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KLM A330 Jumpseat + Business Class (pics/video)  
User currently offlineAviator86 From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 45 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 8 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 29486 times:

As I was bored from visiting my parents in Sweden, I decided to take a quick ride to Vancouver to visit some friends and go Skiing in Whistler. Therefore, I used up almost all my flying blue miles to book a business class return ticket from ARN to YVR via AMS. KLM/Air France are very generous with their promo awards@ and with 45000 miles, I was ready to go. However, they still do charge you a ridiculous 330 Euro for taxes and so on.......bla bla. Can't be all that bad though considering flying business class and on the jumpseat both ways. Before you ask how I managed to get the jumpseat, please be aware that I am a pilot myself and that I have strong connections within KLM. Otherwise it would have been virtually impossible to get a ride up front.

Since I will be uploading many pictures, I will let them do most of the talking. If you have any questions, then please ask me.  Smile


January 13, 2009

ARN-AMS
KL1108
Scheduled departure time: 0950 (0935 actual)
Scheduled landing time: 1200 (1125 actual)
Class: Europe Select
Seat no: 3A and then 1F
Aircraft: B737-406 Reg: PH-BDY "Vasco da Gama"
PAX: 66% full

After checking in fairly early and passing through customs at Stockholm's Arlanda airport, I made my way to the Menzies lounge situated between Pier A and B of terminal 5. At around 0900 (50 minutes before the scheduled departure time), a lady asked if there were any passengers on the KLM 1108 flight to Amsterdam, that they should go to gate 12 immediately as it was already ready to leave. As a result, we departed Arlanda from runway 19R 15 minutes ahead of schedule.

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Schiphol airport and KLM Crown lounge:

Schiphol is a huge airport, (one of my favourites actually) and it gives you a "mall" feeling when you are there. Nice restaurants, lots of shops, bars, casinos.....The Crown Lounge (1 out of the 3 at Schiphol) itself was really fresh. If I am not mistaken, it was recently renovated. Some features include open bar, buffet, free internet, entertainment room, resting room, showers....

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AMS-YVR
KL681
Scheduled departure time: 1535 (1625 actual)
Scheduled landing time: 1630 (1635 actual)
Class: World Business
Seat no: 2J
Aircraft: A330-203 Reg: PH-AOH "Senaatintori - Helsinki"
PAX: 100% full

An hour before departure, I walked down to gate F07 and was more than happy to be able to skip the huge queue. A few minutes later the flight crew showed up and I was surprised to see that the first officer was the same guy on board a previous flight I had on the flightdeck. Since I couldn't help myself, I made my way up to the crew and surprisingly enough, the FO recognized me first. The four of us (captain, FO and SO) talked for a while under the eyes of the rest of the passengers. Later on, the SO came and picked me up from my seat to take me into the flight deck for the last five hours or so...

After pushback and engine start-up, we had to taxi to a remote stand as the crew realized they did not have enough water onboard, hence the 50 minutes delay at Schiphol  Yeah sure.

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Overall the service was perfect. I have never travelled on Business Class before and I must admit that I now know why it is so expensive. Everyone is so much friendlier towards you and you don't really see or experience the "hassle" of travelling long haul. Not to mention the food onboard! 5 stars! The seats were really good too. At first they looked quite cheap but once you sit on them and lie back, it actually feels really good. I think the total seat recline is about 170 and sleeping was not an issue.

The landing itself was really sweet. We made a CATIII autoland on runway 26R. The weather outside really sucked though (visibility 200 meters in fog) and there were no real light conditions. Since I did not want to risk disturbing the crew with flashes, there are no pictures, sorry! However, there will be some from the landing at AMS.


January 20, 2009

Having spent a wonderful week in Vancouver (weather could have been better though), it was time to head back to Stockholm for another week before returning to Australia. I got to the airport quite late as my friend and I underestimated the rush hour in Vancouver. There weren't any problems at check in though and I ran straight to the gate.

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YVR-AMS
KL682
Scheduled departure time: 1830 (1845 actual)
Scheduled landing time: +1305 (1245 actual)
Class: World Business
Seat no: 7J
Aircraft: A330-203 Reg: PH-AOI "Plaza de la Independencia - Madrid"
PAX: 50% full

After a looooooooooong taxi in almost zero visibility, we departed runway 26L non stop to Amsterdam. Passing 200 feet however, all was clear again.

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Two or so hours into the flight, the second officer came back and sat on the empty seat next to me. We talked for a long while and shared a lot of flying experiences. Interestingly enough, he was only 22 (my age) and is flying A330s! After a long talk he invited me up to the flightdeck....

