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

Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:41 am

Introduction

For the introduction and the trip up to this point, please see part I: 753 Or The Flying Pencil: HEL-RIX-FRA-PMI (by FlyingFinn76 Nov 12 2011 in Trip Reports)

This part starts where part I left me - having just arrived on an early morning flight aboard a Condor 757-300 to Palma de Mallorca airport.

Sunday 6.11.2011

Since the peak tourist season is over the airport is surprisingly quiet. Lots of closed shops around:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_2.jpg

Yes, this is a mini Deutschland:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_3.jpg

Yes, this is DEFINITELY a mini Deutschland:



I’ve only been here once before and that was a quick AB to AB transfer where the gates were basically right next to each other, so I’ve never really realized how huge this place is.

No comment:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_4.jpg

The Vueling flight is departing from another pier, and the walk there is really quite long. Luckily the Sala VIP Miro lounge is right at the intersection of the C (where I arrived) and D (where VY departs from) piers, so after finally getting there I head inside for a bit of a breakfast and wifi.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_6.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_7.jpg

AENA logo:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_9.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_10.jpg

Quite a standard lounge - not bad at all and with some tasty sandwiches (I skip the prepackaged triangle ones - after my bad experience with a moldy one in the MAD lounge back in January I’m quite careful with those...):

Soon it is time to head to the gate which luckily is closer than my inbound one. Quite a bunch of people are already there, looks like a rather packed flight.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_11.jpg

And this is my ride, A320 EC-KKT “Vueling Together”, a new reg with a witty name for me:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_12.jpg

Another long bird opposite:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_13.jpg

Right after I snapped that photo a boarding announcement is made, only in Spanish (like all announcements at the gate). I think they called boarding by row numbers as a good number of pax are turned away, but not me though.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_14.jpg

PMI - BCN
VY3927
A320 EC-KKT “Vueling Together”
Seat 27F
8.13 - 8.57

A rather disinterested crew, my “Hola” is answered in a monotonous voice with not much enthusiasm not to mention eye contact. Considering this is the crew’s second flight today (after flying in from BCN) I think they are in for a long day...

Oh yes, I remember these colorful headrests - seemingly unchanged from my previous flight with them back in 2007:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_15.jpg

So yes, in the first part I complained about Condor forcing one to pay for a seat assignment when doing OLCI. Well guess what - Vueling has the same policy. Luckily their prices are much more reasonable (and legroom much less so) - this is what you get for 2 EUR:



Bulkhead and exit row seats with more legroom come in at 12 EUR - definitely worth it for anyone who’s not a midget - here’s my legroom:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_17.jpg

Luckily this is only a half an hour flight so I think I can manage it - but I couldn’t possibly imagine flying all the way to Moscow in this seat, no way, Jose!

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_18.jpg

Quite a lot of people keep slowly dripping in. I get a young Spanish dude on the aisle seat quite early on and keep hoping and hoping for an empty middle seat - and in the end this wish is granted! Very nice, the load is good at 85% so, including a bunch of deadheading Vueling cabin crew in full duty uniforms.

The inflight magazine, quite stylish actually:



The El Comandante announces a flight time of 30 minutes with some turbulence en route due to the weather and that Barcelona weather should be the same as here, cloudy and wet.

Push back is a couple of minutes early.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_19.jpg

More Germans:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_20.jpg

Even more Germans:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_21.jpg

Mallorca has recently decided to try to expand their tourism offering by building some artificial ski slopes - the word is they got the idea from Dubai:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_22.jpg

Take off from 24R with some menacing clouds:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_23.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_24.jpg

Nice view of Palma:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_25.jpg

Cruise ship for Phil:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_26.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_27.jpg

Right after turning towards the north we disappear into the murk and don’t emerge until well into our finals towards Barcelona.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_28.jpg

There’s no BOB round on this flight due to the short duration. The girl on the other side of the aisle seems to be determined to keep the doctor away, though (her boyfriend looks like the kind of guy who would keep the doctor away permanently if he decided to touch his girlfriend - all muscle and tattoos):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Palma_Departure_29.jpg

Not much point in sitting on this side this time as the weather prevents the usual nice views of Barcelona city:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Approach_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Approach_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Approach_3.jpg

Logistics wasteland:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Approach_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Approach_5.jpg

Landing is on runway 25R after a bit over half an hour of flight time.

Low cost action over at T2:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Approach_6.jpg

Sorry for the bad picture, but at this point I realized that BCN is really an A320 heaven - Vueling and Spanair galore:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Approach_7.jpg

Luckily we get a jetway as it is raining.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Approach_8.jpg

Deboarding takes a small eternity, but finally I walk out of the plane. This bird is going to VCE next, say hello to Lee!

Barcelona Airport

Bye:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Approach_10.jpg

T1 is still impressive and impeccable:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_1.jpg

Yeah yeah, keep rubbing it in my face, will ya:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_2.jpg

Longhaul:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_3.jpg

I have a couple of lounges available for me - the Spanair one and the other more generic one accessible with Diners Club just opposite. I was in the JK lounge back in June and wasn’t too impressed so I decide to try the other one. The reception guy tries to direct me away to the JK lounge after I point out that I have access here as well and decide to sweeten the deal a bit: “And I heard so many nice things about this lounge so I definitely prefer it!”. That does the trick and he welcomes me in.

Quite nice atmosphere and comfy seaters like Markus would say:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_5.jpg

Well, actually there’s another reason why I chose this lounge - showers! I make a tour of the lounge, locate the shower rooms, find them locked and backtrack to the reception desk to ask about them. Turns out they are indeed free, but you need your own towel (see, Douglas Adams was right: always bring a towel!), not that I have one with me. But luckily for 10 EUR they will gladly borrow me one, together with some shampoo and body wash plus a pair of slippers. Now having just spent the previous night sleeping on benches at FRA airport plus the Condor plane this is a no brainer, so I fork over my 10 EUR and am admitted.

The shower is very nice:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_7.jpg

The shower pack:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_8.jpg

Appropriately branded toiletries:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_9.jpg

The only problem with the shower is that the ventilation in the cabana is quite insuffiient. So after taking a nice long shower the temperature and humidity inside is around the same as a Swedish sauna (i.e. around the half of a genuine Finnish sauna) which has you sweating and somewhat muggy again after getting dressed... Well, nothing a nice armchair and some cold ones wouldn’t take care of it.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_14.jpg

This lounge also offers better apron views than the Spanair one:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_10.jpg

The only problem is a lack of wifi - the JK lounge suffers from the same so that’s ok.

Drinks:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_11.jpg

More drinks - quite a few Swedes are here so me and them manage to empty a few Cava bottles:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_12.jpg

No real food, just snacks, croissants and other sweet pastries:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_13.jpg

As a side note I noticed a Chinese family who had brought their VERY old and fragile looking grandmother to the lounge, probably on her way to visit the homeland one last time. Very cute and touching, sort of reminded me of Suryo and his kindness - brought a tear to my eye actually.

Oh well, I’m a Finn and we didn’t survive on kindness and by getting emotional so I decide to head to the MacDonald’s for food - the Spanair BOB sandwiches are already quite legendary (thanks to PlaneHunter for sacrificing himself for us!) in their horribleness so I reckon a good old Big Mac will be a much better lunch alternative:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_15.jpg

It still makes me feel somewhat naughty having a cerveza in a McD, especially considering that it costs the same as any other beverage with your meal!

Plenty of flights, although if they showed the codeshare flights together as one they wouldn’t need so many monitors:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_16.jpg

After the burger I do a bit of shopping and confuse the heck out of a Russian clerk at the Travel Value shop by exchanging the usual pleasantries with her in her native language. By then my flight is showing as boarding so I head to the gate.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_17.jpg

So this is the ride today, EC-KEC, yes, a new one for my log:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Departure_1.jpg

BCN - TXL
JK137
A320 EC-KEC
Seat 28A
12.27 - 14.55

The good first impression: the purser and one of the FAs smiles and actually greets me.
The bad first impression: two other FAs are staring somewhere in the ceiling, not bothering to make eye contact, let alone answer my greeting.
The ugly first impression: there’s a guy who looks exactly like he lives in a white trash trailer park sitting on a MIDDLE seat in the three rows of Premium. I think he is the sole passenger in that cabin. Now I’m sort of happy that I didn’t push my luck with the upgrade - who knows I might’ve ended next to him!

The next impression: there are two different kinds of seats here. The first fifteen or so rows are the new blue cloth seats, the rest of them are thick grey leather ones, well worn and remind me a lot of the old Lufthansa seats that they used to have on the 737s.

When I get to the last row where I’m seated impressions get worse - there’s a young dude who looks like he is about to die on the aisle seat - he can barely get up to let me into my seat - whoa - am I supposed to fit in there:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Departure_4.jpg

Now this is even worse then Vueling I think:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Departure_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Departure_3.jpg

These seats aren’t exactly very clean - these skidmarks remind me of Kinky Friedman’s excellent books:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Departure_6.jpg

Nor is the cabin - I certainly hope that is ketchup and not blood:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Departure_9.jpg

Yuck:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Departure_10.jpg

While closing the bins the crew just doesn’t care if they get all the stuff inside or not:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Departure_7.jpg

I ask if the aisle guy has been drinking since he looks like he has a Texas-sized hangover, but he assures that no, he is just otherwise sick. The nicer and older of the back galley FAs notices our conversation, talks with the guy in Spanish and comes back with a glass of water and some pills which the guy takes, swallows and basically passes out for the rest of the flight. I wonder if this SOP for Spanair in dealing with sick and potentially annoying passengers - drug them so they won’t bug you anymore  .

This small winglet would be more appropriate for Ezy:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Departure_5.jpg

Luckily the middle seat ends up staying empty, I have no idea how I could’ve survived this flight with somebody there - I’d probably just locked myself in the toilet and sat there! The load is quite good otherwise, maybe 75% in economy.

This is the only good Spanish airline (OK, Binter and Naysa aren’t bad either):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Departure_8.jpg

The purser welcomes us onboard “this Airbus 321” (yeah right - he did get it correct im Deutsch and in Spanish as well I assume...) and announces a flight time of 2h20mins.

Some loud yelling can be heard from the luggage hold below us, it actually sounds like the baggage handlers down there are having a fight - a couple of pax are visibly upset about this.

We sit there with nothing happening well beyond our SDT. Finally some 25 minutes late the purser (no word from the cockpit at all during this flight...) makes another announcement “I apologize for this situation, due to thunder at Barcelona airport no planes are currently taking off and we have to wait still for a while.” I had been wondering why there were no planes taking off from adjacent 25L, but I guess this explains it. So more time to sit on this uncomfortable seat, swell.

