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KLM, TAP, A Lot Of Fog And The Greve Geral  
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1756 posts, RR: 18
Posted (2 years 8 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7168 times:

'Greve Geral' is Portugese and it means General Strike...

The second half of November 2011 saw me travelling to Lisbon on business. After searching for the best options, I soon settled on the following routing:


I selected this routing for a number of reasons. First of all, because it allowed me to fly from my home airport, located just 15 minutes from my flat. Secondly, KLM operates the B. 737-900 on the Lisbon route. The -900 is the only subtype of the B. 737 which I had not been on. And thirdly, I like KLM.

But then things started to happen. I was scheduled to leave Basel on Monday, 21 November 2011 with a return on Thursday, 24. November 2011. But then on the Saturday before my departure, I received a call from KLM informing me that there would be a general strike in Portugal on the 24th and that therefore, I had been rebooked to the 25th. To add insult to injury, both KLM flights on the 25th were full and subsequently I was rebooked on Air France via CDG. Needless to say, I was not amused. Not only did this strike reduce my chances of getting on the -900 by 50%, it also meant a) having to travel with Air France, which I think is a really shitty airline, and b) that I would have to transfer at CDG, which is a truly horrible airport that was built with everything but the traveller’s needs in mind. So suddenly, my schedule looked like this:


This did not suit me at all because it would also mean missing a day at work, which was somewhat inconvenient. Fortunately though, I found a seat on TAP Air Portugal’s morning flight on Friday, 25 November, which would get me into Zurich, close to where I work, just before noon. So eventually, my schedule was as follows:


On the Sunday, the day before my departure, I woke up with a sore throat, a blocked nose and what felt like a fat head. I was coming down with a cold. It was somewhere around this point that I started to wonder if there might just be some higher power and, if so, if perhaps it was trying to tell me not to go to Lisbon. I quickly discarded the idea, drank loads of tea, slept a lot and hoped for the best for the next day and my flight with the -900. Last thing before bed I checked in online for my flight the next morning.

The next day I was on my way to the airport bright and early for a 07h25 departure to Amsterdam on a KLM F. 70. As a rule I try to avoid checking-in luggage when I travel. Today though, I decided to make an exception because it seemed more convenient. After all, I was planning to write a trip report and needed my hands free for the camera.

Basel airport is located on French soil, there is an access road from Switzerland to the airport. The facility is divided into a French and a Swiss part. Air France obviously handles flights leaving from the French part or operated by one of the members of Skyteam and KLM, even though the KLM flight actually leaves from a gate on the Swiss side of the terminal.

Upon arrival at the Air France drop-off counter, the Air France agent inquired about my destination. When I explained it was Lisbon via Amsterdam, she informed me that my flight would be delayed due to some persistent fog in the Amsterdam area. The flight would not be leaving before 10h00 and therefore I should go to the Air France counter for rebooking via Paris. So much for the remaining 50% chance of getting the -900. Alas, there was no other solution it seemed so I left check-in and headed to the Air France ticketing counter. By this time it was around 06h30 in the morning and I was number 12 in the queue. That’s when I suddenly remembered why exactly I think Air France is such a shitty airline: what’s the bloody point of having Platiunum status in their FFP if you get absolutely no benefits whatsoever, such as jumping the queue, in terms of ground services?

In any case, while I pondered such earthshattering thoughts, I surreptitiously glanced at the screen with the departures for that day. It was only then that I realised that the flight to Paris would be leaving at 06h50, in less than 20 minutes time. I’m not good with numbers but I realised very soon that that meant less than 2 minutes per passenger for a rebooking and reissue. With only one person manning the ticketing desk, that was not very likely to happen. I also realised that the next departure to Paris would not be until 10h30, by which time I would have missed the Air France flight to Lisbon anyway, unless of course, I fancied hanging around CDG2 for endless hours to catch the evening departure.

So I decided to play dumb. After all, having done OLCI the evening before and if it hadn’t been for the case I wanted to check-in, I would have gone straight through security and would only have found out about the delay at the gate. So that’s exactly what I did.

Second reason why I think Air France is a shitty airline: the screens at the departure gate did not show a delay and during the entire period I was in the terminal building, not a single announcement was made regarding the KLM flight.
After security I made a B line for the bar and ordered a café au lait and a pain au chocolat. It was the bar keeper who informed me that food and drinks were for free if I had a boarding pass for the Amsterdam flight with KLM. How very nice of him to point that one out, how sly of Air France not to. Third reasons why I think Air France is a shitty airline: crap customer service in general, Platiunum or not!

