15 April 2003
STD: 09:55 ATD: 09:50
STA: 11:10 ATA: 11:08
Photo © Tobias Rose
Photo © Michael Nikel
We arrived at the airport at 09:00, went to the DBA check-in counters and checked in. We, that's a.net member Contact Air and me. As we already had pre-assigned seats, we got 22E and 22F, as requested. Remember my tradition, always to sit in the second-last row on the right-hand side. We went directly to the gate, gate 174. Boarding started at 09:35, there were only ~87 passengers on this flight, yet 22D was occupied as well. When boarding was completed, the f/a came through the aisle and told us that everybody who wants to change his/her seat could do so now, "Breiten Sie sich aus!" she said and moved her hands, it somehow sounded like a "Husch, husch!", but indeed there were many rows occupied with 6 passengers while other rows remained empty, it has to do with the check-in system used by DBA, if you don't request a special seatrow, the computer will always give you rows 22 through 19 first, then 16 through 4, rows 1, 2, 3, 4, 17, 18 and 23 will remain empty until there are no other seats free. The passengers from 22D changed to 23D, which gave us a little bit more space, great.
Push-back started at 09:50, we taxied the short way to runway 07 where we had to wait for about 15 minutes before we could take off, there were several other aircraft landing and taking off before us, it gave us a sort of international-airport-feeling Anyway, we took off at 10:10, the weather was great, not a single cloud on the whole way to Berlin, a really great view on the whole flight! Soon they started cabin service, I didn't order anything, but Contact Air had a sandwich and an orange juice, 6.50€... We started our descent and landed on TXL's runway 08L at 11:05, arrived at the gate at 11:08. Because I didn't order anything on the plane, I was hungry now so I went to the Burger King inside the terminal building, then we went to the viewing area, saw an Air Europe Italy A320 flying for Volare.
There were no other interesting planes expected within the next hours, so we took the bus and train to Berlin-Schönefeld, SXF, quite a long way there, we arrived at 13:30, went directly to the SXF viewing area, saw a Belavia An-24, a Condor B767 and an LTU B757, plus lots of parked aircraft! Two ex-SIA A340s, three Khalifa A340s, one Khalifa A319, one Khalifa A320, one ex-Ansett A320, four Lufthansa B737s, one ex-Lufthansa B737-300QC and one Condor A320. Stupid me, I had forgotten my binoculars at home, so I only got the registrations of the SIA A340s and two of the Khalifa A340s, can anybody help me and tell me the registrations of the other aircraft? That would be great, thanks in advance! I mean I have already seen most of those aircraft before (except for the Ansett A320 of course) but I'm just curious.
SXF doesn't have many movements, so there was no reason to spend more time there, we left by train at 14:30, to Berlin-Tempelhof, THF, where we arrived at 15:00. We found a good place for spotting close to the fence near runway 09L, aircraft we saw: SNBA RJ85, Team Lufthansa Do328, Dash 8-300 and Dash 8-400, Swiss Saab 2000, OLT Metroliner and City Air/Teamline Saab 340. At 16:45 we took the U-Bahn and Bus back to TXL, where we arrived at 17:30.
15 April 2003
STD: 18:55 ATD: 18:53
STA: 20:10 ATA: 20:02
Photo © Rotate
Photo © Michael Fritz
We went to check-in/gate 7 for our departure at 18:55, but the counter was not yet opened, the queue became longer and longer, until finally at 17:50 they opened the check-in. Very late if you ask me, but I've been told that DBA open their check-in counters at TXL only 1 hour before departure. However they were all very friendly, I didn't ask for a special seat (22F) this time, so we got 12A and 12B. Yes you're right, that's the exit row, there is no seat 11A which means more legspace that in F-class. What a pity that I'm only 185cm tall, so I couldn't use all of that legspace.
But back to the check-in, we got boarding passes with green DBA design, I think STR is the only airport where they don't use DBA boarding passes. We went outside to have a "Currywurst", then we went to the gate, where boarding started at 18:35. About 95 passengers on this flight, 12C remained free, doors were closed at 18:50, at 18:53 push-back started and at 19:00 we took off from runway 08R. Unfortunately we were sitting on the left-hand-side of the aircraft, as we turned right and on the right-hand-side there is usually a great view over Berlin downtown after departure from runway 8. Well, we had a great view of the wing instead Cabin service began, this time they even offered DBA Chocolate Easter Bunnies, but we didn't order anything this time. At least we had a good view over Stuttgart downtown before landing on runway 07 at 19:58, we taxied towards parking position 13 (the same position from where we had left in the morning) and went to the arrival hall. The end of a great daytrip to Berlin, great flights, great weather (not too cold this time ), thanks to DBA for these flights, thanks to you for reading this report, feel free to post your comments, questions, and of course registrations of the SXF aircraft in case anybody knows.