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Canaries And Confusion: LH CRJ900 & Spanair A321  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Posted (7 years 2 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 12154 times:

Canaries and Confusion: MUC-MAD-ACE on LH CityLine CRJ900 & Spanair A321



Intro
I early May my girlfriend and I started searching for a one-week vacation package for early July. We checked several classic holiday regions, e.g. Greek Islands, Cyprus and the Canary Islands, but the most difficult task was to find interesting flights. I wanted to avoid rather boring nonstop flights on Air Berlin, TUIfly or LTU so we tried to find "hotel+flight" combinations. It was quite an odyssey but finally we found a RIU hotel at Lanzarote and Spanair flights on TUI's website. Several combinations were available and we earmarked the segments MUC-MAD-ACE (operated by Lufthansa CityLine CRJ900 and Spanair A320) as well as ACE-BCN-MUC on Spanair MD-83 and A320. The CRJ900 and the MD-83 were still missing in my log and I could spend six hours for spotting at MAD.

However, when I wanted to book the flights on the next day the price had suddenly risen by more than 50 Euro (for a total of some 380 Euro per person). I was really sour that the attractive combo wasn’t available any more for a reasonable price, so we had no choice but to start searching again. In the end we discovered a combination for departure two days later at the original price, though the MD-83 was replaced by an MD-82 (already in my log). I decided to bite the bullet before losing that fare, too...


Re-Routing & Schedule Change
Eight days later I received an email from TUI - when I read "Update of your booking" I feared the worst - which was confirmed a few moments later: the reservation for MUC-MAD-ACE had been changed to MUC-BCN-ACE - the same routing as on the return journey. The reason given by TUI was "cancelation of flight by the airline". That meant the CRJ900 was lost, and no spotting at Madrid.  embarrassed  At least the flights to and from ACE now showed an MD-83 which was still missing in my log. Another negative side effect was the new departure time of 07:25 from MUC, in contrast to 08:50 in the original itinerary.
I checked TUI’s and Spanair’s websites again and the connection via MAD was still available. Later I called TUI and pointed out that the flights were still available on several websites. All they could say was that Spanair had informed TUI about the change. Just when I had accepted the route change, I received another "update" some weeks later: The departure time had been changed again - from 07:25 to 06:25. Really painful, considering the two-hour drive at night and the requirement to be at the airport at least 90 minutes prior to departure…

Btw - I called Spanair’s hotline and asked about reserving seat numbers in advance due to the repeated switch of our departure time. The lady was quite friendly and asked a supervisor but my request was rejected. She said the system didn’t accept seat reservations with Economy fares…and web-check-in would be possible only from Spain. So we had no choice but going to the airport early…  irked 

Check-in Confusion
Departure day had come and at 04:30 we approached the still deserted Lufthansa’s check-in counters at Terminal 2. A very kind lady in the 50s welcomed us and entered our data. I asked for the available seats and the lady promised we could choose them directly from the seat map at her screen. "We have plenty of time”, she added. So we picked the seats as desired and she printed the boarding passes. However, she looked a bit confused and told us that the e-ticket number hadn’t been printed. “Without that you may be denied boarding”, she explained. She tried again, apparently had a closer look at the reservation and suddenly said: “The system actually shows a connection via Madrid.”  eyebrow   confused 
I couldn’t believe that and told her about the two flight change notifications. She asked whether we wanted to fly via MAD - if not, a new e-ticket for MUC-BCN-ACE would have to be issued. We discussed a bit because the 08:50 departure would require more than two hours of additional waiting but then we accepted. Now I would not only get the CRJ900 and plenty of time for spotting as originally planned, but also a Spanair A321 - the scheduled A320 service had been upgraded meanwhile.  Smile
Again the kind and patient lady let us pick the seats from the seat map, but she could only print the boarding pass for MUC-MAD. It was impossible to print the pass for the MAD-ACE segment. The lady contacted a colleague who checked the problem and said a bit ironically after a while: "Well, the Spaniards like to do that stuff themselves." So we would have to speak up at a counter at MAD - and of course we hoped we wouldn't face another problem with that strange reservation...



