Berlin

Tag Archives for Berlin.

Air Berlin’s Transatlantic Farewell Landing -Daring, Dangerous or Deserved?

The pilots of Air Berlin’s last transatlantic flight to Dusseldorf airport last Tuesday clearly did not want a normal landing. As Air Berlin flight AB7001, an Airbus 330 descended toward the runway, the pilot requested a”flyby” over the airport. A request that was refused. The pilot sought permission from Dusseldorf Control tower to make a left turn should a go-around be necessary. (A go around is a standard procedure when a pilot deems that the landing will not be a safe one). Clearly, the pilot decided a “go around” was necessary! As the plane came into land, it pulled…

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Auf Wiedersehen Air Berlin- what went wrong?

Next year should be Air Berlin’s 40th birthday. From a small charter operation founded in 1978, the airline grew to become Germany’s second largest, and Europe’s seventh biggest. 8,600 staff work for the carrier which up to recently, was flying to 42 destinations with a fleet of 114 planes. I have a small soft spot for the airline, its staff, history and most of all its home base, my second favourite city in the world. But nothing seems to be going to save Air Berlin. The airline has been in trouble for some time. I…

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Tiny Intersky insolvent

Austrian airline Intersky ceased flying immediately this week. The cessation was caused by the company that owned four of the planes leased by Intersky recalling them over unpaid leasing charges.The company reportedly owes five million Euros mainly to airports in Europe. A potential investor then withdrew their interest in the airline. The airline’s only owned plane flew the carrier’s last service from Zürich, Switzerland to Graz, Austria. The video below shows Intersky Dash 8 taking off from Graz for Zurich two months ago. Intersky, started operations in 2002. They flew charter and scheduled flights  from Graz and Salzburg to…

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Reviewing 2014-How do you measure your travel?

As I reflect on 2014, I pondered how do I measure my travel? 1. By Kilometres, miles or points? In 2014 I covered: 3000km (2000 miles) by train 4000km (2500 miles) by bus 12000km by rental car (7000 miles) 124,754 (77.5k) by air to or from 22 airports. I flew four new airlines bringing my total number of air carriers to 91 airlines! The new ones were: Burma’s Air KBZ, Bangkok Airways Finnair (review coming Tuesday) and Germania   2. The Goals I achieved? In 2014, I completed my first (and last) marathon in Berlin, Germany hiked across…

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Ryanair US site – tips for flying

I have flown 90 airlines to all continents of the world (except for Antarctica) and one airline continues to dismay me: Ryanair. People keep flying Ryanair for one reason: cheap fares. I avoid them because of their seats, customer disdain, staff attitude, ethical concerns and their flying to random secondary airports nowhere near the city I am flying to. My experience of Ryanair is that they are like a bus. If you like bus travel, its fine. If something goes wrong, then you are on your own. The airline has made a concerted effort to improve…

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Hip Hamburg

I have been wanting to get to Hamburg for twelve years. The city has eluded me until just two weeks ago when I hopped on a train  for the 250km (158 mile) trip from Berlin and made Hamburg the 171st city I have visited. This Northern Germany city is 610 miles (380 miles) from Munich and 365 km (227 miles) from Frankfurt. Aesthetics Getting off the train in Hamburg, I was struck by  two things. Firstly, how flat Hamburg is and  secondly how much water the city has. Officially, known as Free Harbour City of…

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Trip Report: Hamburg -Berlin ICE

My rail trip from Berlin to Hamburg was a disappointment with a late, underwhelming train that had stinky lavatories. I hoped the return would be better. Booking- 7 out of 10 I found bhan.com to be a little more complex than I felt it needed to be. German Railways want you to know every single possible piece of information before you commit to buying your ticket. Conditions of travel, what hotels can be booked and even what platform your train will be leaving from are all thrust upon you. There were several choices of ticket delivery including MMS…

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Wild About Berlin

Berlin Rocks! Every time I return, I feel the city gets better and better. In fact I rate Berlin the second best city in the world.  Established as a cultural capital of a united Germany, Berlin became home to artists, intellectuals and hedonists who enjoyed its freedom before becoming the centre of Naziism in the 1930s. Hitler hated Berlin and longed to see it completely rebuilt architecturally -and socially. He almost got his wish as the city was 80% bombed in World War Two. For most of the rest of the twentieth century, Berlin operated as two separate cities split by walls…

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German Train Delays

Many years ago,  when Germany first had its ICE (Intercity Express) High Speed Trains, I was riding one to Frankfurt. As the train conductor walked through the carriage I was in, three German Businessmen yelled angrily at him “Drei Minuten”. Yes, our train was three minutes late. That image of the punctual German Railway has stayed with me so it was with a sense of disappointment that I discovered on arriving at Berlin’s brand new multi level Bahnhof (Central Station ), that my Hamburg bound train was 20 minutes late. When the train finally rolled in…

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Stripping with Air Berlin

I am in the Air Berlin Business lounge in Berlin. Another passenger just removed his trousers – he was wearing underwear – and put on a new pair – in a corner of the lounge. There are three other passengers (including me) in the lounge and there is a men’s lavatory. But he chose to undress/dress in public! Was he taking the Air Berlin slogan: “Your Airline” literally? No I didn’t get a photo.

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