DavidkunzVIE From Austria, joined Mar 2007, 431 posts, RR: 4 Posted (6 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 13044 times:
Snow//The FRA experience. VIE-FRA vv on LH
PART ONE - VIE-FRA on LH 3531
FRA is every plane buff's dream. What a lucky fella I am to have a wonderful girlfriend who happens to live there! On Jan, 21 it was time to visit her. I had booked the flights on LH's website mid-December and managed to grab a €99 return fare. I do realize that intra-European eco flights fail to shine, compared to those exotic airlines, airplanes and airports that make this section of the site so special. However, I tried my best to make you "feel there" by including dozens of pictures, as simple explanations simply wouldn't make the effort of compiling a TR worthwhile. Not these days. ("We got a chocolate bar." "Check-in was smooth." and other simple phrases wouldn't get you in the mood to fly, I assume.)
So, get up with me, as I rise at 6.30 a.m., only to find that it had snowed the previous night.
View through Vienna's bitterly cold morning air.
My father had agreed to drive me to the airport, an offer that I gladly accepted. The rat-runners that we are, we managed to avoid the rush hour traffic jams and all the accident sites we heard about on the radio. The fresh snow had really taken its toll.
Not the best day to fly.
Despite all these problems, we arrived at VIE at quarter past eight, allowing me to explore the parking lots and all the other interesting spots.
I had checked in online the previous day, which went quickly. I chose a seat towards the back of the A321, hoping to have an empty seat next to me. What can I say? It worked.
Dropping off the baggage went quickly, as well. The agent seemed pretty surprised by my final destination. "So, Mr. Kunz, is Frankfurt actually you final destination??" "Surprisingly, it is, yes."
Not too busy, not too empty.
Oh, how I love to spend time at the airport. Knowing that the baggage is no longer your business, being free to roam about as you wish. Feeling happy to visit the girl I love, happy to be flying again, for the first time since October (VIE-FCO-VIE on OS 738, no TR yet...), I decided to get myself a beer at the airport supermarket, located on the lower level, between the train station and arrivals. Why pay €4 for a small Heineken in a restaurant, when you can get local brew (Ottakringer, from Vienna) for 70c?
Yes he can!!! Even build Vienna's new terminal?
Then, I was off to parking lot number 4, which overlooks the north-eastern apron and is (usually) excellent for watching afternoon arrivals on runway 34.
I arrived on the top deck and an icy stiff breeze blew me straight back into the elevator. I felt somewhat silly with my chilled beer in right hand, the camera hanging from my neck. I suppose there were times, when people like me landed in mental institutions. Quite rightly so.
The view was breathtaking. Or, rather, the air was.
It had, once again, started to snow. Heavily.
Normally a highly popular spot...
The north-eastern apron.
73G arriving from CGN. The passengers must have been thrilled that they did not even get covered airstairs...
Here's one bird that doesn't need de-icing.
Un hiver quebecois for this CRJ.
The airbridges of the new terminal, "Skylink". Opening date gets postponed regularly...
Overlooking the current facilities, including the rather monolithic new access building to the train station.
Well, well...enough freezing for me. For the moment, at least. I decided to make my way through the entire terminal, towards parking lot 3 for views ("views") of the western apron, which is mainly used for regional jets and props and runway 11/29.
Back in the terminal building I noticed that my flight already showed a 30 minute delay. (11.30 rather than 11.00). Oh, well. Not too bad. Actually, VIE seemed to handle the snow very well, with hardly any flights running late.
Views from P3:
2 763s, 1 772
Visibility getting a little better. Just a little better.
Having gained some additional time, I thought I could as well take a look at Austrian's new HQs.
OS to the right, VIE's HQs right, across the street. It is well known that VIE and OS are not the best of friends and they are constantly fighting. Obviously, however, they could never exist without each other. Now, when times are rough, they could throw things at each other, from one HQ to the other.
Trying the zoom.
Having had a fair share of cold air and wet feet, I passed the boarding pass control and entered the air side area.
Note that security checks are not centralised at VIE. That allows you to carry liquids (another beer, in my case...) all the way to your gate.
The walkway to the C-gates (Schengen destinations.) Shops to the right, airfield views to the left. Good views!
At my designated gate, C52, they were still handling the OS flight to ATH, so I went up to the security officer, and asked when i should be athe the checkpoint for the FRA flight. I was suggesting 10.45 and he told me: "at the very latest!" Ah well...
Centralised shopping mall.
767s at the A gates.
Pretty busy western pier. (C)
OE-LBN being pushed back.
LX 320 in a wintry camouflage.
I then returned to C52, to find they had switched the FRA flight next door to C53. Fine with me. The queue for security was substantial, however.
