A little bit more that an month ago when my studies started again after the summer I realized that I had a few days off in late September (that is now) so I decided to take a three-day trip to Berlin. Actually I've been there about ten times before but I never stayed longer than over the day. I've heard that SAS had some nice student-priced tickets and I checked it out and it was true. I got myself a return from ARN to TXL through CPH for about 90 euros. I was quite pleased with that.
I went off to Arlanda Airport in the morning of the 20th September to catch my flight (SK 1415) at 0620, everything went smooth and I used those self-check-in computers for the first time (had an e-ticket). The flight was on time, I had seat 26A on a really nice MD90, one of my favorite planes actually ! I took a lot of nice pictures when the sun was about to come up, it was really good weather almost all the way but as we were closing in on CPH it turned really foggy, the visibility out of my window was actually nil, got a nice breakfast to.
At CPH I was supposed to have about an hour long layover before takeoff so I walked around the terminal and took some more pictures, just as I was focusing in on a Canadian 747 a security guy comes up to me tells me put down my camera because it's illegal to take pictures here ! Never heard of that, no signs saying that either so I told him that I would take one more picture and then quit, he than answered "well you'd better keep your promise or I'll get the authorities". (what a sick guy, isn't HE supposed to be the authority ?) Then he walked away. Of course I didn't put my camera down but it started getting late and I walked towards my gate, as I got closer a man in SAS uniform approached me, at first I thought that it was the security guys friend or something, he asked if I was booked on the TXL flight and if I was in a hurry, I told him that I had plenty of time and then he asked med to step aside.
Then the man (very politely) explained to me that the flight was overbooked and I was one of the few people traveling alone, and the youngest of them so he would offer me some compensation if took a plane that went five hours later. At first I though he was kidding but he wasn't, I accepted the offer and he got me a Star Alliance travel voucher worth of 300 euros, a return train ticket to the city, a lunch coupon for a fancy restaurant downtown and a day-card for the Tivoli, lucky day huh, that was worth about four times more than I payed for my ticket
Anyway, my Copenhagen-experience went by pretty fast, I got back at the airport in time, no ques at the security check either. At 1400, ten minutes before takeoff I was the first person onboard the aircraft (flight SK 679) at seat 23A, it was an MD80, quite old and it felt a little bit more cramped than the MD90 (but that maybe just felt like it because I'm 192 cm hah). We left in time and arrived about five minutes early, the flight was wonderful, we flew very low and I had a nice and clear view of the Danish coast, southern Sweden and northern Germany. At TXL, for a moment I thought they had lost my bag (I was the last man standing and no more luggage left) so asked at the counter and I found out that it actually came with the flight that I was supposed to be on from the very beginning. I picked it up at the customs office (a small gray metal barrack just under the control tower, looked like something from WW2) and then everything was in order again.
Three days passed, I had a great time in Berlin, also took a half-daytrip to Rostock and the IGA2003-fair. At noon, the 23rd of September I was back at TXL again, a little bit to early but it wasn't a problem, I did some spotting (from the restaurant thou, the terraces were closed because it was to windy !? ;() Just a couple of minutes before my check-in counter was about to open they announced in the loudspeakers (only in German, luckily I know some) that my flight was cancelled because of problems at CPH. I hurried to the Lufthansa ticket office and asked them what to do and what the problem was, I then found out that there was a major blackout in Denmark and no planes were able to land, so I was rescheduled to fly with Lufthansa trough FRA instead of CPH but I had to wait a few hours, although there are planes almost every half hour from TXL to FRA everyone was full.
So I did some more spotting and at 1735 I boarded flight LH 1699, I was the first one on the plane again hurrying to my seat at 32A, this was going to be quite an experience, I have actually never flown either, LH, Airbus (it was a strange "all-business class" version of an A321, but the service wasn't businessclassy, all I got was a coke) or on a domestic flight ! (I usually fly SK, BA or Malev to BUD, JFK, CPH and CDG) I found the A321 very noisy and if I have to be honest I was a little bit scared, probably because of the heavy clouds, you couldn't actually see ANYTHING during the flight... (and my mind doesn't seem to trust Airbus too much either) The funny thing with this flight was that everybody on the flight except me was dressed in suite ! Strange feeling there
We landed in Frankfurt just on time, I really love that place with all that variation of aircrafts coming in from the whole world, it is always a pleasure to be there ! I took a walk around terminal A before going to my gate, as I got there I noticed that there were a LOT of upset people around, almost everybody from Scandinavia on there way home, having to take reschedule because of the CPH blackout. I heard one of the LH-girls telling the other that the flight is overbooked... 17 people are standing in line ! That's pretty much when it comes to an MD81. However, the plane was about 30 minutes delayed, we weren't let on the plane because the cabin crew wasn't ready. It was a nice flight, somehow those nasty clouds disappeared and I saw the lights from all the big west German cites and the lights of Stockholm during approach. At 2225 flight SK 674 landed at ARN and I was back at home.
This is my first report on a.net, sorry if it is too long. I would love to read your comments or answer your questions if you have any. / Milan