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Requesting oceanic clearance. Sorry for the light, I am not the best photographer as you can probably tell.
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Yepp, pilots are also bad ass!
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I have to admit though that I got a bit tired after a while and decided to go back for some sleep and breakfast....

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Went back for the landing of course. I had previously hoped for runway 18R due to the long taxi, and luckily that is what we got. The female first officer kissed the Polderbaan and taxied to gate D47...

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CLICK HERE FOR THE SHORT VIDEO CLIP

I did not bother to write the trip report for AMS-ARN since I was really, really tired. The whole trip though was completely worth it and it was the best way to spend the 330 Euros. I would like to dedicate this report to the friendly KLM crew and especially to the pilots.

Any comments or questions are more than welcome!

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineELAL772 From Israel, joined Jun 2008, 158 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 8 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 29295 times:

Hi Amir, great report!!!

How did you manage to get into the cockpit, airlines are so strict these days.
you were really lucky!


User currently offlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4697 posts, RR: 50
Reply 2, posted (5 years 8 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 28995 times:



Quoting ELAL772 (Reply 1):
How did you manage to get into the cockpit, airlines are so strict these days.
you were really lucky!

There are certain ways, but often the dreaded 'if you have to ask it's not for you' holds true. However, with some airlines it can be as easy as just asking.



For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
User currently offlineElevate From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 144 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 8 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 28884 times:

Fantastic report, Amir.

The pictures were great... and you got to jump seat - unless you're flying the aircraft, it doesn't get much better than that!


Sam


User currently offlineJFKMan From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 598 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (5 years 8 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 28549 times:

Excellent report! Amazing pictures of the landing!  Smile When I went to AMS we landed on the same runway with the LONG taxi. But it was really fun.


US / AA - JFK / TPA
User currently offlineLovetojetblue From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 137 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 8 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 28542 times:

One of the best/Most unusual TR's ive ever read

great perspective



Jetblue: The official airline of Springfield! And Eventually: The official airline of Quahog, RI
User currently onlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17066 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (5 years 8 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 28093 times:

Great TR

The pics are really good

Quoting Aviator86 (Thread starter):
Yepp, pilots are also bad ass!

LOL!! That's interesting.

Will it be any TR on your flight to Australia?


Thank you for sharing

B747forever



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineAviator86 From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 45 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 8 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 27104 times:



Quoting ELAL772 (Reply 1):
Hi Amir, great report!!!

How did you manage to get into the cockpit, airlines are so strict these days.
you were really lucky!

ELAL772,

As I said in the first few lines of this report, I am a commercial pilot myself. This however is not enough for me to get a jumpseat on any other airline. With KLM it's different though. My brother is a FO on their 777s. Furthermore, I am in close contact with many of its pilots and staff. You could always ask though but unless you know a few people and have a good reason, it will be very hard.

Quoting Elevate (Reply 3):
Fantastic report, Amir.

The pictures were great... and you got to jump seat - unless you're flying the aircraft, it doesn't get much better than that!

Thanks Sam. Definitely, flying on the jumpseat on the A330 across the pond is probably the best experience, unless actually flying the thing.

Quoting JFKMan (Reply 4):
Excellent report! Amazing pictures of the landing! When I went to AMS we landed on the same runway with the LONG taxi. But it was really fun.

JFKMan....thanks for that. Oh yea, the Polderbaan (18R) is a really exiting runway to land on considering the long taxi and the amount of motorways you have to cross to get to the terminal.

Quoting Lovetojetblue (Reply 5):
One of the best/Most unusual TR's ive ever read

great perspective

Glad you liked it!

Quoting B747forever (Reply 6):
Will it be any TR on your flight to Australia?

I hope so! I am flying out on Thursday on board SAS and Etihad. Standby for it!


User currently onlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17066 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (5 years 8 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 26837 times:



Quoting Aviator86 (Reply 7):
I hope so! I am flying out on Thursday on board SAS and Etihad. Standby for it!

Sounds very interesting. Hope you will write one!!



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 9, posted (5 years 8 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 26763 times:

Great report Amir!

Cool that you managed to get the jumpseat, it must be pretty hard getting one these days. But there's one thing i can't understand. A schoolmate of mine who is a pilot told me that she got the jumpseat by acting cute to the captain, and telling him that she was a pilot student.

Incredible to hear about a 22 year old, already making it as a flight crew on the A330. The 22 year olds at the Scandinavian Aviation Academy in Vasteras, have just finished their ATPL-B, apparently.