Wednesday, 04 July 2007
Munich (MUC) - Madrid (MAD)
Lufthansa CityLine LH4420
08:50-11:25 (09:27-12:02)
Flying time: 02:20 (hrs)

Bombardier CRJ900LR
D-ACKJ (MSN 15089), delivered 10/2006
Economy Seat 18D



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Photo © Florian Negele
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Photo © T.Laurent




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Photo © LuckyStar
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Photo © Joel Vogt




Late Arrival
The time passed by faster than expected while we enjoyed free coffee and tea as well as a large selection of newspapers at the gate. A343 ZS-SXA was parked at the terminal - after completing its first flight of SAA's new JNB-MUC-JNB service.
Shortly after 08:00 we noticed on a screen that our departure would be delayed due to the late arrival of the aircraft. Boarding was started shortly after 08:30 and a bus took us to D-ACKJ, delivered in 10/2006.




Delay
Boarding was completed at 08:50 and the captain informed us about the flight's status. He apologized for the delay and expressed with regret that the ATC hadn't been able to allow for a departure earlier than 09:30. "We try to do whatever possible to shorten the waiting time", he added. It was quite warm in the cabin and the friendly F/As soon started to offer cups with water. What I found really annoying during that time was a permanent and rather loud buzzing sound in the cabin.

At 09:27 we finally left the gate and took off ten minutes later...




...leaving behind the bad weather.




Cabin Comfort & Seating
The CRJ900's cabin is not as spacious as the ERJ170/190's, but still quite comfortable (just like on the CRJ700) - much better than on the basic CRJ100/200. Despite the 100% load factor, it didn't feel cramped. Cabin view:


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Photo © Denis Roschlau - AirTeamImages



The leather seats are comfortable as well, seat pitch decent, even for a two-hour+ flight:




Breakfast
Breakfast service was started soon and I was surprised about a well-arranged tray with two fresh bread rolls, cheese, smoked fillet of ham, turkey breast, a small tomato, jam and orange juice. Everything tasted really good, F/As offered two rounds of drinks.




Approach
Somewhere close to Zaragoza the captain informed us about a cruising altitude of 39.000 feet or 11,900 meters and a remaining flying time of 35 minutes. Approach to MAD was a bit bumpy...




...and touchdown followed at 11:57. We parked at a remote position and were bussed to Terminal 1.



Madrid Barajas Airport & More Confusion
On our way through the arrival area we watched out for a transfer desk and wondered whether we would depart from Terminal 2 or 3 because a map showed that Spanair was present at both. Construction work throughout the building didn't help either so we decided to head to the central Spanair check-in area at Terminal 3. We weren't happy to find some 80-100 Economy Class travelers waiting in row in that hot, sticky hall, so we went to a deserted Business Class counter on the opposite side.
Fortunately, a young female agent immediately checked our reservation after I had explained the problem and asked for the remaining boarding passes. My fears came true again and the lady looked quite confused, she seemed to browse through numerous sites and then started talking about "Tenerife and Lanzarote flights were only available today".  confused 
I wasn't sure whether she had understood the problem - I definitely hadn't asked about switching to another flight on another day. Then she mentioned that a new ticket would have to be issued at a ticket counter, but then she dialed a number and talked on the phone for several minutes. Meanwhile a young employee, probably a trainee, checked numbers on the agent's computer, keyboard and monitor and wrote them down on a list - he moved the parts rather recklessly and for a moment I thought the computer would be disconnected. The agent gave him an evil eye and he stopped...Finally, the agent confirmed we would get the boarding passes. I asked for seats in the rear section of the cabin and we took row 33.

Madrid Spotting
We passed security again and took a seat at the large glass front at Terminal 3. Several gate areas were hopelessly congested and sometimes some 100-150 passengers were standing in row and blocking the passage as soon as boarding started. In certain cases masses of people already started to line up even before boarding was announced.
The remaining hours passed by quickly and I got a total of 93 new registrations, including "goodies" like Air Italy B733, Pace Airlines B757 and PLUNA B763.



