As I was arriving to Cologne Bonn Airport by car, I quickly dropped off my rental car (which my company arranged) at the designated drop-off point and went directly to the check-in area of Eurowings for my flight to Leipzig. Although driving to the airport, I already received two messages from Eurowings that my flight would be delayed by another 45 minutes.
Arriving at the designated check-in area, you are required to check-in via one of those computers before you drop-off your luggage (or you check-in via internet of course). While everything was done and I received my boarding card, I went to one of their agents to drop off my bag. The agent itself was not really suitable from my perspective to be in such a position, however was not rude either.
While my baggage was dropped off, I made a short walk through the terminal before heading to security.
While I was finished I decided to head to security. It was not really busy and only three security check-points were open. I found the staff over there very uninterested in their job, not friendly and very lazy. While luckily enough everything went according to my own plan and the scanner did not go off, I was now in the waiting section for my flight which offered a few shops and some bars to have some snack and drink.
While walking around to check some of the shops around, I decided to grab a sandwich and a cup of coffee at one of the bars, which offered a pretty good view over the terminal's apron and runway. Unfortunately the runway closest to the terminal was shut due to maintenance, but it is pretty clear that Eurowings and Ryanair are dominating the passenger flights, while the three major US cargo carriers are representing most of the cargo business over here.
Check below the aircraft spotting I did from the bar and other parts of the terminal! (note that minion on the tail, quite cool)
Boarding was initiated approximately 15 minutes after it's arrival (though it was still 45 minutes late). Eurowings is using an Airbus A320-200 for today's flight to Leipzig that is still flying in the livery of Germanwings. The aircraft is D-AIQM, which is a 27 years old aircraft that has only been in service with Lufthansa and it's affiliates.
While I was climbing the stairs to enter the aircraft in the back, I noticed that Air Berlin's spirit is somewhat still going strong within Eurowing's fleet. This aircraft from Eurowings was still in Airberlin colours with a slight touch of Etihad (who pulled out even earlier prior it's bankruptcy).
While continuing my path upwards, I was politely welcomed on board this flight and proceeded to my seat 16F, which gave me quite a good outside view overhead the wing. Legroom was ok for a 45 minutes flight, but I found it less than average.
While everyone was seated, push back was initiated as soon as possible to catch up time and we were off to Runway 24 for a quick departure towards Leipzig. The taxi to Runway 24 gives you a nice overview of the cargo apron and you'll find plenty of wide bodies here like an UPS MD11 and 747, but even a small graveyard in which an Avro jet and a Fokker F27 are rotting away (unfortunately).
After our rotation, the flight performed an early left turn towards Leipzig-Hale Flughafen while climbing to our cruise level.
Shortly after being airborne, the flight attendants started to serve as fast as possible. As I bought a smart ticket for my luggage (which was cheaper than to buy only luggage), I received a small package containing water and a small sandwich, while being offered another drink. I opted for a coffee, which was freshly brewed on ground and tasted much better than most flights in which you will receive a cup of coffee in powder form. Though they barely made it to my seat as approach was already initiated to Leipzig.
While the pilots were descending to land on Runway 26L, the flight attendants came by for a quick cleaning swap prior to our landing. While landing gave you a good view around and was performed nicely like the video below shows you.
After landing, the aircraft made an 180 degrees turn to taxi back on the runway we just landed on.. During our taxi, you will find often some rare aircraft like that red antonov from CAVOK Air as it is a major cargo hub. Approaching the gate, we were parked next to an Airbus A320 from Corendon Airlines, which arrived from Antalya.
Deboarding was quickly performed and my luggage arrived as second piece on the belt only five minutes later only to enter security once again to grab my own plane to perform our upcoming cargo flights.
Cologne - CGN
Leipzig - LEJ
Even though we departed like a hour late, I was pleasantly surprised with the service they offered. Check-in was smooth, the flight itself was quick with a polite service and luggage was quickly on belt for about 100 euros. Mind you that taking a train from Cologne to Leipzig takes you about 5 hours and would cost you around 125 euros.
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