British767 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 284 posts, RR: 20 Posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 4927 times:
Well, whilst surfing the net for cheap fares on a sunny July day, I went onto easyJet's website to notice that they will start flying to DTM from LTN on the 1st of September 2004. I took a look at the fare, and the total price was £30.98 including all applicable taxes and fees. My reaction was, BARGAIN! So I went for it, and booked it.
easyJet's First Ever LTN To DTM Route On The 1st Of September 2004 Exceedingly Early In The Morning
Flight No.: EZY 4954
Date: September 1st 2004
Aircraft: Airbus 319
Registration: Don't have a clue
I had to get up at 4.30am this morning to be able to get the 4.58am train to London and then another train to Luton Airport Parkway. I went to get a ticket to London (as the ticket office was closed) from the machine and had to pay £6.40 return. I got onto the train, after having a very suprised guard stare at me, which was probably because somebody was actually using the train which was so early. When I got to London, I went to get a ticket to Luton Airport Parkway. I thought I'd be paying about £10 for it, but how wrong I was. I had to pay a substantial £19.20 return!!! So the total train fare to LTN from my home town was £25.60!! But you don't want to hear about the train journey, you wanna hear about the journey on the aircraft!!
I got to LTN at about 6.45am this morning and I went straight to check in. I waited for about 3 or 4 minutes and I was checked in. I was given boarding card no. 78, as shown below. There was another bit attached to it, with my name written onto it, but obviously they took that section.
After checking in, I went straight through the busy security and into teh departure lounge. There was a long queue for security but the queue kept moving, so I wasn't there for too long (about 5-10 minutes). I went and had a look for something to eat, and ended up into a "Chocolate Chunk" Muffin from Millie's. The muffin was £1.50 and a bottle of coke was £1.20. Tasted dam good but I think it was the wrong time of the day for a chocolate muffin. Oh well, still tasted good Very soon after scoffing down that muffin, I went to get some money changed up from pounds into euros. I then took a look at the departure board and noticed that my flight had a gate, which was gate 15.
So I went to gate 15, to find a small queue had formed whilst the boarding passes were being checked. After mine was checked I was told to "wait in queue C". There was a sign about queue C saying "Numbers 60-90", and as mine was 78, this obviously was the queue that I had to wait in. Queues A and B were closer to the door. There was a total lack of seating at the gate, and so we all (apart from an old guy and a woman with about 6 million kids) had to stand for about 25 minutes. Whilst standing there I noticed a BY 757 and a ZB 757 being pushed back. Also whilst standing there, a customer service agent came over the tanoy saying "Would passenger ... please go immediately to gate 8 where your flight is waiting for you. You are delaying this flight and we are in the process of identifying you bag and offloading it unless you show yourself in the next minute, you are delaying this flight and it's departure". I thought it was a little rude, but I can understand why the guy might have been getting a little wound up.
At 07.40, the doors were opened and the passengers with kids were allowed onto the flight. Then everybody else was let on, in order of which queue they were in. So queue A first, then B, then C and then D. For some reason a man in queue D thought he should go on first, so pushed on before everybody else. Weird. I stepped outside to have the refreshing smell of aircraft fuel wafting my way. I just love that smell. I proceeded to the rear door of the aircraft to be greeted by cabin crew memeber "Claudia" (more about her later). I took a seat which was about 6 or 7 rows from the back. I sat in seat F. By this time it was 07.50 and nobody had sat next to me. "Yipeeee!" I thought. But 2 people did eventually sit next to me. The one who sat right next to me had a BO problem, he hogged the arm rest and he spread his legs so that he also took up all the space. But me being my typical self I didn't say anything.
At 07.50 the doors were shut, and the safety briefing was given my "Marco" who seemed to be a bit of a comedian. He gave the safety briefing in a professional manour and then went on to say that no smoking was allowed, and that the toilets are fitted with smoke sensors and anybody found smoking would be asked to leave the aircraft by the back door with no excuses. As were got closer to the runway, Marco came over the tanoy again to say "we will now dim the lights for take off, please keep your hands to yourself, thank you". We taxyed to the runway, taxyed down the runway after a biz jet took off, and we turned around at the end of the runway. After about a 10 second wait, throttle was applied! To be honest, it didn't seem too loud! It was rather powerful though. We powered down the runway, and then pulled up rather steeply. I was trying to take my mind off of the guy's odours which were wafting my way, so I stared out of the window and was eventually blinded temporarily by the sunlight.
We did seem to be going at quite a speed. Once we had levelled out a little bit, the captain came over the tanoy to tell us about our route, and that we had some strong tail winds which were helping us get to DTM quicker. We were travelling about at 900km/h (maybe more). The cabin crew came round with the brand new in-flight magasines. I had a flick through it, and didn't really find anything worthwhile reading, apart from the first page which was slagging off BA for raising prices due to fuel. The easyKiosk was brought round to us, but I didnt see anybody buy anything from it! The flight was pretty uneventful apart from the off slight bit of turbulence. Before I knew it, we were descending and approaching DTM, which to me, seemed very quick! We descended through the cloud layer, and the morning haze, and were twisting and turning on the approach to DTM. As I said a littl earlier, the flight was pretty uneventful, and so there isn't much to report about it.
