AMS-HAM (LH CR7)
HAM-CPH (QI CRJ)
CPH-MUC (SK M82)
MUC-AMS (LH CR9)
It had been a while since I last went on a trip, last December to be specific. Since then I had moved out of my parents house, and started an internship working with LH, so my funds and time were limited. Being in and around airplanes all day really gave me an urge to fly somewhere again! Not surprisingly, my regular travel companion Jordi, was feeling the same way. I started browsing the booking engines and figured that this could be a great chance to finally get on the SK MD-80s. Something I had wanted to do for quite a while!
I proposed a direct AMS-CPH round trip to Jordi, which was pretty affordable on SK, but he proposed to take the scenic route. For only a couple of euro's extra, we'd be flying the entire CRJ family, an MD82, and see HAM and MUC as well! I had flown on the CR7 before, though this would still mean 3 new types, 3 new airports, and 3 new airlines for me, it sounded too good to resist! We decided to book and make it a weekend city trip to Copenhagen.
After looking into the cheaper hotels, we found that the Radisson Blu Falconer had an offer which equaled the price of most budget hotels. We didn't hesitate and booked a room. Now started a long month of hoping we wouldn't get any equipment changes, or run into any trouble with the whole volcano-fiasco! On Friday the 30th of April we would fly out at 1620 to HAM. I was working the morning shift that day and looked up that the scheduled plane would be the D-ACPF, a CR7. After work I made a touch and go at home, then went directly back to the airport. It was fun to be helped at the gate by my own colleagues! I used a mobile boarding pass which was surprisingly easy! Having checked in as soon as the flight opened, me and Jordi were boarding numbers 1 and 2, and were able to select a seat.
The HAM flights at AMS stop at a remote ramp, so we would be taking the bus there. The D-ACPF seen from the terminal
Only 20 economy pax on this flight, so the bus was quickly filled up and we left for the plane!
At the plane some of my colleagues handling the flight were surprised to see me, as they had seen me leave the office only 1.5 hours earlier
Lufthansa Regional - Operated by LH Cityline
CRJ-700 - Second ride on this type
Photo © Allan Martins Antunes
Everyone quickly settled down and 10 minutes early, the door closed and engines were started. I had only flown the CR7 once before, on the N501MJ, but I somehow remembered it to be more spacious. However the seat was good and legroom was decent. The seat in front and the one next to me remained empty. After a very short taxi we turned onto AMS’ runway 24 and took off turning left after takeoff.
Some views of AMS while climbing out
We got to choose between a ham and a cheese sandwich. I opted for the ham, it was pretty good. I read that LH might change its service of bottles Warsteiner to cans, for weight savings. Luckily not on this flight (yet)!
After a while the crew made a second round with sandwiches and I happily got another one. Jordi got hooked on the cheese sandwiches and the f/a happily gave him two more. Soon enough we started the descent into HAM, the cloud cover gave away that it wasn't exactly sunny down there!
It got a little bumpy and rainy as we descended further.
Landing video (Note the 707!)
We were parked at what seemed like the most remote parking spot!
After a short busride we were dropped off at the terminal which was -to my surprise- rather large! I had always figured HAM as a smaller regional airport.
The 707 in the distance.
Luftwaffe in action!
After some spotting we headed downstairs to the bus-gate waiting area.
In the waiting time I tried getting a cellphone signal and ended up blocking my sim-card. Doh! It wasn't very busy though there were quite a few flights leaving. A dark cloud cover was approaching the airport. After a while I spotted a CR2 in a very boring QI/SK hybrid livery. That's gonna be our ride!
Seen from the terminal.
SAS Scandinavian Airlines - Operated by Cimber Sterling
CRJ-200 - First time on this type
Photo © Holger Frank
As seen from the bus - It started to rain pretty bad!
Ready for boarding!
All the stories I heard about misplaced windows on the CR2 were not exaggerated, it was pretty bad! Plane also felt a little cramped, specially when I had a tall guy in the seat next to me. However for a 17 year old puddle-jumper the interior looked alright.
My view from the second to last row
Boarding was done pretty fast. The crew was alright but not overly friendly or attentive. I think the uniforms looked a little basic. The engines were started and after a short taxi we got take-off priority over a Cirrus Air D328.
The announcement was made that there would be no snacks for purchase on this flight. However having looked at the menu earlier and seeing the prices, I already made the decision not to buy anything! Halfway trough the short hop all pax got a cup of water. Some cabin impressions;
Legroom, the SK magazine can be seen. I was hoping for a QI magazine!
