Flying home from Frankfurt, Germany today
Had a quick business trip to Germany this week. I thought I would share a few observations of how the travel world is evolving post Covid.
Airplanes are full up front and empty in back – Every seat in business class was full on the flights over and back. Less than half of the coach seats were full. My guess is people are redeeming their frequent flyer miles to fly to Europe this winter while the mileage redemption rates are usually the lowest of the year. After Memorial Day I expect every seat to Europe will be full all summer long.
Saying goodbye to the Boeing 747 – On my flight to Frankfurt, I read an article that reported this last week Boeing produced the last Boeing 747 jumbo jet. This double-decker beauty is my favorite airplane of all time. She has been in service for over 50 years and I think offers the smoothest flying of any aircraft. German airline, Lufthansa, still flies the big bird and I hope I will get one more chance to fly this beauty. More than once I have looked out the window of a 747 and wondered in amazement how she could ever get off the ground.
It feels like spring already in Germany – The grass is green and they are getting rain instead of snow. I think April and May could be great months for vacation travel to Europe this year if you want to beat the summer crowds and heat.
COVID protocols are pretty much all gone in Germany – This past week Germany finally dropped their mask requirements on trains and buses. Some people still wear masks, however, they are few and far between.
Water bottles are being replaced by cardboard boxes – Germany has always been a leader in recycling and is moving aggressively away from plastic to cardboard for water containers. I don’t really like drinking from the boxes as they taste a little waxy to me. It was also interesting to see glass bottles with Coke being served.
Germany has great service in hotels and restaurants – While the USA struggles with staffing for hotels and restaurants it appears Germany is completely back to providing the great service they offered pre-pandemic. While the USA appears to fill many hospitality jobs with low-wage temporary workers the Germans treat the positions as professionals and have lifetime workers, who are seasoned to provide high standards in hospitality.
Costs are higher to travel to Europe this year – The US dollar has dropped over 10% in value to the Euro in the last 6 months which means everything will cost more for Americans traveling to Europe in 2023.
You’ll have much more fun in Munich versus Frankfurt – Frankfurt is the business Capitol but Munich is much more fun for vacations, in my humble opinion.
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