13.09.2012 16 °C
Sept 12, 2012
HELLO FROM VIENNA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT!
Rainy night. We arrived to airport a bit earlier then planned. 3rd terminal is under construction and navigation inside is difficult. However the airport is very clean and tidy and they (management and team?) apologise for inconvience each 3 meters: "Entschuldigen, entschuldigen...". We were moving through long empty corridors and holes, switching lifts, sometimes getting outdoor and then into again. It feels alike taking part in the computer game! Challenging!
In chance you don't know about NIKI - it's an airline company founded by an Austrian former Formula One racing driver and three-time F1 World Champion Niki (Nikolaus) Lauda. Afterwards he is a sports manager, television commentator on German TV channel RTL, an expert on auto racing, etc. Recently, couple of years ago, he has founded and run airline company. He is not only a former sport-star (he's 60+ now), but very interesting personality.
From F1 officcial site (I can't tell it better then them):
"He bought his way into Formula One racing and very nearly paid for it with his life. Given up for dead after an appalling accident he recovered by what the medical profession called sheer force of will. His astonishingly quick return to the cockpit was called the most courageous comeback in sporting history. After winning two championships he got bored and left the sport, only to return again and win another. During his remarkable career he was called both a hero and a villain. The battle-scarred champion who defied both the odds and convention remains a living legend."
Flying with NIKI for us was meaning more then just a flight.
After some strolling we arrived into the place of Niki-fly (large flies on the walls!). There were very few passengers and similar number of gals in check-in. Actually, there were no passengers in the line to registrations, except of us. And no line as well. You'll not believe - we received sits number 2A and 2B! I think we were first for registration, but sits in the 1st line were saved for kids and invalids.
We passed through duty-free (promiced to buy sigarets to someone and did so) and stucked to watch the Tirolean schinken. Fascinated. The shop was closed but schinken behind the glass looked very attractive. Definately.
Being unsocial, we didn't stay with other passengers that waited for flights to Tel Aviv, Teheran and Moscow (what a composition!), but returned back to the area of passport control, as we seen plenty of vacant sits there. Really, we took the spacy room alone. We were sitting there in comfort, like in the 1st row in theatre, and watching arriving passengers: Iranian women in purdah, religious Georgian Jews - dressed in black and from head to toe hung with gold, Russian girls in mini, shabby kibbutzniks with their chocolate-smeared vociferous children. All of them, regardless of origin, turned to the wrong direction - just because we two were sitting there.
Sept 13, 2012
THE FLIGHT WITH NIKI
Finally we got our sits in the 2nd row in the plain. We didn't have much expectations, as Niki is budget company, but the flight was very good. It could be perfect if no loud uneducated kids in the 1st row. Of course there were "our" Israeli children - those that doesn't know what means the word "no" and receive applauds for each silly note they say. Oh, yes, I was very angry - I prefer to sleep or just to close my eyes in 3am, not to be involved in the educational process. Once again I saluted in my heart to well-mannered and tidy Austrian kiddies.
The trained team served everyone with incredible patience and, surprisely, we ever received the "dinner" (or breakfast?) in about 3 am. It was very tasty and crispy chicken-toast, that will not be shaming the restaurant in the city. As I know "Niki" propose food from "Demel", if my toast came from there - then it really came "from the good house".
What else I mentioned in this flight: the greetings and into were said by Niki Lauda himself! Andre easily recognised his voice, as he (Andre) is keen rooter of F1. It was touching. It feels like Niki in his red cup takes personal responsibility about safety and comfort of his passengers.