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SA2011 Take 2: Lightning And Lost Luggage  
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3003 posts, RR: 8
Posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 8946 times:

SA2011 take 2: Lightning and lost luggage

After a few weeks of being home alone, it was time to return to South Africa and rejoin my wife and children. As explained before, cost was the ultimate deciding factor, and I was pleasantly surprised that the cheapest routing turned out to be quite interesting as well. Due to lower air taxes, I had looked at departing from Italy, Belgium or Spain, and in the end Italy won out, with a route of Milan Linate to Frankfurt on LH, transferring to Ethiopian's flight to Addis Abeba and on to Johannesburg. I then had to book a flight to Italy. I originally booked Germanwings STN-CGN-BLQ, however I later received an email saying that the CGN-BLQ leg on the day I was due to fly was cancelled, and I could re-book for a different day or get a refund. I phoned the helpdesk to ask if I could re-route to MXP, but this was not allowed, so I opted for a refund and set again looking for a cheap route to northern Italy. The best deal popped up with BA, LGW-TRN, which was around £20 cheaper than the 4U flight, and the train to Milan was only €10 from Turin.

Come the day to depart, I went to work on the bus instead of driving, as I would be leaving straight from the office. That evening I took the train into Cambridge, and checked into the Travelodge that I had booked during a £10 sale, as I was going to have an early flight from STN and it is conveniant for Cambridge station. In the end I could sleep in a bit longer, and arrived at the station in time for the morning rush of incoming commuters - not easy with a huge pack on my back and a smaller rucksack on my front! I bought a ticket for Gatwick from the ticket machine, only £20 if you opt for the Liverpool St line and the Southern stopping service to Gatwick.

I approached the checkin area for the first time, and an agent hovering near the machines directed me to it. I explained that I'd used the smartphone app to check in already, so the barcode on my phone was scanned, and a baggage tag printed for by pack. I had to take it to the oversize luggage area, even though it was "only" 19kg, and mostly filled with Christmas presents!

Security was a breeze, so I then looked for the No 1 Lounge, which I had pre-booked online with a discount code (PM if you'd like it, valid at most UK airports, though I'm not sure of the expiry date). I had about 3 hours before departure, so I settled in at a seat by the window to watch the traffic.

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View out of the window

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Some couscous salad from the buffet

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Air Zimbabwe impounded

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VS 744 being towed

The sun was quite bright, and it was very warm inside, but it was very relaxing. I had a look around the lounge. There was also a bar area, a snooker room, business room, children's room (just a big TV, bean bags to sit on and painted walls - shame there were no toys) and an adjacent, payable spa. I ordered Eggs Benedict from the bar - you are entitled to one hot option as well as the buffet, but decided to stick with non-alcoholic drinks for the moment, as I'd be trying to navigate my way around two Italian cities later. I also had some salad, pastries and cakes, some tea, Coke and juice. It was soon time to leave and find my way to the gate. Unfortunately I didn't get to cross the famous bridge, instead I wend down one of the curved ramps in the middle of the shops to find my gate.

13/12/2011
BA2578
LGW-TRN
G-DOCB

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Photo © Santo Cuce




Boarding commenced and we headed down the bridge to the old 737. I had selected an exit row seat so I had plenty of room.

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View from my seat

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Obligatory legroom shot

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Old plane seats falling apart

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Inflight snack

The load was very full, perhaps aided by the low prices for the flight, even Club appeared full. It seems that quite a few people had taken advantage of the offer to upgrade for £59, though I don't think it was worth it, unless you had lots of luggage - legroom appeared to be almost the same, and the No 1 lounge pay-per-entry was a lot cheaper than that (£17 with the code). We took off and almost immediately were taken in by the clouds, to be spat out in sunsine, but with no view to the ground. The bar service started, so I had a beer (only Heineken, sorry Suryo!). I was disappointed with the snack - the brand name was Cranberry, but it was only nuts and raisins, no cranberries!

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More inflight views

It began to get dark, and was pitch by the time we arrived in Turin. Passport control was quick and cursory, and luggage was quick to arrive. I then made my way to the station.

It must be said that Turin has a poor transport connection to the airport. Firstly, I tried to buy a ticket from the machine, but none of my coins was accepted. Fortunately someone saw me and said I could buy one from the tobacco kiosk in arrivals, which I did. Then I took the train into the city. It terminates at a suburbab station, that even though has trains running through bound for the main stations, they don't stop! There was a bus to catch from outside, to the city centre. It goes from Dora station (the terminus) to Porta Susa station, then on a loop round the city centre past Porta Nuova station (the main station), back past Porta Susa to Dora again. I boarded, and noted the electronic screen showing the stop names. We passed Porta Susa, so I kept a lookout for the Porta Nuova station outside, and the screen, but to no avail. Traffic in Turin was terrible, no need for the "computer" device from the original Italian Job film! I then noticed Porta Susa station again, so I jumped off the bus, annoyed that I had missed the other station. There was no problem, as Milan trains stop here anyway. I bought a ticket for Milan for €10, stamped it, and walked about a km to the underground platforms. The train arrived on time, and took me to Milan Central, quite an impressive sight in its own right.

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On board the train

I was hungry again by this time, past 10pm, and Burger King was the only open eatery in the station, so I had to eat there - of course I would have preferred a pizza, given I was in Italy! I then bought 3 transport tickets from the metro station, and went outside to find the tram to my hotel. It was easy to find, and the trams on this route seemed to be classics, worthy of any museum. My hotel, Mayorca, was pleasant enough, and booked through hotels.com was very cheap compared to the rack rate. I slept ok, but the bed was a bit hard.

The following morning I had arranged to meet a former colleague who left the IT industry to return to his native Milan to become a professional photographer. I took an even older tram back to the city centre, and managed to squeeze myself and pack onto a metro for the short trip to the cathedral, where we met, walked around in the rain for a few minutes before deciding to find a cafe to sit in the warm and have some breakfast. Despite being very expensive, I do love Italian hot chocolate from cafes - thick and sweet, it tastes like they have just got a bar of chocolate, melted it, and put it in a cup.

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Milan Cathedral (Il Duomo)

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Corso Vittorio Emanuelle covered shopping arcade, taken from the same spot looking left.

It was soon time to say goodbye and head for the airport. Fabrizio told me that instead of the express bus, there was also a regular bus that only took a few minutes more, and used the regular bus ticket, so we found the stop and I boarded. A few minutes later it left, but was soon stuck in traffic, as it had gone in a tram and bus lane separated from the rest of the traffic, but a tram had broken down ahead, blocking the route. Eventually the driver managed to reverse his bendy bus enough to go around the kerb and fencing and use the regular road. Before long we had pulled up in front of Linate airport.

