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Surprised By NIKI's Newest A320 & Screw-up By AB  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6943 posts, RR: 77
Posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 9303 times:

Surprised by NIKI's newest A320, screw-up by Air Berlin


Intro
Early this year a friend and I decided to go on a spotting trip to VIE, booking a 78 Euro return fare on Air Berlin. Flying times on the NUE-VIE and VIE-NUE legs were ideal for a day trip on a national holiday (June 15th). Timetables on AB and NUE airport showed an A320 on the outbound and a B738 on the inbound flight - the A320 leg showed an AB flight number without an "operated by"-addition, so we were convinced to find an Air Berlin A320...

Originally I hadn't planned to write a report about a rather usual short haul trip on Air Berlin - but as so often, the trip didn't turn out to be a normal one at all...


Thursday, 15. June 2006
Nuremberg (NUE) - Vienna (VIE)
Air Berlin AB8374 (operated by NIKI)
08.00-08.50 (08.00-08.58)
Flying time: 00:49 (hrs)

Airbus A320-214
OE-LEE "Reggae" (c/n 2749), delivered 04/2006
Seat 26A



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Photo © Lucien Schranz
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Photo © T.Laurent




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Photo © Gerhard Vysocan
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Photo © LOWWNED




Early morning surprise
We met at 06.30 at the main entry and immediately went to AB's check-in area. At this time I had already spotted the first English football fans (the game England-Trinidad&Tobago was scheduled later in the evening) - an old Ford equipped with several little flags, going down the airport road.
Within a few minutes we got our boarding passes after requesting seats in the back. We were also offered to receive our boarding passes for the return service as well and we agreed - though the lady didn't allocate us to the back again and reserved seats in row 3. Oh well, but I decided to change that in the evening at VIE.

The observation deck wasn't accessible yet (entry via a restaurant which doesn't open before 07.00), so we went through security and took a seat at the front end of the gate area. Of course we were curious whether we would really get the AB A320, so we hoped that no AB B734 or B738 would arrive in the next 30 minutes...suddenly, only ten minutes after seven, an A320 appeared on approach. I couldn't perceive much, but it wasn't an AB aircraft for sure. Then I spotted a large fly at the silver fuselage and it was clear - NIKI!  eek 
Of course, no NIKI flight had been scheduled to arrive and we started thinking again - probably an aircraft change for our VIE flight? Though, we didn't expect too much after certain experiences in the past. And the arrival time was really early.

The plane turned out to be OE-LEE, the newest fleet member, delivered in April. It was unloaded, pax were disembarking, but would it be turned around immediately?



At 07.35 some AB staff showed up at the gate and it was confirmed - yes, the NIKI plane would operate the VIE service!  Smile
I guess NIKI operates that service regularly now, but I don't know for sure.

Flight
Along with some 50-60 other pax with we were bussed to the aircraft and some people had surprised looks on their faces when they realized that the aircraft with the large fly on its front would carry them, rather than the expected "Malle-Bomber" (Air Berlin aircraft = Mallorca shuttle).
We decided to head for the rear stairs so that we could walk around the wings and take some pictures. Engine featuring Internet address:



Note the fly at the top end of the tail:



Double Satisfaction - Niki Lauda's way to emphasize the importance of both price and service:



Spotless fuselage of this almost brand new aircraft:



We were welcomed by a friendly female F/A and went to our row. Modern leather seats...



...but the pitch is not really satisfying. 180 seats are simply too many on the A320. The seat pocket is located above and behind the table, but it doesn't help much:



With a load of only 30-35%, boarding was completed fast and doors were closed. The F/As passed through the cabin and offered a wide selection of newspapers and magazines.
Then the safety video on the foldout screens was started. A fly buzzed around and finally started talking...



