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Madrid Christmas Trip With Korean Air (1)  
User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2500 posts, RR: 53
Posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 18956 times:

INTRODUCTION

Dear fellow A.netters,

First of all, I would like to wish you Happy New Year, Feliz Año Nuevo and Saehae bokmanhi bateuseyo.

But why the greeting in English, Spanish and Korean? It is just because this trip report has been brought about by the country of our destination and the airline we had chosen to fly with.

Let me just start from the very beginning.

It was the first week of November 2009. Still living off the memories of our impressive holiday in Egypt, my partner and I were waiting for Christmas to come. We both had decided that we would take a couple days off between Christmas and The New Year’s Eve for a fruitful time together.

As I am turning thirty this year, I wished to make it festal. What came across my mind in the first instance was burning our miles with Qatar Airways for a Christmas getaway in Qatar. For this purpose I got in touch with fellow A.netter flyboy_se. He replied not long after I sent an e-mail with very well detailed information about the country. Although both my partner and I truly appreciated his effort, my partner was eventually not too keen of the idea about traveling that far as we would be off not much longer than a week.

After discussing it profoundly, we decided that we would limit our choice of destination to a city in Europe on the conditions that we would be visiting a place I had never been to with an airline I had never flown with. Indeed there are still countless interesting places to see and airlines to choose from. But one airline did manage to catch my attention and that was Korean Air!




KE has been granted the fifth freedom rights on their thrice weekly flights to Madrid via Amsterdam. Since their route has been revised from ICN-AMS-MAD-ICN to ICN-AMS-MAD-AMS-ICN during the winter season and I had never been to Madrid, KE lived up with my expectations perfectly. Moreover thanks to the topic being discussed, KE would give me the opportunity to fly a wide body within Europe.

However, I did not realize that both my partner and I have taken so many pictures during our trip. As I do not want to make this report too long, I have decided to have it split in two. This report contains the first part which covers our outward journey, our hotel in Madrid and the city highlights.

The second part will cover the New Year’s Eve and our return journey. I hope I can get it aired in the near future.


TRAVEL PLANNING

Book online

I made up my mind and upon consulting KE’s European website, I found immediately an attractive Y return price in to MAD. I showed the quotation to my partner and he agreed. Soon enough the booking was conducted.

The KE booking engine is swift and easy to navigate. Definitely on par with those like the BA and LX ones. One striking thing is while the reservation are being processed, they offer you the opportunity to enroll online to Skypass, their frequent flyer program. What helps you to make a decision easier is that on the same page they summarize the enrollment benefits like an advance seat selection upon booking. Nevertheless you still have got the possibility to proceed as a guest but then lacking the aforementioned benefits.

It was beyond doubt that my partner and I ignored the tempting offer. Our enrollment was a breeze just like the further steps on finishing the booking process. Within seconds, we got the notification of both our memberships and reservation. I then proceeded with the seat selection which was painless as well. However, the website points out that only passengers booked directly or through KE’s ticketing offices are eligible for this feature.

Our E-tickets were not issued yet at this stage because they still had to verify my credit card. As I made the reservation at Saturday evening, the verification process could just be initiated during the next office hours. I found it a bit cumbersome, but still I was satisfied with the booking experience so far. Well, to be honest I still observed one missing feature and that was the ability to book different classes on the outward and return journey. I think I am a bit spoilt on that one after my previous experience with LX.  Big grin

As expected we received a notification on the following Monday that my credit card was accepted together with the links to our E-tickets. I then checked it out through both my member page and my partner’s. My ticket receipt was properly registered. But to my surprise, I could retrieve the ticket receipt of my partner neither through his member page nor mine. So I contacted the local KE toll free call center to resolve the problem. One thing I like about it is that they will forward you to another center if you happen to call outside the office hours.

The lady I got on the phone was very nice. She listened carefully to our problem and before continuing she asked some questions for verification like my partner’s date of birth. Upon answering that question, she instantly remarked, “Oh, your travel companion and I have the same birthday,” and both of us brake into a smile. She proceeded to link my partner’s receipt to his member page and told me at the end that I had to wait about five minutes for the system being updated and urged me to call back if the problem continued. I returned after five minutes to my partner’s member page and looked what we had got there. It worked! Well done, KE!  Smile

I was impressed by the KE customer service so far. It made me eager for more. I could definitely imagine that their on board service could be no less impeccable than what I had experienced on the ground.

Travel planner Madrid

Since it would be our first visit to Madrid, I contacted a fellow A.netter who is very much familiar with the city, Eric (aka IberiaA319). I was happy to hear that I could count on him regarding any question in relation with our trip. Muchas gracias por la molestia, Eric!  Smile

Interestingly, another fellow A.netter Tim (aka Vandenheuvel ) had a similar idea for the year end. Then I thought, why could we not catch up each other and celebrate the turn of the year together in Madrid. So I contacted him and suggested the idea. He gladly agreed with it. Then I proceeded to notify Eric. He loved the idea as well. He said that he would certainly join the party provided that he was not away from Madrid.

