Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
The Short-Haul Intra-EU Faceoff: Air Berlin  
User currently offlineGlobetraveller From Germany, joined Apr 2008, 379 posts, RR: 20
Posted (5 years 5 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 19795 times:

The Short-Haul Intra-EU Faceoff: Lufthansa, Air Berlin & Flyglobespan


Welcome to my short-haul intra-EU flight series. In between my usual long haul travels, I needed to go to several European destinations to visit some family and friends. However, this created a unique problem: I needed to buy several one way tickets and these are often excessively overpriced. Thankfully, after spending the better half of a day hunting for the best prices, I managed to find some reasonable deals on three different airlines.

The first part of this trip report series with Lufthansa can be found here.



Introduction

Low Cost Carriers; whether you love them or hate them, it is undeniable that they have become a substantial force in the aviation industry. Some argue that these airlines are the best advancement in aviation over the last decade. For example, it could be said that Michael O’Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, has made a larger contribution to bringing people in Europe together than the European Union and its introduction of borderless travel in Europe. On the other hand, environmentalists blame Low Cost Carriers for excessive carbon emissions and unnecessary traveling. I mean, who needs to fly to Paris for dinner?

Personally, I am not a massive fan of Low Cost Carriers and I usually try to fly with legacies if I can. I hate being nickel and dimed to death for absolutely everything and I find that the difference in fares to full service carriers, with all things such as baggage charges considered, is often not as much as one would imagine. When I was looking around for tickets to travel from the United Kingdom to Germany and from Germany to Majorca, the very reasonable fares and simple connections of Lufthansa and Air Berlin won me over. However, when I was looking for flights from Majorca to Edinburgh, Flyglobespan had a deal I could not refuse.

So why am I comparing a low cost, a semi low cost and a full service carrier on different routes? Well, I think the PAD-PMI, PMI-EDI and BHX-FRA sectors are actually quite similar. They are all short-haul intra-European flights less than three hours long. Additionally, the ticket price per mile was 9.88 Euro cents on Air Berlin, 8.47 Euro cents on Flyglobespan and 10.78 Euro cents on Lufthansa, which is also not too dissimilar either. Just for comparison, an SQ ticket from SIN-FRA is about 30 Euro cents per mile! So, is Air Berlin really a semi low cost carrier? Or is it the same as Flyglobespan? And what can Lufthansa bring to the table in defense of the Legacy carriers? Read on and find out.



General Flight Overview

Airline: Air Berlin (AB)
Flight number: AB 5228
Origin: Paderborn/Lippstadt Airport (PAD)
Destination: Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI)
Distance: 880 miles
Scheduled departure time: 17:55
Scheduled flight time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Class of Travel: Economy Class
Seat: 3F
Equipment: 737-8Q8
Registration: D-ABBU

Departure Airport

Paderborn/Lippstadt Airport (PAD) looks like a little landing strip when compared to other airports in Germany such as Frankfurt or Munich. It is located about 18 kilometers to the southwest of the town of Paderborn in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Airport mostly serves charter flights and Low Cost Carriers, with the exception of the Lufthansa CityLine services to Frankfurt and Munich. More than 1.5 million passengers use Paderborn/Lippstadt Airport every year; most of them are holidaymakers travelling to Southern Europe.

After a relaxing one and a half hour drive, I arrived outside the small terminal building at PAD. The curbside was almost completely deserted, which made me wonder if there were even any flights operating today. Needless to say, my fears were extinguished when I saw that the very bright Air Berlin counter in the Departures Hall was open.


The exterior of the terminal building at PAD.


The small curbside at Paderborn/Lippstadt Airport.


The vibrant Air Berlin ticketing counter in the Departures Hall.


Other than a few counters from car hire companies and travel agents, there was not much to see and do inside the Departures Hall. In terms of check-in facilities, six counters were available and three of them were being used by Air Berlin this evening. Sadly, as I passed by the Flight Information screen next to the check-in area, I noticed that my flight to Majorca was already delayed by 25 minutes until 18:20.  Sad I guess the Low Cost Carrier experience had well and truly begun!


An overview of the Departures Hall at PAD.


The Flight Information screen showing the delay of AB5228 until 18:20.


The small check-in area inside the Departures Hall.


Apparently, most passengers had already checked in when I arrived at the counter at 17:00, because there were no queues whatsoever. At the counter, I was welcomed by a friendly and efficient Air Berlin agent. Even though I had already checked in for the flight online, she reissued my boarding pass as she checked my luggage through to Palma de Mallorca. At the end, she wished me a pleasant holiday in Palma and a great flight with Air Berlin. Now, if you remember my recent KUL-DOH-FRA trip with QR, I am sure you would agree that the check-in service with Air Berlin was better than that of Qatar Airways. So a Low Cost Carrier is better than the ‘Five-star’ Airline…!?


The Air Berlin check-in counters at PAD.


The expanse of the Departure Hall from the second floor.


Before proceeding to the gates through the security check, I decided to have a little look around the remainder of the terminal building. The only other noteworthy place I discovered was a restaurant on the second floor with some decent views of the apron. However, with only five flights still due to depart today, it was very empty. As there was nothing else to see, I headed for the departure gates.


