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JL418
Topic Author
Posts: 401
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:20 pm

Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:43 pm



Hello everyone, and welcome to this TR, I had to ask it to be removed on first attempt because almost every picture had gone bonkers, I hope nothing will happen this time.

As for many other people in the Northern Hemisphere, I was about to go on holiday. Well, mine was something more than a short break between weeks at the office, since my employer suddenly decided that intern was needed no more and I was “made redundant”, as those more polite than me would say. However, I was still on holiday and, as a result of the “labour cost-cutting techniques” they've been adopting on me, my source of earnings had dried up and I had to soldier on with a fewer bucks than I thought. But they would be enough to carry me to my destination: Hungary, my girlfriend's homeland.

BACKGROUND – GETTING THERE

Back in my cash-rich (sort of) heyday, I decided to add some pepper to an otherwise normal trip. I've flown the Milan-Budapest several times now and I wanted to do it somehow differently... I've been trying all the airlines flying it, from Wizz to Malév to the new kid on the block, Lufthansa Italia. The latter was particularly fine, I felt absolutely good with them and I've never let them down ever since, but... this was going to be my only flight of the summer and I wanted something more.
I started checking on the Net for suitable alternatives including stopovers in places I've never been or with aeroplanes I've never tried. I dare to say that I've checked 'em all but, eventually, I stumbled upon a good deal: the outbound leg would have been done with LOT, while the return was due to be done the simple way, BUD-MXP with LHI. In a nutshell, this is the route your aficionado would have been flying: MXP-WAW and WAW-BUD on LOT, and then MXP-BUD on the Italian-flavoured branch of Lufthansa. I was particularly happy with this itinerary because I could fly LOT, which I haven't tried yet, done a little stopover in Warsaw – which I haven't seen yet as well – and, finally, I booked two trips on LOT's Embraer E-170. You see, flying an E-jet has been on my to-do-list ever since I saw Air Dolomiti's E-195 and I thought “Gosh, what a brilliant looking plane!”. Now I was on to see how the Brazilians are good at making things with wings.
The whole package came out quite cheap, about 130 euros. The flight off to Warsaw was, above the others, extremely cheap, and I would be surprised if it wasn't so: with at least 4 daily frequencies from Star Alliance carriers, seats on that particular route are quite abundant.
Things kept going normally until August 10th, with just a couple of days to go: a gentle lady called me. She wasn't obviously interested in dating me, but she was replying to an application letter which I sent, almost hopelessly, some days before. I was obviously glad to hear that, as you would imagine. So what's the fuss about Murphy's law all about? Well, said the gentle lady at the phone, would you like to come for the interview on August 23rd at 10.00?
I should have been on holiday on that very day at that very hour. Indeed, it should have been my last day of holiday, dammit. But, you know, beggars can't choose. She couldn't find another day, “you see, we're such in a hurry” she said, so I had to agree. It seemed that your JL418 was about to break another personal record: first time on LOT, first time in Warsaw, first time on an Embraer, first attempt at Lufthansa's call centre, trying to make the ends meet. Was I allowed, with my low fare, to change dates so close to departure? Wasn't sure at all, and indeed I was just by paying a big fine. Frantic phone calls followed, coupled by similarly frantic web searching. At the end of the day, I cut the holiday short of one day, and I was 200€ under. Cheap flight you said, didn't you? Well, not any more.

THE OUTBOUND LEG.

My first flight of the day is scheduled for 10.50AM from Milan-Malpensa airport. I am starting frommy birthplace, Biella, which on paper is closer to the airport than Turin, the town I've settled in. Thing is, though: if you don't own a car – and, surprise! I don't – what looks like a gentle drive of an hour or so becomes REALLY longer. I planned to rail down to Novara and then to catch the local airport bus, but the gods of timetabling were against me: I would have made it to the airport just at 10.00, which wasn't really my cup of tea; call me boring, but I prefer to have plenty of time to enjoy a forthcoming flight. So, the only possible solution was to get, earlier, to Milan and then to catch one of the dozens of bus – or a train, if I was in the mood – to the airport. So rail was, and on an unusually cold morning I find myself walking to the station.
Biella's station hasn't changed a lot from the Fascist era and, until a couple of years ago, the trains seemed to date back to that era too; luckily, I think while carrying my bags, 21st century has arrived even here, under the form of some Alstom's Coradias, re-named by Trenitalia “Minuetto”. Ever heard of a more stupid name?
Unfortunately, the only train up and running is an Aln668 older than me, interesting as its name and perhaps uglier. The only interesting feature of this gas-guzzling old relic is the fake first class cabin. Bear with me, this tip will save you a little unpleasantness if you will, and I wish you won't, find one of these Aln on your path. This sort of trains came with a first class car, which differs from the coach because of wider seats, a number 1 painted on a glass shade, and some fake wood trays. Everything else, from windows to the plugs, is the same. Moreover, trains like this are run on routes where there's no need for a first class, which isn't sold indeed. So here you are, a fake first class, one of the secrets commuters won't ever share with fellow travellers who, in good faith, would read the “1” sign and stay away from the car, saving a little bit of space for those who are more used to this daily torture.

http://i36.tinypic.com/20z4hgm.jpg
Four modern trains at everyone's disposal, and what am I travelling onto? The oldest of the lot.

My derelict convoy soon leaves the land of Ermenegildo Zegna and Cerruti with the sun's first rays peeping over the rice fields, while I sit yawning and reading the book I have chosen for the trip, Oriana Fallaci's “Intervista con la storia”. Mrs. Fallaci was one of Italy's finest journalists, probably the last of the breed who didn't simply wrote down a list of servile questions to their interviewees. In this book, written during the '70s, Oriana third grade interviews, among the others, Kissinger, Ho Nguyen Giap, Golda Meir and Indira Ghandi. She had a charming, all-Tuscan way of writing, I can feel her talking with her Florentine accent, from the printed letter on paper. It always saddens me to think she ended up writing bitter Islamophobic articles and books before succumbing to a cancer.

http://i38.tinypic.com/wbsxzm.jpg

The railway ride was surprisingly uneventful, with a brief change at Santhià. By 7.45 we steam into Milan's Stazione Centrale, the great train hall, usually crowded by busy humans and omnipresent pigeons, somehow quieter than I am used to witness. Maybe it's because of the date, August 16th is the very peak of holiday season down here, but there's no sense of rush in here – one wouldn't even say we're in Milan at all!. But, unfortunately, I have no time to spare wandering around, looking at the newly refurbished monumental station: I have to catch the shuttle bus, and it's leaving in 10 minutes. I manage to do so and I am offered an uneventful ride to MXP, perfect for a brief snooze as I am always inclined to do. As I finally wake up, Malpensa's T1 is emerging from the morning haze: what a glorious sight.





twopictures about Milan's new developments. First, Lombardy Region's new HQ; second, a part of Porta Nuova project;

“Glorious sight”? Really? Well, don't point and laugh all at once, please. I know MXP's exterior wouldn't earn the top cover of a Swedish architectural digest and the interiors look like coming from an era when a beige Morris Marina looked like the coolest car on Earth (and they kind of are indeed!) but... no other airport makes me smile such like a big idiot like Malpensa. It's like seeing an old friend: odd, perhaps. Maybe even a little bit nerdish. But he's an old friend of yours nonetheless. Malpensa, with its dark stone floors, its greenish lavs, its “beigeness”, is the place where a young JL418 left off with his dad, heading towards big adventures. It's a place which carries a lot of memories, and a place which I fly from whenever I have the chance.
The departure hall is crowded with people, today. No, it's packed. Boy, haven't seen all this humanity at MXP since...well, for a while. Queues at Lufthansa Italia's self-service counters are long and, judging by the number of Blackberries and chaps wearing initials-adorned shirts, not everyone in Italy is on the holiday rush. I got plenty of time for spotting but, first of all, let's get rid of the bags: where's is LOT's counter?


