I had to spend 36,000 LH FF miles from the Miles & More programme before the end of September. That was just enough for an Internet-booked saver fare for 2 to anywhere in Europe, booked at the latest 14 days in advance. My wife and I chose to spend an extended week end in Warsaw.
It was not possible to book direct flights on LOT (although they are members of the Miles & More scheme). We thus selected the nice itinerary described hereunder.
1. BRU-MUC with EN on a CRJ 200
First flight on 2 July was LH 5879 codeshared UA 9103 (BRU 8:45 MUC 10:00), operated by the Italian affiliate of Lufthansa, Air Dolomiti (EN), on a Canadair CRJ 200 I-ADJB.
Photo © Gustavo Bertrán - IBERIAN SPOTTERS
We were at the airport early and got the boarding passes for the 2 flights of the day at the Lufthansa check-in desk. After a comfortable wait in the Diners Club lounge we went to gate A62 where the plane was waiting. Very soon we were called for boarding (as seen here, with my wife ready to board):
We had seats 11 C/D on the right side of the plane. The 48 seats were covered with a nice light green leather. Load factor was 80%. The crew was Italian, with only one flight attendant who never smiled and seemed bored to be there. The announcements were made in French, German and English, but no Italian.
After a timely take-off we were served a light breakfast: a small dry chocolate tart. As a drink I chose a delicious red orange juice from Sicily, followed by coffee.
The flight went smoothly, although the weather turned to rain for arrival at Munich. After landing a long taxiing took us to a faraway position from which we had to be bussed to the terminal. This worried us a little, since we had only 45 minutes to change planes.
In the brand new Terminal 2, we passed passport control, as we were leaving the Schengen area. Than I could for the first time see that magnificent new Lufthansa and Star Alliance terminal. The bad thing is that there are not enough gates to accommodate all the planes; more than half of them need busses for boarding.
2. MUC-WAW with LH on a B737-500
As soon as we arrived at the gate, the flight was called and we went to another bus. Our next flight was LH 5280 codeshared LO 5354 and UA (MUC 10:45 WAW 12:10), operated with a Boeing 737-500 D-ABIT "Neumunster".
Photo © Tomas Mellies
Because of the long bus trip, the flight was 10 minutes late. The load factor was low at 30%. We had seats 20 E/F, in the last row. The three flight attendants were very professional and smiling. After take-off under the rain, they served a light lunch: a cheese sandwich, a chocolate and cereal bar and an orange juice. I also had a 33 cl glass bottle of Beck's beer, an excellent product of Interbrew.
The weather cleared up for arrival at Warsaw, but the landing was rather bumpy. For the first time in my life, I could enter into new EU member Poland with just an ID card, and no passport.
3. WAW-VIE with LO on an ERJ 170
First leg of the return flight was LO 225 codeshared OS 8506 (WAW 17:25 VIE 18:45). It should have been another B737-500 according to the schedules. We were again early at the airport, allowing for a last Zywiec Polish beer (a 5.8% pilsner type). At the gate, it was announced that due to heavy traffic at Warsaw (which I did not see....) the flight would be delayed by 30 minutes: this was a cause for worry, because we had only 65 minutes to change at Vienna. Eventually we boarded and departed with only 15 minutes delay.
The bus took us to the plane, which, to my big surprise, was an Embraer 170 SP-LDE, almost fresh from factory (it had been delivered on 11 June). You cannot imagine how happy I was.
Photo © Krzysztof Skowronski [epwa_spotters]
My own picture:
The 70 seats were covered with a nice-looking grey and navy leather. The seat pitch was very comfortable and the overhead bins very large for a plane with 2-2 seating. Another of my pics:
Load factor was 70%. The two flight attendants were courteous, efficient and smiling. After take-off, they served a light dinner: a turkey sandwich,with a potato and radish salad. My wife took another Zywiec beer from a 33 cl can and I had French wine (Vin de Pays d'Oc Merlot-Grenache), and later tea (another specialty of Poland).
Upon arrival in the Vienna area, the pilot announced that ATC would delay us by a further 10 minutes. We thus landed 25 minutes late and had to rush through passport control to re-enter the Schengen area and from there to our next plane. We eventually made, and to our surprise, our checked baggage followed, as we later discovered in Brussels.
4. VIE-BRU with OS on an A320
Last flight was OS 357 (VIE 19:50 BRU 21:40). No codeshare this time! The plane was an Airbus A320 OE-LBT.
Photo © Guy Daems - Brussels Aviation Photography
Photo © Peter Unmuth - VAP
Load factor was a low 30%. Announcements in German and English with the traditional Airbus screens, plus tapes in French and Dutch (with a Flemish accent!). Take-off was on time. We were served another light dinner: curry salad with a roll of bread and water. I drank apple juice with it (I was driving later...) followed by tea, and my wife a 33 cl can of Gold Fass Austrian beer (only 4.6%). During the flight there was a small film, plus the itinerary and flight data on the screen.
Landing was 10 minutes early. Forty-five minutes later we were at home after a trip full of nice memories.