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Topic: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-03-13 13:28:42 and read 15374 times.

Sardinian Sun, TUfly's Shiny New 73Gs & Meridiana's Cramped MadDog


Intro
With rumors about a TUIfly and germanwings merger increasing during the winter, I realized it was time to take a flight on the former - which was still missing in my log. So when X3 announced the next round of specials in early January I checked numerous flight options for a weekend break. I found a MUC-CAG flight for 19,99 Euro on a Saturday morning and tried to find an appropriate return flight. With only few weekly flights on that route I checked other cities and found 19,99 Euro services to MUC from various Italian cities on the following Sunday. Now I only needed a connecting flight and finally discovered a well-timed CAG-OLB hop on Meridiana for only 27 Euro - operated by a Mad Dog! Within a relatively short time I had convinced my girlfriend to spend a weekend in sunny Sardinia with me and I booked the flights.  Smile

X3 charges 6 Euro (per booking) for credit card payment and 8 Euro (per person) for a seat reservation. While I rejected the former, I decided to reserve seats 26 A and B on the MUC-CAG daylight sector.


Saturday, 23 February 2008
Munich (MUC) - Cagliari (CAG)
TUIfly, X3 3134
11:55-14:00 (12:04-13:47)
Flying time: 01:28 (hrs)

Boeing 737-7K5
D-AHXF (s/n 2465), delivered in 12/2007
Economy Seat 26F



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Photo © Martin Hartmann
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Photo © Jonas Bodell




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Photo © Richard Lundgren




Check-in
Since we had one bag to check in we didn't print out boarding passes in advance - I assumed we would have to wait in line anyway. And my guess was correct, even those already checked-in had to wait in line until they could drop off their stuff. After some 20 minutes we were welcomed by a very friendly male agent. Some days before I had found out it's better to sit on the right side when flying into CAG - because an approach from the south allows for good views. So I asked whether row 26 on the right side was still available - which the agent confirmed. He was curious to know why we'd like to change and I explained it to him. He seemed to be bit surprised about a passenger talking about approach directions, but whatever, we got the seats that I wanted.  Wink


TUIfly's Newest 737-700
Waiting in line at the security checkpoint took quite a long time, as so often in Europe (or the US). Well, I guess I'm still spoilt by the fast and efficient procedures in Japan...I soon realized we had to take a bus transfer to a remote position - at least it would increase chances to take some nice pics. By checking various online sources I knew we would get a 737-700 - of course I hoped for one of the newer ones delivered in late 2007. Boarding was started early and soon we were offloaded next to D-AHXF - actually the newest of X3's 73Gs, delivered in mid-December 2007.




Red logo on a yellow tail - or to quote some a.net critics: "The Sickle and the Eye"




Shiny fuselage:




Cabin Comfort & Seating
We were welcomed by a friendly male F/A in the 50s and took our seats in row 26. The flight was quite packed (load factor some 80 percent) but we were lucky and the aisle seat remained empty. X3 is using modern and comfortable Recaro slimline seats, enabling a sufficient pitch even despite the plane's 148-seat-configuration.




The cabin is equipped with flat and relatively big foldout screens - which weren't stowed during takeoff. Note the Google Earth-style view of MUC:




We left the gate at 12:04, passed an EL AL 747-400...




...taxied to runway 26L...




...and took off into a cloudy sky. Note the plane taking off from 26R - it's germanwings' D-AKNI, the Hamburg Shopper.




Lufthansa A340-600 and two stored ex-VIM 757-200s:




Virtual Views & Flight Info
TV features weren't shown (advertised to be available on flights longer than 1,5 hours), but I didn't mind at all - the alternative was much better: a flight info channel with various maps and virtual views, e.g. window view...




...and cockpit window view. Not bad, especially for those without a window seat.  thumbsup 




Flight information page - even showing the aircraft type. Now they only need to add the registration.  Wink




Crossing the Alps
Soon we had reached the foothills of the Alps. Here's the Tegernsee:




Beautiful scenery:




The city of Innsbruck:




White peaks...




...and foggy valleys:




Map with countries in different colors:




TUIfly Catering Policy
Seatback pocket packed with safety card, airsickness bag, X3's rather attractive inflight magazine...




...and menu cards - valid for city shuttle flights in Germany and to/from Austria, Croatia, France, northern Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK where drinks and food are offered for sale.






