TRIP REPORT: Eurowings eurotrip

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Written by AJ

In December 2018 Eurowings announced it would start flying between Cologne/Bonn and Trieste as of June 2019. When I read the news about the new route, I started thinking about booking a ticket for the inaugural flight. I didn’t wait too long. I checked how best to reach Cologne and since Eurowings flies from Venice six times per week, I made up my mind quickly. The initial idea was to fly to Cologne the day before, spend some time in the city, visit a museum and have dinner before going to sleep to wake up early in the morning, since the flight to Trieste was scheduled at 7am.

June 1 came by quickly. The flight to Cologne was scheduled at 12:50. I reached Marco Polo Airport early in the morning, since I booked the cheapest shuttle transport available, that, unfortunately ,departed from my home before 6 am. No problem, I was too excited to go to sleep. I had breakfast land side and then went through security. In summer, there are a lot of passengers flying from Venice, so you have to wait in the queue for the security check.


No problem, I had plenty of time and after 10 minutes it was already my turn.



The terminal was already full of passengers. There is a lack of seating in the terminal during peak hours.


Traffic at Venice has grown considerably, but the air side area has not really improved so waiting for your flight could be stressful. I usually found some free seats in a hidden corner behind a shop. However, this time it was all full. I walked through some shops and then spotted a free seat. There are no electric sockets between seats, only some recharging points that are free to use. The view of the two parallel runways from the terminal is good, the main one was undergoing a renovation, the works were part of an investment worth €80 million.


I was planning the afternoon in Cologne when I received an e-mail and an SMS from Eurowings: the flight was delayed until 19:30.


The information in the mail was really clear, but the airport’s display showed only a “delayed” status without the new departure time. There were a lot of flights delayed, but none as long as ours.


When I arrived at the gate to get some more information and assistance, the airport staff didn’t have a clue what was going on and told us to wait for Eurowings staff that never showed up. As the flight was delayed for more than 2 hours, we had the right to free drinks and food, but since no one from Eurowings came to assist us, nothing happened.


I was really disappointed. Furthermore, in the mail there was no indication that we could apply for compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004. However, some days later, I submitted my claim through the Eurowings website and shortly after I received compensation on my bank account. Once again, the online service was fast and hassle-free. I only hope they will improve the the offline experience, at least in Venice, since we received no assistance from the airline. I spent the rest of the afternoon in the terminal. The displays were still showing that our flight was delayed without the new time until late in the afternoon. Checking flightradar, I saw that our plane had finally departed from Cologne.


D-ABAF, a Boeing 738, was coming to Venice to pick us up. The aircraft, in Eurowings livery, is operated by TUIFly and was manufactured in 2001.


Before going to the gate, I noticed a go around of a Lufthansa plane that was coming from Frankfurt. I don’t know the reason for it and unfortunately, I didn’t take a pic.


Then it was time for boarding.


We reached the plane with a Cobus. On the apron I spotted a beautiful ATR-72 of Alsie Express. This is my favorite livery on an ATR and I was really happy to see it again.


Boarding proceeded without any problems and soon we reached the runway.




Taking off from Venice is spectacular, so I recommend you watch the video till the end.



The cabin crew were professional and polite, the captain explained the delay was caused by a technical malfunctions on the aircraft that was assigned to operate our flight. The seats on the plane were quite comfortable and the cabin was clean.


I looked at the “Wings Shop” magazine and when we were overflying the Alps the cabin crew passed by with the in-flight service. I ordered a beer and a sandwich.


The prices for food and drinks are almost the same as at other competing airlines. The sandwich was quite tasty, but nothing special.


Since we had passed the Alps, I checked “Wings”, Eurowings’ in-flight magazine. The articles are written both in German and English language and the quality of the content and photos are good.



A quick look at the safety card that has both Eurowings and TUI logos.




Apart from some short light turbulence and wind prior to landing, the flight was really pleasant.

Here is a view of Frankfurt Airport.


And the video of our landing on runway 24.


We landed shortly after 9pm. Some last pics from the apron: a Eurowings A319 with Germanwings livery (I would fly to Trieste in that plane in less than 12 hours!), various FEDEX aircraft parked nearby and our Boeing 737.




I was outside the airport just in time to see the sunset in front of Terminal 2.


