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Ich Bin Ein Berliner & SAS: B736/MD-82, Y (pics)  
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 9584 times:

Hello, and welcome to my fifth report of the year. This time I will cover my recent weekend getaway to Berlin with Scandinavian Airlines in Economy Class. As always the report is accompanied with a lagom amount of high quality pictures, that I hope you will enjoy.



Background




After dozens of angry phone calls to the godforsaken land of which the airline in question is originating, it became very apparent that I would not be seeing those 1800 missing miles from my SAS flight in Business Class, 900 of which would’ve qualified me for the Star Alliance Gold status. With 900 miles missing, I was reluctantly forced to embark on yet another journey to collect those missing miles. The airline in question happened to have a very restrictive mileage earning chart for *A partners, which basically means that nearly all booking classes in Economy (including many high ones) are blocked on most airlines. This of course also happened to be the case on SAS, however as luck would have it, the booking class for the dirt-cheap youth tickets for some reason happened to give 100% mileage, with a 600 mile minimum earning for each leg. With that in mind, SAS became my only option for the flights, as I wanted to keep the costs down.

Normally I’m not a big fan of mileage runs, since they quite frankly serve no other purpose then to earn some silly miles, which I think is completely idiotic way to burn money. Instead, I wanted to make this more into a weekend trip, and very soon I found a suitable itinerary to Berlin on SAS. I would be flying out on Saturday at lunchtime, and back on the late afternoon the following day, giving me a good 24 hours to spend in the city. The flights were booked as last minute fares setting me back a reasonable €102 for both segments. A night at a nice boutique hotel in west Berlin was also booked for an acceptable rate of €39, including breakfast. The train tickets to ARN were booked as well, free of charge since I had some SJ vouchers to spend. With everything booked, I quickly packed my bag and went to sleep, as I would be leaving the following morning.




February 11th 2012




I woke up at 7.40am, just 20 minutes prior to setting off to the train station to catch my train. As you’d imagine, I had indeed hit the snooze button too many times and to be fair nobody likes to wake up at 7am on a saturday morning. I quickly jumped out of bed, and ran downstairs to the bathroom for an icy cold shower, followed by a quick shave. With no time to eat my usual saturday breakfast, I quickly picked up my camera backpack and ran out the door. Very soon I made it to the train station to catch the 8.14am SJ Regional train to Sala, followed by a quick change to the InterCity bound for Arlanda. Both trains were bang on time this morning, which is highly unusual for SJ, and soon I arrived at Arlanda just after 10am.

Upon slowly making my way up the escalators from the underground train station to SkyCity, my stomach began twiddling from the lack of food. My mind could only come up with two words for solving this little situation ”Micky” and ”Dee’s”, so I instantly headed over to check if they still had some breakfast bagels left. At the counter, I was served by Linda, a young woman in her mid 20s.


L: ”-Hello, how may I help you?”


Me: ”-I would like to have a cream cheese bagel with a medium coffee, and OJ”


L: ”-Sorry, we can’t serve you those since it’s already past 10”


Me: [Looking at clock] ”-Yeah but it’s only five minutes past, and I can see that you still have some bagels left over there”


L: ”-Nope, you can’t have those. You’ll have to chose something else”


Me: ”-Arrgh, just give me a cheeseburger…” [annoyed face]


L: ”-Certainly, that will be 10 SEK”



Quite frankly, I found it a bit silly of them not to serve me a bagel since they already had a bunch laying there, and even more surprising was the fact that the breakfast menu was still up on the screens. A really bad way of treating customers. I won’t discuss my opinions about the McD staff since many of you would probably just get pissed off at me.

Anyways, I grabbed my cheeseburger and headed over to the rather uncomfy lounge chairs at the SkyCity viewing deck to savour this artificial delight. As I was munching on this 90 gram slab of finest chopped mexican beef, sandwiched between two slices of chemically enhanced bread, and a layer of high-colorant (faux) cheese, I gazed over to the familiar looking young man seated in front of me. He turned out to be fellow a.netter Martin (Deltamartin) having a layover between his SAS and BT flights. Time flew away as we spent nearly one hour chatting, suppose it was a good way for both of us to kill some time off our layovers. Soon it was time for Martin to head off for lunch with his parents, and I figured I’d better get going to the security. It was nice seeing you again, hope to catch up soon!



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View of SkyCity at Arlanda, seen from the viewing deck. Must say, this place looks a lot like Zürich Airport!



Check In



Having done OLCI the previous day, I headed over to the self-service kiosks to print out my boarding pass. These days, SAS allow you to fly paperless on flights leaving Scandinavia, using only your credit card or frequent flyer card as boarding pass. Sadly tough as much as I love using this concept (now you get me, SAS. Great job!) I had to pick up a paper BP just to make sure that my status was printed on it so that the miles would be credited to my account.

By simply inserting my worn out VISA in the machine, my booking appeared on the screen, and I was later able to print out the BP with my *S status stated nice and clearly. With the BP in hand, I made a beeline over to the security. With this being a saturday, the security line was packed with your usual fly-once-a-year holiday passengers, carrying all kinds of oversized liquid containers in their hand luggage. The line was long, and things moved very slow, whereas the fast track was completely empty. It took me a grand total of 10 minutes to get by, and as usual I passed with flying colours.



Airside at Arlanda




It was now 11.30am, roughly 35 minutes prior to boarding I was released into the massive taxfree mall at airside Terminal 5. Having said that Arlanda is the dullest airport on the planet, I couldn’t really figure out how to spend those 35 minutes. So I decided to try my luck at the SAS Lounge, since technically I’ve already qualified for *G and I had all the proof to show it. Sadly however, despite explaining my situation to the woman at the reception in a very friendly manner, I received a strict and mechanic ”NO!!!!!!!”.

The answer was pretty much what I had expected since airlines after all are machine bureaucratic organisations, where the staff are trained to act under strictly formalised rules. Yes, lounge staff are pretty much impossible to argue against. I saw no point in being upset anyway since the woman was simply doing her job, so I wished her a nice weekend and headed downstairs for the public area. After admitting defeat and made a retreat to Robert’s coffee where they had espresso for only €1.



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€1,40 for a single espresso, and two finnish Dumle chocolates is not bad price for an airport.



As I sat down with my espresso, I had some 15 minutes to kill before boarding for my flight would commence. Most of the time was spent spotting whatever aircraft that could be spotted, and of course playing my usual game of peoplewatching. At 12.05pm I headed off to gate 9 where my flight would depart.


SK2679 Stockholm ARN – Berlin TXL



Flight: SK2679 ARN-TXL

Departure: 12.30

Arrival: 14.05

Duration: 1h 35m

Date: February 11th 2012

Seat & Class: 19A Economy Class

Aircraft & Reg: Boeing 737-683 SE-DNX



At the gate area, a crowd of people had already formed, some of which were already lining up at the boarding gate (oh I might have forgot to mention that there are few things Swedes love more then forming queues). Soon boarding was called over the speakers, and people slowly began moving towards the gate, forming yet a longer queue. Since SAS is an airline with strong faith in our Scandinavian jantelagen values, no priority boarding was called for Business Class passengers, and Star Gold members. Instead, everyone was allowed to board at their own leisure. Yes that’s what you get from 80 years of socialism, good isn’t it? Boarding as expected turned out to be a very calm and civilised affair, since those 80 years of socialism haven’t turned us into barbarians, like fascism did to the people in south (no pun). My boarding pass was promptly scanned, and I was allowed to take my civilised stroll down the jetway.



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Entering this aged B736. Look, the paint is peeling off!



As the passengers were stepping onboard the plane, one by one, I could notice the warmth and friendliness of the crew as everyone was greeted with a big smile. So I thought, this must surely be the beginning of a good flight with the friendly crews of SAS. As I stepped onboard, I was preparing myself for that genuine touch of Scandinavian hospitality some of you people claim to exist in Economy Class. But sadly no smile was given to me, the female purser simply gave me a pale stare, and turned her face away. Now that’s not right! And for god’s sake she was wearing one of those little yellow signs saying ”my smile is my makeup”. = faux! (no pun SAS, I really love those signs, especially when attached to the right person)

When paying the legacy airfare for this low cost service concept airline, the least thing I would expect in return as a compensation for the lack of service is some friendliness from the crew. Besides if they’re paying them the equivalent annual salary of a medium-size company’s CEO, the least thing they must do is to act out their so called ”genuine friendliness” on ALL passengers. Feeling very unwelcome onboard this flight, I slowly made my way down the aisle to my seat at row 19.



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Cabin during boarding. Since this is a domestic config 736 there’s no curtain for Biz and no front lav. Not that it matter to me of course.



Upon reaching my row, a gentleman that at first glance could’ve been mistaken for the doubleganger of our friend from Manchester was seated in the middle seat. As usual, I put my backpack, jacket and Dr. Marten boots in the overhead compartment before settling down in the comfortable seat.



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Legroom was very average at 31”, but perfect for my 6ft. I’m starting to believe that build have a bigger impact on legroom then how tall you are.




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View from our parking position. Yes ARN was quite empty today.



Soon, one of the crew members came over the PA announcing that boarding was completed. The aisle seat turned out to be vacant, but still the man showed no interest to move. Meanwhile, the ”ping ping” sounded through the cabin which indicated that pushback was now commencing. This was followed by the sound of our two CFM-56 engines (custom made for SAS to fill some environmental pollution BS regulation, which in real terms translates to a green shamrock sticker being attached to the cowling) spooling to life as we began our taxi towards runway 01L/19R. During our taxi, the crew conducted a manual safety demonstration.



