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A340 Switzerland-Germany To Meet Trip Reporters  
User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 610 posts, RR: 5
Posted (3 years 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 9755 times:

TRIP REPORT

A340 Switzerland-Germany to meet a.net Trip Reporters
09Jul11

Introduction


For those not interested in reading about the history of this trip, I recommend to skip directly to the flights section of this report. As I personally find it interesting to read about the planning stages of any trips, I will detail my planning (or rather lack of planning this time around) here.

After commenting on a trip report by FLIEGER67, he pointed out that there will be an a.net trip reporters meeting at Frankfurt (FRA/EDDF) on 09Jul11. I played around with the idea of going, as it would be a wonderful way to meet many of the contributors to this forum. Once “government approval” from my wife was obtained, I started to think about how to get there. I did not really have any nice ideas, so I looked through my OAG pocket flight guide to find some options which would not include just a standard Lufthansa (LH/DLH) or Swiss International Air Lines (LX/SWR) flight to FRA. Being the boss of a group of people doing shift work, sometimes I also will take some weekend shifts. During the planning of the July shift roster, I completely forgot about this date and planned myself for a late shift..... I realized this mistake only after the shift plan had been published. Oh well, so I wouldn’t be able to go.

Two days later, I was checking some schedules from GVA in the OAG pocket flight guide, when I stumbled over the GVA-FRA entry and saw that KU was now operating on this route regularly. I was aware that KU operated this route, but last summer it was only once per week during high season and the two weekly regular flights used to go from GVA via CDG to Kuwait (KWI/OKBK). I already did the GVA-CDG flight on KU a couple of years ago on the A300-600 (AB6) and it was a nice experience. I always toyed with the idea to also do the GVA-FRA flight on the A340-300 (343) during the peak season when it was operating. Anyway, now I discovered that the regular flights were now via FRA and - even better - there was a flight on Saturday morning, departing 0900 and arriving at FRA at 1005! Also, instead of the twice weekly AB6 which was previously used via CDG, the flights via FRA were now on the 343! Just for the heck of it, I went to check if there were still seats available and what the prices would be. The fare turned out to be very reasonable, and this was only 3 weeks before the date of the flight. Surprisingly to me, the cheapest fare was available on the Kuwait Airways website for only CHF 138.85 (approx. EUR 117 / USD 166). Now I was really feeling bad that I messed up this date by planning myself a late shift! But then I had another idea: I could still book that GVA-FRA flight and turn back immediately on the next available flight to ZRH and still make it on time to start my shift! I was so excited by this idea, that I went to find my wallet to grab my credit card and book this flight! The booking process was straightforward and I had the e-ticket confirmation in my inbox within seconds. Unfortunately, seat selection was not possible on-line.

Back in the office, I tried to swap my late shift with someone else, and indeed it worked out well and I traded this late shift with an early shift on another date. That was great! Now I could not only fly on the KU 343 but also attend the a.net meeting!

Now all I needed to do was find out on how to get to GVA and back from FRA in the evening. Initially, because of the high cost of even a standby staff ticket on the ZRH-GVA route, I thought about getting the train. But for a departure time at 0900 there was no train that fit. So I’d have to take the earliest LX flight from ZRH to GVA. With an arrival at 0745, that would give me enough time to catch the 0900 KU departure. Only it was only standby and it was not clear how the load was going to be. In the worst case, I could have taken the train on the evening before to my parent’s home which is halfway between ZRH and GVA, then sleep there and take the train from there to GVA.

For the return flight, I thought about taking a staff ticket on LH or LX directly back to ZRH. But the actual solution presented itself a couple of days later, when I had to find a way to use 10250 Miles and More miles still on my account. Some of these miles would expire by the end of June and I’d fall below the minimum of 10000 miles for any mileage bargains. There were interesting options for flights on LOT Polish Airlines (LO/LOT), Austrian Airlines (OS/AUA) and LX. I was trying to find a possibility to fly 4 Legs on LO, for example to Gdansk (GDN/EPGD) or Rzeszow (RZE/EPRZ) via Warsaw (WAW/EPWA) and then combine it with any WizzAir (W6/WZZ) or Ryanair (FR/RYR) flight. Well, I did not find a suitable date and combination. So in the end, I decided to use the miles to book a FRA-ZRH evening flight on LH, operated by a 735 - but more about that later..... As you can only book return flights, I had to find a flight to FRA before 09Jul which I would actually have to use in order not to lose the FRA-ZRH return flight. Of course I could also have booked a FRA-ZRH-Germany, but then the return flight would be after 09Jul and the “mileage bargain” offer was only valid until mid-July and my calendar was already full. (Well, I could also have just booked any return flight and then just not use it, but that’s against my idea of never not using a paid flight!). I still had a nice day off in June, where I could fly ZRH-Germany and then maybe return from there using a standby staff ticket. But suddenly I had another idea: The mileage bargain was good for ZRH-Germany, including a transfer in Germany. So finally, I ended up booking a flight from ZRH to Friedrichshafen (FDH/EDNY), just across Lake Constance, via FRA. From FDH I could then return to ZRH easily by ferry and train. (Since these were rather standard A319 and CRJ 700 flights, I won’t write a report about them, but they were pleasant flights and I had 2.5 hours to spend at FRA and do some spotting.)

Two days before my departure from ZRH to GVA, it became obvious that there would be space available on the planned flight to get to GVA. So I was now ready to go.

