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Niki And The E190: FKB-STN-OPO-VLC-VIE-FKB  
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 675 posts, RR: 21
Posted (3 years 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 8928 times:

Introduction

Now being an aviation enthusiast and a Formula 1 fan there is one airline which represents both worlds and therefore a must-fly for me. I am talking of Niki of course, where else do you have the chance of being flown by a former F1 world champion? So after browsing their website I found a great offer from Valencia to Karlsruhe via Vienna for just 65,- Euro. I didn't hesitate very long and booked it. Now to get to Valencia I didn't want to go the direct way so I booked a couple of cheap Ryanair flights from FKB to Stansted, then to Porto (a city I always wanted to see) and finally from there to VLC.

Here is the route map, five legs to go:
http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/routemap.gif


Flight 1 (22.03.2011)
FKB-STN (FR9775)
B737-800 (EI-EBI)
Seat 26F
scheduled 21:35 – 22:00
actual 21:37 – 21:55

After a full day at work and a visit to my parents for some dinner (they live conveniently about halfway between my home and the airport) I arrived at FKB at around 8 o'clock. With only two flights departing this evening (my flight to STN and Air Berlin to VIE) it wasn't very crowded and so security was easy and fast. The officer at passport control asked me whether I wanted to go to London, well, of course, where else, since this is the only Non-Schengen flight tonight. The flight from STN arrived on time and soon boarding was called while people are still deplaning the inbound flight (EI-EBI, about two years old):

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_000.jpg

I didn't bother about priority boarding this time since I have done this flight a couple of times before. But still, with everybody rushing to the front stairs I just walked around the wing and was the first to board from the rear. I was greeted by the flight attendant (or rather not greeted, since she just mumbled something and continued to look away. Come on, is it so hard to say hello and smile?). At least the rest of the all female crew was much more attentive. I settled down on 26F while the plane was still being refueled:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_001.jpg

Load factor was maybe 80%, I had an empty middle seat next to me, nice. The flight was uneventful, departure on time, take-off from runway 03 and direct to the northwest via Brussels to Stansted where we touched down around 10 minutes ahead of schedule on runway 04. On-Time Fanfare, yeah  . No more pictures from this night flight, I tried a few but they didn't come out good.

I stayed at the Days-Inn hotel near the airport, reasonably priced and they advertised to have a shuttle from the airport. But as I inquired about the shuttle I was informed that they are no longer running it. Bummer. So the only way to reach the hotel was with a taxi for 10 pounds, quite expensive for the short ride. At least the driver was a very nice chap and we talked about a whole lot of things during the ride. The hotel itself was ok, big and clean room, only there was a very strange smell in the room. But a few minutes of open window helped.

Flight 2 (23.03.2011)
STN-OPO (FR8343)
B737-800 (EI-DPF)
Seat 27A
scheduled 09:10 – 11:30
actual 09:12 – 11:20

Next morning, wake-up call at 6 o'clock, again with taxi to the airport where I arrived at around 7. I expected a long line at security this time at the morning but to my surprise there were only a few people and I was through in a matter of minutes. I headed to the Wetherspoon's bar for something to eat. You can't leave Britain without a real traditional British breakfast, can you?

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_002.jpg

Lot's of Ryanair flights plus the occasional easyJet and Germanwings flight this morning:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_003.jpg

As soon as my gate was announced I headed there and settled down a bit. Judging from the crowd there it would be a full flight, also lots of families with small children. This time I had priority so no problem for me. The plane arrived, it was EI-DPF, first flight in 2007.

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_004.jpg

And again nobody wanted to go to the rear stairs (except me):

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_005.jpg

This time the welcome on board was much friendlier. Boarding took a while as indeed it was an almost full flight.

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_006.jpg

Next to me were a lady from Italy and an English guy, we talked a bit and they were quite surprised after I told them that I just took that flight to catch another flight to Valencia later this day (obviously they have never met Markus or FlyingFinn  ). Departure was almost on time and we taxied by the cargo ramp to runway 04.

