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Topic: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-21 10:46:31 and read 26100 times.




Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz



Background
After returning from Dubai in March, it was time to plan another trip - preferably a long-haul trip over a weekend. So I considered going to Canada, the United States or somewhere in the Gulf region again. I was planning to depart on Saturday and return on Monday or Tuesday. Additionally, I was trying to add some domestic hops to the itinerary. After checking countless flight options, I earmarked an itinerary including a flight on Austrian's Boeing 777 from New York to Vienna. That would have been a nice flight on a new carrier and a great plane, but I could neither find an overly exciting westbound transatlantic flight nor really interesting domestic flights.

Just out of curiosity, I checked flights to South Africa where I had always wanted to go. South African Airways - high on my list for a long time - had some special fares from Germany. After discovering an exciting itinerary including three interesting widebodies, I also found highly interesting domestic flight options. Now I couldn't resist any more and booked Nuremberg-Frankfurt-Johannesburg (departure on Saturday) and Cape-Town-Johannesburg-Frankfurt-Nuremberg (arrival on Tuesday) on Cheap Tickets. Operating carriers: Lufthansa (A380), Lufthansa CityLine (CRJ700 and Embraer 190) and South African Airways (A330-200 and A340-600).

Btw - I had also considered flying to/from Munich on SAA's A340-300 (in place of LH's A380), but I didn't want to end up on one of two former Iberia frames with original (out-of-date) Iberia interior. Those all-white planes, originally planned to be refurbished by mid-2011, have been used on all SAA A340-300 routes. And even though I had already flown on LH's A380, I didn't mind doing so again - actually I was even curious to find out how comfortable it would be on a 10 hour flight.

It would have been the cheapest and most convenient option to book a Johannesburg-Cape Town flight on one of various airlines, e.g. British Airways (operated by Comair), kulula.com (operated by Comair), SAA's low-cost airline Mango, 1Time or even Velvet Sky. However, I wanted to get two new airlines in addition to SAA, so it took a while to find a suitable routing. Finally, I decided to fly Johannesburg-Durban on a Comair 737-400 (operating for British Airways) and Durban-Cape Town on a Mango 737-800. That meant that I would have to leave Johannesburg again only three hours after arriving from Frankfurt, but I was ready to take the risk. In the case of a heavily delayed arrival at Johannesburg, I would still be able to book one of countless nonstop flights to Cape Town.

While the booking process on Mango's website was faultless, I faced a problem on BA's South African website. When I had to enter my name, I couldn't find "Mr" in the drop-down list. I restarted the booking process, but it didn't work either. So I simply chose "Sir" and I was finally able to finish my booking. Later, when I was checking again, "Mr" and "Mrs" suddenly showed up. I was concerned that I may face problems with "Sir" on my boarding pass, but a quick search on various forums revealed that it would be a non-issue.

Since I would spend two nights on the plane, I only needed to book a room for one night at a Cape Town airport hotel. Actually there's not much choice - the Road Lodge is the one and only hotel in close vicinity of the airport. However, it was quite cheap - and clean and safe according to Trip Advisor. Four days, three new airlines, three new airports, two four haulers and a brand new A330-200 - I was really looking forward to that short trip.


Parts I & II can be found here:
Africa's Best Airline? FRA-JNB On SAA A340-600 (by PlaneHunter Sep 23 2011 in Trip Reports)
BA Vs. LCC, African Way: JNB-DUR-CPT, Comair/Mango (by PlaneHunter Oct 8 2011 in Trip Reports)




Cape Town Spotting
After a relaxing night at the Road Lodge, I returned to the airport in the early morning. It wasn't possible yet to check in for all three legs because the FRA-NUE flight was still more than 23 hours away. I decided to return to a kiosk later, my seats on the two widebodies had been reserved after booking anyway. On the way to the observation deck, I took a picture of the airport's modern check-in hall:



This is what you find next to the food court:



Here's a part of the observation deck which is huge if you also count in all the window seats belonging to the food court (starting to the right):



Photographers may be deterred by the toned windows, but the facility is perfect for registration spotters. You don't miss any movement up there - however, CPT is certainly not as busy as JNB.

British Airways 747-400 in Oneworld colors, SAA A340-200 and one of SAA's all-white ex-Iberia A340-300s:



1Time MD-82 and Mango 737-800:



Turkish Airlines A330-300, Emirates A340-500 and Malaysia Airlines 747-400:



I didn't stay at the observation deck all the time, but also went to other areas of the terminal where you can see some planes from a different perspective. SAA A340-200...



...and Turkish Airlines A330-300:


Even though I just logged 15 new registrations at Cape Town on that day, I enjoyed the relaxing time at the observation deck.




Monday, May 2011
Cape Town (CPT) - Johannesburg (JNB)
South African Airways SA346
Scheduled times: 15:10-17:10
Actual times: 15:06-17:10
Flight duration: 01:41 (hrs)
Distance: 789 miles
Economy Class, seat 67K

Airbus A330-243
ZS-SXZ (MSN 1191), named "Charlotte Maxeke"
Delivered in 02/2011


1st flight on ZS-SXZ
14th A330-200 flight
22nd A330 flight



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Photo © Yochai Mossi - AirTeamImages
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Photo © OlivierG


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Photo © Lukas Bogie
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Photo © Cornelius Saayman



I passed security about 1.5 hours before departure, the check-in process at a kiosk in the course of the morning had been quick and easy. I bought some nice stuff in the airside shops and continued spotting. Finally, a South African A330-200 touched down...



...and it turned out to be ZS-SXZ, delivered in February 2011. SAA once leased several A330-200s from bmi and TAM, but this plane is the first factory fresh frame for the airline:


ZS-SXZ was one of three A332s in mid-May, the fleet has meanwhile grown to five frames. Another one will be delivered in November. Consequently, the remaining A340-200s will be retired.

Note the Comair 737-300 taking off:



ZS-SXZ arrived at the gate on time:



The plane was named after South African religious leader and political activist Charlotte Maxeke - but some parts of the letters had already come off after only three months in service:


Unfortunately, ZS-SXZ is the one and only plane in today's SAA fleet carrying a name.

People started lining up and I soon found myself at the front of a long queue. There were neither priority nor general boarding announcements and the (friendly) agents just started checking boarding passes.

After a friendly welcome on board, I found myself in a very attractive Economy Class cabin. The colors were nice, definitely better than the dark tones on the A340-600. The slimline seats were a bit hard...



...and legroom (31 to 32 inches according to SAA) was not as generous as on the A340-600 (33.5 inches), but still sufficient. The small IFE boxes don't take away much space:



Passengers can enjoy large touchscreen monitors, handsets are stored in the seatbacks:



The flight was quite full (load factor in the 80-90 percent range), the aisle seat next to me was taken by a lady in 40s who later turned out to be German. After boarding had been completed, a flying time of 1 hour and 45 minutes was announced by the captain.

ZS-SXZ left the gate four minutes ahead of schedule and soon started taxiing to runway 01. Nice reflection once again:



Unidentified ex-African International DC-8 freighter without engines - probably ZS-OZV of Stars Away Aviation:



South African Express CRJ200 on short finals:



I had been hoping for a powerful takeoff, but the flight crew chose a so-called "flex takeoff"...









I couldn't get enough of these pretty winglets:



Goodbye, CPT!



Flight attendants started serving drinks only 15 minutes after takeoff. What did I order? Schweppes Ginger Ale, of course:



I was confident that the Airscape IFE system had meanwhile been activated - but all I would get to see for the rest of the flight was this:


No doubt, I was really disappointed - I would have loved to explore the latest version of SAA's audio/video on-demand system. Unfortunately, SAA hasn't listed the IFE features of the A332s on its website yet, so I cannot say anything about the available options.

At least the country's scenery proved to be very entertaining once again:



Snack boxes were distributed after the drink run:



The challah knot roll - with lettuce, basil pesto, smoked turkey and mozzarella - tasted very good and the mini doughnut wasn't bad either:



The scenery really kept me entertained:





Another drink run followed after the snack service and I ordered another ginger ale - I knew I wouldn't get that on Lufthansa later in the day. Cabin view:



Descent commenced 1 hour and 15 minutes after takeoff and it became quite bumpy on the way through thick clouds:



There were some really nasty dark clouds out there:





Back in calmer skies again:



Countless houses:



Another view of the storm clouds near JNB:



Can you see the two giants in the distance?



We touched down after a flying time of 1 hour and 41 minutes...



...and taxied to a remote parking position by the International Terminal - of course I was glad about the special neighbor to the right. D-AIMF "Zürich", Lufthansa's sixth A380, would bring me back to Germany:



Air France had sent F-HPJA to Johannesburg - I flew CDG-LHR on that plane last year:





My seat neighbor had already asked me some minutes earlier "whether that's the A380" next to us. She told me that she was also heading to Frankfurt on Lufthansa and asked me how the A380 would be like. She appeared a bit concerned when she heard that our plane had been delivered only six weeks ago - of course I ensured that it would be very nice and perfectly safe to fly on such a new plane.
During our conversation, she also told me that she had moved from Germany to Cape Town many years ago - and I told her a bit about my hobby. Of course she couldn't believe that I had arrived from Frankfurt on the day before and since even been on three domestic flights...  Wink

During disembarking, I took some pictures in Business Class. SAA's A330-200s are equipped with 36 lie-flat J Class seats (24-inch width, 74-inch pitch):



Unfortunately, the video screens haven't been installed in the seatbacks, so you cannot watch anything during taxi, takeoff and landing:



One last shot of ZS-SXZ:


I was expecting just a short bus ride, but we were brought to the domestic terminal on the other side. Some passengers also booked on the Lufthansa flight started complaining about that. Well, I wasn't amused either, but we had arrived on a domestic flight after all. At least I could log some more registrations during the ride.

When I entered the domestic terminal, I tried to find an airside connection to the International Terminal, but it was soon clear that I would have to walk out into the public area. My seat neighbor showed up again and asked me for the way. She also didn't know whether her luggage would be checked through automatically. I directed her to a SAA transfer desk and waited for her so that she would quickly find the right way. She was very glad about that and we kept talking all the time while heading to the International Terminal. More than 30 minutes after leaving the A330, I finally arrived in the gate area - boarding hadn't commenced yet, but there wasn't much time left. That transfer process should really be improved.




Monday, May 2011
Johannesburg (JNB) - Frankfurt (FRA)
Lufthansa LH573
Scheduled times: 18:45-05:20
Actual times: 18:48-05:58
Flight duration: 10:45 (hrs)
Distance: 5687 miles
Economy Class, seat 91K

Airbus A380-841
D-AIMF (MSN 066), named "Zürich"
First flew in 10/2010, delivered in 03/2011


1st flight on D-AIMF
5th A380 flight



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Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt
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Photo © Aurélien Tranchet


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Photo © Carsten Gurk
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Photo © Andi Graf



The Economy Class gate area was totally crowded, I didn't see an empty seat and it wasn't easy to reach the window front. Taking pictures through glass from a brightly illuminated terminal at night is almost impossible – therefore the quality of the next two images is below average. D-AIMF was delivered in March 2011:



Massive body, massive engines, massive tail:



My first flight on a Lufthansa A380 had been on D-AIMB "München" last year. It was a fantastic sightseeing flight, but certainly too short for an extended practical test. Here's the link:
Totally Thrilling: Scenic Flight On Lufthansa A380 (by PlaneHunter Aug 5 2010 in Trip Reports)

I also hadn't been on a long night flight on the A380 yet, LHR-DXB on Emirates had been the longest so far with a flying time of 6 hours and 16 minutes. So I was really looking forward to this flight to Frankfurt.

Economy Class passengers had been grouped in three zones and I belonged to the first one. I quickly lined up so that I would be among the first passengers to enter the main deck. Various German newspapers were available in the jetbridge and I gladly grabbed one. Friendly flight attendants welcomed me at the door and I made my way to row 91. When I arrived there, I found a woman in the 60s in my window seat, her husband was sitting in the middle. I kindly told them that 91K was my seat and it seemed they weren't happy to hear that - but I was not willing to give up my pre-reserved window seat. Anyway, the couple turned out to be quite nice later in the flight.

By the way - fellow trip reporter gabrielchew would end up in exactly the same seat only a few weeks later: He had 91K on D-AIMF on a flight from Beijing to Frankfurt in June - what a coincidence!  alert  You can find his report here.

Well, back to the interior. The seats are 17 inches wide, exactly like the ones on the A340-600s - but the A330s, the A340-300s and the 747-400s are equipped with 17.5-inch wide seats. The new seat type itself is limited to the A380s and the Privatair 737-800s - it felt a bit hard at first, but it didn't bother me any more later in the flight:



Lufthansa offers a pitch of 31 inches on the A380, the A340-600 and the 747-400 - in contrast to 31-32 inches on the A330 and 32 inches on the A340-300:



When I flew on Lufthansa's A340-600 last year, I noticed that the seat back extends far down which makes it more difficult than usual to stretch out. Unfortunately, even though the seat design is different on the A380, I noticed the same problem again. A 31-inch pitch can be acceptable - but not in Lufthansa's case:


Last but not least, Lufthansa still uses relatively large IFE boxes as visible on the picture above. The airline could really learn a lesson from Emirates and other carriers.