crowds at MXP T1's departure hall


Sheraton Malpensa Airport Hotel, grand opening October 2010

As I finally get there, one thing is clear: I am not going to be the most interesting male on the plane today. A full line of young, tanned, muscular and sporty boys are neatly queuing to get their belongings tagged and sent through the deeps of the BHS system. Who the hell are those pretentious dandies, who the hell do they think they are? A quick look to their sporty polos and bags tell me they're the Italian canoeing and kayak national team; later on I'll discover they're on their way to the World Cup, which will be held in Poznàn. Ouch, there's no match with the oarsmen.
Among the youngsters, I think I spotted the Olympic athlete Josefa Idem, gold medal winner at Sydney 2000 and silver at Beijing 2008 for the K-1500. By the way, the blonde Polish girls who're queueing beside me doesn't seem to care a lot about Josefa, as they're rather keeping their eyes glued on the boys in blue. And they got plenty of time to do male-spotting, mind you! There are less than 30 people on queue and two desks open, but it takes an eternity for the girls manning the counters to get one's bags tagged and the boarding passes issued. The drop-off bag, to add insult to injury, is even slower, so slower that 4 Indian Italians, getting checked-in at a Etihad counter I can easily spot from my place, manage to send in about four items each faster than what it takes for one of us to get his single suitcase arranged.
Eventually everything's done and I'm off spotting. Unfortunately is morning, and my point-and-shoot camera has issues dealing with sun setting right in front of my eyes, so please forgive the reflections on some pictures. I'm posting them just to show some of MXP's fauna, consisting of CX, QR, TAM, Alitalia, the American carriers (with two DL 333, what a day!), some smaller guys and other stuff at Cargo City. I missed Korean Air's Big Smurf, apologizes for that.




The American family: Continental, Delta and American Airlines ready to cross the Atlantic. Apologizes for bad quality.


CX 77W, Etihad 333, TAM 345. Again, apologizes for the poor quality.


The view over Cargo City: Austrian A320, a Delta 333 which must have had technical problems, CargoItalia MD-11, Air Italy 752, Saudia 74F


A close-up on a SAS' 320 bound to CPH

Downstairs, there's much less to be spotted: the long queue for security control is extending in front of me. Schengen and non-Schengen passengers are mixed all together, but everyone is moving and all gates seem to be up and running. It looked long, and indeed it was quite a stroll, but in less than 20 minutes it was over. Airside, my reserve of good luck suddenly dried up: the plane had 1 hour delay. Then 2. Damn. I thought about going around in Warsaw while waiting for the WAW-BUD segment to lift off, but such a delay meant my dreams were over. And, if things keep on going bad, even the connection is at risk! Not a good way to start an holiday.
Since there was nothing I could to change the situation, I took plenty of fatalism: Que sera, sera, sang Doris Day. Whatever will be, will be, and it's better to brave the future with a full stomach I'd add. Indeed, after getting ripped off for a slice of pizza, it is time again for Mrs. Fallaci and her interviews with the powerful. Eventually my fears are unfounded, as the magic words “Now Boarding” appears close to LO 318 on the screen. A quick stroll to gate A27 and I am one of the last to board a shining new (smell of plastic included) Cobus 3000.
Our ride, and Embraer 170, is waiting on a remote stand and, surprise, it's the 600th E-jet special livery one. Okay, the specialness resides in a “600” painted on the fuselage, but it's a special livery nonetheless; my first one, actually. I let the oarsmen climb the stairs before me, and then is my turn.


A special livery's always a special livery!

16th August 2010
LO310 (LOT Polish Airlines)
Duration: 1h 49m
Departure: 10:55 AM Scheduled 1:39 PM Actual
Arrival: 1:05 PM Scheduled 3:28 PM Actual
Economy class
Embraer 170-200LR SP-LII 600th E-Jet Livery
Seat: 16A (window)


Row 16A is almost at the back of the plane and, as I walk down the aisle, I can't avoid noticing that, despite Italy's finest rowers and their newborn Polish fan club, the load is somewhat around 60%. The last rows are completely empty and I don't have a seatmate, which is a good thing since I will be able to spread around.


The generous pitch

A few words about the E-jet: I was told that, comfort-wise, they were better than an Airbus 320 or equivalents from Seattle. Well, whoever told me was right. The seats feel wider and softer than the new Recaro slims you find on LH Italia and the adjustable headrest, which can also be folded around your head, is an absolute plus which smells of long-haul flights. The pitch, moreover, is generous, I doubt that any tall Pole has ever recriminated over this. In a nutshell, I'm feeling great, too bad we hadn't two hours delay while onboard! The only slight issue is the window: row 16 is somehow between two of those and this drives me quite mad: should I twist around myself like a fusilli to snap a picture from the one behind me, or should I bend over to reach the other one? As I am struggling with this dilemma the cabin crew performs their usual safety show and we're off heading for Chopin Airport, some 1h50 away from us.


Movement at MXP: EK's 77W has just arrived. Also visible: a Fokker 100 from Helvetic Airways, TAM's 345, AZ's 772ER with new livery and part of the currently under construction Concourse 3

The Varese Lakes soon disappear in a thick cover of milky-white clouds, leaving us floating over a sea of white on strong winds. The small Embraer soldiers on bravely, facing the jetstreams – or what feel like them – with impressive courage: winds that, I remember, simply caused a distant buzz on JAL's 744 over Siberia, en route to Tokyo, now shake the little twin-engine like a hot air balloon. But nothing worries the smiling crew and the sudden bumps give some pepper to the task of drinking my glass of beer without spilling it everywhere else. Wouldn't be such a waste, anyway: the Zywiec lager is, to say it mildly, quite awful. I am not expecting the likes of Samuel Smith's Indian Pale Ale, but something which doesn't require an effort to be swallowed, well, yes. Fortunately the sandwich provided by LOT is tasty, a cheese roll with some spicy dried tomatoes which, a nearby Pole assures me, is a Polish speciality.

http://i34.tinypic.com/ao6fbl.jpg
The Lakes around Varese

Entering the clouds

The panorama once over the white cover

http://img821.imageshack.us/img821/8700/p8062761.jpg
Catering: a good sandwich, a not-so-good beer

Time flies when you're having fun and this case makes no exception. I manage to do a quick visit to the loo, say a few words with the nice flight attendant, and – bing! - the belt signs goes on again. We hole the clouds, and here Poland comes: long and narrow crop fields, forests, villages, rivers and then, all of a sudden, Warsaw's stunning skyline.
De-planing happens fast: a bus comes and we're inside. I still have to re-check-in my luggage, since I was initially thinking to spend some hours in Warsaw, so I head to the baggage counter hoping for a fast delivery. This is the case and, with some 1.5 hours to go, I queue for another flight, this time LOT 531, WAW-BUD.



http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/1017/p8062766.jpg



The excellent seats and a slightly worn out loo: strange if you think about the airplane's young age.

Approaching Warsaw.

http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/5100/p8062785.jpgA river and Poland's typical narrow fields...

http://img842.imageshack.us/img842/8241/p8062788.jpgMust be a graveyard, this one.

http://img822.imageshack.us/img822/7848/p8062792.jpg

Downtown Warsaw in the summer haze.

http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/7665/p8062795.jpg

If you look closely on the right you'll see the iconic Palace of Culture and Science, a typical expression of the so-called Stalin's Gothic.

http://img834.imageshack.us/img834/1779/p8062797.jpg

Gettin' the linen out, as my dad used to say!

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Despite the bad light, this picture portrays two interesting subjects: the golden 737 and a small military airplane.

http://img547.imageshack.us/img547/5079/p8062802.jpg

An EuroLot operated ATR72 and the two Embraer 170 leased by the Polish government as VIP jets after the crash which happened near Katyn earlier this year.
 
