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Tight Connection For A340: HEL-CDG-BCN-MAD-FRA-HEL  
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 13980 times:

Introduction

This trip started as an impulse purchase from the great Ezy sale in January. HEL-CDG was available for a bit under 20 EUR, so I really didn't have any choice but to get one of the tickets for a random Saturday evening in May. With a late Helsinki departure and an even later arrival at Charles de Gaulle I had to spend the night there and then do something interesting the next day.

I had a lot of options, my main plan involved Ezy down to LIS, then a Portugalia B1900 to AGP and an Air Finland 757 back to HEL. Too bad I hesitated a bit too long in booking it during which the OF flight went up by 100 EUR, from "acceptable" to "no way, Jose!", so I had to look for alternatives.

Somehow I had Spain in my mind all the time, and finally came up with the idea of catching the LAN A340 fifth freedom route MAD-FRA and hopefully also logging my first flight with Air Europa. With this in mind I searched for suitable flights, and finally came up with an itinerary: the morning Ezy flight down to BCN for 39 EUR, connecting a few hours later to UX to MAD, also cheap at 40 EUR and finally the LA flight to FRA, which was somewhat more expensive at 113 EUR but not bad for a widebody Airbus route on an exotic carrier.

Finally to get home from FRA I had some difficulties finding anything reasonable - SK offered one ways via both CPH and ARN but the price was around 150 EUR. LH had a perfect late night flight, but in true LH fashion the one way ticket priced in full Y - very very expensive. Luckily you can always work the system a bit - I searched around for suitable dates, and found a roundtrip with the LH flight I wanted for around 140 EUR with the return flight fixed a couple of months later - something to build another interesting itinerary around!

22.5.2010

After a not very relaxing Saturday involving driving almost 600 kilometers along the motorways and smaller country roads of Southwestern Finland (don't ask) I'm finally home just in time to refresh, pack up my kit and head to the airport, where I arrive a bit over two hours before departure. Ezy has moved the check in counters again - now they are in the main departure hall of T2 where the AY long haul check in used to be not too long ago. The counters are also still closed, with a small queue alread in front of them so I join it. The Ezy OLCI for HEL at least is utterly broken at the moment so no way doing that...

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Helsinki_Departure_1.jpg

Finally two agents arrive and very slowly proceed to open two counters, and after 45 minutes of standing there I finally get checked in and proceed to have some food at one of the land side eateries. The airport is quite deserted at this late hour on a Saturday evening and most of the shops and restaurants are closed. Security is easy for the same reason, and I head to the gate 27, which this flight seems to always use a bit too late to find a huge queue already formed there - looks like I need to kiss my exit row seat goodbye on this flight. Lots and lots of Russians here, in the end I think almost half of the plane was full of them. The LCCs will be making a killing if EU and Russia ever make an Open Skies deal...

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Helsinki_Departure_2.jpg

I spot the plane landing around 20.15, and a few minutes later it stops at the gate in front of us. It is G-EZDN, a new one for my log. Very efficient turnaround, as boarding is called only 10 minutes later.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Helsinki_Departure_3.jpg

HEL-CDG
U23898
A319 G-EZDN
Seat 25F
20.50 - 22.37

Interesting crew on this flight, only one female FA and all the rest are males. Must be a French thing. As I anticipated the good seats on the bulkhead and exit rows are already gone (well educated travelers on this flight!), so I head towards the back of the cabin hoping that there would be more space there Well, there is some as there are a couple of vacant seats back here when boarding is completed, but unfortunately not next to me - instead I get a couple of teenage Russian girls next to me - the one on the aisle seat makes a few signs of the cross after sitting down and later during the flight as well - hmm, is there something I should know about this flight? Load is good, at least 90%, I'd say.

The captain welcomes us to "This easyJet flight to Charles de Gaulle 2B" with an expected flight time of 2h45mins. Pushback is five minutes late - some waiting for all the luggage to be loaded. Take off is from 04R after this beauty:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Helsinki_Departure_4.jpg

It's an Air Pullmantur B744, it has been years since I've seen a Jumbo at HEL.

Notice the AY MD-11 taxiing from what looks like a runway 15 landing in this picture:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Helsinki_Departure_5.jpg

I have no idea where it is going or coming from - they haven't been in active service since February. Glad to see that at least one of them is still in running order, though.

The evening has been a wet and cloudy one, so no views of the ground until further away over the Baltic Sea. Approaching the island of Gotland:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Paris_2.jpg

I grab some beverages from the sales cart and fire up the IPod for some video entertainment:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Paris_1.jpg

No announcement about the route, but I observe it to be roughly HEL-VBY-MMX-CPH-KEL-East of AMS-BRU-CDG.

Copenhagen, with Kastrup airport in the foreground:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Paris_3.jpg

The Netherlands:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Paris_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Paris_5.jpg

Antwerp:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Paris_6.jpg

Brussels, BRU airport is the brightly lit area on the lower right corner:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Paris_7.jpg

At some point while queuing for the toilet in the back galley I notice the two stewards with a beer can that obviously has a leak - they are about to dispose of it when I jokingly offer to buy it for half price. The other one takes this seriously and offers to give the rest to me for free - I try to argue that I was only kidding but he insists, so after doing whatever it is that you normally do in toilets I walk back to my seat with a Starbucks coffee cup half full of a bit flat beer...  http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Approach_1.jpg

Descent starts a bit after passing Brussels. During the final approach there are great views of the City of Lights being completely lit-up. It looks like it is the first time for the girls on my row to Paris, they just can't get enough of the view (and I certainly don't mind pretty young girls leaning over me, sorry I'm a dirty old sod) - I point out the Eiffel tower at them.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Approach_2.jpg

Spot the Eiffel Tower:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Approach_3.jpg

Landing is on runway 08R after around 2h40mins of flight, followed by a lengthy taxi to 2B where we dock to a jetway.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Approach_4.jpg

