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Crazy A.neter Meeting: Daytrip To Berlin With HLX  
User currently offlineGodbless From Sweden, joined Apr 2000, 2752 posts, RR: 15
Posted (10 years 9 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2655 times:

When I booked this flight I was already quite sure that it would be "just another flight" as there was not much new that I expected. Before this trip I had flown on Hapag-Lloyd Express 13 times, and already 4 times to Berlin-Tegel. So it was basically just another trip for me. But still a very enjoyable one.

At 0545 I got up since I wanted to have more time to get to the airport because we had lots of snow, ice and nasty weather resulting in more than 200 car accidents in my city alone. So just to be on the safe side I doubled the time I regularly need to get to Cologne/Bonn.

After I had parked my car I took the shuttle-bus to the terminal where I checked in. The guy at the desk for my Hapag-Lloyd Express flight had a big "dba" pin on his jacket. Looked very professional to me...
The flights to Berlin are the only ones where you get an assigned seat on HLX because the airline won the contract (together with dba) to transport more than 10.000 people a year of the "governing crew" of the country between Berlin and Bonn. And the politicians and who not all uses that service do not feel like running into the plane to fight for a good seat so that is the reason why I got a set seat. It was 6A. If that guy would have asked me I would have asked for either 12A or 12F but as I later found out these seats have been removed and now only 14A and F offer the "Business Class like" pitch.
After I got my boarding pass I walked over to Terminal 1 where you could see the expansion going on so the building can cope with the Germanwings expansion in the future. At the Burger King I got myself something to eat and then I walked back to to Terminal 2. I had wanted to go to the gate then but I noticed that I had forgotten my mobile phone so I ran back to my car to get it. It took about ten minutes and then I was back again so I went through the security and a minute later I got to my Gate where I sat down next to an absolutely pretty girl, but I guess that is a totally different story...

Thursday, December 23, 2003
CGN-TXL X3 3122
0845-0945
B737-700 D-AGEU

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Photo © Markus Moßhammer
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Photo © Tobias Rose


The plane was parked at the gate so I could see the reg. From the terminal and I remembered the last time I flew on THAT very plane. June 27th, the very last flight of Hapag-Lloyd Express out of LTN and I was the very last passenger to board the plane there, flown by D-AGEU.

At about 0830 we were allowed to get into the plane and I sat down on my seat 6A from where I took a few pictures of an Air Berlin 737-800 that was covered with snow being pulled to the gate after it spent the night somewhere on the airport ground.

After all 30 passengers had boarded the plane we were pushed back and headed to the runway where we had to wait for a few planes to land before we could take-off.
One of them was a Challenger or another kind of Business plane from the red cross no not a Swiss plane but the real thing.
Once we had the clearance we rolled onto the runway and then full thrust was given and our next-to-empty 73G got faster and faster with an acceleration that made it feel like we were a rocket being launched.
After lift-off it took only a few minutes and we had reached our FL of 33.000 feet.
We broke through the clouds and the beauty I got to see then was surreal. That was again a moment that showed me clearly why I love to fly. Leaving the grey weather below you and watching the sun rise over you.

After a while the F/O made an announcement, a very normal one except that the told us how delighted he was to be able to fly us from Cologne to Berlin-Schönefeld. I guess he looked at the route map of Germanwings as he said that since they do serve SXF instead of TXL as HLX does.

After all he did bring us to Tegel after an rather standard flight with no big worth-metioning events where we touched down after we came in from the east flying over the city of Berlin. Because it was so cold the air was very clear and you could see all major buildings such as the "Fernsehturm" ocated on the Alexander Platz. A tower built to show the West that the East was a great power too. Well today it is part of the "West".

We taxied to out stand which was a remote position outside of the "Tegel-ring" from where we were bussed to the terminal where I met Ndebele who had already arrived from Stuttgart (see his report).

Thursday, December 23, 2003
TXL-CGN X3 3127
1730-1830
B737-700 D-AGEQ

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Photo © Tobias Rose
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Photo © Patrick Audibert


At 1600 I could check-in for my return flight to Cologne. And from all the times I was checked in in my life this time was be far the best experience I made. The lady called me by my name and in general was very friendly and from what I can say a very "enjoyable person".
I got my boarding pass, with the sequence number 17 (my second "17" for today!).
Since Airsicknessbag left us earlier I still walked around the airport with Ndebele and Sabena332 until it was time for each one of us to go to our gates. We got to see the MIAT A310-300 that serves Berlin twice a week, if I am not mistaken. That was the only widebody we got to see there except an A300-600 of Lufthansa that was parked there at Tegel.

