Anyhow, about 2 weeks ago, I was surprised by a member of my employer's management, informing me that, because of my work these last 12 months since joining the company, they had decided to give me an extra gratification, and that turned out to be an (almost-)all-expense-paid trip to South Africa for about a week (I took two extra days off, and had to pay for my hotel and for the rental car myself).
While I've been to South Africa before (actually, 11 times before), I've always loved the country, so I was thrilled - not just about the trip, but also about the fact that the company I work for does seem to be quite happy with my work. Ok - enough patting myself on my own back now...
So I started looking for flights to Cape Town, only to find out that almost all flights had already been booked enough so that I wouldn't be getting any agent's discount for my ticket... fortunately, management agreed without hesitation that I could simply travel on a ticket booked at a regular fare.
After booking my flights, I issued my tickets - electronic tickets, since I really hate paper tickets - and, just a few days later, found myself on the suburban train taking me to the airport (which is where I'm writing these lines right now).
Check-In went like a breeze, took about 3-5 minutes: there was no queue, and I found out that there were still some seats open on the flight (roughly 60) - maybe I'll be lucky and have an empty seat next to me, and if not, I might just relocate myself (if my neighbor doesn't do so) to have a bit more room to sleep.
Since SAA had not been able to get me confirmed seats for an AD ticket in either Economy or Business, they at least immediately confirmed an Emergency Exit row seat for me, so that I'd have enough room for my legs - I'm 1.89m tall, so seat pitch is rather important...
After checking in, I went through security and customs - security taking about 5 minutes, customs about 1 minute - and went on to my gate.
Date: 9. June 2005
Depart: Frankfurt at 20:45, Terminal 1, Gate B28
Arrive: Johannesburg at 07:25 on 10. June 2005
Equipment: Airbus A340-600, ZS-SNA
Seat: 45A, Window, Emergency Exit
Photo © Denis Roschlau
Photo © Zak Economides
Boarding started a little late, it was planned for 20:00, but actually commenced around 20:15; as a result of that, we eventually were late leaving the gate - not sure by how much, since I didn't have my watch with me, but I guess it was around 21:00. Afterwards, we stood next to the terminal for around 10 more minutes, waiting for dozens of planes and vehicles to drive or taxi by. During this time, the engines were started, and then we were moving. Comparing the noise to that of the A340-300, I'd say the -600 is a bit louder on the ground... then again, who really cares what amount of noise a plane makes on the ground - it's "in flight" that matters.
Just to get back to the issue of the seats for a moment - when I arrived at my seat, 45C was already occupied... by a person wide enough to fill almost two seats. And the next surprise was the width, more specifically, the lack of width of the seat (aside from the guy in the next seat "spilling" into mine): I guess that's what the other people who mentioned 45A were talking about when they said that it was somewhat uncomfortable, regardless of the massive amount of legroom.Anyhow, 46A/C remained empty, so I simply relocated myself that one row back - that way, I had two seats for myself, even if I now had a window seat without a window...
So here I was, making myself comfortable in 46C - I took the aisle seat for the time being, because I really didn't see any advantage in the windowless window seat, and I can only say that I truly do not understand what all the fuss is about regarding the pitch on these planes.
Sure, it's not as generous as the B747-200s, -300s and SPs (have never flown on SAA's -400s, so I cannot compare it to them) were, but it's nowhere near as bad as some make it seem: I'd say it's about the same level as Swiss, in other words - better than Lufthansa (which, regarding Economy Class comfort isn't necessarily something to be proud of in itself, but it's a start).
Obviously, because of my height, I had the usual problem of not really being able to see what was displayed on the PTV, so I had to duck down a bit - because one thing I certainly didn't want to miss was the outside camera... or the three outside cameras.
Eventually, I had the tail-mounted camera on most of the time, because I found that to be the most interesting view; then again, I had two PTVs at my disposal, so I had the other switched to the front camera.
So, here we were, taxiing towards the runway, stopping twice to let planes cross our path. At around 21:20 we entered the active runway, waiting for a few moments for an Austrian Arrows Dash 8, which had entered the runway a few feet down the way, to take off, and then the four RR Trents spooled up. Again comparing it with the A340-300, I'd say... well... ok... no real comparison possible. While I still love the A340-300, I think it's now moved to the second place in my personal hitlist of longhaul aircraft: the volume of the engines of the -600 just doesn't increase much during the takeoff roll, and it stays nice and quiet all the time; in terms of accelleration, I'd say the A340-600 is quite close to the B777-200ER - maybe not quite as quick, but very close.