Flights

Date: 09Jul11
Route: Zurich (ZRH/LSZH) - Geneva (GVA/LSGG)
Flight number: LX 2800
Schedule (local times): ZRH 0700 - GVA 0745
Scheduled block time: 00:45
Airline/Operator: Swiss International Air Lines (LX/SWR)
Aircraft type: Airbus A320-214
Registration: HB-IJU

134th flight on subtype 320, 237th flight on 32S family, 2nd flight on HB-IJU


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Photo © Gerry Stegmeier
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Photo © Oriol Casanovas


I went to the airport on my way home from work the evening before to try to check-in for my flight to GVA. Like this, I would know whether I will most likely get on this flight or not. There would still be enough time to activate the back-up plan if necessary. I went to check-in area 3, where there is a convenient parking area free of charge for the first 15 minutes. First, I tried to use the check-in machine, but of course it did not work holding an old-fashioned paper standby ticket. But I’m always hoping they would maybe offer this function.... well, keep on dreaming. There was a queue of about 10 parties before me. After about a 10 minute wait (free parking time ticking away...) it was my turn. The friendly check-in agent issued me a boarding pass with an assigned window seat. So that meant there was space available and I would most likely get on the flight the next morning. Out of curiosity I asked whether she could also check me in for the confirmed KU flight (booked of course separately) from GVA to FRA. After some typing, she produced a boarding pass with a window seat! Now I was surprised and I thanked her profusely.

With check-in already done, I arrived at the airport at around 0600 by car. I went to the bank to get some Euros and to the bakery for a nice (sweet) breakfast. The airport was very busy, because this day was the start of the summer school holidays in many regions of Switzerland.


early morning ZRH departures with many flights to Kosovo and Macedonia

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crowded LX counters in check-in area 1

I made my way to the passport check to go airside. There were two queues at the manned passport check desks but no queue at the automatic entrance, where a reader scans the bar code on your boarding pass. So I used this one and was in. I then proceeded directly to security, you never know what to expect on such peak season traveling days. But security was painless and I was through in a couple of minutes. My gate was at the very end of ZRH’s A-pier, so it was a rather longish walk.

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nice bird parked at the A-pier

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gate A86 at the very end of the pier

My flight was not yet boarding and only a few people were waiting in the vicinity of my gate. So I just sat and watched traffic outside. The actual gate was not in view, but I trusted there would be a boarding call. It seems there wasn’t or I missed it, because when I glanced towards the gate a while later, boarding was already in progress - in fact there was even no queue anymore. So I went there and boarded, too. I had a window seat in the back of the plane - it doesn’t have to be last row for me, but I prefer something in the back because it allows you to walk the whole length of the aircraft and also you can disembark as the last person and you’ll be better able to photograph the (empty) cabin.

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my ride HB-IJU waiting for the passengers

I was happy to see HB-IJU operate my flight, one of the three A320’s ordered by LX (Crossair) before they were renamed LX (Swiss International Air Lines). Those three aircraft were initially operated by LX under the Swiss Sun brand. Their seats are different from the rest of the fleet, as they are not the slimline seats and they have a dark brown color. After the doors were closed, we taxied to runway 28 for take off.

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lining up on runway 28

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we were already airborne well before crossing runway 16/34

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city of ZRH and Lake Zurich under grey skies


medieval town of Bremgarten (Canton of Aarau) on Reuss river

During climb, we flew through many cumulus clouds and there was some strong turbulence. The towering clouds reached up quite high, so high in fact that the Swiss Alps remained invisible even after reaching cruise level.

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unusually high towering clouds

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over Lake Gruyère, which actually is a reservoir (and yes, that’s the region where Gruyère cheese comes from)

After about halfway to GVA, the clouds disappeared and the weather became sunny and nice. A 33 ml bottle of still water and a chocolate were distributed during the short flight. Descent was directly over the city of Lausanne and then along the length of Lake Geneva.

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cabin in-flight

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city of Romont (Canton of Vaud), yet another town with a medieval city centre built on a hill

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city of Lausanne, seat of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)

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Lausanne’s small airport (ICAO: LSGL), the runway is just 875 m long

Sitting on the left site, I had a good view of the French shore. We had a straight approach to runway 23.

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flying along the southern shore of Lake Geneva which belongs to France

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French town of Yvoire

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now already on the Swiss side

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crossing the motorway just before landing

After landing, we taxied to one of the two round satellites used for non-Schengen flights, I guess the reason for that was that this aircraft continued from GVA to Moscow-Domodedovo (DME/UUEE) after our flight. Some interesting aircraft were parked in GVA, among them the Breitling DC-3 (again) and on the active side an Etihad A330, a Qatar A330, an Uzbekistan A310 and of course the Kuwait A340.

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the cargo apron

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and some interesting heavy and regional metal


non-standard LX seats used on the former Swiss Sun branded A320s

At the satellite where we parked, the PrivatAir 737-300 leased to Gulf Air was parked. Due to the fact that our arrival was a Schengen arrival, we could use the jetway, but then had to board a bus. I did not like that, because it too quite a long time until everybody was on board. The bus brought us directly to the Schengen arrivals in the main terminal.