Wednesday, 04 July 2007
Madrid (MAD) - Lanzarote (ACE)
Spanair JK5110
17:20-18:55 (17:54-19:20)
Flying time: 02:11 (hrs)

Airbus A321-231
EC-INB (MSN 1946), delivered 04/2003
Economy Seat 33E



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Photo © A. Muñiz Zaragüeta




Late arrival
Half an hour prior to departure our gate was still deserted so I guessed we would be delayed again. Then a Spanair A321 arrived and rolled to the gate - it was EC-INB, the last of five A321s delivered to the airline between 2000 and 2003. Btw - Spanair was the first airline to accept the 93 MTOW version.




Large titles promoting the island of Tenerife:




Boarding
Even though the aircraft had just arrived, numerous passengers already lined up and most of them were standing around for more than 30 until boarding was started...We preferred to remain seated and watched our luggage being loaded into the hold. We were among the last passengers to enter the cabin which was totally packed - there may have been some empty C-Class seats, but Economy Class was full - which means a total of more than 200 passengers on that A321 flight. Cabin view:


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Photo © Fernando González Alcobre -Canary Islands Spotting




Cabin Comfort & Seating
I had read about Spanair's cramped seating before and I can confirm all the reports are true. While the seats are ok, the pitch is at minimum, numerous LCCs offer much more than that. The ads for Vodafone throughout the cabin support the LCC-like atmosphere.




Though the cabin seemed to be clean at first look, I discovered lots of dirt at the seat frame:




Departure
Some passengers had arrived late and we finally left the gate more than half an hour late at 17:54. No explanation for the delay at any time...On the way to the runway we passed the new and shiny Terminal 4:




After a rather long takeoff roll we lifted off at 18:06:




EC-INB's shadow...




The climb-out was bumpy and therefore quite enjoyable...  Wink




IFE
Spanair has installed overhead foldout screens but the view from my seat was limited. They showed the airshow channel for a while and then switched to TV features which I didn't follow at all. There were also some audio channels available but I preferred to use my MP3-player.


Onboard Sale: High Prices, Low Quality
I knew Spanair would charge for everything on domestic flights, even on the longer ones to the Canary Islands, and I decided to test some of their offerings. The menu card and the pictures look promising:




While I ordered a cheese ciabatta, my girlfriend decided to try a "chicken & bacon" sandwich for 5 Euro each. Tonic for 1,50 Euro was the drink of choice for both of us. In the end we paid a total of 13 Euro for some stuff which wasn't even worth 5 Euro. My ciabatta with four tiny slices of cheese was dry-as-dust and seemed to be several days old - some butter or mayonnaise would have helped a little bit, but there was none. Simply awful.  embarrassed 




My girlfriend's sandwich wasn't much better. The "chicken & bacon" turned out to be a kind of "mixed sausage something" that tasted just strange and the lettuce appeared to be old and was tasteless.




Not to forget, the Tonic called "Nordic Mist" was served in 250 ml cans - not in common 330 ml cans. Some passengers also ordered the "hot meal" in boxes (including drink, bread roll & sweet) for 9 Euro which looked relatively small as well. Interestingly, numerous passengers ordered snacks and drinks - I'm wondering how many have drawn the same conclusion of "high prices, low quality."

I recovered from the disappointment by enjoying my window view. Btw, no announcements from the flightdeck at any time.  thumbsdown 




Approach
The remaining flight was uneventful and after we were oh-so-generously offered a free candy we started the approach to Lanzarote, sliding through thick clouds:




Low clouds over the Atlantic Ocean, windy approach:




Only a few moments to go...




...until we touched down roughly and slowed down at runway 03:




After three minutes we arrived at the gate a rather deserted airport and while leaving the aircraft and rushing through the airport we were really looking forward to the dinner buffet at the hotel...  Wink



Conclusion

Flying Lufthansa CityLine was a pleasure - comfortable aircraft, motivated crews and an excellent breakfast. Delays can happen at any time due to whatever reasons - the question is how airlines handle them. Lufthansa made a good job and kept us updated, serving water on the ground is a nice and welcome gesture. Also, I have to praise the female agent at check-in - one of the most patient and kindest persons I have ever met at an airline counter. The CRJ900 is one of the better regional aircraft, but still prefer the E170/190 with its spacious cabin.
Anyway,  thumbsup  for Lufthansa this time.

