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New Year On KLM World Business Class 747 (Pics!)  
User currently offlineConrad1402 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 64 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

How did you celebrate 2009?

It was December 18th, and with a week until Christmas, I really wanted to jet-off somewhere. My Flying Blue Gold balance was just over 121,000 - and I decided I wanted to use these Miles, or at least some of them, for a once in a lifetime flying trip. I checked out which PromoAwards (for those of you who don't know Flying Blue, PromoAwards are destinations which are usually 50% discounted from the normal mileage redemption rates) were availible, and noticed Detroit and Chicago featuring in the North America section. The carrier, naturally, would be KLM.  Wink

I booked the flights that night, and received my e-ticket confirmation from the Flying Blue Service Center the following day. Total cost, 45,000 miles 300EUR tax.

Itinerary

So here's the flights I would be taking:
EDI-AMS > AMS-DTW (and the following day...)
DTW-ORD > ORD-AMS > AMS-EDI

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 1280.
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800WL
Reg: PH-BGC "Pintail" (built May 2008).
Delivered from the factory, directly to KLM 28/05/2008.

30 December 2008.
Scheduled Departure: 09:50 (Actual: 10:05).
Scheduled Arrival: 12:25 (Actual: 12:25).
Total time: 1hr 35mins (Actual: 1hr 10mins).

Seat: 3A
Cabin: Europe Select



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Photo © Zaninger Jonathan
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Photo © Jens Breuer



Check-in & Security





I arrived at Edinburgh Airport (Scotland) about 2 hours before my flights departure. Recently, KLM and Air France have merged check-in facilities here, and passengers in line may be travelling on the CityJet service to Paris, or KLM to Amsterdam. The Economy Class check in line was extremely long, and completely blocking the Business Class facility. Even after saying "Excuse me." to the Economy passengers, they barely moved. So, I lifted my case, and walked right between them. Finally, when I reached the desk, I only had a 5 minute wait to be checked-in.

It was the usual, non-memorable Servisair customer service again. They are an absolutely awful handling agent, and their staff have absolutely no enthusiasm for what they do. The check-in agent, who thankfully was Scottish and had a reasonable command of the language, had a stern and unimpressed expression.

"Have you visited the Servisair lounge at Edinburgh before?" she forced out.
"Yes, I have." I replied.
"Right." She said, and handed my my lounge invitation.

Security has gone through numerous updates at Edinburgh. On this morning I had no wait at all, and made it through to the scanners instantly. The sign displayed "Your wait will be 3-5 minutes". Upon leaving the security check area, the screen displayed: "You waited less than 5 minutes".

Servisair Lounge at Edinburgh Airport

After changing some currency with Travelex (by the way, have any other Flying Blue members noticed the dramatic decreases in earning rates with Travelex? It's outrageous now), I headed to the Servisair Lounge.



Whilst the decoration is quite tasteful, the facilities aren't the best. The food selection is fairly limited to wrapped biscuits and snacks, and passengers have to leave the lounge to use the general airport toilets. Staff really do lack interest, and during this particular visit they sat behind the desk talking about failed relationships and other staff members. Not the best background noise in a relaxing pre-departure lounge. Not to worry, KL1280 was called on-time, and I made my way down to the gate.

Boarding & Welcome onboard

Boarding was called for Business Class passengers, and those requiring extra assistance. I don't see why anyone not included in these groups needs to congregate at the gate doors. Just be patient...

As I walked down the jetway I could see the purser talking to the dispatcher at the aircraft doors. They both stood aside and as I walked past the purser noticed my KLM aircraft keyring on my hand luggage.

"Ah, a KLM aircraft!" she exclaimed.
"Yep," I replied.
"Welcome onboard sir." She replied with a huge smile.

On this trip in particular, I've noticed that the KLM service is exceptional. KLM crews have always been my favourite in the sky, however with this new 'Journeys of Inspiration' campaign, they've really upped their game. I'm very impressed.



The flight was slightly delayed, for reasons which weren't explained, but the flight deck crew managed to ensure we departed by 10:05. As we waited I could see our neighbouring Continental 757-200 bound for Newark, NJ. This model was delivered to Continental brand-new in May 1997.



Since KLM uses a moveable bulkhead for these European flights the actual seats are the same as those in Economy Class. Although KLM does sell the middle seat in 'Europe Select', I have never flown on a flight where this seat was occupied and on this particular flight I had seats 3A,B,C to myself. Plenty room to stretch out and put my feet up.





Since the aircraft is less than 6 months old, the cabin had a very modern feel, and all the fixtures were in very good condition.



Not long after departure the very professional and efficient purser began the onboard service.

"Mr. Scanlon, would you like a snack?" She asked
"Yes please." I replied



It was one of those infamous ES boxes. However this example was a very pleasant surprise. The food was absolutely delicious, and the dessert, well, as usual with ES was sickeningly sweet. Never mind, it was bearable.

KL1280 Europe Select Box Menu

Cream cheese piadina, salted veal and asparagus with walnut cream.

Pumpkin compote on mango 'kheer' topped with cranberries.

As well as this, I enjoyed an iced glass of Coca-Cola Light and the after meal tea service. The purser brought the tea (in a nice little KLM cup) on a tray, complete with sugar, milk and a stroopkoekje (which are absolutely delicious).





