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Contshovelling On LH DUB-FRA-BCN And Back  
User currently offlineGpbcroppers63 From Ireland, joined Jan 2008, 518 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 9475 times:

Apologies for the slight delay posting this TR. I was in Rhodes for a fortnight after doing this trip and I’ve been very busy since. Also, I’m warning you now, this is LONG (over 6000 words) and has around 150 pics! I’ve split it into four posts for easier reading and to ensure nothing gets cut off. Here goes!

This is my first proper TR on A.Net. I did write the following short, non-photo report about a Ryanair emergency landing: FR BHX-SNN Emergency Landing (by Gpbcroppers63 Feb 16 2009 in Trip Reports) a while back but I’ve never posted a full report with pics here. I hope it works OK.

The term “contshovel” came from the Let's Wave The Lufthansa Kontschaufel Goodbye (by LH526 Jun 16 2009 in Civil Aviation) thread where AustrianZRH offered it as an English translation of “Kontschaufel”. I liked the term so much that I decided to use it in the title of this TR.

I decided that I’d better take a trip on LH’s AB6 before they were retired and a round trip fare from FRA-BCN of €88.50 made this trip possible. If I’d booked an official connection from DUB, it would have taken the price up by around €200 so I looked for other options. Originally, I was going to go on FR to Hahn but when booking my LH flights, I decided to get the 16:00 departure to BCN instead of the 21:00. I did this as I was booking the first departure out of BCN the following morning so I thought that if the aircraft was changed on the 21:00 that RONed, I would miss out both ways. By booking the 16:00, I would guarantee two different registrations and the chance of the AB6 being changed on both flights was far lower. Because of these timings, the FR flights just wouldn’t have worked so I ended up booking on EI for around €100.

I then set my sights on hotels. All of the hotels around BCN were coming in pretty expensive so I decided to look at hotels in the city. I eventually settled on the Barceló Sants as it was near to the Cercanías station that I would use to get to and from the airport (more on this later). I was able to get a suite here for less than I’d have paid for an airport hotel so decided to spoil myself! The final part of the plan was a hotel near to DUB as my EI flight left at 07:00. I could have driven over from Galway that morning but it would have meant leaving at around 1:30 in the morning and I thought I’d be tired enough as it was. I found a great deal at the Lucan Spa hotel which is about 20 minutes drive from DUB. I paid around €32 for this so I was very happy.

I’ll start with some pics of the Lucan spa hotel as this is where my weekend adventure begins.

Outside the hotel (it was a complete building site but inside was pleasant enough):

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/2125/1001036g.jpg

http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/3434/1001037z.jpg

The way to my room:

http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/4108/1001038c.jpg

http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/6662/1001039i.jpg

Room 307:

http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/7600/1001040l.jpg

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/1097/1001031i.jpg

http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/9028/1001032m.jpg

http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/3087/1001033h.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/580/1001034x.jpg

The view from the window:

http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/9255/1001035h.jpg

Right, now on with the story. I got up at around 4:00. The hotel had kindly arranged an early continental breakfast for me. My rate included breakfast but this didn’t start until 7:00 so the girl at check-in asked if I’d like to have cornflakes and toast before I left for the airport. This was an excellent service and I’d definitely use the Lucan Spa hotel again for this reason and because it was a perfectly pleasant hotel for a brief overnight before heading off.

I left for DUB at around 4:50 and was there by 5:00 comfortably. I’d pre-booked my parking in the short stay car park for €10 per day as I wanted to get shifting after I got back from FRA the following evening to make sure I got back to Galway at a reasonable time. This car park was excellent and saved a load of fussing with shuttle buses and, if pre-booked, works out at €0.50 more expensive than the turn up rate in the long stay.

DUB:

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/7895/1001045c.jpg

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/9931/1001046a.jpg

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/8257/1001047k.jpg

I’d already checked in online for my flight so once I got inside the terminal, I headed straight for security. It was a good thing I did as the queues were massive. It took me around 45 minutes to clear security and I was finally airside by 6:00. My flight was leaving from gate A8 so I had to walk through the new area connecting the main departure lounge and the A/D gates. It is a really pleasant area and I took a few pics to add to the ones already posted by other a.nutters including OA260.

New area connecting the main terminal with Piers A and D and a shot of a CityJet Avro:

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/1691/1001048o.jpg

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/2382/1001050a.jpg

http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/455/1001049j.jpg

Finally, we get to some information on the flights. Sorry if I’ve bored you so far but I promise there’s flight information from here on. I made my way to gate A8 and waited for a few minutes to board. They called boarding and I made my way to the back steps as I had chosen seat 29A during online check in.

20th June 2009
EI650 DUB-FRA
Airbus A320 EI-DEM
STD: 07:00
Off blocks: 07:01
Taxi: 07:06
Wheels up: 07:23
Take off runway: 28
STA: 10:00 (Local time)
Landing: 09:59
On blocks: 10:09
Landing runway: 25L
Seat: 29A

I got on board very quickly as I was the first person to use the rear stairs and I made the very short walk to 29A. I was hoping for a whole row to myself but a German guy came and sat in the aisle seat. At least the middle was free. He tried to put his bag in the overhead locker above row 29 but this was taken up with safety equipment so he just had it between his legs. I wasn’t happy about this as it would impede my exit if anything went wrong (you can’t be too careful) but I didn’t say anything for the moment. I assumed the crew would spot it when they secured the cabin.