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Taxiing by some exotic visitors. The A310 is perhaps the ugliest Airbus ever built, followed by the A380.



Soon our equally stubby -600 had lined up on the runway, after which the throttles were rammed and the plane was propelled forward before shooting up in the sky.



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Taking off from a dull and grey Arlanda.




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Breaking through the layer of clouds.



Less then 10 minutes after takeoff, the seatbelt sign was turned off. This as we all know is a standard procedure on SAS, in order to maximise the time for conducting the onboard sales. Soon, that very same rude purser came over the PA, welcoming everyone onboard.

Rude Purser: ”-Ladies and gentlemen, welcome onboard this sold out SAS flight to Berlin. Due to some favourable tailwinds, our flight time will be 15 minutes shorter then usual, and our time together will sadly be short, but we hope you will all have a pleasant time flying with us today. In Business Class we will be serving a cold meal, with freshly heated breads, full drinks service, coffee or tea. [changing tone of voice] … And for those of you seated at the back in Economy Class you will have the ability to purchase snacks and drinks. Coffee and tea will be served for free”

To be quite honest, her jolly and friendly announcement seemed to give the wrong impression at least by judging the way I was mistreated earlier. Soon the carts were rolled out down the aisle.



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The so-called ”in-flight service” in progress.



The cart moved very slow through the cabin, and after nearly half the flight time had passed it had now reached my row. The BOB trolley was manned by the younger colleague (let’s call her C) of our Rude Purser.


C: ”-Would you like to purchase anything?” [pale face]


Me: ”-Yes, I would like to have a muffin and a cup of coffee, please”


C: ”-Any milk or sugar in your coffee?”


Me: ”-Both please”


C: ”-That will be 25 SEK, please”



No smiles, no friendly attitude or whatsoever was offered from the crew, just that stone cold rude attitude you only expect to receive from the crews on Ryanair. Without a word, my card along with the items I’ve purchased were handed over to me.



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Must say though €2,50 for a coffee and muffin is pretty acceptable.



As a dedication to our muffin loving friend 717Flyer, who also happened to love SAS. I’ve decided to conduct a little muffin test on his behalf. The muffins sold today were the Hägges Chocolate muffin. Size wise the muffin was rather large and substantial, much bigger then I would have anticipated so quantity wise the muffin passed with flying colours. The muffin had a very nice, soft and moist’ish texture with some nice bits of molten’ish chocolate in it. Must say it tasted delicious, and with the muffin being so large I was feeling quite stuffed after finishing it. All in all, a very good value snack.

As for the coffee it tasted very bland and weak. Basically since SAS now offer the coffee for free, they want to keep the costs down by using as little coffee powder as possible. Not only that were the crew very reluctant in pouring up re-fills (which was not the case back in the days when coffee had to be paid for). With the muffin being rather large, a second cup of coffee was required to wash it down. As I raised my head to look over the aisle, I noticed that C was offering the re-fills in her usual manner. So when she reached my row, I simply raised my empty cup as a notification for being in need for a refill. Sadly C completely ignored me and simply kept walking. So I hit the call button to request a refill.

Minutes later, the Rude Purser came running down the aisle from the front galley. Without even looking at me, she stopped by at my row, turned off the call light, and left. Now what the hell was this all about!? I highly doubt that these people have read my previous reports, but it doesn’t justify this arrogant behaviour. I mean on Air France the crew have always been very happy to answer my calls, and bring me that extra cup of coffee with a big smile. I seriously don’t see what people find so good about SAS, when clearly the crew haven’t lived up to their so called ”good” reputation. In fact this reputation just seems to have given this airline a very complacent and stubborn attitude, by cutting down on the service and still expect passengers to like them… I’m not buying that!

By the time, I had stuffed the last bits of that big muffin in my face, the captain came over the PA announcing that our descent to TXL would soon commence. C, and the Rude Purser came down the cabin to collect the rubbish in preparation for landing. As the Rude Purser reached my row, I made my request for that 2nd cup of coffee, and handed her my empty cup. In response, I a highly reluctant fake smile was cracked as she simply disposed my cup in the trash bin, and left. And no, she didn’t bring me that god dam coffee!



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No, PetteriFinn was not onboard this flight. Besides what kind of an amateur wears his hat inside the airplane anyway!? Am I right, P?



Following a series of sharp left, and right turns the chubby little Boeing soon lined up for the runway. The dull Sovjet-like suburbia of Berlin became more and more visible down below, as we gently made our way over to the threshold. This was followed by a hard landing, and some equally hard braking, before veering off and taxiing towards our remote parking position at Terminal D.



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Touchdown.



Soon, the doors were opened and passengers were released to disembark the plane via the airstairs attached to door 1L. A bus was parked outside the aircraft, and I decided to remain onboard the plane until everyone had de-boarded.



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Cabin during de-boarding.




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Leaving the aircraft.




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Our stubby old B736 parked on the apron.



I entered the bus as the last person, and soon the doors were closed and we drove off some 100 meters to the terminal. Seems quite pointless to me to have a bus when passengers could just walk on the tarmac, it gives some extra fresh air and exercise.

My first impressions of Tegel could perhaps not be described as the best. It was perhaps one of the strangest airports I have ever visited in my entire lifetime, with a layout that defies all the sense and logic in conventional airport architecture. Basically the airport was a mess, completely throwing the german values of efficiency out the window. I really don’t see how every gate should have its own dedicated check-in counter, connected to its dedicated security check, that lead out to its dedicated holding pen. The layout was just so confusing that I simply wanted to get the hell out of there ASAP (thank goodie they’re closing this place down). So I quickly bought myself a public transport daypass, and hopped on the bus into town.



Mein Berliner Weekend





The bus and metro ride was a fast, efficient, and flawless affair as one would always expect from the German public transport system. It took me a grand total of 40 minutes from stepping off the plane, to entering my hotel room. Hotel Kaiser was the place I would be spending the night. A small 3* boutique hotel, located in the two top floors of a residential building in Western Berlin. I quite liked the idea of living in the middle of a residential area, as you could see into the living room window of the neighbours.



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The surrounding residential area, seen from my window on the 5th floor.



The rooms had a very warm and cozy feel to them, the soft carpet and wooden furnishing added some earthy tones which helped contributing to this feel. The double bed was very soft and comfortable, and the bed linens were silky smooth. Bathroom was simple, and fresh containing all the essential amenities. At €39 per night this hotel was really a bargain, offering some terribly good value for the money.



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My home for the upcoming 24 hours in Berlin.




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View of the bathroom. Yes that’s me in the mirror.




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The shower. Nothing fancy, but perfectly good for my needs.



I was feeling quite tired from the lack of sleep during the previous night, so I figured it would be better to spend one hour on the bed just relaxing, before heading out on the streets for some sightseeing. Before leaving the hotel, I passed by the reception to pick up a map. The gentleman manning the reception was very helpful by offering to point out all the must-see places in town, and guided me on how to reach them. A cup of Nespresso was also offered which I gladly accepted (you hear that Eric, it’s boutique right?).

Outside was freezing cold, but luckily the U-bahn station was just 50 meters away. First on my ”express” sightseeing agenda was a visit to Postdamer Platz for some early lunch. The place was pretty much just a showcase of office buildings and shopping malls, not exactly the kind of thing you’re interested to see when you’re traveling abroad. There was however a foodcourt at the underground level of the shopping mall where they served some nice traditional german food. So I settled for a large currywurst, and a big icy glass of Becks.



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Postdamer Platz – Cool but boring…



Next up was a walk up the icy streets to the Brandenburger Gate, perhaps the landmark that Berlin is mostly known for, 2nd to the Berlin Wall. On my way over, I stopped by the holocaust memorial where I got lost between the cubes.



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The holocaust memorial. I bet the place is much ”cooler” during the summer.




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The iconic Brandenburger Gate. Seen here in the equally iconic dusk setting.



Next up on the tour was a visit to the Bundenstag, which was literally just a stone throw away. Sadly though I was not allowed to enter, as they required people to make reservations two days in advance. Bugger, but oh well then I’ve something to do on my next visit.



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Exterior view of the Bundenstag Building = The german parliament.



The last and final stop on this evening’s sightseeing agenda was a visit to Alexanderplatz. Having watched the Bourne movies more times then I can keep track of, my expectations for the place were set rather high as I’d imagine it being that überly vibrant square just like in the movies. Sadly though, as I emerged from the underground of the U-Bahn, I was quite disappointed to see the place looking so dull and empty. The cold weather had formed a haze of smog over the square making it look more like a scene from a deserted frozen town in Northern China, rather then the heart of Europe’s most sizzlingly vibrant metropolis. And that high office building where they put the snipers in the movie turned out to be some lame a*s Park Inn by Radisson…



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The TV Tower was not much special either. The Oriental Pearl in Shanghai is much cooler.



Feeling very tired and cold, I hopped on the U-Bahn back to my hotel. Before heading to my room, I stopped by at the reception to pick up the password for the free wifi. A piece of paper was handed to me with the password clearly written… Turns out that it’s more then 30 digits long! I have no idea what the point of that was, but nevertheless the wifi was lightning fast. After a quick look on the Facetube, my good friends PetteriFinn and Eric suggested I’d head out and explore the nightlife in the city. To be quite frank, going out drinking without friends is pretty darn boring and depressive.

