Hello everyone, its been awhile since i posted a trip report, and my trip from CLE-SEA was a direct red-eye and less than interesting!
Pardon the pics, i used my Sony Cybershot U, which is tiny, but doesnt take the best shots (not compared to my 30D)
So here is a nice trip for you. This trip was planned at our company in about March, and it was finally time to take it. 5 of us would be visiting the EMO Machine Tool Show in Hannover, Germany. We went 2 years ago, and got a lot out of it, so we planned early and knew it would be worthwhile.
On monday the 17 we all worked until about noon, and reconviened to take a van to the airport. We checked our bags all the way thru from CLE to HAJ and never had to deal with them again, which was nice. The first flight was on a CRJ to IAD to hit our main connection.
The flight was UA 7135 on a CRJ-200.
This was the culprit
My Brother in law tom seated next to me.
Bulkhead legroom aint what it used to be.
The plane showed up a bit late and we sat on the ground for awhile due to a ground stop at IAD. We made up some time in the air, and while we had less time than planned, had to problems hitting the connection.
after taking the monster truck from one terminal to the international terminal, we arrived at the gate just in time for boarding. unfortunately, the pilot was talking to a maintenence guy, and they delayed boarding a bit. this was fine for us, as we were late, and it gave us a chance to hit the bathroom, and grab some water.
This was UA 932 from IAD to FRA on a 777, it was in the old paint scheme.
view from my seat.
shortly after takeoff
takeoff was fine, i was in a window seat. The AV system on those UA 777s are due for a swap. the invidual screen is nice, but they are running off of video tape, and you had to time it just right to catch the beginning of any of the movies you wanted. They did have XM radio available as well as a channel in the cockpit, which was very cool. Another cool feature of the music, is that it is on from Gate to Gate, so you other than during the PA announcements, you can listen to music, even while your ipod has to be turned off.
after an hour or so they came thru with dinner. the lady in front of me was asleep, and despite instructions by the crew, she never raised her seat back...that made dinner quite an ordeal. i am a pretty big guy, and i need all the room i can get, and this frustrated the heck out of me. i ate some of the chicken and potatoes, and finished off the cake, but i lost most of my appetite from not having any room.
Landing and Taxi
So rather than getting a gate, they deplaned the whole 777 into a few busses, which was a bit odd. this was the biggest plane i had ever been on that i got to walk down the steps from. They carted us half way around the tarmac, and finally got us to the terminal. We were a bit later than usual coming in, so we had to hustle to our connection to HAJ.
This was LH flight 1006 from FRA to HAJ.
This was on an A320, and i believe i shut my eyes as soon as the wheels came up, slept right thru the beverage service and woke up when the announced we were at the gate.
So we arrived in HAJ, got our luggage with no problem, and hit the train to our hotel in Celle, which was very nice.
The show was great, and if anyone out there is interested in machining or machine tools, send me a message and ill show you some pics from the show. It was nice because of a column i write in an american trade magazine, i got press passes for the event, which afforded me a few luxuries at the show.
After a week, it was time to head home. So we got on the train, made one connection and headed to the airport.
i LOVE the DB....i wish we had even a fraction of it in the states...
we got to the LH section at hannover, and i really like the way they do the security here. you check in, very close to your gate. and then there are many many small security checkpoints, that serve maybe 4 gates all together, so there isnt much of a line, and you dont have giant zig zagging lines that drive you nuts. We hung out at the cafe for a bit before heading airside, as there want much to do inside but a duty free.
LH check in at HAJ
an Avro being loaded
another short flight. they rushed thru the cabin with a beverage service, but i didnt get anything, only a 35 minute flight.
again in FRA they unloaded us onto some buses, but this time, it was from a 737, so i didnt mind.
view from the back.
on display in FRA
Made it to the international terminal at FRA with a little time for shopping. it was a bit of an ordeal to find the right terminal, and then go thru security again...i dont like that system a whole lot. i like staying airside, and remaining there.
after hitting the shops and the restrooms, we headed to the gate, and went into the secondary waiting room.
UA flight 933. FRA-IAD
here is the 777, in new paint this time
view from my seat while loading
my brother in laws name is Thomas Cook, so he loves seeing "his" planes
heavy sky in FRA
So we taxied for a bit, and Tom and I were listening to the XM hits station. and while we were taxiing, i am not joking "fly like an eagle" came on.
we lifted of and headed west.
after about an hour, dinner was served, i had the chicken. i was reall really hungry and ate almost all of this. The asian dressing was great on the salad, and the ice cream was a nice touch.
I was trying my best to stay awake, to minimize the jet lag (which failed, i stayed awake, but am still dizzy 2 days later). I watched.
"Fracture" with anthony hopkins, The Ex with Zach Braff and Home of the Brave with samuel L jackson.
the AV system had a few problems, and needed to be restarted a few times, which was frustrating, since it always seemed to happen at plot points in the movies, and a few times, the tracking went off and the picture was too blurry to see, although the sound continued. a few times i thought "i am putting up with this metal box in my leg room for THIS?
not the best films i had ever seen, but they passed a lot of time. then i turned on the ipod, and finished up some reading. about an hour before we landed they served a snack box. this was a meat and cheese sandwich, bag of chips and a candy bar, it really hit the spot. When the beverage guy came back, he remembered what tom and i were drinking, which was a nice touch.
pre landing snack
after they made us turn off the ipods, i plugged back into the XM, just in time to hear "welcome to my nightmare" on approach, again, i am not joking!
landed safely and headed for customs and immigration.
the line was a bit long, and the immigration guys seemed less than motivated to help...but i guess its their job to be thourough.
made our way thru that, got our bags, and went thru customs. my dad got a secondary check at customs, but there were no problems.
in front of me in line was a lady who spoke only russian. she didnt understand the customs guy, who asked her if these were all her bags, once in english and once in germany, and she could only respond in russian. finally, her translator came up and sorted everything out. i said to the customs guy "i speak english" with a smile, and he chuckled and told me to head on thru.
we got on the monster truck again, and headed to A terminal.
we were on flight 7185 to CLE and after about an hour of wait, hopped on the CRJ to come home.
i slept again, from the instant the wheel went up to the second we started desending. my ears had been killing me since the end of the overseas flight, and it was nice to be out of the airplane when we got to cleveland.
my sister in law picked us all up at the airport, and it was good to be back to my own house, my own bed, and no offense to my travel companions, BY MYSELF FOR A BIT!!!
thanks for reading the report, have a great day