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Mates And Muffins! HEL-TXL/SXF-BRU-TLL-HEL  
User currently offline717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 9
Posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 10562 times:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/G9P4221338925375.jpg

Background

According to new research we humans spend up to thirty percent of the time we are awake interacting with other individuals. This phenomenon - a need to interact with others - is also something that characterizes most aircraft enthusiasts. Judging the number of Airliners.net meetings held at various airports during the last years speak a clear language and I knew that I had to join one of these meetings at some stage. The perfect opportunity was presented in January when a group of fellow-minded people decided to host a meet at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. Because of school and family reasons I was unfortunately unable to join the event back then and it really was a no-brainer to put my name on the list of participants when the idea of a BER meet came up.

Unfortunately I wasn't going to be able to fly into Berlin already on Saturday evening as it was my last day of school and without going into any further details it was a day that I now have many nice memories of, I spent the evening with some great friends. All this made me even more eager to celebrate the beginning of my summer holiday with a trip to Berlin. But the way to here had been quite bumpy, right? Let's take a look at everything my booking department had gone through during the last couple of months:

As you might have noticed reading my trip reports I prefer to fly the Boeing 717 always when possible. A look into the options of getting to Berlin revealed the following alternatives
1) fly nonstop on Air Berlin with a price tag of 60 EUR
2) choose Air Baltic and go via Riga for 65 EUR
3) make a booking with Blue1 and SAS flying via Copenhagen for 70 EUR

Did I say Blue1? And the Boeing 717 on to CPH? I was sold. HEL-CPH-BER was quickly booked and was definitely great value with 35 EUR per segment. Another added silver lining was that the CPH-BER segment was scheduled to be operated by the CRJ-900 that I have tried logging twice and failed miserably both times. I decided to wait a couple of days before booking any return flights as some other travel plans needed some final touches as well.

That ended up being a good idea as not many days later I got a message from Blue1 saying that flight schedules had changed. In this case it meant that my transfer time in Copenhagen was reduced to 10 minutes (!). I hadn't been booked on any other flights - I only read "connection is not possible" on my booking page.
Solution? A call to Blue1, a discussion with a lovely girl and rebooked on HEL-ARN-BER instead with a much better schedule. Unfortunately, the Boeing 717 had been replaced by an ATR and the CRJ-900 was also gone (why does these changes keep happening to me?) but I really couldn't complain as it had been replaced by a Boeing 737-600, another rare type missing from my log.

Looking for return options my main goal was to spend one night in Berlin or another city and catch one or two new aircraft types on the way home. So I happened to notice Estonian Air (that airline with the gorgeous livery and free muffins) selling BRU-TLL-HEL tickets for 75 EUR for my preferred date. And it would include the CRJ-900 and the Saab 340, yet two new aircraft types!

The dots were connected by a very reasonable 30 EUR easyJet ticket and I was ready to go for my first ever A.net meeting! Or so I thought. At first I thought the news about the opening of BER airport being postponed was a big (and very bad) joke - but nope - it was reality. This meant that my onward flight with the orange airline would now leave from SXF - Schönefeld would be a new airport for me but still it would cut my time at the meeting even shorter. At least there was something positive about this flight: I later learned that fellow flier Marc would be joining me on U2 4707!

After all these changes I thought my routing would look like this:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/NEW.png

Pre-flight

Online check-in worked like a charm 22 hours ahead of departure for my Blue1 and SAS flights (what else would you expect from the world's most punctual airline) and I succesfully select my seats for both segments. Despite being there immediately when OLCI opens there isn't many seats to choose from on the HEL-ARN leg, indicating money is being made on tomorrow's flight:



When I arrive home to print out the boarding passes (no chance to do so earlier) OLCI is no longer available - an error message is shown and I am asked to contact staff at the airport. I smell some surprises in store for me here!

Sunday 03.06.2012

Still remembering the 04.45 a.m. flight I experienced on BT some weeks ago (and the shock horror of booking myself again on that flight quite soon) a comfortable 09.20 a.m. departure this morning was simply luxury. Or so one would have thought. This time I decided to sacrifice my sleep-in until 7.00 a.m. and listen to the screaming tone of my wake up call(s) a bit earlier to be able to meet a certain person (nope, not an A.netter) in time for her flight.

Public transportation still doesn't work very well from my house to the airport early mornings (and specially not on Sundays) and the only available options leave me arriving to the airport only some 50 minutes ahead of departure. Knowing that I still possibly had some check-in issues to solve I was more than happy when my father presented the offer we would drive to the airport by car instead.

The cheapest outside parking lot is full (no wonder considering this is the first day of holiday for thousands of others as well) but P5, the second cheapest option is available for 15 EUR per day (rip-off, but good value considering Finavia is in control here). After leaving the car there I see a command I need to obey:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3272.jpg

The hike to the airport continues by foot and when I see this rural landscape in front I think of a certain song:

Sur le pont d'Avignon
L'on y danse, l'on y danse
Sur le pont d'Avignon
L'on y danse tous en rond


http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3273.jpg

Eventually, I see the well-known Blue1 headquarters in front of me and by turning my head a little bit to the left Terminal 1 of Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport is there as well:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3274.jpg

The Blue1 baggage drop-off counters (not that I have anything else to drop-off than a question about problems with their systems) are (wo)manned and very little queue. I think of Petteri when I hear the conversation a couple ahead of me are having.
Agent: "So here are your boarding passes to Edinburgh, have a nice flight. Unfortunately your flight is leaving from gate 32, so if you haven't got any exercice today then now you will. I am sorry about this, but all airport operators have their faults, no?"
Couple: "What do you mean by exercice?"
Agent: "You'll get to walk through the whole airport. Hope you don't get lost on the way and once again my apologies!"

Soon it is my turn and I explain my situation to the agent. She soon lights up. "Yes, we have a special offer in store for you today! The Blue1 flight to Stockholm is quite heavily overbooked today and we thought you might be interested in taking the nonstop Lufthansa flight to Berlin instead". I have two questions on my mind: 1) isn't today the inaugural Lufthansa flight to BER and 2) will there be any compensation. As she answers yes to both my questions we decide to volunteer. She isn't able to do anything yet though and asks us to contact the staff at the gate instead as there is a couple of large families onboard and their top priority is to get these guys off the flight (I learn they are flying HEL-ARN-CDG and the new promised routing would be a nonstop Finnair flight around the original departure time. Apparently they can't rebook on KF/SK as all their flights are fully booked today (and someone said SAS is losing money?).

Soon I realize what time it is, thank the gate agent, rush upstairs through security control just in time to see the person I was about to meet getting her boarding pass scanned at the gate as the last passenger (why, Blue1, why do you guys always need to leave so early? a little chat would have been nice?) but the gate agent at the (un)lucky gate of 13 just smiles when I ask her to hold the flight for a minute and at least I get a hug. The flight still pushes back more than 10 minutes ahead of scheduled so I hope they're not mad at me! Next stop is gate 13A, assigned gate for my flight to Stockholm. There I learn from the same agent that checked me in that one family took the offer of moving, the other didn't and that I should wait until everyone have boarded. "We at Blue1 want you never to be bored" is her explanation. "Feel free to sit down at the nearby café, I will come and talk to you then and thanks again for volunteering!" is what she says next and I really can't stay mad can I?

The flight boards early (what else on Blue1?) and soon Mrs. Sunshine (an appropriate name for the gate agent) approaches us. "Everyone has already boarded and now we are still overbooked by one so I will be needing your help". I ask her whether this means my father and I should travel separately. "Of course not, I have no problem in rebooking both of you and so there will be one free seat on the Stockholm flight, specially dedicated to you guys!). Superb customer service and moments later we have also chosen to go for the vouchers (a total compensation of 300 EUR) instead of half the amount in cash.

The globally known print-all-flights-on-a-single-piece-of-paper boarding pass is soon in her possession. She invites us to follow her to the Lufthansa gate as well (apparently she is handling that flight also - what a conincidence!) where she will check us in. I ask her if it would be possible to get a window seat near the front of the aircraft and once again the answer is "of course!". Moments later we are handed our new boarding passes with sequence numbers 70 and 71, not a fully booked flight today then. Seat 5E and 5F are perfect for us and she also assures that 5D should stay empty.

My new flight:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3275.jpg

And soon comes the best part - the vouchers, delivered with "greetings from the girls at the ticketing department". Finally, after years of trying, I have two of them in my hands!

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3284.jpg

Moments later I notice my name is not correctly written on them - as sure as my first name begins with the letter R it is not Robert - and I let Mrs. Sunshine know about this. She assures me that despite vouchers are personal it should be no big deal but she promises to get it changed.

After this it is time to get in the "inaugural mood" as they are starting to set up a table near the gate area. Of course I go there to have a closer look at the offerings!

There's a nice lady guarding the table:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3278.jpg

No cake, but coffee and dougnuts (with lots of filling!):

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3279.jpg

I'm happy to see this poster is still featuring the good old Lufthansa slogan instead of the boring "nonstop you":

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3280.jpg

Soon I spot something familiar landing on runway 15 (no, not the Finnair plane!):

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3282.jpg

It is D-AIBB, a new one for my log, named after the city of Aalen east of Stuttgart and it is arriving well ahead of scheduled:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3283.jpg

I start counting the deboarding passengers (there's not very many of them!) but immediately stop when I see a familiar looking hat emerging from the jetway. Could it be? Yes, it is the one and only Flying Finn. What follows is my first (and definitely shortest) A.net meet - we shake hands and exchange a couple of phrases before he has to continue - at least it was nice meeting you! Perhaps with more time next time?

