MUC or Bust

Old Feb 24, 01, 1:01 pm
  #1  
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MUC or Bust

Just getting ready to leave for the airport and I have heard that YYZ in in for a major winter storm - freezing rain etc. I have heard the ORD is already having problems and cancelling flights. . .

This reminds me of my Feb 8th trip to HNL, delayed 24 hours due to bad weather. . . .

Thanks to Shareholder and NoahVail I seem to have a "tourist plan" plus accomodations. NoahVail provided me with an excellent website
http://www.munich-tourist.de/english...einleitung.htm

Lets hope the weather gods are with me on this trip!!

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Old Feb 24, 01, 1:05 pm
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Good luck back seat. I'm supposed to travel on tonight's MIA flight but I think I'll bail and wait for the weather to pass. I'm getting tired of spending my time sitting in a line-up for de-icing. YYZ weather really sucks!
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Old Feb 24, 01, 1:33 pm
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I hope the weather holds out for you back seat! Have a great trip
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Old Feb 24, 01, 2:21 pm
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Ein Prosit!
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Old Feb 24, 01, 8:07 pm
  #5  
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Here in YOW, we're supposed to get 5cm of snow tonight, followed by freezing rain on Sunday, turning to rain in the afternoon*, followed by a quick freeze.

*I'm not convinced about this, yesterday they were saying 6C on Sunday, last night 3C on Sunday, this evening 2C on Sunday. I fear the rain won't come, we'll got from freezing rain all day Sunday followed by a quick freeze overnight.

andrew
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Old Feb 24, 01, 8:54 pm
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In GRR it has been raining/sleeting all day. The roads were really slick this morning - my friend was in a (minor) accident. It warmed up a little today, and it was mostly just wet, but it is cooling off to below freezing again. Who knows?

As an aside, it looks like back seat got out just a little while late, and will be into MUC an hour or so later than planned, but at least he got out this time .
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Old Feb 24, 01, 10:10 pm
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Andrew: I sort of hope you're right about the forecast being wrong. I'm booked to fly YYZ-YGK on Sunday at 21:00. I really wouldn't mind an extra day holiday at the end of my reading week
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Old Feb 25, 01, 1:12 am
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Well, ORD was shut down for an extended period this evening, which put a slight (very slight) dent in my travel program.

I was scheduled to depart BWI at 5:34pm for ORD. While in the lounge, the agent remarked that the flight was delayed to 6:00pm, and would most likely board about 5:30. Approaching 5:30, which was also the lounge closing time, the agent informed me that they weren't quite going to make 6:00, so she gave me a $15 meal voucher. I was suitably impressed.

Until I got to the gate area, where the gate agent told me 9:00pm. Huh?!?! But I was told 6:00pm. No it was always 9:00pm. Hmmm...

I asked what the cause was and was told weather. A short while later I overheard the same agent tell the captain (also waiting around) that it was an ATC delay. Hmmm...

Well, I thought I'd put that meal voucher to use, and inferred as much to one of the gate agents. But she insisted that no one leave the boarding area, as the plane might be allowed to depart at any time. So here's a meal voucher, but no, you can't use it. Three strikes. That's it, I'm outta here.

I asked them to pull my bags, and went looking for a way to ORD, or MKE, or GRB, even. I accidentally asked a United agent, thinking I was at the (gasp!) NW counter. Then to NW, but was relieved to find that they could not accomodate me. Then to... hey, what's this? Southwest?!?! Well, I know they go to Midway, so why not?

A few minutes and $134 later, my two bags are checked and I have a ticket for the 6:55pm flight. Gee, was that easy, or what?

Let me tell you -- I was super impressed, right up until the last minute. This is one efficient operation. The staff is so energetic and enthusiastic you move through the entire process was amazing gusto. Yet everyone is so sincere, friendly, and helpful you don't feel like you're on an assembly line (even though you are.) They even had a baggage handler there to expedite my bags to the plane as I checked in only 15 minutes or so before the scheduled departure.

All along the way, staff kept informing everyone that the incoming plane was delayed 5 minutes, and that Midway was under a weather advisory so flights may be delayed, diverted or cancelled. But no one seemed to mind.

Boarding was interesting. You take your ticket to the gate, where they give you a coloured plastic tag with a number on it. When the boarding announcement is made, everyone lines up in the appropriate line -- #'s 1-30, 31-60,61-90, etc. (I got 47, so the second line for me.)

Even the boarding annoucements were a source of amusement. The guy running the show at this point announced that 'there are 137 seats on this plane, and only 50 of you passengers, so unless you know someone, don't sit next to them.' He did a great job of marshalling the passengers on to the plane in short order.

I was surprised on board as well. I had heard that there was no inflight service, but we got a beverage (and the whole can, without asking for it), snacks, and peanuts. Seat pitch was quite generous, certainly more than the regular economy seats on United and almost as good as Economy Plus. I got seat 2D, an aisle, with an empty middle seat.