The FRA crowd.
Once in the waiting lounge of C53, it turned out that the plane had not even arrived. What's with the crap about turning up at 10.45?
The two OS ladies behind the counter struggled with the amount of pax worried about their FRA connections. All they could tell them was that they would be rebooked on the next possible flights.
At this point, things started to get boring. The lounge eventually filled up with no LH plane in sight. The OS lady came on the PA twice, announcing ever new delays, "due to bad weather at VIE". What? Sorry? Did the bus not depart FRA on time due to VIE weather? Ah, well.
You might expect a collective sigh of relief when the much anticipated aircraft finally shows up. However, it seems that pax did either not notice (being to busy reading their FAZ or Die Presse) or had fallen asleep by that time. Or at least feeling too dizzy to cheer. Did I mention it was pretty warm?
Airbus A321-100 D-AIRS "Husum"
11.00-12.35 (actual 12.43-14.08)
Statistics: 13th flight on LH, 30th on a 32S, 7th on a 321. 120th flight overall.
D-AIRS arriving at the gate. Local time was 11.43. 43 minutes after our scheduled departure.
The bored crowd. Mainly businesspeople, as you might expect.
Inbound pax leaving the jetway.
Finally it was time to board and I was among the first on the plane.
D-AIRS looking good in the snow. Note that the flaps and slats are deployed. Does anyone know the reason for that?
Some might find it bland, and compared to OS, it is. I, for one, like LH's elegant interiors.
CL arriving from MUC. On time, btw...
For undisclosed reasons, we spent another 30 minutes on the ground. In the meantime, the snow started to build up on the window panes.
We left the gate 103 minutes late and the captain announced we were in for a de-icing treatment. Always fun. But NOT, when you should have arrived at your destination some minutes ago.
The wind helped getting the windows snow-free.
Average load. A 320 would probably have sufficed.
After de-icing the flaps were retracteed. We then taxied towards runway 16 which meant a northerly departure and crossing the A4 motorway as well as the Danube right after rotation. Also, it took us across the fields, towards the point of the airport that is farthest away from the terminal buildings.
This small lookout tower is a wonderful photography location in the afternoon. Not today, though. Not at all!
ATR arriving from BEG.
The flaps remained at 0° until we lined up. I was getting increasingly nervous and was preparing to shout: "Klappen! Klappen!!!" ("flaps, flaps!!!"), to get the FA's attention...but it wasn't necessary in the end. ;D
Now, what on earth is that??? Ah, I remember...we used to call it "blue skies".
I had never notice LH painted the lower half of their wingtip fences grey. Since when have they been doing this?
"Breaking news! Europe hass been swallowed by enourmous fluffy creatures!"
I always have a beer on flights. As Krusty, the Clown puts it: "Man, that really passes the time." However, I decided not to have the chocolate bar, as I assumed my belly wouldn't respond particularly well to that combo. And it probably wouldn't have gone too well together, either.
Warsteiner and Milka.
Before long, we were well on our way to FRA and started our descent pretty soon.
Germany, engulfed in clouds. At least, it remained dry for the day.
The double-slotted flaps make the 321 easily identifiable on wing shots. The river Main below, hinting at a 25L/R arrival.
Is this Offenbach?
Somehow, our arrival seemed to catch the whole cabin by surprise. The crew were still busy going through the loooong list of re-bookings and some passengers were still standing up by the time the gear came down. You can hear the the FAs tell people to "sit down immediately" in my landing video.
I always enjoy the 25 arrivals in FRA. The view of downtown is exellent and the Waldstadion is always nice. (I refuse to call it by any other name!)
Crossing runway 25R.
Two 738s. I never noticed that the BBJ2 had only 2 overwing exits. I understand that it's perfectly alright for Privatair's configuration, but what if they want to sell it to another operator? Will that even be possible?
At the gate. At last! Thank God Almighty, I'm here at last!
My seat, 26F. A good one.
I said goodbye to the friendly crew (as opposed to some of the arrogant business pricks who ignored them on their way out). By the way, do you know the movie "The 'Burbs" starring Tom Hanks? The neighbour, Mr. Klopek? Well...he was our lead FA that day.
D-AIRS in all her beauty. I really do like LH's 321s.
FRA's endless hallways...
I hurried as I really didn't want my girlfriend to wait for me much longer, but I could have taken numerous nice pictures of parked planes.
Dull and confusing. FRA really is a hub. O&D passengers are a rare breed here.
My lonesome bag. Only about 15 passengers from the VIE flight were actually collecting their luggage.
After some incredibly precious moments of reunion, we took the S-Bahn to town. I had arrived. Safely and happily.
German public transport. Love it.
