Eddy
Topic Author
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:17 pm

To Corfu On HapagFly

Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:13 pm

Hello and welcome to another tripreport!

Since the German summer this year was very nice and sunny (at least in my area) and I did not like to see and feel temperatures dropping in the early weeks of fall I decided to extend my summer a little bit and book a trip to Southern Europe. I had not beed to Greece for many years and I always wanted to go to Corfu because of its great landscapes and the famous airport.
So I went ahead and booked a 12 day trip to Corfu for a very decent fare since it was the end of the season.

Everything started on October 13 at the Düsseldorf International Airport.

http://img697.imageshack.us/img697/4520/dscf9141.jpg


I got there a little early to be able to do some planespotting prior to depature. Checkin went pretty smooth, but they moved the Tuifly counters from the very nice and spacious place in the middle of terminal B where they once used to be to a rather dark and hidden area in Terminal C. I actually checked in at the exact same counter where I once checked in for my first flight to the USA on LTU back in 2005. There were only two counters open for all Tuifly flights but it was not too crowded-at least at the time I was there.
I requested a window seat but the lady behind the counter explained that all the window seats have already been taken due to a large number of passengers who used the online checkin. That was no good news at all since I really wanted to take some videos of the approach and landing in CFU out of my window. I tried to checkin online the other night but the TuiFly website did not take my reservation code for some reason. I was pretty unhappy but did not complain since it was not the lady's fault. But a solution was on its way: The checkin lady offered me a window seat in an exit row which normally cost 25€ for no additional cost which I gladly accepted. I knew that a wing was going to block my view, but I knew how tight the legroom in X3's 738 is and liked the idea of enjoying the comfortable legroom in an exit row.

After checkin I went to the observation deck on the roof of Terminal B to take some planepictures.

XL Airways B737-800 arriving 05R:

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/8500/dscf91341.jpg

AB 73G:

http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/8673/dscf9130.jpg

AB/LT A330:

http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/3557/dscf9126.jpg


Then the wind changed its direction and runway 23L was used for takeoffs and landings. This one would be my ride to CFU:

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/8587/dscf91371.jpg

Boarding was called on time and the passengers were bused to the plane.

http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/4839/dscf9143b.jpg


My ride today would be D-AHFU-a 737-800WL delivered to Hapag Lloyd Flug in 2000. The cabin was fitted with rather hard modern-style recaro seats, very low legroom but everything was well maintained and clean.

http://img682.imageshack.us/img682/1681/dscf91451.jpg

Legroom was decent-at least in my row  yes  :

http://img130.imageshack.us/img130/7097/dscf9152.jpg


The captain gave us a welcome from the cockpit after boarding was completed and promised to give more detailed information about our flight after takeoff.

http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/6456/dscf9147.jpg


Engines were fired up in no time and the safety demonstration was displayed on the usual B738style drop-down monitors.

We made our way to the active runway 23L and took off towards the west.

During our taxi I noticed this Egypt Air A330 being prepared on a Terminal A gate for its flight back to CAI:

http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/1613/dscf91501.jpg


Here is a video of the takeoff in DUS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPMsjFeXVZ0

http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/935/dscf91581.jpg


Shortly after takeoff the cabin service started. Free non-alcoholic drinks of our choice and a bagle with creamcheese, tomatos and salad were passed out. I was kind of disappointed about the food since Tuifly is advertising free hot meals on flights longer than two hours on their website. The bagle was fresh and tasty but not very filling.

http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/1091/dscf9155.jpg


The captain came on the P/A once more and gave a very detailed overview about our flight path, our takeoff weight, the weather in Corfu and landmarks that could be spotted out of the window.

After about two hours we started our descent into CFU.

http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/3161/dscf9161.jpg


The approach was a very bumpy one. The little Boeing was hit by turbulences and windshear multiple times during the approach and some passengers did not really like that. It became worse on final approach and ended with a touchdown that was so hard that I hit the window with the lens of my camera quite hard which had the result that my camera displayed a zoom error and turned itself off. I was very upset about that since I now only have the approach and not the touchdown and rollout captured on video. After touchdown the captain engaged full thrust reverse (which looked kind of cool because the runway was wet and the engines kicked up a large ammount of water) to slow the fully loaded B738 down on Corfu's rather short 2300m runway.