If you want to find some sleep on a plane, it can help to lean against the wall or the window - but that is totally impossible on the A380. The distance between seats and wall/window is too large - the A380 does offer more space in that area, but it's totally useless:



A negative LH-specific issue is the lack of a removable handset - the control unit is fixed in the right armrest:


The result was that I unintentionally pressed different buttons with my elbow several times during the flight - e.g. I switched on my reading light when I tried to get some sleep and pressed the call button. What a design flaw!  thumbsdown 
Interestingly, my own screen as well as my neighbor's screen automatically turned black several times during the flight and we had to switch them on again. I'm not sure whether it was a bug or also caused by unintended actions.

Inflight shopping magazine and regular inflight magazine - the latter one contains an IFE guide:



Cheap-looking headphones:



Welcome screen:



Language selection:



Lufthansa Media World main menu:


The audio/video on-demand system offers a selection of 20 movies in up to eight languages, 35 TV programs, international news, 30 international radio channels, 115 music CDs and audio books, 9 games, language classes and service information about the flight and Lufthansa. 50 movies and almost twice as much CDs are available in First and Business Class.

Touchscreen responsiveness was good, but sometimes a handset would have been more useful. If you want to play a game, you need to use a console which is - according to a message on the screen - "available on many flights". I didn't ask a flight attendant about that, though. I'm really wondering why Lufthansa didn't choose an IFE system with handset control like most long-haul carriers.

At least Lufthansa offers most enjoyable camera views (unlike Korean Air and Singapore Airlines):



During the boarding process, I noticed several people with excited expressions on their faces – I guess they were looking forward to their first A380 flight. When boarding was completed, I didn't see a single empty seat in the whole section.

The captain made a welcome speech, but he spoke haltingly in low voice - that immediately reminded me of a Bavarian radio comedy feature which can be translated with "Captain Mumble". I had always found that feature quite stupid, but now I had to realize that this guy does really exist!  Wink Anyway, he announced a flying time of 10 hours and 30 minutes.

Safety video:



The giant was pushed back three minutes behind schedule - I was really enjoying these moments, it's always a pleasure when the A380 starts moving. D-AIMF ready to taxi:



Lufthansa's NiceView airshow offers interesting views:



D-AIMF turned in 18 minutes after leaving the gate...



"Lufthansa 573 Super" clear for takeoff:



After a full stop, the four Trent 970s quietly accelerated the giant which lifted off gently after a smooth takeoff roll. Climbout over countless lights:



NiceView screenshots 15 minutes after takeoff:















Hot towels were distributed which was really nice - but when a flight attendant returned to collect them, she didn't pay attention to me and I had to keep that wet towel. So I pressed the call button, but nothing happened. Ten minutes later, two flight attendants showed up with a trolley and offered snacks and drinks. One of them, a jovial and blunt blonde female in the 30s, told me to turn off the call button light without asking why I had pressed the call button. Then I showed her the wet towel and pointed out that her colleague had forgotten to collect it. "Alright, pass it to me!", she replied. Well, her pally manner was not exactly to my liking.

You don't get ginger ale on Lufthansa, so I ordered tonic water:



Dinner was served 25 minutes later and I chose beef over pasta and ordered half a glass of white wine. However, when I lifted the foil, I couldn't find any meat. This time the other flight attendant hadn't paid attention and handed out pasta:


Anyway, the meal didn't look bad and I decided not to complain. The tomato and cheese sauce actually tasted quite good and the noodles were al dente. My neighbor's beef looked very dry, so I was really glad about the flight attendant's mistake. The rest of the meal - shrimp salad and vanilla apricot cake - tasted okay, but not overwhelming.

After dinner, it was time for a walk. There are 70 seats in the last main deck section:


Later at night, after most lights had been turned off, I walked all the way to the nose section. I didn't see a single empty seat, all Y Class sections were packed with people, many of them were sleeping. One the way back, the rows seemed to continue forever in the darkness. I couldn't help but think: "What a cattle carrier!"

Stairway to heaven? Not quite, but definitely to a better place:



There are 11 lavatories on the main deck, four of them are located at the back:



I continued using the IFE system and listening to music for a while after cabin lights had been dimmed, but finally I tried to get some sleep. This turned out to be more difficult than expected. I wasn't able to lean against the wall and what I found most disturbing was the (dimmed!) galley light:


Unfortunately, Lufthansa doesn't offer amenity kits in Economy Class, so I couldn't use eyeshades. Anyway, I still tried my best to find some sleep, but then I unintentionally pressed the reading light button on the misplaced control unit which didn't help either.  Yeah sure

Anyway, I still managed to find some sleep, but not as much as on the FRA-JNB flight on SAA. When I felt fully awake again, I had a look at NiceView. How about some cockpit views?





Completely different view:





Mountainous terrain almost two hours later:





Goodbye, African continent!



Breakfast was served more than 1.5 hours before landing, I ordered scrambled eggs:


Everything tasted more or less okay except for the fatty pieces of bacon. I had just finished my breakfast when "Captain Mumble" announced turbulence. "I have ordered the cabin crew to stop breakfast service", he slowly said in an inimitable way. Breakfast service in Y Class had been finished anyway, so I guess he referred to Business and First Class.

Sunrise was once again a highlight of the flight:







Simply beautiful:



"I wish you a good morning!", a friendly and clear - and Austrian-sounding - woman's voice suddenly said over the loudspeaker. She introduced herself as the co-pilot and gave some information concerning our arrival. "Captain Mumble" could learn a lesson from her!  Wink


Down into the clouds:



Very nice light effect:



During descent, I talked to my seat neighbors for a while who turned out to be from Salzburg. They had booked an attractive Lufthansa special and were quite impressed by their first A380 flights. Interestingly, they had flown FRA-JNB on D-AIMB, so I told them about my sightseeing flight on exactly that bird and the thrilling flyby and go-around at Salzburg. I also explained my hobby which they found really interesting. The man turned out to be an experienced traveller and I was quite impressed when he mentioned a few exotic carriers which he had flown on. When he heard that I publish reports about my trips, he wrote down the a.net web address and promised to have a look. It was too bad that we hadn't started talking earlier.

Meanwhile, "Captain Mumble" had shortly promoted the external cameras and explained where to find that IFE feature.  thumbsup  I had certainly switched to the tail camera view some time ago:



The weather wasn't nice at Frankfurt:





On short finals for runway 25R which has meanwhile become 25C:







Only moments from touchdown:


D-AIMF touched the ground after a flying time of 10 hours and 45 minutes. Brakes were hit hard and my important little notebook - which I had placed under a thigh - was catapulted forward onto the floor so that I couldn't see it any more. However, I quickly found it again after we had arrived at the gate.

We came to a stop at our Terminal 1C gate 38 minutes behind schedule - a reason for that hadn't been given at any time. However, there were more than 2.5 hours until my departure to Nuremberg, so there was no need to hurry. Parked next to us were Lufthansa A340-600 D-AIHB and China Eastern A330-200 B-6121:



Several people took pictures of the plane after disembarking – I did the same, but due to reflection it was impossible to get a clean shot:


After walking all the way to Terminal 1A, I used the remaining time for spotting. A bus finally brought me to my NUE-bound Lufthansa CityLine E-Jet and I was surprised that the scheduled Embraer 190 had been replaced by a larger Embraer 195. This was odd because the longer models are based at Munich and usually don't fly to Frankfurt. I pointed that out a flight attendant and she also expressed her surprise about that issue. D-AEBG, delivered in March 2011, was still nameless - but only three days after my flight it would be named "Marktl", after the birthplace of Pope Benedict XVI. The last flight of the trip was eventless, but what I found remarkable was the low load factor in the 30-40 percent range.



Conclusion
Larger plane = more space, more comfort. That's what we permanently get to hear about the A380. But I have always said that the plane is overrated. Yes, its quieter than others, but that's not necessarily an advantage. Economy Class passengers usually don't find amenities which are exclusive to the A380. In Lufthansa's case, you get as much seat width and pitch as on other types in the long-haul fleet - or even less. The 3-4-3 seating and the huge gap between window seats and wall don't make things better. No doubt, the IFE on the A380 is superior to the versions on other types (e.g. camera views), but the misplaced control unit may cause trouble. Last but not least, the galley light can be truly disturbing on night flights - mood lighting or amenity kits with eyeshades would make a difference. Lufthansa's giant is an imperfect one - if I weren't an enthusiast, I'd prefer the carrier's A330 and A340 over the A380.

The Lufthansa crew members were friendly and provided a good service, but they also showed a few weaknesses. And even though the meals were decent in terms of quantity and quality, they weren't overwhelming. My FRA-JNB flight on South African Airways' A340-600 was clearly better in terms of seating comfort, catering, cabin crews and service.

South African Airways also impressed me on the domestic hop from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Crews were friendly, made two drink runs and served tasty snacks. SAA chose a very nice interior for the A330s, definitely an improvement over the A340 interior. Even though seat pitch was reduced, I wouldn't hesitate to try the carrier's A332 on a long-haul flight.

As for the trip in general: Over the course of four days I flew on three new and attractive carriers and three extraordinary widebodies, passed through three new airports in an amazing country and logged a total of 121 new registrations - yes, this short long-haul trip was definitely worth it.


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



P.S.: Just in case you missed them - my previous trip reports:
BA Vs. LCC, African Way: JNB-DUR-CPT, Comair/Mango
Africa's Best Airline? FRA-JNB On SAA A340-600
Fuel Dump & Return To CDG: Enroute To LAX On 9/11
Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Exploring A Virgin: VS A343/A346 & Dubai Delights
Superb Stübli & Crew: LAS-LAX-ZRH-MUC, LX J Class
Grand Canyon & More: Scenic Flight On Dornier 228
San Francisco Sunshine...and A Frontier Fiasco
Fully Flat Bed to SFO: SWISS' New Business Class
Mountains, Meals & More: SunExpress Vs. Pegasus
Crossing Two Oceans: AKL-SFO-MUC, NZ 777 & LH A346
Bad Weather & Other Bad Luck: Touring New Zealand
Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Detours To Sydney: Wildlife, Tiger, REX & QFLink
Thai Fails To Impress: MUC-BKK-BNE On 744 & 777
Painful Delay & My 100th Airline: AF A380, VO F100
Fifth Freedom Tidbit: Kuwait Airways A300-600
Ship Vs. Plane: Porto Santo Line & Sata Air Açores
Awesome Approach, Splendid Scenery: LIS, FNC & TAP
Guernsey, Ash Cloud Alarm & Mostly Empty SQ 77Ws
Totally Thrilling: Scenic Flight On Lufthansa A380
Cirrus D38, Adria CRJ & Captain Niki Lauda On Duty
Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC
Premium Meal & Palma Spotting: MUC-PMI, DE 757-300
The Dead Slow Transfer: PEK-MUC On Air China A332
Cancellation Brings Joy: HKG-PEK on Dragonair A330
A380 Cacophony, 777 Star Livery: DXB-SIN-HKG on SQ
The Next 5* Carrier? MUC-MCT-DXB, Oman Air A330
Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
CO Scores Again: ATL-IAH-EWR-FRA On ERJ, 752 & 764
Riding The Ultra Long-Haul Twin: Delta 777-200LR
Pacific Coast Jaunt: 3 Carriers, E120, E140 & Fog
The Ultimate 737: LHR-IAH-PDX On CO 777 & 739ER
Bye Bye, Hell! TRD-OSL-TXL-NUE - DY/AB/HE DH4
My Trip To Hell: NUE-CPH-OSL-TRD On Cimber & SAS
SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class
Seat Dilemma & Canyon Glamour: FRA To LAX, AC 763
On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330
Goodbye, Red Tails! DC-9-40/50 & Chicago Tour
Champagne & World Of Coke: Air France A340 To ATL
"Mission A380": Disappointing Legs On BA/BD/EI
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK
A380 Really a Step Forward? LHR-DXB-DOH On EK
Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744
Taiwan Trio: TransAsia, UNI Air And The Taipei 101
"The Wings Of Taiwan": EVA Air A332, 744 Combi
SHA-SZX, Shanghai 757: Delayed By The Military
PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330
Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146
3 Hours On Blue1: HEL-MXP On The MD-90
Winglets On A Classic: MUC-RIX-HEL On Air Baltic
BCN-MAD-ZRH-MUC: UX Shuttle Meets Swiss Quality
MUC-MAD-BCN: Star MD-87 & The Pain Of Vueling
Low Fares, Lovely Island: AK & Best Of Langkawi
4 Stars Or 5 Stars? FRA-KUL-FRA, Malaysia 777s
First And Last Time? JFK-FCO-MUC, Alitalia 777
JFK For 1 Day: Transatlantic Hop On CSA's A310
Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Top And Flop: KIX-HEL-MUC, Finnair A320 & MD-11
The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Kobe For 1 Hour: 767-Quickie On ANA & Skymark
Rocketing To Tokyo: FUK-HND On JAL (ex-JAS) 777
Oddities & Okinawa: JTA 734 & JAL 744D(Domestic)
MUC To Nagoya: Finnair E170 & (Old) "New" A340
Mad Dog, A320 Tech Delay & Best Of Lanzarote
Canaries Prop-Hopping: Islas Airways & Naysa
Canaries And Confusion: LH CRJ900 & Spanair A321
Hubbing For 162 Miles: HOQ-FRA-STR Ret On IQ/EW/LH
BOS-JFK-AMS-MUC: SSSS-Check And KLM 777
ATL-PIT-JFK-BOS: FL B717, JetBlue E190 And Delays
MUC-AMS-MEM-ATL On NWA A332 And 40-year-old DC-9
FRA-BKK-FRA Via CMB: SriLankan A332 & A343
BNE-SIN-DXB-MUC On Emirates B772ER & B773
2 Hours In Paradise: Hamilton Island (JQ/DJ)
BNE-SYD-BNE: Domestic Run On QF’s Oldest B747-400
Testing Qantas: SYD-MEL-SYD-BNE (B738, B763, A332)
Going Down Under: MUC-DXB-SYD On EK A332 & A345
Surprised By NIKI's Newest A320 & Screw-up By AB
Leisure Vs. Full Service: Condor & SN Brussels
"betterFly" On LH: Business Class For 99 Euro
Weekend Transatlantic Trip (2): US A321 & B762
Transatlantic For A Weekend (1): MUC-DCA On US


