At 3:40 PM
I left the visitor terrace and went to the golden M just by the entrance/exit to the terrace to get some "hamburger plain".
After I finished my lunch I went to the BA
desks to check-in online for my flights on the next day. To my surprise it didn't work. I tried multiple times until a BA
desk-agent came to me asking if she could help me. I said yes and we proceeded to her desk. She tried to check me in, too, but had no success. She said it should work and she has no clue why it isn't working. I gave up and decided to give it another try in MAD
As I still had more than 1 hour left until my gate would open I went to the visitor terrace again, one last spotting session:
Two hours before depature-time I left the terrace again and went through security, which took me no more than one minute, too bad only I was singled out for an extra security scan. "Bugger!" I thought, but it was no real hassle and it took them just 3-4 minutes. After they had scanned my camera backpack for explosives I proceeded to the next FIDS, now showing my flight and the gate, D8
I proceeded to the gate, but it was still closed, here the GIDS:
It got boring after waiting for 30 minutes, so I entered the waiting area of gate D7
, which was open and not in use, to watch some aircraft take-off and land, I took these pictures of the KE
A380 and my LA
Finally, 50 minutes before departure our beautiful LA
gate agent showed up and she started scanning everyones boarding passes and passports before letting us into the waiting area. Some 20 minutes later boarding was called. They boarded by rows, everyone followed the rules and those who didn't were kindly asked to wait their turn. I was a little bit impressed to see such an orderly boarding procedure by a South American airline.
Date: 01 June 2012
Airline: LAN Chile
Aircraft: Airbus A340-300X
Aircraft Reg: CC
Departure Airport: FRA
/ Frankfurt am Main
Arrival Airport: MAD
/ Madrid Barajas
Scheduled Departure Time: 19:30 / 07:30 PM
Scheduled Arrival Time: 22:20 / 10:20 PM
Seat: 17L (window)
Forward C class section while boarding:
I was greeted by two friendly flight attendants and turned into the right aisle:
Passing the smaller rear C class section:
I had picked a seat right over the A340s massive wings, I love wing-shots!
Taxi-out, passing a TG
Terminal 1, between A and B pier, LH
Mirror image of my airplane:
Passing one of the cargo ramps, LH
Lining up on runway 18:
PTV with video-on-demand showing the map and data pages under 10000 ft:
I have to say legroom and shoulder-room was awful, the aircraft is not made for tall people and the seat pitch was tighter than on tha AB
short-/medium-haul Airbus aircraft.
See here, the curvature of the wall comes right up to the seats on floor-level, so I could only put my seat between the seats, not between seat and wall like on most widebodys:
At the height of my shoulder the wall curves again in my direction what was annoying to me, too. Perhaps this wouldn't have been an issue if there had been more legroom available:
No gaspers, too, I hate airlines who do that:
Legroom, compare that to the AB
shot from my thread-op:
A snack was served, a sandwich and OJ for me. The OJ was great, the sandwich smelled like it was a few days old, I put it back into the box, my seat neighbor had the same problem with his sandwich and put it back in, too.
The window was very scratched and the low evening sun wasn't helping, so I pulled my shade down:
The snack-box including a Mars (tasty as always) and the "old" sandwich:
As the sun was hanging too low to watch out the windows, I opted for watching two episodes of Big Bang Theory:
Right over the Pyrenees we came into high-level clouds at FL370, I had never experienced something like this:
After passing the Pyrenees the clouds disappeared and I was treated by a wonderful sunset above the clouds:
Descending into the Madrid area:
Ice forming on our wing, but only at this riveted area:
in the last rays of sunlight:
Taxi-in and parking beside an IB
Entering the terminal on the arrival level, lower level is the departure level:
On my long way to immigration:
Waiting in the queue, that took me about 10-15 minutes, despite three officers at work:
Taking the airtrain from Terminal 4S to Terminal 4. 4S is only a satelite terminal without an exit to the landside area of this airport:
I passed the luggage pickup-zone as I was only travelling with cabin luggage.
I went one level up to the BA
desks to try checking in for my flights on the following day. Again without success. As there were no more agents around at this time of the day (11:00 PM
) I gave up and went to the pickup-zone for the hotel busses, called my hotel, the Crowne Plaza Madrid Barajas Airport and waited long 20 minutes till my bus arrived. That the thermometer was still showing 32 deg C at 11:00PM
wasn't that nice, too.
The hotel room was very nice, no complaints about this hotel:
I went back to the lobby and asked the night clerk if I could get internet access somewhere in the hotel. He offered me a laptop, so I don't have to pay for wifi-access, very kind. I went to the BA
website and found the reason for my unsuccessful attempts to check-in. I had to enter my passport number. Still no explanation why the gate agent at FRA
did not realise this.
After checking in I went back to my room, it had been a tiresome week of work and a long travel day with lots of spotting in the hot sunlight...
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