We were the only plane at CFU at this time and the apron looked deserted. After our taxi to the gate the rain stopped and the sun came out wich resulted in a rainbow and looked kind of neat:

http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/6963/dscf91641.jpg

http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/2729/dscf91671.jpg

Rating of the flight:

Category: Medium haul flight<4 hours.

Check-In&Ground handling: 4/5->very efficient, but the counters were kind of hidden.
On time performance: 10/10--->everything went well on time
Cabin/seat comfort: 6,5/8--->emergency exit seat but very hard seats
Cleanliness: 5/5-->cabin was spotless and well maintained
Crew: 3/5-->average
Service: 5/8--->Only one drink service and a bagel-it is better than on some other carriers but could be improved.
Inflight entertainment: 4/5-->drop down monitors, inflight magazin.
Extra Credit: 2/5--> I got an Emergency exit seat with tons of legroom without the charge of 25€

TOTAL: 39,5/46-->85,9%


Immigration went very smooth and fast since Greece is a member state of the EU and there is no additional passport control or dutys.



Baggage Claim in CFU:

http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/6236/dscf91681.jpg

I went straight to the car rental to pick up my rental car for the next 12 days. I had pre-booked a Ford Fiesta but the agent had some bad news. All the Fiestas were rented out and I had to go with a Suzuki Splash which I did not like at all. It had an automatic transmission and no power at all. In the morning I sometimes had issues starting the motor since it rarely fired right up. I never had such problems with a brand new car before...but oh well at least it carried me all over the island and did not break down on all the dirt roads I drove on.

Late in the evening I got to my holiday flat in the very north of the island. The very first thing I did was go across the street and to a restaurant to have some food and a couple of drinks.

The next day I started to explore the beautiful island. Here are several pictures of the interesting landscapes and other in Corfu:

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/671/dscf91701.jpg

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/2166/dscf91711.jpg

http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/5396/dscf91781.jpg

http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/3738/dscf91911.jpg

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/9299/dsc00835we.jpg

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/7852/dsc00926j.jpg

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/2913/dsc00922uo.jpg

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/772/dscf94641.jpg

http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/905/dscf94981.jpg

My rental car:

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/374/dscf92471p.jpg


Corfu Town:


http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/3576/dsc00923h.jpg

http://img121.imageshack.us/img121/9649/dscf94801.jpg

http://img695.imageshack.us/img695/5052/dscf94831.jpg

http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/3161/dscf94681.jpg

http://img121.imageshack.us/img121/9834/dscf94861.jpg

I also went to the airport multiple times. It is a very interesting place that offers many great planespotting opportunities. The traffic is more than strange. On some days there were only two flights-one Aegean and one Olympic- to Athens and on other days the apron was full of interesting planes. I discovered that Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays were the best days for traffic.

Here are some pictures:

http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/8558/dscf9204h.jpg

The terrace of the former hotel “Corfu Royal” is one of the best places to take pictures.

http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/5341/dscf92021.jpg

A3 737-300:

http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/1337/dscf92671.jpg

The only widebody during my time in CFU-Monarch B767-300:

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/6072/dscf92741.jpg

Thomas Cook:

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/6417/dscf92871.jpg

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/935/dscf93061.jpg

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/6290/dscf93381.jpg

http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/9966/dscf93091.jpg

http://img682.imageshack.us/img682/659/dscf93451.jpg

Then it was time for some real good food:

http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/401/dscf95051.jpg

The time just flew by and way to soon the last day arrived. During my last evening in Corfu the island was hit by a severe thunderstorm.

http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/2234/dscf9519.jpg

I really hoped that everything would have moved away the next morning, but that did not seem to be the case when I looked out of my window-it looked kind of rainy and there was a strong wind blowing.


Nonetheless did I decide to drive to the northwestern end of the island in order to enjoy the view of the beautiful coastline. It did not rain yet when I got there which made me optimistic to leave the car and walk a little.

After I took this picture I started to realize that everything was getting dark around me

http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/8458/dscf95341.jpg

The sky turned from black to yellow-grey-black and then the storm started.

http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/2475/dscf95491.jpg

It was a storm with a strength I had never experienced before in Europe. There was lightening everywhere, hail, rain, thunder, and I got wet as hell.
To make the situation worse, my Suzuki got stuck in the mud and I had to push it out. While doing that I got mud all over me and I did not have any clothes to change in the car so I had to drivce home all muddy and wet.