14/12/2011
LH273
LIN-FRA
D-AIDL - only 3 weeks old!

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Photo © Stephan Kruse



I found the LH desk and checked in my baggage, after sealing the zips with cable ties. It was checked all the way to Johannesburg, however I only received my boarding pass to Frankfurt (déjà vu!). Security was quick, and I easily found the gate, currently occupied by an SAS 737. There was later a gate change, we were moved to the gate occupied by the Meridiana Airbus to the left.

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SAS and Meridiana on stand

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Plenty of AZ, and a SA)">U2. Note the greyed out tail.

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Our A321 arrived and on stand, the Meridiana (to Bari I think) flight taking off behind.

Eventually our aircraft arrived, docked, and we could board. It seemed that 2/3 of the aircraft was the Business cabin. Still, the crew was professional, and everyone was soon seated. Load was probably around 60%, the middle seat next to me was empty.

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Boarding

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Average legroom

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SAS replaced by Alitalia

We pushed back and were racing to the end of the runway parrallel to a BA Airbus, that cut in front of us making the LH pilot brake quite sharply (had we been on the road, we would have right of way). Still, takeoff was powerfull, and the crew sprang into their duties. There were plenty of clouds south of the Alps, but over the mountains it was possible to see the snow-covered peaks and valleys in gaps.

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Clouds

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More clouds

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Snow-covered mountains

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Snow-filled valleys

The service started with the crew handing out a cheese-covered croissant. I was hoping for something a bit more substantial, a sandwich for example, but it seems that LH's catering is a bit hit and miss. No drink was offered at this point - once everyone had their food, then drinks were offered. I had finished my food (despite waiting a while) before I received my drink.

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Cheese croissant

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What is a Lufthansa flight without a Warsteiner?  http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ifD1XRqCBKU/TwIdcodWRqI/AAAAAAAAAno/W2hYUPV9Lo8/s1600/PC140249.JPG
Somewhere down there to the left, behind us, is Stuttgart.

The captain announced descent, and that we would have to hold for a while due to traffic. By this time the clouds had half cleared, and we were circling a wooded, hilly area to the south of FRA. As I was looking out of the window, all of a sudden there was a bright blinding flash, and a buzzing noise that lasted maybe a second. My first thought was that the pilot had turned on the flashing landing light, but the purser soon came on the tannoy to say (in German first, then English) "Ladies and Gentlemen, we have just been struck by lightning. Once we have further information from the captain, we will inform you." I wasn't too bothered, as I had read that modern aircraft are designed as a Faraday cage, and that in fact the average individual aircraft is struck once per year. After that we came in to land straight away, to the sight of four fire engines with flashing blue lights waiting for us at the end of the runway. We taxied to a remote stand, and were bussed to the terminal.

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Our aircraft, intact.

Now I had plenty of time in FRA. It was currently about 15.00, and my next flight departed at 22.30, so I had 7 1/2 hours to kill. First up was using the 30 minutes free wifi to try to check in for my Ethiopian flight, to confirm my seats, but their website was not optimised for mobile devices, so that failed   Then I took the little train over to Terminal 2 to see the viewing gallery, which unfortunately was closed for the winter   I didn't feel like any McDonalds, and in any case all the tables by the windows were taken. I found the AF ticket desk, and asked to reserve the bassinet seats for our return from JNB with the children 2 weeks later - the kind agent put the request in the system but said it could not be confirmed yet, and to phone the next day (I never did, but the request was granted anyway, thanks AF).

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Interterminal train

I then headed back to T1 and down to the railway station, and bought a day pass for the local network - cheaper than 2x one ways to the city. I changed at the Hauptbahnhof onto the U-bahn and emerged in the city centre, and wandered around, looking at the shops and Christmas markets here. I still think the Cologne ones were better though  http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NL2uYZvx7rY/TwIdeK9w9XI/AAAAAAAAAoI/XDbeUKK-2I0/s1600/PC140254.JPG
Roman ruins

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Christmas market

I headed back to the airport after buying an Asian stirfry meal from a fast food outlet on the station, and handed my day-ticket to the first person I saw trying to make head or tail of the ticket machine. I went and had a look at the long-distance station, and bought some gluten free biscuits and crackers from a small supermarket above the station. By this time it was probably almost time to check in.

14/12/2011
ET707
FRA-ADD
ET-ALO

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Photo © Ola Carlsson

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FIDS, bottom entry

The queue at the ET desk was quite long, with most people carrying large amounts of luggage, and no end of queue jumping. It seemed that most people were travelling in large family groups, and only one person queuing with about 4 trolley loads of luggage. When I reached the desk, the agent was surprised I had nothing to check in - "Mein Gepäck wird schön in Mailand eingecheckt! Die andere Leute haben viel Gepäck..." he smiled and handed me the remaining boarding passes to JNB. With nothing left to do, I went through security, where I was handed a fake EUR2 coin by the passenger check agent, to use like a voucher in the duty free store. I looked around it, and used it towards some chocolates, and a 500ml carton of mineral water that cost EUR1 - undercutting every other outlet in the terminal. Though it wasn't chilled, I was pleased to be able to rehydrate cheaply. I found a seat near another gate, sat down and read some of my Kindle book ("When I walk I bounce", by Mark Moxon, only GBP0.86, about his long distance trek from Lands End to John O'Groats). When I glanced up, my head was about 2m from the nose of an Air India 777! I didn't realise it would pull quite so close to the window.

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Air India 777

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And again

After a while I went to my gate, in a busy area at the end of the pier with LH 744s bound for Cape Town and Buenos Aires next to my lowly 767.

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ET-ALO

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And again

Boarding was by row, and the agents were strictly enforcing this. Eventually I made my way on board this full flight.

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By now it had started raining

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Buenos Aires bound 744

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During boarding

The African girl sitting next to me didn't say much, she was travelling with the 2 people in the row in front. Takeoff was from the one perpendicular runway to the others at FRA, from where we followed a lazy curve round to head south.

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Welcome on board

It wasn't long before the meal service started, the options were "chicken or noodles", I chose the noodles to be a bit different, only it turned out to be pasta with tomato and cheese. Not bad for airline pasta but not what I would call noodles   Served with a salad, bread, soft cheese and a carrot or nut cake, I couldn't tell which. I had Sprite to drink. I had a look at the IFE, couldn't really - it was switched off. As it was a night flight anyway I wasn't bothered. A duty free run was offered. Despite the catalogue saying that Visa and Mastercard were accepted, the stewardess replied "No" when I asked to pay by card for a carton of cigarettes. I left it for the next leg, in case that aircraft had a card payment machine.