You can never have too many winglet shots!
After a couple of minutes the decent started and we made some banks to get into CPH
The final approach was pretty neat. Having looked up the wind at CPH I determined we'd be landing at RW22 and I picked a seat on the right to see the terminal. We remained over water for a long time in the final approach.
We parked at a buffer with some other QI planes, as well as some Wilderoe props.
Bye bye RJC!
We quickly got on the bus to the terminal
Our hotel was located about 2 minutes from a metro station. And 4 euro's and a 20 minute metro ride got us there. I loved how the metro's in the city don't have any drivers! We quickly found our way to the hotel. The foyer looked very fancy. The staff desk was very friendly and helpful. The room was clean however I found it rather small and basic. We did have minibar we used to keep our own drinks cool. Later that night we met two friends of us for some drinks and catching up. The following day we walked trough the city. Some impressions of how CPH looks from a tourist point of view;
The round tower (I think that's really how it's called!)
Fountain, with some guy making a picture of me it seems
The round tower
City views from up there, I don't care much for heights but climbing the stairs with strong winds was kinda scary!
Yours truly, I don't look too happy because of the wind and sun in my face hehe
The hotel room
View from the room
We had dinner at this place called "Tight" It was really high up on Trip Advisor. The food was great and most important, it was for a reasonable price! That night we went out into town. The alcohol prices are more insane then everything else! 6.70 euro's for a pint of beer! We met some great girls from Denmark and Noway though and in the end it was all worth it. The following Sunday we decided to take it easy. We arranged for a late check out at the hotel, so we had some time to kill before heading to the airport. We had lunch at the Nyhavn and went to the King's gardens.
After some more sightseeing we jumped on the metro and as quick as we got from the airport, we got back again. We hadn't been able to check in online for some reason, but I did manage to select (unconfirmed) seats on the SK website. I'd better get a good seat on the M80 though I thought! Check in took about 30 seconds at an airport kiosk, and to my relief the seats were still as I had selected them. All that's left was to head trough security, and keep our fingers crossed that the equipment wouldn't be changed!
After exploring the gate area's and spending my last kroner's, we decided to head towards our gate. In the distance I saw an MD-82 docking and I made some pictures just in case that would be our plane. (and it was!)
Airport, I loved the wooden floors!
Long walk to the gate area.
Arriving at the gate, the unmistakable DC-9 tail!
It wasn't very busy at the gate area, there was one Norwegian Air shuttle flight besides ours. After a while it was announced that we could start boarding. (It was only announced in English though) Time to ride the MD-82!
SAS Scandinavian Airlines
SE-DIL "Tord Viking"
DC-9-82 (MD-82) First time on a -82!
Photo © Alejandro Ruiz
I had only one flight on a DC-9-51 before (N766NC) this is one thing I immediately recognized, the door in the back
I am only 6 months older then this airplane, the interior was a little worn but it felt very spacious
Choosing a seat proved to be a challenge. The last 3 rows on the right, and the last 2 rows on the left (due to the galley) have their views completely blocked by the engine. After getting some help on the forums I went for row 30. Perfect view outside, as well as a great view of the engine and the wing! Best seat in economy!
Technician checking the engine
The one disadvantage of this seat is that there is a flight attendant seated right next to you on the jumpseat, so I could not make any pictures during taxi/take-off. The flight was maybe half full and after a short while the APU was started. I loved how I could perfectly hear all the sounds in the back, APU start up, the bleed air valve moving followed by the air flowing from the gaspers, and finally, the slow startup of the JT8Ds!
We had quite a long taxi, and on the way I spotted an old friend, the TF-FIZ, which I had flown a few years back but hadn't seen in years! After making a sharp turn I heard the engines spool up and we made a rolling takeoff at what I think was RWY04R. I loved being so close to the action and pretty soon we rotated and made a steep climb out of CPH. The departure was wonderful, flying over the shore and the Oresund bridge. Soon enough the seatbelt sign was switched off and the flight attendant next to me went to the fwd galley. Time for some pictures!
Reflections in the water
The 3 flight attendants were all nice but not overly attentive. The purser looked like she walked straight from some Paris fashion show. While the JT8D isn't exactly a quiet engine by modern standards, the noise level inside was pretty comfortable. Compared to the F70's RR Tay I had been next to on a different flight, the JT8D's noise wasn't even half as bad inside the cabin. The pilot made an announcement that we'd be flying over Berlin but unfortunately the cloud cover was thick and we didn't see anything. SK only offers BOB service, but the prices were so high I didn't buy anything. I had the entire row to myself and I made myself comfortable for the remainder of the cruise.