I had heard before, about DTM's very short runway, and I was looking forward to the take off and landing very much because of the runway length. Below the few clouds that there were, it was really good weather. It was reported to us that it was around 17C, and hazey. The hazey was evident as we approached the runway, but wasn't so evident once we were on the ground. It seemed to me that the flaps were set very late into the approach. Late as in about 1 or 2 minutes before landing!! We approached at quite a fast speed, floated over the runway a little bit, and came down with a bump. Both the spoilers and revserse thrust were applied, then the thrust was reset, and then re-applied again. once we had turned off the runway, I could see why!! We only had a few metres to spare!! This made me look forward to the take off even more!! We took the short taxi to the terminal building, and we were instructed to stay in our seats whilst the engines were shut down, and as the aircraft was pushed backwards into the gate.
Remember I said about cabin crew member "Claudia"? Well Marco said oer the radio "today you were served by her, him, her and Claudia, who has just been named easyJet employee of the month! Please put your hands together for Claudia!" So yeah anyway everybody clapped for a job well done, and we were let off of the aircraft pretty soon after stopping. But there wasn't really any point in anybody rushing to get off, because as soon as we got into the terminal building, there was a huge queue for Passport Control! We had to wait in this queue for about 20 minutes whilst all the families were let through first. Oh well, sh*t happens. Seen as I didn't have any luggage, I didn't have to wait for that, so I went for a wizz, then after that went outside to get the bus to the Dortmund Hauptbahnhof with the Airport Express.
All in all, the flight was done very well by easyJet. There isn't anything I can fault with them. The customer service was good most of the time, the cabin crew were friendly, the aircraft was clean, and we were a bit early too! Only downer was the man with the BO problem, but I soon managed to get away from him.
Dortmund itself was OK. The bits I went to were just like any normal town. A long street, full of shops, and a market. But can any people from Dortmund explain this (scared me a bit):
Also, I found that EZY were in fact advertising their new routes a LOT. I saw this billboard next to the Hauptbahnhof:
When I walked down the street with all the shops, I saw a couple of people who worked for EZY, and they were giving out details of a competition where whoever makes the best paper aeroplane, wins 2 free flights. One girl said to me in German "would you like to win 2 free flights?", and I replied "no thanks, I already flew with easyJet this morning from London". She looked a little amazed.
I got a little bored of Dortmund city centre, so I headed back to DTM at about 14.30 for the 18.10 flight. I was the only one on the Airport Express. It was too early to check in, so I went up to the viewing gallery to see if anything interesting was happening. When I got up there, I saw passengers boarding an EZY A319, I think due to fly to Alicante. I also noticed the blue Air Berlin 737-800 in special 7E7 colours:
It did look rather nice in the blue. Makes a bit of a change from the usual red, which I think also looks great. I also noticed a few General Aviation aircraft. But everybody seemed to be quite amazed by the Air Berlin and EZY taking off.
Scheduled Departure Time: 18:10
Actual Departure Time: 18:10
Scheduled Arrival Time: 18:35
Actual Arrival Time: 18:20
After a rather tiring day in Dortmund, I did eventually check in at 4.15pm, and got boarding pass number 5:
After checking in I went straight through security, and the metal detector didn't go off, so I went through security with no problems. After security, I went to the tax free shop, to get some German chocoloate "Milka". It was €2,70 for a big bar (can any germans tell me if thats a lot for that big bar?) I went to Gate 11 after going some shopping, and had to go through some more security, and then Passport Control. Right next to the gate, EZY were giving away free champagne, to celebrate their new routes starting today. I didn't try any, because at first I didn't think they were for us. I didn't know they were for us, until somebody told me on the flight!
I actually got to the gate at 16.30, which meant I still had another hour and a half to wait!! I was by myself for a bit, and so took this picture:
So what did I do to pass the time? Well I played golf on my phone for a bit, tried to find something to read, tried to find some aircraft to look at (but there were none). In the end I just had to sit there and wait, simply. I suppose it was my fault for getting there so early! It got to 17.50, and the aircraft that we were due to fly on, arrived from Prague. The passengers were offloaded very quickly and we were allowed on, and we boarded quite quikcly too. This time I managed to get 3 seats for myself, which meant I didn't feel so cramped as I did before.