Finally five minutes later I hear the first jet for ages taking off and the airport springs back to life - the seat belt sign gets switched on and a few minutes later we push back, spend almost 15 minutes queuing for 25L and take off.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Departure_11.jpg

Since when has BMI flown to BCN?

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Departure_12.jpg

SAS Norway duo:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Departure_13.jpg

The cute ATC tower:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Departure_14.jpg

Another Vueling - they are big here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Departure_15.jpg

Argh, another crappy Spanish airline:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Departure_16.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Departure_17.jpg

Wouldn’t want to go for a swim right now:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Departure_18.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Barcelona_Departure_19.jpg

Looks like they are routing us around the thunder front as we turn left and fly over the Med towards Valencia for quite a while before finally turning around towards northeast. Around this point I fall asleep over for a half an hour or so of shuteye - after I come back to my senses the weather has cleared up:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Enroute_to_Berlin_1.jpg

The BOB service cart has just started its round from the first row of economy - it takes almost an hour to reach the last row as many people seem to be getting something and there’s quite a lot of turbulence on the south side of the Alps which causes the service to be suspended every now and then.

Not many views of the Alps due to the clouds:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Enroute_to_Berlin_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Enroute_to_Berlin_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Enroute_to_Berlin_4.jpg

But after passing them the weather clears up for some nice views of Switzerland and Germany:

Thun:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Enroute_to_Berlin_5.jpg

Here’s Skywork’s home - Bern/Belp airport (BRN):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Enroute_to_Berlin_6.jpg

Not sure where this is, probably still in Switzerland:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Enroute_to_Berlin_7.jpg

BOB service:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Enroute_to_Berlin_8.jpg

Somewhere near Stuttgart:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Enroute_to_Berlin_9.jpg

Finally the cart reaches the back row and I decide to perform FFBOBBT(TM) - I definitely need something to help me survive this crap seat:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Enroute_to_Berlin_10.jpg

Quality: 5/5 - Good Catalonian brew and served ice cold. Very nice.
Value for money: 4/5 - 3.50 EUR for the 0.33l can and 5.50 EUR as a combo with the Boxer Chips.
Special mention: even the bitchy young FA seems to have thawed a little bit (must be my boyish charm!) as she gives me a smile and even makes some small talk while tending to my order.

Mannheim:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Enroute_to_Berlin_11.jpg

And that is of course Frankfurt again:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Enroute_to_Berlin_12.jpg

...which means that FRA is just around the corner:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Enroute_to_Berlin_13.jpg

Windmills - well if the German goverment sticks to their stupid decision regarding nuclear power they are going to need a helluva lot more of them:

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

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:43 am

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Enroute_to_Berlin_14.jpg

Finally the engines spool down which means that we are finally descending towards Tegel and this uncomfortable flight is about to come to a most welcome end. I decide to see if the crew will react to this closed window ahead of me:



(I guess you know the answer already - nobody cared and the shade was still down until I pulled it up some five seconds prior to touchdown - very bad, Spanair!).

The weather is just great up here too:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Berlin_Approach_2.jpg

Is this a place where all those Interregio DB trains go to die (kinda like the secret valley where elephants apparently go to do the same):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Berlin_Approach_3.jpg

Hallo, Berlin - always a pleasure:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Berlin_Approach_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Berlin_Approach_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Berlin_Approach_6.jpg

Beautiful autumn colors here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Berlin_Approach_7.jpg

Landing is on 08L after a flight time of 2h15mins - around 2h too much in my opinion! Looks like some Russian big shots are in town:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Berlin_Approach_8.jpg

You don’t often see the Air Berlin shack this empty - all those birds must be out the earning (well actually loosing) money:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Berlin_Approach_9.jpg

Spotters on the rooftop terrace:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Berlin_Approach_10.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Berlin_Approach_11.jpg

Hmm, what are these things and how do they work:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Berlin_Approach_12.jpg

The guy on 28C promptly wakes up and announces that he is feeling much better and thanks the “pill fairy” FA. While waiting for deboarding which takes ages I chat a bit with the surly FA who now is quite pleasant actually - I ask about the seats and why only half of the plane has been upgraded to the new ones. Her explanation that they only have a short amount of time to do it between flights doesn’t really fly with me - surely they can spare a night or even a full day at some point and do it all at one go - this is just ridiculous.

Some shots of the cabin and seats - this is my block:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Berlin_Approach_13.jpg

See, the seats even change mid-row:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Berlin_Approach_14.jpg

The new seats - not exactly comfortable either, but at least the pitch appears to be a bit better and they have no skidmarks on them:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Berlin_Approach_15.jpg

Berlin Tegel Airport

I can’t express how relieved and happy I’m just to get out of this plane for good. Not a flight I’d like to relive anytime soon. I actually have some trouble walking properly, my feet are hurting and so numb, but after a while things start to even out...

So next stop is the LH check in area for boarding passes. Along the way I pass this funny display - they seem to have some prejudices against CaptainRed’s hometown:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_1.jpg

Reaching the LH area (which is a pain as Tegel being Tegel the corridors are narrow and usually packed with people like today) I get my BPs from a self service kiosk - interestingly it reprints me new copies for the FRA-CPH and CPH-HEL legs, so now I have two for those.

Then I head upstairs to the Lufthansa Senator lounge - a quite nice facility and not too many people there on a Sunday.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_2.jpg

Here’s a magazine for Jonas - put some Dick in your lounge life:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_4.jpg

Nice food offerings:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_6.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_7.jpg

Ginger carrot soup and a pretzel, just what the doctor ordered:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_8.jpg

After surfing for an hour or so I contemplate whether I should go outside to that nice S-Bahn Imbiss (if you have ever been to Tegel you know what I’m talking about!) to get a really nice genuine Currywurst - but they have actually just brought out their own in the lounge:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_9.jpg

Not as good as the real thing, but an acceptable substitute, nevertheless.

I love pickles:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_10.jpg

As Markus pointed out the views from this lounge could be better - this is the main departure board:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_11.jpg

Time flies when you’re eating and soon it is time to head towards the gate, which is gate 8 today. Well, considering the way Tegel is set up that is absolutely the furthest gate from the lounge (in the main terminal building at least) and a funny one as that as there are two equally long ways to get there - going either clockwise or counterclockwise around the ring that TXL is.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_12.jpg

At the gate there’s quite a chaos as the earlier, delayed FRA flight is boarding from the same gate lounge which is just far too small for two seemingly full A321s at the same time.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_Departure_1.jpg

Here’s my ride - it’s D-AIST “Erbach”, a new one for me (plus the reflection of some white collar bloke’s shirt):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_Departure_2.jpg

At the gate I try to joke with the gate agent that they apparently want to maximize chaos and confusion by boarding two flights to the same destination from the same area but she doesn’t seem to find this funny (yes, the famous German sense of humor!) and just snaps something back.

These jetways are so narrow:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_Departure_3.jpg

TXL - FRA
LH195
A321 D-AIST “Erbach”
Seat 5A
18.22 - 19.24

Well, after Spanair it is good to be back with Lufty. A sparkling clean plane, very friendly and smiling crew and despite being packed to the gills enough personal space and comfort, thanks to NEK.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_Departure_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_Departure_5.jpg

An interesting visitor next to us - dedicated to PlaneHunter:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_Departure_6.jpg

I hadn’t even noticed that they had changed the style of the seat labels until gabrielchew pointed it out:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_Departure_7.jpg

One of the FAs hands out Toblerone bars - another short flight with a big plane warrants the short hop service concept:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_Departure_8.jpg

The captain is soon on with a quite detailed welcome speech - in true German style: “50 minutes, take off from the zero eights, right turn and pretty much direct to Frankfurt where the weather is similar - clear skies and ten degrees Centigrade.”.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_Departure_9.jpg

A couple of AB A330s preparing for their late night departures:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_Departure_10.jpg

Push back is a couple of minutes late and take off from 08R ten minutes later.

As it is a clear night we are treated to amazing views of an amazing city - Berlin. Most of my shots came out bad, but here are a couple of decent ones:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_Departure_11.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_Departure_12.jpg

Service is a drinks run as usual:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Tegel_Departure_13.jpg

This is another quick flight and in no time at all we are approaching FRA - the approach is the same nice one as yesterday, this time I’m on the right side of the plane for a view of the Frankfurt skyscrapers:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Approach_2_1.jpg

And of course FRA itself:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Approach_2_2.jpg

Hmm, this is Mainz - maybe I should visit one day:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Approach_2_3.jpg

What’s this - some sort of funfair:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Approach_2_4.jpg

This time we land on the new runway 07L - my second time already:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Approach_2_5.jpg

This runway might be far away from the terminal, but the speed the captain taxies is quite impressive and in no time at all we dock to a jetway at the A pier.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Approach_2_6.jpg

Interesting tidbit: my first boarding pass for the FRA-CPH flight was showing us departing from the next gate which would’ve been helluva convenient. Unfortunately the second boarding pass now has a bus gate at B.

Bye:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Approach_2_7.jpg

Frankfurt Airport... second time in 24 hours!

With a connection time of 40 minutes there’s not much time to waste so I head for the tunnel connecting A and B, but not before checking out the info terminals of course:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_1.jpg

SE-DIK and an on time departure predicted. Danke Schön!

Through the tunnel:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_2.jpg

And to a packed B area:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_3.jpg

I have just enough time to do a bit of shopping before boarding is called, down to the bus we go - I even manage to be the last one on the first bus (I say “Last in, first out!” which a Swedish hipster guy seems to find amusing).

The ride to the plane is long but fun as the hipster guy and his girlfriend/mistress/wife are discussing (in Swedish):

She: “Hey, isn’t that the Airbus 380?”
He: “Which one?”
She: “The last Lufthansa plane over there!” (it indeed is)
He: “No, maybe not.”
She: “No, look! It is so big. It must be it?”
He: “You think so?”
She: “Yes, I think it is. It is gigantic!”
He: “...”

Then we stop in front of the expected MD-82, SE-DIK “Stenkil Viking”. This would become my third flight with her.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_4.jpg

What do I see - yes, the back ramp is open - guess where I will board from:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_5.jpg

That’s my seat, right there:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_6.jpg

They are helping a wheelchair passenger to the plane so the doors stay shut for a while. After the second bus arrives the drivers get out and open the bus doors, but signal us to stay put. Finally they point towards the back door and tell us that we should board that way - the front door is still blocked by the lift for the wheelchair.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_7.jpg

Oh my, she could use a new layer of paint:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_8.jpg

A couple of Chinese youngsters laugh nervously at the prospect of boarding a plane “up the butt” but me - I just enjoy another chance to do so:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_9.jpg

.