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good-bye IJU

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GF B737-700 operated by PrivatAir parked at the same satellite

Date: 09Jul11
Route: Geneva (GVA/LSGG) - Frankfurt (FRA/EDDF)
Flight number: KU 178
Schedule (local times): GVA 0900 - FRA 1005
Scheduled block time: 01:05
Airline/Operator: Kuwait Airways (KU/KAC)
Aircraft type: Airbus A340-313
Registration: 9K-ANB

11th flight on subtype 343, 14th flight on 340 family, 1st flight on 9K-ANB


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Photo © AviaStar Photography
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Photo © Jerome Mervelet


On the monitor, my KU flight to FRA and KWI was shown with an ETD of 0850, ten minutes ahead of the 0900 STD. I took the way for transfers, as I was already checked-in on my connecting flight to FRA. The way lead through some corridors and up a set of stairs which lead directly to one of the duty free shops. It took a while until I found some signs pointing to the different gate areas.


oops, I didn’t want to go to a shopping mall..... yes, that’s what you see coming up the transfer stairway

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ah, that looks more like an airport.... airside area in GVA airport

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my flight does want to depart early

I wanted to buy my favourite newspaper in GVA (the shops in ZRH didn’t have them so early), but none of the shops airside seemed to sell any dailies. Well, I then walked to the C gate area, where all the long haul flights are usually handled. As this is a non-Schengen area, there was a passport check. The immigration official asked me whether these were the right gates for me, as I my boarding pass showed FRA. I said yes, it’s a Kuwait Airways flight and they let me through. This area looks very bland and old-fashioned and desperately needs an upgrade. The gate for the KU flight was downstairs.

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a baby baby bus as seen from the C gate area

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C gates, upstairs

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C gates, downstairs, quite bland and outdated, if you ask me

A small group of passengers were waiting in the gate area, many of them in traditional Muslim headscarves and also a couple of women wearing abbayas or niqabs, but also many in western style clothing. Soon the KU local reps arrived and then a slow boarding process began.

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slow boarding, lots of staff (two Swissport, two KU, apparently)

They checked boarding passes and ID’s and several times, the boarding process was interrupted by special requests of some passengers. When it was finally my turn, I showed the boarding pass and ID card. “Don’t you have a passport?”, the gate agent asked me. She did not notice my boarding pass only showing FRA and I had to tell her, after which she let me through so that I could board the bus. The bus was not really full, but people were not moving away from the doors. After some waiting and some discussion with a large family who did not want to board the bus as there was no space near the doors, they must have decided to organise a second bus and our bus was finally let go. We drove the short way to our aircraft where we were let out. Now it is always a most enjoyable moment when you can board such a large aircraft from the ground. I took some pictures before climbing up the stairs.

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always a joy to board from tarmac level!

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one of the hairdryers

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nice Baboo aircraft taxiing by, the brand will disappear soon

My seat was in row 15, which is located in the first Y section of the cabin. It seemed all passengers from GVA were assigned seats in just a few rows in this section while the rest of the aircraft was left empty. My guess would be that there were maybe only 50 to 60 passengers on board. Fortunately, after boarding was completed, the crew let people spread to the empty seats. Around 9 o’clock the doors were closed and we were pushed back. Face towels and head seats were distributed.

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safety video

During taxi to runway 23, I saw two LH Regional CRJ 700 and an Avro RJ100. I had to remind myself how privileged I was to go to Germany in an A340, much better than a CRJ 700!

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a not so exciting way to get to Germany....

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lining up on runway 23

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and yet another way to get to Germany.... also doesn’t beat a KU A340-300, if you ask me!

After a landing LX AR1, we lined up on the runway and a couple of seconds later take-off began. During climb, we took a left turn, giving me a nice view of GVA city. My seat was directly above the wing, restricting my view straight down.

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view down to GVA airport, with one of the round satellites visible

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GVA airport, city of Geneva and Lake Geneva

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the Rhône River disappearing into France


GVA airport


Lake Neuchâtel

I later changed seats again so that I had better visibility just behind the wing. The interior of this aircraft looked a bit old and worn. There were small PTV screens at each seat mounted to the seat backs. The controllers were built in sideways in the armrests and were quite difficult to reach and the could not be removed. In the center section, a couple of old fashioned CRT TV’s were hanging from the ceiling. Anyway, there was no real need for IFE on this short flight and except for the safety video, the system was kept off.

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cabin view with old fashioned TVs


Y class

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my first legroom shot, plenty of space for me


two pictures for the safety card buffs

After reaching cruising level, service started. It consisted of a tray with a chicken/salad sandwich in plastic cover, a strawberry yoghurt, a small cup of orange juice and an additional drink service. Nothing to compare with the KU AB6 flight I took in 2006 from GVA to CDG, where even metal cutlery was handed out.... well, I guess everyone needs to save costs. A visit to the toiled revealed some KU branded Kleenex packages but I could not find any hand paper towels.

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meal tray


can you spot the difference?

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KU branded Kleenex package

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back to the cabin

Actual flight time was less than an hour, making this a quite quick experience. I would have loved to stay a bit longer. We descended to FRA all too soon, where we landed on runway 25L after going through some light turbulence.


already descending to FRA


Main River near Hanau

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hello FRA

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nice fat bird

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crossing runway 25C

I was thinking how uneven the runway surface was and the aircraft rumbled accordingly, plus many parts in the cabin were vibrating and contributing to the rumbling. We then taxied back between both runways to terminal 1, where we were parked on the eastern central pier (B gates). The crew informed that passengers leaving the aircraft in FRA would need to show their boarding passes when disembarking. The transit passengers to KWI were asked to remain on board for the one hours stop.