Charles de Gaulle Airport

I have no idea where my hotel shuttle is supposed to leave from - the hotel website wasn't very helpful. I figure out that the T3/RER station complex is probably the best bet so I head to the CDGVAL automated train thingy and ride it there. There's a large area reserved for shuttle pickups and fortunately I made the right decision, in a few minutes the shuttle pulls up and five minutes later it drops me at my hotel, the Mercure Charles de Gaulle. I got this one through Priceline for less than 60 EUR, not a bad deal as it is very close to the terminals, not something all the so called "Airport hotels" in Roissy are... The location is a bit weird, though, as you basically are on a street with nothing but hotels on it. After inquiring about the shuttle schedule for next morning I retire to my room, brew a quick cup of tea and call it a night.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Mercure_2.jpg

23.5.2010

Another Sunday morning with an OMG o'clock wake up, followed by a 6.15 shuttle back to the airport. While waiting for the shuttle I watch the stream of arrivals (mostly long haul) landing on one of the 08 runways, here's an AF A340:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Departure_1.jpg

The shuttle is pretty punctual and soon drops me off in front of Terminal 2A, just opposite 2B that Ezy uses.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Departure_2.jpg

While the newer parts of T2 are rather nice - E and F especially, these older ones are looking very dated by today's standards. Horrible bare concrete architecture and very dark and sort of claustrophobic as well with not too many amenities. Sure, it is better than the whacky T1, but not much. I grab a quick French breakfast - i.e. a cup of coffee, orange juice and a croissant and head to the gate.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Departure_4.jpg

Interestingly none of the gate monitors in the main gate area are working, so I have no idea whether I'm entering the correct sterile area or not - but at least there are some Spaniards here so chances are good. There are no services apart from a few vending machines once past security - I don't even see any toilets, although there's a bus gate downstairs which might feature this kind of luxuries.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Departure_5.jpg

At the end of our jetway I notice a familiar registration - Delta Nevada again, my ride from last night. Bugger.

Boarding starts around half an hour before departure, there are a number of people who try to jump queues or use the priority boarding lane without the appropriate credentials but the two gate agents are great at putting these scam artists back to where they belong. I manage to be one of the first ones from the regular lane - the priority group features an extended Chinese family with 12 people, processing them sure takes some time. We wait for a couple of minutes in the jetway while the plane is ready for boarding - not too bad as this one is air conditioned avoiding the greenhouse effect one would normally get on a pretty morning like this and a glass jetway.

CDG-BCN
U23917
A319 G-EZDN
Seat 10F
7.58 - 9.27

Two female and two male cabin crew members on this flight. I snatch the first exit row window seat. The plane appears to be completely full - I don't see any vacant seats at all. Flight time is announced as 1h20mins and push back is two minutes early.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Departure_7.jpg

Oneworld brothers:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Departure_6.jpg

The Air France head office:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Departure_8.jpg

Concorde and the cylindrical shape of T1:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Departure_9.jpg

AF heavy landing on 08R:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Departure_10.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Departure_11.jpg

Arlinair:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Departure_12.jpg

Take off is from runway 08L, followed by a right turn that takes us straight over the city centre of Paris. The captain makes a quick announcement "Ladies and gentlemen, on the right hand side: Paris.".

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Departure_13.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Departure_14.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Departure_15.jpg

CDG:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Departure_16.jpg

The skyscrapers of La Defense:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Paris_Departure_17.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Barcelona_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Barcelona_2.jpg

Service sure takes its time to reach the middle of the plane - by the time I get my coffee and muffin we are less than ten minutes away from the top of descent, overflying the Pyrenees and about to enter Spanish airspace. The seat belt sign is switched on some 20 minutes later at 9.15.

Some clouds over this valley:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Barcelona_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Barcelona_4.jpg

The city of Terrassa, Catalonia:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Approach_1.jpg

Crosssing the Med coast over Sitges, the port of Vilanova i la Geltrú is in the foreground:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Approach_2.jpg

Hello, Med:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Approach_3.jpg

I picked a seat on the right hand side of the plane since I awaited an usual 25 landing - these are my favorite ones at BCN as the view over the city is just amazing on this side. Well, today our approach is very different, we basically fly south over the Mediterranean sea passing the airport on the western side, before making a 180 degree turn back towards the north for approach onto the 02 runway. No stunning views on my side this time, a shame. Let's hope for a better luck when I fly here the next time in August...

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Approach_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Approach_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Approach_6.jpg

Landing is after around 1h20mins of flight. Taxi to the old main terminal, now renamed to Terminal 2 is fast, and I'm amazed at how empty this large building nowadays is - it only houses a bunch of LCC carriers with not nearly enough traffic to fill it. I think the airport company made a good decision when they recently struck the deal with Ryanair for a new base here.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Approach_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Approach_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Approach_9.jpg

Closed shops in T2:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Approach_10.jpg

Barcelona El Prat Airport

With the T2 pretty empty and boring I quickly make my way outside and find the shuttle bus to T1. T1 is much more busy:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_1.jpg

Nice Vueling ad:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_2.jpg

I'm still impressed by the architecture of this huge building, just as I was last summer when I was here the first time:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_4.jpg

The security checkpoint has a huge queue:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_5.jpg

Somehow it ends up moving very fast - only 15 minutes to get through. Is this an airport or a shopping mall:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_6.jpg

Nice that they have an enclosed terrace with an ice cream shop as well:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_7.jpg

I grab some early lunch, afterwards I spend a lot of time walking around and watching and photographing the different planes here.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_9.jpg

One of the few remaining Ezy 737-700's, on its way to LTN:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_10.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_11.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_12.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_13.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_14.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_15.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_16.jpg

This picture is dedicated to Eric:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_17.jpg

Close to the boarding time printed on my OLCI boarding pass I head to the gate to find a huge queue of people already there - looks like Ryanair and the others have had a definitive influence on people's behavior.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Departure_1.jpg

The plane is EC-JHL, another first for me.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Departure_2.jpg

Boarding starts late at only 15 minutes before departure and seems to take an eternity, the queue moves very slowly both before the gate podium and in the jetway - there are tons and tons of senior citizens here so maybe that's part of the reason.