So instead, I headed out for some late dinner at a nice genuine italian restaurant in Kreuzberg. I opted for a pasta carbonara which was prepared right in front of my eyes, served along with some ruccola salad, cherry tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Generally I’m not a big fan of pasta as it’s mostly overpriced and overrated, however this time it was different. The Carbonara was perhaps the best plate of pasta I had ever eaten in my entire life, and not only did it taste good, it looked great as well. Sadly no pic since my camera was left at the hotel, but it did happen (you hear that P!?). Feeling stuffed, I jumped on the metro back to my hotel. It was now midnight, and I was feeling tired. Since it was saturday after all, I picked up some goodies along the way. The reminder of the evening was spent catching up on some reports while munching on my Ben&Jerry’s, and having a few sips of Jäger. After a while, I gently laid down on the bed and fell asleep like a child.



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I think this is the most appropriate way to spend a saturday night when you’re alone.




February 12th 2012
– My last day in Berlin




As I opened up my eyes in the morning, the room was filled with shimmering sunlight. It was one of those glorious sunday mornings, that you knew would be the beginning of a fabulous day. The feeling of waking up with nobody by my side made me slightly sadden as I stumbled my way over towards the window to inhale the the fresh morning breeze. Looking out over this unexplored city, with so much left for me to discover brought some joy to my mind as I hopped in for my freezing shower. Having the morning formalities conducted, I jumped in the elevator to the 6th floor to indulge on whatever food was on offer at this seemingly extensive breakfast buffet.

The breakfast buffet could best be described as a showcase of the finest, yet barest essential breakfast items the german cousin has to offer. On offer today were freshly baked wheat buns, straight from the baker’s shop, accompanied by a selection of cold cuts such as various hams, heart shaped salami, gouda & mozzarella cheese, freshly sliced tomatoes, served along with assorted preserves, butter, and cream cheese. Cherry yoghurt as well as plain yoghurt, along with freshly cut fruit were also on offer. To wash this serenade of breakfast delights down was a selection of store bought tetras of apple and orange juice, neatly presented in their own bowl of ice as if they were bottles of Moët and Krug. Freshly ground beans brewed into rich, aromatic coffee neatly served in bauhaus inspired lufthansa-style miniature cups came to be the star of this morning show. I don’t recall having coffee this good since Milan, which may have been the reason to why I came to suspect that the coffee must’ve been catered by illy.

My apologies once again go to Suryo, for leaving my heavy Nikon DSLR in the room as massive hunger was the only thing occupying my mind, at the time. Not to speak about the thirst that needed quenching, of course. Following that first bowl of yoghurt came a frenzy of buns, coffee, and fruit. By the time I finished, the food coma came to take its toll as I headed back for my room to lay on the bed for one hour or so. Well spelt, well groomed, and well fed I picked up my trustworthy companion and left the keys at the reception as my stay at the Kaiser Hotel had now reached its end. The friendly receptionist wished me a pleasant day, as I made beeline for the elevator to take me down to the ground floor.

Back out on the wide-open streets of Berlin, I set out to finish those sightseeing objectives left from the previous day. First off on the agenda was a ride on the U-Bahn to Mitte, for a visit to the iconic and cult inspiring Checkpoint Charlie.



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Checkpoint Charlie. Dedicated to my friend Daniel, who was here not too long before me.



The army guards were kind enough to let me take a picture of the place without purging out the ripoff photo surcharge of €2. Next up on my sightseeing was a ride further east towards what could perhaps be described as the landmark that formed the city’s identity as we know it today. I’m talking about the Berlin Wall.



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…And here it is! The remains of what once was a feared and dreaded borderline is today a shatter of ruins clad in contemporary graffiti art.



Standing by the side of the wall, I closed my eyes as my hands were laid against it. All the historic events that had taken place over the past five decades came flashing through my mind as a montage of grainy black&white flickering its way into a melange of dazed colour. A tear was nearly shed upon wrapping the thought of all the people who had lost their lives in their attempts of crossing this highly militarised zone in hope for a better life in the west.

Continuing my walk alongside the wall, I came across what could be described as what enhanced my Berlin experience the most: A currywurst stand by the wall. It doesn’t get much more authentic than this! My order for a traditional currywurst and bun was promptly taken. Sadly my request for an icy cold Becks was denied as it turned out that wintertime is not the season for Weissbier. Instead a cup of warming Glühwein was offered, which I gladly accepted.



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Currywurst & Berlin Wall = One proper experience. Beanie’s off for you P!



As I munched into this infamous, yet oh so delicious savoury snack, I couldn’t help but overhearing a conversation between two american girls at the adjacent table. Those two girls were asking themselves the question of why the Berliners have such a love affair with this appalling dish. Before I even had chance to turn around and give them an answer to their seemingly ignorant question, they had already left. So you may wonder why is this deep friend frank, drenched in a liquid mixture of processed tomatoes and artificial curry, dozed with powdered curry such a big hit in Berlin?

For starters it’s so much more then a savoury warm snack. The dish was invented back in 1949 by WWII survivor Herta Hauer. After having obtained a number of ingredients from British soldiers, Hauer began experimenting around, and eventually came up with the aforementioned mixture. The dish became a huge success, and in the years later Hauer came to serve it to the construction workers in Berlin as they rebuilt the city after the devastation caused by the war.

What summons this iconic signature dish is more than the sum of its parts. Currywurst was the food that rebuilt the city of Berlin, and turned it into the sizzlingly vibrant metropolis it’s known as today. The start of a new chapter for the city, Europe, and the rest of the world where human beings can now live their lives in peace and freedom. Hence why the reason it will always have a special place in every berliners heart.

Walking on these historic grounds made me slightly emotional, and as I gazed on the clock it turned out to be half past one meaning that I only had 90 minutes left in town. I jumped back on the U-Bahn bound for Alexanderplatz, to explore the place further from PetteriFinn’s recommendation. The Berlin Cathedral was the only thing of interest to see.



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Interior view of the Berlin Cathedral. Surprisingly empty for a sunday.



With one hour left before jumping on the bus back to Tegel, the hunger was starting to creep back again despite the massive breakfast and currywurst. Adjacent to the train station was a nice traditional German restaurant that served typical bavarian specialities. My request for a Leberkäse was sadly denied as it wasn’t on the menu for the day, so I was forced to settle for a schnitzel. My choice of table right next to the kitchen door was far from clever as steam came washing over me as I savoured my meal. It wasn’t until I left the restaurant that I realised that the entire me smelled like schnitzel. With not much time to spare, I headed across the street to catch the express bus bound for Tegel Airport.

The bus was packed with airline passengers carrying oversized pieces of luggage, and dragging their screaming kids along. Due to a malfunctioning brake, we were forced to pull to the side of the road for 20 minutes. In total the ride took nearly one hour, and I was very lucky to have managed to score a seat. At 4pm sharp the bus arrived to Otto Littental International Airport.



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Exterior view of Tegel Airport. Place is old, and the busses parked in front make it look like a 3rd world country. Thank goodie they’re shutting this place down.



Check In



Soon, I made my way through the organised mess of completely illogical airport over to the check in hall at the D terminal. Two counters were dedicated for today’s SAS departure for Stockholm, one for Economy and one for Business/Economy Extra/EBS/EBG/*G.



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View of the check-in area at Terminal D.



At the empty Economy Class counter, I was served by Annie a woman in her late 20s working for Acciona Airport services which happened to be the handling company SAS use at Tegel.


A: ”-Hello Sir, may I have your travel documents please”


Me: ”-Yes, sure. I wasn’t able to check in online last night due to the website refusing to accept me. Also I would like to have my frequent flyer card entered” [handing over passport and *S card]


A: ”-It appears that you are already checked in, Sir. Seat 8A has been assigned for you”


Me: ”-That’s good, thanks. Please try and enter my card on the boarding pass, the status has to be printed as well”


A: [swipes the card multiple times] ”-I’m sorry, we can’t seem to get your card registered on the BP. We had the same problem yesterday, and there’s nothing we can do about it. We suggest you contacting SAS in Stockholm, and see if they can solve it” [hands over documents]


Me: ”-Ah that’s such a shame, those miles are really really important for me. But thanks anyway”



Feeling quite upset about the mileage issue, I began having some serious doubts about my choice in frequent flyer programme. I’m just better off getting a Eurobonus Gold Card (which by the way is a much nicer looking card too) instead since those 900 missing miles will never be credited to my account anyway. A beeline was made to the empty security check which was passed with flying colours. The friendly security officer made some funny remarks about my miniature Jägermeister bottles I was carrying in my backpack.


Airside at Tegel Airport




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View of the packed gate area.



As expected the gate area was filled with drunken fly-once-a-year leisure swedes who had most likely been on a 72 hour party marathon weekend in Berlin. This may explain the empty check-in areas as those people still stick to the rule of arriving to the airport at latest 3 hours pre-departure. With some 30 minutes to go before boarding, I went to explore the offerings in the travel-value store. What made me quite surprised was the fact that you could purchase alcohol for destinations within the EU as well, which is highly unusual. So I decided to spend my last €€€ in cash on a small bottle of Bailey’s. A drunk’ish swedish woman in her middle ages became very happy about the idea of taxfree booze within EU, so she ended up purchasing 7 bottles of various strong spirits. Suppose the finns are up for some competition in the drinking game now! Very soon though, boarding was called over the speakers.


SK2680 Berlin TXL – Stockholm ARN



Flight: SK2680 TXL-ARN

Departure: 17.30

Arrival: 19.05

Duration: 1h 35m

Date: February 12th 2012

Seat & Class: 8A Economy Class

Aircraft & Reg: McDonnell Douglas MD-82 (DC-9-82) OY-KHG



Like mentioned earlier in the report, the swedes are a population with an obsessive passion for queueing. A long queue had already formed in front of the boarding gate. As expected, Annie from check-in was assigned the duties of scanning and ripping the boarding passes. Despite the long queue, I managed to slip through and board way ahead of all the people who were already lined up. I was wished a pleasant flight by Annie before being released down the stairways leading down to the apron. Boarding for this flight was done via airstairs, sadly the back door was not opened. There’s just something slightly nasty about us a.netters and that backdoor on the MD. Seems like all of us just want to take her from the back, the moment we lay eyes on this beauty.



