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Shamrocks, Crowns & Compasses, EI, KL, NW To HNL  
User currently onlineBrianDromey From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 4024 posts, RR: 10
Posted (8 years 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6462 times:

This trip was booked some months ago, so it was eagerly anticipated. Four of us would travel my mother, father, sister and I. Our main destination would be Hawaii, with a stop in SFO on the outbound and in NYC in the inbound. I hope you enjoy this TR, and of course, all feedback is appreciated!

Sadly I have yet to master PhotoBucket,so here is the link to my album....hopefully!

Leg 1 – Cork – Amsterdam
Flight Number: EI840 “Sold as KL3170”
ETD 06:20 – Actaul 06:21
ETA 09:20 – Actual 09:00
a/c Type: A320-200
a/c Reg: EI-DVF “St. XXXX”
Seat: 13 A (13B, 13C, 13D)

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Photo © Vianney
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Photo © Alexandru Magurean

At the airport
The first leg of this trip began at 0400 when my alarm clock woke me up. We arrived at Cork Airport at about 0520. We proceeded directly to desks 26 &27, but finding them still empty, we used the “fast-pass” kiosks where we were able to check-in for the ORK-AMS leg, and secure my preferred seats in Row 13. The kiosk also sowed our onward journey from AMS (KL 604, to SFO) but it did not pint the boarding cards. It was not until 0530 that anyone showed up at Check-in, and some of the girls then needed a toilet break! By 0545 our bags had been tagged all the way to SFO, but our onwards boarding cards could not be printed at the desk either. Boarding would be at Gate 4 at 0600.

At this time, everyone was feeling a little hungry, so we proceeded upstairs to the food court, which is modelled on Corks English Market, in the city centre. The breakfast, while not cheap, is good. (Although not as good as Nash 19, IMHO). At about 0600 we proceeded through security and the duty free shop, and arrived at Gate 4 just as boarding had commenced.

Seats, Food & Service
Soon we had settled at Row 13 and made ourselves comfortable. The crew this morning consisted of 4 ladies, all of which were very experienced. They were also very friendly and smiley. No complaints there!The load this morning was about 65%. Most passengers seemed to be connecting onwards, or visiting AMS. There were no business passengers on this flight, not too surprising really. Glancing at the cabin, I noticed a few changes over the older A320s in the EI fleet. –DVF has the touch screen FA panel, and also the leather seat covers seem to be of a softer, less shiny leather. Of course the aircraft was in immaculate condition having only been delivered a few weeks back.

The weather at ORK was getting progressively foggier, and the captain addressed us just before push back telling us he was trying to get out of ORK before conditions became any worse, there was also some early morning fog at AMS, but that should not be a problem. Take off was on Runway 37, and we broke through the fog at little more than 1000 feet.

The on-board service was the typical Aer Lingus BOB “Sky Café”. The breakfasts seemed to be the most popular item, but a lot of passengers did have tea/coffee. No complaints there. A Sky Shopping service was also offered, although this was not as poplar. Once all the cabin service was completed the Captain addressed us again, our routing had taken us over the Irish Sea, north of Heathrow, and over St. Georges Channel. Landing at AMS would be at 0900, in about 20 minutes. Soon the cabin lights were dimmed and we touched down on AMS’ infamous “polderbaahn:”. The landing was the smoothest I have ever experienced, well done captain!

Landing & Disembarking
The taxi to the gate in the D block of gates took about 15 minutes, soon the forward door was opened and we were free to disembark. Having said goodbye to the crew at the door we searched for the transfer desk.

Leg 2 Amsterdam – San Francisco
Flight Number: KL064
ETD 10:30 – Actual 10:30
ETA 09:20 – Actual 09:00
a/c Type: B747-400
a/c Reg: PH-BxL “Lima”
Seat: 44K (44H, 44I, 44J)

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Photo © Miguel Claudio
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Photo © Tengku Azahan

At the Airport
At the transfer desk, an A321 from DUB had arrived just ahead of us, so there was quite a queue between the two loads of passengers. Eventually we made it to the desk, were a friendly KLM agent took our passports. It soon became clear why our boarding cards had not been printed at ORK. US Immigration requires that the 1st address in the USA be in the system. This took about 10 minutes. All four of us were assigned seats in Row 44.

AMS is a very nice airport to transfer through, with wide hallways and lots of shopping area. Security is unusual, being carried out at the gate, just prior to boarding. The security queue was long, but moved quickly, taking about 30 minutes. However once through security, the wait to board the aircraft was brief. The boarding process was orderly and swift. KLM boards its 747s using two doors, one at Door 2L and the other at Door 4L, and the airbridge channels are colour-coded, which makes boarding pretty straightforward.

On Board

We were assigned seats in Row 44 of the 747-400 which appeared from the seat map on the agents’ screen to be bulkhead screens. Unfortunately this was not the case, as the bulkhead was actually behind us, slightly limiting recline. However legroom was good, and the seats were comfortable. The seats also have an adjustable headrest with ‘wings’. Overall I found the seats to be very comfortable and spacious.