FRA - CPH
SK1636
MD-82 SE-DIK “Stenkil Viking”
Seat 26A
20.24 - 21.37

Well, it’s SAS in good and bad.
The good: Immaculate cabin even on this 23 year old bird. Comfortable seats. Friendly crew. Interesting plane. Back stairs.
The bad: Well, nothing really for this short hop (Jonas, take notice!).

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_11.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_12.jpg

26AC are a great pair of seats, it is the last one before the rear galley, still rather quiet despite the engines being nearby and the window seat offers great views of the wing.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_13.jpg

Also notice that JK Mad Dog in the backgroung - more salt for my wounds.

A third bus arrives, but still the seat next to me is one of the few empty seats on this flight. I certainly hope it is because seat blocking and not due to just random chance.

Must have an A388 in a FRA report:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_14.jpg

One of the new LOT E195s:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_16.jpg

The Danish captain is on with a long speech about our departure pattern (“Take off towards the east, a left turn towards the north and pretty much a straight line to Copenhagen. The weather up there is ten degrees and overcast and somewhat misty.”). The flight time a quick 1h10mins tonight. He has a lovely faux American accent as well.

The crew isn’t too strict with the security regulations on this flight either - the windowshade of the window in front of me remains down until we enter the active - the crew makes several passes and doesn’t react to it. By the time we are lining up on the runway I finally slam it open - the young guy on the seat ahead looks at me with the expression “WTF are you doing??” on his face. Sorry buddy, but it’s for your own good! Some people are also allowed to keep listening to music with their IPhones all throughout the takeoff...

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_15.jpg

Push back is four minutes late. While queuing to 07C the captain is on the mike again, explaining that there are six planes ahead of us but we should be on the way soon.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_17.jpg

Take off is finally just 14 minutes after pushback after a company 736 to OSL..

The take off is a lovely example of what these good old Mad Dogs are capable of - very powerful and we just leap to the air with an amazing angle of ascent.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_18.jpg

Some nice views of Frankfurt all lit up as well - but as usual no good photos come out.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_19.jpg

Bye FRA, see you in two weeks:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_20.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Frankfurt_Departure_2_21.jpg

After take off I decide to sleep, and do so until am woken up by the wheels kissing the tarmac of CPH’s runway 04L, after around 55 minutes of flight time.

A couple of minutes later we dock to a jetway at the B pier.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Final_1.jpg

Copenhagen Kastrup Airport

Due to the annoying incompatibilities between the LH and SK check in systems I’m left with seat 24A for the HEL flight - there was no possibility to select my seat with the LH OLCI or kiosks. Now that just happens to be the last row and right next to the engine - crap legroom and very noisy, not exactly what I’m looking for on this midnight flight. So after making it to the Scandinavian lounge I ask the ticket desk there for a better seat. Things get mildly interesting as the lady first says “Oh, it is very full.”, types a bit and then gives me a new boarding pass for 3A, telling me “You got lucky!”.

Well, I of course assume that she just upgraded me and am pretty happy for a while. Well, a quick lounge visit and a long trek back to the A pier later I board Lima Mike for my fifth flight with her...

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Final_2.jpg

CPH - HEL
KF646
B717 OH-BLM “Kevätsade / Spring Rain”
Seat 3A
22.36 - 1.01 (+1)

…and am delighted to see that the first four rows are apparently Premium class. I decide to kiss sleep goodbye in order to sample the inflight service offerings. Well, my happiness soon disappears as right after the doors are closed, one of the FAs promptly takes the cabin divider signs and moves them right in front of my nose - so now there are only two rows of Premium. Damn - so close, yet so far! Well, at least it looks like I have one of the few empty seats in economy next to me, so that at least is fine.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Final_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Final_4.jpg

Austrian retro jet, I kinda like this one:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Mainz_Palma_Barcelona_11_2011/Part2/Final_5.jpg

The plane departs four minutes early, takes off from 04R, I sleep, I wake up, we land on 15 somewhat ahead of schedule, we taxi to a gate, I just make the next bus with half a minute to spare (which is nice), I sleep in bus, I wake up just in time for my stop, I get home and I crash. End of story.

Conclusions

I guess this trip calls for a natural comparison between the two Spanish players - Vueling and Spanair. Well, this time it just happens to be a case of “which one is worse than the other?”. And honestly, I can’t say. Vueling wasn’t much of anything, horrible legroom and rather indifferent crew, but at least the plane was new and clean. Good value for money for that 30 minute hop. It’s an okay LCC I guess, but only if the fares are really low and for anything longer than 45 minutes you should just factor in the extra cost for a seat with legroom, those normal seats are inhuman for anyone not pocket sized!

Spanair once again left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Horrible seating comfort, old, worn and very dirty plane, crew who would probably much rather be drinking Cava at La Barceloneta than doing their job onboard and of course an equipment change which sort of wrecked the experience for me. I bet my opinion of this flight would’ve been completely different had we been flying the originally scheduled MD-87 with those comfy SAS seats and all. They were late, but this time it really wasn’t their problem with the weather at BCN. The fare was excellent for this rather long flight, but yes, you certainly get what you pay for!

Lufthansa, SAS and Blue1 performed up to their usual standards - which is to say very good. The fact that I flew two of these Spanish carriers on the same day just sort of rub it in what quality airlines they are, whatever Jonas might say. It’s not about whether you pay for service or not - it’s about certain things that you can trust will work with them.


The next trip worth reporting about (doing some domestic hopping before that, nothing fancy apart from some, hopefully new 717s) is a trip to a new country for me, with a new carrier for my log thrown in as well plus some a.net joint flights. HEL-FRA-ZAG-CPH-KRP-CPH-HEL is the route. Happy contrails!
 
Knightsofmalta
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:47 am

Hi FlyingFinn76

Thanks for the great report, pity you weren't lucky with the weather.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The girl on the other side of the aisle seems to be determined to keep the doctor away, though (her boyfriend looks like the kind of guy who would keep the doctor away permanently if he decided to touch his girlfriend - all muscle and tattoos)

You really had me laughing out loud when I read this! That's certainly one way of keeping the doctor away...

The picture of the gum stuck on the seat is really gros, some people really have tha manners of a pig!

Cheers,
William
 
User avatar
sultanils
Posts: 1931
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:37 pm

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:16 am

Hi Petteri,

You came up with an appropriate title for this nice report. Alhtough you must’ve known what you got yourself into: most reviews of JK are not very favorable. And here’s another one for that list. Luckily the Luftwaffe and Sailing-A-Smooth made up for that. At least there are still some things you can trust  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Another long bird opposite:

‘Wir liebe fliegen’! We do as well!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I think they called boarding by row numbers as a good number of pax are turned away, but not me though.

So you must’ve understood something of that boarding call as you got yourself in the right boarding group.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh yes, I remember these colorful headrests - seemingly unchanged from my previous flight with them back in 2007:

They certainly add a little color and vibe to the cabin. For good the seats are not colored that way like MH does. And from the photo they look quite shiny: are they out of plastic?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Yeah yeah, keep rubbing it in my face, will ya:

Are you sure the seating and crew would’ve been better of this one?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
inside is around the same as a Swedish sauna

At least you felt a little at home then.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
When I get to the last row where I’m seated impressions get worse - there’s a young dude who looks like he is about to die on the aisle seat - he can barely get up to let me into my seat - whoa - am I supposed to fit in there:

From this angle it looks really bad.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Argh, another crappy Spanish airline:

Let’s see if I agree with you in a few weeks. Any idea on the legroom on those? I’ll be getting on an -800 series though (most likely).

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
(I guess you know the answer already - nobody cared

Did they come round to check the seatbelts?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Is this a place where all those Interregio DB trains go to die

It’s the Mojave for the DB trains.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I actually have some trouble walking properly, my feet are hurting and so numb

You were really suffering, I can’t imagine it being that bad. But then again, I wasn’t there so I have no right to judge  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A sparkling clean plane, very friendly and smiling crew and despite being packed to the gills enough personal space and comfort, thanks to NEK.

  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
some sort of funfair

That’s the Wheel Of Fortune! Care for a spin?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The good: Immaculate cabin even on this 23 year old bird. Comfortable seats. Friendly crew. Interesting plane. Back stairs.

There’s nothing that can’t go wrong when flying one of these, always a joy and a nice blister for your deep JK wound.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The crew isn’t too strict with the security regulations on this flight either - the windowshade of the window in front of me remains down until we enter the active - the crew makes several passes and doesn’t react to it. By the time we are lining up on the runway I finally slam it open - the young guy on the seat ahead looks at me with the expression “WTF are you doing??” on his face. Sorry buddy, but it’s for your own good! Some people are also allowed to keep listening to music with their IPhones all throughout the takeoff...

Nothing to expect from SAS!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well, my happiness soon disappears as right after the doors are closed, one of the FAs promptly takes the cabin divider signs and moves them right in front of my nose

Lol! That’s an in-your-face upgrade!

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
debonair
Posts: 3597
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:15 am

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Spanair once again left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Horrible seating comfort, old, worn and very dirty plane, crew who would probably much rather be drinking Cava at La Barceloneta than doing their job onboard and of course an equipment change which sort of wrecked the experience for me. ... The fare was excellent for this rather long flight, but yes, you certainly get what you pay for!



True - and I don't get it! I always thought that IBERIA rocks the bottom line (unfriendly crew, bad customer service). I don't understand, why other airlines (like loss making JK) follow this trend... From the product it's the same as Brussels Airlines, but WHAT a difference!!! Isn't it possible to train crew to customer satisfaction, clean aircraft etc.? I think, if JK would invest in quality, this would be an unbelievable airline (modern hub at BCN, modern Airbus fleet etc.)! Strange to see, that this airline (with poor standard) is still full STAR ALLIANCE member...

BUT, lets wait. Hope is on the horizon! QATAR might take over 49% stake in JK soon and with it a rebranding to "BARCELONA AIRLINES" (what a stupid name).
http://www.elpais.com/articulo/econo...elpepieco/20111027elpepieco_15/Tes
 
gpbcroppers63
Posts: 317
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:17 pm

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:50 am

Hi P.,

Another excellent report. Up to the usual standard. JK look awful though. I flew them when I lived in Spain and they weren't that bad. Looks like things have deteriorated over the years. The seats do look suspiciously like LH seats. I wonder where they got them from.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Cruise ship for Phil:

That's actually one of the Acciona Trasmediterranea ferries (either the Fortuny or the Sorolla). More up my street than Philip's really.  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Mannheim:

Nice picture. Mannheim looks as lovely as ever. Great to see it from the air!  

Thanks again for sharing. Looking forward to the next adventure.

