quick and just want this to get done and over with.
Now we arrived at the airport, like the lady said it will be crazy busy, she was not lying at 7:15 AM the queue to the security gates was massive. We also saw the queue for the rebooking last night and it was still there, people really queued overnight. The security gate line was tense, people jumping the queue because they might miss their flights again, other people are shouting at these people as some of them were already queueing for more than 2 hours. We were in that security queue for 2.5 hours, it was that crazy, eventually we came out 15 minutes before our flight.
It was an experience, I don’t want that to happen again. The rebooking experience was amazing, they even have refunded amount I paid for my flights, what I hated was the queueing, it’s just a massive waste of time. Luckily everything that we dealt with made the experience really good, the Lufthansa staff that arranged our flights and accommodation, the receptionist and chef in the Michel Hotel Frankfurt Airport even the security staff in the airport who made me laugh when he was frisking me telling me that I had a great body (I don’t), if not for them this incident would be much more sh!+!3r.
Michel Hotel Frankfurt Airport
Address: Eisenstraße 6-8, 65428 Rüsselsheim am Main, Germany XCGC+H3 Rüsselsheim, Germany
Phone: +49 6142 8940
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