The pics were great.
The food in KLM WBC is by far more superior than on their Europeans competitors, and the seat doesn't look too bad either.

I have a quick question: Since you're a pilot, where did you do your flight training? Was it here in Sweden, or was it in Australia?

Looking forward for the next report, thanks for posting.

Regards
Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineFlying Belgian From Belgium, joined Jun 2001, 2392 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (5 years 8 months 19 hours ago) and read 25425 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report Amir.

The A330-200 is setting the standards. Superb machine.

KLM one of the most respected Airline on earth.



Life is great at 41.000 feet...
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8546 posts, RR: 54
Reply 11, posted (5 years 8 months 18 hours ago) and read 25296 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report & pictures, thanks for sharing with us.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 9):
The food in KLM WBC is by far more superior than on their Europeans competitors

- Not sure I'd agree with that.

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 offlineAviator86 From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 45 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 24965 times:



Quoting LH4116 (Reply 9):
Cool that you managed to get the jumpseat, it must be pretty hard getting one these days. But there's one thing i can't understand. A schoolmate of mine who is a pilot told me that she got the jumpseat by acting cute to the captain, and telling him that she was a pilot student.

Incredible to hear about a 22 year old, already making it as a flight crew on the A330. The 22 year olds at the Scandinavian Aviation Academy in Vasteras, have just finished their ATPL-B, apparently.

The pics were great.
The food in KLM WBC is by far more superior than on their Europeans competitors, and the seat doesn't look too bad either.

I have a quick question: Since you're a pilot, where did you do your flight training? Was it here in Sweden, or was it in Australia?

Looking forward for the next report, thanks for posting.

Hej LH4116!

Yea, getting a jumpseat is really really hard. As stated before, I cannot get access to any other airline than KLM. Even so, I was quite lucky.

I thought 22 was also really young for a A330 pilot. However, when I talked to the crew about it, they said that KLM had pilots as young as 20 on the 777 and A330, but it is very, very rare. Please keep in mind though that they are mostly graduates of the KLM flight academy and they are second officers, so they don't actually get to fly the airplane during normal operations.

I did my training in Australia. Sweden was just way too expensive and since the weather here really sucks most of the year, it is quite hard to find time to fly VFR.

Ha det bra!

Quoting Flying Belgian (Reply 10):
Nice report Amir.

The A330-200 is setting the standards. Superb machine.

KLM one of the most respected Airline on earth.

Thanks! Yup, KLM is indeed a respected airline!


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 24738 times:



Quoting Aviator86 (Reply 12):
I did my training in Australia. Sweden was just way too expensive and since the weather here really sucks most of the year, it is quite hard to find time to fly VFR.

The prices here are indeed, outrageously expensive. But it is possible to apply to the SAA in Västerås if you're on the 2nd year in Gymnasiet, then you'll get an ATPL-A for for free. But it is very hard to make it in. I was actually going to apply to this, but since my color vision is a bit below average, I was pretty sure that i wouldn't have made it in anyway.

How are the requirements for color vision down in Australia, are they just as strict as they are here?



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineGrahamHill From France, joined Mar 2007, 2825 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 24409 times:

Hi Amir!

Great TR, as usual! You know that I am jealous now? I've been once in the cockpit of a plane, looooong time ago. It was on a trip from Manchester to Paris. But I was too young too really measure my luck, and at that time, I was not into planes like now  Wink

Also, your pictures are great. I like TRs with tons of pictures!

Quoting Aviator86 (Thread starter):
As I was bored from visiting my parents in Sweden

I hope they won't read this report Big grin



"A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one" - Moliere
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 15, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 24081 times:

Hi Amir,

very interesting report with great shots from the flightdeck. KLM's A330s are stunning birds, can't wait to get on one in a few weeks.

Quoting Aviator86 (Thread starter):
Therefore, I used up almost all my flying blue miles to book a business class return ticket from ARN to YVR via AMS. KLM/Air France are very generous with their promo awards@ and with 45000 miles, I was ready to go. However, they still do charge you a ridiculous 330 Euro for taxes and so on

Long-haul Business Class for 45000 miles isn't bad at all!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineWn700driver From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 23926 times:



Quoting Aviator86 (Reply 12):
Yea, getting a jumpseat is really really hard. As stated before, I cannot get access to any other airline than KLM. Even so, I was quite lucky.

Erm, no it's really not that hard actually. I've done that twice at my current employer, and about a dozen times at the previous. Granted, I was non-reving, but I only asked for it on one of those occasions.