We started to descent into MUC and entered the clouds
At this time the flight attendant took her seat next to me and I had to stow my camera. It got a little bumpy on the way down, but we made a smooth landing with a powerful deceleration. After a short taxi we docked at the big terminal 2. The cockpit door was open and after asking the purser, the pilots invited me in to take a picture. We had a little chat about the old MD's vs the newer planes, and so lease costs vs fuel. The captain said the plane flew "Old fashioned" with a lot of hands on work. Thanks guys!
"Tord" seen from the terminal
It was my first time in MUC. I had been to "the big walk" FRA before, but had only heard good stories about this airport. I loved the layout and transfer was very easy because all the gates were close to each other.
Free coffee throughout the airport, I bet the bars/cafe's don't like that!
After getting a slice of pizza we were just in time to see Tord heading for CPH again
Our 1 hour transfer time felt like 10 minutes and soon we headed towards our gate, I love the yellow LH desks!
After talking to the home front, I had found out that the scheduled plane would indeed be a CR9, the D-ACKJ, to my and Jordi's relief. The plane would be at a remote location and the bunch of us were loaded onto a bus. Some good spotting opportunities on the way there, including 14 LH 320 series in a row! One of the pax had a cello which had to be tied to a seat. This took about 5 minutes and most passengers started complaining about the wait in the bus. It was funny to see my German counterpart with the same type of company phone, and documents which I see so many times a day, working to get the plane ready in time!
Operated by Cityline
The CR9 sure is a long plane, cant wait for the CRJ-1000!
Lufthansa Regional - Operated by Lufthansa Cityline
CRJ-900 first time on this type
Photo © Radu Dobrescu - RoSpotters
I quickly took my seat and to my horror, the windows were just as misplaced as the CR2! They were on a better height though, but I still had to bend forward to look out the window.
Comfy seats, decent legroom
Doors were closed, and we were welcomed on board by the crew. It was a boring taxi to the active, at least on take-off we got to see the MUC terminals!
Still some sunlight
The long cabin
After a short climb we reached cruise and the service started. Choices were either a sandwich with "Ham" (which turned out to be Katen Schinken) or cheese. I went for the "Ham" and it tasted pretty good!
Last rays of sun
The F/O announced in three languages, including Dutch, that AMS would be just as rainy as MUC, and only 6 degrees! We descended trough the cloud cover and it got too dark to make any good pictures. We landed at AMS' runway 06, the same as we had departed from 2 days earlier, and after a short taxi we docked at gate B15. Once again it was nice to see all my colleagues working to offload the pax and baggage. After a pretty long walk we found ourselves at Schiphol Plaza again, and only 30 minutes after I left the plane I walked into my dorm room, exhausted from a long weekend!
3 new types, 3 new airlines, 3 new airports, and tons of good memories, make for a great trip! Apart from the flights I had a great time in CPH meeting a lot of awesome people.
I had two good flights with friendly crew. The catering was decent and the seats are good. The crews seemed genuinely nice and were very attentive.
This flight was operated for SK, so I should probably try them on one of their own flights. The crew was alright but I can't really add anything because of the short flights and almost no service
The cabin crews seemed nice, I think it's a shame they have to resort to BOB though. But as long as they keep the MD80s around I have no reason to complain!
Having tried all airline variants of the CRJ, I can say that I find them fairly decent planes. The CR2 being the worst of all due to the low and misplaced windows. I can't really say anything bad about the CR7. The CR9 is really a big bird despite the RJ rating, shame about the windows, otherwise a great plane. I love the sounds of the CF34 though!
No complaints here! Just old fashioned goodness! Add two JT8Ds to that and its just one great experience!
I had always thought of HAM like a regional airport, something like the Dutch GRQ or RTM. I was surprised to see it was this big. I liked the terminal and the overall atmosphere.
Terrific airport, I would transfer here any day, to anywhere!
CPH / Copenhagen City
I liked Copenhagen very good. The people are all friendly and speak perfect English. I love the extensive use of bicycles like I'm used to at home. The airport itself, or at least the terminal I used, looked very nice. I love the use of black and the wooden floors. The only downside to the whole CPH experience are the prices, which are even worse then back home! However I would not hesitate to go back sometime.
This concludes my latest trip report. It's probably gonna be a while until my next one (BRU-IAD-BRU on UA in august) However I might just squeeze in another citytrip before that. I hop