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AMS-FRA-AMS On LH; Delays, Delays And No 735/RJ85  
User currently offlineChrisCruise From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 109 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 7 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 8760 times:

Dear readers,

In front of you the second trip report I posted on this great website. Please keep in mind this trip took place in the beginning of January. First of all I want to make my apologies for:

a) The lack of pictures
b) The poor quality of the pictures

I was not that smart to check my camera before I left home and realize I forgot to put in a memory card. Hence, all pictures are taken with my mobile phone resulting in poor quality. Sorry! Let’s say I was not that experienced in making trip reports back then.

Introduction:

As an aviation enthusiastic I really do love to fly. My flights are only for pleasure or holiday. Back in December 2009 I had some spare time and I searched for some cheap options to fly somewhere within Europe in the beginning of January. Fares on Lufthansa are relatively cheap with a EUR 99,- fare to Frankfurt or Munich from Amsterdam.

Then I received the email from Lufthansa about their online auction for many flights and I was thinking I could score a nice and cheap flight during the auction. How wrong was I! What an absolute joke the auction was with it being postponed and I was not even able to get into the auction room. Being really disappointed about not being able to book a nice ticket through the auction my search for other cheap flights continued.

After a couple of days I received an email from Lufthansa explaining why the auction room was closed during the auction (due to an unstable platform as many people wanting to enter the auction room) and offering their apologies with a EUR 20 voucher. Then it became obvious, cheap fares to either Frankfurt or Munich plus a reduction of EUR 20 and I made the decision to book myself on a Lufthansa flight.

Booking:

Booking was done through the website of Lufthansa. I wanted to travel in the weekend of January 9/10 2010 and searched for available flights. Flights to Munich were around EUR 150 and I decided against it as flights to Frankfurt were still available for EUR 99. So I booked a ticket leaving Saturday January 9 and returning Sunday January 10.

I like Lufthansa’s overview of available flights when you make the booking. Searching for some interesting planes I came across the Boeing 737-500 for the AMS-FRA leg and the AVRO RJ85 for the FRA-AMS leg, two types I never flew on before. Hearing rumors that Lufthansa will soon retire its Boeing 737-500 fleet (I don’t know if it is true) I opted for these particular flights and made my booking.

Too bad you are not able to select a seat during the booking process. However you can indicate if you prefer a window or aisle. I don’t really matter the seat on such a short flight as long it is a window seat. Furthermore I entered my Miles & More FF number and within seconds I received the confirmation in my email.

All in all a return ticket from AMS to FRA for only EUR 78, not a bad deal!

Online check-in:

Online check-in for the flight from AMS to FRA would open at 15.25 on January 8, 2010. However as I had everything ready to start the OLCI my cell phone showed a message. The message said the flight was cancelled and requested to call the German callcentre.

I swiftly responded and called with the call centre. Within a minute I had a Lufthansa representative on the phone who gave me the alternative to rebook me on an earlier flight. I saw also a later flight was available and requested if it was possible to book me on that flight. The consequence of the rebooking was that a flight with the Boeing 737-500 was no longer possible. The flight was now being operated by a Boeing 737-300. Too bad!

At 20.30 I checked in online and picked seat 23A on the second last row of the aircraft.

On January 9 I took the train from Rotterdam to Schiphol to arrive there at 17.15. I was not even five minutes in the train or my cell phone received a message telling me the flight was being delayed by half an hour. Arriving at Schiphol I immediately proceeded to the check-in machines. I am always annoyed by the presence of the Lufthansa representatives who just don’t let you complete the process yourself. I would appreciate if they would ask if you need any assistance but instead they perform the process for you. I obtained my boarding pass and went through the customs in a breeze. After customs my cell phone beeped again telling me the delay was now 45 minutes and after 15 minutes another message telling the delay was now an hour! No worries, I can always enjoy myself at an airport, especially Schiphol! Here an indication how Schiphol looked liked under the snowy conditions.

http://i747.photobucket.com/albums/xx117/ChrisCruise1980/DSC00067.jpg

Date: January 9, 2010
Route: AMS-FRA
Flight: LH 4683
Aircraft: Boeing 737-330
Registration: D-ABXU (Seeheim-Jugenheim)
Seat: 23A (window)


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Allan Martins Antunes
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Photo © Gerry Hill - WorldAirImages



When I arrived at the gate there were already many people waiting. I got into a nice conversation with two gentlemen who had a connection in Frankfurt and were worried about their connection. Things were even looking worse for them when Lufthansa sent me another text message announcing an additional delay of 30 min, the total delay now 1,5 hours.

Around 20.20 the plane arrived at gate B17 and within 20 minutes the plane was ready for boarding.

http://i747.photobucket.com/albums/xx117/ChrisCruise1980/DSC00068.jpg

All passengers were called to the gate and the whole process went quite smooth. I boarded the plane among the first. At the door I was greeted by the purser and a female flight attendant. The purser was a senior male and the flight attendants were one male and female.

