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

753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:10 pm

Introduction

Hunting for rarish plane types can be hard business. Some weeks ago I failed in my quest for logging the Beech 1900D ( To Beech Or Not To BE? HEL-ARN-KSD/TYF-HFS-ARN (by FlyingFinn76 Oct 25 2011 in Trip Reports) ) but had such fun trying to do it that I can’t really be disappointed. Another type missing from me was the stretched version of once ubiquitous Boeing 757, the -300 subtype. This model wasn’t exactly a huge commercial success with only 55 examples rolled off the assembly line at Everett. Luckily there are at least two operators in Europe still using it (no, one of them is not Blue1 whose motto for a long time has been “A plane you don’t want - we’ll take it as long as it is not manufactured any more!”): Lufthansa’s leisure carrier Condor and Icelandair. FI only has a single example, whereas DE has a much larger fleet of 13 birds, so the best chance for scoring one would be to go with Condor.

With this in mind one day I noticed Condor having another one of their fare sales and found a flight from FRA to PMI (where else, after all you have more Germans visiting in Mallorca than the Oktoberfest every year!) at end of season in November for a nice price of 49 EUR (plus another 3 EUR credit card booking fee on top of that). The flight time was quite nasty as it was leaving at 4.50 on a Sunday morning, but then again the early arrival at PMI maximized my possibilities for getting back the same day, so I figured out this was a good chance to catch the 753 and booked the flight.

To get to FRA I booked airBaltic, who else - I’d been wanting to try their FRA service for quite some time now and this was the perfect opportunity, and cheap one as well at 59 EUR. It would be arriving in the early afternoon so I had a lot of time to visit nearby Mainz during my layover, somewhere where I’ve really wanted to go for quite many years now.

There were not that many good options ex-PMI, even the “Ballermann Shuttle” flights with AB to various places in Germany were rather expensive (bugger, as they operate A330s on some of the services!). However I noticed a cheap Vueling flight to BCN for only 19.99 EUR and decided to book that as there would be far better options onward from Barcelona. I’ve flown Vueling before and found the legroom and seat comfort frankly quite horrible, so that short hop is pretty much the only flight I can tolerate in their standard seats...

Ex-BCN there indeed were tons and tons of flight options, but while searching something really caught my eye: a Spanair flight to TXL operated with the lovely MD-87 was on sale just for 45 EUR. I booked that, mainly because of the MD-87 - their Airbuses are not very comfortable, but the good old Mad Dog should be fine. Well, of course some months later there was an equipment change and I found the flight to be scheduled as an A320 instead... damn! Optiontown was offering an upgrade to Premium class for around 50 EUR, but as the reviews of Spanair’s Premium weren’t very impressive either I decided to save my money for something better.

Finally I had planned to take the late night AB service to HEL from TXL, but it was a bit on the pricey side so I decided to wait until the next AB 49.99 EUR sale to see if I could get it for that price. Well, as usually happens by the time the next sale came around the price had already went quite high and even the sale price was quite high - clearly I would need to find something else as I just couldn’t justify paying over 150 EUR for that flight!

Oh - how I missed the Midnight Fokker! When it was running it would’ve been a no-brainer to book the late night BT flight to TXL and connect up to HEL with the midnight flight, but now the schedules required an overnight stay at RIX and I didn’t want to do that.

So I played around with various booking engines (well, matrix.itasoftware.com mainly) and noticed that LH is actually quite lax in their routing and especially open jaw rules. Sure, they are horribly expensive as one ways, but doing an open jaw even to a completely different country is quite price effective, so I came up with the nicely convoluted itinerary of TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL, plus a return HEL-CPH segment for December (which I will of course use to book another nice trip around) for 240 EUR, much better per-segment value than the AB one plus a visit to the LH Senator lounge at Tegel.

So here’s the full itinerary, quite a crazy weekend especially since I decided to go cheap and not book a hotel at FRA:



Some minor (five to ten minutes one way or another, no biggie) schedule adjustments occurred with the Vueling and airBaltic flights, but nothing major luckily.

Saturday 5.11.2011

This day didn’t get off to a very good start as I had a very bad night - kept waking up every half an hour or so and actually got up at one point, totally confused and certain that my alarm had gone off (it was around 1.30 AM at that point...) so by the time the alarm DOES indeed go off I’m not feeling very good at all. I think I should avoid spicy food in the evening if I have an early wake up call...

Well, what can you do but to try to gather yourself, shower, eat something and head outside to the bus stop. This is Finland in November, 7 AM - no wonder we are such a depressed nation:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_1.jpg

Soon enough the bus arrives and to my surprise I spot fellow a.netter makeree there. Well it’s more like he spots me and waves - I’m far too deep in zombieland to pay any attention. It is actually not a complete surprise as we are on the same flight down to RIX but I thought we’d hook up at the airport but apparently the train and bus schedules had him doing a detour via my neighbourhood... Well, all the better.

We are at HEL T1 around 7.30 and head upstairs through the quiet security check, both of us of course having done OLCI before. I’m quite surprised to see BT using a gate with a jetway for this flight this time - most of the time this overnighting 737 is parked somewhere in the apron requiring a nasty bus ride.

Since being downgraded from Executive to VIP just five days previously I no longer have any lounge access at HEL when flying with BT in economy, so we decide to head to the coffee bar for some desperately needed caffeine - too bad the coffee turns out to be quite horrible (at least the mug is nice):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_2.jpg

Boarding is called around half an hour before departure, quite a queue at the gate but smooth sailing - when passing the agent I comment on the use of the jetway but must’ve still been half asleep as I have no recollection of her answer...

Today’s ride is YL-BBS (ahh, brings back nice memories from the times before this Internet thingy...), the expected 737-300 model and a very new one at that, having first flown only in 1999! Actually BT operates the three last ever produced -300 examples (YL-BBJ, BBX and BBY). Third flight for me with this particular plane.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_3.jpg

HEL - RIX
BT302
B737-300 YL-BBS
Seat 4A
8.34 - 9.21

I’m in the first row of economy just behind the curtain. Economy is around half full with no one in business class. Boarding doesn’t take long, but then we just wait for a while until the gate agent comes onboard, hands in the manifest to the crew and says (quite loudly since I can easily overhear her) “There’s still one passenger missing, he is right now at check in and will come straight here.”.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_4.jpg

Some ten minutes later one passenger actually comes and boards - he turns out to be a BT employee as the flight crew seem to know him and he is carrying a BT ID card around his neck.

In the seat pocket they have a promo for BOB sushi - this is one of the things I like about BT, they are constantly innovating (well, some people might say ripping off other people’s ideas...) and trying out new things - some of them work, some of them don’t but you can’t put a man (or a company) down for trying, can you? Anyway I make a mental note to try this out on the next flight if they have any:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_5.jpg

Right after that the doors are closed and we are pushed back, even a minute ahead a schedule.

Must have a 717 in a report - well two of ‘em actually:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_6.jpg

When the engines are started there’s a very nice vortex effect visible as the engines keep sucking the misty air in - it looked far nicer live with that... air thing... wiggling like a stoned snake in a Goa snake charmer show than in these pictures:



OF looking good this morning:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_9.jpg

This one landed on 15 and is taxiing to its gate, I’m pretty sure it is the JFK arrival:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_10.jpg

A cattle truck off to undoubtedly somewhere much warmer and nicer:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_11.jpg

The second overnighting BT bird - this one will operate the next departure to RIX an hour and change later:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_12.jpg

Take off is from 22R - the weather is quite drab:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_13.jpg

...but once through the thin cloud layer we are treated to an amazing light show, courtesy of the rising sun:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_14.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_15.jpg

I forgot to buy a bottle of water so I grab one from the BOB cart - this one dedicated to gabrielchew:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Helsinki_Departure_16.jpg

I doze some but am unable to get any real shuteye so I resort to reading my newspaper instead and in no time at all we are into our finals over the Gulf of Riga - first some more nice sunny views:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Riga_Approach_1.jpg

...but after descending through a rather thick cloud layer the Riga weather shows us that it indeed is November here - these are the first views of the ground just a few seconds before a hard landing on runway 18:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Riga_Approach_2.jpg

Passing some Dashes:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Riga_Approach_3.jpg

We get a jetway gate, always nice.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Riga_Approach_4.jpg

Riga Airport

Guess which airline this queue belongs to (hint: it’s not airBaltic):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Riga_Approach_5.jpg

Makeree is on his way to LGW and has managed to upgrade his flight to business class (congrats!) so we both have lounge access (again, due to being a lowly VIP nowadays I can’t bring any guests to the lounge) and head to the airBaltic lounge for some nibbles, drinks, wifi and chat.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Riga_Approach_6.jpg

The couple of hours layover goes by rather fast and soon enough the lounge agent comes to tell makere that his flight is now boarding, so we say our goodbyes (based on the current schedules our next joint flights are in January...) and he heads out. Some ten minutes later it is time for my flight and I head down to the A gates area (which of course means a bus boarding). I’m quite surprised to find the gate area absolutely packed - somehow I assumed this flight would be quite empty:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Riga_Departure_1.jpg

Some joking with the agent after I am the very first person to miss the first packed bus (“Can’t I walk there?” - “No, it is too far to walk. But I’ll call you a taxi!” - referring to the second bus). We drive towards a row of Dashes parked in the northern apron - and where do we stop? In front of YL-BAE of course - their oldest example and thus the one I’ve had the chance to log the most times - this will already be my sixth flight with her!