Flying Spanair on the domestic segment was a big disappointment. The airline is part of Star Alliance but operates like a cheap LCC in terms of onboard service and comfort. Seating is extremely cramped, nothing's for free except for a sweet. They could at least serve cold drinks on the two-hour+ flights to the Canary Islands. What's most annoying is the low quality of the stuff they sell - I don't mind paying 5 Euro for a sandwich if it's fresh and tastes good - but charging 5 Euro for junk food is impudent. Numerous LCCs know how to make it better.
Several F/As didn't appear motivated, but at least the agent at MAD was quite friendly. It's still a mystery what exactly happened to our reservation, but it's clear something had gone entirely wrong. Would I recommend Spanair? Definitely not for longer domestic segments - international service is a different story. More to follow in the return trip report.

Next reports:
ACE-LPA-ACE on Islas Airways ATR72 and Binter ATR72 (operated by NAYSA)
ACE-BCN-MUC on Spanair MD-83 and A320




As usual, comments, opinions and questions welcome!


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (7 years 2 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 12111 times:

Madrid Airport is a lot nicer than Barcelona which is too small, old and a mess. I recently flew on Lufthansa and I was very impressed. How was Lanzarote? Can you post a few pictures? Where on the island did you stay? It's a place I would like to visit soon. Thanks for the great pictures. The sandwiches on Iberia are also expensive but quite tasty.

User currently offlineSailorOrion From Germany, joined Feb 2001, 2058 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (7 years 2 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 12068 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Really painful, considering the two-hour drive at night and the requirement to be at the airport at least 90 minutes prior to departure…

Why the 90 minutes on LH? Never, in any of my flights from MUC (including those to the US), have I checked in 90+ minutes prior to departure. 60 minutes is normally what I aim at for the U.S-bound flights, and I've "survived" with checking in 25 minutes ppd (hand luggage only).

SailorOrion


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5170 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (7 years 2 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 12022 times:

Hey, PH,

now, time to read your well written pre-announced ACE story.
Real interesting.

I agree with your positive opinion about MUC, my favourite german airport nowadays
and also LH around Europe, with the number of different aircraft available.

You know from my MAH report, also JK domestic included, that I was also not on the positive side
surprised about them.
No service, no announcements, but the cabin crew (ok, AeBal) was nice and friendly.
I hope that the LH management know what they do, when they calculate a take-over offer.

Lanzarote is also a well known place for me, where do you stay there?.

Regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: Capital travel on schedule!.
User currently offlineBBADXB From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 2 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 11913 times:

Wow! This trip report made for some very interesting reading indeed (especially about Spanair).

I love LH. I flew them so many times since my first time in 1999.

Out of Malta, they are simply the cheapest full-service airline most of the time, and very good value for money (probably the best together with GT if you're just travelling between LGW & MLA).
Their Miles & More FFQTV programme is simply the best amongst the operators into MLA.
And Lufthansa still offers the best connections worlwide. I love FRA, but I like MUC and DUS more.

I only flew JK last year BCN-ALC-BCN. On the BCN-ALC sector, I got bumped to Avantclass, but it didn't live up to my almost non-existant expectations. The crew left a lot to be desired, but thank goodness, it was just a short hop. I did get a very very small sandwich and a drink for free! On the return sector, I was offered an upgrade to their Avantclass again, but I politely declined and asked them whether I could still be seated down at the back. Yes I did.  biggrin  The crew on this sector were very good though.

Please let me know when you post the return flights trip report - I'd love to read it!

BBADXB


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 5, posted (7 years 2 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 11899 times:

Thanks for all replies!

First of all, here are some selected pictures from Lanzarote, more will follow in the return trip report.


Playa des los Pocillos at Puerto del Carmen - one of the nicest beaches on the island, mostly consisting of fine grey sand, shelving gently into the sea. There are ony very few places with black stones on that beach.