.
Boarding this lovely MD-82.



As I climbed my way up the unsteady ladder towards the door, I received a very warm and friendly welcome from our purser Karin. A lovely brunette in her mid 50s greeting me with a big smile. Quite ironically I noticed her wearing one of those little yellow tags saying ”my smile is my makeup”, a tag which really suited her well.


K: -”Hello there, welcome onboard! Can I offer you a little something to read for this flight?” [pointing at the newspapers promptly presented at the galley]


Me: ”-Thank you I’m glad to be onboard. I think I’ll grab an Aftonbladet if you don’t mind”


K: -”No, not at all, help yourself”



I knew already from the looks of it that this was going to be a great flight. As I made my way down the aisle to my seat at the 8th row, I was struck by how bright, clean and fresh the cabin was. The seats, sidewalls, and overhead bins were all in immaculate condition. The load on this flight appeared to be full, and on the aisle seat a german businessman was already seated. He kindly stepped aside to let me through. As I sat down in the seat, I was once again amazed of how comfortable the seats are. The front rows had some extra legroom, making it possible for me to fully stretch my legs.



.
View of the legroom which was estimated to be at least 34 inches.



The boarding process went on surprisingly smooth, and soon the airstairs were retracted and the door was closed. The female captain came over the PA announcing our flightpath to Stockholm. A stop at the de-icing ramp, and strong headwinds would delay our arrival in Stockholm by fifteen minutes. Pushback soon followed, and the JT8D engines spooled into life as we taxied towards the de-icing ramp.



.
De-icing in progress, along side a Lufthansa Boeing 737.



De-icing was complete in a matte of minutes, and luckily my window remained untouched by the gooey green glycol fluid. A short taxi to the runway followed, after which the engines made a huge roar as we rocketed down the runway and up into the cloudy evening skies of northern Germany. The takeoff was very dark, so no pics could be taken without coming out as blurry beyond recognition. Soon though, the Mad Dog emerged from this thick layer of ”pea soup”(!?) and a beautiful sunset taking place over the clear skies became visible to my left.



.
Beautiful sunset taking place as we bank towards north while climbing for our cruising altitude.



The climb was very smooth, and no turbulence or whatsoever was experienced at any time during the flight. As we had set course for Stockholm, the seatbelt sign was switched off, and the crew came out with the trolleys to start tonight’s show. Very soon, Karin parked the trolley beside my row, and approached me with a big smile.



.
Service commences.



K: ”-Hello, would you fancy a cup of coffee or tea, and would you perhaps like something to go with that?”


Me: ”-I’ll gladly take a cup of coffee with some milk, and a muffin”


K: ”-Good choice young man. Which muffin would you like? We have chocolate or blueberry on offer”


Me: ”-Well I had the chocolate one yesterday, so I think I’ll have the blueberry”


K: ”-Blueberry is my favourite! That’ll be 25 SEK please”




.
My blueberry muffin and coffee, served along with a little surprise. A free glass of water!!!



The muffin tasted very nice and juice, just like the one I had on the outbound flight. For 25 SEK it’s very good value for the money, making this BOB thing a pretty fair compromise. At least since I was served a free glass of water and coffee. The coffee tasted nice and rich in aroma, not as watery as that mudwater they served me on the outbound flight, and the water of course was icy cold. All in all a great snack that fit in very appropriately to the duration of this flight. The man in the opposing row opted for the roast beef which was served in a box very similar to what they serve in Economy Extra. Perhaps something to try if I ever fly SAS EU again.

Shortly after having stuffed myself with the rather substantial muffin, Karin came around to offer re-fills on the coffee which I gladly accepted. Soon though the bladder was taking its toll from all the coffee and water, so I made a visit to the loo. I was instructed by Karin to simply use the front lavatory as the trolley was blocking the aisle. The biz lavatory was spotless and clean, sadly there was no window as this feature is only available on the CPH based MD-80s.



.
View of the front cabin. I left the camera in the overhead before visiting the loo.



The reminder of the flight was very uneventful. The cabin lights were dimmed throughout the rest of the flight, and I spent the short remaining time in the air listening to some music on my iPhone while enjoying the views from the window. Soon the nose tipped down, indicating that we had reached our tip of descent. 20 minutes a smooth landing occurred, and the aircraft made a taxi to its gate at Terminal 5.

Upon leaving the aircraft, I thanked Karin for the great service and having the pleasure to fly with her tonight. My request for a cockpit visit was granted, and I had a very interesting chat with the female captain and her male colleague. Our conversation was sadly halted as Karin tapped me on the shoulder to notify me that the gate was about to close soon, so I bid the crew goodbye and ran up the jetway. 15 minutes later, I was on my train back home to Västerås ending a very pleasant weekend getaway to Berlin.



Conclusions




What concludes my two flights with SAS is that their dreaded Economy Class product is not really that bad, it’s just mediocre. While it still offers terrible value for the money due to its lack of service, the free coffee is still a good compromise as you can keep the costs for the menu options down at an acceptable level. However, SAS will still remain at the bottom of my list of preferred legacy airlines, but if I were to choose between them and the LCCs I would pick SAS in a heartbeat.

The crew on the outbound flight were really horrible. I don’t recall having such a bad crew experience on SAS before, and I really hope that it was just a one-time thing. The crew on the outbound flight were fantastic as usual on SAS, great service, great aircraft. But then again, every SAS flight on the MD-80 is a good SAS flight, and Karin and her colleagues really came to prove that statement.

All in all SAS is an airline of acceptable standard, and I wouldn’t mind flying them again in case I were to feel like going on a last minute trip somewhere. Apart from those cheap last minute tickets, my business will go to my all time favourites Lufthansa and SWISS.




Previous Reports



Feel free to have a look at my previous reports. The reports are categorised chronologically based on their year/date of publication.


2012

Proper Short Haul – Lufthansa CPH-FRA-CPH Y (pics) (by LH4116 Feb 13 2012 in Trip Reports)

SAS At Their Very Finest! ZRH-ARN, Business (pics) (by lh4116 Feb 2 2012 in Trip Reports)

Swiss Flatbed Business Class: PVG-ZRH +More (pics) (by LH4116 Jan 23 2012 in Trip Reports)

Proper Long Haul – Swiss Made: ARN-PVG Y (pics) (by LH4116 Jan 10 2012 in Trip Reports)

2011

LH Italia, You Won’t Be Missed! ARN-MXP C (pics) (by LH4116 Oct 31 2011 in Trip Reports)

Parisian City Break à La Air France. ARN-CDG Y Rt (by LH4116 Aug 27 2011 in Trip Reports)

Long, Sleek And Still Blue. Finnair B757! (pics) (by LH4116 Aug 5 2011 in Trip Reports)

Off To Norway, On A Classic. ARN-BGO SAS Y (pics) (by LH4116 Jul 30 2011 in Trip Reports)

”Flying It Fake” On SAS, ARN-DLM Rt In ”C” (pics) (by LH4116 Jul 5 2011 in Trip Reports)

Norwegian ARN-GOT Inaugural Flights, Feb 17 (pics) (by LH4116 Feb 25 2011 in Trip Reports)

2010

TAP Portugal, And The Moroccan Travesty (pics) (by LH4116 Jul 15 2010 in Trip Reports)

Off To The Northern Skies, On SAS And X2000 (pics) (by LH4116 May 9 2010 in Trip Reports)

http://ww.airliners.net/aviation-forums/trip_reports/read.main/164070/

2009

KLM Y, ARN-AMS R/t + Wonderful Holland (pics) (by LH4116 Oct 30 2009 in Trip Reports)

Trip Report: Train to Gothenburg, 1st Class (pics) (by LH4116 Jul 10 2009 in Non Aviation)

I Give You, SAS At Its Very Best! (pics) (by LH4116 Apr 17 2009 in Trip Reports)


Comments are much appreciated!

//Jonas


SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6807 posts, RR: 77
Reply 1, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 9479 times:

Hi Jonas,

nice report about this short trip to Berlin. You took very good pictures as usual.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The A310 is perhaps the ugliest Airbus ever built, followed by the A380.

Have you ever seen the Beluga?  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Sadly my request for an icy cold Becks was denied as it turned out that wintertime is not the season for Weissbier.

Becks and Weißbier? No way! You mixed something up.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineLH4532 From Germany, joined Sep 2011, 81 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 9457 times:

Guten Abend Jonas ,

Like always it was another enjoyable Trip Report .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
24 hours to spend in the city.

That sure is enough time to explore the city . I had 2 days to do that .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I grabbed my cheeseburger

I would call that a "heavy" breakfast .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I was later able to print out the BP with my *S status stated nice and clearly

Good to know that it worked this time .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Scandinavian hospitality

Let´s see how my Scandinavian hospitality will be with SK .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
In Business Class we will be serving a cold meal, with freshly heated breads, full drinks service, coffee or tea.

Why do they mention that to the entire cabin ? Do they want to make Economy Class passengers jealous ?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
n response, I a highly reluctant fake smile was cracked as she simply disposed my cup in the trash bin, and left.

That would be a reason for me to write to SK customer relations .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The gentleman manning the reception was very helpful

That´s what we call German efficiency   .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Checkpoint Charlie. Dedicated to my friend Daniel, who was here not too long before me.

Thank you very much , Jonas .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
he dish was invented back in 1949 by WWII survivor Herta Hauer.