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_007.jpg

We took of at 09:27, followed by a turn to the southwest:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_008.jpg

Luton airport with the orange easyjet hangar:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_009.jpg

After that we had a good view towards London and Heathrow, but against the sun I didn't manage to get decent pictures. Crossing the channel with its islands, Jersey on top, then the smaller islands of Sark and Herm and Guernsey in the lower right corner:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_010.jpg

Guernsey again with its airport:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_011.jpg

Sometimes during the flight the captain came on with details about the flight, unfortunately very hard to understand. Later after crossing the Gulf of Biscaya we made landfall again over the coast of Galicia in north-western Spain:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_012.jpg

Descent started soon after. Do we land here? No, don't think so.

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_013.jpg

Nice green scenery in northern Portugal:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_014.jpg

Landing on runway 17 in a stiff crosswind after a flight time of less than two hours...

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_015.jpg

...followed by a short taxi to the parking position next to these easyJet birds:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_016.jpg

Porto airport is quite a nice place, efficient, clean, modern architecture. After passport control, I went out to the metro for the ride into the city. 2,- Euro a one-way ticket, quite a good price. 45 Minutes later I arrived at station Aliados and started a walk through the very nice old town of Porto. Here are some impressions:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_017.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_019.jpg



With my very limited Portuguese language skills (without my colleague who taught me a few important words before I would have been lost) I managed to get a sandwich and a Super Bock cerveja, which actually tasted quite good:



Later I headed to the Cathedral, which is on top of a hill from where you have some nice views over the city and the river Douro:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_022.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_023.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_025.jpg

On the other side of the river are some the famous Port wine cellars (I had no time to taste some, unfortunetaly):



Flight 3 (23.03.2011)
OPO-VLC (FR7229)
B737-800 (EI-DCR)
Seat 27F
scheduled 16:05 – 18:40
actual 16:47 – 19:07

I had only about two hours in this amazing city, definitely not enough. I really need to come back someday with some more time. I headed back to the airport again with the train. Here is a picture from the landside drop-off area with the metro station in the background:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_026.jpg

The modern check-in hall:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_027.jpg

The flights today, notice the words 'No Horario' which means 'No delay' next to my flight, more on this later:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_028.jpg

I went through security, there was a long line and it took a few minutes. Obviously one of the x-ray machines got stuck which caused a bit of a jam. But no problem, once I was through I went to the terminal annex which is used by the LCCs. Next to our gate to VLC there was a flight departing to FKB, kind of a strange feeling to see a flight to your home airport and not taking it. But even more strange was the weather report they had there for the destinations. 18 degrees and sunshine in Karlsruhe, 12 degrees and clouds in Valencia! Hey, isn't it supposed to be the other way round???

Anyway boarding time came and went, the flight to FKB next to us which was scheduled to depart 20 minutes later than ours was already boarding. No info, still 'No Horario' on the screen. Scheduled departure time came and went, still no info for us. People started to get a bit nervous. I tried the free WiFi with my phone and found out that the inbound plane from VLC was late. Well, it shouldn't be to hard to make a short announcement to inform the passengers?

Boarding eventually started with still no plane in sight. We were allowed to exit to the tarmac into a waiting area there. Not that I mind standing on the tarmac in beautiful weather and watching planes, like this TAP airbus:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_029.jpg

Or this AB arriving probably from PMI:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_029a.jpg

Finally our plane arrived as well, it was EI-DCR, first flight in 2004, so one of FRs older planes.

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_030.jpg

Departure was at 16:47, more than 40 minutes late. Lining-up on runway 17:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_031.jpg

Take-off towards the south offered some great views of the port and the city of Porto:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_032.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_033.jpg

The river Douro winds its way through the countryside:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_034.jpg

The flight itself was your standard Ryanair flight, quite low load, three seats for myself. Again a nice and friendly crew. A few words from the Captain during the flight, but no words or even an apology about the delay.

