It was November 3 when I left Oman for my first vacation to USA. My flight was around 1:00 in the morning.I remembered I booked my tickets two months in advance to get affordable tickets. My round trip airfare to USA was 395 OMR/ 1026 USD / 48,500 PHP economy class and got Lufthansa as carrier. I chose the 20 hours flight compared to other flights that may take me more than 20 hrs. There were carriers who have less hours of flight and direct but the cost was almost double so I decided to stick to my 20 hours flight. But just 2 weeks before my departure date, I received an email from Lufthansa to contact them due to some changes with the flight. Unfortunately flights were cancelled by Lufthansa from/to Oman. They offered alternative flights with other sister companies and I ended up taking Oman Air from Muscat, Oman to Munich, Germany. From Munich, Germany to LA, California ,USA it was Lufthansa with a total flights of 25 hours including transit. When I was at the airport (Muscat) ,they verified my tourist visa for USA and checked if I need an airport transit visa to Germany. Important thing to remember, Filipino doesn’t need an airport transit visa while in Germany.
I arrived in Munich at 6.30am local time with a total of 6.5 flying hours and 6 hours transit. There are two terminals in Munich. Oman Air landed in terminal 1 and from terminal 1, there was a bus that transferred me to terminal 2. It was too cold when I arrived in Munich, probably around 6-10 degrees Celsius. Given the 6 hours transit, I enjoyed going around the Duty free stores where there were lot of things to check and try.I tried the cold sandwich and had coffee for breakfast and enjoyed the free Wi-Fi at the airport. The airport wasn’t that huge but it’s clean. I didn’t even notice the time when I was there! When I went to Lufthansa service center for my boarding pass from Munich to LAX, I was even offered to stay for a day in Munich with free hotel and allowance as the flight was full. That moment I want to grab the opportunity but when I told them I don’t have my Schengen Visa, they didn’t push the offer. But yeah I wish I could have stayed in Munich even for a day. Who wouldn’t like a free hotel plus money allowance around 300 pounds?! (Not sure if I heard it right though)
Everything went out smoothly at the passport control going to LAX.My flight from Munich to Los Angeles was 11 hours! The airbus was huge and the flight was almost full. I remembered there were like 5-7 lavatory on the lower level which is like the first airbus I had tried with such huge passenger capacity. Food served was great too! I can’t even forget the biscuit with a chocolate filling that was served, it was irresistible! I am not a big fan of milk chocolate but it was really delicious.The good thing too, I am the only one sitting on a 3 seat so I was able to stretch and lay down during my 11 hours flight. I slept, listened to music and watched several movies to consume the time.I also noticed there were only few Asian passengers on that flight. I guess less than 5 and the rest were Europeans.
So, what was my first feeling when I first landed US of A? Oh well, I still can’t believe I was already in USA. I have to go through the officer to know whether I will be allowed to stay in US. The line for the tourists was really long. It took me approximately 40 minutes to one hour before I had my turn. Some of the questions asked were the purpose of my visit, how long will I stay and my work in Oman. He also asked for a copy of my ticket back in Oman. Everything went out smoothly. I was granted to stay in the US for 6months! But actually I didn’t check on how many days/weeks or months I was granted to stay in the US. It was my mom who asked me 2 weeks after my arrival if how many weeks/ months I was allowed to stay in USA.
How was the feeling of having a 24 hours flight? Tiring! I never had this kind of long flight in my life. I remembered there are flights from Muscat, Oman to Manila, Philippines with a total of 12-15 hours including transit in Dubai, and already eating up all my energy. So what more for a 1 day flight?! It was indeed an experience…