A moment later I also spot fellow A.netter AYA333 chatting with some guys from the Finnish flight forum - of course I shake hands with them as well!

Soon we get other things to think about as my first ever ribbon cutting ceremony is about to begin! The purser and captain on the flight are particing as well as a smartly dressed gentleman from Lufthansa and a girl from HEL ground handling:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3286.jpg

I can feel the joy:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3288.jpg

Having cut the ribbon they do it once again for the press and I also decide to enjoy the photo opportunities:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3290.jpg

No speech, no music - I have mixed feelings for how Lufthansa did in HEL - but as it was my first time boarding an inaugural flight I will not complain!

Soon they announce "we are ready to board in 10 minutes" which changes to "we're ready to board now" a minute later. All of a sudden Mrs. Sunshine appears from nowhere and my father and I follow her to an empty podium, skipping to whole queue where she scans our boarding passes and returns the frequent flier cards I had given her earlier to be put in the system. I take this opportunity to thank her for the great service and she really seems to appreciate the feedback.

LH2975
Lufthansa
HEL-TXL
D-AIBB, Airbus A319, "Aalen"
Seat 5F, Economy
10.25-11.25 (10.17-10.59)

I am welcomed on board by purser Ania. She remains friendly throughout the flight but never makes any attempt at creating a connection, showing a smile or going that little extra mile. But that is Lufthansa - in good and bad!

I pass through the couple of rows of business class:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3291.jpg

...and soon find the nice view available from my seat:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3293.jpg

The plane is fitted with the new thin seats and leg room is quite okay:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3295.jpg

As everyone has boarded we get a nice and detailed welcome speech by our captain. Flight time is announced to be a short 1 hour 40 minutes (compare it to 2h00min in the schedules!) and weather in Berlin is expected to be cloudy with temperature + 14 °C (perfect for a curry wurst, no?). The nice guy behind the controls also tells us to "enjoy the service" which makes my expecations high - did I hear right? But then again it is true that you never know what plane you end up in when you fly BT and neither can you ever be sure what will be served onboard your Lufthansa flight. That's a surprise factor for you!

After everyone has boarded the German cabin crew get a schock when Mrs. Sunshine rushes onboard, reaches my row and exclaims: "I missed you too much, come with me and fly Blue1 instead!". Our purser eyes her like she would be a maniac so she calms down and hands me the voucher, this time carrying my right name - "I almost forgot to give it to you at the gate!" to which I say "No, I forgot to pick it up!". "No, I... anyway, have a great time and see you soon I hope!" she says before wishing Ania and colleagues auf wiedersehen.

Ania repeats the same information as the captain told us moments earlier and soon we push back at 10.17, eight minutes early, no wonder considering the early and low-loaded inbound.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3296.jpg

Hello, 757:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3297.jpg

Around our scheduled departure time we lift off from the ground - bye HEL:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3298.jpg

Clouds over the capital region:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3299.jpg

Next it is time for the mandatory SeatPocket Check (TM):

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3300.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3301.jpg

Mysteriously, the thin Lufthansa Magazin as well as the small safety card were later discovered in my backpack... how did that happen?

Soon, the seatbelt sign is switched off and sitting in front of the plane really does have its advantages as it doesn't take many minutes before Ania arrives at my row with the service trolley. She asks "Cheese or ham?" so I guess we will only get a sandwich so I am surprised as we get this... goodie bag:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3302.jpg

Unwrapped, service really is a mixed bag (pun intended):

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3303.jpg

In addition to the sandwich there is a delicious almond cookie, a chocolate bear and some cough sweets I decided to save for later consumption. Soft drinks are free as well.

A second drinks run is also made, this time a cup of coffee fits in nicely (despite being served in such a boring cup):

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3304.jpg

Unwrapping the sandwich I find quite a simple and a bit dry one - but still okay and way better than nothing at all!

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3305.jpg

Enjoying the nice views in this café:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3306.jpg

Also a look back in the bus - load was around 60 % with lots of empty seats in the front - we were the only passengers on row 4 and row 5 remained empty as well.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3307.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3308.jpg

The rest of the flight is spent relaxing while enjoying the views (no dropdown screens on this Airbus) and I also read what used to be a great airline magazine - nowadays it has much lower standards but still better than most other magazines (and the airline featured on the first page is very nice, of course):

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3309.jpg

Soon land comes into sight and the seat belt sign is turned on.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3311.jpg

Yes please, rather than nuclear power:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3313.jpg

We fly over some quite densely populated areas...

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3316.jpg

...before kissing the ground

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3320.jpg

... and braking for a succesful landing at TXL!

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3321.jpg

Hello, countryman:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/LH2975/IMG_3325.jpg

Dedicated to PlaneHunter:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3328.jpg

We arrive and park at a gate at 10.59, 26 minutes ahead of scheduled, well done I must say! I let everyone else disembark first before asking Ania about the possibility of taking a cabin picture. "Of course!" is her answer, but she doesn't get my joke whether she wants to be in the picture or not...

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3331.jpg

A friendly, but still not overly enthusiastic goodbye from the crew and some moments later I am out in the public.

Next up is mission "find the others". Together with Jani (AYA333) and my father we first ask for directions to the observation deck (I didn't even know it was still open!) and soon we find it. But just before entering we see some familiar looking faces near the Ess-Bahn (the place to be at Tegel, obviously).

After taking this photo of something that soon is no more (if we can believe that BER really will open on 17MAR)...

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3334.jpg

... I am introduced to a lovely bunch of people. I can't possibly remember who was the first one I shoke hands with - but I am sure it was a really nice person! Hannah, Nils, Blaž, Johannes, Gabriel, Oliver, William and Marco were all there when we arrived but soon other respected A.netters such as Suryo, Eric, PlaneHunter, Robert, Robin and Marc also joined us! Many new persons, many nice discussions, interesting flights... we have a great time, that's for sure!

Thank you to everyone for making my first A.net meet such a memorable experience! And thanks to Blaž for the souvenir - I guess I should be planning a trip to LJU soon?  

A while after taking a group photo it is time for me and my father to get going - it's never easy to say goodbye but easier when you know there is a next time we will meet again!. We hop on a fully loaded TXL-bus bound for the Hauptbahnhof - one of the few German words that are part of my (bad) German.

A couple of shots from Berlin (a lovely city - once again my stay there was w-a-y too short!).

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3335.jpg

Not sure what these guys are lying there for - no sunshine to be seen:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3336.jpg

The Reichstag:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3346.jpg

Here it is, the main railway station in Berlin:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3337.jpg

After having purchased a ticket we notice there is still almost half an hour till the next express train to Schönefeld so we sit down for a pizza:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3342.jpg

TIDS:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3353.jpg

The old-fashioned cabin:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3354.jpg

After a train ride of some 20 minutes and walking through some dark and stinky corridors I finally locate the airport building and find my flight on the monitors located outside:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3355.jpg

Beautiful, or...?

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3356.jpg

Three reasons why you should not fly from Schönefeld

1). The guys at the security control must be the most grumpy guys I've ver seen - they look at me like I would be out of my mind when I greet them and they inspect my home-printed boarding pass thoroughly. Finally they let me through and it almost seems like they are disapointed that I passed without a beep! Well, good for me.

2). Next we are forced to go up some stairs and there's no elevator insight - what about passengers with special needs?

3). Schönefeld is another one of those airports where you end up in the middle of a tax free store when you are trying to locate your gate. And your gate is of course not announced yet - the monitor only lists "please wait". The whole atmosphere is quite depressed with people sitting on the floor, the smell of burned bread is coming from one of the few eateries available....

Finally, some 45 minutes ahead of departure they announce my gate - A63 - which of course is in the very other end of the bunker. Eventually I arrive there, show my boarding pass, try to locate Marc but can't find him, line up for boarding, get in the first bus together with speedy boarders and off we go.

In the end we stop in front off G-EZPG, a new one for my log:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3359.jpg

The other half of the plane:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3360.jpg

No doubt who is the big player here:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3361.jpg

Almost inside:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3365.jpg

U2 4707
easyJet
SXF-BRU
G-EZPG, Airbus A319
Seat 6F, Economy
17.00-18.30 (16.59-18.20)

Inside, a very chirpy female crew member welcomes me onboard, takes a look at my boarding pass (easyJet is the only airline I've flown with that does this) and compliments me on my orange shirt - well thank you!  

Hmm, what could be a nice seat:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3366.jpg

As I liked the view and atmosphere of seat 5F so much this morning I decided to do the same again - only with a small twist so that you readers won't be bored so 6F it is:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3367.jpg

View towards the front before the second bus arrived:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3368.jpg

First, our captain Roman is on the speakers. He assures us that "Thomas and his fantastic crew" will take good care of us today and that thanks to headwinds our flying time to Brussels is only 1 hour 10 minutes. Weather in Brussels is expected to be "the same as here, but even worse". Finally he expects our engines to be running within five minutes, which also means an on time departure.

The crew onboard today's flight is very jolly - each crew member is introduced by name and our purser refers to "your extremely good-looking easyJet crew" many times during the flight. Even further he knows all announcements by heart and he seems to love being on the microphone - we hear all kinds of stuff including that easyJet loves customers and that if we want to look as good as the cabin crew we should buy stuff from their in flight sales sortiment....