Later it became cloudy and it stayed like this until landing. So after all the weather report was correct 

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_035.jpg

Dark and depressing weather during our approach to runway 12:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_036.jpg

And obviously no fanfare this time. After arrival I hurried through the rain into the terminal building and directly to the Metro station. Also here quite cheap and efficient connection into the city, where I arrived at around 8 o'clock. I went to my hotel (Hotel Europa) near the Xativa station. A very small room, but ok for one night:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_039.jpg

The location of the hotel was excellent, right in the city center with a lot of bars and restaurants around. I met with a cousin of my wife who lives near Valencia and we had dinner together. We went to a restaurant to have some Tapas and Raciones, we also tried the specialty of this restaurant, some caramelized apples with ham and goat cheese (well, let's say it tasted interesting):

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_037.jpg

Later we had a couple of beers together in some of the pubs and just had a great time. Bedtime was quite late, but no problem with a 2 o'clock afternoon departure the next day. So I slept in a little and had a small breakfast at some bar. The weather was still awful, cold and rainy, but I still wanted to see something of the town. Here are a few pictures of Valencia:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_040.jpg



I really like the name of this shop:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_043.jpg

I passed by the huge central market hall, which was quite impressive:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_044.jpg

Inside the market hall, this must be a ham lovers paradise:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_045.jpg

After that I had enough of the rain and went to the next metro station for the 30 minute ride back to the airport.

Flight 4 (24.03.2011)
VLC-VIE (HG8105)
A320 (OE-LEG)
Seat 22A
scheduled 14:10 – 16:50
actual 14:10 – 16:45

I arrived at the airport and went to the check-in counter. Since online check-in with Niki is only available some 30 hours before departure (when I was already on the road) I had asked my wife to do online check-in for me for these flights and to secure me some good window seats. But of course I couldn't print out my boarding passes. So a friendly lady at the counter printed these out for me. I hadn't used a check-in counter for ages before, it was a reminder of the good old days, when you had to do this before every flight.

Not too much traffic, considering Valencia is the third largest city in Spain:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_046.jpg

Also the check-in hall looks a little old-fashioned:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_047.jpg

On the second floor there is a food court which offers a nice view on the apron and on the runway. I settled down for a while, had something for lunch and watched the action outside.

A nice looking 747 on the cargo ramp:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_048.jpg

Here is an interesting one, a classic 737-400 (YR-BAI) operating a Blue Air flight to Bucharest, the plane obviously belonged to Brussels Airlines before:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_049.jpg

And what is coming in here, wow, an Ilyushin IL-76TD, quite a rare sight:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_050.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_051.jpg

Vueling departing from a very wet runway:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_052.jpg

I went through security then, no problem and fast, and went to the gates area just in time to see my ride arriving:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_053.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_054.jpg

It was OE-LEG, a brand new Airbus, first flight in January this year, so just about two months ago. Parked at the gate:



Boarding from gate A1 over a jetbridge, also a somewhat new experience after all these FR flights. I settled down in seat 22A on one of the slim Recaro seats. Seat pitch was rather tight and I didn't found the seat very comfortable:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_056.jpg

But it wasn't a problem for me since I had a whole row of three for me and could stretch out. Load factor was probably around 50%. And I got a personal 'Speibsackerl'   :

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_057.jpg

To my surprise there was no inflight magazine in the seat pockets. But that was compensated by the crew who distributed all sorts of newspapers and magazines. I got myself a so called 'News', which was, you guessed it, a news magazine. The spotless and clean cabin during boarding:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_058.jpg

The Captain came on with a friendly welcome and told us about an on-time departure. He also joked about the weather, that he will now fly all of us from the cold South to warm and sunny Austria. Push-back was indeed on-time, followed by taxi to runway 12. Lining up:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_059.jpg

The terminal buildings:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_060.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_061.jpg

Soon after the service begun. The crew was ok, very professional, but not overly friendly, lacking some smiles. Everyone got a Niki Double Decker Sandwich, which was fresh and tasted very good, and a drink. I ordered an Ottakringer beer for me, 2 Euro, rather good price for an on-board drink:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_062.jpg

The views along the route were just amazing, it cleared up soon after departure and it stayed clear all the way to VIE. The route took us along the coast of the Mediterranean. Here the port of Villanova I la Geltru, close to Barcelona:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_063.jpg

BCN itself wasn't visible, but instead the airport of Girona:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_064.jpg

The city of Marseille, with MRS barely visible on the upper left:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_065.jpg

The city of Toulon:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_066.jpg

… and its airport (TLN):

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_067.jpg

Cannes, Nice and Monaco:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_068.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_069.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_070.jpg

Across the border into Italy, passing the airport of Genoa:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_071.jpg