The rather empty restaurant on the second floor of the Terminal building.


The half decent apron views from the restaurant.


The clearly marked way to the departure gates.


With so few flights remaining today, there was only a very short queue at the security check. I also found that the staff at the checkpoint was much more cheerful than those at large international airports. I guess this has something to do with all the passengers being cheerful holidaymakers. In less than five minutes I was in the waiting hall.


The small security check at Paderborn/Lippstadt Airport.


Keeping things simple: PAD only has six gates.


The exterior of the waiting halls next to the gates.


The time was now 17:30 and boarding was meant to have started five minutes ago. However, the empty apron told a different story and while the expected delay until 18:20 had not increased, I had some serious doubts. At least the waiting hall was quite a nice place to be: it had huge windows, a little café and an abundance of seats.


The pleasant waiting hall for gates 5 & 6.


The waiting hall with the café in the far corner.


A potential spotter’s heaven… If there were any aircraft to spot…


As 5:45pm approached, I was beginning to get a little bored. There was simply nothing to see or do inside the terminal, and for someone who usually flies through hubs like DXB, SIN and KUL this was quite hard to live with. Finally, just after 17:45, the roar of D-ABBU’s thrust reversers broke the silence on the tarmac as the aircraft touched down on runway 24.


The massive window front in the waiting hall.


D-ABBU touching down on runway 24 with thrust reversers deployed.


D-ABBU glistening in the evening sun.


As soon as the Air Berlin aircraft had cleared the runway, a Tunisair 737-500 landed right behind it. This seemed quite ironic, because there had not been a single movement on the ground for about an hour and now there had been two landings in close succession. After a short three minute taxi, D-ABBU pulled into Gate 5.


The Air Berlin 737-800 taxiing to the terminal as the Tunisair 737-500 was landing.


D-ABBU pulling into Gate 5.


Up close and personal with the 737-800.


It was obvious that the inbound flight had been very empty, because the passengers had disembarked very quickly. Refueling had also begun as soon as the aircraft had arrived, so it appeared that the 18:20 departure time was still possible. At 18:10, boarding was announced and as usual, everyone crowded around the gate.


D-ABBU with the jetway attached.


The Tunisair 737-500 with registration TS-IOJ.


The usual pre-boarding crowd.


While everyone else was fighting to get onboard the aircraft, I sat watching the activity on the apron. I could also clearly see the queue of passengers on the jetway leading to AB5228, so I decided to wait until it died down. However, the Air Berlin agents had other ideas, and they decided to make an announcement asking Mr. Globetraveller to please proceed for boarding immediately.  mad  Why?! So that I could stand in the queue as well? Feeling slightly embarrassed, I walked towards the agent at the gate and handed over my boarding pass. Following a five minute wait down the jetway, I was onboard AB5228 to PMI at 18:21, 26 minutes after the scheduled time of departure.


The queue down the jetway leading into D-ABBU.


The back of the queue into the aircraft. I was the last passenger to board.


Aircraft

Air Berlin is Germany’s second largest airline after Lufthansa and it has quite a varied fleet of aircraft. As of today, the airline has a fleet size of 125, with 51 Boeing 737s. These aircraft, 16 of which are 737-700s and 35 of which are the 737-800 variant, are used on routes throughout Europe and sometimes even North Africa. The flight between PAD and PMI is usually operated by a 737-800 and today was no different. Air Berlin’s 737-800s seat 186 passengers in a one class configuration.

My aircraft today, D-ABBU, was still carrying the old Air Berlin livery. I was also surprised that this was one of the few 737-800s without winglets. The cabin was moderately clean, but it did show some signs of heavy usage in the bathrooms and on the seats. The cabin was configured in the usual 3-3 layout with a seat pitch of 32 inches and width of 17 inches. Overall, the seat comfort was definitely sufficient for a two hour flight, even for taller individuals such as myself. D-ABBU’s short history has been a vibrant one: it has flown for the colorful Sun Country Airlines, Air Astana and now Air Berlin.

N800SY:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ben Wang
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Robert Flinzner



P4-BAS:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Pavel Pyasetsky



D-ABBU:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Stefan Sonnenberg
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Marco Zeininger



This 737-8Q8 had its maiden flight in January 2001. The aircraft is owned by Air Berlin and the first flight in Air Berlin colors was in April 2007.


D-ABBU arriving at the gate at PAD.


Flight


My printed boarding pass for AB5228 from PAD to PMI.


The reissued boarding pass for AB5228 from PAD to PMI.


At the door, I was welcomed by no one. Instead, the crew was too busy making final preparations for takeoff in the small galley. I guess a 35 minute turnaround was impressive especially since the departing flight was completely packed, but a little “good evening” or “welcome onboard” isn’t too much to ask for, is it? After reshuffling some bags in the overhead compartments and getting frowned upon by my fellow Germans,  Wink I managed to find a space somewhere over row 1 and proceeded to take my window seat in row 3. By 18:23, the doors were closed.