Gareth
According to one of my colleagues, my problem is that I'm addicted to travel!
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6537
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:31 pm

Hi P.,

very entertaining report about the trip on these "premium carriers". And the result is not surprising at all. I would only fly Vueling or Spanair again if I had no choice. And you even book these flights for fun!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Yes, this is a mini Deutschland:

Ah, Warsteiner.   

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
So yes, in the first part I complained about Condor forcing one to pay for a seat assignment when doing OLCI. Well guess what - Vueling has the same policy.

Even KLM wants money for reserving exit row seats and two-seaters (!!!) on the 777. At least you can still reserve all other seats free of charge and check in online without any fee...but when will it start?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Oh well, I’m a Finn and we didn’t survive on kindness and by getting emotional so I decide to head to the MacDonald’s for food - the Spanair BOB sandwiches are already quite legendary (thanks to PlaneHunter for sacrificing himself for us!) in their horribleness so I reckon a good old Big Mac will be a much better lunch alternative:

You're welcome...  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

The next impression: there are two different kinds of seats here. The first fifteen or so rows are the new blue cloth seats, the rest of them are thick grey leather ones, well worn and remind me a lot of the old Lufthansa seats that they used to have on the 737s.

Very interesting. Btw - the plane used to be operated by bmi. That that's no explanation.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Nor is the cabin - I certainly hope that is ketchup and not blood:

That doesn't look like ketchup...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Yuck:

  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
OK, Binter and Naysa aren’t bad either

...and Islas!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Argh, another crappy Spanish airline:

Is it really as crappy as Iberia, Spanair and Vueling? I cannot say much about it, only tried UX on a short BCN-MAD hop.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Windmills - well if the German goverment sticks to their stupid decision regarding nuclear power they are going to need a helluva lot more of them:

They will stick to it, we may get these windmills almost everywhere and we may have to pay much more for power in the future...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Her explanation that they only have a short amount of time to do it between flights doesn’t really fly with me - surely they can spare a night or even a full day at some point and do it all at one go - this is just ridiculous.

Haha. Good one.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
An interesting visitor next to us - dedicated to PlaneHunter:

Thanks!


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
deltamartin
Posts: 981
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:48 pm

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:29 pm

Hi FF!

Great second part of your tripreport!

I will be visiting TXL myself in January so it was nice to read about your visit there. I have a few hours there so I'm planning on visiting that viewing terrace if it's open, so hopefully it won't be too cold!

That JK cabin sure looks awful. When I flew them in august the legroom wasn't as bad as that, but indeed I had the blue cloth seats.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
here’s my legroom:

Ouch, was the seat itself comfortable? Atleast the cabin looks much better than JK's.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Sorry for the bad picture, but at this point I realized that BCN is really an A320 heaven - Vueling and Spanair galore:

The same way that OSL and ARN is 737 heaven.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
T1 is still impressive and impeccable:

A great terminal.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
So this is the ride today, EC-KEC, yes, a new one for my log:

When are they going to paint those planes in the new livery...? Oh well, I guess they have to focus on getting their act together first.

Looking forward to your next report!

Martin
 
Carmelo
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 11:57 pm

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:06 pm

First of all I really enjoyed reading (with fun and great laughter) your SA Linhas Aereas">TR.
Really a shame tha Spanair hosts this kind of service as an SA member...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Hmm, what are these things and how do they work:

While the plane approaches the gate the pilots can see those boards and hold at their type specific position, so the gate docks at the right position. Just don't know why they have ground assistance then like on every airport. Maybe they are out dated
Carmelo
 
simfanatic
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:09 am

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:12 pm

Quoting sultanils (Reply 3):
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Is this a place where all those Interregio DB trains go to die

It’s the Mojave for the DB trains.

It actually is a storage place for the "new" (2009) TALENT II emu's by Bombardier, which until recently haven't been approved of by the EBA, the FAA of German rail travel. There has been quite a debate between Bombardier, the DB and the EBA as about 300 sets have been ordered and half of them are built and stored in the middle of nowhere. Hopefully they will be able to use the trains soon-sick of all the ex-GDR carriages in Berlin, they are horrible.
Don't be a fool, think about what you're writing!
 
volvair
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:29 am

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:31 pm

Hi FF,

outstanding report! Very entertaining to follow you around this rather hardcore day. Thanks a bunch for sharing it with us!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Quite a standard lounge - not bad at all and with some tasty sandwiches (I skip the prepackaged triangle ones - after my bad experience with a moldy one in the MAD lounge back in January I’m quite careful with those...):

F&B look very decent for a DC lounge.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Bulkhead and exit row seats with more legroom come in at 12 EUR - definitely worth it for anyone who’s not a midget

I totally second that. Did VLC-MUC last year with a 100% load. Add to those 2.5 hours a 40 minute ground delay and a rather longish holding over MUC due to thunderstorms. Never again!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The inflight magazine, quite stylish actually:

Like so many things with Vueling. They seem to have a nice marketing division, focusing on the young and price-sensitive crowd. Just tink of those David Guetta party flights they do.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
More drinks - quite a few Swedes are here so me and them manage to empty a few Cava bottles:

Also nice beverage offering here, at least not the cheapest booze available.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Now this is even worse then Vueling I think:
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I certainly hope that is ketchup and not blood:
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Yuck:
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
have no idea how I could’ve survived this flight with somebody there

Really off-putting. Hard to think that LH or other Star codeshare partners don't have any leverage to make them change those things.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Wouldn’t want to go for a swim right now:

As a Finn you should not mind, I think  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
this is the main departure board

Would love to take this MIAT flight one day. Heard it might switch to MUC next year.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Damn - so close, yet so far!

Sorry for your non-upgrade.

Quoting simfanatic (Reply 9):
It actually is a storage place for the "new" (2009) TALENT II emu's by Bombardier,

Yes, those units are desperately needed as a commuter rail replacement in Nuremberg as well...
 
taichen
Posts: 212
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2001 7:33 pm

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:01 pm

Another (as always) excellent trip report.

Spanish airlines are all crap, I agree. None of them are worth flying nowadays just for the fun of it (not even Air Nostrum, IMHO), actually quality standards are among the lowest in the continent. I know such think as "service" isharder and harder to find, but still, AF, TP, LH, LX, and others still manage to provide such thing. Even speaking of BOB, there are far better (and often, cheaper) options across the continent.

Spanair is currently a shame, like IB, UX are, but the saddest thing is that it once was a pretty good airline, Not outstanding, perhaps, but it provided a pretty decent experience, it was consistent and well connected with LH, SK etc. What is Spanair still doing inside *A is quite a mistery to me. Quality-wise is a total disaster. Network-wise I seriously doubt Spanair is doing *A any good.
 
lucce
Posts: 169
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:12 pm

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:53 pm

Hi there!
As usual a great variety of airlines some of which are pretty underrepresented here. Great pics!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Now this is even worse then Vueling I think:

It just highlights the importance of the actual seat: one can have the same actual legroom on a seat which is thin and thick seat with more pitch. Occasionally you hit the jackpot with low seat pitch with a thick seeat which seems to be the case here.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
BOB service:

That picture tells it all. Maybe she was just tired or something if she became more friendly towards the end of the flight.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A sparkling clean plane, very friendly and smiling crew and despite being packed to the gills enough personal space and comfort, thanks to NEK.

I'm looking forward to trying the NEK-cabin. Those seats do look quite hard and flimsy. Extra legroom is always nice but as I'm not that tall I prefer a more comfortable seat. We'll see.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A couple of Chinese youngsters laugh nervously at the prospect of boarding a plane “up the butt” but me - I just enjoy another chance to do so:

I wish I could try the MD80s some day. The SAS ones look quite cosy inside and the rear door concept is rather unique.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The crew isn’t too strict with the security regulations on this flight either - the windowshade of the window in front of me remains down until we enter the active - the crew makes several passes and doesn’t react to it.

The regulations vary from airline to airline and it may very well be that the SAS rules state nothing about window shades. For example LH doesn't require armrests to be down while many do and AY is the only airline I've flown on that requires shoes to be kept on during take off and landing if seated in an exit seat.
 
babybus
Posts: 2379
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 5:07 am

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:55 pm

Love the pics. All very detailed.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
even the bitchy young FA seems to have thawed a little bit (must be my boyish charm!) as she gives me a smile and even makes some small talk while tending to my order.
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A rather disinterested crew, my “Hola” is answered in a monotonous voice with not much enthusiasm not to mention eye contact.

What is it with Spanish airlines, scared to serve. Is there some cultural thing I'm missing? Best avoided I think.

That was a lot of flights with no legroom. You are very brave.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
The777Man
Posts: 6091
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:33 pm

Hi FlyingFinn!

Nice report with nice pictures !

I guess the experience on VY and JK was as expected.....unfortunately......

Nice to board thru the rear of a MD-80! I've been a long time since I've done that or perhaps it was a DC-9-41 ?

Nice to see that you got a much better flight on LH even though they had Warsteiner. I have yet to try that beer so can't say if it's reallty that bad.

Too bad you flew on some aircraft you've already been on before......

At least you got your mission accomplished by flying on the DE 753.

Looking forward to your next report!

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
LXM83
Posts: 586
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 12:48 am

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:05 pm

Hi FlyingFinn76

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Since when has BMI flown to BCN?

That's the LX flight from BSL, which is operated by BD's 319 six times a week. (A switch from the BSL-MAN flight which went back to AR1.)

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Not sure where this is, probably still in Switzerland:

Yes, it is. It's the city of Olten, a Swiss railway town (the east-west and north-south lines intersect there).

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
nobody cared and the shade was still down until I pulled it up some five seconds prior to touchdown

Actually, I think it's not a rule that applies to all airlines, I think it depends on national safety regulations whether it's mandatory or not.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
this is the main departure board

I'll pick Ulan Bator, then.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
one of the FAs promptly takes the cabin divider signs and moves them right in front of my nose

Well, they should get it right before passengers board. Well not as bad as moving a curtain over passengers already seated.... that happened to me once.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
KF646
B717 OH-BLM “Kevätsade / Spring Rain”
Seat 3A
22.36 - 1.01 (+1)

It seems you already found an appropriate replacement for the midnight Fokker!

Cheers,
LXM83

PS: Hey, something wrong with your new camera? I think the sensor needs some cleaning....
 
User avatar
OA260
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Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:13 pm

Great report and nice read as usual. Two airlines off my list now. Looka tragic ! Legroom is dire.

McDonalds is no gourmet food but it has got me out of a few starving moments  

Nice to board the MD80 from the back . Something different .


Regards

Philip  
 
FlyingFinn76
Topic Author
Posts: 1698
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RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:14 pm

Hi all,

Thanks for the multitude of comments! Keep 'em coming!

