Saturday, December 3, 2011

Flying From Frankfurt-Hahn Airport

After Cologne, Germany, my next stop is Venice, Italy. It is a long 14-hour train ride to Venice. I read in forums that there are budget airlines which offer cheap plane rides. Tru enough, a one-way fare to Venice cost me 50 - almost a third of the price of the train price.

Some pointers in booking your tickets:
  • The ticket is non-refundable and non-rebookable, according to the carrier’s conditions. If your visa is denied, you can’t get your money back. Book at your own risk.
  • The closer you book near your flight date, the more expensive it is – unless they have a seat sale. I bought my flightv from Frankfurth-Hahn airport going to Venice via Ryanair for €50 3months and 3 weeks before my actual flight date. I booked and paid even without the visa yet. Took a risk with this one. 

  • The fare only allows 10kg max allowable carry-on baggage within the prescribed dimensions. There are Ryanair “measuring kits” scattered throughout the airport to check if your handcarry baggage fits. The baggage should weigh no more than 10KG and within the allowable dimensions.

KNOW EXACTLY WHERE THE AIRPORT IS BEFORE BOOKING. This was my mistake in booking my flight from Frankfurt –Hahn. After booking, I discovered that there is Frankfurt Main Airport and there is Frankfurt-Hahn airport. Frankfurt Main is a one-hour train ride from Cologne and I thought I was booked that one. Turns out, Frankfurt-Hahn is an airport for budget airlines located 2.5 hours away from Cologne. 

I had to ride their shuttle at 6am which reaches the airport at 8:30am. The ticket cost €16 per way.The shuttle in Cologne's Main train station - or near it.

The bus had some quick stops along the way. Bus systems run on schedules. You have to be at the stop at a certain time to ride the bus – or miss it altogether.

I enjoyed the scenic drive while listening to some songs in my Ipod.

Finally, Frankfurt Hahn airport.
I spent time roaming around the quite small airport - and ate breakfast there as well. Frankfurt-Hahn is included in the world’s worst sleeping airports. Well, I have no plans of sleeping here. But I have to say that they have the worst bathrooms – even worst that what I encounter in some of my local trips.

I flew with my 12kg backpack + handcarry laptop bag going to Amsterdam. It was quite heavy so my aunt lent me a wheeled luggage to ease me out of misery. Now I have a heavy 10kg handcarry + 1 wheeled luggage. The thing is, I only booked an additional handcarry of 1 luggage for 15kg. I checked in and my wheeled-luggage weighed 20kg. The night before, I already had this nagging feeling that I might over the allowable weight limit. I could book another piece of luggage online for €35, but my kuripot mode was on, so I didn’t. Wrong decision. Should’ve listened to my instincts.

The nice lady asked if I wanted to rearrange my stuff – or pay €70. I spent a good amount of time – 20 minutes rearranging my stuff. Thinking and rethinking if I should throw away the shampoos, lotions that I bought or the scarves that I wasn’t really using because of the hot weather. I only got it down to 18 kg. Tsk. I give up. I painfully parted with my  €70. Ouch. Charge to experience. Do not shop too much when you have to fly to your next destination.

I repacked my luggage to 1handcarry + 1 additional handcarry (I had an extra bag) + 1 wheeled luggage. I was supposed to handcarry that extra bag but I had to check it in eventually. Thing is, I left my Ipod at the outer zipper pocket of the bag. I worried during the whole flight whether it would be there when we landed. 

Boarding time. 

 Walk to the plane. Pause and picture of course.

There are no seat assignments. You just seat wherever you want.
Safety demo
Italy, see you in two hours.
Upon landing in Venice, I quickly checked my bag. My 2-year old Ipod was gone.


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