We push back one minute early at 16.59 and dig into the grey skies from runway 25 after a short taxi. As expected, the load is a 100 % with a slim Belgian girl on the aisle seat.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3370.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3372.jpg

Swimming pools, anyone?

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3373.jpg

Easyjet planes are shining when skies are grey..

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3374.jpg

... and they shine even more when the sky is blue!

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3375.jpg

Service is BOB, as expected but wait....

717Flyer's Big Official Buy On Board Muffin Test

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3376.jpg

Inspired by Robin's choice of meal onboard his LTN-SXF flight the very same morning I decided it was more than appropriate to go for the muffin combo as well. Thomas was more than happy to fulfill this request and my choice between a lovely blueberry muffin or a wonderful chocolate muffin ends up being the later one. I decide to take coffee to go with it.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3377.jpg

Somehow I manage to pour some milk on the tray table when trying to put it in my coffee cup instead - but the purser is there in a second.

"Here, let me give you some napkins to clean it up".
"Thank you!"
"Would you like more milk to go with your coffee?"
"No, I'm fine thank you".
"Are you sure? More napkins? Is there anything else I can get for you?"

That is not something you would expect to hear on a low-cost flight but once again easyJet proved that it is all about the crews!

Unwrapping the muffin:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3378.jpg

- The muffin is priced at 2,50 EUR which is an acceptable price considering the generous amount. I also find the combo options a nice extra in the easyJet BOB sortiment! (RATING: 4/5)

- When it comes to looks the packaging does not stand out of the crowd but when you unveil the muffin itself it does look fluffy and asks you to eat it!   (RATING: 3.5/5)

- First impression: A moist muffin with large bits of dark chocolate - I'm in heaven! (RATING: 5/5)

- The consistence isn't the same all through the muffin - a bit drier at the end and the portion is almost a bit too big! But a nice experience nevertheless. (RATING: 4/5)

OVERALL: 4,25/5

Previous 717FBOBOBMT™s
1. Air Baltic, Mantinga muffin with Chocolate Drops, average score 4.5/5
2. easyJet (you are reading it right now), average score 4.25/5
3. Flybe, Mont Mabel’s Milk Chocolate Muffin, average score 4/5
*

Hey, we're not alone:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3379.jpg

Taking a look at the small, but for me still bearable leg room:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3381.jpg

And in case everyting doesn't go as planned you need this piece of paper:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3382.jpg

Soon descent is announced, seat belt sign is put on and our purser makes the standard announcements in his very personal style.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3383.jpg

All of a sudden, land comes in sight:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3384.jpg

The landing is very smooth - specially when taking into consideration the weather conditions:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3385.jpg

During taxi, our purser sings a bit of a song to us both in German and English about goodbyes and of course he also points out our early arrival as one of the perks of flying easyJet.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3387.jpg

Finally, as we reach our parking position and he announces "Ding dong, last stop of the line, everyobody get off please" everyone is laughing. Way to go, easyJet! The purser gets many nice comments by passengers at the door and I tell him that "You were great, I wish all cabin crews would be like you!".

Marc and I are the last ones onboard and while he makes a cockpit visit I take some cabin pictures:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3389.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3390.jpg

Finally our lovely purser insists I take a photo with him, the two other male crew members working in the back of the cabin are also invited - and voilà! I'm not going to post the outcome here - but it's a funny picture for sure. The

42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 10602 times:

Finally our lovely purser insists I take a photo with him, the two other male crew members working in the back of the cabin are also invited - and voilà! I'm not going to post the outcome here - but it's a funny picture for sure. Then, like this wouldn't be enough the purser invites me to take a peek into the cockpit as well "if you have the courage to ask the man behind the controls, that is".

I am brave, we have a nice little chat with the captain that had been flying orange for six years and here's proof of my visit "to the office":

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3392.jpg

Finally a really nice goodbye - what an amazing flight!  http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3393.jpg

Even the dispatcher wishes us "welcome back soon" so looks like the whole easy team were having a great day!

Walking towards the terminal building (oh - the perks of flying easyJet...) with Marc we wonder if this is Nils' plane:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3394.jpg

... but that is of course not the case as I learn his plane is an Avro and - we had landed so early that Marc's fellow countryman was still in the air...

Thanks to Marc we eventually manage to locate Nils' arrival gate - A50 - and form a welcome committee there. With some good advice from their side a couple of lost Finns even manage to find the way to the train platforms, jump on a nasty old train to Brussels Centraal... and eventually arrive at their hotel after some detours in the rain. Thanks again Marc and Nils - it was nice meeting you!

After circling in the rain for a good hour or so a hotel room sounds like a great idea and indeed our decently-priced (60 EUR including American breakfast) room at Bedford Hotel looks really nice and inviting:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3396.jpg

Window view:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3398.jpg

After this there's only two things left on my mind: 1) to do OLCI for my Estonian Air flights tomorrow and 2) see the Manneken Pis.

But which one is it, this one...

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3402.jpg

... or this one?  http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3403.jpg

Finally I can't resist having a quick look at the central square in Brussels - Grote Markt!

On my way there:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3404.jpg

Beautiful:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3405.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3409.jpg

Then. Back to the hotel. Eat a sandwich. Sleep. More sleep. Sweet dreams about a great day.

Monday 04.06.2012

After a perfectly comfortable wake up call at 08.00 a.m. and a filling buffet breakfast enjoyed in the hotel breakfast room it is time for a little bit of a sidetrip (not by plane, though) to Brugge - also known as the Venice of the North. Despite the terrible weather and delayed trains we manage to enjoy some really nice views there - I will mostly let the pictures speak for themselves here. Oh, and the 50 minutes or so on the train was nicely spent starting to write the very report you are reading now!

This is what we see not many steps from the railway station, I immediately started to like this place:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3411.jpg

On our way to the oval-shaped historic centre of Brugge (that of course is an UNESCO World Heritage Site) I see this fellow tourist with... well... an interesting outfit:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3412.jpg

The Church of Our Lady is a good landmark in case you get lost on the narrow streets in Brugge:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3415.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3416.jpg

Without any further intentions of going there we soon find ourselves on the Markt (the main square):

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3418.jpg

The Belfry - definitely one of the city's symbols:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3420.jpg

Soon we find a nice brasserie where we sit down to escape the rain and the cold winds for a moment and I enjoy a schnitzel:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3423.jpg

Some last canal views on our view back to the railway station:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3443.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3445.jpg

Oops, what happened here:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3449.jpg

Dedicated to Jonas:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3460.jpg

Yes, this is the train station:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3463.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3464.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3465.jpg

Onboard (once again running quite a bit late...)

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3469.jpg

...but this adorable sign inside the train makes up for quite a bit of the delay:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3466.jpg

At the Brussels Centraal station we head out for a little walk, enjoy some delicious Belgian waffles (too hungry - no photo), buy a ticket for the airport express train and finally arrive way too early at the airport with more than 2 hours to departure. Unfortunately the boarding pass printouts from the hotel are no good and the lady scanning boarding passes before admission further sends us back to check in - bugger! There is quite a bit of queue with lots of Estonians with loads of luggage and the agent definitely is surprised that we 1) have no bags to check in and that 2) we need a reprint.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3473.jpg

My precious piece of cardboard:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3474.jpg

We definitely get some exercice on our way to our gate but eventually we find it and a question from the gate agent reveals that the inbound flight is approaching the airport at this very minute so our flight should be fine as well (if the landing is succesful...)

Well, hello:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3478.jpg

Boarding is finally called slightly late, lots of business passengers around, but most importantly, our plane looks so cute:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3479.jpg

Down the jetway, down the stairs and a little walk to this blue cutie:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3480.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3481.jpg

Yes! Yes! It really is a -900 series!

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3482.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3483.jpg

OV178
Estonian Air
BRU-TLL
ES-ACB, CRJ-900
Seat 20A, Economy
19.45-23.15 (19.47-23.06)

A major déjà-vu from when I last boarded an airBaltic flight in the middle of the night without getting any greeting at all soon occurs - a stare and "tere" to our female FA wakes her up and in the end she even nods. This seems to be the trend on Estonian Air as the second FA (also female) stays in the lavatory during boarding and is fixing her make-up. Impressive, or not...

At least the plane is in a good shape and the seats look inviting:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3484.jpg

Some sensitive airlines have no row 13 on their aircraft while those airlines that have it might have some crucial part missing - for example a window:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3487.jpg

Here's 20A, my seat:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3485.jpg

Immediately, I fall in love with the wing view:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3488.jpg

To be a regional jet, I'm impressed by the leg room as well.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3489.jpg

No description needed:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3490.jpg

And a happy looking gentleman on the inflight magazine (later found at home in my backpack...):

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3491.jpg

Cabin view, notice 1) the modern overhead panels and 2) the military appearance of the FA:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3493.jpg

Nothing happens for a while as everyone has taken their seat. The load is quite good, 90 % and soon our female captain is on the speakers! In contrast to the cabin crew she sounds really happy and enthusiastic when welcoming us onboard the flight. Flying time announced as 2 hours 15 minutes. She also introduces both our cabin crew members by name - not that it would make them any more relaxed. During pre-departure checks one of them sighs loudly when she discovers my photo-taking. Well thank you!