Our Christmas trip became even more remarkable when I stroke up an acquaintance with another A.netter, Amar. A little scenario; I am not quite sure whether he had any contribution to the forums. He has however his photos published on A.net. The funny thing which got the ball rolling was his reply to my comment on his video on YouTube. It so happened that Amar would be on the same flight as ours. How about that? I asked him what he thought of catching up together for the flight. He fell in with the idea and suggested a meeting at the departure gate. After exchanging our numbers, he said that he would notify me when he got there.

All these things together, I knew this Christmas holiday would be a special one. The countdown began.

Web check-in

Complying with the rule, I went on checking my partner and myself in almost exactly twenty four hours before departure. Well, I must say that there were some striking things I noticed during the check-in process.

Firstly, before printing out your boarding pass, you are required to do a test print. There is no way to skip this action as KE wants to assure the quality of home printed boarding passes. Secondly, your country of departure determines whether you may proceed to issue your own boarding pass or get issued an exchange voucher to obtain the real boarding pass at the airport. We were apparently among the latest.



My exchange voucher


I have done online check-in many times before but I had never seen anything like this. Oh well, let just see it as one added experience.  Smile

When I checked our itinerary the following day, it turned out that our flight would be delayed for a forty minutes due to the late departure of our aircraft from Seoul. We were not really amused, but the delay was still bearable. After all we were having Christmas.

However, the weather was not that good. It was snowing and within hours it got heavier. Earlier before our departure, the whole country had to cope with severe delays and cancellations of the public transports due to the snow storm. Feared of getting the same experience with our train to Schiphol, we left home early.



AT THE AIRPORT

Airport arrival

Our journey to Schiphol turned out surprisingly smooth and we arrived on time. Upon entering the terminal, I was really amazed as I had never been in any airport on the Christmas day. AMS had done their very best to decorate the whole building.



Santa is back in town!


The Christmas tree

We went to look at the FIDS. Strange enough, it did not display any delay of our flight.



FIDS


Check-in

We proceeded upstairs to the check-in area. Korean Air flights are being handled in the row 26.



Check-in area


Row 26

There were already people being attended at the check-in desk. We were number three in sequence.



One of the three Y check-in desks

It did not take long until our turn. We handed our travel documents, passports and my credit card. I asked the check-in lady whether it would be a full flight. She nodded.

Satisfied with our passports and upon verifying my credit card, she proceeded to print out our boarding passes. But somehow, it did not go smoothly as the lady repeatedly kept on typing, consulting the computer manual and turning again to the computer. In the meantime, her colleague on her right side called in for some help to manually insert the European ID card numbers of the passengers she was checking in. Coping with some problems herself, she gestured that she would come to her as soon as she finished with us.

After couple more minutes, our check-in lady eventually managed printed out our boarding passes and baggage tag. After getting our luggage through, she gave us the boarding passes and apologized for making us waiting.

Strange enough, our check-in lady did not ask for our exchange vouchers at all. So I said to her, “I think we have to hand in these vouchers for receiving our boarding passes,”
She looked a bit puzzled at the vouchers, but took them in anyway.



Boarding pass

My partner went outside for his last cigarette before security. It was really cold there!



Outside Terminal 3


Post security check and the immigration

The passport control was a breeze. Within minutes we were in the passenger area. And I must say, even here AMS was immersed in the Christmas’s atmosphere.



More Christmas trees


The mother tree


From the second floor of the restaurant area


Just before the passage to the G gates

In the early afternoon, there were a lot of interesting wide body traffics on the tarmac.



CI B744


PB A343 and BR B744


PB A343 leaving


KLM gathering

Slightly late, our beauty emerged on the tarmac.









By the time I was taking the pictures, I saw the KE’s crew members passing by. I decided that it was time to move to the gate. So I picked my partner up who was sitting further up doing some Sudoku’s and proceeded together to the gate.



The long walkway to the G gates


TK’s advertisement along the walkway


Flight status



Our itinerary:
Route: AMS-MAD
Date: 25 December 2009
ETD/ATD: 13.20 / 13.45
ETA/ATA: 16.00 / 16.28
Flight number: KE 925
Plane: Airbus 330-222
Registration: HL7539
Delivered: 8 September 1998


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Simon Gregory - AirTeamImages





Our assigned gate


Gate display

It was about an hour before the departure time, when we reached our gate. Upon arriving, I noticed two guys taking pictures on turn. I assumed that one of them could be Amar, but I was not quite sure about it. Hence I went on taking pictures again in full feather so that he could reveal himself.



