PA101 From Germany, joined Jan 2005, 491 posts, RR: 1 Posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 11888 times:
this is going to be my first trip-report - comments and requests about missing information is highly appreciated.
I had the pleasure to fly from TXL to SEA via AMS on KL 1818 and NW 33 on August 10th 2007 - in SEA I connected to QX 2053 to RDM, where good friends of mine live that I haven't visited for quite a while...
KL 1818 - TXL to AMS - B737-400
Arriving in TXL around 4.30 am, I was more than glad to be flying in C, since the queue for the Y-passengers at check-in at Gate A05 was already quite long. Thus, check-in just took a few minutes for me. I tried internet-check-in, but due to security reasons, I wasn't available for US-bound passengers... The reminder of the time I spent in the tiny AF lounge...
Boarding for the scheduled 6.05 am departure startet around 5.40 and we pushed back on-time at around 6.05... Usually, KL uses F70s and F100s for the TXL flights - but quite often the early morning departure (KL 1818) gets a 733 or even 734 instead, since there seem to be lots of business passengers or pax with connections in AMS... We took off at around 6.15 am on TXLs runway 08L.
KL B737-400 "Leifur Eriksson" sits at gate A 05 in TXL
The Euope Select seats in the 5 front-rows weren't too full - in fact, both seats next to me (I had 1 F) remained empty. Breakfast was quite nice - a neat looking box contained some quality cheeses and a fruit salad - the rolls served were warm as they came directly out of the oven...
My seat 1 F
The 60 minute flight went by smoothly, and we touched down in AMS around 7.15 am - quite ahead of time - on runway 06 "kaagbaan" - close to our arrival gate C 13.
"Leifur Eriksson" at Gate C 13 in AMS
Afterwards, I took to long walk through departure lounge 1 - past immigration to lounge 2 - bought my duty-free cigarettes - and finally headed to the KL Crown Lounge - which was pretty busy - as I had about 3.5 hours to kill for my 12.55 pm connection to SEA.
The Crown lounge isn't very big - thus it seemes to be somewhat crowed - however, it offers many amenities and has a nice stile - they offer lots of snacks, drinks, showers, free computer use, and - quite important too me - a smoking section too... Besides: being located on the 3rd floor - you get an excellent view onto the apon!
The view out my seat in the smoking section of the crown lounge
I was particularily happy, to have an MD11 - "Florence Nightingale" - bound for Curacao - in front of me, as AMS is one of the few remaining places, where I can be sure to see of few of my beloved and endangered tri-jets!
The busy Crown lounge offers excellent views!
NW 33 - AMS to SEA - A330-300
At around 11.45am I proceeded to gate E 09 for my NW 33 flight to SEA, since gate security promised to be quite time consuming. Luckily, again, I could avoid the queues, by using the priority line for C passengers... I was surprised to see a A330-300, since the flight was scheduled to use an A330-200 - at least the WBC section wasn't filled up and therefore didn't need a capacity-upgrade - but Y-class definitely looked quite full!
Our A330-300 sits a gate E 09 - sorry, but I didn't catch the tail-number... too bad that American carriers never seem to give their aircraft names...
Boarding startet around 12.20pm and went quite smooth - promising an on-time departure. The new A330s still look really clean and entering the cabin, you realize they haven't been around too long yet. It was a very nice impression! The new WBC seats look really comfy too - however, being just used to the old-fashioned cradle-seats, those huge "shells" on the back of the seats look somewhat weird to me...
They have lots of functions, and for the first time ever - being 1.84m tall (6' 00'') - I got a foot rest that would actually extend to a length where I could stretch out my legs. The lie-flat systems is really nice too - unfortunately, the remaing tilt of a few degrees turned out too be quite akward to me...
My seat - 2J
The flight attendant immediately started to serve us drinks, and came by at least thrice during the whole boarding process. Doors were closed at 12.55am - promising an on-time departure - but it showed, a connecting passenger hadn't made it, so his bags had to be unloaded and we couldn't push back till around 1.15...
Taxiing to the remote runway 36L - "Polderbaan" - took about another 25 minutes, and so we weren't finally airborn until approx. 1.40... (however, we got into SEA just 10 minutes late - so no big deal...)
