conrad1402 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 64 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 21198 times:
As an intern with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, I regularly travel to some of the best destinations in the SkyTeam network. Usually, I choose not to report on these, however I have a few TRs on the Airliners.net forum already. Of course, all feedback is welcome and I'll be sure to record more of my trips on the site in the future.
This trip was rather special for a number of reasons. The first, is that the flight today was to Amsterdam. The Netherlands is my favourite country I've ever been to, and having lived there for many years as a child (my mother is Dutch) it's always nice to return to. Secondly, this trip (and all the train tickets and attraction visits) was fully paid by KLM as a 'thank you' gesture for our hard work.
The flights taken on the trip were KL1278 and KL1293. All flights were on 9 January 2011, as this was simply a day trip to the Netherlands. All flights were taken in Europe Select, KLM's 'premium' product on European routes - however there is often dispute on whether the product offered constitutes a 'business class' service.
As the flight departed at 09:45, and I wanted to allow time to park the car and visit the lounge at Edinburgh, I left reasonably early at around 07:30. Since we're in Winter, it was still the hours of darkness as I drove to the airport.
Notice in the pic my fuel light is on, so a quick stop to Shell before heading over the Forth Road Bridge to the airport. The commute to the airport from home is only 25 minutes maximum, however since this was a Sunday and early morning I managed to save some time on my journey.
Soon, I arrived at Edinburgh Airport where I had prebooked airport parking. I gathered my belonging (no checked-in luggage today since it was a very short trip) and headed for the shuttle bus to the airport terminal.
The bus journey lasted only a couple of minutes and soon I was outside the terminal building. The airport has gone through some real improvements in the last 5 years or so, including a new control tower, low-cost wing, renovation of the departure lounge and a modernised security check. With the sun slowly rising I managed to capture this image of the new car park and control tower in the background.
Time to check-in for today's flight to Amsterdam. Flight KL 1278 is midway down the screen, with departure time 09:45. I don't know if I prefer the screens I've seen in America where destinations are listed alphabetically rather than in chronological order.
There were four desks open for today's flight. One bag drop, two economy class check-in and one business class. The desks were not exclusively for KLM. Servisair handles KLM, Air France and the Continental (United) flight to Newark from these desks all together.
Check-in went smoothly, with about a 5 minute wait. The economy class queue seemed to move quicker than business class, however the girl behind the business desk did work efficiently. She handed me a lounge invite and wished me a pleasant trip.
From check-in I headed upstairs and through security. The screens read 'Your wait time will be 10-12 minutes' however I walked straight through to the departure lounge with no wait at all. The new modernised facilities are also far more efficient than the previous.
Once through security there is a new platform with flight information screens. Shopping facilities and bar/restaurants have also been improved, including a new Wetherspoons.
I picked up a couple of things from Boots, changed currency to Euros and then headed to the Servisair Lounge. The lounge, which I have reported on before, is a bit of an anti-climax. Decor is simple and although the staff are friendly, they tend to spend the whole time talking behind the desk.
The food offerings are very poor. Wrapped biscuits and crackers are all that are offered. During the morning there are some croissants offered, but these are very dry and seem rather cheap.
Scheduled boarding was for 09:15 however boarding was actually called about 09:25. The KLM Cityhopper Fokker 70 was to depart from Gate 3, with a jetbridge. Often, these smaller aircraft park at a remote stand and passengers are bussed, as is the case at Schiphol.
We were welcomed onboard by an all Scottish crew. This is something which I find quite strange. The KLM Cityhopper crew did not speak Dutch, and made announcements in English whilst using a pre-recorded Dutch message. As someone who speaks Dutch and German as well as English I think its a bit strange having crew in KLM uniform who can't speak any Dutch.
Next to us, at Gate 2, was Continental's service to New York Newark. I was excited to capture the 757 in the 'hybrid' livery, which if I'm honest I don't really like. The United livery with the fade to white I personally feel looks far better than the Continental livery. It just looks now like the planes are being leased between the carriers and they're in some kind of hybrid livery unsure what airline they belong to. Also notice the new Star Alliance logo forward of the doors where previously the SkyTeam logo was.