As soon as I got to my flat, showered and warmed up a little, I decided to make some pizza from scratch. As soon as I finished preparing the pizza the power went out. I thought it was not going to be a very big deal but the power actually did not come back on until 4 hours later. It made me kind of mad, since I was really looking forward to my pizza and some coffee and now these two things seemed unreachable.

Here is a picture of my pizza waiting to be put into the oven:

http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/8039/dsc00982j.jpg

The storm outside was actually quite a heavy one. It flipped over some fishing boats in the nearby harbor, shut down the airport for almost one entire day and flooded some streets.

Sorry for the bad quality of this picture-I shot it with the self timer and the autofocus did not work properly:

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/3744/dscf9538.jpg

Corfu is a place where you will find cats everywhere. These little fellows at least found a spot where they did not get wet from the storm:

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/6636/dscf95541.jpg

The next morning I decided to do some more planespotting. The airport had been re-opened since the storm but it was teill very windy. Here are some pictures:

http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/6994/dscf95551.jpg

http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/3448/dscf95901.jpg

http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/3251/dscf95621.jpg

http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/8633/dscf95811.jpg

Then I went to the other side of the airport to take some videoclips. I thought it was pretty cool that a police car blocked the street behind the runway every time a plane took off or landed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2X6nkcL7waY

Later that day I returned my rental car and checked in for my flight back to Düsseldorf. At that time there were still many delays because of the storm the previous day but my flight was right on time. The checkin was a huge mess. The very small checkin-hall in CFU does not have enough capacities to handle the huge amount of passengers that goes through it sometimes.
Security took forever and when I finally got to my gate, they were boarding already.

This time I flew on D-AHFT, a B737-800WL that was leased to CanJet during the winter season 2008/09 and was not wearing any titles.

http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/2379/dscf9618.jpg

Boarding was completed in no time, the engines were fired up and we were taxiing to the active runway.

The takeoff seemed very powerful this time and we were airborne and on our way to DUS in no time.

Here is the takeoff-video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GU0v_3o_1ns

The service was quite similar to the on on the previous flight. One drink round and free sandwiches:

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/2838/dscf9622a.jpg

The flighttime was about two hours and 20 minutes before we touched down at a rainy runway 23L in Düsseldorf.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D93TSLrD1oE


We were at our gate B03 in no time and went off the plane.

Category: Medium haul flight<4 hours.

Check-In&Ground handling: 2/5->only one Tuiflycounter was open, everything was extremely crowded.
On time performance: 10/10--->everything went well on time
Cabin/seat comfort: 4/8--->very limited legroom and hard seats
Cleanliness: 4/5-->cabin was spotless and well maintained but there was the smell of cigarette smoke in the cabin during boarding.
Crew: 3/5-->average
Service: 5/8--->same as on the previous flight
Inflight entertainment: 4/5-->drop down monitors, inflight magazin.
Extra Credit: 0/5

TOTAL: 32/46-->69,6%

A rather nice trip came to an end. Corfu is a beautiful island and the nicest thing about it was, that it was not crowded at all in mid-October. That might be different during the summer, since many Britons and other Europeans own houses and flats there that were empty during the time I was there.

HapagFly is a typical holiday airline. They offer you an okay value for the price you pay but could improve on their service. I was disappointed since they were advertising hot meals on flights longer than two hours and there was not one single hot meal passed out on any of my flighs.

Thank you very much for reading my report!

Feedback is always appreciated.

Eddy
 
FLIEGER67
Posts: 5195
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:43 am

RE: To Corfu On HapagFly

Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:57 pm

Hey, Felix,

welcome and thanx around that interesting read.

I´ve never been to CFU myself, but its also a kind of to-do-that also.

Nice destination pictures as well, shows us a good portion of what to expect there.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
JRadier
Posts: 3944
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:36 pm

RE: To Corfu On HapagFly

Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:17 pm



Quoting Eddy (Thread starter):
The terrace of the former hotel “Corfu Royal” is one of the best places to take pictures.

former? What happened?
For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
 
wongkw
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:27 am

RE: To Corfu On HapagFly

Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:16 am

Hey Eddy,

Thanks for writing this trip report. Its a good one, I really enjoyed reading it.  Smile

Quoting Eddy (Thread starter):
AB/LT A330:

Beautiful plane!

Quoting Eddy (Thread starter):
The cabin was fitted with rather hard modern-style recaro seats, very low legroom but everything was well maintained and clean.

