Welcome to my sixth trip report!
In October this year, a friend of mine, Daniel, made me aware of that he would fly to Copenhagen in the beginning of December. Since I had no trips planned for the remainder of the year, but definitely needed a getaway, I told him that I would look into it and hopefully get a few days off from work. Initially, I intended to try to make use of SAS' last-minute youth fare. However, after Daniel had mentioned his positive experiences with travel website expedia, I decided to book flights right away so that I would be able to make my way to the capital of Denmark by any means.
The offer by expedia was simply convincing, both in terms of selection and fares (it does help to travel off season, after all). I could choose from a wide range of carriers and alliances, with SK's nonstop service from STR to CPH being by far the cheapest, but also the one with least convenient flight times. Eventually, I decided to fly Austrian Arrows via VIE on the inbound flights, as they had the latest departure of the day out of CPH. As for the outbound journey, I narrowed it down to either LX or LH. Since the layover in ZRH would have been far too short, I decided to fly LH (or rather, their regional affiliate Ausgburg Airways) via MUC, as it would also give me the opportunity to fly on new as well as tried and tested aircraft types.
Overview of my itinerary on Lufthansa's website
Although advertised differently in the title, I would like to mention that this trip report will focus on the Lufthansa flights. There are two reasons for this: The outbound journey was flown mostly in daylight, which is naturally better for photography, and involved a fairly long layover at Munich airport. Moreover, the battery of my camera went emtpy at CPH without prior notice or possibility to recharge. I'm sorry about this, I wish I could have taken more pictures myself, especially since I arrived at the airport earlier exactly for that purpose. Nevertheless, I will dedicate a few lines to my flights and the service on Austrian Arrows.
Fortunately, time went by quickly and I was on holiday by December 2nd. As I would arrive by public transport the next morning hardly one hour before scheduled departure time, I made the decision to use the late-night check-in offered by Lufthansa and several other carriers at Stuttgart airport. Although LH does not really promote this option, it is possible to completely check-in between 6 PM and 8 PM on the eve before departure for all flights leaving till 11 AM the next morning. The procedure turned out to be amazingly fast, also thanks to the competent ground staff. It took hardly five minutes to print out my boarding passes and drop my bag altogether. However, frequent announcements ask passengers to stay at the airport for a while after checking in and pay attention to possible baggage recheck annoucements.
LH Economy Class check-in counters. Those for Business and First Class are on the opposite side
Seen from below. Note the Christmas decoration on the pillars
New style FIDS – now with airline logos and an enhanced structure
So far, I can definitely agree about London, Berlin and Munich
The next morning, I took the earliest possible suburban train to the airport, which is scheduled to arrive there at around 5:50 AM – too late for some of the earlier departures. Since I had not much leeway, I was relieved to see it operating on time. It is of course debatable if bag drop really takes too long to do it right before departure, but I must say I liked the thought of simply proceeding to the security check hassle-free. As the departure gate 162 had not changed since the day before, I located it quickly and waited for boarding.
Stuttgart Airport/Trade Fair suburban train underground station
The newly-installed transfer counter
The waiting area of exit 162
Generous newspaper offer
Ground level exit
Thermal paper with a great background design. But I hope these are actual employees and not random models
For those of you familiar with German geography, you will know that Stuttgart – Munich is a no-distance. Depending on the traffic situation, it is doable by car in approximately two to three hours. The ICE train completes the journey in less than two and a half hours, city center to city center, and is a lot cheaper than the flight on LH. Anyway, I was excited for this flight as I hadn't flown on a prop in a very long time and definitely wanted to add the Bombardier Q400 to my log as well. Boarding was called on time, every passenger was on site, so the Cobus could leave quickly for the apron position.
||Saturday, 3rd of December, 2011
||Lufthansa Regional (Augsburg Airways)
||Stuttgart (- Echterdingen) – Munich (- Franz Josef Strauss)
||0h 41m (6:54 AM CET - 7:35 AM CET)
||De Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q Dash 8
||D-ADHE (delivered 08/07/2002)
Photo © Joel Vogt
Photo © Kristóf Csemniczky
After a really bumpy taxi to runway 25, the aircraft skyrocketed – in the truest sense of the word. I wish I could have taken some pictures, but the sun still had not risen. So I was excited to see what the service would consist of on this very short flight. The two flight attendants sprang into action as soon as it was safe to do so, and distributed a full breakfast to the Business Class passengers. Everyone else received a drink and a muesli bar. In the meantime, the aircraft had already climbed to the cruise altitude. However, it didn't stay there for long, but more or less directly began its descent, which was accompanied by some basic flight information from the flight deck.
Black tea for me
On approach for runway 26R
A smooth landing marked the early arrival of this flight. The aircraft came to a final stop on the parking positions nearby terminal 1, which meant that a bus transfer to terminal 2 was needed.
The aircraft still sported the old logo of Augsburg Airways
Just entered the terminal after the bus transfer
Terminal 2 at Munich is a sizeable and modern facility. It handles both domestic/Schengen and international/non-Schengen flights. Most of the passengers from this flight seemed to have a connection in the same terminal. Since both terminals are geographically separated, I decided to confine my stay to terminal 2. Amenities offered by Lufthansa here for all passengers include newspapers and hot drinks.
