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EZE-FRA-AMS-TXL and back in Lufthansa and KLM Cityhopper

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  • EZE-FRA-AMS-TXL and back in Lufthansa and KLM Cityhopper

    My mom living in the Netherlands, I decided to pay a visit to her. We also planned a trip to Berlin, Germany during the weekend.

    Here we go...

    I arrived exactly two hours before my flight leaving. I headed for the Lufthansa counter. There were lots of people, but the row went quickly. Check-in was very efficient and the ground personnel, nice. She checked me in towards Amsterdam, which was my final destination. Having not a lot of time, I said bye to my father and went to the gates. Today, we had no. 05.

    There were some planes already. A Swiss MD-11, a United 767 (with Star Alliance c/s), an Air France 777, an American 767 and, of course, our big bird: Lufthansa 747-400.

    We started boarding by zones, which made it way easier. I was zone 5, so I had to wait for a while. Meanwhile, there was nothing better to do than taking a Süddeutsche Zeitung and reading it.

    September 25
    LH 521
    From Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) to Frankfurt (FRA) via São Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)
    Departure time: 10:20 am (local) On time
    Arrival time: 6:35 am +1 (local) On time
    Boeing 747-400 "Bonn"
    Seat 33H (aisle)

    "I couldn't catch the damn registration!", was the first thing I thought when entering the plane. The only thing I saw was the name of the plane: Bonn. It was my second time flying with Bonn; the first: about three or four years ago.

    I went to my seat 33H. As always, an can stretch your legs when you are on an aisle seat. The center seat was empty and the window one was occupied by an Argentinian old-man. He was very sympathetic and we started talking. He was going to São Paulo. His son lives there.

    Before take off, a cabin attendant started asking whether we were traveling to Frankfurt or São Paulo. If Frankfurt, she putted an "Occupied" sticker on your seat (my case), if São Paulo, she gave the immigration forms for Brazil. This flight wasn't full at all: about 45% of the cabin was empty.

    Flight was calm and nice. We did the same route than always, passing over central Uruguay, central southern Brazil and finally Guarulhos. A refreshment was served. It consisted on a salad with chicken, a sort of flan and a drink. I went for the Diet Coke, like always. Two hours and a half later, we landed safely in Brazil.

    I said bye to my neighbour and went to the Free Shop. I didn't have anything to buy, but lots of time to spend. There was nothing interesting and everything was very expensive, so I run away from there (lol). Then I went to the gates. Swiss flight arrived from EZE at the same time than we did. There were lots of Argentinians LH-passengers greeting friends taveling with LX. "See you in Paris!", said one to his friend before boarding. Swiss leaves GRU half an hour before Lufthansa does.

    I walked a bit more, saw some Varig, TAM, BRA and VASP planes, and then went back to my gate. Boarding was starting. Passengers from Buenos Aires did board the first, even before First Class pax.

    Again on board, the center seat remained empty (yay!). Window was occupied by an engineer from Poland, who had just attended a conference in Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil), and was coming back home.

    A (let me quote the purser) "Cocktail Service" started after an hour or so. I think the biggest cocktail you could order was a tomato juice, but anyway. No peanuts this time, damn!

    Later on, the dinner. It consisted on meat or chicken (meat for me, please), with potatoes. It wasn't bad at all. The cabin crew on this flight was very very very nice. Because of the lack of people, I guess. Now, our flight was only 60% full.

    I slept for some hours and then watch a movie. Johny English, or something like that. Kinda fun, indeed. It was the first time in ages I found a good movie on Lufthansa.

    I read for some time and then fell asleep again. I was wocken up by the beakfast. Salami, prosciutto and ham with a croissant. Not that bad. I liked it, indeed.

    Two hours later, we were landing at Frankfurt.

    At the airport, I went calmly to the big screen to check my gate. I had A01 printed in my boarding pass, but it was wrong: my flight to Amsterdam was living on gate B02. As we landed on B20, I didn't have to walk a lot. I went very slowly to my gate and there took an International Herald Tribune and read it. I recommend all of you this newspaper, since it has a daily aviation-related section, "International Traveller", which is excellent.

    Boarding started for flight LH 4450 to Amsterdam. Almost every passenger was Canadian, for what I could see on their passeports. There, I became a German citizen, because I showed my German passeport instead of my Argentinian one.