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 2):
The picture of the gum stuck on the seat is really gros, some people really have tha manners of a pig!

Yeah, you usually get this with Ryanair et al. Then again there's not that much difference between FR and JK nowadays I guess...

Quoting sultanils (Reply 3):
‘Wir liebe fliegen’! We do as well!

...sometimes a bit too much, though!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 3):
I think they called boarding by row numbers as a good number of pax are turned away, but not me though.
So you must’ve understood something of that boarding call as you got yourself in the right boarding group.

Nope, it's more like "I don't understand so I can just go and fake ignorance if they start making a fuss out of it".

Quoting sultanils (Reply 3):
And from the photo they look quite shiny: are they out of plastic?

Nope, but that plane was a rather new one. It is some kind of synthetic material, probably shiny and plasticlike to make it resistant to dirt, wear and tear (and skidmarks!).

Quoting sultanils (Reply 3):
Are you sure the seating and crew would’ve been better of this one?

Well AFAIK all the Spanair Mad Dogs are ex-SAS ones and still have the comfortable SAS cloth seats which I love a lot. They have excellent legroom and are just generally very comfortable, plus I've spent so many happy moments in those seats that there's an emotional side to it as well  

The crew? You never know - depends on your luck!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 3):
Let’s see if I agree with you in a few weeks. Any idea on the legroom on those? I’ll be getting on an -800 series though (most likely).
Quoting debonair (Reply 4):
From the product it's the same as Brussels Airlines, but WHAT a difference!!! Isn't it possible to train crew to customer satisfaction, clean aircraft etc.? I think, if JK would invest in quality, this would be an unbelievable airline (modern hub at BCN, modern Airbus fleet etc.)!

Yeah, my sentiments exactly. It is a shame as it wouldn't be that much work - just improve the cabins a bit, clean the planes and TRAIN the crew to be nice and courteous to pax. But I guess when the main competition is IB, FR, UX et. there's no reason to do so.

Quoting debonair (Reply 4):
BUT, lets wait. Hope is on the horizon! QATAR might take over 49% stake in JK soon and with it a rebranding to "BARCELONA AIRLINES" (what a stupid name).

Really? That is interesting news. Agree with you - a dire name though!

Quoting gpbcroppers63 (Reply 5):
The seats do look suspiciously like LH seats. I wonder where they got them from.

I think you said it. LH wanted to throw them away but JK offered to take them for free  . One man's garbage is another man's treasure.

Quoting gpbcroppers63 (Reply 5):
That's actually one of the Acciona Trasmediterranea ferries (either the Fortuny or the Sorolla). More up my street than Philip's really.

Really? Thanks for that tidbit - I'm not that literate in ships!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 6):
I would only fly Vueling or Spanair again if I had no choice. And you even book these flights for fun!

Only partly fun - I wanted to see how Vueling was now, four years after I last flew with them, part logistics as my main point was getting back from PMI in a cost effective way.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 6):
At least you can still reserve all other seats free of charge and check in online without any fee...but when will it start?

*Touches wood*.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 6):
That doesn't look like ketchup...

No, it doesn't. But let's stop the speculation here, shall we?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 6):
Is it really as crappy as Iberia, Spanair and Vueling? I cannot say much about it, only tried UX on a short BCN-MAD hop.

I've flown that same stretch twice with them and wasn't very impressed. Tight legroom on the 738s and very indifferent crews on both flights. It wasn't exceptionally bad, but around the same level as Ryanair really.

Didn't you fly PMI-ALC with their E-jet as well?

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 7):
I will be visiting TXL myself in January so it was nice to read about your visit there. I have a few hours there so I'm planning on visiting that viewing terrace if it's open, so hopefully it won't be too cold!

The terrace is nice, but yeah, January can be very cold in Berlin!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 7):
That JK cabin sure looks awful. When I flew them in august the legroom wasn't as bad as that, but indeed I had the blue cloth seats.

Yeah, I flew CPH-BCN in June with one of the newer A320s and that was passable. A bit better comfort, especially since I had the whole block of three for me. The crew weren't good apart from one Swedish (!) young guy who was great.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 7):
Ouch, was the seat itself comfortable? Atleast the cabin looks much better than JK's.

Not that comfortable, but a bit better shaped than the JK one. Still over an hour sitting there will be painful for me at least (181 cm tall).

Quoting Carmelo (Reply 8):
Just don't know why they have ground assistance then like on every airport. Maybe they are out dated

Hmm, good point. No reason to upgrade equipment at Tegel anymore with BBI opening in seven months...

Quoting simfanatic (Reply 9):
It actually is a storage place for the "new" (2009) TALENT II emu's by Bombardier, which until recently haven't been approved of by the EBA, the FAA of German rail travel.

Thanks, that's interesting. I actually thought it was some sort of place where they drive the commuter trains during the weekend and then take them back into action during the week.

Quoting volvair (Reply 10):
Very entertaining to follow you around this rather hardcore day.

Danke, it certainly was some flying. Thankfully I nowadays can sleep just about anywhere!

Quoting volvair (Reply 10):
F&B look very decent for a DC lounge.

Actually all the ones I've been in Spain with DC have been very good, such a far cry from the ones in Italy!

Quoting volvair (Reply 10):
I totally second that. Did VLC-MUC last year with a 100% load. Add to those 2.5 hours a 40 minute ground delay and a rather longish holding over MUC due to thunderstorms. Never again!

Ouch, I'm sorry for you. Must've been a very off putting experience!

Quoting volvair (Reply 10):
They seem to have a nice marketing division, focusing on the young and price-sensitive crowd.

Yes, their image and advertising is very fresh and I like it.

Quoting taichen (Reply 11):

Spanish airlines are all crap, I agree. None of them are worth flying nowadays just for the fun of it (not even Air Nostrum, IMHO), actually quality standards are among the lowest in the continent.

Yeah that is very surprising but true. No wonder FR is doing very well on Spanish domestic routes (plus of course the regional government's willingness to subsidize then rather generously helps as well). When all the airlines like that there's no real point in trying to avoid FR, so why not go the absolutely cheapest way...

It is a bit the same in Italy as well, FR is quite big and there are quite a few competing airlines, but all of them are... more or less bad.

It is actually very weird, I just can't really understand it. I mean all the Spanish people I've met have been very nice and friendly, they are very good at customer service in restaurants etc. - so how come the airlines then suck so badly? Having said that I once had some really amazing service in Iberia Business class on the short hop LIS-MAD with a nice old MD-88. And one BT flight TXL-RIX was operated by a Spanish airline whose name I can't remember right now with an MD-87. I was the only pax in business there and the FA (who said she used to fly with Futura before) was one of the nicest ones I've ever met - we had some great chats about Iberia and the service was just outstanding on that 1h15min hop. Loved it. So clearly it has nothing to do with the Spanish FAs and their attitudes themselves - if they want they can do excellent service...

Quoting taichen (Reply 11):
that it once was a pretty good airline, Not outstanding, perhaps, but it provided a pretty decent experience, it was consistent and well connected with LH, SK etc.

Yeah, my first JK flight was ARN-BCN back in 2003 and that was a very nice flight. A very generous hot breakfast, okayish crew and a very comfortable ex-SAS MD-82, it was actually still in SAS colors and not yet even in the EC register.

Quoting taichen (Reply 11):
Network-wise I seriously doubt Spanair is doing *A any good.

Well, since IB is one of the founding members of OW maybe they felt they needed a Spanish representative as well. Just like Skyteam and UX...

Quoting lucce (Reply 12):
I'm looking forward to trying the NEK-cabin. Those seats do look quite hard and flimsy. Extra legroom is always nice but as I'm not that tall I prefer a more comfortable seat. We'll see.

I like NEK - the seats aren't that hard actually, at least the HEL-FRA/MUC hops are fine with them.

Quoting lucce (Reply 12):
I wish I could try the MD80s some day. The SAS ones look quite cosy inside and the rear door concept is rather unique.

They still send a lot of them over to HEL, so why don't you try one while they are still around? There used to be a lot of back stairs deboardings at CPH when flights from HEL would regularly continue to a non-Schengen destination and thus everybody had to deboard from the back and take a bus to Schengen arrivals. With more and more Mad Dogs being retired from the fleet that's not too frequent anymore, though.

Quoting Babybus (Reply 13):
That was a lot of flights with no legroom. You are very brave.

...or very foolish  .

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
Too bad you flew on some aircraft you've already been on before......

As of yesterday I have again flown through the whole KF fleet plus over 130 flights with SAS so it's bound to happen more and more...  
Quoting LXM83 (Reply 15):
That's the LX flight from BSL, which is operated by BD's 319 six times a week. (A switch from the BSL-MAN flight which went back to AR1.)

Thanks, interesting to know.

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 15):
Actually, I think it's not a rule that applies to all airlines, I think it depends on national safety regulations whether it's mandatory or not.

But these things are supposed to be the same everywhere in the EU (or extended EU actually).

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 15):
Well, they should get it right before passengers board. Well not as bad as moving a curtain over passengers already seated.... that happened to me once.

Wow, that's bad! Which airline?

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 15):
PS: Hey, something wrong with your new camera? I think the sensor needs some cleaning....

It was quite dirty. Now most of that crap has been cleaned away.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 16):
McDonalds is no gourmet food but it has got me out of a few starving moments

Well it gets the job done and is quite okay every now and then.
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8300
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RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:47 pm

Hi P,

Great read, nice follow up to the DE 753 flight.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Luckily this is only a half an hour flight so I think I can manage it - but I couldn’t possibly imagine flying all the way to Moscow in this seat, no way, Jose!

- I know the feeling, these things are pretty tight, the feeling is quite clastraphobic.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well, actually there’s another reason why I chose this lounge - showers! I make a tour of the lounge, locate the shower rooms, find them locked and backtrack to the reception desk to ask about them. Turns out they are indeed free, but you need your own towel (see, Douglas Adams was right: always bring a towel!), not that I have one with me. But luckily for 10 EUR they will gladly borrow me one

- I resent paying to use provided showers, RJ wanted $15 to take a shower in the AMM lounge, no way!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Now having just spent the previous night sleeping on benches at FRA airport plus the Condor plane this is a no brainer, so I fork over my 10 EUR and am admitted.

- Ok, i'll let you off for giving in.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The only problem with the shower is that the ventilation in the cabana is quite insuffiient. So after taking a nice long shower the temperature and humidity inside is around the same as a Swedish sauna (i.e. around the half of a genuine Finnish sauna) which has you sweating and somewhat muggy again after getting dressed

- Yep, the EK showers in DXB have the same problem but on an even damper scale!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
It still makes me feel somewhat naughty having a cerveza in a McD

- Don't, I'd have had the same  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Some people are also allowed to keep listening to music with their IPhones all throughout the takeoff.