[Edited 2011-10-21 11:33:30]

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: LH4532
Posted 2011-10-21 11:33:21 and read 25929 times.

Hello PlaneHunter ,

I can finally reply on A.net . The registration was quite easy to do for me yesterday . It always is worth the time to wait for your TR´s . In my opinion this in one of the best Trip Report´s you have written   .

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I found myself in a very attractive Economy Class cabin

It is very attractive . The colours represent the spirit of Afirca .

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
What did I order? Schweppes Ginger Ale

Very good choice !!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Snack boxes were distributed

Enough for the duration of the flight , I would say .

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
My neighbor's beef looked very dry,

Good , that the FA gave you the wrong meal .

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
How about some cockpit views?

C´est une bonne idee . C´est une vue formidable !!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
he wrote down the a.net web address

Maybe he is a future A.netter .


Thank you for writing this Trip Report , PlaneHunter . I really enjoyed reading it .

Daniel

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-21 11:48:17 and read 25845 times.

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 1):
I can finally reply on A.net . The registration was quite easy to do for me yesterday .

Hi Daniel, it's great to see you here!   

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 1):
It always is worth the time to wait for your TR´s . In my opinion this in one of the best Trip Report´s you have written

Many thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 1):
It is very attractive . The colours represent the spirit of Afirca .

Yes, that's definitely true.

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 1):
Very good choice !!!

It always is.  
Quoting LH4532 (Reply 1):
Enough for the duration of the flight , I would say .

  

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 1):
Good , that the FA gave you the wrong meal .

  

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 1):
C´est une bonne idee . C´est une vue formidable !!!

  

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 1):
Maybe he is a future A.netter .

Would be nice.

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 1):
Thank you for writing this Trip Report , PlaneHunter . I really enjoyed reading it .

Thanks again for your nice feedback.


PH

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: Palmjet
Posted 2011-10-21 11:48:51 and read 25843 times.

Hi PH

Great to see the next part of your travels to SA.

This must be one of the first SA 332 reports as well? I was curious to see how the cabins look - so thank you for posting those particular pics. Looks very snazzy, even if the IFE was not operational.

The scenery of your CPT-JNB flight looked amazing - especially those storm clouds over J'Burg when you were arriving. You really got some great shots.

Thanks for your frank and candid views of your LH A380 experience. Once the "novelty" wears off, the A380 will seem just like any other ordinary civilian aircraft. It still turns heads, but then again, so did the 747 when it came out. Nice to see that you made friends on your return flight as well  

Cheers P/jet

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-21 12:03:33 and read 25762 times.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 3):
Great to see the next part of your travels to SA.

Hi Palmjet, thanks a lot for your comments!

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 3):
This must be one of the first SA 332 reports as well?

Yes, I think so. I haven't seen another one yet.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 3):
I was curious to see how the cabins look - so thank you for posting those particular pics.

I had been very curious to test the A332 after the great experience on the A346.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 3):
Looks very snazzy, even if the IFE was not operational.

No doubt about that.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 3):
The scenery of your CPT-JNB flight looked amazing - especially those storm clouds over J'Burg when you were arriving. You really got some great shots.

Yes, I hadn't seen such clouds on another flight before.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 3):
Thanks for your frank and candid views of your LH A380 experience.

Well, I'm still a fan of the A380, nevertheless.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 3):
Once the "novelty" wears off, the A380 will seem just like any other ordinary civilian aircraft.

I think it will always be something special due to its size, but the hype will be gone sooner or later.


PH

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: akhmad
Posted 2011-10-21 12:20:35 and read 25666 times.

Hi PH,

This is what I call a great finale. Flying with newest airplanes on the way back, SA’s ZS-SXZ and LH’s D-AIMF. Coincidentally, a LH newsletter was delivered today with her introduction.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
my seats on the two widebodies had been reserved after booking anyway.

Did you do it online or by a phone call?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
This is what you find next to the food court:

Look at the aircraft models. Two LH 744’s, two BA 744’s and others SA ones. Representing the airlines’ important traffic contribution to the airport.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
if you also count in all the window seats belonging to the food court (starting to the right):

A spotter’s Walhalla!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
to other areas of the terminal where you can see some planes from a different perspective. SAA A340-200...

Oh wow, another best kept secret of CPT.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but some parts of the letters had already come off after only three months in service:

SA should file a complaint to the paint manufacturer.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
and legroom (31 to 32 inches according to SAA) was not as generous as on the A340-600 (33.5 inches)

I wish SA was keeping the 33.5 inches.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but the flight crew chose a so-called "flex takeoff"...

Pity, there is no shorter runway at CPT.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but all I would get to see for the rest of the flight was this:

Amusing.   


Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Snack boxes were distributed after the drink run:

Look at the presentation. A mini menu card was included!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Countless houses:

I would not believe instantly that those were houses.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Can you see the two giants in the distance?

Oh yes!   



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I flew CDG-LHR on that plane last year:

What a nice reunion in JNB.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
She appeared a bit concerned when she heard that our plane had been delivered only six weeks ago - of course I ensured that it would be very nice and perfectly safe to fly on such a new plane.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I directed her to a SAA transfer desk and waited for her so that she would quickly find the right way. She was very glad about that and we kept talking all the time while heading to the International Terminal.

I know she would be okay with your guidance.  


Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, the video screens haven't been installed in the seatbacks, so you cannot watch anything during taxi, takeoff and landing

Oh no!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
therefore the quality of the next two images is below average. D-AIMF was delivered in March 2011:

Below average? PH, don’t underestimate yourself!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I kindly told them that 91K was my seat and it seemed they weren't happy to hear that - but I was not willing to give up my pre-reserved window seat. Anyway, the couple turned out to be quite nice later in the flight.

Glad to see a less pleasant introduction turning better underway.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but that is totally impossible on the A380. The distance between seats and wall/window is too large

Would it help if you fill the gap with your hand luggage?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
the control unit is fixed in the right armrest:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I switched on my reading light when I tried to get some sleep and pressed the call button. What a design flaw!   

Not very handy.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
NiceView screenshots 15 minutes after takeoff:

I like the name. Very appropriate!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Then I showed her the wet towel and pointed out that her colleague had forgotten to collect it. "Alright, pass it to me!", she replied. Well, her pally manner was not exactly to my liking.

That is not my LH.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
"I wish you a good morning!", a friendly and clear - and Austrian-sounding - woman's voice suddenly said over the loudspeaker

How cool! A female A380 first officer!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
my important little notebook - which I had placed under my thigh - was catapulted forward onto the floor so that I couldn't see it any more. However, I quickly found it again after we had arrived at the gate.

It would be my second worst nightmare. Losing my notebook.


Thank you for sharing.

Best wishes,
Suryo

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: infodesk
Posted 2011-10-21 12:31:39 and read 25626 times.

Hi PH,

Nice to read your final installment of your mini-break to SA - this was an excellent conclusion.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The slimline seats were a bit hard...

They look it too!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I couldn't get enough of these pretty winglets:

They have to be the most colourful about, lovely.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
D-AIMF "Zürich", Lufthansa's sixth A380, would bring me back to Germany:

Excellent! did you hear about the incident here at the naming ceremony? It was only a couple of days after the 9/11 anniversary and the A380 was escorted by fighter jets on approach. Only nobody was informed. Hence the police received many phonecalls from worried locals, very bad organisation.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
One last shot of ZS-SXZ:

Quite impressive with the dark clouds in the background.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I kindly told them that 91K was my seat and it seemed they weren't happy to hear that - but I was not willing to give up my pre-reserved window seat.

Quite right, I wouldn't give up my window seat lightly either!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
switched on my reading light when I tried to get some sleep and pressed the call button.

That really is a bad design fault and must have been very annoying. At least the IFE did have some redeeming features, I particularly liked the cockpit views.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
"I wish you a good morning!", a friendly and clear - and Austrian-sounding - woman's voice suddenly said over the loudspeaker

A female F/O on the A380, good stuff!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
As for the trip in general: Over the course of four days I flew on three new and attractive carriers and three extraordinary widebodies, passed through three new airports in an amazing country and logged a total of 121 new registrations - yes, this short long-haul trip was definitely worth it.

I think you have to win the prize for packing the most into 3 days  

Happy flying
Infodesk   

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-21 12:50:04 and read 25540 times.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
This is what I call a great finale. Flying with newest airplanes on the way back, SA’s ZS-SXZ and LH’s D-AIMF.

Hi Suryo, many thanks for your feedback! Well, I cannot complain about a lack of new aircraft on my way home.  

Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
Did you do it online or by a phone call?

By phone, it wasn't possible online because I hadn't booked on SAA's website.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
SA should file a complaint to the paint manufacturer.

Or the painters?

Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
I wish SA was keeping the 33.5 inches.

I can only agree. The new seats are slim, but that's not enough to compensate.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
Pity, there is no shorter runway at CPT.

  

Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
What a nice reunion in JNB.

Yes - but I was glad that I didn't have to board the AF plane on that day.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
Below average? PH, don’t underestimate yourself!

Well, usually I sort those pics out.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
Would it help if you fill the gap with your hand luggage?

I guess that would be difficult - it depends on the size.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
How cool! A female A380 first officer!

That's what I thought, too.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
It would be my second worst nightmare. Losing my notebook.

Nightmare is an understatement, Suryo!   

Quoting infodesk (Reply 6):
Nice to read your final installment of your mini-break to SA - this was an excellent conclusion.

Hi Infodesk, many thanks for your reply!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 6):
Excellent! did you hear about the incident here at the naming ceremony? It was only a couple of days after the 9/11 anniversary and the A380 was escorted by fighter jets on approach. Only nobody was informed. Hence the police received many phonecalls from worried locals, very bad organisation.

Oh yes, I read about it. Amazing! I'm wondering why the naming ceremony didn't take place earlier.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 6):
Quite impressive with the dark clouds in the background.

It started raining shortly afterwards.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 6):
At least the IFE did have some redeeming features

  

Quoting infodesk (Reply 6):
A female F/O on the A380, good stuff!

  

Quoting infodesk (Reply 6):
I think you have to win the prize for packing the most into 3 days

I'm still waiting for that! Maybe I finally get it after my upcoming one-week Asia trip...  


PH

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: OA260
Posted 2011-10-21 12:55:06 and read 25513 times.

Great report Udo ,
I love the SAA Y class interior and the snack box was ample by the looks of it for that flight.

I also enjoyed the A380 but not sure I would like to do a flight longer than 5-6 hours in such a tight Y class. I liked the meals though and seemed better than on some other carriers. Great IFE with the Map and landing and taking off camera. Who needs movies when you have those  

Thanks for the enjoyable read.

Regards

Philip  

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-21 13:02:18 and read 25470 times.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 8):
Great report Udo ,
Quoting OA260 (Reply 8):
Thanks for the enjoyable read.

Thanks Philip, I'm glad you liked it!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 8):
the snack box was ample by the looks of it for that flight.