But in such a situation – bored shitless at the airport – it’s the little things that make you happy and keep you busy. One might also say that little thing please little minds: I took my coffee and pain au chocolat and moseyed over to the gate for the KLM flight. I sat down next to an elderly lady, who looked like a talkative sort, we chatted a little and I mentioned to her, en passant as the French say, that Air France was offering free drinkies and grub to the KLM passengers…It’s quite amazing how quickly the gate area subsequently cleared! How rude to listen in on other peoples’ conversations!

At around 07h45 there still had been no announcement about the flight. As I looked out at my aircraft however, I noticed that a refuelling truck had just pulled up next to the plane and figured this might be a good sign. And indeed, at around 08h00 two Air France employees arrived and informed all the passengers that we would be leaving tout de suite and needed to get on board before we missed our slot. Well that certainly came unexpectedly!

And here's the bird to Amsterdam.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020031.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020032.jpg

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http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020036.jpg

First impressions of the cabin were good, especially given its age. It looked to me as though it must have recently undergone a revamp. The finishings were evidently very old school but they looked as though they’d recently been cleaned or received a new coat of paint.

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020037.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020038.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020040.jpg

I've never seen such a shiny buckle before on a plane!
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020041.jpg

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http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020063.jpg

Of course one passenger failed to show up, of course his luggage had to be offloaded and of course this meant we would miss our slot. So we waited a bit longer and I took a few more pictures until eventually we were on our way, jay!
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020039.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020042.jpg

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http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020047.jpg

The flight itself was very calm and rather pleasant, the KLM crew apologised repeatedly about the delay and kept us update on any developments. The cabin crew consisted of a young male purser and a female flight attendant of South Asian descent and somewhat striking features. The safety on board instructions were meticulously and seriously demonstrated. I liked that.

It was a lovely day for flying, that is until we reached the Amsterdam area of course, with some great views of the Jura mountains and even the Alps further in the distance.

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020049.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020050.jpg

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http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020054.jpg

The meal service consisted of a turkey sandwich (I think and hope it was turkey) and some sweet thing filled with a fruity substance. I only tried that and left most of it. Not because it was bad but because I’m not really a fruity kind of guy.

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020055.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020056.jpg

As we headed north ground visibility seriously deteriorated. The approach and landing were weird. I was looking out the window expecting to see the ground somewhere below us. When eventually I did manage to see something, it was one of the runway lights just a couple of seconds before touchdown.

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020057.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020058.jpg

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http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020065.jpg

Upon arrival I made my way to the lounge, which I really like and which, surprisingly, was not too full either. There were four people working at the assistance desk, trying to help and rebook all the passengers that had been stranded or delayed by the weather. They did a great job I thought.

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020066.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020068.jpg

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http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020070.jpg

At this point, I have a confession to make: my flight to Lisbon was delayed by nearly two hours. By the time I got on board I was simply too exhausted to do anything. I did not take a single picture and fell asleep instead. So no pictures of the -900. My recollections of the flight are somewhat vague as I was running a fever by the time we landed in Lisbon. Seat pitch was very good I thought. Furthermore, as many people had not made the connection, the middle seat remained empty, which gave me even more space. Service in Economy consisted of a warm Focaccia with tomatoes and melted Mozzarella. That was followed by a second drinks round and a nice Brownie. Shortly before arrival we were given two wholemeal biscuits. All in all I think KLM gave an excellent performance, both in terms of crisis management in Amsterdam but also as far as on board service was concerned. As for Air France in Basel, just don’t get me started.

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1756 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (2 years 8 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7094 times:

Part two: the return

I spent most of the 24th in my hotel room working. Around lunchtime I ventured out and went down to the water around the area of the park of the nations, which, from what I understand, had been built for the expo. It was a lovely day with temperatures around 22 degrees Celsius in the sun.

The next morning my flight to Zurich was set to depart at 07h40. I was not really quite sure what to expect after the strike and I figured there might just be a lot of people at the airport who’d been stranded there since the previous day. Much to my surprise though, the airport was busy but not unusually so. Lisbon airport is somewhat strange. I suspect that perhaps it must have had bits and pieces added to it, seemingly at random. The first thing that struck me when I entered was that it was not immediately where the check-in counter were located and from where to go through security and access the gates area. Eventually though I managed and made my way to the TAP Star Gold lounge. On my way there I passed this here, which I thought was rather odd, to say the least. I would not be at all surprised to see something Harrods branded at an airport like Zurich, Singapore or Dubai. But in dingy, grimy, old Lisbon airport it looked somewhat out of place.