- Really? - not good SK!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
am delighted to see that the first four rows are apparently Premium class. I decide to kiss sleep goodbye in order to sample the inflight service offerings. Well, my happiness soon disappears as right after the doors are closed, one of the FAs promptly takes the cabin divider signs and moves them right in front of my nose - so now there are only two rows of Premium. Damn - so close, yet so far! Well, at least it looks like I have one of the few empty seats in economy next to me, so that at least is fine.

- Ah, given on one hand and taken on the other, at least you had the seat open next to you.

Cheers

Mark
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PlaneHunter
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RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:51 pm

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Didn't you fly PMI-ALC with their E-jet as well?

Wow, I cannot believe I forgot that one...and you remembered it! I guess I'm in desperate need of a (real) vacation.

Well, it was just another short hop - but not bad at all.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
signol
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RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:06 pm

Hi FF,

good conclusion to the series. The trip does sound knackering, though, with almost no sleep at FRA and poor personal space on the Spanish flights. Next time an overnight in PMI and the Condor back to FRA?  

And as for the Tegel "Ess-Bahn", there is also one at SXF - I hope they move it over to BER when it opens!

Thanks again

signol
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
FLIEGER67
Posts: 5195
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:43 am

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:51 pm

Hey, P.,

great stuff. Such a good sense of humour, I definitely like that style, you know.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Quite nice atmosphere and comfy seaters like Markus would say:

So it looks like, for sure.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

The only problem with the shower is that the ventilation in the cabana is quite insuffiient. So after taking a nice long shower the temperature and humidity inside is around the same as a Swedish sauna (i.e. around the half of a genuine Finnish sauna) which has you sweating and somewhat muggy again after getting dressed... Well, nothing a nice armchair and some cold ones wouldn’t take care of it.

Hah, it seems I should do the Swedish experience first before heading to the Finnish example.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

As Markus pointed out the views from this lounge could be better - this is the main departure board:

Sure the case here, but the lounge itself is nice.

What a joke to "upgrade" the JK service from the M87, these A320 doesn´t look like nice.

On the other hand side I like the SK MD, sure a plane to fly again for me.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
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rogerbcn
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RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:15 am

Hola FlingFinn76!

Great to see your report on your return excursion to HEL.

You were really unlucky, that Sunday had lots of storms and rain around Barcelona, the rest of the week was even worse...

Your impressions of VY and JK are mine too; they offer a very minimal service, on short flights they are bearable but anything over an hour turns into a real pain. JK offers some tickets to TXL for 1€, so not much of a complaint when you spend less than a coffee for a 2 hours flight, if one can take it. I was looking forward to flying them for the opening of BER next June so I have upgraded my ticket to J for 39€, which I think is totally reasonable after seeing your report.

It is a shame that they code-share with LX and LH... I have never understood why don't they ask for a minimum quality standard when joining an alliance.

Crew attitude seems to be an extended problem, I have never understood why they are so arrogant and so less customer oriented. Where do they think they get their revenue from?

Salut!

Roger
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Traveling is Living)
 
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Tigerguy
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RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:07 am

Nice job as usual, Mister FlyingFinn. Too bad about your subpar experience with Spanair. I have yet to read a report that had anything above average to say about them. Looks like the only the only good thing about them really is the MD-87!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
No comment:

Random bucket on the floor: left by a cleaning crew, fix for a leaky roof, or public bathroom?   

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh well, I'm a Finn and we didn't survive on kindness and by getting emotional

Ah, I knew that under that hard exterior there wasn't a soft, chewy center!

Thanks also for more looks at the SAS Mad Dogs. We get a fair bit of them here in OKC, but they have a nasty habit of disappearing into a building and coming out with "Allegiant" on the side. So close, and yet...

I'll be waiting for your next adventure!
Good night, and keep watching the skis. Uh, skies.
 
717Flyer
Posts: 301
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RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:13 pm

Hi again P,
Having read the beginning of your journey I (of course) had to read the second part immediately, so here I am. Again a nice selection of airlines (and airline lounges) - "one day I will be permitted entry to them"   )

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
And this is my ride, A320 EC-KKT “Vueling Together”, a new reg with a witty name for me:

Good to see Blue1 isn't the only witty airline around (although they only put witty things on cups and snack bags).

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

So yes, in the first part I complained about Condor forcing one to pay for a seat assignment when doing OLCI. Well guess what - Vueling has the same policy. Luckily their prices are much more reasonable (and legroom much less so) - this is what you get for 2 EUR:

Can't you even get a "random seat" for free?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The girl on the other side of the aisle seems to be determined to keep the doctor away, though (her boyfriend looks like the kind of guy who would keep the doctor away permanently if he decided to touch his girlfriend - all muscle and tattoos):

Reminds me of my FLR-VIE flight with Austrian, or, alright, Tyrolean Airways, in May this year. Service was either a chocolate bar or a bag with an apple in it. I decided to choose the apple and the FA was apparently delighted - "That's the first apple taken today! Good for you! Now take also a chocolate bar just to show how proud I am of you". Very nice crew on that flight (by the way my first on the Fokker 70) and the apple really did keep the doctor away.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Yeah yeah, keep rubbing it in my face, will ya:

A good looking plane! Now if it would wear a more, well, flowing color scheme, well then it's gorgeous!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Very cute and touching, sort of reminded me of Suryo and his kindness - brought a tear to my eye actually.

Believe or not - I thought of him before having finished the sentence.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
These seats aren’t exactly very clean - these skidmarks remind me of Kinky Friedman’s excellent books:

Disgusting!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):

The captain is soon on with a quite detailed welcome speech - in true German style: “50 minutes, take off from the zero eights, right turn and pretty much direct to Frankfurt where the weather is similar - clear skies and ten degrees Centigrade.”.

At least I would've enjoyed being back onboard "good ol' Lufty" after that nasty Spanair experience.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
A couple of Chinese youngsters laugh nervously at the prospect of boarding a plane “up the butt” but me - I just enjoy another chance to do so:

That's the only thing the 717 is missing!
I remember boarding a KF MD-90 at DBV last summer, stepping out of the bus, being directed to the front door, looking around anxiously, taking photos, when a ground agent asks me "Want to board from the back?". Now thats the right way of boarding an aircraft.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
The good: Immaculate cabin even on this 23 year old bird. Comfortable seats. Friendly crew. Interesting plane. Back stairs.
The bad: Well, nothing really for this short hop

That's the SAS I like so (very) much!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Now that just happens to be the last row and right next to the engine - crap legroom and very noisy, not exactly what I’m looking for on this midnight flight

Isn't the last row - 24 - without windows too?

A shame you didn't get upgraded on the last flight - anyway it's good to see KF is making business on the midnight flight!

Regards,
717Flyer
 
akhmad
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RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:36 pm

Hi P.,

What a nice report. So touching! You mention everyone of us. Many thanks for that!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Yes, this is DEFINITELY a mini Deutschland:

You just can’t deny!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
No comment:

Don’t kick the bucket!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh yes, I remember these colorful headrests - seemingly unchanged from my previous flight with them back in 2007:

At least no one yelled at you “IT IS NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE PICTURE ON BOARD!” like my last experience with Vueling.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
here’s my legroom:

Horrible!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
the word is they got the idea from Dubai:

But outdoor.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
her boyfriend looks like the kind of guy who would keep the doctor away permanently if he decided to touch his girlfriend - all muscle and tattoos

Unless his girlfriend happened to be Snow White with her apple.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Very cute and touching, sort of reminded me of Suryo and his kindness - brought a tear to my eye actually.

You make me melt right away.  


Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
confuse the heck out of a Russian clerk at the Travel Value shop by exchanging the usual pleasantries with her in her native language

You speak Russian. Cool!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Nor is the cabin - I certainly hope that is ketchup and not blood:

Me too.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Yuck:

Gross!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I wonder if this SOP for Spanair in dealing with sick and potentially annoying passengers - drug them so they won’t bug you anymore   .

The passenger was amazingly satisfied with the solution. So good job on JK!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
FFBOBBT(TM)

Help me...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Special mention: even the bitchy young FA seems to have thawed a little bit (must be my boyish charm!) as she gives me a smile and even makes some small talk while tending to my order.

You do have boyish charm then! 


Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Service is a drinks run as usual:

Warsteiner is addictive for sure!   


Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
She: “Hey, isn’t that the Airbus 380?”
He: “Which one?”
She: “The last Lufthansa plane over there!” (it indeed is)
He: “No, maybe not.”
She: “No, look! It is so big. It must be it?”
He: “You think so?”
She: “Yes, I think it is. It is gigantic!”
He: “...”

Did she get it right?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
That’s my seat, right there:

With window shade open, how appropriate.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Finally they point towards the back door and tell us that we should board that way - the front door is still blocked by the lift for the wheelchair.

There is no better way to board a MD.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
By the time we are lining up on the runway I finally slam it open - the young guy on the seat ahead looks at me with the expression “WTF are you doing??” on his face. Sorry buddy, but it’s for your own good!

Way to go, P.!   


Thanks again for sharing this truly fantastic report!

Best wishes,
Suryo
There is no deity except You. Exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.
 
LH4116
Posts: 1183
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RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:30 pm

Hello there P, as in Pain – Oh the agonizing pain you had to endure with!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Bulkhead and exit row seats with more legroom come in at 12 EUR - definitely worth it for anyone who’s not a midget - here’s my legroom:

So did those seats remain empty during the flight, or did someone move to them in-flight?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Quite nice atmosphere and comfy seaters like Markus would say:

Must say, those Spanish lounges look pretty nice to me, nothing wrong with those.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Turns out they are indeed free, but you need your own towel (see, Douglas Adams was right: always bring a towel!), not that I have one with me. But luckily for 10 EUR they will gladly borrow me one, together with some shampoo and body wash plus a pair of slippers.

That's quite mean of them. Hope that's not the case with other lounges that offer showers, or do they charge for towels as well?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
More drinks - quite a few Swedes are here so me and them manage to empty a few Cava bottles:

Swedes, the land of self-serving drinkers... Did they get all jolly and drunk-ish too?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
there’s a guy who looks exactly like he lives in a white trash trailer park sitting on a MIDDLE seat in the three rows of Premium.

Well not surprising since they sell upgrades for EUR 25 on JK...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
the rest of them are thick grey leather ones, well worn and remind me a lot of the old Lufthansa seats that they used to have on the 737s.

That's indeed true. I've found them quite comfy, or well at least back in the days when they had them, like 7 years ago.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Argh, another crappy Spanish airline:

You have to admit, they are faux!!!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
surely they can spare a night or even a full day at some point and do it all at one go - this is just ridiculous.

