I just checked my email and noticed this:
Oh the perks of being a Prior2Boarding blogger, thanks Randy and the House of Miles!
Kraków (KRK) – Frankfurt (FRA)
21 July 2014
Boarding was a mess, as is always the case on European flights, but this time there actually was a priority line! Well… not a priority line, but a priority sign which read “Business Class/Star Gold” and I guess we (the people from the lounge) were supposed to cut in front of the regular queue which led to some angry Economy passengers.
We were taken to the B737-500 by bus (as is the case in practically all airports in Poland except in Warsaw), and the bird was parked ages away from the airport terminal.
The journey began with me waking up at 06:30 in the morning, mainly because the closest airport to my house in Poland is about 100km away. That being said, Kraków Airport is the closest airport and I usually fly out of it with a connection in Frankfurt. The only times I fly from Katowice (which is another 80km from Kraków) is when I fly to the US as there is an early morning flight from KTW to FRA and there isn’t one from KRK.
My auntie and uncle were actually going to go to Kraków that day to get some shopping done and I asked them if they could take me to the airport and they happily agreed, we left the house around 07:30 and made it to the airport just past 9. Kraków Airport is currently under construction so it was a huge pain to get to and there was a lot of traffic, nevertheless, I quickly found the Lufthansa/Austrian check-in.
Lufthansa Senator Lounge A (Schengen) Frankfurt
Austrian 132 Business Class Frankfurt – Vienna
Austrian DH4 Vienna – Innsbruck – Vienna
Austrian Senator Lounge (Schengen) Vienna
Lufthansa 1237 Business Class Vienna – Frankfurt
Lufthansa 1368 Business Class Frankfurt – Kraków
Last week I flew to Vienna and Innsbruck to visit both cities for a couple of days. I spent three full days in Vienna and 1.5 full days in Innsbruck, I planned this back in February as I really wanted to explore Austria since the last time I was there (I was about three years old), I didn’t remember anything.
In planning the flights, I booked most of the flights as award tickets since I had tons of miles to use in various Star Alliance programmes so I thought I might as well (I didn’t end up gaining any miles (except 250.. what a joke!), as planned in my initial post here). Personally I’m not a fan of hotel loyalty programmes and don’t really go into that so I just booked cheap hotels on Expedia for $50/night in both cities. The only times I was physically in the hotel was during the night, but most of the day I was walking around and exploring the cities.
The routing was as follows (KRK-FRA-VIE-INN-VIE-FRA-KRK):
I Love Lufthansa. And no it does not have to do directly with what is below :
During last week, I took a trip to Austria. Specifically I flew to Vienna and Innsbruck to visit the two cities (trip report coming soon), I flew Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines on a total of six flights, 3 of each airline. Let me just begin by saying that Austrian no where near compares to the service on Lufthansa. I know Austrian is a part of the Lufthansa group, but still, you just can’t compare both airlines.
Flying Austrian made me realise how much I truly love Lufthansa. I’ve always loved them since I began flying with them back in the day (meaning when I was about 12), yes there have been ups and downs but for the most part the service has always been professional and consistent.
I’m currently in Vienna, Austria touring the city. Yesterday was my first day here and I visited the city and all the main museums. Today I spent the day at the Schönbrunn palace and later the evening in Prater. While I’m only here until Friday, so far I’ve had a lot of fun (and by that I mean drinking many Viennese Melanges and eating Wiener Schnitzels daily).
I will have a full report later but I just wanted to share some thoughts initially:
1. Vienna is clean, very clean. I don’t think I’ve seen a single piece of garbage anywhere.
2. It’s expensive. Coffee cost me 8€ and the schnitzel 18€, I don’t think i’d pay for that at home, but hey if I’m here I might as well…
3. There’s too many places to see! There are so many museums and attractions and I’m having a hard time deciding which ones I should go to.
4. There’s millions of tourists. The main places and museums are super overcrowded and there’s no way to get by or to speed up walking.
But overall I’m loving the city so far, so I will leave you guys with a few pictures:
Frankfurt (FRA) – Katowice (KTW)
05 July 2014
A Boeing! A Boeing! No way! This route is almost always operated by a CRJ700 (as seen here and here), so I was very excited that we’d be flying a “normal” sized aircraft to Katowice. The bus ride to the remote stand took ten minutes and boarding was one hell of a mess. I don’t see why people always need to rush, it’s not like the airplane has open seating.
I had one sprite in the Welcome Lounge and decided it was time to leave, as the lounge itself wasn’t very appealing and there were no tarmac views. Upon exiting the lounge, I took an escalator up to the departures level and immediately noticed the big, beautiful old-style departures board.
These are so cool! Especially when you get to see one “flip”, only a handful of airports around the world have them, so it is something to really appreciate when you see one.
There was no line for the premium security queue and I made it airside about five minutes after leaving the Welcome Lounge. There were a couple of lounges I could use, but the best one seemed to be Lufthansa’s new Senator Lounge in the new Pier A plus. You can access the Senator Lounge either with a Star Alliance Gold card or with First Class travel on any Star Alliance member airline.
The past couple of days have been sad among the aviation community and especially for the families of the passengers of Malaysia Airlines flight 17. We now know for sure the aircraft was shot down by a surface-to-air missile utilised by the pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine. Despite them covering it up as best as they can and trying to deny it, there’s even a recording of them taking about it and admitting they’ve done it. Not only that, they’ve stolen the black boxes and sent them to Moscow for “investigation” and have blocked investigators’ and paramedics’ access to the remains of the aircraft.
Personally, for me, the past couple of days haven’t been all that great. I have not been able to sleep at all. I lie there all night in my bed and I just can’t stop thinking about all of those 298 passengers and crew that perished for no reason. I can’t stop thinking about the last moments they had on the plane. They didn’t know boarding that plane would end their life. Not only that, I think about their families and what pain they must feel, one woman lost family members in both catastrophes; this one and MH370 in March.
When I first learned about the crash, I was completely in shock, because it had just happened. I literally got back from having a coffee with a friend and learned about the accident, it just felt so surreal. I can clearly picture myself laughing and talking with my friend about pointless things and I can’t stop picturing in my head that during that time, when I was having a laugh, innocent people were killed.
While my initial post about the catastrophe was brief (because I was in a total state of shock), I’d like to take the time to reflect over a couple of things:
The flight was carrying 295 passengers and crew, none of which survived the tragedy. The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine is absolutely terrifying, especially to the citizens of the countries. Over the recent weeks, there have been reports of several aircraft being shot down by pro-Russian separatists. Most major airlines have now issued statements saying they will avoid flying over the Ukraine-Russia war zone.
The crash feels so surreal to me because this afternoon I was having a coffee whilst visiting a friend at my favourite travel agency in my hometown in Poland and we were having a laugh about some stupid things, none of which now matter. But when I look back at the hour of the crash, I can picture myself exactly what I was doing, it just feels very surreal. Unfortunately there have been graphic images from the crash circling on Twitter which have made me feel uneasy.
Miles. Points. Frequent Flyer Programmes. Nothing matters in this case. The crash shows us how fragile life is and that the most important thing is our life and our families. Nothing else. We can never be sure when our life will end. Please take the time tonight to give an extra hug to your loved ones and please remember that life is very fragile. We pray for the passengers and the families of those on flight 17.