The voice sounded familiar and after a few seconds I realized it was Niki Lauda's voice - a really funny move to lend the voice to the virtual fly for the safety demo! Lauda as we know him!  bigthumbsup 



We left the parking position on time and OE-LEE accelerated only five minutes later. NUE's tower and Eurowings' maintenance area:



Climb-out over Fuerth:



NIKI didn't stop to surprise us and presented a stunning airshow, called AirTrack 3-D:



Of course, a sickbag is not just a "sickbag" on NIKI (for all non-German speakers: "vomit bag"):



After the F/O informed us about the route (maximum altitude was 8880 meters), a video was shown, introducing the new gourmet food offerings available on Air Berlin and NIKI in cooperation with Attila Dogudan's Do&Co and the exclusive Austrian bakery Demel (also owned by Dogudan). Effective from May 30th, passengers can purchase gourmet snacks and menus, ranging from 7 to 14 Euro.
Depending on the time of travel, breakfast (e.g. fresh fruit with chocolate mousse or a plate with ham, eggs and potatoes) or lunch and dinner options are available. Of course, you find the famous "Wiener Schnitzel" (breaded veal) and "Kaiserschmarrn" (dessert with plums) among those. I wasn't very hungry in the morning, so I decided to try these offerings on another flight.

Non-alcoholic drinks and regular snacks are free and I decided to order an orange juice and a coffee at once. Sandwiches (ham or cheese) are packed in triangular red boxes - a design which Niki Lauda had once introduced on Lauda Air:



The whole grain sandwiches are very tasty, not the standardized stuff you get on many carriers today:



15 minutes prior to landing passengers were asked to take part in a survey. Small flyers along with envelopes were distributed and one could rate the airline and add personal comments. I praised the airshow feature, but criticized the tight seat pitch and rated the gourmet offerings as a slightly overpriced.

Descending...





Seconds prior to touchdown the pilots apparently decided to do it the hard way and so the A320 was brutally bumped onto the runway.  headache 
The aircraft was parked at a remote position and another bus was waiting for us.


Spotting at VIE
Since spotting opportunities aren't the best around the terminal at VIE we had booked a rental car. Actually we had reserved the smallest category and expected a Smart or Renault Kangoo, but again these were not available and just like at BRU we got an upgrade. This time it was a brand new Ford Focus C-Max equipped with A/C, a true relief on that hot day!

We drove around a bit and finally found a small road which would lead to the departure runway. However, the road is closed for cars, so we had to walk about 2 kilometers to reach the spot. Once there, we enjoyed nice views and an interesting range of aircraft, e.g. Austrian B763 OE-LAT (Star Alliance cls):



We weren't surrounded by aircraft only - can you spot the rabbit?



OE-LEE climbing out again:



We returned our car at 18.30 and approached the NIKI counters in the LCC hall on the opposite side of the main terminal building.


Thursday, 15./16. June 2006
Vienna (VIE) - Nuremberg (NUE)
Air Berlin AB8255
20.20-21.20 (01.16-02.09)
Flying time: 00:44 (hrs)

Boeing 737-86J (winglets)
D-ABAE (c/n 782), delivered 03/2001
Seat 31F



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Photo © Johannes Ossenberg




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Photo © H. Meier
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Photo © Thomas Piskol




Shock!
The check-in area was quite packed with holiday travellers and families and we first wanted to leave again, but I really wanted to receive a new boarding pass with a new seat allocation. The baggage belts at the counters were out of order and the check-in staff had to remove the heavy suitcases manually...

After 25 minutes of waiting it was our turn and after checking our reservation the slightly stressed lady asked us: "Are you aware that your flight is delayed? Ahhh, severely delayed?" We were surprised and said just "No", but then we were shocked when she added: "New departure time is 01.05 at night!"  eyepopping   embarrassed 
What? Delayed by FIVE HOURS? We couldn't believe what we heard and immediately said that this wouldn't be acceptable. She then asked us to complain at a ticket counter on the other side of the hall.

Passenger rights
I was really mad since I wouldn't be home until at least 04.00 in the morning and I would have to be back at work at 09.00! We decided to try to organize a booklet with a list of EU passenger rights before complaining at the sales counter - we simply wanted to make sure that Air Berlin grants us any compensation which we were entitled to.
We approached an information desk at the main terminal but surprisingly a lady told us: "No, we don't have anything like that!" Wow...  tired 
Then we asked at an AUA counter and we finally got what we wanted.