I did not know that .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
We had the same problem yesterday

I would like to know the cause of the problem .

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I received a very warm and friendly welcome from our purser

That´s how I remember SK .


Sehr gut , Jonas .

Daniel ( LH4532 )


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6567 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 9270 times:

Hej Jonas !

Thanks for another great report with fantastic pictures !

Legroom on the SK 736 looks less than 31'; more like 30' or perhaps even less.....

Very bad of the F/A to not even ask about why you pressed the call button.

Berlin looks interesting; hope to be there in June for the meet but probably just in for the day.....

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineJL418 From Italy, joined Jun 2009, 493 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 9238 times:

Hi Jonas,

thanks for the TR, for sure quite entertaining and some funny remarks.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The answer was pretty much what I had expected since airlines after all are machine bureaucratic organisations, where the staff are trained to act under strictly formalised rules.

I have to correct you on that, my friend. Every airline, no matter how inflexible their procedures could be, allows employees to bend the regulations in order to allow customers to do something that they wouldn't be allowed to do, at least if one follows the book step by step. I've seen it happen and I've done it as well: if a passenger's request is reasonable and the airline won't be damaged by it, then there's no point in not doing what the passenger is asking. He, or she, will appreciate and will come back.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Since SAS is an airline with strong faith in our Scandinavian jantelagen values, no priority boarding was called for Business Class passengers, and Star Gold members. Instead, everyone was allowed to board at their own leisure. Yes that’s what you get from 80 years of socialism, good isn’t it? Boarding as expected turned out to be a very calm and civilised affair, since those 80 years of socialism haven’t turned us into barbarians, like fascism did to the people in south (no pun)

So, if socialism means no fast lane and fascism means barbarians the Germans, who had national socialism, have both no fast lanes AND barbarians? Damn I wish I could add the Philosoraptor photo to this post!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
my good friends PetteriFinn and Eric suggested I’d head out and explore the nightlife in the city. To be quite frank, going out drinking without friends is pretty darn boring and depressive.

Well you should have had, the Watergate club is brilliant even if one goes there alone!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
What made me quite surprised was the fact that you could purchase alcohol for destinations within the EU as well, which is highly unusual

Is it? I used to buy booze on my flights to Ibiza during my teenage years (only for desenfecting local fruits and veggies of course)!


User currently offlineLFutia From Netherlands, joined Dec 2002, 3339 posts, RR: 27
Reply 5, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 9237 times:

Godeftermiddag Jonas.

Nice trip report! Glad to see you had a good time in Berlin. I'll telll you Jager and Ben & Jerry's sure looks good right now. I liked your pictures too!

Leo/ORD



Leo/ORD -- Groetjes uit de VS! -- Heeft u laatst nog met KLM gevlogen?
User currently offlineplanejamie From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2011, 576 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 9166 times:

Nice trip report Jonas!

It is really frustrating when you work so hard to earn those miles and they don't credit them! Or worse, you fly one week after the deadline for them expiring...

Shame about the outbound flight with the moody flight attendant, imagine if someone had a serious problem and had pressed the call button to get help! The inbound flight made up for it though especially as it was an MD-80!

Oh and I never knew what that green clover thing was on those engines, you've educated me!  


User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 8675 times:

Hejsan Jonas!

Nice to see this great report up! I was looking forward to it!
Nice comparison of the two SAS flights, they seemed to be quite different!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Quite frankly, I found it a bit silly of them not to serve me a bagel since they already had a bunch laying there, and even more surprising was the fact that the breakfast menu was still up on the screens. A really bad way of treating customers. I won%u2019t discuss my opinions about the McD staff since many of you would probably just get pissed off at me.

I had a similar experience on a McD in central Stockholm once when I wanted a couple of McToast's, breakfast menus were still up on the screens, and according to my watch it was still a couple of minutes before 10...

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
It was nice seeing you again, hope to catch up soon!

Indeed! Too bad I won't be going to the BER meet, have you decided if you will go there yet?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):

Minutes later, the Rude Purser came running down the aisle from the front galley. Without even looking at me, she stopped by at my row, turned off the call light, and left. Now what the hell was this all about!?

Wow, this purser seem really bad. I flew SAS from Kiruna yesterday, and all FA's were nice and polite, so as you said, I hope this was a one-time off.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):

My first impressions of Tegel could perhaps not be described as the best. It was perhaps one of the strangest airports I have ever visited in my entire lifetime, with a layout that defies all the sense and logic in conventional airport architecture. Basically the airport was a mess, completely throwing the german values of efficiency out the window. I really don%u2019t see how every gate should have its own dedicated check-in counter, connected to its dedicated security check, that lead out to its dedicated holding pen. The layout was just so confusing that I simply wanted to get the hell out of there ASAP (thank goodie they%u2019re closing this place down). So I quickly bought myself a public transport daypass, and hopped on the bus into town.

I agree that it's not the most logical nor the easiest airport to navigate through, but I must say the place has a certain charm I can't really put my finger on, everything from the huge viewing terrace to the S-bahn currywurst cart!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):

View of the packed gate area.

But then again Terminal D looks downright awful, Terminal A seems to be far better to depart from.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
What concludes my two flights with SAS is that their dreaded Economy Class product is not really that bad, it%u2019s just mediocre. While it still offers terrible value for the money due to its lack of service, the free coffee is still a good compromise as you can keep the costs for the menu options down at an acceptable level. However, SAS will still remain at the bottom of my list of preferred legacy airlines, but if I were to choose between them and the LCCs I would pick SAS in a heartbeat.

What can I say, it seems that both SAS's service and your view on SAS has changed somewhat to the better, so that's good!  

Martin


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3268 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 8609 times:

Looks like a nice weekend break Jonas - shame the outbound flight wasn't too great, but the return more than made up for it. Your photos (as always) were brilliant - can't wait to get back to Berlin in June.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):

Minutes later, the Rude Purser came running down the aisle from the front galley. Without even looking at me, she stopped by at my row, turned off the call light, and left.

Very poor service

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Next up on the tour was a visit to the Bundenstag, which was literally just a stone throw away. Sadly though I was not allowed to enter, as they required people to make reservations two days in advance. Bugger, but oh well then I’ve something to do on my next visit.

That s shame. When I went in 2007 (?) you could walk straight in I went once during the day (busy) and once at night (empty) which was great.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlineparton87 From Sweden, joined Sep 2008, 533 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 8524 times:

Hello Jonas!

Thanks for another great report! Interesting and funny read with all these high-quality pictures! I was in Berlin in 2008 and in my mind one of the coolest city in Europe! I will try to explore the city again at the meeting in June!

Pity about the rude crew on your outbound flight, but the crew on the inbound seem to be back to standard 
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
rate of €39, including breakfast

Great deal. Hotels are really cheap in Berlin. Me and my friend stayed in a 5-star Mariott at Friedrichstrasse and if I remember correctly we only payed like 89 Euros for a double-room

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
indeed hit the snooze button too many times and to be fair nobody likes to wake up at 7

I´m always jump out of bed when I´m travelling afraid of over-sleeping 
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
which is highly unusual for SJ, and soon I

I try to avoid SJ in the Winter. You can´t thrust them in the summer either but especially not during the wintermonths

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
serve me a bagel since they already had a bunch laying there, and

That´s just silly. They will probably throw all bagels away since they can´t save them for next day

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
between his SAS and BT flights.

Nice with a unplanned a-net meeting 
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
1,40 for a single espresso, and two finnish

That´s really cheap!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Taxiing by some exotic visitors. The A310 is perhaps the ugliest Airbus ever built

I love short chubby planes like the A310! But I agree on the A380:D

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
throwing the german values of efficiency out the window. I really don’t see how every gate should have its own dedicated check-in counter, connected to its

I didn´t a big fan of TXL either but for some reason I find the design of it cool and very unique.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The iconic Brandenburger Gate. Seen here in the equally iconic dusk setting

What a beautiful picture! Just great!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
few sips of Jäger

I can´t believe how people can drink this!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
in Berlin as they rebuilt the city after the devastation caused by the war.

Thanks for the story! I´ve never heard that before.

Greetings
Robert


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2470 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 8493 times:

Hi Jonas,

Nice report along with many crisp pictures as usual. You really make me curious what I get to see next June.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The A310 is perhaps the ugliest Airbus ever built

For me, A310 happens to be the chubbiest and hence the cutest Airbus ever.  


Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
My apologies once again go to Suryo, for leaving my heavy Nikon DSLR in the room as massive hunger was the only thing occupying my mind, at the time.

At least you described what was on offer and for the rest, I just use my imagination.  


Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
View of the legroom which was estimated to be at least 34 inches.

I thought it was at 32 inches. But nonetheless, great legroom.


Thanks for sharing and have a nice weekend.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 11, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 8331 times:

Hej Jonas,

As I've said before you certainly have a talent for writing and coming up with excellent, vibrant and beautiful photos. If you worked on your attitude a bit you'd make a brilliant writer. But I think that will come naturally as you grow older and gain some life experience, your reports are already far better when you compare them with what you wrote two-three years ago.

Anyway having said that I very much enjoyed this little journey to Berlin. I'm heading there myself next weekend, can't hardly wait as it's been far too many years I was there last time for a proper visit.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
After dozens of angry phone calls to the godforsaken land of which the airline in question is originating, it became very apparent that I would not be seeing those 1800 missing miles from my SAS flight in Business Class, 900 of which would’ve qualified me for the Star Alliance Gold status.

Why won't they credit those? What's the reasoning?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
which basically means that nearly all booking classes in Economy (including many high ones) are blocked on most airlines.