Free Snack
Flights to Sardinia belong to X3's "longer flights" (to/from the Canaries, the Cape Verde Islands, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Morocco, Portugal, southern Italy, Spain and Tunisia) where drinks and food, ranging from baguettes to hot meals, are served free of charge. We were offered bagels with cheese and sausage cold cuts, both of which were quite filling. While I considered the cheese bagel to be the tastier option, my girlfriend liked the other one better.




The friendly F/As offered cold and hot drinks and later handed out small Mars chocolate bars:




Menus on Demand
X3 also offers the option to pre-order various snacks and menus (on longer flights). Here's a link for more details (pics and descriptions only available on the German version of the website):
http://www.tuifly.com/de/service/bordmenue.html


Pax were permanently hanging around in the aisle, not the best conditions for cabin shots:




Passing the peninsula of Monte Argentario at 39,000 feet:




Another route map version:




Approach
We descended along Sardinia's coastline...






...turning right for an approach from the south - so changing to the right side was a good decision!  Smile




Only moments...




...from the Stadio Comunale Sant'Elia, home of Cagliari Calcio...




...and the city center of Cagliari.




The Via Roma (where our Hotel Miramare was located)...




...a part of the harbor...




...and the train station as well as the central bus station at the Piazza Matteotti:




Only few more moments...




...until we touched down at runway 32. It wasn't very busy at Elmas Airport in the early afternoon - there were a Meridiana MD-80, an easyJet A319 and an Air One A320.




Goodbye, D-AHXF:




After grabbing our luggage it took us a while to find a bus ticket machine - it's located far away from the the bus stop area. Who knows which logic's behind that...  Wink Anyway, we managed to catch the next bus to the central station at the Piazza Matteotti (running every 30 minutes, 2 Euro one-way).



Cagliari
Cagliari (Sardinian: Casteddu) is the capital of Sardinia and has about 160,000 inhabitants, or some 500,000 including the suburbs. Under the name of Karalis the city was already established around the 7th century BC as a string of Phoenician trading colonies.

Hotel Miramare
From the central bus station it was just a ten-minute walk along the Via Roma to the stylish and charming Hotel Miramare, located on the third floor of a noble old building, called the Palazzo Devoto. To sum it up: very friendly staff, great location just in the middle of the city, fair price (79 Euro per double room, including breakfast) - I can fully recommend this hotel which ranks on 4th place out of 48 Cagliari hotels on www.tripadvisor.com.

Sightseeing
There's a lot to discover in Cagliari - and almost everything can be reached by foot. Whenever you need to rest, just sit down in one of the many coffee bars, bistros or small restaurants and enjoy Italian delicacies.  Smile

Palazzo Civico - Cagliari's city hall:




La Rinascente - Cagliari's largest (and exclusive) department store:




Bastione di Saint Remy






Piazza Umberto I.




La Cattedrale di Santa Maria, located in the city's oldest district, called Castello:




City views during sunset:










Via Manno with many exclusive stores:




Fiat 500 - far from its home Roma.




Outstanding parking skills:




Orto Botanico - a large botanical garden with many exotic species of plants and flowers. Very recommendable for everyone who likes plants of any kind. Just some examples:

















Sunday, 24 February 2008
Cagliari (CAG) - Olbia (OLB)
Meridiana, IG 633
17:20-18:00 (17:25-17:56)
Flying time: 00:23 (hrs)

McDonnell Douglas MD-82
I-SMEB Parco di Baia (s/n 1908), delivered in 08/1991 to Far Eastern Air Transport as B-28001
Economy Seat 15A



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Photo © Ricardo Morales Centeno - APM
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Photo © Varani Ennio




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Photo © Peter Tonna




Quick Check-in
After more enjoyable hours of shopping, sightseeing and dining we took the bus back to Elmas Airport in the afternoon. In contrast to what I have heard before, the busses seem to run regularly and on time even on weekends. Again it was not very busy at the airport and only few pax were waiting at the Meridiana counters. A friendly female agent welcomed us and replied "of course" after I had asked about a window seat behind the wing on the left side. This time we had an opposite takeoff direction so I expected to see the city on the left side. Later I found out she had picked row 15, but at least it was on the left side.

