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Boeing 767, a great way crossing the pond

Boeing 767, a great way crossing the pond

Old May 14, 2024, 9:34 am
  #1  
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Boeing 767, a great way crossing the pond

Stockholm saw snow on May 7. That’s right, while the prunus trees embrace summer with lush foliage growth in most places on this planet, berry bushes outside of my windows were ruthlessly bashed by ridiculous Nordic precipitation. Combined with weather depression is my recent development of taste in Reese’s peanut butter cup. Weird, I never found it remotely appetizing during many years of living next to Pennsylvania. So I packed two sets of underwear in two full size suitcases and head to Arlanda to start my weekend across the pond.

Last edited by jerrychuang; May 14, 2024 at 1:26 pm
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Old May 14, 2024, 1:25 pm
  #2  
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Amex seems to have completed the renovation of their centurion lounge, despite technically outsourced to a third party, at ARN. As time was tight I headed straight to the gate.



There has to be some gold in these bread to warrant the price tag…



OE-LBQ, a 24 year old bird flying me to VIE carries a SATCOM pack whereas the brand new Swiss E195E2 on the way back does not.




The weather above the cloud is certainly like spring. Well, any day above the cloud is like spring. Always a treat to see a beautiful sun halo.



I don’t know how OS does it—Since the plate comes with DO&CO marks, I assume they must have catered the flight for the overnight altogether when the plane left VIE the previous day? But how would they keep the eggs refrigerated, since there probably was no power onboard?

Anyways, this got to be the best plane omelette I have ever had by a mile, and put the league of CX and JL F to shame. Correction, I believe this was the best omelette I have had anywhere, including on the ground or in my own kitchen. The curds were cooked to perfection, with a just hardened, borderline runny texture that’s also fluffy. This single meal reinstated my faith in airplane food and I was extremely glad that I had not gone to reimburse my sleep debt.



The weather in Vienna was pleasant, excluding the high concentration of allergens—poplar is in the air!
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Old May 14, 2024, 2:05 pm
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OS’ soft products in the sky with enthusiastic hospitality and great catering at VIE may be top in Europe but I find their ground facilities at home base consistently underwhelming. OS’ intraschengen lounge may be the most boring lounge I have ever seen, approaching a level of shabbiness. Their ex-Schengen lounge is not that much better. But, at least it has a great view of the apron.



And the Viennese pastries served were wildly disappointing…



Salzburg’s Stiegl was available, so +0.5 point back.



Despite still being a common sight on the passenger transport scheme over the Atlantic, 767s are becoming increasingly rare. There were 583 Boeing 767-300ERs produced, and 200 remained today. Aside from US airlines that are constantly loyal to squeezing any remaining life out of their aging fleet and the two Japanese rivalries whose latest orders were relatively recent, handful are in operations. Compared with their more modern successors, they may not be the most comfortable to ride on nowadays. But when they were rolled out almost 40 years ago, so many things were absolutely cutting-edge. They are the first aircrafts to be ETOPS certified, enabling expansion into second-line international markets. They are the first ones to be equipped with two-men glass cockpits, significantly reducing training costs.

Nerdy things aside, one must admit that they look great, especially with stunning winglets, and the pilots manning these machines always hold high praises. And you just can’t dislike the classical cabin call chime—the tone is warm, round and calm. Ding——Dong——. The call button on 787 sounds so artificial and disconnected from the human world.

Also spotting at VIE sucks.



OS boasts gastronomy on its flights.But as COVID hits it was drastically cut back like any of its peers. I recall reading some trip reports published not that long ago suggesting that the progress of getting back flying chef was slow so I was very happy to see someone in a chef’s hat appeared shortly after boarding.



There is a new catering scheme called tastefully Austrian, supposedly a rotating seasonal menu. I pre-ordered the pork online, as I am doubtful about chicken breast even on the ground. Just not a part that can be cooked to tenderness easily.But now that I think about it as I type, pork steaks may be the riskier option based on the same rationale.