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020071.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020072.jpg

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http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020075.jpg

The TAP lounge is quite small but rather nice and very stylishly designed and decorated. There were a few people around, but not too many, so my stay was quite pleasant. What struck me in that they make boarding announcements in the lounge, possibly though only for the TAP flights. My only complaint about the lounge is that there aren’t really that many loos. The food offerings were not bad, but some of the pastries were stale. I could not say though, if possible that might have something to do with the strike the previous day.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020073.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020076.jpg

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http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020082.jpg

Boarding for the flight was via bus gate. I was delighted of course as this would mean some excellent photo opportunities for TAP’s great livery. Alas, I only managed the one picture from the bus. As we got off the driver advised me that taking pictures was not permitted. Interestingly enough, one of the flight attendants also told me to stop taking pictures. I just don’t get that, honestly. What do these people have to hide? Or rather, what do they thing they have hide? So I apologised, waited for her to leave and continued taking pictures.

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020083.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020084.jpg

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http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020103.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020095.jpg

The views after take-off were simply stunning.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020093.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020094.jpg

Especially the Pyrenees.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020101.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020102.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020104.jpg

Even so, all in all I was pleasantly surprised by TAP. To be honest, from reading previous reports I was not really expecting any thing much in terms of service. But I found the plane to be in good condition and catering was certainly a lot more substantial than what you get on many other European carriers these days.

Breakfast consisted of a sandwich with cheese and cold cut. I fished the latter out before I took a bite. Not that keen on cold meats. There was also an actimel drink to help the digestive system, which was particularly tasty, and a brioche type of croissant with strawberry jam. I had a cup of tea and some apple juice with that. Certainly hit the spot.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020098.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020099.jpg

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http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020100.jpg

Our routing was somewhat strange: we flew all the way north up the Iberian peninsula, across the bay of Biscay to Paris and from there back south down to Zurich.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020096.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020106.jpg

Nearly home.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020104.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020107.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020108.jpg

As you may know, Oman Air will start flying to Zurich shortly. As part of their advertising they're exhibiting their business class seat at the airport. It's not a bad idea, but the execution is so lifeless and uninspired...
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020111.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020110.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Lisbon%20Refresher/P1020109.jpg

Conclusion
this trip was quite exhausting. Even so, I think it was a success from a professional point of view. From a private perspective, I finally managed to catch a ride on the -900 and tried a new airline: TAP. Nothing has changed about my sympathy for KLM and I think their staff did a great job at Schiphol and in the air to make up for all the hassle and inconvenience. Air France in Basel however just sucked.

As for TAP, I like them. Really!


User currently offlineEuroWings From UK - England, joined Sep 2011, 298 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 8 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7081 times:

Hi,

Great report. Despite the weather and industrial action problems, it seems like you had a good flights with KLM and TAP.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
First impressions of the cabin were good, especially given its age. It looked to me as though it must have recently undergone a revamp. The finishings were evidently very old school but they looked as though they’d recently been cleaned or received a new coat of paint.

Cityhopper's F70s seem to be immaculately presented, despite their age.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
All in all I think KLM gave an excellent performance, both in terms of crisis management in Amsterdam but also as far as on board service was concerned.

I had a flight cancellation due to the fog in Amsterdam and the KLM staff could not have been more apologetic or courteous. I was really quite impressed, although I've always found KL's Intra-European economy service to be generally of a high standard.

The in-flight airshow map looks a bit odd in terms of geography on TAP!

Thanks
EuroWings

[Edited 2011-11-25 12:44:41]

User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4253 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (2 years 8 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6997 times:

Hi!

nice to read about your positive KLM experience. I like the interior on KLM's aircraft also these days, really good comfort in general. Congrats with the 737-900, indeed a rare breed!
The route from LIS back home is not uncommon. Also routings from MAD are like this. It might have to do with lower ATC charges on these routes, or enroute weather avoidance, or congestion over Southern France airspace (meaning a slot will be issued by Eurocontrol) etc. etc. So many reasons.

I've a few KLM flights coming up too, and really looking forward to it again.

Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (2 years 8 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6990 times:

Hey,

Great tripreport again, William! And Happy A.Net Birthday!  

Too bad about the AF handling. Sounds rather bad. I'm glad that the other half of AF-KL did better.

That TAP lounge looks nice, really stylish! And indeed their livery looks good.

Some nice pictures from your LIS-ZRH flight.

Martin


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6500 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (2 years 8 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6458 times:

Hi WIlliam !

Interesting report with nice pictures!

It seems your are trying to blame KLM for the general strike in Portugal when they re-booked for a different day or a different routing! It seems to me that they were being very proactive trying to get you to your destination quicker!.......

