Konrad From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 524 posts, RR: 0 Posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 3351 times:
Trip Report - Dashing on Tyrolean, KRk-VIE-VCE-VIE-KRk twice
It happend so in February this year that I had to travel twice from Krakow, Poland to Venice. My favority carrier on this route is the Austrian/Tyrolean via Vienna. Here comes the trip report for your amusement.
KRk-VIE, OS5598 operated by Tyrolean Dash 8-Q400, 15:25 16:30
I arrived at the small Krakow airport one hour before the departure to find an empty check-in area. Got my boarding passes for both flights of the day with window seats I asked for. I like watching the landscape below flying low on turboprops. I went to the airside to watch the usual Krakow traffic which consisted of a LOT B737-500, Swiss Avro RJ-100 (substituted for a Saab 2000) and later a LOT ERJ-145. The Dash 8-Q400 from Vienna arrived on time and soon we were asked to the bus gate for the short trip to the plane. The new Q400 aircraft of Tyrolean look nice and clean, the seat pich is generous. The plane was configured with only 5 or 6 rows of economy in the back, most of it was business class marked by a moveble divide. The load was about 70 percent which probably meant good business for the airline with all the people sitting up front. Take-off was on time and the short 45 mins flight into Vienna was smooth and uneventful. The service in economy consisted of a glass of juice and one coffee/tea service. Some sort of a meal and drinks was served in the business class.
The Airport Vienna Schwechat
First thing I noticed upon entering the airport was that the only flight on the long list which was marked "cancelled" was my OS 5529 service to Venice. I went to the tranfer desk and after a short waitI was given a new boarding pass for the last flight of the day VIE to VCE, the 21:10 OS 5529. I was quite unhappy as the lady told me that I am late by 5 minutes to by put on a flight to Budapest and on to Venice. Unfortunately the flight to BUD was closed at the time I reached the counter. I later checked that it was another DH4 of Tyrolean to BUD connecting to a Malev CRJ. The other option was a Lufhansa flight via Frankfurt. Since I don't fancy neither LH nor FRA I declined the offer and decided to wait till the last OS flight. I got a meal and refreshments voucher from Austrian which turned out very nice as I spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the view from the restaurant not to mention a couple of Goesser Pils. Most of the aircraft in sight were Austrian, some Lufthansa, I noticed a KLM Fokker 70, Air France B737, Mauritius B767.
VIE-VCE, OS5527 operated by Tyrolean Dash 8-Q400, 21:10 22:30
This one Dash aircraft must have been a fresh delivery since it was an all-white tail. I heard recently that Austrian is planing a new livery or even a completely new brand name for its Tyrolean regional branch. Anyone from Austria cares to comment on that rumors ?
The flight was 50% full, this time most of the passengers were seated in economy. The service in economy was a sandwich (ham or cheese), a cold drink and a coffee/tea pass. We made a spectacular approach into Venice flying along the Adriatic coast from Trieste making landfall south of Chioggia and proceeding along the venetian laguna north to the Marco Polo airport. The whole laguna looked like a map with all the shipping lanes and shores illuminated by rows of lights easily seen in the cloudless night. It is always nice to land with the sight of Venice. We were bussed from the plane and I was surprised to arrive at the new terminal. First thing I noticed was the huge laguage claim area.
VCE-VIE, OS5522 Tyrolean Dash 8-Q300, 11:40 13:05
I had more time to contemplate the new VCE terminal upon departure. It is a great improvemend over the old barrack. Plenty of check-in counters, some congestion at the security checkpoints but nice and spacious airside area with some shopping outlets. Also, good view of the tarmac. An Air France Airbus 320, Alitalia MD80 and a Delta B767 from/to New York, JFK were to be seen. As we were bussed to our plane I was dissapointed to see the older Dash 8-Q300. After the quiet luxury of the Q400 I could tell the difference in the in flight noise and vibration especially upon take-off. The take-off roll of Dash Q400 seems very gentle and quiet compared to any other turboprop. I was hoping for the new aircraft as they fly a bit faster which would help me to make the short 25 mins connection in Vienna. This is how Austrian sells VCE-KRk tickets, they give you a 25 mins connection. I have made this connection a number of times, usually it involved some running through the VIE airport but I still feel nervous about it. Usually, the plane from VCE touches down in VIE about the boarding time stated in your boarding pass for the next flight. The transfer involves bus trip to and from the terminal and passing through the EU/Schengen immigration and security screening.
