2nd TR: STR-CDG-ORY-LCY / LHR-CDG-STR On AF In Y

— OUTBOUND LEG —

Hello and welcome to my second trip report!

Click here to read it on Airliners.net.

***BACKGROUND-INFO:***
Before I wrote my first TR in July 2010 which was just a test-run for this TR I read on the General Aviation forums that AF would be deploying the A380 on the CDG-LHR-CDG route, so I was eager to fly the whale on a cheap inter-european flight. As I have never flown into LCY either, and wanted to try it I thought I could combine both flights into one trip. Additionally I have never been to London, so the whole trip seemed to be a great long weekend-trip.
I booked the flights via the AF website and payed 170 Euros for all flights. I didn’t like the fact that I had to transfer between CDG and ORY, but that was the price I had to pay for this “unique” routing.
After booking my flight I searched for a cheap hotel with 3 stars or more and found the Sheraton 4-star hotel near LHR for just above 100 Euros for three nights. Step 3 was to book my train connections in advance, so I booked one Heathrow Connect one-way ticket for Friday evening and two round-trip tickets for Saturday and Sunday. Hotel and HeathrowConnect combined it was still much cheaper than to book a good hotel in inner London.

***PRE-FLIGHT:***
On Friday morning I got up at 07:00 AM, packed and got into my car at about 08:00 AM. I arrived at STR about one hour later and parked in the P2 parking garage for mid-term parking. After a 5 minute walk I arrived at the terminal area on departure level.

I proceeded to Terminal 3 to the AF express self-chech-in and realized checking in online would have been smarter. I only got an aisle seat and could not check-in for my 2nd flight from ORY to LCY.

While checking in an AF agent came to me and told me a had to get a approved-carry-on badge for my bag, so I had to go the AF counters.

Security took me about 10 minutes which is a rather long time for STR. It was the first time they wanted me to put my parfum into an extra bag, so I had to buy one.

After security, view towards Terminal 1 and 2:

Boarding area:

The A318, never flown this type before. Btw this TR will feature 3 new types for me on 4 flights.


Germanwings A319:

Information screen:

***FLIGHT 1:***
Date: 27 August 2010
Airline: Air France / AF
Flight: AF 1409
Aircraft: Airbus A318
Aircraft Reg: F-GUGK
Departure Airport: STR / Stuttgart Airport
Arrival Airport: CDG / Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport
Scheduled Departure Time: 10:30 AM
Actual Departure Time: 10:50 AM
Scheduled Arrival Time: 11:50 AM
Actual Arrival Time: 12:10 AM
Class: Economy
Seat: 09D (aisle)

Open cockpit door while boarding:

View down the aisle, we had to wait 20 minutes for push-back after boarding was complete because no available slots on the assigned airway. At least that is what the captain told us.

Generous legroom in the exit-row, picture taken after take-off:

Snack and drink service:

MIGHTY TASTY:

After landing we taxied about 10 minutes or longer to arrive on a hard-stand:

Pax deplaning via stairs:

***TRANSFER TO ORY***
Inside busy Terminal 2:

I proceeded to the AF Correspondance desk because I was told in STR I would get a free “Cars AF” ticket their for my connection to ORY. To my disappointment I was told that this is only true for pax continueing on a long-haul flight from ORY and I would have to my for the bus-ticket myself.

I left the terminal to get to the “Cars AF” bus-stop just 2 minutes away. The bus came after 10 minutes, I bought my ticket from the bus driver and searched for an empty row. What came now was an unbelievable scandal. How can AF take 20 Euro for a 40-minute drive from CDG to ORY and offer a seat-pitch of about 25″ ??? I had no room left between the seats, my knees were hurting after we arrived at ORY. I advise everyone to take the metro/tube/underground between CDG and ORY.

That seat didn’t stay empty, bus had a load factor of 100% after we left the last bus-stop at CDG.

Full bus:

Traffic on the motorways around Paris:

***PRE-FLIGHT:***
Self-check-in machines at ORY just printed out a piece of paper which advised me I had to check-in at a check-in-desk. As some hundred tourists to Carribean destinations wanted to check-in at the same time, I first thought about waiting the 20 or 30 minutes in the extreme slow moving queues.