RIX - FRA
BT241
Dash 8 Q 400 YL-BAE
Seat 24D
11.32 - 12.57

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Riga_Departure_2.jpg

Inside it is quite packed already and I find a Latvian guy sitting in my seat - as expected he is the aisle guy who thought he got lucky. Sorry, but I reserved this seat already way back when I booked this flight (another perk of status - normal pax need to pay 3 EUR for that), so it’s mine!

Neighbours:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Riga_Departure_3.jpg

Well, it isn’t the most comfortable of seats with a seat mate and a rather full cabin - I see no empty blocks of two anywhere in economy, just some empty seats here and there. Economy load is somewhere around 90%, three rows of business class have a couple of passengers. Quite a lot of Russians onboard, coming in from Kaliningrad judging from their boarding passes (results of the KD Avia bankrupcy?). Also some other connecting pax from the BT destinations in the east like TBS etc.

The British captain announces a flight time of 2h20mins and push back is pretty much on time.

I so wish this ex-Aeroflot TU-134 would join the aviation “museum” next door soon - it’s now been parked here for well over a year and I don’t think anybody has done anything with it:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Riga_Departure_4.jpg

We tail makeree’s 737 to runway 18 and take off right after it, disappearing soon into the murk:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Riga_Departure_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Riga_Departure_6.jpg

Over Lithuania the weather clears up, affording some nice views - this is Telšiai on the shores of the Lake Mastis:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_1.jpg

Klaipeda - the biggest port in the Baltics:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_2.jpg

Directly over Šilutė:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_3.jpg

Part of the extensive delta of the Nemam river:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_4.jpg

At this point I am starting to have a serious feeling of deja vu - see I just read Markus’ latest report in the lounge where he was flying YL-BAE (check) to TXL, sitting in 24D (check) in a packed plane (check), had a talkative British captain (check) and some amazing views of the Curonian spit (check, see the next photos):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_6.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_7.jpg

Once the BOB service gets underway I do what I already decided on the previous flight and order the sushi box plus a nicely chilled can of Aldaris:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_8.jpg

Inside - in addition to this there were two sachets of very nice and potent wasabi, a larger sachet of soy sauce with a small cup to pour it in and a pair of chopsticks:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_9.jpg

I hate raw fish so am normally not a big sushi eater - but luckily this dish is made out of duck and chicken (and seriously speaking - I would be more than a little suspicious at eating raw fish in a dish like this which is actually stored in warm and not refrigerated - instant food poisoning anyone?).

Anyway this meal was a good one - it scored well on all fronts: taste was ok, it was quite substantial, excellent value for money (even though they charged me the list price of 6 EUR instead of the offer price 5.50 EUR - I was too lazy to kick up a fuss, BT needs that money more than I do!) and for an airline meal another important point: it took quite a while to finish, making the flight to appear much faster (never underestimate this point - that’s one of the main purposes of an inflight meal!).

Munching on sushi I watch as we momentarily cross over the front and penetrate into the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. This is Baltiysk (or Pillau im Deutsch) - the westernmost town in today’s Russia - the citadel and its moat are clearly visible:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_10.jpg

My anxiety is soon released as we leave Russian airspace, cross the Gulf of Gdansk and make landfall to Poland near Gdansk - sorry for the hazy photo:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_11.jpg

Hey, it’s SXF - not, it’s BER:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_12.jpg

Cabin view en route:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_13.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_14.jpg

Over Germany the weather clears further and the last 45 minutes of this flight offer very pretty views:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_15.jpg

Well, some not so pretty as well:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_16.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_17.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_18.jpg

Looks like a quarry to me:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_19.jpg

Nice autumn colors:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Enroute_to_Frankfurt_20.jpg

For me our approach appears to be quite weird as we pass FRA from the north, then fly over the city towards the southwest before turning around and lining up with the 07s.

Frankfurt - too bad the skyscrapers (and FRA beyond them) were on the other side of the plane - I bet the views were awesome:


http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Approach_1.jpg

The Taunus mountains looking very atmospheric:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Approach_2.jpg

Hello Rhine, see you in a bit:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Approach_3.jpg

The huge Opel factory at Rüsselsheim, just a stone’s throw from the airport:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Approach_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Approach_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Approach_6.jpg

Landing is on 07R after around 2h15mins of flight time - certainly quite a long time in a packed Dash.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Approach_7.jpg

Never seen Corendon at FRA before:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Approach_8.jpg

The quintessential FRA shot - a LH widebody lifting away:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Approach_9.jpg

As expected we get an apron parking position in front of T2 and a bus ride into the terminal.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Approach_10.jpg

Frankfurt Airport, take 1

From T2 I take the automated train thingy to T1 - FRA is definitely the place for nice reflections:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Approach_11.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Approach_12.jpg

Not that interesting planes this time, but this departing 747 still looks so nice:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Approach_13.jpg

From T1 Regionalbahnhof I take the S8 train to Mainz. Passing the Opel factory at Rüsselsheim again - it even has its own train stop:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Approach_14.jpg

Mainz

I spend a very nice Saturday afternoon and evening in Mainz - the weather is just perfect - a sunny, clear and warmish autumn day with lots of people around.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_4.jpg



Hmm, isn’t there a Finnish member here with this name:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_6.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_7.jpg

Mainz just happens to be Gutenberg’s (not Steve, the one of the moving type fame) hometown:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_9.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_10.jpg

Well, a well, but a very nice one at that:



They had some sort of wine happening going on right next to the cathedral:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_12.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_13.jpg

These prices are cheap as chips - at least to someone so used to Finland (and having this kind of happening here would just not be possible as certain drinking laws would make it just too damn complicated to get a license):



The Rheinufer - a very nice promenade along the Rhine:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_15.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_16.jpg

I sit here for a long while, just chilling and watching the busy traffic on the river:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_19.jpg

And the equally busy traffic into FRA’s 07s:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_17.jpg

I don’t think this one is going to FRA, though:

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

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:12 pm

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_18.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_20.jpg

This is actually the city hall:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_21.jpg

Here’s a place for Lee - maybe you should come here to sample next time you have a long FRA layover, mate:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_22.jpg

Some kind of demonstration for animal rights:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_23.jpg

This is just scary:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_24.jpg

Oh yes:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_25.jpg

Finally I trundle to the train station and take the S8 back to FRA airport.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_26.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_27.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Mainz_28.jpg

Frankfurt Airport, take 2

Have you ever seen FRA this deserted:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_2.jpg

Still, come tomorrow morning it will be very busy again:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_1.jpg

Classy:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_3.jpg

This thing was amazing:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_4.jpg

Early Sunday morning is definitely the time for holiday flights:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_5.jpg

Nice:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_6.jpg

I thought I had come up with the perfect plan: I did OLCI for my TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL flights tomorrow and now managed to get the FRA-CPH-HEL boarding passes from a LH self service kiosk (kinda weird that it printed out boarding passes mid journey, but then again I don’t really expect a FRA machine to print out BPs for a TXL-FRA flight...) so I could use these to go to a LH lounge for the rest of the evening and then just crash somewhere after (if) it closes for the night.

With this in mind I head to the A pier security check, but the boarding pass screener shatters my dreams as he explains that since I have a flight tomorrow (I actually showed him the DE OLCI BP) I can only go through security after midnight. Wow, that sounds quite bollocks to me, but what can I do - to the guy’s credit I have to mention that he was very friendly and apologetic about it and even suggested a sleeping place upstairs where I could go to wait and crash...

Oh, a word or fifteen about the Condor OLCI - this was one of the biggest scams I’ve ever seen - apparently there is NO way whatsoever to do OLCI without having a seat reservation. And to have a reservation you must pay. Money. Sheckels. Dolores. Euros, you know. So pay I did - 10 EUR for a bog standard economy window seat on the penultimate row (last row was completely blocked, more on this later) - there is something cool in having seat 49A on a narrowbody I think  . As a sidenote the load judging from the seat map didn’t look too good, and considering DE was still selling 49 EUR seats for this flight less than a week before departure it probably wouldn’t be either! Still, that OLCI scam got me into a rather bad mood...

Intermission over, now back to present: I decide to check out the area the security agent suggested upstairs next to the LH ticket office. Yes, indeed it is nicely secluded and quiet with some benches to sleep on - too bad many other pax apparently know this and almost all of them are already reserved by snoring people. Well, there actually is one vacant one but the next bench is taken over by a young couple very well into their foreplay at this stage so I decide to skip it as trying to sleep next to an intercourse-in-progress is not exactly my kind of thing (babe!).

Instead I remember this rather nice German winestube-style restaurant I once visited (and had a very nice meal in!) in the bowels of FRA T1 near the train stations and decide to head there for a drink or five. Well, apparently the place doesn’t exist any more as I’m unable to find it, but after wandering aimlessly along the mostly deserted corridors I stumble upon this:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_7.jpg

“To heck with it”, I think and head inside for a pitcher of beer - I’ve never been to a Hooters before so I guess I have to try. Well, judging from this place I will never be to a Hooters ever again, but at least it was a decent way of whiling away some time... The check is quite cute, however:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_8.jpg

I go back to the T1 check in hall, it still is not midnight so I find a bench and just grab a few hours of shuteye. I wake up (or rather am woken up by my cell phone alarm) around 1 AM and decide to head to the gate to continue my sleep. Well, too bad the B gates security screeners tell me to get lost and to come back at 3AM when they open shop. Why the heck are you then there standing around and chatting if your shift doesn’t begin until two hours later??

Anyway I go to another bench and sleep for another two hours.

