Hamburg - Frankfurt
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Lufthansa German Airline
05 April 2003
Airbus Industrie A321-131
Photo © Daniel Werner
I arrived at Hamburg's flash terminal 4 just before 10 and since I was travelling with hand luggage only all I had to do to check in was put my LH-Frequent-Traveller Card into the slot, and seconds later I was issued with my boarding pass. I seem to remember that on previous flights I could pick my own seats but this was not the case this time.
For premium customers there is a seperate security check point at Hamburg airport, which I used. No queues, and very friendly staff here. From there I walked to the Lufthansa Business Lounge were, as usual, I was greeted by a friendly lady.
Lufthansa's Business lounges really dont have much on offer, apart from free wine, beers, juices, cookies and peanuts, as well as a small selection of newspapers. The lounge in Hamburg has got a bonus though: A seperate viewing platform, which customers are welcome to use year round. This is located right over Gate A10, where the flights to non-Schengen countries usually depart.
As I walked out there I noticed that runway 33 was in use for landing and departures, a very unusual procedure for Hamburg as this runway does not have an ILS system and the approach is right over the inner city. I saw a Pulkovo TU-154, quite a few Lufthansa aircraft, a BA A320, AF 737-500, Finnair A320, with peeling paint, and an Air Berlin BAe 146.
Boarding commenced around 1030, and by 1050, "boarding completed" was announced. Onboard also two German TV hosts, Johannes B. Kerner (2nd time I fly with him on this leg) and Carsten Sprengmann, the former travelling Business, the latter Economy. This flight was quite fully booked, wiht about only 10 seats left vacant, fortunately the one next to me too.
The engines were started at 1055 as we were pushing back, and soon we made our way towards runway 33. Take off power was set at 1101, and after a short roll we were airborne. After about a minute, we turned south and headed for AFB) (AFB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">AFB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA. Drink service on this flight in Economy. All they offer is juices, beer and sparkling wine. Fair enough, didnt need a full meal on a short flight like this anyway. The crew was all male. Rare sight on LH.
Once we reached cruising altitute, the captain came on the P/A and announced that we would be flying at only 24,000 ft today and also that AFB) (AFB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">AFB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA was congested and we had to do a couple of holdings. As flight time was estimated to be around 40 minutes, this would still get us to AFB) (AFB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">AFB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA in time. And indeed, at 1135, we began our decent into AFB) (AFB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">AFB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA, and we were on final approach at 1155. Landing was very nice and smooth even though this whole ride was sort of bumpy. We landed on 25L. Through the window, I could see lots of Military aircraft at the US base.
Braking was rather hard, which got me hoping that we would get a terminal position. Unfortunately, we didnt, instead we taxied all the way out east in between 25R and 25L and parked near the D complex. Two bendy buses came to pick us pax up, and at 1210, everyone was on the bus. By 1220, after a nice tour around apron, with lots of interesting aircraft, we arrived near gate A1, from where I made my way to the trains for the city.
Frankfurt - Hamburg
AFB) (AFB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">AFB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA/EDDF - HAM / EDDH), Germany">HAM/EDDH
Lufthansa German Airline
06 April 2003
Airbus Industrie A321-231
Photo © Tobias Rose
I arrvied at the airport around 1230-
Once again, the same checkin procedure as in Hamburg, I got my boarding pass out of the machine within 20 seconds. To my disappointment, this flight was due to depart from gate A1, which was rather annoying as the LH lounge is located about 2km walk from there at the end of the concourse. Made my way down there anyway, after quick and efficient security checks.
This lounge really is nothing more than a decent waiting room, with the same facilites as in Hamburg. The grey leather seats are all rather worn and torn. I enjoyed a nice glass of white wine or two, and at 1335, left the lounge for the hike to gate A1. When I got there, I soon realized, there was no plane there. More bus rides, yay! There was quite a queue from the people checking into the departure lounge, but fortunately, if you have an eticket, LH lets you do "self-boarding", so you just put your boarding pass into this machine and then walk through the turnstyle. Nice jumping the queue like that.
All of us had to squeeze on one small bus which took us out way the west end of Frankfurt, near where the cargo planes usually park. Next to our pretty A321, there was a LH MD11 freighter being load, rego D-ALCC. At 1405, "boarding completed" was announced once again. This flight was about as full as the one from Hamburg. It was actually upgraded to this A321, originally, this was supposed to have been operated by a 737-500. Once again, the middle seat next to me was free, is there a thing in their system that they block seats next to status customers?!
The captain came on the P/A, announcing that unfortunately one of the 3 runways was closed and therefore we would have to wait in position for at least half an hour! He said its OK for people to turn the phones back on so they could ring relatives etc to inform them about the delay. Nothing at 1435, nothing at 1450. At 1500, we were finally pushed back and slowly started taxiing towards runway 07L. through my window, I could see the big queue, amongst others an AC 744, Tyrolean F70, Lithuanian 737, Condor 767, and another AC 767. We were being cheeky and came to a halt at taxiway L, not quite the end of the runway. We then had to wait for about 4 aircraft to take off, until it was our turn, and we did an immediate.
At 1511, we were finally airborne. I had hoped to be in Hamburg by then!!! Nice feeling flying though, and even though flight time was estimated to be 1h, it was only 45 minutes! We climbed to an unknown flight level, and inflight service was nice by this all female, good looking crew. At 1555, we touched down on Hamburgs runway 05, after crossing this babys place of birth, the Airbus plant just south of Hamburg. Nice smooth braking and only minutes later, we were at the gate, B90. Long way to walk once again!
All in all, nice trip, the delay was a bit unfortunate but the flight crew really sincerely apologized and there was nothing they could do about it anyway! I always enjoy flying LH.
I would really appreciate any feedback, as this was a fair bit of effort to write! I hope you enjoyed reading this, and if you did, please, write a few lines. Its not nice when you write something this long and no one replies even though there is lots of views (happen to another trip report of mine, which, admittedly, wasnt that great). Hope this one is a bit better
[Edited 2003-04-06 23:14:47]