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Oman 5: Another Day, Another Lufty – HAM-FRA-CCS  
User currently offlinecapicua From Venezuela, joined Apr 2011, 100 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4698 times:

http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/6569/hamfraccs062.jpg

Welcome to the final part of the report on my trip to Oman late last year. You may find the previous installments here:

Off to Oman 1: Positioning Commute LH CCS-FRA-HAM
Off to Oman 2: ICE in F and WY in Y
Off to Oman 3: Of Spices, Dhows and Frankincense
Off to Oman 4: Return MCT-FRA WY 330

The last part ended with me being back in Hamburg where I had set up a base camp for this trip at my relatives’, but I still had more than halfway to go until I was back in the “Sea of Happiness”, i.e. Venezuela. After a couple of days spent shopping and catching up with cousins it was time to head home.

http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/5948/hamfraccs.gif
Map courtesy of GreatCircle Mapper – copyright © Karl L. Swartz

In order to give the baggage handlers at FRA enough time to get my luggage onto the right plane during the connection (they failed to do just that in 2 out of my last 5 flights…) I deliberately chose an earlier flight out of HAM than the one suggested by the airline, which meant having to get up who-knows-how early for the 6:30 departure. This is where one of the services offered by LH comes in particularly handy: the “check-in the night before”. The airline allows (long-haul?) passengers to check in baggage and all between 7 and 9 the evening prior to their scheduled flight(s).

So on the evening before my flight we quickly drove to the airport to get the check-in and bag drop done.


It was indeed very nett (nice) that there were so many SSK’s available, and no queues at all to top it off!
http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/4523/hamfraccs002.jpg

After printing my boarding passes I was able to just walk up to the counter to drop off my suitcase and in no time I was all set for the next morning, gaining probably an hour of sleep in the process.

Indeed, the following morning the check-in area was quite a lot busier. I was glad I could walk by all these counters and go straight through security.
http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/549/hamfraccs003.jpg

FIDS. Mine is the second flight to FRA.


HAM meets the Jetsons – Duty Free on flying saucers
http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/7163/hamfraccs006.jpg

Gate C16 shall be mine today.
http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/4118/hamfraccs008.jpg

In the end it took me no more than 10 minutes from curbside to the gate, of which time the security queue took the lion’s share. What a nice way to travel! Airside I was looking for a spot from which to snap a photo of the plane that was to take me to Frankfurt, but either a jetbridge, a gate or a kiosk were always in the way. Hopefully FRA would offer some better photo ops.

November 2012
Airline: Lufthansa
Flight: LH003
STD/ATD: 06:30/06:45
STA/ATA: 07:50/07:32
Route: HAM-FRA
Registration: D-AIRN
Aircraft: A321-131
Seat: 34F

Boarding was called at 6:05 and a few minutes later I was at my seat, which offered sufficient legroom.
http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/6421/hamfraccs011.jpg

At 6:25, five minutes prior to scheduled departure, the captain came on the P/A to greet the passengers and announce a 15 minute ATC-related delay. After pushing back at 6:37 and a short taxi we were off HAMs runway 33 at exactly 6:45, the quarter hour later than scheduled.

A lazy left turn put us on track towards FRA while a new day was dawning over Germany.


Upon reaching cruising altitude the cabin crew came around offering snacks and beverages.
http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/3499/hamfraccs014.jpg

Meanwhile, the passengers seated on the left side were treated to a fabulous sunrise.
http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/8126/hamfraccs017.jpg

Descent started soon thereafter and before long we were flying past downtown Frankfurt on approach to FRA.
http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/6930/hamfraccs019.jpg

We landed on the new runway 25R at 7:32, a mere 47 minutes after takeoff from HAM. And then ensued the looong taxi back to the terminal. I’ve never experienced a landing on the Polderbaan im AMS, but this might be a similar trek.

Eventually we reached the terminal and upon deplaning I was able to snap a quick picture of both my seat and our plane.

*
http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/7189/hamfraccs023.jpg
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http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/7540/hamfraccs025.jpg

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinecapicua From Venezuela, joined Apr 2011, 100 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4698 times:

I now had the better part of three hours until the next flight and as I was in no rush, there was no need to use the “time tunnel” to get from concourse A to concourse C (via B). Instead, I took a leisurely stroll towards the exit of concourse A, went landside and then curbside to catch some fresh air. Fresh it was, at 7°C!

…It's a beautiful noise
Goin' on ev'rywhere
Like the clickety-clack
Of a train on a track
It's got rhythm to spare…

I can’t help it but this song comes to my mind whenever I see this:
http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/8136/hamfraccs029.jpg

The clickety-clack of that board now seems to me more muffled compared to back in the day when I used to live there and spend many a weekend day on the observation deck (atop concourse B).

