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ORD-ATH Lufthansa, Part 1!  
User currently offlinePlanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3529 posts, RR: 5
Posted (9 years 7 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 6677 times:

Greece Part 1!

Hey there folks. It is exactly one week since the end of my spring 2005 trip to Greece. I went there for a class; International Art and Culture: Greece. Myself and about 40 other students went to class once a week starting at the beginning of the winter semester learning some background information on philosophy and the history of Greece. The bulk of the class however took place on site, in Greece.

We left for Greece on Wednesday February 23. 51 people total (40 students and 11 faculty) showed up to Terminal 1 at Chicago’s O’hare International Airport around 1:30pm. Our flights for the day were LH 435 ORD-MUC, and from there transferring to LH 3390 MUC-ATH. I checked my big bag and took my camera bag and my other personal bag as carryon. I showed my Mileage Plus card and passport at the ticket agent and was assured I would get all the mileage for this flight.

So I walked over to one of my favorite places, United’s B and C terminals. I always love coming here. Walking around, people watching, etc… I stopped at a Hudson News and grabbed a Tribune and a butter finger I think. I walked up and down the B terminal gawking at all the iron there. I was with my friend Blake and we walked down in the underground walk way and into Terminal C. I wanted to see the Bae-146’s so we went down to that end but unfortunately there weren’t any there at the time. Shoot. So we walked back to the other terminal and checked out the TED terminal, I hadn’t been there in a long time. I can’t remember what it used to be before TED but I remember being there for some reason in the early 90’s, I just remember that little terminal or whatever.

Anywho, Blake’s dad is a Continental 737-800 captain, and he was actually flying into O’hare around 4:00pm, so we were hoping to see him before our flight left at 4:40pm, but weren’t expecting it. I grabbed a hot dog and plugged my iPod in under one of the counters and read my Tribune. Worlds Greatest Newspaper  Wink.

So our flight was called around 4pm and we got in line. Blake and I were in the jetway when we saw a Continental 737-900 taxi past…could that have been his dad? Sure enough, about 10 seconds later, Blake’s phone rings and it’s his dad “Hey I just taxied past a Lufthansa A340, I’m assuming that’s you?” So we sort of got to see him. Haha.

Lufthansa Flight 435
ORD-MUC
4:40pm (CST) – 8:30am (Paris time, +7)
Airbus A340-300
D-AIGA
Seat 36K


So we bored the aircraft and I am sitting next to someone on the trip in the aisle. There are a few couples from my school on the trip and of course they all want to sit together, so there is some major seat re-arranging and I end up sitting in the window of aisle 36. Not bad, I have a great view of the engine. I sat next to my friend Aric (incidentally he is also my RA back in the residence apartments on campus) but he’s a cool guy. I sat in front of my friends Patric and Noel (one of the couples on the trip). This should be a decent flight, at least in terms of company. We were pushed back around 4:55pm and we took off pretty quickly after that, a little after 5 pm.

After the Flight Attendants were seated I turned my iPod on and listened to my traditional “leaving O’hare” song:


Alkaline Trio: Trucks and Trains

These days go by like trucks and trains
Some hit so hard you barely feel a thing
Lights out right now back then and forevermore
Lights out left now these robots marching
To the nearest liquor store

There's something green that's leaving town
Always thought it was blue
Always knew I was wrong
Where it goes hell knows
maybe somewhere better than here
And what they say of the grass on the other sides true
Too much time looking up is turning everything blue
Including me - including you
Including you

These times count down like boats and planes
Some wash away in undertow
Some plummet down in flames
Lights out right now back then and forevermore
With sirens on this ambulance is racing
to the west coast shore

There's something blue that's leaving town
We always talked about black we're considering brown
Where it goes hell knows
Maybe somewhere better than here
And what they say of the grass on the other sides true
Too much time looking up's turning everything blue
Including me, including the ocean, including you

Feel the ocean blue
Engulfing you
I view the deep blue sea
It's turning red right in front of me

There's something gray that's leaving town
And it's way beyond me
How it gets off the ground
Where it goes hell knows
Maybe somewhere better than here
And what they say of the grass on the other sides true
Too much time looking ups turning everything blue
Including me, including the Pilots, including you



Usually when I take off from O’hare I’m on United, so the “something grey that’s leaving town…” usually fits haha. But its seriously a great song and it gives me the shivers every time I listen to it, especially during a take off roll. And plus it reminds me of this girl I know and yeah…that sort of thing.