    September 26
    LH 4450
    From Frankfurt (FRA) to Amsterdam (AMS) non-stop
    Departure time: 8:45 am (local) On time
    Arrival time: 9:45 am (local) 5 minutes advanced
    Airbus A320-200
    D-AIPA "Bruxtehude"
    Seat 14A (window)

    After boarding I went to my today's seat: 14A, window. Flight was about 85% full. After the 14-hour journey from EZE to FRA, this flight seemed to me anything but long.

    A refreshment was served. It consisted on a ham or cheese sandwich and a drink. I choose the ham one.

    Flight was very calm and after half an hour in the skies, our female captain told us we were starting approach to Schiphol. It was a sunny day, so I could watch all the cities we were passing over during the flight.

    Landing was very very good but in a remote location, so taxi to the terminal took 15 minutes. We landed on B11.

    The day after, my mom and I decided to visit Germany's capital city, Berlin. We booked KLM for this flight.

    We arrived at Schiphol about one hour and a half before flight. As we didn't have any bagage but a carry-on, we checked-in at the Self check-in computers. It was very nice and easy. We also checked-in for our coming-back flight the day after.

    I didn't pay a lot of attention to Schiphol this time. We just went to our gate.

    KLM Royal Dutch Airlines operated by KLM Cityhopper
    September 27
    KL 1823
    From Amsterdam (AMS) to Berlin Tegel (TXL) non-stop
    Departure time: 9:45 am (local) 45 minutes delayed
    Arrival time: 10:50 am (local) 45 minutes delayed
    Fokker 100
    Seat 06E (window)

    We boarded on time and were greeted by two British female flight attendants. There were only Dutch newspapers and the Financial Times, so no reading this time. About 5 minutes after, a KLM ground staff member came into the plane and started talking in Dutch by handy. What was going on? Half an hour later, the captain told us we were finally taking off and our delay was due to a "cargo problem". I could see our "cargo problem" on the window: there was a dog that wasn't going to Berlin. Finally, 45 minutes after the estimated departure time, we took off.

    Announcements were made in English and in pre-recorded disks in German and Dutch. Yes, this plane used to fly with KLM UK. Service started and consisted on a ham sandwich, which I choose, or a cheese one. After, a strawberry mousse. I should say I was quite surprised about the FAs: KLM Royal Dutch's are great, but KLM Cityhopper's are just terrible! They all seem to hate their job. Wasn't excepting that at all.

    An hour and five minutes after that, we landed at Berlin Tegel's jetway 10.

    After a weekend in Berlin, my mom and I headed back to Tegel. Since we both are Flying Dutchman Silver Elite members, we went directly to Otto Lielenthal Lounge (checked-in in Schiphol the day before), which is shared by lots of airlines without Business Class service to TXL, including KLM. I read a swiss newspaper (Le Temps), and I couldn't finish it, so I took it to the plane with me.

    KLM Royal Dutch Airlines operated by KLM Cityhopper
    September 28
    KL 1830
    From Berlin (TXL) to Amsterdam (AMS) non-stop
    Departure time: 5:30 pm (local) On time
    Arrival time: 6:35 pm (local) On time
    Fokker 100 PH-OFH (not sure about the registration)
    Seat 02A (window)

    We boarded on gate 10, but this time without a jetway. Flight was overbooked and I almost couldn't find a place for my luggage. I finally did in row 08 (remember I was in row 02).

    After waiting for a Lufthansa A320, it was our time for take off. Flight was again good, but service on an excellent "KLM Cityhopper" style: very bad. It started and a FA came shouting "Sandwich?!", then "Dessert?!" and finally "Trash?!"...If they were just a bit like their KLM Royal Dutch co-workers.

    However, we landed on gate D84. If had a connecting flight, I'd certainly killed myself...D84 is one of the very last gates in Schiphol. After walking for ages, we finally reached the train station near Schiphol Plaza.

    After a week in The Hague (Den Haag or 's-Gravenhage in Dutch), I finally had to come back home. My mom went with me to Schiphol. I checked in the Star Alliance counters: Lufthansa to Frankfurt and Hamburg, British Midland to London and SAS to Copenhagen, Olso and Stockholm. As you can imagine, it was veery crowded. I was waiting to be about an hour in the queue, but in 15 minutes I had both my boarding passes for this flight and for the FRA-EZE one.