The full cabin onboard AB5228 as boarding was completed.


The average legroom on this AB 737-800. At least there was no annoying IFE box.
 Smile


The safety demonstration followed soon after and by 18:30, AB5228 had started taxing towards runway 24. Pushbacks are not required at PAD, because the aircraft are parked at an angle to the terminal. However, as the safety demonstration neared its conclusion, I noticed a small discrepancy on the Inflight Safety Information Card in the seat pocket. In fact, there were two cards: one for a Boeing 737-700 and another for a 737-800. I wonder how the former managed to find its way onboard D-ABBU.


The lush German scenery as AB5228 rolled onto runway 24.


Hmmm…. 737-700 or 737-800?


With no other air traffic in sight, D-ABBU taxied straight onto the runway and performed a rolling takeoff. It always amazes me how much thrust these comparatively small CFM 56 engines on the 737s manage to produce. The initial acceleration was furious and after a short run down runway 24, AB5228 took off from PAD at 18:33.


The countryside flashing by as AB5228 sped down the runway.


Liftoff from Paderborn/Lippstadt Airport.


Goodbye Germany. Until next time.


Our routing today would take us out of Germany, over southern Belgium then just south of Paris before turning left towards Spain. Then, AB5228 would cross Barcelona before flying over the Mediterranean between the Spanish mainland and Majorca. Estimated flight time: 2 hours.


The CFM 56 turbine working hard to get D-ABBU to cruising altitude.


Paderborn/Lippstadt Airport in the distance.


The massive cloud formations over Western Germany.


When AB5228 reached its cruise altitude, one of the three members of the cabin crew came to take any food orders. Air Berlin serves some basic food and beverage free of charge, but passengers also have the option of ordering proper meals for a price. The menu ranged from a salad to a three course meal and prices were reasonable.

Soon after, the drinks service began. As I mentioned above, basic drinks are also free of charge, so I ordered an apple juice with sparkling mineral water. I guess this must have been on the boundary of barely being free, because the stewardess did not look too pleased as she served my drink.  Smile


The southern Belgian landscape below.


My cup of free apple juice with sparkling mineral water.


After completing the beverage service, which took ages, the crew started serving the food. Passengers who had ordered an item from the menu were naturally served first. Once they had all received their respective meals, the crew handed out bagels with cheese to everyone else. When I received my visually appealing snack box, my hopes that the contents would look just as good were high. Sadly, this was not to be: the bagel looked dry and boring, and it tasted much the same way. At the time, none of this mattered to me: I was hungry so I ate it anyway. It was free after all.  Smile


The aesthetically pleasing snack box.


The not so great bagel with cheese.


The relatively new Air Berlin logo. D-ABBU still carried the old logo and livery.


After finishing the rather mediocre bagel, I reached for my copy of Freakonomics in order to entertain myself. This AB 737-800 had no screens onboard, not even on the ceilings. Air Berlin’s inflight magazine was also not a very exciting read, so there was nothing much one could really do. Then again, this is a semi-Low Cost Carrier after all.

Nevertheless, I was impressed by the seats. The legroom was more than sufficient, the leather was very soft and the entire experience was quite comfortable. It was nothing like the Ryannair horror stories of hard seats and unbearable legroom.


My fellow passengers shortly after the conclusion of the meal service.


Flying over Paris just before AB5228 turned further south.


Paris – Orly Airport from above.


Another aspect of the Air Berlin experience which I greatly enjoyed was the very talkative pilot. He made no less than four announcements throughout the flight, pointing out sights below, informing us of our altitude and alerting us to other air traffic around us. I guess he was trying to make up for the lack of a Flight path information channel. Personally, I thought his information was much more interesting anyway.


Another aircraft passing behind us as the captain pointed out.  Smile


The clouds covering northern Spain.


As AB5228 neared Barcelona, the sun was slowly beginning to set. I have seen quite a few amazing sunsets and sunrises in my lifetime, but this one was one of my favorites.


The beginning of the amazing Mediterranean sunset.


All imaginable tones of yellow in the sky.


The wonderful welcome to Majorca.


As the majority of the passengers were enjoying the amazing sunset to the West, the first officer announced our descent into Palma de Majorca. The crew then came around the cabin for a final check and one of the stewardesses told me to put my camera away in the process.  Wink Overall, the Air Berlin cabin crew was average. The male flight attendant was forthcoming and friendly, but the two female stewardesses left much to be desired; they were both rather arrogant and sluggish. I guess they were employed for their looks, not their personality.


The amazing sunset on the western horizon.


The first signs of Majorca below.


The Tramuntana mountain range covering northern Majorca in the sunset.


AB5228 was approaching the airport from the West to land on one of the 06 runways today. This made for some remarkable views of Palma de Majorca and the surrounding bay. Soon after, the flaps were extended and the landing gear was deployed.


The beautiful Majorcan coast side.


The moon in the clear evening sky.


Flying low over the ocean just before touchdown.


The approach was fast and low over the Mediterranean, with the land only coming into view during the last ten seconds of flight before touchdown. After a very smooth voyage and a flight time of 2 hours and 11 minutes, AB5228 touched down hard on runway 06L. The aircraft had landed 39 minutes after the scheduled time of arrival at the time of 20:44.