Well, time is very limited and airlines do after all split up major maintenance on nights.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Here’s a magazine for Jonas - put some Dick in your lounge life:

Well not that there's much lounge life to speak about  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Time flies when you’re eating and soon it is time to head towards the gate

Time flies when you're lounging. 7hrs in a lounge pass like 1hr out in "the regular world"  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Well, after Spanair it is good to be back with Lufty. A sparkling clean plane, very friendly and smiling crew and despite being packed to the gills enough personal space and comfort, thanks to NEK.

Ah, nothing can match the feeling of stepping onboard a real proper full-service airline! 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
The bad: Well, nothing really for this short hop (Jonas, take notice!).

Nothing bad it seems. Of course, you pigged out in the Lounge at TXL already and coffee, well it's too late for that.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Well, my happiness soon disappears as right after the doors are closed, one of the FAs promptly takes the cabin divider signs and moves them right in front of my nose - so now there are only two rows of Premium. Damn - so close, yet so far!

Now that would've really, really pissed me off! If that was america, I would've sued the airline!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
He has a lovely faux American accent as well.

Well, well well, look who's using the f-word?  

Thanks again for sharing P!
//Jonas

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
whatever Jonas might say. It’s not about whether you pay for service or not - it’s about certain things that you can trust will work with them.
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
gabrielchew
Posts: 3810
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 5:43 am

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:36 pm

Nice report, thanks!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh yes, I remember these colorful headrests - seemingly unchanged from my previous flight with them back in 2007:

I quite like those colours - nice and fresh

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
T1 is still impressive and impeccable:

Looks lovely

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Turns out they are indeed free, but you need your own towel

Ah, that's very cheeky - how many people travel with a towel in the hand luggage?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Plenty of flights, although if they showed the codeshare flights together as one they wouldn’t need so many monitors:

It really annoys me when the majority of flights shown are just codeshares.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The nicer and older of the back galley FAs notices our conversation, talks with the guy in Spanish and comes back with a glass of water and some pills which the guy takes, swallows and basically passes out for the rest of the flight

Nice of her

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
(I guess you know the answer already - nobody cared and the shade was still down until I pulled it up some five seconds prior to touchdown - very bad, Spanair!).

Last summer, I was quite surprised to board the IB flight HAV-MAD to find most the window shades down - the remained like that the entire flight, including landing. On my BA connection to LHR, I asked the lovely and experienced purser about it, and she said that it wasn't actually a rule that the window shades HAD to be up, it's up to the purser to deicde if they should or not (and 99.9% of the time they are). It makes a lot of sense for them to be open, but (at least in the UK), it's not a hard and fast rule.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Some shots of the cabin and seats - this is my block:

Those head rests realy don't match the seats

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well, my happiness soon disappears as right after the doors are closed, one of the FAs promptly takes the cabin divider signs and moves them right in front of my nose - so now there are only two rows of Premium. Damn - so close, yet so far!

Agh, unlucky! Better than being stuck at the back though!
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: AMS-RIX-BUD-VDA,ETH-TLV-FCO-LHR,STN-TXL-LCY,LTN-CPH-LTN,LGW-SZG,MUC-LHR
 
EL-AL
Posts: 1470
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 8:29 am

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Sat Nov 19, 2011 2:39 am

Hey FF,

Thank you for great report, as usual. You reminded me of my Spanish LCCs trip: LCC In Spain: TLV-BCN-SVQ-REU With UX, VY & FR (by EL-AL Apr 18 2010 in Trip Reports)

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A rather disinterested crew, my “Hola” is answered in a monotonous voice with not much enthusiasm not to mention eye contact. Considering this is the crew’s second flight today (after flying in from BCN) I think they are in for a long day...

Sounds familiar # 1.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Luckily this is only a half an hour flight so I think I can manage it - but I couldn’t possibly imagine flying all the way to Moscow in this seat, no way, Jose!

Sounds familiar # 2.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh well, I’m a Finn and we didn’t survive on kindness and by getting emotional so I decide to head to the MacDonald’s for food - the Spanair BOB sandwiches are already quite legendary (thanks to PlaneHunter for sacrificing himself for us!) in their horribleness so I reckon a good old Big Mac will be a much better lunch alternative:

Oh McDonalds.... the official airport meal of the jet lagged passenger.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Now this is even worse then Vueling I think:

Just horoble.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Yuck:

Discusting.


Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
I guess you know the answer already - nobody cared and the shade was still down until I pulled it up some five seconds prior to touchdown - very bad, Spanair!)

I bet the UN crew would do the same.

Thank you for a great read,
Jonathan
every day is a good day to fly
 
infodesk
Posts: 1462
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 11:06 pm

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:11 pm

Hi P,

Good to read part 2 of your Spanish adventure. It does indeed seem a tough call as to which is worse between VY & JK, I thought the legroom on VY was abysmal until I saw JK!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Yes, this is DEFINITELY a mini Deutschland:

Rather appropriate how you even got the German text on the bottom of the screen as well. I thought the lounge at PMI seems decent, considering that the airport mainly caters to holiday makers. Those little sandwiches look very tasty.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I think they called boarding by row numbers as a good number of pax are turned away, but not me though.

Good to see it being enforced once in a while.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
But luckily for 10 EUR they will gladly borrow me one, together with some shampoo and body wash plus a pair of slippers.

I can't really understand the 10E charge. It's a business lounge, if they have showers, then towels should be free. Anyway, who has a bath towel in their hand luggage these days?!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
It still makes me feel somewhat naughty having a cerveza in a McD, especially considering that it costs the same as any other beverage with your meal!

Is that unique to Spain that they offer beer? Didn't know about it.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Since when has BMI flown to BCN?
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Not sure where this is, probably still in Switzerland:

LXM83 beat me to it on both of those!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Finally the cart reaches the back row and I decide to perform FFBOBBT(TM) - I definitely need something to help me survive this crap seat:

Those Boxer crisps are quite nice, had some on my last ezy flight.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
And of course FRA itself:

Nice pic

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
What’s this - some sort of funfair:

Guess so. Autumn fairs (Herbstmesse) are quite popular in German speaking areas. There's a lovely one in Basel.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
By the time we are lining up on the runway I finally slam it open - the young guy on the seat ahead looks at me with the expression “WTF are you doing??” on his face. Sorry buddy, but it’s for your own good! Some people are also allowed to keep listening to music with their IPhones all throughout the takeoff...

Really can't understand this. Safety is paramount, the rules aren't made up for fun and everyone should take them seriously (expect using cameras during take off and landing  )

Happy flying
Infodesk   
"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
 
CaptainRed
Posts: 784
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:22 am

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:56 pm

Hi P.,

great continuation of your recent trip zig-zagging around Europe. Interesting to read about your not-so-good experiences with Vueling and Spanair. While checking for some possible trips recently I came up with a route including a flight on Vueling and a flight on JK from BCN to HAM. Now I am glad that I didn't book it.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh yes, I remember these colorful headrests

Hmm, some colors are certainly nice, but I think this is a bit too much.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Luckily their prices are much more reasonable (and legroom much less so) - this is what you get for 2 EUR:

Oh dear, hope we don't see this on more airlines in the future. 2 EUR isn't too bad, but still.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
T1 is still impressive and impeccable

Fully agree, a very nice building.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
whoa - am I supposed to fit in there:

Ouch, that looks tight indeed.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Her explanation that they only have a short amount of time to do it between flights doesn’t really fly with me - surely they can spare a night or even a full day at some point and do it all at one go - this is just ridiculous.

Interesting story. Wonder if she just made it up or if this is some sort of official explanation.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
they seem to have some prejudices against CaptainRed’s hometown:

Hey, I think I should file a complain with the authorities there   no, it stands for Baden-Baden of course, but true, it doesn't sound too inviting when you read it in English. Still always nice to see a flight to my home airport, there aren't that many.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A couple of Chinese youngsters laugh nervously at the prospect of boarding a plane “up the butt” but me - I just enjoy another chance to do so:

Of course, for sure the best way to board a plane.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
so now there are only two rows of Premium.

Must have been quite a disappointment, but then more time to sleep, no interruptions by that annoying food service  

Greetings from NOT BAD Karlsruhe   ...
CaptainRed
 
Lufthansa747
Posts: 2953
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 7:45 am

RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:45 am

Quality as usual P. ! But nothing else expected.

That JK A320 looks like a mix of BD convertible seats with new covers and old LH Y indeed in the back. My friend subjected himself to Vueling BCN-PMI after SQ F GRU-BCN. He now calls them Crueling. 

Did JK manage to bill you for the beer and chips? I almost called my bank when GATE GOURMET/MADRID showed up on my card bill almost 4 months after I flew Iberia - with similar legroom on their A319 I might add!

I could have used the JK crew's drugs after CRK-HKG-BKK-IST-HEL-IST-SIN-CGK in a row, a few nights at airports and same plane turnaround in HEL, then 2 nights CGK and the red eye to MNL on 5J. 6 quiet days at my gf's home seem to have cured me but man I was dead.

Regards,

Lari
Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
 
MSS658
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RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:15 pm

Hi Petteri,

nice trip report! It was an amazing read!. While Vueling looks like a standard carrier I'm totally shocked by the a full service, Star alliance carrier Spanair. Seating just looks so old, dated and cramped! Definate not on my to fly list! The SAS MD82 seems to be the most comfortable flight of the day. Makes me happy I've booked it on BRU-ARN in jan.

Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
reifel
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RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:08 pm

Excellent report once again!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I’ve only been here once before and that was a quick AB to AB transfer where the gates were basically right next to each other, so I’ve never really realized how huge this place is.

PMI is huge, and the new C pier is very nice now it's been rebuilded.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Quite a standard lounge - not bad at all and with some tasty sandwiches (I skip the prepackaged triangle ones - after my bad experience with a moldy one in the MAD lounge back in January I’m quite careful with those...):

The lounge you used is quite basic. There is another one, AENA too, which is located more far away, at the D pier if I am correct. It has no views but is quite big and nice. Food and drinks are the same.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Since when has BMI flown to BCN?

I guess this must have been the LX BSL-BCN flght, operated by BD.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
After surfing for an hour or so I contemplate whether I should go outside to that nice S-Bahn Imbiss (if you have ever been to Tegel you know what I’m talking about!) to get a really nice genuine Currywurst - but they have actually just brought out their own in the lounge:

There is one in SXF as well. And not so long ago I saw one in front of the STR terminal. Seems that they are expanding  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
What’s this - some sort of funfair:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/a...4.jpg

Could have been the "Hochheimer Markt" in Hochheim.
 