Emergency Plan
We passed through security and took a seat in the gate area. It wasn't a busy time for a spotter, with only one TUIfly 73G, a Meridiana MD-82 and an Avanti Air ATR 42 around. I was glad when our plane arrived on time - a cancelation or some hours of delay and we would have been stranded. In such a case we most likely would have tried to purchase a ticket for the TUIfly OLB-STR service on Monday, plus a train ticket to MUC...
Anyway, I-SMEB, a 1991 model once delivered to Far East Air Transport, was ready to operate the service to Olbia and further to Bologna.




Cramped Seating
I had expected a light load, but the flight was packed, probably not a single seat remaining empty. As we stepped on board, a hefty painted female F/A with a disdainful face expression didn't even look at the pax but stared somewhere else - not the kind of welcome you expect as a passenger. At least some others knew how to say hello. We walked down to our row and I was "impressed" by the cramped seating on this plane - never had experienced such a limited pitch on a Mad Dog before. With 165 non-slimline seats on the MD-82 Meridiana's doing it the hard way.  irked 




Opposite row:




Airborne for 23 Minutes
Just like all other aircraft before, I-SMEB took off from runway 14.




We enjoyed some nice views - but we couldn't see the city center.




Note the runway on the top left corner:




The plane cruised for a while after a steep climb and soon started descending again. Mountainous terrain on the left:




Final approach into Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport:




We touched down at 17:53, only 23 minutes after takeoff. Sister ship I-SMEZ parked next to us:





Sunday, 24 February 2008
Olbia (OLB) - Munich (MUC)
TUIfly, X3 3159
20:55-22:50 (20:45-22:18)
Flying time: 01:21 (hrs)

Boeing 737-7K5
D-AHXE (s/n 2451), delivered in 12/2007
Economy Seat 25B



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Photo © Andrew W. Sieber
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Photo © A. Prokop




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Photo © Martin Djupenstrom




The Airport Dog
Most passengers continued to Bologna so there were only few people waiting at the baggage claim. We grabbed our stuff and walked straight to the TUIfly counters in the departure hall. The counters weren't supposed to open until two hours prior to departure but two friendly agents started working earlier. Row 25 on the left side was still available and we got our boarding passes two minutes later.
We spent some more time in the departure hall and noticed a dog which was apparently running around without an owner. Then he/she stayed for a while with a group of policemen who seemed to know him/her. Some minutes later the dog started running around again - and peed on a plant in the terminal hall.  Wink

Another New 737
We had dinner at a reasonably priced restaurant, passed through security and went to our gate. Because of intensive light reflections on the windows I couldn't see almost anything on the apron. Finally a TUIfly plane arrived and I couldn't read the registration until it stopped at the gate. I had been prepared for getting D-AHXF again, but it was D-AHXE this time, delivered two weeks before its sister ship.

Talkative Pilot
Again a friendly crew welcomed us on board. The load was around 60 percent, so boarding was completed quickly. The general welcome announcement was the same as on the MUC-CAG service ("ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls"), including a welcome by "your tour operator". We left the gate ten minutes early and while we were heading to the runway, apparently the First Officer started talking, introducing himself as not as FO but as "your pilot". He gave us some interesting details about the flight, referring to runway 06, a takeoff weight of 55 tons and a takeoff speed of 260 hm/h. Then he promised to keep us updated about the flight and the routing.  thumbsup 

IFE not Available
The screens were stored for takeoff and weren't folded out again later. Some 30 minutes after takeoff I asked an F/A and she said there was a problem with the system. "It's still a quite new machine", she added, trying to indicate some teething problems. The FO kept his promise and informed us about flight details (cruise altitude 40,000 feet) and sights on the ground, e.g. the city of Rome (and later the Allianz Arena at Munich). He also added: "We hope you feel good on board."

Snack
Drinks, bagels and Mars chocolate bars were served again, this time with yellow napkins.



Seats & hlx.com
The flying time was only 1:21 which passed quickly. We touched down at 22:14 and taxied to a remote position. Time for two more cabin pics. The new-style Recaro seats:




Interesting to see some hlx.com markings in the cabin of a plane delivered in December 2007...




No-Camera Policy
There weren't any inflight magazines available in any seat pockets on that sector so I asked to get one before disembarking. No problem, of course. Later I read in that magazine that TUIfly prohibits the use of digital cameras during takeoff and landing. When did they introduce that policy? Hopefully there's not a general trend among airlines.