In the meantime the crew came around with another drink run. The Captain also came on again with some more information about the route and the flight, our cruising altitude was FL380. They showed some comedy on the screens (Mr. Bean, some Disney cartoons and things like that) but I was more interested in the views outside and the airshow:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_072jpg

Crossing of the Alps:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_073.jpg

...and into Austria, this is the airport of Zeltweg:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_074.jpg

During descent the city of Vienna came into view:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_075.jpg

We then headed south again to join the approach for runway 34. There were quite a few aircrafts visible on final for landing. Turning final near the “Neusiedler See”:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_076.jpg

And touchdown on runway 34 after a flight time of 2 hours and 20 minutes:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_077.jpg

Only a short taxi to a remote parking position. While waiting for some other passengers to disembark and enter the bus I managed to get this picture of the also brand new engine:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_078.jpg

By bus to the terminal building. I had some time so I decided to went landside to explore the airport a bit. But nothing special here, so I headed back to the gate area.

Highlight here was the Korean A330 being prepared for the long journey back to ICN:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_079.jpg

Besides that of course lots of Austrian planes:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_080.jpg


Flight 5 (24.03.2011)
VIE-FKB (AB8131, operated by Niki)
E190 (OE-IHD)
Seat 22A
scheduled 18:35 – 20:00
actual 18:35 – 19:45

Looks like my flight will depart from the B gates, which are the bus boarding gates on the lower floor:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_081.jpg

They made some announcements that security lines might be long so passengers should plan some extra time, but it wasn't the case, the lines were actually rather short, so no problem here at all and I arrived in the B gates area. It was very crowded here, limited seating and some construction going on, so not a very nice place. So I settled down in the bar there and had another Ottakringer, I managed to get the one of the very few free seats there.

Boarding was called, again by bus to the plane. Sometimes AB flies the Dash 8 on this route and sometimes the E190, I wasn't actually sure which equipment they would use today. So I was very happy when I saw the Embraer, a first for me on this plane type. It was OE-IHD, also quite new, less than one year old.

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_083.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_084.jpg

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_085.jpg

The flight was completely full, mostly business travelers. I settled down in my seat, which I actually found more comfortable than the seat on their Airbus.

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_086.jpg

On this flight the crew was a lot more cheerful, smiling, and even joking around with the passengers. Again they distributed magazines and newspapers. Cabin view:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_087.jpg

Departure was exactly on time, only a short taxi to runway 29, the crew actually had to hurry to finish their preparations before take-off. Once airborne, service started, again we got one of the nice Double decker sandwiches, this time I opted for a Coke with it:

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 2917 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 8895 times:

Interesting.... Nice report. Question- was that "duble decker" sandwhich free?


The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlinelppr95 From Portugal, joined Mar 2010, 100 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 8892 times:

What a nice TR!
I am not glad that you have enjoyed the city of Porto. It is defenately a beautiful city.



"Cathay 018, expect very late landing clearance, 747 departing ahead", tower said.
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 675 posts, RR: 21
Reply 3, posted (3 years 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 8870 times:

... second part ...


Departure was exactly on time, only a short taxi to runway 29, the crew actually had to hurry to finish their preparations before take-off. Once airborne, service started, again we got one of the nice Double decker sandwiches, this time I opted for a Coke with it:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_088.jpg

The route of flight was direct towards Munich, than to Stuttgart and finally to FKB. Some beautiful sunset colors along the way:

http://www.mcroth.de/tr/niki11/tr4_089.jpg

After a flight time of around 1 hour we landed on runway 03, the same runway where this trip started less than 48 hours ago. At the parking position I waited for everybody to disembark and asked the FA whether I could have a look into the cockpit. She asked the captain and yes, I could   I then had a very nice chat with the captain, I told him that this was my first flight on an E190 and then he explained me a little about the aircraft, that it is a very modern plane and great to fly. He also asked how I liked their service and all, and I had to admit that yes, everything was very fine and I would definitely fly them again. Thanks to the crew for this experience!!!

After that I disembarked and hurried to the waiting bus for the ride to the terminal. I was out in no time and about 30 minutes later I arrived back at home.