JL418
Topic Author
Posts: 401
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:20 pm

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:46 pm

The counter, as it happened for MXP, is painfully slow. There are around 9 desks, but just 4 are manned and the chaps there behave like there have no hurry or rush..but I have, dammit! Moreover, there are some skilled queue jumpers as the gentle lady who, with a innocent smile on her face, simply dodges all the people in front of her and reaches the first place on the waiting line, saying something to the staff member there, must have been the Polish equivalent for “I can't be bothered by queues, mate”. To my amusement her spiel doesn't impress the man, who sends her where she belongs – back behind everybody else. Her horrified look - “God, is it really happening to me?” - is really worth waiting.
Finally I approach a bored LOT officer who tags my bag, skids my M&M card into the reader and then hands me the boarding pass without a single word. I try to wave him goodbye, but without any response. Mustn't have been a happy-face-day for him, this one.
With my boarding pass in hand, it's time for security checks: the queue looks impressive, but people here are much faster than back at the counters. Moreover, the gates aren't guarded by bored, overweight and lazy slobs in absurd uniforms, but rather by the most intimidating bunch of Cerberus around: big, gun-carrying, though-looking skinheads wearing camo trousers, army boots and tight black t-shirt with something written in Polish, in all likelihood something like “Every Italian who beeps the metal detector will be used as a punching-ball”. I take a lot of attention to separate myself from anything metallic, and I don't beep. The taekwondo lesson will take place another day, it seems.
Once airside, I can give a glance at the airport: it's not big, but it's shining new, a triumph of glass, polished metal and glazed surface: seems to be inside an Apple I-pod. Everything's new, everything's fine, everything's beautiful...smells of well-spent European funds.
There isn't much to be seen, just some Mil helicopters wrapped into protective covers and a B767 heading towards the other side of the Pond. I have some time to spare and I therefore decide to give Zywiec another try: wasted money, I'm afraid.



http://img838.imageshack.us/img838/9753/p8062803.jpg

Two blurry images of WAW's terminal A. I am sorry for the quality, but I was in a hurry and slightly embarrassed by the questioning gazes my indoor photo shooting had raised.

http://img831.imageshack.us/img831/8156/p8062806.jpg

My only view of the tarmac: an Augsburg E-190 and some Mil helicopters on stand.

The boarding interrupts my reflections about beer: another bus is waiting for me. It's hotter than home, here on the tarmac, as we climb over SP-LDD for the short hop to BUD. My second E-jet is older than the previous one, and smaller, being an E-170-100. It carries the gray-and-blue seats whose colour caused me some perplexities but, speaking about comfort, they're on a class of their own: the cabin might look a little bit worn and it isn't really spotless, but the seats...God, I'd have one as an armchair at home!

16th August 2010
LO310 (LOT Polish Airlines)
Duration: 1h 49m
Departure: 05:35 PM Scheduled 05:33 PM Actual
Arrival: 06:50 PM Scheduled 06:44 PM Actual
Economy class
Embraer 170-100STD SP-LDD
Seat: 14A (window)



http://img833.imageshack.us/img833/8025/p8062807.jpg

[I]Our plane ready for boarding.




Cockpit close-up: what are the pilot and the passenger in red shirt looking at?

http://img823.imageshack.us/img823/8070/p8062810.jpg

Last picture of the fuselage before boarding.



Blurry picture of the grey and blue seat, with a part of JL418's arm. The colours look quite odd to me, but it's a very comfortable seating.

http://img831.imageshack.us/img831/8053/p8062817.jpg

Again, generous pitch. I'm about 1.85 meters tall and I didn't feel cramped at all.

The load is quite light on this flight as well and we take off using just a small fraction of the strip, heading steadily south. The cruising altitude is affected by turbulence as before, and we even fly into an area of thick clouds, never met them at such an height. Looking outside becomes boring, and I return to my book as the crew starts its service. This time I opt for some wine, and I am given some coffee as well. The sandwich looks suspiciously yellow, but I change my mind as soon as I try the first bite: it's a tasty chicken tikka wrap, probably the best roll I've ever eaten on a short-haul flight.

http://img841.imageshack.us/img841/1583/p8062818.jpg

That's a tractor you don't see everywhere!

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America-bound big fella behind us.

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Lift off! Spot the Polish gov'ment bizjet?

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Socialist housing estate in the background.

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Socialists' wonderland part 2, now even closer!

http://img828.imageshack.us/img828/219/p8062835.jpg

light load, today.

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In-flight service about to begin: a lemon-flavoured hand towels.

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Don't be fooled by its looks: it's better than what you'd imagine.
http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/5732/p8062846.jpg

Seen on the air sickness bag. Of all the slogans, of all the hype about 5-star carriers, this is the one which really stands out with its sheer simplicity. I love it.



Entering high-altitude clouds. Never happened before to me.

After a handful of minutes, as I am still toying with the idea of asking another roll, the belt sign pings on. Damn, it's already time! By the looks of things outside, I'm expecting a somehow interesting landing: the sky is congested with clouds, some white and soft, some grey, some so black and intimidating that I'm expecting the Valkyries to come out of them launching arrows at us.

“We use Wagner, yeah.”

None of this happens, and we safely break out the cloud scenery with a gorgeous sunset which glows its golden hue over the beautiful Hungarian plains and on our wing as well. It feels like flying inside a bottle of Pinot grigio and it's in this alcohol-oriented mood that I witness our gentle landing on Budapest's Ferihégy runway, a touch-down as nice as a bubble of air slowly rising through a champagne flûte.. Allright, I'm stopping it now.


http://img838.imageshack.us/img838/5171/p8062883.jpg

Ferihégy Terminal 2a and 2b.

I hope you liked this TR, leave a comment if you want: I'll be happy to reply. Stay tuned for the return leg and for some words about Hungary...there's more flying stuff to read about!
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1864
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:07 pm

I still remember Malpensa in 1958 / early 60s when one would quite often see just 2 planes, a BEA Vickers Viscount and an Alitalia DC-7. Or even just 1 plane on the tarmac like a KLM Connie.

Quite a change since then. And Budapest Airport I can still remember from 1972 when old busses would pick you up from the plane.

I would like to go to Warsaw / Poland. However as most of Warsaw was destroyed in WW2 I understand that it is not so interesting.

thanks for your entertaining report.
 
Luxair747SP
Posts: 648
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 2:24 pm

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:11 pm

Hi JL418

really nice TR with stunning pictures, especially of the sunset.
The LOT service seems to be very good on this shorthaul.
And the E-Jet is my favorite regional jet, cause you don't feel cramped at all as in the CRJs.

Rgds

Johannes
 
JL418
Topic Author
Posts: 401
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:20 pm

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:36 pm

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 3):
Hi JL418

really nice TR with stunning pictures, especially of the sunset.
The LOT service seems to be very good on this shorthaul.
And the E-Jet is my favorite regional jet, cause you don't feel cramped at all as in the CRJs.

Rgds

Johannes

Hi Johannes, thanks for reading and commenting, glad you liked it. I agree with you, I've tried Air Nostrum's CRJs and they don't stand a chance in comparison with the E-jets. The seats on the Brazilians felt ready for a long-haul flight, really. Sometimes Egypt Air flies her E170s to Italy and I'd be more than glad to get on one of those.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 2):
I still remember Malpensa in 1958 / early 60s when one would quite often see just 2 planes, a BEA Vickers Viscount and an Alitalia DC-7. Or even just 1 plane on the tarmac like a KLM Connie.

Yes, things have changed luckily. Unfortunately the situation is worse than it was in the early 2000s, with AZ de-hubbing and many carriers withdrawing. MXP is suffering the lack of a serious long-haul carrier based on its grounds and, above all, suffers from the presence of LIN. The EU-backed plans to limit its capacity are constantly round on by anybody and this is the result: fewer passengers than before and fewer long-haul routes.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 2):
I would like to go to Warsaw / Poland. However as most of Warsaw was destroyed in WW2 I understand that it is not so interesting.

I know a friend of mine who's living there and, albeit he has to agree with you about the lack of historic buildings in the city (let alone a tiny reconstructed portion of the city centre, which is beautiful however) the town has a certain atmosphere which makes it worth coming. I'd love to do a Krakow-Warsaw tour one day.
 
