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Long Ways, Leaps Of Faith And MNL-AMS-WAW On KL  
User currently offlineAkiestar From Philippines, joined May 2009, 784 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 9392 times:

We are often left to ask what we want to do with our lives. Oftentimes we realize that in fact, life is but a series of choices, some black, some white, and some between the two, all exerting influence in our lives and deciding what kind of person we will become. Some choose to take life easy, letting things go as they are, while others gamble all they have to try something new, to find their way outside the usual. It is pondering on the idea of choice, why we are compelled to make choices, and the idea of us controlling our own destiny, that makes us truly human.

When we are given the opportunity of a lifetime, do we decide to back off and play it safe? Or do we take a leap of faith and gamble what we have in order to head into the great unknown? More often than not, we would choose to take the latter? But what if that choice upends whatever you've built, and in exchange, you return a changed man? Are the potential rewards worth it?

These are the very questions that I had to deal with when I decided to go to Poland, and it is here that I open this trip report: that fateful flight to Warsaw (via Amsterdam) from Manila on KLM. Yes, 'tis a long way from home my life has taken me.

Prologue

The story of how I even got to Poland is a very perplexing one in itself, and it was the result of having taken a leap of faith I would have never thought of taking.

Sometime last year, posters started circulating around my university looking for potential applicants to the Erasmus Mundus Mobility with Asia (EMMA) program: a program funded by the European Union which facilitates student exchange between universities in Asia and partner universities in Europe. At that time, my university was soliciting applications for its own student exchange program, which I applied for, and I saw this poster, figuring that I should give it a shot. The poster was very informative, including the clincher that made me apply for it (aside from the chance to meet new people, that is): a generous €1000 monthly stipend for the term of my studies there.

It was December 2010 when I saw the poster, and so over the Christmas break, I was fixing my application, e-mailing the coordinators, and making sure my application would go as smoothly as possible, even going so far as getting three recommendation letters, to make sure that I can get that scholarship. By early January, the finishing touches were complete, and I anxiously submitted my application online on January 18, just three days short of the January 21 deadline.

For the next four months, I heard nothing from the people who received my application: in the meantime, I went to Zhuhai, China for a two-month language study program. However, on May 30, the day after I arrived from that program, I received an e-mail from the organizers. To my surprise, I was accepted for the scholarship, both for the first university I applied for (the University of Warsaw) and for the original term: ten months! I was speechless, and 46 comments later on the Facebook post that I put up minutes after reading that e-mail plus a few consultations here and there, I took the decision to go even if I will delay my graduation by a whole year.

Because of the scholarship, I had to go on official leave from my university, so while I was not officially a student, I was allowed to sit in class as if I was one so that I wouldn't be bored. In the meantime, I had to prepare: because there was no Polish embassy in the Philippines, I had to apply for my visa in Kuala Lumpur, which I (partially) covered in my previous report.  

The scholarship does provide for my airfare: according to the person at the International Relations Office who handles Erasmus students at the bachelor level, the allocated budget for airfare was €2500 per student. Out of concerns that the costs me and my parents accrued in getting the visa would not be reimbursed (since the reimbursement will apparently come from the airfare budget), she suggested I go with the cheapest, but also most convenient, set of flights. That, of course, was with KLM, and so I got an itinerary that looks like this:

*KL 804: MNL-AMS; departing 1025, arriving 1850
*KL 1369: AMS-WAW; departing 2055, arriving 2255

It looks like I'm all set, and off to Warsaw I go!

I. Pre-departure: MNL-AMS-WAW

What was completely coincidental about this entire flight was that on the same day I was set to leave for Warsaw, my dad was heading to Tokyo on DL. So even if my flight leaves a full three hours before his flight was scheduled to depart, to save on gas, I decided to go with him to the airport, which happened to be at dawn. Although I have flown MNL-NRT countless times on NW (by that point, I have yet to experience flying DL), and although my body should be used to waking up by now for 7:00-am flights, I'm still not fond of waking up at 4:00 am just to get ready.

My dad and I left the house at around 5:30 am, always with his penchant for arriving late. Well, he's flying in J, so it doesn't really matter what time he arrives since he can check in at his own convenience anyway (provided, of course, he arrives at least an hour before the counters close), and since I'm leaving a full three hours after he is, I might as well spend my last few hours in the Philippines with him. Soon enough, in the midst of empty Manila roads in the hour or so before morning rush hour, we arrive at NAIA Terminal 1.