But moving on  Wink, take off and climb-out were smooth and we were soon working our way across Michigan into our Canadian track. It had been awhile since any of my 3 years of high school german, but regardless I tried to speak it with the flight attendants.

Speaking of the flight attendants, my goodness they had some really hot German girls working this flight. Holy cow. Hottest flight attendants I’ve seen in a long-ass time. I tried to make eye contact with the hottest one, and after I was able to do that I smiled. She immediately looked away. Haha. Ah well.

I opted for a beer (not Heineken….the other kind they have) for my first drink of the evening and sat back and listened to my iPod. Dinner came about 90 minutes after take-off. We were offered pasta or chicken. I opted for the pasta, it was ravioli with peas, cheese and marinara sauce. It came with a piece of cake, a roll, and a potato yam mix. I was not impressed with the dinner selection. I did have a glass of Cabernet with dinner which I thought was quite good. The roll. Butter,and cheese was also very good, but everything else was quite mediocre. The cake was quite stale.

After dinner I had a cup of tea, and then they came around with Baileys and some other alcohol…it escapes me for the moment. But of course I opted for the Baileys on the rocks. Nothing beats it on the ground or in the air. I then settled back and tried to get some sleep.

Unfortunately, sleep never came, or at least it didn’t come in very long spurts. The movie selection on the flight was awful. They played “After the Sunset”, which I thought might be good. However after 30 mins of the movie I still was not interested in the least and I went back to my iPod and some reading. The book I was reading was about the Battle of Stalingrad, called Stalingrad, and written by Antony Beevor. It’s quite the good read, from a historical perspective but also from a military perspective (mainly of tactics and logistics). Anyone into military history would get a lot of good knowledge out of this book.

They came around for our small snack before arriving into Munich. I don’t quite remember what it was. It was nothing to write home about from what I remember. I sat back and watched the clouds roll by underneath us as we descended. The Captain came over the intercom and announced Munich had 50 meters of visibility (around 160 feet). I had never been involved with a Cat III landing before but that was bout to change.

One could easily feel the airplane descending, but we were at 2000 feet and all you could see was clouds under us. It looked like we were still in the five to ten thousand foot range because of the ground fog. Vertical visibility had to have been less than 50 feet. We kept descending, entered the clouds, I was looking for the runway…looking…looking…looking….finally there it was about 20 feet below the wing and we landed. The computer I must say can land an airplane very well. That was definitely a Cat III-b auto-land.

After the landing, I was more nervous about the taxi to the terminal. All I could think of was “Tenerife, Tenerife, Tenerife”. On one of our turns I looked back and saw a CRJ only about 50 feet behind our aircraft, and all of a sudden he disappeared. He had all the lights on and everything, but one second he was there and the next he just vanished. Quite eerie.

We parked at the gate and disembarked. We only had a half hour to meet our connecting flight to Athens, but luckily it was delayed about 45 mins due to the fog.

Lufthansa Flight 3390
MUC-ATH
9:00am (Paris time +7) – 12:30pm (Athens time +8)
Airbus A319
D-AILC
Seat 8D


So we boarded our A-319 and found our seats. I sat next to a cute girl on our trip, who I didn’t know very well at the start but we had nice chat sitting next to each other on the airplane and had subsequent fun in Greece. Anywho, they boarded us around 9:45am, but we waited until 10:45 to take off. There was a long line at the de-icing pad and we were at the back.