User currently offlineAviator86 From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 45 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 23352 times:



Quoting LH4116 (Reply 13):
The prices here are indeed, outrageously expensive. But it is possible to apply to the SAA in Västerås if you're on the 2nd year in Gymnasiet, then you'll get an ATPL-A for for free. But it is very hard to make it in. I was actually going to apply to this, but since my color vision is a bit below average, I was pretty sure that i wouldn't have made it in anyway.

How are the requirements for color vision down in Australia, are they just as strict as they are here?

LH4116,

I am very sorry to hear about your color vision. However, I have some good news. I personally don't have this problem, but I know many people in Australia who have your problem. As far as I know, you can hold an ATPL in Australia and have a color deficiency. Actually, my former instructor is a first officer on Air Vanuatu flying 737s. I also know a KLM captain who is color deficient, but I have no idea how he made it. In other words, there are ways, especially in Australia, so don't let your color deficiency stop you!

Quoting Wn700driver (Reply 16):
Erm, no it's really not that hard actually. I've done that twice at my current employer, and about a dozen times at the previous. Granted, I was non-reving, but I only asked for it on one of those occasions.

Well, if you work for the airline then it is a completely different story. However, if you have no connections at all with the airline and just go up and ask, then it can be very hard!


User currently offlineHardiwv From Brazil, joined Oct 2004, 8780 posts, RR: 49
Reply 18, posted (5 years 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 21647 times:

Great trip report and congratulations to KLM. I took this same route on business class with KLM some months ago when the route was still operated with the MD-11 featuring the old seats and the small, forward mini-business cabin, which was just great.

Quoting Aviator86 (Thread starter):
I would like to dedicate this report to the friendly KLM crew and especially to the pilots.

KL crew really rocks! Honestly, I am very critical of KLM, but the crew is just great.

Rgs,


User currently offlineHOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 446 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 21531 times:

I loved the cockpit pictures and the friendliness of the crew towards you. And wow, a 330 with such a range to cover the Netherlands to Vancouver. Amazing. Good luck with all your experiences!


747 Number One Fan from U.S.A
User currently offlineCarlisle From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 271 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (5 years 6 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 20885 times:

Excellent TR and photos! I really enjoyed your selection of shots, especially of the engines, cabin, and flight charts.

Dank u for sharing.

Regards,
Carlisle



"CLEAN PLANES AND DIRTY MARTINIS" (Delta)
User currently offlineHardiwv From Brazil, joined Oct 2004, 8780 posts, RR: 49
Reply 21, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 20434 times:



Quoting Carlisle (Reply 20):
Excellent TR and photos! I really enjoyed your selection of shots, especially of the engines, cabin, and flight charts.

Indeed, the TR is excellent.

Quoting HOOB747 (Reply 19):
I loved the cockpit pictures and the friendliness of the crew towards you. And wow, a 330 with such a range to cover the Netherlands to Vancouver. Amazing. Good luck with all your experiences!

As I mentioned above, the route was operated before with KL MD-11 and now switched to A330.

Rgs,


User currently offlineGulfstream650 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2008, 538 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 20095 times:

Fantastic trip report - well done!!

Much appreciated.

All the best,

Gulfstream650



I don't proclaim to be the best pilot in the world but I'm safe
User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12251 posts, RR: 35
Reply 23, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 18628 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR



Quoting Aviator86 (Reply 7):
You could always ask though but unless you know a few people and have a good reason, it will be very hard.

Yes and no. In the US, UK, and many others, it's illegal by law so no point in even asking. However, on my last two flights to Norway I have gotten jumpseat on 3 of 5 flights. KL Cityhopper F70 AMS-SVG, would have gotten on SK 737 SVG-OSL, but somebody else already got it before me, same on KL 737 OSL-AMS. The next trip was on Denim Air (operating for Widerøe) F50 CPH-TRF and WF Dash 8 Q400 TRF-CPH. All I did was show my NW employee ID and I got it. However, I have also jumpseated before being an employee, it just takes asking  Smile

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 9):
Incredible to hear about a 22 year old, already making it as a flight crew on the A330. The 22 year olds at the Scandinavian Aviation Academy in Vasteras, have just finished their ATPL-B, apparently.

The first officer on my KLC ride was actually just in training to be a FO on the F70. He had been flying as an SO on the 777, and now upgraded status, but smaller plane. The way KLM does it is that you begin as a cruise officer, meaning you can only be at the controls while in cruise, not on approach and departure.

Quoting Aviator86 (Reply 12):
. As stated before, I cannot get access to any other airline than KLM

Actually you can, you just have to ask  Smile If you fly to/in Sweden again, SK has been good to me in the past.



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