I'll just start this on the right note for the first half. FRA security management are still wankers. OK. However, despite their best efforts, I'm writing this from the SilverKris Lounge T3 at Changi.
So, I'll off for the biennal Christmas in Australia. I've got the tail end of manflu which did not endear me to this journey, but it is the tailend, so I thought it was liveable with and it turned out to be so.
BHX was easy, as I've commented before, check-in has improved considerably, polite pleasant and efficient. The grunters have gone elsewhere. Security, with a properly working fast track was over in three minutes despite a swab of the iPad and the guys doing it were very pleasant. Compare and contrast to the average FRA experience. I decided to use the new No 1 Lounge for a quick stop using my Priority Pass, where I had some cheese (meh) and nice crackers and topped up the Diet Coke levels.
Boarding for FRA started on time, but the flight was very full and the issue of those with excess bags rose its ugly head again. There were those who did not want to put it under their seat. I don't think this delayed anything, but it certainly wasn't the best of boardings. The First Officer had to make an appearance to settle one guy down (and force a gate check). Anyway, we went out about 10 minutes late, which we were promised they would catch up. With a full 12 in C and I'm told 1 spare seat in Y, the crew were up and at it immediately.
I declined the offering, it looked unpleasant, there appeared to be a micro salad, a micro dessert and what looked like a cube of fancy meatloaf. Anyway, there was a feast to come as long as I made the connection.
We came into FRAkenstein about 2 minutes late and spent about 15 minutes navigating to the gate. Yes, no buses, although in actuality, this was no reason to celebrate. I was off like a rabbit out of a hat, only to be turned away from B transfer security where I was trying to do the FCL limo to gate trick. Seems there is an FCL in Z which must be used. There isn't. Wankers.
There was then a very long walk to the Skytrain and an equally confusing walk from it. A boarding pass checkpoint where only one lane was operating and the guy was taking about two minutes to glance at the boarding pass, umm and ah and then misdirect people. Which meant the next warden along was busy trying to get people into the right lane. There were two lanes open for security.
There were about 50 people trying to get through Z-transfer security, which was proceeding at the usual arthritic snails pace. There were about 10 in fast track (which was slower than the other lane) and 40 in the main lane. Some people from the Main Lane were directed in front of us "because they had to catch their flight to Singapore". Several of us commented that we were trying to catch out flight to Singapore and were ignored. Wankers.
Then the police came with some deportees and, of course, they had to use fast track and they had to go in front of us. No Comment.
22 minutes to clear security, I managed to half a fag in a kiosk before my name was being called by the gate and scraped on board with 4 minutes to spare.
Lufthansa and FRAport really need to sort this out. UK passengers should not have to go through transfer security at FRA, it would speed up their sclerotic security. Fast Track should actually work for your premium passengers, not actually be used for anyone you feel like and the whole First Class ground handling experience should be looked at. In parts, it's wonderful, in other parts its distinctly Third World.
Anyway, the flight was lovely, more on that later.