Sunday 6.11.2011

This time there are quite a few passengers at the security check point - judging from the FIDS I saw earlier they are all going for the two Condor flights from the B pier - my flight to PMI and another one to AYT. Typical holiday travelers so things aren’t exactly too smooth and progress is rather slow. One of the screeners actually congratulates me and gives me a huge thumbs up for knowing the drill perfectly and not beeping while going through the WTMD - yes darling, I reckon I’ve done this maybe 750 times by now so I’ve sort of mastered the art and like this time proves can do it fine even when half asleep.

I grab a bottle of water from the only open concession - overpriced or not I definitely need it as all that beer I had yesterday has left my dehydrated as hell...

I don’t like this B gates upstairs area one tiny bit - I’ve had far too many bus boardings to HEL flights from here and that sort of creeps me out.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_9.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_10.jpg

Luckily boarding is called quite soon, me being me I’m of course the very first one to pass the gate and walk the stairs downstairs to the waiting bus.

The bus ride is kinda weird as I’m really used to seeing FRA chock full of planes and activity everywhere and especially a large number of widebodies. Well - at this time of the day there are NO widebodies whatsoever anywhere in the B or C piers. Actually there are only two planes docked to the jetways there - the DE 753 to AYT and an overnighting Turkish one. All the other jetways are just... empty. Certainly a spooky feeling.

The A pier, on the contrary is full of LH narrowbodies, sleeping to gather strength for the next day’s ordeals, starting with an early morning departure to various destinations around Europe in just a few hours...

We drive quite a long distance toward runway 18 until finally stopping in front of a... tadaa.... 757-300 D-ABOH! Yes, mission (almost) accomplished!

FRA - PMI
DE7398
B757-300 D-ABOH
Seat 49A
4.57 - 6.45

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_11.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_12.jpg

For Markus:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_13.jpg

This bird is so long that it is impossible to get a full frame photo this close.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_14.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_15.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_16.jpg

Boarding through the back door, what else. The last row, 50, turns out to be a half row due to the galley and the half of it (ABC) has some crew bags stashed there:



Condor motif:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_18.jpg

I’m seated in a mini cabin of sorts - just ten or so rows here before a bulkhead and toilets separating it from the main cabin. The load, despite a second bus bringing in more passengers isn’t very impressive at all - less than half of the seats in this mini cabin are taken (with three for me) and I guess not that better up front either.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_19.jpg

Legroom is good:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_20.jpg

Modern airshow:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_21.jpg

I completely miss any announcements from the flight deck, although I have a vague recollection that someone announced the flight time as a quick 1h50mins. Anyway the push back is a few minutes late, with take off from 18 a few minutes later - nice to have no hindering traffic at FRA for once. Take off is very impressive, despite being rather lightly loaded for the short hop with a light load the engines sure make their best to send us rocketing skywards.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_22.jpg

Satellite map:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Frankfurt_Departure_1_23.jpg

After take off I zonk out, I wake up once to see that dawn is indeed getting nearer over the eastern horizon:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Palma_Approach_1.jpg

...but soon fall back asleep. I basically sleep through the whole flight, including the inflight service and only wake up properly once we are less than five minutes away from touchdown, which is very hard and wobbly on PMI’s runway 24L.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Palma_Approach_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Palma_Approach_3.jpg

The pax seated on the row ahead of me left these so I guess the sandwich wasn’t too good:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Palma_Approach_4.jpg

Cute - offering post cards onboard seems to be a German thing:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Palma_Approach_5.jpg

AB next to us:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Palma_Approach_6.jpg

Deboarding seems to be incredibly slow, so I head to the back galley where the door is open, enjoy the nice smelling Mediterranean air, chat a bit with the very senior male FA there (he warns me of thunderstorms in BCN where I tell him I’m going) and shoot a photo of the impeding dawn:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Palma_Approach_7.jpg

Finally it is time to deboard so I walk through this seriously long bird:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Palma_Approach_8.jpg

One bad final shot, bye:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part1/Palma_Approach_9.jpg


This part ends here. The second part will contain my return journey from Palma via BCN, TXL, FRA and CPH plus a comparison between two Spanish carriers - Vueling and Spanair. Stay tuned!

Conclusions

Two nice flights with BT as usual - good fare, friendly crews and one comfortable and one not too comfortable flight - business as usual with them. That sushi meal was a nice bonus, very nice and tasty and a fresh idea, big thumbs up.

Condor - well. I’m happy I managed to log the rare and very cool 757-300. Then again I’m a bit buggered that I basically slept through the whole experience, but with a flight schedule like that what can do you. The little I experienced of DE service seemed to be good, although that OLCI thing with the seat reservation left a very sour taste in my mouth (and some more of this in part 2!) - that’s something I’d expect from FR et al but not really DE who is perceived to be a quality carrier. Apart from that everything was fine, seating comfort surprisingly good for a cattle truck and the 753 of course a very nice and special plane to fly with! I think I need to go back and do another flight during the daytime to sample some more...

Finally, Mainz was a very pleasant city to stroll around for an afternoon plus to have some grub and beer in. It’s less than 25 minutes from FRA with the S8 so definitely a recommendable place to while away some of those long layovers.
 
User avatar
eurowings
Posts: 536
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:40 pm

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:13 pm

HI FF,

Great report as usual. The Condor 757-300 being the star of the report. I remember flying on one of these operated by Flying Colours (now TCX) quite a few years ago!

The airBaltic dashes are deployed on quite a few routes aren't they? I am surprised they are heading to FRA as I tend to associate them with thinner routes.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
although that OLCI thing with the seat reservation left a very sour taste in my mouth (and some more of this in part 2!) -

This isn't unique to Condor, Thomas Cook UK and Monarch also do this. Highly annoying if you ask me.

Looking forward to more!

Thanks
EuroWings
"Freddie Laker may be at peace with his Maker, but he is persona non grata with IATA."- HRH Duke of Edinburgh
 
deltamartin
Posts: 981
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:48 pm

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:28 pm

Hi FF!

Great tripreport as usual!

The Condor 753 is a planetype I've considered flying aswell, maybe combining it with a Monarch A300, no booking made so far though.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
one of them is not Blue1 whose motto for a long time has been %u201CA plane you don%u2019t want - we%u2019ll take it as long as it is not manufactured any more!%u201D)

Ha, made me laugh!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Guess which airline this queue belongs to (hint: it%u2019s not airBaltic):

I'm gonna take a wild guess... Ryanair?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I so wish this ex-Aeroflot TU-134 would join the aviation %u201Cmuseum%u201D next door soon - it%u2019s now been parked here for well over a year and I don%u2019t think anybody has done anything with it:

Was there when I visited RIX in April. Def. a beautiful bird.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I hate raw fish so am normally not a big sushi eater - but luckily this dish is made out of duck and chicken

Hmm, that's good. Would love to try it, don't have any flights booked with BT right now though.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This bird is so long that it is impossible to get a full frame photo this close.

Now that's one long narrowbody!

Looking forward to the next part!

Martin

[Edited 2011-11-12 14:30:01]
 
LH4116
Posts: 1183
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:39 am

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:35 pm

Hello there P as in PETA, great report!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
ubiquitous

What's up with you titling aircraft types like that, lol!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
(no, one of them is not Blue1 whose motto for a long time has been “A plane you don’t want - we’ll take it as long as it is not manufactured any more!”):

I can only think of the MD-90 and 717. Any more types?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh - how I missed the Midnight Fokker! When it was running it would’ve been a no-brainer to book the late night BT flight to TXL and connect up to HEL with the midnight flight,

This Midnight Fokker doesn't deserve to be called notorious, IMHO. Clearly it was doing you some huge favors over the years.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This is Finland in November, 7 AM - no wonder we are such a depressed nation:

Doesn't look too depressing, at least some nice colored leaves on the ground. But if it is as you say, suppose that's the reason why you have Koskenkorva and Finlandia to thank!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Economy is around half full with no one in business class.

Did the crew shut the curtain anf guard it with a shotgun? Or did they just let it remain open.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
they are constantly innovating (well, some people might say ripping off other people’s ideas...) and trying out new things

It's as they say "A good artist copies. A great artist steals".

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I hate raw fish so am normally not a big sushi eater - but luckily this dish is made out of duck and chicken (and seriously speaking -

No, you can't be serious. I've never come across or even heard of sushi made of poultry. This is FAUX sushi!!! The whole point of sushi is raw fish, vegetables, seaweed and rice. The raw fish is the dish!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Never seen Corendon at FRA before:

It's a weird carrier, my mom and sis were unlucky enough to be stuck in the last row on one of their B738's down to Turkey this summer. Judging their pics, it didn't seem like a nice airline nor a good flight.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Have you ever seen FRA this deserted:

Never, ever in the history of the universe, satan, earth, mankind, have I ever seen this before!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well, there actually is one vacant one but the next bench is taken over by a young couple very well into their foreplay at this stage so I decide to skip it as trying to sleep next to an intercourse-in-progress is not exactly my kind of thing (babe!).

Is sex in public legal in Germany? Pretty strange since only Italy and France allows it. Pretty disrespectful to the other people trying to sleep, I mean c'mon there are plenty of empty restrooms...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I’ve never been to a Hooters before so I guess I have to try.

Katshing! Now you have yet another thing to log 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
...but soon fall back asleep. I basically sleep through the whole flight, including the inflight service and only wake up properly once we are less than five minutes away from touchdown,

To me it seems like quite a pointless trip, if going through all that fuzz and hazzle for a flight on a new type, that you'd end up sleeping through.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Cute - offering post cards onboard seems to be a German thing:

I'm pretty sure a handful of them ended up in your bag  

Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the next part!