Meanwhile onboard the aircraft was getting prepared for departure. A lady in Economy Class had left her cell phone in the baby changing toilets in the terminal, and thankfully ground crew were able to go back inside quickly and managed to find it. Our departure was delayed, but not by long, and the passenger was very grateful.
There is always opinions regarding KLM's Europe Select product, especially since the airline does not 'block' the middle seat in the ES cabin. Thankfully on my flight today, the middle seats had been left vacant.
We taxied to the runway, and made a smooth depature to the south-west. Not surprisingly, as soon as we broke through the low cloud the gloomy weather of Edinburgh seemed a thing of the past.
Shortly after we were in the air, the service began. The curtain between Economy Class and Europe Select was drawn and cabin crew headed down the aisle with their trolley. The purser handed me the infamous Europe Select snack box, before I'd been offered a drink. I thought this way of serving was rather strange, as everyone was given a box and THEN offered a drink. Surely drinks come first?!
As per usual with these ES boxes, the combinations were quite incredible. I would say I'm generally quite cultured, but the offering today was strange. A 'game roulade' was served on a bed of Sauerkraut with elderberry topping. Alongside this a cheese and shrimp salad. The dessert was awesome, and similar to something I've had on intercontinental World Business Class last year. With the snack, I had apple juice and tea.
Following this, I had a browse of this month's Holland Herald, the people issue. An interesting read with a much discussed interview with Peter Hartman (CEO of KLM) regarding KLM brand and possible integration of Alitalia into the Air France KLM Group.
After a second cup of tea, the meal boxes were cleared and we began our descent into the Amsterdam. Flying in over the English Channel and across the Netherlands on a clear day made for some great photographs, and I fell in love with the country all over again. KLM continuous descent approach allowed for some great pics showing how the aircraft effortlessly approached the airport.
Our taxi was average from what I've experienced on some arrivals to Schiphol, and before long we were pulling on to our parking stand at the KLM Cityhopper Fokker and Embraer playground. Buses waited to take us to the terminal, and there were some great opportunities to photograph aircraft on the ground.
I moved quickly through the Passport Check and with no bags to collect, headed straight out onto Schiphol Plaza. A quick look in Planes Plaza (no trip to Schiphol is complete without it) and although I was tempted to quickly head to the Panorama Terrace, I decided to head for the train to Amsterdam Centraal.
The train service from Schiphol to Amsterdam Centraal is excellent! I've used it a couple of times before, and today I purchased an 'Amsterdam All in 1 Ticket' which included return train tickets on Nederlands Spoorwegen (NS) between the airport and the city. As well as this, the 'All in 1 Ticket' included unlimited travel on GVB services in Amsterdam (including metro, bus and tram). Total price for this ticket was €13. This is amazing compared to travel in Scotland by train, with return tickets for an equivalent journey of Schiphol - Centraal costing close to €10 alone.
As we approach Amsterdam Centraal the novelty of sitting on a 'double decker train' begins to wear off. These trains are excellent though, and services regular. If you're ever flying into Schiphol and need to go into the city, I would definitely suggest the NS service to Amsterdam Centraal over a taxi.
After arrival into Amsterdam, I headed to the outside tram stops to pick up a tram to the Heineken Experience. The tram services are excellent once you learn the procedure. I kept forgetting to 'check-out' with leaving the tram!
The Heineken Experience is a great place to visit, especially if you love beer! The exhibits are all very interesting and, if you take your time to appreciate everything, you can spend just over an hour in there. It's actually inside the old Heineken brewery (now moved) but visitors can see (or taste) everything from the old brewing tanks to the raw ingredients. There's even a ride 'Brew Your Ride' where you are 'brewed', and the opportunity to take home your own custom labelled bottle with your name on it! Not to be missed by beer fans, or anyone who loves everything Dutch! (Entrance fee is €15 but this includes 2 large Heineken beers at the end of the tour, and 1 smaller beer during tour).