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airbuseric
Posts: 3565
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:24 am

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:55 pm

Hi Fabrizio!
How are you?! That has been a while since we saw a report from you, if I'm not mistaken. Congrats scoring the Embraer 170 series. Glad you're also on the positive liking. I think it's the most comfortable aircraft in European skies today. The 2-2 seating and generous legroom makes it a perfect plane also for longer distances.

Quoting JL418 (Thread starter):
Embraer 170-200LR SP-LII 600th E-Jet Livery

You have been on an Embraer 175. The 170-200 series are called '175' actually, for some reason. Good score, I would say  
Quoting JL418 (Thread starter):
winds that, I remember, simply caused a distant buzz on JAL's 744 over Siberia, en route to Tokyo

Nice! Yes those JAL 747's are beautiful. I enjoyed numerous flights on those, always such a pleasure to fly! Sad to see them going.

Quoting JL418 (Thread starter):
Things kept going normally until August 10th, with just a couple of days to go: a gentle lady called me. She wasn't obviously interested in dating me, but she was replying to an application letter which I sent, almost hopelessly, some days before. I was obviously glad to hear that, as you would imagine. So what's the fuss about Murphy's law all about? Well, said the gentle lady at the phone, would you like to come for the interview on August 23rd at 10.00?

So, any positive result known yet? I hope you got the position you wanted. I know exactly what you mean, since I had to cancel 2 holidays (longhauls) for similar reasons recently. That's life. Your future is more important then that trip to Hungary which can be done again another time... Good luck!

Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1864
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:22 am

I thought Linate was closed. It was a lot more convenient than Malpensa.
 
airpearl
Posts: 860
Joined: Tue May 01, 2001 7:42 pm

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:13 am

Hi JL418

Thanks for this report which is a ripping good read - enjoyed it enormously. The E-jets are some of my favorites, which I see you enjoyed too, but your build-up to the flights was interesting and hilarious too.


Quoting JL418 (Thread starter):
Oriana Fallaci's “Intervista con la storia”. Mrs. Fallaci was one of Italy's finest journalists, probably the last of the breed who didn't simply wrote down a list of servile questions to their interviewees.

Interesting choice. I agree - they don't make journalists like Fallaci any more, what with newspapers and media outlets now more concerned with bottom-lines and sensational headlines than in-depth, investigative reporting. Shame though that she ended her career in controversy.

Quoting JL418 (Thread starter):
CX 77W

Unless I'm mistaken, this must be the first time a CX 77W is featured at MXP since it started service.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 1):
slightly embarrassed by the questioning gazes my indoor photo shooting had raised.

Don't worry, after a while you learn to ignore them  
Quoting JL418 (Reply 1):
this is the one which really stands out with its sheer simplicity. I love it.

Haha... LOT can't be accused of over-promising, eh?

Fantastic installment. Look forward to the next one.

Cheers,
airpearl

Corrects typo

[Edited 2010-08-28 22:59:17]
 
JL418
Topic Author
Posts: 401
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:20 pm

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:17 am

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
How are you?! That has been a while since we saw a report from you, if I'm not mistaken

Hello Eric, thanks for reading and quoting. It has been a long time since I last dropped a couple of lines here. I've been on FR but I don' think it was worth doing the effort and nothing more. That's my life, unfortunately I don't get the chance to fly often. Maybe after my graduation, who knows.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Congrats scoring the Embraer 170 series. Glad you're also on the positive liking. I think it's the most comfortable aircraft in European skies today. The 2-2 seating and generous legroom makes it a perfect plane also for longer distances

Yes indeed. After this experience I am in facts thinking to fly to London - a thing I'm supposed to do by end of year, hopefully - via LIN to LCY just to try BA's 170. I preferred them so much over 320s and 737s. But of course Alitalia is phasing them out.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
You have been on an Embraer 175. The 170-200 series are called '175' actually, for some reason. Good score, I would say

Good to hear that! I simply taped its registration on an airframe websearch tool. So I've flown two different Embraers!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
So, any positive result known yet? I hope you got the position you wanted. I know exactly what you mean, since I had to cancel 2 holidays (longhauls) for similar reasons recently. That's life. Your future is more important then that trip to Hungary which can be done again another time... Good luck!

No answer from Petrograd, as a song said. I'm quite crossed I must admit, since they sweared they'd have told me something by the end of this week whatever the result was. That's Italy I'm afraid, a country where politeness has just been trashed away...no wonder I'm growing more and more out of place. Thanks for your interest anyway, sooner or later I'll find something else better.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 6):
I thought Linate was closed. It was a lot more convenient than Malpensa.

Unfortunately, no. It is closer to Milan if you got a car and you don't encounter a traffic jam, this is true, but things are going to change with the new MXP-Milano Centrale route for MXP Express train.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 7):

Thanks for this report which is a ripping good read - enjoyed it enormously. The E-jets are some of my favorites, which I see you enjoyed too, but your build-up to the flights was interesting and hilarious too.

Thanks Airpearl, gentle as usual. Yes, the build-up of the flight seemed to me one of those Benny Hills sketches, when he runs back and forth on fast-forward motion: one day I'm planning to get somewhere, the other I discover the fare has gone through the roof, then another one... I've spent almost every lunchbreak at work surfing airline websites!

Quoting airpearl (Reply 7):
Interesting choice. I agree - they don't make journalists like Fallaci any more, what with newspapers and media outlets now more concerned with bottom-lines and sensational headlines than in-depth, investigative reporting. Shame though that she ended her career in controversy.

True indeed, especially in Italy. I think this problem is still to be shown in other countries like the US or Britain. About her end, well, she was living in New York during 9/11 and she always had been a person with a particular character, strong and straightforward. She lost her temper and she kept on like that. I've read her last three books and the only thing I could agree with was her crucifixion of political correctness. I love to think that her illness changed her this way, I've seen people completely changed in the oncology wards.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 7):
Unless I'm mistaken, this must be the first time a CX 77W is featured at MXP since it started service.

Mh, I don't know, I think someone has already uploaded some pictures of her arrivals and departures, but no TR yet (if you want me to write one I'll PM you my bank account number for donations ). Sure enough, I saw her at MXP for the first time.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 7):
Fantastic installment. Look forward to the next one.

I am currently writing it, sooner or later I'll post it. How about yours? I'm still waiting for the back trip from the Middle Empire!
 
akhmad
Posts: 2503
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:20 pm

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:57 am

Hi JL418,

Thanks for this well-writen and entertaining trip report. You made a right choice to sample LOT by detouring via WAW. The service of LOT looks nice. Decent legroom. Tasty sandwich.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 1):
To my amusement her spiel doesn't impress the man, who sends her where she belongs – back behind everybody else. Her horrified look - “God, is it really happening to me?” -

Way to go!

Quoting JL418 (Reply 1):
slightly embarrassed by the questioning gazes my indoor photo shooting had raised.
Quoting airpearl (Reply 7):
Don't worry, after a while you learn to ignore them

  

I suppose you did not pay EUR 200 extra to rebook your return flight?

Thanks again for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo
There is no deity except You. Exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6538
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:23 am

Hi JL418,

nice report, LOT seems to offer a decent product. I may try them next year, the E175 is still missing in my log.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
JL418
Topic Author
Posts: 401
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:20 pm

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:06 am

HUNGARY

Outside the airport my girlfriend was waiting for me and, once reunited, we took the 200E bus to the city centre. We were staying at some friends' house in Erzsébetváros, Budapest VII district, one of the ones I love most: the house was the typical neoclassic block of flats with an inner court, incredibly beautiful and stunningly decadent. In a few words, it was quintessentially Budapest-ish.

At our friends'. I wish one day I'll be able to live like a bohémien in such a place.

