LXfan From France, joined Feb 2009, 78 posts, RR: 0 Posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 18731 times:
Thanks to the new Flying Blue rules, I don't think of traveling with them anymore and will definitively stay with Miles&More.
Before the new rules became in effect, I decided to spend a large part of my 65.000 miles. With the special offers, I bought an award ticket to Canada with KLM.
The journey cost 45.000 miles in Business Class
- Paris Amsterdam Montreal
- Toronto Amsterdam Paris
For the Montreal Toronto fight, I traveled with Porter Airlines. I'll write an other post about it.
Firstly, the booking was a little strange :
- Tax for Paris Montreal 200 EUR
- Tax for Toronto Paris 42 EUR
... but for a return ticket Paris Montreal / Toronto Paris... it was... 396 EUR !! So, I booked two seperate tickets for only 242 EUR and save 154 EUR ! If someone has an explanation for the price difference...
It's my first trip with KLM Airlines and my first long haul flight in business class, exepted for an upgrade with Swiss last year.
The positive aspect of flying with KLM, the AF partner, is to use the newest terminals at CDG. For this flight it was the 2F. Pleasant terminal, nice architecture... even if i find Munich and Zurich more pleasant. But for CDG airport it's not too bad !
After a quick check-in, safety controls at the "acces n°1" line with a very friendly safety staff, (which is another exeption for CDG !) The Air France lounge was pleasant, with a small view on the apron, but the restauration offer was very limited.
Boarding on board a B737-800 of KLM
Due to a strike in France, we had to wait for 30 minutes on board. No drink service during the waiting ! Long taxitime to the north runway and take off !
The business class restauration... in a box !!
Very tasty snacks... but with plastic covers !! really cheap !!
A quiet flight over Belgium
And over the Netherlands
A330 Delta Airlines !! A new aircraft for Delta and a new airline in Amsterdam !
A nice bird ! China Airlines for Bangkok and Taipei !
Boarding on board a MD11 and take off after a long taxi to the polderbahn !
Service after the take-off
Bon appetit !
Welcome to Canada !
For the second service, KLM offered "world specialities". This month, it was from Morocco ! I really don't like this food !!
A Holland house as gift !! A good surprise to have such gift onboard !
Final approach into Montreal, St-Lawrence River crossing
Near the Olympic Stadium area
Final approach with Mont Royal view
Welcome to Montreal Dorval Airport !
Air France B744 and Air Transat A310, two airlines who operates direct flight to Paris... but I've never flown with them !!
Some pictures of Montreal, with the Biosphere
The city center from the Jean Drapeau Island, in the middle of the St-Lawrence River
The City Hall
The "reso", a big pedestrian subway network under the city center
After 3 days in Montreal, I flew to Toronto with Porter Airlines, a regional airlines based at the Toronto City Aiport. I will post a separated trip report for this very great flight.
I find Toronto very pleasant, especially with the lake.
It's not Paris, just the Metro Station "Place d'Armes" in Montreal, with a old Paris metro station style ! Very nice to see !
I've never traveled to Miami... but the lake area looks like Miami... well from what we see on CIS:Miami, sorry about the reference ! Here's with the CN Tower as background
Just close to the city, the Toronto City Centre Airport. A ferry is in operation for the 120 meters canal between the island and the city
Toronto Main Station, named the Union Station. The direct train service to Vancouver of the famous "Canadien" train journey starts right here. The train takes 3 days to reach Vancouver !!
Also a big commuter traffic to the Toronto suburban areas
The next day I decided to visit Niagara Falls by train. The journey was operated by the daily train to New York. Is it a station or an airport ??
The train was operated by an Amtrak train. The coach was very comfortable !!
After a 2-hour journey, and with a very pleasant VIA RAIL staff, I arrived in Niagara Falls. It's a city on the US-Canada border... but the borders in North America are not the same as borders in Europe : it's not so easy to cross ! Here's the bridge to the USA, with the American customs.
The American falls
And the Canadian falls
After a very nice day by these wonderful falls, it's time to go back to the station
Niagara Falls station, on the Canadian Falls. Only 2 daily trains, one Toronto/New York and one Niagara Falls/Toronto.
The train from New York stops here for 1h30 and the customs controls are operated on the train. Passengers from Niagara Falls can only board when the customs officiers finish their controls. On this day, we started out with a 20-minute delay due to controls.
It's now time to fly back to France. Canada is a nice country, Toronto a pleasant city. I will try to come here soon again ! Bus ride to Pearson Airport. After check-in, i proceeded to the Crown Lounge of KLM. How to say this nicely?... it's just a waiting room with peanuts and drinks...
The boarding started 1 hour before take-off... and the last call was... 40 minutes before !! We were ready for pushback around 30 minutes earlier. In the Business class, the load factor was low, around 25%, I don't know about in Economy, but it seems to be not too high, either !
Very friendly staff onboard. Welcome drink before take-off
Service after take-off
The dinner was served shortly after take-off. It was good... but no desert !! Ok, it's a night flight... but... without a desert it's not dinner !!
Flying over the UK...
...and over the Netherlands
Welcome to Amsterdam
A new bird for KL : E195 !
3 hours waiting time. enough to visit the lounge, to take a shower and a small breaskfast. The good point for the KLM lounge was that the wifi access was free !
It's time now to fly back to Paris !
Same as to the CDG AMS flight... the onboard service in European business class was very cheap, even if the food was good
Welcome to France
And to Paris... The sunny weather of Toronto was really better !
It was my last flight with Flying Blue, and the first with KLM. KLM is a good airline, even if there are some negative points, in comparaison to Swiss or Lufthansa :
- the business class service is really cheap on the European flights
- the lounge food, specially at CDG and YYZ is very limited
But I must say that the In Flight Entertainment system is very good, and the staff very friendly.