It seems to be that legroom is an issue for all LCCs (yes, even in Asia). However, except TR (Tiger Airways), the seats aren't too hard - in fact 3K and AK, 2 of my favourite LCCs (of course I like AK more cos of more extra legroom Big grin) have nice, comfy leather seats. I wonder how I'll cope with the limited legroom on my flight to REP this December...  eek 

Quoting Eddy (Thread starter):
Shortly after takeoff the cabin service started. Free non-alcoholic drinks of our choice and a bagle with creamcheese, tomatos and salad were passed out. I was kind of disappointed about the food since Tuifly is advertising free hot meals on flights longer than two hours on their website. The bagle was fresh and tasty but not very filling.

A shame that they didn't provide service as advertised. At least the bagel was good though, and you got it free  Smile

Quoting Eddy (Thread starter):
The approach was a very bumpy one. The little Boeing was hit by turbulences and windshear multiple times during the approach and some passengers did not really like that. It became worse on final approach and ended with a touchdown that was so hard that I hit the window with the lens of my camera quite hard which had the result that my camera displayed a zoom error and turned itself off. I was very upset about that since I now only have the approach and not the touchdown and rollout captured on video.

What a shame.  Sad I'd hate to be on such a bumpy approach but I think I always make these kind of approaches in FS (hard touchdown).  blush  Was your camera damaged? I certainly hope not.

Quoting Eddy (Thread starter):
The next day I started to explore the beautiful island. Here are several pictures of the interesting landscapes and other in Corfu:

Wow, Corfu is indeed a beautiful island. You really made me want to visit Greece and Corfu in particular...

Quoting Eddy (Thread starter):
Then it was time for some real good food:

 drool  My stomach is rumbling! Looks really good, but I can't really figure out what was that. Was it beef or chicken?

Quoting Eddy (Thread starter):
It was a storm with a strength I had never experienced before in Europe. There was lightening everywhere, hail, rain, thunder, and I got wet as hell.
To make the situation worse, my Suzuki got stuck in the mud and I had to push it out. While doing that I got mud all over me and I did not have any clothes to change in the car so I had to drivce home all muddy and wet.

Dang. Now I know why my friend from the Netherlands tells me that the winter storms (hail!) suck. Even more so when you have hail, lightning and rain. It sounds like hell indeed, and the hail must've hurt.

Anyway, once again, thanks for the good read, your trip report is one of the best that I've read recently. Do write more soon!

-KW  wave 
wongkw
 
akhmad
Posts: 2498
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:20 pm

RE: To Corfu On HapagFly

Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:52 pm

Hi Eddy,

Truly enjoyable report surrounded with beautiful pictures of Corfu!

Quoting Eddy (Thread starter):
But a solution was on its way: The checkin lady offered me a window seat in an exit row which normally cost 25€ for no additional cost which I gladly accepted.

That's a nice gesture!

Quoting Eddy (Thread starter):
the fully loaded B738 down on Corfu's rather short 2300m runway.

I would still consider the runway length sufficient for a B738.

Quoting Eddy (Thread starter):
These little fellows at least found a spot where they did not get wet from the storm:

This picture just makes me melt. Soooo cuuute!

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo
Friends forever
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6518
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: To Corfu On HapagFly

Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:24 pm

Hi Felix,

nice report with many great high-quality pictures. CFU is a very interesting destination.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
Contact Air
Posts: 1143
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2001 4:13 am

RE: To Corfu On HapagFly

Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:29 pm

Hi Eddy,

Great report and some fantastic pictures, aviation-wise and non-aviation-wise. Corfu seems to be a beautiful island with an interesting airport.

Quoting Eddy (Thread starter):
I did not like to see and feel temperatures dropping in the early weeks of fall I decided to extend my summer a little bit and book a trip to Southern Europe.

Sounds like a very good idea. I also enjoy visiting Southern Europe in autumn or spring when it is not too crowded and not too hot.

Quoting Eddy (Thread starter):
But a solution was on its way: The checkin lady offered me a window seat in an exit row which normally cost 25€ for no additional cost which I gladly accepted.

Quite a fair solution from my point of view.

Regards
Christoph
 
User avatar
airbuseric
Posts: 3560
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:24 am

RE: To Corfu On HapagFly

Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:35 pm

Hi Eddy!

