René Seifert

Entrepreneur, Global Citizen, Flat World, Internet, Web 2.0, Innovation, Start-Up

Safe Touch-Down with the “Flugröserl” in San Francisco

After doing my Private Pilot License in 2002, I thought I had understood the main principles of flight. You need wings where the airstream on the leading edge would get accelerated on the bottom side, flowing faster than on the upper side, hence creating at the trailing edge a high pressure which tends to equalize to the lower pressure above and thereby creating this magic force called “lift” which in turn allows a heavy object like a plane to get aloft.

But today, I realized that this was only half of the story. At least equally important, if not even more critical, is the existence of the “Flugröserl”. It is a composed word of the German term “Flug” which means “flight” and “Röserl” which is the Bavarian noun for the High-German term “Rose” which means, well, rose. So it means kind of “flight rosy”, but I prefer “Flugröserl” much more, so let’s stick to it.


The “Flugröserl” is the out-of-reach-object-of-desire for every Economy Class-passenger with risk of thrombosis during a long-haul flight due to special scarcity which condemns him to regress into an embryonic position over 12 hours. But the “Flugröserl” is also the object of desire for the Business Class passenger who finds the presence of so many other passengers around him utterly vulgar and who is yearning for more and still more in life. Because, the Flugröserl, is an exclusive piece of decoration on your seat of Lufthansa First Class which indicates you that you made it to the top, that on 39,000 feet above sea level you can add another 4 meters in the upper deck of the Boing 747 Jumbo Jet. Wow – how awesome is that?!

Well, to transcend back to some literally grounded reason, the “Flugröserl” was the major theme and amusement for my friend Arnd and me today during our flight on LH 454 from Frankfurt to San Francisco. From my constants flight from and to India, I had so many Lufthansa "Miles & More" that I thought I’ll do us a favour with a “once in a lifetime experience” and get us an upgrade into First Class. Yep, it was cool. You get attention from the cabin staff as if you were a 3-months old baby with the only difference that fine alcoholic drinks are the main liquid to sedate you.

And of course to show you her unconditional love, Mum (=the flight attendant) would bring you approximately one hour after take-off the “Flugröserl” whose bottom is embedded in a water-filled plastic cylinder which gets stuck in a specially engineered hole in your First Class seat. And there it sits peacefully and beautifully, the “Flugröserl”. Arnd and me found so much of a likening for it, that we asked Mum to take a picture of us holding the “Flugröserl” as a sign of our achievement, friendship and imbecility.


And so today, I am happy to share my epiphany with you that it’s all about the “Flugröserl” where the “Flugröserl” is a fundamental enabler and catalyst in the history of aviation and mankind alike.



  1. Prof. Geil
    September 7th, 2008 | 3:29

    Well, well…
    The Flugröserl is only one part of the joy with a rose in first class… ;-)

  2. Paul
    September 8th, 2008 | 3:49

    you should bring the flower to the alamo-station at the SF airpot, rent a beetle for the trip and enjoy the rose for some more days – VW had the idea of putting a flower in a “travelling-device” dozens of years ago ;-).