Too bad about the weather delay as well but not surprising when you see the pictures from AMS that morning.

I agree that the AF staff at BSL should have treated you and the other passengers better but weather delays are very difficult to deal with; the weather can change at any time for the better or worse. Most of the time it's just better to wait it out like you did.

KL's service on board seems nice.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (2 years 8 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6135 times:

Hi William,

First of all Happy A.net Birthday!

On the one side, I am shocked by the way AF treated you despite your premium membership. On the other side, I am delighted to know that KL remains the reliable airline.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Fortunately though, I found a seat on TAP Air Portugal’s morning flight on Friday, 25 November, which would get me into Zurich, close to where I work, just before noon

Did you book with TAP on KL’s expenses?

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
that Air France was offering free drinkies and grub to the KLM passengers…It’s quite amazing how quickly the gate area subsequently cleared

Hmm, we should have to be careful then with what we say at holding room. Who knows who might be listening to you.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 1):
The TAP lounge

Nicely decorated, especially the bamboo painting.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 1):
As we got off the driver advised me that taking pictures was not permitted. Interestingly enough, one of the flight attendants also told me to stop taking pictures.

It is so frustrating! One time they do not care your photo-taking and another time they turn paranoid.


Thanks for sharing. I mostly like reading your KL experience. It has been three years ago that I flew with her.

Best wishes,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1447 posts, RR: 33
Reply 7, posted (2 years 8 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6016 times:

Hi William,

You really made me laugh again. Do you ever do any trips where everything goes exactly to plan or do you always have some strike/rebooking/delay/hole in the ceiling/speed dining to contend with?!

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
found a seat on TAP Air Portugal’s morning flight on Friday, 25 November, which would get me into Zurich, close to where I work, just before noon.

Next time that happens, pm me. I was at work yesterday.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The flight would not be leaving before 10h00 and therefore I should go to the Air France counter for rebooking via Paris

All I can say is hats off to you playing the daft traveller and going straight to the gate. I dread to think what would have happened if you'd stayed in that queue.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
That’s when I suddenly remembered why exactly I think Air France is such a shitty airline: what’s the bloody point of having Platiunum status in their FFP if you get absolutely no benefits whatsoever, such as jumping the queue, in terms of ground services?

Yeah, that is very poor.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
After security I made a B line for the bar and ordered a café au lait and a pain au chocolat. It was the bar keeper who informed me that food and drinks were for free if I had a boarding pass for the Amsterdam flight with KLM. How very nice of him to point that one out, how sly of Air France not to

Very interesting setup. AT ZRH you have to wait for the handling agent to give you a voucher before you can claim any freebies.

You say that KLM use a gate on the Swiss side - how does that work then? Did they bus you over from the French side?
The F70 looks in pretty good shape, those blue headrests are pretty stylish. Glad you caught the -900 on the LIS leg, btw.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 1):
So I apologised, waited for her to leave and continued taking pictures.

Haha, that's the spirit!

What a contrast at LIS - that lounge looks so futuristic and yet the christmas decorations are just appalling. Never seen anything so tacky!

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1756 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (2 years 8 months 6 days ago) and read 5808 times:

Hi Eurowings, Martin, Ericc, The777man, Suryo and Hannah

thanks to you all for taking the time to comment.

Quoting EuroWings (Reply 2):
I had a flight cancellation due to the fog in Amsterdam and the KLM staff could not have been more apologetic or courteous. I was really quite impressed, although I've always found KL's Intra-European economy service to be generally of a high standard.

That was my experience as well. The staff were very professional and had obviously been briefed properly about the situation, what to do and how to handle passengers. Like that the process was rather painless and very efficient.

Quoting EuroWings (Reply 2):
The in-flight airshow map looks a bit odd in terms of geography on TAP!

The map has to display modes. One shows the map as we usually know it, with the north at the top and the south at the bottom. The other show you the map in reference to the direction in which the plane is travelling. I found it rather confusing and well, unnecessary.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 3):
I like the interior on KLM's aircraft also these days, really good comfort in general. Congrats with the 737-900, indeed a rare breed!

Indeed, especially the B. 737-900. The leg space was simply amazing and unlike many airlines KLM has sets which still have a bit of padding and are not so hard on the bum.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 3):
I've a few KLM flights coming up too, and really looking forward to it again.

May I just ask you not to forget writing a report or two...

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 4):
Great tripreport again, William! And Happy A.Net Birthday!

Thanks Martin. I only noticed myself when I logged in yesterday to post the report.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 4):
Too bad about the AF handling. Sounds rather bad. I'm glad that the other half of AF-KL did better.