II. Pre-flight: KL 804, MNL-AMS

The thing with Terminal 1 is that it will always be full in the morning because of a plethora of flights that always depart between 6:00 am and 10:00 am. My dad's flight, DL 172, was to depart at around 7:30, while KL 804 was to depart much later. So while my dad lines up at the Sky Priority counter, I ask if I may check in for my flight, given that first, DL and KL are in the same alliance, and second, DL and KL use the same ground handling agent in MNL (although DL does have MNL-based ground staff). The answer, apparently, was "No", and so I was redirected to the KL counters (right beside the DL ones), and inside a then-cordoned off area reserved for World Business Class passengers and elites, while my dad checks in and heads off to the pre-departure area, though not without the obligatory hug that a son gives his father before he (meaning me) leaves the country for the better part of ten months.

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At the rate this is going, I must have felt like royalty among the throng of people waiting beyond the cordon. KL's counters open at around 7:30: surprisingly not, after my dad leaves for NRT.

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The only airline with counters whose position never changes is CX. Because of its small size, airlines at Terminal 1 will set up and pack up as the day progresses: KL packs up and gives way to SQ, CI packs up so QF can take over, DL packs up so KE can set up, and so on, and so forth. I call this the "rondalla". But since CX carries a lot of traffic to MNL, with six daily flights to HKG (and counting, too!), their counters are more-or-less fixed in the same position.

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So today, I'm carrying what's supposed to be a carry-on suitcase on the left, and a check-in suitcase on the right. The latter gets checked in just fine, but apparently, someone within the depths of the MIAA decided that we should weigh people's carry-on luggage before they enter the immigration area, and when that time came when both my backpack (which I normally pass of as my computer bag) and the little suitcase came to be weighed, they forced me to check in the small suitcase! Inasmuch as I don't mind that happening, I don't think airport authorities are in the best position to judge these things, right?

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While waiting in line to pay my passenger service charge (also known as the terminal fee), my dad gives me a call, telling me that they're boarding his flight already and I won't get to see him when I get to departures. He says he'll miss me, and, as a bonus treat, he has arranged for me to get access to the MIASCOR Lounge, arguably one of the best lounges in Terminal 1 (he gets access because of his credit card). Things might turn up for the better after all, and after waiting in three separate lines, I was finally in the pre-departure area.

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9V-SQC is firmly parked in its gate while N662US, the 747-400 my dad's taking to NRT, passes right behind it.

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Meanwhile, this SkyTeam banner was right across from the MIASCOR Lounge, by the door of Southeast Asia's only Delta Sky Club. However, not all SkyTeam airlines use the Sky Club (which my dad says is not that good for a lounge): Korean Air and China Southern Airlines, for example, use the Sampaguita Lounge, located on the third floor of Terminal 1 (and which used to be the flagship Mabuhay Lounge until PR moved out of Terminal 1 in 1998).

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The receptionist asks me if I was allowed to enter the lounge, and she checks through her records when I told her that my dad was here. Surely enough, she let me in, and finally, I was inside a non-PR airport lounge! 

For starters, the lounge does get a lot of sunlight, and it's not that crowded today. The TV, meanwhile, was running the news.

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Now, the one dish which is a fixture in Philippine airport lounges will always be the country's most famous airplane dish (similar to the bibimbap on KE flights): arroz caldo (chicken congee). And with milk to boot, too!

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Because my flight doesn't leave until 10:25, I got to spend some time in the lounge, and of course, stock up on breakfast (I had bread and apple juice after the arroz caldo). Over time though, the lounge started to empty, which meant more chairs near outlets for me, which also meant I could charge my electronic devices before that long 13-hour journey to Amsterdam, and ultimately to Warsaw, gets to my nerves.

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The tarmac, meanwhile, was similarly quiet today.

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At around 9:45 the lounge receptionist approaches me and informs me that my flight was about to board, so I got my things and headed off to the gate, where the famous PH-BVD, the SkyTeam 777-300ER which greeted me the first time I ever flew KLM, was to bring me back to Europe.

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Now, although this is my third time (and fifth flight) flying KLM, I wonder what surprises will be in for me as I return to this wonder beauty of an airplane.

