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A Short Sibiu Sojourn

A Short Sibiu Sojourn

Old Oct 5, 2023, 11:23 pm
  #1  
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A Short Sibiu Sojourn

The plan for this weekend is a very short visit to Sibiu in Romania. I have spent the past week in Birmingham on business and due to my fixed schedule I just missed meeting up with my friends and colleagues from Sibiu who had been in the Birmingham office the previous week. As I am already in Birmingham I decided to take advantage of the easy flights from BHX to SBX and pop over to see them.

This will be my second visit to Sibiu, the first time being few months back when I had some free days as part of one of my recent Bucharest trips. I had booked OTP-SBX flights with the Romanian startup Air Connect. This then proceeded to go horribly wrong in the weeks leading up to departure with no less than 5 flight time changes, then an airport change, and finally the flights being cancelled. In the end I booked a cab both ways which meant two five hour travels through the very scenic mountains.

This trip has a number of firsts for me. It is my first time flying out of Birmingham International, the first time to Sibiu airport, and I have not been to Munich airport in at least twenty years. It is also the first time flying on Lufthansa for over 20 years and Im looking forward to seeing how their business product compares to BA and AF.

Today Ill be starting work early so that I can get away to the airport late afternoon in time for my early evening flight to Munich. From there it will be a late flight onwards to Sibiu. Arriving at 1am Saturday, the plan is grab a few hours sleep, visit the main tourist sights in the earlier part of the day, and then meet up for beer and food later before finally, maybe, getting a catnap before my 4am checkout to head back to the airport.
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Old Oct 5, 2023, 11:56 pm
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Ah, so Air Connect is following in the rubble of Blue Air?

Curious to see your report, and what that region of Romania is like.
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 12:04 am
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Originally Posted by FindingFoodFluency
Ah, so Air Connect is following in the rubble of Blue Air?

Curious to see your report, and what that region of Romania is like.
I think they have had some issues, my colleague sent over a Romanian news article a little while back about some internecine financial wranglings.
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 12:54 am
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I forgot to add this fine fellow to my Birmingham report, however I have a new travelling companion.




One of the team bought these character ducks for everyone, themed to each individual. Mine is a bishop because of my startling resemblance to Richard Chartres, retired bishop of london and now Lord Chartres.

Richard the Duck, Dickie to his friends, will be a regular in future reports
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 3:13 am
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See if you can make folk think he's a special FCL duck with Lufthansa
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 8:16 am
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And we are off and running! Due to last minute meeting booked for this afternoon I headed for the airport earlier than planned. So early in fact that checkin was not open! Luckily the wait for checkin was not too long.

Birmingham airport is a building site and the low ceilings throughout make the airport feel institutional.









Fastpath through to the boarding pass check but then maybe I missed a turn as or there is no fast path security as I ended up in the main queue for security screening




This was incredibly slow and it was over an hour in total from arriving to air side





A quick look around and it’s off to the Aspire lounge
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Last edited by JapesUK; Oct 6, 2023 at 8:41 am
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 8:23 am
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Oh dear. Ill let the pictures do the talking.









The door hostess offered a very warm welcome and then Into the lounge which was a complete mess. The photos do not really show it but most tables were covered in debris. The queue for the bar hasnt stopped since I arrived and the cleaner has just appeared. I asked her if they had just experienced a rush nah, its always like this

And now Im sat with my - paid for, oh the horror! - glass of Prosecco with 8 minutes before my first call of the afternoon.


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Old Oct 6, 2023, 8:36 am
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Ouch. I don't have particularly high hopes for my lounge experience in Heathrow tonight, but I still hope my evening will go smoother than your afternoon.
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 8:47 am
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Originally Posted by Fabo.sk
Ouch. I don't have particularly high hopes for my lounge experience in Heathrow tonight, but I still hope my evening will go smoother than your afternoon.
Ouch indeed. To add insult to injury there are no toilets in the lounge so you have to go back into the concourse for a little stroll and into some pretty grotty and dirty toilets.

Ill swap you for the Heathrow lounges .

I feel like Im just moaning at all points of the Birmingham experience but I am honestly surprised, I didnt expect Birmingham airport to be like this. I guess every day is a learning day and today I learned to avoid BHX
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by JapesUK
Ill swap you for the Heathrow lounges .
You think you're gonna win, but I am departing out of T4, so it's just we both lose
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 9:58 am
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It was time for a change of scenery! Thanking the heavens for lounge passes, I moved over to the No1 lounge which is a much better proposition all around.






The food and drink offering was also a cut above that in Aspire, albeit thats a really low bar to crawl over 😆








I am really pleased to see a simple sausage and mash on offer as after a week of curries Im ready for an old staple.

Settling down with a glass of - included in the entry - fizz its time to enjoy a late lunch and watch the world go by for a little bit.


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Old Oct 6, 2023, 10:59 am
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A couple of glasses of the very acceptable fizz later and its time to head for gate 42 and our 35 minute delayed departure to Munich





Group 2 boarding today, the shame, the ignominy From the announcement just made it sounds like they will board PRE, 1, and 2 together
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 11:12 am
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Quickly on board and into 1C which feels strangely familiar. Only three rows in business on this flight so lets see how the service is. It looks to be an experienced IFL and a young FA.



Dickie Duck making his first appearance

Next stop, Munich
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 1:47 pm
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There was very little delay between being buttoned up with all aboard and taxiing to the runway, and we were in the air by 18:25. Quite a bumpy and wallowing takeoff later and the seatbelt light were off by 18:35.



Drinks service commenced almost immediately and it was, of course, a glass of sparkling wine to celebrate my first Lufthansa flight in a very long while.





Top ups were offered quickly, so quickly in fact that I hadnt really touched mine, Im obviously slipping. The sparkling Riesling brut is really very pleasant, not too gassy nor overly sweet, and with a real dry finish.



Shortly thereafter the meal was distributed, no choice was offered. Both dishes were tasty and quickly despatched, but its fair to say neither were remarkable.





Tray cleared another top up was offered along with coffee. One thing I especially liked was that the refreshing towel came as part of the meal cutlery roll.




Sated and watered, I settled down to watch another episode of Blacklist, the TV series I only watch when I fly and have been working my way though since March.



A little further into the flight another top up was offered and I said sure, as long as it was the same bottle and they didnt need to open a new one. The response its your bottle I also asked for a cognac which came as a 50ml bottle.




Small coppeneur chocolates were also offered which were a chocolate praline in a white chocolate coat.





At this point it was 19:40 and the pressure in my ears was a clear sign we had started our descent.



Throughout this entire flight the crew have been top notch and my first Lufthansa experience in a very long time has been superb.

at the jet bridge and off the plane at 21:10 so I have an hour and a bit to explore the lounge and get to my gate
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 1:50 pm
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Munich airport is HUGE, it is also airy, light, and spotlessly clean








One thing I absolutely loved is that as you came of the plane there was a board listing everyones connections, gates, and walk times.

And it is off to the lounge
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