Conclusion

It was another very successful and fun trip, three new airports, one new airline and one new plane type for me. Also somewhat crazy to have breakfast in Britain, lunch in Portugal and dinner in Spain and all on the very same day. Too little time in Porto for this great city, bad weather in Valencia, so reasons enough for more trips in the future  

About the airlines, well, I guess everything is already said about Ryanair. Delays can happen, but please just inform your passengers about it. Besides that everything was as expected. And Niki, definitely a great little airline with great service, I enjoyed both flights very much. A few more smiles from the crew on the VLC-VIE leg and everything would have been perfect. No complaints at all on the VIE-FKB leg, thanks again to the crew for letting me visit the cockpit after the flight.

That's all, I hope you enjoyed my little report. Questions and comments are of course very welcomed.

CaptainRed


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6643 posts, RR: 78
Reply 4, posted (3 years 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 8742 times:

Hi CaptainRed,

great report with many nice pictures! I'm glad you enjoyed your Niki flights, it's one of my favorite airlines.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
And I got a personal 'Speibsackerl'

How did you like the safety video with the fly using Niki's voice?

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 1):
Question- was that "duble decker" sandwhich free?

The sandwiches are served free of charge. Additionally, you can buy gourmet meals on longer sectors.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
At the parking position I waited for everybody to disembark and asked the FA whether I could have a look into the cockpit. She asked the captain and yes, I could I then had a very nice chat with the captain, I told him that this was my first flight on an E190 and then he explained me a little about the aircraft, that it is a very modern plane and great to fly. He also asked how I liked their service and all, and I had to admit that yes, everything was very fine and I would definitely fly them again. Thanks to the crew for this experience!!!

Very nice. I was lucky that Niki Lauda was on duty on a FRA-VIE flight last year:



More details can be found here:

Cirrus D38, Adria CRJ & Captain Niki Lauda On Duty (by PlaneHunter Jul 27 2010 in Trip Reports)


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5012 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (3 years 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 8418 times:

Hi, Captain,

really nice to read something more out of "our" part of Germany, together with interesting pictures.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Next to me were a lady from Italy and an English guy, we talked a bit and they were quite surprised after I told them that I just took that flight to catch another flight to Valencia later this day (obviously they have never met Markus or FlyingFinn

Hey, come on, that silly people, dont the really know about the way of life these days!.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 3):
It was another very successful and fun trip, three new airports, one new airline and one new plane type for me. Also somewhat crazy to have breakfast in Britain, lunch in Portugal and dinner in Spain and all on the very same day.

That´s exactly what I like,

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: Is there something new for the new countries?.
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 675 posts, RR: 21
Reply 6, posted (3 years 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 8382 times:

Hey, great to see some comments.

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 1):
Question- was that "duble decker" sandwhich free?

Yes, the sandwich and non-alcoholic drinks were free.

Quoting lppr95 (Reply 2):
What a nice TR!
I am not glad that you have enjoyed the city of Porto. It is defenately a beautiful city.

Thanks. And I agree, Porto is beautiful, I need to come back with some more time.

Hi PH,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
it's one of my favorite airlines.

I can now understand why, was a very nice experience to fly with them.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
How did you like the safety video with the fly using Niki's voice?

Err, actually I didn't even pay attention to it, so I haven't noticed it was the voice of Niki Lauda.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
I was lucky that Niki Lauda was on duty on a FRA-VIE flight last year:

Yes, I remember that report. Of course I was hoping to get to fly with him as well, but not this time (He is probably already in Australia for the first F1 race of the season)

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 5):
really nice to read something more out of "our" part of Germany, together with interesting pictures.

Hi Markus, thanks.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 5):
Hey, come on, that silly people, dont the really know about the way of life these days!.

Well, the English guy wanted to stay in Portugal for more than two weeks. At the same place. Unbelievable, isn't it  

CaptainRed


User currently offlineAlwaysOnAPlane From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2010, 305 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (3 years 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 8128 times:

Hi Captain.

Good to see you out on the road again and bringing us an interesting report with a good selection of photos.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
You can't leave Britain without a real traditional British breakfast, can you?