I really was bad: unprofessional, uninspired and totally uninterested in the customer. It's such a pity Air France got its hands on such a great carrier like KLM.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 5):
It seems your are trying to blame KLM for the general strike in Portugal when they re-booked for a different day or a different routing! It seems to me that they were being very proactive trying to get you to your destination quicker!.......

Not at all, I have nothing to complain about the way the strike was handled. Of course I was not looking forward to CDG and Air France but I thought it was very good of them to call me to inform me about the changes. After all, they could have just sent an updated itinerary and e-ticket instead.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 5):
weather delays are very difficult to deal with; the weather can change at any time for the better or worse. Most of the time it's just better to wait it out like you did.

Absolutely, you're quite right. When I realised I wasn't going to make the CDG flight anyway I figured I'd just try and get to Amsterdam and then something would come. And it did.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
First of all Happy A.net Birthday!

Thanks Suryo!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
On the other side, I am delighted to know that KL remains the reliable airline.

Indeed, the Dutch certainly have an airline they can be proud of I think!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
Did you book with TAP on KL’s expenses?

No, I couldn't because the strike is considered higher power. But never mind, strangely enough the ticket on TAP only cost me about 180 Euros oneway.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
Hmm, we should have to be careful then with what we say at holding room. Who knows who might be listening to you.

Yes, still it will teach Air France in Basel not to be so sneaky. The other passengers were equally unimpressed by Air France's ground staff that morning.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
It is so frustrating! One time they do not care your photo-taking and another time they turn paranoid.

Paranoid is the right word. I mean honestly, what did they think I was doing? This website proves there are loads of airline and aviation enthusiasts in the world who mean no harm and just want to enjoy their hobby.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
I mostly like reading your KL experience. It has been three years ago that I flew with her.

Time for another trip and report Suryo?

Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
You really made me laugh again. Do you ever do any trips where everything goes exactly to plan or do you always have some strike/rebooking/delay/hole in the ceiling/speed dining to contend with?!

Hannah, I knew you'd say that! Well it's hardly my fault, really!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
Next time that happens, pm me. I was at work yesterday.

Certainly will do!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
All I can say is hats off to you playing the daft traveller and going straight to the gate. I dread to think what would have happened if you'd stayed in that queue.

God knows! That's what I was thinking too. Probably they would have sent me to CDG to wait around for the evening departure to LIS knowing Air France.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
You say that KLM use a gate on the Swiss side - how does that work then? Did they bus you over from the French side?

Well, it's all rather complicated you see. First you have to cross into France to check-in. Then you have to cross back into Switzerland to go through security and reach the gate. The dumbest thing I've ever heard. But that's how it is.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
What a contrast at LIS - that lounge looks so futuristic and yet the christmas decorations are just appalling. Never seen anything so tacky!

Yes, the TAP lounge and the Harrods Caffe, of which there are numerous around the airport, really stick out from the rest of the infrastructure of the airport, which is, shall we say, a bit dated. As for the tacky decorations, I have a bit of a soft spot for all things tacky to do with Christmas. At least I think I've never come across anybody else whose Christmas tree features balls of orange, violet and sky blue...


User currently offline717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (2 years 8 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5675 times:

Hi William,
and thank you for an interesting report. The general strike sure added some excitement to the story and congratulations for getting on the 737-900, would have been nice to see some pictures too!
Finally I am impressed you managed to upload your TR this fast - you barely got home and now we're already reading about it! For me it's a thing that usual takes weeks...  
Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Secondly, KLM operates the B. 737-900 on the Lisbon route. The -900 is the only subtype of the B. 737 which I had not been on

Wow, I didn't know you could know on beforehand what subtype of the 737 KLM is deploying on a flight.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 1):
Interestingly enough, one of the flight attendants also told me to stop taking pictures. I just don’t get that, honestly. What do these people have to hide?

This seems to be a normal procedure on TP as other trip reports on the forum have told the same. This makes me remember the bus driver at AMS in August this year that pointed out to me that "Take as many pictures as you like, the CRJ-200 is a beautiful plane" when boarding my Cimber Sterling flight.

Regards,
717Flyer


User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1756 posts, RR: 18
Reply 10, posted (2 years 8 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5497 times:

Hi 717flyer

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 9):
thank you for an interesting report

My pleasure for sure.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 9):
The general strike sure added some excitement to the story and congratulations for getting on the 737-900, would have been nice to see some pictures too!