Since I was the last to leave Berlin I used the time where I was alone to take some pictures in the dark, so I played around with my camera a little bit. Some pictures actually turned out quite good.
After that I sat down at the gate until "my" plane from Cologne arrived. When I saw the reg. I again had to think of my previous flight on THAT plane which was the same day as my last flight on "EU" as "EQ" was the plane to bring me from CGN to LTN the day I flew on the very last LTN-CGN flight.

After the first people started to board the plane I still walked around the terminal taking pictures of "my" plane.
As one of the last I went into the bus that would take us to the plane. I boarded the plane via the rear stairs since I expected less people standing in the aisle taking "all time of the world" to stuff their stuff in the overhead-bin. And I was right. People were standing in the first third of the cabin waiting for people to realize that other people need to get by too.
I got to my seat in no time and after I had stored my bag and jacket I looked around the cabin to "check out the scenery" a little.
There were three female attendants in the cabin, of which two were [in my eyes] ugly bags while the third one looked really cute. Too bad she only served the people in the back, starting like two rows behind me.

After everything was settled in and everybody found his/her seat the cabin attendants gave us the safety demonstration and at the same time we started to taxi to the runway. So it was kinda hard at some points for the F/A to stand still showing us how to open or close the seatbelt while the plane turned from one taxiway to another which resulted in a large G-Force pressing and pushing the F/A. Entertaining to say the least.

After we go to the runway 26L it took only a few seconds before the pilot made the engines show their full potencial. And even with the plane being roughly 80% full the take-off was just as rocket-like as the one in the morning. Shortly after take-off I fell asleep and woke up again when our plane touched the ground at CGN. So it is hard for me to write something about the flight, except that it is by far easier to sleep in their cabin than in the new one of Ryanair...
We taxied to Terminal 2 where we had a gate position and the plane next to ours was a British Airways A319 that had a wingfence missing. I first double-checked if I had maybe mistaken the plane for an A319 while it actually was an A320-100 but that was not the case. Too bad I couldn't check if it had the fence on the other side but I guess that the impact on the equal airflow on both sides will be less then existent.

I deboarded the plane shortly after and just about 15 minutes later I was sitting in my car going home from where I again took off for another very "non-aviation" event.

Now I count a total of 99 flights in my logbook and as it looks my number 100 will also be on Hapag-Lloyd Express at the end of January going from CGN to VLC, but it could happen that I add the one or the other flight to it yet...

I hope you enjoyed reading about my rather uneventful flights. Comments are as always welcome.

Max

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2504 times:

Dear God of low-cost airlines Big grin,

you wrote an excellent report, it was again a welcome alternation on this boring second Christmas day (thanks God they are over tomorrow).

HLX is a good airline, they are on the second place of my low-cost airlines favorites list, closely behind Germanwings. I really liked that the check in agent at TXL addressed you by your last name, that gave this standard procedure very personal touch.

It was nice to meet you again, of course we must keep the tradition to meet in Berlin every year.

Patrick


User currently offlineNdebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2901 posts, RR: 22
Reply 2, posted (10 years 9 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2476 times:

Hi Max,

thanks for this indeed excellent report. I'll give HLX a try on their new route STR-MAN in May, I think.

The HLX check-in agent at CGN had a DBA-pin? This should not happen. Sometimes it happens when you have to check in several airlines the same day, you can see me frequently at the DBA check- in with a Swiss neckcord (or v.v.), but it should not happen when both airlines compete on the same route.

It was nice to meet you again, of course we must keep the tradition to meet in Berlin every year.
Yes, but don't forget our (my?) tradition of annual LHR meetings, right now I have three UK-trips planned, beside MAN it's BHX/EMA and of course LHR/LGW, would be nice if one of these trips would become yet another "Crazy A.neter Meeting"  Big thumbs up


User currently onlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4695 posts, RR: 42
Reply 3, posted (10 years 9 months 12 hours ago) and read 2446 times:

Hello Max,
...and another very nice trip report from one of our German a.net regulars.  SmileThank you for putting so much time and effort in your report, it really shows all the necessary details and interesting writing which makes reading such a wonderful report a pleasure.  Big thumbs up
Unfortunately or fortunately - it depends on your point of view - I don't really have any questions right now, because as far as I am concerned, you have covered every detail to such extent that there are no open aspects for discussion.  Smile




Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 33
Reply 4, posted (10 years 9 months 2 hours ago) and read 2411 times:


Thanks for the report. Looks nice to have thrice the same topic on top of the TR forum. Patrick, sure you don´t want to post your report, just for the heck of it?  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Daniel Smile


User currently offlineSQ325 From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 1451 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (10 years 8 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2373 times:

You guys are crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




but cool!