The takeoff roll was quite long, but the plane was filled with cargo and there weren't that many seats open, so I guess that would explain it; takeoff itself was quite smooth and not very steep.
A while later the seatbelt signs went off, and the cabin crew started the service.
The "Bar Service" was the first pass through the cabin - this ended with me having a bottle of mineral water on my table, accompanied by an orange juice and, last but not least, a bottle of Boland Kelder 2004 Chardonnay - the latter was a bit too wooded for my taste, but what can you say - quite a few of South Africa's wines are heavy on the oak flavor, the ones that aren't are some of my favorite wines. So much for, on some airlines, the discussion to get the whole can of the softdrink you wanted to have...
Next, one of the flight attendants came through the cabin with the special meals - which is where I got my dinner set in front of me: while I haven't had a lot of vegetarian meals on planes - I've only been a vegetarian for about half a year - I'd say this one, especially the main course, ranks at the very top: it consisted of pasta with vegetables (broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, bamboo sprouts) in a spicy sauce, and it was absolutely fabulous.
The starter was a small salad, including a tomato filled with egg and corn, the tray also included the - always present - crackers, cheese and chocolate. Unfortunately, the desert consisted of two types of melons, to which I have rather uncomfortable alergic reactions, as well as a half a strawberry, some orange slices and a grape - those last three things, I ate.
By the way - by now, we had passed overhead of Zürich and Milan, had gone past Florence and were heading for the coast a bit north of Rome, on a southward heading that would - according to the map - make us fly past Palermo a bit to the west, as well as Tripolis a bit to the east.
By now, we were 1204km/751mi along our route, our estinated time of arrival had changed from 7:46 down to, currently, 7:34, and we still had some 7534km/4680mi ahead of us - and we were flying with 10141m/33272ft of air between us and the ground, with the ground passing below us at a speed of 952km/h or 593mph.
One comment to the lighting - I've long preferred the lighting in Airbus cabins to the one that Boeing uses, specifically because the lights in Airbus' cabins are "whiter" (not as yellow - for lack of a better description), and this plane was no exception - but there was one improvement over other Airbus-planes that I've been on: the personal reading lights now seemed almost like LED lights, a light that I found extremely comfortable while reading.
By now, the plane had actually become a lot quiter than before, but not because of the plane itself - I had asked for, and received, some earplugs, which I was planning on using while I was asleep... but the person sitting accross the aisle from my seat was making such disgusting noises with either his throat or nose that I decided to use the plugs earlier.
Currently, at 22:51, the crew is passing through the cabin and collecting the meal trays - and this will now, most likely, conclude the part of this trip report that I'm writing today.
Just one more thing I wanted to mention - the entertainment system that SAA has on board seems quite nice, and the selection of movies and TV programming is really quite extensive - the list of films available on this flight is: Be Cool, Drom, Hitch, Lackawanna Blues, Million Dollar Baby, Robots, The Pacifier, Sophiatown, Hulchul, Blackmail, National Treasure, Hide and Seek, Racing Stripes, Phantom of the Opera, Coach Carter, In Good Company, and Cry The Beloved Country.
As usual, I won't be watching a single one of them, instead preferring to sleep...
It's now 1 hour and 52 minutes prior to arrival, we've passed Lubumbashi and Ndola a short while ago and are currently heading for Lusaka - it's still dark outside, but traces of the sunrise are already visible, and - as always - it looks stunning.
Our current altitude is 11368m/37295ft and the outside temperature has gone down to not so comfortable -49°C/-56F, and we have 1358km/843mi left to go.
To some extent, I guess I'll need to ammend my comments about the seat pitch from earlier: the pitch is actually quite good, it's those annoying boxes for the IFE that make the whole thing somewhat uncomfortable. Nonetheless, I was able to get around 6 1/2 hours of sleep, so I am reasonably rested.
Once again, the special meals were served first, and my breakfast, just as my dinner, was very tasty - the fruit selection this time was a bit more diverse, and while it again contained melons (which I'm not complaining about - there's no way SAA could have known that I have an alergic reaction to them), there were several strawberrys in there this morning... the last of which I popped into my mouth just as we passed the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe over Lake Kariba.
