After a year-long hiatus (but not necessarily a trip-less one, having flown with CA from MAD to HND (via PEK)! I only managed to make trip reports of the MAD-PEK-HND leg, which can be found at the following links: MAD-PEK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IGgaWsxO6o and PEK-HND: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgF2XRBc6Yw), I'm back with yet another series of trip reports, this time featuring what could be considered Air Berlin's successor, Eurowings.
As a "small" birthday gift to myself, I decided to head up to Hamburg to visit Miniatur Wunderland, the world's largest model railway exhibition in the world and home to Knuffingen Airport, a miniature yet fully-functional airport with flights departing at set hours in real time. You'll see some pitures of that in the tourism bonus at the end of this trip report. I decided to fly out of Bilbao The cheapest option to Hamburg was, undoubtly, EW. LH also offered flights to HAM via FRA, but not only were they a bit more expensive, they were had a very short connection time, and, at least from what I'd heard, Frankfurt is an absolute mess transit-wise. No thanks.
DUS-HAM and HAM-DUS were going to be one of those flights that Air Berlin operated on behalf of Eurowings, and would've been flown with Airbus A319s. With AB entering insolvency and eventually closing in October, these two flights were up in the air and needless to say I was a bit worried about having to book another flight, especially seeing how little time there was left until the departure date. Thankfully, the flights were not cancelled, with HAM-DUS being operated by a Air Berlin skeleton crew. However, they'd use boring old A320s in place of the A319s. Bah!
The flight schedule ended up looking a bit like this: 2017/11/13 EW9519 BIO-DUS STD:13:45 STA:15:40 EW7067 DUS-HAM STD:17:40 STA:18:35 (VOUS ÊTES ICI/YOU ARE HERE) 2017/11/16 EW7060 HAM-DUS STD:06:50 STA:07:45 EW9518 DUS-BIO STD:10:45 STA:12:50
With EW7067 arriving at half past six I'd have ample time to buy a Hamburg Card (special card sold to tourists that allows for unlimited transport inside Hamburg and discounts at select museums, shops and restaurants), take the S-Bahn to the Hbf and then catch my bus to the hotel, all while being able to grab some grub for breakfast tomorrow at the nearby supermarket before it closed for the night. Or so I thought…
I originally planned to make a video trip report for both EW9519 and EW7060, however I ran out of space in my memory card so only EW9519 got the video treatment, you can check that out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAyqQLi8rig
Arrival at DUS
After a pleasant inbound flight that was sadly somewhat ruined by a nasty headache upon landing (had a nasty sinus infection at the time), I made my way to the A gates, where my flight would be departing from A39. That darn headache was still throbbing in my head, so I had to buy a water bottle at the closest bistro. That's 2,50€ I'll never see again…
Sixt, king of over-the-top advertising:
The A-gates area was packed with people, Including quite a few Japanese businessmen whom, having just arrived from the ANA flight from HND, were on their way to different parts of Germany. I, on the other hand, appeared to be the only person from my flight from Bilbao heading onto a different flight. The shops and restaurants were, well, not that interesting and infact quite expensive, I was hoping to buy a scale plane here but alas, no dice. There were also a bunch of TV screens displaying the latest news… and by news I mean pointless gossip and promos for awful reality shows.
It was around this time that I received some bad news: the flight was getting delayed until 18:05!
With little else to do, I decided it was time to do some quick planespotting. D-AEWO, delivered about a year ago, was heading for Budapest:
But even that got a bit boring after a while (well that, and I had to go to the bathrooms quite a bit, think I drank a bit too much that day), so after a second glance at the shops in search of scale models I decided to settle down at the gate until my flight left.
The ANA 777, meanwhile, was getting ready to head back to Tokyo later that night.
And then it got worse. At around 17:15 the flight was delayed again, by at least 15 minutes. I never knew why it ended up getting delayed, there didn't appear to be any bad weather in Hamburg other than rain.
In the meantime, people started gathering around the gate counter, including airline staff. One of them was carrying a Rimowa bag with a rather ironic sticker on it!
Finally, (but not before our flight had been delayed 5 minutes more!) our plane arrived from Hamburg at around 18:00. It was D-AIZS, an Airbus A320-200 originally delivered to LH in April 2013, before heading over to Eurowings two years later. Do apologize for the following pictures, neither my phone nor my usual camera handle night photos very well.
After unloading all the other passengers (including, but of course, another handful of Japanese businessmen), we began boarding by 18:15. A suprisingly quick turnover, well done EW!
The flight was going to be a full load tonight, barely any seats unoccupied:
The legroom, while perhaps nowhere near as spacious as that of the SMART fare seats, was still quite nice (even if it doesn't seem like so in the picture!)
Horatius test… I'd say this is a pass!
Given that this plane's a little bit older than BIO-DUS's D-AEWN, it still had the no-smoking signs the other one lacked:
By 18:40-ish we had began taxiing out of the A gates, towards the runway…
The flight turned out very uneventful, with the lights only coming on half-way through for BoB. Most everyone was fast asleep, while other (like yours truly) were trying their darndest not to. Not much to take pictures of, it was completely pitch-dark outside.
Arriving at HAM
…until we started our descent into HAM. Unfortunately (for me) those out-right debilitating headaches returned once again, making the whole landing process complete and utter hell. If this isn't the closest thing to a cluster headache, I don't know what.
The Hamburger DOM, "the biggest public festival in Northern Germany" according to Hamburg's tourism website. I also ended up going here (see it in the tourism bonus). Right next to it, the St. Pauli football stadium…
And so, with yet another massive headache, I reached HAM 30 mins later than I expected, spoiling my plans for the night:
We parked at the tail end of the terminal, which meant a cold walk to the airside area, before heading down to the baggage claim:
So long, D-AIZS! Hope to see you again soon!
After picking up my baggage and buying a Hamburg-Card, it was time to head down into the S-Bahn (Hamburg must have the only public transport that doesn't use turnstiles at all, not even Japan trusts its own citizens that much!), and travel all the way to the Hbf where I'd hop on the bus to my hotel… but not before I had a sip of Paulaner Spezi, the orange/cola mix drink most German (redditors) like. With all due respect, while it's not a bad drink I'm still more of a Mezzo Mix guy!
I eventually arrived aound 21:30 to my abode for the next 2 days: The Aparthotel Hamburg-Mitte. While It looked a bit shabby on the outside, the inside was a different story. I'd recommend it… had the Wi-Fi worked during my stay, that is!
With not much else to do for the night (the hotel being in a sleepy industrial area), it was time to head for bed. Gute Nacht!
Thanks for reading! Don't miss the next segment, DUS-HAM, coming soon!
Düsseldorf - DUS
Hamburg - HAM
Eurowings: NOWHERE near as bad as I imagined them to be! Clean cabin, friendly staff, decent legroom (even in cattle class)... can't really go wrong with them! Perhaps a bit penny-pinching, but I didn't really expect to buy much from them.
Dusseldorf Airport: Well designed, well organized, an absolute breeze to transfer through, just wish the bathrroms weren't on the second floor.
Hamburg Airport: Again, very easy to get through, even if our gates were a tad far away from the exit. I had my baggage waiting for me merely minutes after stepping of the plane, and transferring onto public transport was completely seamless. Can't say the same for departures... you'll see why soon!
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