Compensation: phone calls and lounge
Freshly equipped with that booklet we spoke up at the counter but they immediately offered what we were entitled to: free drinks and food plus the option to make phone calls. They gave us vouchers which would grant us access to the "Grand Danube Lounge" and within minutes we had passed security and entered the rooms in question. The first impression was ok, but the variety of food was very limited. Only pretzels, nuts, biscuits and a chicken salad were available. In contrast, the variety of fine alcoholic drinks was stunning, but my car was waiting at NUE, so I plundered the juice, water and coffee bar.  coffee 

We found out that the lounge would close at 21.00 but after sitting around for 1,5 hours on rather uncomfortable chairs we wanted to leave anyway. So we had no choice but to kill the remaining hours by sitting around at the gate areas, walking through shops and watching the very slow late evening traffic. At least I could watch the game Sweden-Paraguay on a large TV screen in the middle of the departure hall, though there were no seats around in that corner...  worried 

New departure time...
Finally, shortly after midnight, we went to our gate and another surprise waited for us: the departure time had been even more extended to 01.30! It seemed to get worse and worse. I was really concerned about the possibility of a late cancellation of the flight. We could be really glad that NUE doesn't face night operations restrictions...otherwise the flight would have most likely been cancelled.
Though many passengers looked frustrated and tired, nobody turned really mad or complained loudly. One member of the ground crew finally told us: "Good news, the aircraft is on the ground!" Well, as long as it doesn't mean "AOG", I thought...  sarcastic 
After entering the bus, we had to wait again but finally we were brought to the aircraft.


Flight
The plane was D-ABAE and had that large "Stiftung Warentest-Testsieger" (=test winner)-sticker next to the door - I really had to laugh. As I was welcomed by a female F/A I said: "Good to see that the test winner has finally arrived!" She still smiled, but I don't want to know her thoughts...  Wink

We settled down at our row - worn and outdated interior:



Seat pitch not satisfying either:



Boarding was completed very fast, another light load at around 40-50%. Within a few minutes we climbed into the dark sky, with the winglet barely visible:



After a while we were finally told what had gone wrong. The captain explained that a plane at Palma had been grounded which severely affected the schedule. And as we had already speculated, the late arrival from London-STN was turned around again in order to pick us up at VIE. Though, that flight from STN was late by 40 minutes, too, which caused the additonal delay of our departure.

There was no talk about the gourmet food on that flight, nevertheless, we were served drinks and sandwiches. However, I immediately realized that we had got two sandwiches on NIKI, and only one on Air Berlin.  scratchchin  Simply compare the pics:



Interestingly, the plane was also equipped with the AirTrack 3-D advanced IFE system. The remaining flight was uneventful and after only 44 minutes we touched down at NUE. Unfortunately, most football charter flights had already left - some 30 planes could have been spotted if we had arrived on time.


Conclusion
NIKI is definitely a great airline which I can fully recommend, Lauda simply knows how to run a passenger friendly airline. "Double Satisfaction" says it all, good level of service at reasonable fares. Food and drink service as well as the variety of newspapers and magazines are superb for a LCC, the new IFE is amazing. However, the number of seats should be reduced.

Air Berlin offers similar service components, though it doesn't feature that "special touch" of NIKI. Of course the long delay turned me mad for a while and caused a very unpleasant stay at VIE, but that can happen with any carrier - that's the risk of a day trip. At least AB didn't cancel the flight which would probably have happened on numerous other carriers. And Air Berlin respected the EU passenger rights which other LCC carriers don't care about.

I will go on the same day trip again in August together with my whole family, so hopefully we won't be stuck again...


As usual, comments, opinions and questions always welcome!


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineNdebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2901 posts, RR: 22
Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 9227 times:

Hello Planehunter and thanks for sharing this report with us! There are a few things which I'd like to comment.

Regarding the meals on board, if this

is what passengers still get for free, I really wonder if they will ever sell any additional meals, especially if the flight is as short as yours.

VIE always offers some nice traffic, ans it sounds like you had an interesting spotting day.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
can you spot the rabbit?

To be honest: no.

Now that was a huge delay on your return flight! Did the ground staff tell you anything about the reason for the delay (apart from "aircraft rotation")?

Have a nice weekend, Alex.


User currently offlineDebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2469 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 9150 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, I immediately realized that we had got two sandwiches on NIKI, and only one on Air Berlin.

The service is nowadays very poor on NIKI- but still great for a low-cost airline!

When I flew the first time years ago  old  NIKI hadn't leather seats and the aircraft was in very used conditions (still AeroLloyd safety cards and safety-video), BUT Niki was offering besides sandwiches & free drinks a free bottle of water to every passenger and (for me the best part) fresh made deserts; and the F/A were happy to serve as much as you wanted to eat!!

