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Daytrip To Venice With Condor And HLX (pics!)  
User currently offlineReifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1364 posts, RR: 1
Posted (8 years 3 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5504 times:

Dear All, this is quite a long report, have fun reading it! Pics are bigger than they appear! Just click the thumbs!


INTRODUCTION

last weekend I went for a very short daytrip to Venice. Condor offered tickets for 9 € all inclusive when they celebrated their 50th birthday, and ín the same period HLX offered 9,99 € tickets all inclusive on the same route.

Therefore I booked an incredible return trip for less than 20 €. MUC-VCE in the early sunday morning with Condor, and VCE-MUC with HLX in the early afternoon. As I live near Frankfurt, I had to take a train to go to MUC, which was "rather expensive" compared to the rest of the trip. For the way back I could use HLX's offer to book a Rail&Fly-Ticket for 19 €, so that was pretty a good offer.


THE WAY TO THE AIRPORT

So, here we go! Departure was already friday evening about 9pm. I took the S-Bahn to Mainz and stepped into the Intercity to Nuremberg. I took a compartment for me alone, the train was almost deserted... In the overhead compartment I found just a wooden stick (2 cm thick) with luguage Tag of an LT-Flight from Fort Myers to DUS... Incredible what people check in  Smile This guy seems to have forgotten this in the train a few hours later...

We passed Frankfurt central station, which I think is great!



A little bit after midnight we arrived at Nuernberg, I changed the train and took a regional train which would leave at 0:40am and arrive at after 2am in Augsburg! Now that's a special experience to be honest  Smile

In Augsburg there were tons of Loveparade-Fans with crazy clothes and a lot of electronic music on the platform. They'll take my train back to Nuremberg and continue north in cheap regional trains until they'll reach Berlin...
As for me, I jumped in the Paris-Vienna-night train for half an hour, got a first class compartment which was allowed being used with 2nd class tickets (now that's great!), changed at Ostbahnhof (where a lot of party people came out of several night clubs and bars) and for the first time of my life I was at Munich Airport as early as 4 o'clock in the morning.

MUNICH AIRPORT

Condor uses Lufthansa's Terminal 2, which I found quite nice. The airport was deserted... well almost... deserted expect hundreds of tourists at 12 Condor-Check in corners taking one of 5 or 6 early morning flights with Condor to several holiday destinations! I tried to use the self check in machine of LH, but the machine couldn't find my file... so I made the queue, approx 30 minutes I think... It was so early that the light was still dimmed and lights went only on at 5am all of a sudden  Smile



The check-in agent of LH was a very nice lady which was one of the kindest check-in agents I ever had... She gave me exactly the seat I wanted, told me that about 70 seats will remain empty... and apologized that France lost against Italy as she saw my French ID... Then she chattet with me for a few minutes that she would have love seen the French getting world champion.

Lateron I went to the LH self-check-in-machine and changed my seat to 30F, almost the last row... Got sequence number 31 by the way...

My boarding pass:



Security was quite a big lane... behind security I went buying some batteries for my digicam and walked a little bit along the gates... Not much around this morning... Although I loved this A340-600 in the rising sun:



I served myself with tea and a newspaper here:



LH to Frankfurt was boarded. I saw 2 features I never seen before:

1) self boarding machines (like at the subway!):



2) standby list status indicator:



By the way, there is a "LH service center" in the boarding area with self-check-in machines... Hint: go there like 20-30 minute before departure, just before check-in time closes, and try to change your seat... Just take a look at the seatmap and take a seat with an empty middle seat or a whole row for yourself... Or just change nothing if you see that you'll gonna get nothing better than what you already have  Smile


CONDOR FLIGHT DE996
15 JUL
ETD 06:20am (ATD 06:25am)
ETA 07:15am (ATA 07:26am)
D-AICD, Airbus A320
Seat: 30 F
Load: approx. 60%



Boarding started, I tried the self-boarding-machines which worked well, went down the stairs. Although the bus shows DE 996 destination Venice this wasn't our "bus" to VCE, but to a nice A320 in the new c/s of Condor, which I like:







Terminal 2 is quite empty:



Boarding was completed on time and I got a row for myself. Safety demo was shown on the small overhead monitors, which are great for the short hop to VCE but absolutely not suitable for the 4,5h flight to the Canary Island´which I had with Condor a few months ago which was on the same type of aircraft.

