Kappel From Suriname, joined Jul 2005, 3533 posts, RR: 18 Posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 2670 times:
I have been a member for a while now, and a reader for even longer, so I thought it's about time for my first trip report. I decided to post a report on one of my most eventful trips ever, as actually most of my trips are usually pretty uneventful (except for my SLM DC 8 flights in the '80's, but that's too long ago).
My in-laws have a studio apartment near Benidorm, so my wife and I decided on a relatively cheap summer holiday, after more expensive trips to Surinam and Madeira earlier in the year. So we decided on the trip to Benidorm in the summer of 2005, from 27 July to 10 august 2005. We took the same trip in 2002 (although we flew AMS-BCN-ALC-BCN-AMS with IB, all a320's)
So the 27th of July finally came. I planned the trip so that I could see MAD airport (bad mistake I know now) and fly on the MD 80 for the first time. I had flown on the DC9 (again with SLM and a frightening experience that was) so I wanted to add the MD 80 to my list of flown planes. IT was a very rainy summer so far in The Netherlands, so we were glad to leave (me, my wife and our 6, well then still 5 year old daughter).
Unfortunately I do not know how to post my own pictures here, which is too bad since I made some nice ones of the aircraft. So I'll use a.net pictures. Upon arriving at the gate our IB a320 was waiting for us. It was EC-IEF
We left with about a half an hour delay, which made me worry a bit, because we were about to depart from the polderbaan, which compounded the delay to 45 mins. It worried me, because we had to make our connection at MAD. Shortly after the very powerful take-off and steep climb-out the pilot apologized for the delay and said he would fly as fast as possible (so probably mach .82 for the a320) to make up some time, which he did. The trip was about 10-15 mins shorter than planned. But one thing though, the descent into MAD was freakin' bumpy! Our daughter loved the ride, but it gave my wife and me sweaty palms!! I wasn't really that worried though, but it was kind of unusual to us, seeing that the weather was clear.
So there we were in sunny Madrid, 30 deg. C, what a difference from dreary Holland. My first impression of MAD: What a dump!!! I was really disappointed at this airport, which in passengers is number 5 in Europe. Schiphol is number 4, but what a difference!!! Anyway, we had no time to complain, because we had to make our flight. So we hurried to our gate, which wasn't easy. Due to construction we had to take all kinds of detours, not handy when you're not familiar with the airport. Finally we made it to our gate: no aircraft, no announcement. Finally the delay showed up on the boards. So we needn't have hurried. The delay gave us time to eat some pizza and look around. Well, the more I looked around the more disappointed I got at the airport. People smoking everywhere (yeah sure, behind the magical blue barriers that are supposed to stop the smoke I guess, what's the point?) the airport looked really old and worn, and cramped.
Finally after a delay on an hour and a half came our MD88, EC-FOF.
Man, you could see the age on that thing. The seats were terribly worn, my seat cushion was loose, the p/a system was squeaky. But what a take-off!!! Even more powerful than in AMS and what felt like a vertical climb-out... very exciting!!! Compared to that our arrival in ALC was uneventful, we were quickly out the door and to pick up our rent-a-car. A very nice Smart ForFour, great car! Upon arriving to my in-laws' studio apartment we were a bit shocked. Nobody stayed there in 3 years so it was filthy as hell. So we went shopping first and spent the entire evening 'till about two o'clock in the night cleaning. But after that it was squeaky-clean!!
Sadly, August 10 came much too fast. The weather was awesome, we saw Benidorm, Alicante, Murcia and Valencia. Aah the advantages of a rent-a-car.
We went to the airport, dropped off the car, checked in... or so we thought. I had already checked in online, so I gave the guy our passports, he printed out our boarding passes... with 3 different Russian sounding names!!! (my name is Portuguese to be clear). So I say to the IB groundstaff guy, "these are not our names". His reaction: "yes they are" giving me a look as if I am the most stupid person in the world. So I was like: "hello, I think I know my own name". And these are not it. So he started looking at our passports again, looking at the system. Oh I see, you are not on the list on the flight. That made me about ready to explode. I asked him how is that possible, when I checked in online yesterday, and that was okay??? The guy was getting more annoyed by the minute. How dare we question him?!?!
Anyway he started typing for what felt like ten minutes and finally...."oh I found you", printed out our boarding passes with the seats I reserved. So who was the stupid one. Anyway, I could sense that an apology was not going to come we left. So we entered the terminal area, and yes... no plane. So we waited, and waited and waited. The departure time kept being pushed back. Finally!!! EC-FPJ came to our gate.
We left over two hours late, which meant we missed our connection which was also the last flight of the day to The Netherlands. No panic, same thing happened three years ago and they put us in a nice hotel near the airport. I got in the line at the transfer desk, when it was finally my turn I thought I would get a heart-attack... I forgot our passports on the plane!!!! (who'se stupid now, DO'H!!!)
The guy at the counter was cool though, I could give him the registration of the plane (thank God I watch for that) he made a call and half an hour later someone came with our stuff. I could kiss him!!!!
So they put us in the same hotel as 3 years back and on the first flight out. We wanted our luggage so they would be released. My wife's luggage came, but my own didn't. GREAT!!! Thankfully I always pack underwear, socks and a shirt in my carry-on luggage. So, again another line, the lost-and found. Thankfully they knew where my luggage was and it would be put on the flight tomorrow. Off to the hotel, very nice room, fantastic dinner and breakfast (paid for by Iberia, so I emptied the minibar). The next day at BCN airport check-in was OK, albeit a bit chaotic. I went to the customer service of IB to ask about the luggage, and after some calls the very helpful lady confirmed that it was on the flight.