View before security check


Close up

The photographing guys took a seat and one of them started playing with his mobile. Suddenly, I received a message on my mobile. One of them was indeed Amar!  Smile

After some introducing, we soon engaged in conversation. We talked about the wide body services of non European airlines in Europe like SV and soon to come the SQ’s MUC-MAN. Amar was about to start his flying courses. His travel companion is still at the high school and thinking of following his example.

Amar was wondering about our seat assignments because to his disappointment, both he and his travel companion got assigned the middle seats. I said that my partner and I secured ourselves window and aisle seats. I proceeded to ask whether they had booked the tickets directly with KE. That was not the case. To make things more complicated, the system did not even recognize their reservation in the first instance.

We were quite surprised as we did not encounter any problem. I think this incident makes one of good reasons to book directly with the airline.

In the meantime, our aircraft was being prepared for the flight.


The aforementioned KE’s crew members before security check

The transiting passengers from Seoul were requested to disembark the aircraft with their belongings and wait in the holding room.



Full house!

Around 12.45 an announcement was made by the security personnel that we could line up. So I got my shoes and other things off and getting in the line. My partner chose to wait which was a wise thing to do, as we still had to wait for another fifteen minutes before we got allowed to pass the security check. Meanwhile, I was getting cold feet. The security check itself was fast though.



After security


CX B744 ready for departure


Boarding

What seemed to be an on-time departure, did not materialize as there were still no boarding signs until 13.25. An announcement was made that Business Class passengers, Skypass Morning Calm and KLM Skyteam Elite members were invited go on board. But all the transiting passengers just stood up and got in the line as if they would otherwise miss their previous seat assignments.

My partner and I just remained seated until the line became shorter before we made our way to the gate. Despite being a wide body, there was only a single aerobridge deployed.



From the aerobridge


Right before the entrance of the second left door

I noticed a striking line up of the cabin attendants. One was actually standing on the right side inside the aerobridge. Other two attendants were lined up at the door. I got my notebook ready and greeted in Korean, ”Annyeonghaseyo,”
“Oh, annyeonghaseyo, where are you from?”
“Holland,”
“Welcome aboard,” the attendants smiled.

I then proceeded to my seat 43H.



The view of the front Y cabin on the right side



ON BOARD


Seat guide


My seat


Legroom


Seat control unit


Light above the seat


Safety card


In-flight magazine


Duty free guide


Long haul stickers


Cabin view


Window view before pushback

The pushback was commenced about twenty five minutes behind the schedule. The whining noise of the engines started to fill the cabin.



Right after pushback

Our Airbus started moving from the G-platform towards the Kaagbaan. Some interesting sceneries came into a sight.



DL’s A330’s


KQ’s B777


Only Arkefly was missing


HV’s line up

Our aircraft was the first in line, so we could directly enter the runway.







As soon as our Airbus lined up, she quickly accelerated, went down the runway and lifted up just before terminal A.








Zwanenburgbaan in sight


Engulfed by the clouds


Emerged about the clouds

Our routing this time would be Rotterdam – Lille – Paris – Limoges – Bordeaux – Biarritz – Bourgas – Madrid.


In-flight service

After the fasten seat belt signs were switched off, the cabin attendants started to distribute the arrival cards. Apparently our flight was filled up with Korean tourists which were on group trip to Madrid.

I needed to leak so I went to the restroom. KE did a great job on maintaining the toilet tidy and clean.






Not long after I returned to my seat, Amar approached us to borrow a pen. He thought that he would have to fill out the arrival card as well. My partner told him that it was not necessary as he was holding a Dutch, hence an European passport. He said that he tried to explain it to the cabin attendant but she seemed not knowing of the existence of an European passport.

Amar left in the first instance with a pen but returned with it soon after as he eventually managed to explain the situation to the cabin attendant.

Twenty minutes after take-off, the meal service was started. Yes! A real meal service with salad, hot dish, dessert, bread and butter!


Cabin attendant Yu was in charge of the front half

We were taken care by cabin attendant Kim.
“Hello Sir, we have beef with mashed potato this afternoon. Anything to drink, Sir?”
“Beer please,” both my partner and I replied.
“Certainly, Sir,”



Lunch setting


Our meal accompanied with beer and a bag of peanuts

The lunch consisted of salmon and potato salad as starter, beef with mushroom sauce as main meal and lemon cake as dessert. Everything was delightful. The salad was tasty. The beef was tender and well flavored. Well, the lemon cake was too sweet to my liking. But still, an excellent service!

I overheard the conversation between Yu and Kim whether everyone had got anything to drink with the meal. They then returned to the galley and started the coffee and tea rounds.

Another striking thing after the coffee round, Yu emerged in the cabin with a duty free bag to collect the empty cans. I had never seen this before. And really, it was a nice gesture!


In-flight entertainment

Our aircraft was not fitted with personal IFE system, so the only entertainment we had , were just the overhead screen, the cabin or window view or some magazines. Most passengers were killing the time by playing cards they brought on board.