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Inflight meal

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Attendent call button taped over

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Legroom, average

I then tried to sleep, not easy in a Y seat! After only about 3 to 4 hours, the lights were raised, and breakfast handed out - drinks and a small muffin.

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Morning over southern Sudan or northern Ethiopia

Landing we had a good view of the approach, you could see farmland and small villages in between the mountains. We touched down more or less on time and docked at a jetbridge.

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On stand.

On disembarking, there was an agent at the door asking if were were terminating or connecting - remembering my earlier connection here in ADD I said "connecting to Johannesburg", and was directed up the jetbridge straight into the seating area for departing passengers, thereby bypassing the security check. Could it be they trust FRA security more than JNB security? Or just that the agent on duty then felt it easier to do it this way? Fortunately I didn't need the bathroom, or want to visit the duty free shop!

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Our arrival, I hadn't noticed before that it was the Star Alliance logojet.

15/12/2011
ET809
ADD-JNB
ET-ALL

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Photo © Vitaliy Lobanov

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ADD airport by day

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Gate 7 for JNB

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Looking out of the window towards the city of Addis Abeba

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ET-ALL being prepared

I only had an hour and a half between arrival and departure, and boarding started about 40 minutes after arriving. This time there was no pre-boarding, or boarding by row numbers. It was very orderly though.

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Boarding

Once I found my seat, I discovered every A.netter's worst nightmare - a window seat with no window! Damn! Added to that, there was no personal IFE on this aircraft.

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My "window"  http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-llWoG9oVcNw/TwIZg68XQQI/AAAAAAAAAjw/-wKH9k1IVnM/s1600/IMAG0837.jpg
Blank seat back  http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-oow2UTg030g/TwIf7C0WznI/AAAAAAAAAp0/9k-YQ4TFQ8g/s1600/PC150265.JPG
Boarding completed

Still, my seatmate was an interesting character, and we chatted for most of the flight. She was a diplomat for the Namibian government in their embassy in India. Her husband worked in Windhoek, but was trying to find a job in Dubai, as it is only 2 hours flight from Dehli, rather than the 12 hours currently. After a couple of hours, the meal service started. You may have noticed a pattern in ET's Y class meals! This time the options were chicken, beef or fish - I went for the fish option.

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Meal service

It was a large piece of white fish in a cheese sauce, with pasta, peas and carrots, and tasted good. Following this, a duty free run was performed, again the crew could not accept payment by card, but would accept GBP in cash. A carton of Marlboro Lights was USD13, they accepted also Euro, GBP and rands. At GBP9, I handed over a £10 note, but as they didn't have change, I said they could keep it. Whilst I don't smoke, I have colleagues who do, and would appreciate the cigarettes. Because of the lack of window, I couldn't see out, but entertainment was provided by an older lady standing in the galley near the toilet, slowly getting drunk, clearly trying to seduce a younger man, who had the appearance of a sports and fitness enthusiast. It was quite amusing to watch, him reject her advances, but still they kept chatting. Landing was largely uneventful, and I went to baggage reclaim to collect my rucksack.

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Our aircraft on stand at JNB

After waiting ages for it to arrive, with nothing more coming out onto the carousel (which had stopped), myself and about 4 others went to report the lost luggage. It probably hadn't made the short-ish connection in ADD. At least the agent said it would be couriered down to Durban for me when it showed up. On the form I put my wife's temporary South African mobile number, as I couldn't remember my own, and my phone was almost out of battery anyway. I thanked him, and went to check in for my domestic leg down to DUR.

15/12/2011
JE267
JNB-DUR
ZS-SJL

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Photo © Gary Shephard



I had chosen to fly Mango for one main reason. They offer a "Mango Plus" ticket which (at the time of booking) was an additional R150 (GBP11), that included a flexible ticket, so if my incoming flight was delayed I could change to the next flight for no additional charge. Added bonus to this ticket was lounge access, 30kg of luggage allowance (instead of 20kg) and R50 (GBP4.50) to spend on the BOB menu onboard. The checkin queue was quite long so I used one of the machines to check in, with no luggage. I then proceeded through security, and found the Bidvest Lounge, downstairs by the bus gates. I grabbed a couple of sandwiches and a coke from the buffet, and tried to find a seat by a power socket to charge my phones - not easy as the lounge was heaving with passengers, many of whom were paying cash at the entrance. I plugged my 2 phones in (one with SA SIM card, the other with my UK SIM), and noticed a text from my mum, asking how I was, if my flight had landed yet, and saying that my sister had been in a car crash that morning. What?! I immediately phoned her to ask if she was ok. My mum said she was fine, shaken up but ok, an elderly driver had gone through a red light and hit the side of her car. The car was in the garage and likely the be for a few weeks, the other driver had admitted full responsibility and declared he would never drive again, but at least my sister was unhurt.

Then I had a call from my wife, saying that they had found my lost luggage. It was in Johannesburg, over in international arrivals, and that I could go and get it. Now I only had an hour or so before departure of my next flight, so I wolfed down the sandwiches and drink, got permission from the receptionist to re-enter a few minutes later, and went back to the security. I asked to go back to landside, so resolve a lost luggage issue - this was no problem, so I ran to where I had been directed by my wife, the Menzies luggage office. I was told to go through a small passage to a security check, where I explained my predicament again, and was allowed to pass through after x-raying my hand luggage and going through the metal detector again. I was then back in the international arrivals baggage hall. I went to the lost luggage office, where I saw my bag! I thanked the agent for finding it, and allowing me to come and get it, loaded it onto a trolley and ran. Back to the Mango checkin desks (I seem to have a habit of running though JNB - see my first report!) where the queue was still quite long. However there was noone queueing at the Fast Bag Drop desk, so I waited there for the agent to finish dealing with the passengers they were currently helping. The people at the front of the checkin queue started forward as soon as they left, but I got to the agent first - it was the bag drop agent after all! - and again explained my predicament - I had already checked in with no luggage, but ET had found my international luggage so now I wanted it tagged to DUR as well. This was no problem, and my bag was finally on its way. I could then go back through security to domestic departures, thanking the agent for letting me back out earlier, and then back to the lounge - at 30 mins to departure, 10 mins to boarding, I wanted some more food! Another few sandwiches, pastries and a bit of salad, and some juice, and I left for the gate. Boarding had already started, so I joined the queue and eventually boarded my first ever Mango flight.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VMGqiXwBPQk/TwIhJ8cDo8I/AAAAAAAAAqM/D6fS1nFqRkc/s1600/PC150267.JPG
Aircraft at the gate

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-WZ6llBORh6w/TwIhKLKSmTI/AAAAAAAAAqY/hTOrtbkVPrg/s1600/PC150268.JPG
Cockpit view