Conclusion
Both sectors on TUIfly were a pleasure, I wouldn't hesitate to fly the airline again. Ground staff and flight crews were friendly, seating comfort was sufficient, quantity and quality of the (free) catering were all right, cabins were clean, booking process and check-in were convenient. And not to forget: X3 has an innovative airshow and flight info channel. It would be a real pity to lose that carrier in consequence of a merger with germanwings.
The flight on Meridiana was very short - and I'm glad about that because the seat pitch on the MD-80 was awful. The booking process was easy and convenient, check-in agents were friendly, but the F/As' appearance was inconsistent. I would definitely fly the airline again and try its product (e.g. catering) on longer flights - as long as it's not an MD-80 with 165 seats.


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2008-03-13 13:54:09 and read 15319 times.

Hi, PH,

now your Sardinia story is finally online,
infact, I´am preparing a mail about some spotting later this year, you know,
and thought about asking for your story!.
For sure, a great one with superb pics also.
A nice reminder to my weekend in Cagliari a year ago,
with similar impressions like yours.

Really not bad to catch these new X3 birds and to compare it with the classic Meridiana maddog.

There is a only three weeks old A320 silently sneaked in my log last Tuesday around my trip to Athens!.

It seems you had a good time there in Sardinia and with Tuifly and also partly with Meridiana.

Thanx for posting,
Markus (FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: CO7e7
Posted 2008-03-13 14:06:59 and read 15293 times.

Very Nice pictures and a well written report.

IMO it's always nice to have a "talkative" pilot!

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: DavidkunzVIE
Posted 2008-03-13 15:20:25 and read 15157 times.

Quite frankly,... you included some of the best in-flight pics ever:
Tegernsee, Innsbruck, Mt.Argentario, the stadium, etc. "Weltklasse!"

Danke!

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: Sabena332
Posted 2008-03-13 16:33:44 and read 15079 times.

Another friggin' awesome report there, thanks a lot for posting!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We left the gate at 12:04, passed an EL AL 747-400...

What is an El Al 744 doing at MUC? Was this a special (charter) flight or was there a special holiday in Israel?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
it's germanwings' D-AKNI

Wow, the plane I had my first cockpit jumpseat flight on!  Smile Back then still in Eurowings livery, shame that it became a flying advertising pillar.  Sad

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
...and cockpit window view. Not bad, especially for those without a window seat.

Nice one, I really like that!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We were offered bagels with cheese and sausage cold cuts, both of which were quite filling.

Great catering for such a short flight!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Flight information page - even showing the aircraft type. Now they only need to add the registration.

I guess that 99.9% of the passengers don't care about the reg of the plane but it would be a nice feature indeed!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The friendly F/As offered cold and hot drinks

Was alcohol (beer) also for free? Do you know what beer brand they served?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
...from the Stadio Comunale Sant'Elia, home of Cagliari Calcio...

I know this club, they kicked Juve out of the UEFA Cup several years ago.  Silly

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Outstanding parking skills:

Yeah, I am always amazed to see the parking skills of Italians and Spaniards. Big grin

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Both sectors on TUIfly were a pleasure, I wouldn't hesitate to fly the airline again.

I would definitely fly on them since I read your report; fare, catering, entertainment, and friendliness seem to be pretty good!

Quoting DavidkunzVIE (Reply 3):
Quite frankly,... you included some of the best in-flight pics ever:
Tegernsee, Innsbruck, Mt.Argentario, the stadium, etc. "Weltklasse!"

I can only agree... the pics were awesome, especially the CAG approach pics! Well done!

Patrick

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: Airbuseric
Posted 2008-03-13 16:54:35 and read 15058 times.

Hi PH

a truly great report with supurb picture quality, that's for sure! Really liked the reading, and you must have been feeling very lucky with those 2 brandnew yellow 737's  Wink Of course, 23 minutes with bad seatpitch, but on a interesting MD80 isn't that bad Big grin

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Later I read in that magazine that TUIfly prohibits the use of digital cameras during takeoff and landing. When did they introduce that policy? Hopefully there's not a general trend among airlines.

I think many airlines have this same policy, although it's difficult to check for it. Cabin crew must be seated also during final decend and takeoffs, so are unable to check the things passengers do, at these stages of flight. So,... like me, just be careful and make your sneaky pics and videos  Wink

Gruß
Eric  wave 

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: KPWM
Posted 2008-03-13 18:26:33 and read 14983 times.

Wow what a great report. Love the pics. Just out of curiosity, what was the seat pitch on the CAG-OLB flight? That looked brutal!