AB5228 making landfall over Majorca.


Touchdown on runway 06L at Palma de Mallorca Airport.


PMI is dominated by Air Berlin in all shapes and sizes.


Palma de Majorca Airport was awake with activity in the early evening. Aircraft were landing on runway 06L every two minutes and others were using runway 06R for takeoff at the same time. Air Berlin 737s were everywhere; it was almost like Berlin - Tegel Airport.


Another Air Berlin 737 on the downhill for runway 06L.


An Air Berlin 757-200 at a remote stand at PMI.


The PMI terminal building with the setting sun in the background.


Thankfully, the taxi to the terminal was brisk – the flight was more than half an hour late after all. However, when AB5228 reached the gate, the jetway was not ready for the aircraft yet. I would have thought that 39 minutes would have been more than enough time to prepare for the arrival of our flight?! Another ten minutes passed before the door was finally opened and everyone leaped for the exit. I was in the terminal building at 9pm, almost an hour late.


Some of the many AB aircraft with the mountains in the background.


My fellow passengers waiting patiently for the jetway to dock with the aircraft.


Arrival Airport

Palma de Mallorca International Airport (PMI) is the largest airport on the Spanish Island of Majorca. It is the third largest airport in Spain, after MAD and BCN, and it serves the city of Palma which is located some 8km away. More than 22 million passengers travel through here every year and in the peak summer holiday season it is one of the busiest airports in Europe. One problem with PMI is that passengers always have to walk huge distances to get where they want to go. There are endless hallways crisscrossing in all directions and none of them seem to be going anywhere.

The airport was very busy when I arrived at 9pm; numerous flights were leaving at the same time, and confused passengers were desperately running around to try to find their gates. In the mean time, I started my thousand mile trek to the baggage claim hall.


The busy concrete corridor outside my gate of arrival.


One of the endless hallways at PMI.


The rather small and confusing signs to the baggage claim hall.


By 9:10pm I was still ravaging through the Terminal and there was no end in sight. My progress was made even harder by the waves of holidaymakers rushing around like chickens trying to find a suitable place to lay their eggs. Finally, 15 minutes after I had stepped off AB5228 I arrived in the arrivals hall.


The central departures hall at PMI.


The baggage claim information board at the entrance of the arrivals hall.


Yet another long, endless corridor leading from the entrance of the arrivals hall to the baggage claim belt.


Even though I had taken ages to reach the arrivals hall, none of the luggage from AB5228 had arrived yet. Slowly but surely, all of the other passengers were arriving at belt 7 after navigating their way through the labyrinth of hallways. Shortly after 21:20, the first pieces of baggage finally made their way to the arrivals hall. Luckily, by suitcase was amongst the first to arrive and I was outside of the terminal building at 21:15.


The baggage belt for AB5228 today: Belt 7.


The vast expanse of the arrivals hall at PMI.


The empty belt with some of the other passengers slowly beginning to arrive.


Overall Impression

Flying with Air Berlin was definitely not your average Low Cost Carrier experience. There was none of the usual rush for seats or a complete lack of any free food and drinks. In addition, the seats were reasonably comfortable, and other than the initial payment I made for the ticket, I did not have to pay for anything else. Nevertheless, I think the differences between a full service airline and a so called semi-Low Cost Carrier were clear. Air Berlin was very good at ensuring that all the things they did provide, such as food for example, was the bare minimum they could get away with. The food they offered was nothing to write home about and the crew was probably hired for their looks, not their personality. Boarding was also a disorderly affair and the website only allows seat reservations for a fee. Overall, Air Berlin was better than I had expected, but flying with them was not an amazing experience either. Nevertheless, I would recommend flying with them between Paderborn and Palma de Majorca.

(2.0) Booking & Reservation: 7.5
(1.0) Check-in: 9.0
(1.0) Airline Airport Facilities: N/A
(0.5) Boarding: 6.0
(2.0) Seat: 8.0
(1.0) Entertainment System: 3.0
(2.0) Crew: 6.5
(2.0) Food and Beverages: 6.0
(0.5) Amenity kits and other freebies: N/A
(0.5) Arrival: 7.0
(1.0) On-time performance: 4.0

Overall weighted score: 6.54

Thank you for taking the time to read the second part of this series of trip reports. As always, any comments and opinions are welcome and much appreciated.

Upcoming trip reports will feature a flight with BMI from EDI to MAN as well as flights with SQ in Business Class between MAN and SIN. Then, in Easter, I will attempt one of the craziest trips yet to be featured on Airliners.net: A total of eight long haul and ultra long haul flights, including some on the A380, one after the other. Total distance? 36388 miles. Ever wondered how to add a little adventure to the hop across the Atlantic? Find out in March!

If you liked this report, you may also be interested in my six part trip report from Penang to Muscat.