That was when I discovered that there were more check-in desks at ORY “Hall 03” (I was in “Hall 04”, about 100m/yd away). Too bad the desks all had closed already for a flight leaving in about 10 minutes, just one biz-class check-in was open, so I tried my luck and the agent gave me my boarding pass without having to wait an endless time at the economy check-in desks. Strike!

I went through security and wanted to take a picture from the small check-point, but a police officer told me that it is forbidden in France. So I bought something to drink and searched for a seat near the windows to watch the arriving and departing aircraft as I had to wait short of 2 hours till departure.

The Fokker 50 of AF CityJet opr by VLM which would take me to London later this day:

Both boarding passes:

More spotting pics:







Seating area for gates 30, 31 and 32 (and subsequent sub-gates like 32A etc.):

More spotting:









***FLIGHT 2:***
Date: 27 August 2010
Airline: Air France Cityjet / AF operated by VLM
Flight: AF 5022
Aircraft: Fokker 50
Aircraft Reg: OO-VLN
Departure Airport: ORY / Paris-Orly Airport
Arrival Airport: LCY / London City Airport
Scheduled Departure Time: 16:45 AM CET (on-time)
Scheduled Arrival Time: 16:50 AM BST (on-time)
Class: Economy
Seat: 09D (window)

As you could see in photos above it rained for about 30 minutes, but while boarding the sun came back out:

Unique nose of the Fokker 50, the “Spirit of Reenstar”:

Good legroom, I think about 32″:

Cabin:

Taxi out:

Take-off:



Climb:


Paris from above, can you spot the Eiffel tower?

Flight:

Snack (ham-sandwich, a good one!) and drink service:

Over the Channel:

Descend:




Approach and landing:






***POST-FLIGHT:***
In contrast to my flights with C9 (Cirrus Airlines) between MHG and TXL you don’t get your larger hand-luggage back after deplaning, despite the “delivery at aircraft” tags, so I had to wait for my luggage to arrive on the belt like normal checked bags. Afterwards I proceeded through the small LCY terminal to the DLR station.

Terminal with some construction going on:

DLR station London City Airport, from here I took the DLR to Monument, from there Circle Line to Paddington station and onwards with Heathrow Connect to LHR and last but not least the free bus to the hotel:

Hotel room:

— LONDON 1 / SATURDAY 1 —

I drove back into London on Saturday and Sunday and I went everywhere by foot.

This is route I took on Saturday:

With Connect to Paddington and Circle to Notting Hill Gate:



Notting Hill / Portobello Market / down Ladbroke Grove:


































With Circle Line and Picadilly Line to Picadilly Circus:




Me having lunch in the Devonshire Arms Pub:



— LONDON 2 / SATURDAY 2 —

Saturday continued…

From Picadilly Circus via Regent St, Conduit St, New Bond St, Oxford St to Hide Park:























Through Hide Park via Wellington Arch, Constitution Hill, Buckingham Palace, The Mall, Marlborough Rd, St James St, Picadilly back to Picadilly Circus:


























— LONDON 3 / SUNDAY 1 —

Sunday Route Part 1:

From Picadilly Circus via Leicester Sq, China Town, Long Acre, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden Market, The Strand to Trafalgar Square:
























Down Whitehall via Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Westminster Bridge, to the London Eye:






















— LONDON 4 / SUNDAY 2 —

Sunday continued…

After Lunch at a Turkish restaurant up the Thames’ eastern waterside via Waterloo Bridge, Strand, Middle Temple Ln, Tudor St, up to Ludgate Hill and St. Pauls:




















Sunday Part 2:

Down Cannon St via Queen Victoria St, Bank, Cornhill, St. Mary Axe, The Gherkin, and back, down Gracechurch St to The Monument:








From Monument down to the northern Thames waterside and eastwards till Tower of London / Towerbridge:


























— INBOUND LEG 1/2 —

***PRE-FLIGHT:***
Monday came too fast, I really wanted to spend more time in London, but as I had to be back to work on Tuesday this had to be a short trip.

