Ndebele
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STR-DUS-STR On Air Berlin/LGW's New Dash 8-Q400

Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:52 am

Air Berlin introduced a new aircraft type recently, the Dash 8-Q400. Back in August when rumours indicated that STR-DUS was to be the first scheduled route for this new aircraft, I looked for some good fares for a daytrip to DUS, and I found several flights for 29EUR all-inclusive, that's 58EUR for the return. Quite a good deal, I thought. I kept on checking amadeus for the planned aircraft type (it changed from Dash 8 to B737-300, A319, and then back to Dash 8). From the day the Dash 8 took over the STR-DUS flights, there were lots of delays, cancellations, or short-notice equipment changes to A319/A320/B737, apparently reliability of this aircraft was not so good in the beginning. Still Christoph "Contact Air" decided to join me on this daytrip.

A few days before the day of our flight, we received eMails from Air Berlin informing us about a schedule change. As the departure and arrival times for both flights had been changed only by 5 minutes, this didn't affect us at all.


STR-DUS
AB6837
26 Jan 2009
STD: 11:15 (on-time)
STA: 12:20 (five minutes early)
Dash 8-Q400
Number of passengers: about 35
D-ABQD

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Patrick Schwarzschulz


Delivered to AB/LGW on 11 January 2009

Christoph and I arrived at the airport on different trains. We both checked in at one of the six Air Berlin counters in Terminal 3 (no waiting time at all) and met later at gate 314.

AB check-in area:


Christoph's boarding cards:


On-time at 10:45, boarding was started, and a bus took our light load of only about 35 passengers to D-ABQD, the newest Dash 8 in their fleet: delivery date was 11 January 2009, and first commercial flight was on 19 January 2009. It's always nice to fly on such a new aircraft.

Large carry-on items were collected in front of the aircraft ("Delivery at aircraft" labels had been distributed at check-in and gate):




Air Berlin's Dash 8 fleet is operated by LGW - Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter, an airline which used to operate a fleet of Do228, and who became partner of Air Berlin recently. A small sign near the aircraft door informed about the operator of the aircraft:


One of the two flight attendants welcomed us at the door and offered newspapers. We took our seats 16D and 16F, the cabin looked modern and even smelled new:


Doors were closed, and the cabin crew did their safety announcements. Then engines were started, and we rolled towards runway 25 and took off. Here's a take-off video:
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v5...?action=view¤t=DUSvid001.flv

Echterdingen:


Leinfelden:


Stuttgart-Vaihingen:


Schloss Solitude:


This photo was taken near Ludwigsburg, with the nuclear power plant of Neckarwestheim visible in the background:


Now the cockpit crew made their welcome announcement as well. There were three pilots on this flight, so I guess it was a training flight/check flight. We got the usual information about estimated arrival time, weather at DUS, etc.

Inside the seat pocket, there was an Air Berlin inflight magazine, a "shopping on board" magazine, a leaflet for hot meals to be ordered for the next flight (however neither shopping-on-board nor hot meals are offered on the Dash 8 flights), and an Air Berlin sickbag. So apart from the sign at the aircraft door, there were no other items indicating that this aircraft was oparated by LGW.

The flight attendants offered snacks (a croissant, a "Balisto" chocolate bar or "Saltletts" chips). Christoph had a croissant and a coffe, I had the "Saltletts" and a tomato juice:


The snow-covered Sauerland - or is it the Westerwald?!


As the view outside was excellent and the flight was less than half full, I decided to change my seat for the landing and have a window seat myself. I was sitting on the left and saw the city and airport of Essen. Christoph (who had the camera) was still sitting on the right and had a view over Dortmund. This image reminds me of my last flight on LGW, STR-DTM on their Do228, a route which has been discontinued when AB took control over LGW:






The Westfalenstadion:


















We arrived about five minutes ahead of schedule. At the aircraft door, the flight attendants offered Air Berlin chocolate hearts.





A bus took us to the arrival hall. First stop of the bus was for passengers with DUS as final destination, the second stop for those who had connecting flights. All passengers left the bus at the first stop, so I guess there were no connecting passengers at all on board of our flight.

We had 3.5 hours until boarding time for our return flight. As the viewing deck at the train station is temporarily closed, we spent most of the time on the sunny observation deck on top of the terminal building.

"Our" aircraft parked on a remote parking position:


Sister aircraft D-ABQA leaving for STR...