And OS is certainly famous for its Viennese coffee bar service.



Welcome drink and warm nuts were served prior to departure.
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Old May 14, 2024, 2:29 pm
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After a snapshot with the control tower we quickly taxied to the runway and took off in the growl of two PW4060 engines.



The amuse bouche was on my table 15 minutes into the air. I ordered a bottle of nonalcoholic Gösser so that I don’t have a painful alcohol metabolism on a day flight. It did not taste bad either.



I was first given the bread roll on the upper left corner. After some mechanics testing and calculation I was worried that no animals with a bite force quotient smaller than a great white may be able to chew it. Fortunately the second bread roll was in normal shape and form. The very spreadable butter is not cold as , yet another caring detail.



The flying chef plated my salad to my liking in the aisle, on OS’ signature cart service. The shrimp, veggies and thousand island sauce were all fantastic.



Then came a cream of peas, which was also very delicious.



The main dish was presented to me in the classic triangular plate immediately after the crew member noticed my soup was nearly gone. Wow, i did not dare to imagine pork this succulent on a plane, but they did it again. The sweet corn gratin also warranted a chef’s kiss. Two sun dried tomatoes were a nice touch.



The crew’s service was quite hospitable, while Austrian’s definition for new arrival in their IFE is Big Bang theory Season 1. I have always found the Hollywood portrayal of Caltech people or stereotypical scientist in general extremely laughable, ergo an acceptable soap series during lunch.



The dessert was a multilayered mousse with mango and berries, along with some fresh fruit and a bit of beerenauslese. The dessert wine surprisingly bit a little, with seemingly rustic alcohol content.
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Old May 15, 2024, 12:32 pm
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The cabin lights were not turned on until 90 min prior to landing and a detox shot was served. Judging from the color I thought it had to be some kind of lettuce avocado endive mache mushy blend nonsense that would grab and choke one’s esophagus but it just turned out to be kiwi. Oh. Not bad.



I picked chicken Caesar salad together with a glass of almdudler as prearrival snack. No complaints—The salad was crisp, but the croutons were quite soft so the salad must be pre packed this way or the skychef decided to make them halfway across the Atlantic.



Heavy precipitation was forecasted in the DMV area following some unusually warm day, and it sure looked that way.



I like OS’ safety card style!




A very long downwind gave me a great bird eye’s view of Dulles.




It officially took me 7 years to find out that the monstrous inter-terminal shuttle bridges?buses? at IAD are named after states.



Oh some sweet Deja vu. There was this authentic Taiwanese place, one of the best in US, certainly outside the Silicon Valley, called Taiwan Cafe in Manassas VA. It had a bizarre choice of location and they closed in 2022. The chef moved to work at Yen’s kitchen in Herndon. Still a weird location, but it has become my first stop and last stop off IAD. Heaven it is, chewing freshly cooked hsien su chi with thai basil in the parking lot…


I then went on a top priority mission to pick up a spare tire. A very Swedish pothole punctured my tire on New Year’s Eve, and since my car still had US-spec tires I couldn’t order an identical one in Europe. This would soon become a funny sight on the apron.
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Old May 15, 2024, 1:00 pm
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The following morning, I rented a 172 at my old flight school and invited a friend to see the key bridge after a high dose injection of carbohydrate.



I was quite surprised to see that they never moved the ship but the remainder of the bridge was demolished yesterday.



Admittedly I contemplated if the unit price was sufficiently low for me to fly back with some tide pods with highest carbon footprint ever.



And what the hell was that?! But rest assured, I bought myself two bags of regular Reese’s.
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Old May 15, 2024, 3:59 pm
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Originally Posted by jerrychuang
. So I packed two sets of underwear in two full size suitcases and head to Arlanda to start my weekend across the pond.
Two full sized cases required for two pairs of unmentionables? They must be the size of tents
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Old May 16, 2024, 3:26 am
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I'm enjoying this review, I've always wanted to try Austrian long-haul based on my pleasant experiences on their short-haul offering.

