Frankfurt - Vienna with Widebodies

In order to meet the high summer demand, Lufthansa planned some short haul routes with long haul planes. In this case the Airbus A340-600 was planned on two routes out of Frankfurt: Lisbon and Vienna. For us, this was a perfect reason to book a flight on a long haul plane without spending lots of money on a big vacation. We compared the days and fares and concluded that the cheapest option would be..... Vienna! 


Sunday 30 June - Amsterdam to Frankfurt 

This crazy trip starts today with a short flight to Frankfurt. We board a Lufthansa Airbus A320CEO  with registration D-AIUK. The flight is quick and calm, but due to the cloud overcast there is not much to be seen. As we get closer to Frankfurt, the clouds break open and we are treated with a beautiful scenic view of the city as we approach runway 25R. From here it is quite a long taxi to our gate, which happens to be a remote stand. Next to our stand we see the only beautiful aircraft in the Ryanair fleet: their Boeing Dreamliner livery. The weather is sunny and warm here today, and the bus trip to the terminal takes us along some great aircraft such as an Egypt Air 787 and the Condor retro 767.


When we enter the terminal building, we take our time to find a great spot at a window in Terminal 1 Concourse A. Spotting here is amazing as planes taxi by very closely and you are close to the runway action as well. However, the big downside we discover are the double glass windows. Reflections are inevitable and with great contrasting planes (such as Lufthansa's blue tail onto a white fuselage) couses the reflections to be even more obvious. However, the planes that come by are awesome and we stay in the terminal untill the traffic gets less interesting. So at around dinner time we leave airside and take the shuttle to our hotel in Raunheim. The hotel could offer a great view if the traffic was landing, however, the wind is still the same so we only see some take offs in the distance. Not that good for photography. All in all, today was a good start of this two-day trip. 

Monday 1 July - Widebody, Widebody, NEO! 

The day has an early start for us as we need to check in for our flight to Vienna at 6 am today. We enter the terminal and quickly make it though the security checks. On airside we get back to Terminal 1 , but this time we head to Concourse Z. Here we see some great looking widebodies waiting for their intercontinental flights. We whitness how  a large A380 docks in the gate as the sun rises and starts to break through the clouds. 


It is time to board and our ride for this morning is Airbus A340-600 D-AIHC. We are seated quite far backwards, so it is a long walk to our seats. The great feature about this cabin are the dual seats at the window rows instead of triple seats. This means that we can get in and out our seats without bothering anyone else. And we got in and out some times as even in this short hop we had to visit the lavatories. This plane has some special lavatories as they are located downstairs at the level of the cargo holds. This means that there are plenty of toilets without losing space for seats in the main cabin. 


This  aircraft is a true A340. It climbs like it has swallowed a large magnet connected to mother earth, but when she finally flies, she definately does not want to descent. Every extention or retraction of the flaps and slats can be noticed well in the behaviour of the plane. Nevertheless, the landing is smooth and we had a great flight. We taxi from runway 16 to a remote stand. We want to visit the flight deck after the flight, but this plane is so stretched that by the time we arrived at the cockpit the gate agent calls for us to immediately disembark as we are delaying the bus. Right. Not the experience we expected with Lufthansa, but it is what it is. 


In the terminal we had to spend four hours untill our flight back to Frankfurt. We expected to have a big area to discover but nothing seems further away from the truth. Only the F-gates are accessible for us without leaving the secured area. A great part of the terminal is under construction as well, so views to the northern part of the apron are almost impossible. Besides,  a massive downside about this terminal is the amount of loose space between the double windows: over a meter! This ridiculous space makes photography without reflections of the terminal interior close to impossible. The lounge seats with power sockets are a great thing though. We buy a big fresh smoothy and enjoy the dwell time while watching 50% of the enire fleet of Peoples Viennaline passing by. (They only have two planes in their fleet). We also spot some nice widebodies such as an ANA 787 and a very musical Austrian 777. 

Eventually it is time to board our ride back to Frankfurt. This is Austrian Airlines Boeing 767-300 OE-LAE. The flight experience with Austrian is red. Red are the seats, red are the decorations, red are the cabin crew. No other colour can be found in their uniforms. The service is good though and the crew is friendly. We take off from runway 16 and make a right turn, providing a good view of the airport. The flight itself is fairly calm and really comfortable. We approach Frankfurt again with this beautiful cityscape view and touch down onto runway 25L. The taxi  to the gate takes a long time as we have to wait for our gate to be ready and see some nice traffic passing by. When we are finally parked we disembark and find our great window spot we discovered yesterday. We spot some nice planes and also walk back to Concourse Z to photograph the gorgeous looking Lufthansa Retro 747-8. 


It takes some hours untill it is time to board our next flight back to Amsterdam. We fly Lufthansa once again, this time we enjoy our first A320Neo flight. The plane that is being prepared for us is D-AINO. From the gate we see OE-LAE pushing back and we even see a ANA Star Wars 777 landing. We are seated at row 4, so we are pretty far at the front. The flight is really quick again and the views are great as we approach Amsterdam for runway 27 "Buitenveldertbaan".  This trip was cool, but three flights in a day are quite intense. Can't wait to do this again!