Topic Author
Posts: 5195
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:43 am

DE B757-300 And HF A310-200 // STR-ACE-STR

Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:45 am

About the trip: In mid-november last year Condor announced a 24-hours special seat sale. As I want to do a trip to Lanzarote with my family in 2005 1´ve checked the fares and booked 3 one-ways STR-ACE on DE. The outbound fare was really good, but the expensive inbound gives DE a good average. What to do: Booked the inbound on AirBerlin.com, much cheaper than the special inbound DE fare.

09.04.2005 DE 6550 STR-ACE Condor B 757-300 D-ABOF
Scheduled: 15.00 / 18.20
Actual: 15.10 / 18.15
Gate 316 Seat 8B
Load factor near 100 %
Adult Fare: 39.-- EUR Child fare: 26.-- EUR

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Photo © Ralf Gerads
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Photo © Stefan Welsch

Delivered to DE: 13.03.1999, leased out to HV from 31.03.2003 till 01.09.2003

Condor check in was located in T3, handled by Lufthansa. We´re there at short before 1 pm. 3 desks staffed, 9 or 10 travellers in front, only time enough to take my papers and passports from my bag and than a middle-aged female agent was ready to check us in.
As we are early (pax 48-50) we had the wide selection of free seats to choose from. Seat 8 A-C, the last row in the front cabin area might be a good decision. The lady does here job professional, booked the miles on my LH Miles and More account and send us with a friendly smile to security after our bags disappeared in the bag tunnel. Not much activity there this saturday afternoon. Again 2 or 3 minutes to wait at security, strict as always and we´re allowed to enter the boarding area. Settled down at the eastern end of the new T3 building, not far from the assigned gate and viewed the traffic. A smoky DC-9 landed titled "The United States of America", a german registered BAE 146 (IMO WDL) operated an AF service from Paris CDG, a KL service from AMS was delayed, within 10 minutes the delayed F70 and the next scheduled ontime F70 arrived.
Nervous activity at our gate short after 2 pm, baggage trucks, handlers 6 or 7 people and our plane arrived from ACE. Handling was done by Losch Airport Service, if Godbless (Max) will read this report: Is this new since winter/summer timetable change, also Germanwings was handled by Losch (there are some "second hand busses" in service with them, not the usual airport busses)?.
D-ABOF arrived and parked at our gate. My 4th flight on the B 757-300 and the first on this plane.
Boarding started at 02.40 pm with the last rows first, we´re in the middle group. Welcomed by a female FA, presenting some womens magazines, not unfriendly but also not really friendly and reached our seats. The AC was fitted with fabric seats, looks like clean and in good conditions. The typical tourist flight load today, IMO 75% retired germans on the way to the sun, some familys with pre-school children like us and some young couples.
Push back short after 3 pm, a long taxi to the eastern holding point, good to follow by the onboard camera like the pilots view, direct access to the runway and a powerful departure in western direction.
Flight route: Black Forrest/BSL/Bern/GVA/LYS/TLS/MAD/XRY and along the african coastline to ACE. Lots of informations from the flightdeck during cruiseflight. A hot meal was served 1 hour after departure. Dont ask me what:
They called it chicken with rice Indian style, good to know, it will be an unanswered question what to eat this time. My wife had some pasta, also not much better. Best on the plate with some salad was the whoelmeal roll and the separate butter.
IMO its better a tasting sandwich than a bad hot meal.
The FAs do their job in the way, its a job, lets do it and hope it will end fast.
A middle aged male FA made some jokes along the flight, maybe he thought it was funny. If I was the purser I will sent him to an alcoholic test and IMO not all of the passengers are amused about his jokes.
The screens showed DE advertising and a annoying movie from 30 minutes after departure till 30 minutes before arrival, forget it.
Some heavy Clear-Air-Turbulences started over the Pyrenees. At this time most of the pax finished their meal and the FA´s are on the second run with cold drinks and coffee. The fasten seat belts sign flashed on and the FA´s had some troubles with hot coffee on the floor and so on, some pax crying, the film stopped, but no real problem. 5 - 10 minutes later the flight was again calm but we had nearly to wait for another hour till they picked up the trays.
Approch to ACE: We´re directed over the island to the sea, a sharp right turn and approach in northern direction, late and heavy touchdown, brakes and thrust reversers in action. Parked at the northern part of the airport, no finger this time. Deboarding by bus. I managed the rental car agreement until my wife and my son waited for the bags. 3 days = 81.-- EUR booked by TUICars, a new Seat Cordoba owned by AutoReisen.
I was back at the belt as the bags arrived and after a 15 minutes drive we reached our final destination this day: The Iberostar Costa Calero at Puerto Calero: 3 days halfboard = 288.-- EUR booked by Thomas Cook Online, a 2004 opened holiday resort near the new yacht harbour of Puerto Calero. A recommendable hotel for a relaxed holiday stay. We visited the Montanas del Fuego, El Golfe and enjoyed the sunny wheather.