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our gate neighbour in FRA


bye and thank you 9K-ANB

After disembarking, I took a couple of pictures of my ride. The way to the exit seemed rather long, as is to be expected on an airport of this size. Once outside, I found the LH check-in area, where I printed a boarding pass for my LH flight back to ZRH in the evening. I had previously reserved a seat in the back by checking in on-line. The seat next to me was still empty, so I decided not to change it.

It was then time to go to terminal 2 using the Sky Line automated train to find the a.net trip reporters group on the viewing deck. The group was quite easy to spot! It was nice to finally meet some of the contributors of the great trip reports section of a.net and I really had a good time sharing flying adventures with the group. After a beer with two of the trip reporters from Finland, it was finally time to say good bye to everybody!

Date: 09Jul11
Route: Frankfurt (FRA/EDDF) - Zurich (ZRH/LSZH)
Flight number: LH 1198
Schedule (local times): FRA 1825 - ZRH 1915
Scheduled block time: 00:50
Airline/Operator: Lufthansa (LH/DLH)
Aircraft type: Boeing 737-330
Registration: D-ABET

32nd flight on subtype 733, 145th flight on 737 family, 1st flight on D-ABET


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Photo © Varani Ennio - Piti Spotter Club
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Photo © Klaus Ecker


A short ride later with the Sky Line again and I found myself in the B area of the central (and oldest) terminal in FRA. I checked again my seat assignment in one of the many check-in machines, only to discover that the seats next to me were still empty. I certainly hoped that this would stay like this.

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monitor showing my flight to ZRH


the big board in the central terminal, lot of interesting flights listed. I’d pick the flight to Erbil via Malmo, of course getting off in MMX. (Well, when I last time checked the fares, it was possible to book the FRA-MMX sector, but the fares were bit too high for my taste.)

Around 1:10 before departure, I passed through security. I promptly forgot about a half empty bottle of water in my backpack, which was promptly found. This did not cause much of a problem, I just removed it from the backpack, drank half of what was in there and handed it to the security guy. Surprisingly for Germany, they did not require me to unpack my big camera. I didn’t complain. I then made my (long) way to gate A26, just at the end of the original A-pier, where the new section with gates A28 and higher starts. This extension allows great views of the runways and the parallel taxiways. As soon as I arrived at A26 I saw D-ABET, a B737-300, parked at this gate. At first I was hoping that it was still the previous flight, but soon I realized that this would be my aircraft. I was expecting a B737-500, but apparently there had been an equipment change on short notice. Anyway, I was glad they didn’t change it to an A319, 320 or 321. All other parking positions on the A-pier were empty except for an Aegean (A3/AEE) A320, which was surprising.

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nice Boeing waiting for me

I stocked up on newspapers, which are available free of charge at all gates. I love that! At a newsagents, I bought my favourite Swiss newspaper, as it was not included in the free selection. On the boarding pass, boarding time was shown as 1755. In fact, boarding began only around 1810. The load was light, maybe 65% so boarding was completed quickly and we were ready to go. I was surprised that when entering the aircraft, my favourite Swiss newspaper was offered..... well, had I known, I would not have needed to spend EUR 2.70.....

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cabin ready to go

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enough legroom on the 737-300


slimline seats

We were pushed back and taxied along the parallel runways to the beginning of runway 18, which is only used for take-offs. During our taxi, I got a good view of a pair of TAM aircraft parked next to each other, a B777 and an A330.

http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o46/LXM83/20110709_ZRHGVAFRA/20110709_1852.jpg
http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o46/LXM83/20110709_ZRHGVAFRA/20110709_1854.jpg
http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o46/LXM83/20110709_ZRHGVAFRA/20110709_1855.jpg
nice TAM sisters, made by B & A

http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o46/LXM83/20110709_ZRHGVAFRA/20110709_1859.jpg
lining up on runway 18

Taxiing was very quick and take-off was almost immediate. I had a nice view of our aircraft’s shadow while we were climbing. I spent most of the time reading the different papers I picked up. Service consisted of drinks and a chocolate bar.

http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o46/LXM83/20110709_ZRHGVAFRA/20110709_1862.jpg
nice view of our 737’s shadow

http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o46/LXM83/20110709_ZRHGVAFRA/20110709_1864.jpg
bye FRA

http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o46/LXM83/20110709_ZRHGVAFRA/20110709_1866.jpg
nice golf course just after take-off

http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o46/LXM83/20110709_ZRHGVAFRA/20110709_1867.jpg
somewhere en-route over Germany


19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 9738 times:

http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o46/LXM83/20110709_ZRHGVAFRA/20110709_1870.jpg
final approach over the Rhine River, which forms the border between Germany and Switzerland here

http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o46/LXM83/20110709_ZRHGVAFRA/20110709_1876.jpg
my house is in this picture

After what seemed a very short time, we started to descent already. We flew straight to ZRH’s runway 14, where we landed after markedly less than an hour in the air. ZRH’s airport was also quite empty and so we were at the gate rather quickly.


airbrakes still deployed at the end of runway 14

http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o46/LXM83/20110709_ZRHGVAFRA/20110709_1880.jpg
crossing runway 28

http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o46/LXM83/20110709_ZRHGVAFRA/20110709_1884.jpg
D-ABET being unloaded

Conveniently, they used the closest gate on the northern side of ZRH’s A-pier, which made the way to the exit much shorter. Less than 10 minutes after I disembarked, I found myself behind the wheel of my car for the last couple of kilometers back home.


