To the US: BLR to FRA on Lufthansa 755 - the Queen of the Skies!

The first International Flight!
The first flight on a twin-aisle aircraft!
The first flight on the Queen of the skies, the Boeing 747!
The first flight on Lufthansa!

About 20 hours to go for the flight. The first thing I did as I woke up was to check-in for the journey. The Lufthansa website let me select a seat for the BLR-FRA sector, but wouldn't let me pick seats for the remaining sectors. It auto-allocated seats - one of which was a window (for FRA-ORD) and the other being a middle seat (for ORD-DTW).

It was one helluva busy day at work. I was tied down for the entire day in meetings and last minute running around to prepare for the trip. I reach home only around 1900hrs, and I had to leave home by 2230hrs maximum to make to the airport on time. It was getting hectic as I rushed through final packing, a little more shopping, a hurried shower and rushed through my dinner. My cab came in on schedule, and the driver dropped me at the airport a little before midnight.

April 10, 2017 - Half-an-hour for midnight:
I met a friend working at the airport, and we spent quite some time talking. A little later, he reminded that Lufthansa's check-in was already open, and I should probably finish my check-in before the crowd begins. An agent nearby let me use the baggage drop queue instead of the normal check-in queue, which seemed quite long already. The check-in agent raised a lot of questions after she realised this was my first international trip - Why are you going, where are you off to, how long, etc. I spent some more time speaking to my friend (and his friend), that I forget it was well past midnight already!
The boarding pass..

April 11, 2017 - a little past midnight:
I waited impatiently at the queue for immigration. The queue moved very slow, since most people were traveling with family, and the officers took their time processing each passport. Then came my turn - the officer took the form from me, had a glance at the passport and ensured I had a visa, looked at the system for a while and then stamped my passport - the first red stamp on my passport! The first immigration seal! Security was eventless - I was done by 0045hrs. After security, I decided to purchase an International SIM first - the next stop was at the Matrix outlet at the airport - I was done in about 10 minutes. My friend(s) still accompanied me. We walked towards the gate where my flight would depart from - the boarding pass just read "25/26". I later understood they used two gates - one for the elites and the other for the commoners.

Date of Journey: April 11, 2017
Airline: Lufthansa
Flight No: LH755 || Seat: 39K (Originally alloted 38K)
Aircraft type: Boeing 747-830 || MSN: 37831 / 1470 || Regn: D-ABYG "Baden-W├╝rttemberg"
Sector: BLR-FRA
STD: 0300hrs, ATD: 0330hrs
STA: 0855hrs, ATA: 0921hrs
All times local.

It was only after reaching the gate did I realise that 25 & 26 were the last gates in the airport - at the extreme end of the airport! We took seats near the gate and got busy talking. I kept checking FR24, and realised my bird was fast approaching the airport. Her Majesty, D-ABYG, touched down a little past 0130hrs and docked at the gate by 0133hrs. The 4.3 year old lady, named "Baden-W├╝rttemberg" - after Germany's third largest state, was powered by four General Electric GEnx-2B67 engines. Disembarkation began quickly after the bird docked. Soon after the passengers disembarked, the incoming flight crew disembarked. There were no movements at the gate for quite some time.
A Lufthansa B747-830.. (Representative image)

Boarding about to begin..

In the time, passengers had slowly began queuing up. Lufthansa had put in place a long queue system to board passengers by their seating zones. Although queue lines were put in place, they hadn't announced which zone should queue up where. In the meantime, the crew for the flight to Frankfurt arrived, and went in to the aircraft. A little later, a pre-boarding call was made. All senior citizens, passengers with infants, disabilities, large groups, were allowed to board first. It appeared that more than 30~40% of the passengers comprised this lot, and the preboarding queue was actually much longer than the group wise queues. Once preboarding was done, passengers in Business and premium economy were called. Passengers traveling in First were permitted to board whenever they wished to. I entered the majestic aircraft by 0312 hours - twelve minutes after we were supposed to depart. In fact, during the boarding process, the gate agents did update that we'd be having a delayed departure, and passengers with tight connections wouldn't have to worry.
The Pre-boarding gate..

Boarding in progress..

At the entrance of the aircraft were no less than 4 attendants, who helped passengers to get to their seats. With the preboarded passengers yet to settle down, it took some time for me to get to my seat - #38K. I got to my seat by 0319hrs. A lady sitting on 38J requested if I could take 39K instead, since her son was seated there, and wanted to exchange seats. I obliged, and moved on to #39K instead. By around 0328hrs, an announcement was made that the boarding was completed, and we should be on our way out soon. We were pushed back by 0330hrs. By now, welcome announcements were made in German, English and Hindi. Safety demonstration was displayed on the screens - an animated video in German and Hindi (with English subtitles) was used.