The cabin looked aged but very clean. The grey leather seats were comfortable and seat pitch more than sufficient for the short flight.

http://i747.photobucket.com/albums/xx117/ChrisCruise1980/DSC00069.jpg

Captain Vogel introduced himself and explained the obvious reason why the plane was delayed. Another small delay was announced as the plane needed to be deiced and currently the deicing truck was busy with the Fokker of Austrian Airlines stationed at gate B13.

I took a look at the seat pocket. Lufthansa present their safety card, inflight magazine and shopping catalogue wrapped into a plastic cover. I never saw this before and I have to say it looks really neat. Unfortunately the seat pocket also contained some remains of the wrapping of candy bars from previous passengers.

The purser announced that boarding is completed and I guess the load factor is around 90%. I’m comfortable in seat 23A and both 23B and C remain empty. But the purser did not finish his announcement or the gentleman seated in 22D moved over to 23C.

At 21.03 captain Vogel announced a further delay as there was not sufficient personnel at the airport to load the suitcases into the airplane.
As we were not leaving yet I took the opportunity to look out of the window a bit more. Parked next to us is the Vueling flight to Barcelona. The registration of this A320 is EC-KMI. These low cost carriers also seem to adopt other than the traditional names for an airplane. This airplane is called: ‘How are you? I’m Vueling’. Funny!

http://i747.photobucket.com/albums/xx117/ChrisCruise1980/DSC00070.jpg

At 21.12 the deicing process started. It is the first time for me to witness this process which is very nice. The only disadvantage is that the windows are covered by the liquid and bothers the view a lot.

http://i747.photobucket.com/albums/xx117/ChrisCruise1980/DSC00075.jpg

http://i747.photobucket.com/albums/xx117/ChrisCruise1980/DSC00074.jpg

After 10 minutes the process is completed and we are pushed back at 21.24. Three minutes later we started taxiing to the runway.

At 21.36 we arrived at runway 27 and we are lined up immediately. The flight crew adapts power but we do not move an inch as brakes are deployed. Then the brakes are released and away we are. The gentleman in 23C puts a cross, what can go wrong now after this holy blessing? A really nice experience to witness this rocket take-off. As we are thundering down the runway it becomes clear there is a lot of wind. The plane is constantly sweeping from left to right. In no time we are up in the air and get into the thick clouds. Within five minutes the seat belt signs are switched off and the cabin crew gets into action.

We are offered a sandwich with ham. Presentation is poor if you compare it with KLM. When the male flight attendant offers me a drink I opt for a beer. A nice bottle of cold Warsteiner is given to me. In my opinion this is much nicer than the normal can of beer you receive at most other airlines. But I believe LH is thinking about replacing the bottles with cans as well!

After 20 minutes of flight the first-officer announces that they already started the decent and that we will fly over Cologne and will arrive at FRA in 15 minutes. We broke through the clouds and it became clear why there were so many delays in FRA. The landscape is covered in a thick layer of snow. Landing is smooth and we cross the active runway for take-offs to arrive at gate C1 six minutes after landing.

http://i747.photobucket.com/albums/xx117/ChrisCruise1980/DSC00073.jpg

Date: January 10, 2010
Route: FRA-AMS
Flight: LH 4682
Aircraft: Boeing 737-330
Registration: D-ABEW (Detmold)
Seat: 21A


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andreas Fietz
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Arvydas Cetyrkovskis



The return flight looks a lot like the flight from AMS to FRA. My flight operated by the Avro RJ85 is cancelled and I’m rebooked on the LH 4683. The delay caused by this rebooking is 1,5 hours. What can I say? It is the weekend of the delays. I’m more upset about missing the Avro RJ85 and being stuck with another 733.

The airplane is parked on a remote spot meaning that we are transported there by bus. After disembarking the bus I’m up to my ankles in a grey icy substance of half melted snow. I don’t understand why they cannot make the entrance to the airplane free of ice.

Take-off is spectacular again with thrust applied with the brakes on. Service on this flight is equal to the AMS-FRA leg and the Warsteiner beer tastes amazing again after all the waiting.

Conclusion:

I expected a lot from this trip and I hoped to log some new types of airplanes. Unfortunately the winter weather did not cooperate. All the delays made it even less nice as I hoped. Therefore, my first encounter with Lufthansa was not the best! I think their onboard service is quite good and I will fly them again in June to see if I can evaluate their product better as it will be less impacted by external factors (if our Icelandic friend will stay calm).

Thanks for reading!

