After 3 and half weeks of vacation in The Netherlands and a road trip to France it was finally time to go home. This trip report will be showing the trip back the US.
This vacation would be our first time flying Condor which was not too bad. My mother had been looking for cheap tickets back to Holland. Since I am always reading over Airliners.net, I had seen a post that announced that Condor would be starting flights 2 days a week from Frankfurt to Fort Lauderdale. So immediately told my mother in which she started searching as soon as possible for tickets. We were deciding whether to go in early June, or mid July to August. We eventually decided the second option and next thing I new the tickets were booked. I did not however make a trip report of the trip over, but on the trip back.
The morning was off to an early start as I woke up at 7AM to get everything together and catch the train at half 9. We left from the station in Voorburg right on time and arrived at Leiden 9:50 to catch the other train straight to Schiphol, arriving at 9:10. We checked in on the automated check in booth and then proceeded to drop off our bags at the counter. We waited for another half an hour before going to security chatting with the rest of the family and cousins. We went in at around 10:25 which went very quick. We grabbed a Starbucks (since I didn't have one at all on vacation) and went to the gate. Boarding was already in progress and we waited around 5 minutes before stepping into the plane.
PS: Photo's were taken with my iPhone, sorry for the not-so-great quality.
Flight Number: 4673
Scheduled take off: 11:05
Actual take off: 11:28
Flight Time: 46 min.
Aircraft from the gate B15
View from my seat 23A
At this point we we're waiting for taxi because the passenger door was closed. We took off about 20 minutes late due to whatever reason.
Taxi to runway 18L
3 special paints here! Martinair Retro, KLM Retro and KLM in Skyteam colors.
Takeoff from 18L
And that would be all the pictures from that flight because I totally dosed off and forgot about taking pictures. During the flight we we're offered a drink and I took a Coke, and they passed out sandwiches with the option of either ham or cheese, which I kindly declined.
We arrived in Frankfurt at 12:14 and parked at a remote stand and took the bus to the terminal.
Lufthansa A380 which I did not find all too spectacular but interesting to see anyways.
After arriving in the terminal my parents, brother and I proceeded directly to the AA Admirals Club, which I don't have any pictures of because I totally forgot and hadn't really decided if I wanted to do a trip report yet! We stayed for about an hour and a half in the club and in between that time me and my mother went to the Condor check in counter in terminal C to see if it was possible to change the seats on the Condor flight. We arrived at the counter and asked about if it's possible to change the seats but the very kind young lady said the flight was completely full and I had asked if the flight was doing well in which she replied that it's always full. Even though she could not help us with our seats she said that she had to check our luggage tags in and see if everything was in the system because she said since we checked in with Lufthansa, the transaction usually does not go through correctly. She checked out tickets and passports and had printed us new boarding passes for Condor, which only took a short while.
We went back to the Admirals club and ate a few snacks as I charged my iPhone. Half and hour later it was time go to the gate. The club was overall good however some negatives where that even though it had windows, it only showed other gray buildings and nothing else. Also, there was wi-fi but you could only use it if you had an t-mobile account. The only way otherwise to get online was to use the other two computers in the back.
We passed through passport control and walked a while until the last few C gates in which C9 was ours. We passed through security and then waited in the dull room, in which barely any seats were left so we just stayed standing. We were amongst the first to board as she called the last 10 rows of the plane first and continually went down.
Flight Number: 5078
Scheduled take off: 3:20
Actual take off: 3:37
Flight Time: 9 Hours 42 Min
View from seat 30K
Very adequate seat pitch and the seats were not uncomfortable.
What consisted of the seat back pocket pouch. In which everything is in German. -1
Taxi to the runway
Take off roll. A380 had just pushed back when we left!
After breaking through the clouds.
About 45 minutes the crew began the food and drink service and in between that time I totally dosed off.
During the meal service they showed the movie Up In The Air, which I had seen a few months back however instead of going back to sleep I watched the film once again.
We weren't allowed to choose our meal as there was only one option but the meal consisted of some pasta with red sauce and some type of green sauce. I really was not sure what it was but it was very good actually. A warm bread roll, potatoe salad and some type of fruit cake. And my drink was Fanta.
They showed two other movies I didn't watch so I really am not sure what they were.
Somewhere near Bermuda, according to the moving map. At this point I was watching a movie on my laptop called Remember Me, and I was crying like a baby at the end. Can you say embarrassing?
About an hour and a half before landing we received a hot bread roll, a packet with a cold chicken patty and cole slaw underneath it, with some type of blackberry or blueberry cheesecake. I was smart enough to cut the sandwich in half and put the chicken patty and cole slaw on the sandwhich and eat it like that! It was good I must say, however the little cheesecake, not so much.
Starting our decent into FLL
Spoilers on decent. The captain also came on the PA and told some details about our arrival and that the Miami area was full of thunderstorms.
During out decent the clouds and the sun made a very cool rainbow over the wing which lasted a few minutes. I couldn't get a good picture of it as the sun light was going right in the window.
The Florida coastline and Hollywood
Port everglades completely empty
A rough touchdown because I captain hovered a little to much over the runway before getting onto the ground, making it a very speedy exit off the runway and onto the taxiway
Apparent that it had just rained a little
Taxi into gate H8 and the American 738 arrived from Haiti
Then we arrived into the absolutely packed little immigration room which was absolutely full from the Condor flight and AA from Haiti. However it went all very fast. We picked up all of our luggage and many people had trouble getting their bags off of the belt causing everyone next you to help get your bag off the belt.
After being now twice in FRA it's been very hard to navigate and the signage really needs to be updated in Frankfurt. On the way over we spent our whole layover time (4 hours) trying to find the AA Admirals club. After asking 4 random people that worked at the airport it was apparent that many didn't know much because we were sent in literally every direction.
Condor was definitely the right way to go since we got out tickets for so cheap after all since it was a low cost airline and new start up route. I was pretty pleased with the way the flight was and nothing all to negative the report about. The only negatives where that on the way over to Europe, upon arrival in AMS we had to wait at least an hour as more than half the people from the flight from Frankfurt from the Condor flight including us were in the Aviapartner office reporting for lost luggage, and the man said it happened the previous week also. He said that one of that carts just didn't make it to the other plane or something rather. Which is actually the responsibility of the company which handles the bags from Condor.
Most if not everything to do with Condor is in German, which is not all too handy if you only speak English, however every crew member did know English well and was not hard to understand.
My only other complaint were just the crew, in from the trip there and back the crew were just not friendly, or they just did not seem happy to be there. I only remember 2 flight attendants from both flights were actually nice to see and smiling, bottom line, Condor was is a good airline and whenever I need to fly to Europe and the price is right I would not hesitate to book.
Thanks for reading, comments and feedback are always appreciated.
[Edited 2010-08-07 12:41:59]
[Edited 2010-08-07 13:27:43]
[Edited 2010-08-07 13:28:40]