I have no idea what these mean:

BCN-MAD
UX2153
B737-800 EC-JHL
Seat 7F
12.54 - 14.04

I have to ask one of the stewards to kick an elder lady out of my seat as she or her friend don't seem to speak anything apart from Spanish - turns out they have the aisle and middle seats next to me. The blue gray leather seats have a horrible seat pitch:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Departure_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Departure_6.jpg

Boarding continues to be very slow - with a not too comfortable connection time and a terminal switch in Madrid I'm starting to get a bit nervous at the slow progress. Finally, at 12.35 or 15 minutes after the scheduled departure time boarding is finally completed - load looks to be pretty much full back in economy, and almost full in the business class cabin featuring three rows today.

Still nothing happens for another 20 minutes until we finally push back 34 minutes late - I'm getting very edgy by this time.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Departure_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Departure_7.jpg

Well, hello there:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Departure_8.jpg

Notice the LH retrojet:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Departure_9.jpg

I don't know what happened with this flight, it was boarding almost two hours ago:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Departure_10.jpg

Unfortunately we aren't allowed to jump the queue due to our delay so take off from 07R is 15 minutes later. Right when we start our take off run I notice this weird cloud or fog front moving in from the sea and completely engulfing the airport - you can see it in these pictures:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Departure_11.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Departure_12.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Departure_13.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Departure_14.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle<br><br></font></td></tr></table>

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29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 1, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 14029 times:

We fly eastwards, i.e. the wrong direction over the sea for an eternity, at least it feels like that to my anxious mind, before finally turning back towards the mainland.

BCN airport:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Barcelona_Departure_16.jpg

The route takes us southwards along the Catalonian coast, here's Tarragona, Reus airport visible on the top:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Madrid_2.jpg

The Costa Daurada area south of Tarragona - I spent my summer holiday there last year:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Madrid_3.jpg

Turning inlands towards Madrid:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Madrid_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Madrid_5.jpg

There's no service whatsoever in economy on this quick flight. Well, actually trash is collected before landing, not that they'd given us any possibility to make some...

Descent starts around 30 minutes into the flight. A good number of connecting gates are announced, destinations include Air Europa flights to SDQ, JFK, MIA, CUN, HAV, CCS, FCO, and TFN.

These amazing colors look so beautiful:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Approach_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Approach_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Approach_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Approach_4.jpg

The skeletal remains of the housing boom gone bust:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Approach_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Approach_6.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Approach_7.jpg

Got gas?

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Approach_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Approach_9.jpg

Landing is unfortunately on 33R after 50 minutes of flight, meaning a lengthy taxi to the T1/2/3 complex. 33L would've been much closer.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Approach_10.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Approach_11.jpg

Departure queue for 36R:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Approach_12.jpg

Three LAN machines at T4S - which one is my ride to FRA?

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Approach_13.jpg

Well, considering two of them are 767s it is not too hard to figure out...

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Approach_14.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Approach_15.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Approach_16.jpg

Some local spotters:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Approach_17.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Approach_18.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Approach_19.jpg

We finally dock to a jetway at T3 around 45 minutes late, with an hour before my LAN flight is scheduled to departure and only 15 minutes until the boarding time printed on my OLCI boarding pass for that flight.

Madrid Barajas Airport

What follows can be summarised as "The transfer from hell", but here's the detailed version:

I hurry off the flight, having no time to check whether the blonde purser is indeed Finnish (her name was announced as definitely Finnish-sounding during the flight, although she spoke perfect Spanish when welcoming pax onboard in BCN). At T3 luggage hall I try to locate the shuttle bus to T1. Now according to the AENA website there is a special shuttle bus from T1 arrivals straight to T4S for those passengers having a valid boarding pass for a flight departing from there - my OLCI boarding pass definitely qualifies for that. So to get there I'd need to first get from T3 to T1, and there's a another shuttle bus for that. Well, I talk with three (four actually, but one of them doesn't speak a single word of English!) different agents in the T3 arrivals hall and all of them ensure me that the only way to get to T4 is to go landside and take the shuttle bus there. I try to insist that I don't want to go to T4 main building as it is just a lot of hassle and I'm running out of time and that the website mentioned this special bus for passengers with valid boarding passes - but of course nobody believes me and they refuse to let me into the T1 bus. Having no other choice but precious little time I tell one of them to try to call my gate in T4S and to tell them that I'm late (no idea if he did) and run to the arrivals.

It isn't easy to find the T4 shuttle bus - the signs are confusing and it isn't departing from where the other shuttle buses for hotels etc. are departing from - right in front of the arrivals. Finally I figure out that one must actually go towards the metro station and one level up from there, where the bus stop is right in front of the departures area. This search costs me at least 10 minutes. Luckily one bus soon pulls to the stop and I hop in. The ride is rather fast, a bit over five minutes and I hop off the bus in front of the main T4 departures level. I contemplate whether I should stop at the LAN ticket desk (the check in counters are already closed) and let them know I'm on my way but decide not to, instead running to the security check point. I don't see any priority lanes, but then again the regular lanes have just a few people there so it shouldn't be too bad... only it is, I get stuck behind a guy who seemingly wants to travel with his whole home medicine cabinet, and the agents take their sweet time going through his lotions and gels and disposing of the offending ones...

Finally I'm through and jump the escalators down towards the shuttle train to T4S. It is 15.00, 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time of the next flight and around 45 minutes after the plane stopped in the jetway at T3 at this point and I'm starting to feel like I will still make my flight. At T4S passport control the girl is a bit surprised by my ID card and asks where I'm going to - "Frankfurt" seems to satisfy her, though and I'm allowed through for a last dash towards the gate where boarding is just about to finish when I arrive there panting and all sweaty... I made it!!