The plane is also awfully hot (I smell an APU not being on...) but finally we push back two minutes late at 19.47. Our five-minute-taxi to runway 25R is fast and soon a bumpy take-off and climb follows.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3494.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3501.jpg

A busy road intersection:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3502.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3506.jpg

Not many interesting articles in the inflight magazine but a nice feature about a fashion show organized onboard an OV 737-500:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3508.jpg

Cabin view:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3509.jpg

Soon I decide to find something more interesting to read from my backpack - this:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3511.jpg

After having pretty much emptied the seat pocket (the safety card screamed to be liberated) I decide to leave the publication there - mostly because it features a huge Blue1 ad on the second page.  http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3510.jpg

It takes forever before the service trolley reaches my row. At first I thought OV had done some serious cutbacks as I found a BOB menu in the seat pocket...

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3492.jpg

...but in the end there is free service. Soft drinks, coffee and a sandwhich with mayonnaise, salad and tomatoes.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3513.jpg

The sandwich tastes quite alright even though I am not a big fan of mayonnaise but the coffee is disgusting - it tastes like petrol. Anyway I am happy Estonian Air has not yet decided to go BOB-only.

Soon I forget all about this as some amazing views are available outside. I spot more than ten passengers taking pictures of the beautiful sunset - the expression on the FA's face is quite priceless actually but in the end she doesn't bother to complain.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3516.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3517.jpg

Land in sight:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3518.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3523.jpg

No further information from the flight deck during the flight and soon the seat belt sign is switched on. The beautiful views are still the same though:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3526.jpg

Brakes, Captain!

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3528.jpg

Look, even the moon is wishing us welcome to Estonia:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3533.jpg

Our landing is rough...

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3535.jpg

... and our taxi is very fast which is greatly appreciated as I don't have an extra minute for my connection:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3537.jpg

For a change I'm one of the first ones to leave the plane (I'm not in the mood of spending a night at TLL - even if it would have been financed by Estonian Air) and once again only a nod from the flight attendant at the door, not impressed as you might have noticed already.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3538.jpg

Entering the terminal building I put on my cell phone and notice the time is 23.10 so we arrived some five minutes early and boarding for my flight to Helsinki should begin at this very moment. Indeed I locate my next gate (7) some meters away and boarding is already underway. At first I am scared that we will board the Embraer parked at the end of the jetway (one of the reasons for booking this connection was sampling my first ever Saab aircraft!) so luckily we go down stairs and board a bus instead.

We drive off immediately and I count only 14 passengers in the bus, a low load even for the 33-seater Saab:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3539.jpg

I notice only one Saab being parked on the apron at this time - it is the special HockeyBird plane - but we happily drive past it which makes me quite worried (the seat map during OLCI was definitely showing a 1-2 seat layout and the right number of rows as well) so judge how surprised I am when we actually stop in front of the plane and the bus driver opens the doors:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3540.jpg

Not only is it an ATR 42 (a type desperately missing in my log) but the older -300 version! LY-ARI is carrying Danish Air Transport stickers all the way despite operating for DOT LT (an airline founded as Danu Oro Transportas). I guess it kinda makes sense as DAT is the main shareholder in DOT. At this moment I couldn't care less that I missed my Saab 340 and happily board as the last passenger.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3542.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3543.jpg

OV617
Estonian Air operated by DOT LT
TLL-HEL
LY-ARI, ATR 42-300
Seat 10D, Window
23.40-00.10 (23.44-00.14)

Inside, a cute, young, blonde, friendly, Danish FA greets me. Despite being close to midnight she's shining like the sun and laughs when she sees my photo taking - quite alright so far!

Cabin view, you really wouldn't know that this aircraft is already some 25 years old:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3544.jpg

My seat is featuring a spicy DAT logo:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3545.jpg

There's two flight attendants onboard today, both female; one older Estonian is hiding in front of the plane all flight and does nothing else than the welcome announcement while the Danish girl does the rest of the job. We are welcomed onboard this "Estonian Air flight operated by DOT LT" and flight time is announced as 25 minutes. We still wait for some late bags to be delivered until we push back some four minutes late.

The leg room is tight but I guess I can stand it for such a short flight:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3547.jpg

A nice part of my safety card collection now:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3548.jpg

Cabin view, indeed the load is only some 20 %, wonder how Estonian Air is planning to make money on the HEL route?

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3550.jpg

Not my ride tonight:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3551.jpg

With the low load it doesn't take long before we dig into the skies from runway 08.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3554.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3556.jpg

Service on this short hop is impressive: first a water run is made, followed by some Estonian Kalev chocolates - you definitely couldn't wish for more on a flight of this duration!

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3558.jpg

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3559.jpg

Not a word from the flight deck during the flight but our great Danish friend soon announces landing to HEL in five minutes...

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3561.jpg

...and indeed we touch the ground on runway 15 right on our scheduled arrival time.

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3562.jpg

One of the greatest mysteries of man kind is why Estonian Air is using terminal 2 at HEL (shouldn't they be lounging in T1 together with their EuroBonus buddies from KF?) and so we won't park on the regular commuter apron but have quite a lengthy taxi to some weird place...

When we finally get there some four minutes later everyone gets up in a minute and the Danish FA allows me to take a cabin shot by saying "Please do so, it is a nice plane for sure!".

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3563.jpg

Despite everyone is waiting in the bus we have a nice chat - she wonders about my aviation hobby and I wonder a bit about the airline she's flying for. Finally we wish each other a good night and I take this last shot of our trusted plane before entering the bus:

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k494/B717Flyer/IMG_3564.jpg

Conclusion

The true identity of an airline is only revealed when everything does not go as planned. This is exactly what happened on Blue1 and I was very impressed by how the situation was handled. We were always kept updated, many apologies were made and some jokes were thrown in as well. And who can resist 300 EUR in vouchers? My favourite airline remains.

It was a very special feeling to be part of my first ever inaugural flight. Even though Lufthansa could have done a little bit (actually much) more to promote the new route I boarded the flight with a smile on my face. Otherwise straight from the crew handbook: efficient service without any attempt of being personal but of course without being rude. Service conducted = manager is happy = most customers are happy = I am not convinced Lufthansa will be my primary choice next time.

easyJet once again showed me how wonderful fyling can be at its best. Definitely the best flight I had on this trip!

The new airline - Estonian Air - did quite well as well. For a very good fare they offered me a comfortable connection via TLL - an airport I would love to connect at also in the future. Finally I also got to tick off the CRJ-900 from "things to do during my life" list. Crews were quite mediocre but the CRJ was clean and nice with some free service - I definitely see BT and OV are trying hard to compete against each other. I don't know which one I prefer. Let's wait until one of them introduces the Boeing 717. Finally, my flight on DOT is something I will remember for a l-o-o-n-g time - the ambience onboard, the seats, the aircraft, everything reminded me of how fascinating it is that we humans actually can fly! The cute FA was perhaps the best part and made me wish the 20-minute flight would have been a bit longer. Full points to DOT!

Those of you who have been paying attention now ask the question "717Flyer, why did you talk about muffins in plural in the name of the report - you only mentioned one here". Then let me tell you I think of the A.net meeting as a muffin: you never know what it tastes like on the inside. This time, the A.net meet was such a special experience that it will be just like an excellent muffin - a memory I will cherish for a long time.

Coming up in a week or so: My first rides on two well-known and large Boeings as well as some boutique carriers from the Middle East. Stay tuned!

Thank you for reading this far & please prove it by writing a comment.

Regards,
717Flyer   


User currently onlineKPWMSpotter From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 457 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 10270 times:

Excellent report, thanks for sharing! Looks like you got very lucky, flying an inaugural flight without even planning to...

I'm always surprised by how inviting "domestic" European travel is. The same stage lengths in the US would have barely received free soft drink service, certainly no sandwiches, chocolates, or snacks...

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Oops, what happened here:

That's quite odd... The N-Number on the tail is the same one carried by the Beechcraft Bonanza that crashed in 1959 killing the musician Buddy Holly. The plane has certainly been dressed up to look like a 35 Bonanza, but the fuselage almost looks like it was once a Mooney. Interesting...



I reject your reality and substitute my own...
User currently offlineTravelsUK From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 134 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 10248 times:

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
I see this fellow tourist with... well... an interesting outfit:

Obvioulsy American... who else would wear 'safari' clothes whilst walking through a historic European city!

Thanks for providing a great TR, I really enjoyed reading it.

Cheers!


User currently offlineozzietukker From Netherlands, joined May 2007, 62 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 10208 times:

Great report

I really should go a bit more to the norhern and eastern European country's so I can fly the likes of Estonian.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Three reasons why you should not fly from Schönefeld

For me personally I don't think Schonefeld is that bad, granted, it is not the best airport in the world, but a bit better then Tegel since at least they have the centralised security rather then at the gate.
And ofcourse they will not invest in this airport anymore, it shouldn't have been open anymore right now.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Some sensitive airlines have no row 13 on their aircraft while those airlines that have it might have some crucial part missing - for example a window:

Ouch, that is my worst nightmare that I someday get an assigned window seat without a window, Transvertragia, Dutch 'low' cost airliner and Norwegian have the same in their 737 planes, not good!


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 10107 times:

Hey 717Flyer, nice report!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Unfortunately I wasn't going to be able to fly into Berlin already on Saturday evening as it was my last day of school

Hmm, how come you have school on saturdays?