//Jonas
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
FLIEGER67
Posts: 5195
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:43 am

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:36 pm

Hi, P.,

great stuff, sure a good read before heading to my book tonight.
Also nice pictures from Mainz, I´am not sure how often I´am running around that place but never been in the city till now.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

At this point I am starting to have a serious feeling of deja vu - see I just read Markus’ latest report in the lounge where he was flying YL-BAE (check) to TXL, sitting in 24D (check) in a packed plane (check), had a talkative British captain (check) and some amazing views of the Curonian spit (check, see the next photos):

Now that´s for sure a deja vu.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Hey, it’s SXF - not, it’s BER:

Looking forward to that move, you know.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

For Markus:

That´s the way I like it.

Have a nice Sunday,
Markus(FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
reifel
Posts: 1538
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:53 pm

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:44 pm

Thanks for sharing, what an itinerary

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Frankfurt - too bad the skyscrapers (and FRA beyond them) were on the other side of the plane - I bet the views were awesome:

This picture is actually Wiesbaden, a nice city just a 10 minutes train ride from Mainz. It's my hometown and you can even see my house on that picture. Next time you have some time to spend in Frankfurt, you should seriously consider spending it there. No Mainz-Bashing (quite usual over here *g*), Mainz is nice too, but now that you have seen it, do also spend a visit in Wiesbaden. You'll see nice buildings, the Kurhaus, nice parks... I can guide you  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh, a word or fifteen about the Condor OLCI - this was one of the biggest scams I’ve ever seen - apparently there is NO way whatsoever to do OLCI without having a seat reservation. And to have a reservation you must pay. Money. Sheckels. Dolores. Euros, you know. So pay I did - 10 EUR for a bog standard economy window seat on the penultimate row (last row was completely blocked, more on this later) -

Yes, I realized it last time I flew with them. Sometimes it is really worth it. Once I arrived at 3 am at the airport for a 6 am flight and it took me 2 hours to check in at this ungodly time, since they had some 10 flights or so leaving in the early morning. I would have loved to pay the 10 EUR. You could have used another service very common with German airlines at most airports, called "Vorabend-Check-in", which means "night before check in". You can do this with DE, AB, other german carriers too, even LH. There are specific counters set up the evening before and you can get your boarding pass there. Some carriers (AB, X3, not sure about Condor) ask for a fee, but it's quite low (3-5 EUR). You can even check your bags. However usually lines are quite long.

Too bad about not being able to clear security the evening before. That said, I doubt LH would have let you in the lounge with a boarding pass for the next day, but who knows  

Looking forward for the next part!
 
gabrielchew
Posts: 3731
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 5:43 am

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:46 pm

Congrats on logging the 753!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The flight time was quite nasty as it was leaving at 4.50 on a Sunday morning,

Very nasty - I hate spending the night in airport

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well, of course some months later there was an equipment change and I found the flight to be scheduled as an A320 instead... damn!

Typical

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Since being downgraded from Executive to VIP just five days previously I no longer have any lounge access at HEL when flying with BT in economy

You've been downgraded? I thought you flew way too much on BT for that to happen

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
In the seat pocket they have a promo for BOB sushi

Ooh, thnking outide the box - very good

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I forgot to buy a bottle of water so I grab one from the BOB cart - this one dedicated to gabrielchew:

And they have Borjomi! Love it!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I hate raw fish so am normally not a big sushi eater - but luckily this dish is made out of duck and chicken (and seriously speaking - I would be more than a little suspicious at eating raw fish in a dish like this which is actually stored in warm and not refrigerated - instant food poisoning anyone?).

A lot of places serving fish sushi actually cook the fish. M&S, for example, don't have any raw fish in their sushi packs.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh yes:

Looks good!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The bus ride is kinda weird as I’m really used to seeing FRA chock full of planes and activity everywhere and especially a large number of widebodies. Well - at this time of the day there are NO widebodies whatsoever anywhere in the B or C piers. Actually there are only two planes docked to the jetways there - the DE 753 to AYT and an overnighting Turkish one. All the other jetways are just... empty. Certainly a spooky feeling.

Must be strange seeing no widebodies in FRA. I guess it's only the short period between midnight at 5am when they are all away.
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-CDG,LHR-BKK-AKL-TBU,EUA-TBU-NAN-WLG,WHK-AKL-BKK-LHR
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8153
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:12 pm

Hi P,

Great report, good to catch the 753, still missing from my log.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Another type missing from me was the stretched version of once ubiquitous Boeing 757, the -300 subtype. T

- Me too!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The flight time was quite nasty as it was leaving at 4.50 on a Sunday morning, but then again the early arrival at PMI maximized my possibilities for getting back the same day, so I figured out this was a good chance to catch the 753 and booked the flight.

- Indeed, wish you had told me, would have joined you.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I’ve flown Vueling before and found the legroom and seat comfort frankly quite horrible

- Yep been there twice, it sucks!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This is Finland in November, 7 AM - no wonder we are such a depressed nation:

- Looks like the London area too.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
we decide to head to the coffee bar for some desperately needed caffeine - too bad the coffee turns out to be quite horrible

- It is a worry coffee can be so bad.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
wasabi

- Yuck!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Have you ever seen FRA this deserted:

- Never.

Cheers

Mark
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debonair
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:36 pm

Nice TR...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Luckily there are at least two operators in Europe still using it ... Lufthansa’s leisure carrier Condor and Icelandair. FI only has a single example, whereas DE has a much larger fleet of 13 birds,



Note to the editor: ARKIA 2x, Thomas Cook UK 2x

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
so I figured out this was a good chance to catch the 753 and booked the flight.



For the price ok- otherwise, as always in winter, DE will start domestic flights soon with the B753; like HAM-MUC-HAM!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Boarding through the back door, what else. The last row, 50, turns out to be a half row due to the galley and the half of it (ABC) has some crew bags stashed there:



After long fights with their union etc., row 50ABC is the officially crew rest area (but to be honest, I saw in the past only crew bags resting there).
 
Burj
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:01 am

Awesome trip report! The pictures great and it really made me laugh!

The ad with the floating guy is just AWESOME!

That sucks about the checkin issues and the sleeping arrangements! Maybe I'm a little pervy but I totally would have started recording the amorous couple to either a) have a great youtube video or b) shame them into stopping!

Ugh the Hooters at Frankfurt! That is SO embarrassing, especially having the American flags there! If remember right there is a little grocery store right across from there... was that closed? I had bought quite a few nice things to eat while I was there...

Congrats on being on a 757-300! I was on a NWA one once (pre-merger with Delta). I had gotten upgraded to first and wasn't paying much attention since it was a red-eye...but I will always remember coming out of the first class lav at the front of the plane and having a sense of disbelief at just how LONG and the plane was!

Being a red-eye flight the lights were dimmed and it just seemed like a black hole was swallowing up the back of the plane!
 
The777Man
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:08 am

Hi FlyingFinn!

Nice report with nice pictures !

Sounds like a very brutal trip for a weekend but glad that you finally got on a 757-300although you slept trhu the flight. After such a night though that's not surprsing since you must have been dead tired. I flew on one in April this year LAX-IAH.

Not surprsing they did not let you thru security when your boarding pass is for the next day; same thing here in the US.

Mainz looks very nice ! Seems like a good way to spend the afternoon but since I'm a spotter, I would soend it at the airpot getting new registration numbers.......

Looking forward to part 2.

The777Man
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gpbcroppers63
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:59 am

Hi P,

Thanks for the fab TR. Really enjoyed it. It's great that you sacrifice your sleep for our viewing pleasure.   The 753 is a great aircraft. I was on a CO on once and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your adventure.

Cheers,

Gareth
According to one of my colleagues, my problem is that I'm addicted to travel!
 
LGWflyer
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:33 am

Hey FlyingFinn great trip report as usual, loved the pics! Would love to get on a 753, according to cabin crew on the 753 if you stand at one end of the aircraft you can see the back/front bend during flight. Anyway cheers!  
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aya333
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:29 am

Thanks for the great report again, P! It´s hard to keep up on your trips and reports 

Thanks also for the invitation to join you on this trip. Unfortunately I didn´t have enough currency to join you on such a short notice!

Quoting debonair (Reply 9):
For the price ok- otherwise, as always in winter, DE will start domestic flights soon with the B753; like HAM-MUC-HAM!

Condor 753 definitely is a plane to try some day, maybe on HAM-MUC route.
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rogerbcn
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:46 am

Hola FlyingFinn76!

Great Tr as usual.

Very nice flights and great pictures of Mainz, which seems to be the place to go while waiting for the next one, especially if there is a wine party like the one you joined.

Sleeping at airports is not the most pleasant experience, I did so in ZRH and for a while it was ok, but after turned out to be a pain.... anyway, an idea to catch on some sleep while waiting for such an early flight.

B757-300, looks a great plane, I do not think I have flown any of those before; last time on one was JFK-SEA on AA, a very old looking plane, and I doubt it was the -300.

Looking forward to the next part as BCN was under heavy rain last Sunday, so let's see what your flights were like.

Salut!

Roger
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BMI727
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:51 am

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I’ve never been to a Hooters before so I guess I have to try. Well, judging from this place I will never be to a Hooters ever again, but at least it was a decent way of whiling away some time... The check is quite cute, however:

Based on that pic, it seems this particular Hooters location is missing the point.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
FlyingFinn76
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:17 am

Hi guys, good to see a plethora of comments already - thank you!

Quoting EuroWings (Reply 2):
The airBaltic dashes are deployed on quite a few routes aren't they? I am surprised they are heading to FRA as I tend to associate them with thinner routes.