And here is my custom bottle of Heineken, as bottled by me
From the Heineken Experience, I decided to do some exploration on foot. I had prebooked tickets to Anne Frank Huis (Anne Frank's House) for 15:45 so it would make good time by the time I made it across town. A trip to Amsterdam wouldn't be complete without a trip to the world famous Red Light District, which for us laid back Europeans is all very acceptable, however some American (or Canadian?) tourists were clearly finding the sights a little too much... And before anyone asks, no, I didn't enter any of these establishments!
Unfortunately, photography is not permitted in Anne Frank's House so I have no photos of actually inside the building. Nonetheless it was an excellent place to visit and you really do feel right in the moment.
Before long it was time to head back to Centraal Station and catch the NS service back to Schiphol. For anyone planning a visit to Amsterdam, trains returning to Schiphol depart from Platform 13 (correct as at January 2011).
After the short train journey, of about 17-20 minutes, I was back at the best place on earth...
I had planned to visit the Panorama Terrace briefly, however Winter opening hours dictate that the terrace closes at 17:00. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 1293
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol - Edinburgh (Turnhouse)
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800WL
Registration: PH-BXN (built December 2000)
Delivered direct from the factory to KLM, 16/12/2000
Since I was returning on the same day, the check-in agent at Edinburgh had checked me in for my return flight at the same time. This saved checking in at Amsterdam, and I headed straight through to the Holland Boulevard and KLM Crown Lounge. The lounge was relatively busy, but as usual the food offerings were to a minimum. The seats near the Entertainment center and the computers seemed to smell strongly of cigarettes despite there being a designated zone. It is a real reminder of how much more comfortable it is with the smoking-ban in the United Kingdom.
Nice features of the KLM Crown Lounge include iPads and shower facilities.
After time in the lounge I headed to Starbucks and took some more photos of the terminal
Boarding was stated to start at 20:10 on the boarding card. This was 1hr 5mins before the scheduled departure of the aircraft, since security is carried out at the gate at Amsterdam. This system seems rather strange to me as there seems to be a lot of hanging around at the gate area before boarding. When I approached gate D51 the queue of passengers was spreading right across the moving walkways. I decided to leave it a while, and return when it was quieter.
I had expected the flight to be far quieter than it actually was, given that this is a later flight and when I had taken the same flight in September 2008 there had been only 2 of us in Europe Select.
The purser welcomed me onboard and put my hand luggage in the 'attic' (a fold out storage compartment in the ceiling of ES - look out for it on your next encounter with the 737NG).
The captain introduced himself and made us aware that we would be departing slightly behind schedule as we needed to be de-iced before take off. This is only the second time I have been de-iced at Amsterdam. Last time was onboard a 777-200 to Detroit, and it's always a pretty cool thing to watch.
Take off was smooth and before long the onboard service began. This time snacks were served WITH drinks, although the Europe Select meal combination was again something quite bizarre.
I didn't take any pictures of the meal or menu card, but the 'appetiser' was cold pea soup with Frisian rye bread and corned veal. The 'dessert' was Bitterkoekjes with apple and apricot compote. Following the meal service was tea/coffee and stroopwaffels (the best little things in the world - which always taste better in Holland, and not as good in Starbucks).
We made another smooth approach into Edinburgh and the flight arrived on stand 5 minutes behind schedule. After a short queue at security of around 10 minutes, I made my way back to the shuttle bus to return to the car.
As per usual, KLM had delivered. IMHO, the service I received from the crew on these flights was actually on par with the service I've enjoyed in KLM Economy Class and I feel flights within Europe don't have the 'business class' edge as some other carriers manage to have. Amsterdam was great to experience, especially on such a nice sunny (but cold) day.
Thanks for reading this report on my short trip to the Netherlands. Will be back with more soon!
Quoting conrad1402 (Thread starter): Unfortunately, photography is not permitted in Anne Frank's House so I have no photos of actually inside the building. Nonetheless it was an excellent place to visit and you really do feel right in the moment.
BAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 20513 times:
Thanks for the interesting report. My job is currently in Amsterdam, so I get to fly there a lot and have experienced a mixture of BA and KLM in both classes (oh and easyJet to Stansted, but we'll blame the snow for that!). I have to say that KLM's ES product is always a bit of a disappointment, especially the one day when I was booked on a Fokker flight AMS-LHR (think it was the 70, although not sure...do they fly the 100 into LHR?). Even though I was booked in Europe Select on that flight, there was no evidence of it whatsoever...we got the same sandwich as the folks got in Economy, there was no tea/coffee in proper china cups, there was no taking of coats etc. by the cabin crew - it was in effect pure Economy service. Fortunately I'd allowed enough time to make use of the Crown Lounge in AMS (hence why I'm not sure whether I flew on the F70 or the F100 !) , which I have to say is a lot better than the BA lounge! If I'd had to fork out for a Europe Select ticket myself, rather than my company having paid for it for me, I would have been a tad peeved!!
But yes, Amsterdam is a great city. For the first six months in the job my company rented me an apartment that was literally just around the corner from Anne Frank's house, so I got to experience all that the Jordaan had to offer. It was so much nicer walking to and from the office along the canals twice a day than it is to do a public transport commute in London!
Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
aflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 519 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 19849 times:
Thanks for publishing this report. Sounds like you had a nice time in Amsterdam. KLM's Europe Select product looks alright but it seems like a lot can be improved. Do you know how much more ES cost's compared to Y?
Finally and out of the topic, it was interresting watching the video you've made http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRaSe6aztuw.
Part of this video (couple on WBC) comes from another video on line. Were they real "winner" clients?
thanks for sharing
East African Spotter
Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
conrad1402 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 1 month 17 hours ago) and read 19002 times:
Thank you to everyone who gave me feedback so quickly. I really enjoyed making this report, and although it isn't the most adventurous of routes, I feel any reports (especially on KLM ) can be very interesting.
Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 1): Hi Conrad, nice job on this report. I'm glad you like it here so much!
- It's hard to explain how much I love the Netherlands. It feels like I'm coming home when I arrive and the people I meet whenever I'm in the country are always so welcoming, unlike other capital cities.
Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 1): Personally I'd wish KLM would put more effort into offering a serious business product on Europe flights..
- So do I! I would never pay the extra for this service myself, because the product is very similar to Economy Class. I don't think KL will be improving Europe Select anytime soon however, as airlines across Europe such as BMI are changing European Business Class for a premium product, such as Economy Plus. When challenged on the issue of ES, KLM state that it is a 'premium product' but not strictly business class. Passengers can experience World Business Class on intercontinental routes.
Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 1): I have never been to Amsterdam or flown on KLM, so this was very interesting. Thanks for including pictures of the city as well.
- You're welcome! I thought it would be nice to include some pictures of the city as well. You should definitely give Amsterdam a visit, or at least transfer at Schiphol and meet some of the wonderful people at KLM
- The Anne Frank Huis is excellent. As I said in the report, you really feel like you are part of the events of the past. There are some video tributes played on screens around the tour, and they can be really through-provoking. It's probably better that no photography is allowed, as a mark of respect.
Quoting BAViscount (Reply 3): I get to fly there a lot and have experienced a mixture of BA and KLM in both classes
- Nice job! I'm a regular to Amsterdam on KLM (obviously) and haven't flown on BA metal for some years now. In fact, I've never been to Terminal 5! Will have to sort this out, however staff travel on KLM in Business Class is always that little more attractive. Which carrier do you prefer, taking into account the service onboard and pre-departure services such as the Crown Lounge for KLM?
Quoting BAViscount (Reply 3): I have to say that KLM's ES product is always a bit of a disappointment
- Very true. It's frustrating! Especially when the middle seat is filled, I think that tops off the whole disappointment!
Quoting BAViscount (Reply 3): Fokker flight AMS-LHR (think it was the 70, although not sure...do they fly the 100 into LHR?)