We were all on board in plenty of time but the captain came on the PA and said we’d be slightly delayed pushing back due to congestion behind us. We eventually pushed back just after the STD but it took another 20 minutes or so before we took off. While taxiing, the crew did the safety demo and secured the cabin. The male cabin crew member checking my row didn’t say anything to the German guy about his bag so I decided to be the awkward passenger and asked him to tell the guy to push it under the seat. The bag was too big for this so the crew member put it in the overhead a few rows in front. The German guy didn’t look amused with me but I don’t really care to be honest!

Legroom is pretty good in Row 29 on EI:

http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/5829/1001053r.jpg

Cabin view:

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/2523/1001054k.jpg

View from my window at the gate:

http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/1104/1001052z.jpg

Taxi, takeoff and climb out pictures:

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/3867/1001055z.jpg

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/6351/1001056n.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/8826/1001057e.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/827/1001058f.jpg

http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/5468/1001059ewp.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/376/1001060n.jpg

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/1893/1001061y.jpg

http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/2549/1001062z.jpg

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/2571/1001063x.jpg

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/1631/1001064x.jpg

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/4562/1001065r.jpg

http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/2155/1001066.jpg

So after the slight delay taking off, we were eventually airborne shortly after 7:20. We made a right turnout and headed towards the Irish Sea and the UK. The FO later informed us that our route was DUB-LPL-MAN-AMS-DUS-CGN-FRA. The flight time was estimated at 1 hour 45 minutes so we’d be a little late in FRA but nothing too serious.

As soon as we were airborne, the girl in front of me reclined her seat. Fortunately, the last row in this aircraft also reclined so I was able to get a bit more space for myself. The seatbelt signs went off after around 15 minutes and the crew started to prepare the cabin service. Even though I’d had the continental breakfast in the hotel, it was a while ago and I fancied trying the world-famous EI full Irish breakfast. I’d had it once before and enjoyed it so I thought I’d give it a whirl again. It was pretty good but it was smaller than I remember and I’m pretty sure it was more expensive too.

Breakfast:

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/2457/1001067xld.jpg

http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/336/1001068j.jpg

I enjoyed that:

http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/396/1001069t.jpg

I’m now going to have a little rant about the state of the aircraft. This was its first flight of the day but it was still fairly grubby. There were biscuit crumbs on the floor and the seat backs didn’t look as if they’d been wiped down in ages. I can understand this on the last flight of the day when turnarounds are short but they’d had all night to clean the aircraft and they didn’t do a very good job. This bothers me less on FR when I’m paying less than €50 return but I’d expect more from EI. Rant over!

The flight continued smoothly at FL370 and around an hour after takeoff, the FO informed us that descent was beginning. Our ETA was 10:00 (around 40 minutes after the announcement) and the weather in FRA was quite pleasant with a south-westerly breeze and a temperature of 15o.

In flight, approach, landing, taxiing and parked at the stand:

http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/2850/1001070m.jpg

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/3130/1001071u.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/9527/1001072w.jpg

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/9130/1001073n.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/2079/1001074j.jpg

http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/4697/1001075a.jpg

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/5923/1001076g.jpg

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/9956/1001077d.jpg

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/9252/1001078vdi.jpg

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/2986/1001079s.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/3302/1001080e.jpg

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/8131/1001081.jpg

The approach was slightly bumpy and we landed on runway 25L after around 1 hour 35 minutes flying. The taxi to stand V115 was fairly fast and we were on blocks only 9 minutes late. While we were taxiing in, the German guy in my row turned his mobile on and started receiving text messages. The male cabin crew member told him to turn it off which he didn’t do of course. When he received another text message, the cabin crew member turned to him again and had a major rant with him and made him turn it off until we parked. This guy really was an idiot with no care for safety or cabin crew instructions! I really hate people like that. Rant over.

We disembarked on to buses and drove to terminal 2. One flight down, three more to go.

After I exited the arrivals hall, I went straight upstairs to the free internet terminals to check in online for my LH flight from BCN-FRA the following day. LH allows online check in 23 hours before departure (so German to be this precise!!) and I wanted to make sure I got a good seat on the AB6. I checked in without a problem and got sequence number 1. After I checked in, I made my way to terminal 1 on the train to get my BP printed for the return flight and to get a proper BP for the outbound flight instead of the paper one I’d printed out off the internet. When I got to T1, the queues for economy class were massive so I chanced my arm at the business class check in area. The queue guardian wouldn’t let me in and informed me that my online BP was a “proper” BP so I could just go to the gate with it. Time for plan B!