  

Quoting OA260 (Reply 8):
I also enjoyed the A380 but not sure I would like to do a flight longer than 5-6 hours in such a tight Y class.

I hope my upcoming 12+ hour ride in QF's Y Class will be more comfortable.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 8):
I liked the meals though and seemed better than on some other carriers.

Yes, the meals were decent, but not as good as on SA.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 8):
Great IFE with the Map and landing and taking off camera. Who needs movies when you have those

I can only agree.


PH

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: ROGERBCN
Posted 2011-10-21 13:05:54 and read 25457 times.

Hola PH!

Great reading for tonight's first cold night in BCN.

I was really forward to reading it and it obviously impressed me.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I found myself in a very attractive Economy Class cabin. The colors were nice,

They are really great looking.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I couldn't get enough of these pretty winglets:

They are for sure. One of the most attractive liveries out there.

I did really enjoyed all your report and all the comments written about the seat, IFE, seat controls... I still have lots to learn, thanks.

Looking forward to the next ones.

Salut!

Roger

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: CrimsonNL
Posted 2011-10-21 13:12:53 and read 25425 times.

Hey PH, thanks for sharing, a nice report. The SAA interior looks very good! It interesting to read some less-positive things about the 380 though it's not the first time I heard some complaints about it from passengers.

Best regards,

Martijn

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-21 13:20:03 and read 25386 times.

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 10):
Great reading for tonight's first cold night in BCN.
Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 10):
I was really forward to reading it and it obviously impressed me.
Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 10):
I did really enjoyed all your report and all the comments written about the seat, IFE, seat controls... I still have lots to learn, thanks.

Hola Roger, thank you very much for your nice feedback. It's great to hear you enjoyed reading.

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 10):
Looking forward to the next ones.

Almost everbody here has done it already, but soon it will be my turn to write about LAN to MAD.  

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 11):
Hey PH, thanks for sharing, a nice report.

Thanks, Martijn!

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 11):
It interesting to read some less-positive things about the 380 though it's not the first time I heard some complaints about it from passengers.

I'm not surprised about that. Would be interesting to know what kinds of complaints you heard. Maybe you can let me know via PM.


PH

[Edited 2011-10-21 13:21:25]

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: aflyingkiwi
Posted 2011-10-21 13:24:16 and read 25370 times.

Hi PH,

Fantastic finale to your South African series!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I found myself in a very attractive Economy Class cabin. The colors were nice, definitely better than the dark tones on the A340-600.

   Those seat colour's are really soothing.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
the control unit is fixed in the right armrest:

This is something that really annoys me... It doesn't take too much ingenuity to figure out that it's better placed on the seat-back.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Lufthansa's NiceView airshow offers interesting views:

The airshow looks great! Those 3D views are a very nice feature.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but when a flight attendant returned to collect them, she didn't pay attention to me and I had to keep that wet towel.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, when I lifted the foil, I couldn't find any meat. This time the other flight attendant hadn't paid attention and handed out pasta:

It's disappointing to see how sloppy the LH crew were. At least in the end it seemed like you got the better choice.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Simply beautiful:

Fantastic sunrise shots!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
mood lighting

I'm very surprised that there was no mood lighting on LH A380's. Even NZ's domestic A320's who don't operate any sectors over 2 hours have that feature!

Regards,
aflyingkiwi

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: LXM83
Posted 2011-10-21 13:42:55 and read 25303 times.

Hello PlaneHunter

Thanks for your nice report!

Good to see such a long segment on the A380 covered.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
But I have always said that the plane is overrated.

I agree here. It certainly is something special due to its sheer size, but other than that nothing special. I only flew the CDG-LHR-CDG run on it, but the low ceiling in the lower deck made for a cramped atmosphere.

Best regards,
LXM83

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: The777Man
Posted 2011-10-21 13:57:17 and read 25234 times.

Hi PlaneHunter!

Thanks for an amazing conclusion to your South African adventure! Pictues are fantastic as always !

SA 332 looks very nice and the seats reminds me of TAM's 77W that I flew last year in July. Too bad they did not activate the IFE. I would not mind flying SAA on the 332 either.

Observation deck at CPT looks great but too bad with slow traffic.

Very good insight on the LH 380 and I can safely say I will do the best I can to avoid to fly on LH's 380. IFE is somewhat lacking, seat is more narrow than on most 777s (and 340/330s). Also the large gap to the wall is bad as well. They only thing that's good is the Airshow map and camera features.

I'm also surprised that they F/As were so uncaring and gave you the wrong type of meal. Not even answering the call button is VERY bad.

oh, and no ginger ale........ Sad

Seeks SA was the clear winnder when you compare the outbound flight on the SA 246 to the return on LH 380.

Thanks again for another great report and looking forward to the next report!

The777Man

I'm still open to get oin a flight together next year, but not on a LH 380  

[Edited 2011-10-21 14:09:06]

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-21 15:06:50 and read 25031 times.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 13):
Fantastic finale to your South African series!

Thanks a lot for your comments, aflyingkiwi!

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 13):

This is something that really annoys me... It doesn't take too much ingenuity to figure out that it's better placed on the seat-back.
Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 13):
I'm very surprised that there was no mood lighting on LH A380's. Even NZ's domestic A320's who don't operate any sectors over 2 hours have that feature!

No mood lighting, no handsets, large IFE boxes - LH is a bit conservative and cost-conscious in some respects.

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 14):
Thanks for your nice report!

Hi LXM83, thanks for your feedback.

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 14):
I only flew the CDG-LHR-CDG run on it, but the low ceiling in the lower deck made for a cramped atmosphere.

I didn't notice than on the CDG-LHR hop. After checking my pictures, I have to agree.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 15):
Thanks for an amazing conclusion to your South African adventure! Pictues are fantastic as always !

Hi Lars, many thanks for your reply! I'm glad that you enjoyed the report.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 15):

Very good insight on the LH 380 and I can safely say I will do the best I can to avoid to fly on LH's 380. IFE is somewhat lacking, seat is more narrow than on most 777s (and 340/330s). Also the large gap to the wall is bad as well. They only thing that's good is the Airshow map and camera features.

Well, I wouldn't mind about a 8 hour daylight flight, but I guess I will try to avoid longer night flights on the plane.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 15):
I'm also surprised that they F/As were so uncaring and gave you the wrong type of meal. Not even answering the call button is VERY bad.

  

Quoting The777Man (Reply 15):
oh, and no ginger ale........

Yes, that's too bad! LH should get rid of the Warsteiner beer and replace it by Schweppes Ginger Ale.  

Quoting The777Man (Reply 15):
Seeks SA was the clear winnder when you compare the outbound flight on the SA 246 to the return on LH 380.

  

Quoting The777Man (Reply 15):
I'm still open to get oin a flight together next year, but not on a LH 380

Let's try CZ or KE.  


PH

[Edited 2011-10-21 15:07:37]

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: volvair
Posted 2011-10-21 15:25:32 and read 24970 times.

Hi PH,

what a great finale to your short South African excursion!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After a friendly welcome on board, I found myself in a very attractive Economy Class cabin.

Wow, this is indeed a very nice cabin! The colors seem most representative of SAA's country.

Also, very adequate service on this domestic sector.


Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Last but not least, Lufthansa still uses relatively large IFE boxes as visible on the picture above.

One should be happy that LH chose to install IFE in the A380s from the beginning   . But seriously, you are definitely right in pointing out that this situation is definitely not competitive.

What a pity that the in-flight experience aboard LH's flagship you described seemed rather disappointing, especially after your reports on SAA's A340-600 and A330-200!

Be it the IFE ...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
A negative LH-specific issue is the lack of a removable handset - the control unit is fixed in the right armrest:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
If you want to play a game, you need to use a console which is - according to a message on the screen - "available on many flights".

... the service ...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
So I pressed the call button, but nothing happened. Ten minutes later, two flight attendants showed up with a trolley and offered snacks and drinks. One of them, a jovial and blunt blonde female in the 30s, told me to turn off the call button light without asking why I had pressed the call button.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
This time the other flight attendant hadn't paid attention and handed out pasta:

... or other inconveniences ...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
and what I found most disturbing was the (dimmed!) galley light:

... -- they all show that LH 380 does not really do justice to the expectations LH raises with their extensive marketing campaign and them showing off the airliner all around Europe.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I'd prefer the carrier's A330 and A340 over the A380

While this is true now, let's hope that with the introduction of new Economy seats by LH in the 330s and 340s this stays this way.

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: deltamartin
Posted 2011-10-21 15:49:56 and read 24903 times.

Hi PH!

Another great tripreport!

Interesting to read about your opinions about the LH A380, I'm flying it in early next year. It indeed seems like there is some negative aspects of the economy experience.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
On the way to the observation deck, I took a picture of the airport's modern check-in hall:

Looks nice, like the ceiling.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
This is what you find next to the food court:

Love it!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After a friendly welcome on board, I found myself in a very attractive Economy Class cabin. The colors were nice, definitely better than the dark tones on the A340-600. The slimline seats were a bit hard...

Indeed look good.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Passengers can enjoy large touchscreen monitors, handsets are stored in the seatbacks:

Must be much better with the handset in the seatback rather than in the armrest. I've only experienced the latter so far. While not handsets, it shows quite obvious why it's better to have it in the seatback later in your report.

Martin

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: Tigerguy
Posted 2011-10-21 20:14:02 and read 24537 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
So I pressed the call button, but nothing happened. Ten minutes later, two flight attendants showed up with a trolley and offered snacks and drinks. One of them, a jovial and blunt blonde female in the 30s, told me to turn off the call button light without asking why I had pressed the call button.

Well, you were probably just the umpteenth silly passenger who mistakenly pressed the call button with his elbow.   

It would certainly seem that SA came out the winner in the general enjoyment category. Proof positive that it's what's inside the plane that counts. Hardware issues aside, let's hope that "blah" experiences like with LH end up being the exception and not the rule.

On the other hand, I'm glad to see that you've decided to follow your rule of writing good reports, and this one is definitely no exception!

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: Burj
Posted 2011-10-21 22:12:59 and read 24374 times.

As always excellent trip report with awesome photos!

[quote=PlaneHunter,reply=0]By the way - fellow trip reporter gabrielchew would end up in exactly the same seat only a few weeks later: He had 91K on D-AIMF on a flight from Beijing to Frankfurt in June - what a coincidence!

Wow that is awesome! We should start making it a habit of writing our a.net user names on the route map page of our inflight magazine so we can track each other...of course that would require that we NOT liberate the inflight magazine from out flights....

The controls in the arm rest are annoying and definitely a BAD design! I'm surprised they don't catch these things in testing!

So did the arm rest against the wall NOT go up? That is a crime because with all that space...if the arm rest went up those window seats would be really wide and nice!

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-21 22:42:31 and read 24307 times.

Quoting volvair (Reply 17):
what a great finale to your short South African excursion!

Servus volvair, many thanks for your feedback!

Quoting volvair (Reply 17):
The colors seem most representative of SAA's country.

  

Quoting volvair (Reply 17):
Also, very adequate service on this domestic sector.

Yes, absolutely. If they had activated the IFE system, it would have been an outstanding flight.

Quoting volvair (Reply 17):
One should be happy that LH chose to install IFE in the A380s from the beginning . But seriously, you are definitely right in pointing out that this situation is definitely not competitive.

Of course you are right. I belong to those who always complained about the lack of individual IFE on LH. On the other hand, these systems are standard today everywhere and certain airlines (EK, SQ etc.) always seem to be ahead of competition. It's time for a giant such as LH to catch up! Well, let's see how the IFE will be like on the 748.

Quoting volvair (Reply 17):
they all show that LH 380 does not really do justice to the expectations LH raises with their extensive marketing campaign and them showing off the airliner all around Europe.

I can only agree.

Quoting volvair (Reply 17):
While this is true now, let's hope that with the introduction of new Economy seats by LH in the 330s and 340s this stays this way.

Are new seats planned for the A330s and A340s?

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 18):
Another great tripreport!

Hi Martin, thanks a lot!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 18):
Interesting to read about your opinions about the LH A380, I'm flying it in early next year. It indeed seems like there is some negative aspects of the economy experience.

Well, you know what to expect. I'm already looking forward to read about your experience. As an enthusiast, you will certainly enjoy the flight.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 18):
Must be much better with the handset in the seatback rather than in the armrest. I've only experienced the latter so far.

Most carriers have put the handsets in the armrest, but the situation is changing.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 18):
While not handsets, it shows quite obvious why it's better to have it in the seatback later in your report.

  

Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 19):
On the other hand, I'm glad to see that you've decided to follow your rule of writing good reports, and this one is definitely no exception!

Thanks for your comments, Tigerguy! Good to hear you liked it.

Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 19):
Well, you were probably just the umpteenth silly passenger who mistakenly pressed the call button with his elbow.