PART TWO - FRANKFURT AIRPORT APRON TOUR
I was so excited. SO excited. We took the FRA apron tour. 45 minutes of nothing but planes.
It is 6€ (5€ for students and such) and it's worth it. The tour guide himself is not very reliable or knowledgable, but you will hardly get a chance to get closer to the planes as a regular visitor than here. I loved, how much they even encouraged us to take pictures. I complied.
Weather conditions were miserable and the bus was moving most of the time, so please have some mercy on me.
Skyline tracks overhead.
D-AIKE's crew getting aboard.
D-AISG (somehow I never seem to get on a LH 321-200...it's always the 100s for me...)
Being overtaken by D-ACHC
D-ALCK getting loaded. (Double entendre??)
Youthful antics. Nice to see that people can enjoy themselves, having to work in these conditions.
D-ABUF. She brought me to YXY, way back in 2005...
Somon Air. I must admit I had never even heard of them before...
TK 738 getting in the way of the 744's runway 18 departure.
The 77F IS a beautiful plane. But can it ever rival the elegance of the MD11? We all know she can't.
Unfortunately we didn't get closer to T2, but I thought that the size comparison of the 318 and the 77W was pretty neat...
PART THREE - FRA-VIE on LH 3542
We arrived at the airport early to allow enough time for our goodbyes. I had checked in online, in the morning, so all I had to do was drop off my bag again. There was virtually no one in line ahead of me.
FRA T1 check-in hall.
On my way to security.
No lines. Gooood...
I was through security within a minute. Again, without setting off alarms. The only airport, where it always happens, is TXL.
Airbus A321-100 D-AIRR "Wismar"
Statistics: 14th flight on LH, 31st on a 32S, 8th on a 321. 121st flight overall.
A17, my gate.
I was hoping for a -200 or at least RX or RY. However, no such luck. Once again I got on a regular -100.
D-AILS. She had brought me from FRA to VIE once, as well.
I love the tradition of naming planes.
At this point...I basically fell asleep. It had been incredibly fulfilling days. Also, they had been incredibly filled. I recall waking up for take-off, however I can't even remember which runway we used. The first thing I remeber after that was this sight:
Vienna! I was shocked. Never before had I slept through a whole flight. I guess the long days and sleepless night had taken their toll on me. Judging by the other landings, we had arrived on runway 11 which meant crossing the city. Perfect...missing out on the sea of lights that Vienna becomes at night...
Two 321, right next to each other. Both belong to LH, in a way.
VIE looked like my head felt: empty.
Goodbye. See you soon.
That was that. Thanks for reading. I sincerely hope you enjoyed my report, regardless of any flaws. Please feel free to ask questions and comment. I am looking forward to all forms of feedback.
(Nah...let me be honest...I'm only looking forward to positive feedback. )
LYchemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1575 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (6 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 13002 times:
From Frankfurt to Geneva 4 months ago LH gave us a nice sandwich while all you got was a bar of chocolate; however I love Suchard. However 1 year ago they gave a sandwich + a small twix bar which was recently removed from the menu.
Cold Vienna winters are famous; you don't seem covered enough.
LTU932 From Costa Rica, joined Jan 2006, 14231 posts, RR: 46
Reply 2, posted (6 years 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 12925 times:
Interessting report. I'll be using FRA myself in about three weeks when I arrive from MEX on LH 499, and I hope that going from the non-Schengen area to the Schengen area for my connection to HAM will be quick and painless. Hopefully the snow delays will be greatly reduced by then (though I don't mind it still being winter cold).
BA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8734 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (6 years 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 12513 times:
Nice report, really enjoyed the pictures of the snow @ VIE, looks like it was pretty heavy!
Quoting DavidkunzVIE (Thread starter): I decided to get myself a beer at the airport supermarket, located on the lower level, between the train station and arrivals. Why pay €4 for a small Heineken in a restaurant, when you can get local brew (Ottakringer, from Vienna) for 70c?
Quoting DavidkunzVIE (Thread starter): Two 738s. I never noticed that the BBJ2 had only 2 overwing exits. I understand that it's perfectly alright for Privatair's configuration, but what if they want to sell it to another operator? Will that even be possible?
The two Privatair 737s operating for LH aren't BBJ2s, just modifed 737-800s once in service with Sun Country Airlines. The "missing" original emergency exists are still there, just have a closer look at this picture:
FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (6 years 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 12158 times:
An interesting report about a rather ordinary (as you mentioned) route and carrier, but lots and lots of good pictures. Looks like a very snowy day in Vienna. I'm actually amazed that the delay wasn't too long - I've been stuck in a plane at FRA apron for over three hours when there was a similar snowfall as in your pictures and the few deicers they had were completely overworked. LH served us the food on the ground back then, a really wise choice considering that the flight was supposed to depart around 21.30 LT ... I have also experienced a few hub meltdowns at CPH due to snow, not fun at all.