Don't forget, low-cost NIKI is offering a much more (and much better) catering product than Lufthansa  vomit  in economy on European routes!!  bigthumbsup 


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6943 posts, RR: 77
Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 8954 times:

Quoting Ndebele (Reply 1):
I really wonder if they will ever sell any additional meals, especially if the flight is as short as yours.

Hi Alex,

Indeed it's not easy to sell gourmet food on these short flights. I prefer to have enough time in order to enjoy a meal like the "Wiener Schnitzel" or a large breakfast plate. Probably they should limit the sale to flights over 90 minutes?

Quoting Ndebele (Reply 1):
To be honest: no.

I admit it's very hard to see - but that's all my camera zoom was able to do.

Quoting Ndebele (Reply 1):
Now that was a huge delay on your return flight! Did the ground staff tell you anything about the reason for the delay (apart from "aircraft rotation")?

No, the ground staff didn't say anything. Though, we didn't particularly ask, it wouldn't have changed anything. "AOG" at PMI was the only explanation we heard, later on the flight.

Quoting Debonair (Reply 2):
BUT Niki was offering besides sandwiches & free drinks a free bottle of water to every passenger and (for me the best part) fresh made deserts; and the F/A were happy to serve as much as you wanted to eat!!

An "all-you-can-eat-policy" on a LCC isn't the best idea, I guess. Which flight did you take? Probably an enhanced service is available on longer flights only?

Quoting Debonair (Reply 2):
Don't forget, low-cost NIKI is offering a much more (and much better) catering product than Lufthansa

Very true!  yes 


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4277 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 8908 times:

Hi
interesting report, and the first of AB having such a delay (with an a.netter on board Big grin). NIKI service is indeed nice, altough I've been on PMI-BIO OE-LOF, which had a quite outdated interiour already. But, the entertainment on the dropdown screens was a nice touch. The sandwich I got was just a simple and single Salami-sandwich. No choice at all, and since I don't eat salami I didn't feel very convinced about that either.
AB is doing still great on my flights. They even gave me a whole menu for free on a PMI-AMS flight (incl. Schnitzel!). Flights were (until now) on time and without troubles.
About EU rights with other LCC's. I've had a cancelled flight on Vueling (BCN-AMS), which caused an overnight stay at BCN for me. They acted very professional and kind, offered a real 4-star hotel, transfers, dinner with appetizer and desert, free unlimited wine and waters. Next morning rebooked on the first service to AMS. Afterwards they offered a discount coupon for a next 2 flights on Vueling giving me 40% discount. And this cancellation was caused by heavy snow at AMS! Vueling couldn't help it, but handled like professionals, as it should be of course  Smile

So, I think there is nowadays some choice of 'the better' LCC (AB, Niki, Vueling, Spanair) or just the LCC (U2, FR ) in Europe.

But at the end, you've had some good stuff to create your nice written report. Thanks
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineSK601 From Belgium, joined Jun 2005, 976 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 8847 times:

Nice pictures!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We couldn't believe what we heard and immediately said that this wouldn't be acceptable.

When I worked at the airport this is what often is said, "not acceptable", but what do you want? You HAVE to accept the delay! Especially if you travel on a restricted ticket. If it's a refundable ticket you can get your money back, but then your still not where you wanna go....If you travel on LH, BA, AF or any other carrier you can ask if you can be transferred to another airline/flight- if available, but again, all depending on your ticket (restrictions).

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Though many passengers looked frustrated and tired, nobody turned really mad or complained loudly.

That would only make things worse (than they are), I know a 5 hour delay isn't something you look forward to, but accept it and time will pass by and a week later you forget about it...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Seat pitch not satisfying either:

It seems to be the pretty standard 31" that most carriers (non-lcc and lcc) use nowadays. For flights up to 4 hrs, it's ok. (I'm 1.84m/95kg)

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Now that was a huge delay on your return flight! Did the ground staff tell you anything about the reason for the delay

Well, I'm sure they mentioned something about "late arrival of the aircraft" or something like that. Rule of tumb is KISS- Keep It Short and Simple. Apart from a bunch of A-Nutters most passengers don't want to know the details. A clear and HONEST reason is usually more than enough. (so, no details why it went tec etc etc.)

