LCYFlyer From Germany, joined Oct 2007, 21 posts, RR: 0 Posted (11 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4700 times:
Good afternoon ladies and gents,
I am a long time lurker but finally decided to sign up to access the forums. This will also be my very first trip report on airliners.net, so please bear with me
Anyways, let's get started:
It was early February and I was desperately in need of some more flights on my list for 2012. My main goal was to fly in business with an airline I have not tried yet - in Europe at least. Right about that time there was a topic in a german forum about Air Dolomiti and they 'business class' fares, especially on the Frankfurt-Bergamo and Vienna-Verona flights for a reasonable price. Being a member of the Lufthansa Miles&More program, a return flight would get me around 4000 miles.
I checked the availability on my preferred date - bingo! The early morning service EN 8183 from Frankfurt to Bergamo leaving at 08.40 had the special fare. The return flight would be EN 8184 leaving at 12.15. The flight was booked via edreams as I could not enter my cc details on the Air Dolomiti website for a total of 191€ Ok, next I needed a flight to Frankfurt. Zurich and Basel fares were way to high, but Lufthansa's service from Friedrichshafen would cost me around 80€.
Just out of interest I checked for the fare on Lufthansa's website and its around 600 €. Yes, its propably due to full flex fare, but thats still a lot more money compared to what Air Dolomiti charges (25€ cancelation/rebooking fee)!
Days passed and I received an e-mail from Air Dolomiti that my flight times have changed. The return flight was now scheduled to leave at 11.45 instead of 12.15 and the FRA-BGY sector was now scheduled to leave at 08.55 instead of 08.40. No big deal at all.
The Day Of Travel:
Checking the flights of EN 8183 and EN 8184 it seemed to me that there is only one aircraft flying that route, back and forth, every day. It is operated by Augsburg Airways for Air Dolomiti.
I left my house in the wee hours of April 24 for the 1 hour drive to Friedrichshafen airport. Arriving pretty early, I had time to get something to eat and meet with some relatives who flew to Turkey on that day.
Boarding was commenced and we were bussed to the aircraft in heavy rain.
Entering the aircraft. The load for this flight was relatively high, probably around 80%. I never thought that there actually is demand for this route.
My seat was 15A. Being rather tall, I found the leg room to be somewhat tight but acceptable for the short flight.
During boarding, we were handed some sweets. Once we were in the air, the cabin crew started the drink service. As I mentioned earlier, the weather was not perfect. Most of the flight was in the clouds and occasionally I could get a glimpse of the ground below:
After a short flight and quick descent, we are already on short final. Just below the wing is the Autobahn A5:
During taxi to our parking position we passed by some company traffic:
Inside the terminal building, I made my way to the one and only Air Dolomiti counter. Online Check-In was possible for the outbound leg, but the return flight was not open for online check-in. Even the lady and the counter could not print me the boarding pass for the return flight. She said I needed to make the check-in in Bergamo. Seemed ok to me, but continue on reading and I will let you know why it actually was not ok.
Soon afterwards and went through security again and followed the signs to my departure gate. There were only a handful of passengers waiting. I listened to the gate agents discussing and found out, that only 31 passengers would be on board today.
EN8183 | FRA-BGY
A/C: D-AEMG | Air Dolomiti Embraer ERJ-190LR
Our aircraft was parked on V115 and we were bussed again. D-AEMG is the 'albino' in Air Dolomiti's fleet:
A closer look at the engine and aft section of our aircraft today:
I was greeted by three female flight attendants and took my seat 2F. The first two rows have the aisle seat blocked with a tray. Pretty cool if you ask me. Legroom up front is not different from the rest of the aircraft but still better than on the CRJ7:
Some other traffic while we taxied to the runway:
Departure on runway 18 was rocket-like, but not surprising with that low load-factor:
Meal service started and I was asked if I wanted to have the breakfast or not. Of course - soon I was given the breakfast. Really liked their branded tableware:
The breakfast in it's full glory. It consisted of a fresh (warm) bread roll, an arrangement of ham and cheese along some fresh figs, oranges, butter and jam. I think this it top-notch considering the price paid!