Overhead screen a bit too far away


Magazine racks


The forward cabin from the back


The aft cabin from the back

More southwards we flew, the sky started to clear up. However, about one hour into the flight we experienced some turbulences. Fortunately, it did not take long.





Somewhere above France


French coastline


Entering Spanish airspace

About forty minutes later above the Pyrenees , it started to get hazy and eventually covered by thick clouds until our descent.






ON ARRIVAL

About forty minutes before landing, a reminder was announced to the passengers to have their arrival cards filled out before disembarking.

When the descent was commenced, I got my camera ready. But a cabin attendant caught my attention and asked me to turn off the camera during the landing. I obliged this time, but still I did not want to miss the valuable landing moments. So when all the attendants got seated, you could probably guess what I was doing.



Snowy mountain


Getafe


Torrejon

Our Airbus was cleared to land at runway 15L – 33R of Madrid Barajas airport.



Seconds before touchdown


Touchdown


Terminal 4S behind the trees

We vacated the runway and made our way to Terminal 1 passing Terminal 2 and 3. I must say, Barajas really is a spotter’s heaven.



Skyteam gathering


Quantum Air and JK


No frill airlines’s terminal


U2’s baby Busses


FR’s line up


UX A332


U2’s line up from the other side

Then sad view came in sight. Unemployed Air Comet Airbusses.  Sad







We were docked on gate A14 of Terminal 1.





On leaving the aircraft, I said goodbye to the cabin attendants, ”Annyeonghi giyeseyo”
All of them broke into a smile and wished my partner and I a pleasant stay in Madrid.



Upon disembarking


Walkway to the older part of Terminal 1

We proceeded to Baggage Reclaim Area.





Instruction of the passport control lines

The passport control was a breeze. We were soon waived through.



Our assigned baggage belt

Amar and his travel companion were soon joining us.
“Did you have a nice flight?” he asked.
“Yes, I was just a bit disappointed that I was asked to switch off my camera during the landing,”

At 16.45 the first luggage was loaded on the belt. But as my partner and I were among the latest passengers to join the flight, our suitcase appeared after about twenty minutes wait when the most passengers were already gone including Amar.



The exit signage

When we reached the public area, it was pretty empty.







The signage was clear. So we just followed the direction to the Metro station. I had couple things to ask, so I was hoping to find a tourist information desk.



Bummer! Sad

It was a long walk to the metro station. However, I got a surprisingly nice impression of the terminal of Barajas. The terminal design boasts an airy feeling and the whole building was properly clean.



Walkways to the Metro station

In front of the ticketing office, you could see nice art works.







TO BE CONTINUED BELOW


Friends forever
31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2500 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 18881 times:

HOTEL PRECIADOS



Outside view

We arrived at our hotel by the metro at about 18.00. A man was standing right outside the entrance, when we were approaching. He rightly asked, “Are you staying with Hotel Preciados?”
I asked, “Yes, we are,”
Without asking he took over our suitcase and invited us to come in and ushered us to the front office. We got a very warm welcome from the front office lady. She was great. All she needed was my surname and a copy of my passport. She then assigned us room 105, a smoking room.   

Standard double room



Queen bed


Writing desk with reading light, flat screen television and a free minibar!




Bathroom

Breakfast in Restaurant Valera

We booked our room including breakfast. And I must say, I did not regret it.



Juice and water corner




Assorted fruits, cheese and sliced meat


Warm corner






Sweet corner

TO BE CONTINUED BELOW

[Edited 2010-01-02 13:53:52 by akhmad]

[Edited 2010-01-02 14:46:23 by akhmad]


Friends forever
User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2500 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 18779 times:

CITY HIGHLIGHTS

Plaza de Oriente




Palacio Real




The crib of Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Almudena




Plaza Mayor




El Rastro




Plaza de la Independencia




Parque del Buen Retiro




Caixa Forum




Centro de Arte Reina Sofía




I hope you enjoy the first part of my report. Please feel free to leave some comments and suggestions.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5186 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 18725 times:

Hey, Suryo,

what a great idea to check KE on you´re MAD christmas trip.
Definitely much more interesting than the usual European material on this route.

Perfectly detailed and also superb pictures, really well done.

Also you´re hotel, looks like a good decision.

A happy and healthy new year for you and you´re partner,

Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 18651 times:

Hola Akhmad!

Super TR once more.

I am really impressed at the amount of details and great pictures you took on this trip. Looking forward to reading part 2.

I did not know KE could sell tickets on intra-European sectors, I wish SQ could do the same between BCN and MXP; it is really impressive to see that they manage to serve some hot meals on this flight, all other airlines have forgotten about this practice, even recently BA has stopped serving food on flights shorter than 2.30h.... sadly, I could see the day that LH, LX, OS... and a few others would follow.