For unassigned seating, boarding was remarkably quick. Seems Southwest passengers know the drill, and everyone sticks to it. Throughout the flight, passengers everywhere seemed to be accomodating crew or other passengers -- for example, no one got up during the inflight service, and no one lined up to use the lav until it was vacated. After we descended through some amazing turbulence (to an everyday landing) the FA got on the PA to anounce "We made it!" The audience (I mean passengers) immediately responded with laughter and applause.

All in all, I was impressed. Until I got to the baggage carousel. Twenty five minutes after arriving in the baggage area, bags had yet to appear. But a security guard took it upon herself to find out why. Moments later, the bags appeared. I was surprised by the self-motivation shown by the guard, a species not often known for such qualities. Finally, you had to show your claim checks to the guards before leaving.

I never did get to use the $15 voucher, and I lost out on 621 Q-miles, but I certainly learned a thing or two. As for United, and them BSing me throughout the afternoon -- "that'll learn ya." Gimme back my (refundable) $309.

[This message has been edited by Ken hAAmer (edited 02-25-2001).]
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Old Feb 25, 01, 6:59 am
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Well .. I am at YYZ - raining and above freezing so no freezing rain at the moment and my SFO flight is on time at 9:15 AM ... forecast for today in Toronto is 12C. So should not be a problem tody - I would hope.

SimonC
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Old Feb 25, 01, 9:17 am
  #10  
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Now the forecast for Ottawa is a "high" of -1C (toldya!) but going up to 4C overnight, then cold again.

andrew
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Old Feb 25, 01, 9:20 am
  #11  
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Great report, Ken!

The way United is going (just about the worst in the US I think?), perhaps you should be locking it Platinum or EP on AA for your intra-U.S. travels. Or (more likely) you already are.

How is United once they actually get in the air?

andrew
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Old Feb 25, 01, 5:29 pm
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Hi all - first time caller here. Just got back from a weekend in MUC, but had the good fortune to go Friday, thus missing the worst of the YYZ weather. Was delayed almost 2 hours departing on Friday, blame being given to "galley problems" and the capt. assuring us he wanted to make sure there was enough food aboard for such a long flight. Surprised it was that much of an issue, given that the plane was more lightly-loaded than any I've ever flown to Europe - basically, if you didn't want a seat-companion (opponent?), you didn't have to have one in the back, and there seemed to be 3 or 4 people at most up front.
Trip over uneventful, by the time I'd navigated my way through the S- and U-Bahn to the Sheraton Arabella was around 14:00 Sat. Had to decide whether to make my way to the Olympic Stadium where Bayern Munich were playing FC Cologne, or take a nap - nap won, Bayern tied 1-1. Was somewhat put off the football match by the fact that when I arrived at the Hauptbahnhof, an express was disgorging Cologne supporters complete with the noise, jeering, drinking and general air of a barbarian invasion that so often accompanies football in Europe these days.
Anyway, I pottered into the city later in the afternoon, to be reminded of how depressing it can be in German cities on Saturday afternoons, with all the shops firmly shuttered. Weather didn't help, snow flurries and zero degrees. Had a decent dinner with decenter Pils at the restaurant at the Sheraton Grand, which is maybe 50 metres from the other Sheraton at Arabella Park.
Made my way to the airport today for a supposed 11:45 departure which actually took place at about 1:15. Captain (same as outbound) again pointed the finger at galley problems! Interesting wrinkle - the 767 was in domestic config, 2/2/2 up front, and the in-charge F/A came on to apologise to the folks in J for the absence of individual video screens, and to say that agents would meet the flight in YYZ to dish out $300 credit vouchers to make up for this - I'd be interested to know if you got these on upgrades, as well as if you'd paid for "J". No customs problems in YYZ, agent looked at me as if I had 2 heads (neither containing a brain) when I explained why I'd been all that way for such a short time, but no secondary inspection.
All in all, tired but well-equipped with "Q" and bonus miles!
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Old Feb 25, 01, 10:29 pm
  #13  
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That 767 used on this route was showing its age and in need of maintenance when I flew it a couple of weeks ago. The video screen in the front Hospitality cabin was horribly out of focus, but lots of overhead lights and headphone jacks were not functioning. Maybe it finally got pulled off the line for a fix-up. Maybe AvionicsGuy can tell us more about this particular aircraft. Sounds like the same weather I had in MUC on the first weekend of Feb.
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Old Feb 26, 01, 9:58 am
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Bin707,
I worked that flight friday night, The aircraft needed a full galley change due to a differant configuration.

We ended up pushing you folks about 10 minutes after my shift ended.The bad part was the catering company was not giving us any info as to when the galley would arrive.

Nuf said Hope the weekend was good.
Regards YYZAC
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Old Feb 26, 01, 9:17 pm
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...if you didn't want a seat-companion (opponent?)
You're hired. When can you start?

[This message has been edited by Ken hAAmer (edited 02-26-2001).]
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