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Topic: Amsterdam To Berlin And Back On AB (pics)
Username: Airbuseric
Posted 2005-12-22 23:00:06 and read 6992 times.

Hi

let's write another 'article' about Air Berlins lowcost services between AMS and TXL, a route which is operated twice a day at convenient times. It's the second time for me personally using this service, now to enjoy a 2 day city-break with my boyfriend just before Christmas. Berlin is well known for it's famous shopping centres, department stores and 'German style' Christmas-markets. Also the lights which lighten the 'Kürfürstendamm' are just beautiful at night!

But let's go on with the short trip-reports of our flights, and which will be the more important for most readers. If you want to know about Berlin 'The City', you should book a flight yourself  

21 December 2005

Flight: AB8023 AMS-TXL
Aircraft: D-ABBQ Boeing 737-800
Seat: 17E/F Economy Class
STD: 08:25 ATD: 08:23
STA: 09:40 ATA: 09:36


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Photo © Miguel Nobrega - Madeira Spotters



When we arrived at the airportvery early this morning to catch our outbound flight we had to check in ourselves at Terminal 3, which is mostly used by longhaul carriers, and usually not by European airlines. This seems to change more and more at AMS since the winterschedule started last month. Check-in was busy with only 1 counter open for passengers (queue of about 25 people waiting) and 1 counter was dealing with some excess baggage for this flight. It took about 15 minutes before we got our boarding passes. My FFP number was already now, not the one of my boyfriend, which was on the same reservation    and we requested to groundstaff to input his data in the system. And so she did.

We had to walk all the way down from T3 to gates B13, from where our a/c was departing. This means around 30 minutes walking in total, including the always nice security check halfway your walk.

As we approached the departure area we we called for boarding shortly after, and preboarding was done first. Some 5 minutes later we were able to get on the beautiful B737-800, a first for me as this one was fitted with the blended winglets! Yes, something new for me   

Doors were closed at 08.21 local time, and immediately after the pushback and engine start up followed. Good performance for AB also on this flight, departing a few minutes ahead of schedule   

After enjoying the safety demo on the screens, which are located below the overhead bins every 5 rows or so, we relaxed in the grey leather seats of our aircraft. We only had a very short taxi this morning to the holding point of runway 24. As there were no other flights in front of us, a rolling take off started powerful. Not strange, as the cabin was only some 50% filled with passengers. Shortly after takeoff we dissappeared into the clouds and a uneventful flight of 50 minutes followed.



View outside the window was very enjoyable for me, as being for the first time in a 737 with blended winglets. I really love these things! A shame for AB that most vacant windowseats were dirty or scratched on this aircraft  

The crew offered a choice of Salami or Cheese sandwich, plus one drink for free. Very fresh and tasty food in my opinion. Well done again AB! Earphones can be purchased for EUR 1.50/each, and you can listen to some of their music, and listen to the sounds of the Mr.Bean movies, which were playing in the cabin.

Soon after we finished our sandwich and tea, we approached TXL. Landing was done smoothly on runway 26R, full breakes and we vacated the runway at 0932 local time. A few minutes later we were parked on a remote stand from where 2 buses picked us up and brought us to the arrival lobby.
Conclusion: a good and nice start of this short holiday!  

**********************************************************

22 December 2005

Flight: AB8148 TXL-AMS
Aircraft: D-ABAA Boeing 737-700
Seat: 13A/(B)/C Economy Class
STD: 15:35 ATD: 15:57
STA: 16:55 ATA: 17:10


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Photo © Florian Kondziela



The return flight of this journey started different as AB told us that I was able to check-in, but my boyfriend was already checked in and seated on seat 7D  
20 minutes time left standing on the counter and waiting to get the problems solved. What did the ladies do?... They checked in an other passenger under a wrong name!! Stupid!  Wow! Finally we got our boarding passes, the other passenger was called over the terminal intercom to get a new boarding pass and now we had to hurry to catch our flight  

We entered the departure lobby of gate 02 some 10 minutes before scheduled departure time. But, no aircraft on the platform. A delay was foreseen now, and we took seats. Around 60 other passengers were waiting in the lounge. Soon after our aircraft came in. Announcements were made of a short 15 minutes delay due to late arrival of incoming aircraft. Very fair notice at the end, as we left only 23 minutes late. That's what I call a turnaround!  