Regards,
KPWM

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Do
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-03-13 23:22:10 and read 14851 times.

Thanks a lot for all your comments!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 1):
infact, I´am preparing a mail about some spotting later this year, you know,

That will be interesting to see!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 1):
There is a only three weeks old A320 silently sneaked in my log last Tuesday around my trip to Athens!.

Congratulations! I guess it was SX-DVK?

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 1):
It seems you had a good time there in Sardinia and with Tuifly and also partly with Meridiana.

Definitely, yes. And Cagliari is such a nice city.

Quoting CO7e7 (Reply 2):
IMO it's always nice to have a "talkative" pilot!

Always good to hear details about the flight - too bad you often hardly understand them inflight.

Quoting DavidkunzVIE (Reply 3):
you included some of the best in-flight pics ever:
Tegernsee, Innsbruck, Mt.Argentario, the stadium, etc. "Weltklasse!"

Thanks a lot! I must admit we had much luck - the weather was good and we approached from the south. Actually the approach direction was changed not long after our arrival...

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 4):
What is an El Al 744 doing at MUC?

LY sometimes uses larger equipment on Saturdays, e.g. they have often sent 777s to MUC during the summer months. But a 744 is still quite a surprise - lots of demand between TLV and MUC lately, it seems.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 4):
Was alcohol (beer) also for free? Do you know what beer brand they served?

I forgot to mention that one of snack/drink cards is valid on ALL X3 flights:



So alcoholic drinks weren't free of charge. The beer on offer is Radeberger Pils - 2,60 Euro for a 0,33l bottle.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 4):
Yeah, I am always amazed to see the parking skills of Italians and Spaniards.

And it never stops to amaze me how many damaged cars you see in these countries!  Wink

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 4):

I would definitely fly on them since I read your report; fare, catering, entertainment, and friendliness seem to be pretty good!

I can only recommend to do so, try to get a flight before they start merging with 4U.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 5):
Cabin crew must be seated also during final decend and takeoffs, so are unable to check the things passengers do, at these stages of flight.

Yes, on most types and in most seats they can't see me. But it's a bit more difficult on certain types, e.g. ERJs.

Quoting KPWM (Reply 6):
Just out of curiosity, what was the seat pitch on the CAG-OLB flight? That looked brutal!

"Brutal" describes it well. I don't know the exact pitch, but I'll try to find it out.


PH

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: UK_Dispatcher
Posted 2008-03-14 00:34:55 and read 14803 times.

Great and colourful (yellow!) report. Some nice shots from the aircraft. Nice to see the Meridiana MD82 too.

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Do
Username: SandroZRH
Posted 2008-03-14 06:45:46 and read 14606 times.

Great report, but i didnt expect anything less from you! Cagliari looks nice, your typical south Italian city. X3 seems to be a good option especially for the prices they charge, would be a shame to see them merge with Germanwings.

If you fancy another trip down south, there's a cool sale on Condor's website, but you must book before tomorrow midnight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
and peed on a plant in the terminal hall

 rotfl 

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: Semsem
Posted 2008-03-14 10:36:52 and read 14513 times.

Sabena, the reason EL AL operate a 747 to Munich in the winter is because ski holidays in the Tyrol / Austria which is close by, are very popular.

The beaches look spectacular. What was the one way fare to Olbia? What was the weather like now? I plan to go to Sardinia in June and may end up taking Meridiana. Now I know what to expect. Thank you for a great report. I have wanted to visit Sardinia since many years but I think one needs to take 2 trips; one in the north and another in the south.

I heard they just opened up a new airport in the Arbatax area which is about 150 kilometers north of Cagliari. Thanks for a very enjoyable report. TUI looks like a nice airline.

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: BA319-131
Posted 2008-03-14 11:06:18 and read 14492 times.

Great report PH, thanks  Smile

I liked the city pictures, looks like another place worth visiting, ok another place ona growing list to see!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
He seemed to be bit surprised about a passenger talking about approach directions,

- Must have thought you were a nutter or some kind  Smile

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I was "impressed" by the cramped seating on this plane - never had experienced such a limited pitch on a Mad Dog before. With 165 non-slimline seats on the MD-82 Meridiana's doing it the hard way.

- I recall a similar experience with an domestic config AZ MD-80 some years ago, never felt so crampt before.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The new-style Recaro seats:

- Hmm, not keen on that fabric design.

Thanks again.