PEN to MCT via KUL and DXB with EK and MH:
1. Penang - Kuala Lumpur, 2. Kuala Lumpur - Dubai, 3. Dubai - Muscat.
MCT to PEN via DXB, SIN and KUL with EK and MH:
1. Muscat - Dubai, 2. Dubai - Singapore - Kuala Lumpur, 3. Kuala Lumpur - Penang

Additionally, you may also enjoy reading about my journey from Penang to Frankfurt with Singapore Airlines.

PEN to FRA via SIN with SQ:
1. Penang - Singapore, 2. Singapore - Frankfurt.
FRA to PEN via SIN with SQ:
1. Frankfurt - Singapore, 2. Singapore - Penang.

Finally, there is also my trip report with Qatar Airways from Kuala Lumpur to Frankfurt via Doha.

KUL to FRA via DOH with QR:
1. Kuala Lumpur - Doha, 2. Doha - Frankfurt.

As always, safe flying.

Globetraveller

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFatmirJusufi From Albania, joined Jan 2009, 2441 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (5 years 5 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 19709 times:

Amazing report, Globetraveller. As it seems you didn't give high points to AB. Hehe
Soever, great pics. Sunset ones... marvelous.  Smile

Fatmir



DO FLIGHTS. NOT FIGHTS.
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 5 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 19638 times:

Great report, thanks for posting!

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
Nevertheless, I would recommend flying with them between Paderborn and Palma de Majorca.

That's good to read, myself and a few friends will also fly on Air Berlin from Paderborn to Palma in May. We booked an one week all-inclusive tour in the travel agency and unfortunately we could not pick the flights by ourself, now we have to take the very early morning flight at 5 o'clock out of Paderborn.  tired 

Patrick


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8507 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (5 years 5 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 19613 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report GT, thanks for sharing.

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
A potential spotter%u2019s heaven%u2026 If there were any aircraft to spot%u2026

- Yes, planes do help!

Guess that is why this airport lacks a proper spotting deck!

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
I could also clearly see the queue of passengers on the jetway leading to AB5228, so I decided to wait until it died down. However, the Air Berlin agents had other ideas, and they decided to make an announcement asking Mr. Globetraveller to please proceed for boarding immediately. Why?! So that I could stand in the queue as well? Feeling slightly embarrassed, I walked towards the agent at the gate and handed over my boarding pass

- That's quite funny, especually since you knew what you were up to, I can imagine the feeling of embarrasment.

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
a little %u201Cgood evening%u201D or %u201Cwelcome onboard%u201D isn%u2019t too much to ask for, is it?

- Not really and it's often the small things that count too.

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
The not so great bagel with chee

- Not a great plane snack, fine at home as you can toast them or warm them up, not something I'd issue on a plane.

I've not flown AB, but nothing here would stop me from booking with them, pretty reasonable stuff.

Many Thanks

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineGlobetraveller From Germany, joined Apr 2008, 379 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (5 years 5 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 19381 times:



Quoting FatmirJusufi (Reply 1):
Amazing report, Globetraveller.

Thank you Fatmir. I am glad you liked it.

Quoting FatmirJusufi (Reply 1):
As it seems you didn't give high points to AB.

Well, they scored pretty well with their seating and check-in, but the lack of any screens onboard whatsoever and the one hour late arrival let them down. Still, 6.54 is not that bad.

Quoting FatmirJusufi (Reply 1):
Soever, great pics. Sunset ones... marvelous.

This flight had an amazing sunset; the pictures do not even begin to do it justice.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 2):
Great report, thanks for posting!

Thank you Sabena332 and thanks for reading the trip report.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 2):
That's good to read, myself and a few friends will also fly on Air Berlin from Paderborn to Palma in May. We booked an one week all-inclusive tour in the travel agency and unfortunately we could not pick the flights by ourself, now we have to take the very early morning flight at 5 o'clock out of Paderborn.

Hehehe... What a coincidence! Be sure to write a trip report so that we can see if the received the same quality of service. Sorry about the 5am departure though! That's horrible!!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 3):
Nice report GT, thanks for sharing.

Thank you Mark. You are very welcome.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 3):
Not really and it's often the small things that count too.

I agree. Even horrible hardware can be saved by a crew which pays great attention to detail. Sadly, too few airlines seem to realise this.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 3):
I've not flown AB, but nothing here would stop me from booking with them, pretty reasonable stuff.

They were, as you correctly said, reasonable. Nothing special, but not rubbish either. I would fly with them again in the future as well.

Globetraveller


User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (5 years 5 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 19278 times:



Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 4):
Be sure to write a trip report

I will do that!

We even got asked by the tv-station RTL if they can film us during our holiday. We met them two weeks ago on a party of our football club (see here and here) and they were directly interested to film us when we told them that a few of us will fly to Majorca in May. We declined because we do not want that half of Germany can see how we are boozing and picking up girls nonstop for seven days. Big grin The report about the party will be embarrassing enough because all of us were pretty drunk, I hope they do not air it.  Wink

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 4):
Sorry about the 5am departure though! That's horrible!!