This depends on when you took the flight. The Fokker 100 has been retired from scheduled passenger service and replaced by the Embraer 190. KLC still have 5 Fokker 100 aircraft which are held for situations where operational availability of the F70 dictates they are used. KLM did used to fly the 100 to LHR some time ago before it was retired, however there are 2 daily connections LHR-AMS operated by KLC on some weekdays which use the Embraer 190 and Fokker 70. My guess would be that you were on a 70.
Quoting BAViscount (Reply 3): there was no tea/coffee in proper china cups, there was no taking of coats etc. by the cabin crew - it was in effect pure Economy service.
That is unacceptable. You should definitely of put into writing that you were unhappy with the service, even if it wasn't you personally who paid the ticket. KLM Customer Care can take a few weeks to respond by mail, however each case is handled by a named individual and usually unhappy customers are rewarded a few thousand Flying Blue miles as a gesture of goodwill. If you do need to contact KLM, I would always recommend by post. Although it is not the quickest means of contact, it saves the weak responses you get from emailing us.
Quoting BAViscount (Reply 3): Fortunately I'd allowed enough time to make use of the Crown Lounge in AMS (hence why I'm not sure whether I flew on the F70 or the F100 !)
This made me laugh! Whilst the food offerings at the Crown Lounge aren't the best, there is a range of quality branded spirits and on-tap Heineken which make the lack of food a little more bearable!
Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 4): For the first six months in the job my company rented me an apartment that was literally just around the corner from Anne Frank's house
Wow, I'm jealous! Would love to live in that location. I'm considering moving to the Netherlands if I move to a new position with KLM. That is definitely my ambition!
As a comparison, a flight on KLM.com just now between LHR-AMS (return) in ES would cost £420, about 4 times the price of reduced KLM Economy. With ES you get a fully flexible reservation and 200% Flying Blue Miles. This compares to 25% FB Miles on reduced Economy fares, and 150% FB Miles in WBC long haul routes.
Quoting eastafspot (Reply 5): Not true, you forget the generous and healthy fruit baskets
How could I forget such a great offering?!
Quoting eastafspot (Reply 5): by any chance do you remenber, or can you see on you picture, the registration? as it appears that only the 9:05 flight is on United Livery.
I'm afraid I didn't catch the registration. As you can see from the pictures it was a pretty miserable morning in Scotland, and I didn't have my contact lenses in!
Thanks for watching the video! I had no idea so many people had seen it. Hope you enjoyed it! With regards to the clips, I collaborated a number of KLM and non-KLM YouTube material for the video. The couple say they won the trip, and they were video documenting it, however I honestly don't know what they won or what competition they entered. We offer a number of different competitions around the world. They manage to showcase the WBC features pretty well though!
This video was actually shown to new KLM interns, and went down very well. I like to think it shows them the true spirit of KLM.
Thanks to everyone for commenting, keep the feedback coming!
buck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 887 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 1 month 15 hours ago) and read 18787 times:
Great trip report Conrad. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although maybe soemthing wrong with the site at my end as the formatting was a bit odd. I have also never been to Amsterdam and by looking at yoru pictures, I felt like I had a little trip of my own. The Heineken Express sounds truly amazing. Did you get to keep that personalized bottle as a souvinear?
Because that would be an amazing souvinear
Thanks a lot for writing this report and sharing it with us...
Genius12 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 212 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (5 years 1 month 14 hours ago) and read 18600 times:
Nice report, and great to read of a product that is not often reported on A.net.
I agree that those meals in Europe Select are a bit of an odd combination.
KLM certainly doesn't seem to offer a real business class within Europe - BA's Club Europe (shorthaul business), whilst essentially the same seat as Euro Traveller (shorthaul economy) does at least offer three inches more legroom, a slightly wider seat and guaranteed empty middle seat. The catering also looks superior on BA.
BAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (5 years 1 month 7 hours ago) and read 18103 times:
Quoting conrad1402 (Reply 6): Which carrier do you prefer, taking into account the service onboard and pre-departure services such as the Crown Lounge for KLM?
