This report begins in Frankfurt, and I’ll be making the first leg of the journey back home today, starting with a Lufthansa Economy flight to Madrid, unlike the other reports in this series I’m flying in Economy, mainly due to the fact I didn’t think the J class fares reporesented value for money at time of booking, I did however but a low offer in on bid for upgrade but I didn’t get it. Not to fret though as I was looking forward to seeing what LH could offer on a longer European flight as so far all my trips with them have been relatively short.
I started my day after a good sleep in the Hilton Frankfurt city centre, a very nice hotel well located in the centre of Frankfurt, the standard room was excellent and I wouldn’t have at all minded staying longer in Frankfurt, but alas I had a flight to make, so I left the hotel and made the short walk to the S bahn station to make the 15 minute journey to the airport.
(i.e. If your flying in Germany from an airport that doesn’t host LH or a Star Alliance member then chances are the airport facilities won’t be as good as the Terminal which houses LH.)
I head directly to security after checking the retro FIDS screen to make sure my flight is still going fro the A gates, which it is, security check is very quick as it’s pretty quiet this morning. I’ve left it quite late to come to the airport this morning and only have around an hour so spend in the Terminal before boarding, mainly as I ont have lounge access today, so I have a look around and grab a hot dog for one of the stands and enjoy the view out the window, the Terminal today however is very warm indeed.
The Aircraft today is not the 32A (sharklets) as stated, but a regular A320, this example first flying in 1989 is certainly one of the older examples inn service. The aircraft arrives in from Nice on what should be a 50 minute turnaround however boarding starts only fifteen minutes before departure resulting in a large que forming and obstructing the TAP flight boarding for the adjacent gate. Once we do start I settle down in 19F as my BP states, but move back to 22F so a couple are able to sit together, leg room in both seats is good and I’m able to stretch my legs out under the seat in front, the seats are also ok despite being of the ironing board style, however they are showing they’re age and signs of wear. We depart a couple of minutes late and make our way towards runway 18 for departure.
What follows is a swaying take off run as we accelerate before getting airborne and making an initial turn away from the airport to the west before picking up our routing to Madrid at a level of 33000 feet this afternoon.
There’s unfortuanly no IFE or moving map on LH short haul so I must make my own entertainment listening to music, reading an interesting article about Lufthansa’s doctors on board programme (sounds like a great Idea) in the in flight magazine and looking out the window, the view from which will remain cloud covered until we’re well into French airspace.
About half an hour into the flight the service begins, I’m happy to see that Lufthansa are offering a hot meal on today’s flight of just over two hours, today’s option and it seems there is only one is what I think was BBQ pork with mash and some very sweet vegetables, the main was piping hot and of a good quality, with the meat being well cooked and tender. Along with it came a cookie, bread roll and a small bottle of water. Thumbs up,to Lufty here for a hot meal on a short flight, a varity these days in Europe.
After the meal came a round of drinks, served with a smile and a joke from the FA as I was served my red wine and sparkling water about my youthful completion and being old enough to drink, the rest of the flight was spent relaxing until we began our descent towards MAD not long after crossing the Pyrenees. During the cruise the First Officer gave one of the most detailed PAs I’ve ever heard, really informative and good to hear, although the German version (of which my language is relatively limited) had me worrying that there was a problem as it went on so long.
The apporach to Madrids 32L had us fly around the airport before we could commence our final approach to landing, and although the land below was barren the bumpy approach helped keep me alert during the final stages of the flight.
After a turbulent approach in which the flaps came down very late resulting in a very nose high attitude on approach at one point as the aircraft slowed we made a smooth touchdown and I was back on Spanish soil for the second time in the past couple of days, a short taxi to our position at a rather quiet T2 would follow.
Being down the back I forgot how long it can take to disembark when just using one door, but eventually I was off and away up the jetty into what seems like a very dull place, I’ve only ever arrived into MAD T2 and it doesn’t seem like a nice place, the words dated and dark immediately spring to mind, I don’t think I’d wanted to depart from there, it’s night a day when compared to the stunning T4.
After I arrived landslide I’d have a lengthy wait in the searing heat for the shuttle bus to my last overnight of the trip, the Hilton Madrid Airport, in preparation for my flight home beginning with the Iberia A340 in Business class.