After 2 days roaming the streets of Hamburg, my birthday escapade to the land of beer, currywurst and overengineering had come to an end. I decided to head to my hotel early on the second day, as my flight would depart at 6:50am (I foolishly bought this flight thinking it departed at 6:50pm - whoops). After having a quick bite at the hotel's bistro, it was off to bed. I'd wake up at 4am, where by 5 I'd be on my way, via taxi, to a very desolate Terminal 2, where Lufthansa and Eurowings (as well as other Star Alliance partners) check-ins are.
At some airports (including HAM), Lufthansa & Eurowings require you to get your boarding pass not from the counter, but from a bunch of touch screens right next to the counters. Once you've received your boarding pass (and if you have any checked luggage, like I did), you can head over to the counters for bag drop.
Having dropped my bag at Check-in 8 (attended by a fellow Spaniard)…
…it was time to head over to the "Airport Plaza", where security is. Really, the whole concept of two terminals at HAM is mostly in name only, as all flights depart from the same long corridor, regardless of whichever "terminal" you may have checked in.
Corridor between Terminal 2 and the Plaza. On the left side, a "fast-lane" security line for First/Business passengers…
Airport Plaza before security:
But first, a quick look at Terminal 1, home to the only landside restaurant open at this hour: the Golden Arches…
Passing through the (very efficient and quick) security, it was time to take a trip around the place. My flight would be departing from gate A41, somewhat close to the northern end of the terminal but not quite. At least I get a jetbridge this time around!
Der Spiegel - a local staple in the city.
Hamburg Airport has a small and quiet observation deck on the second floor, right after the duty-free shop that covers the after-security area, with great views of the apron and nice seats. Sadly, there's not much to look at 5am in the morning, especially in complete darkness!
Speaking of the second floor, it's time to take a look at the restaurants also avaliable on this floor (or rather the only one open at this hour, operated by Mövenpick).
Yikes! As somebody who's used to paying 50 cents for bottled water and in a country where even in tourist traps (couglasramblascough) a bottle will only set you back at most 2 euros, that is one expensive bottle of Vittel. At a price like that it better be the best one I've ever had. (It wasn't.)
With not much else to do this early in the morning, I decided it'd be best to head over for the gates…
…but not before stopping at this restaurant along the way, grabbing a (thankfully cheap) pack of gum. Here's hoping I'll be able to avoid the headaches I had on my way here.
It takes quite a while to get to the gate…
…but I eventually make it, with plenty of time to spare.
Right next to our gate, 7-year-old D-ATUA gets ready to carry sun-seeking German tourists down to Jerez, known for its olive oil and MotoGP racetrack. 2 months later, she'd be hopping over the pond to Canada to serve as extra capacity for Sunwing.
Along with a seasonal flight to Newark with United, Hamburg Airport had also received recently a twice-weekly flight to the Iranian city of Tabriz with Qeshm Airlines. Unfortunately A300s aren't used on this route, rather, it's an ex-Aeroflot A319 (EP-SAS, arguably the youngest plane in QB's fleet) the one in charge of operating an almost 5-hour-long flight. My thoughts are with those passenger's legs.
I decide to tap in to the free wi-fi (which thankfully works better than the one the hotel had) in order to watch a brand new episode of one of my favourite Youtubers…
Boarding begins at around 6:20, and soon a big but orderly queue starts to form. (Not!)
Our flight today is operated by 10-year-old D-ABZK, who started her life under the wing (no pun intended) of Italian LCC Air One and was now one of the few AB planes leased to Eurowings that were still flying at that time (and were carrying an Air Berlin skeleton crew). While she was still carrying AB's colors, she was used as a test bed for… sticker applications, apparently. Not long after this, she was sent into storage, where she still remained at the time of this trip-report's writing.
Heading into the jetbridge…
Looks to be a full flight today, could barely see any empty seats.
Legroom is tighter on these ex-AB planes, but nonetheless bearable. Probably would get uncomforatble on a longer flight, though.
Horatius test: passed with flying colours.
D-ATUA still waits at her gate to depart for the olive fields.
Boarding ended quickly, and by 6:50 we we're already taxiing towards the runway:
Ex-AB Airbus A320s, awaiting new operators. Oh, and a Fed-Ex ATR, too.
After take-off things got quiet… very quiet. Most of the passengers - businessmen and women - had fallen fast asleep, and to be quite honest, there wasn't really much to look at outside nor inside.
…up until 7:00 am, where the sunrise gave a rather pleasant sight outside.
BOB service began at around 7:15am, however with most of the plane somewhere in Slumberland not much coffee was sold this morning and there's no doubt some of those "lunchboxes" were left unopened.
We began descending around 7:20am, not long after the BOB service ended, and the amazing sunrise outside sadly gave way to a grim, drizzly DUS. But hey, no headaches this time… knew the gum would work!
Crossing the clouds…
…into a dreary Düsseldorf.
A Cathay Pacific A350 awaits, on the international side of the A gates, its flight to Hong Kong.
Taxiing and deboarding:
Bye D-ABZK! Here's hoping you can find an operator soon (even if it's not in Europe!)
We exit through, of all things. the gift duty-free shop - perhaps the only time I've ever seen such a thing in an airport. (You normally enter one while leaving security, hehe!)
Thank you for reading! Don't miss the final segment, DUS-BIO, coming soon!
Buy on board6.5
Hamburg - HAM
Düsseldorf - DUS
To say this flight was uneventful would be an understatement - I had real issues writing this trip report because, well, I barely could find anything to write about after take-off! One thing is for sure - it was a pleasant last flight with "Air Berlin" (Yes, even if it was operated by them for Eurowings, I still consider it some sort of AB flight - the staff was wearing Air Berlin tags and lanyards after all). I can only wish the flight attendants of this flight the best for the future - and indeed, the same of all of AB's former staff.
Both Hamburg and Dusseldorf were, clean, modern and efficient airports, with DUS being a breeze to connect through, however Hamburg could do with more stores around the left side of the terminal. Wouldn't doubt flying out of both again, though.
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