Thank you KLM for this trip. Probably with a better Frequent Travler program I will fly with you more often !!
Thank you for reading this trip report. I hope it was interesting to you. The trip report for the YUL YTZ flight is coming soon.
Not new at all... I spotted DL already many years back, A310-200 and L1011 included. Since then, they've always served AMS, and prior NW takeover, they also operated own routes from JFK and ATL on B763.
Quoting LXfan (Thread starter): A Holland house as gift !! A good surprise to have such gift onboard !
Indeed great items! I've quite a few already, and still happily collecting
Good pictures in this report. I like the citypics and Niagara falls. Colours come out really good.
btw, the food on European KL Europe Select also dissappoints me. This must have changed recently to these 'boxes'. Last year, I still got a normal plate.
Longhaul food is generally quite good, but I also think the Moroccan style food doesn't suit the majority of the travellers, and also on your return the meal without desserst, why's that?!
I will fly them again when on duty for the company, but from a personal point of view, I wouldn't spend too much money on KL tickets...
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
Semsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3 Reply 3, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 18448 times:
I can't believe they did not serve desert. A friend told me that Delta which is also in the same AF / KLM Group raised their mileage awards to uncompetitive levels with no warning and he also switched to United and AA.
AFKL From Netherlands, joined Feb 2008, 219 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 18208 times:
Judging from the pictures, I actually like the presentation of the food on the short-haul intra-European business class flights. Obviously I understand it's not on par with the past, but in comparison with the many trips reports I read here on a.net, for such a short hop between AMS and CDG (a 1 hour flight?), it looks pretty decent! I havn't tasted the stuff, but it just seems they've managed to find a good compromise between being cost effective, and still being able to serve something presentable to the customers.
Just my two cents, you may agree or disagree at your own will
LH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1672 posts, RR: 15 Reply 6, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 17120 times:
Nice report LXfan!
The flights you had on KLM seemed nice, and the food looked great. Though, that so called Moroccan food they had, did not look like Moroccan food. What was that anyway?
The way I would have pictured Moroccan food, could have been something like serving a miniature Tagine, as the main course in Business Class.
Canada looked like a great country, and I would love to pay a visit there some day.
I won't stop complaining until SAS reintroduces free service in Economy Class!
No idea... the departure was at 23h25, perhaps it was the reason !
Quoting Semsem (Reply 3): I can't believe they did not serve desert.
Me too ! But I was to shy to ask the flight attendant !
Quoting Semsem (Reply 3): AF / KLM Group raised their mileage awards to uncompetitive levels
Yes, since the 1st april... and it's not a joke ! Many fare are in 25%, only full fare are still at 100%. In Business class you can have 125 to 175%. Also on DL flights the rule have change, it's now 25% to 100%, and before it was only 100% ! I've heard that many passengers are looking for the BMI program, Diamon Club (Star Alliance)
797 From Venezuela, joined Aug 2005, 1821 posts, RR: 26 Reply 13, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 14461 times:
As a kid I always saw KLM as a giant. I remember me being astonished by their 747s and MD-11s arriving at CCS almost 10 years ago!. I always wanted to fly them, especially up front.
But now that I have seen several trip reports showing their Business Class service, I don't think it's a good option any more. Comparing it to AF and even LH is brutal, these two are top-notch airlines with astonishing forward service. KL looks pretty 'Charter-ish' I must say!
Anyhow, cool report! I went to YYZ last year and loved it too! It's a very nice city.
[Edited 2009-04-09 18:39:16]
Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
Linglesou From Australia, joined Apr 2009, 122 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 14451 times:
The food on the AMS-YUL flight looks suberb - even if you don't like Morrocan! I have to say, from those first pictures of Montreal taken from aircraft window, the city looks quite bleak in the winter time...
AFKL From Netherlands, joined Feb 2008, 219 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 13930 times:
Quoting LXfan (Reply 15): Yes... I don't like to exotic food... But there are many european specialitys, and probably holland speciality ! Why to have marrocan food ??
If I remeber correctly, every month KL picks a different country as a theme for their Business Class meals. So next to serving a more Dutch or European menu, they offer a more "exotic" menu from the country currently being themed (in your case, Morocco).
Conrad1402 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 64 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 13894 times:
Quoting KL" class=quote target=_blank>AFKL (Reply 16): If I remeber correctly, every month KL picks a different country as a theme for their Business Class meals. So next to serving a more Dutch or European menu, they offer a more "exotic" menu from the country currently being themed (in your case, Morocco).
If this is the case, then KL catering need to buy a new calendar. I took flight KL617 from AMS-DTW on December 30th and had this Moroccan 'speciality'. I took the same flight on March 20th, and received the identical menu. I tried both the Moroccan flatbread and the calzone, and both of which were substandard catering. The vermicelli was very bland and not ideally presented. The first meal service (salmon, chicken and chocolate pie) was excellent however, on both occassions.
Thanks for a great trip report on my favourite airline. As an Intern with KLM, it's always nice to get some feedback through these reports. It's such a shame these new FB rules are driving so many loyal flyers away. On KLM Corporate website today, the traffic figures show a further decline. I'm not sure KL picked the best time to be so harsh on regular passengers, but invest in our uniforms?!
LXfan From France, joined Feb 2009, 78 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 13695 times:
Quoting Conrad1402 (Reply 17): Thanks for a great trip report on my favourite airline. As an Intern with KLM, it's always nice to get some feedback through these reports. It's such a shame these new FB rules are driving so many loyal flyers away.
It looks to have a migration to the Star Alliance due to this rules...