[Edited 2006-07-16 14:43:41]

User currently offlineDebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2469 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 8803 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
Quoting Debonair (Reply 2):
BUT Niki was offering besides sandwiches & free drinks a free bottle of water to every passenger and (for me the best part) fresh made deserts; and the F/A were happy to serve as much as you wanted to eat!!

An "all-you-can-eat-policy" on a LCC isn't the best idea, I guess. Which flight did you take? Probably an enhanced service is available on longer flights only?

Hi, it was a very short one from Vienna to Zurich... Very superb service, first the free bottle of water round, followed by sandwich, drinks and this perfect DO&CO handmade Austrian "Apfelmus" as desert...  trophy 


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6943 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 8737 times:

Thanks for all new comments!

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 4):
NIKI service is indeed nice, altough I've been on PMI-BIO OE-LOF, which had a quite outdated interiour already.

OE-LOF is a former AeroLloyd plane and will leave soon.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 4):
They acted very professional and kind, offered a real 4-star hotel, transfers, dinner with appetizer and desert, free unlimited wine and waters. Next morning rebooked on the first service to AMS. Afterwards they offered a discount coupon for a next 2 flights on Vueling giving me 40% discount. And this cancellation was caused by heavy snow at AMS! Vueling couldn't help it, but handled like professionals, as it should be of course

Interesting - and I read somewhere that Vueling has allegedly ignored EU pax rights repeatedly. Good to hear your example!

Quoting SK601 (Reply 5):
When I worked at the airport this is what often is said, "not acceptable", but what do you want? You HAVE to accept the delay!

Sure, what I meant is "not acceptable without compensation".

Quoting SK601 (Reply 5):
It seems to be the pretty standard 31" that most carriers (non-lcc and lcc) use nowadays. For flights up to 4 hrs, it's ok. (I'm 1.84m/95kg)

Too bad this seems to be standard in Europe, but certain LCCs across the pond still offer a bit extra legroom (jetBlue, Southwest, WestJet) which I'd like to see over here as well.

Quoting Debonair (Reply 6):
ery superb service, first the free bottle of water round, followed by sandwich, drinks and this perfect DO&CO handmade Austrian "Apfelmus" as desert...

Sounds good - but I guess you meant "Apfelstrudel"?  Wink


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8682 times:

Hi PlaneHunter,

great report (+ pics) of a day-trip with a nice surprise on the outbound leg and a not-so-nice surprise on the return sector... Despite the delay, service on Niki and AB seemed to be very good again for that short flight.

Quoting SK601 (Reply 5):
Well, I'm sure they mentioned something about "late arrival of the aircraft" or something like that. Rule of tumb is KISS- Keep It Short and Simple. Apart from a bunch of A-Nutters most passengers don't want to know the details. A clear and HONEST reason is usually more than enough. (so, no details why it went tec etc etc.)

I have to say that I disagree with that statement, at least for longer delays: for a delay of 30 minutes, something like "late inbound arrival of the aircraft" might be enaugh information. But if there is a delay of several hours, most passengers do want to know the details behind (after all, you have enaugh time to listen to them while waiting). I have recently experienced a 3 hours weather delay on Air Southwest (PLH-MAN) where the captain appeared in the gate area and explained very detailled what had happened and how they had re-scheduled all flights of that day, etc. I found this very impressive.

Christoph


User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 9, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8668 times:

Great report - I knew the short version you'd sent by eMail after your trip, nice to find out more in detail...  Wink

I've never been to the Danube lounge, seems quite ridiculous that it closes so early: while there aren't really that many late departures in Vienna, there still are some - the only lounge I've been to in Vienna is the Austrian lounge and, on those occasions that I had departures close to midnight, they were open until either 23:00 or 23:30 (whichever it was... I was always able to walk directly to the gate where boarding had already started).

Niki sounds quite good by your description, haven't tried them yet but probably will be using them quite a bit in the future - about that tight pitch... well... I guess we'll have to come to terms with that one way or the other.

By the way - those seats seem familiar... I think they're the same ones that Swiss uses on its A320s these days...

As for AB - I still enjoy flying with them, as they usually exceed the other carriers on a given route in terms of service; unfortunately, they don't offer too much from Frankfurt, so I'm stuck with that other German airline for a lot of my flights...  Wink

Thanks for the nice read!!