Yes, probably.

Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 19):
It would certainly seem that SA came out the winner in the general enjoyment category. Proof positive that it's what's inside the plane that counts.

  

Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 19):
Hardware issues aside, let's hope that "blah" experiences like with LH end up being the exception and not the rule.

That's what I hope, too.

Quoting Burj (Reply 20):
As always excellent trip report with awesome photos!

Many thanks, Burj!

Quoting Burj (Reply 20):
Wow that is awesome! We should start making it a habit of writing our a.net user names on the route map page of our inflight magazine so we can track each other...of course that would require that we NOT liberate the inflight magazine from out flights....

Yes, nice idea. But I guess some people would take the magazines as souvenirs...  

Quoting Burj (Reply 20):
The controls in the arm rest are annoying and definitely a BAD design! I'm surprised they don't catch these things in testing!

That's a good point. It will be interesting to see what kind of IFE LH will install on the 748.

Quoting Burj (Reply 20):
So did the arm rest against the wall NOT go up? That is a crime because with all that space...if the arm rest went up those window seats would be really wide and nice!

As far as I can remember, the outer armrest didn't move.


PH

[Edited 2011-10-21 22:45:50]

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: ba319-131
Posted 2011-10-22 00:25:22 and read 24109 times.

Hi PH,

I've been looking forward to this, good stuff as expected!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Here's a part of the observation deck which is huge if you also count in all the window seats belonging to the food court

- The views are good, shame about the smell from all the food outlets though.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Photographers may be deterred by the toned windows, but the facility is perfect for registration spotters. You don't miss any movement up there - however, CPT is certainly not as busy as JNB.

- Traffic is indeed slower, I made a similar number to you over a 4-5 hour period before my evening flight back to LHR.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I found myself in a very attractive Economy Class cabin. The colors were nice, definitely better than the dark tones on the A340-600

- Nice colours, a big improvement over the old interior.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
legroom (31 to 32 inches according to SAA) was not as generous as on the A340-600 (33.5 inches)

- Shame they did not carry over the same legroom as the 343 it's superb!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Snack boxes were distributed after the drink run:

- Catering seems to have been downgraded since last year, got a full service hot meal, quality was better than the flight back to LHR.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I ordered another ginger ale - I knew I wouldn't get that on Lufthansa later in the day

- I consider Ginger Ale to be a normal drink, odd LH don't serve it.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The new seat type itself is limited to the A380s and the Privatair 737-800s - it felt a bit hard at first, but it didn't bother me any more later in the flight:

- I'm no fan of longhaul economy but I found the LH A380 seat to be pretty good.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
A negative LH-specific issue is the lack of a removable handset - the control unit is fixed in the right armrest:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The result was that I unintentionally pressed different buttons with my elbow several times during the flight - e.g. I switched on my reading light when I tried to get some sleep and pressed the call button. What a design flaw!

- Indeed it's not well located, I kept my elbows well away from it!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I chose beef over pasta and ordered half a glass of white wine. However, when I lifted the foil, I couldn't find any meat. This time the other flight attendant hadn't paid attention and handed out pasta

- Looks like a good job in not paying attention, looks like a decent portion of food.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
what I found most disturbing was the (dimmed!) galley light:

- I never noticed that issue, I had 93A, last row, perhaps it's not visible that side?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, Lufthansa doesn't offer amenity kits in Economy Class, so I couldn't use eyeshades

- I bring my own, got some nice ANA ones from a few years back.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Everything tasted more or less okay except for the fatty pieces of bacon

- That's an odd way to serve bacon, normally you get it in slices, odd!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
if I weren't an enthusiast, I'd prefer the carrier's A330 and A340 over the A380.

- I think you are right, it's F & J passengers who get it good with the 380, generally, Y of course get the usual treatment, I'm no fan of big wide body Y configurations, much prefer the 767 & A330/340 layouts, that said, there is something special about flying on this big bird - 2 sectors in Y due on her next week  

Cheers

Mark

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: signol
Posted 2011-10-22 01:23:39 and read 23986 times.

Hi PH,

excellent conclusion to your short South African series! Remember to return for a proper holiday with your other half and see some of the non-av sights  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
South African A330-200

I rememeber a couple of years ago SA used an A340 for the once-per-day widebody route JNB-CPT, when I took it. The new A330 looks very nice though, but the meal appears to have been downgraded from a hot meal to a sandwich  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but some parts of the letters had already come off

That really is poor - some better stickers are required for sure. Unless the name is only temporary until a new personality is remembered on the aircraft?...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Lufthansa

A shame the A380 flight wasn't up to the same standard as your outward SA one.

Thanks for taking the time to write up your trip!

signol

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: VonRichtofen
Posted 2011-10-22 01:34:45 and read 23960 times.

Great report as usual!


Looking at your first photo of the Y seats on the A380 the window looks higher than usual in relation to the headrest. So that a shorter person would have to strain a bit to look out the window. Or am I just imagining things? 

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-22 05:36:44 and read 23496 times.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 22):
I've been looking forward to this, good stuff as expected!

Hi Mark, many thanks for your feedback!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 22):
Traffic is indeed slower, I made a similar number to you over a 4-5 hour period before my evening flight back to LHR.

I need to stay longer at JNB next time.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 22):
Shame they did not carry over the same legroom as the 343 it's superb!

Yes, going down to 31-32 inches was a bad decision.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 22):
I consider Ginger Ale to be a normal drink, odd LH don't serve it.

Ginger ale is not a common drink in Germany, that may be a reason.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 22):
I'm no fan of longhaul economy but I found the LH A380 seat to be pretty good.

Yes, I cannot complain about the cushion. It just felt hard at the beginning.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 22):
I never noticed that issue, I had 93A, last row, perhaps it's not visible that side?

Good question. Maybe it wasn't the standard dimmed lighting?

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 22):
I bring my own, got some nice ANA ones from a few years back.

I have numerous eyeshades at home, so I will take one next time.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 22):
I think you are right, it's F & J passengers who get it good with the 380, generally, Y of course get the usual treatment, I'm no fan of big wide body Y configurations, much prefer the 767 & A330/340 layouts, that said, there is something special about flying on this big bird - 2 sectors in Y due on her next week

I can only agree. I'll be in the air on another A380 in exactly one week...for 12+ hours. While you get your sixth A380 carrier, I'll get my fifth. I'm looking forward to your report.

Quoting signol (Reply 23):
excellent conclusion to your short South African series!
Quoting signol (Reply 23):
Thanks for taking the time to write up your trip!

Hi signol, thanks for your comments!

Quoting signol (Reply 23):
Remember to return for a proper holiday with your other half and see some of the non-av sights

Absolutely, that's our plan.

Quoting signol (Reply 23):
That really is poor - some better stickers are required for sure. Unless the name is only temporary until a new personality is remembered on the aircraft?...

I hope the name will be kept - it's the only one in the fleet.

Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 24):
Great report as usual!

Thanks, VonRichthofen!

Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 24):
Looking at your first photo of the Y seats on the A380 the window looks higher than usual in relation to the headrest. So that a shorter person would have to strain a bit to look out the window. Or am I just imagining things?

Yes, I think you are right. The A380 window design is another annoyance.


PH

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: sultanils
Posted 2011-10-22 06:22:35 and read 23371 times.

Hello PlaneHunter,

What a great report once again, I really love the attention to detail and you certainly put a great deal of effort in your reports, thanks for that.
SAA offers a nice product, even on domestic runs. I wouldn't mind either spending a longhaul flight in that neat looking A332. LH is nice and solid as well but a few glitches on the hardware side (seats and controls): maybe they didn't study the competition well enough or chose to compromise cost-design? And on the cabin crew side: maybe the F/A's serving you had an off-night or were stressed because of the full load or... We're all human after all so mistakes are made  

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
where you can see some planes from a different perspective. SAA A340-200...

Hey, nice to see this rare type here; I knew SAA still had a few but too bad they will be retired soon...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
...and legroom (31 to 32 inches according to SAA) was not as generous as on the A340-600 (33.5 inches), but still sufficient. The small IFE boxes don't take away much space:

That looks very neat.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
What did I order? Schweppes Ginger Ale, of course:

The real stuff!   

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Countless houses:

Impressive urban sprawl of Johannesburg. Lots of slums probably.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Air France had sent F-HPJA to Johannesburg - I flew CDG-LHR on that plane last year:

What a coincidence, me too!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
By the way - fellow trip reporter gabrielchew would end up in exactly the same seat only a few weeks later: He had 91K on D-AIMF on a flight from Beijing to Frankfurt in June - what a coincidence!

It's a small world, isn't it?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
When I flew on Lufthansa's A340-600 last year, I noticed that the seat back extends far down which makes it more difficult than usual to stretch out

I had the same problem on a LH flight from FRA-HEL with an A321. The seats were similar to yours and I had a hard time stretching out my legs due to the low ending of the seat infront. Definitely not comfortable!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, I quickly found it again after we had arrived at the gate

  

Sultanils

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-22 07:09:05 and read 23275 times.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 26):
What a great report once again, I really love the attention to detail and you certainly put a great deal of effort in your reports, thanks for that.

Hi Nils, many thanks for your nice comments! These are highly appreciated.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 26):
LH is nice and solid as well but a few glitches on the hardware side (seats and controls): maybe they didn't study the competition well enough or chose to compromise cost-design?

I'm sure LH knows well what competitors offer - I guess they came to the conclusion that the current Y Class equipment is sufficient to fill the planes.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 26):
And on the cabin crew side: maybe the F/A's serving you had an off-night or were stressed because of the full load or... We're all human after all so mistakes are made

Yes, no doubt about that. These mistakes weren't dramatic.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 26):
Hey, nice to see this rare type here; I knew SAA still had a few but too bad they will be retired soon...

Only two are left and they will be gone before the end of the year.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 26):
What a coincidence, me too!

  

Quoting sultanils (Reply 26):
It's a small world, isn't it?

Absolutely. All members should enter their flights on airfleets, I guess there would be nice surprises.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 26):
I had the same problem on a LH flight from FRA-HEL with an A321. The seats were similar to yours and I had a hard time stretching out my legs due to the low ending of the seat infront. Definitely not comfortable!

Old or new configuration? I haven't noticed that on European flights yet - probably because they were quite short.


PH

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: LGWflyer
Posted 2011-10-22 08:09:04 and read 23107 times.

Hey PlaneHunter! A superb trip report, thanks for the pics and excellent detail... Loved it!!!  

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-22 08:12:15 and read 23091 times.

Quoting LGWflyer (Reply 28):
Hey PlaneHunter! A superb trip report, thanks for the pics and excellent detail... Loved it!!!

Hi Thomas, many thanks for your feedback! I'm glad you enjoyed reading.


PH

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2011-10-22 12:08:33 and read 22658 times.

Hey, PH,

what a nice Saturday evening read. Well done, also the inflight pictures above South Africa, really good.

SA looks once again good, on the other hand side, LH´s A380 looks like not what they call them.

Done the A380 on AF, not on LH, but I als prefer the "smaller" planes like the 777.

Looking forward to more good reading stuff.

Have a nice Sunday,
Markus(FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2011-10-22 12:42:17 and read 22580 times.

Hey PH. I was looking forward to reading your return report and am glad I did. It really was one of your most well written reports of late. Allow me a few observations:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The challah knot roll - with lettuce, basil pesto, smoked turkey and mozzarella - tasted very good and the mini doughnut wasn't bad either:

= Wow. That looks pretty impressive for a short domestic YCL offering. I am impressed with SA.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
When I flew on Lufthansa's A340-600 last year, I noticed that the seat back extends far down which makes it more difficult than usual to stretch out. Unfortunately, even though the seat design is different on the A380, I noticed the same problem again. A 31-inch pitch can be acceptable - but not in Lufthansa's case:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
So I pressed the call button, but nothing happened.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Then I showed her the wet towel and pointed out that her colleague had forgotten to collect it. "Alright, pass it to me!", she replied. Well, her pally manner was not exactly to my liking.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, when I lifted the foil, I couldn't find any meat. This time the other flight attendant hadn't paid attention and handed out pasta:

= Wow. These are some serious lapses in service. I have not flown LH in YCL in a bit, but it does not seem like a great ride from this report. Interestingly, my recent LH experiences have been far better than in the past - with crews usually more engaged than in the past. I have a report coming up on a rather exotic LH route soon ...

I find the 380 the most overrated aircraft - it is like a cattle sheep in YCL, and pretty much the same in JCL. I understand from an airline unit cost perspective that it makes sense, but exclusivity goes out of the window when you have a cabin like that.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 22):
- I think you are right, it's F & J passengers who get it good with the 380, generally, Y of course get the usual treatment, I'm no fan of big wide body Y configurations, much prefer the 767 & A330/340 layouts, that said, there is something special about flying on this big bird - 2 sectors in Y due on her next week  

Cheers

Mark

= Mark, in the case of LH, like AF, I don't think the JCL experience is anything special - it is still the same crappy lie-flat seat that is a few generation back.