By now, the sunrise had started turning brighter, and according to the inflight-map, we were now just 848km/526mi from our destination, with a remaining travel time of 1:13... out location is about halfway between Lake Kariba and Bulawayo, flying due south, at an altitude of 11977m/39294ft, flying at 887km/h or 552mph.
Our descent began at 6:56 and was calm, the outside camera presented beautiful views, especially as we were skimming the clouds. A few turns later, about 4 or 5 minutes prior to landing, just after the landing gear had been extended, the crew did something that I still fail to understand: they deactivated the IFE and, with that, the outside cameras - especially the landing would have been great to see on this, but unfortunately, that wasn't possible.
At 7:16 we touched down on Johannesburg International Airport's runway 21L, with the pilot using up the whole runway: when we turned off the runway, we were at the end of it. Our landing was followed by a very long taxi towards the terminal, which took us alongside SAA's colorful B747-300 Ndizani - but we never got to the terminal itself: we had been assigned an outside parking position.
So there we were, around 300 passengers getting off the plane waiting to catch a bus... and if anyone from ACSA (Airport Company of South Africa) or from Equity Aviation, the people who operate the ground services - at least those for SAA - reads this: PLEASE TEACH YOUR DRIVERS HOW TO DRIVE WITH PEOPLE ON BOARD!!!
The driver of the bus I was on seemed to be wanting to present the accelleration- and decelleration-capabilities of his bus, because accellerating and decellerating was basically all he did, even when the road was straight and no other traffic in the way... and his maneuvers would not at all qualifiy as smooth... which really isn't a good idea with a bus filled with about 50 people, most of which were standing.
Anyhow, once I was in the terminal, I was pleasantly surprised that the queues for immigration were extremely short - the longest one had three people waiting. Needless to say, about 5 minutes later, I was standing at the baggage caroussel, waiting for my bag. Once I had that, I proceeded through customs and was in the public part of the terminal, walking directly to the counter to re-check my baggage for my onward flight to Cape Town.
Seeing that the line here was quite long, I decided to walk over to the domestic terminal to re-check my bag there - and along the way it dawned on me that, with the opening of the new domestic terminal, the distance between the international and domestic terminals had increased. So there I was, walking past the ruins of what used to be the domestic terminal, and arrived at the new terminal.
First impression: huge improvement!
The old domestic terminal was somewhat of a dump, the new one is everything but - unless, of course, you walk past gates C13 and D1 to gates C12 and lower, because that part is essentially still the old terminal...
Date: 10. June 2005
Depart: Johannesburg at 09:00, Domestic Terminal, Gate C13
Arrive: Cape Town at 11:10
Equipment: Boeing B737-800 (Winglets), ZS-SJC
Seat: 31F, Window
Photo © Andrew Beckett
Photo © Fanie Kleynhans
When I took a look at my boarding card, which I had been issued in Frankfurt yesterday evening, I realized that I was already checked in as the 114th passenger - and that was more than 12 hours prior to the flight! Well... that's what you get when you're on the standard connecting flight for several international arrivals.
By coincidence, this plane was the exact same one that I had flown on before - so now I've flown on SAA's B737-800s twice, once on 5 October 2000 from Cape Town to Johannesburg and now on the same route, just the other way around. The only difference was that, in 2000, ZS-SJC had not yet been fitted with winglets.
The flight was full, not a single seat empty. Just before we were meant to leave, an armoured vehicle drove up to the side of the plane, several guards armed with machine guns appeared, and a metallic box was transferred from the vehicle to the plane - whatever it was, it seems to have been quite valuable, considering the safety measures.
Anyhow, we pushed back exactly on time and were on our way, taxiing towards runway 21R. Along the way we passed, amongst others, an Air Zimbabwe B737-200 (Z-WPC), an Ethiopian Airlines B737-700 and several SAA planes; next to the A340 that I'd arrived on I could now see Nationwide's B767-300, which had arrived in the meantime.
Then we were on the runway, and due to the weight of the plane again used up quite a bit of it - while we went past SAA's maintenance area, I could see several parked white B747-300s, as well as B737-200s and TAAG Angola's B747-300.