As we were seated I noticed that we got a startup on the stand by using a jetstarter. Could this have been the reason of the delayed arrival of the previous flight? First officer Mr. Daniel Berger who was doing this flight today was in a hurry to minimize the delay and was speeding up the taxiway. We took of from runway 26L at 17.01 local time. Nice detail, all the way until takeoff Christmas songs were playing of the intercom. (except for the safety demo  )



We saw the beautiful sun disappearing on our way back to AMS. The usual service started. Again same sandwiches: Salami or Cheese, plus coffee/tea. For free of course. Hmm... let's put a picture of the cheese sandwich in here:



The crew cleaned up the rubbish when we decended to AMS and over lake IJsselmeer for the runway 18R approach. It was just before 17.00 local time, and usually with the runway combinations in use at this time, runway 18C will open at 17.00L.
And little later, on final approach, we made a very sharp left turn, and right turn again to get on the ILS of runway 18C! We were down shortly now and touched at 17.01 local. The flight ended by a high speed taxidrive over 'The South' to our gate B11. Before we blocked in, we had to wait for a departing SK MD87, which was having pushback from B11. This delayed our arrival a little more.

After all, AB still is a great company in my opinion. They offer a good product for reasonable fares. Have a nice variety in their fleet, so chance to get on different aircraft types. Seatpitch is very ok for the European standards.
Only complaint about them this time is about the wrong checkin of passengers. The groundstaff should be extra careful on this. This could be of possible danger for a flight, and may cause unneccesary delays. This time, all went ok. We're at home again  

Rgds
Eric

[Edited 2005-12-22 23:04:02]

Topic: RE: Amsterdam To Berlin And Back On AB (pics)
Username: MH017
Posted 2005-12-26 22:48:39 and read 6497 times.

Eric,

Excellent AB-trippie again; flew AB8148 on 21dec05 on the very same D-ABAA in seat 4A, and had some similar sun-set pictures, like you have there...
Start-up was done by jet-starter for the left-hand engine only, then it spooled up real hard/high (was nice to see the vortices in front of the engine being sucked-up from the apron !!!), to start the right-hand one, so, apparently, when you flew Alpha-Alpha, she still had "this" APU-problem...

When is your next AB-flight ?

Topic: RE: Amsterdam To Berlin And Back On AB (pics)
Username: INNflight
Posted 2005-12-27 00:45:47 and read 6454 times.

Very nice AB report, flew D-ABAA twice this summer, ZRH-HAM-ZRH.  Smile


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Photo © Florian Trojer - TCAS



cheers,
F.

Topic: RE: Amsterdam To Berlin And Back On AB (pics)
Username: Airbuseric
Posted 2005-12-27 09:59:21 and read 6380 times.

Quoting MH017 (Reply 1):
Start-up was done by jet-starter for the left-hand engine only, then it spooled up real hard/high (was nice to see the vortices in front of the engine being sucked-up from the apron !!!), to start the right-hand one, so, apparently, when you flew Alpha-Alpha, she still had "this" APU-problem...

Yeah, it must be the same. The a/c was shaking completely when they did this startup Big grin But I knew it was all safe!

Quoting MH017 (Reply 1):
When is your next AB-flight ?

Next one probably to BIO via PMI on 01Mar. But maybe I've to book something in between.

Rgds
Eric

Topic: RE: Amsterdam To Berlin And Back On AB (pics)
Username: TriStar500
Posted 2005-12-27 11:56:03 and read 6345 times.

Hi Eric!
Thank you for taking the time to write about your experiences with Air Berlin - seems like their product is equally well received in the Netherlands like in Germany. I am sure that the coming years will see plenty more new AB services from AMS - Air Berlin has just based a B738 there, and more will surely come.

Topic: RE: Amsterdam To Berlin And Back On AB (pics)
Username: MH017
Posted 2005-12-27 19:22:40 and read 6271 times.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Hmm... let's put a picture of the cheese sandwich in here:

Eric,

Had that same cheese sandwich as well on AMS-TXL: found it nice but a bit salty and reminded me of a pretzel: can any of our German friends confirm this is supposed to be like that ?

Topic: RE: Amsterdam To Berlin And Back On AB (pics)
Username: HT
Posted 2005-12-27 19:36:04 and read 6266 times.

Quoting MH017 (Reply 5):
found it nice but a bit salty and reminded me of a pretzel: can any of our German friends confirm this is supposed to be like that ?

Indeed, the picture shows not a standard roll, but something that is called a "Pretzelroll" at least in some parts of the U.S. (german expression is "Laugenbroetchen" - or substitute the various other local expressions for "Broetchen" in it)
This one indeed is intended to be salty; the very same type of dough is also formed to make "Brezn" (aka. "Brezln") - those things that often are on sale on "Oktoberfest" as they are a perfact supplement to beer.
-HT

Topic: RE: Amsterdam To Berlin And Back On AB (pics)
Username: Airbuseric
Posted 2005-12-27 20:52:24 and read 6249 times.