A better view of the seat pitch and the blocked aisle seat with the tray:
The approach into Bergamo was one of the bumpiest I have ever experienced. I am usually always aware of our location and position in flight, but not this time. Turns and more turns with the engines spooling up and down in seconds and nothing but clouds outside really made me confused. Nevertheless, the landing was soft and we exited the runway in heavy rain. Ryanair's troops are ready:
After landing I cleared customs and went to the counter to get my boarding pass for the return flight - same seat, same aircraft. On a side note: The terminal in BGY seemed to be really ancient but does fit well for Ryanair's operations I guess. With roughly an hour to get through security, I slowly walked up to the looong queue infront of the security check. No kidding, but it took me 45 mins to get through security! It seemed to me as if the officers working at the security check just woke up.
EN8184 | BGY-FRA
A/C: D-AEMG | Air Dolomiti Embraer ERJ-190LR
Unfortunately, the crew has changed and once onboard, it stopped raining and the clouds moved away for the sun. 5 more passengers joined me in the business class on the flight back to Frankfurt.
What a view! Lovely italian landscape. Also note the stored F27's in the lower left corner of the picture:
Shortly after take-off, we turned to the south followed by a 180 degree turn to the north. Sitting on the right side, I could get a nice view of the airport with some clouds in the background:
It was time for the meal service again. Although I was not hungry, I still took the chance to try the lunch. Overall, it was well presented again. It consisted of a warm bread roll, a slice of citron along some salmon and fennel salad.
Cabin during flight. Interesting to note that only the two first rows have the 'business' seating. I am not sure if you
"In 1996 it introduced "Settimocielo by Air Dolomiti" – Seventh Heaven – a registered trademark which gives its name to the onboard hospitality that received awards at a world-wide level for its exceptional innovation, quality and style."
Crossing the alpes again, I could not get a view of the ground below as everything was cloudy. A view of Frankfurt on approach:
I spent the next few hours in the city with a friend of mine and returned to the airport an hour before boarding. The return flight to Friedrichshafen would be operated by a CRJ7 again. The load factor was around 60 percent. A muesli bar was distributed during boarding.
reifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1264 posts, RR: 1 Reply 1, posted (11 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4610 times:
Congrats for your first report! Very interesting, and absolutely impressed by the catering that EN offers on this short sector. I have heard about their low C class fares before, and for 4000 Miles it seems to be worth it.
Not quite understood the reason finally why they couldn't issue the boarding pass for BGY-FRA in FRA, as you told us to read further down, but you seemed to have no issues so all fine.
LCYFlyer From Germany, joined Oct 2007, 21 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (11 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 4562 times:
Quoting reifel (Reply 1): Not quite understood the reason finally why they couldn't issue the boarding pass for BGY-FRA in FRA, as you told us to read further down, but you seemed to have no issues so all fine.
Hey! Thanks for your reply. My main concer was when I joined the end of the queue at Bergamos security check, that time was running out for me to make it to my flight on time. But fortunately, everything worked out.
gabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 2811 posts, RR: 13 Reply 3, posted (10 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3187 times:
Nice report Pierre. You got some great shots, particularly around Bergamo. It's interesting that FRA has a link to this FR stronghold, especially with so many services to MXP (and LIN?).
Quoting LCYFlyer (Thread starter): The flight was booked via edreams as I could not enter my cc details on the Air Dolomiti website for a total of 191€ Ok
Quoting LCYFlyer (Thread starter): The breakfast in it's full glory. It consisted of a fresh (warm) bread roll, an arrangement of ham and cheese along some fresh figs, oranges, butter and jam. I think this it top-notch considering the price paid!
okapi From France, joined Jun 2006, 198 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (10 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2981 times:
Hi and congratulations for this great first report. Stunning pictures indeed, especially the very first one. Air Dolomiti is indeed a silent player but the quality of their in-flight services is top-notch as you say.
I agree with you on the fact that BGY is really old-style although some efforts have been made to make it a bit more attractive. In order to improve the overall feeling, they should really separate FR pax from the others so queueing should not be a so lengthy affair no more, given the number of premium and non-low-cost passengers that use the facilities.
I look forward to read more reports from you soon.