    We went for a drink and at 18:45 I passed the security check at Schiphol. Our gate tonight was B11, the same where I landed when coming from Frankfurt. B impairs gates seem to be Star Alliance gates in Schiphol: Lufthansa to Frankfurt on B11, Austrian Arrows (former Tyrolean. Very nice livery, at least when painted on a Fokker 100) to Vienna on B13, SAS to Copenhagen on B15, SAS to Oslo in B17 and SAS to Stockholm on B19. I took an International Herald Tribune just before proceeding to boarding.

    October 05
    LH 4431
    From Amsterdam (AMS) to Frankfurt (FRA) non-stop
    Departure time: 7:40 pm (local) On time
    Arrival time: 8:40 pm (local) On time
    Airbus A320-200
    D-AIPS "Augsburg"
    Seat 6A (window)

    This time our flight was 100% full. Next to me, a Greek couple. She was in the middle seat and he in the aisle one. We had a nice chat with her, since she is a Spanish and Italian teacher in Athens. He's from Cyprus. When I told her I knew where Cyprus is she looked surprised and told me: "You do?! People in Greece don't know where Cyprus is!"

    Service started with the same cheese or ham sandwich than in the other flight. I also went for ham, but it wasn't real ham; it was pastrami. Man, why don't they say "cheese or pastrami" instead of "cheese or ham"? Maybe it is too difficult for a German to pronounce "pastrami"? (just kidding). Flight was again very very good. It remembered me the LH slogan I invented for a post here: "Lufthansa - Ve'll get you zhere, zo zit down and zhut up".

    After one hour, we landed at Frankfurt's gate A19. I went without any hurry to the passeport control and then my gate B25.

    There, I still made a little tour before embarking. We were on B25, on B24 there was a flight to Larnaca (Cyprus), on B26 to Jakarta via Singapore and on B23 to Johannesburg. I decided to enter the gate at 9:20 pm.

    There, TVs had an annoucement: "Lufthansa has interesting offers for passengers desiring to change the date of flight or final destination. Contact your gate". Only one word came to my mind: overbooking.
    I read the USA Today and watched some other planes from the window. Finally, boarding started. No zones nor classes were asked to board first: "you get first, you board first. We don't care you fly First, Business or Economy". If I was flying First I'd send a letter to Lufthansa telling them that. Those guys payed US$5.000 and boarded after me, who only paid US$750.

    October 05
    From Frankfurt (FRA) to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) via São Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)
    Departure time: 10:55 pm (local) 30 minutes delayed
    Arrival time: 9:00 am +1 (local) On time
    Boeing 747-400
    D-ABVY "Nordrhein-Westfalen"
    Seat 38C (aisle)

    When I boarded my neighbours were already there. They were an about- 60-year-old Finnish couple, that was traveling to Argentina to celebrate the 35th anniversary. There was a whole group of Finnish people in this flight.

    Our departure was scheduled for 10:25, but we didn't take off until 10:55. Captain said the light on the right wing wasn't working properly. Light working, we took off.

    The now traditional "cocktail service" started. I went for a Sprite this time. Well, two Sprites...those 15 cl cans are almost nothing. My neighbours took red wine. Later on, we had the option between meat or chicken. "Meat for me, please". I was happy not to hear that damn "ham or cheese?" I heard during the last four flights. Food was very good again.

    Free Shop appeared and for the first time in my life I bought something: a Calvin Klein parfume (cK one) and a 150g Milka chocolate bar. EUR 37.5...not a bad price. I slept all the way up to Brazil, when breakfast started.

    It was eggs with bacon, a fruit salad and bread. I liked it. As a drink, I choose a tea. My neighbours: red wine - man! it was breakfast at 4 o'clock in the morning and those guys were drinking red wine!

    We landed in São Paulo at 06 am. After a "Lufthansa Transit Boarding Pass" was given to me and I went through x-ray, I was back in the same gate in the old and ugly Terminal 1. My Finnish neighbours told me there they lived near the airport in Helsinki. "Oh, you live in Vantaa!" I answered. They both looked at their faces and he asked me: "How do you know we live in Vantaa?" "Well...I like aviation...". So did the man, and we talked a bit about Finnair. There was also a BA 777.

