this is my first intentional trip report (I've written a report which got moved here by the mods about the then new Lufthansa AVOD in November, as I was lucky to have it on YYZ-FRA). In February 2008, I was attending a conference in SJC, and when travelling to the USA on business purposes, I always build a nice little vacation around the trip.
This time, I've opted for a routing through ZRH on a Thursday, as a dear friend of mine works there as a consultant during the week, and her return flight to HAJ is always scheduled on a Thursday afternoon. Also, you can easily get to SJC from BOS on JetBlue. So, the itinerary was:
DUS-ZRH on Eurowings
ZRH-BOS on Swiss
BOS-SJC on JetBlue
SFO-MUC on Lufthansa
MUC-DUS on Lufthansa
I was planning to arrive at ZRH around 3pm, and leave for BOS on the late flight at 5:40pm, giving me ample time to meet my friend at the gate. Unfortunately, on that specific day my friend was flying not to HAJ, but to DUS for a meeting the next day - and her flight would leave at 3pm! This would mean there was no way to meet her, which spoiled the whole day.
The days before depature, I've tried everything possible to change my itinerary, which consited of restricted Y fares. Even cancelling the DUS-ZRH leg and flying there on 4U earlier the day was no option. But things can change!
I couldn't really get any sleep the night, so I got up at 5am and decided to pack my bag and take the train from DTM where I live to DUS and try my luck at the airport's ticket counter. I've asked the friendly lady if it was possible to rebook my first leg to an earlier Swiss flight scheduled for 10am. Very fortunate for me, that very morning the air traffic computer system in DUS broke down, causing havoc with the schedule. So to ensure my connection in ZRH ( ) she would try to rebook me. The flight was already closed in the booking system (it was 8:20am by then), but by talking with the flight manager, she was able to issue me the very last Y seat on that Swiss flight! So a very happy passenger rushed to J checkin (I was told to do so to bypass the queue), checked in and thanked everyone. Needless to say, I arrived in ZRH before noon:
The A320 I just arrived on:
The meal on the flight was unimportant to me, but I remember the tiny bar of Swiss chocolate just before arrival as a very nice treat! From a marketing perspective, these bars probably win more customers for Swiss than any AVOD perk
As I had some time in ZRH now, I went to the transfer center to get my boarding pass for ZRH-BOS, and also spent the 10 Francs I had with me on two glasses of Coke. Then it was time to take the airport's subway to the remote E terminal, where both my friend's flight to DUS and my flight to BOS were scheduled to dock:
Once in E terminal, I had to take the "wrong" way to the Air Berlin gates (as I had a boarding pass for the Swiss end of the building only). I went through security, and indeed managed to meet my (very surprised) friend. We both had fun, and it was really great to meet someone dear after a long time.
Nevertheless, after my friend's flight left, I went back to the main terminal for another drink, and also watched the arrival of the Eurowings plane I was supposed to be on:
My A330 to BOS (damn, I always stick with 4engines4longhaul):
Sunset over the Atlantic:
The A330 interior was rather old, especially the resolution of the seatback monitors. Oh well, it's ok for the airshow, and I don't need an AVOD system anyway. The meal in Y was very nice, I've opted for the Swiss beef with egg noodles ("Spätzle") and carrotes. I must admit it's a bit better than Lufthansa's Y menus, so I might stick to Swiss flights more often in the future. The crews on both Swiss flights have been very nice and friendly, by the way.
As someone who is not a native English speaker, I think names for places like "Braintree" or "Wonderland" are - strange:
BOS in winter:
The "Plough King":
After 3 days in snowy Boston (which was nice, there is hardly any snow where I live), it was time to head for sunny California! BOS-SJC was on an Airbus A320 of JetBlue:
Docked in BOS:
Remote stand in SJC:
The JetBlue flight was quite good, as I am aware it's a low cost carrier. THe crew was very nice, the plane was well-kept (I was surprised to see Google Maps on the screen), and the food was "okay". Personally, I would prefer a decent hot Y meal, and just don't understand JetBlue's slogan "We just couldn't stand the thought of serving you normal airline food". However, the selection of snacks was nice, and didn't leave me starving. As I've said, it's a low-cost carrier, and I was saved from CO's pathetic burger-kit I had on one of their trans-cons (trip report will follow, see bottom of this post).
Old theatre in SJC:
After finishing my business in SJC, I took the CalTrain to San Francisco's BART Millbreae station, and took the BART to downtown. Another 2 days of vacation!
On Sunday, it was time for LH 459 SFO-MUC on a A340-600, my favorite plane! This was actually the second time on this very flight, as I very much like the late-night departure (9:40pm) to Munich. I can cope with jetlag very well, and can even get some sleep. The equipment is an A340-600, which gives me 4 engines to compensate my fear of flying, and a nice big plane is more comfortable in choppy weather. I've chosen a seat on the right side, as it'll give you a nice look over the illuminated City by the Bay.
I had to wait a bit for the checkin counter to open, and also got closely inspected by secutiry (no SSSS though). After making my way to the gate at the end of the terminal building, I killed another hour by reading and watching the other passengers gather at the gate. The flight left on time, and I got a cloudless view at takeoff!
Soon dinner was served, which was the standard Lufthansa Y chicken treat. It was very good, though, but - predictable I've killed the next hours by watching a movie, reading, sleeping, walking around the plane, and chatting with crew and passengers in the galley.
My girl (highly photoshopped as it was already dark and flash was no option through a window):
After an omelette breakfast which was better than expected, it was time to land in MUC. I've intentionally opted for the 7:40pm connection to DUS instead of 7:00pm, so I had enough time to go the restroom and make my way through immigration and security. I would've made it in time, so I had some 45 minutes of dozing before boarding my last leg on this trip. The "meal" on MUC-DUS in Y is just a drink.
My A320 to DUS:
I hope you like my trip report. I'm now packing my bag for yet another trip, this time it's DUS-ORD-LAS-OAK,SFO-JFK,EWR-DUS. This will give me limited internet connection while travelling, but I'll respond to your comments as time permits. I'll write more trip reports, including the trip to come, after I got home (I'm a premium member now, whoo! ) (Edited for 2 typos)
[Edited 2008-08-05 08:58:52]
[Edited 2008-08-05 09:05:39]