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
3) make a booking with Blue1 and SAS flying via Copenhagen for 70 EUR

Now that's a no-brainer, I'd have gone for that in a jiffy too!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Superb customer service and moments later we have also chosen to go for the vouchers (a total compensation of 300 EUR) instead of half the amount in cash.

Wow, that's some very good compensation. Was your father kind enough to let you keep his voucher?

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
No cake, but coffee and dougnuts (with lots of filling!):

Actually they're not any doughnuts, but Berliner doughnuts!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
It is D-AIBB, a new one for my log, named after the city of Aalen east of Stuttgart and it is arriving well ahead of scheduled:

Ah look there comes the FlyingFinn76! BB seems to be the plane that operated the route for that particular day.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
After everyone has boarded the German cabin crew get a schock when Mrs. Sunshine rushes onboard, reaches my row and exclaims:

Wow, talk about great customer service! Decided what to do with those vouchers?  
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
no dropdown screens on this Airbus)

Yeah no LH planes have those screens, not even the brand new ones. LX do however...

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
(easyJet is the only airline I've flown with that does this)

Ryanair does it also, and honestly I don't see a point for LCCs to do so. However on long haul flights it's a norm that they check the BP's during boarding for obvious reasons  

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineglobalflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 940 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 10078 times:

Hi Rasmus. Wow this must have taken every bit of time to produce since you arrived home! Very efficient! I enjoyed meeting you and your Dad as well and it was too bad the time was too short. I am glad that you got the vouchers for future travel. That will be used well I am sure. I too love the OV livery but it is too bad that the crew were so "cold"...maybe they are the ones that needed the currywurst!   Some fantastic photos! Again it was a pleasure to meet you and I hope our paths cross again soon in the future! Cheers, Will


Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9871 times:

Hi 717Flyer!

Nice report, just as usual!
Seems like you guys had a great time at the a.net meeting, too bad I couldn't join this time.
Good to see you had a great flight on easyJet, quite the contrast of my only flight with them.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):

No cake, but coffee and dougnuts (with lots of filling!):

Nice touch.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):

I'm happy to see this poster is still featuring the good old Lufthansa slogan instead of the boring "nonstop you":

I must say I agree. I love the "There's no better way to fly" slogan!

Martin


User currently offlinefiloflyer From Finland, joined Feb 2012, 51 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 9786 times:

very nice trip report!! I love estonian air.!! my previous flights with them has been very pleasant and the crj 900 was lovely.. on the tll-hel flight it was funny that in such a short flight they would give you candies.... candies that you wont be able to finish even if you have already landed in helsinki... not unles you chew them..... keep it up!! waiting for your next TR

User currently offlineplanejamie From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2011, 576 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 9774 times:

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
takes a look at my boarding pass (easyJet is the only airline I've flown with that does this)

This is normal for UK airlines to do this - and given U2 is using G- registered (UK) aircraft and I believe a UK AOC they have to stick to the checking boarding pass rules on every flight. It's not too much of a problem and at least they know you're on the right plane/flight and you are the right person  

Very nice trip report - and €300 in vouchers per person for taking a LH inaugural flight rather than an SK flight plus excellent ground crew there! You were lucky!

I aim to attend the next meeting hopefully, though I don't fly commercially enough at the moment to write enough trip reports to keep up with you all! (the next one will be August on BA MAN-LHR-BOS-LHR-MAN) - looks good, I also hope to fly through TXL for the first & last time in the future as I was going to before it was meant to close but exams got in the way, TXL has always intrigued me!

Look forward to your next trip,
Jamie  


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6903 posts, RR: 77
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 9544 times:

Hi 717Flyer,

very enjoyable report about your journey to/from Berlin! Good to meet you, but too bad we didn't have any time to talk. You had suddenly disappeared. Well, next time!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
The flight boards early (what else on Blue1?) and soon Mrs. Sunshine (an appropriate name for the gate agent) approaches us. "Everyone has already boarded and now we are still overbooked by one so I will be needing your help". I ask her whether this means my father and I should travel separately. "Of course not, I have no problem in rebooking both of you and so there will be one free seat on the Stockholm flight, specially dedicated to you guys!). Superb customer service and moments later we have also chosen to go for the vouchers (a total compensation of 300 EUR) instead of half the amount in cash.

Very nice surprise!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
I'm happy to see this poster is still featuring the good old Lufthansa slogan instead of the boring "nonstop you":

I have to agree, that new slogan sounds cheap.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Yes please, rather than nuclear power:

How about that deal - you get our wind turbines, we get your most modern nuclear power plants!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Dedicated to PlaneHunter:

Wow, thank you! I saw that plane, but didn't get the registration!    I flew MXP-CTA on EI-ESG, btw.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Hannah, Nils, Bla%u017E, Johannes, Gabriel, Oliver, William and Marco were all there when we arrived but soon other respected A.netters such as Suryo, Eric, PlaneHunter, Robert, Robin and Marc also joined us! Many new persons, many nice discussions, interesting flights... we have a great time, that's for sure!

  

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Three reasons why you should not fly from Schönefeld

1). The guys at the security control must be the most grumpy guys I've ver seen - they look at me like I would be out of my mind when I greet them and they inspect my home-printed boarding pass thoroughly. Finally they let me through and it almost seems like they are disapointed that I passed without a beep! Well, good for me.

2). Next we are forced to go up some stairs and there's no elevator insight - what about passengers with special needs?

3). Schönefeld is another one of those airports where you end up in the middle of a tax free store when you are trying to locate your gate. And your gate is of course not announced yet - the monitor only lists "please wait". The whole atmosphere is quite depressed with people sitting on the floor, the smell of burned bread is coming from one of the few eateries available....

That sounds really bad! I have never flown to/from SXF.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
- The muffin is priced at 2,50 EUR which is an acceptable price considering the generous amount. I also find the combo options a nice extra in the easyJet BOB sortiment! (RATING: 4/5)

- When it comes to looks the packaging does not stand out of the crowd but when you unveil the muffin itself it does look fluffy and asks you to eat it! (RATING: 3.5/5)

- First impression: A moist muffin with large bits of dark chocolate - I'm in heaven! (RATING: 5/5)

- The consistence isn't the same all through the muffin - a bit drier at the end and the portion is almost a bit too big! But a nice experience nevertheless. (RATING: 4/5)

OVERALL: 4,25/5

Previous 717FBOBOBMT™s
1. Air Baltic, Mantinga muffin with Chocolate Drops, average score 4.5/5
2. easyJet (you are reading it right now), average score 4.25/5
3. Flybe, Mont Mabel’s Milk Chocolate Muffin, average score 4/5

Cool stuff, as usual!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Soon we find a nice brasserie where we sit down to escape the rain and the cold winds for a moment and I enjoy a schnitzel:

That looks a bit small!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Not only is it an ATR 42 (a type desperately missing in my log) but the older -300 version! LY-ARI is carrying Danish Air Transport stickers all the way despite operating for DOT LT (an airline founded as Danu Oro Transportas). I guess it kinda makes sense as DAT is the main shareholder in DOT. At this moment I couldn't care less that I missed my Saab 340 and happily board as the last passenger.

Very interesting type (still missing in my log) and rare carrier - very nice!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1771 posts, RR: 30
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 9410 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi 717Flyer,

A very pleasant read that was my friend! It’s nice to see your account of the flights taken to get to the muff... err meet. KF messed up upon overbooking but saved your day by bumping you off and providing you with some travel vouchers. Great of course and weel taken care of, but suren you missed out on another 717 flight. Then easyJet with the jolly crew, I don’t know what to think of that. Earlier this year I had a jolly and happy crew as well on a Ryanair flight, but the more the flight progressed, the more disturbing I found the crew’s ‘feelgood’ behaviour. Too many announcements, too loud,... I’m glad however it didn’t disturb you (ooh, am sounding like a grumpy old man now probably  ). Estonian did a nice job - good you got that sleek and sexy CRJ900 - and bonus point on scoring the the ATR!
Of course I have some more comments  :

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
I have two questions on my mind: 1) isn't today the inaugural Lufthansa flight to BER and 2) will there be any compensation. As she answers yes to both my questions we decide to volunteer.

You had luck and bad luck it seems. Still do you think it doesn’t cost more to redistribute the bumped pax and give them vouchers then not to overbook the flight? Just a thought...

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
and someone said SAS is losing money?

Of course you don’t really know what prices have been paid for the tickets (except for your own of course).

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
a total compensation of 300 EUR
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Finally, after years of trying, I have two of them in my hands!

Very good, so that’s a few SAS/Blue1 trips in the making?

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
No cake, but coffee and dougnuts

No muffins?

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Yes, it is the one and only Flying Finn.

The poor fellow, had to come home and miss out on al the fun on Sunday. Very good however that you met him!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
We fly over some quite densely populated areas...

You were sitting on the wrong right side of the plane. Left side had the best Berlin views ever  

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Here it is, the main railway station in Berlin:

Quite a modern looking building. Is it a big station?

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Beautiful, or...?

No, just a plain ugly terminal. A true reminiscence of past times.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
A63

Wow, does SXF really has

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
All of a sudden, land comes in sight:

Good to see you had the quite rare 25R approach as well. Must’ve had something to do with the poor visibility that evening.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
I am brave, we have a nice little chat with the captain that had been flying orange for six years and here's proof of my visit "to the office"

Good on you. The guys at ‘easy’ are usually quite ‘easy’ with cockpit visits.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
with Marc we wonder if this is Nils' plane

Like you said, I had a nice and sweet Jumbolino  

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Thanks again Marc and Nils - it was nice meeting you!