Fundacion Cesar Marique - situated in what was local artist Cesar Manrique's house, known as 'El Taro de Tahiche'. The house is built on an unusual and unique terrain - over five lava bubbles:




Mirador del Río - a viewpoint situated on an approximately 475 meters high escarpment called Batería del Río in the very north Lanzarote, created by artist Cesar Manrique. It provides a stunning view over the strait of "Río" towards the archaic island of La Graciosa. The view wasn't the best on the day when we went up there:




The "Valley of 1000 Palms" in the municipality of Haría in the northern portion of the island:




Blossoming cactus flower:




Parque Nacional de Timanfaya - the clearest exponent of the volcanic origins of the island, with a red, ocre and black lunar landscape:




The crater of El Golfo with La Laguna de los Ciclos in the middle - one of the few and rare examples of hydro-volcanism (volcanic activity that occurs near the coast):




Los Hervideros - caves and blow holes which have been eroded by the sea from the Lava flow:




The vineyards of La Gería, famous for traditional methods of cultivation. Single vines are planted in pits, protected by stone walls. Btw - the vineyards are part of the World Heritage Site.



Quoting Semsem (Reply 1):
How was Lanzarote?

We liked it a lot, there's a much to do - a good mix of nature, culture, relaxation. I can really recommend the island.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 1):
Where on the island did you stay?



Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
Lanzarote is also a well known place for me, where do you stay there?.

We stayed at the RIU Olivina, a four-star hotel at Puerto del Carmen, located just 300 meters from the Playa de los Pocillos. The airport is only a few kilometers aways which means one can walk along the beach and do some spotting.  Smile Though, the number of movements is limited most of the time, aircraft noise is almost a non-issue where we stayed.

Quoting SailorOrion (Reply 2):
Why the 90 minutes on LH?

Rather a "personal" requirement in order to make sure I get a good seat.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
now, time to read your well written pre-announced ACE story.



Quoting BBADXB (Reply 4):
Wow! This trip report made for some very interesting reading indeed (especially about Spanair).

Thanks!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
I hope that the LH management know what they do, when they calculate a take-over offer.

The Spanish market is important and Spanair could be a good investment, it will be interesting to see what happens. Though, service needs to be improved.

Quoting BBADXB (Reply 4):
I only flew JK last year BCN-ALC-BCN. On the BCN-ALC sector, I got bumped to Avantclass, but it didn't live up to my almost non-existant expectations. The crew left a lot to be desired, but thank goodness, it was just a short hop. I did get a very very small sandwich and a drink for free!

Not very encouraging!

Quoting BBADXB (Reply 4):
On the return sector, I was offered an upgrade to their Avantclass again, but I politely declined and asked them whether I could still be seated down at the back. Yes I did.

Wow, I guess they look quite confused after that?  Smile


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineDALCE From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1689 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (7 years 2 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 11844 times:

Hi PH,

A very nice TR, including my favorite airline LH  Smile

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The CRJ900's cabin is not as spacious as the ERJ170/190's, but still quite comfortable (just like on the CRJ700) - much better than on the basic CRJ100/200.

I can only fully agree on this point. I really hope the Embraers ordered by LH will be operated by Cityline iso. Swiss.
It also would be a great sight to see the E-190's wearing the Kranich  Smile

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
total of more than 200 passengers on that A321 flight.

Ouch........that must have been crampy

Thanks for sharing your story, a true pleasure to read!

Gruss,

Joost ( DALCE )



flown on : F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,319,320,321,333,AB6.
User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (7 years 2 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 11794 times:

Thanks for adding the pictures of Lanzerote. I was told that the island of Fuerteventura nearby is also nice.

User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 2 months 1 day ago) and read 11741 times:

Great report with great pictures, very enjoyable as always!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The CRJ900's cabin is not as spacious as the ERJ170/190's, but still quite comfortable (just like on the CRJ700) - much better than on the basic CRJ100/200.

I've never flown on the -900 series but I like the -700 series because it is way more comfortable than the -100 or -200 series. But in general I prefer the ERJs over the CRJs.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Breakfast service was started soon and I was surprised about a well-arranged tray with two fresh bread rolls, cheese, smoked fillet of ham, turkey breast, a small tomato, jam and orange juice. Everything tasted really good, F/As offered two rounds of drinks.

Looks indeed ok, not bad!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I had read about Spanair's cramped seating before and I can confirm all the reports are true. While the seats are ok, the pitch is at minimum, numerous LCCs offer much more than that. The ads for Vodafone throughout the cabin support the LCC-like atmosphere.

