Today was the day that my wife was to fly Lufthansa First Class for the first time. I was looking forward to it so much! First Tokyo Haneda to Frankfurt, then Munich to Toronto in First Class tomorrow with visits to the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt and First Class Lounge in Munich. Lufthansa First has been one of the pinnacles of commercial flying since my first flight in first class six years ago, but I was curious to see how my German wife Heidi would like it. After all, she was not impressed by Lufthansa’s 747-8 Business Class and seemed literally horrified at the thought of spending 24 hours onboard an aircraft, no matter how comfortable. But the trip was not meant to be…
There were two openings in the last year with Lufthansa First Class space available more than 14 days in advance and I pounced on both opportunities to essentially secure two Lufthansa First Class flights for the cost of one: only 67.5K UA miles to fly this route under the old award chart (cost is now 130K).
St. John’s has been on my wish list for years and I was keen to check out Saint Pierre and Miquelon as well. Though in hurricane season, days are long and weather is moderate – we planned to just hire a car and start driving, stopping each night at a bed and breakfast whenever we felt like it.
Our honeymoon in Paris had been cut short and the Maldives cancelled (with Etihad First and the Park Hyatt Maldives) so this was going to be a proper honeymoon for us…but as I am quickly learning, sometimes there are thing more important than even flying first class and flying into new lands.
Heidi’s former roommate of two years, one of her closest friends, is getting married before the Standesamt (civil registry) next week. That’s a big deal here in Germany…the church/garden wedding’s legal significance is zero – signing your life away comes through this ceremony. And she asked Heidi to attend rather last-minute, though we already plan to attend her church wedding in a few weeks.
So Heidi, very softy, very gently, very cunningly you might say, came to me and asked if we might attend this ceremony. She did not demand, did not insist, just let me know how it important it was to her.
And that was that…trip cancelled.
Financial guru Suze Orman may not be the most logical person to seek relationship advice from, but she ends every program with the following reminder: “People first, then money, then things.” How could I ever live down missing an important wedding to my wife in order to fly on an airplane for pleasure? People do matter and I think I made the right call. This trip can be re-scheduled: the wedding cannot.
So instead of enjoying caviar on a long journey to Canada, we cancelled the whole trip and are housesitting for Heidi’s parents in the Black Forrest of Baden Württemberg, awaiting the upcoming wedding. Not quite the same as the First Class Terminal, but I love it here—the weather is moderate, we can walk to Switzerland or France from the house, and we are enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables from an abundant garden.
Marriage is about sacrifice and it seems that thus far the sacrifice has been a lot of first class flying. I did not cancel the trip – I rebooked it to October (with horrible flights now, but it is a placeholder). Let’s see if we can make the trip happen then.