J

Arrival into Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

25 minutes before our scheduled arrival, we began our descent into Amsterdam.













Upon arrival we taxied to our arrival gate D10. The taxi wasn't too long at all, only about 5 minutes - much shorter than a taxi out to the Polderbaan!

We pulled up along side 2 Martinair 763s: one standard and one retro livery.





Upon leaving the aircraft I asked for the aircraft registration as I'd missed it at Edinburgh. The purser told me the registration and the aicraft name in Dutch and English before asking, "Do you take that down on all your flights? That's nice." I love the Dutch charm. This lady delivered some of the best service possibly in the sky, and I'll be writing to KLM in recognition of her efforts.

So I enter the terminal, very pleased with KLM's service this far.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 617.
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200ER
Reg: PH-BQA "Albert Plesman" (built September 2003).
Delivered from the factory, directly to KLM 24/10/2003.

30 December 2008.
Scheduled Departure: 16:10 (Actual: 16:20).
Scheduled Arrival: 19:05 (Actual: 18:35).
Total time: 8hrs 55mins (Actual: 8hrs 10mins).

Seat: 1J
Cabin: World Business Class


Panorama Terrace & New Intercontinental KLM Crown Lounge

I love the simplicity of Schiphol! I easily walked out past Passport Control and into baggage claim area. From here, I walked out into the main departure halls. Any trip to Schiphol wouldn't be complete without a quick visit to Planes Plaza, an absolutely fantastic little shop which I'm sure some of you guys have checked out before.









I managed to get a nice 1:100 KLM 737-900 model, and a cheap DVD on Schiphol. There was so much more I could have bought, I just didn't have the Euros! Oh well, it's always an excuse to come back. . .

Time to head back airside and visit this new Crown Lounge, something I've been very excited about.



PH-KCI Mother Theresa on stand. This aircraft is leased from ILFC.


















By 2pm most of the long-haul flights have departed and the lounge really quietened down. The food select really improved, and not long before I left they brought out a hot plate of rice. The food, although admittedly not overly abundant, was of good quality. The staff in the lounge were always on hand to clear plates and glasses and weren't overly attentive. The lounge had a very relaxed but efficient atmoshphere. The service desk always has staff on hand to help out and there are some exceptional views to be had!

Boarding

At about 15:10 I headed from the lounge down to gate F9 and saw the queue snaking for Economy security. I walked up to the business class lane but the guard lady wasn't paying much attention so I walked right through. She turned to stop me, seen my Gold luggage tag and said "Oh, please... " gesturing for me to take first place in the queue. The security is really very efficient, and once through I headed to the reserved Business Class waiting area.



Boarding was called for "Business Class and families needing assistance." Clearly this wasn't very clear, as the jetway filled with all passengers for the flight in an almighty push. This seemed very dangerous, particularly for these families needing assistance. Considering Business Class was only 8 seats filled, I'm not too convinced there were THAT many families needing assistance. Oh well, I had a nice chat with an older American couple on the bridge about college and my future. It also gave me a great feeling wishing them a pleasant flight, whilst I turned left into WBC and they headed down the aisle into coach.





Welcome Onboard

As I made my way to my seat, 1J, I was greeted by two KLM cabin crew members. They gave a warm welcome onboard with huge smiles - just the KLM service I've grown to love. I stowed my hand luggage, and just as I sat down one of the ladies appeared again with my menu, duty free selection and amenity kit. On my seat already was a nice soft pillow and a blanket. These blankets feel slightly heavier than those on previous flights, and I really like the new feel. As soon as I was comfortable the crew member reappeared and asked if I'd like champagne, orange juice or water. I choice orange juice. KLM has the best orange juice I've tried, so it's an obvious choice for me.











The captain informed us of a slight delay as we needed to be de-iced. Having never been de-iced before, I was quite excited to see this process. He advised us that this process does produce a lot of steam, and not to worry.







KL617 Inflight Dining

Not long after departure the crew member reappeared:

"Mr. Scanlon, what would you like to eat?"
"The chicken, please."
"No problem."





Before the dinner service began I got the usual KLM pre-dinner drinks and nuts. I've never eaten those nuts, as I don't eat nuts, but they're always nicely presented in those little KLM bowls.



STARTER
Crab tartlet.
Presented with curry avacado guacamole, citrus jelly and sourdough crisps.



MAIN COURSE

A choice of...

Miso glazed salmon.
Offered with soya butter, fennel creme and cabbage.

OR

Slow-cooked breast of chicken.
Enhanced by tarragon gravy, potatoes fondant and puree of green peas.

OR

Slow-cooked pork belly.
Topped with an Asian barbeque sauce served with potato mousseline, spinach and lentils.

As I've already mentioned, I opted for the chicken.





DESSERT
We invite you to select your choice of a sweet dish, cheese or fresh fruit from our dessert trolley.

I chose the sweet dish, which was absolutely delicious. I really was very impressed with this dish. I'm not entirely sure what it was, and as usual neither were the KLM crew who usually say "some kinda pie..."







Once all the meal dishes had been cleared, the crew came round offering a tea/coffee service. I opted for tea and she presented me with a wooden tea box containing all kinds of tea.









Then came a nice little touch. The crew brought round a box of fine chocolates, opened to all passengers to pick one they'd like.