I made my way over to the check in desks between the terminal and the train station. The queue here was only about three people so it didn’t take long at all. When I got to the desk, I explained to the lady that I wanted her to print my BP for the return flight and to get a reprint of my BP for the outbound. She seemed a little confused until I told her I was doing the trip to get on the AB6 and then she understood that I wanted them as a souvenir. She’d already reprinted them once but she’d written on them to mark the gate number and boarding time so she ripped these up and gave me brand new ones without any writing on them. She was really kind and helpful and was amazed that I’d managed to get a return from FRA-BCN for €88.50. She wished me a pleasant flight and I was all set to go.

I now had a few hours to spend around FRA so I just wandered around. I didn’t think it was worth paying to go on to the terrace as I didn’t have that much time. I cleared security fairly early and went for a nose around the airside part of terminal A and walked through the tunnel to terminal B. I used the wonderful information terminals to find out that my AB6 would be arriving on time from TXL and that the registration was D-AIAX.

Not my AB6. This is D-AIAZ. I can’t remember where she was off to:

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/8039/1001082i.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/6424/1001083d.jpg


According to one of my colleagues, my problem is that I'm addicted to travel!
10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineGpbcroppers63 From Ireland, joined Jan 2008, 518 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 9470 times:

20th June 2009
LH4458 FRA-BCN
Airbus A300-600 D-AIAX (Fürth)
STD: 16:10
Off blocks: 16:15
Taxi: 16:20
Wheels up: 16:29
Take off runway: 18
STA: 18:05
Landing: 18:04
On blocks: 18:06
Landing runway: 25R
Seat: 20K

After wandering around for a few hours and relaxing at the gate, it was time to board my AB6 bound for Barcelona. I used the quick boarding gates and was the first person on board. I was welcomed on board by the very friendly crew and made my way to my seat.

At the gate:

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/1224/1001084n.jpg

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/3307/1001085.jpg

http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/5435/1001087k.jpg

When I did online check in, it had confirmed my suspicions that they were only using rows 1-5 as business class and that the rear business class section was being used as economy. As a result, I had a lovely wide seat with excellent legroom for this flight down to BCN. I was in my element!

The “business class” cabin that was economy today Big grin :

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/2260/1001088qfk.jpg

Legroom:

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/6209/1001091o.jpg

Boarding was completed fairly swiftly (I love the “Boarding Completed” announcement on LH) and we were ready to go just a few minutes late. Before we pushed back, the captain came on with some flight information in German, English and Spanish! In German, he welcomed us on board this “Schönes Airbus A300” which he translated as “Welcome on board our wonderful Airbus A300”. I don’t think most of the passengers picked up on his meaning but I’d guess that hardly any knew the aircraft was about to be retired. He didn’t include the bit about the wonderful A300 in his Spanish speech as his Spanish seemed a little limited but it was still a great effort to make the Spanish speaking passengers feel welcome. He told us that the flight time to BCN would be about 1 hour 45 minutes.

View from the window at the gate:

http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/6411/1001089z.jpg

We pushed back slightly late and headed past the cargo area towards runway 18.

Taxiing to runway 18:

http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/3576/1001092w.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/7239/1001093e.jpg

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/3103/1001094h.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/5447/1001095q.jpg

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/5449/1001096y.jpg

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/8274/1001097m.jpg

Takeoff:

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/5364/1001098g.jpg

http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/3583/1001099r.jpg

After a powerful take off run, we rotated just before 16:30 and headed towards BCN. Once the crew were released, they started to prepare for the service. When I flew this route back in 2004, we were offered a full meal in economy. Today, the service has been reduced to the usual LH catering of a sandwich and chocolate bar. We had a choice between a cheese or a turkey sandwich and I chose the cheese which was served in a pretzel-style roll. The chocolate was a mini mars bar and I chose a Warsteiner and a cup of coffee to go with this. Despite the cutbacks, it was still tasty and at least it’s included in the ticket price unlike EI.

The crew on this flight were really friendly. After they did the initial drinks and snack run, they came round again with another drinks run. I got a red wine this time which was also really good.

The cabin was in immaculate condition. It was so much cleaner than the EI cabin even though the aircraft had come in from TXL and they only had around an hour to clean it. The seats were really comfortable and the legroom excellent but then they were meant to be business class seats. I went for a wander into economy and the seats were the usual LH short haul seats. I sat in one just to test it out and the legroom was pretty good considering. Overall, this was a fantastic flight and it was great to get on this classic aircraft before it was retired.

Cabin views:



http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/7666/1001100t.jpg

http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/1824/1001101z.jpg

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/2897/1001102y.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/7490/1001103r.jpg

The FO came on the PA when there was around an hour left to run and informed us that we were flying at 11,300 metres and that our route was FRA-MHG-BSL-Lake Geneva-MRS-Mediterranean Sea-BCN. The flight was pretty smooth with just a few bumps here and there.

Descent began around half an hour before landing. We landed really smoothly on runway 25R and taxied straight to the new Terminal 1 in BCN. It had opened just three days before my flight so I was very excited to see it.