VIE-KRk, OS5597 Tyrolean Dash 8-Q400, 13:30 14:35
As I passed through the passport control I could hear my name "proceed immediatly to gate numer...". It turned out to take more time than I wished as the security checkpoint was understaffed (only one lane out of three was operating). Finally at the gate I climbed aboard a small van which proceeded immediatly to the aircraft. I was last on board, the door was closed behing me and soon we were taxing to the deicing stand. The short flight over Slovakia was uneventful, I enjoyed some polish papers of the day which Austrian cares to fly in to Vienna on their morning flight from Warsaw.
KRk-VIE, OS5598 operated by Tyrolean Dash 8-Q400, 15:25 16:30
VIE-VCE, OS5529 operated by Tyrolean Dash 8-Q400, 17:30 18:50
A couple of days passed and here I was again making another trip south. This time the earlier flight VIE-VCE was opearating and I made a nice connection in Vienna with some shopping along the way. I find the Schwechat Airport very nice, just the right size for easy connections without train or bus rides between the terminals. The few shops they have are OK, I like to check on the wonderful glassware at the Swaroski (I think) store. One day I'll have to break all my old wine glasses to get new ones from them.
One thing that is missing at Schwechat Airport is a childerns playing area. A friend of mine travelling with two kids had a three hour layover in VIE recently and told me there is nothing there to keep the childern busy. I remember CPH has a wonderful playground for kids inside the main terminal. Another comment on the Vienna airport is that they should make sure that all security check lines are open at times of their hub arrival-departure waves. Sometimes they are not.
On the VIE-VCE flight I saw a fantastic sunset over the Alps as the flight proceeded south-west from Vienna over Styria and Slovenia.
The VCE-VIE flight arrived 10 minutes earlier so the connection time in Vienna was OK. I made it on the bus with the rest of the passengers this time. Of course we waited on the plane for some latecomers to arrive. The polish papers didn't arrive this time, instead we were offered some slovak papers, apparently the delivery to KRk and KSC (Kosice) flights got mixed up. Luckily only the papers were misplaced and the flight proceeded to the right destination.
It was another pair of routine flights except for the landing in Krakow. We made the usual approach through the thick clouds to land from the east on runway 26, probably an ILS landing. We were out of the clouds about 6 km from the runway, gear was lowered, approach stabilised and everything was as usual. However, as we passed about 2 km from the treshold, flying real low, the plane made a sudden left then right bank and proceeded at a heading 30 deg. right of the runway. This was not a full go-around since the gear remained lowered and we didn't gain attitude. To the astonishement of those who looked out of their windows we went along the airports single runway. The cause for this aborted landing was clearly seen on the ground, it was a LOT ERJ-145 that was only now vacating the runway. After we passed by the airport and proceeded for another 4-5 km the plane made a thight U-turn to the left and immediatly dropped to land on the same strip from the opposite direction, now being runway 08. The whole operation took only a couple of minutes and happened at a low attitude - my estimate is that it was below 800 meters and below the cloud cover. Compliments to the Tyrolean pilot for that unusual performance. As we taxied to the terminal I saw a Swiss plane taking off in the 08 direction, apparently there was no wind and the airport operations changed to the other direction. Another reason for our initial runway 26 approach might have been the fact that only this direction has an ILS.
A couple of general comments regarding all the flights above. Accept for the one flight cancelled all other 8 out of 8 flights were on time or arrived within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival. The checked-in laguage made it with me on all 4 trips. None of the 8 flights were full and on most of them I had an empty seat beside me. Also, I enjoyed the serivce of the young Tyrolean cabin crews an all flights. Their distinctive "Gruess Gott" greeting makes a nice brandmark.
Thanks for reading, my next trip will be BA 777 across the Atlantic.
Spotterboy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 2997 times:
1st: Nice report - I'm glad you enjoyed the flight!
2nd: Yes, Austrian planned to introduce a new name for tyrolean - and a new colour scheme too - that's why a couple of planes are flying in an ''all-white'' livery. The new name is planned to be introduce in August or September...