What a great coincidence to meet so many A.netters, it may well be called an A.netter New Year's Meeting  Wink

BTW, Feliz Año Nuevo 2010 y Felicidades por tus 30 años birthday !

Did you manage with the grapes?

Happy flying!

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineMIAspotter From Spain, joined Nov 2001, 2853 posts, RR: 25
Reply 5, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 18332 times:

Hello Akhmad, Nice report and nice pictures, Madrid is certainly a lovely city.

I would love to fly the MAD-AMS sector on KE as well, it would make an interesting experience.

Quoting Akhmad (Thread starter):
Plaza de la Independencia

Correction, that is Puerta de Alcala.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 4):
I wish SQ could do the same between BCN and MXP

Ohh we could only wish Roger!! If SQ had 5th freedom rights between BCN and MXP I will take that flight every weekend just for the heck of it!

MIAspotter.



I think, therefore I don´t fly Ryanair.
User currently onlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1908 posts, RR: 42
Reply 6, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 18200 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Hi Suryo, nice report! Hope you had a good time in MAD with Tim and Eric! I always thought KE would have PTV's in their planes, ICN-AMS is a long flight without AVOD. (I've done it before but I got a little spoiled after a couple of times WITH PTV  Smile )

It's great to see you got a decent meal, now THAT is a rarity on European economy class flights!

Thanks for sharing!

Martijn



Nothing's worse then flying the same registration twice, except flying it 4 times..
User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2500 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 18062 times:

@Markus:

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
what a great idea to check KE on you´re MAD christmas trip.
Definitely much more interesting than the usual European material on this route.

Perfectly detailed and also superb pictures, really well done.

Thank you for reading my trip report. I notice that you are going to Tunisia. For sure, I am interested in classic airlines you will be flying with.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
A happy and healthy new year for you and you´re partner,

I wish you, your son and other family members the same.  Smile

@Roger:

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 4):
Super TR once more.

I am really impressed at the amount of details and great pictures you took on this trip.

Thank you very much. Glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 4):
it is really impressive to see that they manage to serve some hot meals on this flight, all other airlines have forgotten about this practice, even recently BA has stopped serving food on flights shorter than 2.30h.... sadly, I could see the day that LH, LX, OS... and a few others would follow.

Me too. I think that it would be a good thing to grant more non-European airlines the fifth freedom rights within Europe.


Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 4):
What a great coincidence to meet so many A.netters, it may well be called an A.netter New Year's Meeting

Certainly. I was enjoying it very much.  Smile

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 4):
BTW, Feliz Año Nuevo 2010 y Felicidades por tus 30 años !

Gracias y tambien te deseo lo mejor!

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 4):
Did you manage with the grapes?

I will tell you more in Part 2!  wink 

@MIAspotter:

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 5):
Hello Akhmad, Nice report and nice pictures, Madrid is certainly a lovely city.

Thank you for reading.

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 5):
I would love to fly the MAD-AMS sector on KE as well, it would make an interesting experience.

KE is flying the route during this winter season. I would say, give it a try!

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 5):
Correction, that is Puerta de Alcala.

Oops! My fault! Thanks!

@Martijn:

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 6):
Hi Suryo, nice report! Hope you had a good time in MAD with Tim and Eric!

Thank you. I really had a great time with Tim and Eric!

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 6):
I've done it before but I got a little spoiled after a couple of times WITH PTV )

I assumed you were not flying A332 at that time.

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 6):
It's great to see you got a decent meal, now THAT is a rarity on European economy class flights!

Agreed. The EU should allow more non European airlines to collect passengers within Europe.

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 6):
Thanks for sharing!

You are welcome.  Smile

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineAirpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 959 posts, RR: 26
Reply 8, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 17814 times:

Hi Suryo, what a nice surprise! You said you were in Madrid, but KE was an unexpected bonus haha. Thanks for sharing the experience. It's interesting to see how full the flight was - I presume most of the passengers were travelling thru from ICN?
The A332 looks very similar to their A333 I traveled on last year.

Quoting Akhmad (Thread starter):
I got my notebook ready and greeted in Korean, ”Annyeonghaseyo,”

Put in context, it's a totally bizarre but absolutely priceless moment!  Wink

Quoting Akhmad (Thread starter):
Yes! A real meal service with salad, hot dish, dessert, bread and butter!

Wow, that's a real luxury on an intra-European service in Y. I am surprised at the quality - even when non-European airlines like MH or SQ used to operate intra-Europe services years ago, the offerings were very meager.

Regards
airpearl


User currently offlineFly2YYZ From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 1046 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 17509 times:

Enjoyed your trip report! It was a very interesting read! And it did look quite full out of AMS with all the transit pax! Hopefully sometime in the future KE will be able to separate the AMS and MAD flights... or maybe not for a.netters.  Smile

User currently offlineTurkishWings From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1453 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 17308 times:

Great report... It's always fun to read a 5th freedom TR. Too bad there were no PTVs though... It's quite rare nowadays...

