On November29, 2018, I had the pleasure to travel by plane to the Cyberspace Conference in the Czech city of Brno. Lufthansa flew me from Düsseldorf (DUS/EDDL) to Munich(MUC/EDDM), where I had to board a connecting flight to Brno (BRQ/LKTB),operated by BMI regional.
I arrived at the gate just in time for the boarding. I was the first to go through theself-boarding-gates where passengers have to get their boarding passes scanned.The BMI plane was parked at an apron position, so a bus ride to the plane was to be expected. Of course, I had to wait because „Business Class, Hon Circle members, Senators, and Star AllianceGold Card holders” were asked to go through the boarding process first. When my quick-boarding-gate was activated, I went downstairs, where a surprisingly small minibus waited. The driver was just instructing the aforementioned priority-boarding people to go „all the way through“ the bus, because it was expected to be quite crowded. It is possible to overload a transfer bus even with the few (like 20) passengers for Brno, if you just choose a small enough bus. Indeed it got really uncomfortable after the 20 passengers had boarded the minibus with its limited space (about 12seats at the most). Upon being told to „go! all! the! way! through!“ an American traveller asked in a rather annoyed tone „Why not get a bigger bus?“. On the way to the BMI plane, some of the bus’s occupants worried over how small the aircraft would be when they used such a small bus for transfer. The worrying was unnecessary because BMI’s Embraer 145 is a small but not too small aircraft. It seemed even bigger after the ride in the minibus. During the ride, we passed a normal transfer bus with only three people on it. The American yelled:„That’s not fair! They’ve got the big bus!“
On June 6, 2014, I filmed the lineup, takeoff, and the initial climb of LH463 out of Miami on its way to Frankfurt. Sitting on seat 90A, I used my Apple phone as a video camera.
After a long but smooth flight, the Airbus A380 reached Frankfurt and touched down on runway 07 R. After disembarking, I had for the first time the opportunity to use an automated passport control. There are mechanized doors and a scanner. You have to put the passport on the scanner and the door opens. I thought that was it, but there was more. Behind the door is a shiny black vertical glass plate with six bright lights, three on the right and three on the left. The glass plate shows the image of a hobo—obviously, that is what I look like after a day in the heat of Miami and a nine-hour flight. After comparing the image of the hobo with the image of the nice young man in my passport, the glass plate moved to the side and I was allowed back into Germany.