Yeah, I know. I could kick myself now for it. But I was really so pooped by the time I got on that I simply didn't have the energy left. I guess this means I'll have to do another trip.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 9):
Finally I am impressed you managed to upload your TR this fast - you barely got home and now we're already reading about it! For me it's a thing that usual takes weeks...

I'll take that as a compliment! The thing is exactly as you say. If I don't upload the pictures and report straight away it will take weeks before I get round to it, if at all.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 9):
Wow, I didn't know you could know on beforehand what subtype of the 737 KLM is deploying on a flight.

On the KLM site you can check about the type operating the flight during the booking process. So far KLM have been quite reliable. Don't think I've ever had an aircraft change with them.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 9):
This seems to be a normal procedure on TP as other trip reports on the forum have told the same. This makes me remember the bus driver at AMS in August this year that pointed out to me that "Take as many pictures as you like, the CRJ-200 is a beautiful plane" when boarding my Cimber Sterling flight.

What a nice and understanding bus driver!

Thanks for commenting!


User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 684 posts, RR: 21
Reply 11, posted (2 years 8 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5495 times:

Hi William,

interesting report, glad that everything worked out in the end after all that confusion. And congratulations on logging a 737-900, indeed a rare bird.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I just don’t get that, honestly. What do these people have to hide? Or rather, what do they thing they have hide? So I apologised, waited for her to leave and continued taking pictures.

Don't really understand that. But well done by you here, apologize, wait a little and then continue   ...

Fully agree with you on TAP, they are a good airline. I had also just done my first flight with them recently (just a short hop from LIS to MAD), and we also got a nice breakfast, well done.

Greetings
CaptainRed


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 12, posted (2 years 8 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5408 times:

Hi William,

A most enjoyable read. I pretty much agree with you regarding Air France, not exactly my favorite airline out there, especially the handling of the delay and terrible customer service sounds exactly like I expected them to behave. Plus CDG is indeed a horrible, horrible airport for connecting and not that good for an O/D passenger either... I indeed wonder what were they thinking when they designed it.

Good that KLM managed to (once again) salvage your faith on their unholy Dutch-French alliance.

TAP isn't bad at all although many people seem to be putting it off. It's no BA, Swiss or Lufty, but still a decent airline IMHO. You pretty much summarized up LIS airport yourself - it indeed is basically a patchwork of different bits and pieces added to it over time and you can definitely tell it from the current structure. There have been talks for years about building a completely new airport some 50 kilometers north of Lisbon with a high speed rail connection as the current site cannot be expanded as it is surrounded by urban areas and is creaking at its seams (I've spent around half an hour at the take of queue there for example), but thanks to the Portuguese state being pretty much bankrupt at the moment all such plans are not going to take place for the next 20 years or so...

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 1):
Our routing was somewhat strange: we flew all the way north up the Iberian peninsula, across the bay of Biscay to Paris and from there back south down to Zurich.

Wouldn't be surprised if the Spanish ATC controllers threw another wildcat strike and thus forced you to avoid Spanish airspace (mostly at least) - it happens quite often.


User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1659 posts, RR: 30
Reply 13, posted (2 years 8 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5387 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello there William,

A nice and interesting story once again! You had to go through quite an ordeal concerning your routing. I am glad it got solved just the way you wanted but I just wonder how on earth you could fall asleep and not have a sole pic of the KLM 739  Wow! Such a shame but at least you were able to catch up some sleep  

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
So I decided to play dumb

Great! Your persistence worked.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I've never seen such a shiny buckle before on a plane!

Do you have a thing with seatbelts? Your previous report also featured 1 AFAIK?

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
When eventually I did manage to see something, it was one of the runway lights just a couple of seconds before touchdown.

So the reason was 'fog' indeed.


Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
So no pictures of the -900.

  

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
There was also an actimel drink to help the digestive system

...at least that's what Mr Commercial says on the tele  

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1756 posts, RR: 18
Reply 14, posted (2 years 8 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5315 times:

Hi CaptainRed

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 11):
interesting report, glad that everything worked out in the end after all that confusion. And congratulations on logging a 737-900, indeed a rare bird.

Thanks.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 11):
Fully agree with you on TAP, they are a good airline. I had also just done my first flight with them recently (just a short hop from LIS to MAD), and we also got a nice breakfast, well done.

The funny thing is, while I was in Lisbon I was very close to TAP HQ near the airport. Somebody told me the airline was very much like the building of its HQ. I took this to mean no good as their offices look as though they're about to fall apart. So I was all the more surprised that they were good!

Hi FlyingFinn76

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 12):
A most enjoyable read.

Thanks.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 12):
Plus CDG is indeed a horrible, horrible airport for connecting and not that good for an O/D passenger either... I indeed wonder what were they thinking when they designed it.