Interestingly, the previous flight from FRA to ZRH, also on LH, arrived after my flight. I wondered why they did not rebook passengers on our flight?

Conclusion

This day consisted of two highlights: Firstly meeting all my fellow trip reporters in person, and secondly the flight on KU’s A340 from GVA to FRA. It was great to meet all the different a.net users and have a chat with many of them about our favourite subject - flying. It was great to share our travel experiences. The flight with KU was something different - much better than your standard LH or LX short haul flight. The aircraft showed it’s age and the interior was a bit outdated, but that only added to the experience. The short LX flight was standard, with great views from the aircraft once we were out of the clouds. Despite the flight having taken place less than a week ago, I do not remember anything about the crew, but anyway on such a short flight, there was not much interaction. What impressed me on LH were the new slimline seats on that 737, which made it seem very spacious - of course also with the help of the large Boeing windows. I must say it is always a pleasure to be on a 737!

Next Trips

Coming up later in August: A try to catch Embraer’s rarest subtype, operating with only one airline worldwide. And for November: the inaugural flight of between the Swiss and Serbian capitals and my first ride on a pink Airbus.

Previous Trip Reports

You will find my older trip reports here:

Jun 2011: Not A LOT Longer: The Embraer 175 & Props @ RIX
May 2011: The People’s Way: ZRH-VIE-ACH
Mar 2011: Manx2: Dornier 228 And Let 410 In One Day!
Jan 2011: The Dornier 328Jet from MUC to DLE
Dec 2006: AY to Japan & domestic flights & visiting Santa Claus
Mar 2006: Cubana Il-62, Yak-42, An-24 & Belize & Guatemala

Thanks for reading and comments! Best regards,
LXM83


User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1659 posts, RR: 30
Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 9449 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi LXM83,

Very nice report! I was very curious on this report, featuring the KU flight. I'll most likely be taking this one as well somewhere in Nov, albeit in the other direction. From your pics, it looks really worth it.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
but I prefer something in the back because it allows you to walk the whole length of the aircraft and also you can disembark as the last person and you’ll be better able to photograph the (empty) cabin
You are definetely right!

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
over Lake Gruyère

Is that like 'gruyère' cheese  

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Lausanne’s small airport (ICAO: LSGL),

Ha, so that must be Mr Blatter's personal airport!

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
C gates, downstairs, quite bland and outdated, if you ask me

That area looks like that indeed, the A gates are much nicer but I find the checkin hall also having an outdated feel to it.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Now it is always a most enjoyable moment when you can board such a large aircraft from the ground.

That's always a great moment, indeed!

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
My guess would be that there were maybe only 50 to 60 passengers on board.

Was the load really that light? And mostly passengers from Middle Eastern descent of more Westerners?

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
my first legroom shot, plenty of space for me

Looks very good and perfectly bearable on long haul.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
As soon as I arrived at A26 I saw D-ABET, a B737-300

Cool bird, logged this one also.

   Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 9212 times:

Hi LXM83,

Nice tripreport, an interesting read.
Always nice to log a widebody within Europe. Also, a 4-hauler is always good.
Can't wait to visit FRA myself, looks like a very exciting airport!

Martin


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (3 years 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 9013 times:

Hey

nice trip report, lucky you got the KU A343 on such a route  .
It was a pleasure meeting you.



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently onlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6500 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 8993 times:

Hi LXM83!

Thanks for a very nice report with nice pictures !

Interesting to know that LX had 320s before they became Swiss, did not know that.

Nice to fly a widebody aircraft on such a short flight! Legroom seems enormous on KU and decent on LH and LX. Meals looks okay on KU.

Seems like you guys had a great time in FRA! Too bad I couldn't make it.

Looking forward to your next report!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From France, joined Sep 2003, 5137 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (3 years 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 8766 times:

Hoi, J.,

that was indeed a pleasure to meet you at FRA.
Interesting talking around our jobs, but definitely to less time, we should do it soon again.

Real good to follow you´re story and sure I´am always interested in the planning details around every trip.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Once “government approval” from my wife was obtained,

Not that easy, I know!.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Well, I could also have just booked any return flight and then just not use it, but that’s against my idea of never not using a paid flight!)

Exactly my way,

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Kosovo and Macedonia

I´am very interested, you know.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
t doesn’t have to be last row for me, but I prefer something in the back because it allows you to walk the whole length of the aircraft and also you can disembark as the last person and you’ll be better able to photograph the (empty) cabin

Well, also my way, you know.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
my first legroom shot, plenty of space for me

Well done.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Coming up later in August: A try to catch Embraer’s rarest subtype, operating with only one airline worldwide. And for November: the inaugural flight of between the Swiss and Serbian capitals and my first ride on a pink Airbus.

Looking forward to that examples, sounds good.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: How to deliver a present in style!.
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1447 posts, RR: 33
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8156 times:

Hi LXM83,

Wow, you certainly had your work cut out organising this trip, what a lot of careful planning. I can fully understand the issues trying to swop your shift, glad you managed it in the end. And 10/10 for finding such an exotic way of getting to Frankfurt, I didn't even know Kuwait fly that route.

You have some really nice pictures, particularly of the GVA area.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Once “government approval” from my wife was obtained

Good expression!