III. In-flight: KL 804

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Flight KL 804
Manila (Ninoy Aquino International; MNL/RPLL)-Amsterdam (Schiphol; AMS/EHAM)
Boeing 777-300ER, PH-BVD (SkyTeam livery)
Seat 30-A (window, left side, back section, bulkhead)
ETD 1025 / ETA 1850


What greets me upon entering this now-familiar airplane is the wonderful aura of bright lights (and sunlight) emanating throughout the cabin. One of the reasons why I love KLM is because every time you step onto one of their planes, you will always feel happy and relaxed: seats in shades of blue (from navy blue to sky blue) are a fairly radical departure from the bluish-purple seats of PAL or the black-and-green ones on Cebu Pacific. And with that said, I made it to my seat: a "special" bulkhead seat known as 30-A. Why is it special: Well, in this case, it's because by this time, KLM started charging passengers for pre-reserving bulkheads, yet this one wasn't charged. Reason: the cabin door.

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KLM's pillow and blanket (one of my favorites among airline blankets) are set aside temporarily so I can sit down and take a snap of the wing, and ultimately the tarmac at MNL.

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Passengers start flowing into the plane, and the person beside me happens to be a retired Filipino-American headed to Barcelona for vacation. Luckily for us though, 30-B was vacant, so he took 30-C instead. When the doors close, a flight attendant got settled into her jumpseat, asks me a few questions about where I was going, and soon enough, the plane takes off.

At 11:30 am, the snack service begins with some nice roasted almonds and a crisp, cold glass of apple juice, complemented by my PTV and very, very generous legroom as provided for by this seat.

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Later on, at around noon, lunch was served. This was roast beef with rice, chicken salad and a lemon cake: arguably a very excellent meal for a flight out of MNL. Oh, and more apple juice.

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The beef was soft and the sauce was tasty, the vegetables were fresh, the rice was soft and the salad was decent for its type, though the dressing could have been better. Still, not bad at all, and, since it's KLM, I was also treated to a second roll, which was very soft (unlike the last time I flew KLM to AMS, when it was hard as a brick).

A second drink service means my usual cup of tea on board this flight: it should help me stay awake long enough so I can get some work done (like writing a paper which, up to this day, I have yet to finish).

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After the meal service, I had to pay a little visit to the lavatory, where I snapped this picture of myself.

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Meanwhile, there was lots of cloud cover over central China.

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Because this is a 13-hour flight, the blinds come to a close, and the cabin goes dark. that doesn't mean though that another drink service was coming around, this time handing out water to parched passengers.

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And later, more water, but this time, with a nice cup of Philippine ice cream too! Very, very delicious, and very, very creamy.

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On the other hand, I was working on my paper, and yet another snack service comes, this time handing out sandwiches. I got a chicken sandwich with mango slices, and it was absolutely fantastic: put chicken and mangoes together and you have the perfect combination of sweetness and tartness in a single sandwich. I wish they served this on their short-haul intra-European legs!

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After a while, writing a paper can be a total drag. Let me rephrase that: when you're o 13-hour flight to the great unknown, then obviously it is a drag. So I close up the computer and do something else instead: in this case, I decided to watch The Matrix.

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When the movie was over, I got to thumb over September's Holland Herald, which, coincidentally, features the Philippines. Who says we don't advertise?

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At around 5:00 pm (11:00 pm PST), the second meal service starts. This time, it's chicken with yellow rice, a pasta salad and fresh fruits. The chicken was soft to my liking, the rice complemented it very well, and the fruits were fantastic. The salad, though a little on the salty side, was also great as well.

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As is usually the case, the flight today was almost full: very few seats were left empty. This is KLM's reputation at work, particularly since it has served the Philippines for the sixty years (and counting too!).

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Finally, the plane arrives, and we make it to Amsterdam safe and sound.

IV. Arrival in Amsterdam/Pre-flight: KL 1369, AMS-WAW

Upon stepping out into Schiphol, aside from its ubiquitous yellow signs, the first thing that greets me is this very long line of people on the walkalator heading towards Schengen departures. KLM carries a lot of connecting traffic from MNL: I'm headed to Warsaw, while there's this family headed to Oslo, the person who sat beside me on the plane headed to Barcelona, another person headed to Paris, and so on. It seems that only a minority of passengers were terminating in AMS.

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There seems to be quite a mess though at the immigration counters located just outside Holland Boulevard. In fact, the lines got so long that one line was cut into two, with half moving to a newly-opened queue. Lots and lots of people, but few immigration officers, it seemed. At least, however, this was not Paris.

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Somewhere in the Schengen departures area, I run into my friend (who's also going to be studying in Warsaw, but only for six months), and we head toward the gate. She got to stay in Amsterdam for a few days and look around the city, while I got my affairs straightened out in Manila. In the meantime, here's some planes from near our gate!

