beowulf
Posts: 743
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 3:22 am

VIE – FRA With A Few Drawbacks

Mon Jun 07, 2004 5:25 pm

I had not planned writing a trip report for this short trip VIE-AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA-VIE, but then a few extraordinary things happened on my flights. But … let's start at the beginning.
My plan was to fly VIEAB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA in the early afternoon to meet with some people in Frankfurt and to take the last flight to VIE back home. Nothing to write home about. In the morning I checked the 'Trip Reports' forum A.net and found TriStar500's trip report "Ciao (Al-)Italia DUS-FCO-VCE-MXP-DUS" (http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/44288/). Thought this would make a good reading on my flight, printed it, and got back to work. Big grin

LH3535 was scheduled to leave at 14:50, and at 13:22 I ran out of the office to catch the 13:30 airport bus. Made it (obviously, my office is close to the bus station), and at 14:10 I stepped off the bus and into the terminal building. The first Quick Check-In machine went on strike, but the second one worked and even let me already choose my seat (I non-rev, you know). With my ticket/boarding pass I proceeded to the gate, C60 this afternoon, after making a box-stop at the loo. When I handed the check-in agent my boarding pass, she said she wanted to see some ID. Great, I rummaged through my bag and found my employee tag. She looked at it, examined it carefully, and mumbled she had meant my personal ID card. Well, lady, then you should specify which ID you want to see. I was about to fumble for my identification card when she said she doesn't need it anymore. All right … yeah … *grrrr* … exhale … be calm … be nice! Security was the usual Viennese style. I think if I carried an explosive belt around my head, they would not find it. The waiting area at the gate was a little filled, and I waited till around 14:30 when boarding was commenced. We were told that use of the boarding zones was going to be made, and zones 1 and 2 were called to board. Well, looks like *everybody* had zone 1 and 2. Interesting! Nevertheless, boarding was a breeze since the load factor was light on this flight.


VIEAB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA
June 02, 2004
LH3535
Airbus A321-100 (D-AIRA)
Gate C60, Seat 29F
14:50 – 16:15 (scheduled)
off-block: 15:00
take-off: ca. 15:10 (rwy. 29)
touch down: 16:29 (rwy. 7L)
on-block: 16:35



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Photo © Jörg Thomas
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Photo © Oliver Brunke



The captain, Sebastian L., came on-line to tell us about a slight delay due to a slot issue. Soon after his announcement we were pushed back and taxied to runway 29. It did not take long to reach the runway's threshold and we performed more or less a rolling take-off. I got a good overview of VIE as we took off and saw an LH Cargo MD-11F, an Asiana Cargo B747, and a Lockheed Electra (Atlantic Airways??). I cannot write anything about the in-flight service because it was practically inexistent. There was a meager beverage service and some chocolate bar, a Milka Nussini (http://www.milka.de/milka/page?siteid=milka-prd&locale=dede1&PagecRef=63). Yuck!
As mentioned earlier I read TriStar500's trip report. Time flew by and at 16:06 we were on short final for runway 25R at AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA. All of the sudden the engines spooled up, and we climbed out again. MY FIRST GO-AROUND!!  Big thumbs up It was not very impressive overall, but there was a weird silence on board. Some minutes later the captain informed us that all of a sudden rain showers had formed on final approach. The down pour of the rain caused the wind to blow in all directions and the tail wind landing limit had been exceeded; thus the go-around. After the announcement the atmosphere in the cabin relaxed.  Wink/being sarcastic I still think it was awesome!! A few minutes later the captain informed us that that the runway had now been changed. O.K. – same procedure as before, and we had an average touch-down on runway 7L. Breaking was a bit hard. We taxied all the way to Terminal 2 to park at V108. Along the way I say several C-17s and one C-5 at the USAF.

After having finished what I came for to AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA, I arrived at the terminal at 20:25. To my surprise the Quick Check-In let me choose my seat again, which was probably due to the light load. Knowing that the security screening at AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA is taken seriously and takes some time, I proceeded to the check-point right away. Of course, I got patted down, but *everyone* at AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA gets patted down. Remember, at VIE this barely happens. The gate was A32, so all the way down near the end of Pier A. I took my time and strolled around. Boarding was to begin at 20:55.


AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA – VIE
June 02, 2004
LH3542
Airbus A321-100 (D-AIRA / D-AIRD)
Gate A32 / A 30, Seat 30F
20:30 – 22:50 (scheduled)
off-block: 23:45
take-off: 23:56 (rwy. 25L)
touch down: 00:55 (rwy. 29)
on-block: 00:58



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Photo © Prem Andreas




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Photo © Kai-jens Meyer
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Photo © Kai-jens Meyer