[Edited 2010-05-24 00:42:55]


Flown:319, 320, 321, 343, 388, 733, 738, 742, 744, 752, 763, 764, 772, 77W, CR7, CR9, DC9-31, E70, E90, F70, F100, MD11
10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4277 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (4 years 7 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 8557 times:

Hi Chris,
you're quick bringing the second report online;

Quoting ChrisCruise (Thread starter):
After a couple of days I received an email from Lufthansa explaining why the auction room was closed during the auction (due to an unstable platform as many people wanting to enter the auction room) and offering their apologies with a EUR 20 voucher.

As I never tried that auction, I wasn't aware of this voucher. Nevertheless, it's great offered by LH I think.

Quoting ChrisCruise (Thread starter):
Within a minute I had a Lufthansa representative on the phone who gave me the alternative to rebook me on an earlier flight. I saw also a later flight was available and requested if it was possible to book me on that flight. The consequence of the rebooking was that a flight with the Boeing 737-500 was no longer possible. The flight was now being operated by a Boeing 737-300. Too bad!

Why not an earlier flight then? With numerous flights available, wasn't their a single one with some other equipment? Since LH puts basically everything on their FRA services (A319-321, RJ85, B733/735, sometimes E95).

Quoting ChrisCruise (Thread starter):
After customs my cell phone beeped again telling me the delay was now 45 minutes and after 15 minutes another message telling the delay was now an hour!

Good service information. Travelling in winter can be tricky, especially at the end of the day when previous delays also play a role at the evening flights.

Quoting ChrisCruise (Thread starter):

We are offered a sandwich with ham. Presentation is poor if you compare it with KLM. When the male flight attendant offers me a drink I opt for a beer. A nice bottle of cold Warsteiner is given to me.

I rather have the poorly presented LH sandwich, then the very small KL sandwich in it's nicely presented platic 'Holland' cover. And drinks on LH are in general better indeed. Even when LH swift the beer to cans, you'll probably get the 33cl can, where KL offers 25cl small cans of Heineken.

Regards,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineMIAspotter From Spain, joined Nov 2001, 2853 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (4 years 7 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 8426 times:

Hey Chris!

Nice report and very well presented.

Shame about the delays and cancellations, but I guess that's what happens in winter.

Quoting ChrisCruise (Thread starter):
Parked next to us is the Vueling flight to Barcelona. The registration of this A320 is EC-KMI. These low cost carriers also seem to adopt other than the traditional names for an airplane. This airplane is called: ‘How are you? I’m Vueling’

Yes, they are really funny, I think there is (or was) another jet named "The name is Ling... Vue-ling  hehe I love Vueling they are cool.

Quoting ChrisCruise (Thread starter):
Therefore, my first encounter with Lufthansa was not the best! I think their onboard service is quite good and I will fly them again in June to see if I can evaluate their product better as it will be less impacted by external factors (if our Icelandic friend will stay calm).

Hopefully things will be better in June, for me LH is my airline of choice, I really like their no-nonsense service, they get you from A to B and back to A safely (and ontime most of the times)

You can read my TR about my BCN-VIE-DUS-BCN flights, and I did score the 735 Arrows And Cranes BCN-VIE-DUS-BCN OS And LH (by MIAspotter Apr 17 2010 in Trip Reports)

MIAspotter



I think, therefore I don´t fly Ryanair.
User currently offlineChrisCruise From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 7 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 8138 times:

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 1):
Why not an earlier flight then? With numerous flights available, wasn't their a single one with some other equipment? Since LH puts basically everything on their FRA services (A319-321, RJ85, B733/735, sometimes E95).

I checked! That day there were three of four cancelled flights. All flights not cancelled were carried out by a 733. No choice at all that day!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 1):
Good service information. Travelling in winter can be tricky, especially at the end of the day when previous delays also play a role at the evening flights.

Agreed, but it is frustating when they inform you four or five times that the delay is getting longer with another 15/30 minute.

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 2):
Yes, they are really funny, I think there is (or was) another jet named "The name is Ling... Vue-ling hehe I love Vueling they are cool.

Never flew with them but if their product is as original as their airplane names it must be very nice!

Cheers,

Christian



Flown:319, 320, 321, 343, 388, 733, 738, 742, 744, 752, 763, 764, 772, 77W, CR7, CR9, DC9-31, E70, E90, F70, F100, MD11
User currently offlineKappel From Suriname, joined Jul 2005, 3533 posts, RR: 17
Reply 4, posted (4 years 7 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7622 times:

Wow, that's a quick second trip report.

Quoting ChrisCruise (Thread starter):
I’m more upset about missing the Avro RJ85 and being stuck with another 733.

I'm so happy I got on my first AVRO flight last year, MUC-AMS with D-AVRO (gotta love that reg!!). The seats were quite narrow though, they have 6 abreast seating.



L1011,733,734,73G,738,743,744,752,763,772,77W,DC855,DC863,DC930,DC950,MD11,MD88,306,319,320,321,343,346,ARJ85,CR7,E195
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2500 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (4 years 7 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7576 times:

Hi Chris,

I can only echo other fellow A.netters. A quick follow up!