12.04.2005 AB 4381 ACE-STR operated by HF 2158 A310-200 D-AHLX
Scheduled: 13.55 - 19.10
Acutal: 13.40 - 18.30
Gate 11 Seat 17A
Load Factor: near 100 %
Adult Fare: 106.-- EUR Child fare: 76.-- EUR

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Photo © Tomas Galla
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Photo © Alan Lebeda

Delivered to HF : 30.12.1988

At the time I´ve booked this flight the fare on AB was 20.-- EUROs per pax cheaper than the fare announced by HF. Conclusion: Booked on AB.
This time I´ve done a seat reservation (8.-- EUROs per seat) while my son
"needs" a window seat and the announced aircraft and the occupied seats at reservation said only a small chance for a free window row at check in at ACE.
We´re at the airport at 12.30, lucky, 3 desks staffed with female IB agents without any customers. I asked myself: We´re late?. But boarding passes show pax No.102-104 and after one elder friendly female ( a major change in IB´s personal policy, the third time in 2months checked in by a "friendly IB employee?) checked us in, IMO a bus arrived and lots of people rushed to the desks. The agent forgot to notice my AB Top Bonus card but I noticed it and she gave me another boarding pass with the printed number on without a problem or further question.
We crossed security at 12.40, the arrival board shows our plane was arrived ahead of schedule and at 12.50 boarding for the 13.55 flight started. I am a bit surprised, send my wife and son to the plane, done some shopping and was in the second lst group to board by bus the A310-200 which was parked at an outside position.
This was a familiar plane for me: The 4th time on the A310-200 and the 3th on this bird. Adviced by a male FA to board by the rear door, the plane dont show his age, well maintained and IMO fitted with newer fabric seats.
Welcome was friendly by the FA´s, one male and 5 to 6 females.
Free newspapers and magazines for us pax.
The captain informed us about the departure direction (northern, over the city of Arrecife) the wheight and some other flight details.
Traffic at ACE: Spanair MD83, Futura B737-800, Volar/LTE A321 and so on.
We entered the short runway, the engines spooled up, lifted the brakes and rushed down, a real powerful takeoff.
Flight route: ACE/Gibraltar/MAD/TLS/LYS/GVA/ZRH/STR.
After 30 minutes in flight they started service witha first run hot and cold drinks, than a second run with the hot meal (tasting chicken or a meat stick), 2 smal rolls, fresh fruits and a chocolate cream desert followed by another run with hot and cold drinks. This time it was good. The same load as on Saturday,
mostly retired germans.
Again some CATs around the Pyrenees, not so hard, and after they picked up the trays. Some more informations from the screens about the route this time but again a really annoying movie, save the money for it and invest it in other things!.
Map system started in the ZRH area again, the captain announced a approach from the east over the city of Plochingen, that means we´re apssing the airport on the southern side, direction clearly visible on the screen.
Short thereafter a sharp left turn and after a right turn, approach from the west?. I´ve had a lot of "Weidacher Höhe" approaches and IMO we are to hight, but with a steep descent we´re down at the runway, a soft touchdown and we left the runway at the end without thrust-reversers.
The female purser welcomed us at STR. The male FA short thereafter announced warm that this was her last flight with HF, she will leave Germany,
Destination: Australia.
Arrival at a finger gate. Bags on the belt with an DE B 757-300 service from FUE and SPC, 500 pax at one belt, not the place to relax!.

Conclusion: You get what you payed for!

Condor: Cheap fare, ontime flight, comfortable seat but forget the service
and FA´s always thinking: We had better times (money) with this
airline. I am sure, not all the pax payed the same small fare like us,
and if I´ve payed 150.-- EURos or more thats to much for it!

Hapag-Lloyd: Higher fare, ontime flight, lower comfortable seating but very
friendly FAs and a well managed service.

The decision is not easy, but HF has the better ranking this time.