This is actually not a real problem. We already agreed that we meet in the evening before to have a few drinks together. Now we only have to search for two people who want to drive seven drunk guys to the airport in the middle of the night. Big grin

Patrick


User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (5 years 5 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 19103 times:

Hi there Globetraveller,

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
At the end, she wished me a pleasant holiday in Palma and a great flight with Air Berlin. Now, if you remember my recent KUL-DOH-FRA trip with QR,

I do! What a contrast!

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
The queue down the jetway leading into D-ABBU.

I must say all airports should have that kind of jetway!

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
The full cabin onboard AB5228 as boarding was completed.

They don't look that enthousiast while caught by the camera! Well, if I were there, I would have smiled broadly.

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
The lush German scenery as AB5228 rolled onto runway 24.

Sehr schön!  Smile

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
an apple juice with sparkling mineral water.

I have mixed it up recently. It was delicious!

As always a delightful TR, Globetraveller!



Friends forever
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From France, joined Sep 2003, 5138 posts, RR: 55
Reply 7, posted (5 years 5 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 19046 times:

Hi, GT,

another great read from your latest series.
All parts of AB on the PMI run informative covered, well done.

And beneath that, a good insight into PAD, still missing in my log.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: How to deliver a present in style!.
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1710 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (5 years 5 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 19028 times:

Very nice report Globetraveller!
I have always thought Air Berlin was a low cost carrier, but acting as a full service airline. And apparently it seems to be a mixture.
It is very good of them to offer free meals, in fact the quantity looked almost better than on LH. Though a bagel isn't the most suitable food that time of day. Didn't AB use to serve some very tasty triangle sandwiches? But in these times of cost cutting measurements, one could only be happy to at least get something served on that tray table.

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
My cup of free apple juice with sparkling mineral water.

You seem to have a rather strange choice of drink, why not have them served in two cups, if i may ask?

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
An Air Berlin 757-200 at a remote stand at PMI.

Is there any aircraft type that Air Berlin doesn't operate  Silly

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
My fellow passengers waiting patiently for the jetway to dock with the aircraft.

In my opinion, that is one of the least pleasant things about flying. Everyone getting up the aisle at the same time, racing each other to the door. Why not have the un-boarding after the seat numbers.

Your pics were great in this report, a true pleasure to the eye. And i can't wait to see more reports featuring your D300  Wink

Thanks for posting

//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineGlobetraveller From Germany, joined Apr 2008, 379 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (5 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 18907 times:



Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 5):
We even got asked by the tv-station RTL if they can film us during our holiday. We met them two weeks ago on a party of our football club (see here and here) and they were directly interested to film us when we told them that a few of us will fly to Majorca in May. We declined because we do not want that half of Germany can see how we are boozing and picking up girls nonstop for seven days. The report about the party will be embarrassing enough because all of us were pretty drunk, I hope they do not air it.

Hehehe... A wise decision my friend! I am not sure it would be a good idea to take RTL on a partying holiday to Majorca either. If they do air it, be sure to tell me.  Wink

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 5):
This is actually not a real problem. We already agreed that we meet in the evening before to have a few drinks together. Now we only have to search for two people who want to drive seven drunk guys to the airport in the middle of the night.

Hehehe... This may be easier said than done! Maybe you should do a little lottery and whoever loses has to pass on the drinks... Hehehe... Poor them...  Smile

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 6):
I do! What a contrast!

Hi there Akhmad. The contrast between the two was very profound indeed. I was very impressed by AB in this aspect.

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 6):
They don't look that enthousiast while caught by the camera! Well, if I were there, I would have smiled broadly.

Hehehe... Yeah, I guess my fellow Germans are not always the most enthusiastic bunch when it comes to things like that.  Wink

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 6):
I have mixed it up recently. It was delicious!

I know! Most people seem to wonder why anyone would ever mix the two, but it is a very refreshing drink. I think it is a good replacement for normal soft drinks like Coca-Cola and it is quite popular in Germany.

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 6):
As always a delightful TR, Globetraveller!

Thank you Akhmad. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 7):
another great read from your latest series.
All parts of AB on the PMI run informative covered, well done.

Thank you FLIEGER67 and thanks for reading the trip report.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 7):
And beneath that, a good insight into PAD, still missing in my log.

I am surprised that this airport is still missing from your log. I think you are one of the most widely travelled people when it comes to Germany.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Very nice report Globetraveller!

Hi there Jonas. Thank you for your kind words.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
I have always thought Air Berlin was a low cost carrier, but acting as a full service airline. And apparently it seems to be a mixture.

Yes, it lies exactly between a full service carrier and a low cost carrier. I think this is an interesting concept, and as my upcoming Flyglobespan trip report will show, paying a little extra money to fly AB rather than a Low Cost Carrier may be a good idea.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Didn't AB use to serve some very tasty triangle sandwiches?

I have seen pictures of these triangle sandwiches, but I have never been able to taste them before. I very rarely fly Air Berlin.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
You seem to have a rather strange choice of drink, why not have them served in two cups, if i may ask?

Hehehe... I purposely have the two drinks mixed together. I like the texture of sparkling water with apple juice and it is a very refreshing drink. You should try it!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Why not have the un-boarding after the seat numbers.