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NFQYf3XigEY/TwIhKpdMZtI/AAAAAAAAAqk/tOdhCvX17Q0/s1600/PC150269.JPG
Down the jetbridge

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-SDSgrgMJY38/TwIhLsSGvDI/AAAAAAAAAq8/oKyhotwXJF0/s1600/PC150271.JPG
View from my seat

I had picked a seat roughly where I though the emergency exit would be, as they were not marked on the seat plan at the self checkin kiosk, but was 2 rows out. Never mind, but the standard legroom on Mango is appalling, really tight, at least it was a short flight of an hour or so.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ARRkr-ZsNuk/TwIhLPQIbUI/AAAAAAAAAq0/5r0YZOTU0ks/s1600/PC150270.JPG
Tight legroom

Then came another announcement. Apparently there were too many bags, so they all had to be unloaded and counted. I guessed this was due to my late additional bag, but I kept my head down. I did hear someone on the phone telling his friend that the plane was too heavy, but that can't be right - full 737s fly from here all over Africa, including Nairobi which route I used last year, so a short hop to DUR with a fraction of the fuel on board is not going to affect the weight that much. Anyway, after about half an hour the captain came back on the tannoy saying we were good to go. A quick taxi and we took off to the north, and circled round to head south-east to Durban.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RQi-wOAz4Vc/TwIhoocqT7I/AAAAAAAAArM/-i3ohdYMpUE/s1600/PC150272.JPG
In flight wing view

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jfINS7Fx6GM/TwIhpelj2AI/AAAAAAAAArk/2n3iMInsFHc/s1600/PC150274.JPG
In flight cabin view - the TVs showed some documentary. with subtitles

The BOB service started, with 2 trolleys, one starting at the front and another from the back. Being roughly in the middle, I would be amongst the last to be served, and lots of people were buying snacks and drinks. Perhaps because the prices were quite reasonable, unlike FR and SA)">U2 who charge a fortune for their BOB offerings   Eventually though I was served, and used every rand of my R50 allowance, and added R1 cash to make up my inflight meal:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uwCdSLgzwV0/TwIho5B_LQI/AAAAAAAAArY/OmtfU7W0pxs/s1600/PC150273.JPG
BOB meal on Mango

Sandwiches, coke, chips and nuts. Notice also the advert printed on the tray table. I had to wolf down the food, as as soon as our row was served, descent started and the crew started collecting the rubbish. I had to keep the nuts for later. After a smooth flight (a rarity on JNB-DUR apparently) we popped through the clouds and landed in a southerly direction, which meant a short taxi to stand. I disembarked with everyone else, picked up my bag (it had made it after all!) and exited to find my wife and children waiting for me in arrivals. After a month of being apart, it was great to be back together again.

Some further photos of SA2011 take 2 can be found here:
http://signol.blogspot.com/2012/01/sa2011-take-2-in-south-africa.html

Previous trip report archive can be found here:
http://signol.blogspot.com/

Thanks for reading, comments are always welcome!

[Edited 2012-01-03 16:58:36]


Flights booked: none :(
26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3221 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 8208 times:

Nice report Robin - good that you managed to make it there on your interesting itinerary. I'm glad I'm not the only one doing positioning flights to the continent to avoid the UK APD! And thanks for the photos of ADD - only 4 weeks til I'm there.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I was disappointed with the snack - the brand name was Cranberry, but it was only nuts and raisins, no cranberries!

No sign of the Doormen's crackers from LGW then?

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
As I was looking out of the window, all of a sudden there was a bright blinding flash, and a buzzing noise that lasted maybe a second. My first thought was that the pilot had turned on the flashing landing light, but the purser soon came on the tannoy to say (in German first, then English) "Ladies and Gentlemen, we have just been struck by lightning.

Fun! I don't think I've been hit by lightning before

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Roman ruins

Interesting to think that Frankfurt has Roman ruins. Having said that, I live in a Roman town in the UK!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
When I glanced up, my head was about 2m from the nose of an Air India 777! I didn't realise it would pull quite so close to the window.

That's probably the best thing about FRA, they get so close to the windows!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Attendent call button taped over

Ha, at least they make it clear from the outset that they won't be indulging the passengers desires!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
lots of people were buying snacks and drinks. Perhaps because the prices were quite reasonable, unlike FR and SA)">U2 who charge a fortune for their BOB offerings

I think if they reduce their rates they'd sell so much more. I never BOB in Europe, but do in Asia and in Mexico - you buy more if you don't feel ripped off



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LHR-VIE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR,STN-SNN-STN,LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,
User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1684 posts, RR: 30
Reply 2, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 8171 times:
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Hello signol,

Thanks for this good report. In true a.netter’s style you’ve taken quite a circuitious route to JNB, sampling some nice variety in airlines/aircraft. Now I wonder if this long route in the end really is cheaper than any other alternative route on 1 airline? For sure it was more exciting…
That ET *A jet may look sleek from the outside, I think the inside is in desperate need of some freshening up!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Our A321 arrived and on stand

LH sending an A321 to LIN  Wow! I’d think they rather send some regional jet’s there. They still operate on MXP as well, no?

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
The service started with the crew handing out a cheese-covered croissant. I was hoping for something a bit more substantial, a sandwich for example, but it seems that LH's catering is a bit hit and miss.

Isn’t it all about expectations? I find this croissant a good option!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
On disembarking, there was an agent at the door asking if were were terminating or connecting - remembering my earlier connection here in ADD I said "connecting to Johannesburg", and was directed up the jetbridge straight into the seating area for departing passengers, thereby bypassing the security check. Could it be they trust FRA security more than JNB security?

Were you guided through the ‘normal’ transit procedure or just straight into the gate area? Good for you to have avoided the security check but you had time enough with a 1h30 connection?

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Once I found my seat, I discovered every A.netter's worst nightmare - a window seat with no window! Damn! Added to that, there was no personal IFE on this aircraft.

I know what you’re talking about. Had the same last year on a SN A319 from BRU to GVA, not impressed…

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Whilst I don't smoke, I have colleagues who do, and would appreciate the cigarettes.

Wouldn’t it be better to encourage your co-workers to stop smoking iso buying them some cigarettes?

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2417 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 8108 times:

Nice TR...

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Fortunately I didn't need the bathroom, or want to visit the duty free shop!

GREAT! ADD is the worst airport in terms of bathrooms- there is only ONE for all waiting lounges...


