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 Post subject: Germany, the fall.
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 23 Feb 2011 23:18 
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Part Eins

I like Germans and Germany, very friendly people and very efficient too ... no doubts about that. I’ve been a tourist there a few times and my Mother once visited Hannover and Hamburg. My Grandfather flew over the country a few times but never landed …. but that’s by the by.

Last week I chose to fly with Lufthansa from London to Kiev via Frankfurt mainly because the flight times were good for me but also because I felt like a change from my usual purple coloured sardine can. Leaving home at 3am and speeding through the Cotswolds fog (sometimes I got up to 25mph), through Sparkyland and down the final straight into Terminal 1. All checked and done by for 5pm ready for my 6.20am flight. The connection would be a bit tight as I only had 50 minutes and Frankfurt is a big airport when you have little legs. But in Frankfurt you are in Germany and Germans are very efficient at these sorts of things.

The first disappointment was the plane. A newish Airbus that had recently had a seat refit similar to what Lufthansa is doing on all their European flights. The new seats are ultra slim and I remembered watching a program about the design of them some 20 years ago. The fact that it had taken two decades for an airline to introduce them tells you all you need to know. If you find 6 inches of foam under your bum not very comfortable then imagine what 1 inch feels like. In the time we sat waiting for a takeoff spot my posterior was already starting to ache a little although my mind was distracted by thinking about my quickly evaporating transfer time which would now be around 20 minutes.

I tried to be the one of the first passengers to alight but, as I was seated towards the rear of the plane, this was a bit of a disadvantage in the race for the door race and I finished in around 92nd place. Never mind I thought, Austrian Airlines always waits a little while for passengers transferring in Vienna so surely Lufthansa will do the same, they are German after all and Germans are very efficient at these sorts of things.

As luck would have it (or not as the case may be) my new gate was a distance that if you were in the ‘outside world’ then you would take a taxi or rent a car to assist in the journey. The 50 meters of travelator was neither here or there in assisting my speed which has now taken on Biblical undertones, or at least my choice in language had. And then I saw it, I had to pass through a security check which in itself was bad enough but to make matters worse so did around 200 other people, and they were all in front of me. As a small aside to my tale I don’t really understand why as a passenger in transit I have to be securely checked again. I was checked in London and deemed fit to travel so do the security personal at Frankfurt airport now believe that I have obtained the necessary ingredients to make some sort of incendiary device? If it’s possible to make a bomb out of quiche, a warm cup of coffee and a fun sized Toblerone then I suggest Lufthansa change their in-flight menu.

As I approached the rear of the queue it was announced that my flight to Kiev was now in final boarding mode. A cunning plan was required and with this in mind I headed towards an official looking Fräulein in a red suit, glasses and too much make up for her height. She’ll help me in my predicament I thought, it's her job to help and what's more she’s German and as we all know Germans are very efficient at these sorts of things.

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 Post subject: Re: Germany, the fall.
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: 23 Feb 2011 23:34 
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Hmm... knowing that 30 minutes is hardly enough in Milano I can see what will come....
Germans are above all "Pünktlich" which means they require you to take enough time.
As requirements for boarding are to be present at least 30 minutes, this was a doom scenario from the beginning.

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 Post subject: Re: Germany, the fall.
Post Number:#3  PostPosted: 23 Feb 2011 23:58 
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Shadow wrote:
Hmm... knowing that 30 minutes is hardly enough in Milano I can see what will come....
Germans are above all "Pünktlich" which means they require you to take enough time.
As requirements for boarding are to be present at least 30 minutes, this was a doom scenario from the beginning.

You are spoiling my fun teling me the end of the film! [sad.gif]

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 Post subject: Re: Germany, the fall.
Post Number:#4  PostPosted: 24 Feb 2011 02:07 
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Vinny,

Since you grandpa was probably dropping things that went BOOM, I'm sure that they were just making sure you were not carrying any of his leftovers. [biggrin.gif]


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 Post subject: Re: Germany, the fall.
Post Number:#5  PostPosted: 24 Feb 2011 02:31 
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Vinnvinny wrote:

A cunning plan was required and with this in mind I headed towards an official looking Fräulein in a red suit, glasses and too much make up for her height. She’ll help me in my predicament


Vinny I really hope I'm not going to blow your nice read, but was this person you describe the very tall dark haired guy dressed as a female? He or as he may want us to believe is a female security control agent who works at Frankfurt airport.