I even have enough time to grab a soft drink from a nearby vending machine and snap a photo of my ride, CC-CQA in the "80 years" special livery:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Departure_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Departure_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Departure_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Departure_5.jpg

MAD-FRA
LA704
A340-300 CC-CQA
Seat 37L
15.45 - 18.33

My seat on row 37 is all the way towards the back. The plane is fitted in the standard A340 2-4-2 configuration with blue and violet cloth seats. I feel a bit sorry for my German seatmate as I'm sweating like a pig after my inter-terminal dash and probably not smelling any better! There are no air vents on this plane to try to cool myself down:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Departure_7.jpg

Seat pitch is OK, although the IFE box under the seat is a bit annoying:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Departure_6.jpg

There's a large screen for the on-demand IFE system on the seatback in front of me:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Departure_8.jpg

The remote control:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Departure_9.jpg

A hairblower instead of a proper engine hanging under the wing:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Departure_10.jpg

The plane looks completely full, I don't see any free seats anywhere. Quite many German passengers, not sure if they boarded here or came all the way from SCL, though. Well, right after boarding is completed five minutes past our scheduled departure time the captain drops the bomb - due to some restrictions issued by Eurocontrol we have a departure slot 45 minutes from now for a flight time of 2h45mins to Frankfurt. He emphasizes that the delay "is due to an ATC restriction, it has nothing to do with the airline company"... Oh sweet, all that running and sweating and now we are going to be delayed... bugger. Too bad they don't switch the IFE on while waiting, it would've been nice to play around with it.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Departure_11.jpg

We push back around half an hour late and join the very slow queue to the nearby 36R for take off. In front of us there is an interesting mix of planes including FR 738, LH 735, UX E195 and Air Nostrum CRJ-200. They seem to enforce quite a long separation between planes, so it takes another 20 minutes before we finally enter the runway and start our take off roll around 50 minutes late.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Departure_12.jpg

I remember my first flight on the A340 back in 2001 (Air France CDG-BOS) - I kept wondering why the heck the plane was ascending so slowly. Nowadays I'm far more knowledgeable about aviation things than back then, but still I get the same feeling about our almost painfully slow rate of ascent. Well, at least it gives you more time to marvel at the scenery...

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Departure_13.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Departure_14.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Departure_15.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Departure_16.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Madrid_Departure_17.jpg

Soon after take off they finally turn on the IFE system and I start exploring - luckily my noise canceling headphones come with a two-pronged adapter so I can skip the flimsy el cheapo headphones the FAs are handing out. The LAN IFE System "IN" is a very modern, on-demand one featuring all the entertainment one would need for flying several times around the world. There are hundreds of music albums and TV episodes and tens of movies, including many recent releases.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Inflight_Entertainment_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Inflight_Entertainment_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Inflight_Entertainment_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Inflight_Entertainment_4.jpg

I play around a bit and finally settle for "Crazy Heart", a movie I've wanted to see for quite some time hoping that I have enough time to finish it.

That's an impressive row of windmills:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_2.jpg

Soon after reaching the cruising altitude over the Pyrenees the captain announces our route as MAD - Pamplona - TLS - LYS - GVA - ZRH - STR and finally to FRA. Interestingly he keeps referring to Switzerland as "The Helvetic Confederation" and Germany as "The Federal Republic of Germany" - I guess technically that is correct but it just sounds so funny and official to me... Our arrival at FRA is expected to be around 35 minutes late with very good, sunny weather there and a temperature of 25 degrees. He concludes with "Please enjoy the very good service on this flight!".

Flying over her birthplace - TLS:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_3.jpg

Well, the very good service has obviously been downgraded from the last reports I read about this flight from a couple of years ago - instead of the hot meal served back then all we get is a sandwich and a chocolate bar. The chili bread sandwich with ham and mustard is actually not bad at all - especially the tangy mustard fits the bill perfectly, but I wish there was a bit more substantial meal on this flight.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_4.jpg

Some beer is long overdue, the FA is a bit reluctant to give me the second can but I know what strings to pull and tell her that I really want to taste a genuine Chilean beer which does the trick  http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_5.jpg

Otherwise I stick to the movie, while gazing occasionally out of the window for some nice views over France and later the Alps. My weird seatmate has considerable problems figuring out the IFE system, he starts and stops the same movie about half a dozen times (yeah, the touch screen is a bit unresponsive, I give him that) and I and his buddy on the seat across the aisle have to help him many times but he still doesn't really get it...

Grenoble:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_6.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_9.jpg

Mont Blanc is somewhere there, according to our captain:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_10.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_11.jpg

Back cabin view during a toilet breka:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_12.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_13.jpg

Flying over Zürich with Zürichsee visible:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_14.jpg

Descent starts right after passing the Lake Constance area, with the seat belt sign being switched on over Stuttgart.

Lake Constance, wasn't I just there?

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_15.jpg

STR:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_16.jpg

Stuttgart city centre with the Hauptbahnhof right in the middle:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_17.jpg

Heilbronn:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_18.jpg

When the IFE is shut down I still have around 10 minutes of my movie left unfinished - bugger. I wish they'd had the same sort of "gate to gate IFE" concept as Air New Zealand.

Autobahn viaduct near Frankfurt:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_1.jpg

Great weather in Germany:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_3.jpg

The Main river in sight:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_6.jpg

"Mainhattan" in the distance:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_9.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_10.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_11.jpg

Landing is on runway 25R after 2h25mins of flight.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_12.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_13.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_14.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_15.jpg

Taxi to the far end of T2 takes a long time, not that I mind as you can't beat FRA for watching planes... We dock to a jetway next to a Saudia A319.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_16.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_17.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_18.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_19.jpg

Air Astana from Kazakhstan:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_20.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_21.jpg

I took some bad seat shots while deboarding - my economy seat:



Business class - looks like a lie flat seat to me:

User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 2, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 14002 times:

Business class - looks like a lie flat seat to me:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_23.jpg

Bye:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Franfurt_Approach_24.jpg

Frankfurt Airport

I've only been to the Schengen side of T2 previously and am quite impressed by the different facilities and services on offer on this side - the Schengen side has hardly any amenities. I make my way to the inter-terminal train for a ride to T1 where my final LH flight of the day will depart and hop off at the B gates as that is where the HEL flights usually depart from. Once I find a FIDS monitor this proves to be the case.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Frankfurt_1.jpg

Asian attack, that's an Asiana plane:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Frankfurt_2.jpg

I make my way towards the proper B gates area and stop at a LH transfer desk to get my boarding pass. Instead of going to the Schengen side of B I enter the non-Schengen part as it again has far better amenities and lounges as well. First stop is to get suitably greased up at McDonald's while watching some planes, then I hit the LH Business lounge thanks to my FTL card. The place is packed as hell, but while I hit a restroom to freshen up and change my shirt (there are showers as well but I don't bother) some people leave and I actually get a table for myself.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Frankfurt_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Frankfurt_4.jpg

This is Germany after all, so some Wurst should be good - notice the LH logo on the wine glass:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Frankfurt_5.jpg

Some time later I head for my gate a bit early - after all I have an international border and another security check to cross, stopping to check the flight info from one of the handy terminals:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Frankfurt_6.jpg

Where else can you get so up close and personal with a Jumbo?