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 7993 times:

Hi

Nice trip report, thanks for sharing it with us. Seems like you had an interesting routing there. Interesting to see PTV's on your FRA-ADD flight but not on your onward flight to JNB.
BA's 737 looks to be quite worn out


Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1091 posts, RR: 31
Reply 5, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 7774 times:

Hi Robin,

Well done, a very nice report and a crazy old routing! Although hurrah, much rather that than an EK one stopper. I did the same when I went to Cape Town last year.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
with a route of Milan Linate to Frankfurt on LH, transferring to Ethiopian's flight to Addis Abeba and on to Johannesburg

Nice! Although, with all this flitting and separate bookings, it may increase the stress of the trip??!! alot of 'wolfing' and running . . . harhar

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
D-AIDL - only 3 weeks old!

very nice... I always forget to check that information

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
and handed my day-ticket to the first person I saw trying to make head or tail of the ticket machine.

really good practice, I always do this.. .. still some humanity left in the world.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
It was in Johannesburg, over in international arrivals

Gosh, not sure I would be keen on my luggage going AWOL in JNB. Alot of reports of theft from there.

I was interested to see ET's service. It seemed to hit the 'fine' note, which is fine. I personally won't rush to try but it was great to see the report.

Rgds

Luke



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3003 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 7510 times:

Hi all,

thanks for the comments!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
Nice report Robin

Thanks Gabriel!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
I'm glad I'm not the only one doing positioning flights to the continent to avoid the UK APD!

True. Though travelling with the family, we try to fly from Norwich (as many of my other reports!) as it is easier than taking wife and two small children to London.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
No sign of the Doormen's crackers from LGW then?

No, just the nuts and raisins (and no cranberries!)

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
Ha, at least they make it clear from the outset that they won't be indulging the passengers desires!

Lol   I didn't see any other seats to see if it was the same, but I wonder if passengers were calling the F/As inadvertantly with their elbow too often whilst sleeping!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
I think if they reduce their rates they'd sell so much more

Exactly. MOL, take note  
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 2):
Thanks for this good report.

Thanks Nils!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 2):
Now I wonder if this long route in the end really is cheaper than any other alternative route on 1 airline?

I spent 6 months working out all possibilities   This long haul flight was about GBP100 cheaper. Add in the BA flight, hotel, train and trams, and the saving was about GBP30. Not huge, but a saving nonetheless.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 2):
I think the inside is in desperate need of some freshening up!

Yes - and the BA 737 was looking a bit tired too!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 2):
They still operate on MXP as well, no?

I believe so, but LIN is much more of a "city" airport, close in.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 2):
Isn’t it all about expectations?

Maybe - perhaps my expectations were higher after reading all the glowing LH reports on here  
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 2):
Were you guided through the ‘normal’ transit procedure or just straight into the gate area? Good for you to have avoided the security check but you had time enough with a 1h30 connection?

We were directed straight into the gate area, bypassing the normal transit point (as I was on my outward route, report here somewhere   ) All international connecting passengers were directed the same way, not just JNB passengers.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 2):
Wouldn’t it be better to encourage your co-workers to stop smoking iso buying them some cigarettes?

I've had that discussion many times with my colleague, he's set in his ways. A shame for his health, but his eating habits could do with some improvements too...

Hi debonair,

Quoting debonair (Reply 3):
Nice TR..

Thanks!

Quoting debonair (Reply 3):
GREAT! ADD is the worst airport in terms of bathrooms- there is only ONE for all waiting lounges...

I didn't use them on the way out either. Just as well I guess   Speakign of which, on my final return from JNB, I went to the bathroom between Spur and Wimpy, to find the cubicle had a squat toilet! Fortunately the other cubicles were "regular" ones...

Hi Marc,

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 4):
Nice trip report, thanks for sharing it with us.

Thanks!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 4):
Interesting to see PTV's on your FRA-ADD flight but not on your onward flight to JNB.

I know, I think because the fleet was acquired second hand from various other carriers, with no real pattern.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 4):
BA's 737 looks to be quite worn out

True, but apparently the LGW routes are loss-making, mainly trying to compete with U2 on the leisure routes. After all, my ticket cost GBP39, with the upgrade possibility for GBP59 to Club.

Hi Luke,

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
Well done, a very nice report and a crazy old routing!

Thanks!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
Although, with all this flitting and separate bookings, it may increase the stress of the trip??

There were a total of 3 bookings, I made sure that there was an overnight break between the first and second, and a flexible ticket for the last, so it was ok. I was worried about the English weather on the day before departure (sneakily looking at the Eurostar . TGV timings and prices in case the TRN flight was cancelled) but it turned out ok.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
alot of 'wolfing' and running . . . harhar

Yes, despite having a 3h layover and an hour long flight, events conspired against me!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):

very nice... I always forget to check that information

I only noticed when lookig up the reg and found it was supposed to be an A310 - thinking I'd mis-noted it, I found the reg was re-used after the retirement of the older Airbus.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
really good practice, I always do this.. .. still some humanity left in the world.

I try   It was a mature lady, she asked "Willst du Geld?" ("Do you want money?") I replied in the negative and said I'd used it already, but had a flight but it was still valid for the rest of the day.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
Gosh, not sure I would be keen on my luggage going AWOL in JNB. Alot of reports of theft from there.

True, I had cable-tied the zips but I was glad it turned up rather than waiting for it to appear some days later from Addis.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 5):
It seemed to hit the 'fine' note, which is fine.

Yes, ET was just fine   I probably won't fly them again, next time I need a "cheap" route rather than "easy" (usually KL NWI-AMS-JNB) I would like to try one of the Gulf carriers, none of which I've been on before.

Thanks for the comments, they are always welcome  

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineJL418 From Italy, joined Jun 2009, 493 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks ago) and read 7413 times:

Hello Signol,

whoa, what a trip! It's incredible that such a journey was cheaper than going all the way down with BA or with some of the Gulf carriers. Anyway, it's sad to see that the Gatwick fleet is in such poor conditions, these 734 are in need for a refurbishment or to be relieved by the BMI planes if the deal will pass through.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
It must be said that Turin has a poor transport connection to the airport. Firstly, I tried to buy a ticket from the machine, but none of my coins was accepted. Fortunately someone saw me and said I could buy one from the tobacco kiosk in arrivals, which I did. Then I took the train into the city. It terminates at a suburbab station, that even though has trains running through bound for the main stations, they don't stop! There was a bus to catch from outside, to the city centre. It goes from Dora station (the terminus) to Porta Susa station, then on a loop round the city centre past Porta Nuova station (the main station), back past Porta Susa to Dora again. I boarded, and noted the electronic screen showing the stop names. We passed Porta Susa, so I kept a lookout for the Porta Nuova station outside, and the screen, but to no avail. Traffic in Turin was terrible, no need for the "computer" device from the original Italian Job film! I then noticed Porta Susa station again, so I jumped off the bus, annoyed that I had missed the other station. There was no problem, as Milan trains stop here anyway. I bought a ticket for Milan for €10, stamped it, and walked about a km to the underground platforms. The train arrived on time, and took me to Milan Central, quite an impressive sight in its own right.