...and coming back a few hours later:


As D-ABQA was to fly us back to STR, we decided to leave the observation deck and got through security for our on-time boarding back to STR.

DUS-STR
AB6840
26 Jan 2009
STD: 16:10 (five minutes ahead of schedule)
STA: 17:15 (five minutes ahead of schedule)
Dash 8-Q400
Number of passengers: about 30
Delivered to AB/LGW in November 2008

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Michael Van Bosch












View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Stefan Sonnenberg



Take-off:






See the last A321 in LTU colours:








Again I decided to move from 19D to the free window seat on the other side, 19A. The view outside was excellent again, however the sun was already going down:


The city of Frankfurt:


We were flying over the museum of Sinsheim, but unfortunately the batteries of Christoph's camery were empty. Once we had fixed that problem, we were already flying over the city of Altdorf...


...and Holzgerlingen:






Seconds from touchdown:






A bus took us back to the terminal:


I took a bus home, and Christoph went to the observation deck to take a lst photo of D-ABQA before it was flying back to DUS:


This is the end of our report. Even though the Dash8-400 was not a new aircraft neither for Christoph nor for me, it was nice to get to fly on Air Berlin/LGW's newest toy, I really enjoy flying on this aircraft, and flying on newly-delivered aircraft is always nice as well. I hope you liked reading this report and I'm looking forward to reading you comments. Thanks in advance and best regards, Alex.
 
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airbuseric
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RE: STR-DUS-STR On Air Berlin/LGW's New Dash 8-Q400

Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:22 am

Hi Alex,
that looks like a good short Q400 experience. This type is still missing from the log with me, so maybe I'll have to look into the AB option ex DUS to catch up with it someday.

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
image reminds me of my last flight on LGW, STR-DTM on their Do228

Are the little Dorniers 228s still flying on the AB/LGW network?

Gruß
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
debonair
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RE: STR-DUS-STR On Air Berlin/LGW's New Dash 8-Q400

Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:52 am



Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 1):
Are the little Dorniers 228s still flying on the AB/LGW network?

Nope, ops should be ended on January 15th 2009 (AFAIK last route was Dusseldorf-Isle of Sylt).  crying 

Just to let you know, the DO228 op. by LGW was the BEST experience ever. Flew Bremen-Berlin, I think 3 passengers. Me, a very nervous girl (as she saw the little plane) and a businessman. He just was GREAT, OUTSTANDING. So, after take-off he told us, that he is used to the plane and will start service- as there was no flight-attendant!!  Wow!
First, the business-man started as psychiatrist, talking to the nervous lady, "relax honey, its safe, I always fly this plane"- second he started as trolley-dolly "anyone wanna have coffe, tea or sandwiches?". in one word, it was so surreal. A memory of a life-time!  Big grin
 
fatmirjusufi
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RE: STR-DUS-STR On Air Berlin/LGW's New Dash 8-Q400

Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:03 am

Great TR, Alex.  Smile
I think was the best way spending that day on flying.  Smile
Love also this AB Q400 fleet. Livery stand awesome on it.

Quoting Debonair (Reply 2):
Just to let you know, the DO228 op. by LGW was the BEST experience ever. Flew Bremen-Berlin, I think 3 passengers. Me, a very nervous girl (as she saw the little plane) and a businessman. He just was GREAT, OUTSTANDING. So, after take-off he told us, that he is used to the plane and will start service- as there was no flight-attendant!! Wow!
First, the business-man started as psychiatrist, talking to the nervous lady, "relax honey, its safe, I always fly this plane"- second he started as trolley-dolly "anyone wanna have coffe, tea or sandwiches?". in one word, it was so surreal. A memory of a life-time! Big grin

LOL, great experience. Big grin
DO FLIGHTS. NOT FIGHTS.
 
elevate
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RE: STR-DUS-STR On Air Berlin/LGW's New Dash 8-Q400

Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:27 am

Great report,

Great aircraft,

Great boarding card!
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: STR-DUS-STR On Air Berlin/LGW's New Dash 8-Q400

Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:13 pm

Servus Alex,

well done, great report about AB/LGW's new type. I was wondering who would be first with that machine here on a.net - honestly, I had guessed it would be Markus (Flieger67).  Wink

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
I kept on checking amadeus for the planned aircraft type (it changed from Dash 8 to B737-300, A319, and then back to Dash 8). From the day the Dash 8 took over the STR-DUS flights, there were lots of delays, cancellations, or short-notice equipment changes to A319/A320/B737, apparently reliability of this aircraft was not so good in the beginning.