Thanks a lot for sharing your experience as usual.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: volvair
Posted 2011-10-22 14:39:50 and read 22401 times.

Hi PH,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
Are new seats planned for the A330s and A340s?

As I gathered from this recent article at businesstraveller.com:

http://www.businesstraveller.com/new...retrofit-entire-intercontinental-f

LH plans to install new seats on the 330 and 346s from 2012 onwards.

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: lychemsa
Posted 2011-10-22 14:41:27 and read 22400 times.

31" legroom is too tight. I need a minimum of 32". It sounds silly but it really makes a difference.

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: LH4116
Posted 2011-10-22 15:32:01 and read 22318 times.

Hello Sir PH, great report!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After returning from Dubai in March, it was time to plan another trip - preferably a long-haul trip over a weekend. So I considered going to Canada, the United States or somewhere in the Gulf region again.

I'm quite impressed with all the long haul trips you make. How do you find time for them, since clearly you've made quite a few over the years  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
1Time MD-82 and Mango 737-800:

Interesting how they both skipped the white. They could be mistaken for being the same carrier  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
...and Turkish Airlines A330-300:

Hope to see a report from you on them soon!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
SAA once leased several A330-200s from bmi and TAM, but this plane is the first factory fresh frame for the airline:

I find it interesting how some airlines order the A332 in favor for the more popular A333. Still the A330 is Airbus's bigseller.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After a friendly welcome on board, I found myself in a very attractive Economy Class cabin. The colors were nice, definitely better than the dark tones on the A340-600. The slimline seats were a bit hard...

Must say those seat look great, love the leather on the headrest! Any chance the rest of the fleet will get these new seats fitted?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
She appeared a bit concerned when she heard that our plane had been delivered only six weeks ago - of course I ensured that it would be very nice and perfectly safe to fly on such a new plane.

Hmm, I find it interesting how she is concerned about the aircraft being so new. The newer the safer! Same applies for cars  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, the video screens haven't been installed in the seatbacks, so you cannot watch anything during taxi, takeoff and landing:

Suppose that shouldn't be a big problem for us a.netters

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
You don't get ginger ale on Lufthansa, so I ordered tonic water:

What? Have LH stopped serving Kinley's Ginger Ale?! That's very sad news, not too long ago they used to serve it, it seems. Although I've always had problems ordering it, since the crew normally responds to "Ah gingeer", and not the ale  

All in all, I really enjoyed reading. Thanks for sharing!

//Jonas

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: flightsimboy
Posted 2011-10-22 20:06:51 and read 22079 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
This is what you find next to the food court:

Such an awesome display!! Doubles of British and Lufthansa's 744s lol. I believe 1:200s?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Turkish Airlines A330-300, Emirates A340-500 and Malaysia Airlines 747-400:

Nice line up, Europe, Middle East and Asia and with Malaysian doing that exotic KUL-CPT-EZE route!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I didn't stay at the observation deck all the time, but also went to other areas of the terminal where you can see some planes from a different perspective.

Always nice to see aircraft from the ground level!! Get an amazing sense of their height!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, ZS-SXZ is the one and only plane in today's SAA fleet carrying a name.

Well, fortunately for you that you got to fly on the only one that has a name!! Too bad that the name is already starting to come off, and she's spanking brand new too!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The colors were nice,

The colours in Y are so much like Etihad!! Very earthy tones, and as someone mentioned the colours of Africa.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I couldn't get enough of these pretty winglets:

And have you been getting quite a few of those winglets recently....especially on the last VS A346 and on SA's sister A340-600s as well!!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The challah knot roll - with lettuce, basil pesto, smoked turkey and mozzarella - tasted very good and the mini doughnut wasn't bad either:

Nice snack on offer!! If that is mini then the challah knot roll was equally tiny I would imagine.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
of course I was glad about the special neighbor to the right. D-AIMF "Zürich", Lufthansa's sixth A380, would bring me back to Germany:

Isn't it awesome when you see the next plane you are to board from the one you are about to disembark from!!! One good flight ends and the other one begins! And this next one is on the Imperfect Giant, as you call it.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Air France had sent F-HPJA to Johannesburg - I flew CDG-LHR on that plane last year:

PH you are such a show off!!  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Of course she couldn't believe that I had arrived from Frankfurt on the day before and since even been on three domestic flights... Wink

Only you PH, only you!!   . Which reminds me to read those domestic trips again. I did mean to comment on them, especially on the exotic colours on those domestic jets!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Massive body, massive engines, massive tail:

I've seen the EK A380 leave at night from YYZ, but usually am looking through my viewfinder at the back of my camera to get a nice pic, which usually is blurry and besides both levels have their lights off! I haven't been able to truly appreciate seeing two levels illuminated as your pic shows it.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
When I arrived there, I found a woman in the 60s in my window seat, her husband was sitting in the middle. I kindly told them that 91K was my seat and it seemed they weren't happy to hear that - but I was not willing to give up my pre-reserved window seat. Anyway, the couple turned out to be quite nice later in the flight.

By the way - fellow trip reporter gabrielchew would end up in exactly the same seat only a few weeks later: He had 91K on D-AIMF on a flight from Beijing to Frankfurt in June - what a coincidence! alert

Suryo had someone sit in his seat, and you sat in the same seat as gabrielchew lol....A.netters are possessive about their window seats LOL

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The distance between seats and wall/window is too large - the A380 does offer more space in that area, but it's totally useless:

I found that on QF's 744s seats at the backP. Had to literally bend to my side to look out of the window!! Not to mention so many things, blankets, pillows can slip down into the gap when attempting to rest against the window!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
A negative LH-specific issue is the lack of a removable handset - the control unit is fixed in the right armrest:

Better in the armrest that in the seat back video, where you have your neighbour you pushing it in and out frantically many times during the course of the flight!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):

NiceView screenshots 15 minutes after takeoff:

Very Flight Simulator...except you are actually on the jet itself and not behind your computer at home!!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Hot towels were distributed which was really nice - but when a flight attendant returned to collect them, she didn't pay attention to me and I had to keep that wet towel. So I pressed the call button, but nothing happened. Ten minutes later, two flight attendants showed up with a trolley and offered snacks and drinks. One of them, a jovial and blunt blonde female in the 30s, told me to turn off the call button light without asking why I had pressed the call button. Then I showed her the wet towel and pointed out that her colleague had forgotten to collect it. "Alright, pass it to me!", she replied. Well, her pally manner was not exactly to my liking.

This made me laugh really. Sometimes you do get the odd FA treatment, don't you PH lol

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
"What a cattle carrier!"

Well it is a whale of a jet!! Imagine it in an all Economy Class configuration!  Wow!
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
"I wish you a good morning!", a friendly and clear - and Austrian-sounding - woman's voice suddenly said over the loudspeaker. She introduced herself as the co-pilot and gave some information concerning our arrival. "Captain Mumble" could learn a lesson from her! Wink

Maybe Captain Mumble was not too happy to be sharing his workspace with a woman LOL!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
During descent, I talked to my seat neighbors for a while who turned out to be from Salzburg. They had booked an attractive Lufthansa special and were quite impressed by their first A380 flights. Interestingly, they had flown FRA-JNB on D-AIMB, so I told them about my sightseeing flight on exactly that bird and the thrilling flyby and go-around at Salzburg. I also explained my hobby which they found really interesting. The man turned out to be an experienced traveller and I was quite impressed when he mentioned a few exotic carriers which he had flown on. When he heard that I publish reports about my trips, he wrote down the a.net web address and promised to have a look. It was too bad that we hadn't started talking earlier.

It's always nice to find out your neighbour is an aviation enthusiast! I never really get one, and actually prefer not to talk much but was very fortunate to have a FA flyng as a passenger sit next to me on my YYZ-AUH sector, and it really made time fly with our interests!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
D-AIMF touched the ground after a flying time of 10 hours and 45 minutes. Brakes were hit hard and my important little notebook - which I had placed under a thigh - was catapulted forward onto the floor so that I couldn't see it any more. However, I quickly found it again after we had arrived at the gate.

That must have been some braking!! That little notebook must be your truly treasured possession.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Parked next to us were Lufthansa A340-600 D-AIHB

As you indicated the A380 is really overrated. I have no interest to fly it "yet" and when you compare it to the gorgeous A340-600 which I have yet to fly as well, I would take an A340-600 over the A380 anyday and anytime. What an amazing bird she is the A340-600!! And then this fatter, dumpier and less appealing A380 comes along LOL!! Though the engines on both are jaw dropping amazing, as also on the other sibling the A340-500 which I was fortunate to fly with EK!!

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: joffie
Posted 2011-10-22 21:32:59 and read 21978 times.

As I said in your other reports - Fantastic stuff - well done as usual.

I did manage to spot the QF 744 at JNB and FRA  

I am still yet to try the A380.. One day it will come.. one day!!

Interesting concept to put in the cockpit views, don't know of any other airline that does that. I gather they are just pictures, they dont actually put a camera there dont they!

Anyway, cant wait for your next report - wherever you go next  

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-22 23:41:07 and read 21868 times.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 30):
what a nice Saturday evening read. Well done, also the inflight pictures above South Africa, really good.

Servus Markus, thanks for your feedback

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 30):
SA looks once again good, on the other hand side, LH´s A380 looks like not what they call them.

"Mehr Schein als Sein", as we say in German. Translation: "It's more appearance than substance."

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 30):
Done the A380 on AF, not on LH, but I als prefer the "smaller" planes like the 777.

Nothing beats the 777 with 2-5-2 configuration!  

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 31):
Hey PH. I was looking forward to reading your return report and am glad I did. It really was one of your most well written reports of late.

Hi A., many thanks, your comments are always highly appreciated.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 31):
That looks pretty impressive for a short domestic YCL offering.

  

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 31):
These are some serious lapses in service. I have not flown LH in YCL in a bit, but it does not seem like a great ride from this report. Interestingly, my recent LH experiences have been far better than in the past - with crews usually more engaged than in the past.

I have been very satisfied with LH recently, that flight was an exception.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 31):
I have a report coming up on a rather exotic LH route soon ...

Sounds great. Africa, Asia? I cannot wait to see it.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 31):
I find the 380 the most overrated aircraft - it is like a cattle sheep in YCL, and pretty much the same in JCL. I understand from an airline unit cost perspective that it makes sense, but exclusivity goes out of the window when you have a cabin like that.

I found EK's Y Class (main deck) and AF's Y Class (upper deck) quite nice actually.

Quoting volvair (Reply 32):
As I gathered from this recent article at businesstraveller.com:

http://www.businesstraveller.com/new...retrofit-entire-intercontinental-f

LH plans to install new seats on the 330 and 346s from 2012 onwards.

Hi volvair, thanks for the link! Very interesting.


"Lufthansa has recently announced that it will take part in the Star Alliance long-haul economy seat programme in association with B/E Aerospace (see online news 04/10/11).

The joint procurement initiative will give all Star Alliance members the option to purchase a standardised base for their long-haul economy seats. Air China, Austrian and Lufthansa will be the first Star carriers to fit the product to their long-haul fleets from 2012, with Lufthansa set to retrofit its A330 and A340-600s initially."


It seems we will see very similar seats on numerous Star Alliance carriers. Hopefully they choose a better model than the one on LH's A380.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 33):
31" legroom is too tight. I need a minimum of 32". It sounds silly but it really makes a difference.

I agree with you, one inch can make a difference. However, even 31" can be acceptable, depending on the seat design.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 34):
Hello Sir PH, great report!

  Hi Jonas, thanks for your reply!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 34):
I'm quite impressed with all the long haul trips you make. How do you find time for them, since clearly you've made quite a few over the years

Well, I focus on long-haul trips and don't make many short-haul trips. And sometimes I only need two workdays off for a long-haul trip...but it can be challenging to start working again on the day after arrival.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 34):
Interesting how they both skipped the white. They could be mistaken for being the same carrier

The difference doesn't come out perfectly on the picture - probably due to the toned windows.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 34):
Hope to see a report from you on them soon!

Well, I hope that I will finally end up on a TK plane next year.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 34):
I find it interesting how some airlines order the A332 in favor for the more popular A333.

Yes, the A333 has become more popular in the last few years due to enhanced performance. But SAA really needs the A332's longer range.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 34):
Must say those seat look great, love the leather on the headrest! Any chance the rest of the fleet will get these new seats fitted?

I think they are planning to do so - there was even a survey about that on SAA's Facebook site.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 34):
Suppose that shouldn't be a big problem for us a.netters

But it means you cannot enjoy camera views - if there are any.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 34):
Have LH stopped serving Kinley's Ginger Ale?!

I have never seen ginger ale on LH.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 34):
All in all, I really enjoyed reading. Thanks for sharing!