Regards

Mark

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: Contact Air
Posted 2008-03-14 11:43:14 and read 14461 times.

Hi PH,

again a very nice trip report and a fantastic selection of pictures!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
TV features weren't shown (advertised to be available on flights longer than 1,5 hours), but I didn't mind at all - the alternative was much better: a flight info channel with various maps and virtual views, e.g. window view...

I totally agree: I always prefer a permanent air-show programme over some stupid entertainment programmes on these short intra-European holiday flights.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Pax were permanently hanging around in the aisle

That's something I have also realized on some of my flights, especially on typical holiday flights. What are people always doing in the aisle on a flight of less than two hours?  Confused

Regards
Christoph

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2008-03-14 11:52:08 and read 14444 times.

Hi, PH,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
Congratulations! I guess it was SX-DVK?

 checkmark 

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: Semsem
Posted 2008-03-14 14:00:28 and read 14360 times.

Sorry about my stupid question. I just noticed that you only paid 27 Euros for the Meridiana flight. A great deal. And TUI seems an even better bargain.

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Do
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-03-15 02:10:05 and read 14257 times.

Thanks for all new comments!

Quoting Semsem (Reply 10):
Sabena, the reason EL AL operate a 747 to Munich in the winter is because ski holidays in the Tyrol / Austria which is close by, are very popular.

I have just heard it was operating for Sun d'Or.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 10):
What was the weather like now?

Pretty good, some 20 degress in the sun. But you need a jacket as soon as the sun disappears. It was funny to see many Italians wearing thick jackets and partly even scarfs and beanies while we were walking around in shirts.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 10):
I have wanted to visit Sardinia since many years but I think one needs to take 2 trips; one in the north and another in the south.

Yes, probably a good idea to see both parts of the island. Olbia seems to be an interesting city, too.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 11):
- I recall a similar experience with an domestic config AZ MD-80 some years ago, never felt so crampt before.

Would be interesting to know whether those are still so cramped.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 12):
That's something I have also realized on some of my flights, especially on typical holiday flights. What are people always doing in the aisle on a flight of less than two hours?

And I'd like to know what these people would do on LONG HAUL flights!


PH

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: DALCE
Posted 2008-03-15 03:14:45 and read 14235 times.

Hi PH,

A very nice and detailed report about your Sardinia trip!
Good to see some new registrations for your log!
great read!

Cheers,
Joost ( D-ALCE )

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: B747forever
Posted 2008-03-15 03:28:38 and read 14228 times.

Great TR

The pics are really good

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Note the Google Earth-style view of MUC:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
and cockpit window view.

Seems that TUIfly have upgraded their IFE since I flew with them last summer. When did they do that??

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The new-style Recaro seats:

I dont like the new seats. They are ugly.

You got brilliant pics from Cagliari. Seems to be such a nice city,


Thank you for sharing

B747forever

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: StarAlliance38
Posted 2008-03-15 12:16:19 and read 14121 times.



Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 5):
I think many airlines have this same policy, although it's difficult to check for it. Cabin crew must be seated also during final decend and takeoffs, so are unable to check the things passengers do, at these stages of flight. So,... like me, just be careful and make your sneaky pics and videos

Photography is only permitted by the airlines before the doors shut and in flight. I hoped they'll loosen up and at least let us take pictures on landings.

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Do
Username: BrusselsSouth
Posted 2008-03-15 16:57:45 and read 14068 times.

Top quality report ! Thanks for taking the time to compose it, and for having included a touristic part, adding to the overall quality.

Your experience on the Meridiana Mad Dog reminds me of mine on a Spanair MD-82 recently (legroom and service-wise). Also, the airshow on the overhead LCD screens you describe is exactly the same I enjoyed on Air Berlin 738.

Regards
BrusselsSouth

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Do
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-03-16 13:39:39 and read 13931 times.

Thanks for all your new comments!

Quoting B747forever (Reply 17):
Seems that TUIfly have upgraded their IFE since I flew with them last summer. When did they do that??

I'm not sure whether X3 has introduced the new system togehter with the new 73Gs or even earlier. Which type did you fly on - and when?

Quoting B747forever (Reply 17):
I dont like the new seats. They are ugly.

Indeed, there are better designs out there...

Quoting B747forever (Reply 17):
You got brilliant pics from Cagliari. Seems to be such a nice city,

Yes, I can only recommend to go there.