Quoting ChrisCruise (Thread starter):
Let’s say I was not that experienced in making trip reports back then.

You have made the best of it. Well done!

Quoting ChrisCruise (Thread starter):
All in all a return ticket from AMS to FRA for only EUR 78, not a bad deal!

Amazing!

Quoting ChrisCruise (Thread starter):
the AVRO RJ85

I would be much happier not to fly this bird at 6-abreast seating.

Quoting ChrisCruise (Thread starter):
I never saw this before and I have to say it looks really neat. Unfortunately the seat pocket also contained some remains of the wrapping of candy bars from previous passengers.

It prevents you for having food remains inside your inflight magazine.   

Quoting ChrisCruise (Thread starter):
Parked next to us is the Vueling flight to Barcelona.

Somehow, I have got the impression that VY has its gates always assigned next to those of LH.

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlinercaq From Austria, joined Aug 2009, 98 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 7183 times:

Quoting ChrisCruise (Thread starter):
Too bad you are not able to select a seat during the booking process. However you can indicate if you prefer a window or aisle.

Looks like you had some flaws upon booking. There's a third link/button next to the radio buttons (window, aisle...). It worked for my recent LH long hauls...


User currently offlineChrisCruise From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 7 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6413 times:

Quoting Kappel (Reply 4):
Wow, that's a quick second trip report.
Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
I can only echo other fellow A.netters. A quick follow up!

I already had this TR prepared back in January but had to find out how to upload the pictures from my mobile to photobucket. Once I figured that out I posted the TR immediately!

Quoting Kappel (Reply 4):
I'm so happy I got on my first AVRO flight last year, MUC-AMS with D-AVRO (gotta love that reg!!). The seats were quite narrow though, they have 6 abreast seating.
Quoting akhmad (Reply 5):
I would be much happier not to fly this bird at 6-abreast seating.

The reg is great! I also loved the Corsair 747s registrations: F-HSUN, F-HSEA and F-HSEX (delicate one)

I have to admit that 6 abreast is very tight, but on a short hop to MUC or FRA this must no be a problem!

Quoting rcaq (Reply 6):
Looks like you had some flaws upon booking. There's a third link/button next to the radio buttons (window, aisle...). It worked for my recent LH long hauls...

I think that only for long-haul you can select your seats, with KL and AZ it is the same!



Flown:319, 320, 321, 343, 388, 733, 738, 742, 744, 752, 763, 764, 772, 77W, CR7, CR9, DC9-31, E70, E90, F70, F100, MD11
User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1908 posts, RR: 42
Reply 8, posted (4 years 7 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5819 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Hi Chris, thanks for sharing. I'm sorry about all the troubles you encountered! I must say I haven't ever seen an AR8 on the FRA flights since late January. I was assured today that the 735 would be around for some time to come, which is good because I want to fly one as well  

Better luck next time!

Martijn



Nothing's worse then flying the same registration twice, except flying it 4 times..
User currently offlineChrisCruise From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 7 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5434 times:

Hey Martijn,

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 8):
I'm sorry about all the troubles you encountered!

Don't worry! I mainly blame the weather, not the airline! I will be flying LH on June 26 to HAM and on June 27 LHR-DUS-FRA-AMS and hopefully I can enjoy these flights more than back in January!

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 8):
I must say I haven't ever seen an AR8 on the FRA flights since late January.

It becomes more difficult to fly the AR8 on LH from AMS. I think that MUC is the only destination on which LH operates a AR8 these days. Am I correct?

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 8):
I was assured today that the 735 would be around for some time to come, which is good because I want to fly one as well

Good to hear they stay around for a while! Within Europe the 735 is quite scarce!

Adios,

Christian



Flown:319, 320, 321, 343, 388, 733, 738, 742, 744, 752, 763, 764, 772, 77W, CR7, CR9, DC9-31, E70, E90, F70, F100, MD11
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8596 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (4 years 7 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5407 times:
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Hi Chris,

Nice report, thanks for sharing, always nice to fly just for the heck of it!  
Quoting ChrisCruise (Thread starter):
I received an email from Lufthansa explaining why the auction room was closed during the auction (due to an unstable platform as many people wanting to enter the auction room) and offering their apologies with a EUR 20 voucher.

- Good recovery from LH, that is good customer service.

Quoting ChrisCruise (Thread starter):
Lufthansa sent me another text message announcing an additional delay of 30 min, the total delay now 1,5 hours.

- Well at least they have kept you informed, many airlines are not so good at this.

Despite not snagging the 735 or Avro, looks like a decent trip, delays aside.

All being well you should still be able to fly a LH 735, no sign of them leaving in a hurry, despite all the chat about it.

Regards

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
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