Good to know, currently I am searching for flights to Spain for a post Christmas trip, Spanair is out now!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
On the way to the runway we passed the new and shiny Terminal 4:

Looks cool, I really want to see it with my own eyes thus I want to connect in Madrid in December... well, there is only Iberia left since Spanair is not an option anymore after reading your report. Iberia is not really better but conecting in Madrid's new terminal and getting a MD-88 is a small compensation.

Patrick


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 9, posted (7 years 2 months 1 day ago) and read 11716 times:

Thanks for all your new replies!

Quoting DALCE (Reply 6):
I really hope the Embraers ordered by LH will be operated by Cityline iso. Swiss.
It also would be a great sight to see the E-190's wearing the Kranich

My guess is that both will sooner or later operate the jets. Now LH only needs some IFE advice from Air Canada...  Wink

Quoting DALCE (Reply 6):
Ouch........that must have been crampy

British charter feeling...well, almost.  Wink 212 seats on Spanair, 220 on Monarch and MyTravel.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 7):
I was told that the island of Fuerteventura nearby is also nice.

Yes, that's true.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 8):
Good to know, currently I am searching for flights to Spain for a post Christmas trip, Spanair is out now!

The international service was not bad, except for the cramped seating. I'm not sure what's IB's current service policy on European flights.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 8):
Iberia is not really better but conecting in Madrid's new terminal and getting a MD-88 is a small compensation.

Two very convincing arguments!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5170 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (7 years 2 months 23 hours ago) and read 11709 times:

Hey, PH,

thanx for the further bunch of great pix.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
We stayed at the RIU Olivina

RIU seems always a good "investment" for your vacation budget!.
I had to stay at the "La Galea" in Costa Teguise and at the "Iberostar Costa Calero"
near Puerto del Carmen.

Regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: Capital travel on schedule!.
User currently offlineHAM From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 287 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (7 years 2 months 23 hours ago) and read 11698 times:

nice report. it reminds me of my overnight stay in that horrible construction-site terminal in MAD when I flew MAD-ZRH on JK a few weeks ago. The flight left at 6.45, and since the Madrid metro starts only at 6h, I had to arrive in the evening (after I heard about the horrible taxi service in Madrid). I had checked in online, but as the printer at the hostel didn´t work, I couldn´t get into the airside area. so I tried to sleep in some landside 24h restaurant until 5h next morning, when about 200 pax lined up at the check-in counters (I think 3 were open). All self-checkin kiosks were out of order! I remembered from the trip there that there were 2 kiosks at the metro station, but they were also broken. I saw a sign for the special MAD-BCN "airbridge" service in a dedicated terminal area. I was the only one who went there, and one out of the ten checkin kiosks worked! I printed a boarding pass and slept another hour at the gate. the flight on the MD87, the reason for all this, was interesting: loud and rocket-like takeoff (I was seated in the second-last row), then I fell asleep until ZRH.
Anyway, the terminal must be finished soon and hopefully they will take care of the checkin-chaos. I am wondering why the MAD metro doesn´t run at least an early airport service, which might be interesting for business travelers!


User currently offlineDALCE From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1689 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (7 years 2 months 23 hours ago) and read 11685 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
My guess is that both will sooner or later operate the jets. Now LH only needs some IFE advice from Air Canada...

So true!! But they are installing PTV's and AVOD in an 333 ( D-AIKD ) and 346 ( D-AIHE ) for testing. If the tests succeed, they will install the whole widebody fleet with it........FINALLY Big grin



flown on : F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,319,320,321,333,AB6.
User currently offlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3246 posts, RR: 22
Reply 13, posted (7 years 2 months 18 hours ago) and read 11547 times:

Hey PH,

Thanks for sharing your experiences on this route! Great report!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I wanted to avoid rather boring nonstop flights on Air Berlin, TUIfly or LTU

I'm sure your girlfriend would have been delighted.  Wink

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
and web-check-in would be possible only from Spain.

What?  confused 

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
and I was surprised about a well-arranged tray with two fresh bread rolls, cheese, smoked fillet of ham, turkey breast, a small tomato, jam and orange juice.