Anyway, I digress. Let’s get back to business since I have a flight to catch.

http://img546.imageshack.us/img546/135/hamfraccs028.jpg

My flight was to depart again from the new section of concourse C where I had arrived at a couple of weeks earlier. The long corridor was pretty much deserted but the security check was quite busy this morning and security staff almost barked their instructions at the passengers, probably because they were dealing mostly with less seasoned travelers that had never heard of limited size liquid containers, the transparent plastic bag to carry them in and the no-liquids rule.

Passport control was a breeze in comparison and soon I was at gate C14 where quite the crowd had already assembled. This would be a full flight again.

Our A346 for today:
http://img267.imageshack.us/img267/581/hamfraccs031.jpg

A no-name plane in Lufthansa’s fleet:
http://img845.imageshack.us/img845/3605/hamfraccs032.jpg

When the first pre-boarding call was made, I was immediately reminded of a.netter Alex/abrelosojos: what ensued was precisely the kind of commotion for which he coined the concept “ILBST”. You just knew which part of the world this flight was headed to.
http://img94.imageshack.us/img94/3676/hamfraccs033.jpg

November 2012
Airline: Lufthansa
Flight: LH534
STD/ATD: 10:55/10:33 (push back)
STA/ATA: 16:00/15:10
Route: FRA-CCS
Registration: D-AIHN
Aircraft: A340-642
Seat: 47A

Actual boarding started at 10:05 and went relatively smoothly. Soon enough I had found my seat for the next 10 hours or so. A pillow, a blanket and headsets (with earpads this time) were already there.
http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/6155/hamfraccs035.jpg

Legroom was somewhat compromised by an IFE box again…


…but I had my window seat.
http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/8397/hamfraccs037.jpg

My seat neighbor was one of a larger group of Chinese men scattered throughout the cabin, all on their way to work “in the oil industry” in eastern Venezuela. He seemed to be the foreman of the group and the only one able to read/write in Latin characters as all his companions would later hand him their passports and ask him to fill out their customs and immigration forms.

Push-back was at 10:33 and after completing the westbound taxi we made a rolling take-off from runway 18 right on schedule.
http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/114/hamfraccs039.jpg
*
http://img854.imageshack.us/img854/6869/hamfraccs040.jpg

Not long afterwards the river Mosel came into view, this time without the fog veil it hid beneath on the way over. The airstrip of Trier-Föhren can be seen here:
http://img825.imageshack.us/img825/2831/hamfraccs041.jpg

My hopes of seeing Paris vanished soon after this picture was taken as a solid cloud layer covered it all up.

About 45 minutes into the flight the cabin crew started distributing hot napkins and then a first snack service. In anticipation of the lunch to follow soon I went for a Campari soda.
http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/8453/hamfraccs045.jpg

An hour later the proper meal service began. Being presented with the predictable choice of “chicken or pasta”, I went for the latter, which was actually quite good. The salad was only so-so, but the cake for dessert was moist and tasty.
http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/5295/hamfraccs046.jpg
*
http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/6538/hamfraccs048.jpg

Then it was time to have a look at the seat pocket contents.
http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/4428/hamfraccs051.jpg
*

*


Eventually the cloud layer broke open allowing some views of the ocean below.


The numerous drink runs offered by the crew (water, juice, coffee, wine) finally took their toll on me and it was time to pay the lavatories a visit. Isn’t it much cooler to be able to say “I have to go downstairs” rather than “I’ve gotta go to the loo”?

*
http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/6569/hamfraccs062.jpg

Still about a third of the distance to go.
http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/6215/hamfraccs067.jpg
*
http://img811.imageshack.us/img811/3279/hamfraccs069.jpg

Cabin view:
http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/756/hamfraccs071.jpg

Mothers travelling with small children were seated in the left and center bulkhead rows of our cabin. The kids – between a few months and 2 years old – remained surprisingly quiet throughout the flight. Only occasionally would the 2-year-old rise to grab any of the postcards on display in the rack in front of him. Surely a future a.netter…


User currently offlinecapicua From Venezuela, joined Apr 2011, 100 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4690 times:

Two hours before landing the distribution of hot napkins (I refuse to call them towels in LH Y) initiated the second meal service.

