As usual when checking in for Air NZ in Auckland, I had to queue for about 30 minutes to receive my boarding pass. I got express out NZ as I was one of the last people to check in by the time I got there so good thing reserved seat 21K by phone a couple of days before! Went upstairs to the departure level and paid the 25NZD departure fee, which is still not included in the ticket but to be paid on the day of departure.
By the time I got to the gate, the agents were waiting for another two people, but at 12:07 NCI pushed back and taxied toward runway 05, where soon after a powerful take off run, we took off. All I had to think of was SQ285 that scratched that exact runway a couple of days earlier, and I was happy to feel the power of the 767 lifting us up!
We soon reached 36,000ft and where on our way towards Singapore. Service was good as always, Air NZ are just the best in cabin service. Really honestly friendly! Our routing lead us over Brizzy, then on to Darwin and eventually to Singapore, flight time was anticipated to have been 10:30, which is quite long for this leg already, but we ended up being in the air for 10:50! After some holding, we positioned south of Changi and touched down on 02L just a few minutes after STA. We taxied to gate E2 (seems like Air NZ always departs from this one gate...) and my 4 hour wait for my onward connection began. No lounge for LH Silver members here which is a shame, since I come here often it seems! Asking at the SQ lounge didn't help, they just wouldn't let me in! Only Gold members!
Flight time: 12:45h
Boarding for this flight began at 23:30 roughly local time by seat row numbers. Settling into my seat I really noticed the shorter seat pitch compared to Air New Zealand 767s! I am by no means taller than average (183cm), but it was rather tight for me!
At 00:05, the flight attendants announced "boarding completed". However, nothing happened. Not for 10 minutes, not for 15 , then finally the captain came on the PA announcing that we were number 5 in queue with all the other flights departing for Europe and that he'd expect us to be another 15 minutes. Next to our gate F56 was flight SQ0024 IN / WSSS), Singapore">SIN-AMS-EWR, which pushed back around 00:30. And finally at 00:35, we pushed back, and the 4 powerful engines were started. We slowly taxied towards to runway, and when I say slow I mean slow. IN fact, the captain came on again, this time announcing that Changis other runway was closed and therefore our departure would be delayed by another 10 minutes. Finally, at 00:50, we lined up the runway (sorry, cant figure out which one it was) and take off power was applied. This take off run seemed to take for ever, but finally, the nose came up and 9V-SMM lift up to the sky!
Wisemen (or Krisworld?! I am really confused...) came on soon after that and I was looking forward to seeing the map, but to my disappointment, it was showing a location just out of Melbourne! That's rather odd I thought, well, the flight attendants soon announced that they were apologizing for the flight show not working on this flight! SHAME! Especially with the events in Iraq I would have like to have know which route we would have been taking, but there was no way I could have, I as usual I couldn't understand the quiet mumbling of the copilot explaining the route. Inflight service was nice and efficient, I really admire the way the Singapore Girls keep smiling even after a 13h flight!
We touched down in Frankfurt at 06:36am, 26m delayed. This landing was the best I ever had in a 744, absolutely awesome. Since we landed on 07L, there was no need to apply thrust reversers, as the terminals were down the other end anyway! Beautfiful, but long flight this one!
Made my way down to the LH Business lounge were I finally had my shower! I am rather disappointed with this lounge though, apart from drinks, cookies and newspapers, there is nothing here food or entertainment wise, and it was hard to get a seat as well, I ended up sitting with the smokers! Its definitely time for a lounge upgrade in FRA, if I compare this with the QF Business lounge in SYD.
My onward flight to HAM was leaving at 08:05, boarding to begin at 07:30. Actual boarding started at 07:45, nevertheless, everyone got on this full flight within a few minutes and LH128 was ready to go. Flight time to Hamburg today 45 minutes, average I'd say. Inflight service were some drinks by some efficient flight attendants. We touched down in Hamburg at 08:56, some 15 minutes before STA. Not bad for a 1:05h flight! Sunshine here and I'd made it once again!