STR-PMI (written by Alex/Ndebele)
16 March 2005
Seats 19E and 19F
first flight 29 January 2001
Still with Thomas Cook titles
Photo © Sascha Haberkorn
Some earlier photos of this aircraft, when it had different titles and tail stickers:
Photo © Stefan Welsch
Photo © Paul Spijkers
Christoph (Contact Air) and I (Alex/Ndebele) were using Condor's "late night" check in, which is every evening from 18:00 till 20:00 for flights leaving the next morning before 12:00. We arrived at the counter in Terminal 3 by 17:55, and after about ten minutes queuing we were checked in by a friendly Lufthansa agent and got our boarding passes for both STR-PMI and PMI-VLC.
Photo © Markus Moßhammer
The next morning I met Christoph at the train station, and our train arrived at the airport at 06:45. After buying some breakfast at the bakery, we went through security straight to gate 333. The gates in Terminal 3 offer a nice view, sun was just rising, so I took this photo of D-AICK being readied for our flight to PMI:
At 07:10, boarding by seat rows began.
With row 19, we were in the third group for boarding. On board, the friendly cabin crew consisting of five women welcomed us aboard, free newspapers were offered, and we took our seats 19E and 19F. This flight promised to become rather full, not many of the 174 seats remained empty. A short welcome from the cockpit, doors were closed and soon we were pushed back, on time, maybe a few minutes late.
Condor's A320s have flatscreens installed every four or five rows. On these screens they showed the safety video. While taxiing to runway 25, I took this photo of an LGW Do228-100 - how nice, I really need to fly on one of these Dorniers one day.
After the landing of an Austrian A320, we entered the runway (you can still see the OS A320 in the far distance):
Then we were cleared for take-off, and soon we were airborne. Sitting on the right-hand side of the aircraft, we had a nice view over the airport, and I took these two photos.
General aviation ramp, I think those Gulfstreams belong to Daimler Chrysler Aviation:
Terminal 1, 2, 3 and 4. There are two LH B737s being re-fueled at Terminal 1 and a DBA B737s and an LTU A320 ready for boarding at Terminal 3; please also note the construction site for the "Fildermesse" which can be seen above the terminals:
It had been snowing quite a lot here in Stuttgart during the past four weeks, but the day before our flight, spring had finally arrived. A few minutes after departure I took a photo of Böblingen:
And here are some fields, as you can see they were still covered with snow, although we had temperatures of around 15°C that day:
We turned southwest, towards the Black Forest. On the screens they showed the on-board camera, the map and the usual information about speed, altitude, etc.
Headphones were sold for 3€, but I had brought my own headphones from home, so I listened to some music. Later they showed a program about Condor destinations, with audio available in German (channel 1) and English (channel 2). The other 10 audio channels offered some music, comedy and a children's program.
Our routing was Stuttgart - Freiburg - Basle - Berne- Geneva - Lyon - Marseille - Mallorca. On this photo you can see the city of Basle, with the airport in the upper left of the photo:
The five flight attendants (all female) started serving the meals, consisting of a sandwich (cheese or ham) and a yoghurt. I had the cheese sandwich and a Coke:
The (rather boring) program about the Condor destinations was finally over, so now they showed some Road Runner / Coyote episodes on the screens, great, these Coyote cartoons are so funny, I like them a lot:
But the view out of the window was much more entertaining, here's a photo of Geneva:
And two photos of the Alps, I was very impressed:
Near Marseille, we crossed the Mediterranean Sea and started our descend. This photo shows the famous Cape on the north end of Mallorca, I forgot the name, but I remember having been there with my parents about 10 years ago...
We crossed the island from north to south, passed the airport on our right-hand side:
...and this is the moment when I realized that I had forgotten my spare akkus for my camera at home, so this was the last photo I took on that day.