Yes, I think I told you that - trainwise - TRN airport is not as good as many other places. The most effective way to get to the city centre is by bus, they depart straight out of arrivals (you had to cross their stall when going to the railway station) or, in case of Terravision, on the left of the terminal. They do a long-ish tour to get in town but, eventually, they do. Congrats for scoring a trip with Trenitalia on the route I did twice a week, every week, for six years! I see they changed the seats for you, usually they're grayer and filthier.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Note the greyed out tail.

Actually that's a special livery plane, see it down here:



The writing on the fuselage means, not quite literally, "Flying those that make the country work". It was used to celebrate the Milan-Rome air bridge before it was crushed by the high-speed train links.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Our arrival, I hadn't noticed before that it was the Star Alliance logojet.

Oh, that's a spot of luck! And well done with your bag, Jo'burg staff seemed helpful to me.

Looking forward to read you soon!

Fabrizio


User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3003 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks ago) and read 7403 times:

Hi Fabrizio,

Quoting JL418 (Reply 7):
whoa, what a trip!

Thanks!

Quoting JL418 (Reply 7):
It's incredible that such a journey was cheaper than going all the way down with BA or with some of the Gulf carriers.

It was. BA and SAA both wanted stupid money. The next cheapest alternative was QR.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 7):
I think I told you that - trainwise - TRN airport is not as good as many other places.

You did   My plan was to get off the train at the penultimate station (Cardona Madonna or somehting similar!) but thanks to the lack of station signage and Google Maps location taking an age to update on my phone, I only noticed the name as we pulled away. There is apparently a tram line direct from there to Porta Nuova. Still, it turned out ok in the end!

Quoting JL418 (Reply 7):
Actually that's a special livery plane, see it down here:

Thanks, I thought it might be something like that.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 7):
Jo'burg staff seemed helpful to me.

Very, though some seemed a little relaxed until I mentioned the urgency of the situation  
Quoting JL418 (Reply 7):
Looking forward to read you soon!

Thanks, the last legs (DUR-JNB-CDG-AMS-NWI will appear soon, though with no pictures as I was travelling with the family, two small children to watch and occupy!)

Thanks again for the continued comments!

signol

[Edited 2012-01-04 14:02:17]


Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26912 posts, RR: 58
Reply 9, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 7001 times:

Hey Robin ,
Great report there as usual and really interesting route you took . Nice to see a ET report. The cost of the cigarettes are good my Mum would have bought the whole trolley LOL....

Were you at the right Xmas market in Frankfurt? It looks like a different much smaller one than I was at with Gareth ?

Anyway thanks alot for the nice photos and read.

Regards

Philip  


User currently onlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2035 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6989 times:

Thanks for the trip report. Love seeing the Alps from the air and reading about flights in places I might never visit. BTW, Mango sounds a bit sexist (and seedy). Is there a Womango airline as well?   

It's amazing how complicated routings can be in places like Europe and the US in order to save money, especially with multiple airports and train connections. Definitely a difference between travelling by yourself and with little ones in tow.

Did the lightning seem to come out of nowhere, or were there threatening looking clouds during your descent?



Applying insanity to normality
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3003 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 6819 times:

Thanks for the continued comments!

Hi Phil,

Quoting OA260 (Reply 9):
Great report there as usual and really interesting route you took

Thank you!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 9):
The cost of the cigarettes are good my Mum would have bought the whole trolley LOL....

  But as duty free you can only import one carton per person.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 9):
Were you at the right Xmas market in Frankfurt? It looks like a different much smaller one than I was at with Gareth ?

I'm not sure it was... That one was near Hauptwache, after I walked around the old town from Dom/Romer.

Hi allrite,

Quoting allrite (Reply 10):
Thanks for the trip report

Thanks!

Quoting allrite (Reply 10):
Love seeing the Alps from the air and reading about flights in places I might never visit.

Still, you might, even if you do only visit Europe once every 10 years  
Quoting allrite (Reply 10):
BTW, Mango sounds a bit sexist (and seedy). Is there a Womango airline as well?

Lol, I think it is named after the fruit.

Quoting allrite (Reply 10):
Definitely a difference between travelling by yourself and with little ones in tow.

For sure!

Quoting allrite (Reply 10):
Did the lightning seem to come out of nowhere, or were there threatening looking clouds during your descent?

There were some clouds around, but nothing that appeared traditionally thunderstorm-like.

Thanks again for the continued comments!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Spain, joined Sep 2003, 5157 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 6793 times:

Hey, R.,

great story. Glad that you and also you´re bag made it finally to SA for the family reunion.
Shame that my biz calendar wasn´t open during you´re time in FRA.
Great pictures also. Good to see Ethiopian and the airport during daylight, also something interesting for me.
Also Mango looks like good.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: Shopping and sun med style!.
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3003 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 6742 times:

Thanks for your comments Markus!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 12):
Glad that you and also you´re bag made it finally to SA for the family reunion.

Yes, it wasn't really lost after all! Wait until the final leg of the journey back home...  
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 12):
Shame that my biz calendar wasn´t open during you´re time in FRA.

I know, it is good to meet other A.netters. Another time!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 12):
Great pictures also

Thank you! Some taken on my phone, others with a new Olympus compact camera.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 12):
Also Mango looks like good.

I found Mango to be ok, but the really tight legroom would put them lower down my list of South African airlines. It was my first time on them, and I only chose them thanks to the flexible ticket.

Thanks again!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6747 posts, RR: 77
Reply 14, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6619 times:

Hi signol,

that was a real adventure! Ethiopian's product doesn't look impressive, but good to see you got the Star Alliance 763 shortly after being painted. Very nice to see Mango here again!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Old plane seats falling apart

How shabby!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
What is a Lufthansa flight without a Warsteiner?

It would be a better Lufthansa flight...  



PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 6402 times:

Hi Robin!

Another great report!
Nice to read again about your flights with ET!
That Mango Plus ticket with Mango seems like a pretty nice deal. Lounge access is always great! I also like the idea of getting an amount of money to spend on the BOB-menu.
I'm glad your bag were all right after all!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
"Ladies and Gentlemen, we have just been struck by lightning.

Oh that's interesting, I've never experienced that myself. However, my mother has, when she worked as an FA on a Swedish airline called Linjeflyg (later merged/bought by SAS) while flying a little Fokker F-28. She said that the aircraft moved down quite abit, like severe turbulence. Did you experience that the aircraft moved anything when being struck?