Hi Conrad1402...I have to say that my preference is for BA when flying business class, but for KLM when flying economy. I usually have a return ticket starting from LHR, so when flying BA I at least get to use the Galleries lounge in T5, which I love! It helps that I'm a fan of Thai curries, but apart from that the food and drink choice is not too shabby. I've also used the Skyteam lounge in T4 when flying KLM, but it's always been dark o'clock, so whilst I've gorged on the breakfast buffet and coffee, I can't speak for the alcofrol selection! The breakfast buffet is good, although the bacon has more fat than bacon, but the scrambled eggs are always good.
KL economy is always nice though. The legroom always seems to be better than BA (on the 738 anyway), and you still get a sandwich! Not wanting to be contencious, but it always seems that whenever I fly out of AMS on BA, we always have to use the Polderbaan, but my KL flights always seem to be from the runways closer to the terminal. Maybe it's a bit of a tit-for-tat thing because KL flights often have to wait to cross an active runway to taxi to T4!
Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
conrad1402 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 17601 times:
Thanks for even more feedback, keep it coming!
Quoting buck3y3nut (Reply 7): Great trip report Conrad. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although maybe soemthing wrong with the site at my end as the formatting was a bit odd.
Glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for taking the time to read it. I'll have a look and try to fix any formatting issues. Sorry!
Quoting buck3y3nut (Reply 7): Did you get to keep that personalized bottle as a souvinear?
Yes, you can keep the bottle for €5. I paid to keep the bottle, however as I only had hand luggage I was not permitted to carry liquid over 100ml. As laws dictate, I had to ditch the bottle at Schiphol.
Quoting taichen (Reply 8): Well, the menus do not seem so "strange" to me. They have a definite strong "Dutch" theme, with may not appeal all costumers, but I don't see anything weird about them.
Yes, I am pretty cultured in what I eat. Having a Dutch mother, and living there as a child, I'm familiar with typically Dutch dishes. However I don't feel Europe Select showcases what is meant by Dutch cuisine. From feedback in most ES TRs on the site, I'm not the only one who doesn't quite understand the box combinations, as the comment from Genius12 shows below...
Quoting Genius12 (Reply 9): I agree that those meals in Europe Select are a bit of an odd combination.
Quoting Genius12 (Reply 9): offer three inches more legroom, a slightly wider seat and guaranteed empty middle seat.
The BA C product in Euro sounds much better than KLM's Europe Select. The middle seat being occupied on KL flights really degrades the product. As you may be aware the seats in KL ES are the same as those of Economy Class (same width, pitch, covering) and KLM are able to alter the size of the cabin with the moveable bulkhead. On both my flights the minimum cabin size for ES was used, utilising on 2 rows.
Quoting ardian (Reply 10): Cool tripreport! You were flying directly above my hown town (Heemskerk), with its famous (and very ugly) blue wind turbine. Nice to hear you had a great time in The Netherlands
Well spotted! It was a beautiful clear day, so I really enjoyed the descent into The Netherlands. Your country is beautiful.
Quoting BAViscount (Reply 11): I've also used the Skyteam lounge in T4 when flying KLM, but it's always been dark o'clock, so whilst I've gorged on the breakfast buffet and coffee, I can't speak for the alcofrol selection! The breakfast buffet is good, although the bacon has more fat than bacon, but the scrambled eggs are always good.
Good to know! I've never tried out the SkyTeam Lounge at Heathrow, despite wanting to since it opened. I rarely fly out of LHR and take CityJet to LCY usually. Definitely need to test the new facilities. I'm interested as to what the 'oxygen bar' is, and the breakfast buffet sounds awesome - far better than Servisair Lounges.
Thanks! The video was shown to other KL Interns, mostly new joiners, to give a little information about the airline.
I've actually just uploaded another video about KLM, which was a group project. We've used some YouTube clips of KLM through the years, and this is just for general viewing if anyone has a spare 4 minutes. Check it out here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZbNyRBcHFQ
Quoting DunaA320 (Reply 14): Cheers for sharing, great you got the fly the F70! Also nice car!