The service on this flight was plentiful and of a good standard, Most items were of the branded variety, with “Dolmio” pasta being served.
- 1st Round of drinks from the trolley, served with roasted nuts.
- Pasta/Fish meal also served with another drink., followed by tea/coffee
- Ice Cream/Chips also served with a drink.
- 2nd Drinks round
- Snack Service (salad, desert & soup), again served with choice of drinks.
The KLM in-flight magazine was in each seat pocket, as was an entertainment guide. However this system was underwhelming, with a poor selection of movies available to watch on the overhead screens. I looked out the window or read and listened to my iPod, although all of us slept for a few hours as well.

We arrived early into SFO, just before a few other aircraft, which made immigration lines very quick, and the official was even friendly. It was quite shocking! Of course we needed to have our fingerprints scanned, etc. But within 5 minutes we were collecting the first two bags from the carosuel. We were out of the airport in less than 20 mnutes, and on our way to the hotel.

Overall Impressions

I did not expect great things from KLM, but I was pleasantly surprised. The crews were friendly and helpful, and the timekeeping was excellent. Given the very reasonable fares KLM charge, and the convenience of leaving from ones local airport, having baggage checked through to the final destination, I have no cause for complaint.

Part 2 (NW SFO-HNL-MSP-EWR) will come soon.

Thanks for reading,

[Edited 2007-06-21 05:12:52]

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineWestJetForLife From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 814 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6303 times:

Quoting BrianDromey (Thread starter):
Take off was on Runway 37

Never heard of a runway 37, Brian. Very interesting...

Otherwise, smashing good trip report. Hope to see a part two soon.


I need a drink.
User currently offlineN272WA From Ireland, joined Jun 2007, 410 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 week 6 days ago) and read 6211 times:

Cheers Brian for the TR!!! Nice to see one for EI.
Hope you are enjoying Hawaii.
N272WA  Smile

User currently offlineShamrock350 From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 6426 posts, RR: 14
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 6097 times:

Great report Brian. It's nice to hear you had good experiences on EI and KL, my favourite airlines.

Quoting BrianDromey (Thread starter):
Take off was on Runway 37

never seen runway 37 I have however taken off on runway 35  Big grin

Looking forward to part 2!


User currently offlineDavescj From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 2308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 6094 times:

Great Trip report. Look forward to seeing the rest.

Quoting BrianDromey (Thread starter):
and the airbridge channels are colour-coded, which makes boarding pretty straightforward.

Was this for F/C and Y different colors? Matched the boarding pass?

Seems like a great idea......esp as at AMS you have so many languages being spoken, the visual assist is an excellent idea.

Can I have a mojito on this flight?
User currently offlineRineanna From Ireland, joined Jan 2007, 881 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6043 times:

Nice trip report, Brian. What a fantastic holiday to be on!

User currently offlineBuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 886 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5688 times:

great trip report Brian... Waiting for the 2nd part... Hope you include some pictures from SF and Honolulu  Smile

User currently offlineBestWestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 7849 posts, RR: 57
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5528 times:

Great trip report Brian... Three years ago I did LHR CDG LAX PPT, and its one hell of a long trip...

The world is really getting smaller these days
User currently onlineBrianDromey From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 4024 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 5429 times:

Thanks for the feedback guys, Im glad you enjoyed so far. Ill add more pictures of SFO nad HNL to part two, hopefully a few cabin shots as well.

Quoting Davescj (Reply 4):
Was this for F/C and Y different colors? Matched the boarding pass?

Seems like a great idea......esp as at AMS you have so many languages being spoken, the visual assist is an excellent idea.

Now I dont know how the colours are assigned, and different sections of teh economy cabin definately have different colours. Once on the airbridge there is an option to carry straight on (4L) or turn left (2L). There are a few different colours on a sign, one batch points for stragight ahead, the other for left. There is a strip on the boarding card, yellow, light blue, pink, purple, etc which you need to match up with correct sign.

Im not sure if that is any clearer....

Quoting Shamrock350 (Reply 3):

never seen runway 37 I have however taken off on runway 35

Woops! Silly typo, I used that part of the TR to try to counter the jet lag, not too successfully!


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 28272 posts, RR: 60
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5107 times:

Hey Brian , thanks for the 1st part of your TR !!! Hope you having a ball in Hawaii and look forward to more pics and experiences on your 2nd part.



User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8694 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4861 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice stuff so far Brian, look forward to the next segment.



User currently offlineEISHN From Ireland, joined Feb 2007, 1509 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (8 years 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 4685 times:

Excellent report Brian.
Very detailed, which is always something that is greatly welcomed.


St. Flannan/ Fhlanain- She took off to find the footlights, And I took off for the sky
User currently offlineShamrock330 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4637 times:

Hi Brian

Thanks for a nice and detailed report. Would love to venture to SFO n Hawaii some day...

I'd say AMS is ten times better to transfer through than LHR

Thanks again

User currently offlinenipoel123 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2011, 271 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3646 times:

Always good to hear positive comments over 'your' airline and airport!

one mile of road leads to nowhere, one mile of runway leads to anywhere
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