Martin


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6549 posts, RR: 55
Reply 16, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6323 times:

Hi Robin!

Nice report with nice pictures! A very adventures routing especially with two overnights! I don't think I would have done all that just to save GBP 30. I avoid overnights when doing interesting routings.

I had my 15 minute connection in ADD about a year ago and recognize the terminal although I was there for such a short time.....

I'm surprised that they had to delay the flight from JNB due to bags; in the US all domestic bags are x-ray-ed by security and therefore no problem to depart with extra bags.

Glad that your checked bag made it all the way although you had to intercept 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 offline717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6197 times:

Hi Signol,

Thank you for a very nice report featuring a very interesting routing with many nice pictures.

I was really curious to read about your experience on Ethiopian Airlines - ever since I read about it I've been very tempted to try out their ARN-FCO service. Unfortunately it seems they are stopping it and instead starting nonstop ARN-ADD flights this summer.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Old plane seats falling apart

That really does look bad. Pretty much the same I saw on my Finnair A320 a couple of months ago. Only difference compared to your BA 737 is that the Finnair plane was approximately 10 years younger...  
Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Fabrizio told me that instead of the express bus, there was also a regular bus that only took a few minutes more, and used the regular bus ticket,

Indeed one should avoid express airport buses as well as airline branded airport shuttles as far as possible. Also in Helsinki the Finnair city bus is double as expensive as a regular bus (and yet both of the buses have a difference in travel time that is under five minutes).

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
The service started with the crew handing out a cheese-covered croissant. I was hoping for something a bit more substantial, a sandwich for example, but it seems that LH's catering is a bit hit and miss. No drink was offered at this point - once everyone had their food, then drinks were offered. I had finished my food (despite waiting a while) before I received my drink.

I'm impressed by the new Lufthansa catering. I don't think I've seen the same meal/snack twice a single time. That said, I really do miss the hot meals LH used to offer on short flights.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
"Ladies and Gentlemen, we have just been struck by lightning. Once we have further information from the captain, we will inform you

Really? Wow!
Makes me remember the worst approach I've ever experienced on the BT Fokker 50. We weren't struck by lightning though...

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I looked around it, and used it towards some chocolates, and a 500ml carton of mineral water that cost EUR1 - undercutting every other outlet in the terminal. Though it wasn't chilled, I was pleased to be able to rehydrate cheaply.

I only hope other stores and airports would offer such cheap water.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Boarding had already started, so I joined the queue and eventually boarded my first ever Mango flight.

Ah, Mango, the airline with one of the most striking liveries out there. 

Looking forward to the return journey.

Regards,
717Flyer


User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 766 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 6154 times:

Hi Robin

another interesting report,

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
PM if you'd like it, valid at most UK airports, though I'm not sure of the expiry date)

that is very kind! sure i will next time

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
but their website was not optimised for mobile devices, so that failed

The opposite would have surprised me though

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Attendent call button taped over

clearly ,a "don't bother us" sign   
.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I discovered every A.netter's worst nightmare - a window seat with no window!

will you be kind to share to other fellows the row number, please?


Thumbs up for your courage on enduring this long trip down



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2452 posts, RR: 53
Reply 19, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 5902 times:

Hi Signol,

Brilliant! What an exciting journey all over!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Due to lower air taxes, I had looked at departing from Italy, Belgium or Spain, and in the end Italy won out, with a route of Milan Linate to Frankfurt on LH, transferring to Ethiopian's flight to Addis Abeba and on to Johannesburg.

Thank you for pointing this out. It is indeed worth looking at other departure airports outside your resident country.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
BA, LGW-TRN, which was around £20 cheaper than the 4U flight

Sometimes, low cost carriers do not do justice to their names.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
only £20 if you opt for the Liverpool St line and the Southern stopping service to Gatwick.

Thanks for the tip.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I had to take it to the oversize luggage area, even though it was "only" 19kg

Probably to relieve the common check-in counters?

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I ordered Eggs Benedict from the bar

It must have been delicious. Did you take any picture of it?

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Unfortunately I didn't get to cross the famous bridge,

I have been still unlucky as well until now.  


Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Old plane seats falling apart

It still looks better than the interior of her sister ship G-DOCX.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
The bar service started, so I had a beer (only Heineken, sorry Suryo!).

Never mind. It was yours anyway. 


Quoting signol (Thread starter):
the brand name was Cranberry, but it was only nuts and raisins, no cranberries!

Is it an English brand?

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
It goes from Dora station (the terminus) to Porta Susa station, then on a loop round the city centre past Porta Nuova station (the main station), back past Porta Susa to Dora again. I boarded, and noted the electronic screen showing the stop names. We passed Porta Susa, so I kept a lookout for the Porta Nuova station outside, and the screen, but to no avail.

How complicated!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
booked through hotels.com

Good to know. Booking.com is good too.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
however I only received my boarding pass to Frankfurt (déjà vu!).

I remember that from your last inbound flight.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
to a BA Airbus, that cut in front of us making the LH pilot brake quite sharply

Hmm, interesting to see this happen on taxiway as well.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
What is a Lufthansa flight without a Warsteiner?  

That is the spirit. 


Quoting signol (Thread starter):
After that we came in to land straight away, to the sight of four fire engines with flashing blue lights waiting for us at the end of the runway

The sight must have been surrealistic. Like being a part of a movie.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Air India 777

Namasté! 


Quoting signol (Thread starter):
was directed up the jetbridge straight into the seating area for departing passengers, thereby bypassing the security check.

How convenient.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
a window seat with no window!

  


Quoting signol (Thread starter):
by an older lady standing in the galley near the toilet, slowly getting drunk, clearly trying to seduce a younger man, who had the appearance of a sports and fitness enthusiast. It was quite amusing to watch, him reject her advances, but still they kept chatting.

  


Quoting signol (Thread starter):
saying that my sister had been in a car crash that morning. What?! I immediately phoned her to ask if she was ok. My mum said she was fine, shaken up but ok, an elderly driver had gone through a red light and hit the side of her car. The car was in the garage and likely the be for a few weeks, the other driver had admitted full responsibility and declared he would never drive again, but at least my sister was unhurt.

What a shocking experience! I am glad to hear your sister was alright.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
After a month of being apart, it was great to be back together again.

I love happy ending.  


Thank you so much for sharing. I am sorry for the late reply.

Best wishes,

Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3003 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5628 times:

Hi all, thanks for the continued comments!

Hi PlaneHunter,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 14):
that was a real adventure!

True   Especially when added to my outward the month previously!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 14):
Ethiopian's product doesn't look impressive

It was ok - adequate.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 14):
Star Alliance 763

Lucky I know  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 14):
Very nice to see Mango here again!