Leaving my hotel:

With the free bus service around LHR to terminal 1,2,3 central bus station:

With the free Heathrow Express from terminal 3 to terminal 4:

I used the self-check-in machines and got an aisle seat for first flight and an window seat for my second flight. Passing through security:

Inside terminal 4:

Arriving in the 4-Deck-Lounge, I had booked the ticket in advance for a 50% discounted price. All cereals and cofee/tea were empty, a/c was not working, except for the main floor and the quite-zone on floor 3. I first watched the arriving and departing aircraft from the 4th floor, then proceeded to the quite-zone on 3rd floor, to drink some coke and eat pretzels:



















15 minutes before boarding time I started my long walk to gate 6A at the other side of the terminal:

***FLIGHT 3:***
Date: 30 August 2010
Airline: Air France / AF
Flight: AF 1981
Aircraft: A380
Aircraft Reg: F-HPJC
Departure Airport: LHR / London Heathrow Airport
Arrival Airport: CDG / Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport
Scheduled Departure Time: 12:50 AM BST
Actual Departure Time: 13:05 AM BST
Scheduled Arrival Time: 15:05 AM CET
Actual Arrival Time: 15:15 AM CET
Class: Economy
Seat: 33A (window) (checked-in on 32C)

Boarding:

Still empty cabin, but the purser told me later only 9 seats remained empty:

We had to wait 15 minutes for missing passengers, as they didn’t show up the row behind us stayed empty. “Us” in this case is me and the french couple I already met the day before at Tower Bridge. The world is really small. Btw, nice a.net-anecdote, the guy was totally surprised that I had chosen to fly via CDG just to fly on some special airplane. Why on earth would someone do this? A.nutters…

Waiting for missing pax & push-back:



Waiting for line-up and watching other aircraft take-off:



See the Olympic a/c passing by on the TV screen:

And taking-off afterwards:

Take-off and climb-out:




In-Flight and playing with the IFE system:





Drink and snack service:

Generous long-range economy leg-room:

And really comfortable seats:

In-Flight and visiting all economy sections of the whale:



Approach and landing (we overtook the AF 747 which had just started its take-off roll and then it overtook us again):






Taxi:



Me in business class:

Staircase to the upper deck:

— INBOUND LEG 2/2 —

*** CONNECTING IN CDG ***
They offered everyone the chance to get into the cockpit and to visit the upperdeck, but I had no time as I had to get my connecting flight from the other end of terminal 2!!! About 25 minutes by foot and I only had 15 minutes left. On my way I passed an AF agent and told him I had to get my plane to STR, he told me should not worry, took his walkie-talkie and called the departure gate to wait for me. Till this point everything seemed to be going fine…

After deplaning:



I don’t know at which part of terminal 2 I had arrived, perhaps you can see it by the photos, everything I know is I had to go through some sort of security check-point and had a very long way to Terminal 2D. And as luck wasn’t with me that day, there was a bag without an owner and French soldiers were stopping everyone between my part of Terminal 2 and Terminal 2D. I asked the nearest AF agent for help and she said there is nothing she can do, I should try to take the Inter-Terminal bus to Terminal 2D. I had to wait 10 minutes for my bus and when I arrived at Terminal 2D boarding was closed already. So I went to next AF desk and they rebooked me without problems on the next flight to STR in the evening.

Here my new boarding pass:

I proceeded through security and relaxed in some kind of angled-lie-flat-seat near my boarding gate.

