Camp Mom was not off to an encouraging start. The alarm went off at 3AM for our 520 flight from Dublin to Salzburg, with only a 40 minute connection in Frankfurt. Two extremely groggy Deal Kids and I rushed from the airport hotel to the shuttle to the Lufthansa counter to the gate, three bags and two carseats in tow, barely making the final boarding call.
The flight from Dublin to Frankfurt went smoothly, but upon landing our 40 minute window quickly started shrinking as we waited…and waited…and waited for a gate to come available. When one finally did, it was only 10 minutes before our next flight was scheduled to take off.
I should add here an important detail…our check-in window to our (castle) hotel an hour away from the airport was from 2-6PM, PERIOD. If we missed it, we couldn’t check in till Monday! The next flight to Salzburg from Frankfurt got us in at, you guessed it, 6PM.
I collected the kids and prepared to tell them the bad news and come up with a plan B when, to my great surprise, I saw a light at the end of the (outdoor) jetway. A Lufthansa rep stood there with a large sign reading “Salzburg, 3” and immediately whisked us into to a private sedan!
Without a word darted along the airport runways, dodging luggage trucks and personnel, and parked two minutes later. We were then delivered to a private passport control, stamped through immigration in 15 seconds, then driven again directly to board our Austrian Airlines flight to Salzburg, where our luggage had already been boarded onto the plane!
Most surprising of all, the Salzburg plane landed only 8 minutes late, even after waiting for us.
I had a chat with our resident LH expert, Dennis at Lufthansa Flyer and he replied that our treatment was good, but not entirely unexpected. He noted that LH is remarkably efficient at spotting passengers at risk of needing care and feeding (per European regulations, which are much more stringent than those in the USA) if they miss connections. He also noted the cushion in landing times (common in the US also) so our 8 minute late arrival definitely had some play to it.
I’ve seen planes held before for a late connecting passenger, but have never had such literal door to door service. I’m not sure if it’s because I had kids with me, or if it’s standard, but it definitely gave me a taste of what celebrities get!
Have you ever had an airline take such extraordinary measures to make sure you make your flight? Please share!