What a nightmare...

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
On-time at 10:45, boarding was started, and a bus took our light load of only about 35 passengers to D-ABQD, the newest Dash 8 in their fleet: delivery date was 11 January 2009, and first commercial flight was on 19 January 2009.

Not bad!

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
A small sign near the aircraft door informed about the operator of the aircraft:

Good to see they don't use the ridiculous "powered by" phrase.

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):

We had 3.5 hours until boarding time for our return flight. As the viewing deck at the train station is temporarily closed, we spent most of the time on the sunny observation deck on top of the terminal building.

Why is it closed?


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
FLIEGER67
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RE: STR-DUS-STR On Air Berlin/LGW's New Dash 8-Q400

Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:07 pm

Hi, Alex and also Christoph,

nice story and pix.
For sure a great way to spend a free day, but I think you know may opinion well  Wink

Checking a new aircraft type with a new airline is always interesting in terms of operations and else. I dont know that LGW is operating that machines, there are several discussions about
problems with the LBA and else.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
honestly, I had guessed it would be Markus (Flieger67).


Well, I was on DUS-STR lately, but not on AB.
But nevertheless there´s a good chance for another report here!.

Regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
shamrock321
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RE: STR-DUS-STR On Air Berlin/LGW's New Dash 8-Q400

Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:16 pm

Nice report, I have my first Air Berlin flights in March, I booked the first flight from TXL to FKB Ive just checked the schedule and it seems the week Im travelling the second flight is operated by the Dash 8, Doh!
 
ba319-131
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RE: STR-DUS-STR On Air Berlin/LGW's New Dash 8-Q400

Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:50 am

Hi Alex,

Nice report and pictures, thanks for sharing the day with us.

Always good to get a new aircraft type added to the log book  Smile

The -Q400 is a nice plane to fly, always look forward to travelling on one.

Look forward to some DUS spotting later this year to catch some of these AB machines.

Best Wishes

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
LH4116
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RE: STR-DUS-STR On Air Berlin/LGW's New Dash 8-Q400

Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:25 am

Nice report Alex!

The seats on the Q400, looked super nice! I'm assuming it's a Q400NG.
The snack service seemed very generous, though i didn't see a pic from the return flight. Will the Q400 be used on European routes aswell?

Thanks for the report!
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
DALCE
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RE: STR-DUS-STR On Air Berlin/LGW's New Dash 8-Q400

Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:10 pm

Hi Alex,

A great read from your hand as usual. It seems you guys had a great day of flying around Germany. STR is a nice airport, I was there some time ago to meet up with Markus.
DUS is still missing from the log, but somehow I have the feeling this will be the next addition of German airports to my log. I still have some more to cover.
Air Berlin made a good improvement on their services and fleet utilization. They are now more flexible to meet passenger demand. They seem to grow to a decent network carrier with some LCC features.
Thanks for sharing your story, they really make me feel to use AB rather soon.

Cheers,
Joost (D-ALCE)
flown: F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,77W,788,319,320,321,333,AB6.
 
Ndebele
Topic Author
Posts: 2847
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RE: STR-DUS-STR On Air Berlin/LGW's New Dash 8-Q40

Fri Jan 30, 2009 4:07 pm

Thanks to everybody for you replies so far!

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 1):
Are the little Dorniers 228s still flying on the AB/LGW network?

Unfortunately not, as already mentioned by Debonair. Those Dorniers were fun to fly on! Thanks to Debonair for sharing his experiences, well, those were the days...

Quoting FatmirJusufi (Reply 3):
Love also this AB Q400 fleet. Livery stand awesome on it.

I still don't understand the meaning of the tail logo, but I know I'm not the only one.

Quoting Elevate (Reply 4):
Great boarding card!

Hey, you seem to like boarding cards with planes, don't you? Big grin

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
I was wondering who would be first with that machine here on a.net - honestly, I had guessed it would be Markus (Flieger67)

LOL, Markus would have definitely been more likely to be the first on this new aircraft. I just don't travel that much lately. Anyway, this time I was quicker Big grin

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
Why is it closed?

I'm not sure, there seemed to be some construction work. But somehow it didn't look to me like if this construction work would take long, maybe it was only this very day.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 6):
I dont know that LGW is operating that machines, there are several discussions about problems with the LBA and else.