I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 35):
Such an awesome display!! Doubles of British and Lufthansa's 744s lol.

Thanks for your feedback, flightsimboy! Yes, it's a very nice display.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 35):
I believe 1:200s?

I'm not sure, I stopped collecting models many years ago.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 35):
Always nice to see aircraft from the ground level!! Get an amazing sense of their height!!

  

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 35):
Well, fortunately for you that you got to fly on the only one that has a name!!

I had been hoping to get that one!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 35):
And have you been getting quite a few of those winglets recently....especially on the last VS A346 and on SA's sister A340-600s as well!!!

  

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 35):
If that is mini then the challah knot roll was equally tiny I would imagine.

Yes, I was wondering why they called it "mini doughnut".

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 35):
Isn't it awesome when you see the next plane you are to board from the one you are about to disembark from!!! One good flight ends and the other one begins!

  

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 35):
PH you are such a show off!!

Oh no! That was just a reference.   

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 35):
Only you PH, only you!!

 

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 35):
Which reminds me to read those domestic trips again. I did mean to comment on them, especially on the exotic colours on those domestic jets!!

Feel free to do so, comments are always appreciated!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 35):
A.netters are possessive about their window seats LOL

  

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 35):
Better in the armrest that in the seat back video, where you have your neighbour you pushing it in and out frantically many times during the course of the flight!!

Good point. The same can be said for touchscreens.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 35):
Sometimes you do get the odd FA treatment, don't you PH lol

I cannot deny that. Maybe we should get "trip reporter" shirts or anything like that. I guess that would help sometimes.  

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 35):
Well it is a whale of a jet!! Imagine it in an all Economy Class configuration!

I cannot wait to try Air Austral's A380!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 35):
Maybe Captain Mumble was not too happy to be sharing his workspace with a woman LOL!

Well, who knows!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 35):
That little notebook must be your truly treasured possession.

Absolutely. It's the base for my statistics and reports. Losing it during or after a trip would be horrible.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 35):
What an amazing bird she is the A340-600!!

  

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 35):
And then this fatter, dumpier and less appealing A380 comes along LOL!!

It depends on the perspective - I still love it!

Quoting joffie (Reply 36):
As I said in your other reports - Fantastic stuff - well done as usual.

Hi Brent, many thanks for your comments! I'm glad you liked it.

Quoting joffie (Reply 36):
I am still yet to try the A380.. One day it will come.. one day!!

No doubt about that.

Quoting joffie (Reply 36):
Interesting concept to put in the cockpit views, don't know of any other airline that does that.

You also find it on Air Berlin, TUIfly and others. It has become quite popular.

Quoting joffie (Reply 36):
I gather they are just pictures, they dont actually put a camera there dont they!

Yes, just a virtual view.

Quoting joffie (Reply 36):
Anyway, cant wait for your next report - wherever you go next

The next report will be about the a.net meeting at FRA in July and a FRA-MAD flight on LAN's A340. After that, expect to read something about Egypt and a very rare carrier.


PH

[Edited 2011-10-22 23:47:19]

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: RvXKaz
Posted 2011-10-23 01:33:03 and read 21760 times.

Hi PH,

I really enjoyed your TR on SAA and the Lufthansa A380! Its nice to hear that you flew on SAA's A330 rather than the B738 plying the route and I love the cabin view. The cabin ambience looked very good. Very good views during the flight as well!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
This is what you find next to the food court:

Very interesting representation there. Surprised to see no SAA widebodies at the model airport!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The challah knot roll - with lettuce, basil pesto, smoked turkey and mozzarella - tasted very good and the mini doughnut wasn't bad either:

Oooh! it looks like a really good snack! Nice to hear that they conducted the drink runs twice as well! Good service indeed for such a short sector!

Thanks for the peek into the Biz class cabin. I really like the brown and chocolate colours of the Business seats.

On your LH A380 experience,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I also hadn't been on a long night flight on the A380 yet, LHR-DXB on Emirates had been the longest so far with a flying time of 6 hours and 16 minutes. So I was really looking forward to this flight to Frankfurt

Glad to hear that its no longer the case  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The tomato and cheese sauce actually tasted quite good and the noodles were al dente. My neighbor's beef looked very dry, so I was really glad about the flight attendant's mistake.

Good for you. The meal looks really good too.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, Lufthansa doesn't offer amenity kits in Economy Class

I am quite surprised to hear this!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
When I felt fully awake again, I had a look at NiceView

Wow. What's this programme? Is it a flight simulator kind of programme?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Completely different view:

The flight information is top-notch indeed. I loved how they included the different metrics (km/mi, ft/m) for their flight information! So much more user-friendly than most airlines which different metric measurements appear seperately!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Breakfast was served more than 1.5 hours before landing, I ordered scrambled eggs:

Oh the portions looks abit small but it looks good nevetheless! I love mushrooms and the mushrooms looked so tasty!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Only moments from touchdown:

Its really a spectacle to look at the forward camera view during landing! Gosh, it must have been really amazing to watch the A380 landing from your seat!

Once again, a most delightful TR and what an indepth insight into LH's A380 product and service offerings! I enjoyed this one very much and I can only admire your amazing travels on some really awesome flights! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and I guess, this rounds up SAA for you. I'm most intrigued by African carriers and I am most glad to hear you've had a great time with them!

Cheers,
RvXKaz

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: Shudu
Posted 2011-10-23 02:14:15 and read 21697 times.

Hi PH,

Great report as always...you reallly outdo yourself.

The scenery when flying out of Cape Town is always great, it is my favourite airport to fly out of, just for the scenes.

I'm also suprised that you were offered a snack on the A332, SAA usually offers a full meal on their wide bodies, even on a short hop to CPT.

Due to the length of the flight, SAA do not operate IFE on board their wide body their aircraft. Entertainment on the smaller 738's and 319's is usullay a short documentary or candid camera spoofs via the drop down screens.

Thanks again for visiting my country and wrting excellent trip reports on my home airline.


Shudu

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-23 02:59:05 and read 21630 times.

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 38):
I really enjoyed your TR on SAA and the Lufthansa A380!
Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 38):
Once again, a most delightful TR and what an indepth insight into LH's A380 product and service offerings! I enjoyed this one very much and I can only admire your amazing travels on some really awesome flights! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and I guess, this rounds up SAA for you.

Hi RvXKaz, many thanks for your nice comments!

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 38):
Its nice to hear that you flew on SAA's A330 rather than the B738 plying the route and I love the cabin view.

SAA also operates A340s on the route, but I wanted to get on the new A332.

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 38):
Surprised to see no SAA widebodies at the model airport!

That's true, only 738s on display.

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 38):
I really like the brown and chocolate colours of the Business seats.

Yes, very good choice of colors.

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 38):
Glad to hear that its no longer the case

12+ hour flight on the beast coming up soon...

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 38):
What's this programme? Is it a flight simulator kind of programme?

I'm not sure, but that's what it looks like.

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 38):
So much more user-friendly than most airlines which different metric measurements appear seperately!

  

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 38):
Gosh, it must have been really amazing to watch the A380 landing from your seat!

Yes, absolutely.

Quoting Shudu (Reply 39):
Great report as always...you reallly outdo yourself.

Many thanks for your feedback, Shudu! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting Shudu (Reply 39):
I'm also suprised that you were offered a snack on the A332, SAA usually offers a full meal on their wide bodies, even on a short hop to CPT.

Interesting - probably it depends on the time? The snack was really good, though.

Quoting Shudu (Reply 39):
Due to the length of the flight, SAA do not operate IFE on board their wide body their aircraft. Entertainment on the smaller 738's and 319's is usullay a short documentary or candid camera spoofs via the drop down screens.

Thanks for clarification!

Quoting Shudu (Reply 39):
Thanks again for visiting my country and wrting excellent trip reports on my home airline.

Many thanks again. I really enjoyed the short visit and I promise to come back for an extended tour. Btw - have you seen my report about Comair and Mango?

BA Vs. LCC, African Way: JNB-DUR-CPT, Comair/Mango (by PlaneHunter Oct 8 2011 in Trip Reports)


PH

[Edited 2011-10-23 03:00:59]

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: Luxair747SP
Posted 2011-10-23 03:09:25 and read 21604 times.

Hi PH,

sorry for the late reply, have been quite busy.
Very good SA Linhas Aereas">TR with many high quality pictures.
The A332 of SA looked fine for the short flight, and I also could imagine flying Longhaul on them.
Also great to see that they served Schweppes, they are still the best drinks.
The food box also looked fine for a flight under 2 hours.
The A380 flight looked just like a normal long haul flight.
The food looked more or less the same as on my LX flight, but the problem with the handset would stress me, as I would always push some buttons by accident.
Thanks again for sharing.
Cheers
Johannes

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: DunaA320
Posted 2011-10-23 03:34:00 and read 21576 times.

Nice report PH, sounds like the A380 at LH does have some flaws and good you point them out. The control in the arm rest would really annoy me. I much prefer when the IFE control is located on the seat back.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
SAA chose a very nice interior for the A330s

I really like that interior, nice colours and the golden/brown seat belts add a nice touch. A shame you didnt get to try out their IFE.

Matt

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-23 04:05:40 and read 21519 times.

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 41):
Very good SA Linhas Aereas">TR with many high quality pictures.

Hi Johannes, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 41):
sorry for the late reply, have been quite busy.

No worries!

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 41):
Also great to see that they served Schweppes, they are still the best drinks.

  

Quoting DunaA320 (Reply 42):
Nice report PH, sounds like the A380 at LH does have some flaws and good you point them out.

Thanks for your reply, Matt!

Quoting DunaA320 (Reply 42):
I much prefer when the IFE control is located on the seat back.

Yes, that's the best location IMO.

Quoting DunaA320 (Reply 42):
A shame you didnt get to try out their IFE.

That was indeed disappointing.



PH

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: CaptainRed
Posted 2011-10-23 05:10:53 and read 21444 times.

Hi PH,

interesting conclusion on your journey to South Africa here. Too bad you had only a mixed experience on your LH flight on the A380. That SAA domestic flight looked indeed quite good, nice service here. The lack of IFE is a bit of a downside, but then on a short flight and with great views it doesn't really matter.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Of course she couldn't believe that I had arrived from Frankfurt on the day before and since even been on three domestic flights...

Well, that has been quite a hardcore trip, even for us plane enthusiasts   ...

Thanks again for sharing your trip
CaptainRed

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: sultanils
Posted 2011-10-23 05:12:50 and read 21439 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 27):
Old or new configuration?

I don't know, it was on D-AIRK. I can't tell what config this bird has...

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: krisyyz
Posted 2011-10-23 05:45:46 and read 21390 times.

Great TR, as usual!

KrisYYZ

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2011-10-23 08:35:52 and read 21255 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 37):
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 31):
I find the 380 the most overrated aircraft - it is like a cattle sheep in YCL, and pretty much the same in JCL. I understand from an airline unit cost perspective that it makes sense, but exclusivity goes out of the window when you have a cabin like that.

I found EK's Y Class (main deck) and AF's Y Class (upper deck) quite nice actually.

= Now this is interesting ... what makes you find the LH YCL more cattle-class like than EK and AF?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 37):
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 31):
I have a report coming up on a rather exotic LH route soon ...

Sounds great. Africa, Asia? I cannot wait to see it.

= You'll have to wait and see  . I have not seen a report from this country on A.Net before .....

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: Shudu
Posted 2011-10-23 09:05:11 and read 21205 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 40):
Many thanks again. I really enjoyed the short visit and I promise to come back for an extended tour. Btw - have you seen my report about Comair and Mango?

BA Vs. LCC, African Way: JNB-DUR-CPT, Comair/Mango (by PlaneHunter Oct 8 2011 in Trip Reports)

Don't know how i missed that, will get on it right away. Much Appreciated.

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-23 11:10:31 and read 21094 times.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 44):
interesting conclusion on your journey to South Africa here.

Hi CaptainRed, thanks for your comments!

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 44):
The lack of IFE is a bit of a downside, but then on a short flight and with great views it doesn't really matter.

  

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 44):
Well, that has been quite a hardcore trip, even for us plane enthusiasts

I'd say that's an appropriate term.  

Quoting sultanils (Reply 45):
I don't know, it was on D-AIRK.

Did it have the new slimline seats ("NEK")?

Quoting krisyyz (Reply 46):
Great TR, as usual!

Thanks, Kris! Good to hear!

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 47):
Now this is interesting ... what makes you find the LH YCL more cattle-class like than EK and AF?

AF and EK offer more pitch, have a better seat design and you find 2-4-2 on AF's upper deck.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 47):
I have not seen a report from this country on A.Net before .....

Very interesting!

Quoting Shudu (Reply 48):
Don't know how i missed that, will get on it right away. Much Appreciated.

