VIDEOS NEED TO BE CLICKED
A319-112 OE-LDE "Baku"
Photo © Gábor Vilmányi
26th flight on an A32S, 6th flight on an A319, 19th flight on an OS jet, 1st flight on an OS A319, 110th flight overall.
Exactly one year before this last trip of mine, I had been to Nuremberg. It had been cold, it had rained and wasn't a very pleasant experience, overall.
This time it HAD to be different. I had wished to see Frankfurt for a long time (I was curious, if there actually was a city or just an airport - I had been to FRA airport several times before) and, moreover, most importantly, I was to meet a wonderful, wonderful (can't stress that often enough) person in the city, so the weather wasn't my prime concern.
Preparing the trip started last November, when I was picking up the ticket at Austrian's Vienna city office:
The building to the right:
Back then I had picked seat 26F, as the itinerary showed an A321 for the outbound leg.
However, in mid-January, an A319 popped up on OS' site and it looked as if I had been reseated to 12F. Logically - the A319 has only 23 rows - I'd have to cling to the ailerons in row 26.
Just a few days before my departure, OS 121 was shown to be operated by an A320. Well,...this information proved not to be correct, as one day before I left VIE, the A319 was shown, again. Brilliant - I had never been on an A319 of OS before, so I was eager to see the differences in terms of cabin and overall appearance. After all, there is quite an age gap between the 320s and 319s of my home carrier. The last 320 (OE-LBU) was delivered in 2001, the first 319 in 2004.
So here we go. For the first time in my life, I tried to check in online. Successfully! Call me old-fashioned (especially considering I am only 21) but doing such things alone, on the internet that used to take ages and dozens of well-informed staff members is slightly worrying. An ordinary piece of paper with no distinguishable safety features...I wasn't sure if I would actually get to Germany that day.
Boarding pass, travel guide, city map, OS fleet list:
I arrived at VIE at 5am. First thing I did was to ask a check-in agent if my "boarding pass" sufficed. It did. Whoa - I'm SO living in the 21st century!
Not much going on.
SkyEurope counters in the old check-in area:
I then took the elevator to parking lot number 2, in order to check gate C52.
It was a very foggy morning in Vienna, so this was the best picture I managed to take of OE-LDE, my ride to FRA this morning:
From the other parking lot, a pair of OS 321s. Not mine today.
I went airside:
I don't see why, at an international airport, the shops don't open before 7am!
Uh, isn't 30 airlines too large a number for one lounge? Doesn't sound THAT comfortable to me...
Making my way to the C gates:
The queue for LH's FRA flight, an A321, departing 35 minutes before my flight:
Security checks are done straight before boarding. Not too sure what to think of that. :/
The boarding lounge:
LDE awaits me (eagerly?):
Boarding was a breeze. Rows 15-23 were called first.
I know some don't, but I really like the ambience and atmosphere of OS current interior.
Leg room is so-so:
Retrojet to CDG:
Throughout the whole boarding procedure, waltz music was playing and aerial footage of Austrian landscapes was shown on the screens. Made me homesick - even before departure
The captain (Mr. Schwaiger/Schweiger?) came on and announced a slight delay of departure due to luggage issues and informed us that we would probably arrive in FRA on time, nonetheless.
I was expecting take-off on runway 29, so I was pretty surprised when we turned left and made our way to runway 16.
It was too foggy to see ANYTHING!
The worst visibility I ever experienced on a plane.
Breaking through the clouds around 01:20, the mountain you see is the Schneeberg, at 2,076 m (6,811 ft), it is the highest summit in the provonce of Lower Austria and a beautiful destination for hiking daytrips from Vienna.
The sunlight, beautifully illuminating our wing:
Somewhere above Lower Austria:
I must admit, I was a little disappointed with what we served for breakfast. On my last OS trip in August, to CGN, we got an entire plate with ham and cheese and fresh bread, now all we get is a plain croissant. At least it was of excellent quality.
The cockpit crew addressed us again and told us that the weather in Frankfurt was pretty much as shitty as in Vienna.
Somewhere above Bavaria:
Close to Nuremberg:
Starting our descent:
SCRAPING THE CLOUDS
The last time I would see the sun that day:
We did not have to hold prior to landing, which took me by surprise. I have come to arrive at FRA 10 times, and 9 times, we had to circle somewhere above Hessen.
Note the departing LH 733 and the arriving LH 320 on 25R! As you can hear, we landed 5 minutes ahead of schedule.
LANDING ON RWY 25L
Nice morning mood:
OE-LBA (A321) departing to VIE:
Pulling into the westernmost A gate.
Seat 17F. A good one for Y.
I said goodbye to a friendly crew, including the captain who was standing at the door.
A Lufthansa hub of some kind, perhaps?
D-AIKN being pulled to a gate:
Not too crowded:
A 744 that close. A wet dream for a Viennese...
Perform what exactly, if I may ask?
Making my way to the train station:
Taking a regional train into the city:
Please comment right away, the return flight will follow tomorrow!
My previous reports:
VIE-CGN-VIE on VO
VIE-NUE-VIE on AB
VIE-INN-VIE on VO
VIE-FCO-VIE on AP
BTS-CPH-BTS on NE
VIE-HAM-VIE on AB
VIE-FRA-HEL-FRA-VIE on OS and LH
VIE-FRA-YXY-ANC-FRA-VIE on LH/DE