Quoting BrusselsSouth (Reply 19):
Your experience on the Meridiana Mad Dog reminds me of mine on a Spanair MD-82 recently (legroom and service-wise).

Just read your report - that narrow seat pitch is quite annoying. I had the best Eco flight on a Mad Dog in 2002 on American (LAX-DFW) - very generous seat pitch. But AA has changed configurations again...


PH

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Do
Username: Sabena332
Posted 2008-03-16 15:15:37 and read 13903 times.



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
The beer on offer is Radeberger Pils

Radeberger is actually quite tasty, good choice by X3.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
2,60 Euro for a 0,33l bottle.

Rip-off as always on planes or in airports, it's even cheaper in football stadiums.  Wink

Quoting Semsem (Reply 10):
Sabena, the reason EL AL operate a 747 to Munich in the winter is because ski holidays in the Tyrol / Austria which is close by, are very popular.

Thanks for the info, Semsem!

Patrick

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Do
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-03-19 12:46:22 and read 13701 times.



Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 21):
Rip-off as always on planes or in airports, it's even cheaper in football stadiums.

2,60 Euro is indeed a lot. How much does 4U currently charge for a beer?


PH

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: LY777
Posted 2008-03-19 13:26:39 and read 13687 times.

Nice TR! I love the wingleted 737NGs; I like the Virtual Views also

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-03-21 09:00:41 and read 13536 times.



Quoting LY777 (Reply 23):
I love the wingleted 737NGs

The winglets are indeed not just an economic, but also an aesthetical improvement.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Markus Buttinger




PH

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: Ndebele
Posted 2008-03-23 10:17:47 and read 13425 times.

Once again a nice report with outstanding pics! TUIfly has been my most-frequently flown airline lately (somehow my trips and destinations have become less extraordinary...), anyway, I noticed a sort of improvement of their product. When they started they were like a re-branding of HLX, however their service and attitude towards the customer has really improved.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Flight information page - even showing the aircraft type.

As long as they don't show the B737-800 safety briefing video on a B737-700 flight Big grin I read about this mistake lately in a report here on a.net...

Of course the Meridiana part of your report was also very nice to read, especially because the airline and aircraft involved made it "a flight less ordinary".

Thanks again for sharing and have a nice Easter weekend. Regards, Alex.

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: Leskova
Posted 2008-03-26 23:12:38 and read 13233 times.

First of all - thanks for another great report!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
With rumors about a TUIfly and germanwings merger increasing during the winter, I realized it was time to take a flight on the former - which was still missing in my log.

Out of curiosity, and since I haven't been following the news on that lately: where are we with that merger at the moment?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Since we had one bag to check in we didn't print out boarding passes in advance - I assumed we would have to wait in line anyway. And my guess was correct, even those already checked-in had to wait in line until they could drop off their stuff.

Kinda negates the sense in checking in online, doesn't it? Was it the same line as regular check in?

At least some airlines have dedicated "Bag Drop-Off" lines...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Boarding was started early and soon we were offloaded next to D-AHXF - actually the newest of X3's 73Gs, delivered in mid-December 2007.

Congratulations on that!  Smile

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Red logo on a yellow tail - or to quote some a.net critics: "The Sickle and the Eye"

 rotfl  I hadn't heard that one before... don't think that'd go over well with Michael Frenzel...  rotfl 

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Note the Google Earth-style view of MUC:

Certainly better quality than those maps you normally get to see on aircraft monitors...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
a flight info channel with various maps and virtual views, e.g. window view...

You know, come to think of it, I think we had a similar system on the Air Berlin B737-800 we flew on last year in January... I do remember those window- and cockpit-views.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Pax were permanently hanging around in the aisle, not the best conditions for cabin shots:

Those people constantly hanging around the aisles confuse me on just about every flight - I mean, what's the point? And they get extremely annoying once they're hanging around next to your seat...

Is that a new design for the cabin, or do all NGs look like that on the inside? Seems a lot brighter and - to my eyes - a lot more inviting than any of those usually quite gloomy B737s that I've been on...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Fiat 500 - far from its home Roma.

Damn... Big grin ... when was the last time you've seen one of those anywhere? We just saw one of the modern Fiat 500s parked outside our house a couple of days ago, but the original one?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
With 165 non-slimline seats on the MD-82 Meridiana's doing it the hard way.

Ugh... awful...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I had been prepared for getting D-AHXF again, but it was D-AHXE this time, delivered two weeks before its sister ship.