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And there's PH-BVD over at non-Schengen departures! The SkyTeam livery is very pretty on a 777.

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8:00 pm was approaching and we made it to the gate. Turns out that we were not the only Filipinos on the flight: Creative Commons was having a conference in Warsaw the week we were flying in, and we just happened to run into the officer-in-charge of Creative Commons Philippines, which is great for me (as part of Wikimedia Philippines). As I was also going to attend the conference, it was nice to meet people who I'm going to be expecting there.

Anyway, boarding was about to begin, and so we all lined up to enter the 737 waiting in front of us.

V. In-flight: KL 1369

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Flight KL 1369
Amsterdam (Schiphol; AMS/EHAM)-Warsaw (Frédéric Chopin/Okęcie; WAW/EPWA)
Boeing 737-400
Seat 5-F (window, right side)
ETD 2055 / ETA 2255


Since I was a Silver Medallion with Delta, I was among one of the first to go in, while my friend was in line with the other passengers (apparently, they wouldn't allow me to bring her). The convenience of boarding first means no people when I got to my seat.

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I'm very amused by the dividers on this plane: normally, KLM uses curtains. These look more like blinds.

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Very nice legroom on this flight. Earlier in the year, a friend of mine said that since Dutch people are tall (and growing taller at that), KLM has to lay seats out in consideration of this factor. Of course, this means a lot of space for the legs.

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Meanwhile, beside us was PH-BTA.

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As the plane takes off, we're welcomed by a wonderful sight: a wonderfully-lit Amsterdam. Still baffled though why the sun sets to late in summer: last time I was in Poland, the sun set at 8:00 pm. While latitude has something to do with it, if you're from the tropics, it can be mighty disorienting.

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At around 9:45, the food service comes and look what's in store for people in the back: two sandwiches: one cheese, the other ham. Still, both are very filling, and since I'm arriving late at night, might as well take it so I don't hassle myself with looking for food later. And to top it all off, there's of course the glass of apple juice.

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The sandwiches apparently also come with a little stroopwafel-type cookie, which i had with my second serving of tea. In any circumstance, both help me stay awake.

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Soon we were descending on Warsaw, with all those lights in the distance. It's my second time in Poland, but my first in the capital, so I can't wait to actually be on those streets in the future.

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The plane arrives and parks at the terminal. Finally, after a long day in a metal tube, I was in Warsaw, and oh, look who comes to greet us: SP-LDF and another LOT E-Jet, plus lots and lots of baggage handling equipment!

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[Edited 2012-01-24 15:46:42]

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAkiestar From Philippines, joined May 2009, 784 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 9363 times:

VI. Arrival in Warsaw

Stepping into WAW, it was very pleasant to see that the terminal was nearly empty. There were a few flights leaving after 11:00 pm, but the terminal seemed ready to close up shop for the day. For now, this takes the cake among my favorite Central and Eastern European airports.

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My friend and I exchange $50 at the kantor (money changer) downstairs, and I was appalled to see the rate: 2.50 zł for every dollar! That was madness: the normal rate at the time was around 3.30 zł! While I know that rates at the airport are always worse than at the center, they must be making a killing out of unsuspecting tourists.

When you're an Erasmus student arriving for the first time, someone from the university's Erasmus Student Network (ESN) will be there to wait for you and bring you to wherever dormitory you're assigned to (or, if you're renting, to one of two university guesthouses). In my case, I was with a Spanish guy who arrived around 40 minutes after me, and through a very empty ul. Żwirki i Wigury, I was finally in my dormitory, which was closed for the night. However, I did get a temporary room assignment until my room situation improved, which it did the next day.

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VII. Warszawa: Dzień 1 (Warsaw: Day 1)

The next day, I wake up to the screams of a cleaning lady (who only spoke Polish, and my Polish was still pretty basic at that time) who had to evict everyone by 12:00 noon because the rooms had to be prepared for the school year. However, under the mistaken impression that the room I got was to be my room for the year, I unpacked my clothes the night before in what turned out to be a hotel room. Luckily, I could still repack, and I hurriedly repacked everything and went downstairs to the administration office to figure out what my room is going to be.

Later, in a series of conversations that involved hand signals, broken Polish and lots of help from willing Polish students, myself and four other people (all Southeast Asian: two from Laos, one from Vietnam and one from Cambodia) got reassigned to new rooms. I am now up on the sixth floor, and unlike most other Erasmus students, my roommate is a Pole (which is beneficial since at least I will learn some Polish outside the classroom).

