The airline with the best average rating is Lufthansa with 7.3/10.
The average flight time is 1 hours and 17 minutes.More information
Welcome back to this flight report! After about a week in Italy, it was time to head back home. Having spent most of the time in and around Trieste, I had to get back to Venice for this flight. I combined this with a few days in Venice proper, which was kind of nice as there were much fewer people/tourists than usual, or so I had been told. To see the flight report of my flight to Venice in Business Class (and some photos of Trieste), check out my previous flight report.
So… let's jump straight into it.
My journey began at S. Marco S. Zaccaria near Piazza San Marco, where I boarded the 10.40 Alilaguna express boat to the airport. Currently they run every hour. However, I highly overestimated the time the Alilaguna would take and the time I would need at the airport for my 15.15 departure, so I probably would have been fine with the 11.40 one. Anyways, after about 70 minutes we arrived at VCE's water terminal, which usually has a direct walkway to the terminal building. However, that was closed, which is why all passengers had to walk next to the road leading to the taxi/bus area. Signage was not always good, but eventually I found it. To prevent gatherings of people as much as possible, all arrivals were on the ground floor and departures on the first.
I was able to check in to my flight the day before, but for some reason I couldn't download a boarding pass. Still, I was able to get into the building without showing my printed itinerary, which I carried just in case (there were ticket and temperature checks in front of the entrance). The landside of the terminal building was spacious and modern, while still paying homage to the traditional building style in a way. Finding the Lufthansa Group check-in desk was easy. There was quite a queue, but after about 5 minutes I could successfully drop my suitcase and get a boarding pass. The desk was not staffed with German-speaking and/or Lufthansa Group staff, but they did their job alright.
Together with the boarding pass I received the same Covid self-declaration as on the previous flight. Interestingly, the warning about dangerous goods on the back of the boarding pass is only printed there in German. Anyways, it's nice that the boarding pass is not just printed on simple white paper, even though the paper used is no wonder of design, either.
Passing security was easy enough as well, except for one minor oopsie on my part… Of course, I can't show it to you, but the security check apparatus looked kind of funny, a bit like a factory. This was also because of the fact that the return conveyor for the empty security baskets is located above the scan devices themselves, if you understand what I mean. VCE also use the system where multiple people could load baskets at the same time and then push them onto the belt leading to the scanner. I think that's a very neat system, especially because of messies like me who like to carry with them half an electronics store.
Arriving airside instantly reminded me of my home airport Frankfurt, as I was basically dropped into one large duty-free shop. Leaving this revealed more shops, until some gate and seating areas came finally into sight. Seating areas were somewhat scarce; normally, you would have gates every now and then with large seating areas in between. That's not the case in VCE. Somehow, they manage to waste all this space, and create a very unorganized space. It certainly didn't help that every second seat was blocked and that the second floor was closed. This also meant that food choices in the terminal were very limited. At least there were several charging opportunities with European style power sockets.
(Also, sorry for the bad photos. My camera's battery died and I forgot to bring my charging cable. My phone's photos tend to turn out bad and I need to get a new one, not only because of this.)
Taking of the very small airside of the also very small airport building (for a region this size and touristical importance), I noticed the dirty windows. None of them were remotely clean. On the other hand, I like that VCE is quite generous with info screens, even though they tend to display the departure gates very late. For example, Lufthansa already knew that LH327 would operate from gate 13 and also printed this information on my boarding pass.
VCE also has a small area for international flights. At least seasonally, there are direct flights to places such as the USA, Canada, Dubai, or South Korea, under normal circumstances. However, it seems that the international/non-Schengen departures area is very small and only has very limited services such as lounges or restaurants. Interestingly, they also offer an automated passport control for non-EU citizens. I find the selection of passports eligible for this to be peculiar, but I guess that the criteria for participation in this program are similar to those for Esta.
Not much was going on in VCE flight-wise. Losing pretty much all of the long-haul flights meant that it became even clearer that EasyJet and Volotea rule this place, interestingly mostly to very touristy places. Thus, plane spotting entries for today include A320s from Alitalia and EasyJet as well a Volotea B717. And of course today's plane, Lufthansa A319 D-AILM (Friedrichshafen), built in Hamburg and then delivered to Lufthansa in July 1997.
Because of rough weather conditions in Frankfurt, that airport had to be closed for some time, which is why LH326 to Venice couldn't depart. As a result, the arriving flight was approximately 30 minutes late.
Remember how I wrote that VCE was kind of messy? This began to show full scale when boarding time drew closer. People began just clumping together near the gate, standing smack in the middle of one of two main pathways through the terminal.
As you can see, face-masks had to be worn throughout the whole stay inside the terminal building, except for eating and drinking. The same was true for the flight itself.
This time, boarding groups were meticulously checked, even though they didn't really matter a lot on this flight: Groups 1, 2, and 3 were called at once. Covid self-declarations were also collected at the gate. The plane was equipped with the usual Lufthansa short-haul cabin. I appreciate the little message written next to the plane door. The cabin crew greeted us passengers at the door and gave us a desinfecting towel each.
