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Domestic air travel with LH during Corona-Lockdown (MUC-HAM-MUC)

Domestic air travel with LH during Corona-Lockdown (MUC-HAM-MUC)

Old May 14, 2020, 5:50 am
  #1  
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Domestic air travel with LH during Corona-Lockdown (MUC-HAM-MUC)

So....finally my first trip report (please be easy on a n00b)

Always wanted to do one when when throwing out some miles for C or F travel but then there are so many great trip reports out there that I never thought I could add anything particularly new. But now I think that has changed even though this is just about two intra-Germany 1h flights with LH in Y. What should make them special are the travel dates (a Friday and a Sunday mid April 2020). This was right during the Coronavirus lockdown in Germany before any of the 16 states started to lessen restrictions. And before people ask: Yes I had a valid reason for travel.

The trip started on a sunny Friday afternoon at the S-Bahn (light rail) station Feldmoching where a colleague of mine dropped me off. From here line S1 runs directly to Munich airport. The station is also the terminus for Subway line U2 so on a normal Friday you won't see a crowded but certainly populated platform. With 8 minutes left for the train to drive there was no-one.

When the train finally arrived there were two more passengers getting on together with me. Inside the train was maybe half-full but basically got empty after the stop Oberschleiheim. When the train went underground an approach the station at Munich airport we were three passengers left in the train.

Getting off the train into a fully deserted station (remember this is on a Friday afternoon). Things started to feel pretty awkward at this point.



Getting out from the station and walking towards Termin 2. Airbru closed. And almost nobody there.




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Old May 14, 2020, 1:18 pm
  #2  
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Inside MUC Terminal 2

Even though not my first photo taken upon entering Terminal 2 (which LH and Star Alliance uses) the departure board shows in a drastic way how much (or rather how little) in terms of flights was still going in MUC. These were ALL remaining flights on that Friday for the whole of MUC airport.


As LH had shifted all remains long-haul flights and all remaining European flights to FRA this only left a handful of domestic flights. HAM, TXL and DUS were served twice daily. FRA as far as I remember three times. Eurowings also serves Cologne/Bonn. The airport in Stuttgart was closed. The flight to Doha shown on the board was the last remaining long-haul flight departing MUC. I don't quite get why MUC wasn't consolidating operations into a single Terminal.

Apart from airport staff, security, federal police and a small handful of passengers I only saw a few guys with their photo equipment using the opportunity to take pictures inside what felt like a ghost terminal.








LH had two checkin counters open. One would have done the job easily. Business and First-class-Checkin were closed. All shops and eating places were closed as well.

There was a single lane at the security check. People had to keep their distance (and did so quite effectively). Security staff reminded people to really take out everything from their clothing in oder to avoid additional manual checks. That worked so so.




There was a sign in front of security that there would be no possibility to purchase anything airside. And they kept their word....








Lounges were of course also closed. In fron of the LH First-Class lounge there was still an outdated announcement from the time when limited openings were possible. But the sign in fron of the SEN Cafe was very clear.




Otherwise plenty of space and nobody around






Outside not so much space as MUC - like other airports - was turned into a parking lot.




The flight to Hamburg left from Gates G81 and G82 respectively. These are located downstairs and don't have a jet bridge. People kept their distance to each other in the waiting area at the gates but only minority was wearing masks. As the uses of buses is strongly discouraged PAX walked to the plane.






LH served the HAM and TXL routes with CRJ900 so you also see a bulk of the active LH domestic fleet in this pic.


I probably waited for around 10-15 minutes and then it was time to board.
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Old May 14, 2020, 1:50 pm
  #3  
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OMG. This does look spooky. Thank you very much for the insight!
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Old May 14, 2020, 2:09 pm
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Great report! Very weird seeing the photos of a completely empty airport. I actually ate at the 4URBS pictured the last time I flew through MUC in July.
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Old May 14, 2020, 2:37 pm
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Indeed spooky and I really hope it will be an once in a lifetime experience.
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Old May 15, 2020, 6:42 am
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Originally Posted by mag
OMG. This does look spooky. Thank you very much for the insight!
It does!

I'd family recently return home from DXB and seeing the deserted terminal was something else given how busy it usually is.
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Old May 15, 2020, 6:54 am
  #7  
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LH2064 MUC-HAM on CRJ900 (Seat 18F)

Boarding was called for all passengers with no priority boarding or anything like that. It was a short work to the plane ... again with distance (unless the guy in front of you suddenly stops). Upon entering the canbin the purser handed out a bottle of still water to all passengers. Don't know if there were any extras for the few passengers in business class. Everybody had a mandatory free neighboring seat and we were asked to sit at the window. While this provided good space to the other passenger across the aisle you still had a passenger in front and behind you. About 30-40% were wearing masks (which was not mandatory at that time). As I got a seat in the emergency exit row there was a bit more space for me ... but in the end a CRJ900 is not a big plane.