After takeoff, we flew past Jo'burg Downtown, made a turn and were heading towards Cape Town; the altitiude for our flight would be 9500m, because the pilot wanted to keep us out of turbulence... didn't work for long, at around 9:50 the turbulences began, just around the time we passed the town of Kimberley, with it's "Big Hole", an old diamond mine, prominently visible in the middle.
The cabin crew then started the first of 5 passes through the cabin for meals and drinks - well, one for the snack and 4 for drinks. There was a choice between a chicken sandwich and a mozzarella and carrot sandwich, so I expected that there would not be a special vegetarian meal for me - about halfway through my sandwich, another one was placed before me... the vegetarian special meal.
Aside from the girl sitting behind me constantly trying to push my seat forward so that she would have more space to herself, the rest of the flight was ok... and I hadn't even reclined my seat.
When we started our descent into Cape Town, one of the pilots informed us about the weather - clear skies, light northerly wind, 9°C, so rather cold... but, then again, it is winter down here right now. Again a few minutes later, we flew by the snow-covered Matroosberg (but that was on the other side of the plane, so I didn't see it), and Ceres Valley, and soon afterwards, Cape Town came into view. We made a turn to the left, and I got a great view of Table Mountain (which I've seen so often, either from a plane of from the ground - but, so far, had never been on top of - which changed that afternoon).
After overflying the beach, we made a 180 degree turn and were on the ground a few minutes ahead of schedule.
On our way to the terminal we passed the South African Government's BBJ and were parked at the far left-hand-side of the terminal; the walk to the terminal itself was a bit of a distance, and it took a while for my bag to arrive, but - finally - I had arrived.
Here I am now, in seat 59G on my flight back to Frankfurt... but I'll just "rewind" a bit... ... after all, this is not my first flight of the day.
Anyhow, I spent the last few days in Cape Town, had two days of absolutely brilliant weather, two days of absolutely horrible weather and two days that alternated between the two. Even though I'd been to Cape Town numerous times before, I had - so far - never managed to go up to the top of Table Mountain, but this time, it finally worked, and now, 11 years after my first visit to Cape Town, I finally got to see it from the mountain that so beautifully overlooks the city.
Unfortunately, as with all nice things, this trip had to end sometime - and that time was this morning. After saying goodbye to the colleagues that had also taken this trip, I checked out and drove to the airport; I filled up the tank of my rental car, parked it in the parking lot for rental returns, left the key in the office and was on my way to the check in counter; there was a bit of a queue since it was a bit of an early flight, but after a few moments, I was checked in for both of my flights - the one to Johannesburg as well as the one to Frankfurt.
Date: 16. June 2005
Depart: Cape Town at 08:00, Gate 14
Arrive: Johannesburg at 10:00
Equipment: Airbus A319-100, ZS-SFK
Seat: 16B, Middle Seat
Photo © Zak Economides
Photo © Andrew Beckett
No, I had not reserved a middle seat - and I only noticed that I had been given one when I was through security.
Unfortunately, no-one could help me with that problem, because the flight was full.
Boarding started roughly on time, everyone was in the plane quite quickly (though, once again, the bus driver from the terminal to the plane seemed to have won his drivers licence in the lottery), and at least my fellow passengers of row 16 were both of rather narrow build, so I didn't expect any problems.
The first setback came before we had even left the ground: the girl sitting in the window seat closed the blind half way down, so I couldn't see anything. Then my neighbor in the aisle seat fell asleep, his head slowly sliding onto my shoulder... when I tapped his shoulder to wake him up, since his head was already fully resting on my shoulder, he actually was annoyed that I had woken him up.
He was even more annoyed when I told him that I really didn't give a damn if he was annoyed, because I simply didn't want to act as his pillow.
Around that time, breakfast was served and, once again, I got my meal way before the others got theirs, because of the special meal I had ordered. It consisted of scrambled eggs, hash browns, some fruit and a roll - it was reasonably good.
The seats, by the way, were the most comfortable seats I had ever sat in on a shorthaul plane: they were Recaro seats, and it really surprised me that they were comfortable, because I'd had some rather uncomfortable experiences on seats by the same company on previous flights - but these seats were truly comfortable.
The rest of the flight, by the way, was uneventful, up to - and including - our arrival in Johannesburg, which was a couple of minutes ahead of the scheduled time.
Even the bus ride to the terminal was unsurprising, because - once again - the bus driver seemed to have absolutely no idea of how to actually drive a bus while it's filled with people...
