Time for another report. Booked this two weeks ago on Lufthansa and the plan was to fly to Berlin via Cologne and back via Frankfurt. I had a choice of a few flights, and one set were more convenient, but I chose this routing so I'd get to fly on two new aircraft types. Yay. Reason for trip - weekend partying in Berlin.
Sector 1. LHR to CGN - CRJ700
Ok, so left Oxford on friday morning and got to LHR short term car park with about 90 minutes to go. There was no one at check in so that took about 30 seconds... so now what to do? LHR terminal 2 should be blown up by a controlled explosion... well semi controlled so it takes terminal 1 with it. I hate it. Always have. That low ceiling makes me want to scream. Had breakfast.
Ok, so we board our little CRJ which is a rather sweet looking thing. Was about 50% full. Had seat 14A, which was fine. Comfy, clean, tidy. No complaints.
Take off was nice and zippy and boy did it climb. Strong headwinds must have helped us along!
Smooth flight and the 2 FA's were great. No complaints at all.
We were slightly delayed in leaving, but not LH's fault. LHR's fault. The plane was late landing due to traffic over LHR. Traffic over LHR? Queues to land? Never...
Roll out those bull dozers and get those new runways built NOW!!
Landed at CGN and I had about 20 mins to make my connection to TXL which wasn't too bad. Got my new boarding pass.... went to the gate where eveyone was waiting...
An announcement in German. Now I can just about manage "Auf Wiedersehen Pet" in German, so had no idea what she said, but by the way everyone huffed and puffed and all started talking irritably on mobile phones I guessed we weren't getting free upgrades to business class... flight was cancelled as TXL had closed due to snow. (thanx to the bloke sat next to me in the lounge who kept translating for me!!)
LH suggested everyone take a bus into town and get a train to Berlin as they'd get through. Not likely. I phoned up LH and after a bit of sweet talking, got a seat from DUS to TXL leaving at 4.30pm (now about 12pm). However there were a few seats left on the flight at 2.10pm so if I got there in time I could....
I was off. into the cab (paid for by LH... thanx guys) and up the Autobahn at 180kph to DUS. Got there with 20 mins to spare and the guys at the checkin were super cool and did everything they could, got me to the gate and I managed to get the last seat on the plane.
Sector 2. DUS to TXL BAe 146 (or RJ something)
Got on, was sat in business class (randomly) but can't complain, smooth take off, and quick flight to TXL. Landing at TXL was fun... very bumpy, the plane could barely keep itself in a straight line and wobbled all over the place. The one wheel landing was a nice touch as well.... big cheer to the pilots for getting us down safely in such horrid windy snowy conditions.
Had a groovy weekend in Berlin, drank waaay tooo much.... back to the trip reports.
Sector 3. TXL to FRA A300-600
Checked in on time and had a few beers before boarding the 2pm flight to FRA. Plane was packed to the rafters - I was in seat 28A (I think) which was ok.. nice view of the wing.
What I did notice is that no flaps were used. Now you're all going to come back with tales of how Airbuses don't need em. I don't know. It was just a bit disconcerting to be sitting there waiting for flaps to pop out before takeoff and none did! Anyway, it didn't seem to matter as the plane dragged its sorry arse into the sky fairly easily and we enjoyed a quick flight to FRA.
The wait at FRA was minimal but was slightly disappointed to see another A300-600 sitting on the tarmac when my itinerary had it down as an A310. Booo Hooo. I wasn’t HP, but hey, at this point I was getting tired and actually wanted to get home. Take off was quick and smooth, and the plane only about ¼ full. Again, no flaps. Must be an airbus thing. Those good ol British wings!
Then came the most annoying part of the flight. Landing at LHR. Got there on time and we were then kept in the hold away from the airport for 35 minutes! It happens every time and is becoming a joke. Again, I reiterate, get building those runways. It consistently makes me late.
My final bullet points…
Lufthansa – great, no complaints there.
FA’s – typical lufthansa FA’s. not complaining as they did their job fine.
Food – flights too small – the sandwich they served from FRA to LHR could have cracked the pavement if dropped.
Overall – kinda fun. Cost - £101. Bargain (and much cheaper than Buzz!!)
Thanks for reading… comments, questions welcome.