A321-100 D-AIRD "Coburg"
Photo © Stefan Sjögren - Stockholm Arlanda Photography
July 2005 was a very rainy month in Austria and yes, I was glad to go to Alaska for a bit of sun...
This first flight was incidentally operated by the same A321 that had taken me from VIE to FRA two years before on my way to OSL. Considering the amount of 321s in LH's fleet, that's quite a coincidence.
Departure was on time, RWY in use was 29.
Taxiing out, passing OE-LDD:
After waiting for a CRJ to land and an DH3 to depart, it was our turn. Great spotting area down there:
Breakfast was nothing to write home about (and nothing to take apicture of, either ), just a standard roll and tea (with milk in my case).
You know what an A321 looks like, but anyway:
Approaching RWY 25L:
Having to clear US customs was unexpected, since our destination was YXY and not ANC, but anyway... The DE 767 had to use the US pier.
Customs were rather un-tightish, however (silly me) I had to get rid of a 10cm nail that I was still carrying in my bag that I had found some days before at a Vienna train station. The officer asked me whether it was possible that I had some kind of figure with a nail in my bag after x-raying my stuff and after a second of panic (Oh shit, don't arrest me, please don't! ) I pulled it out and told him to keep it...
Funny though, that VIE X-Ray didn't find it. I was carrying a rusty nail on a European flight. Ironically, today you can't even transport a bottle of mineral water... :/
B767-300ER originally D-ABUI, changed for D-ABUF
We were awaiting our 763 at the gate, I was looking forward to my first post-9/11 transatlantic flight.
About an hour before scheduled departure, D-ABUI pulled into the gate and I was glad to be on a yellow DE plane:
The plane was neatly cleaned:
But soon I realized that something was not really going according to plan:
"UI!", as us German speakers would say...
Soon after, ABUI was pulled away again. :sad:
A LH employee came on the PA and announced that the flight was delayed for technical problems with the nose gear (As if I hadn't known... ) and we were about to be bussed to another gate as the gate was needed for the LH flight to PDX.
It should be noted that, by that time, we had already passed the boarding pass controls and were basically trapped inside the gate area without toilets. The poor employee at the gate had to collect the passes from everyone leaving the gate for the toilet and was pretty stressed.
Pretty creative solution:
On the bus ride we were passing by some real beauties:
We were then "parked" in a waiting area below the pier that's used by UA and AA (don't know the name):
After another 30 mins we were finally bussed to our actual plane, D-ABUF which was waiting at a remote stand. Don't ask me who this grumpy guy is:
The interiors were SOOOO 1990s :
However, I found the seats to be quite comfy, although it seemed that the legroom was inferior to the LH and OS Europe fleets.
We then departed rather quickly. After all, we had lost a lot of time on the ground. DEP RWY was 25R:
Lunch was served over the North Sea and consisted of Chicken Breast with Meshed Potatoes and a Strawberry Cake. Pretty good:
View from row 40. I think it's terribly annoying that some people were standing in th aisle the whole 9 hrs flight long, blocking it and chatting VERY loudly...Not necessary...
Some images of the Arctic (north of Greenland!!!):
About an hour and a half out of YXY, a second meal was served:
We approached YXY straight from the north, without a major change in direction between FRA and YXY...
Yukon. No explanations needed for this immense beauty...
On short final, passing the city of Whitehorse to the west:
Looking along YXY's frost-proof runway:
The impressive terminal in YXY. YYZ, watch out!!!
What followed were two unbelievable weeks up north, touring the Yukon and Alaska. Pics including a water plane flight out of Lake Hood.
The inbound plane from FRA was delayed for about an hour. Apparently, this is normal... :lol:
There she is...
The cabin before departure:
I've only got a vid of take off and landing, perhaps I'll put them on YouTube later.
After the northbound departure:
Views of Canada's highest peaks:
Surprisingly, we had to fill in US immigration cards, even though our final dest was FRA. However, it appears that the US need as many biometrical data as possible, so they let the whole plane deplane and re-board again. Oh, America... Treats you like cattle when you try to get in (or don't!) and can be so very kind to you when you're there. The US don't deserve their airport immigration.
Approaching ANC over Cook Inlet. Very low tide...
ANC Intl gates. The blue T-shirt folks are pilgrims visiting the Catholic World's Youth Day in Cologne:
Departing ahead of a beautiful 732:
The city in the background:
Denali in all its glory:
Midnight sun at FL 350...
The funniest eastbound transatlantic flight I've ever experienced. Also one of the most beautiful. So much to see and so little time...
Calm European skies again:
Europe's skyscraper capital:
The loveliest N-registered airplane, NW's A330:
We were parking in exactly the same spot as upon leaving Europe, so we had another bus tour ahead of us. Ironically we could see our OS 320 leaving for VIE. Without us.
We had missed our OS connection home, but upon leaving the bus we already heard:
"Passagiere nach Wien? Passengers to Vienna?" and a very helpful male employee guided us towards the info counter and handed us our boarding cards for the next LH flight to Vienna. Just like that. Well done, LH!
While we were waiting for our flight to board, I did some mediocre spotting through the window panes:
A319-100 D-AILS "Heide"
For some obscure reason, our 319 was once again waiting at a remote stand...
On the way to RWY18, we passed our 763 a last time:
We circled around the city to the north and the east, just to finally arrive on RWY34...
Great spotting position below:
What else but a VO 100 to greet us?
Questions are very welcome. I'm just to tired to deliver a more detailed conclusion right now.