In Jo'burg, I then headed up to the observation deck and was, for now, pleasantly surprised: big, somewhat clean, windows, and vending machines in case you needed something to drink or a snack. I got some nice pictures, all of which will, as tradition has it, most likely be rejected by this website....
During the day, I sent fellow member SA006 an SMS, asking if he'd meet me at the airport - which he later did; we took a ride around JNB with his father at the wheel, and I got to know some great new spots for spotting. Unfortunately the time was already somewhat advanced, and the winter sun was setting fast, so after roughly an hour, I was back at the airport - but in any case, I can only say: THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME!!!
So, here I was, back at the airport and waiting for my departure to Frankfurt - since I had already checked in that morning in Cape Town, I, fortunately, didn't have to go queue up for that again. I proceeded directly to security, which went by quickly, and passport control, which took ages, and found myself in the departure area. Since I still had some time, I did some last minute shopping.
After I was through with that, I proceeded to my gate and waited another few minutes before boarding began, again, roughly on time...
Date: 16. June 2005
Depart: Johannesburg at 19:10, International Terminal, Gate 4
Arrive: Frankfurt at 05:55, Terminal 1, on 17. June 2005
Equipment: Airbus A340-600, ZS-SNA
Seat: 74D, aisle seat - later 59G, also aisle seat
Yes, the second time on this trip, I got a plane that I had been on before, just that the difference between the two flights on ZS-SNA is a mere week, instead of the almost five years in the case of ZS-SJC.
When I got to my seat, I found someone sitting in it... bad start to a flight. I asked him what seat he had, and he told me that he had 74E - so I, politely, told him that he was sitting in 74D which was my seat (for those that don't know, that seat has no other seat in front of it, so it has loads of legroom).
Instead of moving to his seat, he started arguing - that he didn't think that 74D was the aisle seat, but 74E. By this point I was getting slightly annoyed, so I asked him why he thought that, while in the normal alphabet, the letter C is followed by D and then E, why on a plane that would suddenly be rearranged to read 74C (aisle) 74E 74D...
... he still didn't get it.
Then I showed him the sign that clearly read 74E middle / 74D aisle...
... now he started believing me.
So he moved to the middle seat, and launched right into complaint-mode, about how bad an airline SAA was, that everything had been better if he'd flown Lufthansa (yeah, right...) and that this would be a very bad flight...
At that point, I had had it.
Don't get me wrong - I love having legroom available to me, but I also don't want some constantly complaining idiot sitting next to me; and since he was travelling with his wife (who wasn't much behind him in the complaining-league), I decided to exchange legroom for a quiet seat.
So, I moved to 59G, an aisle seat that had a free seat next to it, so it was reasonably comfortable. Once again, by the way, I cannot really understand the exaggerated fuss that's almost constantly being made about the pitch: I'm currently sitting in my seat, with my notebook in my lap and the screen at a good (readable) angle, something that I don't even come close to on Lufthansa and some others, and my legs and knees have space available to them... I am reasonably comfortable.
While changing my seat, I was accompanied by a crew member, whom I also told that I had reserved a special meal and that they'd have to - obviously - now not bring it to 74D but 59G. He said "Ok, I'll take care of that".
About 10 minutes later, a different crewmember stood next to my seat asking for my name - which I gave him; he then launched into a mini-lecture about changing seats when you've got a special meal, telling me that I should have informed the crew.
He was a bit surprised when I told him that his fellow crewmember who had helped my find this seat had very well been informed by me about just that - he apologised and gave me my dinner.
I have no idea what that dinner actually was, but it was superb! It seemed somewhat like rice wrapped in pasta, together with some vegetables and loads of curry... if anyone has an idea what that dish could be (and what it's called), please tell me!
As usual, the meal was accompanied by a salad including dressing, a roll, desert (a small piece of cake) - and the bar service left a bottle of Simonsig Chenin Blanc of 2004, a pack of Ceres Mango Juice and a bottle of mineral water at my table.
All of it was very good.
While the meal was served, we had already left South African airspace, crossed through a bit of Botswana and were about at the level of Bulawayo - and I finished eating about halfway between beautiful Lake Kariba and Lusaka.
Currently, we're about to cross the border between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, heading straight for Lubumbashi; we're cruising at 10794m/35413ft, have already travelled a distance of 1532km/953mi, and have about 8 hours and 29 minutes left to go... and I'm about to go to sleep.