Maybe - I was not impressed with their legroom, but I'd fly them again if I needed the flexible ticket.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 14):
How shabby!

I know, a pity. Perhaps it is not worth it for the LGW fleet - maybe any BA staff here can explain  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 14):
It would be a better Lufthansa flight...

Lol  
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 15):
Another great report!

Thanks Deltamartin!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 15):
That Mango Plus ticket with Mango seems like a pretty nice deal. Lounge access is always great! I also like the idea of getting an amount of money to spend on the BOB-menu.

It was indeed a good deal. If I recall correctly, R700 instead of R550 for the oneway.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 15):
I'm glad your bag were all right after all!

Sometimes I wished they hadn't found it, and couriered it to the house, to avoid the stress and running around!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 15):
Did you experience that the aircraft moved anything when being struck?

Not at all, no movement, just the flash of light and buzzing sound.

The The777Man

Quoting The777Man (Reply 16):
Nice report with nice pictures!

Thank you!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 16):
I avoid overnights when doing interesting routings.

I tend to think it is better to build in as much leeway as possible when self-connecting  
Quoting The777Man (Reply 16):
I had my 15 minute connection in ADD

That would have been close!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 16):
I'm surprised that they had to delay the flight from JNB due to bags;

I suspect because the numbers didn't add up to what was expected.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 17):
Thank you for a very nice report featuring a very interesting routing with many nice pictures.

Thanks 717Flyer!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 17):
ever since I read about it I've been very tempted to try out their ARN-FCO service.

Then your time is running out  
Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 17):
That really does look bad

Yes, the BA LGW fleet seems to be lacking in investment.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 17):
Also in Helsinki the Finnair city bus is double as expensive as a regular bus

I remember from my one and only visit to HEL in 2006  
Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 17):
I'm impressed by the new Lufthansa catering

It was ok, though I've nothing to compare it to - it was my first LH flight (excluding a CDG-HAM return trip in 1999 where the outward was an RJ and the return operated by BD)

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 17):
Makes me remember the worst approach I've ever experienced on the BT Fokker 50.

What happened?

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 17):
I only hope other stores and airports would offer such cheap water.

Hopefully other a.netters will be able to take advantage of this fact. I looked for the "free coffee" machines but couldn't see any.

Hi Eastafspot,

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 18):
another interesting report,

Thank you!

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 18):
The opposite would have surprised me though

One can but hope.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 18):
clearly ,a "don't bother us" sign

Lol  
Quoting eastafspot (Reply 18):
will you be kind to share to other fellows the row number, please?

Certainly. It was seat 16L (on aircraft ET-ALL) - the A seat also was windowless. However, on my outward journey on ET-ALP I was also on seat 16L and this one had a normal window. So I guess it depends on the actual aircraft.

Hi Suryo,

Quoting akhmad (Reply 19):
Brilliant! What an exciting journey all over!

Thanks!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 19):
Thank you for pointing this out. It is indeed worth looking at other departure airports outside your resident country

Indeed, look at the threads by Something in Polls and Prefs, all the cheapest deals depart from Italy, Belgium or Spain, or so it seems!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 19):
Sometimes, low cost carriers do not do justice to their names.

True, but I would have flown an extra sector, and I had pre-reserved seat 1A!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 19):
Probably to relieve the common check-in counters?

More likely as the bag was oddly-shaped - a large rucksack with full side pockets (with baby nappies - cheaper in UK than South Africa by some way!) The checkin counters were all nearly deserted!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 19):
It must have been delicious. Did you take any picture of it?

Unfortunately not. It was very tasty, though small.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 19):
I have been still unlucky as well until now.

I've been over it once before, on an BA LGW-JER flight some years ago.
http://www.signol.co.uk/jersey05
No flight pictures then though!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 19):
Is it an English brand?

Perhaps, though not one I've heard of before.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 19):
The sight must have been surrealistic. Like being a part of a movie.

Yes, slightly worrying for a while until we touched down.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 19):
Namasté

 
Quoting akhmad (Reply 19):
What a shocking experience! I am glad to hear your sister was alright.

Yes, she is fine. Though she still hasn't got her car back yet, over a month later.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 19):
I love happy ending.

Me too  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 19):
I am sorry for the late reply.

Not at all Suryo!

Thanks for all your comments!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 766 posts, RR: 12
Reply 21, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5337 times:

Again, many thanks for this hint, much appreciated

Quoting signol (Reply 20):
Certainly.

I've just checked Seatplans as SeatGuru does not even mention the airline: ET_ALL and another reg are on version 1 whilst ET_ALP is a B767 version 2.
finally that's too bad learning that it is still a question of luck with those different versions

Are back home with your family now?

Looking forward to read your next extended routing up to DUR.  



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3003 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5283 times:

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 21):
I've just checked Seatplans as SeatGuru does not even mention the airline: ET_ALL and another reg are on version 1 whilst ET_ALP is a B767 version 2.
finally that's too bad learning that it is still a question of luck with those different versions

Indeed a matter of chance. I saw that row 16 was a bulkhead on some aircraft, hence why I picked it  
ET themselves have seat plans on their website:
http://www.ethiopianairlines.com/en/...ocs/downloads/fleet/ET_767_300.pdf
Unfortunately they too don't mention windowless windows, nor do they have row numbers  
Quoting eastafspot (Reply 21):
Looking forward to read your next extended routing up to DUR

I've still to write up our final trip home to Norwich, route DUR-JNB-CDG-AMS-NWI but very few pictures I'm afraid. Our next trip to SA is likely to now be Jan or Feb 2013.

Thanks again!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlinevatveng From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 958 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4355 times:

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Once I found my seat, I discovered every A.netter's worst nightmare - a window seat with no window!

I've only ever experienced that on a CRJ! Every other "window" was a wall, and the seats were all aligned so that the real windows lined up with the seat backs. So no "window" seat had a window.

Nice report and pics!



Visited VA,NC,PA,SC,FL,GA,OH,AL,TX,TN,CO,CA,UT,NV,NM,IN,KY,MD,MO,CT,MA,NH,ME.
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3003 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4323 times:

Quoting vatveng (Reply 23):
Nice report and pics!

Thanks!

Quoting vatveng (Reply 23):
I've only ever experienced that on a CRJ! Every other "window" was a wall, and the seats were all aligned so that the real windows lined up with the seat backs. So no "window" seat had a window.

Now that would be a nightmare! Could you at least crane your neck around to see out? This was the only time it has happened to me, so far.

signol



Flights booked: none :(
25 Post contains links and images vatveng : Only if you could physically squeeze your head in between the seat back and the window.
26 signol : Ouch! Thanks signol
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