The view though from the room is quite nice: lots of green in mid-September.

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Because I had to go to the University of Warsaw's main campus (and I had no idea how to go around), I went with my new-found Southeast Asian friends (one who was also headed there) for some lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant along this wonderful stretch of ul. Stefana Banacha. (Yes, the pavement can use some work.)

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After lunch, we take a tram up to ul. Królewska, at the back of the Ogród Saski (Saxon Garden). Very modern this one is.

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While red and white flowers line the Saxon Garden, an imposing fountain lies in the center. Further beyond is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Plac Piłsudskiego, which, like many Warsaw landmarks, has had a very checkered history (it used to house an imposing Russian Orthodox cathedral, and Pope John Paul II held Mass here in 1979).

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At the University, I had to sign my paperwork and, of course, open a bank account where I'd receive my stipend. After all the bureaucratic hassles were taken care of (and especially since I was the last one to register, apparently), I met up again with my Filipino friend and we sat down at the KFC right at the corner of the bank. Facing that, of course, is a famous Warsaw landmark: the monument to Nicolaus Copernicus.

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Copernicus here is facing ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście, which is where the University of Warsaw's main campus is, and is also one of Warsaw's most famous streets. Of course, we're right in the middle of it, go left from the statue and you'd be headed towards Nowy Świat, while go up and you'd be headed toward Plac Zamkowy and the Stare Miasto (Old Town).

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In the evening, I paid a little visit to Arkadia, Poland's largest shopping mall. Very nice architecture inside, if I may say, and while our malls back in the Philippines are bigger, the malls in Poland are probably much nicer.

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So that wraps up my first day in Warsaw, and a taste of what's to come for the next ten months.

Epilogue

Warsaw is, first and foremost, a beautiful city. In my Polish culture class, I learn that Warsaw is arguably a shadow of itself: the Stare Miasto is but a simulacrum, an imitation of the original, since the original was destroyed in World War II. They call it big, sprawling, prone to traffic and downright ugly, but Warsaw has a lot of Old World charm hidden behind those communist apartment blocks. Unlike Manila, which equally suffered (although the Americans caused most of the damage, not the Japanese), Warsaw was painstakingly rebuilt, and while it will never recover what it lost in its original form, the copies do a very good job of recreating its lost charm: something Manila may probably never have.

As always, KLM never fails to impress. The service is professional, the food is superb and the planes are well-kept. The Dutch certainly know what they're doing, and I'm happy that KLM has been serving the Philippines for the last sixty years. But recent events have led me to challenge my belief: starting March 24, KLM will be ending its non-stop flights to Manila in favor of a one-stop via Taipei. As it is, KLM was the only one-stop option available, and if I will be forced to stop twice, I won't hesitate to look around for another airline to do the job should I be given the opportunity to do so. For me, this is a reflective moment: this is arguably the last time I will ever fly KL 804 again, and to see it go is but an injustice to the goodwill the Filipino people had bestowed upon KLM the last sixty years. I hope their reputation does not get hit by this move, because that would be the greatest tragedy of all.

So again, I hope you enjoyed reading this trip report, and thank you for reading. As always, comments are appreciated, and I really hope to start writing more reports in the future! 

In the meantime, please feel free to also enjoy my previous report, Asia's First, Shining Through? MNL-SIN-MNL On PR (by Akiestar Nov 6 2011 in Trip Reports), as well as my other reports on FlyerTalk.   

[Edited 2012-01-24 15:44:08]

User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5922 posts, RR: 40
Reply 2, posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 9316 times:

great report!
Have used KL only so far once, on a LIM-AMS-LIM flight and the service was pritty good!

have a good time in Poland I am sure you will enjoy, but I am also sure you are missing your home country, btw since years your country is on my to do list!

cheers
Avianca



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2163 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 9103 times:

Thanks for the TR! KLM has excellent service - I am also fixing to post my TR from my experience with them last summer.

Congrats on your acceptance into the exchange program and best of luck in Poland! You will undoubtedly embark on a huge journey of self-discovery. Enjoy!



next flights: msp-phx-slc, msp-mdw, ord-sju, sju-dfw-ord, msp-dfw, dfw-phl, phl-msp, jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg
User currently offlineaussiepomm From Australia, joined Mar 2011, 42 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 9003 times:

What a thoroughly fascinating read - thanks for posting!