FlyingFinn76
Topic Author
Posts: 1698
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RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:26 pm

Hi all,

Thanks for the good number of replies and sorry for a long overdue reply on my part - life has been hectic lately (and of course featured more travel as well...).

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 18):
- I resent paying to use provided showers, RJ wanted $15 to take a shower in the AMM lounge, no way!

Well, technically speaking the shower was free, they just charged for the accessory pack  .

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 18):
It still makes me feel somewhat naughty having a cerveza in a McD
- Don't, I'd have had the same  

I know mate, I know.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 19):
Wow, I cannot believe I forgot that one...and you remembered it! I guess I'm in desperate need of a (real) vacation.

Maybe you should try Spain? I heard you can get there cheaply with Spanair and Vueling!

Quoting signol (Reply 20):
Next time an overnight in PMI and the Condor back to FRA?  

Yeah, I need to go back as they have a newish HRC I haven't visited yet. And with DY opening HEL-PMI next spring I have no excuse any more!

Quoting signol (Reply 20):
And as for the Tegel "Ess-Bahn", there is also one at SXF - I hope they move it over to BER when it opens!

Me too.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 21):
What a joke to "upgrade" the JK service from the M87, these A320 doesn´t look like nice.

Nope, it doesn't. And this one was even worse than their normal A320s, those blue cloth seats are at least clean usually and feature a bit better design than those crappy leather ones.

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 22):
You were really unlucky, that Sunday had lots of storms and rain around Barcelona, the rest of the week was even worse...

Well, luckily no bad delays at all, that small hold was quite ok considering how bad thunderstorms can sometimes be.

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 22):
JK offers some tickets to TXL for 1€, so not much of a complaint when you spend less than a coffee for a 2 hours flight, if one can take it.

Is that an all inclusive price?! Then again that is just about what this product is worth  
Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 22):
so I have upgraded my ticket to J for 39€, which I think is totally reasonable after seeing your report.

Yeah well I don't think their Premium class is that good either. At least you get a blocked middle seat and some okay legroom on row 1. Plus cava. And a sandwich or something, but the JK sandwiches are quite legendary already...

Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 23):
Looks like the only the only good thing about them really is the MD-87!

Yes, especially now that the 717s are gone and flying around from my home airport!

Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 23):
Random bucket on the floor: left by a cleaning crew, fix for a leaky roof, or public bathroom?   

Leaky roof. There were more.

Although I like that public toilet idea!

Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 23):
We get a fair bit of them here in OKC, but they have a nasty habit of disappearing into a building and coming out with "Allegiant" on the side. So close, and yet...

Hah, that's funny! Allegiant certainly is gobbling up all of these grand old ladies. Give in and fly one, won't you?  
Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 24):
Can't you even get a "random seat" for free?

I'm not sure, but definitely didn't want to risk an aisle or a middle seat. Then again the weather wasn't good for views, but still.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 24):
Isn't the last row - 24 - without windows too?

Not sure, never dared to go back there. AYA333 should know the answer  .

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 24):
A shame you didn't get upgraded on the last flight - anyway it's good to see KF is making business on the midnight flight!

All the three las t CPH-HEL flights of the day on Sundays - KF/SK/KF in that order are always very full and quite often overbooked. This was the case last Sunday as well, but thanks to a lazy gate agent no status pax and just about anybody with a seat assignment at gate got the remaining seats at Premium. Way to go.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 25):
At least no one yelled at you “IT IS NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE PICTURE ON BOARD!” like my last experience with Vueling.

No, luckily not. And I wasn't even particularly discreet about it. I got lucky with the crew I guess.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 25):
You speak Russian. Cool!

About ten words. Enough for the basic compliments etc.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 25):
FFBOBBT(TM)
Help me...

Flying Finn's Buy On Board Beer Test (TM). A new concept I'm coming up with. I've already in discussions about selling this to Australia as they really like their brew down under.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 25):
Did she get it right?

Yes.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 26):
So did those seats remain empty during the flight, or did someone move to them in-flight?

I didn't really pay any attention, but I think there were people sitting there. Not sure if they paid for those seats, probably not.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 26):
That's quite mean of them. Hope that's not the case with other lounges that offer showers, or do they charge for towels as well?

Not usually I think. I've never taken a shower at a lounge before, though, so not sure. But at least the real premium lounges (LH Senator etc.) offer you the works for free.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 26):
Swedes, the land of self-serving drinkers... Did they get all jolly and drunk-ish too?

Well, there were two middle aged couples there who got rather loud after a few rounds with the Cava. Still in good spirit, as only Swedes can - were they Finns they would've already stabbed each others with those silly little airside knives.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 26):
Time flies when you're lounging. 7hrs in a lounge pass like 1hr out in "the regular world"  

No, not exactly. Depends on what there's to do I guess. But no, I still can't understand this lounge obsession of yours.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 26):
Well, my happiness soon disappears as right after the doors are closed, one of the FAs promptly takes the cabin divider signs and moves them right in front of my nose - so now there are only two rows of Premium. Damn - so close, yet so far!
Now that would've really, really pissed me off! If that was america, I would've sued the airline!

For what? Emotional damages? Come on, for crying out loud! I got exactly what I paid for - a comfy enough seat in economy and a ride home. Nobody said to me that I was upgraded, it was all my own wishful thinking.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 26):
Well, well well, look who's using the f-word?  

Somehow that word is creeping into my vocabulary, it is being used far too much nowadays.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 27):
Ah, that's very cheeky - how many people travel with a towel in the hand luggage?

Those who believe Douglas Adams?  
Quoting infodesk (Reply 29):
I thought the legroom on VY was abysmal until I saw JK!

Heh, things can always get worse, trust me on that one. I'm at CPH right now and just flew in with a bird with even worse legroom, or at least seat design...

Quoting infodesk (Reply 29):
Is that unique to Spain that they offer beer? Didn't know about it.

Many McDs around Europe sell beer. Germany (of course), Belgium and France spring to mind, probably more as well. Oh and one in Sweden, the one at Arlanda  . Although usually you pay extra for it, Spain is the only place where I've seen it being a beverage choice among others at no extra cost.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 30):
recently I came up with a route including a flight on Vueling and a flight on JK from BCN to HAM. Now I am glad that I didn't book it.

Well it is not that different from Ryanair, honestly - and you have done your fair share of flights with them so you'd been fine, I'm sore.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 30):
Interesting story. Wonder if she just made it up or if this is some sort of official explanation.

I'm pretty sure it was made up on the spot like most of dubious sounding explanations (usually at airport security points regarding why one can't do this or that!).

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 30):
Still always nice to see a flight to my home airport, there aren't that many.

But hey, you got a new Ryanair base! I almost booked the inaugural flight from RIX, but then couldn't come up any sane reason why I would pay 35 EUR for it so let it drop  
Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 30):
Greetings from NOT BAD Karlsruhe   ...

No, it can't be bad with that lovely name. "Carl's peace" - sounds like a private cemetery business to me!  
Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 31):
My friend subjected himself to Vueling BCN-PMI after SQ F GRU-BCN. He now calls them Crueling.

Well, I think that is a bit extreme, those two products are as far from each other as you can get.

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 31):
Did JK manage to bill you for the beer and chips?

I paid cash.

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 31):
I could have used the JK crew's drugs after CRK-HKG-BKK-IST-HEL-IST-SIN-CGK in a row,

Well, you are crazy, but you know that already. I thought your US runs with AY and AA back in the days were already quite mad, but this is already something completely different. I'm sure there is a very good reason for that, not that I particularly want to hear it though.

Quoting reifel (Reply 33):
The lounge you used is quite basic. There is another one, AENA too, which is located more far away, at the D pier if I am correct. It has no views but is quite big and nice. Food and drinks are the same.

Yes, I saw that. But I wasn't sure how far from the gate it was so I decided to stick to this one as it was very conveniently located.

Quoting reifel (Reply 33):
Could have been the "Hochheimer Markt" in Hochheim.

Danke!
 
CaptainRed
Posts: 784
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RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:22 pm

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 34):
But hey, you got a new Ryanair base! I almost booked the inaugural flight from RIX, but then couldn't come up any sane reason why I would pay 35 EUR for it so let it drop

To visit Karlsruhe should be reason enough   A new FR base, nice on one side, but on the other side that will probably cause AB to eliminate more and more routes from FKB, so in the end not a very good deal.

CaptainRed
 
parton87
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RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:37 pm

Hello Petteri!

Thanks for the great story!
Spanair seem to be one of the worst airlines out there, I´m not tempted to fly with them for sure! There was a large article about JK in a Swedish morning paper just recently and JK´s CEO though that JK will be the leading carrier in Espania in a near further. He was also looking for bigger planes to start long haul from BCN! When it comes to profit it was apparently not that necessary. They have never made profit and just if the debt are not to big everything will be OK!

Ever heard a CEO of an airline say something like that before? 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
this is what you get for 2 EUR



It looks terrible! And this is better then other rows?

Greetings
Robert
 
FlyingFinn76
Topic Author
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RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:57 am

Hej Robert,

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 36):
Spanair seem to be one of the worst airlines out there, I´m not tempted to fly with them for sure!

Well, it certainly is the worst *A airline there is. It is basically Ryanair with weird planes and even worse staff (usually).

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 36):
Ever heard a CEO of an airline say something like that before? 

Well, no. But I've heard many CEOs of (failed) dot coms say so back in the days...  

To me it sounds like the board should throw that guy out - doesn't exactly sound like he's guarding shareholder value with that kind of talks!

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 36):
this is what you get for 2 EUR
It looks terrible! And this is better then other rows?

Err no, this is a standard row. A seat on the front and exit rows which more legroom was I think 12 EUR or thereabouts. If you didn't pay the 2 EUR it would assign you a seat in random I think (sounds like a surefire way to get a middle seat to me!).
 
debonair
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RE: Painful Spanair: PMI-BCN-TXL-FRA-CPH-HEL

Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:40 pm

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The ugly first impression: there’s a guy who looks exactly like he lives in a white trash trailer park sitting on a MIDDLE seat in the three rows of Premium. I think he is the sole passenger in that cabin. Now I’m sort of happy that I didn’t push my luck with the upgrade - who knows I might’ve ended next to him!

Yes, very strange- according to JK even in PREMIUM a free middle seat is (according to load) not guaranteed.

But, it is even getting worse! I saw a group of LH M&M FTL passengers traveling in ECONOMY at the very end of the a/c - an upgrade was refused by ground staff, as the flight was half empty. This group settled down during boarding into PREMIUM class, pointing to their FTL status like beeing a VIP or even King Juan Carlos and the crew did nothing! NADA, NOTHING- can you imagine paying full PREMIUM fare and ending up next to a passenger with the lowest fare on a half empty plane?

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