I just got back from my Klagenfurt-FRA-DFW-FRA-LJU trip. Here is a long report about this:
At first, I boarded onto Tyrolean Airways (regional Austrian airline) Dash8-300 for flight from Klagenfurt to FRA. It was my first time on a Dash8 and second time on a turbo-prop. Everything was perfect, kick-in-the-back was great and after breakfast about 40 minutes into the flight I asked the flight attendant if she can ask the captain if I can visit the flight deck. She asked him and he gave me the 'OK' signal from the cockpit. When I got into the cockpit, he showed me where the jumpseat is (if you have ever seen Dash8's cockpit, you probably have an idea where the jumpseat is and I also got my own headphones. I was asked to lock the door (!) and turn on the headphones (live ATC). I was really amazed by how kind the pilots were (they were two 25-30 years old jacks). This was the place where I have spent next 50 minutes of flight and approach to Frankfurt. That was really something. After that I boarded on Lufthansa A340-300 for flight to DFW. Everything was great, the plane was about 60% full so I got probably the best seat on the A340 (46K). The seat next to mine was used as a photo equipment 'table' . I was surprised that the takeoff roll took 1 minute and 15 seconds (!) and climb to 37000ft took about 55 minutes (is this normal for a plane that's about 60% full and needs to make a 5200miles flight?). Weather was great all the I could see the land above us very clearly. On approach to DFW the pilot maneuvred the plane very nicely between LARGE thunderstorm clouds. Touchdown was average (medium-hard, without bouncing) and as Seiple (I think it was him) told me, DFW is an AA Md-80 fortress hub. After we taxiied over the highway (hehe, what a view!) and docked on the gate, half of my trip was over. On the way back the plane was about 70% full and I got a seat 41K (also a very good place to take photos!). It took us about 30 minutes to depart because of about 15 MD-80's in the queue. It was a lovely, peacefully flight just until somewhere above St. Jonh's (New Foundland, at about 1:00AM local time) when the plane was suddenly shaken by a SEVERE turbulence. To me this was a great add-on to a peaceful flight, but most of the Hindus (there were about 20 of them on board) started to pray (for their lives? . However, this lasted only for about 15 minutes and after that I noticed something I've never seen before: it was a complete darkness and when I looked into the engine (from the back), I could see a very bright blue/white flame burning inside it! I've never seen an actual flame on turbo-fan engines before. The flight from than on was smooth until near-miss over France, where we crossed a path of another aircraft (I saw that plane and I think it was a B737, but can a B737 cruise at 39,000ft? It was really scary, even for me. Touchdown at FRA (25L) was for me the smoothest one so far. Veeeeeeeryy smooth... (lots of grease . Eveything else from that on (FRA-LJU in an Adria Airways A320) was not-worth-to-mention... except wonderful kick in the back on takeoff (wonderful for A320, not to compare it with a Dc9-30 . That's all. Pretty long though.