More than three hours passed and it was time for boarding:

***FLIGHT 4:***
Date: 30 August 2010
Airline: Air France / AF
Flight: AF 2508
Aircraft: A319
Aircraft Reg: F-GRXC
Departure Airport: CDG / Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport
Arrival Airport: STR / Stuttgart Airport
Scheduled Departure Time: 19:00 AM (on-time)
Scheduled Arrival Time: 20:20 AM (on-time)
Class: Economy
Seat: 18F (window)

Boarding:

Push-back:



Taxi:

Take-off and climb:





In-flight:


Near the French-German border it got darker with every minute, large stormcell cloud-formations could be seen:

Approach and landing:





Cockpit, thx to the crew for letting me in:

And so I finish thir TR where I started it:

***FINAL WORDS:***
It was a pleasure to fly with AF. Their service was good on all four flights, the cabin crew was friendly and very talkative on the A380 flight. Would I fly AF again? Yes, without question.
Problematic is the transfer with “cars AF” between CDG and ORY, I would not use these busses again. And selling a connecting flight with a transfer time of 35 minutes is no problem if we would have arrived on-time and at the planned Terminal. But as we arrived at Terminal 2E or 2F I had no chance of getting my connecting flight, even without the abandoned bag this seemed to be a bit over-optimistic.

And I am sorry for the huge number of photos. I had 1500 pics and deleted more than 1000. So this is already my best-of collection and I am far above my own set maximum number of 150 photos for a best-of collection.Click here to read it on Airliners.net.

1st TR: MHG-TXL and TXL-MHG on C9 in Y

1st TR: MHG-TXL and TXL-MHG on C9 in Y

View at Airliners.net Trip Reports Forum.

— OUTBOUND LEG —

Hello and welcome to my first trip report!

***BACKGROUND-INFO:***
I was born in Berlin and see myself as resident of Berlin, despite the fact that I don’t live there currently. Due to my degree course which is a special form of business administration and is only available at one university in Germany, I am currently living in a small town in northern Baden-Württemberg. (Info: Baden-Württemberg is the state in the South-West of Germany, the capital is Stuttgart.)
While living here I usually fly back home once a month for a weekend to visit friends and family. So this first trip report is just a basic round-trip between Mannheim and Berlin. To spice it up a little I added some pictures from Berlin I took on two photo-tours with two friends.

***PRE-FLIGHT:***
I got up at 4:00 a.m., showered and packed my bag for the weekend. Then I drove 30 minutes to the Mannheim City-Airport. I arrived there quite early and decided to take some pictures from the parking deck. Btw, parking for Cirrus Airlines customers is free on the parking deck, no matter how long you stay. Great service and one of the reasons why I always choose to fly from Mannheim instead of Stuttgart where they have totally unrealistic prices (50-60 Euros for 4 days).

The new airport building and new tower as seen from the parking deck:

The apron, lots of bizjets there today, because of the Formula 1 race at Hockenheim (15min by car):

D-CCIR, the aircraft which took me to Berlin:

The old Tower:

New Tower, now viewed from the entrance to the terminal:

Terminal entrance:

Check-in deks:

Nice view of the small apron from the check-in hall:

Blurry pic of the very small post-security seating area at the one and only gate:

***FLIGHT 1:***
Date: 23 July 2010
Airline: Cirrus Airlines
Flight: C9 1560
Aircraft: Dornier 328-100 (Prop)
Aircraft Reg: D-CCIR
Departure Airport: MHG / Mannheim City Airport
Arrival Airport: TXL / Berlin – Tegel
Scheduled Departure Time: 6:00 AM (on time)
Scheduled Arrival Time: 7:15 AM (on time)
Class: Economy

In Mannheim you just walk over the apron the aircraft, which gives you the opportunity to take some pictures, but on that day boarding happened very fast, so i just took one picture from the prop while going up the stairs:

The small cabin while boarding as 3rd pax:

Engine started, another Learjet taxiing by:

Pictures from taxi-out and take-off:








In-Flight:

Lots of legroom, despite the fact I didn’t got my favorite seat 9A (exit row) this time:

The very comfortable seats:

More In-Flight pics:


A waffle and OJ (I miss the days when C9 still served a small sandwich on every flight):

More In-Flight pics:




Descend, approach and landing (bad weather in Berlin). Coming in from the west over Tegeler See (the name-giving lake of this borough and airport) and landing on 26L:









Engine shut-off … and yes, rain was greeting me:

***POST-FLIGHT:***
Deboarding, there they have my red bag in their hands. Handle with care!!!

More pictures while walking to the terminal (never happend to me that they pulled directly up to the gate, always have to take the bus, perhpas becuase it is the 6am flight):


Baggage claim:

I walked up the stairs from E-wing to the main hall at TXL (Terminal A), from there i took a taxi back home. I love the airports which are build like TXL, from gate to curb in 90 seconds:

More in reply 1 & 2 …

— BERLIN —

Like mentioned above some pictures from my hometown Berlin will follow in this part of my TR. Besides taking pictures of airplanes I like taking pictures of buildings, monuments, city live and interesting landscapes as much as all other sorts of photography. I’ll start with the photo-tour from that weekend which is covered in this trip report and finish it off with some pictures from a photo-tour I did in June with better weather.

Friday before going out i took these pictures from a friends’ flat inside the Sony Center at the Potsdamer Platz:


The next day around noon:

Deutsche Bahn Tower:

Beisheim Center & S-Bahn station Potsdamer Platz:

Deutsche Bahn Tower as seen from the other “round” side:

More pictures from buildings at Potsdamer Platz:



Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe:

US Embassy between the Memorial and the Brandenburger Tor:

British Embassy:

More buildings around Potsdammr Platz:

Now i’ll continue with the pictures from my photo-tour in June:

Olympia Stadion viewed from the “Glockenturm”:

Funkturm at the ICC / Messehallen:

View to the East from the Funkturm, Tiergarten & Potsdamer Platz in the middle near the horizon:

View to the West, Glockenturm near Olympia Stadion:

Europa Center and Gedächtniskirche:

Potsdamer Platz:

Tiergarten with the Siegessäule and the Fernsehturm in the background:

In the middle: HFT-FT building at the TU Berlin campus:

Me above Berlin:

One last view to the East (was so hot that day, too much heat flare):

The still new Hauptbahnhof (main station):

Kanzleramt (chancellery):

Paul-Löbe-Haus (office building for the politicians of the Bundestag):

Connection between Paul-Löbe-Haus and Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus above the Spree river:

Reichstag building where the Bundestag resides:
?

Brandenburger Tor:

One last view to the Kanzleramt (chancellery):

More in reply #2…

— INBOUND LEG —

Now back to pictures which are more directly connected to a.net…

***PRE-FLIGHT:***
This weekend I was staying till Monday which gave me one more evening in Berlin to got out, but nevertheless the the day of departure came too fast again.

The large electric sign in front of TXL showing all departures:

Driving up to the D concourse:

(At that newer enhancement of terminal A you depart at concourse D (upper level) and arrive at concourse E (lower level).)

Main building above terminal A and the tower:

An old S-Bahn wagon serving as diner:

Check-in desks at concourse D:

Directly after passing security, not a very nice place to wait for your flight, the air is always sticky:

***FLIGHT 2:***
Date: 26 July 2010
Airline: Cirrus Airlines
Flight: C9 1567
Aircraft: Dornier 328-100 (Prop)
Aircraft Reg: D-CCIR
Departure Airport: TXL / Berlin – Tegel
Arrival Airport: MHG / Mannheim City Airport
Scheduled Departure Time: 4:00 PM (on time)
Scheduled Arrival Time: 5:15 PM (on time)
Class: Economy

Boarding, down the stairs again and over the apron to the aircraft:

Again not 9A for me (must be the TR), but two seats for one person are also acceptable: ^^

Pictures before take-off:




Take-off:






Cruise:

We got a refreshment towel as soon as seat belt signs were off:

Nice clouds:

Cabin:

Empty seat beside me giving me lots of leg room:

The seats again, very comfy:

In the middle of Germany it got darker and darker:

Snack & 2 OJs:

We flew right into that dark clouds:

Cabin ceiling:

Descend, it was a very bumby ride after leaving our cruise level:




Landing:










The mini-galley:

Inside the departure- & arrival-hall:

Some last rainy pictures from the parking deck, again it was D-CCIR:

Documents:

Thank you for reading my first TR, feedback is always appreciated.

CARST