Airline: Lufthansa Cityline
Aircraft: Bombardier CRJ-900
To: Euroairport Basel-Mulhouse Freibourg
Flight time: 35 minutes
My flight from Malta ends at gate A18. I now need to make my way through that depressing tunnel that connects the A pier to the B gates. The lifts taking passengers down to the tunnel at basement level are hopelessly overloaded, so I take the stairs instead.
Part of the tunnel is closed, hopefully for embellishing, but in this rat hole I‘m pretty sure that‘s a lost cause… at least there aren‘t that many people down here and I make quick progress.
As soon as I arrive at the gate, they make an announcement inviting all passengers who have been to China in the last two weeks, or to a country with reported cases of corona virus or who have a Chinese passport to contact the ground staff. I find this rather odd. While I understand that there is clearly cause for concern over the spreading of the corona virus, I still think it’s racist and rather awkward to single out the nationals of one country only.
In any case, once boarding begins, we go down once more into the bowels of the terminal complex and then take the compliemtary bus tour of Frankfurt airport to reach our aircraft, which is literally parked on the remotest remote stand, in the eastern-most corner of the apron.
Boarding is quickly completed and the flight is not full. The Business Class cabin has eight rows. Although there are only two people on row 5, behind me, and another passenger across the aisle from me on 4F.
There are two male crew in the cabin. Again, they make an interesting linguistic case study. The purser is obviously Australian. His German is very good and he only makes few mistakes with his declensions. His colleague is probably German. His English is fine, but with a slighly strange accent. Allegedly, he also speaks French, most of which, though, is incomprehensible.
As passengers board, they are handed a packed of almonds.
We make our way out to runway 18, which is at the completely opposite end of the airfield, despite the fact the threshold for runway 25C is only a few hundred metres away from our stand.
We reach the runway, stop abruptly and then turn back. Apparently, the wind has changed and runway 18 is no longer available. So we have to make our way back to the threshold of runway 25C and wait for a slot for us to open…
One hour and fifteen take-offs later it’s finally our turn to make our departure. The initial climb is very bumpy, but then very quickly we settle into the cruise and the crew begin their service.
For dinner there is small plate with a skewer of feta cheese, olive and cucumber, another piece of vitello tonnato wrapped around some leaves of rocket, and a few slices of melon. For dessert there a passion fruit mousse and more of the chocolates. By the time the crew clear away the trays, we’re already descending into Basel.
We land at 22h40, one hour behind schedule. Which is not so good, because it’s also around the same time the easyJet fleet based in Basel returns home. As a result, the bus heading into town tends to get very full. As we taxi in, I notice the KLM flight from Amsterdam is nowhere to be seen, which is strange and slightly worrying, considering it should have landed at 21h45. I suppose I should be alarmed, but that’s another story, I’m too tired…