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Frankfurt_7.jpg

No queues along the way so I have enough time for Travel Value shopping and one more quick beer before boarding is called. As with all the Schengen B gates it is a bus job, the plane being parked on the apron in front of T2.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Frankfurt_Helsinki_1.jpg

As expected, it is D-AIQU, "Backnang" - a new plane for me.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Frankfurt_Helsinki_2.jpg

FRA-HEL
LH3108
A320 D-AIQU "Backnang"
Seat 15A
22.14 - 01.25

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Frankfurt_Helsinki_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Frankfurt_Helsinki_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Frankfurt_Helsinki_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Frankfurt_Helsinki_6.jpg

The two busloads of passengers board rather quickly - in the end the plane is almost completely full. Flight time is announced as 2h10mins with departure a couple of minutes behind schedule followed by a rolling take off from 25R and a right turn towards the northeast right after take off. I doze of right away, but wake for the meal service. Surprisingly we get a hot meal on this flight - it is the standard Lufthansa pasta meal - not bad with a liberal dose of pepper but nothing earth shattering either.

"No pork":

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Frankfurt_Helsinki_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Frankfurt_Helsinki_8.jpg

I wash it down with a bottle of white wine and promptly fall asleep. The next thing I know are my seatmates waking me up as we are descending towards HEL and the FA wants me to take my headphones off. I do so and nod off again, only waking up by our touchdown on runway 15 after a bit under 2h10mins in the air. A short taxi to T1 follows and zombielike I grab my stuff and drag myself across the airport to the bus stop, luckily catching a bus home within only a couple of minutes

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Charles_de_Gaulle_Barcelona_Madrid_05_2010/Frankfurt_Helsinki_9.jpg

Conclusions

Apart from catching the same Ezy A319 twice all the planes were new ones for me and a nice variety as well. The highlight of course was the LAN A340 - widebody flights within Europe are rather rare nowadays and the fact that it is an exotic carrier as well makes it all the more interesting. Good service, although a hot meal would've been nice and a great IFE system - I could've flown all the way to SCL from MAD with that system, and probably back as well... Shame about the small delay, but like the captain put it "It's not any fault of the airline company"... I'm quite tempted to try them also on the new MAD-CDG leg, let's see if I'll end up doing it.

Not impressed at all with my first flight on Air Europa. Tight seat pitch, no service (well, it would've been BOB anyway) and no explanation whatsoever about the delay - I blame the dog slow late boarding process. I'm giving them another chance in August on this very same route but with the E195 instead, let's see if that is any better experience. Doubt it really, but at least the equipment will be nice.

Pretty standard flights on Ezy and I was rather surprised by the LH hot meal - nice but is is a bit late for that, serving food around 23.00 local time or midnight Finnish time. I know it exist mainly because the competition (AY) serves hot food on their competing routes as well (but only on the Airbuses) - let's see what happens when AY stops it this year. Otherwise it was a standard Lufthansa flight, very to the point and consistent, not overly friendly but not rude either - very correct and "business friendly" to borrow Markus' term.

Finally that terminal transfer mess at MAD left a very sour feeling. I did email AENA suggesting that they either fix the information on the website or educate the staff better - not that I'm expecting anything to happen. But still, giving out this kind of misleading information is not good at all and very confusing, I wouldn't want to do a transfer like this again. Okay, I'm actually doing one in October but at least I have many more hours to do it...


As for my next trip, it is already out - the BT Dash report. The next trip after that is tomorrow, with another airBaltic inaugural flight HEL-RIX-ARN-OUL.

Happy contrails!


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 3, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 13728 times:

Hi FlyingFinn,

really enjoyable report, very interesting routing! Bad to hear about the trouble at MAD. I also had to change planes there some years ago and found that transfer to the new terminal quite uncomfortable.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
and finally the LA flight to FRA, which was somewhat more expensive at 113 EUR but not bad for a widebody Airbus route on an exotic carrier.

I wouldn't complain about that price either.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Seat pitch is OK, although the IFE box under the seat is a bit annoying:

Was is located just in the middle or rather to the left/right?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well, the very good service has obviously been downgraded from the last reports I read about this flight from a couple of years ago - instead of the hot meal served back then all we get is a sandwich and a chocolate bar. The chili bread sandwich with ham and mustard is actually not bad at all - especially the tangy mustard fits the bill perfectly, but I wish there was a bit more substantial meal on this flight.

That's really disappointing. They could at least hand out trays.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
We dock to a jetway next to a Saudia A319.

SV only operates A320s. Interesting to see they send them to FRA. I'd prefer their 777s.  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Surprisingly we get a hot meal on this flight - it is the standard Lufthansa pasta meal - not bad with a liberal dose of pepper but nothing earth shattering either.

That looks quite good.



PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineEICVD From Ireland, joined Mar 2008, 2146 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 13663 times:

Hi FlyingFinn
Brilliant as usual & as always when reading your trip reports I didn't want to stop. Excellent photo's too, nice to see an EI bird sneak into a few of them.


User currently offlineAYA333 From Finland, joined Aug 2008, 110 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 13507 times:

Wow again! What an interesting report once again!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I have no idea where it is going or coming from - they haven't been in active service since February. Glad to see that at least one of them is still in running order, though.

Well, this must a Finnair Cargo MD11 flight from HKG or ICN. These are very much active routes nowadays!