Absolutely not. Just don't have them too often or your trousers won't fit you. I find the food to be quite nice at Wetherspoons. Especially when you're in a situation where the hotel you are staying in wants £15 for a full English but a bigger and better option is around the corner at Wetherspoons for a fiver.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
And again nobody wanted to go to the rear stairs

As always.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Descent started soon after. Do we land here? No, don't think so.

Ha ha. That would be interesting. Not the end result you would be looking for  
Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
A nice looking 747 on the cargo ramp:

Interesting. Time for me to Google that I think?

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Crossing of the Alps:

Always a pleasure.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
While waiting for some other passengers to disembark and enter the bus I managed to get this picture of the also brand new engine:

An interesting perspective.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Also somewhat crazy to have breakfast in Britain, lunch in Portugal and dinner in Spain and all on the very same day.

I like your style there mate.

Thanks again for the write up CR. I will be on the look out for the next

Cheers, Lee.


User currently offlineoa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26502 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (3 years 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 7554 times:

Hey there nice report.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Wetherspoon's bar for something to eat. You can't leave Britain without a real traditional British breakfast, can you?

Oh I love that but only once every 6 months  

I love the E Jets and agree they are very comfortable.

Thanks for the report.

OA260



AEGEAN-OLYMPIC AIR - ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΚΗ " μέλος στη Star Alliance
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 675 posts, RR: 21
Reply 9, posted (3 years 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 7296 times:

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 7):
Good to see you out on the road again and bringing us an interesting report with a good selection of photos.

Hi Lee, thanks very much.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 7):
Especially when you're in a situation where the hotel you are staying in wants £15 for a full English but a bigger and better option is around the corner at Wetherspoons for a fiver.

Yes, I agree. Especially since in my case the hotel where I was staying only served some boring continental breakfast.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 7):
Ha ha. That would be interesting. Not the end result you would be looking for

Yep, a bit too short for a 737, otherwise FR would already be there and market it as Porto North  
Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 7):
I like your style there mate. Thanks again for the write up CR. I will be on the look out for the next

Glad you liked it. Actually I have no further travel plans at the moment, but we will see.

Quoting oa260 (Reply 8):
Oh I love that but only once every 6 months

Hi OA260, yes, I agree, too much of it wouldn't be good, but when you travel you need something with substance to start the day.

Quoting oa260 (Reply 8):
I love the E Jets and agree they are very comfortable.

Yes, indeed, really a nice and comfortable plane, but also the crew and the service on this particular flight added to the good experience.

CaptainRed


User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1194 posts, RR: 17
Reply 10, posted (3 years 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 7276 times:

CaptainRed - very nice report and some great pics of your travels. I enjoyed reading your report very much. I am a big fan of the EM170/190 as well. I was very lucky to see my first Niki EM190 a couple of years ago in PMI - they look very distinctive in Niki's colours - that's for sure. Looking forward to your next report. Palmjet


Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 11, posted (3 years 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 7252 times:

Hi Cap,

Great stuff. This trip is exactly something I could easily pull off from my hat  . Liked the report very much, some nice shots there along the way...

A like Niki a lot, they have a very high quality product and nice new planes plus can put out some amazing fares - well, sort of like their "Alliance partner" AB actually  . The only thing I dislike about them are the crew uniforms - call me old fashioned or something but I still prefer my airline crews wearing proper uniforms instead of jeans and blouses!

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
I found a great offer from Valencia to Karlsruhe via Vienna for just 65,- Euro. I didn't hesitate very long and booked it. Now to get to Valencia I didn't want to go the direct way so I booked a couple of cheap Ryanair flights from FKB to Stansted, then to Porto (a city I always wanted to see) and finally from there to VLC.

Hey hey hey, are you copycatting my planning process or something?  . I very often get obsessed by a certain cheap fare with an interesting carrier and/or route and end up building a trip around it - and as you know my trips aren't exactly point A to B and back type of trips...  .

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Here is the route map, five legs to go:

A very nice route!

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
But still, with everybody rushing to the front stairs I just walked around the wing and was the first to board from the rear.

Heh, this lemmings-like behavior never stops to amaze me... I bet a good number of people followed after your lead, didn't they? This is what usually happens with me.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
So the only way to reach the hotel was with a taxi for 10 pounds, quite expensive for the short ride.