    My watch showed 06:40 and we reboarded the plane for a short hop to Buenos Aires. Flight was OK but cabin staff wasn't as great as it was in the FRA-GRU leg. We had another breakfast and I found the same old man I was traveling with from Buenos Aires to São Paulo ten days ago. We had a nice chat about São Paulo, Holland and prices in both places before the fasten seat belt sing was turned on.

    We landed at a foggy Buenos Aires just on time: 9 am. But we all had to wait 50 minutes until our luggage appeared. Who knows why.

    Marks /10:

    Lufthansa LH 521 EZE-FRA via GRU
    Ground staff: 9
    Plane: 6
    In Flight Entertainment: 6
    Cabin attendants: 10
    Flight: 10

    Lufthansa LH 4450 FRA-AMS
    Ground staff: 7
    Plane: 8
    In-Flight Entertainment: Not Applicable
    Cabin attendants: 6
    Flight: 10

    KLM Cityhopper KL 1823 AMS-TXL
    Ground staff: 5.5
    Plane: 6
    In-Flight Entertainment: Not Applicable
    Cabin attendants: 3.5
    Flight: 7

    KLM Cityhopper KL 1830 TXL-AMS
    Ground staff: 7
    Plane: 6
    In-Flight Entertainment: Not Applicable
    Cabin attendants: 4
    Flight: 7

    Lufthansa LH 4431 AMS-FRA
    Ground staff: 10
    Plane: 8
    In-Flight Entertainment: Not Applicable
    Cabin attendants: 6.5
    Flight: 10

    Lufthansa LH 520 FRA-EZE via GRU
    Ground staff: 8
    Plane: 6
    In-Flight Entertainment: 6
    Cabin attendants: 6.5
    Flight: 10

    So, let's see...

    Lufthansa - Intercontinental flights: 7.75/10
    Lufthansa - European flights: ~ 8.20/10
    KLM Cityhopper: 5.75/10


    I will certainly fly Lufthansa again. They offer good connections from Argentina to the Netherlands and they are the cheapest. Service is correct, they do their job. I also like Frankfurt Airport.
    On the other side, I will do everything I can to avoid KLM Cityhopper. Planes are quite old and FAs are rude. Also it was expensive.

    I hope you liked my very first trip report.



  • #2
    damn this is an very good trip report! i wrote every leter!!!!!!!!!!! what do you think of ''The Netherlands''?

    i'm really suprised that the KLM cittyhopper crew wasn't nice...........
    were it all english crew? (never had a bad experience with the dutch crew)

    i hope to see a lot more of youre traveling reports because its great!!!!!! i give you an A
    My New Photo Name on is DutchAviation!!!!

    why should we fight about wich aircraft manufactor is better..............

    thats so childish....

    because hey we all know boeing is better


    • #3

      Wow, neat report dude! Glad you liked Lufthansa. I've flown it many a time and it was simply gr8! So you had a good time in both Berlin and Amsterdam huh?

      Happy Flying!


      • #4
        Originally posted by MauwieAir
        damn this is an very good trip report! i wrote every leter!!!!!!!!!!! what do you think of ''The Netherlands''?

        i'm really suprised that the KLM cittyhopper crew wasn't nice...........
        were it all english crew? (never had a bad experience with the dutch crew)

        i hope to see a lot more of youre traveling reports because its great!!!!!! i give you an A
        I believe you read it every letter ...I wrote it! (it's a little joke)

        I have already been once in Holland and it is a country I like very much. Maybe a bit quiet, specially because I live in a 12 million people city. People is very nice and cordial. Congrats for your country, MauwieAir!

        Regarding KLM Cityhopper, yes, they were all British. I already flew KLM once (Royal Dutch) and it was an excellent Dutch crew. Let's hope this will change as soon as possible.

        Thank you very much for your A!

        Originally posted by Foxtrot
        Wow, neat report dude! Glad you liked Lufthansa. I've flown it many a time and it was simply gr8! So you had a good time in both Berlin and Amsterdam huh?

        Happy Flying!
        Thanks Fox. I've flown Lufthansa lots of times but never Economy on intercontinental flights, so this was such a new experience for me. A very good one, indeed.

        I had a great time in Berlin and The Hague...I've been to Amsterdam a few months ago and it is a very nice city, but not this time!

        So, thank you both MauwieAir and Foxtrot for your posts!