319,320,321,333,343,388,717,732,733,735,736,73G,738,752,AB4,AR1,AR8,ATR,AT7,D9S,D10,DH4,E45,E70,E90,F27,F50,M82,M83,M90,
User currently offlineChrisCruise From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 13456 times:

Hello FlyingFinn,

Another great report and interesting routing. You really have the talent to combine interesting routes and airlines, well done!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

That is expensive indeed. You can book a return on LA FRA-MAD-FRA or MAD-FRA-MAD, with an overnight stop, for around EUR 80-85.



Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 2):
Where else can you get so up close and personal with a Jumbo?

Go and try IAH. I once had to transit overthere and saw the KL 744 coming in. It almost parked it's nose against the glass. I was standing three meters from the nose and looking straight into the cockpit. You could almost determine to color of the captain's eyes  . Great happening to be so close to the mighty 744.

Thanks for sharing!!

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 offlineokko From Finland, joined Aug 2003, 91 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 13273 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
We dock to a jetway next to a Saudia A319.

FlyingFinn - great report and pictures, as always! Thanks for sharing. I really appreciate the level of detail in your reports.

Both LAN and Air Europa are great airlines.

Just one comment: I don't think SV have any A319s. I believe the only A319 operated by a Saudi pax airline is VP-CAN of NAS. SV have 10 A320-200s in service though - are they all equipped with single overwing exits? Or just the ones owned by SV?


User currently onlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8487 posts, RR: 55
Reply 8, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 13209 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi P,

Nice TR, a real good read on this dull monday night.

Shame you got the same EZY 319 next morning, always a worry after a late flight and early departure next day.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The blue gray leather seats have a horrible seat pitch:

- Yes does look tight, from memory the Spanair fleet have a similar pitch.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
There's no service whatsoever in economy on this quick flight. Well, actually trash is collected before landing, not that they'd given us any possibility to make some...

- Guess is' better to collect pax trash they brought aboard rather than clean up after them.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
We finally dock to a jetway at T3 around 45 minutes late, with an hour before my LAN flight is scheduled to departure and only 15 minutes until the boarding time printed on my OLCI boarding pass for that flight.

- I'm nervous just reading this line!

Glad you made the LAN, a nice rare beast for this part of the world, always wanted to catchy it myseld, just not found the time jet, one day!

Have a great week.

Best Wishes

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 14
Reply 9, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 13209 times:

Hi FlyingFinn,

Very interesting report and lots of great pictures. The LAN A340 on MAD-FRA seems to become popular among A.Netters - maybe I once should give this route a try as well.

Good to hear that you still made your connection at MAD, although it was far away from pleasant.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
HEL-CDG was available for a bit under 20 EUR

That's a fantastic offer.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I have no idea what these mean

Neither do I, but it looks somehow professional...  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
These amazing colors look so beautiful:

Great pictures!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Three LAN machines at T4S

Impressive - I didn't know they were THAT big at MAD.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
STR:

Very nice picture of my home airport.

Regards
Christoph


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 13144 times:

Hi P.,

I did not expect to find your LA TR this fast. What a nice surprise!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
but in true LH fashion the one way ticket priced in full Y - very very expensive.

Just like AF and KL. Why do they do that?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
they are about to dispose of it when I jokingly offer to buy it for half price. The other one takes this seriously and offers to give the rest to me for free - I try to argue that I was only kidding but he insists, so after doing whatever it is that you normally do in toilets I walk back to my seat with a Starbucks coffee cup half full of a bit flat beer...

Still a nice deal, wasn't it?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
E and F especially

Thanks for the nice peek at CDG. Have you been to E and F before? I cannot wait to experience the terminal myself next July.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
when I fly here the next time in August...

I hope you will have a great time with E195. I am off to Indonesia in the same period.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Nice that they have an enclosed terrace with an ice cream shop as well:

I assume the terrace is only accessible from the non-Schengen terminal. I cannot remember any signage inside the Schengen terminal during my last visit in BCN.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
I made it!!

Yay! You have become my favorite travel thriller writer.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Back cabin view during a toilet breka:

Wow it was indeed chock-full. MAD-FRA must be one of the LA milk runs.

Fantastic report with lots of beautiful pictures. I am specially grateful of your CDG, MAD and BCN covering.

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlinemakeree From Finland, joined Dec 2009, 56 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 12887 times:

Hey again FlyingFinn !

Thanks for sharing the very interesting TR with the interesting pics !

I have been planning to do the same MAD-FRA route but the one-way price was bit too much for me
so I have been thinking to do a RT either MAD-FRA-MAD or FRA-MAD-FRA.
And thanks to ChrisCruise for giving some price information.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The next trip after that is tomorrow, with another airBaltic inaugural flight HEL-RIX-ARN-OUL.


I am doing the opposite route in midsummer so looking forward your TR as well.  

I have been doing much overtime lately so that is the reason for my minor replies but I sure need the money for my summer holiday trip to the Land of the Rising Sun with the brand new aircraft from Lufthansa... 

Regards,

Markku


User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1912 posts, RR: 24
Reply 12, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 12628 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good report, FlyingFinn!

Interesting to read about your flight from MAD to FRA on the LAN A340 .. I wish there were wide bodies like this used on short flights in the USA. I know EVA Air had a flight from EWR to SEA a while back with a 747-400; not sure if this still is in existence.

Thanks for sharing!

767747


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 13, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 12007 times:

Hi all, glad you like my stories and thanks for the comments!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
Was is located just in the middle or rather to the left/right?

To the right-

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
That's really disappointing. They could at least hand out trays.

Yep, a small gesture that wouldn't cost much but make all the difference in classiness...

Quoting EICVD (Reply 4):
nice to see an EI bird sneak into a few of them.

I have to admit I did it on purpose, knowing that there are quite a few Irish members here...  
Quoting AYA333 (Reply 5):
Well, this must a Finnair Cargo MD11 flight from HKG or ICN. These are very much active routes nowadays!

Oh, thanks mate, I wasn't aware they still use them for pure cargo runs.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
SV only operates A320s. Interesting to see they send them to FRA. I'd prefer their 777s.
Quoting okko (Reply 7):
Just one comment: I don't think SV have any A319s. I believe the only A319 operated by a Saudi pax airline is VP-CAN of NAS. SV have 10 A320-200s in service though - are they all equipped with single overwing exits? Or just the ones owned by SV?