Finally, the mineral water distributed after the meal has changed from Vittel to Chaudfontaine. Not that I really noticed a difference. . . I just wish they'd give you a water glass, instead of that cheap plastic cup!





Mid-flight the crew distributed ice cream, or a vegetable stick. I chose the ice cream



HOT SNACK
Shortly before landing a snack was served.

%u25A0 Lamb calzone

OR

%u25A0 Moroccan flatbread with falafel

I opted for the flatbread, but only because the choices weren't exactly apetising. The featured country was Morocco for this period.





It was edible, but nothing special. I'd prefer it if they offered something a little more in keeping with the passengers. Moroccan flatbread isn't exactly a Dutch/US favourite - although it's probably better than hamburgers in World Business Class!

Arrival into DTW



After the snack it wasn't long before we were making our approach into Detroit. The flight was very smooth on the way down, and was most comfortable. The crew distributed the Delft Blue Houses. On this occassion I got number 29, as well as the nice little booklet which includes the 89th house released.





Finally, the scene as we disembarked KL617. Another great World Business Class flight, with exceptional crew. KLM really hit the spot on this flight. Although, given that the flight was 22% full in WBC, this definitely added to the experience and made it far more exclusive.

As the few WBC passengers were first off the aircraft, we had no wait at security in Detroit. I walked right on up to a lovely young (and very good looking) border protection guard, Bonas. We chatted about the Delta merger, the Northwest 747 and frequent flyer miles! Luggage took a little while to come through, which was a bit frustrating, especially when luggage is arriving at two belts.

Northwest Airlines 3527.
Aircraft: Bombardier CRJ-900.

31 December 2008.
Scheduled Departure: 13:35 (Actual: 14:05).
Scheduled Arrival: 13:54 (Actual: 13:55).
Total time: 1hr 19mins (Actual: 49mins).

Seat: 1A
Cabin: First Class



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Photo © Cory W Watts
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Photo © Andy Egloff



After spending the night at the Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport, I woke the next morning at about 9am. The hotel is absolutely excellent, in very nice condition and with spectacular views. I never tried any of the dining options, looked a little expensive, but the hotel was of an impressive size and the convenience of the exclusive security entrance makes it a great little touch.

The view from my room:
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I checked in and made my way to security...

"Oh, I guess Northwest like ya!" said the guard. And then I seen at the bottom of my boarding card SSSS. It was nothig big, really. Just checked my shoes, inside my bag and scanned my passport. Then it was through to the loooooooong terminal and the A gates.

No trip to DTW would be quite right without a trip on the Express Tram. Currently, it's red with the Northwest logo. Give them time, it's gonna be Delta soon...  Sad Speaking of Delta, I never seen the 747 in new Delta colours on this visit. I still think the NW 747 is much better looking anyway!

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Since I was departing from a B gate, I had to walk through the sound and light tunnel to the B/C concourses.

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Our flight was announced as overbooked and delayed. Passengers were offered $300 travel voucher to take the 7pm flight. Since my connection to Amsterdam on KLM was departing Chicago at 7.35pm, I couldn't take the offer.

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Our aircraft on the gate. Damn those dots on the windows! One thing I noticed at Detroit was the cold temperatures. Whenever a flight was boarding, and the gate door opened, a rush of cold air would fill the concourse.

I decided to visit the WorldClub at this concourse. After checking my passport and boarding pass, and even my Flying Blue Gold card, the agent said:

"Unfortunately, I cannot let you in to the lounge as you are under 21."
"Oh..." I replied, not really knowing what to say.

Perhaps I should of checked up before whether I would be admitted, however considering KLM and Air France offer access to any age I never really expected to be turned away. So what if they offer open bar? Can passengers who are not the legal age not be trusted? Especially when I'm one of the youngest Flying Blue Elite Plus members, I'd expect to be able to enjoy my priviledges.  Angry

Northwest 3527

Finally boarding was called. After a chilling walk down the bridge I boarded the CRJ 900. This aircraft is unbelievably cramped onboard. And the overhead bins? Well, they're not of functional size.

The seats in First are generally comfortable, however the service of Mesaba is even worse than Northwest on domestic hops.

"Would you like something to drink sir?" The lead flight attendant said before take-off.
"Yes, ginger ale please." I replied
"What?" she asked.
"Ginger ale?" I confirmed.
"A WHAT?!" she shouted, making a strange face as if I'd asked for something completely inappropriate.
"GINGER. ALE." I said, rather embarassed at her outrageous response.
"Oh, ginger ale" she said.

Maybe my sexy Scottish accent is a little too strong Wink, or maybe she's a little deaf. Either way, she could have been far more pleasant about my order. Perhaps Mesaba should add "Pardon?" or "Could you repeat that please?" to their training program.  Smile

"Ladies and Gentlemen, as the flying time is only 47 minutes today, we shall not be commencing a main cabin service. Individual requests will be dealt with." Another disappointment.

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Worlwide reliability... Wink
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The legroom isn't much for First. I never tried Coach, but I imagine it isn't any better.
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We arrived into Chicago and made a very smooth landing. The aircraft does fly very well, however the cabin service and features weren't to the same standard. We taxied to the gate and disembarked quickly. Luggage was through by the time I reached the baggage claim area.

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Time to take the express train to the International Terminal 5.