May I ask you how much you paid for the ticket?



Coffee - Tea or Me?
User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2500 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 17189 times:

@Airpearl:

Quoting Airpearl (Reply 8):
Thanks for sharing the experience.

You are welcome. Thanks for reading.

Quoting Airpearl (Reply 8):
presume most of the passengers were travelling thru from ICN?

Correct. I counted less than twenty passengers joining from AMS.

Quoting Airpearl (Reply 8):
Put in context, it's a totally bizarre but absolutely priceless moment!

Hey, I just followed your example.  wink 

@Fly2YYZ:

Quoting Fly2YYZ (Reply 9):
Enjoyed your trip report! It was a very interesting read!

Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting Fly2YYZ (Reply 9):
will be able to separate the AMS and MAD flights...

Well, I don't know....

Quoting Fly2YYZ (Reply 9):
maybe not for a.netters.

This is more I like it.  Smile

@TurkishWings:

Quoting TurkishWings (Reply 10):
Great report...

Thank you.

Quoting TurkishWings (Reply 10):
May I ask you how much you paid for the ticket?

Certainly. We paid in total € 367,50 for both of us.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6675 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 17168 times:

Excellent trip report with great pictures! Very surprising that KE did not have PTVs on their A332 which they usually fly on long haul routes. Those aircraft are also fairly new I think, perhaps about 5 yerars old.

It seems you had a great flight and a great stay in MAD. I have never been myself but really want to go sometime.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8596 posts, RR: 54
Reply 13, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 17124 times:
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Hi Suryo,

What a great report, just loved it!

Quoting Akhmad (Thread starter):
KE has been granted the fifth freedom rights on their thrice weekly flights to Madrid via Amsterdam

- This has to be the best way to MAD or AMS, if you can live with the schedules.

Quoting Akhmad (Thread starter):
Twenty minutes after take-off, the meal service was started. Yes! A real meal service with salad, hot dish, dessert, bread and butter!

- Excellent, I figured they would have just given a sandwich or something, if that!

The breakfast spread at the hotel sure looked impressive, you could eat for a week and more there!

Looking forward to the return report.

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 offlineRobffm2 From Germany, joined Dec 2006, 1124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 16940 times:

Great report, thank you very much. I especially enjoyed the non-aviation pictures.

Madrid is also one of my favorite European cities and as a matter of fact I'll be traveling to MAD in two weeks time. Unfortunately with rater boring LH's A32x (16-Jan LH4410 / 17-Jan LH4411, any a-netters on the flights?).

The only scheduled widebody flight from FRA to MAD is with LAN and I used them twice some years ago. Unfortunately their schedule didn't fit this time for me. At that time they had also a full meal service, AVOD and everything else you would deem necessary for the long flight MAD-SCL. Also they usually offer some very good fares, you can fly for less then 100 €.
Not that I can complain, including a free voucher I paid just over 80 € for Lufti.

 Smile


User currently offlineVandenheuvel From Netherlands, joined Dec 2008, 504 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 16901 times:

Hi Suryo,

Now this is a trip report. I had a great time reading your experiences. Especially since I am a part of it Big grin

I will be writing my own report soon. This will be a report of a similar journey from another point of view. Probably with a little less pictures.

I look forward to part 2. Good job so far.

Tim,


User currently offlineIberiaA319 From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 574 posts, RR: 38
Reply 16, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 16793 times:

Thanks for this wonderful trip report. It was nice to meet you in Madrid! And really great to see that you enjoyed my hometown.

Quoting Akhmad (Thread starter):
Since it would be our first visit to Madrid, I contacted a fellow A.netter who is very much familiar with the city, Eric (aka IberiaA319). I was happy to hear that I could count on him regarding any question in relation with our trip. Muchas gracias por la molestia, Eric!

You are welcome. De nada!

Quoting Akhmad (Thread starter):
We vacated the runway and made our way to Terminal 1 passing Terminal 2 and 3. I must say, Barajas really is a spotter’s heaven.

Definitely!

Quoting Akhmad (Thread starter):
No frill airlines’s terminal



Quoting Akhmad (Thread starter):
FR’s line up



Quoting Akhmad (Thread starter):
U2’s line up from the other side

Terminal 1, 2, 3 are for non-One World alliance planes, but sometimes there are so many Easyjet and Ryanair (or any other LCC) planes lined up, that from the tarmac it really seems to be a no frills terminal, specially in T2 and T1.

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 5):
Quoting Akhmad (Thread starter):
Plaza de la Independencia

Correction, that is Puerta de Alcala.

Actually both are right, the Puerta de Alcala is located on the Plaza de la Independencia square.