The pleasure was all mine  

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
The Church of Our Lady is a good landmark

I wonder why all you tourists keep on choosing Brugge as their primary Belgian destination. There are a few other cities that are at least as niceas or even nicer. Next time: ask me as a guide, I have favorable rates   And I don’t think that church is named that way ha ha ha!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Yes! Yes! It really is a -900 series!

One HEL of a good looking bird in the Estonian colours!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
At this moment I couldn't care less that I missed my Saab 340 and happily board as the last passenger.

I totally agree! A nice change for the better as they say.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
This time, the A.net meet was such a special experience that it will be just like an excellent muffin - a memory I will cherish for a long time.

Sweet.

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 715 posts, RR: 21
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 9334 times:

Hi 717Flyer,

great report with some very nice pictures. Really enjoyed it very much. It was nice to meet you there in Berlin. And looks like you had some nice flights as well, an interesting itinerary you have put together here.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
And soon comes the best part - the vouchers, delivered with "greetings from the girls at the ticketing department". Finally, after years of trying, I have two of them in my hands!

Congrats, that's a very good compensation for the hassle. Well done here by Blue1. And for sure a nice surprise to accidentally get on an inaugural flight. And even with some a.net company, nice.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
No cake, but coffee and dougnuts (with lots of filling!):

Do you know these things are actually called 'Berliner' in Germany, so a quite appropriate offer for a flight to Berlin. (Actually they are called Berliner everywhere in Germany except in Berlin, where they are called pancakes   )

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
It is D-AIBB, a new one for my log, named after the city of Aalen east of Stuttgart and it is arriving well ahead of scheduled:

Nice, I took this very same plane on the afternoon flight to ARN.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
After everyone has boarded the German cabin crew get a schock when Mrs. Sunshine rushes onboard, reaches my row and exclaims: "I missed you too much, come with me and fly Blue1 instead!".

Wow, that's nice. I can only imagine the face of the LH flight attendant after this   ...

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
In addition to the sandwich there is a delicious almond cookie, a chocolate bear and some cough sweets I decided to save for later consumption.

We got almost the same thing on our afternoon flight, except we got an apple instead of the cookie (too bad, I would have preferred the cookie, as most other passengers probably, since almost noone ate the apple)

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Many new persons, many nice discussions, interesting flights... we have a great time, that's for sure!

  

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
takes a look at my boarding pass (easyJet is the only airline I've flown with that does this)

Well, FR does this as well. I guess when they board many flights at the same time they want to make sure nobody get lost during the walk on the apron and end up on a wrong flight.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Finally a really nice goodbye - what an amazing flight!

Indeed, a nice crew can make such a difference.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
see the Manneken Pis.

In my opinion the most overrated tourist attraction in the world. This thing is so small, what is so special about it? Well, maybe to watch the bunch of far-eastern tourists all trying to get pictures at the same time   ...

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
our plane looks so cute:

Indeed, a very nice livery.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
how surprised I am when we actually stop in front of the plane and the bus driver opens the doors:

Wow, another nice surprise, sure a plane that is not so easy to catch.

Thanks again for this report, greetings and until the next meeting

CaptainRed


User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1380 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 9250 times:

Thanks for sharing! OV is indeed not a very covered airline here.
I booked some out of this world itinerary on them from Hannover to Tbilisi sometime in October, while HAJ-TLL is on the E70 and the TLL-TBS in the middle of the night on the CR9. While I would not mind getting the AT4 it could be somehow difficult to fly on that to TBS   The routing is even more weird because it has a 6 hour layover in TLL...

However your report gives me a first insight. I'll probably get that sandwich, too... unless they start the BOB until then. Doesnt makes any sense to have a BOB menu if no BOB exisits. Maybe this is in addition to the free service?


User currently offlineCARST From Germany, joined Jul 2006, 833 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 9221 times:

The best routes so so far to and from Berlin a.net meeting. Very interesting choice of airlines and routes. Seems like an good idea to go with Blue1 and Estonian...

User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 9141 times:

Hello 717Flyer

Very interesting and entertaining report with lots of surprises!
Intersting that EasyJet came out on top compared to the other "full" service airlines.

Best regards,
LXM83


User currently offline717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 8967 times:

KPWMSpotter, TravelsUK, ozzietukker, Jonas, Will, Martin, filoflyer, Jamie, PlaneHunter, Nils, CaptainRed, reifel, CARST, LXM83 ,

Quoting KPWMSpotter (Reply 2):
Excellent report, thanks for sharing!
Quoting TravelsUK (Reply 3):
Thanks for providing a great TR, I really enjoyed reading it.
Quoting ozzietukker (Reply 4):
Great report
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
Hey 717Flyer, nice report!
Quoting globalflyer (Reply 6):
Some fantastic photos!
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 7):
Nice report, just as usual!
Quoting filoflyer (Reply 8):
very nice trip report!!
Quoting planejamie (Reply 9):
Very nice trip report
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
very enjoyable report about your journey to/from Berlin!
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
A very pleasant read that was my friend!
Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 12):
great report with some very nice pictures. Really enjoyed it very much.
Quoting reifel (Reply 13):
Thanks for sharing!
Quoting LXM83 (Reply 15):
Very interesting and entertaining report with lots of surprises!

Thank you all for your kind comments and I am glad to hear you all enjoyed the report!

Quoting KPWMSpotter (Reply 2):
That's quite odd... The N-Number on the tail is the same one carried by the Beechcraft Bonanza that crashed in 1959 killing the musician Buddy Holly. The plane has certainly been dressed up to look like a 35 Bonanza, but the fuselage almost looks like it was once a Mooney. Interesting...


Really? Well this sheds some light on it, good to know.

Quoting TravelsUK (Reply 3):
Obvioulsy American... who else would wear 'safari' clothes whilst walking through a historic European city!

I guess so, but you can never be sure!  
Quoting ozzietukker (Reply 4):
For me personally I don't think Schonefeld is that bad, granted, it is not the best airport in the world, but a bit better then Tegel since at least they have the centralised security rather then at the gate.
And ofcourse they will not invest in this airport anymore, it shouldn't have been open anymore right now.

Sure you have a point here, I may have exagerated a little just to make my point clear. And indeed security control at the gate is a very frustrating affair - I know.

Quoting ozzietukker (Reply 4):
Ouch, that is my worst nightmare that I someday get an assigned window seat without a window, Transvertragia, Dutch 'low' cost airliner and Norwegian have the same in their 737 planes, not good!

True, these rows should be specially marked on the seat maps - not recommended to anyone with claustrophobia!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
Hmm, how come you have school on saturdays?

We don't normally have school on Saturdays - but this was our "våravslutning" so quite a step from having normal lessons...

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
Wow, that's some very good compensation. Was your father kind enough to let you keep his voucher?

Well, that depends a bit on what they are used for, I guess...

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
Actually they're not any doughnuts, but Berliner doughnuts!

True!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
Wow, talk about great customer service! Decided what to do with those vouchers?


Well, it's Blue1 we're talking about after all! It's just about time you get to know them as well... I have a couple of possibilities of what to do with the vouchers, but nothing decided yet... stay tuned!

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 6):
Wow this must have taken every bit of time to produce since you arrived home! Very efficient! I enjoyed meeting you and your Dad as well and it was too bad the time was too short.

Well, as I mentioned in the report I did start writing it already on the spot, but thanks anyway!

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 6):
Again it was a pleasure to meet you and I hope our paths cross again soon in the future!

It was nice meeting you too! Thanks again for your comments.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 7):
Good to see you had a great flight on easyJet, quite the contrast of my only flight with them.

Then it is time for you to catch another flight on them, isn't it? And I guess it depends quite a bit on what base you are flying from - the German crews are quite easy going while the French/Swiss crews are more modest I think (that's at least according to my experience).

Quoting filoflyer (Reply 8):
I love estonian air.!! my previous flights with them has been very pleasant and the crj 900 was lovely..

I know the CRJ-900 is a very nice aircraft to fly on but I don't love Estonian Air - actually everything but so. Their crews are below average and they are anything but helpful when it comes to rebooking - they recently cancelled my TLL-OSL flight and rebooked me on another one 12 hours later without any notice or flexibility in changing...

Quoting planejamie (Reply 9):
This is normal for UK airlines to do this - and given U2 is using G- registered (UK) aircraft and I believe a UK AOC they have to stick to the checking boarding pass rules on every flight. It's not too much of a problem and at least they know you're on the right plane/flight and you are the right person

Good to know, thanks! And it feels kinda weird - almost that you're boarding some long haul flight so I'm completely fine with the procedure.

Quoting planejamie (Reply 9):
I aim to attend the next meeting hopefully, though I don't fly commercially enough at the moment to write enough trip reports to keep up with you all!

Nice to hear about your upcoming trip! And I am sure you will write up a nice report for all of us...  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
Good to meet you, but too bad we didn't have any time to talk. You had suddenly disappeared. Well, next time!

Indeed, at least I got to shake hands with you! I tried to say goodbye to everyone but at least we all know there will most certainly be a next meet!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
How about that deal - you get our wind turbines, we get your most modern nuclear power plants!