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
bird parked at the A-pier

Always a beautiful sight

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Their seats are different from the rest of the fleet, as they are not the slimline seats and they have a dark brown color. After the

One of the reasons I love the ex-Swiss Sun birds, plus the wheel cam feature.

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 offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8056 times:

Hi LXM83,

Very nice report! There is no more appropriate way to attend the FRA meeting than flying KU. I wished PK had fifth freedom rights between AMS and FRA. Nevertheless, LH took good care of me, so I cannot complain.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Surprisingly to me, the cheapest fare was available on the Kuwait Airways website for only CHF 138.85 (approx. EUR 117 / USD 166).

That sounds attractive!

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
After some typing, she produced a boarding pass with a window seat! Now I was surprised and I thanked her profusely.

Nice!

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
There were two queues at the manned passport check desks but no queue at the automatic entrance, where a reader scans the bar code on your boarding pass.

I prefer the automatic entrance in any case.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
city of Romont (Canton of Vaud),

Interesting. Thanks for the information.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
the boarding process was interrupted by special requests of some passengers.

Could the special request have been sitting next to the door?

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
I took some pictures before climbing up the stairs.

Nice to know that no one bothered.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
I had to remind myself how privileged I was to go to Germany in an A340, much better than a CRJ 700!

I have never been on CRJ700, but yeah, I can share your feeling about being on board of A340.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Surprisingly for Germany, they did not require me to unpack my big camera.

Mine got a swipe test.

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 1):
What impressed me on LH were the new slimline seats on that 737, which made it seem very spacious

Count me in. I love the slimline seats!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):Once “government approval” from my wife was obtained
Good expression!

 

Thankfully, you got around to going to FRA. It has been a pleasure to meet you. Thanks for being a nice companion and sharing your experience.

Best wishes,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 77
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7817 times:

Hi LXM83,

great report with nice pictures, I had been waiting to read about your KU A343 experience. It was interesting to see the differences between the company's A300 and A343. I had a nice FCO-CDG flight on KU last year.

Fifth Freedom Tidbit: Kuwait Airways A300-600 (by PlaneHunter Dec 2 2010 in Trip Reports)

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
So in the end, I decided to use the miles to book a FRA-ZRH evening flight on LH, operated by a 735

I had to use some FlyingBlue miles so that I could fly CDG-NUE on the next day. The lowest available fare would have been some 513 Euro...

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Since these were rather standard A319 and CRJ 700 flights, I won’t write a report about them

Well, I won't write about my LH, EZY and AF Regional flights either. However, I will post a LAN A343 report.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Their seats are different from the rest of the fleet, as they are not the slimline seats and they have a dark brown color.

Interesting!

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
GF B737-700 operated by PrivatAir parked at the same satellite

That 737 looks simply stunning.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Now it is always a most enjoyable moment when you can board such a large aircraft from the ground.

So true.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Fortunately, after boarding was completed, the crew let people spread to the empty seats.

Good for you - my A300 was packed.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
also doesn’t beat a KU A340-300, if you ask me!

  

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
After reaching cruising level, service started. It consisted of a tray with a chicken/salad sandwich in plastic cover, a strawberry yoghurt, a small cup of orange juice and an additional drink service.

That's not too bad.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
It was great to meet all the different a.net users and have a chat with many of them about our favourite subject - flying. It was great to share our travel experiences.

I can only agree - it was a pleasure meeting you!

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
What impressed me on LH were the new slimline seats on that 737, which made it seem very spacious

The new seats are great, had those for the first time on my last week's NUE-FRA flight (A320).


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 7461 times:

Hi Dear Friends,
Good to see so many comments already!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 2):
Very nice report! I was very curious on this report, featuring the KU flight. I'll most likely be taking this one as well somewhere in Nov, albeit in the other direction.

Thank you. I hope I could satisfy your curiosity and can only recommend to take this flight if you get a chance.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 2):
Is that like 'gruyère' cheese

Indeed it is. The cheese originates from this area.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 2):
Ha, so that must be Mr Blatter's personal airport!

Well, that would be Jacques Rogge of the IOC. Blatter and his FIFA reside in ZRH.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 2):
Was the load really that light? And mostly passengers from Middle Eastern descent of more Westerners?

Yes, it was a light load, 70 pax maximum. Of those, around 20 got off in FRA. It was a mixed bunch of Westerners and Arabs.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 3):
Always nice to log a widebody within Europe. Also, a 4-hauler is always good.
Can't wait to visit FRA myself, looks like a very exciting airport!

Yes, that's true. You could try KE's 744 on VIE-ZRH, although one-way only.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 4):
It was a pleasure meeting you.

And meeting you, too!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 5):
Thanks for a very nice report with nice pictures !

Thanks, I'm glad you liked it.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 5):
Interesting to know that LX had 320s before they became Swiss

Well, that's not true. The original LX (Crossair) ordered these 320's to replace some of the MD-80's, but they were delivered to LX only after the whole thing was renamed Swiss International Air Lines. The the original LX - Crossair - never had them in the fleet.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 5):
Seems like you guys had a great time in FRA

Yes, indeed we did!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 6):
we should do it soon again

Agreed. Although it was almost a whole day, there was never enough time to chat in detail with everyone.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 6):
Not that easy, I know!

Well, it's all about getting the right moment to pop the question, isnt' it?  

Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
Wow, you certainly had your work cut out organising this trip, what a lot of careful planning.

