Me and my friend had arrived at the airport in Düsseldorf (DUS) at about 1800. We found that the line at check-in wasn’t that long and after not more than a minute it was our turn to check in. The person at the desk just asked us which destination we wanted to fly too and he wanted our ID’s. That was all, I have never seen checking in go so fast since I didn’t have to show him a ticket and so on.
After that we had about one and a half hours left so we sat down in a restaurant next to the visitors terrace in terminal B. We had something to drink and when it was about time we left to go to the gate. We had to stand in line for the security check for quite a while and then when we were through it we had to run to the gate.
Our gate was the furthest away, it was B75. We ran there and were just in time to board the plane.
Photo © Jonathan Rankin
The plane was D-ADBO. It was delivered to Deutsche BA in December 1997.
We were lucky to have the seats in row 11 (D&E) which is the only row in a dba 737 where you have the feeling that you could be flying business class... Since it was the row where the overwing emergency exits are located.
It was a really unusual experienc but for the first time ever I experienced an all-male-crew.
We then departed DUS on time at 2010 as DI 7054 into a cloudy German sky. Our 737 did a rocket climb, even with allmost all seats taken, to 11.000m for a just 50 minute flight.
Risen to the max. altitude they started their service which was a new experience for both of us. We had a manual in the seat-pocket infront of us where we could see what they offered. I saw quite a few people go shopping then... A guy behind us got a coke, two coffees and something to snack... If you add the high prices of the food with the low price for the flight you were still much cheaper than a flight with Lufthansa or even than Germania.
After the „inflight-snack-restaurant“ had closed they handed out the „Deutsche BA hearts“ made out of chocolate which I thought was really sweet as that seems to be a service you would believe to be stopped after they went low-cost.
Then our plane left the max. altidude and we started our direct approach to Berlin-Tegel. About five minutes before we landed the sky opened and we landed in perfect weather.
We then taxied to gate 1 and on the way there the crew welcomed us in Berlin and said thank you for flying dba. This is what they said: „..Captain Hellmich, the crew, the autopilot and the co-pilot which you a pleasant stay in Berlin...“
We then got off the plane and then I found Tegel to be an airport of really short ways. We got our baggage directly at the gate and a further 20 meters walk brought us out of the airport.
We spent four really great days in Berlin where we saw very much of that great city which has totally changed since I was there the last time. Since we will have our general elections in less than a month we could also experience lots of political events where we saw almost all politicians that are in the Bundestag and also a few non-political famous people.
On Saturday we went to Tegel to meet two a.neters that had booked the same flight (DUS-TXL-DUS) for a 1€ fare offered by dba on their website about two months ago. We went to the visitors terrace on top of the airport which is built so that you can walk around the whole area of the terminal so you can look onto every gate. Since Berlin isn’t really too famous for it’s air traffic we didn’t really get to see too much except for a Lufthansa A320-200 with a Condor Berlin nose (I hope a.net will accept the pic I’ll upload soon...) and a Volare A320 which I had never seen before. After about an hour or so Sabena332 and Herbman had to leave again for their flight back to DUS and we took the bus back to downtown Berlin.
On Sunday we decided to take a look at the other two airports in Berlin. After more than 30 minutes from downtown Berlin we arrived in Berlin-Schönefeld where we stayed for about 15 minutes... The next departure would have been two hours later... On that day they had nine movements left and we just had 1430! We took the bus downtown again to go to Berlin-Tempelhof hoping to have more luck there. There we would have just had to wait one hour so we also decided to spent the rest of the day „non-aviation“.
Tuesday, August 27th:
After the time in Berlin was reaching it’s end on Tuesday we left for the airport where we arrived at 1030. We had wanted to check-in early enough to get good seats (We had wanted to sit in row 11 again) but we were disappointed when we got there since we couldn’t check in until about an hour before take-off so we had some hours to spend at the airport, and remember this isn’t FRA, LHR or LAX...
We went to the Burger King and after that we sat down and played games on our laptop. I had wanted to take some good pictures of the plane we would fly with so I went up on the visitors terrace to have enough good angles for pics. I took a few nice shots of the plane and then I noticed that the SAS MD-80 (LN-RLE) parked at the gate besides ours was the plane I had my last flight on (CPH-ARN) four weeks ago.
After I had taken a few nice pictures I went back into the terminal and then it was time to check in.
I had asked the lady for seats in row 11 or 12 but she said that she wanted to keep them for people taller than me... Well I know they are there but not too many...
Well we got seats in row 2 then and thinking about it now that was absolute ok!
While sitting in the boarding area and again playing on the laptop I noticed a face I had seen two days before in Berlin. It was the General Secratary of the political party SPD of Gerhard Schröder, Franz Müntefering and he would sit in row 1 so just infront of me.
To be honest he is the guy I like least of the German Government (ask SN332 what I think of the whole crew ) but still it isn’t too bad to sit in an airplane with that guy...
Photo © Axel Juengerich
We then boarded D-ADBU one of the youngest 2nd generation 737’s built in 1998.
This reg. used to be carried by a Lufthansa DC-10-30.
We departed TXL on a sunny tuesday afternoon pre-schedule at 1345 as DI 7045.
After take off we flew over Berlin and We could see the Reichstag, the Potsdamer Platz and also the Alxander Platz with the Funkturm while we made a turn over the city.
Again our max. altitude would be 11.000m which I thought was a too high climb for such a short flight but I guess the people in charge knew what the did...
The service was the same as on the way back besides that we had an all female crew J.
After we had left the Berlin area the weather got bad and we had the first rain since we had left DUS.
We landed in Düsseldorf 10 minutes ahead of schedule. Our plane parked at Terminal B where also an Emirates A330-200 was parked being prepared for the daily DUS-DXB flight.
Since we sat in the second row we got off the plane real quick and we then headed to the baggage courts where we noticed the difference between an airport like TXL where you had your luggage in no time and DUS where it took a while.
On all the bags you could see that the security on our flight was at a more intense level as all
had a sticker of the Bundesgrenzschutz (The Police in charge of everything trans-border like airports, train stations or harbors) taped on it. I guess they checked our luggage very careful because of the above mentioned Franz Müntefering.
Now after coming back from Berlin I can say that for the city I would love to go back to Berlin (and I will) but I won’t waste any time at the airports there as they do not offer any attractions. Maybe that will change when they open the new airport planned for 2007 (which I doubt). And to dba I can say that for the price I paid I had an excelent flight with very friendly crews and also on time. I will always consider them again when I have to fly to either TXL or MUC.