If you are in Cologne you might be interested in seeing the Airbus A300 Zero-G that was once used for parabolic flights and since 2014 it has been parked near the terminal.


Walking to the hotel I also passed by Germanwings’ street, the airline headquartered in Cologne was integrated in Eurowings in 2016.



The next morning started with a short walk to the airport.


Cologne/Bonn is the seventh largest passenger airport in Germany and the third largest by cargo volume. It has two passenger terminals. The first was built in the 70s and the second one some twenty years ago. Before 6am there was already a queue at the check in desks, with passengers coming to drop off their baggage.



I went through the security check in no time.


Germany is one of the few places where you can buy a 5l beer barrel airside.


At the gate, there were no official announcements or a ceremony for the first flight to Trieste, as they were postponed for the second flight, that took place on June 6.



An A319 in Germanwings livery was awaiting us at the apron. After a short walk we all boarded the aircraft through the front door. The aircraft was built in 2000 and during its career also flew for Lufthansa.


There were approximately 40 passengers, not a great start for the new route, since it was on sale since December. I checked the price of the tickets a few days before departure and they were really cheap, indicating that there were still many free seats. The first rows have more legroom with a pitch of 32’’, the other rows have a pitch of 29’’.




After pushback, we took off from runway 14L.


Quick look of the safety card.




It’s interesting that if you bring your own reusable cup you receive a 20% discount on hot drinks. The initiative started in February. easyJet has a similar incentive. Many airlines want to limit the use of plastic and Eurowings is one of the first to do something visible in terms of this.


I skipped breakfast, as I already ate before departure. Instead I bought something that will remind me of this flight – a Eurowings A320 plane mode in 1:200 scale.


The flight proceeded smoothly, and I moved to the other side of the plane for a while, to take some pics. The Alps were under us in all their beauty as we were slowly approaching Italy and starting to descend.


Landing in Trieste is not like landing in Venice, but you can still see the sea for some time.



After landing, there were no firefighters waiting for us with a water cannon salute. As I already mentioned, the ceremonies were planned for the second flight. Instead, there was a queue of various heavy machinery as the airport infrastructure was undergoing some maintenance. The runway was entirely repaved too just some weeks after my flight.


Before exiting the aircraft, I did a quick visit to the cockpit. The cabin crew and the pilots were really polite.



Last pic of the aircraft, from the apron… and from the control tower (thanks to Andrea).



After a very short walk I was already in the terminal from which I then easily reached the bus station using the “people mover”. The multimodal hub offers some good connections to and from the airport with buses and trains. This is still not attracting new passengers, and the airport struggles to grow and find companies that will open new routes from it.

Because of a lack of passengers, Eurowings reduced the frequency of the flight to just one per week and later cancelled the route. Overall, if I were to forget the absence of any sort of help from ground staff in Venice, I had a good experience with Eurowings. Both the aircraft were almost 20 years old but had a nice new cabin. The seats were quite comfortable, and the standard legroom is more than decent for short flights. On both flights, the crew was professional and efficient. The price of the tickets was low, and I will certainly consider flying with them again.


Share your travel experience by submitting a trip report to exyu@exyuaviation.com


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:09

    Great report. A real avgeek report :) Love the photos.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:16

    Nice report. I find it very interesting that many LCCs have in flight magazines. Isn't this an additional cost for them? I ask this considering many legacy carriers have removed them to save money. I see from this report that Eurowings has it. I know Wizz Air also does.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:20

      I'm guessing it's not too expensive and generates revenue for them through the sale of advertising space.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:53

      In-flight magazine is a must in the absence of IFE.

      Delete
  3. Great report, AJ! Not really used to see an EW operating a 737. I guess this was the reason for their "technical issues" delay. Still, I think the airline has organisational issues and needs some restructuring. LH has not succeeded with EW, compared to IB with BY and AF/KL with HV.
    Anyway, very good report and content! *(^o^)/*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't remember if we expected an Airbus in the first place. They certainly need a better organisation. Let's see what happens after covid, I will definitely like to fly with them again.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous11:42

    Nice report and great photo quality too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous17:55

    Interesting report. This 737 looks great in Eurowings colors. Also this is phenomenal : It’s interesting that if you bring your own reusable cup you receive a 20% discount on hot drinks.

    ReplyDelete

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