I think we're fine at the moment - but we don't need any more nuclear power plants here in Finland so I'd be happy to share any upcoming ones with you! Now I'm sure our Flying Finn doesn't share my point of view on this one.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
KF messed up upon overbooking but saved your day by bumping you off and providing you with some travel vouchers. Great of course and weel taken care of, but suren you missed out on another 717 flight.

True, but now I can use all the vouchers to buy even more flights... on the 717!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
Then easyJet with the jolly crew, I don’t know what to think of that. Earlier this year I had a jolly and happy crew as well on a Ryanair flight, but the more the flight progressed, the more disturbing I found the crew’s ‘feelgood’ behaviour. Too many announcements, too loud,... I’m glad however it didn’t disturb you (ooh, am sounding like a grumpy old man now probably &nbsp .

No no, I fully get what you are saying here but these guys (and gals) at easyJet did it without getting too excited, they just did the regular announcements (most of the time) and just threw in some personal touches. I love attention to details, but just as you are saying I am sure not everyone onboard was impressed!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
Of course I have some more comments

Warmly welcomed!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
You had luck and bad luck it seems. Still do you think it doesn’t cost more to redistribute the bumped pax and give them vouchers then not to overbook the flight? Just a thought...

A good question, but apparently they must be doing some kind of business here - otherwise I'm sure the practice of overbooking flights would come to a quick end. Our flight had one (or two) no-shows as well (initially flight was overbooked by eight and they dumped off a family of four as well as me and my dad, so..). I guess overbooking by less would be a solution here? Or perhaps the guys at the KF booking department are just overly ambitious.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
Of course you don’t really know what prices have been paid for the tickets (except for your own of course).

...but sure a fully booked plane brings in more revenue than an empty plane!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
Very good, so that’s a few SAS/Blue1 trips in the making?

For sure! Not fully convinced what I should use them for yet, but I'm sure I'll come up with something.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
You were sitting on the wrong right side of the plane. Left side had the best Berlin views ever

I noticed that, yes.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
Quite a modern looking building. Is it a big station?

Definitely, at least if you compare it what I'm used to seeing at HEL. Three floors and many more platforms than you'd ever need...  
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
Wow, does SXF really has

Not sure what you were asking here, but they have a gate A63, yes. At some stage the gate numbers jump from A10 to A60 so that kinda explains the deal.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
Next time: ask me as a guide, I have favorable rates   And I don’t think that church is named that way ha ha ha!

Haha! I guess we should have mentioned to you on the spot about our plans of going to Brugge - but at least we now know what to do next time!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
One HEL of a good looking bird in the Estonian colours!

The master of PUNs has spoken.  
Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 12):
Congrats, that's a very good compensation for the hassle. Well done here by Blue1. And for sure a nice surprise to accidentally get on an inaugural flight. And even with some a.net company, nice.

Yeah, leaving on the trip I thought my first ever A.net meet would be in Berlin and first joint flight with another A.nutter would be SXF-BRU - but I was wrong! A nice surprise I must say.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 12):
Do you know these things are actually called 'Berliner' in Germany, so a quite appropriate offer for a flight to Berlin. (Actually they are called Berliner everywhere in Germany except in Berlin, where they are called pancakes   )

Every day is a school day - always good to know!

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 12):
(too bad, I would have preferred the cookie, as most other passengers probably, since almost noone ate the apple)

But what about the good old "an apple a day keeps the doctor away?"  
Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 12):
In my opinion the most overrated tourist attraction in the world. This thing is so small, what is so special about it? Well, maybe to watch the bunch of far-eastern tourists all trying to get pictures at the same time   ...

I guess so, but it was so close to my hotel I just had to see it. And later in the evening there were close to no tourists there at all...

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 12):
Thanks again for this report, greetings and until the next meeting

The very same to you and thanks for taking the time to write a reply.

Quoting reifel (Reply 13):
OV is indeed not a very covered airline here.

...but with their cheap fares and rare aircraft types I guess that will soon change?  
Quoting reifel (Reply 13):
However your report gives me a first insight. I'll probably get that sandwich, too... unless they start the BOB until then. Doesnt makes any sense to have a BOB menu if no BOB exisits. Maybe this is in addition to the free service?

I think it was in addition to the free service - I didn't see anyone getting/buying anything else than the complimentary sandwich and drinks though.

Quoting CARST (Reply 14):
The best routes so so far to and from Berlin a.net meeting. Very interesting choice of airlines and routes. Seems like an good idea to go with Blue1 and Estonian...

I feel flattered, thank you for your kind words!   And talk about a good choice to go with Blue1 when I didn't even end up in their plane...

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 15):
Intersting that EasyJet came out on top compared to the other "full" service airlines.

And it's not even the first time!

Once again thank you all: it was nice meeting you and reading your replies!

Happy flying!
717Flyer   


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27245 posts, RR: 60
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 8921 times:

Hey nice report on your journey to the meeting.

Nice that Blue1 stepped up to the mark . Your right about airlines showing their true colours when things go wrong .

Looking forward to the ME adventures.

OA260  


User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1325 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 8890 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi,

Another interesting report on the Berlin a.netters meet up and what a way for you to get to Berlin. Not only do you get to fly an inaugural but you get vouchers for future flights to Blue 1 (which is quite a bizzare name for an airline). A very interesting route that you had planned out, which again I will say is only possible in Europe. You guys hop between European cities like it was stops on a subway here. And you also get food board!!!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1):
The true identity of an airline is only revealed when everything does not go as planned. This is exactly what happened on Blue1 and I was very impressed by how the situation was handled. We were always kept updated, many apologies were made and some jokes were thrown in as well. And who can resist 300 EUR in vouchers? My favourite airline remains.

Great customer service and I have to say you were handled very well.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1):
It was a very special feeling to be part of my first ever inaugural flight. Even though Lufthansa could have done a little bit (actually much) more to promote the new route I boarded the flight with a smile on my face. Otherwise straight from the crew handbook: efficient service without any attempt of being personal but of course without being rude. Service conducted = manager is happy = most customers are happy = I am not convinced Lufthansa will be my primary choice next time.

I don't know why I've always loved Lufthansa, even way before I even started to like KLM. I have flown with them and thought they were quite nice. I guess you have your reasons for not wanting to fly them again.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1):
easyJet once again showed me how wonderful fyling can be at its best. Definitely the best flight I had on this trip!

Again very surprising to read about your views on Easy jet. Most have considered them to be a LCC and that's it. However nice to see your reviews. Their cabin crews seem to be as chirpy as the West jet folk out here.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1):
The new airline - Estonian Air - did quite well as well. For a very good fare they offered me a comfortable connection via TLL - an airport I would love to connect at also in the future. Finally I also got to tick off the CRJ-900 from "things to do during my life" list. Crews were quite mediocre but the CRJ was clean and nice with some free service - I definitely see BT and OV are trying hard to compete against each other. I don't know which one I prefer. Let's wait until one of them introduces the Boeing 717. Finally, my flight on DOT is something I will remember for a l-o-o-n-g time - the ambience onboard, the seats, the aircraft, everything reminded me of how fascinating it is that we humans actually can fly! The cute FA was perhaps the best part and made me wish the 20-minute flight would have been a bit longer. Full points to DOT!

Just a 20 minute flight that is like a tease lol. CRJs are terribly tiny aircraft to get onto after travelling on a super long haul one. Luckily you only had 20 minutes on board.


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6645 posts, RR: 55
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 8854 times:

Hi Rasmus!

Thanks for a very well-written report with nice pictures !

It seems you lucked out at the beginning of the trip; denied boarding compensation and get to fly nonstop on an inaugural flight!

It seems you were not at TXL very long which is too bad. EasyJet seems okay but sometimes those kind of funny announcements can be a bit annoying.

Good that you finally got a hold of Marc on your flight to BRU.

Nice to see you made the connection in TLL and extra bonus to fly a new airline, unexpectedly.

Looking forward to your next report!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4277 posts, RR: 51
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 8824 times:

Hi, Rasmus!

thanks for the nice read from your flights around the meeting in Berlin. It was good to see you there, although we met only for a short time. Next time more talking!

Good to read about your succesfull trip. LH rebooking, scoring travel vouchers, the CR9 and the ATR42, one very rare airline also to get a ride on. Definitely a lucky trip!

Lovely pics, meals are good and truly I've to admit I love these muffins on easyJet! Also my choice, every time again.

Regards
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1464 posts, RR: 33
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 8815 times:

Terve R,

You've been working hard writing this one. Thank you for such a nice account of the Berlin weekend. It's interesting that the best crew was on ezy. Some of my favourite crews have been with them. I remember a particular NCE-BSL flight where the purser was a real comedian.

Have you decided what the 300E travel vouchers are going to be used for?!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
make a booking with Blue1 and SAS flying via Copenhagen for 70 EUR

What a bargain.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
So I happened to notice Estonian Air (that airline with the gorgeous livery and free muffins)

Ok, I'm sold. Where do I book?!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
After leaving the car there I see a command I need to obey:

Nice idea that is, something ZRH should introduce.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
"We at Blue1 want you never to be bored" is her explanation. "Feel free to sit down at the nearby café, I will come and talk to you then and thanks again for volunteering!" is what she says next and I really can't stay mad can I?

Humour will get you everywhere. KF employees seem especially good at it!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Everyone has already boarded and now we are still overbooked by one so I will be needing your help". I ask her whether this means my father and I should travel separately. "Of course not, I have no problem in rebooking both of you and so there will be one free seat on the Stockholm flight, specially dedicated to you guys!). Superb customer service and moments later we have also chosen to go for the vouchers (a total compensation of 300 EUR) instead of half the amount in cash.