Regards,
Frank



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 8656 times:

Hi there,

Thanks for another well written and interesting report with great pics! The flight with Niki sounds great, unfortunately I have never flown on them but I hope that I will on one day in the future.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
A fly buzzed around and finally started talking...

I really like that, even cooler is that it had the voice of Lauda himself. Big grin

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
180 seats are simply too many on the A320.

I agree, 180 seats on an A320 is brutal, especially for tall guys like me.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
NIKI didn't stop to surprise us and presented a stunning airshow, called AirTrack 3-D:

Great, certainly better than the usual air-shows.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Non-alcoholic drinks and regular snacks are free and I decided to order an orange juice and a coffee at once. Sandwiches (ham or cheese) are packed in triangular red boxes

This is what I call great service. A sandwich, an OJ and a coffee, that is all I need for breakfast.

Quoting Debonair (Reply 2):
Don't forget, low-cost NIKI is offering a much more (and much better) catering product than Lufthansa

No wonder, LH is a sorry ass excuse for an airline.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
Sounds good - but I guess you meant "Apfelstrudel"?

I think he meant indeed "Apfelmus", I saw it on a pic at Airlinemeals.net.

Have you guys only been at the airport or did you also visit the city? I can highly recommend a trip to downtown Vienna, a friend and me have been there for 4 days some years ago and we enjoyed it very much! Vienna rulez!

Patrick


User currently offlineDebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2469 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8580 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
Quoting Debonair (Reply 6):
ery superb service, first the free bottle of water round, followed by sandwich, drinks and this perfect DO&CO handmade Austrian "Apfelmus" as desert...

Sounds good - but I guess you meant "Apfelstrudel"?

Nope- Austrian/German "Apfelmus"... just delicious!!! The best catering on low-cowst ever at that time...

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 10):
I think he meant indeed "Apfelmus", I saw it on a pic at Airlinemeals.net.

That's right: here is the link to the evolution of NIKI-Catering; MY meal was picture 7!!!

http://www.airlinemeals.net/meals/FlyNiki.html


User currently offlineInfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1466 posts, RR: 33
Reply 12, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 8418 times:

Very interesting report and great pictures. Thanks!


"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6943 posts, RR: 77
Reply 13, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 8368 times:

Good evening and thanks for all new comments!

Quoting Leskova (Reply 9):
about that tight pitch... well... I guess we'll have to come to terms with that one way or the other.



Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 10):
I agree, 180 seats on an A320 is brutal, especially for tall guys like me.

It's a pity we have come so far in Europe - even 4U will have 156 seats on the new A319s...  thumbsdown 

Quoting Debonair (Reply 11):
That's right: here is the link to the evolution of NIKI-Catering; MY meal was picture 7!!!

Very interesting - NIKI doesn't stop to surprise me!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4696 posts, RR: 42
Reply 14, posted (8 years 5 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 8166 times:

A very nice report with good pictures, Udo.  Smile It is such a pity that you had to cope with a lengthy delay on the return flight. I have to agree with your basic assessment regarding the airline: they offer a product with good value for money, but the intensive use of aircraft and material especially during the high season can produce some nasty disruptions.

However, having flown more than 100 times with AB and HG combined, mostly being on business, the airline usually takes care of the passenger's needs in case of any major problems unlike what can be expected when running into irregularities with FR and U2.



Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8594 posts, RR: 54
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 7822 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report, liked the photo's but I can't see the rabbit Sad

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
NIKI didn't stop to surprise us and presented a stunning airshow, called AirTrack 3-D:

- I like that, makes a nice change.

That's on heck of a delay on the return, always happens when you have a free bar and a car at the other end - typical!

How was the spotting, you seemed to be quite a way away from the action, is there nowhere closer to spot/photo?

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 7732 times:

Hi PlaneHunter,

Thanks for this fabulous trip report!

The Niki-experience seems to be something truly special, something I'd like to try out myself (perhaps already next year).

About the AB screw-up: mechanical problems really aren't the airlines' fault, and we passengers should keep that in mind.

The difference between a good and a bad airline however is how the airline deals with the problem. It has been my impression so far that "traditional" airlines (BA, LH, SN,...) would rather cancel a flight and rebook the pax asap, while so-called "low-cost carriers" prefer to delay a flight (often by several hours) until a gap is found in the aircraft planning to operate the flight with another aircraft, instead of cancelling the flight.

Regards
Frederic


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