Hello and welcome to the third trip report in a series of four detailing my November 2018 escapade to Budapest! The first and second trip report can be found here and here respectively.
Beating the rush hour
After 4 days visiting a rainy yet stunning Budapest, it was time for me to head back home to Spain. Unlike the previous flights, a mix between charter (first leg was operated by Adria on behalf of LH) and regional (second leg was by Cityline) the last legs would be operated by mainline Lufthansa planes - you could say these were my real first flights with Lufthansa ;).
Had to get to Budapest Ferenc Liszt as soon as possible, though - if there's anything BUD is sadly infamous for, it's for how packed it can get during peak hours, even on weekdays! While Budapest has grown as a popular tourist destination in recent years, the airport hasn't been able to keep up, and it's very clear an expansion will be needed in the (very) near future, if only just to get rid of those ugly low-cost gates!
After getting picked up at the hotel by my Fötaxi driver, I was on my way…
8 o' clock in the morning and already queues were starting to appear. See what I mean?
After checking-in for my flight I decide to take a look around landside before passing security. Air China had a small "exhibition" (really just an ad for their flights to Beijing) in the hallway between terminals:
The real star of BUD's landside, but of course, is its terrace in Terminal 2A. An absolute must…
during the summer months, that is. Sadly rain been a constant during my whole holiday and today was going to be no different. Didn't help it was quite windy as well…
Furthermore the limited viewing space you had that wasn't covered up by fence had fogged up with the cold weather. One wonders who though installing easily-foggable windows in the main airport of a country known for its extremely cold weather was a good idea… As such I had to improvise:
The terrace also had informative panels going into detail about the airport and the planes it sees (and has seen)…
…as well as pictures of the airport over the years:
It's also one of those terraces that require payment to enter, though at 500Ft per ticket (1,54€ at the time this report was redacted) it's not a big deal. Overall I didn't mind my short stay up here (it was cold!) but I would've enjoyed it more had I visited in, say, July.
Anyways, it's time to head airside. Compare that picture up there of 2A's check-in hall back when it first opened in 1986 (or better yet a video from back then!) with nowadays:
Out with the old, in with the new: Skycourt is an impressive feat of engineering, you'd never think something like this could exist behind the drabby check-in area!
When was the last time you ever saw any kind of Virgin-branded shops?
Quick planespotting: despite being parked next to a gate (the newly built pier B gates in fact) this Wizz Air A320 to Prishtina was being bus-boarded:
El-Al (ex-Up!) to TLV:
The Zurich-bound Swiss we saw earlier on the terrace:
Do they even have the range to get here?
As I wouldn't be able to grab something more filling in FRA due to time constraints and knowing those LH sandwiches would definitely not fill me up, I headed up to the food court for breakfast:
My choice for breakfast. The chicken was undercooked and soggy, even more so than what you'd expect from your average KFC - not recommended.
After breakfast I headed downstairs to a waiting area downstairs to relax for a while, as well as do some Youtube catch-up using BUD's free wi-fi…
In the meantime, my plane for today's flight was just about to land:
I also received an e-mail from Lufthansa warning me of a gate change… the exact same one that was still appearing on the screens, lol:
Oh hey, I was down there just 2 days ago!
Boarding was announced around 12:10, and as usual a massive queue piled up - they weren't going anywhere though as the plane had yet to park up to the gate:
It was also here that I discovered BUD's free Wi-fi wasn't necessarily unlimited. One wonders how someone would be able to return to enjoy the free Wi-fi if they've left the country:
Ah well, let's do some more planespotting in the meantime. Brussels to… Brussels:
I'm flying these guys in November!
Our plane arrives a few minutes later:
It's D-AIBI - Frankenthal (Pfalz) - first delivered to LH in 2012, which it has flown with since.
Heading on board:
Full house today:
Pushback begins 5 to 1, which allows us for a final planespotting session. KLM to Amsterdam:
Austrian to VIE;
Sund Air A320 carrying Munich Airport delegates. They had followed me and my guide during my airport tour 2 days prior in a refurbished Setra. Also note how all ground services are being run by BUDPORT, a brand new handling company that aside from charters only serves UIA!:
Wizz A320 in the old livery. Wizz Air is to modern BUD what Malev was to the BUD of yesteryear - completely and absolutely unavoidable.
Same with Ryanair - albeit to a lesser extent.
Also notice a stray Euroatlantic 767 awaiting maintenance.
She wasn't alone - two EW birds and even an ex-Southwest 737-700 were stored right next to it. A Flybondi (hola Shisdu!) 737-800 was also parked with the other planes just two days ago, but it appears she was moved somewhere else since then. Sadly she did not get taken up and is now awaiting delivery for Jet2. Meanwhile the Lufthansa Technik houses an Aegean A320, an ASL Airlines 737 awaiting a nose job and…
…HA-LCA, Malev's first Tu154. Painstakingly restored by the folks at Aeropark Budapest to her former glory, she now sits next to the Lufthansa Technik hangar awaiting relocation to the Aeropark itself (or hopefully what they plan will become their new home, Terminal 1…).
Take-off from Runway 1:
Quiet cabin after takeoff:
Meal service begins 10 minutes after take-off, I decide to go with the other sandwich they offer (not as good as the Chicken and Veggie one), along with a cup of water.
It's brighter than usual outside so I lower the window shade for a bit:
I also take the moment to check out the bathroom - all clean.
Descent begins about an hour in, and soon we head under the clouds over Wiesbaden:
Lucius D. Clay Kaserne:
Flörsheim am Main:
A few of the bigger LH birds as we taxi to the gate:
As well as a departing Vietnam Airlines 787 -
and this United 777 awaiting passengers:
We come to a stop at a remote stand:
Tschüss, Frankenthal (Pfalz)!
We get packed up in a cramped bus, and whisked away to the terminal. Least I made it to the next flight (the connection time was tight)!
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for the last trip report, coming soon!
Budapest - BUD
Frankfurt - FRA
Budapest Airport: cramped and busy landside, spacious (but still busy) airside. Still requires expansion, hopefully the new Terminal 3 will solve that. Frankfurt Airport: from what little I saw it seem dingy and cramped, even more so than BUD, but it was clean however. I can see why people like MUC more. Lufthansa: Very similar to previous flights, tried the other sandwich this time but wasn't impressed.
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