Yes, I read something about it on some other forum.

Quoting Shamrock321 (Reply 7):
I booked the first flight from TXL to FKB Ive just checked the schedule and it seems the week Im travelling the second flight is operated by the Dash 8, Doh!

Bad luck, but there might still be the chance for a schedule change - AB does schedule and aircraft changes quite frequently.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 8):
Always good to get a new aircraft type added to the log book

Well it was a new aircraft type for me, I had Q400 flights on BE and OS so far. But now that LH4116 draws my attention on the Q400NG: I don't even know the differences between a Q400 and a Q400NG, leave alone the versions AB/HE, OS and BE operate.

Quoting DALCE (Reply 10):
Thanks for sharing your story, they really make me feel to use AB rather soon.

Thanks for your feedback!

Have a nice weekend everybody, Alex.
 
gjunnar
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RE: STR-DUS-STR On Air Berlin/LGW's New Dash 8-Q400

Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:49 pm

Awesome. I've been waiting for just that report from any of you STR folks. I think the plane looks great and is just the perfect fit for this kinda route. Wonder how the load might be on the LH bobbies they use nowadays on STR-DUS.
Of course, like always, I also enjoyed the pictures of our Swabian cities  Smile
Oh, and how friendly were the AB staff?
 
Contact Air
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RE: STR-DUS-STR On Air Berlin/LGW's New Dash 8-Q400

Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:06 pm

Hi Alex,

thanks a lot for writing this nice report about our trip to DUS. We were really lucky with the weather and the good views on both flights.

The Dash 8-400 is a nice and comfortable aircraft. And flying on an aircraft that has been in service since only one week ago is always something special.

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
First stop of the bus was for passengers with DUS as final destination, the second stop for those who had connecting flights. All passengers left the bus at the first stop, so I guess there were no connecting passengers at all on board of our flight.

Maybe one reason was also the time of the day, but connecting at DUS with AB doesn't seem to be too popular for passengers from STR. Let's see how AB is doing on STR-DUS in the future. At least on our flights, loads were small and flight prices were low.

Regards
Christoph
 
Sabena332
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RE: STR-DUS-STR On Air Berlin/LGW's New Dash 8-Q400

Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:59 pm

Great report, thanks for posting!

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
The Westfalenstadion:

BALLSPIELVEREIN, BALLSPIELVEREIN, BALLSPIELVEREIN NULL NEUN!!!  bigthumbsup   Wink

The Westfalenstadion in all it's glory! A really great picture of my "second home".

You and your bro seem to be experts when it comes to "A2S" (air-to-stadium Big grin ) photography. I already saw a couple of German and English stadiums from above thanks to your reports.

Quoting Elevate (Reply 4):
Great boarding card!

I agree, Air Berlin's boarding cards look great. I hope to get a pair of them in May and not some new design.

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: STR-DUS-STR On Air Berlin/LGW's New Dash 8-Q400

Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:20 pm

Quoting Ndebele (Reply 11):
I'm not sure, there seemed to be some construction work. But somehow it didn't look to me like if this construction work would take long, maybe it was only this very day.

Alright, let's hope so.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 14):
BALLSPIELVEREIN, BALLSPIELVEREIN, BALLSPIELVEREIN NULL NEUN!!! bigthumbsup Wink

It seems we should never post pictures of a certain stadium in Gelsenkirchen if we want to get a reply by Patrick...  


PH

[Edited 2009-02-02 08:21:04]
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
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NZ107
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RE: STR-DUS-STR On Air Berlin/LGW's New Dash 8-Q400

Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:24 am

Hi Alex,

Great TR, love those pics! Definitely enjoyed it. Those seats surely look better than the ones in Air New Zealand's Q300s however the seat pitch looks fairly limited! Did the seat belts have "Dash 8" engraved on them too?

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
At the aircraft door, the flight attendants offered Air Berlin chocolate hearts

Why do they give stuff to you as you leave rather than during the flight?


Regards,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
TriStar500
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RE: STR-DUS-STR On Air Berlin/LGW's New Dash 8-Q400

Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:44 pm

Very nice report as usual, Alex.  Smile Quite interesting to see the new AB Q400 product. Maybe I'll get a chance to try it out soon, AFAIK the FMO-VIE-FMO flight will be converted to Q400 in summer.
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