This was an award flight that I just took this past weekend.
On Saturday the 25th of May I left for STR airport at around 07.10am for my 08.25am flight to Vienna. Check-In was quick and I got window seats as requested from the very friendly woman at the LH counter. She even addressed me by name. Not bad !
Passed security. Went down to gate 162 and waited until boarding started.
It's amazing what a wide variety of newspapers Lufthansa offers to it's guests.
Fokker 70 OE-LFP "Wels"
STR - VIE
Sch. 08.25am - 09.35am
Act. 08.30am - 09.30am
Shortly after 08.00am an announcement was made that we were ready for boarding. A bus brought us to our airplane for today's flight to Vienna. It was OE-LFP, a Fokker 70 aircraft. Once inside I got the bad feeling that I might be seated in the last row after all.
And so it was. I got into seat 16F. It was a bulkhead with the engine covering almost all of my window. So that was too bad as I hardly saw anything.
Photo © Yak freak
Photo © Peter Unmuth - Vienna Aviation Photography
Push back was pretty much on time and we taxied to runway 25. We were number one for take-off and at 08.30am the pilots started our take-off run. Made a few right turns and headed straight towards the Landshut area. At this time we were served coffee and tea as well as a ham or cheese sandwich. I was surprised they didn?t offer water or softdrinks at all.
The seats looked very nice but I couldn't recline at all and it was pretty cramped in the Fokker 70. Do I have to tell you that the engine was pretty loud when it was only a few centimeters from my right ear away ??? I was really happy when the pilot put the thrust levers back every once in a while. So if you're ever flying on a Fokker 70, don't have them put you in the last row.
Anyway we climbed to our cruising altitude of 29.000 ft and headed towards Linz and then onto Vienna. Landing was at 09.30am on runway 34. Taxied to some stand on the apron and were bused to the terminal.
Vienna : What a nice airport ! This has to be one of the cleanest, nicest and tinniest int'l hub airports. Very nice to be there although my layover was only about one hour. Tried to take some pictures there and then went to my next gate.
MD 87E OE-LMK "St. Pölten"
Sch. 10.40am - 12.10pm
Act. 10.45am - 12.00pm
Photo © Yak freak
Photo © Peter Unmuth - Vienna Aviation Photography
Boarding started at about 10.25. I was greeted by some nice and attractive Austrian flight attendants. This time I had a very good seat, namely 23F. On the left side there was the galley and there was only one more seat next to mine. It's just behind the wing and a little in front of the engine so that I had a decent view. The seat was very comfortbale as well.
They welcomed everyone aboard and made the safety announcements. Taxied out to runway 29 and were number 2 behind an OS A320. Flying time was announced as 1h 45 minutes.
Following a fast take-off run we climbed into the Vienna sky and I had a great view of Vienna, which was just to the right.
Twenty minutes into the flight they started the service which consisted of a sandwich again and a small piece of cake served on a neat little plastic plate.
They also came around with coffee, tea, softdrinks, etc. I enjoyed this flight very much. This was my first Austrian Airlines trip and I loved it.
Though I expected a bit more of a service (only one drink service) I had a great time. Most of Europe was clouded but occassionally we could see the ground from our cruising altitude of 36.000 ft. Speed was announced as 810 km/h. Some time later they distributed landing cards for the passengers that needed them. Talking about the flight attendants, man there was a cutie aboard . Very young and... well, just awesome. She was also very friendly as were all the others aboard. How do I contact an OS f/a ???
The pilot announced when we were passing by Brussels but I couldn't see it completely as it was to the left. Continued our flight over the north sea and made landfall after about 15-20 minutes.
A few minutes later we reached London and the pilot announced we would have to fly a holding in the area for 10 minutes. Our holding turned out to be a bit longer and I enjoyed it a lot. The cloud scenery was nice. Suddenly I saw a SK A321 just above. Took a picture but it got rejected here. The approach was pretty bumpy and when we came out of the cloud patches I had a great view of London. Got a nice picture as well. Touch down was at about 12.00pm local time, after a flying time of 02.15h.
Taxied to terminal 2 and had a short small talk with the pilots before I said my goodbye to the flight attendant .
Cleared customs real quick and went out of the terminal directly to the observation deck. Just had short look around there before I went back to the tube station and took the Piccadilly Line to Piccadilly Circus.
The next morning I went to the airport at around 10.00am and got there by 10.45am. Went to the Lufthansa ticket counter and asked them if they could reroute me via Vienna on Austrian which was denied as it was an award ticket. Too bad, shouldn't exactly award tickets be changeable ? I mean that shows that you are a customer, doesn't it ? I was a bit sad after that but after all went to the visitors deck after I had ckecked-In for my Lufthansa flight to Hamburg and on to Stuttgart.
The weather was not very nice. Cloudy and every once in a while showers. The deck at Heathrow is a joke compared to Frankfurt or Zurich or the likes but the airport !!!!!!!!!! Man, if you haven't seen Heathrow, you don't know what an airport is !!
This is an airplane heaven. I have never seen anything like this. Seriously, you can forget FRA, CDG, ATL, LAX, ... The fact that they are only having 2 main runways makes it interesting as there usually is a long line for take-off. So many 747s, 777s, ?
I saw 3 SAA planes, 4 AC aircrafts, many AA's, UA's, of course BA's, ... And Iberia was very present as well. And the sound !!
After a while I went to Terminal 1 and spend my coins for a meal at Burger King. Then proceeded to Terminal 2, went through security and waited for boarding. The flight was to leave at 15.05. The plane arrived early from HAM but yet boarding was delayed until 15.25.
After a while the monitors only showed "delayed". I actually saw the 737-500 at it's gate and a LH mechanic doing something on it's nose for a while. When he was done I thought we would be ready soon but nothing happened.
Then I heard an announcement that passenger B737-700 should contact the agent at gate 1.
Well, I already knew what it would be about and went there. I got rerouted on the BMI nonstop flight to Stuttgart at 16.50. Wasn't happy with this at all but it seemed to be my only option as I was told. LH actually owes me money as I payed taxes for the connection in Hamburg but didn't get to do it.
So I went to this gate and waiting for boarding which started at 16.30.
Got settled in 16F and noticed the immense legroom they offer. This seems to be a lot more than others give you on a 737. Anybody has figures ? The seats are comfortable and in beautiful blue colors. Also the flight attendants look pretty stylish with their hats.
LHR - STR
Sch 16.50 - 19.10
Act. 17.00 - 19.10
Photo © Colin K. Work
Photo © Dean Barnes
The plane was still getting refueled. Were pushed back and taxied to runway 27R. Were number two (!) for take-off and left into the cloudy sky of Heathrow. Pretty bumpy again. After a while we got hit by lightning which looked pretty cool. The pilot even came on the pa later to inform us about it and that there's nothing to worry about it.
Cruised at 37.000 ft towards Germany. Got a drink service and a sandwich again and reached STR after a flying time of 1h 10 minutes. Landing was on runway 25. Took a picture of the beautiful cabin and left the plane. A bus brought us to the terminal were I cleared customs and finally went home after an exciting weekend.
I think I now do have a pretty strong Austrian bias and hope to fly OS soon again. They are definitely worth a try and I loved them.
Now that seemes to be a long trip report. I hope to hear your comments, remarks, questions, etc. and maybe someone can answer my questions as well.
BTW: As a sidenot, when I booked the flight to LHR the woman on the phone from Miles&More thought I was crazy going to Heathrow via Vienna ! It was worth it !