So no miles for your LH flights?! You see - if something seems to be too good to be true it probably is, trust me on that one.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Normally I’m not a big fan of mileage runs, since they quite frankly serve no other purpose then to earn some silly miles, which I think is completely idiotic way to burn money.

No it isn't. You do the same for status yourself just so you could get a flashy gold card to flash at the local bar. Just do the math, sometimes you can do amazing stuff with miles for bargain prices. Just look at Gabriel's mega African trip for example.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The flights were booked as last minute fares setting me back a reasonable €102 for both segments.

Now that is an excellent price. And still you keep complaining.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Quite frankly, I found it a bit silly of them not to serve me a bagel since they already had a bunch laying there, and even more surprising was the fact that the breakfast menu was still up on the screens.

Have you seen the movie "Falling Down" - one of the best movies ever made?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Having said that Arlanda is the dullest airport on the planet, I couldn’t really figure out how to spend those 35 minutes.

Oh dear. You are talking about 35 minutes for crying out loud! I know Ipods, artificial sweeteners in cola drinks, The Internet, iPhones, reality TV all those curses of the modern age have diminished the attention span of nowadays youngsters to around thirty seconds, but still. How about just sitting down and daydreaming - I could spend hours doing that. Or sitting down and reading a newspaper, magazine or (shudder) a book? And come on, you are in an airport - the most fascinating things man has ever built - just watch and shoot photos of those beautiful birds if you can't come up with something else to do.

If all else fails go to that kiddie playground park thingy opposite Starbucks, that looks funky.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
. Instead, everyone was allowed to board at their own leisure. Yes that’s what you get from 80 years of socialism, good isn’t it?

No, 80 years of socialism gets you a peaceful and functional society, on the upside. The downside is that most momentum disappears, people become rather apathetic and stuck and not much happens. You get stagnation, much like during the Brezhnev years of Soviet Union.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Boarding as expected turned out to be a very calm and civilised affair, since those 80 years of socialism haven’t turned us into barbarians, like fascism did to the people in south (no pun).
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
But sadly no smile was given to me, the female purser simply gave me a pale stare, and turned her face away.

I think you are putting a bit too much weight on her bad behavior. To me it sounds like she had a really terrible day and wasn't really that focused on her job and customer friendliness. It happens to the best of the airlines, yes, even to LH and LX. Sure, it is annoying and can make for a very bad flight experience, but don't take it personally.

Luckily the flight back was far better.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
When paying the legacy airfare for this low cost service concept airline, the least thing I would expect in return as a compensation for the lack of service is some friendliness from the crew.

Jonas, you really think the 50 EUR you paid for your flight is much? You got a terribly good bargain, stop complaining.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Upon reaching my row, a gentleman that at first glance could’ve been mistaken for the doubleganger of our friend from Manchester was seated in the middle seat.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
jacket and Dr. Marten boots in the overhead

Why do you stove your boots up there? Your socks will become so dirty from the carpeting!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Less then 10 minutes after takeoff, the seatbelt sign was turned off. This as we all know is a standard procedure on SAS, in order to maximise the time for conducting the onboard sales.

That is bullshit and you know it. Most European airlines turn it off right after take off, often much much earlier than ten minutes. It has nothing to do with maximizing the onboard sales time and I very much prefer it this way. In America most of the carriers seem to keep it on forever.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
In Business Class we will be serving a cold meal, with freshly heated breads, full drinks service, coffee or tea. [changing tone of voice] … And for those of you seated at the back in Economy Class you will have the ability to purchase snacks and drinks. Coffee and tea will be served for free”

What, no Economy Extra?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
As for the coffee it tasted very bland and weak. Basically since SAS now offer the coffee for free, they want to keep the costs down by using as little coffee powder as possible.

This is already on the verge of being paranoid, you know that? Sometimes this happens, it has nothing to do with maximizing profit or minimizing costs. Luckily your return flight proved that.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
No, PetteriFinn was not onboard this flight. Besides what kind of an amateur wears his hat inside the airplane anyway!? Am I right, P?

My hat is not made out of leather. Amateurishness has nothing to do with it, it is basic good manners that every person on this planet should be taught at home. Men take their hat off indoors. Men do not eat a hat on their head unless they are doing so outdoors in a Sibylla outlet or something. You always say "Thank you", "Please" etc.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I really don’t see how every gate should have its own dedicated check-in counter, connected to its dedicated security check, that lead out to its dedicated holding pen.

Don't you see the logic? It was all designed for quick access to the planes. There's a driveway inside the octagon (or however many angles the terminal actually has) - the original design idea was that you drive there in front of your gate, disembark, enter the donut terminal, check in and walk to the gate - less than 50 meters from curb to the car. Then unfortunately some mislead people started blowing up and hijacking planes because the big boys were bullying them and the needed to boost their tiny egos and security checks had to be introduced - so the idea didn't work as good any more.

Terminals A-C at DFW follow this same logic.

Still TXL works fine as an O&D airport if you take a taxi - the original concept still works. The problem is that the terminal design couldn't accomodate much growth, so they had to come up with the terminal annexes like that horribly dingy hall your SAS flight left and the other one housing most of Air Berlin's flights.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
View of the bathroom. Yes that’s me in the mirror.

I thought it was your designated photographer?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
At €39 per night this hotel was really a bargain, offering some terribly good value for the money.

Jonas is happy with a price of a service and not complaining that it should be cheaper - must be a first!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The place was pretty much just a showcase of office buildings and shopping malls, not exactly the kind of thing you’re interested to see when you’re traveling abroad.

Don't go to Dubai with this attitude. That's all there is to it.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
First on my ”express” sightseeing agenda was a visit to Postdamer Platz for some early lunch.

Early dinner I think?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
To be quite frank, going out drinking without friends is pretty darn boring and depressive.

No, it's one of the finer things in life.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
icy cold Becks was denied as it turned out that wintertime is not the season for Weissbier.

Beck's is not Weissbier. It's a lager, and a rather nice one at that.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Currywurst & Berlin Wall = One proper experience. Beanie’s off for you P!

Hey, have I managed to get another convert?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
For starters it’s so much more then a savoury warm snack.

Hah, thanks for this (googled) history. I guess I'll learn all this in a week in the Currywurst museum anyway.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
My request for a Leberkäse was sadly denied as it wasn’t on the menu for the day,

Are you sure you could've handled Leberkäse, it is rather... interesting.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Exterior view of Tegel Airport. Place is old, and the busses parked in front make it look like a 3rd world country. Thank goodie they’re shutting this place down.

That's a bit harsh. Sure it's got lots of issues, but it isn't that bad. Plus it oozes history.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
What made me quite surprised was the fact that you could purchase alcohol for destinations within the EU as well, which is highly unusual.

WHAT? No that is not highly unusual. Sweden and Finland are the only countries where they restrict this, for all others you can buy booze as much as you want. Of course you have to pay the tax-inclusive price, but in most of Europe (heck, even in tax-loving Denmark) it is far cheaper than our crap countries. Where do you think I've bought all my drinks in my bar over the years?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Flight: SK2680 TXL-ARN

Hey, I've taken that same flight at least twice.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Seems like all of us just want to take her from the back, the moment we lay eyes on this beauty.

Jonas talking dirty  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
K: ”-Blueberry is my favourite! That’ll be 25 SEK please”

Argh. Sounds like your usual retail salespersons. No matter whether you're buying a pair of boots or new stereo equipment they always "Have this very same thingamagic at home". I hate it, probably because I hate lying and that constitutes lying.


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 12, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 8262 times:

Hello guys, thanks for the first round of replies. I'm very glad you all enjoyed reading the report!  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Have you ever seen the Beluga?  

Hi PH. Oh yes, the Beluga is a beast although it's very fascinating to look at. The A310 is just pure dull and depression.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Becks and Weißbier? No way! You mixed something up.

Oh, I thought all white beer was called Weissbier. Becks seem pretty white to me, but I suppose there are other differences. Thanks for the clear up  
Quoting LH4532 (Reply 2):
I would call that a "heavy" breakfast .

Hi Daniel. Hmm not really, since cheese burgers are very unsubstantial at least from Mickydee's. If they are served in a proper American Diner however, a cheeseburger is a different affair  
Quoting LH4532 (Reply 2):
Let´s see how my Scandinavian hospitality will be with SK .

The Danish crews are generally more rude then the Swedish ones, but I think you'll get some good service.

Quoting LH4532 (Reply 2):
Why do they mention that to the entire cabin ? Do they want to make Economy Class passengers jealous ?

Yes it's standard practice on SAS to call it out through the whole cabin. No idea why, since it serves no point.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 3):
Legroom on the SK 736 looks less than 31'; more like 30' or perhaps even less.....

Hi Lars. I see, could much likely have been 30". But I don't notice much difference in legroom, as long as it stays over 28 I'm happy.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 3):
Berlin looks interesting; hope to be there in June for the meet but probably just in for the day.....

You're coming all the way from the US to stay that short? You have to see the city as well, it's a really nice city.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 4):
I have to correct you on that, my friend. Every airline, no matter how inflexible their procedures could be, allows employees to bend the regulations in order to allow customers to do something that they wouldn't be allowed to do, at least if one follows the book step by step. I've seen it happen and I've done it as well: if a passenger's request is reasonable and the airline won't be damaged by it, then there's no point in not doing what the passenger is asking. He, or she, will appreciate and will come back.

Well according the theories of my good old friend Henry Mintzberg, the airlines fall perfectly into his description of the machine bureaucratic organization, for very good reasons. Some traces of professional bureaucracy though, as the crew at the strategic core play a major role in delivering the service product.