Few time for sight-seeing, though: the lads are planning a night out since, they say, this is my first time in Hungary during the good season and I must not miss Budapest's new trend in clubs: the Kert, also known as beer gardens.
Those who already know Bp will recall the likes of Szimpla kert, a run-down building filled with strange furniture found at second-hand dealers, cheap booze, good music, fancy bulb lights everywhere and nice girls: well there are plenty of them, ask a local to guide you and it's done. The only issue is that they're damn cheap. I went out with my driving licence and the equivalent of 15 euro in Forint: enough, in Italy, for a couple of beers and a sandwich. There I took some langos, an Hungarian dish made of, well, fried bread, sour cream, onions and cheese and an awful lot of alcohol. I was already suffering from a light hangover due to a BBQ the day before and the night out was enough to do the job.

Being deeply envious of this Bulgarian cruise ship crew enjoying a late breakfast at their mooring just meters away from Széchenyi lánchíd.

Day next was Budapest, albeit rapidly. Just a walk around to see if I could enter Mátyás Rákosi's Bunker in Szabadság tér but with no luck. Then we went to catch the Volanbusz service which would have taken us westwards, towards my girlfriend's home town, Veszprém.

A little bit too dark perhaps, but that'd give you the idea of what Vár utca, in Veszprém castle, looked like on a quiet morning.

Veszprém, also known as the Queens' city and the Windy City (which it is), is a nice little town in central-western Hungary. It is a good starting point to explore the Bakonyi Hills district, a sort of Chianti without cypress and million dollars mansion owned by pompous VIPs, and lake Balaton, Hungary's national playground. The town itself has plenty of things to do and to be seen: a gorgeous city centre ruined by a Socialist sort-of-skyscraper which, like a modern panopticon, dominates and can be seen by every corner of the city.
The town was fermenting in the waiting for August 20th, Hungary's National Day. 1010 years ago King Stephen, or István for the locals, defeated his opponents and united the country under the Christian cult. The whole country feels the moment a lot, but I think that Veszprém does it somehow deeper: the place where István defeated his rival, Koppány, isn't far from here and the town had a special place in István's wife, Gizella, heart. She must have been quite a strong woman, a sort of Margaret Tatcher of Middle Age, and helped her husband Christianise the country. Veszprém was her favourite town, hence the nickname Queens' city, and Veszprém was the first episcopal seat of Hungary. Kings were crowned by the local bishop, maybe in the old cathedral which works as foundations for the newer one.

István and Gizella. Notice the small church she's holding in her hands.

The whole town was wrapped in green, white and red, with Hungarian coats of arms peeping out from everywhere. Many, in the so-called European progressist press, use to blame the use of this coats saying its a subtle and vicious hommage to the country's fascist past. I tend to disagree. There's nothing wrong in being patriotic and the red-and-white stripes you see in the coat dated back to the Árpád dynasty, started AD 855. It's not Árpád's fault if a dying fascist régime used it as their flag, as well as some idiotic neo-nazi skinheads.

Veszprém castle from the well-known Veszprém viaduct.

Before the party and between intensive session of reciprocal cooking lessons (Italian recipes from one side and Hungarian dishes from the other) we took our time to do some hanging out. I went to see my girlfriend's brother rally stage, which took place on the twisty B-roads of Bakonyi hills and we went to Balaton. Weather was nice, hot but without being humid.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4140/4932107084_6b733c1152_b.jpg

Hungarian countryside

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4102/4932108612_ce84b7a2b7_b.jpg

Nemesleányfalu, where the rally stage started. It was nice to see its tough inhabitants coming out for the show, watching cars running by while drinking cans of Soproni at 9 in the morning. Strong people.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4102/4932602056_ca9a41a491_b.jpg

It takes some gut to drive a Lada like that one at 150 on a twisty road, as my mates did. And they won.

At the lake my girlfriend made me a surprise: “Let's go to Zánka”, she said. “There's something you might like”. Zánka is a town on the lakeside like dozens of other: it has nice typical homes, some nice restaurants, loads of German tourists and good prices. I genuinely didn't know what the fuss was all about, until we stopped at Zánkaland Haditechnikai Park and I saw this:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4079/4923651271_fe8b7242f4_b.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4098/4924249114_5afbc7dcce_b.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4095/4923659519_2c03b20d40_b.jpg

There were a MiG21, a Mi24 and a Mi8 on display there, shining as if they just came out from the factory. I was thrilled: never saw these beautiful birds in my life, not for real at least. And now they were there.

http://img576.imageshack.us/img576/2686/p8113003.jpg

Mi24, sorry for the bad light conditions

On the Hip's side.

But the show wasn't finished yet: there was also a T-72 tank, some other military equipment and this:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4141/4924244826_af7d3a5791_b.jpg

A surface-to-air Soviet-build missile on display at Zánkaland Haditechnikai Park. I'm not an expert on this topic, but the sign said it was designed to hit hi-altitude flying targets. Was it the same type of the one which shot down Gary Powers in the '60s?

How could I be more grateful to my girl? She was patient as well, waiting for almost an hour as I scampered up and down all over the place, taking pictures of everything as the eight years old kid I still am, underneath all. She told me there's another similar camp, near Balatonfüred, which hosts another MiG21. It's not in the same good condition as the one at Zánka, but she thinks you can climb in the cockpit.

The holiday ended with a big “see-you-soon” lunch at a cosy restaurant overlooking Balatonfüred village, where I had the definitive Hungarian baptism with Pálinka, an Hungarian fruit brandy similar to Italian grappa. The difference between our drinking habit and theirs is that Hungarians love to drink their Pálinka before a meal, not after or during the evening. And of course, being I the guest, my girlfriend's family and the restaurant owners insisted that I had my glass topped up rather than half full. “You're from Northern Italy, from the Alps, you must be used to that” they said. Pride and honour of the nation was on my shoulders, I could feel my ancestors penetrating gaze over my shoulders: would this youngster live up his plucky shepherd ancestors' expectations? Well, I did my best and I think everyone, even my progenitors who fought the Austrians on three Independence wars and one World war were satisfied.
 
JL418
Topic Author
Posts: 401
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:20 pm

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:12 am

Quoting akhmad (Reply 9):
Hi JL418,

Thanks for this well-writen and entertaining trip report. You made a right choice to sample LOT by detouring via WAW. The service of LOT looks nice. Decent legroom. Tasty sandwich.

Hey Suryo,

thanks for reading. The service on LOT was nice; on the outbound leg the pursuer was a really nice woman with whom I had the pleasure to chat a bit, the only one who didn't pay too much attention at the oarsmen - was it because her husband was fitter?

Quoting akhmad (Reply 9):
I suppose you did not pay EUR 200 extra to rebook your return flight?

Unfortunately I had to. And all for nothing it seems...I'm not particularly lucky these months: lost my job, my bycicle got nicked, computer broke down and I had to pay that much for an interview which didn't go well. I'm about to call a voodoo priest to do some black magic!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 9):
Thanks again for sharing.

You're welcome!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
Hi JL418,

nice report, LOT seems to offer a decent product. I may try them next year, the E175 is still missing in my log.


PH

Hi PH, thanks for reading. Do give LOT a try, their planes are nice, service is good and prices can be outrageously cheap: when I booked the MXP-WAW-BUD segment was sold at about 70 euro if I remember well.
 
JL418
Topic Author
Posts: 401
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:20 pm

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:41 pm

THE INBOUND LEG

After the lunch we headed back to Veszprém where I collected my belongings and headed to the bus station for the ride to Budapest. I am not a bus fun, indeed I hate the smell of baked seat fabric you get once up there, the bumpy ride and the lack of space, but I had no choice. It was a hot afternoon and with Máv – the Hungarian state railway company – the chance of getting an air conditioned carriage was close to zero. Volanbusz, on the other hand, was a more likely alternative. If I didn't get a modern bus, anyway, it'd be an old Ikarus with windows that can be opened and the fashion of a ride from the other side of the Curtain.

But, as I paid the fare and climbed up the steps to settle in the bus, it was suddenly clear that I wouldn't have the modern, refrigerated ride or the oldies' feeling at all. Instead there was a modern bus with no A/C ducts to be seen nor folding windows either: in other words, an aquarium. Moreover I had to sustain the insult of being in a bus named “Credo”, “Believe” in Italian, probably the most stupid name ever given to a thing with wheels.