One of many self-service bars in the terminal
"A [warmly-welcomed] service for our passengers"
The not exactly true to scale replica of the Allianz Arena is a good place to enjoy your drink in
Maybe the coffee is a bit watered down, but mine was still enjoyable
A standardized LH departure gate – you can actually scan your bording pass yourself
Outbound into the New Jersey or the Illinois coldness?
MUC is one of the few airports worldwide to see B764 aircraft of both the sole operators, DL and UA-CO
I was literally only one click away from booking a flight on this Jumbolino
"Leipzig" seen after and before a long duty
The maple leaf carrier arriving after a transatlantic journey
SQ rushing to the active runway, bound for MAN. It would arrive there more than two hours late
The aircraft type I was about to fly on passing by under a rather threatening sky
I guess by now you have figured out what the big "M" stands for?
I settled down at gate G17 about one hour before scheduled departure time. Boarding was called without a proper annoucement (it sounded like "Copenhagen boarding"), but everybody seemed to have understood it. When choosing my flights to Copenhagen, I was excited to see that the second leg would be operated by an E-Jet. Having flown on KLM Cityhopper this past March, the Brazilian-built jets have become my preferred equipment for shorthaul flights.
||Saturday, 3rd of December, 2011
||Lufthansa Regional (Augsburg Airways)
||Munich (- Franz Josef Strauss) – Copenhagen - Kastrup
||1h 33m (10:48 AM CET – 12:21 PM CET)
||Embraer ERJ-190-200LR 195LR
||D-AEMD (delivered 07/08/2009)
Photo © Bruno Bevivino - Roma Spotters Club
Photo © Christian Weber
...but to my relief it turned out to be the Embraer after all
The GE in inGEnious aircraft?
Even if from the wrong side, the sun had eventually come out
When I stepped onboard, I was pleasantly surprised by the cabin. The leather seats turned out to be very large, offering a lot of privacy and great comfort. Legroom was not exactly as good as on the Bombardier, but the distinct Embraer feeling certainly made up for that.
First view out of the window...
Legroom and seat pocket
Overhead panel featuring a non-smoking sign, but lacking an electronic devices off sign
Soon after boarding had been completed, the safety information started, in default of overhead screens as usual by playback sound and manual demonstrations. Additionally, Captain Walter provided the passengers with a lot of details about the flight. What a nice welcome! We seemed to run a little behind schedule, but having already made my connection, that was not too much of a concern for me.
Finally taxiing out for runway 26R. British Airways and Air France can be seen in the distance
Lining up in what turned out to be a gorgeous morning... in Bavaria at least!
As my new camera is capable of filming videos, I decided to give it a try during the take off run and initial climbout.
Make sure to watch in High Definition and full screen
Seamlessly continued from the video: Executing a right turn after departure. Note the strobe light!
Since this flight was a little longer than the one before, I was curious to see what we would be served this time. The flight attendants, all of whom were highly professional, distributed pre-packed "Laugenstangen" already filled with butter. I was offered two drinks, so I decided to have some water and Coke. Even a small dessert was given out. And to make the service complete, every passenger could have a cup of sparkling wine. There is no picture of it though, since I did not feel like drinking. I am not quite sure if this was a regular part of the service or a random courtesy by the cabin crew, however it was a nice touch by any means.
A very German snack
Inspired by airberlin – or vice versa?
Some more flight information followed from the First Officer, who was flying us that day. He mentioned that it would be rainy and windy in Copenhagen. Kind of an odd timing for the annoucement, since we were still flying overhead the clouds at that time, where the weather was nice as always...
I have had a view like this before...
On approach for runway 22L with a rough sea underneath
Typical pitch-up approach or about to go around?
…landed safely on the first attempt. Judging from the wind sock, we had a more or less a straight head wind
As soon as the aircraft had vacated the runway, it began to rain rather heavily, so I hoped we would block off at a gate rather than an apron position. Luckily, this would become the case. Upon deboarding, I was granted a quick look in the cockpit. We had arrived a little late and the pilots were already busy planning the flight back to MUC, so there was not much time for an extended conversation. What a pity, but I think we all can understand them.
SK A340-300 destined for Asia?
Shouldn't be too hard to figure out which airlines are shown here
Icelandair seen in rain while arriving at the gate
As this flight took place within the Schengen area, I could disembark directly into the terminal where I was free to move about. I knew Daniel's flight would come in later than mine, but I figured it would be better to retrieve my bag first. The baggage reclaim area was rather crowded, for the most part owed to the flights arriving from the Middle East. Not many people waited at the belt assigned for my flight, and not many bags made it onto there either. Mine did, which is of course always connected with a feeling of relief, but I did not have many doubts that it would not make it given my rather long connection time at MUC.
After leaving the secure area, I checked the screens for the incoming flights. Daniel's flight from FRA made it to CPH ahead of schedule, and we managed to meet each other shortly after. Unfortunately, he had to fly back home already a couple of hours later, but we still had a nice mini a.net meeting.
Still at the airport...
I continued my journey on the public transport, which made a good impression on me. The staff in the terminal was very helpful and the fares, even by the standards of other European countries, were rather inexpensive. I personally liked the regional train I rode on better than the ones in Germany. The metro was fine, too.