In this case, the woman in question was really by the book. Delivering good service often required to break the rules of the book, and be reasonable to the customer. It wouldn't have hurt the airline if they let me in since the lounge was completely deserted. On BA I've heard the staff is equally strict. A man trying to guest his wife and 7 year old son into the Galleries First using his EC Gold was brutally rejected, even though the place was deserted. Again a way to piss off a loyal customer, flushing the principles of relationship marketing down the toilet.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 4):
Well you should have had, the Watergate club is brilliant even if one goes there alone!
Quoting JL418 (Reply 4):
Is it? I used to buy booze on my flights to Ibiza during my teenage years (only for desenfecting local fruits and veggies of course)!

Hmm, so I also assume those rubbers were only bought to act as protection for the toothbrush  
Quoting LFutia (Reply 5):
Nice trip report! Glad to see you had a good time in Berlin. I'll telll you Jager and Ben & Jerry's sure looks good right now.

Hoi Leo, thanks for reading. Oh yes BJ and JM is a good combo, although enjoyed separately  
Quoting planejamie (Reply 6):
Oh and I never knew what that green clover thing was on those engines, you've educated me!  

Hi Jamie. Well that green clover is just some marketing gimmick in order to appeal as "environmentally friendly". Basically it's a regular CFM engine that has achieved some made up environmental regulations. I think they got those logos after SAS innovated the green approach.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 7):
I had a similar experience on a McD in central Stockholm once when I wanted a couple of McToast's, breakfast menus were still up on the screens, and according to my watch it was still a couple of minutes before 10...

Hi Martin. Yes that really is a gamble. Sometimes I've been served breakfast well after 10.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 7):
Indeed! Too bad I won't be going to the BER meet, have you decided if you will go there yet?

I don't know how my schedule looks on the monday afterwards. But if a cheap SAS last minute fare pops up, I'll join right away  
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 7):
What can I say, it seems that both SAS's service and your view on SAS has changed somewhat to the better, so that's good!  

Well the free coffee has changed my view a bit, but they still have a long way to go before being a real full-service carrier.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 8):
Looks like a nice weekend break Jonas - shame the outbound flight wasn't too great, but the return more than made up for it. Your photos (as always) were brilliant - can't wait to get back to Berlin in June.

Hi Gaby Chew Chew. Yeah it was a fantastic weekend, love the city. Can't wait to get back there 
Quoting parton87 (Reply 9):
Great deal. Hotels are really cheap in Berlin. Me and my friend stayed in a 5-star Mariott at Friedrichstrasse and if I remember correctly we only payed like 89 Euros for a double-room

Hi Robert. Yes the Hotels in Berlin are really amazingly cheap, a reason well enough to return there soon. That price does indeed sound like a bargain!

Quoting parton87 (Reply 9):
I´m always jump out of bed when I´m travelling afraid of over-sleeping 

Hehe, that's usually the case for me. Although this time was different, perhaps because the trip was booked on such short notice  
Quoting parton87 (Reply 9):
I try to avoid SJ in the Winter. You can´t thrust them in the summer either but especially not during the wintermonths

Yes SJ are really a disaster in the winter. I took them now since I was flying SAS, otherwise I'd have stuck with Swebus.

Quoting parton87 (Reply 9):
I can´t believe how people can drink this!

It's much like cough medicine but stronger. A nice and lean taste. Vodka is much worse IMHO.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
For me, A310 happens to be the chubbiest and hence the cutest Airbus ever.  

Hi Suryo. Really? I think the A318 is the cutest Airbus ever made, love that plane!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
I thought it was at 32 inches. But nonetheless, great legroom.

Could might have been 32 when I think of it. Not a big expert on legroom  

Hi PetteriFinn, thanks for your lengthy reply. I recon it's your longest so far, but they're always appreciated. I'm glad you enjoyed the report  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Why won't they credit those? What's the reasoning?

Well those idiots at the call centre couldn't figure out the fact that booking class P on SAS is Economy Extra Award fare, hence my P Class on SWISS should've been converted to SAS Z. Idiots working for an idiotic airline, a faux airline, and I've completely bet on the wrong horse. The miles for these flights haven't shown up either, so I'll better do that EBG run in Finland this summer... If only anyone could let me sleep on their couch, it would be a done deal  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
So no miles for your LH flights?! You see - if something seems to be too good to be true it probably is, trust me on that one.

No miles for LH flights since they were the cheapest fares. I suppose the low *G requirement came with the cost of having nearly all booking classes blocked.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Just do the math, sometimes you can do amazing stuff with miles for bargain prices. Just look at Gabriel's mega African trip for example.

Yeah that might be true. But still, I prefer to find a cheap premium ticket instead.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Now that is an excellent price. And still you keep complaining.

Well it's a standard price in my opinion. Had it cost €80 for a rt it would've been an excellent price  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Have you seen the movie "Falling Down" - one of the best movies ever made?

No I haven't. But thanks for the tip!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
I think you are putting a bit too much weight on her bad behavior. To me it sounds like she had a really terrible day and wasn't really that focused on her job and customer friendliness.

She was actually very friendly to the pax boarding before me, and the moment she saw me she turned rude.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Jonas, you really think the 50 EUR you paid for your flight is much? You got a terribly good bargain, stop complaining.

The price of my ticket is irrelevant, as my statement was more based on how the airline have chosen to position themselves.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Why do you stove your boots up there? Your socks will become so dirty from the carpeting!

Because I enjoy walking barefoot on planes, besides the docs are big and bulky. Hmm, I think my socks were fine. I do always bring changes so no big issue for me  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
That is bullshit and you know it. Most European airlines turn it off right after take off, often much much earlier than ten minutes.

Yeah, that might have been true. Could've been less than 10 mins.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
What, no Economy Extra?

No pax in Economy extra. Same happened on my flight from ZRH. Announcements for the Biz food was made, even though I was the only one there. To be honest it felt a bit awkward to have the announcement all to myself.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Don't you see the logic? It was all designed for quick access to the planes.

Suppose the logic worked pre-9/11. But times change, and today it's just a messy concept since we're all used to having airports the way airports are.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Jonas is happy with a price of a service and not complaining that it should be cheaper - must be a first!

I quite like the hotels actually. You get more bang for your buck since you've more time to enjoy them.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Don't go to Dubai with this attitude. That's all there is to it.

Yeah realized that after Shanghai, malls everywhere. Don't want to spend the whole trip wandering malls. Especially since I was paying €7 per hour for that trip. Most expensive trip by far, comparing to my trip to Paris which only cost me €1,20 per hour.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Early dinner I think?

Hmm, thanks for noticing the mistake it should've been late lunch. Had the pasta for dinner.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
No, it's one of the finer things in life.

Well sipping on a nice glass of strong booze in solitude is nice, but getting wasted like crazy – No!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Are you sure you could've handled Leberkäse, it is rather... interesting.

I think it's much like leverpastej, you know that stuff we eat for breakfast in Sweden. Or isn't it?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
That's a bit harsh. Sure it's got lots of issues, but it isn't that bad. Plus it oozes history.

Just brings back memories to those awful bus stations in Morocco, like that time I was forced to get on an overnight bus through Sahara. One woman actually died from a heart attack, the moment she stepped on the bus. Horrible trip, we got lost in the Sahara though the middle of the night, and things started smelling burned.

//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1937 posts, RR: 24
Reply 13, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 8209 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great photos, Jonas!

I love your fisheye photos - I need to get a wide-angle lens for my camera!

I enjoyed reading about your time with SAS. I remember when we flew to CPH from IAD, the purser also read out the service for all cabins; this is something I haven't heard while on other airlines ...

Thanks for sharing! Berlin is a cool place to visit. I went with my parents in 2002, and enjoyed it!

Best,

Matthew


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6567 posts, RR: 55
Reply 14, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 8057 times:

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 12):
You're coming all the way from the US to stay that short? You have to see the city as well, it's a really nice city.

Well, I'll be in Stockholm for a few days before to see my parents and my sister and some friends (haven't been for over four years) so will fly ARN-BER and will need to go to Tuscany in Italy to see a long time friend who have been very supportive for many years. Not my godfather but it feels like he is. So will spend a few days there and perhaps a day in Rome as well.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 12):
Hi Lars. I see, could much likely have been 30". But I don't notice much difference in legroom, as long as it stays over 28 I'm happy.

It felt like LF (Linjeflyg) had 28' on their F28s....very cramped. Probably before your time...

SK's 736s are notoriously cramped when it comes to legroom and I'm not THAT tall; 180cm.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 986 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 8016 times:

Hi Jonas, great report thanks!
Berlin is one of my favorite European cities, and you're pictures capture it perfectly.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
After dozens of angry phone calls to the godforsaken land of which the airline in question is originating, it became very apparent that I would not be seeing those 1800 missing miles from my SAS flight in Business Class, 900 of which would’ve qualified me for the Star Alliance Gold status

I think I missed that story, what happened that you didn't get those 900 miles?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Me: [Looking at clock] ”-Yeah but it’s only five minutes past, and I can see that you still have some bagels left over there

Argh, that's so stupid. I had a similiar situation at Subway, where they wouldn't serve me a breakfast sub after 10am, even though there were still eggs and stuff.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The line was long, and things moved very slow, whereas the fast track was completely empty

Hang in there, hopefully you'll be able to use that priority lane next time.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The place was pretty much just a showcase of office buildings and shopping malls, not exactly the kind of thing you’re interested to see when you’re traveling abroad.

Yeah, but architecture wise I find it to be quite impressive.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I’m just better off getting a Eurobonus Gold Card (which by the way is a much nicer looking card too) instead since those 900 missing miles will never be credited to my account anyway.