Yeah, this is why I got confused - all the A320s I know have two overwing exits and A319s one (apart from the high density Ezy and Germanwings ones). This must be in some sort of "additional comfort" of VIP configuration - kinda like the AF product they use on the flights to Saudi-Arabia etc. on A319s - can't remember the name right now.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 8):
Shame you got the same EZY 319 next morning, always a worry after a late flight and early departure next day.

Well, with four new planes out of five flights it's not too bad at all!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 8):
Glad you made the LAN, a nice rare beast for this part of the world, always wanted to catchy it myseld, just not found the time jet, one day!

Go for it - it is something different! They are opening MAD-CDG as well sometime this year, not sure if it is a 767 or A340, though.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 9):
Good to hear that you still made your connection at MAD, although it was far away from pleasant.

Yeah. the alternative arrangements would've been difficult as I'd needed to make my FRA-HEL flight somehow, otherwise the return in July would be cancelled and that would have some disastrous effects for my Cirrus D328 run  
Quoting Contact Air (Reply 9):
Neither do I, but it looks somehow professional...

Reminds me of the "Test Siegen Gut" or something like that on some of the Air Berlin planes.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 9):
Impressive - I didn't know they were THAT big at MAD.

Yeah. they've expanded to Argentina, Ecuador and Peru as well and run flights from there to MAD.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Just like AF and KL. Why do they do that?

Living in the past of gouging every single penny out of business travelers!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Thanks for the nice peek at CDG. Have you been to E and F before? I cannot wait to experience the terminal myself next July.

I was once in 2E I think, flying to and from the US. That was a far better terminal, although the setup was weird with nothing but gates and seating areas on the upper level of the pier and all the services in a separate level below it...

Quoting makeree (Reply 11):
he next trip after that is tomorrow, with another airBaltic inaugural flight HEL-RIX-ARN-OUL.
I am doing the opposite route in midsummer so looking forward your TR as well.

Well, I'm stuck at ARN right now - things didn't go very smoothly but there were some positive surprises as well. Stay tuned!

Quoting makeree (Reply 11):
summer holiday trip to the Land of the Rising Sun with the brand new aircraft from Lufthansa... 

Ahh, the A388, I presume?

Quoting 767747 (Reply 12):
I wish there were wide bodies like this used on short flights in the USA. I know EVA Air had a flight from EWR to SEA a while back with a 747-400; not sure if this still is in existence.

CX used to run AKL-JFK I think and QF did LAX-JFK as well, but I don't think it had fifth freedom rights, though. But several US carriers run widebodies on domestic routes, especially on transcons and intra-hub routes, of course those aren't exactly short flights (well, ORD-IAD is and UA uses some triple sevens on it...).

Greetings from Arlanda!


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6494 posts, RR: 55
Reply 14, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 11846 times:

Hyvaa FlyingFinn!

Very nice report with great pictures!

Air Europa doesn't look too great; very poor legroom and non-existant service. Extra bad that they did not make any announcement regarding the delay.

Glad you made the connection in MAD; seems like a bad experience....

Take Care

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineoa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26846 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 11423 times:

Great report nice series of flights great to catch the A340 in this short route always nice to experience a long haul product without having to do the longhaul lol...


OA260


User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2992 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 11335 times:

Yet another superb report.! Where do you get the time for all this? You must have a very understanding wife!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The Air France head office:

Bings back memories. As a student I was on a work placement there for a year, in the language school. Our office was ground floor, left-hand building. The windows overlooked the taxiways, until we moved to Le Dome building near Roissypole.

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlinevandenheuvel From Netherlands, joined Dec 2008, 495 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 11131 times:

Hi Flyingfinn,

I've been awaiting your covering of this LA flight. Your trip report turned out great. It looks like you've had a great weekend.

Tim,


User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4253 posts, RR: 51
Reply 18, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 10304 times:

Nice to follow your story. Few points. Please refer to my own tripreport: Catching Up With The LAN A340 And More ... (+pics) (by Airbuseric Oct 17 2008 in Trip Reports)

- Seats are different then I had on CC-CQF, clothing and IFE are different
- We both seated in 37L  
- My meal was much better then you received. Also, LH (on same route) serves a warm meal (similar you had to HEL)

That's quite interesting material to compare I would say. Seems that LA made improvement on the IFE but reduced service wise a bit.

Similar experiences on UX before. Seating is bad, but ok for the short hops. Looking forward to the E95. I preferred to book on the JK 717 for my upcoming Spain travels though. But I guess you'll fly those again on Blue1 in the future.

Good pics. Did you wave to Flieger67 when heading over STR?  

Regards,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4253 posts, RR: 51
Reply 19, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 9654 times:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 13):
They are opening MAD-CDG as well sometime this year, not sure if it is a 767 or A340, though.

LA714/715 with A340's also. From early September. The website quotes expensive fares, USD 625 oneway.



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1447 posts, RR: 33
Reply 20, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 8935 times:

Hi FlyingFinn,

Great stuff as always, although that really did sound like a nightmare connection at Madrid. All this changing terminals with buses is rarely stress-free. And as for ground staff who don't speak english, that should just not happen at an airport of that size.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I jokingly offer to buy it for half price. The other one takes this seriously and offers to give the rest to me for free - I try to argue that I was only kidding but he insists

Waste not want not  

That certainly was a huge security queue at BCN, good job it wasn't a similar sight in MAD. And what a great idea to have an enclosed viewing terrace. It's something we get asked at ZRH quite a lot, but then the Spanish weather is a lot more reliable than the Swiss!

That A340 cabin really was packed, pity you missed the last 10 minutes of your film. Great views of Zurich and Stuttgart btw.

What a shame that AY are going to stop warm meals. I was really impressed when I flew with them and it puts them one step above the rest. Still, good to see LH's offering too.