On top of the pictured tray came an aluminium container with a hot meal. Its lid looked suspiciously familiar to me though, and when I asked the F/A what it was he confirmed my fears that it was indeed the same pasta dish I had already had for lunch. Not being that hungry anyway I returned the noodles unopened.
http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/6950/hamfraccs072.jpg
*
http://img853.imageshack.us/img853/1419/hamfraccs073.jpg

So you do get a second hot meal, but you risk having the same twice. So much for variety.

The chocolate crème was delicious though – can’t complain about that.

To paraphrase airpearl: A lone 346 across a vast expanse of blue…
http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/6092/hamfraccs077.jpg

But wait: we were not that ‘lone. The contrail visible in this picture remained with us for a good two hours. Probably another European airliner headed to the same destination.

Transition from the Atlantic to the Caribbean occurred abeam the island of Martinique.
http://img845.imageshack.us/img845/9862/hamfraccs078.jpg
*


Top of descent was 37 minutes out and soon we got a glimpse of La Orchila island, where the Venezuelan government keeps a beach retreat for the president.
http://img541.imageshack.us/img541/5679/hamfraccs082.jpg

Final approach for runway 10
http://img541.imageshack.us/img541/7802/hamfraccs087.jpg

A social housing project on land that was originally earmarked for airport expansion
http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/8143/hamfraccs089.jpg

Touch-down was at 15:10 local, 9 hours and 45 minutes after take-off.

Landed! At this point a lot of my fellow passengers started clapping – this felt so ‘80s…
http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/8564/hamfraccs090.jpg

Domestic apron, third row
http://img545.imageshack.us/img545/6621/hamfraccs092.jpg

Venezolana going the Frontier way? Angel Falls suits the tail of this 732 very well.
http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/5488/hamfraccs093.jpg

Our plane had not reached its final parking position yet when most passengers were already getting up in a mad rush to be the first ones out while the cabin crew had a hard time asking everybody to take their seats again (and failed notoriously at achieving that). After the boarding “ILBST” back in FRA this was the second sign that we were getting home.

On the way from the plane to immigration we were treated to one of the first sights of Conviasa’s newly acquired E-Jets.
http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/192/hamfraccs095.jpg

Then hell broke loose (third sign). With the afternoon bank of flights from Europe arriving all at more or less the same time, immigration was a madhouse. Thinking I was very clever I queued up in the line for one of the two operational passport reading machines – a mistake I should not make again. So many passengers not familiar with the process and the system itself crashing after every 2 or 3 persons had me stand in line there for 55 minutes.
http://img841.imageshack.us/img841/7561/hamfraccs096.jpg

But why should all this surprise me? After all, I was home now – back from Oman!

So this concludes my current TR series. Thanks for bearing with me this long. Feedback and comments are very welcome, as always.

Cheers,
C.


User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1238 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4454 times:

I can't believe that LH are now serving "plain lettuce" as a starter. They copied SWISS.

User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1169 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4231 times:
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Hi capicua,

Great to see the final part of your Oman trip series here. Another great report, really enjoyed it!
LH looks quite OK here, although getting the same hot meal twice is a bit bad IMHO, come on LH but a bit more variety in there!
Thank you very much for putting this whole series together, I definetely enjoyed every part  
Quoting capicua (Thread starter):
The airline allows (long-haul?) passengers to check in baggage and all between 7 and 9 the evening prior to their scheduled flight(s).

That is indeed very handy by LH!

Quoting capicua (Thread starter):
Legroom was somewhat compromised by an IFE box again…

Dont you just hate that!

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 3):
I can't believe that LH are now serving "plain lettuce" as a starter. They copied SWISS.

I dont see how they copied them? SWISS is part of the Lufthansa group  

cheers,

Brendan


User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2460 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3968 times:

Quoting capicua (Thread starter):
In order to give the baggage handlers at FRA enough time to get my luggage onto the right plane during the connection (they failed to do just that in 2 out of my last 5 flights…) I deliberately chose an earlier flight out of HAM than the one suggested by the airline

So, did it worked out for you?

Quoting capicua (Thread starter):
This is where one of the services offered by LH comes in particularly handy: the “check-in the night before”. The airline allows (long-haul?) passengers to check in baggage and all between 7 and 9 the evening prior to their scheduled flight(s).

"Check-In the night before" is very popular in Germany, especially on charter flights - this system comes from an era without Internet check-in and it was obvious the best way to secure good seats!


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3333 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3889 times:

Nice finale to your series to Oman!

Quoting capicua (Thread starter):
FIDS. Mine is the second flight to FRA.

I had a vague recollection that LH 1 was the HAM-FRA route...If I were you, i'd have got up 30 mins earlier and taken the LH Flagship route!

Quoting capicua (Thread starter):
In the end it took me no more than 10 minutes from curbside to the gate, of which time the security queue took the lion’s share. What a nice way to travel!

