May 9th [rant on]
After saying goodbye to school for two weeks, we had lunch and packed the last things. Leaving home at 14:00, we thought there would be enough time to catch the flight that departs at 17:10. Augsburg-MUC is usually an one-hour drive. But oh boy, not this time...
Right as we entered the autobahn, we were greeted by a traffic jam that was over 20km long. Murphy's law has it right: The cars in the other lanes are always faster than your car. This resulted in a heated atmosphere, arguing which lane to chose, exacerbated by the fact that our old car (which we chose for going to MUC) doesn't have a/c. Oh well, after some time, we were out of that shit and got a bit closer to MUC. But just as we entered the autobahn to MUC, the radio announced more bad news: A tunnel had been closed because of an accident, and guess what, it was on our route. At that point this motorway started to clog up, too. We managed to exit it and find an alternative route, only to be greeted by another traffic jam. Alright, we opted for a route through all those small villages northwest of Munich, with reasonable traffic. Guess what, we had to drive behind a slow truck most of the time, with absolutely no chance to overtake it! We finally managed to get back onto the (uncrowded) autobahn and arrived at MUC without further incident. The shuttlebus which was supposed to take us from the parking lot to the terminal was delyed, and my mum was close to hailing a cab! The bus eventually arrived and brought us to T2. By this time, it was 16:40.
As we approached the LH/Star Alliance check-in area, a LH employee asked us if we wanted to check in at the kiosks, We said yes and essentially, she did the check-in for us (this was the case for nearly all the other "self-service"-kiosks, too, so where goes the cost saving argument?). Here's where the fun begins: She said the flight was quite full and we couldn't sit together, only middle seats left. We accepted with a sigh and she handed us our boarding passes. All our boarding passes? No! She didn't notice that my dad's boarding pass was missing, we had to tell her about that! Not very professional, if you ask me. Then she tried to print it, but the system said "You're already checked in" and it wouldn't let her change the seat, nothing. "I don't know what's going on" she said and lead us to a manned check-in desk, where the issue was resolved. At least we didn't have to queue. Oh BTW, I got a window seat (on the right side) next to my mum!
One thing's for sure: I'm DONE with those kiosks! They NEVER worked properly when I used them.
Anyway, security was a breeze (not more than one minute), but we had to wait at immigration (that's what you get when you fly Schengen to Schengen via Non-Schengen!). When we arrived at the gate, boarding had already started. Getting on the bus, we were like this: [/rant off]
Flight: LH3690 MUC-GVA
Aircraft: B735 D-????
Load: about 90%
I entered the plane via the rear stairs and settled down. We waited for some time and another bus arrived. When the doors were closed, the aircraft wasn't completely full. Can you imagine why?
The seat pitch: It was enough, but not too generous. The armrests were incredibly hard, despite this being the new seat. In both respects, the LH A320 is better.
Turning onto stand:
LH A343 entering stand, AC B763ER has been pushed back:
Parallel to an Avro RJ85:
LH rules (at T2 that is)
MUC is A340 heaven
A sneak at T1:
Catch of the day: The Oman Royal Flight B744:
It seems that it left MUC one day later:
Photo © Mathias Henig
When we finally took off, we had accumulated a delay of about 20 minutes. However, as the flight only took 50 minutes, we arrived pretty much on time. Unfortunately, the Alps were to our left, so I had no chance to photograh them.
MUC seen on climbout:
Does anybody know what the structure on the right is? Maybe two minutes from Allianzarena:
The sandwich. The orange juice was gone by this time
Lake Constance. I think the little island is Mainau:
Another island, Reichenau:
Starting our descent:
Touchdown. Note the VIP B747 in the upper left corner:
Transfer at GVA
We had already received our boarding passes for the next leg in MUC, so the transfer at GVA was a relaxed one. We had to go through security again, but no passport control.
Flight: TP945 GVA-LIS
Aircraft: A320 CS-???
Load: some 85%
I had expected an A319 on this leg, but we got the A320, presumably because of high pax numbers.
Seat pitch. It was about the same as on the LH B735, that means alright. But can't really put a camera in the seat bag, as it would touch your knees. Again, my biggest complaint was the crappy armrest.
Various regional aircraft. I should mention that I spotted the brand-new Baboo E190, but unfortunately no pic.
Tons of bizjets, as always in GVA:
After takeoff, we got to see the centre of Geneva with the famous water fountain:
We cruised at FL370.
The sandwich. In contrast to LH, it was delivered hot. It consisted of ham and (molten) cheese. It was delicious, and the fruit salad was also good. I should mention that the crew in Y was young, friendly and cheerful. Thumbs up for TP!
After disembarkation, the bus brought us to the terminal. You guessed it, a long immigration queue greeted us. We didn't wait that long, but we were tired. The real shocker was baggage reclaim. It was extremely crowded, with too many flight on the belt at a given time. We waited for some 30 minutes, but our luggage didn't show up. Suddenly, the belt stopped operating. WTF? Everybody from our flight was pissed. It took another 20 minutes to resume operation, and in total, after one hour we got our bags. The next nightmare came when we saw the taxi area: One has to wait in a LONG queue, where the air quality isn't exactly good...
Everyone was really glad when we reached the hotel and got to sleep.
We arrived at the airport quite early and returned our rental car. Our flight back to MUC was at 19:00, but a ticket change to take the 14:05 flight would have been 50 Euros per person. We decided that it was not worth it and checked in for the later one. BTW, this was also not too easy: The screens didn't show our flight yet. I could see that the TP flights to Schengen destinations were being checked in at desks 60-70. We were on the verge of joining that queue, but what made me suspicious is the fact that the screens showed a defined time when the check-in for each of these flights started. So we didn't know what to do and tried to check in at a self-service kiosk (did I already tell you that I'm DONE with them? ), but it wanted some kind of e-ticket number that we didn't have. A helpful TP employee directed us to, you guessed it, desks 60-70. In retrospective, I feel a bit stupid.
BTW, there was some kind of check before entering the check-in area. The guy asked me where I was flying and then let us through, so I don't know what exactly he wanted to check! Maybe someone can explain this.
As we had some hours to kill, we decided to visit the Oceanario, which is some 5min by taxi. I can only recommend it, very interesting!
Aircraft: A319 CS-???
Load: pretty full
Security took some 5 minutes to pass. Takeoff was delayed for some 20 minutes, but landing was on time.
Pushback next to sistership:
LIS is indeed basically in the city:
Turning onto the runway:
The long Ponte Vasco da Gama:
Above the clouds:
This time, cruise altitude was FL390. Again, the crew was very good.
The meal was the same as on the GVA-LIS flight, however, by the time it reached me, it had become quite cold and nearly all the cheese was on the packaging! I think that a full meal should be offered on flights this long.
Flying into the night:
A very bright moon:
We landed in MUC on time. The luggage arrived some 5 minutes after we had reached the belt. We took the bus to the parking lot. As it picked up more passengers from T1, it became very full, but thankfully we had our seats.
To sumit up, all of the flights were ok. No big complaints.
I hope you enjoyed reading this TR. Comments, questions and criticism are welcome.