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March, 2017

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During the online check-in was asked for my visa for Germany! Presumably because I ticked ‘business’ as the reason for flight, though was only transiting Germany – changed it to leisure and was then only asked for my visa for Azerbaijan.

Boarding pass stated which Manchester T1 desks would be used for bag drop (didn’t drop a bag but did collect a ‘fast track’ pass) – otherwise straight thru security.
On this occasion I was glad to have fast track as it looked like everyone was leaving the country via Manchester! In the event, having left the hotel just before 0720, I was thru security at 0745 – pretty slick and a world away from Heathrow timing.

On thru to Aspire lounge (which caters for Star Alliance gold card holders) for my bacon bap and tea (I’d skipped the included breakfast at HIX in favour of catching an earlier shuttle bus than the one I’d booked).

Food offerings included cereals, porridge, pastries, fruit juice, yoghurt etc for this breakfast-time departure.

Manchester -Frankfurt leg.
Airport was very busy and, although most gates are on the same level, for this gate (24) we had to go downstairs then up again!

Efficient boarding to (A319-100) economy cabin that seemed to have better legroom/head space than recent BA flights.

Pushed back and departed on time.

Complimentary sandwich/cake and refreshments on this short haul flight.

Arrived 20 mins ahead of time, parked on apron and bus (nice young lady insisted in giving me her seat on the bus – must be showing my age!) to arrival gate.

Recording on bus explained where we were being taken (T1) where one of the team armed with iPads told me ‘Gate B31’ (which was just as well as I couldn’t see it on the screen – later realised the destination was shown as Ashgabat in Turkmenistan, via Baku)… fairly lengthy walk to train that takes u to connecting gates area (similar to Gatwick North/South shuttle) …quick security and was in the Senator lounge at 1215 (from an original forecast landing time of 1200).

Sampled the honey-ginger chicken (very nice) with boiled rice from the limited hot/cold buffet (and noticed that vegetarian offerings were available).

Less than 5 mins walk from lounge to the boarding gate, then bus to aircraft for the Frankfurt to Baku leg – onboard and in seat at 1345 (the scheduled departure time). On the move 20 minutes later for our projected 4h30mins flight (note – landed on schedule).

Onboard meal offered chicken or pasta, side salad with french dressing, chocolate cake with fruity topping, bread and butter, and bavarian camembert cheese.
Red, white, and sparkling wine (and beer) on offer along with a variety of soft drinks/fruit juice – and the trolley was back with top-up offers and coffee just as I finished my first glass of red… Food trays were cleared away without much delay.
Noticeably absent on both legs of this Lufthansa flight was what seems to be becoming a regular feature on BA flights – namely the crew having to pointedly go about the cabin re-arranging the overhead lockers and removing jackets and/or ‘smaller’ bags from those lockers in order to accommodate the bigger bags. Locker space just didn’t seem to be an issue on either leg, though the lockers have the same capacity as on BA flights.

Also absent was an entertainment system – so make sure you bring your own!

Touched down 2125 and thru immigraion control 20 mins later.


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