I've flown VIE-FRA on OS A320, never on LH.
Quoting DavidkunzVIE (Thread starter): At this point, things started to get boring. The lounge eventually filled up with no LH plane in sight. The OS lady came on the PA twice, announcing ever new delays, "due to bad weather at VIE". What? Sorry? Did the bus not depart FRA on time due to VIE weather? Ah, well.
Yes, it is quite possible that VIE ATC limited the number of incoming planes, requiring larger separation than normally due to the bad visibility (and the need to remove snow from the runway). In these cases, short flights such as FRA-VIE are often held on the ground at the departure airport to avoid having them circle unnecessary at holding patterns to wait for their turn to land.
Quoting DavidkunzVIE (Thread starter): Vienna! I was shocked. Never before had I slept through a whole flight. I guess the long days and sleepless night had taken their toll on me.
Ahh, young love! Trust me, once you've been married a few years the only thing you want to do during the night is to sleep!
Airbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4401 posts, RR: 49
Reply 7, posted (6 years 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 12125 times:
Thanks for the nice read. Indeed you make a long story on these short flights, but wow, so many snow in VIE. Still a wonder that they can continue to operate in such conditions.
The rest is a basic LH flight, the normal service and an A321. That type is not my favourite, not at all in the back of the cabin, since they feel oncomfortable/unstable to me inflight. Also seatpitch on LH's A321 is not so good, and I prefer their 320's instead
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
B747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17554 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (6 years 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 12110 times:
Really love the pics. So much snow!
Pity that you didnt catch an A321-100.
Quoting DavidkunzVIE (Thread starter): Dropping off the baggage went quickly, as well. The agent seemed pretty surprised by my final destination. "So, Mr. Kunz, is Frankfurt actually you final destination??" "Surprisingly, it is, yes."
Probably because of:
Quoting DavidkunzVIE (Thread starter): My lonesome bag. Only about 15 passengers from the VIE flight were actually collecting their luggage
MIAspotter From Spain, joined Nov 2001, 3009 posts, RR: 23
Reply 10, posted (6 years 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 12078 times:
Thanks for taking the time to write this wonderful report, I enjoyed reading it and I liked your writing style with the humorous touches.
I believe I have flown D-AIRS back in 2008 between MUC and BCN, I had just stepped from a long SIN-MUC flight and I was sooo tired to write the registration, but I made a mental (yet fuzzy) note of it.
Quoting DavidkunzVIE (Thread starter): D-AIRS looking good in the snow. Note that the flaps and slats are deployed. Does anyone know the reason for that?
Not so sure about it, I know they do the same on hot conditions, something about the hydraulic systems, propably they left them down so that when de-icing some of the liquid could get into the innards and keep the flaps ice-free (just an uneducated guess)
Back to my MUC-BCN flight I remember when we were deplanning (at a remote stand) that the flight crew somehow forgot to switch off the strobe lights and even while getting on the bus they were still flashing, until a F/A came out and saw it, then inmediately informed the cockpit crew.
SXDFC From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 2812 posts, RR: 23
Reply 17, posted (6 years 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 11229 times:
They say pictures say a 1000 words, your pictures however speak 2000 words! Wonderful TR, I felt like I traveled along with you through your trip, heck I liked this TR to the point I read it twice! Great TR and keep em coming!
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
Just today I booked flights to TXL (OS in May) and FCO (OS in October). Expect TRs on these flights, too. Additionally, I'll be on a cruise of the Baltic Sea in August, including VIE-HAM-VIE on either OS or LH.
Lukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1185 posts, RR: 31
Reply 21, posted (6 years 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 10211 times:
Enjoyyed reading about this sector. You have a great written style in your report and broke it all up nicely for the reader.
Quoting DavidkunzVIE (Thread starter): Why pay €4 for a small Heineken in a restaurant, when you can get local brew (Ottakringer, from Vienna) for 70c?
A man after my own heart. In NYO a beer was 9EURO in the airsdie bars, or 1 euro in the wee kiosk and you could take it outside in the snow.... not a stuffy bar - penny pinching students eh?!. And as PlaneHunter identified, its normally tastier local beer. Hurrah!
Good quality photos - particularly liked the smiling labourers at VIE. Nice shot.
Mtaabq From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 9926 times:
Awesome, awesome, awesome! Great pics! It's always fun (for me anyway) to read trip reports on short sectors. You possess a great writing style which makes reading your TR's most enjoyable. Thank you for making the effort and for sharing your story.