Comments and Critics, also the small ones, always welcome,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Posts: 4288
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 5:16 pm

RE: DE B757-300 And HF A310-200 // STR-ACE-STR

Sun Apr 17, 2005 7:56 pm

Hi Markus,

nice report, interesting details about DE and HF. I have heard many similar stories, HF being much better than DE in terms of service. I personally cannot judge them, last time I flew DE and HF was some 20 years ago or even more - I was too young to remember.
But really low fare on DE. I'm wondering how long the holiday carriers will continue to serve hot meals.

Btw, how many miles do you get for such a flight?

Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
Posts: 8159
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: DE B757-300 And HF A310-200 // STR-ACE-STR

Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:00 am

Hey Markus,

Nice report and 2 vastly different A/C types.

I've still not managed a 753 flight and not flown the good old 312 for many years Sad

That DE fare was cheap, very cheap!!


Topic Author
Posts: 5195
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:43 am

RE: DE B757-300 And HF A310-200 // STR-ACE-STR

Mon Apr 18, 2005 4:36 am

Hi Udo,
also on this report, thanx for your reply.
IMO we had the most time with hot meals on such flights seen gone by.
Miles and More in the old standards pay 3000 miles for the Canary Islands
without consider what you paid for. Today DE has different booking classes for their flights, this time special low fare oneway = 750 M&M miles , another one way STR-PMI-XRY from early Feburary pays the same miles to my account.

Hi BA319-131,
thanx four your reply.
Rumours said that the DE B757-300s go to TCX for the next summer season = some more chances to fly them for you and about the A312, 2 of them leave the HF fleet late April for Sibir, the others by the end of the year, a low chance to fly them again.
Fare:Yes, I am really lucky that I´ve managed to book it for my small group.

Best regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Posts: 4411
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 1999 9:50 pm

RE: DE B757-300 And HF A310-200 // STR-ACE-STR

Tue Apr 19, 2005 2:10 am

Hi Markus!
Thank you very much for an interesting insight and a good comparison between two of our major players in the leisure market. Although I have only flown HF on one domestic leg and cannot really comment on them, my experiences with DE are just about the same like yours - mediocre service, which is good value for money if you do not pay much, but which is also not worth any extra money compared to their competitors.
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
Topic Author
Posts: 5195
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:43 am

RE: DE B757-300 And HF A310-200 // STR-ACE-STR

Tue Apr 19, 2005 5:00 am

Hi Jens,
experienced DE travellers know, what to talk about.
Thanx for you reply and
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Contact Air
Posts: 1143
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2001 4:13 am

RE: DE B757-300 And HF A310-200 // STR-ACE-STR

Fri Apr 22, 2005 4:14 am

Hi Markus,

interesting report - thanks for one more detailled view on German leisure carriers! You really do a lot of trips to Spain!

Having never been on HF so far, I can't comment on their service, but I basically agree with you about DE. After all, you get what you pay for, and DE is on average definately the cheapest way to travel compared to other German holiday airlines - even Air Berlin (who call themselves a low-cost carrier) usually has more expensive fares than DE.

Topic Author
Posts: 5195
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:43 am

RE: DE B757-300 And HF A310-200 // STR-ACE-STR

Fri Apr 22, 2005 5:05 am

Hi Christoph,
thanx for your reply.
Spain is not to expensive, especially for family travel and the probability of good wheather conditions in spring = the main reasons for my third (trip 1,3 and 5 this year) travel to a destination in spain this year. Ok, Portugal (trip No.4), is not so far away and DXB in February(trip No.2) was cancelled due to I was ill.
DE = I share your opinion. And about AB: The best fares I ever found on AB´s website = codeshare flights operated by HF.
Best regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Posts: 2847
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2001 3:16 am

RE: DE B757-300 And HF A310-200 // STR-ACE-STR

Sun May 01, 2005 4:23 pm

Hi Markus,

sorry for my late reply, your report was excellent, and with the B757-300 / A310-200 combination you got two rare aircraft types in one trip!

Always a pleasure to read your reports, especially because STR is always involved in these reports, and I always enjoy reading reports about our home airport.

Regards, Alex.
Topic Author
Posts: 5195
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:43 am

RE: DE B757-300 And HF A310-200 // STR-ACE-STR

Mon May 02, 2005 4:16 am

Hi Alex,
better a late comment, than no comment!
Thanx for your reply and
best regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)

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