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KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 612.
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400M (Mixed Configuration).
Reg: PH-BFS "Seoul".
Delivered from the factory, directly to KLM 15/10/1996.

31 December 2008.
Scheduled Departure: 19:35 (Actual: 19:40).
Scheduled Arrival: 10:10 (Actual: 09:45).
Total time: 7hr 35mins (Actual: 7hr 10mins).

Seat: 77A
Cabin: World Business Class



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Photo © Jan Vet
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Photo © Snorre - VAP



So I arrived from Terminal 2 into the International Terminal (5) by the speedy train. I was impressed with how easy Chicago airport is to navigate around, and the train between the terminals is regular and reliable.

I arrived before check-in had been opened, however a queue had already formed. There was a dedicated lane for WBC and Elites:

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Check in was perfect. Great service, very attractive check-in girl and very efficient.

"Mr Scanlon, you are seated on the Upper Deck is that okay?" she asked.
"That's perfect." I replied Big grin

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Security was a drag. There was no priority scanning for Business Class passengers, but I had a while until depature. Once cleared I headed for the lounge. KLM use the Air France lounge at Chicago which is decorated like most other Air France lounges. The furniture was like that I'd sample at Munich Franz Josef Strauss only a month before.

I thought I'd have a snack and some more ginger ale:
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An American 777 in view of the lounge:
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After some time, the lounge staff brought out a tray of cheese and ham sandwiches which were very good. The drink selection is extensive however the reading material is largely French. The nice lady behind the desk chatted with the passengers, and even offered information as to how busy our flight would be.

Our aircaft PH-BFS arriving from Amsterdam as KL611:
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Since it was dark outside there was an irritating reflection on the windows:
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The boarding time stated on the boarding card wasn't quite followed, however seeing the 747-400 Combi loading cargo in the rear section was a nice view. Soon enough, the lounge agent came round every passenger, wished us a happy new year, and asked us to proceed to the gate for boarding. Our boarding gate was M8.

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KL612 - Spending New Years in the sky

"Good evening! Welcome onboard. Row 77. Ah, right upstairs sir. Thank you."

That bubbly KLM welcome was something I'd missed on Mesaba. Is it their Dutch nature, or do KLM provide some crazy crew training. Either way, the standard of cabin service is always exceptional.

As I climbed the stairs I was greeted at the top with a wide smile -
"Hello, welcome onboard." Another warm welcome.

77A looked perfect. When I'd booked with Flying Blue, they offered me any seat. I'd requested Upper Deck and the agent had favoured 77A. Definitely worth taking his advice!

The cabin crew brought me a menu and amenity kit. The same cosy blanket and pillow were already on my seat. This flight was pretty quiet, and with an empty seat next to me I knew I could use the extra pillows.  Smile

The usual offering of orange juice, champagne or water was made. Mmm, KLM orange juice. Does anybody know which brand they use? I remember some time ago it was Granini? I definitely need to get my hands on some.

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A view of the Upper Deck:
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KL612 Inflight dining

Not long after before departure the purser appeared:

"Mr. Scanlon, what would you like to eat?"
"The chicken, please."
"No problem."

The usual service of KLM pre-dinner nuts. Again, I never ate them, but they were equally well presented as before. I settled for some more iced ginger ale:

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STARTER
Trio of salmon.
Salmon confit, peppered salmon and smoked salmon stuffed with goats cheese

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MAIN COURSE

A choice of...

Beef tenderloin.
With blue cheese crust offered with roasted potatoes and glazed baby carrots with marsala

OR

Maple-smoked salmon.
Presented with mashed sweet potatoes and a medley of vegetables.

OR

Breast of chicken.
Filled with spinach and Boursin cheese served with haricots verts and white and wild rice medley.

As I've already mentioned, I opted for the chicken.

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DESSERT
We invite you to select your choice of a sweet dish or a fresh fruit salad with garnish.

I chose the sweet dish, however I still got a plate with fruit salad to accompany the dessert. It was some kind of chocolate cheesecake, maybe? It was very rich, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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At midnight (Chicago time) the crew raised the lights slightly, and wished all passengers a happy new year. Some continued to sleep, however I stayed awake for champagne and a handshake/kiss from the crew. It was a nice little touch, and showed how the crew were involved with the passengers. Ah well, back to sleep. . .

Sleeping comfort

In my opinion, I find the KLM World Business Class seat very comfortable. Yes, there may be slightly better products out there. But there is no perfect airline company in today's market. Whilst AF or BA may offer increased seat comfort, their inflight cabin service, hubs or inflight dining may well be inferior to KLM.

I fully reclined my chair after dinner and positioned everything for a comfortable rest. The cabin was very quiet considering the power of the 747, and I was sleeping like a baby in a matter of minutes. And that's where this report gets a lot quieter...

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The seat is identical to that of the 777 and A330. I'd love to try the new seats on the 77W, but hopefully I'll try that out soon.

BREAKFAST

Savoury dish
Blue cheese and craisin strata

Sweet dish
Cream cheese pineapple danish

As well as this came the usual assorted hot rolls, fruit salad and breakfast drinks. KLM catering haven't quite perfected breakfast, although they're a lot better than that of Air France. I just found the tray a little bland, and not much effort on presentation.