That's quite bad. I made a holy wow some years ago never to stay in an airport hotel that didn't have a shuttle or was within a walking distance from the terminal - that was prompted by a Spanish taxi driver completely ripping me off at MAD! So far I've succeeded pretty well ever since.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Next to me were a lady from Italy and an English guy, we talked a bit and they were quite surprised after I told them that I just took that flight to catch another flight to Valencia later this day (obviously they have never met Markus or FlyingFinn ).

Thanks for the name dropping! Yeah, most of the people just don't get it. I've had some interesting and sometimes embarrassing moments trying to explain my antics to various people... Last such thing was two days ago at Manchester airport when some people hired by the airport to interview pax to gather some statistics talked with me - let me say the lady was a bit surprised at some of my answers ("yes, I flew over 200 flights last calendar year!").

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Nice green scenery in northern Portugal:

Looks nice. When I was in Porto it was January and the weather was very dire, gray and wet.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
After passport control, I went out to the metro for the ride into the city. 2,- Euro a one-way ticket, quite a good price. 45 Minutes later I arrived at station Aliados and started a walk through the very nice old town of Porto. Here are some impressions:

Oh yes, that metro/tram thing is very handy but quite slow from the airport.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
I had only about two hours in this amazing city, definitely not enough.

I spent some 24 hours in there and that wasn't enough by far. Well, as I mentioned the weather was horrible so maybe it was enough at that time of the year, though.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
The flights today, notice the words 'No Horario' which means 'No delay' next to my flight, more on this later:

Yeah, I wondered about this as well. Interesting concept - kinda reminds me of a sign I saw at Xian airport in China many years ago - it read "Your flight _____ to ______ is now delayed by ______ minutes. We apologise blah blah blah" with space to fill in the blanks. You sort of get the impression that delays are quite frequent there  .

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Or this AB arriving probably from PMI:

That's exactly how I arrived at OPO, although it was an Airbus instead of a Boeing!

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
we also tried the specialty of this restaurant, some caramelized apples with ham and goat cheese (well, let's say it tasted interesting):

Now that looks good! Valencia has long been on my "tovisit" list, so hopefully I get to experience something similar in the not too distant future!

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
I really like the name of this shop:

Dare I even ask what they sold inside?

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Inside the market hall, this must be a ham lovers paradise:

Stop it! You are making me hungry and I need to go to bed soon.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):

Here is an interesting one, a classic 737-400 (YR-BAI) operating a Blue Air flight to Bucharest, the plane obviously belonged to Brussels Airlines before:

Well, since they are effectively broke they can't lease the new planes they need to gather whatever old leftovers they get.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Across the border into Italy, passing the airport of Genoa:

Your route is effectively the same one I had when flying BCN-VIE on OS (operated by a Lauda Air 738) a couple of years ago. It was a hot July day and the weather was just gorgeous and I shoot tons of pictures about these very same airports and places as you did! Even our approach over the Neusiedler See to 34 was the same one as you had.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Looks like my flight will depart from the B gates, which are the bus boarding gates on the lower floor:

Ahh, the B gates ghetto, the seediest part of already seedy VIE airport. Hope the new pier will (or has?) spice things up somewhat.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 9):
Hi OA260, yes, I agree, too much of it wouldn't be good, but when you travel you need something with substance to start the day.

Oh yes, agree with you guys. Here's a preview for my latest TR:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Highlands_03_2011/Dyce_6.jpg


User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1576 posts, RR: 30
Reply 12, posted (3 years 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 7226 times:
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Hi Captain!

I enjoyed reading your report.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Here is the route map, five legs to go

That looks nice!

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
You can't leave Britain without a real traditional British breakfast

Hmm, IMHO that doesn't look too appetizing  
Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Guernsey again with its airport

Nice photo of a lovely island!

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
The modern check-in hall

That looks like a steel producing factory or so...

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
I really like the name of this shop

Me too!

You also have great photos of the French coastal area and the Alps. How it all looks amazing from up above when the sun shines!

Thanks again,
Nils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 675 posts, RR: 21
Reply 13, posted (3 years 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 7176 times:

Hello everybody, great to see some more comments.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 10):
very nice report and some great pics of your travels.