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 Post subject: Re: Germany, the fall.
Post Number:#6  PostPosted: 24 Feb 2011 11:09 
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Shadow wrote:
Hmm... knowing that 30 minutes is hardly enough in Milano I can see what will come....
Germans are above all "Pünktlich" which means they require you to take enough time.
As requirements for boarding are to be present at least 30 minutes, this was a doom scenario from the beginning.


That's not strictly true Shadow. I have sat on a plane in Vienna whilst we waited for a flight to land because it contained some 'missing' passengers, and in Brussels once I was greeted off a plane by my own 'personal driver' who whisked me to my connecting flight which had been waiting for me. [hi.gif]

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 Post subject: Re: Germany, the fall.
Post Number:#7  PostPosted: 24 Feb 2011 16:39 
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Vinnvinny wrote:
Shadow wrote:
Hmm... knowing that 30 minutes is hardly enough in Milano I can see what will come....
Germans are above all "Pünktlich" which means they require you to take enough time.
As requirements for boarding are to be present at least 30 minutes, this was a doom scenario from the beginning.


That's not strictly true Shadow. I have sat on a plane in Vienna whilst we waited for a flight to land because it contained some 'missing' passengers, and in Brussels once I was greeted off a plane by my own 'personal driver' who whisked me to my connecting flight which had been waiting for me. [hi.gif]


Vienna is Austrian. They care for missing people since one of them went missing in WW2. Brussels is so small that everyone gets a personal driver. [hi.gif]

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 Post subject: Re: Germany, the fall.
Post Number:#8  PostPosted: 24 Feb 2011 19:16 
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Just for your information

All flights have in build extra time to make sure airlines can claim that they are ON TIME!

Of course all depends not only on the captain, but on their slot, the wind direction and the traffic. Planes do not take the Clear for take off from the Tower till the tower receives, in Europe for example the OK from Euro control no matter what the type of flight is, schedule that takes priority os charters that are on a Rolling slot.

Many times Aeroflot departs later from London..... but always arrives on time and there is a stand Free waiting the aircraft in Sheremetovo. Same happened to us from Moscow to London too.

Aeroflop it's one of the worse airlines in helping passengers with connecting flights....... because they do not accept luggage straight through to final destination, because the International and Domestic terminals were and some flights still fly to T2 and then internally from T1. Not sure now what is going on on the new F terminal but last year when I went to UFA still had to clear customs in Moscow and then go to level 3 floor for the internal flights..... same building! [bad.gif]

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 Post subject: Re: Germany, the fall.
Post Number:#9  PostPosted: 24 Feb 2011 21:12 
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Shadow wrote:
Vienna is Austrian. They care for missing people since one of them went missing in WW2.


Perhaps they should check some cellars?

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 Post subject: Re: Germany, the fall.
Post Number:#10  PostPosted: 24 Feb 2011 23:25 
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Part Zwei (or Zwo)

So, I asked the nice lady if I might be able to bypass the long queue as my flight was being called. “Not possible” she replied looking up to me, “you’ll be ok”. Well knowing how Germans are very efficient at these sorts of things I placed my trust in her and joined the line. In fairness the queue moved at a fairly rapid pace and soon I was on the other side of security waiting to collect my belongings. I could see my gate in the not too far distance and all was well as people were still boarding the flight.

As my possessions came along the conveyor belt I quickly grabbed them and was just about to make God speed when a security guy appeared from nowhere and indicated he wanted my laptop. As he took it in his hand he motioned that I must follow him to the laptop swabbing desk where there was yet another queue. I quickly told him my plight and he immediately understood and we went straight to the front of the queue and my laptop was promptly handed to the laptop swabbing man. Very efficient these Germans I thought, but then, as quickly as the security guard had appeared, matters took an unexpected turn for the worse.

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