It did give us an opportunity to talk to the captain. I went up there with Patric, and we both have our Commercial – Instrument Licenses so he was more inclined to talk to us I think. He told us that some LH 737’s couldn’t get into Munich because their minimums were 200 foot visibility and it was bout 30 feet below that. Apparently they had to divert to Nuremburg.

We finally took off and headed for Athens. We passed over the Swiss Alps (which I had never seen before) and it was quite the site. I really want to get back into Southern Germany and hopefully Northern Austria again, hopefully for a more extended stay. Half of my family comes from Southern Germany (the catholic part) and it’d be nice to see where they come from.

The skies finally opened up in Northern Greece and I was treated to some very picturesque views of the countryside. We had some kind of weird egg thing, but it had some good peppers and mushrooms accompanying it and I didn’t find it half bad. Our descent into Athens was normal and we arrived into the newly built Athens International Airport.

That’s the first half of the trip, I’ll report the rest later!


Do you like movies about gladiators?
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineNiteRider30 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 150 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 7 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 6042 times:

Great trip report! I'm glad you got to experience your first CAT III approach, everybody needs to go through that at least once in their lives.  Smile Looking forward to your return trip!

-Mike


User currently offlineLHSTR From Germany, joined Mar 2001, 226 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (9 years 7 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3403 times:

Nice report, just one comment.

The beer you had is Warsteiner, while the other choice is Beck's.
We don't drink Heineken in Germany.  Wink


User currently offlinePlanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3529 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (9 years 7 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3270 times:

whoops. you're f*cking right you don't drink heineken.


Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlineMrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 7 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3084 times:

What I like in this report is that you mentioned typical features of LH. probably without realizing it (see below)! Many experiences were same with me. Nice job

Quoting Planespotting (Thread starter):
Speaking of the flight attendants, my goodness they had some really hot German girls working this flight. Holy cow. Hottest flight attendants I’ve seen in a long-ass time.

Man, you lucky.. maybe it might have been one of Foreign origin.. me as previously FT of LH, I never saw a hot stewardess onm their flights.. rather some matrony ones

Quoting Planespotting (Thread starter):
I tried to make eye contact with the hottest one, and after I was able to do that I smiled. She immediately looked away. Haha. Ah well.

Haha! Big grin Typical German

Quoting Planespotting (Thread starter):
I opted for a beer (not Heineken….the other kind they have)



Quoting LHSTR (Reply 2):
We don't drink Heineken in Germany.

Actually, even I had heineken on LH flights.. they might offer it due to the brand image.. I guess it must have been Warsteiner you had. Was the bottle yellow-brownish or green?

Quoting Planespotting (Thread starter):
We were offered pasta or chicken.

 Big grin Great! This is typical on LH: "Chicken or Pasta? Chicken or Pasta!" In their crappz voices, this is the main selection on almost all flights.. not the best phantasy

Quoting Planespotting (Thread starter):
I was not impressed with the dinner selection.

Dinner is atricious with LH.. probably they want to save money and stopped using spices...

Quoting Planespotting (Thread starter):
The movie selection on the flight was awful.

Exactly. IFE is bad.. - a synmbol of sadness.. airshow off in the nights

Overall, I see service as below average.. no good food, no IFE, and in my case annoying FAs on many of my flights.. only their great network, absolute on-timer performance, reliability and clean and safe planes speaks for them. Their eco service is lousy and everything but special.. they do not care about eco pax and are soon having LCC service standards.. I dumped tyhem now, since I get a better price for more service on most of their competition (even intra Europe) - for being so bad, tehy won't see anymore money of me, after having spent so much on them - in the beg 90s, they were great.. even on biz, I will take the competition, since they in my eyes have to treat eco pax well, too (todays ecos are tomorrows biz!)

Thanks for your report, I see my own assessment of LH confirmed  Wink


User currently offlineA350 From Germany, joined Nov 2004, 1101 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (9 years 7 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2906 times:

Quoting Mrniji (Reply 4):
only their great network, absolute on-timer performance, reliability and clean and safe planes speaks for them.