Thanks Palmjet.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 10):
they look very distinctive in Niki's colours

That's true. Also like the colors, definitely more interesting than your usual mostly-white plane.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Liked the report very much, some nice shots there along the way...

Hi FlyingFinn, thank you, glad you liked it.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
The only thing I dislike about them are the crew uniforms

Well, I don't care much about the uniform as long as there is good service. Actually didn't even notice they had jeans (where was I looking I wonder?). However they were all wearing some funny looking red hats during boarding, which I found quite interesting, never seen this before.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Hey hey hey, are you copycatting my planning process or something?

Errrm, I have to admit that your reports have given me some ideas already. And true, flying the same way back is way too boring.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
I bet a good number of people followed after your lead, didn't they? This is what usually happens with me.

Certainly, this always happen. Sometimes people are a bit hesitating first, but when they see you are allowed on board as well, they follow around. I guess it is normal for the not-so-welled traveled people to first watch and then do what others are doing.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
I spent some 24 hours in there and that wasn't enough by far.

Well, there you have a reason for another trip  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Now that looks good! Valencia has long been on my "tovisit" list, so hopefully I get to experience something similar in the not too distant future!

Actually it wasn't as good as it looked. I would have preferred the cheese and ham separately, than the apples as dessert. But the rest of the food we had was very good. And Valencia certainly is a nice city, definitely worth a visit. Hope you have better weather there than me.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Dare I even ask what they sold inside?

It was closed so I am not sure. But from what I saw they sold all kinds of T-Shirts and things like that.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
It was a hot July day and the weather was just gorgeous and I shoot tons of pictures about these very same airports and places as you did!

Absolutely stunning route. I have spent some time in southern France on several holidays, so I know the area quite well and it was great to see all the places there from the air.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Ahh, the B gates ghetto, the seediest part of already seedy VIE airport.

Not a nice place, indeed. What I liked though was the beer price there (3,90 for 0,5l), quite reasonable for a bar at an airport.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Oh yes, agree with you guys. Here's a preview for my latest TR:

Can't wait to read it, hopefully it is online soon  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 12):
I enjoyed reading your report.

Hi Nils, thanks very much.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 12):
Nice photo of a lovely island!

Well, never been there, but it is on my list.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 12):
You also have great photos of the French coastal area and the Alps.

Yeah, the views were really stunning. Especially when you know the area and see it all from the air, really great.


User currently offlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 876 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 6836 times:

great trip report and great pictures... enjoyed them a lot  
Thanks for writing this report and sharing it with us...
Cheers  


User currently offlineBNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3169 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6575 times:

Thanks for posting the trip report.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):

Here is the route map, five legs to go:

Thanks for the map.

Quoting CaptainRed (Thread starter):
Next to me were a lady from Italy and an English guy, we talked a bit and they were quite surprised after I told them that I just took that flight to catch another flight to Valencia later this day (obviously they have never met Markus or FlyingFinn ).

I always find it best not to tell some people your full itinerary as some people just don't understand.

Another reminder that I need to write some trip reports.



Why fly non stop when you can connect
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 675 posts, RR: 21
Reply 16, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6477 times:

Quoting buck3y3nut (Reply 14):
great trip report and great pictures... enjoyed them a lot

Hi buck3y3nut, thanks, glad you liked it.

Quoting BNE" class="quote" target="_blank">BNE (Reply 15):
I always find it best not to tell some people your full itinerary as some people just don't understand.

Hi BNE, yes, you are right, that's why I didn't tell them that I only went to VLC to get that flight to VIE   Well, let's face it, our hobby might just look a little bit strange to some people who take flying simply as a means to get from A to B.

Quoting BNE" class="quote" target="_blank">BNE (Reply 15):
Another reminder that I need to write some trip reports.

Yes, we are all looking forward it  
Quoting BNE" class="quote" target="_blank">BNE (Reply 15):
Why fly non stop when you can connect

Couldn't agree more on that


User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4207 posts, RR: 51
Reply 17, posted (3 years 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 6377 times:

Hi

great report, and lovely pictures! Especially the good views on all those enroute airports... And indeed seeing the Il-76 in operation is a nice sight! Nice planning also with that routing, I like it a lot!

Regards
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
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