Thanks for reading! I have to say, although it's quite nice to fly the Fokker 70 as it's not a very common aircraft outside of Europe, I much prefer the KLM mainline service and the cabin of the 737 for European flights. It also means no bus journey to the Fokker playground at AMS
rwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3242 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (5 years 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 16334 times:
Nice report, thanks for sharing! I agree with others' sentiments - Europe "Neglect" is a disappointing product overall. In general, it only seems to exist to throw a bone to longhaul World Business Class passengers with a connecting flight in Europe. Particularly disappointing is that they don't block middle seats. I ended up in Europe Neglect about 10 times in 2010, and a particularly bad flight from CPH-AMS was the last straw (no meal boarded, no taking of coats, one drink run), so I now won't purchase the product anymore as there's no incremental value over a flexible economy ticket (especially as a platinum that already gets extra baggage allowance, lounge access, and fast security). I really hope KLM will improve the product in the future, since the business travel market seems to be coming back.
Anyway, a bit of a rant, but I'm glad you had a great flight and what looks like a beautiful day in Amsterdam!
airbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4401 posts, RR: 49
Reply 18, posted (5 years 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 15878 times:
great report of that day in Amsterdam. Good to hear your positive comments on the Dutch trainservices. I'm with you, ad the Dutch are actuall spoiled with a good service. Overall the image they have by the national community is pretty bad and that tickets are overpriced. I always think about the overpriced service I find in the UK then
KLM's Europe select is indeed not good, even more on the short flights from e.g. EDI.
On longer legs (e.g. ARN, HEL, ATH etc.) you can enjoy a hot meal or other larger plate, and the crew has more time to give service. Still the seats and also the lounge experience in AMS leave much to desire.
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
Quoting rwSEA (Reply 17): I really hope KLM will improve the product in the future, since the business travel market seems to be coming back.
- We can hope... I've yet to try the WBC seats on the 77W, which were are the 'improved' long-haul seat.
Quoting rwSEA (Reply 17): Anyway, a bit of a rant, but I'm glad you had a great flight and what looks like a beautiful day in Amsterdam!
- Don't worry, you didn't rant. Everything you said I agree with and is justified. It was a lovely day, which you can really see in the shots of my approach into The Netherlands
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 18): On longer legs (e.g. ARN, HEL, ATH etc.) you can enjoy a hot meal or other larger plate
- Definitely. I took a flight MAD-AMS in 2008 in ES and there was a full (hot) meal service and ice cream! Much better than the silly 'boxes'. IIRC the flight has to be more than 2 hours duration for a hot service to be provided.
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 18): Overall the image they have by the national community is pretty bad and that tickets are overpriced.
- The cost for the return Schiphol train on NS and unlimited travel for 24 hours within Amsterdam was €13.20, I think. Although I didn't actually pay for the tickets, I would have no problem paying this price as it is definitely value for money. I also really like the check-in/out feature on the trams.
photoshooter From Belgium, joined Feb 2010, 459 posts, RR: 18
Reply 20, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 14699 times:
great trip report! Pictures were excellent and too bad you didn't saw club Vandersexxx in the redlightdistrict.
A bit weird isn't it, a F70 on a morning flight? You'd expect a Boeing on that route.
To be honest with you, KLM's Europe select class looks like normal economy to me, perhaps you got better food
(which I doubt) but the legroom is exactly the same with economy in their Fokker 70.
Nice to see you visited the Heineken museum!
keep up the good work Conrad.
'A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.' - Winston Churchill
ba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8732 posts, RR: 53
Reply 21, posted (5 years 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 13970 times:
Nice report and pictures, thanks for sharing - looks like you had a good day trip!
Quoting conrad1402 (Thread starter): As per usual with these ES boxes, the combinations were quite incredible. I would say I'm generally quite cultured, but the offering today was strange. A 'game roulade' was served on a bed of Sauerkraut with elderberry topping. Alongside this a cheese and shrimp salad. The dessert was awesome, and similar to something I've had on intercontinental World Business Class last year
- I don't think it's just me, KL have some very odd offering in these boxes, especially on the AM flights. It's a shame KL no longer have a 'proper' European Business Class product, I had a very nice flight with then on an A310 in 1992 from OPO to MAD in Business.