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Turboprops across Europe in Y

Turboprops across Europe in Y

Old Apr 3, 07, 5:21 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: LPI
Programs: SK *B (?)
Posts: 362
Turboprops across Europe in Y

I thought I'd supply a contrast to the usual intercontinental F trips by a short report from a Prague business trip. These are rather shorthaul hops, meaning turboprop, and I work for the gubmint, meaning Economy class...

LPI-CPH
SK3123 codeshare on JZ metal
06:20-07:30
Fokker 50
W class


Got up at an ungodly hour and found the taxi waiting for me outside. Good. I dislike having to take a taxi to the airport - they have shown up late too many times. I've never missed a flight so far, but there have been a couple of close calls. As I had allowed plenty of extra time for taxi mishaps, I arrived relatively early at LPI, and had to wait for security to open. I bought a few minutes of wifi, ssh:ed into the office and wrapped up the installation of a storage server I had begun the previous day.

One of the good things about being based out of LPI: queues for check-in and security are short and fast. Just over an hour after I left home I was airborne and passing over our house. That was actually the first time I've seen our house, due to the combination of a rare north-bound take-off and a starboard seating. A few weeks ago I realized I've always chosen POSH seating on the LPI-CPH flights - Port Out, Starboard Home - and recently I've made an effort to break this habit to get some new views. Like my own house.

The flight was booked full, but it seems there was at least one no-show, since I had a seat pair to myself. As usual on the JZ morning flights you get a cup of coffee and a sandwich. Obviously handmade sandwiches, handwrapped in plastic clingwrap. You could put a sticker on them: "These sandwiches have not been touched by robotic hands!". Absolutely no-frills, but a comforting change from largescale catering.

On-time arrival at CPH, and the usual bus journey from the remote stand. I had a tight connection, so I had just time to go through passport control, stroll down to the C bus gates and visit the bathroom before it was time for another bus journey out to the remote stand, just a couple of parking spots over from the plane I had just arrived on...

CPH-PRG
SK767
08:15-09:40
De Havilland Q400
W class


This is actually the first time I've flown a Dash-8. Decent enough, I guess, though I could use a bit more legspace.

Cool, courteous and efficient service, as SK tends to be. I bought a 45 DKK breakfast from the Cloud Shop ("Totally New Concept!"), and it looked rather like the old concept, except that I had to pay for it. Natural yoghurt, a turkey rundstykke, a glass of orange juice and a coffee. Oh, well.

Central Europe was cloud-covered, and it was an uneventful flight. Except that I had forgotten to switch off my mobile and got a "Welcome to Germany" text message from a German operator in mid-flight. Oops. *blush*

We landed on schedule at PRG and were bussed into the terminal. I was certain that my baggage wouldn't have made the tight connection at CPH, but it actually turned up on the belt. Nice surprise!

I couldn't find an ATM in the arrival terminal, so I walked over to terminal 1 and got some cash, and then frustrated a guy with an "Offical Dispatcher" badge by ignoring the "Passenger Transport" cars he tried to make me take and walking over to the metered taxis in the far lane instead. I suspect that was a good move. The AAA Taxi took me to the Hilton, where I had gotten a dirt-cheap rate, and suddenly I was upgraded to an Executive room due to ongoing renovation work. Oh, the things we have to suffer.

All in all, I've spent much worse mornings. Now to explore Prague.
lnixon is offline  
Old Apr 3, 07, 1:44 pm
  #2  
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: LPI
Programs: SK *B (?)
Posts: 362
I spent the afternoon just walking around and looking at the architecture. Fantastic! Some pictures can be found here:

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/leif.nixon/Prag
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Old Apr 3, 07, 3:19 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: In the skies of the world
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Many thanks for the report! ^

There is certainly room here for other reports than just longhaul F.

I have also had pretty good experiences from the baggage handling in CPH.
I had a 45 mins connection once which was reduced to 25 mins due to late arrival, still my luggage made the transfer!
So all in all things work in CPH, when there are no strikes...
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Old Apr 5, 07, 9:55 am
  #4  
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Prg - Arn

OK, so I bent the truth a bit. As you may know, Y class on SK isn't Economy, it's Economy Flex, with a higher service level. And even as a gubmint worker you are allowed to travel in a better class than straight Economy, given sufficient motivation. Which I had this time - I needed flexible tickets home for family reasons.