Very kind of them. Although I guess they'd rather have an empty seat and a problem solved than having to go hunt for someone else.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
No cake, but coffee and dougnuts (with lots of filling!):

Rather a fine spread for such an early hour.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
but as it was my first time boarding an inaugural flight I will not complain!

I'd have been happy with that inaugural. The only one I've ever done was with easyJet - as you can guess, no cake, nothing.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Yes please, rather than nuclear power:

Quite agree.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
I can't possibly remember who was the first one I shoke hands with - but I am sure it was a really nice person!

I think I had that honour  
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
hour till the next express train to Schönefeld so we sit down for a pizza:

Looks tasty, nice and crispy.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Weather in Brussels is expected to be "the same as here, but even worse".

Now there's a contradiction if ever there was!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Thomas was more than happy to fulfill this request and my choice between a lovely blueberry muffin or a wonderful chocolate muffin ends up being the later one

The best muffins can only be chocolate imo   Good to hear that ezy came out so well in the test.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1):
the two other male crew members working in the back of the cabin are also invited - and voilà! I'm not going to post the outcome here - but it's a funny picture for sure

Facebook please!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 1):
historic centre of Brugge (that of course is an UNESCO World Heritage Site) I see this fellow tourist with... well... an interesting outfit:

Can only be American (no offence meant to anyone)!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
During pre-departure checks one of them sighs loudly when she discovers my photo-taking. Well thank you!

Ah, but did she just sigh or did she tell you to turn the camera off?

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Not only is it an ATR 42 (a type desperately missing in my log) but the older -300 version! LY-ARI is carrying Danish Air Transport stickers all the way despite operating for DOT LT (an airline founded as Danu Oro Transportas). I guess it kinda makes sense as DAT is the main shareholder in DOT. At this moment I couldn't care less that I missed my Saab 340 and happily board as the last passenger.

I would have been very disappointed. In fact, I'd have felt robbed. No beautiful Estonian livery!

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
followed by some Estonian Kalev chocolates - you definitely couldn't wish for more on a flight of this duration!

Thanks to P, I now know how good they are!

It was great to meet you at Berlin,

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlinePelle From Denmark, joined Apr 2012, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 8775 times:

I don't know if it is blasphemy to ask this question, but it has been haunting me for a while now:
What is so special about the 717?



Upcoming flights: CPH-KEF, BLL-STN
User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 427 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 8682 times:

Hi 717Flyer ! ...
super nice that you and your dad have attended the meeting ... and that he so interested in yours hobby ... lucky you

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
but the gate agent at the (un)lucky gate of 13 just smiles when I ask her to hold the flight for a minute and at least I get a hug

hahahhahah I hope you had a lot of time hihihiihih

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
No cake, but coffee and dougnuts (with lots of filling!):

I am on diet mmmmmm not for me .... with chocolate ? mmmm

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Mysteriously, the thin Lufthansa Magazin as well as the small safety card were later discovered in my backpack... how did that happen?

really do not know ... but it always happens to me too ... really strange phenomenon ...hiihih

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
And thanks to Blaž for the souvenir - I guess I should be planning a trip to LJU soon?

yes yes go LJU is very cozy and nice town ... tell me if you go because I'm often in the Ljubljana and Blaž will be happy to have two A.neters in town hehehhehe

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
at the end and the portion is almost a bit too big!

too big muffin ... it is certainly strange I think you're in love ... I am on diet hehhehehe I am on di ...

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
but in the end there is free service. Soft drinks, coffee and a sandwhich with mayonnaise, salad and tomatoes.

and no muffin ? ... but that is their trademark or not ... confused ...but nice offer ... diet ...diet ...stop torture me hehehe

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Then let me tell you I think of the A.net meeting as a muffin: you never know what it tastes like on the inside. This time, the A.net meet was such a special experience that it will be just like an excellent muffin - a memory I will cherish for a long time.

  ... stipica



Open your eyes and think
User currently offlineSloAir From Slovenia, joined Jul 2010, 339 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 8667 times:

Hi Rasmus,

great report, it was very nice to meet you in Berlin and let's hope we'll have some more time to talk at the next meeting. That is the only bad side of this meets, not enough time to talk to everyone  
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Could it be? Yes, it is the one and only Flying Finn. What follows is my first (and definitely shortest) A.net meet - we shake hands and exchange a couple of phrases before he has to continue

Nice unplanned mini-meet with FF   That must have prepared you to meet all the other a.netters later in the day.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
"I missed you too much, come with me and fly Blue1 instead!". Our purser eyes her like she would be a maniac so she calms down and hands me the voucher, this time carrying my right name - "I almost forgot to give it to you at the gate!

Outstanding service, I am really impressed. Good job by her.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Also a look back in the bus - load was around 60 % with lots of empty seats in the front - we were the only passengers on row 4 and row 5 remained empty as well.

Not that good, but it's still a new service so it might get better.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
The rest of the flight is spent relaxing while enjoying the views (no dropdown screens on this Airbus) and I also read what used to be a great airline magazine - nowadays it has much lower standards but still better than most other magazines (and the airline featured on the first page is very nice, of course):

I'm subscribed to AW as well and I totaly agree, it's not what it used to be, but still offers some nice aviation-related reading.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Thank you to everyone for making my first A.net meet such a memorable experience! And thanks to Blaž for the souvenir - I guess I should be planning a trip to LJU soon?

You definately should   And do let me know if you ever decide to visit our small country.

Quoting stipica (Reply 23):
yes yes go LJU is very cozy and nice town ... tell me if you go because I'm often in the Ljubljana and Blaž will be happy to have two A.neters in town hehehhehe

...and let Stipica know too hehe  
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
"Ding dong, last stop of the line, everyobody get off please" everyone is laughing. Way to go, easyJet!

Must have been a great set of crew judging by your experience, always like that. The best crew I had so far was on Virgin Blue from SYD to CNS and your description of the U2 crew reminds me of them, so relaxed and fun.

Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
Yes! Yes! It really is a -900 series!

Funny how many A.net members are trying to log the CRJ2 and/or CRJ9 whereas I am a bit sick of them, flying them almost every time on JP  
Quoting 717Flyer (Thread starter):
My first rides on two well-known and large Boeings as well as some boutique carriers from the Middle East. Stay tuned!

I'm looking forward to this report already!

Blaž



Visit Ljubljana
25 Knightsofmalta : Hi 717Flyer Thanks for the great report. I mean, if one has to be involuntarily rerouted, an inaugural flight to somewhere is not the worst option to
26 Post contains images roberts87 : Nice report! Great suprise to get on the inaugural! LOL, nice personal touch! Overbooking a flight with lots of cheap tickets and they rebooking and c
27 Post contains images akhmad : Hello 717Flyer, my friend, Finally, I met you in real. The one behind oh, so appropriate username. A great pleasure to meet your father as well. Now I
28 Post contains images AYA333 : Hi Rasmus! Great report, thanks! Congratulations! Don't use them wisely - instead you could book some crazy itinerary with your dad! It was nice to me
29 Post contains images signol : Hi 717Flyer! Nice report, good photos and detailed. Of course, it was also great to meet you (and everyone else) at TXL! A shame, especially given tha
30 MSS658 : HI 717Flyer First of all it was great meeting you and your dad in TXL and BRU. Just too bad I got in so late in SXF... Great to see you made it on LH'
31 Post contains images 717Flyer : Hi all, Thank you so much for your nice and detailed replies and apologies for getting back to you this late - I just came home from the UAE today so
32 Post contains images FlyingFinn76 : Hi KFLover , Good to finally have time to comment on your account of the BER meet. Nice that you managed to attempt it despite your school obligations
33 FLIEGER67 : Hey, R., more great stuff to follow here. Also picturewise, well done. Really good to see another A.net meeting story. Not sure when I find the time t
34 Post contains images 717Flyer : Hi Petteri and Markus - good to see your comments! Funny, I've never thought of changing my username (not that you can do that). But I agree that KF h
35 Post contains images Parton87 : Hej Rasmus! Thanks for the nice report! What a interesting routing you was able to catch for the meeting Really interesting read and pictures! You see
36 Post contains images 717Flyer : Hi Robert and sorry for my late reply, Thanks for your comments! Well, when arriving to an A.net meeting for the first time you better do it True, sti
37 Tomskii : Very nice TR! It was very easy and fluid to read. I love easyjet as an Airline and never get dissapointed although they are LCC (without the seatnr's,
38 Post contains images 717Flyer : Hi Tom, Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad you enjoyed reading the report even though it isn't even new anymore. I agree with you on this, and speciall
39 AirAfreak : If you think that's bad, imagine the horror when I see Honolulu-bound passengers wearing Tiki/Floral-print shirts!!! I call them "Hawaii Tourist Fash
40 lukeyboy95 : Hi R. Enjoyed the report. As others have said - it seems you really struck it lucky with some of the changes that developed. Meal looked rather good o
41 filoflyer : seemed like i missed reading this =) anyway i didnt have any problem with OV. maybe i was not expecting too much from them so i had lower standards.
42 Post contains images 717Flyer : Hi all, good to see even more replies, thanks! Hi AirAfreak, I love this description of yours. Still there is many times when I'm not exactly proud of
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