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Arrival into Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

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"Cabin crew... take your seats."
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After arrival I visited the Upper Deck galley to get my Delft House for this flight. I'd been sleeping when the crew had issued them. I thanked the crew member once again, shook her hand, and made my way downstairs. The purser was standing at the door.

"Did you enjoy it?" she said, grinning.
"Yes, thank you. Happy New Year." I replied.
"Goodbye sir."

I took a look back at the aircraft from the bridge and it seemed more impressive in daylight:
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I took a quick trip to the panorama terrace before my connecting flight back to Edinburgh:
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KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 1281 (Operated by KLM Cityhopper).
Aircraft: Embraer 190.
Reg: PH-EZB.
Delivered from the factory, directly to KLM Cityhopper 16/12/2008.

1 January 2009.
Scheduled Departure: 12:50 (Actual: 13:00).
Scheduled Arrival: 13:25 (Actual: 13:25).
Total time: 1hr 35mins (Actual: 1hr 25mins).

Seat: 3A
Cabin: Europe Select



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Photo © Florian Kondziela
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Photo © Carl Hendriks - MST-Aviation



I was pretty tired for this little hop back to Scotland, however it was great to try out KLM's latest bird - the Embraer 190. It is a very attractive aircraft, particularly when parked next to those old Fokkers. Since the arrival of the E190, the Fokkers have began to exit the KLM Cityhopper flight for storage.

After spending sometime in the KLM Crown Lounge, I made my way to my boarding gate at D6:
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The aircraft was slightly delayed due to a computer shutdown, however we still made a fast take off and climb out over the coast. The aircraft interior was rather disappointing. Seats aren't terribly comfortable, and although the cabin is clean, the features are pretty basic. I made a visit to the toilet, which was very nice, but also very small.

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The old bird next door:
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We were served another random combination as an ES box:
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The E190 cabin:
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The rest of the flight was fairly uneventful, and as we made our way into Edinburgh it was fairly cloudy. Touchdown was perfect, and our taxi to the gate was about 5 minutes. The service on these flights is never quite like that experienced on intercontinental WBC, however the flight attendant was curteous and well-presented.

TRIP CONCLUSION -
New Year on KLM World Business Class 747.


Absolutely fantastic. 8.5/10 for this trip.
The Business Class breakfast stopped KLM for scoring 10, as well as the slightly disorganised boarding at Amsterdam.



Thank you for reading. All feedback appreciated.
conrad1402.


40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJetBlueGuy2006 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1661 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great Report, I love the tunnel at DTW


What I found interesting at the KLM/NW counter at ORD, the NW signage is the old one. I am surprised they never updated it.



Home Airport: Capital Region International Airport (KLAN)
User currently offlineLHboyatDTW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Very nice report.

I really want to see KLM stay in DTW amidst the merger mania. It would make an excellent alternative to AF, LH or DL.


User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5873 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Nice report!
I love KLM.
I like the ERJ-170/190, but haven't flow on City Hopper's. Actually, one of my favorite things about City Hopper is the Fokker fleet... in spite of the fact that I've been delayed for mechanical (and once an air-turnback) on 3 out of 4 flights in the last year. In fact, I've only ever had ONE ontime KLM Fokker flight.... but, I still really enjoy flying in those airplanes, once they actually leave the ground.


User currently offlineLfutia From Netherlands, joined Dec 2002, 3345 posts, RR: 30
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):

So I arrived from Terminal 2 into the International Terminal (5) by the speedy train. I was impressed with how easy Chicago airport is to navigate around, and the train between the terminals is regular and reliable.

Nice trip report, as an employee at ORD, you'd be surprised at how many times I have to repeat myself to give people directions! Our signage sucks and on top of that, nobody takes the time to actually stop and look up and use some common sense.

Other than that, Glad you enjoyed ORD! KLM is my favourite airline and yes sometimes i like to sneak into the lounge just to take some Dutch newspapers to read!

Leo



Leo/ORD -- Groetjes uit de VS! -- Heeft u laatst nog met KLM gevlogen?
User currently offlineTwoLz2Rn From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 452 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great pics!

Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
My Flying Blue Gold balance was just over 121,000

How in the world have you racked up that many miles! I only wish I could to fly that much!

Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
Considering Business Class was only 8 seats filled

Do you know what the load was like in Y?


User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 39
Reply 6, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

A great trip report on my favorite European airline.

It looks like KLM has finally stepped up their game in regards to catering. I always found it to be one of the weakest aspects of KLM. The desserts look so much better than the dry cakes I got used to.

Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
Speaking of Delta, I never seen the 747 in new Delta colours on this visit. I still think the NW 747 is much better looking anyway!

I have seen it in person and I assure you it does not look any better. NW had such a wonderful livery, shame to see it turned into Euro-white.

Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
Perhaps I should of checked up before whether I would be admitted, however considering KLM and Air France offer access to any age I never really expected to be turned away. So what if they offer open bar? Can passengers who are not the legal age not be trusted? Especially when I'm one of the youngest Flying Blue Elite Plus members, I'd expect to be able to enjoy my priviledges.

Good to see I was not the only one to get turned away. I am 26 now, but I used to fly KL/NW quite a bit during my college days. My ID is still checked every single time, I must look really young or something. However I figured out a trick, if one agent said "no, your under 21," try another one of the NW lounges. It was a 50/50 for me when it came to the WorldClubs agents. I always got in somehow.

Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
Whilst AF or BA may offer increased seat comfort, their inflight cabin service, hubs or inflight dining may well be inferior to KLM.

I am by no means an AF fan and think far more highly of KL, but I have to say AF catering far surpasses anything KL can dump on a plate. I have written a few trip report on KL and AF in Business, feel free to check them out to see what I am talking about regarding the catering. However in every other aspect, KL is the winner, especially cabin crew.

Again great trip report, I really miss flying KLM. I still have a huge amount of miles in my Flying Blue account but I never get to fly them anymore.

SR 103


User currently offlinePumaknight From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great TR....I was suprised to hear you didn't get into the lounge....first time I have heard taht. Maybe becouse you were unaccompanied by an adult over 21????

User currently offlineSketty222 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1778 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report and some nice pics. Ive only flown KLM once and that was NCL-AMS. I flew in Business and I must admit that looking at what they served you to and from EDI, it confirms my suspicions that they serve some of the weirdest food in that cabin.


There's flying and then there's flying
User currently offlineCAP2008 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report! KL's TATL WBC product looks much better than NW's, even though they're branded the same  Confused

That's a shame about the lounge in DTW, I believe people <21 can get in with someone over 21 though. If you wrote KL and complaind, you could probably get some free miles Big grin

That also sucks about the service you received on Mesaba, but considering what those people get paid, that's almost to be expected. I just hate how more and more used-to-be "mainline only" routes are being taken over by the regionals, the service just isn't as good as mainline, the planes are more cramped, and you're more likely to be delayed. Not a good combination.



The mother of the last KC-135 pilot has yet to be born.
User currently offlineELAL772 From Israel, joined Jun 2008, 158 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report! sounds (and looks) like you had a great trip!!!

User currently onlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17079 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great TR

Like the pics

Seems you had great flights with KLM

Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
At midnight (Chicago time) the crew raised the lights slightly, and wished all passengers a happy new year. Some continued to sleep, however I stayed awake for champagne and a handshake/kiss from the crew. It was a nice little touch, and showed how the crew were involved with the passengers

That is very nice. BA didnt do anything like that when I flew from LAX to LHR (31 dec-1jan)


Thank you for sharing

B747forever



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineHenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Ah, my fellow KLM lover! Looks like you treated yourself good for 'only' 45K miles. I love that about FB: the web promo's.

By the way: be careful with pictures of your boarding pass displaying your full name and e-ticket number... A mediocre hacker can easily get your FB number and subsequent data with just that information. Nothing to worry about here maybe, but just in case.

Hope you have a lot more fun with the ladies and gents in blue.



Wherever you go, there you are!
User currently offlineConrad1402 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 1):
Great Report, I love the tunnel at DTW

- Thanks for your feedback. It's awesome! I always check it out when I'm transferring at DTW.

Quoting LHboyatDTW (Reply 2):
I really want to see KLM stay in DTW amidst the merger mania. It would make an excellent alternative to AF, LH or DL.

- Definitely! I guess only time will tell. I sure hope DL don't swap the AMS route 330s for their own 763s. I've not tried LH on this route, but I'm not a huge *A fan.

Quoting TwoLz2Rn (Reply 5):
How in the world have you racked up that many miles! I only wish I could to fly that much!

- This year has included a lot of travelling for me. I always get a surprised look, or strange tone over the phone, when contacting Flying Blue. I guess it's because I'm only 17...

Quoting TwoLz2Rn (Reply 5):
Do you know what the load was like in Y?

- Y was about 80% full. The equipment on this route has now been downgraded to the A332 again.

Quoting Sketty222 (Reply 8):
it confirms my suspicions that they serve some of the weirdest food in that cabin

- Those ES boxes are made up of some crazy combinations. The dessert is always sickeningly sweet. On slightly longer sectors (I think over 2hours...) you're served a hot meal and a snack. This is of a considerably higher quality. However on those UK routes in Business, it's simply the boxes.

Quoting CAP2008 (Reply 9):
KL's TATL WBC product looks much better than NW's, even though they're branded the same  

- I find this very strange too. The NW WBC seat is entirely different to KL. In terms of cabin service, well, I don't think NW really compare. Maybe they benefit from some economies of scale by branding everything NW/KL WBC. I don't see many parallels in the actual features though.

Quoting B747forever (Reply 11):
That is very nice. BA didnt do anything like that when I flew from LAX to LHR (31 dec-1jan)

- I expect something, but this was an extra special touch. It's a shame BA never done anything like that. The crew were very friendly on-board, and the intimacy of the Upper Deck made it feel like an exclusive party.

Quoting Henkybaby (Reply 12):
I love that about FB: the web promo's.

- Yes, they're excellent compared with the standard redemption rates. I've not seen any AF PromoAwards for quite some time, only ever seems to be KLM as the carrier. Not that I'm complaining...

Quoting Henkybaby (Reply 12):
Hope you have a lot more fun with the ladies and gents in blue.

- Well I'm not booked to fly KL again until March, in Y, to Washington-Dulles. I'd love to spend some miles on an Award to Asia, but only Hong Kong is on Promo just now.  Sad
Oh, and thanks for the tip about boarding cards, Henkybaby.  Wink


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8561 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report and pictures, thanks for sharing.