  


PH

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: gabrielchew
Posted 2011-10-23 13:46:09 and read 20858 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Turkish Airlines A330-300, Emirates A340-500 and Malaysia Airlines 747-400:

Nice lineup

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Passengers can enjoy large touchscreen monitors, handsets are stored in the seatbacks:

Looks pretty good for a short flight

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The challah knot roll - with lettuce, basil pesto, smoked turkey and mozzarella - tasted very good and the mini doughnut wasn't bad either:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
By the way - fellow trip reporter gabrielchew would end up in exactly the same seat only a few weeks later: He had 91K on D-AIMF on a flight from Beijing to Frankfurt in June - what a coincidence! alert You can find his report here.

Yeah, what a coincidence that we ended up on the same plane in the same seat!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):

The result was that I unintentionally pressed different buttons with my elbow several times during the flight

I noticed that as well, bad design

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Breakfast was served more than 1.5 hours before landing, I ordered scrambled eggs:

Mm, doesn't look good. Hopefully something better will be served for breakfast for tonights BOG-FRA

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: FlyKev
Posted 2011-10-23 16:40:24 and read 20745 times.

Hi PlaneHunter.

Once again, thanks for sharing an incredible trip report with us - it was a lot of fun to read and I enjoyed your photos.
The A380 looks like a great plane to fly, as does the South African A330; both of which have comfortable looking interiors.

I look forward to reading about your next adventure,

Kev.

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: 767747
Posted 2011-10-23 19:51:08 and read 20596 times.

Great report, PlaneHunter!

Looks like a nice conclusion to your trip - Great to see you got on an A332 and the A380!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
When I arrived there, I found a woman in the 60s in my window seat, her husband was sitting in the middle. I kindly told them that 91K was my seat and it seemed they weren't happy to hear that - but I was not willing to give up my pre-reserved window seat. Anyway, the couple turned out to be quite nice later in the flight.

I never understand why people do this - wait until the door has been shut, and then move!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I showed her the wet towel and pointed out that her colleague had forgotten to collect it. "Alright, pass it to me!", she replied. Well, her pally manner was not exactly to my liking.

Very strange behavior for LH!

Looking forward to your next trip!

Matthew (767747)

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-24 10:05:49 and read 20159 times.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 50):

Yeah, what a coincidence that we ended up on the same plane in the same seat!

I was expecting you would have 55A on D-AIHA at least once during your Colombia trip.  

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 50):
Looks pretty good for a short flight

Not just for a short flight.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 50):
Hopefully something better will be served for breakfast for tonights BOG-FRA

I'll watch out for your report.

Quoting FlyKev (Reply 51):
Once again, thanks for sharing an incredible trip report with us - it was a lot of fun to read and I enjoyed your photos.

Ki Kev, many thanks for your nice comments!

Quoting FlyKev (Reply 51):
The A380 looks like a great plane to fly, as does the South African A330; both of which have comfortable looking interiors.

I'd prefer the SA A330 in terms of comfort.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 52):
Great report, PlaneHunter!

Looks like a nice conclusion to your trip - Great to see you got on an A332 and the A380!

Thanks a lot, Matthew! Good to hear you liked it.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 52):
I never understand why people do this - wait until the door has been shut, and then move!

Sometimes they just don't pay attention. I guess that's what happened on that flight.


PH

[Edited 2011-10-24 10:06:50]

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: AlwaysOnAPlane
Posted 2011-10-24 12:06:24 and read 20036 times.

Hi PH.

Nice conclusion to the report.

The snack box on the CPT-JNB leg looks great. Always a sucker for a doughnut. Good cabin colours too.
I agree the winglet looks great. Good to see such colour against the plain looking background.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Countless houses:

Amazing!! So many. Is that a vortex off the wingtip or a feature on the ground in this photo? Hard to tell but i'm guessing a vortex, especially as you are in a turn.

Nice to see you log another 380 mate. Good going for sure.

The FRA-NUE leg features for me this weekend also (the other way though). More LH segments with an overnight in NUE.

Thanks for your post PH.

Cheers, Lee.

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-25 11:44:52 and read 19596 times.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 54):

Nice conclusion to the report.

Hi Lee, thanks a lot for your comments!

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 54):
Is that a vortex off the wingtip or a feature on the ground in this photo? Hard to tell but i'm guessing a vortex, especially as you are in a turn.

Yes, it's a vortex!

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 54):
The FRA-NUE leg features for me this weekend also (the other way though). More LH segments with an overnight in NUE.

Very interesting. Where will you stay? Nuremberg is a nice city. Don't forget to try "Drei im Weckla" (famous bratwurst snack).


PH

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: AlwaysOnAPlane
Posted 2011-10-25 11:58:53 and read 19575 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 55):
Very interesting. Where will you stay? Nuremberg is a nice city. Don't forget to try "Drei im Weckla" (famous bratwurst snack).

Im staying at the Mövenpick airport hotel. I will check the city either on the evening of arrival or the morning of departure. Hey, if its food, then i'm in for trying it mate. Thanks for the tip.

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: MSS658
Posted 2011-10-25 14:45:05 and read 19462 times.

Hi PH

Thanks for posting the return trip of your Africa series! I must see i'm impressed by the SAA colors on the 332, Would fancy flying this one long haul!

concerning the A380 sector I can only agree, not because something is said to be awesome that it really is. I have had this on some airlines this summer as well (AA, B6,..). IMO any 3-x-3 configuration is uncomfortable. However, the camera's and IFE options look great.


Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-25 22:58:49 and read 19262 times.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 56):
Im staying at the Mövenpick airport hotel.

Sounds like a good choice, the location is very convenient.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 56):
I will check the city either on the evening of arrival or the morning of departure.

  

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 56):
Hey, if its food, then i'm in for trying it mate.

You can even try it for breakfast!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 57):
Thanks for posting the return trip of your Africa series!

Thanks for your comments, Marc!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 57):
IMO any 3-x-3 configuration is uncomfortable.

As a window seat passenger, I also prefer 2-4-2 or 2-5-2. I chose an aisle seat for the upcoming 12+ hour flight on QF's A380...I don't want to get stuck.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 57):
However, the camera's and IFE options look great.

No doubt about that.


PH

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2011-10-26 06:06:50 and read 19134 times.

Hi PH,

Nice conclusion to your quick jaunt to South Africa.

SAA looks good on CPT-JNB, very nice of them to use the occasional widebody on this trunk route - sure beats the boring narrowbodies of the LCC competition on the same route. Nice service as well, although that connection procedure at JNB sounds like too much hassle, especially as there appear to be a lot of international connections out of this flight. They should really have a dedicated international transfer option available.

Now I understand what you meant by your comment about cattle class and mass air transport over at the FRA meet in July  . Yeah, I have mixed feelings about the A380 in economy - of course I've never flown one but somehow the word "cattle car" just keeps ringing in my head. Sure there are all these nice technical whizzbangs to keep you occupied but the seats don't really look that comfortable for an extended amount of time and if sleeping indeed is that hard as you mentioned it's quite a put off for me at least! Then again if you are seated upstairs, it would be a whole different ballgame...  

Having just flown the LH A346 twice within a week on ten hour flights I can say that it was a very comfortable ride in my opinion, decent legroom and personal space and more than sufficient IFE (heck, I had the airshow on for 95% of the time anyway!). And the breakfast we were served was way better than your quite disgusting looking bacony thingy...

I was actually thinking of booking a trip to PEK with the LH A388 but now I'm sort of glad I chose to go somewhere else instead (with some more interesting carriers as well...).

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-27 23:36:35 and read 18692 times.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 59):
Nice conclusion to your quick jaunt to South Africa.

Hi FlyingFinn, thanks for commenting!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 59):
SAA looks good on CPT-JNB, very nice of them to use the occasional widebody on this trunk route - sure beats the boring narrowbodies of the LCC competition on the same route.

No doubt about that.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 59):
Now I understand what you meant by your comment about cattle class and mass air transport over at the FRA meet in July

 

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 59):
Then again if you are seated upstairs, it would be a whole different ballgame...

  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 59):
I was actually thinking of booking a trip to PEK with the LH A388 but now I'm sort of glad I chose to go somewhere else instead (with some more interesting carriers as well...).

But there would have been countless interesting flight options in China!


PH

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: Parton87
Posted 2011-10-28 16:28:23 and read 18318 times.

Hello PH!

Thanks for a nice report of your flights back home to Germany! You really put a lot of time and effort when you write your reports!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
This is what you find next to the food court



Nice!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Airbus A330-243



Fun to fly a wide body on a domestic flight! I haven´t done that but I once flew BA´s 767 FRA-LHR which had the same duration as our flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but some parts of the letters had already come off after only three months in service:



Must been bad paint quality!:D

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
who later turned out to be German



Small world you know 
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Snack boxes were distributed after the drink run



Strange!? In my experience they serve the snack first and then the drinks

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The challah knot roll - with lettuce, basil pesto, smoked turkey and mozzarella - tasted very good and the mini doughnut wasn't bad either:



Looks nice for a short flight

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Countless houses:



Impres!sive

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
my way to row 91



it´s for sure a big bird. Over 90 rows!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
on a flight from Beijing to Frankfurt in June



how big are the odds for that?! 
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The result was that I unintentionally pressed different buttons with my elbow several times during the flight - e.g. I



Strange that LH didn´t think about! I guess they get a lot of complaints about that

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
the call button light without asking why I had pressed the call button



Unacceptable!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Y Class sections were packed with people, many of them were sleeping



Good business for LH on your flight!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, Lufthansa doesn't offer amenity kits in Economy Class



Strange. BA have it and they are often cheaper then LH

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Completely different view:



I Like it!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I quickly found it again



Thank God for that!:P

Thanks again for the nice story PH! Hope to see more from you soon!

Greetings
Robert

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: Avianca
Posted 2011-10-30 18:13:06 and read 17911 times.

great report as asual!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
You don't get ginger ale on Lufthansa, so I ordered tonic water:

since when? well I remember that around 10 years or longer I always had ginger ale on LH flights!

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: MarcoPoloWorld
Posted 2011-10-31 20:21:15 and read 17474 times.

Thank you PlaneHunter for yet another thoughtful and detailed trip report!

Yes, certainly bigger isn't always better; it's up to the airline and its crew to ultimately define the quality of service.

Thanks for bringing the world a little closer to the rest of us!

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-11-10 11:54:04 and read 16168 times.

Hi PH!


Another excellent TR with many great pictures and a nice story too  

SAA really does seem like a great airline! When looking at the Y seats, i thought it may have been an Etihad plane for a second. The seat and IFE screens and all, remind me so much of EY!

Great snack box offering on a domestic run too. Both the sandwich and the donut looked quite fresh!

As for the A380, with LH it seems like just another aircraft, but probably one which i will fly on in the very near future   I always love LH's moving map on the A380, especially with the view overlooking the wing!

And had i chosen then beef like you, i would have been pleasantly surprised to get a nice pasta dish as you did   Looked fantastic!


Many thanks for sharing!


Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: Imperfect Giant: CPT-JNB-FRA On SA A332 & LH A380
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-11-12 07:39:49 and read 15789 times.

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 61):
Thanks for a nice report of your flights back home to Germany! You really put a lot of time and effort when you write your reports!

Many thanks for your comments, Robert! I'm glad you liked it.

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 61):
Strange that LH didn´t think about! I guess they get a lot of complaints about that

Yes, there should be many complaints. Hopefully they will make it better on the 748.

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 61):
Thanks again for the nice story PH! Hope to see more from you soon!

The next report is almost ready.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 62):
great report as asual!

Thanks, Avianca!

Quoting Avianca (Reply 62):
since when? well I remember that around 10 years or longer I always had ginger ale on LH flights!

Interesting, I have never seen that on LH.

Quoting MarcoPoloWorld (Reply 63):
Thank you PlaneHunter for yet another thoughtful and detailed trip report!
Quoting MarcoPoloWorld (Reply 63):
Thanks for bringing the world a little closer to the rest of us!

Many thanks, MarcoPoloWorld!

Quoting MarcoPoloWorld (Reply 63):
Yes, certainly bigger isn't always better; it's up to the airline and its crew to ultimately define the quality of service.

  

Quoting ronerone (Reply 64):
Another excellent TR with many great pictures and a nice story too

Hi Roni, thanks a lot for your feedback!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 64):
When looking at the Y seats, i thought it may have been an Etihad plane for a second. The seat and IFE screens and all, remind me so much of EY!

Yes, you're right.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 64):
As for the A380, with LH it seems like just another aircraft, but probably one which i will fly on in the very near future

Nice - and I guess you won't travel on the main deck...

Quoting ronerone (Reply 64):
I always love LH's moving map on the A380, especially with the view overlooking the wing!

NiceView is indeed "nice"! I was surprised to find that on a Privatair 738, too. Report to follow...


PH


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