What program are you enrolled in? Not Eurobonus?


User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1710 posts, RR: 30
Reply 16, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 7942 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello Jonas,

Very nice and stylish report. Your style is exemplary, both in photos and writing. You have this... let's say 'talent', I believe it's really your thing    One thing you should try to change is your attitude and your hard if not unbiased opinions at times. Like some tend to say: 'a crew makes or breaks a flight'... Apart from that: great stuff my friend and boy do I have to get my a** over to Berlin to pay this wonderful city a visit (someday...).

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
With no time to eat my usual saturday breakfast

I guess your father was not at home to provide you with a hearty breakfast?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
where the staff are trained to act under strictly formalised rules.

I work in a laboratory environment and have to work as well under these 'strictly formalised rules'. In my sector it's called accreditation and it's a take it or leave it...

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
As usual, I put my backpack, jacket and Dr. Marten boots in the overhead compartment before settling down in the comfortable seat.

Who on earth take his boots off for a mere 1h30min flight  Wow!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
just that stone cold rude attitude you only expect to receive from the crews on Ryanair.

You seem to take pride in your prejudice. You should really try to bias your opinions. You have never ever flown on FR so there's no need to make such a comment, don't you think?

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineLuxair747SP From Germany, joined May 2010, 508 posts, RR: 17
Reply 17, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 7803 times:

Hej Jonas,

Nice report about your SK flights.
25 SEK is indeed a good price, you wouldn't find that at LCC.
Also very stylish pictures of the sights in Berlin.
Did you finally get all the needed miles?

Thanks a lot for sharing.

Johannes


User currently offlineJL418 From Italy, joined Jun 2009, 493 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7780 times:

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 12):
Well according the theories of my good old friend Henry Mintzberg, the airlines fall perfectly into his description of the machine bureaucratic organization, for very good reasons. Some traces of professional bureaucracy though, as the crew at the strategic core play a major role in delivering the service product.

In this case, the woman in question was really by the book. Delivering good service often required to break the rules of the book, and be reasonable to the customer. It wouldn't have hurt the airline if they let me in since the lounge was completely deserted. On BA I've heard the staff is equally strict. A man trying to guest his wife and 7 year old son into the Galleries First using his EC Gold was brutally rejected, even though the place was deserted. Again a way to piss off a loyal customer, flushing the principles of relationship marketing down the toilet.

Jonas, theory is one thing, practice another. For as much as I agree with Mintzberg, an airline - especially in the frontline roles - cannot be strict as the Post office.

Regarding BA, being myself an employee and having done some CSP volunteering and with terminal roles waiting for me this summer, I can tell you that procedures are twisted and tweaked on a daily basis, always provided that this behaviour won't damage other customers or the airline itself. For example, a Duty Manager and I moved a Silver cardholder to an earlier flight to Paris which was just closing as he didn't have any hold bags and his class fare was the right one. Happy customer, happy airline, no one is bothered.

Obviously, there are ecceptions as it always happen. Airlines have thousands of employees and, tragically, HR ain't always good at choosing people with the right attitude for customer-facing roles.

[Edited 2012-02-26 12:42:31]

User currently offlineKent350787 From Australia, joined May 2008, 965 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 7674 times:

Thank you for your trip report - some very nice shots also. I am planning on taking my family to Berlin next year, although it will be for longer than a weekend from Australia. : ) Hopefully with BBI opening direct connections from Asia will improve.

I'll avoid "Checkpoint Charlie" however, as it appears to be more of a theme park - I still have a shot of my 1998 visit where the guardhouse etc is in the middle of a derelict site, about half a block from the current "Checkpoint".

Cheers

Kent


User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 7631 times:

Hi Jonas,

Let's get the important things - beers - out of the way first. Weissbier is typically a top-fermented beer made with malted wheat. Becks makes various lager type beers which are bottom-fermented and made with malted barley. You can get darker wheat beers, so the colour isn't the distinguishing factor. I would have thought, though, that a good Weizenbock would be suitable for winter. Cheers!

Now to your trip. Well written and some excellent photos.

I agree that it does seem daft that when supplies are available the staff won't sell you something just because it is a few minutes after ten. I would be more likely to just seek out another establishment rather than buy something that they want you to.

I am pleased that you had such a rotten crew on the way out. It made you notice all the more how good the crew was on the way back.   But all joking aside, cabin crew are people like any other and yes, they are expected to be professional throughout but have you ever met any human who has never, ever underperformed? I am not justifying bad customer service: just putting it in perspective. One thing though, if the purser sets the standard the rest of the crew may follow as we see from your report.

I do agree that simply switching off the call sign without making any enquiry is rude but is it usual to be given a second coffee when the Captain has already announced that they are about to make their descent? Don't the crew need time to clean up and stow everything (including themselves) for a safe landing?

The hotel in Berlin seems comfortable and friendly. What more could one ask? A good find for a short stay.

Thanks for sharing,
Roy


User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 21, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7568 times:

Hi Jonas

Thanks for the interesting report and the lovely pictures you took of Berlin.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Postdamer Platz – Cool but boring…

My sentiment exactly. There's just so much to see and do in Berlin that somehow Potsdamer Platz, although very modern, kind of fades away.

As for your comments on the A310 as the ugliest airbus ever built, I beg to differ. The A310 has a very elegant wing, I think. The fat A380 with its flat nose is by far the ugliest Airbus ever built, closely followed by the A318 which simply looks stupid.

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26975 posts, RR: 57
Reply 22, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 7239 times:

Hey Jonas ,
As usual a report in your signature style  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The airline in question happened to have a very restrictive mileage earning chart for *A partners, which basically means that nearly all booking classes in Economy (including many high ones) are blocked on most airlines

Well to be honest you cant have your cake and eat it   Thank them very much that you have been given the chance to obtain Star Gold at a very attractive rate! There is always SK or LH if you are not happy with the M&B program.   Of course you may fall out of the net for the Youth tickets by the time you get Star Gold on those low revenue tickets and a much higher requirement of status miles.   lol...

Still well done and keep up the good work .

Regards

Philip  


User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1092 posts, RR: 31
Reply 23, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7188 times:

Gosh Jonas, it is almost worth tuning into your reports for all the friendly bickering between you and Petteri. Very funny. That is before the usual top-quality photos, opinionated observations and generally suave use of English. Can I say, as a non-native speaker, your level of English is far superior to the majority of my friends. I suppose you are fairly bilingual.

On your Currywurst deviation;

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Currywurst was the food that rebuilt the city of Berlin

is like saying 'Cornflakes Rebuilt London" or "Rice supported the renaissance of Asia"

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
€1,40 for a single espresso, and two finnish Dumle chocolates is not bad price for an airport.

That is cracking value. I would even break my vow of non-purchase in airport for that deal.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Exterior view of Tegel Airport.

Did not age well at all - sure in its day it was great. I hope people never speak like that about LHR T5 in decades time.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
If all else fails go to that kiddie playground park thingy opposite Starbucks,

haha - conjured the image.

Glad you got your good nights sleep with no 'Vegetables' this time.

Rgds

Luke



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4269 posts, RR: 51
Reply 24, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7178 times:

Hi Jonas,

thanks for showing me around Berlin your way. You know, Berlin is maybe the most interesting city in Europe. For me personally it is. I like this city most, more then e.g. London or Paris (cities with the name).

Although your hotel is good price/quality ratio    but seems nothing more, I wouldn't rate this as boutique hotel. For me, boutique hotel means more luxury. Your room is indeed 3*, the bathroom is definitely not boutique looking. And I'm pretty sure the Nespresso offering is a one of a kind, usual not offered of course. Otherwise they would put a 'free to use machine' in some place in the reception lobby. So that Nespresso, although very kind offer, doesn't count.

TXL is a very stylish airport, with history felt inside. So sad that also this airport will close after THF. You don't like it, but you're a young man and probably prefer the newly built 'all the same kind of' airports. With TXL we loose a very interesting airport imho. Well, in June we can judge if BBI is an improvement. I guess it will be, but I am already sure it won't give the same feeling that I always got when travelling through TXL.

But what's up with SAS? Although on your outbound, it's very strange that nobody answered your call button. Aside from that, it's quite clear that no more coffee can be served during descend, so once she collected the garbage, she was of course right not to bring you another cup. Friendliness is still something to show, and seems missing here. Strange though, I haven't received bad crews on SAS flights till today, and I've done quite a few flights with them already.

Regards
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
25 Post contains images LH4116 : Hey everyone, thanks again for the second round of replies. Thanks a lot for giving the report a read, means a lot! Hi Matthew. Quite surprised you ha
26 MSS658 : Hi Jonas Great trip report, thanks for sharing it with us! Very well written and crisp clear pics as well. Sorry to hear about your bad SK crew on the
27 abrelosojos : Fantastic report on my new favorite inconsistent European carrier. A few years ago, if I thought that I would prefer to fly Finnair over SAS, I would
28 Post contains images LH4116 : Hoi Marc! Yes this was my first bad crew experience on SAS, and I suppose it had to happen at some point. But still I prefer Air France over SAS Inte
29 Post contains images signol : Hi Jonas, thanks for another well-written report with great photos A shame about the McDo - especially if they were about to throw them out. Ours serv
30 Post contains images LH4116 : Hi Signol, thanks for your reply. Yeah, well they still had some fairly fresh ones I'd say that they could have sold me. Oh well hopefully that won't
31 Post contains images stipica : Hi "celebrity" ! what to say ... SAS and you ... again and again and again ... boring ... no gold card ... don't know how you are able to travel witho
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