Yeah, well they are pretty flexible in matching the pax loads with the perfect sized plane - good for business, bad for trying to catch a particular plane type with them. I don't think the FRA route is suh a heavy route for them as they don't carry that many connecting pax on that end like LH does. Plus it being a weekend the Dash was the more logical choice.

Quoting EuroWings (Reply 2):
This isn't unique to Condor, Thomas Cook UK and Monarch also do this. Highly annoying if you ask me.

Wow, that sucks. I can just about understand asking money for reserving a seat in advance - but why prevent people even from checking in without an assignment? That is just so cheap. Then again the FlyBE type of randomly assigned seat if you don't want to pay is not that nice either.

And for the record - Vueling forced me to fork up money as well, but at least it was much less than 10 EUR!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 3):
The Condor 753 is a planetype I've considered flying aswell, maybe combining it with a Monarch A300, no booking made so far though.

Good idea - they both fly to the same destinations like AGP, PMI etc.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 3):
I'm gonna take a wild guess... Ryanair?

Correct. You win. No prize though  .

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
ubiquitous
What's up with you titling aircraft types like that, lol!

I'm not titling anything, simply using an adjective to express the fact that at one point the 757-200 was a very common airplane everywhere and still is anything but a rare one, especially in the US.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
I can only think of the MD-90 and 717. Any more types?

Saab 2000 & Avro.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
This Midnight Fokker doesn't deserve to be called notorious, IMHO. Clearly it was doing you some huge favors over the years.

Well it also contributed a lot to my sleep deprivation over the years.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
Did the crew shut the curtain anf guard it with a shotgun? Or did they just let it remain open.

IIRC it stayed open all throughout the flight. As it should.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
No, you can't be serious. I've never come across or even heard of sushi made of poultry. This is FAUX sushi!!! The whole point of sushi is raw fish, vegetables, seaweed and rice. The raw fish is the dish!

You and your faux crapola. There are plenty of different types of sushi and one without fish or any seafood is quite common.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
Never, ever in the history of the universe, satan, earth, mankind, have I ever seen this before!

Watch your mouth, young man.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
Is sex in public legal in Germany? Pretty strange since only Italy and France allows it. Pretty disrespectful to the other people trying to sleep, I mean c'mon there are plenty of empty restrooms...

When it comes to sex, anything is legal in Germany! Well almost, I think doing it with your car is probably illegal, especially if it is a German car.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
To me it seems like quite a pointless trip, if going through all that fuzz and hazzle for a flight on a new type, that you'd end up sleeping through.

That's what you get with flight times like this. But I still managed to log it. What was I supposed to do then - I couldn't care less about the IFE and it was pitch black outside so no scenery to watch either?

Quoting reifel (Reply 6):
This picture is actually Wiesbaden, a nice city just a 10 minutes train ride from Mainz. It's my hometown and you can even see my house on that picture. Next time you have some time to spend in Frankfurt, you should seriously consider spending it there. No Mainz-Bashing (quite usual over here *g*), Mainz is nice too, but now that you have seen it, do also spend a visit in Wiesbaden. You'll see nice buildings, the Kurhaus, nice parks... I can guide you

Cool, thanks I didn't notice we were already that far away from FRA. Yes, I know Wiesbaden well, it is one of these places on my tovisit list for the next longish Frankfurt layover.

Quoting reifel (Reply 6):
You could have used another service very common with German airlines at most airports, called "Vorabend-Check-in", which means "night before check in".

Yes, I knew this and contemplated on doing it but decided to do the OLCI to make sure I got the seat I wanted. AY at least used to do it doing heavy travel periods at HEL as well - took advantage of it once or twice.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
You've been downgraded? I thought you flew way too much on BT for that to happen

Nope, can't manage 60 segments per year with the cut downs on the HEL services and some other canceled routes. I'm not even sure if I can do the 30 to renew VIP - with a Gold card Star is just damn more inviting these days!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
And they have Borjomi! Love it!

Yes, actually they are promoting it very heavily in the Baltics these days. For example in Estonia it is the water brand that they market in convenience stores etc.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 8):
- Indeed, wish you had told me, would have joined you.

I thought you had exceeded all the good karma this year with your South American trip plus some other jollies and needed to reserve some for next year's 388 adventures? 
Quoting debonair (Reply 9):
Note to the editor: ARKIA 2x, Thomas Cook UK 2x

Yes, but both not exactly carriers I'd like to fly with. Well, I've flown with the UK Thomas Cook (A320 though) and that was an utterly forgettable experience. And Arkia is not European.

Quoting debonair (Reply 9):
For the price ok- otherwise, as always in winter, DE will start domestic flights soon with the B753; like HAM-MUC-HAM!

I have been looking at this option for the last couple of winters, but their schedules never matched mine. Besides it is cheaper to fly to Palma  .

Quoting debonair (Reply 9):
After long fights with their union etc., row 50ABC is the officially crew rest area (but to be honest, I saw in the past only crew bags resting there).

Ok, interesting to know, thanks! Actually at some point one of the FAs was sitting on the aisle seat on my block, resting.

Quoting burj (Reply 10):
Awesome trip report! The pictures great and it really made me laugh!

Thanks!

Quoting burj (Reply 10):
That sucks about the checkin issues and the sleeping arrangements! Maybe I'm a little pervy but I totally would have started recording the amorous couple to either a) have a great youtube video or b) shame them into stopping!

Yeah well that's not me really.

Quoting burj (Reply 10):
Ugh the Hooters at Frankfurt! That is SO embarrassing, especially having the American flags there! If remember right there is a little grocery store right across from there... was that closed? I had bought quite a few nice things to eat while I was there...

Yes, there is a grocery/convenience store right opposite. It was closed at that time, just like pretty much everything else at FRA at that hour!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 11):
Mainz looks very nice ! Seems like a good way to spend the afternoon but since I'm a spotter, I would soend it at the airpot getting new registration numbers.......

Well if you had a telescope or a pair of binoculars you could read the registrations while sitting in a beer garden next to the Rhine  
Quoting The777Man (Reply 11):
Not surprsing they did not let you thru security when your boarding pass is for the next day; same thing here in the US.

Yeah, usually not but with a departure time of 4.50 in the morning you'd think they would let you through 6-7 hours before.

Quoting gpbcroppers63 (Reply 12):
It's great that you sacrifice your sleep for our viewing pleasure.

You are welcome. Someone has to do the sacrifices, you know!

Quoting LGWflyer (Reply 13):
Would love to get on a 753, according to cabin crew on the 753 if you stand at one end of the aircraft you can see the back/front bend during flight

Really? That would be a cool (and a scary) sight to see! But somehow I do believe this.

Quoting AYA333 (Reply 14):
It´s hard to keep up on your trips and reports

Well, don't want to end up with a backlog like Markus has. Plus lots of travel in the books in November.

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 15):
Very nice flights and great pictures of Mainz, which seems to be the place to go while waiting for the next one, especially if there is a wine party like the one you joined.

Yes, a very recommendable place.

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 15):
B757-300, looks a great plane, I do not think I have flown any of those before; last time on one was JFK-SEA on AA, a very old looking plane, and I doubt it was the -300.

Nope, all the AA 757s are the -200 variants. And yes, very old and worn.

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 15):
Looking forward to the next part as BCN was under heavy rain last Sunday, so let's see what your flights were like.

Not the best of weathers there, I agree. Had some delays due to the thunderstorms in the area, but as you said, more on those in the next part...

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 16):
Based on that pic, it seems this particular Hooters location is missing the point.

And what point is that? They did have one nice waitress dressed in oh so tight hot pants, not that well endowed though but they actually had two *blokes* working the bar as well - now what the heck was that all about??
 
CaptainRed
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:31 am

Hi P.,

thanks for yet another great report. Of course congratulations on logging the 753. Just a shame for the ungodly departure hour.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
So here’s the full itinerary, quite a crazy weekend

Wow, that's indeed a crazy routing, even for your high standards   But well done.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Neighbours:

Cool, that's the one that took me to Tallinn last month.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Guess which airline this queue belongs to (hint: it’s not airBaltic):

Oh, that's difficult, but my educated guess is FR, am I right   ?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
(and seriously speaking - I would be more than a little suspicious at eating raw fish in a dish like this which is actually stored in warm and not refrigerated - instant food poisoning anyone?).

Exactly my first thought after I saw the sushi advertisement. Even though I do like a freshly made sushi, I would never have raw fish on board on a plane, for the obvious reasons. But being made out of chicken and duck, why not. And it indeed looks very nice, also the price seems reasonable for it.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Landing is on 07R after around 2h15mins of flight time - certainly quite a long time in a packed Dash.

Quite a long ride in a Dash, I would think they could fill at least a B735 on this route.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I spend a very nice Saturday afternoon and evening in Mainz

Good idea to go to Mainz. I passed it countless times on the autobahn but I have to admit that I never actually made it into the center.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
They had some sort of wine happening going on right next to the cathedral:

Well, not surprising since Mainz is the capital of the Rheinland-Pfalz state which also is a big wine region. Usually during this time of the year there are a lot of wine festivals in that area. Especially the ones in the smaller villages are quite nice, and with still even cheaper prices.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
I don’t think this one is going to FRA, though:

Actually there is a small general aviation airport near Mainz, so it was probably heading there.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
This thing was amazing:

I remember seeing that on my last visit to FRA as well. Indeed nice, something for the little boys in us   ...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Oh, a word or fifteen about the Condor OLCI - this was one of the biggest scams I’ve ever seen - apparently there is NO way whatsoever to do OLCI without having a seat reservation. And to have a reservation you must pay.