By the way: I love the front camera feature of the A320 (once airborne the camera looks down, so that one sees the landscape beyond the plane):



The cabin itself was clean:



The seats where cloth seats, and comfort average:



Seat pitch is rather tight (31 rows!)



Loved the backwalls:



Service begun: The 4 FA's where all female and gave us a sandwich with cheese, as well as coffee/tea and other drinks. I took a tomato juice, and they even asked me if I'd like another drink (something else) as well:



The bun was rather plastic, as well as the cheese... But at least all together is more than the small Vittel bottle with the cheese sandwich you get with AB on a similar flight length (FRA-ZRH):



We passed the alps and soon descent begun... the f/as had just the time to finish service, although they already used 3 trolleys as once... I wonder how this shall work if they have full house.

The alps:



Some airport near Verona:



Another aiport (Treviso?):



Another big city as we where close to Venice:



I choose the right side of the air craft, as we landed from West to East, giving a great view.

Ferry of Anek Lines entering Mestre port:



Other ships behind:



Venice on the right, nice view on the Santa Lucia train station:







Landing was not too hard, not too soft... we got a great view of the Terminal, which I think looks great:



We came to a stop on a remote stand beneith a Myair.com, like their c/s:



A bus brought us to the terminal, with a nice arrival area:




VENICE

I went up to the departure area and tried to check in for my HLX-flight and used a counter for a STR-flight of HLX. The check-in-agent was very nice but wont check me in... Nevermnd... I took the normal bus to Venice (2 euros) and made an express tour of the city (just got a few hours... Wrote a few postcards, made pictures... This is really out of this world, canals everywhere, no cars, paths as small as 3 persons may not fit beneith each other, a real labyrinth and signs for pedestrians to find their way (always follow RIALTO or SAN MARCO, you'll be fine  Smile)

Santa Lucia station:







Rialto bridge:



Grande Canal:



San Marco Place:










Time was getting short and after two hours I reached the bus again, this time the express bus for 3 € and was on time at the airport.

Check-In was quite fast, there were several HLX-Check-In counters, one for each destination. The lady in front of me had 2 hand lugguage and a suitcase of 44 kg!! but the agent said nothing  Wink No seat assignment on HLX, just written "group A" with a pen:



Departure board:



Security was also a breeze. The waiting area is really nice with huge windows and a lot of light:



US-Airways flight, love the c/s:



I went down to a lower level where our flight shall board. A nice hint: There are food and drink machine, and half a little of bottled water costs only 70 eurocents! Now that's great if you board a loco then  Smile


HAPAG LLOYD EXPRESS FLIGHT 15 JUL
ETD 12:05am (ATD 12:15am)
ETA 13:20am (ATA 13:10am)
D-AGEP, Boeing 737-700
Seat: 27 A
Load: approx. 60%



Boarding started on time at 11:35, bus again to a remote stand. My first flight with HLX. Here is the airplane:



No pushback needed, as the plane could turn around, and then security demo was made (manual, although Airmap was available on this a/c). I had a seat in the last row.

We taxied a little in stopped then for quite a long time near the runway. The captain made an announcement that we got "a later slot" due to the delayed US-Airways flight which will start in front of us and pass on our left, therefore we would start in 10-15 minutes but arrive nevertheless on time in MUC.

Then a women got up, opened the overhead locker bin, took out something out of her bag and as one of the f/a's saw this, she literally shouted in the microphone "Sit down and fasten the belt immediately! We can start every second! And close the bin over you"... Really loud, no please, no madam and in an inacceptable way. Although I can understand the f/a's point of view, this is absolutely not the way to treat other people. A lot of passengers complained, calling "try being polite" and things like that... not a nice way to begin a flight indeed...