All in all I found the IB ground-staff in BCN very helpful. In MAD and ALC they were terrible. Rude and stupid. Even stupider than me
The flight home was uneventful, albeit a bit delayed, which I found very funny because everywhere in MAD and BCN there are IB posters saying "Punctuality is our goal". In my experience they have a long way to go!!!
When we arrived at AMS we waited a bit on the taxiway, when suddenly I heard a roar behind us, which was an AC 763 landing in new colours, which were pretty rare then. I made a quick pic of it, but since I don't know how to place it here, too bad. AMS seems to get those quickly, just like the USAir 763 (which busted an engine on take-off at AMS).
I hope my first report wasn't too long-winded and a bit interesting. I look forward to comments!!
Kappel From Suriname, joined Jul 2005, 3533 posts, RR: 18 Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2565 times:
Quoting Treeny (Reply 1): Welcome aboad and a nice trip report to kick things off with - sounds like you know iberia well enough to take spare underwear and shirts in your carry on!!
That one I got from my parents. They had a flight once which was delayed several days on Aruba I think it was, without there suitcases!!! So they had to wear the same clothes for two days. Since then they always tell us to put clean underwear in the carry-on. This happened in the '70's and to this day, the first question my mother asks me is do I have underwear in my cary-on. And then if I have my passport.
And that day I was very glad I did!!!
Quoting Treeny (Reply 1): I share your opinions on the ground staff in Madrid - in my experience they really are terrible and for such an important hub in Europe that suprises me!!!
Indeed, and after MAD and ALC groundstaff I didn't expect much from the BCN groundstaff, but those were very helpful and friendly!!! So not all is lost.
Kappel From Suriname, joined Jul 2005, 3533 posts, RR: 18 Reply 3, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2562 times:
Quoting Treeny (Reply 1): Welcome aboad and a nice trip report to kick things off with
oh hey thanks. maybe when I have time I'll post my AMS-CDG-CAY-PBM-CAY-CDG-AMS trip. Was also intersting. 6 delays, one freefall after take-off when I had already made my peace with my end(PBM-CAY in an SLM DC9-50) and lots of dogs sniffing my clothes and bags at CAY. That will also be one LONG report.
Kappel From Suriname, joined Jul 2005, 3533 posts, RR: 18 Reply 5, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2433 times:
Quoting IBERIA747 (Reply 4): I would only disagree with your comments about MAD.
It was just my impression after coming from Schiphol. I also find BCN to be a much more modern and easy to navigate airport. In fact I love BCN airport. Of course I do not know how the new terminal (T4) at MAD is, so that may change things a bit.
IBERIA747 From Spain, joined Aug 2003, 1825 posts, RR: 62 Reply 7, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2247 times:
You didn't answer my question, so please, stay focused on the topic being discussed before giving examples of your rudeness when your lack of arguments arises.
You have gone out of topic, since Kappel has clearly said that he learned that from his parents...and not by flying IB (as you implied) which by the way is one of the European airlines that loses the least amount of luggage.
Quoting Kappel (Reply 2): That one I got from my parents. They had a flight once which was delayed several days on Aruba I think it was, without there suitcases!!! So they had to wear the same clothes for two days. Since then they always tell us to put clean underwear in the carry-on. This happened in the '70's and to this day, the first question my mother asks me is do I have underwear in my cary-on.
You see?.... and this is what you said:
Quoting Treeny (Reply 1): sounds like you know iberia well enough to take spare underwear and shirts in your carry on!!
You were completely lost, weren't you?
Quoting Treeny (Reply 6): Alright alright sweetheart calm down and put your teddies back in your pram!
Erm...according to your reaction that would apply to you.
Btw, your attempt to look like a big-bad-guy was quite funny.
Quoting Treeny (Reply 6): Now off you go and carry on washing your 'Yo amo Iberia' T-Shirts!!
No i wouldn't say I love them...I was just telling you that you were wrong...and you were.
I don't even work for them.
Oh and if you have one of those T-shirts you mention then you should change the message on it for "Yo odio Iberia" and proudly wear it...would be nice, eh?
Treeny From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 319 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2201 times:
Quoting IBERIA747 (Reply 7): Quoting Treeny (Reply 1):
sounds like you know iberia well enough to take spare underwear and shirts in your carry on!!
You were completely lost, weren't you?
!! (Exclamation marks) in English are used as one thing to denote sarcastic humor.......
Quoting IBERIA747 (Reply 7): Btw, your attempt to look like a big-bad-guy was quite funny.
Cheers chap!! Comedy as they say is the spice of life.....
But I of course am big enough, bad enough and indeed guy enough to admit when I was wrong.... I know that he took the spare clothes due to previous past experiences...as I pointed out, the !! was supposed to highlight a bit of light humor!!!!
Anyway, lets not take anything away from Kappel - great report!!!
Kappel From Suriname, joined Jul 2005, 3533 posts, RR: 18 Reply 9, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2196 times:
Guys, please calm down, no need to fight. Be lovers not fighters..
Oh I forgot to mention that the guys at BCN also broke my brand-new samsonite suitcase!!! I don't know who I blame more for that, Samsonite for having such an easy to break suitcase or the ppl at BCN. Either way, Samsonite fixed it for free, so no harm done.