Thanks again for the report, I am looking forward for part 2


User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2500 posts, RR: 53
Reply 17, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 16608 times:

@The777Man:

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):
Excellent trip report with great pictures!

Thank you for reading.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):
Those aircraft are also fairly new I think, perhaps about 5 yerars old.

Well, our aircraft was actually delivered in 1998.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):
I have never been myself but really want to go sometime.

I can only recommend it. It's a great city!

@Mark:

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 13):
What a great report, just loved it!

Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 13):
This has to be the best way to MAD or AMS, if you can live with the schedules.

Definitely. KE departs from AMS early in the afternoon and returning late in the afternoon from MAD. Very convenient for last minute shopping!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 13):
The breakfast spread at the hotel sure looked impressive, you could eat for a week and more there!

That's why we booked the hotel for a week! Big grin

@Robffm2:

Quoting Robffm2 (Reply 14):
Great report, thank you very much. I especially enjoyed the non-aviation pictures.

Thank you. Glad to know that you enjoyed my report.

Quoting Robffm2 (Reply 14):
as a matter of fact I'll be traveling to MAD in two weeks time.

Look forward to your report.

@Tim:

Quoting Vandenheuvel (Reply 15):
Now this is a trip report. I had a great time reading your experiences. Especially since I am a part of it

Thank you. It has been a pleasure to meet you and having a great time together in MAD.

Quoting Vandenheuvel (Reply 15):
I will be writing my own report soon. This will be a report of a similar journey from another point of view. Probably with a little less pictures.

I certainly look forward to yours.

@Eric:

Quoting IberiaA319 (Reply 16):
Thanks for this wonderful trip report. It was nice to meet you in Madrid! And really great to see that you enjoyed my hometown.

You are welcome. Thanks again for making our Christmas trip a memorable one.

Quoting IberiaA319 (Reply 16):
Terminal 1, 2, 3 are for non-One World alliance planes, but sometimes there are so many Easyjet and Ryanair (or any other LCC) planes lined up, that from the tarmac it really seems to be a no frills terminal, specially in T2 and T1.

Thank you for the clarification.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4277 posts, RR: 51
Reply 18, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 16571 times:

Happy New Year, Suryo! Thanks for this great report.
Nice idea to meet up with some fellow a.netters around the world.

Nice choice with KE. Would've loved to try them myself, and looked into booking on them for several times, but somehow their schedules can't match with me. Flown the A330 and B772 myself already, I found it not too special to book, but as you mentioned, it's the best way to go to MAD out of AMS. I am still hoping for UX to start flying, using their E95's.

I was in MAD in last July, with much better and warmer weather. Seen all places as in your pictures, but I must say that this city is nice for once, but wouldn't attract me for another visit. Additionally to that I had to pleasure to get robbed of my belongings too, near El Quatro Caminos station. Not the best place around overthere... It took me quite a few hours to get everything on paper with the police, which was kind enough and helpful by the way.

If you try to book the SQ flight MUC-MAN, I would gladly join that flight actually, but couldn't find reasonable fares yet.

Regards,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 19, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 16518 times:

Hi Suryo,

Great read with lots of interesting pictures. I was looking at that KE route as well (together with VIE-ZRH which will soon be split into separate ICN-VIE and ICN-ZRH ones, bummer), but couldn't get a decent ticket price - one way was around 200 EUR which seemed a bit too much. Still would love to try KE one day. How much did you pay for your tickets?

Since they make all the ICN-MAD pax disembark in AMS I wonder why couldn't they just pass the Schengen immigration formalities there and treat the AMS-MAD sector as the proper intra-Schengen one it is... Of course considering the way the immigration and transit security often is at AMS (a few times I've done the landside shuffle as the queues have been far too long) this might end up delaying the flight.

Looking forward to part 2.


User currently offlineLYChemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1278 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 16300 times:

Wow. Magazines in Y. I have not seen this in 20 years. Impressive.

I am surprised some crew wear white uniforms. It must get dirty quickly. I am sure your meal was a zillion times better than KLM. And on Iberia you have to pay for a sandwich.

What was your fare compared to KLM / Iberia I wonder? Great report. I love Madrid Airport. Spent 5 hours there in transit a few years ago and enjoyed it. Was in Madrid city in 1964; 45 years ago and never wanted to go back to visit but your report gave me the urge. Especially as Toledo is very near by.

Wonderful report. Thanks.


User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2500 posts, RR: 53
Reply 21, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 16229 times:

Hi fellows,

Tim's own report can be found here.

@Eric:

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 18):
Happy New Year, Suryo! Thanks for this great report.
Nice idea to meet up with some fellow a.netters around the world.

You are welcome and thank you for reading. And yes, I keep on saying that I have had a great time meeting up other fellow a.netters.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 18):
I am still hoping for UX to start flying, using their E95's.