I suspect the guy who designed it is an outstanding architect, but perhaps his understanding of what an airline hub is, is shall we say, not so advanced...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 12):
There have been talks for years about building a completely new airport some 50 kilometers north of Lisbon with a high speed rail connection as the current site cannot be expanded as it is surrounded by urban areas and is creaking at its seams (I've spent around half an hour at the take of queue there for example), but thanks to the Portuguese state being pretty much bankrupt at the moment all such plans are not going to take place for the next 20 years or so...

Well I don't mind, a circuitous bus ride round the airport to get to your plane has its advantages too you know. If only they'd let you take pictures...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 12):
Wouldn't be surprised if the Spanish ATC controllers threw another wildcat strike and thus forced you to avoid Spanish airspace (mostly at least) - it happens quite often.

Not sure about that. After all we departed and arrived on time, so perhaps this is the standard route.

Hi Nils

Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
A nice and interesting story once again!

Thank you!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
Do you have a thing with seatbelts? Your previous report also featured 1 AFAIK?

Oops, I was afraid somebody would start to notice sooner or later...but seriously. Next time you fly have a look at your buckle. It's amazing what differences there are sometimes.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
I am glad it got solved just the way you wanted but I just wonder how on earth you could fall asleep and not have a sole pic of the KLM 739 Wow! Such a shame but at least you were able to catch up some sleep

Give a guy a break. I was tired, I had woken up very early (evidently for nothing) and I was running a fever! How about some concern and understanding there?

Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
...at least that's what Mr Commercial says on the tele

Without wanting to put too fine a point on it, I'm not sure it really did anything for my digestive system. Tasted good though.

Thanks for posting!


User currently offlineMH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1684 posts, RR: 31
Reply 15, posted (2 years 8 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5043 times:

Hi William,

Glad you stuck to your KLM flights and did NOT rebook via CDG on AF !!!

Good to read, you've enjoyed your Fokker 70 flight; yes, KZK had a c-check recently, so it looked factory-new again...great little bird, don't you think so ? Not many flying around outside the KLM cityhopper fleet (except currently with Estonian/wetlease)...
Sorry to hear you've missed most of your -900 flight, due to your cold/fever...nevertheless, now you've completed all your 737-series !!!

More airlines nowadays tell you NOT to use your cameras on board; guess it has something to do with the fact that all electronic equipment should be switched-off during the flight (?)...I was told recently too on Blue1 to do so too  

Thanks for sharing...lokking forward to more TR's.

Gr.,

P.



don't throw away tomorrow !
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 16, posted (2 years 8 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4939 times:

Hi William

Nice trip report, and congratulations logging the 739! an aircraft yet in my log! Just a piity you where not able to capture any pictures!
I must agree on TAP, TAP is a decent carrier. I flew on TAP from Brussels to Lisbon back in February and was happy with the service recieved!

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1447 posts, RR: 33
Reply 17, posted (2 years 8 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4882 times:

Hi again William,

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 8):
Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):You say that KLM use a gate on the Swiss side - how does that work then? Did they bus you over from the French side?
Well, it's all rather complicated you see. First you have to cross into France to check-in. Then you have to cross back into Switzerland to go through security and reach the gate. The dumbest thing I've ever heard. But that's how it is.

That really is stupid. I'm sure it causes the not-so-frequent travellers a headache. Thanks for explaining it though!

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1756 posts, RR: 18
Reply 18, posted (2 years 8 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4779 times:

Hi MH017

Quoting MH017 (Reply 15):
yes, KZK had a c-check recently, so it looked factory-new again...great little bird, don't you think so ?

Thanks for clarifying. Well that certainly explains a few things. Before my trip I read FLIEGER's trip report with KLM on the F. 100 so I'd know what to expect. But the bird I was on was certainly in much better shape!

Quoting MH017 (Reply 15):
Not many flying around outside the KLM cityhopper fleet

Weren't there plans at some time to restart production with newer engines and avionics? It's a nifty little plane I think and certainly beats those awfully narrow and claustrophobic Canadair Regional Jets.

Quoting MH017 (Reply 15):
.I was told recently too on Blue1 to do so too

Bummer, Blue1 was going to be my last trip report for this year!

Quoting MH017 (Reply 15):
Thanks for sharing..

Pleasure, thanks for taking the time to comment.

Hi Marc

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 16):
Nice trip report, and congratulations logging the 739!

Thanks. I'm rather chuffed about the -900. I still can't get over how comfy it was!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 16):
Just a piity you where not able to capture any pictures!