Flight itself was totally uneventful. While taxing to the runway it was a big like passing the offerings of a pre-owned jet dealership (lots of LH gear on offer today...). Due to very little air traffic the flight arrived quite a bit early to Hamburg where we parked at a gate at the main terminal but walked the few meters into the building. Inside HAM was pretty much the same as in MUC. Lots of empty space.



My first thing after getting of the plane was to wash my hands (I did that also after arriving by train in MUC and after passing security) Interestingly only 2 or 3 other passengers did the same. And if you think the departure board showed more activity than MUC - look again: It covers the next two days as well.

Deserted airport right after exiting baggage claim. The upstairs to Terminal 1 checkin hall and out to the curbside where Was picked up. Definitely not a problem with parking.




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Old May 15, 2020, 7:10 am
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W. O. W. I have never seen MUC (or any airport) this empty! Thanks for the report. Looking forward to the rest!
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Old May 15, 2020, 9:21 am
  #9  
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Unbelievable. Wow. Words cannot say how odd it is to see MUC (or any other large global airport) like this. Thanks for a great report.

Just curious was/is there are parking discounts available? I hear at DFW they are offering free parking.
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Old May 15, 2020, 11:37 am
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enviroian Sorry don't know about parking. I took the train to and from MUC and was picked-up and dropped-off in HAM.
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Old May 16, 2020, 11:47 am
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Interesting to observe the quietness!

Thanks for sharing,

All best,
TimeFlyer
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Old May 19, 2020, 1:49 am
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The return trip - HAM airport

So we are back at HAM airport two days later on a Sunday late afternoon.Curbside in front of Terminal 1 departures. As you can see the scene hasn't change much from arrival on Friday. Terminal 2 at HAM is closed (this is where LH has their normal check-in) and all remaining operation go through Terminal 1. Both Terminals are connected to each other and after check-in passenger proceed to a central security checkpoint that links both terminals.





Check-in hall at Terminal 1 - where is LH?




Way in the back...



So don't be mistaken. There was a single guy doing check-in. Guess the signage for Business/First/*G was purely decorative. Even had to wait a minute to drop of my bag as there was a guy checking in for Zurich in front of me. LH guy requested to see a Swiss passport (in this case a German one with a residence permit). While domestic travel is easy - crossing a border in Europe definitely is not.

After baggage drop it was time to head to security.




Few people in line (all from my flight). Security staff again made sure people were placing items in the bin in order to avoid manual secondary checks. Worked quite well here. After clearing security there it was again: the void called airside.






Interestingly there was a small Mvenpick March next to my gate an its was open to my surprise. Apart from packed sandwiches and bottled drinks you could even get a beer from tap.

Plane was waiting outside and after about 10min boarding was called (this time by boarding groups).


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Old May 19, 2020, 4:29 am
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LH2065 HAM-MUC on CRJ900 (Seat 18A)

As the jet-bridge in HAM cannot serve a small plane like the CRJ900 we took the same way in reverse we took when deplaning on the previous Friday. Out through the side-door, down the stairs and then toward the plane. It was a beautiful day for flying with a blue sky and great afternoon lights.






We were again handed a bottle of still water when entering the cabin and I was able to score a seat in row 18 at the emergency exit for some extra legroom.



What followed was a largely uneventful 1h flight and we arrived in MUC a little bit ahead of schedule. Upon final approach the used-jet dealer was showing his offerings again.




The jet parked in front of Gates G81/82 again. Same position where I left on Friday. We disembarked and walked to the terminal building and then it was a long walk to baggage claim through the "void" of MUC T2.










Important information at baggage claim...




And here are ALL outgoing flight from MUC for the following Monday. 15 flights in total and apart from the domestic LH flight there is a KLM to Amsterdam, Finnair to Helsinki, Alitalia to Rome and (funny enough) a flight to Minsk. The only long-haul flight is still the one to Doha.


After picking up my bag I made my way to the train station.


Seeing a completely empty S8 departing.


We left with two passengers in my S1.

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Old May 19, 2020, 7:57 am
  #14  
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Wow... Great (but sad) report...

Thank you for sharing...
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Old May 19, 2020, 11:53 am
  #15  
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amazing report, danka! Those terminals and concourses look so eerie....wow. It's like a scene from the cheesy 1995 movie The Langoliers LOL
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