An interesting way to spend NYE, quite like the idea myself, not sure the wife would agree though  Sad

I'm still not overly sold on the KL J product, the cabin, seats, food etc just don't work for me.

Nice to get the new 190, great planes IMO.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineKappel From Suriname, joined Jul 2005, 3533 posts, RR: 17
Reply 15, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
Seat: 77A
Cabin: World Business Class

I booked AMS-PBM-AMS today for next month and on the PBM-AMS leg I have reserved the very same seat! According to seatguru row 77 has the best WBC seats on KL's 744's. Glad to see you also enjoyed it!  bigthumbsup 

Quoting Conrad1402 (Reply 13):
- Yes, they're excellent compared with the standard redemption rates. I've not seen any AF PromoAwards for quite some time, only ever seems to be KLM as the carrier. Not that I'm complaining...

The flights I mentioned above are also booked with webpromo's, excellent value indeed!  bigthumbsup 



L1011,733,734,73G,738,743,744,752,763,772,77W,DC855,DC863,DC930,DC950,MD11,MD88,306,319,320,321,343,346,ARJ85,CR7,E195
User currently offlineMikeSA From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 42 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I recently flew first for my first time on NWA this week. I had volunteered on my flight on Sunday which was originally delta . The next day on my new flight, it got canceled. I opted to get re-routed instead of SLC-RAP to SLC-MSP-RAP. I got upgraded both times, Wasn't impressed with the food on the NWA 320, seeing that it was the same ruben I've had before on Delta. Any Idea what the "SSSS" mean? I had that on both my boarding passes... I wasn't too impressed with the F cabin on the CRJ 900, nice plane- although I was too tired to enjoy the 50 min flight. Not sure why they write ok next to the SSSS, any idea?


http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj95/michael51886/nwa.jpg

[Edited 2009-01-15 19:10:54]


GO SA Springboks!!!
User currently offlineVivekman2006 From India, joined May 2006, 541 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Excellent Trip Report! KLM service seems top-notch! And good to see you got to fly on different aircraft types on all your sectors.....Great job!  Smile

- Vivek


User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4273 posts, RR: 51
Reply 18, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi
nice to read another KLM Business Class report. Thanks!
Pictures were great, food looked good. I envy you, since you got Australian icecream. One of my favourites!  Smile On my flight from Japan back home, they only serve a Japanese brand vanilla ice.
btw, I think you are the first one reporting a little on the KLC Emb-190. PH-EZB was in service for just a couple of weeks when you took that flight. I hope to get on one soon. Also the CRJ900 is a nice addition to the log.

Personally I don't like 77A due to the emergency door. You also miss a window. But that's just personal opinion.

OK, my next flight is in early Feb on the B772, seat 1F  Sad Others not available at the moment... It seems business is doing well for KLM on some routes.

Cheers,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineConrad1402 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 14):
I'm still not overly sold on the KL J product, the cabin, seats, food etc just don't work for me.

- Oh well, if you ever find a good offer with KL I'd recommend you try it out. I definitely prefer the Dutch hospitality over anything offered in Club World, and I'm British. Each to their own however...

Quoting MikeSA (Reply 16):
Any Idea what the "SSSS" mean?

- I believe it stands for Secondary Security Screening Selection. I could be wrong however, but I'm sure I've heard it being that before...

Quoting MikeSA (Reply 16):
I got upgraded both times

- Nice job. From your boarding cards I can see you're a Silver Elite member? I've been upgraded automatically on all my domestic flights on NW metal, apart from one flight DTW-MCO where I had to be upgraded at the gate. It was no problem though...

Quoting MikeSA (Reply 16):
I wasn't too impressed with the F cabin on the CRJ 900

- As I've said in this report, it really was nothing special. It felt very cramped, and I'm not quite sure what those overhead bins are for... an umbrella maybe? They certainly wouldn't accommodate some hand luggage on my flight, with around 15 pieces being tagged at the gate for the hold. Also on this flight the flight attendant disposed of unwanted drinks down the lavatory! Just chucked the fluid out of the cup and down the toilet... Is this normal practice? It certainly didn't look great for the company image.

Quoting Vivekman2006 (Reply 17):
KLM service seems top-notch! And good to see you got to fly on different aircraft types on all your sectors

- KLM's service is what keeps me flying with them. Although given the forthcoming changes in Flying Blue, I expect to change to a programme where my loyalty will be better valued - I really don't think it's fair having to pay Full Fare tickets just for 100% mileage accrual?!
I always try to take in as many aircraft as possible... nobody likes a repeat performance on the return TR, so I took the hop down to Chicago so I could try out the 747. I'm glad I did!

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 18):
OK, my next flight is in early Feb on the B772, seat 1F   Others not available at the moment... It seems business is doing well for KLM on some routes.

- Don't worry, I usually manage to find a better seat at the Self-Transfer kiosks in Schiphol. Where are you flying out to? I'm planning another trip in February... Perhaps on the 77W and 747 to Dubai. I'm anxious to try out the 'new' WBC on the 77W. The Detroit route has since been downgraded back to A332 equipment, however KLM seem to be getting good loads in these hard times. Journeys of Inspiration, their new advertising image, certainly works for me... Those girls (maybe less so for the boys) in blue certainly inspired me to fly with my favourite airline again!