Quoting HT (Reply 6):
as they are a perfact supplement to beer.

A shame AB didn't offer me a can of beer on my return flight Big grin
Anyway, salty or not... it was a very welcome 'brötchen'  snaggletooth 

Eric

Topic: RE: Amsterdam To Berlin And Back On AB (pics)
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2005-12-27 21:29:15 and read 6229 times.

Hi Eric,
it seems you´re an AB and Berlin frequent traveller by now.
Interesting report and another positive experience on AB.
I will go with AB next time in march.
Regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: Amsterdam To Berlin And Back On AB (pics)
Username: Airbuseric
Posted 2005-12-27 21:39:04 and read 6222 times.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 8):
it seems you´re an AB and Berlin frequent traveller by now

LOL! Check my logbook on my personal homepage to see my current reservations on AB Big grin Several more flights are planned already so I'm a frequent AB traveller indeed!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 8):
I will go with AB next time in march.

Are we on the same flight(s)?

Rgds
Eric

Topic: RE: Amsterdam To Berlin And Back On AB (pics)
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2005-12-27 21:50:57 and read 6214 times.

Hi Eric,
12.03.2006 STR-PMI-MAD 06.00/08.00//10.30/11.50
and btw 3 leisure Berlin runs during the next half year, but without any AB flight (LH/DI/HLX/4U).
Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: Amsterdam To Berlin And Back On AB (pics)
Username: Airbuseric
Posted 2005-12-27 21:55:45 and read 6212 times.

Markus, not the same as mine. I've booked so far AMS-PMI-BCN and back,
AMS-PMI-BIO and back on JKK/VLG and AMS-TXL and back on AB
So in a few months I'll become a 'Silver' member on AB's FFP Big grin
For sure you'll have nice flights too on them!

Eric

Topic: RE: Amsterdam To Berlin And Back On AB (pics)
Username: HT
Posted 2005-12-27 23:02:13 and read 6188 times.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 7):
A shame AB didn't offer me a can of beer on my return flight

While alcoholic drinks aren´t free on AB, they are much cheaper than on U.S-carriers (2 € vs. 5 $ for a can of beer).
-HT

Topic: RE: Amsterdam To Berlin And Back On AB (pics)
Username: MH017
Posted 2005-12-30 21:44:00 and read 6032 times.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 11):
So in a few months I'll become a 'Silver' member on AB's FFP

Great to see that, Eric, I myself now a Top-Bonus "Gold" member can select seats, change flights for free, transport 30 kilograms of baggage now and they'll add 25% additional miles to your flights  Smile
(my free return AB flights will be between Berlin and Arrecife  Smile)

Topic: RE: Amsterdam To Berlin And Back On AB (pics)
Username: Airbuseric
Posted 2005-12-31 09:25:08 and read 5970 times.

Quoting MH017 (Reply 13):
my free return AB flights will be between Berlin and Arrecife

WOW, ACE is a great place for spotting! I've been there some years ago, but still shooting my pics on film instead digital. This is maybe one of the best spotting places in Europe Big grin Beach, mostly sunny, nice variety of aircraft (also you may complete the Binter ATR fleet)... All you can wish for 2006  Wink

When do you travel? In winter months many Scandinavian holiday makers fly to the Canary Islands (e.g. Finnair 757/Sterling 738 etc)

Eric

Topic: RE: Amsterdam To Berlin And Back On AB (pics)
Username: HT
Posted 2006-01-01 18:30:35 and read 5886 times.

Quoting MH017 (Reply 13):
(my free return AB flights will be between Berlin and Arrecife

... which will eat up more miles under AB´s new structure for award flights (now 20,000 miles to the Canaries instead of 15,000), but still I think AB´s FF-program is quite generous as award flights remain to be totally free of charges.
-HT

Topic: RE: Amsterdam To Berlin And Back On AB (pics)
Username: MH017
Posted 2006-01-01 20:56:04 and read 5864 times.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 14):
When do you travel? In winter months many Scandinavian holiday makers fly to the Canary Islands (e.g. Finnair 757/Sterling 738 etc)

April, hopefully these Scandies still fly there in that month ?!

Topic: RE: Amsterdam To Berlin And Back On AB (pics)
Username: Andaman
Posted 2006-01-02 04:33:34 and read 5840 times.

Quoting MH017 (Reply 16):

April, hopefully these Scandies still fly there in that month ?!

Yes, it will be busy in Eastern.


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