This is an interesting concept, but I doubt passengers will actually adhere to such a procedure. I guess the urge to rush for the exit after sitting down for quite a while is just too great.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Your pics were great in this report, a true pleasure to the eye. And i can't wait to see more reports featuring your D300

Thank you Jonas. All trip reports will be created with the new camera very soon.

Globetraveller


User currently offlineEICVD From Ireland, joined Mar 2008, 2149 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (5 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 18860 times:

Hi Globetraveller.
Excellent trip report. I always enjoy reading reports that include PMI as it brings back memories & makes me look forward to going back soon.
Loved the pics from PMI & especially of the sunset
Thanks for posting.


User currently offlineGlobetraveller From Germany, joined Apr 2008, 379 posts, RR: 20
Reply 11, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 18525 times:



Quoting EICVD (Reply 10):
Excellent trip report.

Hi there Mark. I'm glad you liked it.

Quoting EICVD (Reply 10):
I always enjoy reading reports that include PMI as it brings back memories & makes me look forward to going back soon.

Yes, I would very much like to go back there too. I have some friends living there, so I think I will have to make another trip there sometime soon.  Smile

Globetraveller


User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 18394 times:



Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 9):
I am not sure it would be a good idea to take RTL on a partying holiday to Majorca either.

Yes, RTL is easily the most untrustworthy tv-station in Germany. When they have enough graphical material, they simply cut it as they like and make complete fools out of us. We will definitely decline, even if they offer money.

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 9):
If they do air it, be sure to tell me.

I will do that!

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 9):
This may be easier said than done! Maybe you should do a little lottery and whoever loses has to pass on the drinks.

We will make it even easier, the girlfriend and sister of a friend who joins us on the trip will drive us. The best is that they still don't know about that.  Wink

Patrick


User currently offlineNicholaschee From Australia, joined Oct 2005, 661 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 18343 times:

Great write up! Looking forward to the next segment.  Smile

User currently offlineShamrock321 From Ireland, joined May 2008, 1596 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 18232 times:

Great trip report but if the luggage didnt begin to appear until 2120 how did you end up putside at 2115! lol

User currently offlineGlobetraveller From Germany, joined Apr 2008, 379 posts, RR: 20
Reply 15, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 18213 times:



Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 12):
Yes, RTL is easily the most untrustworthy tv-station in Germany. When they have enough graphical material, they simply cut it as they like and make complete fools out of us.

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. As long as it is even remotely funny, they will air it as they wish. I must admit though, it is funny watching the people who make a fool of themselves nonetheless.  Smile

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 12):
We will make it even easier, the girlfriend and sister of a friend who joins us on the trip will drive us. The best is that they still don't know about that.

Hehehehe... Nice one! I hope you have a great holiday Patrick!

Quoting Nicholaschee (Reply 13):
Great write up! Looking forward to the next segment.

Thank you Nicholas. I'm glad you liked it.

Quoting Shamrock321 (Reply 14):
Great trip report

Thank you Andrew and thanks for reading the trip report.

Quoting Shamrock321 (Reply 14):
but if the luggage didnt begin to appear until 2120 how did you end up putside at 2115! lol

Hehehe... Ooops... I always seem to miss one or two things when I proof read my trip reports these days. The luggage started coming at 21:10 and got outside at 21:15. Sorry about that.

Globetraveller


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6716 posts, RR: 77
Reply 16, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 17869 times:

Hi Globetraveller,

great, entertaining report about your flight on a "Touri-Bomber".  Wink
I like flying AB simply because it's not one of these low-quality LCCs - of course, in many cases, fares aren't typical for a LCC, either.

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
Soon after, the drinks service began. As I mentioned above, basic drinks are also free of charge, so I ordered an apple juice with sparkling mineral water. I guess this must have been on the boundary of barely being free, because the stewardess did not look too pleased as she served my drink.

Well, mixing a drink means more work...

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
The male flight attendant was forthcoming and friendly, but the two female stewardesses left much to be desired; they were both rather arrogant and sluggish. I guess they were employed for their looks, not their personality.

Luckily, I have always had nice crews on my AB flights. However, the airline has grown massively in the recent past - I guess it wasn't very easy to keep the standard, unfortunately.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineGlobetraveller From Germany, joined Apr 2008, 379 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 17604 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
great, entertaining report about your flight on a "Touri-Bomber".

Thank you PlaneHunter. I'm glad you liked it. Hehehe... Yeah, it definitely was a "Touri-Bomber"!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
I like flying AB simply because it's not one of these low-quality LCCs - of course, in many cases, fares aren't typical for a LCC, either.

Yes, this is definitely true. However, if one books early, the fares are often very attractive.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
Luckily, I have always had nice crews on my AB flights. However, the airline has grown massively in the recent past - I guess it wasn't very easy to keep the standard, unfortunately.

I guess this is similar to Emirates. It is always easier to hire someone for the way they look than for their personality anyway.

Globetraveller


User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6407 posts, RR: 38
Reply 18, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 17502 times:

Hi Globetraveller,

Thanks for another interesting read. What's the price difference between these airlines? ie is the service you get on LH worth the extra how ever much extra it costs to fly them? I guess we have one more coming..