User currently offlineElevate From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 144 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 9 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Superb report, Conrad1402.

I was very impressed by KLM's economy product in November, and judging your report, their J class is vastly better!

Sam


User currently offlineConrad1402 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (5 years 9 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Elevate (Reply 20):
I was very impressed by KLM's economy product in November, and judging your report, their J class is vastly better!

Thanks Elevate! I definitely agree. KLM's Economy Class product has been come under many reviews since obtaining it's first Boeing 777-200ER back in 2003, and the merger with Air France in 2004. They seem to be going from strength to strength... does anybody know when the next 77W is to be delivered?


User currently offlineConrad1402 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

Oh, and one other question...
Can anybody predict the PromoAwards for June/July time, or do we have to wait until they are published? Maybe any FB insiders would know this!
DTW seems to be a regular North American destination. I sure hope it stays on offer.


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6824 posts, RR: 77
Reply 23, posted (5 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Conrad,

great report, enjoyed reading a lot.

Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
Total cost, 45,000 miles 300EUR tax.

That's a great deal.

Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
KLM crews have always been my favourite in the sky, however with this new 'Journeys of Inspiration' campaign, they've really upped their game.

I can only agree - KLM crews belong to my favorites, too.

Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
"Would you like something to drink sir?" The lead flight attendant said before take-off.
"Yes, ginger ale please." I replied
"What?" she asked.
"Ginger ale?" I confirmed.
"A WHAT?!" she shouted, making a strange face as if I'd asked for something completely inappropriate.
"GINGER. ALE." I said, rather embarassed at her outrageous response.
"Oh, ginger ale" she said.

Strange reaction.

Anyway, what's better than an ice cold ginger ale on a flight?  Wink

Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
After a chilling walk down the bridge I boarded the CRJ 900.

Hopefully the DC-9-40 scheduled for my upcoming ORD-DTW flight won't be switched to one of those CRJs...

Quoting Conrad1402 (Thread starter):
The aircraft interior was rather disappointing. Seats aren't terribly comfortable, and although the cabin is clean, the features are pretty basic.

How was the seat pitch?

Quoting Conrad1402 (Reply 21):
does anybody know when the next 77W is to be delivered?

PH-BVC is scheduled for delivery in March, PH-BVD will follow in June.

Quoting MikeSA (Reply 16):
Any Idea what the "SSSS" mean? I had that on both my boarding passes... I wasn't too impressed with the F cabin on the CRJ 900, nice plane- although I was too tired to enjoy the 50 min flight. Not sure why they write ok next to the SSSS, any idea?

Have a look at this - you can't see the pictures any more, but you'll find a text passage about "SSSS":
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/trip_reports/read.main/102756


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineKL642 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 350 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (5 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I read your report with extreme interest as I will be taking the same two KL flights as you did in Business Class later this month. It was a very well written and put together report. I'm glad to know what to expect. Where in the terminal is Plane's Plaza?
Alex


25 Conrad1402 : KLM (and KLM Cityhopper) use a moveable bulkhead between Europe Select and Economy Class. The number of rows dedicated to Europe Select can be altere
26 SK601 : The seatpitch in Europe Select is 34". If they have a limited Europe Select cabin, some m-class pax are "lucky" and have a bit more room. Only for ma
27 Conrad1402 : Yeah, that's what I meant... Sorry! You can't miss it. Just look for the aircraft fuselage, landing gear and engine which make up the store. You can
28 KL642 : I asked for a window seat and was allocated 2K on the lower deck. My first time up front on a 747! I will definitely be spending time up on the Panora
29 Conrad1402 : The lower deck cabin of the KL 744 is preferred by some, as it's a little more intimate. Generally speaking, I prefer the Upper Deck. If there is a s
30 KL642 : She started with KLM in 1952 in New York . When I was a kid growing up she was in cargo sales and eventually became cargo marketing manager. If I reme
31 Sankaps : I flew on a number of long-haul flights on KLM's 744, 777, and A330 WBC last year, and I must say I was *completely* unimpressed by their WBC hard pr
32 Azjubilee : FYI - service on NWA Airlink is as dictated by NWA. They set the service parameters to be aligned with mainline. All short flights under a certain tim
33 Conrad1402 : - Having never tried NW's WBC product, I cannot make a comparison. To the eye, I think the NW seat is far more pleasing and boasts more privacy than
34 Sankaps : Unfortunately, with KLM moving to 3-4-3 in economy on the 777-300ERs, I think the economy experience will be significantly diminished in the future.
35 Conrad1402 : Whilst I think the KLM 777-300ER in KLM livery is absolutely stunning on the outside, I'm disappointed to learn that their configuration in Economy C
36 Azjubilee : Conrad - you get the same EXACT product on mainline and Airlink flights. Aside from programming robots to do all inflight service and as long as human
37 Post contains images Conrad1402 : Regardless of the service arrangements between Airlink carriers and mainline Northwest service, I am still certain that the service on this flight was
38 Conrad1402 : Will the Northwest Airlink aircraft become Delta Connection?
39 KaiGywer : Somebody already answered what it means. However, you are supposed to be subjected to this extra screening, but because you were rerouted involuntari
40 Conrad1402 : That's a shame. I always preferred the NW livery. I'm actually at AMS right now, in the KL Crown Lounge 52 and there's a NW 330 parked in Delta colou
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