Flying over water again, we made a 180° turn to the right and approached PMI from the sea:
Photo © Dario Crusafon - Iberian Spotters
Then we taxied to our parking position. The ramp was quite busy on this wednesday morning: Condor had their PMI hub with several A320s and B757-300s, and in addition to that, there were lots of HF and AB B737s for the AB/HF PMI hub. We left the aircraft through the rear exit and were bussed to the terminal building.
We proceeded to the gate for our connection to VLC. This was also the meeting point with Jens/TriStar500, who had arrived from DUS about half an hour before. Jens had brought us some DUS airport magazines (thanks again), and as it was still early, we decided to walk around the gates and have a look at the new PMI airport - both Jens and Christoph had been to PMI recently, but my last PMI visit was about 10 years ago, Condor had still used DC-10s on this route back then, yes it was really long ago since my last PMI visit, so I was impressed how much everything has changed at PMI. The windows of the gate area offer some decent views outside, unfortunately all traffic consisted of more or less only AB, HF and DE aircraft at that time. So we walked back to our gate for the flight to VLC, where boarding started by 10:30.
The PMI-VLC-PMI flights, written by Christoph and Jens, will be part of Jens' DUS-PMI-VLC report which is going to be released later this week.
PMI-STR (written by Christoph/Contact Air)
16 March 2005
Seats 14E and 14F
first flight 29 January 2001
Still with Thomas Cook titles
Photo © Paulo carvalho
Photo © Sören Klinger
After having arrived from VLC, Alex and me headed to the exit of the gate area in order to get our boarding passes for our flight to STR. Jens came with us, although he had already got his onward boarding pass at VLC. We found two
check-in counters open for STR and there were no queues at all. Handling was done by Ineuropa Handling, a joint-venture of Acciona and Fraport. There were two ladies at our counter, one was talking to us in German and translating to hear colleague who was doing the check-in process. She told us that they couldn't find our names on their list. We replied that we had already arrived from VLC, where they weren't able to give us our boarding passes for the onward journey. One of the agents took our passports and went to an other counter to talk to her supervisor. Jens was already kidding that Alex and me would probably have to stay at PMI (after all not a too bad thought with sunny 20 degrees… ) or buy a last minute ticket… But finally the agent returned, and we got our boarding passes with seats 14E and 14F. Now we had to pass security check again which went quite quickly. We proceeded to the gate area again, where we still had some time for spotting and chatting. When the flight to DUS was ready for boarding, Alex and me said good bye to Jens and waited for our flight to STR which was the last one of the DE-flights to leave. It was D-AICK again, the same aircraft that had brought us in from STR in the early morning.
Boarding was announced and we walked down the jet bridge. The cabin crew had changed since our outbound flight, but I was surprised to hear the same captain on the speaker again. Wow, that's a really long working day…
We took our seats in the exit row which offered slightly more leg space than the other rows. Again a nearly full flight; obviously the cheap tickets fill the seats even on a Wednesday in the off-season. It is not surprising that the majority of the passengers were elderly people.
Push-back started, and we made our way to the runway. After a First Choice Airlines 752 it was our turn for take-off. Once again great views; after a U-turn also to Menorca.
Flight route was over the Mediterranean Sea to Marseille - Geneva - Bern - Zurich via the Lake Constance to Stuttgart.
Service was similar to the outbound flight; this time choice was between cheese or salami sandwich, plus a yoghurt and a drink. As they still had some sandwiches left, they came around again later for a second round of food service - nice gesture!
The screens showed the pictures from the outside camera during take-off and landing again. During flight there was the same mixture of destination information, lifestyle, sports and cartoons (this time Tom and Jerry).
It was still clear outside which offered some good views onto the Alps once again. When we crossed the Lake Constance, dusk had already begun. We approached into STR from the East which meant we had to fly a U-turn.
After landing we taxied to the parking position in front of Gate 333 - the same place where we had started our journey in the morning. We left the aircraft and made our way to the train station.
This was the end of an entertaining day-trip with a lot of flying, spotting and chatting. It was nice to meet Jens and to do two flights together.
So this was Christoph's and my part of this trip, thanks for reading, we hope you enjoyed it, and if you did, feel free to reply.