Approach, landing and taxing to Terminal 1:

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/7003/1001104k.jpg

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/1091/1001105z.jpg

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/2240/1001106jzy.jpg

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/6790/1001107b.jpg

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/6180/1001108u.jpg

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/5476/1001109q.jpg

http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/3482/1001110v.jpg

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/9158/1001111j.jpg

LH from MUC at the next gate:

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/3762/1001112i.jpg

After we parked at gate B31, I waited for everyone else to disembark before asking one of the cabin crew if I could have a nose in the cockpit. She told me I couldn’t “for security reasons”. I asked her what exactly I was going to do to the aircraft on the ground (it definitely helped that I speak German so was able to query all of this in German. If I’d had to do it in English, I don’t think I’d have stood a chance). She said to hang on a minute and she’d ask the pilots. She came back a few minutes later and told me I was lucky that we had some really friendly pilots today and they’d be more than happy to have me up to the cockpit. Result!

I made my way up front where the FO was sitting sorting out some paperwork. The captain was off somewhere else. I had a great chat with the FO and he let me a photo.

AB6 Cockpit:

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/6741/1001113i.jpg

I asked him about the retirement of the AB6 and he said it was “echt traurig” (really sad) that it was being retired so soon. I asked him what he was going to do once it was retired and he said he didn’t know. He’d been offered long haul on the A330/A340 fleet or short haul on the A320. He said the problem with long haul is you don’t get to do many take offs and landings but on the A320, you’re overworked! I hope he’s made the right decision now and is enjoying his new aircraft as he was such a nice guy to talk to. He said the AB6 flies like an “absoluter Traum” (absolute dream) and that you can really feel its power on the short runs like TXL. I can’t emphasise enough how nice he was and how grateful I am to him that I got to see the flight deck of this wonderful aircraft.

All too soon, it was time to leave the aircraft as the ground crew wanted to get on board. I disembarked into Terminal 1 and was immediately impressed. I think it’s the nicest airport terminal I have ever been in. It’s so light and airy and is really well designed. Words can’t do it justice so I’ll let the pics do the talking.

D-AIAX at the gate awaiting her return flight to FRA:

http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/9758/1001116c.jpg

Inside the new T1:

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/9674/1001114a.jpg

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/2584/1001115i.jpg

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/3221/1001117l.jpg

I left the terminal and suddenly realised how warm it was. It was absolutely boiling and I hadn’t brought any shorts! I felt a real idiot and this was later confirmed when making my way to my hotel. Now you remember I said about the hotel being near the train station? Well there was the slight problem that the train station to BCN was in the old terminal and to get to it, I’d have to get a shuttle bus. Deciding this wasn’t worth the hassle, I got the direct bus from T1 to the city centre. The bus took around half an hour and cost €5 so not too bad. I got off at the Plaza de Catalunya and tried to get an idea of where Sants was. In the end, I decided to get the metro up there as I was getting too hot and confused.

I got off the metro at Sants and left the station through the wrong door for the hotel. Second stupid mistake of the day  Wink. I ended up having to climb some steps and walk through the car park to get to the hotel. I eventually made it but was very hot and sweaty by the time I got to reception. I checked in and was given a room on the second floor. Here are some pics of the room:

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/3442/1001118m.jpg

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/970/1001119i.jpg

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/6977/1001120o.jpg

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/5396/1001121n.jpg

http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/6651/1001122r.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/3549/1001123v.jpg

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/1413/1001124s.jpg

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/9905/1001125j.jpg

After settling in to the room, I decided to check out how I was getting back to the airport the following day. Plan A had involved getting the train which arrived in BCN about an hour before my flight to FRA. The problem with this was that the train arrived into the old Terminal 2 and I’d need to get the shuttle bus to T1. I wasn’t convinced that I’d have enough time for this even though I already had my boarding pass. The Aerobús that I’d got to the city earlier was no good either as it didn’t start running until later as well. I asked at reception and they had no idea either. I’d read on the internet that there were night buses to the airport that went from Plaza de Catalunya where I had arrived earlier but the metro wasn’t running early enough to allow me to get the 4:20 bus from there. I asked about walking it and was told it would take around 40 minutes. That did not sound like fun at 3:30 in the morning! I went to explore the local area and came across the Plaza de España about a 10 minute walk from the hotel. The Aerobús from earlier in the day stopped there so I surmised that the night bus would as well. I was in luck! I found the right bus stop in no time so I was good to go in the morning.

Walking back to the hotel, I began to get a little hungry but couldn’t really see anywhere for a proper meal in the vicinity. I decided to check out the café bar in the hotel to see what the prices were like. They were OK and I ended up paying around €20 for a pizza and a beer which they kindly delivered to my room. I know that is extortionate for Spain but being used to Irish prices, it wasn’t so bad. The pizza was fantastic. It was huge and the olives on it were proper Kalamata olives which are my favourite. That was all washed down with a cool San Miguel.