I spent the morning doing a guided tour of the Municipality House in Prague - highly recommended if you have the slightest interest in architecture. The Mayor's Room is the single most imposing room I have ever been in. I checked out of the Hilton at noon and was greeted in Swedish by the front desk clerk. There were many refugees coming to Sweden from Czechoslovakia after the spring of '68, so it's not that surprising that a young Czech knows Swedish. I took a hotel limousine to the airport. It was a bit more expensive than a metered taxi, but not horrendously so.

I arrived relatively early at the airport and there were no queues to either of the check-in desks. I chose the business desk - I made *S last month, and am determined to make the most of the precious few benefits that gives me!

Passport control and security was fast and efficient, even though the metal detector was the most hard-to-please I have ever encountered; it was triggered by the metal button in my jeans, which has never happened before.

Once through security I went to the Bohemia lounge, to which my Diners Club gave access. The lounge was practically empty. There was not much in the way of snacks - crackers and peanuts, basically - but a nice selection of drinks, including a decent Bohemia Regia sekt. I spent an hour reading and managed to time my arrival at the gate just as boarding started. Bus gate, though, so it was a bit longer before I could take my seat, 2A.

PRG-ARN
SK1786
14:05-16:15
De Havilland Q400
Y class


AFAIU, there were no C class passengers at all on this flight, and only five in Economy Flex, so we were well taken care of up front. We were offered a stick of dinkel wheat flatbread with our drinks, which I suppose represents the "healthier" part of the new SK service concept. The cold meal (which was served as the same time) was smoked pork with potato salad (a bit heavy on the mayo, in my taste) and a slice of rulltårta for dessert. That was probably not covered by "healthier". Plastic cutlery and plastic glasses, but I got a nice Orrefors glass for my calvados. I wouldn't normally drink calvados at that time of day, but when you are in an noisy, cramped airplane rubbing elbows with your neighbour, there is something about the intensive taste explosion of a good cognac or calvados that for a moment creates a private space, because that taste is one of the few sense impressions that you are not sharing with everybody around you.

Q400 or no Q400, my foam ear plugs were a blessing when I wanted to just relax after the meal. We had excellent flying weather with great views across Central Europe and along the Swedish coast, only turning cloudy when we approached Stockholm.

We arrived on schedule and were transported by bus from a remote stand. I went through the "shop on arrival" security check to reach the Novia lounge, which is the Diners Card lounge at ARN. Soon time to leave for the domestic terminal for the final leg.
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Old Apr 5, 07, 3:36 pm
  #5  
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Arn-lpi

I usually avoid flying via ARN, because as I use to say: You go to the smallest terminal. You go to the far end of it. There you enter a bus which drives you to the far end of the airport, where a tiny plane is waiting. As you enter the plane you bump your head on the door, and once you are inside, the first officer hands you a set of complimentary ear plugs. Always a bad sign, that.

ARN-LPI
SK3144, operated by JZ on HS metal
18:10-18:55
BAe Jetstream 31
Y class


And you do need those ear plugs. The Jetstream is noisy. And since the plane is so small you can really experience every eddy and whorl to the fullest extent. There is no inflight service of any kind.

But eventually we got to LPI on schedule. Minus my baggage.

Even if your baggage is supposedly checked through to your final destination, you have to retrieve it at ARN and carry it through customs there. I knew this. I just managed to forget it this time, distracted as I was by the lure of the Novia lounge. Argh. There's no service ARN-LPI on Good Friday, but hopefully they can route my bag through CPH so I can pick it up at LPI tomorrow afternoon.

So, a somewhat frustrating end to an otherwise enjoyable - though slightly noisy and cramped - journey.
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Old Apr 21, 07, 3:55 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Göteborg,Sweden
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Nice report, from this point of view SKs Dash 400s seems really comfortable..
A-340 GOT is offline  
Old Apr 22, 07, 7:49 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
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Originally Posted by lnixon View Post
I wouldn't normally drink calvados at that time of day, but when you are in an noisy, cramped airplane rubbing elbows with your neighbour, there is something about the intensive taste explosion of a good cognac or calvados that for a moment creates a private space, because that taste is one of the few sense impressions that you are not sharing with everybody around you.
Nicely put ...as was the rest of the report. Not that I think one ever needs an excuse to drink calvados
mad_atta is offline  

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