Ouch, now that indeed is quite a rip-off. Don't really understand it, I always thought the reason for OLCI is to save money for the airlines on the check-in personal. That only makes people use the check-in desks more. Never expected anything like this on an airline like Condor.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
This bird is so long that it is impossible to get a full frame photo this close.

What a nice bird. And you have managed to get some really good pictures at the night, well done.

Now looking forward to the second part of this trip.

CaptainRed
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:36 am

Hi P.,

nice report about your DE and 753 experience. Those planes are defintitely something special.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The flight time was quite nasty as it was leaving at 4.50 on a Sunday morning

Ah, this is inhuman!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well, of course some months later there was an equipment change and I found the flight to be scheduled as an A320 instead... damn!

Well, that's bad - but it doesn't surprise me considering that you booked some months ago.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Optiontown was offering an upgrade to Premium class for around 50 EUR, but as the reviews of Spanair’s Premium weren’t very impressive either I decided to save my money for something better.

I guess I would have tried it.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
In front of YL-BAE of course - their oldest example and thus the one I’ve had the chance to log the most times - this will already be my sixth flight with her!

Horrible!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I hate raw fish so am normally not a big sushi eater - but luckily this dish is made out of duck and chicken (and seriously speaking - I would be more than a little suspicious at eating raw fish in a dish like this which is actually stored in warm and not refrigerated - instant food poisoning anyone?).

I like sushi, but only if it's fresh. I agree with you here.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh, a word or fifteen about the Condor OLCI - this was one of the biggest scams I’ve ever seen - apparently there is NO way whatsoever to do OLCI without having a seat reservation. And to have a reservation you must pay. Money. Sheckels. Dolores. Euros, you know. So pay I did - 10 EUR for a bog standard economy window seat on the penultimate row (last row was completely blocked, more on this later) - there is something cool in having seat 49A on a narrowbody I think . As a sidenote the load judging from the seat map didn’t look too good, and considering DE was still selling 49 EUR seats for this flight less than a week before departure it probably wouldn’t be either! Still, that OLCI scam got me into a rather bad mood...

Well, even 59 Euro - including the seat reservation - is not really expensive for such a flight, to be honest.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
B757-300 D-ABOH

Nice, I had that one last year.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Condor motif:

I cannot believe what they did - the cabin looks awful now. It used to be much nicer:

Premium Meal & Palma Spotting: MUC-PMI, DE 757-300 (by PlaneHunter Jun 6 2010 in Trip Reports)

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The second part will contain my return journey from Palma via BCN, TXL, FRA and CPH plus a comparison between two Spanish carriers - Vueling and Spanair.

Ah, I cannot wait to read about these Spanish premium brands...  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Then again I’m a bit buggered that I basically slept through the whole experience, but with a flight schedule like that what can do you.

Exactly - I would have been surprised if you hadn't slept under these circumstances.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The little I experienced of DE service seemed to be good, although that OLCI thing with the seat reservation left a very sour taste in my mouth (and some more of this in part 2!) - that’s something I’d expect from FR et al but not really DE who is perceived to be a quality carrier.

Well, it's a holiday carrier which is under pressure by LCCs like many others. We really shouldn't wonder about the consequences of the general low-cost mentality.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
gpbcroppers63
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:51 am

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
You are welcome. Someone has to do the sacrifices, you know!

You're vey noble. I look forward to reading about your next sacrifice  
According to one of my colleagues, my problem is that I'm addicted to travel!
 
gabrielchew
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:22 pm

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
And they have Borjomi! Love it!
Yes, actually they are promoting it very heavily in the Baltics these days. For example in Estonia it is the water brand that they market in convenience stores etc.

Well, I guess with Georgia still being in Russia's bad books, Borjomi needs to push in other markets. Shame it's still virtually impossible to buy in the UK
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-CDG,LHR-BKK-AKL-TBU,EUA-TBU-NAN-WLG,WHK-AKL-BKK-LHR
 
MSS658
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:58 pm

Hi P.

Another nice trip report, thanks for sharing! This report I followed with a paticular interest since the 753 has been on my to-fly list for quite a while now. I'm glad you where able to log it!



Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
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sultanils
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:05 pm

Hello Petteri,

I was very curious about this report as I wanted to know how your encounter with 'FRA at night' was like. Outstanding wasn't it  At least you are the person who can sleep almost anywhere. I would be just closing my eyes, my mind never goes to sleep   That said, I am even more impressed with that B753, it's like the mini version of the A346. Although, 'mini' is not the most appropriate term...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Hunting for rarish plane types can be hard business
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
quite a crazy weekend

To say the least lol!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This is Finland in November, 7 AM - no wonder we are such a depressed nation:

Hey come on, don't be so hard on yourself. In Belgium things look just the same at this time of year at this time of day!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Since being downgraded from Executive to VIP just five days previously

Huh? How come? Because you don't take that many flights anymore on BT?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
there’s a very nice vortex effect visible

What a cool effect!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Once the BOB service gets underway I do what I already decided on the previous flight and order the sushi box plus a nicely chilled can of Aldaris

That tray is packed to the brim. Lucky you did not encounter some turbulence or the contents of your beer would be spread out in the cabin.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Landing is on 07R after around 2h15mins of flight time - certainly quite a long time in a packed Dash.

2h15mins? I laugh at that: I did 3h  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh yes:

What a culinary delight. The green freckles make the difference...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well, there actually is one vacant one but the next bench is taken over by a young couple very well into their foreplay at this stage so I decide to skip it as trying to sleep next to an intercourse-in-progress is not exactly my kind of thing (babe!).

   Some people are jusy plain - not plane - crazy and don't have any sense of decency lol!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I think I need to go back and do another flight during the daytime to sample some more...

If timings are good, count me in!

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
AlwaysOnAPlane
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:33 pm

Hi P,
I have been waiting for this report to appear, happy to read the first part.

I remember you posting about this 753 flight on FB and I though about you spending time at FRA during the wee small hours. Well, it has to be done sometimes to log rare types.

I really like the Sushi idea on BT, looks really filling and definitely something quirky. 2hrs on a dash-8 is more than enough for anyone.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Here’s a place for Lee - maybe you should come here to sample next time you have a long FRA layover, mate:

Ha ha yes, I will make a note. I presume a cow showing you its ass at a burger joint isn't such a bad thing, rump burger anyone?

In fact, the whole idea of passing a layover in Mainz is very appealing. Looks very good coupled with the views of aircraft on final into FRA.

So the 753 is logged. Cool. No surprise you crashed out for most of the flight at that hour.
Really looking forward to part two P.
Cheers, Lee.
 
The777Man
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:42 pm

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Quoting The777Man (Reply 11):
Mainz looks very nice ! Seems like a good way to spend the afternoon but since I'm a spotter, I would soend it at the airpot getting new registration numbers.......

Well if you had a telescope or a pair of binoculars you could read the registrations while sitting in a beer garden next to the Rhine

I prrefer to see the action up close....

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Yeah, usually not but with a departure time of 4.50 in the morning you'd think they would let you through 6-7 hours before.

Not really. Perhaps if the flight left at 0100 or 0200 but not any later than that.

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
LGWflyer
Posts: 2233
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:49 pm

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Really? That would be a cool (and a scary) sight to see! But somehow I do believe this.

Yeah, it would be an interesting sight to see! Can't say the same for someone waiting for the toilet who is scared of flying haha.
3 words... I Love Aviation!!!
 
User avatar
OA260
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:09 pm

Hey nice report as usual. Why is the SU TU134 at RIX in the first place?

Nice sushi I get the one in M&S and its a Tuna one which is very tasty with strips of Ginger etc...

Nice report on Condor B757 also . Love those A/C.


Regards

Philip  
 
egilsml
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:11 pm

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:36 pm

Hello Petteri.
As always a fun and enjoyable read.
You and Markus made my Sunday with new and fresh trip reports  
Keep on flying, and typing.

MVH
Egil Lamoey
Alta, Norway
 
palmjet
Posts: 1230
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2001 2:35 pm

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:39 pm

Good evening FF

I was reading through your latest report and I had yet to come across a B717. Thankfully that was soon rectified and not only 1 717, but a bonus one to boot... great stuff!

I felt incredibly tired reading about your 450am start to PMI. Wow. That's a shocking time to be going anywhere. Having said that, you're right, I've not seen FRA looking that quiet in a long time....

Nice to see you achieved your aim as well - to get on the 753. I did my first (and so far only) 753 last year flying DL on a DTW-MCO flight. They are certainly loooong.

Thanks for a great report. I am getting through your other inaugurals as well!

Palmjet
Eastern - Number One To The Sun
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8153
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:43 pm

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 8):
- Indeed, wish you had told me, would have joined you.

I thought you had exceeded all the good karma this year with your South American trip plus some other jollies and needed to reserve some for next year's 388 adventures? 

- Possibly true, but keep me posted for interesting stuff such as this, wife is AOK with trips at the moment, though likely to change at any time I suspect!
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
 
volvair
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:29 am

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:24 pm

Hi FF,

great trip report and congratulations of course on logging the 753 on DE. I myself don't actually know if I have been on one of them. Had a MUC-CTA flight in 2002 on DE and just remember it was a narrowbody. Bummer.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh - how I missed the Midnight Fokker! When it was running it would’ve been a no-brainer to book the late night BT flight
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Since being downgraded from Executive to VIP just five days previously I no longer have any lounge access at HEL

Well, I thought we would see you flying BT until the end of their day (which has been looming around the corner for some time now), but that probably means that you won't be venturing to Riga that often in the future, doesn't it?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
BBS (ahh, brings back nice memories from the times before this Internet thingy...)