Me too. I have still never been on any Embraer jet.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 18):
Additionally to that I had to pleasure to get robbed of my belongings too, near El Quatro Caminos station. Not the best place around overthere...

That's disgusting. Have you got any compensations?

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 18):
If you try to book the SQ flight MUC-MAN, I would gladly join that flight actually, but couldn't find reasonable fares yet.

I am interested in SQ's MUC-MAN routing for sure. But I still don't know if the schedule fits mine.

@FlyingFinn76:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19):
Great read with lots of interesting pictures.

Thank you.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19):
How much did you pay for your tickets?

We paid € 367,50 for both of us.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19):
Since they make all the ICN-MAD pax disembark in AMS I wonder why couldn't they just pass the Schengen immigration formalities there and treat the AMS-MAD sector as the proper intra-Schengen one it is... Of course considering the way the immigration and transit security often is at AMS (a few times I've done the landside shuffle as the queues have been far too long) this might end up delaying the flight.

I think due to the fact that Korean Air is a non-Schengen airline. However, the transiting passengers from ICN are ushered directly to the holding room upon arrival, so they don't have to endure any security nor passport control at all. Only passengers boarding from AMS like us are required to pass passport and security check.

@LYChemsa:

Quoting LYChemsa (Reply 20):
I am surprised some crew wear white uniforms. It must get dirty quickly.

They just wear the white blazers during the take off, landing and on the ground. When they serve meal, they take the blazer off and wear an apron over their blouse.

Quoting LYChemsa (Reply 20):
I am sure your meal was a zillion times better than KLM. And on Iberia you have to pay for a sandwich.

I don't know what KLM has on offer right now on the MAD bound flights. But KE's meal offering is definitely much better than those of Iberia.

Quoting LYChemsa (Reply 20):
What was your fare compared to KLM / Iberia I wonder?

Actually, at the time of booking, KE had the cheapest option in comparison to KLM and Iberia, even to Easyjet if you include their baggage allowance fee.

Quoting LYChemsa (Reply 20):
Great report.

Thank you for reading.  Smile

Quoting LYChemsa (Reply 20):
Was in Madrid city in 1964; 45 years ago and never wanted to go back to visit but your report gave me the urge. Especially as Toledo is very near by.

I am turning thirty this year, so I don't know how Madrid looked like in 1964. But based on my experience, I can only recommend you to give this city another try.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27339 posts, RR: 60
Reply 22, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 16185 times:

Hey great report and great to see an unusual routing for such a carrier. Always nice to be able to fly intra EU with a longhaul A/C / Carrier.

Great service for a short flight also. I also would have thought KE had IFE PTV's.

Love the crews uniforms.

Thanks again

Philip


User currently offlineOjas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2989 posts, RR: 25
Reply 23, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 16060 times:

Hi Akhmad !

Wonderful TR!, I did not know KE served MAD via AMS and that too with full rights between AMS and MAD.

Quoting Akhmad (Thread starter):
I got my notebook ready and greeted in Korean,

Thats a nice gesture!

Addition of pics from the destination is surely a bonus!

Thanks for sharing

Ojas



A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2500 posts, RR: 53
Reply 24, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks ago) and read 16012 times:

@Philip:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 22):
Hey great report and great to see an unusual routing for such a carrier.

Thank you for reading.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 22):
I also would have thought KE had IFE PTV's.

So had I. For a short leg to MAD, I could do without IFE. But I might have not known what to do on the long-haul segment.

@Ojas:

Quoting Ojas (Reply 23):
Wonderful TR!,



Quoting Ojas (Reply 23):
Addition of pics from the destination is surely a bonus!

Thank you.

Quoting Ojas (Reply 23):
Thanks for sharing

You are welcome. BTW, I noticed your review on Skytrax about QR. Can we expect a trip report of yours?

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
25 Ojas : Yes definitely, However I'm thinking of completing my DOH - BOM flight ( A346 J class ) on the 12th jan and post a TR by the 15th and then write a co
26 Akhmad : That sounds great. I have been on A346 J class beforre and I am sure you will enjoy it. Bummer! I don't mind being searched thoroughly. But being pro
27 NZ107 : Hi Suryo, Great TR and a Happy New Year to you! There are so many Christmas trees around! Nice pics too, thanks for sharing. Sounds like EK.. However
28 Ryanair!!! : What a world of a difference an Asian 5th freedom carrier brings to an intra-European flight. Thanks for the report!
29 Akhmad : @Nicholas: You are welcome. Thanks for reading. Good to know. Thanks for sharing it. At least, KE mentions on their website where the airplanes with m
30 PlaneHunter : Hi Suryo, great report with nice pictures, it seems you had a good time. Does an enthusiast need another reason to fly? Slight correction here: A330-2
31 Akhmad : @PH: Thank you for reading. My last Christmas trip was indeed very special. Oops! Thanks! I have heard the same thing from Airbuseric. Are you guys ha
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