Being a regular US domestic flyer, I can only drool at the sight of the breakfast!  drool  Oh, man. That would have been so nice in the BOS-SFO route...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I don't mind paying 5 Euro for a sandwich if it's fresh and tastes good

I totally agree with you on this. I would be willing to pay a few euros for a decent meal / snack on board, but not for junk.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The CRJ900's cabin is not as spacious as the ERJ170/190's, but still quite comfortable (just like on the CRJ700)

Ah, give me a Jungle Jet any day!  Smile

Safe flying,

Tony



Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
User currently offlineBuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 880 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 2 months 4 hours ago) and read 11346 times:

wow... amazing trip report... sorry you had to go through all that confusion but glad that it worked out in the end. The pictures from the island are stunning.
thank you much for sharing...


User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 15, posted (7 years 2 months 1 hour ago) and read 11274 times:

Hi PlaneHunter,

very good report about a really special routing between MUC and ACE - indeed much more interesting than a non-stop holiday flight on AB, X3 etc.

The LH-breakfast looks really good. There seems to be a significant difference on LH between shorter European legs (only a small bread roll) and longer European legs (tray meal with really nice variety).

By the way: I really liked your pictures - the aviation-related ones as well as those from Lanzarote. Well done!

Regards
Christoph


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 16, posted (7 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 11203 times:

Hello everyone and thanks for all new feedback!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 10):

RIU seems always a good "investment" for your vacation budget!.
I had to stay at the "La Galea" in Costa Teguise and at the "Iberostar Costa Calero"
near Puerto del Carmen.

RIU hotels aren't cheap, but they're usually worth it. The RUI Olivina is one of the cleanest hotels I have ever seen and the food was great. The Iberostar Costa Calero seems to be a good choice, too, right?

Quoting HAM (Reply 11):
The flight left at 6.45, and since the Madrid metro starts only at 6h, I had to arrive in the evening (after I heard about the horrible taxi service in Madrid). I had checked in online, but as the printer at the hostel didn´t work, I couldn´t get into the airside area. so I tried to sleep in some landside 24h restaurant until 5h next morning, when about 200 pax lined up at the check-in counters (I think 3 were open). All self-checkin kiosks were out of order! I remembered from the trip there that there were 2 kiosks at the metro station, but they were also broken. I saw a sign for the special MAD-BCN "airbridge" service in a dedicated terminal area. I was the only one who went there, and one out of the ten checkin kiosks worked! I printed a boarding pass and slept another hour at the gate.

What a horrible experience...

Quoting HAM (Reply 11):
the flight on the MD87, the reason for all this, was interesting: loud and rocket-like takeoff (I was seated in the second-last row), then I fell asleep until ZRH.

MD-80 takeoffs are a pleasure in most cases. Second last row - blind window?

Quoting DALCE (Reply 12):
So true!! But they are installing PTV's and AVOD in an 333 ( D-AIKD ) and 346 ( D-AIHE ) for testing. If the tests succeed, they will install the whole widebody fleet with it........FINALLY

Yes, that was overdue. But I rather meant an AC-advice for PTVs on the CRJs and ERJs...  Wink  Wink

Quoting SNATH (Reply 13):
I'm sure your girlfriend would have been delighted.

Actually no - she even supports me when I search for flights on not-yet flown carriers!  Smile

Quoting SNATH (Reply 13):
Ah, give me a Jungle Jet any day!

If it's the big one, yes!  Smile

Quoting Buck3y3nut (Reply 14):
sorry you had to go through all that confusion but glad that it worked out in the end.

Indeed it worked very well in the end, considering I also got the A321 (not planned originally) and an A320 in Star Alliance colors on the return journey.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 15):
The LH-breakfast looks really good. There seems to be a significant difference on LH between shorter European legs (only a small bread roll) and longer European legs (tray meal with really nice variety).

True - do you know where they draw the line? 120 minutes?

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 15):
By the way: I really liked your pictures - the aviation-related ones as well as those from Lanzarote. Well done!

Thanks! I will post some more non-aviation related in the return trip report.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineInfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1459 posts, RR: 33
Reply 17, posted (7 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 11037 times:

What a story! I find it quite unbelieveable that you can receive two notifications of a route change only to be be offered your original flights at check-in. Great that you got to do your spotting in MAD.