Originally Posted by jerrychuang
Amex seems to have completed the renovation of their centurion lounge, despite technically outsourced to a third party, at ARN. As time was tight I headed straight to the gate.
I'd be interested in trying this lounge (although not having an Amex, I doubt I ever will). I was at a hotel last month where the restaurant was operated by Pontus Frithiof and I thought it was very good.
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Old May 16, 2024, 12:47 pm
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This is interesting, how do you check in a full sized tire?
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Old May 16, 2024, 1:42 pm
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Too soon but time to go. I have never been to a Polaris lounge before, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that United actually did a decent job. Big legacies have been cost cutting to the bone for so long that one thinks they don’t know, or forget how to appeal to a business-oriented customer base. But under market pressure I think they have a wake up call alright. Sweet capitalism.






There are many reports praising the catering quality at the IAD Polaris lounge. Even a sit-down dining area with a la carte menu. But no lounge food is better than my own take-away



I was almost hyped when I received a delay notification, squeezing my 115 minutes of transfer time to 55. Not having anything to do on the arrival day, I would appreciate the EU261 cough up. The aircraft was at the gate, so the delay seemed a mechanical.

As an “avgeek” (or “passengers with a keen interest in certain aspects of operations”, for the purpose of avoiding loathe of certain FTers) specifically picked the 767-400ER. What a strangely wonderful plane. The double- stretched body and curtain door of a 767, the fly control system and wingtip of an 777. Only 37 were ever produced.



The boarding started 45min behind schedule. My seat 1L, which has an extra large foot pad. Weirdly the entrance leading to the seat was extremely narrow even for my skinny build.



Despite the great impression of the lounge, United and its plastic-y little blue cup is still that image that I’m familiar with…



And one should never forget that it’s not a united flight unless you find some surprise gift from the previous generation of passengers.
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Old May 16, 2024, 1:51 pm
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I was looking for my tire on the apron and the rain outside was pouring. You can check a tire in; it fits all the dimensional limits. The challenge is to avoid examinations of curious but probably inexperienced ground service agents. So I put a tire bag that has handles around it as someone on FT suggests(there is an extended discussion over in the WN forum)









Once the bird took off from runway 1L and broke the layered clouds close to the ground, a set of absolutely stunning double rainbow awaited. With Bach playing in my ears, I cherished the moment as the engine soared.
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Old May 16, 2024, 2:03 pm
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Also stunning were the clouds and the rays of sunshine that permeated.





Once we reached New England, dinner was served. I only opted for some nuts and tonic water. Seagram’s was very, very sweet for my taste.


I planned to get some Sundae before sleep, but as the crew didn’t bother to ask if I’d still like dessert, I passed out near Newfoundland. The Saks sleeping amenities were great. Granted I had the bigger foot stall, but definitely one of the better sleep on an airplane.



I was waken up by breakfast preparation in the galley somewhere over France. By United’s caliber, I was not exactly disappointed. I found that with managed expectation for software, one can maximize the appreciation for hardware on UA metals.



Approach into ZRH is always mesmerizing.




I was quite keen to see the cockpit of 764, and one very kind crew member told me no problem aside from a potential wait as there was a line check on the day. I decided to wait for 5 min after the cabin door opened, but to no avail. Last glimpse of the spectacular aircraft.
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Old May 18, 2024, 12:16 pm
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Originally Posted by jerrychuang



It officially took me 7 years to find out that the monstrous inter-terminal shuttle bridges?buses? at IAD are named after states.




I then went on a top priority mission to pick up a spare tire. A very Swedish pothole punctured my tire on New Year’s Eve, and since my car still had US-spec tires I couldn’t order an identical one in Europe. This would soon become a funny sight on the apron.
I just noticed a few months ago, sitting in the Capital One lounge, the moon buggies were named after states and IAD is my primary airport,

Traveling to the US for a tire! That's a first!

Great report!
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