Well, planning is half the fun! And the excitement when you press that "buy" button!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
plus the wheel cam feature

True, completely forgot about reporting it. The front camera was on during take-off, and the camera with the view down during the flight. Didn't notice if it was on during landing as I was glued to my window.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 8):
There is no more appropriate way to attend the FRA meeting than flying KU.

Well, it was a good way, indeed.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 8):
I prefer the automatic entrance in any case.

It seems many people are quite phobic of automation....

Quoting akhmad (Reply 8):
Could the special request have been sitting next to the door?

No, I think it had rather to do with some passengers trying to be important and not wanting to be treated together with all the "normal" others.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 8):
It has been a pleasure to meet you.

Yes, it has been! Too bad we didn't have more time to chat. Hopefully next time!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
It was interesting to see the differences between the company's A300 and A343. I had a nice FCO-CDG flight on KU last year.

Yes, I also did the AB6 back in 2006 on the GVA-CDG route. Next to the difference in equipment, I had also the difference of time.... 5 years ago service was even better, with metal cutlery on this short leg.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
That's not too bad.

Still better to what you get in Y on a standard European mainline, nowadays.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
it was a pleasure meeting you!

And it was a pleasure to meet you! Anytime again!

Best regards and a good weekend (hopefully some flying included...) for everybody!
LXM83

[Edited 2011-07-16 13:37:16]

User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26853 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 7445 times:

Hey very nice report and these short flights on longhaul aircraft are really nice. I dont think Id like to fly longhaul in Y on KU though. Their product needs a huge revamp hearing from others who have done their 7 hour + flights.

Glad you had a nice time at the meeting .

Thanks for the report.

OA260  


User currently offlineSloAir From Slovenia, joined Jul 2010, 339 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 7094 times:

Hi LXM83,

you have definitely arrived to the meeting with the most style  

Great job with your report, it was nice to read about your flights with Kuwait Airways. Despite the age of the plane it was probably totally OK for the short flight to FRA. And your flights with LX and LH also look good, you had a nice day of flying around.

Thanks for sharing your story, it was nice meeting you at FRA.

Blaž



Visit Ljubljana
User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1846 posts, RR: 42
Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 6848 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Hey LX, thanks for sharing! It was good to meet you at FRA. I'd love to try KU sometime!

Best regards,

Martijn

http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/1384/dscf0576n.jpg



Fly DC-Jets!
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6428 times:

Hi LXM83,

Nice to read about your unusual journey to our little meet at FRA. The more I read these KU reports, the more determined I am to bite the bullet soon and book myself on one of these services, should be good! Having an A340 for such a short hop is definitely something special and well worth the admission price!

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
So finally, I ended up booking a flight from ZRH to Friedrichshafen (FDH/EDNY), just across Lake Constance, via FRA. From FDH I could then return to ZRH easily by ferry and train.

Well, I had a hard time following you when you told me about this in person and only after rereading it a few times I got it!   That's indeed a nice and cunning way to maximize your usage of the award, congratulations on that!

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Out of curiosity I asked whether she could also check me in for the confirmed KU flight (booked of course separately) from GVA to FRA. After some typing, she produced a boarding pass with a window seat!

Hey, that's very good. Sometimes you just get lucky like that, so it doesn't hurt to ask.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
early morning ZRH departures with many flights to Kosovo and Macedonia

Are there a lot of people from the Balkans in Switzerland nowadays?

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
I was happy to see HB-IJU operate my flight, one of the three A320’s ordered by LX (Crossair) before they were renamed LX (Swiss International Air Lines).

Oh, I had no idea they did this! Interesting.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
On the monitor, my KU flight to FRA and KWI was shown with an ETD of 0850, ten minutes ahead of the 0900 STD.

Wow, I've never seen any flight with an expected departure time that is EARLY! For arrivals, sure, but never for departures.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
oops, I didn’t want to go to a shopping mall..... yes, that’s what you see coming up the transfer stairway

It's bad enough they do this for normal departures in many places now, but even for transfers, now that just sucks!

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
The immigration official asked me whether these were the right gates for me, as I my boarding pass showed FRA. I said yes, it’s a Kuwait Airways flight and they let me through.

Heh, the same happened to at MAD T4 me when flying LA MAD-FRA - the agent triple checked I was going to Frankfurt and I still wanted to exit the Schengen area. Also got some weird looks and questions at FCO when I flew ET ARN-FCO.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Anyway, there was no real need for IFE on this short flight and except for the safety video, the system was kept off.

Well, they could've shown the airshow. Who needs more IFE than that?

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Actual flight time was less than an hour, making this a quite quick experience.

Considering that it was a 340 it also means that you normally would've just reached cruising altitude over Frankfurt, considering the slow climb and all...  
Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
. After a beer with two of the trip reporters from Finland, it was finally time to say good bye to everybody!

Finnish people and beer? Now that's surprising!

Anyway it definitely was nice meeting you and sharing some stories! Let's see when I get around to ZRH the next time, then again I have such a backlog of people to meet there that I should spend a couple of weeks there, but unfortunately with the EUR exchange rate plummeting down it'd break me financially!  


User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 684 posts, RR: 21
Reply 15, posted (3 years 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6345 times:

Hi LXM83,

great to read about your interesting trip to our meeting. That KU flight sure was something special, a rather exotic airline and a wide-body on a short trip like that.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
The immigration official asked me whether these were the right gates for me, as I my boarding pass showed FRA.
Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
She did not notice my boarding pass only showing FRA and I had to tell her, after which she let me through so that I could board the bus.