Thanks for the interesting read. I flew X3 once, and was positive about them. I like their cabin design. With the slimline seats, legroom is quite ok. At least, compared to what the biggest holiday airline from your neighbouring country Holland offers (HV).

Quoting Eddy (Thread starter):
Free non-alcoholic drinks of our choice and a bagle with creamcheese, tomatos and salad were passed out. I was kind of disappointed about the food since Tuifly is advertising free hot meals on flights longer than two hours on their website.

Not bad all all, taking in mind the period airlines operate in now. It's hard for them to succeed their business, and, the Germans should be more then happy that some kind of food and free drinks are (still) served on board. It's gone for years already in some other countries, and even at some of the former legacy airlines (EI, SK, IB).

I also have to thank you for the good images. They come out clear and seems of high quality. Well done! (and sorry for your pizza > .... I never cook myself on holidays btw  Silly)

Regards,
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
Eddy
Topic Author
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:17 pm

RE: To Corfu On HapagFly

Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:13 pm

Good evening.

Thank you very much for all your feedback.

Quoting JRadier (Reply 2):
Quoting Eddy (Thread starter):
The terrace of the former hotel “Corfu Royal” is one of the best places to take pictures.

former? What happened?

The hotel is not open for guests any more, I believe it was shut down several years ago. It actually looks a little bit like a ghost hotel since the inside (restaurants, rooms) seems untouched and just abadoned a long time ago.

Quoting Wongkw (Reply 3):
What a shame. Sad I'd hate to be on such a bumpy approach but I think I always make these kind of approaches in FS (hard touchdown). blush Was your camera damaged? I certainly hope not.

I sometimes enjoy when there is a little action during approach since it is something you do not experience every day. I do understand your point though. My camera survived the landing the only bad thing was that it turned itself off and I do not have the full landing on tape now.

Quoting Wongkw (Reply 3):
I wonder how I'll cope with the limited legroom on my flight to REP this December...

sounds like a very interesting trip-have a great time there!

Quoting Wongkw (Reply 3):
drool My stomach is rumbling! Looks really good, but I can't really figure out what was that. Was it beef or chicken?

it actually was a typical corfu dish called "Sofrito" which is made out of beef and cooked for several hours with different spices. It tasted delicious.

Quoting Wongkw (Reply 3):

Anyway, once again, thanks for the good read, your trip report is one of the best that I've read recently. Do write more soon!

Thank you very much. There is some more to come...

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 4):
That's a nice gesture!

I agree!

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 6):
I also enjoy visiting Southern Europe in autumn or spring when it is not too crowded and not too hot.

that has always been my strategy too since many places are more enjoyable when less crowded.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 7):
Not bad all all, taking in mind the period airlines operate in now. It's hard for them to succeed their business, and, the Germans should be more then happy that some kind of food and free drinks are (still) served on board. It's gone for years already in some other countries, and even at some of the former legacy airlines (EI, SK, IB).

You are right. I just miss the good old days where you would actually get full meals on pretty much every flight...it is sad enough that more and more airlines are downgrading their cabin service in a steady way.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 7):
.... I never cook myself on holidays btw Silly

i must admit i'm usually extremely lazy on my holidays and the pizza was an emergency solution since i did not want to go to a restaurant in the rain and get wet again.

Eddy
 
User avatar
OA260
Posts: 21303
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: To Corfu On HapagFly

Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:52 pm

Hi what a great report. You really captured what Corfu is , great shots of CFU and the whole Island. Love the shots of Mouse Island next to the Runway and the rough waters. The cats are cute all lined up.

Glad you had a good time and great report gain.

OA260
 
FlyingFinn76
Posts: 1698
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:10 pm

RE: To Corfu On HapagFly

Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:03 am

Hi,

Thanks for this nice report. Corfu looks very beautiful in a rugged sort of way - I've wanted to visit this island ever since reading (and rereading over and over again) the fab books by Gerald Durrell about his childhood in the island.

Quoting Eddy (Thread starter):
The traffic is more than strange. On some days there were only two flights-one Aegean and one Olympic- to Athens and on other days the apron was full of interesting planes. I discovered that Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays were the best days for traffic.

That's your usual charter traffic pattern - most people are on package holidays lasting for a week, two or three, so the planes come once per week on "switchover" day. Many places have dedicated German, British, Scandinavian etc. days - most of the traffic on those days is dedicated to (charter) flights from these countries.

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