Isn't that the most important quality an airline must have  confused 

A350



Photography - the art of observing, not the art of arranging
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 7 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2889 times:

Great report, I enjoyed reading!

Quoting Mrniji (Reply 4):
Actually, even I had heineken on LH flights.. they might offer it due to the brand image.. I guess it must have been Warsteiner you had. Was the bottle yellow-brownish or green?

Subin are you sure? I never saw Heineken beer on a LH flight, on all my flights they served Beck's and Warsteiner. Actually I would appreciate a Heineken since this Warsteiner stuff is easily the most disgusting beer in the world, I drunk my last one on a LH flight from FRA to BRU because Beck's was not available and I still wish that I had decided for anything else than Warsteiner, this piss is a shame for German beer!

I can really not understand why LH isn't serving Erdinger, it is an alternative to Pils and it is also a "mainstream beer".

By the way, Beck's is tasting different on LH flights than in Germany.

Patrick


User currently offlineMusapapaya From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1093 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 7 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2879 times:

nice that you got to see some HOT F/As there!
i would love to see some too!
should try to get her contact for yourself!



Lufthansa Group of Airlines
User currently offlineMrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 7 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2832 times:

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 6):
Subin are you sure? I never saw Heineken beer on a LH flight, on all my flights they served Beck's and Warsteiner. Actually I would appreciate a Heineken since this Warsteiner stuff is easily the most disgusting beer in the world, I drunk my last one on a LH flight from FRA to BRU because Beck's was not available and I still wish that I had decided for anything else than Warsteiner, this piss is a shame for German beer!

I might be wrong, I have to admit. It might have been AI and not LH. Sorry.

OK, that means that when I take you for the beer I promised you, Patrick, I need to take you to a pub exclusively selling Warsteiner, to save my expenses Big grin - I kinda like Warsteiner.. but Becks is the bomb, I agree

Quoting A350 (Reply 5):
Isn't that the most important quality an airline must have

Depends what you are looking for..:P an effective (and boring) transport from A to B or some extraordinary experience

 Wink


User currently offline22right From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 420 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (9 years 7 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2624 times:

Quoting Mrniji (Reply 4):
Overall, I see service as below average.. no good food, no IFE, and in my case annoying FAs on many of my flights.. only their great network, absolute on-timer performance, reliability and clean and safe planes speaks for them. Their eco service is lousy and everything but special.. they do not care about eco pax and are soon having LCC service standards..

I would agree that the food on LH is not that great. But honestly, I was very happy with the levels of service I received on LH in economy. Once we flew them to India (from ORD) with our 2 year old and they were very very attentive and helpful. This other time, we flew ORD-FRA on UA and then FRA-FCO on LH. The difference in service between UA and LH was starkly visible. LH people were far more "human" than the dour souls that serve on board UA. Of course, my basis of comparison is between LH and US carriers. So may not be the same basis as you are using...

But in general, I would choose LH any day for their efficiency, clean a/c, good service and professional attitude (and of course coz they are a member of Star Alliance).



"I never apologize! I am sorry, but that's the way it is!" - Homer Simpson
User currently offline22right From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 420 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (9 years 7 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2624 times:

Great trip report, Planespotting.

BTW, any more details you want to share on the fun you had with this cute girl in Greece??  Wink  Wink

Quoting Planespotting (Thread starter):
sat next to a cute girl on our trip, who I didn’t know very well at the start but we had nice chat sitting next to each other on the airplane and had subsequent fun in Greece.



"I never apologize! I am sorry, but that's the way it is!" - Homer Simpson
User currently offlinePlanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3529 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (9 years 7 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2578 times:

Well, she was definitely willing to dance with me in a certain way one night in Athens...but i won't go into that.

 Smile



Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offline22right From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 420 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (9 years 7 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2609 times:

Quoting Planespotting (Reply 11):
Well, she was definitely willing to dance with me in a certain way one night in Athens...but i won't go into that.

Well, that's fine as long as willingness was followed by action!  Silly



"I never apologize! I am sorry, but that's the way it is!" - Homer Simpson
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