My very “cheap” dinner  Wink:

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/4917/1001126f.jpg

Following my dinner, I decided to call it a night as I had been up early that morning and I had an early start the following day. I read for a short while and then turned out the light and fell asleep almost immediately. All too soon, my mobile was vibrating and beeping evilly at me to signify it was time to get up. I hauled myself out of bed, showered and dressed ready for my second and final LH AB6 flight!

I made my way to the Plaza de España and waited for the bus. When it turned up, it was very full and I had to stand. There were a few passengers and some airport staff on board but the majority were coming home from a hard night of partying in Barcelona.

The bus took longer than the express bus the day before but was much cheaper (I think around €1.50) and after a tour of some of Barcelona’s suburbs and a quick stop in Terminal 2, we arrived in Terminal 1 at 5:25. I made my way back inside this fabulous terminal and through security very easily. There were very few flights operating from it at the time as they only moved a few airlines over in the beginning. I think this was a great idea as it gave them a chance to iron out any wrinkles before it got too busy. I’ll be interested to see it once all the airlines have moved across and it becomes busier. I imagine it’ll still be great as there’s plenty of room and loads of security channels.

Some more views of the new T1:

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/5791/1001127wyv.jpg

http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/3715/1001128l.jpg

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/1485/1001130.jpg

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/2960/1001131x.jpg

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/9827/1001132d.jpg

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/3027/1001133b.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/240/1001134t.jpg

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/4328/1001135evj.jpg

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/2628/1001136z.jpg

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/8595/1001137u.jpg

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/2648/1001138z.jpg

http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/9350/1001139z.jpg

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/3870/1001142i.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/1662/1001143q.jpg

There’s loads of glass in the terminal allowing for excellent views of the aircraft (sorry for the reflections, it was still semi-dark outside):

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/750/1001144o.jpg

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/3949/1001145b.jpg

Gate B31:

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/9947/1001140g.jpg

D-AIAH waiting for her trip back to FRA:

http://img36.imageshack.us/img36/5246/1001141.jpg

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/2117/1001146u.jpg



According to one of my colleagues, my problem is that I'm addicted to travel!
User currently offlineGpbcroppers63 From Ireland, joined Jan 2008, 518 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 9463 times:

21st June 2009
LH4465 BCN-FRA
Airbus A300-600 D-AIAH (Lindau am Bodensee)
STD: 06:55
Off blocks: 07:09
Taxi: 07:16
Wheels up: 07:20
Take off runway: 25L
STA: 09:00
Landing: 09:14
On blocks: 09:16
Landing runway: 25R
Seat: 18K

Boarding was announced from gate B31 at 6:35 and I was one of the first on again. I was once again welcomed at the door by a friendly crew and made my way to my comfortable “business class” seat in row 18. Again, the legroom was fantastic for such a short flight. We pushed back around 15 minutes late and then waited ages for the follow me car to take us to the runway which wasn’t far away at all.

View of an LH A320 to MUC from my seat at the gate:

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/4720/1001148o.jpg

We lined up and the pilot immediately gunned the engines and we were off. It was another powerful takeoff and we were soon turning left giving a fabulous view of the Catalonian coast.

Takeoff and climb out:

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/8728/1001149i.jpg

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/2487/1001150y.jpg

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/3328/1001151.jpg

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/4977/1001152v.jpg

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/1228/1001153d.jpg

Once the crew were released, it was the same story as yesterday. A turkey or a cheese sandwich (no chocolate bar at this time of day) and drinks. The crew did three drinks runs on this flight which was excellent. The American guy sitting next to me couldn’t believe that you could ask for two drinks each time and that he’d been allocated such a comfy seat. I told him I’d checked in online the day before to make sure I was in one!

The cabin of D-AIAH looked a little older than on D-AIAX (there was a text sign for the toilets instead of a picture, for example) but it was still in immaculate condition:

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/9398/1001147h.jpg

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/9236/1001156f.jpg

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/9343/1001157m.jpg

There was no word from the cockpit until an hour in to the flight. When the captain came on, he told us that those of us on the right side of the aircraft would have a fantastic view of the Matterhorn and those on the left would have a great view of Mont Blanc. Our route was from BCN to the Alps and then on to ZRH-STR-FRA. Flight time was around 1 hour 55 minutes in total. He said the weather in FRA was 15o and cloudy.

The flight was pretty smooth apart from a few gentle bumps over the Alps but the views were amazing:

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/9044/1001154z.jpg

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/6890/1001155f.jpg

All too soon, we started our descent towards FRA and the cabin crew began to secure the cabin before landing. I think we had to hold for a short while before landing in FRA. We appeared to do one circuit and o saw an LH 737 below us. After a quick descent, we landed on runway 25R at FRA and had a short taxi to our remote stand V163. I was particularly pleased about this as it meant I’d be able to get some great views and pics of the aircraft.