Those sandwiches look pretty awful and as for the dirt between the seats....eurrrgh! and then compared to the nice breakfast on LH, just shows how different things can be.

hope you enjoyed the holiday and look forward to reading about the return leg

Greetings
Infodesk



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 18, posted (7 years 1 month 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 10996 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
Quoting Contact Air (Reply 15):
The LH-breakfast looks really good. There seems to be a significant difference on LH between shorter European legs (only a small bread roll) and longer European legs (tray meal with really nice variety).

True - do you know where they draw the line? 120 minutes?

120 minutes could be right. I recently got the "small" service (only a small roll) on STR-LHR which is scheduled with 105 minutes.


User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4682 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (7 years 1 month 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 10854 times:

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 18):
120 minutes could be right. I recently got the "small" service (only a small roll) on STR-LHR which is scheduled with 105 minutes.

When I flew MUC-LHR, which is scheduled as exactly 120 minutes, in November, I only got the small roll, too.  Sad



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 20, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 10744 times:

Thanks for all new replies!

Quoting Infodesk (Reply 17):
Those sandwiches look pretty awful and as for the dirt between the seats....eurrrgh! and then compared to the nice breakfast on LH, just shows how different things can be.

I'm wondering how many remains of awful sandwiches served in the past years have been dropped in the gap between the seats...  embarrassed 

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 18):
120 minutes could be right. I recently got the "small" service (only a small roll) on STR-LHR which is scheduled with 105 minutes.



Quoting Contact Air (Reply 18):
When I flew MUC-LHR, which is scheduled as exactly 120 minutes, in November, I only got the small roll, too.

Interesting, maybe it's not just dependant of flying time.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4269 posts, RR: 51
Reply 21, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 10602 times:

Hi PH,

so many replies already given on this report, I wasn't able to do earlier as I'm just back from a short holiday.
All I say is that I enjoyed the reading of your experience on LH and JK.
I've flown a JK MD83 too (BIO-BCN) and found the crew OK, also free candy before landing. I had a coffee and kind of muffin from their menu which were OK, although it's simple food basically.

Gruß
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineNdebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2901 posts, RR: 22
Reply 22, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 10442 times:

Hi PH,

let me just repeat all other opinions when I confirm that I really liked reading this report. Quite interesting, your LH experience turned out to be far better than I would have expected (haven't flown them for years), JK far worse than I had expected (haven't flown them at all). Very interesting comparison.

I'm still looking for an interesting routing for a few-days-holiday on the Canary Islands for November. Your report helps a lot.

Regards, Alex.


User currently offlineDrogba From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 73 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 10341 times:

Nice job. I already read a lot of TRs on airliners.net, but this was the best one. So detailed and interesting, keep on! Your report shows again how good Lufthansa is, but I'm a bit "shocked" about Spanair. They are in StarAlliance though.

P.S.: Don't worry about the EMB190. They will come soon in the LH fleet .

[Edited 2007-08-01 23:07:19]


Next trips: TXL-VNO-FRA-ZRH-TXL, TXL-FRA-MAD-MUC-TXL , SXF-NAP-SXF, GWT-TXL
User currently offlineHAM From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 287 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 10254 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
Second last row - blind window?

I guessed that the last row might have either a blind window or the engine blocking the view, and I was relieved to see that the second last row had a good view.


25 PlaneHunter : Thanks for all new replies! My return flights were slightly better, especially the international sector. Will take some more time until that report is
26 Post contains images BA319-131 : Great report and photo's, many thanks indeed! - Sounds like time well spent The impressions there of JK are pretty poor, looks like a real LCC service
27 OA260 : Nice TR and I agree with you about MUC . I was dissapointed to hear about JK . I never flew them and now probably wont unless its in J class. I did he
28 PlaneHunter : Indeed, the hours passed quickly... JK domestic is a very basic LCC product. I flew Niki again last week and their good (free) sandwiches have even b
29 IberiaA319 : I just read your reports, great pictures! Well, here in Spain many of the bread rolls (bocadillos) are like this. There is no tradition in using butte
30 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Interesting to hear - but even some butter or mayonnaise wouldn't have made it much better... PH
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