However, I fired up my Ipod, listening to Johnny Flynn's album “Been listening”: I'm quite in a folk mood these days, since Mumford & Sons caught my ears this winter. Flynn is somehow similar but not just a black carbon copy, I truly recommend him to everybody. Unfortunately his best songs didn't help me a lot as I was sweating my life out waiting for the bus to leave Veszprém. Outside I could see the trees moving under a gentle breeze, with people drinking beer at a nearby bar: I was trapped inside, under the sun, with coldish just water to swallow and I was getting back home one day earlier. What's that saying? Fortune's blind but blood bad luck has a bad ass view?

Eventually everyone's on board and we can fire up the engine. Cough. Damn. Cough. Damn again. Cough, and finally the driver remembers to insert the clutch: Brooom, and off we go. With the engine an unmistakable noise starts: air conditioning!!! there are almost invisible vents hidden on the roof and they start blowing some air down but, despite all the noise, the result is something like having an asthmatic blowing air with a straw. God I hate buses.

One way or another we get to the Volanbusz terminal, a brilliant new building which has direct link with the tube. I reach a ticket office and use my deep Hungarian knowledge to ask for a couple of tickets. The girl at the desk somehow gets what I'm saying, hands me the small orange pieces of paper and then says my Hungarian's really good. An “A” for politeness to the girl and an “A+” for her lying skills.
So, another quick ride on Budapest's Metro system. Of all the lines, which are three, my favourite is the 2nd line. A true Soviet-style one with refurbished stations and long escalators which give you a little bit of fear of highs sometimes. But the third isn't bad either, once you've seen a gorgeous film as “Kontroll”, an inspiring story about a BKV ticket inspector. I use to watch it with English subtitles and each time I manage to understand another Hungarian word.

Kőbánya arrives all too soon, and I'm off for the 200E bus. You need another ticket here and some time before arriving. The ride is nice, the Volvo bus “with an elastic in the middle” is funny and there's plenty of things to watch outside. In some minutes we're there, at Ferihegyi Repülőtér 2A.

http://img507.imageshack.us/img507/6619/p8123152.jpg

Ferihegy terminals 2A and 2B connected by the currently under construction expansion which will bring more critically need security gates

Once inside...mayhem. The crowd at LH's counters reminds me of the times when the Italian Radical Party used to give away banknotes from the State-backed funds they were entitled to receive, with the big exception that the crowd, today, is queueing on rows more or less recognizable. I am secretly proud of my fellow nationals, many of whom are among the people today: they're not pushing, queue-jumping or doing the things you'd expect an Italian to do. They're talking loud, alright, but you can't turn an Italian in a Japanese overnight. And, honestly, I wouldn't do.
I already did on-line check-in choosing, as Flying Finn 76 advices in his TR, one of the very last rows, seat 24F to be precise, on the right side in order to catch a glimpse of Budapest. Many haven't and they have to use the help-yourself counter before reaching the drop off area; I give my help to some and that's all. The queue moves fast, and I get my bags tagged, my M&M card entered and everything's done in a breeze then off I go towards the security checks.
The queue, here, is even bigger than those at the Radical's. Luckily it moves fast, but that airport expansion couldn't be more welcome. As usual in BUD every woman is asked to get rid of her shoes and to x-ray them, God know why. Being I a boy I get just a rapid look by a smiling staff member, who I greet with some Hungarian words. The trick works, and everyone smiles: they're happy to see someone willing to practice their language.
I get airside and I discover that I got plenty of Forints, about the equivalent of 35 euro. I know I might save them for the next time but the temptation to get in a shopping spree is overwhelming. So, there you go! Duty free's for me. I quickly walk through all the clothing/perfuming nonsense, since I'm not the kind of person yearning just for the ultimate Boss polo, and I head directly to the booze&food section. I buy a couple of bottle of Olaszrizling wine from the Bakonyi hills and then I head straight forward to the tiny food court.

http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/3442/p8123153.jpg

I decide to go to a friendly-looking Autogrill-style restaurant, where I try to use my best Hungarian to ask for food and drinks:

“A mozzarella szendvicset és a bacon szendvicset kérek, legyen szives, és utana egy soproni korsó sört” which should sound something like two sandwiches and a beer. Shop assistant Andrea nods and she gives me what I asked for, and off I go. Oh, if you find yourself in Hungary and you'd like a sandwich, beware: the Hungarian kind is a slice of bread, usually the lower half of a large ciabatta, with food and an heavy slice of melted cheese.

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Blurry pictures during JL418's shopping spree

By the time I finish my food and down the pint there's already people queuing for Lufthansa Italia's flight for Milan. Stupid behaviour I think, since everyone has his seat assignment, but nonetheless more and more people, including the “I-travel-the-world-and-you-ain't-nothing” folks line up in front of gate A26, which isn't even manned yet. I rather decide to have another beer and I waste my last change on a Time magazine copy. Overall, I prefer Newsweek or the Economist: Time has fewer articles and, honestly, they're so much generalist that I could have written them.

Ferihegy doesn't offer many spotting options and movements this evening are scarce. It's late afternoon and the air is full of the golden hue of the setting sun. My mind is crying not to leave.

I go in search of a loo and, while walking, I shot a couple of pictures of the surroundings. As I told before, there's not much to be seen, but this isn't peak hour.

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LH's 734 bound to Frankfurt

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the road for gates 21-22 is paved with pictures, this is one of them. I guess it's a Russian acrobatic team launching flares.

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Finnair A320 to Helsinki. The Nordic airline seems to be quite a favourite for long-distance-flying Hungarians, as I've been told

After a while, the crowd starts to rumble forwards: it's boarding time. I let the line disappear in the jetway, then I get in desperately hoping for a free seat next to me.

22nd August 2010
LH1835 (Lufthansa Italia)
Duration: 1h 31m
Departure: 07:45 PM Scheduled 07:58 PM Actual
Arrival: 09:20 PM Scheduled 09:29 PM Actual
Economy class
Airbus 319-112 D-AKNJ “Città di Milano”
Seat: 24F (window)


http://img710.imageshack.us/img710/8812/p8123157.jpg

One of the first 319s in LHI's fleet, if not the first in absolute.

As I stepped onboard, greeting the FA and reading the sign informing me that the airplane was named after City of Milan, I couldn't notice that the boarding scheme had gone bonkers. There was no tent dividing the premium sector from the riff-raff and many of the usually blocked mid seat on the first rows were indeed hosting a passenger. The load was massive, 100% including the folks seating where they wouldn't usually allowed to.
I did my trek downwards, waiting patiently as other passengers, mostly Italian returning from vacation, settled in theirs. Unfortunately row 24 was full, as the others: a nice couple in theirs 50s was sitting at middle and aisle and they kindly let me huddle up in my window seat.

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BUD's control tower from seat 24F



Oi! Don't throw that, be gentle!

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Pitch

The Recaro seat welcomed me as an old friend. It isn't as comfortable as those on the Embraer but, if compared to seats from other regional airplanes, it does stand out of the crowd. I'd fly long-haul on one of these with just an inch more of legroom. The leather was creamy and soft as usual, well done mamma Lufthansa!
The captain came on the intecom welcoming us and explaining the route we would be following. He was German as the whole crew, but Italian-speaking. After him it was pursuer Ursula's turn: she explained the safety measures on board and told us that catering service would be soon to start, after reaching cruising altitude. Some idiot in the row in front of me aped her German accent: I'm more than sure that the twat won't spit out a word of English, let alone German. Every member of the cabin crew, instead, did possess some knowledge of Italian.



A Dneptrsomethingavia, must be an Ukrainian carrier. Sorry for the poor quality of pictures but my point 'n' shoot was really pushed to its limits.