I have never heard of Paderborn airport before!

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
I am sure you would agree that the check-in service with Air Berlin was better than that of Qatar Airways

It's good for them to hire such good staff! (Haha yes I did read this before what you said about the FAs but at least the ground staff were good!)

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
In fact, there were two cards: one for a Boeing 737-700 and another for a 737-800. I wonder how the former managed to find its way onboard D-ABBU.

Better to be safe than sorry..

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
Nevertheless, I was impressed by the seats. The legroom was more than sufficient, the leather was very soft and the entire experience was quite comfortable. It was nothing like the Ryannair horror stories of hard seats and unbearable legroom.

That's good, having nice seats on a LCC. Pity that from the picture below it seems like there's not enough room for a laptop..

Quoting Globetraveller (Thread starter):
Another aspect of the Air Berlin experience which I greatly enjoyed was the very talkative pilot. He made no less than four announcements throughout the flight, pointing out sights below, informing us of our altitude and alerting us to other air traffic around us. I guess he was trying to make up for the lack of a Flight path information channel. Personally, I thought his information was much more interesting anyway.

Oh yes, brilliant! I wish more pilots would do the same thing.. Very nice of him to inform the passengers!


Looking forward to the third one!

I'll be doing a similar TR down in New Zealand around June/July with Air NZ vs JQ and DJ.

Regards,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineGlobetraveller From Germany, joined Apr 2008, 379 posts, RR: 20
Reply 19, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 17329 times:



Quoting NZ107 (Reply 18):
Thanks for another interesting read.

You are very welcome Nicholas.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 18):
What's the price difference between these airlines? ie is the service you get on LH worth the extra how ever much extra it costs to fly them?

The price difference was about two Euro cents per mile. I guess this is the best way of comparing them, because the flights were of slightly different lengths. Even so, I though the additional price I paid for Lufthansa was definitely worthwhile.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 18):
Better to be safe than sorry..

Hehehe... True. I guess most passengers would not know the difference anyway.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 18):
Pity that from the picture below it seems like there's not enough room for a laptop..

The box below my seat was the actual retail box of my new laptop, so there would have been more than enough space if I had just kept it in a normal bag instead.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 18):
I'll be doing a similar TR down in New Zealand around June/July with Air NZ vs JQ and DJ.

That sounds like a great plan! I look forward to your trip reports!

Globetraveller


Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic The Short-Haul Intra-EU Faceoff: Air Berlin
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Trip reports only! Other topics here
  • If criticizing an airline, express yourself in a dignified manner.
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
Air Berlin BGY-TXL-BGY And Berlin posted Thu May 15 2008 04:34:33 by F.pier
Air Berlin Opb WDL BAe146 STR-DUS-STR With Pics posted Tue Dec 25 2007 22:22:18 by Ndebele
Comparing Spanair, Air Berlin & British Airways posted Fri Sep 28 2007 12:52:42 by Crdaus
Air Berlin (alias Iberworld) - Day Off To Mallorca posted Fri Jul 13 2007 20:03:46 by Airbuseric
Air Berlin Special - Lots Of Photos posted Sun Aug 20 2006 15:24:16 by Skippy777
TXL-AMS, Flying A Mad-Dog On Air Berlin posted Tue May 30 2006 01:00:55 by Airbuseric
Short Haul On SAS (MAN-CPH-MAN) In Economy (Pics) posted Mon May 22 2006 05:58:41 by BMIFlyer
Air Berlin Fokker 100 AMS-TXL-AMS posted Thu Sep 29 2005 15:47:31 by MH017
Air Berlin, Spanair 717, IB MD88, HV, KLC To Palma posted Sun Nov 14 2004 16:18:45 by MEA-707
12th Of March 04 VIE-DUS On Air Berlin posted Sat Mar 13 2004 18:15:43 by Jumbolino
The Short-Haul Intra-EU Faceoff: Lufthansa posted Thu Feb 12 2009 17:03:18 by Globetraveller
Only The Best For Short-Haul: MUC-MAN On SQ posted Fri Jan 13 2012 06:07:32 by mloew
Luxair Or Air Berlin? Who Is The Winner? posted Thu Oct 21 2010 14:03:31 by Luxair747SP
Jetstar Short-haul International On The A321 posted Wed Jun 23 2010 03:50:12 by sia744
The Isle Of Sylt With Air Berlin: STR-GWT-STR,pics posted Sat May 22 2010 05:46:36 by Contact Air
Cyprus 1/2: Short Haul On The Emirates 772 MLA-LCA posted Sat Apr 4 2009 08:12:16 by FLIEGER67
Proper Short Haul – Lufthansa CPH-FRA-CPH Y (pics) posted Mon Feb 13 2012 17:07:47 by LH4116
Your Airline, And Mine!: Air Berlin, Tegel-Dubai posted Wed Aug 10 2011 11:37:08 by ronerone
Short Haul On A Longhaul - JNB/CPT/JNB On SA A346 posted Wed Feb 16 2011 11:23:22 by flymad

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format