Cabin service started immediately with hot towels, serveral rounds of drinks a nice and big bowl of nuts. The amenity kit in particular was pretty need, since it also included ear-plugs and a chap-stick.
The amenity kit and inflight-menu
Soon afterwards, food service started. Today, for the entree, we had a choice of chicken, lamb or fish. However, being a vegetarian I had preordered a VLML meal... Some nice creation of veggies and some sort a rice, which tasted a bit exotic... For the dessert, I chose the yummy strawberry icecream, which was just difficult to eat, since it wasn't served in a bowl and the spoon could hardly cut it...
The first meal course - accidentally, my neighbour got my VLML meal - we changed it just after I took this shot...
I was pleasently surprised, that flight attendants were very attentive during the whole 9.40 minute flight - always passing by with drinks and snacks. I actually managed to sleep for 2 hours, and afterwards used the excellent AVOD to watch a movie ("Fracture"). The monitors have a nice size and the quality of the audio system is surprisingly good. The choice of movies wasn't too bad - but having flown with EK before, I wasn't too impressed. Just seems like, EK's entertainment system (and with them, I only flew in Y...) plays in a league for itself...
About 1 hour prior to landing, we got another light meal. I particularily appreciated the fresh fruit.
Getting close to our destination
Starting our descent into the Seattle area.
The chief purser - a very friendly elderly woman - passed along and shook hands with every one of us in C class - thanking for our pratonage - that was pretty funny and also impressive to me.
The downtown Seattle area with the famous Skyneedle
After a rather bumpy approach, we finally touched down on SeaTacs 16L runway around 2.20pm - just 10 minutes behind schedule. In comparison to the approach, the landing itself was so smooth that it could be hardly felt at all.
After a short taxi we pulled into gate S 8 on the south satellite - since we were the only international arrival at that time, immigration took just a few minutes - very nice! However, SeaTac - to me - isn't a really comfortable airport. Having to take the infamous train to the main terminal requires you the recheck your bags and collect them from another carousel in the main terminal. The only remaining smoking section is outside the baggage claim area - in between doors on the curbside...Geez!
Pulling into gate S8
I finally caught my Horizon air flight to Redmond, Oregon at 6.22pm with a Bombardier Q200... Nothing to write home about... but sure alright.
my flight in the new WBC on flight NW 33 was excellent! The brand new A330-300, the clean cabin, the comfy seats, the generous meals, and in particular: the very attentive and friendly FAs made my trip very enjoyable. NW - I'll give you a straight A for that...
Trintocan From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 3297 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 11841 times:
A great trip report there PA101. KL and NW seem to have an almost seamless product quality - and it appears to be very good! You have flown in Business Class too which is always a plus. On an interesting point, you mention the absence of names on American planes. Well, Pan Am used to name their planes but the practice in the US seems to have faded of late, perhaps as the airlines have too many planes to issue names for. Sometimes, though, some employees are honoured by having planes named for them.
thanks for your comments. I'm glad you liked the report!
Yeah, the good old PanAm with their clipper names - I was lucky to have flown with them twice as a kid. I remember to be really keen about getting to read all their names at JFK - unfortunately, back then - as a 10year old - I hadn't had any English class and didn't know what they meant... Today, I just recall Jet Blue having names for their planes, and they are really creative - always using the word "blue" for each one of them... (my favourites include: "Blue Yorker" and "Bravo Lima Uniform Echo"... )
Trintocan From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 3297 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 11811 times:
PA101, I flew Pan Am once as a child too (in 1979) but I do not remember the name on the plane (honestly I did not see it or really look out for it) although they had a major operation in POS and so on many visits to the airport the Clipper names were there for all to see. On one occasion in 1980 I recall seeing 3 of their 707s at POS at the same time!
I have not been to the US in the last 10 years and as such I have missed the meteoric rise of jetBlue and yes, they do creatively name their planes. As such, the practice is alive and well in the US of A.
RoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 11166 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 11589 times:
Thanks for the trip report. NW's service sounds pretty good.