We began taxiing at 0338hrs - we were to take off from Rwy09, and it was one very long taxi, through the apron. We had escort vehicles all through the taxi duration. The engines were silent through the taxi roll. We were perhaps the only departure at the time, and directly entered the runway, by 0348hrs, for a rolling take off. We lifted off by 0350hrs, towards the east. Interestingly, during the welcome announcement from the crew deck, the captain had detailed the route we'd be taking - taking off to the east, turning north west, flying over Mumbai, then over the sea towards Iran, and then on to Germany. The engine got noisier as we lifted off. The seatbelt signs were turned off around 0405hrs. The chief purser informed the passengers that a snack service would be provided a little later, and full breakfast would be served before we landed at Frankfurt. The cabin lights were turned off, and the sky interiors were set to resemble the condition outside.
The snack serving..

The snack service started a little past 0500hrs. A vegetarian roll along with a piece of cake, juices of choice (options available were Apple, Orange and Tomato), hot beverages (Tea or Coffee) and a serving of water was provided. The roll was tasty - taste the way it should - not very spicy or cheesy. The cake was good. Water was replenished time and again. Soon after the snack service, an attendant came around with cold towels. I left my window shade half open, with the hope of being able to capture the sun rise and dozed off for a while. I vaguely recollect seeing the golden rays - but didn't have the energy to click and continued sleeping. As I woke up  little later, I noticed that the window shade was shut now - it was bright and sunny outside. On seeing me awake, the attendant came around to check if I wanted something - opted for a serving of water, and tuned into the personal entertainment system.
Somewhere en route..

A headphone was provided - but I did struggle a bit to insert it into the port - may be I was a little too groggy to understand what was happening. The screen was very under-responsive - was a hit screen and not a touch screen. After a bit of playing around and hitting the screen quite a bit, I found a bollywood movie in it. I tuned on to the movie for a while. I dozed off in between - finished watching the movie while in the phases of being awake and sleep. I slept for a while more after the movie. I headed out for a walk as the passengers in the middle seat and aisle headed to the washrooms. I realised that there was a long queue for the washroom, and I went towards the galley in the middle for a glass of water. Some odd snacks were kept in the galley, which I did not take.
All that was inside the seat pocket, with my boarding pass and passport..

After walking around for a bit, I returned to my seat, and switched on another movie. Hot Towel service was performed sometime around 1030am - just as people were waking up from sleep. We had been on air for about 7 hours now, and we had about two more hours to go. Breakfast service began a little later, sometime around 1115hrs (Indian Time). Kids meals and special meals came first, followed by the other meals. I received my AVML (Asian Vegetarian Meal) sooner. The meal was presented on a tray, that had a bun, cut fruits, greek yogurt, silverware, and the container with main course. Dairy creamers (half-and-half), butter chiplet, Jam and cheese spread was provided.
The breakfast serving..

The main course container had two Alu Bondas, Pongal and Sambar (Lentil soup). The fruit platter mainly had Papayas and Pineapple. I loved the main course. The Pongal was lovely and very tasty. The Sambar was thick and appropriately spiced. The Alu Bonda (a fried dish with mashed potato filling) was a little dry and on the harder side. The bun was soft, not the usual dry and hard. After the main course, the hot beverage service began. I opted for a tea this time. A quick round of cabin clearance, followed by a round of water. The seatbelt sign came on a little past 1206hrs (IST). The captain came on the PA system a little later and announced that we should be touching down in a while. He added that the ground temperature was a cold 7*c and we would be docking at Gate #C14. We were descending quite soon, and a very peculiar rural surrounding of Germany came to sight.
Main course..

We had a smooth touchdown on Frankfurt's runway 25L at 0912hrs (Local time) - 8h52m after we took off from Bengaluru. It was a long taxi to our stand. On our way to the stand, I saw a United Boeing 772 docked at a remote stand - I had a remote guess that it would be that bird that would take me to the US. We docked at a stand right opposite to the United B772, next to a Lufthansa A388, by 0921 Local time. Disembarkation began a little later. In the mean time, announcements were made that passengers with connections departing in the next one hour should get in touch with ground staff immediately. At the gate, Lufthansa's agents kept calling out for passengers for various destinations. Ground staff were everywhere to help passengers transiting further. An agent helped me with my gate number - Z16, There began a long walk to my gate.. to be continued.
On the short finals to Frankfurt..

Ratings:
Check-in: 4.5/5 (Quick, efficient. Raised too many questions though)
Cleanliness: 5/5 (Very Clean)
Punctuality: 5/5 (Left late, reached late - but acceptable)
Crew: 5/5 (Awesome crew)
Catering: 5/5 (Awesome food)
Overall: 4.85/5 (Good one)
Tracking from FR24..

Summary:
My first international flight, first on Lufthansa, first in a twin-aisle plane and first in a Boeing 747! It was an exciting flight all together. The crew were great - very friendly and attentive. The chief purser was available in the economy section almost through the flight. The aircraft had a 3-4-3 seating, holding 10 abreast in economy. The seats appeared a little narrow for comfort, but the seat pitch was good. The server for the entertainment screen took quite a bit of leg room as well. The catering was great - awesome food, in proper serving size as well. Although I've had food from LSG SkyChefs earlier, it tasted really good this time. I really liked the way the ground staff handled transfers. It was overall a great flight.

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