Happy flying
Infodesk



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineReifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1327 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8849 times:

Very interesting report! So many flights in one single day! One day you'll be in serious trouble if a flight is heavily delayed or cancelled or something. Respect for your Madrid-Transfer-World-Record  

By the way, Police is not checking boarding passes in Frankfurt. So even if you are in the Schengen area and you have enough time, you may pass to the non Schengen area just showing your passport. They will never ask where you go as long as you have a EU passport, and if they do you can say you're wanting to go to McDonald's and you should be fine... Did this quite often, since it's nice to stroll around if you have time. Should be the same for T2 (if you want to go to a Priority lounge i.e., which is located in the Non-Schengen part. However, you can only do this airside, since landside they will be a boarding pass check done by Fraport personnel.


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From France, joined Sep 2003, 5133 posts, RR: 55
Reply 22, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 8826 times:

Hey P.,

what a story.
That inter terminal transfer thing at MAD is indeed a shame, not well signed, also my impression.
Glad that you made it and how weird to sit in the plane finally to wait for a delayed departure.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The plane is EC-JHL, another first for me.

Something more with this bird coming up soon.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 2):
very correct and "business friendly" to borrow Markus' term.

As often on LH, isnt it?.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: How to deliver a present in style!.
User currently onlineshamrock321 From Ireland, joined May 2008, 1594 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 8472 times:

Nice report again, do LH serve a hot meal on all flights over 2 hours? DUB is almost 2 hours and when I flew this route last year it was just a bread roll and choclae bar.

User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 24, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 8114 times:

Hi all and thanks for the further comments!

Quoting oa260 (Reply 15):
always nice to experience a long haul product without having to do the longhaul lol...

Is it really "having to do" or "getting to do"? At least that LA flight was so cozy that I could've easily added another 12 hours to SCL! Plenty of IFE to go around and a not too bad seat, so fine with me.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 18):
- We both seated in 37L

Great minds think alike.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 18):
- My meal was much better then you received. Also, LH (on same route) serves a warm meal (similar you had to HEL)

Yeah, very interesting to compare. I guess that's the sign of the times - cutbacks and more cutbacks... I'm growing a bit tired of that LH pasta meal - a mate of mine went to Spain some years ago flying HEL-FRA-AGP and back, all on LH and on all legs it was the exactly same pasta meal!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 18):
I preferred to book on the JK 717 for my upcoming Spain travels though. But I guess you'll fly those again on Blue1 in the future.

I've done the JK 717 on that very same route once so had to try something different, never flown an an E195 (of course plenty of AY E190s, though) so that's always interesting. Plus the fare was very good again. And you are right, I think I will see a lot of 717 in half a year or so...

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 18):
Good pics. Did you wave to Flieger67 when heading over STR?

I think he was in Spain by that time, actually...

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 19):
LA714/715 with A340's also. From early September. The website quotes expensive fares, USD 625 oneway.

Thanks Eric. Too bad it isn't one of those wingletted 767s - they look so great. I guess they haven't loaded the cheap intra-europe fares yet, preferring to see how the (long haul) bookings develop before deciding on how many seats to allocate for el cheapo travelers.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 20):
All this changing terminals with buses is rarely stress-free. And as for ground staff who don't speak english, that should just not happen at an airport of that size.

Well, I very much dislike airports that have have separate terminals, period. I prefer places like AMS (or on a smaller scale HEL), where you have everything under one large building and can walk everywhere, without any shuttle bus crapola. Sure, that sometimes makes for long walking distances but at least you always know exactly where you are and where you are going and how long it will take. Actually MAD T1/2/3 are just like that, it's just the T4 that is so far away from them.

If you need to have separate terminals, at least have a frequent, AIRSIDE bus (or even better, some sort of train) connection like Heathrow. And please, signpost it accordingly. See - I'm not asking that much...

As for the English language, it is an unfortunately common occurrence in many countries, including Spain. Heck, I've sometimes encountered some staff at British airports whose speech I couldn't understand, but that's probably just me and my handicap for understanding a Brummie drawl or a real Cockney speech...

Quoting infodesk (Reply 20):
And what a great idea to have an enclosed viewing terrace.

Actually it is not a viewing terrace per se, as it is completely enclosed - the views are either of the sky or the airport concourses through tinted glass. Still great for soaking up those last rays of the sun, though.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 20):
What a shame that AY are going to stop warm meals. I was really impressed when I flew with them and it puts them one step above the rest.

I've always said that AY just can't compete on price with most carriers, so they should stick to quality. The

Quoting Reifel (Reply 21):
One day you'll be in serious trouble if a flight is heavily delayed or cancelled or something.

Yep, that's my biggest fear. I do usually have contingency plans or at least a general idea of my options should things go tits up plus a rather good travel insurance (at least on the paper, never had to test it in practice yet, though!).

Quoting Reifel (Reply 21):
Respect for your Madrid-Transfer-World-Record

Oh, I think one can do it much faster if one knows where to go - I did loose a lot of valuable time at running around in circles plus arguing with the agents at T3 arrivals...

Quoting shamrock321 (Reply 23):
Nice report again, do LH serve a hot meal on all flights over 2 hours? DUB is almost 2 hours and when I flew this route last year it was just a bread roll and choclae bar.

I'm not sure - last (and only) time I did DUB-FRA on LH was in 2003 and back then there was a nice hot meal, but well, things were different then. Last summer on HEL-FRA there was no hot meal, just some sandwiches, so it might be connected to the time of the flight - this was mid-afternoon flight, not really fitting any mealtime as such. Plus of course competition, AY offered hot meals on FRA/MUC-HEL, so LH follows suit.


25 Post contains images makeree : Yes, that is the one. And it will be my first trip to Japan so I think I will have a beer or two during the flight to NRT.
26 skord : Always my favourire TripReport poster.... thank you for yet another fascinating report with superb dialect!!
27 mihairosioru : Hi FlyingFinn, Great report as always - I am also trying to get a flight on the LAN widebody MAD-FRA, I am thinking of working something out like OTP-
28 Post contains images FlyingFinn76 : Sounds like a great plan and a fun trip. I'm actually doing MAD-BBU in August with BlueAir myself... Let's not spoil all the fun, right? Just some (n
29 lukeyboy95 : Nice job FF. This looked like quite a journey and a really nice route and good on you for getting such an interesting carrier. Its a beauty in the spr
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