Ha, I actually had to google that. Thanks for letting me feel young  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
plus a nicely chilled can of Aldaris:

Great to see them still serving the large can. 3€ is it, still?


And tons of respect to you for roughing it at FRA and then taking on 6 legs on one day including a Ballermann express, Vueling (!) and Spanair!

Thanks for sharing!
 
Luxair747SP
Posts: 543
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:07 pm

Hi P ,

very nice report about the 753.
This Dash flight seems to be one of the longest around in Europe.
Also the sushi on BT don't look bad.
The beer in FRA was quite a good value for "only" 10, 50 for a pitcher.

Looking forward to the next part.
Cheers.
Johannes
My blog about travelling in Moscow & Russia:
https://russiainanutshell.wordpress.com
 
SloAir
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RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:42 pm

Hey FF,

congrats on catching the 753. If only the flight would depart a few hours later so you can get a decent sleep and at least enjoy the flight a bit and not sleep all the way. Maybe some other time   I flew on the 753 from IAH to LAS and was seated in the back cabin, just a few rows more forward than you. It was a great feeling walking all that way down a narrow body.

Regards,
Blaž
Visit Ljubljana
 
FlyingFinn76
Topic Author
Posts: 1698
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:10 pm

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:44 pm

Hi guys,

Good to see more comments, thank you!

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 18):
Oh, that's difficult, but my educated guess is FR, am I right ?

Correcto.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 18):
But being made out of chicken and duck, why not. And it indeed looks very nice, also the price seems reasonable for it.

Yeah, not a bad dish at all and good value for money.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 18):
Quite a long ride in a Dash, I would think they could fill at least a B735 on this route.

It started as a 735 but recently more and more rotations have been operated with the Dash.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 18):
What a nice bird. And you have managed to get some really good pictures at the night, well done.

The massive FRA floodlights sure helped a lot.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 19):
Well, even 59 Euro - including the seat reservation - is not really expensive for such a flight, to be honest.

Yes, you are right in that sense.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 19):
I cannot believe what they did - the cabin looks awful now. It used to be much nicer:

I remembered the nice "beach and palms" fresco on the back wall from earlier reports and kept wondering why it wasn't on that bird. Now it looks like they also changed the seats... for the worse.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 19):
Ah, I cannot wait to read about these Spanish premium brands...

Yes, the best two flights I had this year... NOT.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 19):
Well, it's a holiday carrier which is under pressure by LCCs like many others. We really shouldn't wonder about the consequences of the general low-cost mentality.

Yes, you do have a good point here. Unfortunately so, but yes, definitely many notches above FR et al.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 22):
This report I followed with a paticular interest since the 753 has been on my to-fly list for quite a while now. I'm glad you where able to log it!

Shouldn't be too difficult for you either, they have a lot of flights ex-DUS and CGN, both convenient for Belgium!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 23):
That said, I am even more impressed with that B753, it's like the mini version of the A346.

Yes, there's something similar there.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 23):
Huh? How come? Because you don't take that many flights anymore on BT?

Yes, 60 per year is quite a hefty amount, especially with their shrinking route network.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 23):
That tray is packed to the brim. Lucky you did not encounter some turbulence or the contents of your beer would be spread out in the cabin.

My thoughts exactly.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 23):
2h15mins? I laugh at that: I did 3h

Well, you're hard core!

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 24):
Ha ha yes, I will make a note. I presume a cow showing you its ass at a burger joint isn't such a bad thing, rump burger anyone?

Yes, something like that. Looked like an authentic grease pit, too bad I wasn't in a mood for a burger so decided to go for those Bratwürste instead.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 29):
I was reading through your latest report and I had yet to come across a B717. Thankfully that was soon rectified and not only 1 717, but a bonus one to boot... great stuff!

Part two has me flying one!

Quoting volvair (Reply 31):
great trip report and congratulations of course on logging the 753 on DE. I myself don't actually know if I have been on one of them. Had a MUC-CTA flight in 2002 on DE and just remember it was a narrowbody. Bummer.

Hmm, that's interesting. That sounds like a route that would probably be operated by an A320, though.

Quoting volvair (Reply 31):
Well, I thought we would see you flying BT until the end of their day (which has been looming around the corner for some time now), but that probably means that you won't be venturing to Riga that often in the future, doesn't it?

It depends. I mean I don't care that much for Executive - I still have another 11 months of VIPness ahead of me and that gets me to the lounge at RIX so that is fine for me, at least on flights ex-HEL as I prefer to arrive just before the flight there anyway. Plus with a Diners Club card I basically have access to the same lounges in most of their destinations in Europe anyway, so no problems with that. I have a bunch of BT flights booked until end of March, it is not really the status that's holding me back, more their downshifting of operations.

Quoting volvair (Reply 31):
Ha, I actually had to google that. Thanks for letting me feel young

Thanks for letting me feel old.

Quoting volvair (Reply 31):
Great to see them still serving the large can. 3€ is it, still?

It recently went up to 3.50 EUR. Still good value though.

Quoting volvair (Reply 31):
And tons of respect to you for roughing it at FRA and then taking on 6 legs on one day including a Ballermann express, Vueling (!) and Spanair!

Isn't AB the authentic Ballermann carrier? But yeah, Sunday was a rough day.

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 32):
This Dash flight seems to be one of the longest around in Europe.

Actually Nils did RIX-BRU which is a bit longer. And I've done BHX-ARN and ARN-BRU with the SAS Dashes when they still had them. They also operated ARN-GVA which was a helluva long flight. And BE did IOM-PMI and some other weird routes too.

Two years ago I flew RIX-KIV with a Fokker 50, now THAT was a helluva long turboprop flight, over 3 hours.

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 32):
The beer in FRA was quite a good value for "only" 10, 50 for a pitcher.

Well, luckily you Germans still have your priorities right. Beer at most German airports is really affordable, only HHN and DUS charge ridiculous amounts for it (and even at DUS you can get around it by buying cans from the convenience stores!).
 
Knightsofmalta
Posts: 1687
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:05 pm

Hi FlyingFinn76

Thanks for yet another one of your interesting and entertaining reports. They're always a pleasure to read.

You obviously seem to like you food and the grilled sausages on the potato mash do look rather mouthwatering. But:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I hate raw fish so am normally not a big sushi eater - but luckily this dish is made out of duck and chicken (and seriously speaking - I would be more than a little suspicious at eating raw fish in a dish like this which is actually stored in warm and not refrigerated - instant food poisoning anyone?).

Seriously, chicken and duck sushi? Was it any good? I've tried the Korean version of sushi, which is with cooked beef, and that was just strange.

But in any case, thanks for posting.
 
Mike89406
Posts: 1391
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:05 pm

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:49 am

Sounds like you had a lot of fun. I love the 753 and flew one with DL recently. At any rate looking forward to more of your trips.

Mike
 
signol
Posts: 2652
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:18 pm

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:11 am

Hello there,

Excellent report as usual!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
240 EUR, much better per-segment value

It looks quite an expensive flight for you, but then with that many legs it's ok, and they all count towards status!

Mainz looks a good spot, I've an 8h layover in FRA in December, but I was thinking of heading into FRA itself - there should be some Christkindlemaerkte there, I hope!

And finally the 753 does look very long! Was there really no way to get a photo of the full length of it? Shame.

Thanks

signol
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
FlyingFinn76
Topic Author
Posts: 1698
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:10 pm

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:15 pm

Hi all,

Good to see more comments. Thank you.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 35):
Thanks for yet another one of your interesting and entertaining reports. They're always a pleasure to read.

Thanks, glad you liked it.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 35):
You obviously seem to like you food and the grilled sausages on the potato mash do look rather mouthwatering. But:

Yes, there's quite nothing like good German Wurst. But it is not mash actually, just German style potato salad.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 35):
Seriously, chicken and duck sushi? Was it any good? I've tried the Korean version of sushi, which is with cooked beef, and that was just strange.

What's so strange about that? Raw fish is hideous, so this is my kind of sushi. A bit dry, but quite a substantial dish and tasted nice with a generous dollop of that quite potent wasabi and a tiny splash of soy sauce!

Quoting signol (Reply 37):
It looks quite an expensive flight for you, but then with that many legs it's ok, and they all count towards status!

Well, four flights for 240 EUR is 60 EUR per segment - okayish for me. Well, the LH flight does not count for status with Eurobonus (nor does it bring many miles), but the SK and KF segments of course do.

Quoting signol (Reply 37):
Mainz looks a good spot, I've an 8h layover in FRA in December, but I was thinking of heading into FRA itself - there should be some Christkindlemaerkte there, I hope!

Any self respecting German city has these. And yes, they are very nice indeed, although it is a bit like once you've seen one you've seen most of them really! But that Glühwein is just so damn nice.

Quoting signol (Reply 37):
And finally the 753 does look very long! Was there really no way to get a photo of the full length of it? Shame.

No, not really. The buses stopped far too close to it and I doubt the ramp agents would've been very amused if I wondered somewhere far away in an attempt to make a full frame photo! And the views out of that pier at PMI were very lousy.
 
LXM83
Posts: 567
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 12:48 am

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:37 pm

Hi FlyingFinn76

Thanks for yet another great report, enjoyed reading it.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The flight time was quite nasty as it was leaving at 4.50 on a Sunday morning

Ouch, yes very nasty indeed!
But I agree with your decision not to book a hotel, rather a waste of money if you need to leave around 3 am anyway...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
so I came up with the nicely convoluted itinerary of TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL, plus a return HEL-CPH segment for December

Well done! Never waste a flight.... looking forward to see how you will use the spare HEL-CPH flight!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
there’s a very nice vortex effect visible as the engines keep sucking the misty air in

Wow, I never saw it so clearly. I guess you were surprised to see it!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
touchdown, which is very hard and wobbly on PMI’s runway

It seems the 753 is "hard" to land. I took DE from DUS to PMI and it was my hardest landing ever. Even some oxygen masks came down.