So not only did you not have to endure your worst nightmare of flying the same registration twice, you also got the two newest B737s that TUIfly operates? Nice... Big grin

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The new-style Recaro seats:

... seats: good. Design: horrible...

That pattern is good for pain in the eyes...  vomit 

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Interesting to see some hlx.com markings in the cabin of a plane delivered in December 2007...

... Big grin ... on the other hand, since TUI, or Michael Frenzel to be precise, just made one of his custom 180 degree turns in his strategy, changing from integrating Hapag Lloyd shipping lines into TUI (can you imagine a container freight ship with TUI markings on the side??) to selling them off, I wouldn't be surprised if he came out next week to announce that he was splitting the airlines up into HLX and Hapag Lloyd Flug again... wouldn't be his first 180 turn, and the one regarding the shipping line will not have been his last.

Thanks for the good read!!!

Frank

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: OA260
Posted 2008-03-27 07:12:06 and read 13181 times.

Hey great TR and really nice pics. Meridiana seat pitch sure looks way too small. I like the TUIFLY interior I have to say .

Thanks for the report


OA260

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: Sh0rtybr0wn
Posted 2008-03-27 08:10:52 and read 13164 times.

Inflight out the window pics were perfect. The buildings and architecture of the city are very pretty, and your sunset photos remind me of the best of Corot's Italian paintings. Nice pics of the cacti and succulents. Those Recaro style seats look painful. I've been on city buses with more leg room. How could you stand it?

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-03-29 05:55:07 and read 13069 times.

Thanks a lot for all your new comments!

Quoting Ndebele (Reply 25):
When they started they were like a re-branding of HLX, however their service and attitude towards the customer has really improved.

And all that would probably disappear again after a merger...

Quoting Ndebele (Reply 25):
As long as they don't show the B737-800 safety briefing video on a B737-700 flight

Interesting glitch...

Quoting Leskova (Reply 26):
Out of curiosity, and since I haven't been following the news on that lately: where are we with that merger at the moment?

No news lately, I guess negotiations are still going on.

Quoting Leskova (Reply 26):
Was it the same line as regular check in?

Yes. Well, not even Emirates had a dedicated drop-off line when I flew to Australia in 2006. At least they sent me to the J class check-in counters after complaining...  Wink

Quoting Leskova (Reply 26):
Is that a new design for the cabin, or do all NGs look like that on the inside? Seems a lot brighter and - to my eyes - a lot more inviting than any of those usually quite gloomy B737s that I've been on...

I'm not sure - at least the cabins on the NGs I've flown have always looked more inviting than on classics.

Quoting Leskova (Reply 26):
So not only did you not have to endure your worst nightmare of flying the same registration twice, you also got the two newest B737s that TUIfly operates?

 checkmark 

Quoting Sh0rtybr0wn (Reply 28):
I've been on city buses with more leg room. How could you stand it?

Luckily it was just a very short flight...


PH

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: Sabena332
Posted 2008-03-30 09:25:03 and read 12982 times.



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):
2,60 Euro is indeed a lot. How much does 4U currently charge for a beer?

I'm not sure because we were not allowed to drink alcohol onboard last week but I guess they charge 2.80 EUR for an 0.33 liter can of beer.

Patrick

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: Leskova
Posted 2008-03-31 13:22:55 and read 12857 times.



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 29):
Quoting Ndebele (Reply 25):
As long as they don't show the B737-800 safety briefing video on a B737-700 flight

Interesting glitch...

Had the same thing happen to me on an AB B737-800: they showed the video for a B737-400... when I asked the crew about it they commented that no-one of the passengers listened to the videos anyhow so it didn't matter...  Yeah sure

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 30):
I'm not sure because we were not allowed to drink alcohol onboard last week but I guess they charge 2.80 EUR for an 0.33 liter can of beer.

...  Wink ... now, if I didn't know why you weren't allowed to drink alcohol, I'd be a bit surprised about your statement and would probably think something along the lines of "aha... so he was already completely drunk when he boarded"... Big grin

Topic: RE: Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-04-13 01:10:59 and read 12585 times.



Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 30):
I'm not sure because we were not allowed to drink alcohol onboard last week

 scratchchin 

Quoting Leskova (Reply 31):
when I asked the crew about it they commented that no-one of the passengers listened to the videos anyhow so it didn't matter...

Definitely the wrong attitude!


PH


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