Mmh, I guess it is not that uncommon that someone takes that flight just to FRA, so the officials and gate agents should be used to it. Or were you the only one who left the plane in FRA?

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
I took some pictures before climbing up the stairs.

Nice pictures, certainly nice to get that close to a wide-body at the tarmac.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
I had to remind myself how privileged I was to go to Germany in an A340, much better than a CRJ 700!

Yes, indeed. While a CRJ700 is also a nice plane, you cannot really compare it to a A340 ride.

Thanks for this report and it was definitely a pleasure to meet you there at the viewing terrace and share some stories.

CaptainRed


User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (3 years 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6332 times:

Hello everyone, thanks for some more comments...

Quoting SloAir (Reply 12):
Despite the age of the plane it was probably totally OK for the short flight to FRA.

Totally OK, indeed. Beats the regular single aisle Airbuses any day!

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 13):
It was good to meet you at FRA.

Yes, it was great to meet you and hear about your Greenland trip!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 14):
Having an A340 for such a short hop is definitely something special and well worth the admission price!

Yes, it is.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 14):
That's indeed a nice and cunning way to maximize your usage of the award

Oh, well, I always try to keep cost per segment down.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 14):
Are there a lot of people from the Balkans in Switzerland nowadays?

Yes, many. According to wikipedia - so to take with a grain of salt - we have 22% foreigners, of which Serbia/Montenegro (which includes Kosovo) are on third place with 11.5% after Italians (17.3%) and Germans (13.2%). That makes for many flights to/from PRN and other Balkans destinations such as SKP, OHD, SJJ, BNX, BEG, TGD, TIA and others.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 14):
Who needs more IFE than that?

Well, we don't.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 14):
Finnish people and beer? Now that's surprising!

Totally surprising  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 14):
Let's see when I get around to ZRH the next time, then again I have such a backlog of people to meet there

Well, I guess I can take a number...

Cheers, LXM83


User currently offlineSPLTA From Poland, joined Jun 2011, 121 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (3 years 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6012 times:

Hello LXM83,

very interesting TR, I liked it a lot.

Wish there were some 5th freedom flights from WAW. If ever, I would expect it to be some carrier from the Gulf region flying triangle route X-WAW-ARN/CPH-X or X-PRG-WAW-X.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
so I looked through my OAG pocket flight guide to find some options

You seem never to part with your OAG flight guide. It's definitely more convenient than time consuming search through the web.
When was a kid back in late 80's I used to collected the thing called "ABC something" (can't recall the name at the moment). It was issued on monthly basis and contained all flight schedules worldwide. It had the size of telephone book. What a great read it was! Stupidly, I borrowed my collection to my friend and never got it back.

Once again, thanks for sharing. It was nice meeting you!

Regards,
SPLTA


User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4253 posts, RR: 51
Reply 18, posted (3 years 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5527 times:

Hi, LXM83!

it was a great meet, nice to meet you too! Time is too short to have good conversations though, that's how life goes on these days...

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Two days later, I was checking some schedules from GVA in the OAG pocket flight guide, when I stumbled over the GVA-FRA entry and saw that KU was now operating on this route regularly

Nice catch!

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Surprisingly to me, the cheapest fare was available on the Kuwait Airways website for only CHF 138.85 (approx. EUR 117 / USD 166).

Really good! I needed a tickets on this route for next Saturday, but fares was EUR 190 oneway, a bit expensive, so I decided on a trainride.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Out of curiosity I asked whether she could also check me in for the confirmed KU flight (booked of course separately) from GVA to FRA. After some typing, she produced a boarding pass with a window seat! Now I was surprised and I thanked her profusely.

Really friendly of her!

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
At the satellite where we parked, the PrivatAir 737-300 leased to Gulf Air was parked.

I think they get another example soon, ex KLM (HB-JJA). I've read somewhere about this.

Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
I had to remind myself how privileged I was to go to Germany in an A340, much better than a
CRJ 700!

Completely agree  
Quoting LXM83 (Thread starter):
Surprisingly for Germany, they did not require me to unpack my big camera. I didn’t complain.

Same for me, no need this time... but now I had to show my Philishave instead  

Good report, although, pictures seems not to work anymore (I had seen the pics previously, lucky me).

Grüsse,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineLoran From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 531 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (3 years 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5388 times:

Hi LXM83,

How funny is that, I was on the same flight!
I have seen it the other day after searching on flightmemory for members on the same flight.

Were you the one in shorts walking into Business Class at boarding but turned around? I was in Business on seat 6A.

I had the feeling there were other plane geeks on the bus, as some people turned around and showed particular interest in the Uzbekistan A310-300 which departed   So did I. I was standing in the bus at the very front facing the Satellite with the interesting Gulf Air 737.

I also took plenty of shots upon boarding and during the flight. A shame I did not know about your a.nutters meeting, I could have joined to say hello. I had no plans in the afternoon and headed back to ZRH by train...

Btw, it doesn't show your photos anymore, I think you have to upgrade photobucket. Nevertheless as I was on-board I have also captured it on film  

Cheers,
Loran



703 717 727 732-9 747 757 767 777 787 AB2/6 310 318-321 330 340 380 D8M D91/3/5 D1C M11 M81-90 L10 IL8/6/7/W/9 TU3/5/2
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