The fact that I did not see an aircraft made me assume that we would be delayed. Indeed, at 20:55 an announcement was made that our new departure time would be 22:25. A few calculations and a look at the bus schedule made me think that catching the last airport bus in VIE would be tight. Our check-in agent said that boarding would commence at 21:45 and with that she left. Well, 21:45 passed, new check-in agents had arrived, as well as our aircraft. No further announcements were made when we would start boarding or why we were delayed. In short, Craphansa's customer service at its best. Finally, at 22:20 we started boarding. Upon entering the aircraft via the jet bridge I saw maintenance guys working on the left engine. Boarding was completed soon; as I said, a light load. The captain announced that maintenance was fixing something, which would take a few more minutes. The rest of the crew … what can I say … a bored and annoyed look on their faces. At 22:35 baggage loaders arrived and began loading the luggage. I thought to myself that this aircraft was not going anywhere, and indeed some ten minutes later the captain made an announcement that this aircraft was unusable. He told us that some pins on the left engine looked burned and therefore, the aircraft needed to undergo thorough maintenance. D-AIRA was the same airplane as on my inbound flight where I experienced the go-around. So … we all got off-board and headed to gate A30 to wait some more. Once the crew had occupied the new aircraft, we were cleared to board again, at 23:15. Our new airplane was parked on the apron, at V128, and we had to take a bus there. D-AIRD, Coburg, was also an A321-100. By the time we were all on-board it was 23:20, but the luggage was not on board, yet. Guess what, more waiting.  Angry Finally, we began taxiing at 23:45, got to runway 25L and took-off at 23:56. The cabin crew did not do anything to "comfort" people. I understand that they were pissed about this delay themselves, but they should remember that they work for the paying passengers and not for themselves. We got one drink and a "snack", a tiny mini Prinzenrolle (http://www.griesson-debeukelaer.de/index.php3?ci=138&language=2). I should say that people did not complain, but my personal impression is that the crew did a poor job. The flight itself was bumpy due to winds. We had full moon and the atmosphere caused by that above the clouds was eerie.  Smile However, I should say that the captain tried to make up for all the inconveniences. He said that he had radioed VIEST to make sure enough taxis would be available. Nice move. Apart from being bumpy, the flight was uneventful. We touched down on runway 29 at 00:55 rather hard, slammed the brakes, and were at the gate at 00:58. In the arrival hall I choked a cash dispenser, got a taxi, drove home, and paid EUR 37.00 for the ride.  Pissed

In conclusion I can say that this trip was exciting: first go-around, first aircraft change. Don't get me wrong: such things happen and they are force majeur. What irritates me is LH's poor in-flight service. Moreover, the poor situation management at AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA (gate staff) and by the cabin crew on my AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA-VIE flight. They don't need to do much, a smile would be sufficient.

Hope you enjoyed it and are still reading. Comments, feedback, suggestions are welcome.  Smile

Nick
 
StarFlyer
Posts: 929
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2002 10:07 am

RE: VIE – FRA With A Few Drawbacks

Mon Jun 07, 2004 8:20 pm

Dear Nick,

you wrote an excellent report, thank you! What an eventful trip... A shame the delay wasn't really handled well by the cabin crew, while I understand this was probably their last flight of many that day they should still act like "service professionals" as LH calls them...

I remember my first go around, on approach into Rarotonga (trip report: http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/26998Big grin . Everyone was really silent but fairly relieved after the captain made his announcement. I suppose go-arounds don't mean anything really most of the time...

Anyways, happy flying,

*sf
Yours truly - StarFlyer
 
TriStar500
Posts: 4411
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 1999 9:50 pm

RE: VIE – FRA With A Few Drawbacks

Mon Jun 07, 2004 9:40 pm

Hi Nick!

You are right, what a memorable trip! Thanks for sharing it with us.  Smile

I am very sorry to hear that you came across one of Lufthansa's not so shining moments - I usually defend them for some of their shortcomings (e.g. the sometimes really arrogant cabin and ground personel and their really crappy inflight service in Peasant Class), because they take pride in their seamless travel service. Usually, if something goes wrong, they "take you by the hand" and guide you to your destination with the least possible disruption.

BTW, you really seem to have a fixation for all those different chocolate waffles, don't you?  Big grin What was the name of that Austrian waffle bar again? Big grin

Oh and, thanks a lot for the nice advertisements for my report!  Big thumbs up


Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
beowulf
Posts: 743
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 3:22 am

RE: VIE – FRA With A Few Drawbacks

Mon Jun 07, 2004 10:09 pm

@StarFlyer
Thanks for your comment. First, I was like "Where the f*** is Rarotonga?" but your report clarified it.  Smile It felt odd at first because it wasn't obvious to us passengers what the reason was.

@TriStar500
You know, *I* should be defending Craphansa if I want to still get my paycheck.  Innocent *hehe* You are right though that LH did everything to bring me back to VIE, and I rather wait a few hours than not arriving in one piece. My impression, being in the service industry myself, is that you can handle a situation correctly and you can handle it outstandingly. It's this outstanding commitment that I miss about Craphansa at times.

Those chocolate waffles. OS served Hanuta. See, I don't really like 'em. I'd rather have something salty to chew on.

The advertisement for your report is gonna cost you an apple juice if you come to VIE.  Wink/being sarcastic

Nick

P.S. - BTW, this weird formatting of the three-letter code for Frankfurt by the system into this AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA really annoys me. This was discussed in 'Site Related'? Won't they fix it eventually?
 
TriStar500
Posts: 4411
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 1999 9:50 pm

RE: VIE – FRA With A Few Drawbacks

Mon Jun 07, 2004 10:43 pm

Hi Nick,

No, I wasn't talking about Hanuta. There was this Austrian manufactured waffle you were singing praise in the loudest voice about. Big grin

I'll be in VIE in late July for a few times - I'll get back to you when it is more clear, when exactly I will have my appointments.  Smile
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
beowulf
Posts: 743
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 3:22 am

RE: VIE – FRA With A Few Drawbacks

Mon Jun 07, 2004 11:12 pm

@TriStar500
Hmm, I completely forgot that I got Mannerschnitten http://www.manner.at one time. When was that? Can't remember. These are really good, no crap like Milka Nussine or Prinzenrolle. Big grin I repeat myself, but if the Governator AKA Arnold Sch. munches Mannerschnitten in T3, then this is my kind of food.  Big thumbs up *SCNR*

Nick

Edit: No, I never got them on-board. I said, they should pass out Mannerschnitten rather than Hanuta, but Mannerschnitten tend to produce a lot of small crumbs. Cleaning personell would go berserk.

[Edited 2004-06-07 16:16:31]

[Edited 2004-06-07 16:17:02]

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