Looking forward to reading part 2.
Cheers,
LXM83
 
infodesk
Posts: 1462
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 11:06 pm

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:12 pm

Hi P,

Crikey, I seem to have such a backlog of reports of yours to read. You're flying too much! Anyway, glad you caught the 753, it made the early start and the night in FRA worth it I'm sure. Some pretty pictures of Mainz too.

Quite a nice idea with the sushi on BT, not that I'd eat it.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
even the “Ballermann Shuttle” flights with AB to various places in Germany were rather expensive (bugger, as they operate A330s on some of the services!).

Highly recommended, if you can catch one!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
When the engines are started there’s a very nice vortex effect visible as the engines keep sucking the misty air in - it looked far nicer live with that..

Hey, great effect indeed.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
but once through the thin cloud layer we are treated to an amazing light show, courtesy of the rising sun:

Beautiful!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh, a word or fifteen about the Condor OLCI - this was one of the biggest scams I’ve ever seen

That is a rip off, especially when it's really not necessary to have a seat reservation as the plane is half empty. Still, I guess I'd have paid it too, nothing worse than standing in a queue of holiday makers with all their luggage (I'd better be careful what I say, I'm guilty of it once a year!)

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 15):
Sleeping at airports is not the most pleasant experience, I did so in ZRH and for a while it was ok, but after turned out to be a pain

One word....Pristina?  

Happy flying
Infodesk   
"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
 
717Flyer
Posts: 301
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:41 am

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:53 pm

Hi P,

Congratulations for scoring 757-300! It seems you enjoyed catching it even though flight timings weren't the best this time. I also had a good time following your adventure so no need to say the next part will be read very soon!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Some weeks ago I failed in my quest for logging the Beech 1900D

Didn't I tell you already it was time to log the Beech close to some beach (no pun intended!!!) in the Carribean area.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
(no, one of them is not Blue1 whose motto for a long time has been “A plane you don’t want - we’ll take it as long as it is not manufactured any more!

Come on, don't be so hard on them! First of all, they're such a wonderful company - and secondly - who actually misses another 32X or 737 at HEL? You got to thank KF for adding some color to the airport (specially with the leased DAT " lego planes")

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
To get to FRA I booked airBaltic, who else - I’d been wanting to try their FRA service for quite some time now and this was the perfect opportunity, and cheap one as well at 59 EUR

I just received the LH newsletter in my mailbox were they announced doubled frequencies on the FRA-RIX route. Hopefully BT will still survive!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
(well, matrix.itasoftware.com mainly)

Thanks, that's a new one for me!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
much better per-segment value than the AB one plus a visit to the LH Senator lounge at Tegel.

... AND a chance to get used to the midnight 717!  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
kept waking up every half an hour or so and actually got up at one point, totally confused and certain that my alarm had gone off

Well, that's just 753 pre-flight anxiety.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
the coffee turns out to be quite horrible (at least the mug is nice):

Phew! Better serve no coffee at all than bad coffee.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
hey are constantly innovating (well, some people might say ripping off other people’s ideas...) and trying out new things - some of them work, some of them don’t but you can’t put a man (or a company) down for trying, can you

with the airBaltic shoe being the latest addition.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Must have a 717 in a report - well two of ‘em actually:

Those planes make me all warm and fussy! Btw, did you wave happily at OH-BLN, (that used to be) your only missing 717?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A cattle truck off to undoubtedly somewhere much warmer and nicer:

Off to LPA (see - I looked it up!). Actually I've flown the same route on that same plane - even the same flight number! It was on Christmas eve and plane was cramped as what. That's all I remember.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Legroom is good:

...but might get worse on your other flights!

Regards,
717Flyer
 
User avatar
airbuseric
Posts: 3560
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:24 am

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:57 pm

Great report P, and I'm glad to hear that you've finally logged the -300 as well! I understand why you made this effort to get this trip done despite another member... Well done!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lufthansa’s leisure carrier Condor and Icelandair. FI only has a single example, whereas DE has a much larger fleet of 13 birds

Debonair menionted already about it. I was thinking about Thomas Cook (ex JMC) examples G-JMAA/JMAB as well. Would love to fly on one of them as well. Arkia isn't Europe, though (imho)  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
offering post cards onboard seems to be a German thing:

And Japanese!

btw, the back panel on ABOH seems different then I got on ABOC (yellow/holiday colours). Also a different kind of seat (or cloth). Has there been a recent cabin update on DE's 757-300's?

Well, I really enjoyed the flight, and nice to see sushi onboard BT. Note to Jonas: you better get yourself better informed before talking this way about sushi. You know I've been numerour (16) times in Japan so far and have eaten (or seen) man y different kinds of sushi. It's not only fish..

P., your camera lens (or sensor) seems dirty, hence the black spots here and there. A cleaning job seems the best way to get rid of them again   See you soon!

Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
photoshooter
Posts: 410
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:12 pm

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:27 am

Hi FlyingFinn76

Nice trip report you've got there! I like the way you combine airlines and airports.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
When the engines are started there’s a very nice vortex effect visible as the engines keep sucking the misty air in - it looked far nicer live with that... air thing... wiggling like a stoned snake in a Goa snake charmer show than in these pictures:

That's interesting, I've never seen that before...


Such a pity these holiday airlines have a stupid schedule!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Legroom is good:

Are you sure? looks very tight!


Thanks again, keep posting!

Niek.
'A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.' - Winston Churchill
 
FlyingFinn76
Topic Author
Posts: 1698
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:10 pm

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:29 pm

Hi guys,

Good to see more comments, thank you!

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 39):
Well done! Never waste a flight.... looking forward to see how you will use the spare HEL-CPH flight!

Well, you have to use up the fares to their fullest!   The spare run coming up on Finnish Independence Day!

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 39):
Wow, I never saw it so clearly. I guess you were surprised to see it!

Yep, indeed I was. A really nice show, should've shoot a video of it actually!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 40):
You're flying too much!

I've heard that one a couple of times!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 41):
Congratulations for scoring 757-300! It seems you enjoyed catching it even though flight timings weren't the best this time. I also had a good time following your adventure so no need to say the next part will be read very soon!

Yeah well I'm an obsessed fellow, if I'm on a mission I'm hard to stop!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 41):
Come on, don't be so hard on them! First of all, they're such a wonderful company - and secondly - who actually misses another 32X or 737 at HEL? You got to thank KF for adding some color to the airport (specially with the leased DAT " lego planes")

I'm not complaining. It just is so funny with all their plane types. BTW flying OY-JRU to CPH tomorrow  .

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 41):
... AND a chance to get used to the midnight 717!

Well, there's that too!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 41):
Those planes make me all warm and fussy! Btw, did you wave happily at OH-BLN, (that used to be) your only missing 717?

Nope, didn't notice the reg actually. Was feeling far too sleepy.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 42):
I understand why you made this effort to get this trip done despite another member...

Despite another member what?

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 42):
btw, the back panel on ABOH seems different then I got on ABOC (yellow/holiday colours). Also a different kind of seat (or cloth). Has there been a recent cabin update on DE's 757-300's?

Yes, they have changed the seats and got rid of the palm tree fresco, which is bad. PlaneHunter flew this very same plane and you can see that interior still there on his report.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 42):
P., your camera lens (or sensor) seems dirty, hence the black spots here and there. A cleaning job seems the best way to get rid of them again See you soon!

Well, they moved around a bit, but as you saw yesterday they are still there. I guess I need to bring it to the shop at some point. I just need to figure out when I might have an opening in my travel schedules for that... Being a wanderer sure brings some interesting problems.

Quoting photoshooter (Reply 43):
Nice trip report you've got there! I like the way you combine airlines and airports.

It keeps things interesting!
 
parton87
Posts: 501
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:20 pm

RE: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI

Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:46 pm

Hello Petteri!

Thanks for the great story. Nice to catch such a rare bird like the 753!

Beautiful pictures from Mainz! It looks like a place worth of visit!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This is Finland in November, 7 AM - no wonder we are such a depressed nation:



It´s the same over here if it´s some comfort 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
(at least the mug is nice):



I like this distinct cups! I will always think of HEL when I see them!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
having first flown only in 1999



Interesting, I didn´t know there is so new 733´s.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
wiggling like a stoned snake in a Goa snake charmer show than in these pictures:



You always manage to catch these cool experiences!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
but once through the thin cloud layer we are treated to an amazing light show, courtesy of the rising sun:



Beautiful pictures!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
So here’s the full itinerary, quite a crazy weekend especially since I decided to go cheap and not book a hotel at FRA:



Looks very hectic 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
made out of duck and chicken (and seriously speaking - I wo



Is this common? I´ve only heard of Sushi with fish and other seafood

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I don’t think this one is going to FRA, though



Are you sure?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
This is actually the city hall



Cool! You can really find buildings in Germany with some very special design!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Oh yes



You really like german sausages, don´t you? 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
So pay I did - 10 EUR for a bog



Condor knows how to make money four sure!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
All the other jetways are just... empty. Certainly a spooky feeling



It´s a very strange feeling. I arrive to ARN in the middle of the night once and it was completely deserted. ARN are for sure not the same as FRA but it was still a very strange

Thanks again!

Greetings
Robert

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