Approach and landing in FRA plus some pics of D-AIAH from the ground:

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/5002/1001158o.jpg

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/5127/1001159o.jpg

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/9272/1001160r.jpg

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/2092/1001161kaz.jpg

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/2734/1001162w.jpg

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/9086/1001163q.jpg

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/999/1001164o.jpg

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/4727/1001165g.jpg

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/9647/1001166w.jpg

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/5507/1001167zav.jpg

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/995/1001168s.jpg

http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/9436/1001169l.jpg

This lad was taking loads of pictures of our AB6 too. I wonder if he realised they were about to be retired?

http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/4030/1001170b.jpg

After an enjoyable bus ride to the terminal, passing all sorts of aircraft, it was time to head over to Terminal 2 to see if I could get on the earlier EI flight to DUB. When I booked the flights, I wasn’t happy booking a 1 hour 50 minute connection between two airlines on separate tickets in case anything went wrong. As it happens, we arrived in FRA in plenty of time for me to get the earlier flight so I thought I’d try my luck. I took the train to T2 and went to the EI check in desk. The girl there couldn’t help me so directed me to the ticket desk. There, the guy told me I could get the earlier flight but it would cost €250. I decided to wait! I would have loved to get the earlier flight as I was starting to flag after 2 very early mornings on the trot but it wasn’t worth that amount of money. I went back to the EI check in desk to ask if she could at least check me in for the later flight but that could only be done 2 hours before departure.

It was now 9:45 and my flight to DUB wasn’t until 20:00 so I did what any self-respecting A.netter would do and bought a ticket for the viewing terrace. They have a stupid rule here that no liquids at all can be taken on to the terrace. How I could do more damage with liquids from the terrace than at 37,000 feet is beyond me but that’s the way “security” is going these days. Anyway, I showed the guy my zippy bag with my travel size liquids in and he let me on without a fuss so that was good. I was out there for a few hours watching the movements and just generally relaxing in the sun.

A few hours later, I decided to grab some lunch from inside the terminal. After that, I wanted to go back out on the terrace. Again, I showed the security guy (a different one this time) my liquids and he had a complete hissy fit. I was told that under no circumstances could I take all of those “dangerous” liquids on to the terrace and he didn’t care what his colleague did earlier. I’d either have to throw them away or put them in envelopes that were numbered and collect them after I came off the terrace. I chose that option. After finally getting through the metal detector, I was again on the terrace. Just in time for a huge thunderstorm to pass over. Great! It started to rain really heavily so I decided to cut my losses and go and sit in Mc Donald’s to watch the action. I picked up my liquids and didn’t bother going on the terrace for the rest of the day.

Eventually, check-in time rolled round. I was third in line for the desk and asked for a window seat in the back row. I asked the girl if she could block the seats next to me so I could sleep but she said she couldn’t. I hoped she’d keep it in her mind though and not allocate any other seats in my row.

I then decided to try something different. I’d never been on the T1-T2 train airside so I headed over to T1 to see whether I could clear security and passport control there and then go over to my gate in T2 from there. The lady checking boarding passes in T1 had no problem with this at all so that’s what I did. It was cool seeing parts of FRA that I’d never seen before. I’m very familiar with landside in FRA as I used to go down there most weekends when I lived in Mannheim so it was interesting to see it from a different perspective. I was the only one on the airside portion of the train and I made it to T2 in plenty of time for boarding.

There was another security checkpoint before you could access the gate so I went through that in plenty of time. I was pretty tired by this point so didn’t want any more hassle than necessary. After clearing the second checkpoint, I waited at gate D6 until boarding was announced.

Boarding was announced and we all made our way downstairs to the bus that would take us to the aircraft. When the bus was full, I expected us to move straight off but we were waiting there for a good 10 minutes before the doors finally closed and we were off. A second bus arrived for the remainder of the passengers. Once we arrived at the aircraft, I made my way to the rear stairs and went straight to my seat in the last row.



According to one of my colleagues, my problem is that I'm addicted to travel!
User currently offlineGpbcroppers63 From Ireland, joined Jan 2008, 518 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 9458 times:

21st June 2009
EI657 FRA-DUB
Airbus A320 EI-EDS
STD: 20:00
Off blocks: 19:59
Taxi: 20:03
Wheels up: 20:08
Take off runway: 25R
STA: 21:00 (Local time)
Landing: 20:44
On blocks: 20:49
Landing runway: 28
Seat: 30F

EI-EDS:

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/7816/1001171h.jpg

When I got on board I was impressed with the new style A320 cabin. It looks much fresher and is similar to the NW A330 I went on a few years ago. What impressed me less was the seat pitch. This aircraft was one of the ones not taken up by Iberia so it had a non-standard cabin with 30 rows instead of 29. I have to say, it was damned uncomfortable. I’m not tall by any means but I had me knees in the back of the seat in front. Also, there are no winged headrests like you get on the A320s ordered by EI so it was much harder to sleep. The seats are the same as those used by LX but the LX ones seem far more comfortable (probably because the legroom is much greater).