[i]Wheels up and drunken lights. Due to the heavy load we took a big bit of runway to be finally lifting ourselves off




Blurry Budapest's suburbs

The route took us some kms south of Budapest's city centre, which was a pity. Wizzair uses to fly directly over the town, so low and so slow that I could spot my girl's former flat near Blaha Lujza tér, the Baszilika and Gellért Hill. This time we were flying some space north of the town, over the big island in the Danube; nonetheless, the Parliament and Széchenyi lánchíd, the chain bridge, were clearly visible. You can hardly recognize them in my pictures, but trust me on this point!



http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/4954/p8123187.jpg



Row 24 was in charge of two windows, what a luxury, and I was peeping through the last one. My fellow seatmate, the lady, was instead twisting her neck around to catch glances of the outside panorama, asking her husband if he did recognise something outside. I came in help of the man who was showing the typical “if-i'm-on-the-aisle-how-the-hell-can-I-see-outta-the-window” questioning glaze and pointed to the Chain bridge:
“See, madam? That's Budapest city centre, you can easily spot the Cathedral's dome and, above all,Széchenyi lánchíd.”
“The what?” she replied.
“The chain bridge, you know that big beautiful bridge...”
“What bridge? In Budapest you say?”
“I'm sorry, but where have you been all these days?”
The husband, who was listening to our surreal conversation, stepped in with an apologetic looks. Glancing at her half with irony he said “Levateje er vino”, a Roman dialect form given immortality by an Eighties film, meaning “Get the wine out of her reach”, and then we all laughed. They were really nice people.

Soon the catering started, as I was inspecting the pocket contents wrapped in a plastic folder. There was a tiny Lufthansa Italia in-flight magazine, whose covers are portrayed in the following pictures:


Ravello, on the Amalfi coast, famous for its new Auditorium designed by Brazilian archistar Nyemeier



LHI's route map. It doesn't show MXP-CTA and MXP-PRG routes due to be launched in October, while seasonal routes such as MXP-IBZ are still on it.

It was now time for us to be served and we were given a sandwich, a chocolate bar and a selection of cold or hot drinks. I opted for an apple juice, and that was all. I was expecting some coffee since I was always given one cup, but not on this flight. Maybe I should have asked for it. Anyway, the sandwich was quite shocking, tomato and Gorgonzola cheese. The 'Zola is somehow similar to France's Bleu and I hate it. But it's typically Lombard and the other passengers, being good Milanese, were eating it with gusto. I didn't and my seatmate gently offered me a swap: her chocolate bar versus my sandwich. Deal done, madam!

As I ate the bars and sipped the delicious apple juice, I gave a glance at the Lufthansa Magazin. I love their in-flight magazine, one of the best in Europe in my opinion, and this issue was no different. Cover story was about Moscow, while the Nerds' section was particularly interesting and...guess what? There's something for Spotters too.







Nerds' corner, a good read as always

http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/3881/p8192702.jpg

A whole article about planespotters!. But look closer at the chaps lining up at Hamburg Airport with their DSLRs... what d'you see?

http://img64.imageshack.us/img64/2770/p8192705.jpg

Yes! You forgot to strip out the cover, mate!

http://img641.imageshack.us/img641/1715/p8192706.jpg

This time's drawing is about LH's 744.

I read the Magazin until I feel the nose of our airplane pointing down. Time for a quick run at the loo and then back, it's already time to fasten our seatbelts. The lights of Po's flatlands appear from under the clouds, and we're starting our descent. At about 9.25, around 5 minutes late, we hit ground. No one claps, which is a good thing.

Traffic at MXP is scarce, just TAM, Aer Lingus and EK's 343 at the extra-Schengen departures. We aren't allowed a jetway, as we begin our disembark via bus. It's not really hot but it's awfully humid, bummer. We're inside in the blink of an eye and we begin our waiting for the baggage carousel to start spitting out bags: some years before this would have taken hours, but things have changed dramatically: we've landed at 9.29 and the first bags start circling around less than 10 minutes later. By 9.50 I'm out, with plenty of time to catch the 22.05 bus to Turin: I am not an experience traveller as many of you are, but in all my flights in Europe and Asia I have never seen such an impressive performance, well done Malpensa handlers!

So, with an uncomfortable snooze on the bus ends my trip. I hope you liked it as much as I liked doing and taping it. Feedback is always appreciated, hope to write again soon.
 
taichen
Posts: 212
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2001 7:33 pm

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:22 pm

Very nice, well written and detailed trip report ! Thank you for sharing your experiences with us !!

btw, I also think Lufthansa has one of the best onboard magazines, far better than many others !
 
LazialeMKD
Posts: 112
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RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:12 pm

great report and excellent explanation, I really enjoyed
 
JL418
Topic Author
Posts: 401
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:20 pm

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:47 am

Quoting taichen (Reply 14):
Very nice, well written and detailed trip report ! Thank you for sharing your experiences with us !!

Thanks for your reply, it has been a pleasure to share my trip with you.

Quoting taichen (Reply 14):
btw, I also think Lufthansa has one of the best onboard magazines, far better than many others !

  

Quoting LazialeMKD (Reply 15):
great report and excellent explanation, I really enjoyed

Glad you did, LazialeMKD.
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6538
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:02 pm

Quoting JL418 (Reply 12):
Do give LOT a try, their planes are nice, service is good and prices can be outrageously cheap: when I booked the MXP-WAW-BUD segment was sold at about 70 euro if I remember well.

That's cheap indeed. I may try LOT next year.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 13):
I gave a glance at the Lufthansa Magazin. I love their in-flight magazine, one of the best in Europe in my opinion, and this issue was no different. Cover story was about Moscow, while the Nerds' section was particularly interesting and...guess what? There's something for Spotters too.

Yes, I can only agree. LH also published a great magazine about the A380.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
akhmad
Posts: 2503
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:20 pm

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:36 pm

Hi JL418,

Nice continuation of your outbound report. Really enjoyed it. Keep them coming, I would say.

Cheers,
Suryo
There is no deity except You. Exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.
 
JL418
Topic Author
Posts: 401
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:20 pm

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:43 am

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 17):
That's cheap indeed. I may try LOT next year.

Good. I'd love to try their Embraer 145, does anybody know where it flies? Well, I'd love to try anyone's E-145 which, it seems, is becoming increasingly rare.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 17):

Yes, I can only agree. LH also published a great magazine about the A380.


PH

Yes, I read some advertisement about an A380 special edition,don't know where. But was it available on A380 flights?

Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
Hi JL418,

Nice continuation of your outbound report. Really enjoyed it. Keep them coming, I would say.

Cheers,
Suryo

Thanks a lot Suryo! I'd love to keep them coming, but we'll see where I'll be heading next. At the moment I got no booked flights, which makes me quite upset.
 
airpearl
Posts: 860
Joined: Tue May 01, 2001 7:42 pm

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:50 am

Hi again JL418, a very nice continuation of the trip. Thanks particularly for the pictures of Hungary. Budapest looks like a very atmospheric city with lots of character - it's been on my must-visit places for a while now, but have never had the opportunity. It does look like you had a great time there. The return flight on Lufthansa Italia looks okay but it doesn't beat the E-jets.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 13):
Overall, I prefer Newsweek or the Economist: Time has fewer articles and, honestly, they're so much generalist that I could have written them.

Hahaha. This is funny. I find it's only at airports (and really when I've run out of things to read) that I'd look into Time or even Newsweek - they do sometimes have some good pictures though. The Economist is a much better bet for reading value.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 13):
The captain came on the intecom welcoming us and explaining the route we would be following. He was German as the whole crew, but Italian-speaking.

Is this common for Lufthansa Italia? I notice the plane is also German-registered. I would have expected a more Italian crew and registered plane.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 13):
hile the Nerds' section was particularly interesting

Lufthansa Magazin is just the greatest, and has an excellent nerds section. Almost without fail in every issue, we're brought into an engineering or flight ops or some other division of Lufthansa - and I like how it engages with you in an intelligent fashion.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 13):
what d'you see?