Arriving at my seat, I noticed that the tray table was kind of folded down already. Well, whatever. Anyways, the cabin gave a clean and well-maintained impression, even though it was noticeably old (see the ceiling panels - but they featured individual air vents, which is something). The seat pockets only contained a safety card and a sick bag, so no inflight magazine or anything else.
The flight was packed - there was literally no free seat on this plane, at least in Y. Of course LH didn't block any middle seats, either. Adding to the commotion caused by approx. 130 people entering a fully-booked A319 was the fact that many passengers couldn't choose their seats, with the side effect that groups traveling together were sat apart. A lot of attempts to spontaneously swap seats ensued, which lasted well beyond the point where the doors were closed. I don't really understand this behavior on a flight of 1 hour, except maybe for families with young childrens, but well. The FAs however helped people swapping their seats.
On another note, the plane's windows were much cleaner than any of VCE's.
We were pushed back soon and had a short taxi to the runway, which was used in the Eastward direction on that day. There wasn't much going on on the tarmac except the usual suspects: Volotea 717s, EasyJet A320 family jets and Alitalia E-jets. The pilots really wanted to make up some time, so we swept unto the runway quite dynamically while Mestre's industrial district appeared in the distance. The CFM34 engines spooled up to full power and not much later the plane was flying above the Venice lagune.
Climbing over the marshlands near Venice, we made a turn of about 270 degrees. Venezia airport showed up beneath us, and soon Venice's mainland district of Mestre, including its railway hub.
Inflight service began quickly with the crew just distributing water bottles to everyone. So, that's the entire short-haul Y service as it is nowadays…
I understand that they want to reduce contacts between passengers and flight crew, but I don't know why this rule should only apply for Economy class. After all, passengers of Premium Economy and higher classes get basically full inflight service, and other airlines such as Swiss manage to do at least a regular beverage service in Economy. I can't imagine it to be much riskier for anyone if the FAs also distributed a packaged snack or something, like they would do normally. Granted, these days you should appreciate getting even a bottle of water on a short-haul flight in Economy. But all things considered, this just smells of cost-cutting. For more information, see this page on Lufthansa's website.
Anways, please enjoy this gallery of random inflight photos showing different landscapes in the Alps and the hilly Bavarian countryside. I have to admit that I think it looks more beautiful when seen from the ground.
About twenty minutes before the landing the captain finally made an announcement, admitting that they had skipped the pre-departure announcement (is this even legal?) to save time, also that they hurried cleaning and refueling to make up some time. He also told us that the first officer would be responsible for the landing.
Since we had entered German airspace the flight had been somewhat turbulent; at one point, the seatbelt signs even came on. However, I had experienced much more severe turbulences before that. What may look like a typical runway 25C approach over Hanau und passing Offenbach to the South was however somewhat special, as it was clearly a slipped approach. There must have been pretty strong crosswinds from the North. Soon we flew past Frankfurt city, where great views of Frankfurt downtown and the Commerzbank Arena could been had.
We touched down kind of late, but not to a worrying extent. It might look pretty late on the photos, but at no point was I worried we could go around. Everything considered, the landing was pretty smooth, as was the approach. In the end, we touched down about thirty minutes late, which is at least ten minutes less than the previous delay of the aircraft.
Notable mentions I caught on the (short) taxi to gate B10 include another LH A319, a LH A320 taking off (still in the old livery), and a SQ A350 in the distance (barely recognizeable, sorry). Also a TK A321; the Istanbul route has always been going strong, but it seems they now downgraded from the usual A330s. Of course, Terminal 3 is still in the process of being built; I guess they have some more time to finish it until it will actually be needed.
The way we parked at the gate was peculiar: the plane drove towards the gate, then turned, so that it was parallel to the terminal building. The main advantage of this procedure is probably that no push back will be needed for the next flight. It was new for me that they also do this at FRA (the only time I had experienced a similar procedure was at LCY).
Because of social distancing, deboarding was started in groups of ten. The announcements explaining this procedure were in German only for the first few groups, until they probably realized that it would be confusing for those not understanding this language. Anyways, after five groups or so they gave up this procedure and just let everybody deboard.
Even though many inner-European flights were already operating, the terminal building was still uncannily empty.
To get to the baggage claim from the B gates, you first need to get out of the terminal's secure area and then take some stairs/an escalator down to the proper baggage claim area. Although it was been this way as long as I remember, it still strikes me as odd. Granted, there are signs saying that only passengers may access this area, but in practice this is not checked and anyone could get down there.
The baggage claim area sported a new service, at least new in my book. Not only did the delivery begin quite quickly, the display also showed how long it would still take until it would start.
This concludes this trip as well. I hope you enjoyed reading. Stay safe and healthy and have a nice day :)
LH: All in all, a good and solid flight without real highlights, punctual enough. Catering leaves a lot to be desired, though (see above). Entertainment yet again not rated.
VCE: I wouldn't go so far as to say that this airport is a mess. However, it was pretty full despite not many flights operating. Food options are limited, as are spotting opportunities (dirty windows). Overall cleanliness was not very good.
FRA: I feel like I rated this airport very many times now^^ As always, it wasn't particularly great, but good enough in every regard.