Appalling legroom:

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/5395/1001172l.jpg

Cabin views including Spanish notices on the backs of the trays:

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/382/1001173e.jpg

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/3016/1001174y.jpg

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/2338/1001175g.jpg

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/3962/1001177.jpg

View from my window:

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/7006/1001176p.jpg

Once the second bus arrived and the passengers had boarded, we were ready to go slightly early. The captain came on the PA and advised us that flight time would be 1 hour 45 minutes and that the temperature in DUB was 15o. We pushed back shortly afterwards and made our way to runway 25R for departure. After an SK MD-80 departed, we took off and made a right turn towards France. During the climb, it was pretty bumpy due to the thunderstorms that were around. The seatbelt signs stayed on for a while and were on and off a fair bit during the flight.

Taxi, takeoff and climb out:

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/3302/1001178k.jpg

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/5832/1001179x.jpg

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/9840/1001180a.jpg

http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/3732/1001181m.jpg

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/9388/1001182opz.jpg

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/7627/1001183p.jpg

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/2042/1001184b.jpg

Shortly after takeoff, the lead cabin crew member made an announcement about swine flu precautions which I hadn’t heard before. Basically, it was reiterating that you should wash your hands if you cough or sneeze etc.

I tried to sleep once we were airborne as I was pretty knackered. Fortunately, I had the whole row to myself so was able to stretch out a bit so the bad pitch didn’t make that much difference in the end. I woke up when the captain announced that we had 25 minutes left to go. We were just about to overfly MAN before heading directly to DUB. We had cruised at FL380.

Isle of Man I think:

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/147/1001185s.jpg

I dozed again off and on until final approach when I woke up a little to take some pics.

Approach and landing:

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/8632/1001186v.jpg

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/9121/1001187n.jpg

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/8529/1001188i.jpg

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/6348/1001189t.jpg

The landing was smooth and we taxied to one of the stands outside the portacabin part of the D gates.

Parked next to a SATA A320:

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/7938/1001191b.jpg

I disembarked and made the long walk to passport control which woke me up a little. After having my passport checked, I left the arrivals hall and walked back to my car in the short stay. I drove back to Galway and was in bed by around 12:30.

Conclusions:

I was absolutely knackered but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this trip. The AB6 is a fantastic aircraft and I feel privileged that I got to fly on two different ones shortly before they were retired. The LH crew were fantastic and the aircraft were in a wonderful condition considering their age (D-AIAH is actually over 20 years old but she looked as good as new inside). I was less impressed with EI. They’re much more expensive than FR but you don’t really get much more from them. The outbound aircraft was dirty and the return one was uncomfortable (not EI’s fault I know but still). Also, the announcements on the return flight were so loud that they woke me up on numerous occasions. I was happy that EI got me to and from FRA safely and on time but I wouldn’t pay a premium to fly them. I’ve actually done 2 more EI flights since then and have 3 more booked in the next few weeks so I have no problem flying them if they go where I want for a decent price.

So that’s my story about “contshovelling” around Europe. I do hope you enjoyed it and that it wasn’t too long and boring. Comments, questions and constructive criticism are all welcome. Finally, let me just say that I do know that you have a choice when it comes to trip reports and I’m delighted that you’ve chosen to read mine today. Big grin



According to one of my colleagues, my problem is that I'm addicted to travel!
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 9372 times:

Hi,

That's a great report with some nice images flying on an interesting airliner. Why did you book a hotel at all - you could've done it the the Spanish way and just partied until morning before heading to the airport  Smile.

I was in BCN in the beginning of the July, actually flew down on the exact same flight as you. When I booked the flights back in February it was still scheduled to be the A300 which was one of the reasons to pick that particular flight, but since LH decided to accelerate the retirement it got changed to a far more boring A321. Bummer.

We also stayed the last night in the exact same hotel above the Estacio Sants for the same reasons as you: ease of access to the airport and far cheaper than the airport hotels with shuttle services. Fortunately our flight out wasn't until the afternoon so catching a train and then the shuttle bus to T1 was no problem, even though it doubled the travel time.

T1 was pretty impressive as well.


User currently offlineGpbcroppers63 From Ireland, joined Jan 2008, 518 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 9153 times:

Hi FlyingFinn,

Thanks for reading. Gald you enjoyed it! To answer your question:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):
Why did you book a hotel at all - you could've done it the the Spanish way and just partied until morning before heading to the airport

I decided to book the hotel because I was tired enough as it was. I'd been in work all week, then I had to drive to DUB and be up early for my flight on the Saturday. I'd have been even more wrecked than I was by the time I got home. Also, driving for 3 1/2 hours at 9:30pm when you haven't slept the night before is not a recipe for success I feel  Wink.

That's a coincidence that you were on the same flight down to BCN as me. Were you in the nice seats or in the normal economy seats? What a same you ended up on a 321 on the return.

What did you think of the Barceló Sants? I thought it was fine for a quick overnight and the staff were pleasant enough. It would have been easier if I could have got the train to BCN though!



According to one of my colleagues, my problem is that I'm addicted to travel!
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4207 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 8435 times:

Hi,
very nice to read your report. I can truly understand the feelings being on the AB6. Have done the ride on one myself once, and it is an magnificent aircraft! I enjoyed the comfortable ride a lot with LH.



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1194 posts, RR: 20
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 8381 times:

Hola Gpbcroppers63!