Quoting PA101 (Thread starter): The only remaining smoking section is outside the baggage claim area - in between doors on the curbside...Geez!
That isn't really the airport's fault. It is something true everywhere in Washington State. Smoking has been banned in all public buildings and within 25 feet of any door, so the terminal can't have a smoking area, which makes it pretty difficult if you are a smoker since you can't even smoke on a connection. But that's the way it goes in this state. Smokers are highly discriminated against in an effort to get people to stop smoking.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
Quoting PA101 (Thread starter): The chief purser - a very friendly elderly woman - passed along and shook hands with every one of us in C class - thanking for our pratonage - that was pretty funny and also impressive to me.
- Interesting, never seen that before, think I quite like the idea.
JoCGN From Germany, joined Nov 2005, 36 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 11496 times:
thanks for your trip report. Reminds me of my US trip back in September 2001 which was devoted also to Oregon and which took me to Bend (OR) using UA (CGN(LH portion of course)-FRA-(UA945, a 744 by then)ORD-PDX). I refused to do the last leg from PDX to RDM by plane and drove instead (a decision for which I soon was kicking myself since I was getting very tired and had to take a nap twice - fortunately not while driving - approaching Mount Hood on US20). I had fine summer weather throughout visiting several places in the Cascades, Portland and some places in the direct vicinity of Bend. For the second half of my trip I was planning to visit Big Island (Hawaii) by flying PDX-LAX-KOA but the complete halt in air operations after 9-11 resulted in exchanging the Hawaii experience for an extended stay on the Mainland. So I drove down to San Francisco by car enjoying the scenery along the way. Later I returned to Germany from SFO to DEN, then on the non-stop UA Triple Seven flight (UA964) to FRA and to CGN finally.
RwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3286 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 11388 times:
Nice report, thanks for sharing! NW's long-haul service is pretty good if you're on an A330. It's interesting that you were on the -300 for this flight - they occasionally upgauge on this route but it's somewhat rare. Part of it is that all of NW's A332s are based in SEA.
I've had the pleasure of flying SEA-AMS-SEA a couple of times on NW, but only in Y. Good to see what C is like.
Cool! Sounds like a really memorable trip. Too bad, you Hawaii plans were killed by 9/11 - Hawaii is a real paradise!
I'm a frequent visitor to Central Oregon, as I have real good friends living over here. When I was 16, I lived with them for 10 month as an exchange student - back then, though, they lived in small rural town further north that's called Dufur.
PA101 From Germany, joined Jan 2005, 491 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 10567 times:
People are are tired of getting cancer from second-hand smoke. I shouldn't have to inhale that crap while I eat.
Hey, we are talking about banning smoking outside! That way, you would have to ban traffic etc. pp. as well... And who would get harmed with an extra smoking room inside - such as for transferring passengers?
Thanks a lot!
My experiences with SkyTeam carriers (DL, KL, NW, AZ, AF) have always been good so far...*knockingonwood*...
For this flight, I was actually collecting miles with Delta, getting close to my first free transatlantic trip in J - however, I'll be a few miles short of elite level... so, I'll guess I'll have to take a few more flights soon
CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 9858 times:
Very good report with two airlines that I really like to a great city that I've been too and maybe one of the greatest places to visit. Regarding the registrations of your flights, yes, anytime you fly with most US airlines you have to check their registrations. If you don't see them on the back, you can always watch the front wheel doors or the nose of the aircraft, you'll find out their fleet numbers or sometimes the numbers that match the registration. That reminds me a few years ago when I was flying from PHX to YYZ, I was connecting there from FAT and I didn't have much time...actually I was the last passanger to get in the plane, an AC A321, and I didn't even had "the guts" to look around the windows before I boarded the aircraft. When we landed at YYZ was black night but when I was leaving the plane I saw the fleet number on the tail, then I asked in this forum what registration would it match and a canadian fellow "pumped" me the registration.
I definitely agree! NW is one of the few carriers, whose new livery is a major improvement. The shiny silver looks really elegant - much better than the all to common eurowhite. And you are right - especially the widebodies look awesome!!!
Maybe Delta should hire the NW marketing experts... Three liveries in a row that suck show they don´t know how to do it...