Guess I'll have to suffer in silence and do another trip on the -900.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 16):
I flew on TAP from Brussels to Lisbon back in February and was happy with the service recieved!

Just out of curiosity, what did they feed you?

Hi Hannah

Quoting infodesk (Reply 17):
That really is stupid. I'm sure it causes the not-so-frequent travellers a headache.

The whole set up is rather useless. Especially now with Schengen there really is no longer any need for parallel operations. The biggest joke is when you flight from Basel to London. Passengers from France have to cross into the Swiss side for check-in and go through security on the Swiss side as well. Then to head to the non-Schengen gates passengers have to go through immigration. There's a French and a Swiss counter, but it really makes no difference which counter you choose as you end up in the same place no matter which counter you use.


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1710 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (2 years 8 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4506 times:

Hi William, great report!

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The -900 is the only subtype of the B. 737 which I had not been on. And thirdly, I like KLM.

Yeah the 739 is indeed a very rare type. Then again, if you count the even more rare ER types, I suppose you've still some work to do. Oh, and not to mention the 731, unless you've already flown that?  
Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
a) having to travel with Air France, which I think is a really shitty airline, and b) that I would have to transfer at CDG, which is a truly horrible airport that was built with everything but the traveller’s needs in mind. So suddenly, my schedule looked like this:

Is that really so? For me it's the complete opposite. I've flown AF since I was a little child, and I've had nothing but good experiences with them, great food, nice crews and clean aircraft. Only mishaps I've had over the years was back in 98 when they completely demolished a painting my mother was bringing with her from Morocco, and in 2005 when I was traveling as a UM, they put me in the staff room at CDG for 7 hours. There's no UM Lounge in CDG unlike LH at FRA, neither did I receive the "F" Class UM service that I was so used to with when flying Lufty. CDG is a nice airport, great architecture. But I agree, the other terminals i.e those not being 2F are terrible!

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I quickly discarded the idea, drank loads of tea, slept a lot and hoped for the best for the next day and my flight with the -900. Last thing before bed I checked in online for my flight the next morning.

Now that's the way to go! Suppose you could've gotten a refund from your ticket when presenting a doctor's note, but then again what doctor wants to write out a note for a simple cold  
Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
what’s the bloody point of having Platiunum status in their FFP if you get absolutely no benefits whatsoever, such as jumping the queue, in terms of ground services?

Really, I did not know that! Suppose in that case you've all right to be mad at them, surely elite costumers should be treated with more dignity then that! Did you earn the FB Plat status or get it matched?  
Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Interestingly enough, one of the flight attendants also told me to stop taking pictures. I just don’t get that, honestly. What do these people have to hide? Or rather, what do they thing they have hide?

Yes, that was the same thing that happened to me on my last flight with TP. Really stupid policy, I see no point in obliging to it.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
It's not a bad idea, but the execution is so lifeless and uninspired...

Yeah, well it's not exactly difficult to be prized for the world's best C class when you offer a F class seat and F class meal service. And yes, neither is it fare to the other airlines since they don't pay $1 per ton for jetfuel...

Thanks for sharing!
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1756 posts, RR: 18
Reply 20, posted (2 years 8 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4358 times:

Hi Jonas

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 19):
Hi William, great report!

Thank you!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 19):
Yeah the 739 is indeed a very rare type. Then again, if you count the even more rare ER types, I suppose you've still some work to do. Oh, and not to mention the 731, unless you've already flown that?

Well, that may be a plan for when I retire in about 30 years time. As for the 731, I think I flew on one of those many years ago with Lufthansa.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 19):
Is that really so? For me it's the complete opposite.

Well I guess it's a question of personal experience and personal like or dislike. But apart from that I personally do think Air France has a bit of a safety issue going on. And that makes me feel uncomfortable. Bad service is one thing, safety is another.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 19):
Now that's the way to go! Suppose you could've gotten a refund from your ticket when presenting a doctor's note, but then again what doctor wants to write out a note for a simple cold

The ticket was refundable anyway, but it was an important business trip and I did not want to postpone it. It worked out in the end.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 19):
Yeah, well it's not exactly difficult to be prized for the world's best C class when you offer a F class seat and F class meal service. And yes, neither is it fare to the other airlines since they don't pay $1 per ton for jetfuel...

Well I'm sure their Business Class is good, it's just that from looking at the display you could hardly tell!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 19):
Did you earn the FB Plat status or get it matched?

I matched it. But I don't think I'll be renewing. I think I'll stick with the Star Alliance and Oneworld. They both have a better selection of airlines. KLM should leave Air France and join one of them instead.


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