Anyway, US Airways passed left of us:



We then soon took off and had some terrific views, as we made a turn over the lagoon:





The cabin itself looks nice too...



seat pitch is almost the same as with DE:



But I defenitely prefer the leather seats, which looked quite new (T-Mobile-Ads on the head covers):



love the airsicknessbags:



you need to be German to understand that, but there's written something like "you should better keep that for yourself"... There are others with "thanks for your opinion" or "Easy Ryan, easy..."  Smile

F/a's had a yellow polo-shirt. Service started, everything needs to be paid of course, but, even if the flight is just a hop, they sold quite a lot of drinks...

Passing Bolzano/Bozen:



Alps again:



Glacier:



Arrival at Munich:



We made a rather smooth landing on time... This time we taxied to Terminal 1 which was rather empty.

In front of us a HLX-a/c was pushed back and we took her place... Great angle when we passed in front of the pushed back HLX:



We took place beneith 4 dba-Planes and left the aircraft with a gangway... The t/a had a basket with sweets for the passengers, nice touch:




Then I took the train home to Wiesbaden, another long ride...


What to say? Condor's product is great money for value and you get more service than with some other "classic" carriers... I love being able to use all the Amenities offered by LH-guests at Terminal 2.
HLX is also good value for money. It was the first time I tried them, and there's nothing to complain about... Only point I didn't liked was the very average f/a's... just as friendly as necessary (except the shouting one) and a little bit uninterested... But still nothing to complain with this price! But to be honest I would rather take DE than X3 on this sector.

And Venice... well it's defenetely something to see!

Hope you enjoyed reading... I have a few videos of landing and starts also... anybody knows a site to host them? I would love to show them if you guys are interested.

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLawrenceMck From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 311 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5493 times:

Hey a nicely written report there, good job! The pictures illustrate it really well, nice shots from Venice too!

Lawrence  Smile



Love It To Live It
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1949 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5410 times:
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Very nice report! I also really like the US Airways new livery.

User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4695 posts, RR: 42
Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5294 times:

Nice report! Condor really has a good thing going with their new city routes.


Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineDimoko From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 307 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5154 times:

great pics and report.

the picture of the train station make me really miss the german rail system...i wish we had something like that in the states...



"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." -- Douglas Adams
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5173 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4984 times:

Hi, Reifel,
detailed and interesting report.
It sounds your daytrip was a recommendable experience.
D-AICD is also in my log.
What about the difference between the normal and the express bus, is it worth to pay more?.
Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7108 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4979 times:

Hi

Nice report, Venice is a beautiful place. Glad it sounds like you enjoyed your trip


User currently offlineReifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1364 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day ago) and read 4834 times:

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 5):
What about the difference between the normal and the express bus, is it worth to pay more?.
Greetings,

Hello Markus,

Thanks for your reply. The "normal" bus costs 2 €, while to express bus costs 3 €. They're taking the same route, with the only difference that the normal bus is what you see in our german streets (therefore not so confy) and stops at every station, while the express bus goes direct.

Therefore I would take what comes first... It's not a big difference... If you're planning to stay max. 3 days you can buy a 5,50 € return ticket on the express bus as well.

Best regards


User currently offlineLO231 From Belgium, joined Sep 2004, 2392 posts, RR: 23
Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 months 9 hours ago) and read 4760 times:

Thanks for the report!

I'm taking Condor to MUC within 2 weeks, I think it's a good thing they started European cities' routes, not only leisure ones.

I got my return ticket BRU-MUC-BRU for 18 EUR taxes incl. When you think of it, they could easily charge 3 EUR for the sandwich and 2 EUR for the tea which I will get free, hehe.

Regards,
LO231



Got both LO 788 frames already, next LO E95 and 734 BRU-WAW-BRU
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