Thanks for this fabulous TR. Sad to see the retirement of AB6 myself as I have flown them on this very route lots of times. They used to fly them during the rush summer season.

Quoting Gpbcroppers63 (Reply 1):
. I made my way back inside this fabulous terminal and through security very easily. There were very few flights operating from it at the time as they only moved a few airlines over in the beginning. I think this was a great idea as it gave them a chance to iron out any wrinkles before it got too busy. I'll be interested to see it once all the airlines have moved across and it becomes busier. I imagine it'll still be great as there's plenty of room and loads of security channels.

It is the first time we get to see pictures of the terminal which opened to all *A airlines on June 17th. As you mention all the others would move there gradually; Oneworld in September and Skyteam later in the fall.

Quoting Gpbcroppers63 (Reply 1):
I began to get a little hungry but couldn't really see anywhere for a proper meal in the vicinity.

How come? I am surprised I hear that, you should have walked a little bit more around. One thing that the city does not lack is plenty of restaurants.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 8381 times:



Quoting Gpbcroppers63 (Reply 5):
That's a coincidence that you were on the same flight down to BCN as me. Were you in the nice seats or in the normal economy seats? What a same you ended up on a 321 on the return.

Oh sorry, I guess I wasn't clear enough with my words. I was on the same flight (number) but on a different day, on July the 5th when the AB6s were no longer operating.

We came back on OS via VIE, not with LH.

Quoting Gpbcroppers63 (Reply 5):

What did you think of the Barceló Sants? I thought it was fine for a quick overnight and the staff were pleasant enough. It would have been easier if I could have got the train to BCN though!

For the price (60 EUR per night) it was a pleasant enough hotel. Although we ended up paying 20 EUR extra to get an upgrade to a deluxe room, that according to the front desk staff is no different from a standard room (now that sounds weird!) but included breakfast so was worth it for 2 adults and one child.

The corridors in our floor had a horrible smell, I think they had recently dry cleaned the hallway carpeting and it smelled really really bad, like some Asian hotels I've visited after they've poisoned the floor for cockroaches. Luckily the room didn't have the same smell.

Location is great for commuting obviously with the trains and the metro, which was our objective as we arrived from Salou with a train and would depart to the airport the next day with the local train. For pure tourist visit it's a little off the action around the Rambla and whatnot, but for the price I guess it's not a big hassle to ride the metro for a few stops.

The breakfast staff (or actually one member of them) was incredibly rude, otherwise it was very pleasant.

Oh and the free Wifi rocked.


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26503 posts, RR: 58
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 8129 times:

Hi Gareth,

Quoting Gpbcroppers63 (Thread starter):
Apologies for the slight delay posting this TR

Thats ok I forgive you ! lol...

It was really worth the wait. 10/10 I really enjoyed it. So lucky to get the J class seats. A trip to remember. Also great to see the new Terminal at BCN. After following its progress with all my trips last year its great to see the interior turned out so nice.

Thnaks for the report and glad you had a good trip.

Philip



AEGEAN-OLYMPIC AIR - ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΚΗ " μέλος στη Star Alliance
User currently offlineGpbcroppers63 From Ireland, joined Jan 2008, 518 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 6980 times:

Hi All,

Thanks for the kind replies. Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. I was in New York last weekend and have been really busy in work since.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 6):
Hi,
very nice to read your report. I can truly understand the feelings being on the AB6. Have done the ride on one myself once, and it is an magnificent aircraft! I enjoyed the comfortable ride a lot with LH.

Hi Eric. I agree, the AB6 was wonderful and the LH crew great. Such a shame they've retired the AB6s now!

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 7):
Thanks for this fabulous TR.

Thanks Roger. Glad you enjoyed it!

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 7):
How come? I am surprised I hear that, you should have walked a little bit more around. One thing that the city does not lack is plenty of restaurants.

I am sure there are loads of restaurants in that area but it was getting late, I was tired and hungry and I had to be up early the following morning. I'll wander round more next time. Hopefully I'll be there a bit longer!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 8):
Oh sorry, I guess I wasn't clear enough with my words. I was on the same flight (number) but on a different day, on July the 5th when the AB6s were no longer operating.

Got you now. Sorry for the misunderstanding! Sounds like your opinions of the Barceló Sants were like mine. A perfectly acceptable hotel for a quick overnight but not the most spectacular I've ever stayed in. I'd stay there again though I reckon.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 9):
Thats ok I forgive you ! lol...

So you should!  tongue  I was on holiday and it took ages to work out how to post the TR properly. I had loads of problems with the pics.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 9):
It was really worth the wait. 10/10 I really enjoyed it.

Glad you enjoyed it. That's praise indeed from the TR maestro!!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 9):
Also great to see the new Terminal at BCN. After following its progress with all my trips last year its great to see the interior turned out so nice.

It really is a stunning terminal. I think I prefer it to LHR T5 which is pretty awesome too. Hopefully you'll get to sample it soon.



According to one of my colleagues, my problem is that I'm addicted to travel!
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