User currently offlineGodbless From Sweden, joined Apr 2000, 2752 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2322 times:

First of all it is again a pleasure to hear that you enjoyed this report of a very unspectacular trip.

HLX is a good airline, they are on the second place of my low-cost airlines favorites list
Well somehow I have the feeling that they are the first to go... Looking on what is going on with that airline I do not see a bright future ahead.

It was nice to meet you again, of course we must keep the tradition to meet in Berlin every year.
Same here. I hope we can all again meet in May at the ILA @ SXF.

would be nice if one of these trips would become yet another "Crazy A.neter Meeting"
You know I am not such an England-freak, but I will for sure go with your offer you sent by email!

TriStar500, ok next time I will reduce the amount of information given...  Big thumbs up

You guys are crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
...and proud of it too!

My plane back to Cologne
Max




User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2318 times:

Same here. I hope we can all again meet in May at the ILA @ SXF.

Yes, that would be great! Any news if you are at FRA next Monday?

You know I am not such an England-freak, but I will for sure go with your offer you sent by email!

I agree, the offer is indeed very interesting!

Patrick


User currently offlineNdebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2901 posts, RR: 22
Reply 8, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2320 times:

You know I am not such an England-freak, but I will for sure go with your offer you sent by email!
I agree, the offer is indeed very interesting!

Patrick, then Patricia should join us, because this offer allows only one companion, and unless you or Max get a job soon, we need a second person who's "in the industry".


User currently offlineNdebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2901 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2320 times:

...and to all the others who have no clue what we're talking about: Here's a hint:

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Photo © Sam Chui



User currently offlineRyanair737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2261 times:

Great trip report Godbless.

Do HLX have a in-flight magazine or a menu card?

Thanks
Ryanair737



[Edited 2004-01-04 23:41:10]

User currently offlineGodbless From Sweden, joined Apr 2000, 2752 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 2227 times:

First of all great to hear that you enjoyed my report.

Do HLX have a in-flight magazine or a menu card?
They just hava a menu card which shows the products which can be bought during flight.
Btw. when HLX first started their service back in 2002 they were catered by GateGourmet and now they moved on to LSG.

On a few flights last year I got a "Focus" magazine (A german kind of for example Newsweek).

Max


User currently offlineSQ325 From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 1451 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2219 times:

regarding the SXM pic!!
Is there something you guys want to tell me?


User currently offlineRyanair737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 2197 times:

Thanks Max, I have just found a picture of a HLX menu card. Is it still the same design as this?



Ryanair737


User currently offlineGodbless From Sweden, joined Apr 2000, 2752 posts, RR: 15
Reply 14, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2174 times:

Björn, I heard that Ndebele sent you some information regarding SXM already, so I guess I do not have to add anything to it...

Regarding the menucard, it is not the same as you can see that that is an old GateGourmet one. Now they have it like a fold-open three-page one. But I did not really invest too much time into it. I will fly HLX again in a few weeks time, I'll take a closer look then again.

Max
(über WLAN aus der Vorlesung der Uni Siegen Big thumbs up)


User currently onlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4695 posts, RR: 42
Reply 15, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2167 times:

Yeah right Max, a university student taking part in a course at 0821h!  Sleepy Big grin


Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineGodbless From Sweden, joined Apr 2000, 2752 posts, RR: 15
Reply 16, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2163 times:

Well you're right... It hadn't officially started (that was nine minutes later) but our "Prof" was already in the room talking, so I considered the session openend.  Big grin

Max


User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 33
Reply 17, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2152 times:


Didn´t classes at your uni even start at 0800, Jens? Maybe you never attended them, like in the middle of the night Big grin

Daniel Smile

Very old joke, but it might be new for some non-Germans reading this (as if there were any left):
Q - why do students have to get up at six?
A - because the shops close at half six...


User currently onlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4695 posts, RR: 42
Reply 18, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2161 times:

Daniel,
Err, well, I guess, you're right, I have distant memories of me getting up at 7 a.m.  Wow! in order to visit some absolutely pointless classes (ecology, sociology)  Sleepy , sometimes even on a monday morning during my first two university years (Grundstudium).

They're worth a rat's ass for what I am doing now, thank God!  Big thumbs up

[Edited 2004-01-07 18:08:38]


Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
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