That is one of the best things about flying with Ryanair. No checked bags, already have a bp, head straight to the gate!

Quoting capicua (Thread starter):
My seat neighbor was one of a larger group of Chinese men scattered throughout the cabin, all on their way to work “in the oil industry” in eastern Venezuela. He seemed to be the foreman of the group and the only one able to read/write in Latin characters as all his companions would later hand him their passports and ask him to fill out their customs and immigration forms.

Most Chinese can read the letters. What they can't be bothered to do is match up the English in their passport to the spaces on the arrivals forms!

Quoting capicua (Thread starter):
So you do get a second hot meal, but you risk having the same twice. So much for variety.

That's very poor. When I flew LH to BOG, there was a choice of two different meals for the 2nd serving.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlinecapicua From Venezuela, joined Apr 2011, 100 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3688 times:

Hey, good to see some comments out there already!

@Lychemsa:

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 3):
I can't believe that LH are now serving "plain lettuce" as a starter.

Well there was the dressing, of course. So not that plain a lettuce.  


Hi Brendan:

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 4):
Great to see the final part of your Oman trip series here. Another great report, really enjoyed it!
Quoting adamspotter (Reply 4):
Thank you very much for putting this whole series together, I definetely enjoyed every part

Thanks, my pleasure! That's great to hear.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 4):
although getting the same hot meal twice is a bit bad IMHO, come on LH but a bit more variety in there!
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 6):
That's very poor. When I flew LH to BOG, there was a choice of two different meals for the 2nd serving.

Exactly my thoughts as well. Maybe BOG gets a choice of two different second meals because it is a slightly longer flight?

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 4):
Dont you just hate that!

Yes I do. But apparently you have to make do with an IFE box if you want a window seat on an A330/A340. Or fly Iberia until they install IFE...

Hi Debonair:

Quoting debonair (Reply 5):
So, did it worked out for you?

This time it did.

Quoting debonair (Reply 5):
"Check-In the night before" is very popular in Germany, especially on charter flights - this system comes from an era without Internet check-in and it was obvious the best way to secure good seats!

Yes, nowadays with OLCI everything is easier. But being able to even drop your bags the night before is still very convenient.


Hi Gabriel:

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 6):
Nice finale to your series to Oman!

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it all.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 6):
If I were you, i'd have got up 30 mins earlier and taken the LH Flagship route!

Good idea. Maybe next time. But check-in the night before it will still be anyways.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 6):
That is one of the best things about flying with Ryanair. No checked bags, already have a bp, head straight to the gate!

And no IFE box in your already limited legroom...

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 6):
Most Chinese can read the letters. What they can't be bothered to do is match up the English in their passport to the spaces on the arrivals forms!

Even the simple workers?

Cheers,
C.


User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5126 posts, RR: 55
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3649 times:

Thanks for a wonderful report. I have done the LH later flight so many times, that it is not even funny. My recommendation is NEVER to use the e-machine. It has all the people who think they know what they are doing, and have no clue  .

Loved reading the report, and will now catch up on the others.

Quoting capicua (Thread starter):
When the first pre-boarding call was made, I was immediately reminded of a.netter Alex/abrelosojos: what ensued was precisely the kind of commotion for which he coined the concept “ILBST”. You just knew which part of the world this flight was headed to.

= Jaja. Good to see my "ILBST" holding up. Though lately, it has not been the case  .

Quoting capicua (Reply 2):
On top of the pictured tray came an aluminium container with a hot meal. Its lid looked suspiciously familiar to me though, and when I asked the F/A what it was he confirmed my fears that it was indeed the same pasta dish I had already had for lunch. Not being that hungry anyway I returned the noodles unopened.

= This is REALLY poor. A good cabin crew member would have thought on their feet and got you something from another cabin. Despite their poor food, LH is usually good with these kind of things, so this surprises me further.

Thanks for sharing.

Saludos,
Alex



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinecapicua From Venezuela, joined Apr 2011, 100 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3059 times:

Hola Alex:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 8):
Thanks for a wonderful report.
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 8):
Loved reading the report

I'm glad you liked it.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 8):
My recommendation is NEVER to use the e-machine. It has all the people who think they know what they are doing, and have no clue

Advice duly taken. It's funny because during all the time we were standing in line the machines had a recording telling people step by step how the process goes. Having heard that recording over and over again it is beyond me how people could still remain clueless...

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 8):
A good cabin crew member would have thought on their feet and got you something from another cabin.

Do you think they would've had a different choice in anotther section of the Y cabin?

Saludos,
C.


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