LOL trust you to spot!

Quoting JL418 (Reply 13):
This time's drawing is about LH's 744.

Aaah, I'm looking forward to my flight in less than a weeks' time  
Quoting JL418 (Reply 19):
Well, I'd love to try anyone's E-145 which, it seems, is becoming increasingly rare.

Yes, you must! I'd only tried the E-145 once (on now defunct PB Air of Thailand) - it was quite amazing, never had such a steep climb in my life, shot up like a rocket!

Thanks again for this report, and please submit another one soon!

Cheers,
airpearl
 
Econojetter
Posts: 356
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 11:24 pm

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:04 am

JL418, thank you for a very entertaining report, love the energetic style. You are effective at capturing moods and translating them into words.

Quoting JL418 (Thread starter):
You see, flying an E-jet has been on my to-do-list ever since I saw Air Dolomiti's E-195 and I thought %u201CGosh, what a brilliant looking plane!%u201D. Now I was on to see how the Brazilians are good at making things with wings.

I like the E-jets too. I was on a KL E190 about a week ago and was reminded how lightweight they feel on the ground with gusting winds. I was seated in the tail and by pushback time I was already feeling a little sick from the swaying motion. Surprisingly, the climb-out was rather civilized.

Quoting JL418 (Thread starter):
Sheraton Malpensa Airport Hotel, grand opening October 2010

Interesting design. It's like the architect decided that outside views are overrated.

Quoting JL418 (Thread starter):
I'm posting them just to show some of MXP's fauna, consisting of CX, QR, TAM, Alitalia, the American carriers (with two DL 333, what a day!),

Excellent use of the word "fauna" in this context. I really like it.

Quoting JL418 (Reply 1):
equivalent for %u201CI can't be bothered by queues, mate%u201D. To my amusement her spiel doesn't impress the man, who sends her where she belongs %u2013 back behind everybody else. Her horrified look - %u201CGod, is it really happening to me?%u201D - is really worth waiting.

Priceless!

Quoting JL418 (Thread starter):
A close-up on a SAS' 320 bound to CPH

An A319 or an A321 maybe?

Quoting JL418 (Reply 13):
LH's 734 bound to Frankfurt

I'd say 733 or 735.

http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/5886/p8123159.jpg

Quoting JL418 (Reply 13):
Finnair A320 to Helsinki.

*wagging finger*... no no no... that's an A321. That's it... airlinernut remedial class for you!
 biggrin 

Thanks again for sharing this trip. I've heard good things about Budapest from various friends who have visited. Hope to get there myself someday.

[Edited 2010-09-04 04:07:14]
 
JL418
Topic Author
Posts: 401
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RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Sat Sep 04, 2010 4:21 pm

Quoting airpearl (Reply 20):
The return flight on Lufthansa Italia looks okay but it doesn't beat the E-jets.

Yeah, I had the same feeling. Perhaps it was because I was flying back, perhaps it was the buzzing crowd when I wanted just an empty plane to relax with my thoughts, perhaps it was the Recaro seat which is somehow less comfy than those - with adjustable headrest - from the E-jets but I couldn't enjoy it as much as the outbound leg.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 20):
Hahaha. This is funny. I find it's only at airports (and really when I've run out of things to read) that I'd look into Time or even Newsweek - they do sometimes have some good pictures though. The Economist is a much better bet for reading value.

The same goes for me. it's when I find myself with just a pocketful of change and a few options to choose from to spend them. I usually go for the Economist which, unfortunately, this time was above my substances.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 20):
Is this common for Lufthansa Italia? I notice the plane is also German-registered. I would have expected a more Italian crew and registered plane.

Well there has been a lot of speculation about LHI's plans in Italy, at least on the fora I'm used to lurk into. LHI hasn't received the Italian AOC yet which prevents her from having the Italian regs I think. I know that hiring was stopped for months because of the bitter quarrell which saw LH's management against the main pilot union but now it'd be fixed. I read somewhere that the first Italian pilots are signing their contracts in these weeks. Oh well, when I say Italian I don't mean they MUST have the passport with the Repubblica logo, but they must be fluent in Italian. As for now every crew from LHI is based in MUC or FRA. I am extremely doubtful about where this project will end up, it looks like they halted any further expansion: the other day they announced that MXP-OTP will be suspended during winter seasons and MXP-CTA won't even start. And, of course, no long-haul flights are foreseen, they even haven't implemented the code-share with Continental on MXP yet.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 20):
Lufthansa Magazin is just the greatest, and has an excellent nerds section. Almost without fail in every issue, we're brought into an engineering or flight ops or some other division of Lufthansa - and I like how it engages with you in an intelligent fashion.

True indeed. I think it makes a great difference for those who are afraid to fly: what you read between the lines is: "Look, we're quintessentially Germans, we check everything just as Germans do, we've even got some folks double-checking the heatening cables for the loo's conduct! How safe is that?".

Quoting airpearl (Reply 20):

Yes, you must! I'd only tried the E-145 once (on now defunct PB Air of Thailand) - it was quite amazing, never had such a steep climb in my life, shot up like a rocket!

Even better than a 757?

Quoting airpearl (Reply 20):

Thanks again for this report, and please submit another one soon!

Thank you for reading, hope to write again soon!

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 21):
JL418, thank you for a very entertaining report, love the energetic style. You are effective at capturing moods and translating them into words.

Too gentle Econojetter. Thank you a lot.

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 21):
I was on a KL E190 about a week ago and was reminded how lightweight they feel on the ground with gusting winds. I was seated in the tail and by pushback time I was already feeling a little sick from the swaying motion.

Really? Sometimes I do feel a lot of bumps when I'm on a plane taxiing around, so much that I find myself thinking that those bumps must be speed bumps and that, sooner or later, they're going to install roundabouts on airports too! But I've never felt so much uncomfortable as you did on the E190. Maybe it's because the E190 is long and thin, longer than the 175 I've been on to.

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 21):

Interesting design. It's like the architect decided that outside views are overrated.

Well It has plenty of outside views, at least from the sides which aren't directly facing the airport's terminal. Click on the two following links, you'll see what I mean:

http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sherat...ropertyID=3138#photo_section_1Link

http://www.mxpairport.it/forum/viewt...=17&t=234&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=475

I think it has a strange, "iPod" feel.

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 21):

An A319 or an A321 maybe?
Quoting Econojetter (Reply 21):

I'd say 733 or 735.

Blimey, you're right. I guess it was a 319 but I don't really remember. My big issue with Airbus' and Boeing's narrow body is that I find them utterly boring and I therefore tend to ignore them. I see an awkward-looking round-nosed Airbus? that's an A319. If it is too awkward, then it's an A318. I still have to learn the difference between an A319 and an A320. And the same goes for Boeing!

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 21):

*wagging finger*... no no no... that's an A321. That's it... airlinernut remedial class for you!

God, what a mistake! This is clearly longer than an A320/319... I'll take remedial classes asap!
 
User avatar
OA260
Posts: 24900
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Sat Sep 04, 2010 5:41 pm

Great report and pics. I love the E Jet whenever I see a LO Ejet report it takes me back to the time when we had DUB-WAW and what a lovely route it was. Now sadly gone. Would love to get on LO again sometime.


OA260
 
JL418
Topic Author
Posts: 401
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:20 pm

RE: Magyarországra Megyek! MXP-WAW-BUD-MXP

Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:19 pm

Quoting oa260 (Reply 23):
Great report and pics. I love the E Jet whenever I see a LO Ejet report it takes me back to the time when we had DUB-WAW and what a lovely route it was. Now sadly gone. Would love to get on LO again sometime.


OA260

Hi OA260,

thanks for writing, I'm glad you loved it. DUB-WAW must have been quite a nice ride, long and with plenty of things to be seen down on the ground, wasn't it? I'm afraid that MXP-WAW by LOT will end up soon, or at least will be cut quite heavily due to the already existing 2 daily flights by Lufthansa Italia. However, I'm glad I've flown it.

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