There's just nothing like a good night's sleep - and, on this flight, that's exactly what I got.
I fell asleep roughly around Lusaka, when I woke up we had already passed Palermo, so a rough estimate would be that, of the 10 hours 40 minutes flight time, I spent the first two hours awake as well as the last 1 hour 45 minutes: just under 7 hours of sleep.... I often don't get that much sleep at home...
Minutes after I woke up, my breakfast got served - scrambled eggs with vegetables in a tomato sauce, müsli, fruit (apple, pineapple, melons) and a croissant. The food was, again, quite tasty.
By now, we've got about 65 minutes of flight time left and we're about to overfly the Italian coast about halfway between Genoa and Florence; the sun is already rising, which I can see through some of the open windows as well as through those two outside cameras that are available.
Our current altitude, as we cross the coastline at La Spezia, is 12319m/40410ft. The distance left to fly is 691km/427mi, and our remaining flight time is 63 minutes - currently, we're scheduled to land ahead of schedule at 05:40... wouldn't mind if we could make that, because I have to be at the office at 10:00 - and that would give me more than enough time to freshen up before walking to the office.
Since the battery of my notebook is now starting to run a bit low, I'll have to stop writing now, as we're passing through Swiss airspace - my PTV is still set on the tail-mounted camera, the plane is now fully visible even though the sun has not risen above the horizon quite yet... and I can see the contrails forming from the two inboard engines...
A few minutes after the breakfast trays were taken away, the announcement was made that we'd be commencing our descent into Frankfurt; at something around 15000 to 20000ft we went through a bit of turbulence, but nothing really rough. About three turns later, we were on the direct course for Frankfurt's runway 25R - we touched down at 05:38; after another 8 minutes, the plane was parked at the gate, and I had arrived back home... or at least at the airport of my hometown.
From here on, everything went quite quickly, even though it, at first, didn't seem that way: the queue at immigration was enormous, but suddenly about 75% of the people standing in line went away, because they seemed to be part of a group: so suddenly, I was the third person in line. As usual, the officer at the desk only took a look at the picture, looked at me, seemed to think that the two have a reasonable amount of similarity and let me pass.
I then went on to the baggage carrousel, where - to my surprise - the bags were already arriving: at 06:14, I had my bag in my hand, went through customs and got a slight shock when I saw that I only had three minutes to get to the train station before the next train to town would leave. I ran, and got the train. After my usual connection at the main train station, I arrived at my local train station precisely one hour after my flight had touched down.
SAA still has high standards - they easily outclass airlines like Lufthansa and, to a slightly lesser extent, British Airways or Scandinavian Airlines; the seats themselves are very comfortable, but the fact that economic realities have forced SAA to reduce the seat pitch does not go unnoticed - then again, as I've mentioned before, it's really nowhere near as bad as some have tried to make it sound. I'll agree though, those boxes for the IFE really are annoying.
But those two main gripes are being addressed anyhow - SAA is experimenting with smaller IFE boxes, and they've started reconfiguring the A340-600s with less seats: it won't be the pitch it used to be, but it'll be better than what it is right now.
As for the IFE, as usual, I didn't really use it - I had the flight map on and, whenever it was light enough outside, either the tail camera or the front mounted camera. But from what I've heard from other passengers, the rest of the system seems to be quite nice as well - it is AVOD, I've seen passengers fast-forwarding and/or rewinding, pausing etc. the films they were watching.
The meals were of good quality, somewhere between tasty and very good - not something that can be said of too many airline meals these days.
For both longhauls, by the way, small bags with things like socks, eye-covers and a toothbrush and toothpaste were given out, on both flights I also received - on request - earplugs, which I need to sleep on planes.
Would I fly SAA again? Without a second's worth of hesitation.
Would I recommend SAA to others? Absolutely.
I'll leave you now with a few images that I took this morning on approach into Frankfurt... I'm really surprised that I got this all done now - it's currently 08:43, three hours after my arrival in Frankfurt, and another hour and 15 minutes to go before I have to be at the office... I'll just go get my next cup of coffee now...
Still at cruise level, with the beginning of sunrise visible
Over the southeastern suburbs of Frankfurt, our last turn towards the airport
Overflying the Autobahn, airport already visible
Over the Autobahn A5
Seconds till touchdown
At our parking position