At 18.10, we started our taxi to the runway. By the time we got to the runway, the cabin crew hadn't yet finished their duties, so we had to wait for them to do what they had to do, before we were allowed to depart. As soon as they had finished, we turned onto the runway, and started our take off roll. I got the feeling that it might have been a full power take off, due to the lack of runway length. We lifted off the ground, and steeply climbed through the haze/pollution and clouds. Here is a view from the aircraft:
You can kind of see what I mean by haze. Pretty soon after take off, the easyKiosk service came round. I had a BLT sandwich and a pepsi, as I was feeling really hungry! I always take the Tomato out and so after I did that, I had one of the best BL"T"s I have ever had! The total cost was €6,00 (€5 for the sandwich and €1 for the Pepsi). Once again, the flight was uneventful, and so there isn't much I can report at all. The return flight seemed a little longer than the outbound flight. Once we approached the English coast, we started out descent, and here was the view:
The approach into LTN was very smooth. We turned a lot more than I thought that we would, maybe we came in at a strange angle or something, but we definitely did turn an awful lot to the port side. Once again, the flaps weren't engaged until very late in the approach. To give you some idea, this picture was taken immediately after the flaps were engaged:
The touch town on the LTN runway was very bumpy, seemed like we slammed onto the ground at high speed, but it was all good fun. The reverse thrust and spoilers were both used:
We taxyed to the gate straight away, can anybody want to play spot the spotter in the picture?
As soon as we got to the stand/gate, we were let off pretty quickly, again, and there were no delays at all. This meant that we were 15 minutes ahead of schedule.
The return flight was just as good, if not better than the outbound flight. Both flights had friendly cabin crew, no delays, clean aircraft. All great! EZY do seem proud to be flying to and from DTM, and seem to be tying to make the public aware of this.
Once again, I do apologise for the lack of detail in the report, but it's hard to write about something which didn't happen. Thank you for your time, and feel free to leave any comments.
TriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4705 posts, RR: 40
Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4268 times:
Thank you for a very interesting and lovingly crafted trip report covering EasyJet's new service to my hometown! It was certainly a pleasure to read and watch the photographs.
I don't think that DTM's runway is especially short - with about 2.200 meters, it offers plenty of takeoff distance for short haul flights. Might be more interesting to take off for the Canaries though...
Regarding the picture of those two weird guys, well, I have never seen them in downtown before, I guess it is supposed to be some kind of street performance/ art.
Dortmund actually isn't dull at all if you have some time to discover the realyl nice parts of town, but for only a few hours, it is hard to get to all the interesting places.
BTW - You took a picture of D-ABBN, which is a -700 and not a -800, but small mistakes like this can happen to everyone.
Once again, thank you for a very good trip report! It was a pleasure to read.
[Edited 2004-09-02 08:41:26]
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
EDLW From Germany, joined exactly 15 years ago today! , 37 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4027 times:
nice to read something about DTM from somebody not from Germany. I can assure you (as TriStar500 did) there are a lot of things to see and do in Dortmund (see also on easyJet Homepage). There's lot of culture waiting to be discovered and especially around Dortmund (in the "Muensterland" north of DTM) you'll find nice castles and a landscape like a park.
In the south of the city there's a famous casino (Hohensyburg) lying fair and beautiful high above the valley of the river "Ruhr". As a contrast you can visit industrial museums (mines and steel work) or perhaps a match of Borussia Dortmund (BvB) in one of the most beautiful stadiums we have in Germany. Near the stadium you can find one of the nicest parks I know - the "Westfalenpark" - a very big area with lots of restaurants and a lot of nature to visit and see. In this park there's the radio tower of Dormund - a visit on the top of it is possible - nice view if the visibility is more than 10 kilometers
Concerning Spotting, Dortmund may be not the most interesting airport, but if you can arrange a visit on Fridays, it is not too disappointing. You'll see some airlines from turkey (e. g. Onur, Pegasus, Sky), Nouvelair, some Air Berlin, EZY of course, Wizz Air, Czech, the nice Do-228s of LGW and others (EW/LH). If you have lots of luck you may see an An-26 of Metro freighter delivering parts for Opel Bochum. But they arrive only about 2 times a month.
DoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3980 times:
Thanks for your trip report, it was nice reading a report from someone using my home base (not for long though).
I wasn't sure whether the DTM/LTN flights would be operated by German or UK crews, although by the looks of things it will be a flight operated by DTM-based crews.
I think the reason you may have found DTM dull was because the main purpose of your trip appears to have been to sample a new easyJet service rather than visit the final destination (something I did when I flew Ryanair to Aarhus...I had no real interest in the town of Aarhus, I have to admit).
I guess the days of 'pure flying' for me are over. Now, I enjoy the ride, but actually like to explore the cities!
British767 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 284 posts, RR: 20
Reply 8, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3939 times:
'Tis true, but I really went to practise my German, and to see what DTM was like. But I did go to see what the service was like too. And the reason why I got the -700 confused with a -800 is probably because I wrote it at 12.30am last night and I had been up for 20 hours already
It was actually a competition and not just a free flight I think she was amazed at the fact that I had flown from London that morning with the airline she is advertising.
Tristar500 and EDLW,
Thanks for the info on DTM. I might visit again and visit a few of the place that your recommended. To be honest, I spent the day mainly around the Hauptbahnhof and Stadthaus area.