How many staff?

I think that I have boarded 49 flights so far this year. The majority of them are with Lufthansa, and are just short hops – but I have never seen the same flight attendants – ever. Perhaps it is like that episode of the Simpsons, where the ten pin bowling pins were thrown away after each use?!

(sorry, defaulting to German as in Germany)

On another note, perhaps this is all about to be replaced by DB in the near future – 4 hours to Cologne from London…… I need to do the maths on this…….

Home to Heathrow – 20min
Check in and waiting at Airport – 1 hour
Flight time, alighting etc – 1 hour 40 mins
Waiting for train in FRA up to 1 hour
Train to Koblenz – 1 hour 10 mins.

Total time – 5hrs 10 mins

On the other hand

Home to Station – 10 mins
Train Central London 30 – 40 mins
Tube across London to Euro Tunnel Terminal 20 mins
Check in and waiting – 30 mins
Train to Cologne – 4 hrs
Transfer time – 30 mins
Train to Koblenz – 1 hours

Total time 7 hrs 10mins

Hmmm…… not looking that good is it? It would have to be about £50 return for me to consider that! I wonder though what parking costs in Ashford, Kent? Then again, the 15 mins home to Heathrow is half the reason why we live there. Seems ironic not to use it.

I know and love these trains (what, I am a geek). They are so smooth and fast, with plenty of room. Hopefully it will make the UK train companies step up their game. Funny, I always thought that they were wider than rolling stock in the UK and wouldn’t be accommodated. Perhaps the high-speed line for the tunnel is different though. That wouldn’t surprise me either.

The ICE is expensive – there is no doubt about that. You pay a premium in Germany to travel via ICE and it is designed to compete with very comfortable and fast German cars. In a country where you can sit for an hour at 120mph on the Autobahn distances aren’t as big as they are in the UK. Trains have to be extra special good to compete. As good as the ICE is, when I still lived full time in Germany it would be £8 taxi to station, £50 train fare to airport, £8 taxi back from the station, yet it didn’t always win over taking my car to Frankfurt Airport (£40 petrol and £65 parking for a weekend) as the convenience is king. Add to this that when there are delays, airports have nice lounges which I get to use – with free food and drink – plus should something go really wrong, there are EU directives to ensure that the airline puts me up in a hotel over night (if they are at fault) and it is difficult to see me swapping to the train.

Well, perhaps just once. To test it out.


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