Whilst I have transited through many EU ports, I am yet to land in AMS... It looks fairly easy to get around!

Loved your photos, and now, I will let you get back to FINISHING that paper!

Cheers

Bernie



if my calculations are correct slinky + escalator = everlasting fun!
User currently offlinejetblue777 From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 1451 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 8956 times:

Hey Akiestar, It's always nice to see TRs about MNL!

Quoting Akiestar (Thread starter):

The only airline with counters whose position never changes is CX. Because of its small size, airlines at Terminal 1 will set up and pack up as the day progresses: KL packs up and gives way to SQ, CI packs up so QF can take over, DL packs up so KE can set up, and so on, and so forth. I call this the "rondalla". But since CX carries a lot of traffic to MNL, with six daily flights to HKG (and counting, too!), their counters are more-or-less fixed in the same position.

Yep, CX has a huge presence in MNL! Thanks for the nice background information about the "rondalla"  
Quoting Akiestar (Thread starter):
9V-SQC is firmly parked in its gate while N662US, the 747-400 my dad's taking to NRT, passes right behind it.

I believe this was SQ 915, I'm flying on the same flight this August! 12 Hours in Singapore, can't wait!

Quoting Akiestar (Thread starter):
Now, the one dish which is a fixture in Philippine airport lounges will always be the country's most famous airplane dish (similar to the bibimbap on KE flights): arroz caldo (chicken congee). And with milk to boot, too!

Ahh, gotta love those!

Quoting Akiestar (Thread starter):
KLM's pillow and blanket (one of my favorites among airline blankets) are set aside temporarily so I can sit down and take a snap of the wing, and ultimately the tarmac at MNL.

Was there a window at your seat or was this picture taken on the exit door window?

Quoting Akiestar (Thread starter):
asks me a few questions about where I was going, and soon enough, the plane takes off.

It's always nice to hear FAs interact with passengers   

Quoting Akiestar (Thread starter):
As is usually the case, the flight today was almost full: very few seats were left empty. This is KLM's reputation at work, particularly since it has served the Philippines for the sixty years (and counting too!).

Great to hear!

Once again, brilliant trip report. Have a great time in Poland! And those pictures from NAIA 1 certainly brings back memories! Looking forward for more TRs from you!

JetBlue777



It's a cultural thing.
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1915 posts, RR: 24
Reply 6, posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 8709 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good report on KLM - Looks like they had good service on your flights, and the food looks pretty good for a long-haul flight in Y.

Very good photos - Thanks for sharing!

Matthew (767747)


User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5075 posts, RR: 55
Reply 7, posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 8659 times:

How this trip brought back memories of being young ... oh, I digress. Awesome trip report - more because of the story about the circumstance surrounding the trip than of the flight itself. Thanks for sharing - I am of a belief that studying abroad is one of the key things people can do, and am glad you did it.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 965 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 8319 times:

Thanks for posting! Glad to hear you enjoyed your flights on KLM.

Quoting Akiestar (Thread starter):
or the next four months, I heard nothing from the people who received my application: in the meantime, I went to Zhuhai, China for a two-month language study program. However, on May 30, the day after I arrived from that program, I received an e-mail from the organizers. To my surprise, I was accepted for the scholarship, both for the first university I applied for (the University of Warsaw) and for the original term: ten months! I was speechless, and 46 comments later on the Facebook post that I put up minutes after reading that e-mail plus a few consultations here and there, I took the decision to go even if I will delay my graduation by a whole year

Congratulations! And enjoy your time in Warsaw!


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 8273 times:

Hi

Great report, thanks for sharing!
KL 77W tends do be very uncomfortable due to the 10-abreast seating.
the older 737 looks to be a tad better.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1658 posts, RR: 30
Reply 10, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 8015 times:
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Hello Akiestar,

Thanks for this fine report. I hope your ‘leap of faith’ has been a good one for you up till’ now! You certainly got off to a good start on choosing the blue one from Holland for your travels: that 77W in the Skyteam liveryl looks mighty good. And with that you scored a ride on one of the KL oldies, the B734! Are you maybe planning some leisure rides intra-Europe to score some (for you at least) exotic carriers?
Anyway: good luck on your exchange student life!

Quoting Akiestar (Thread starter):
The scholarship does provide for my airfare: according to the person at the International Relations Office who handles Erasmus students at the bachelor level, the allocated budget for airfare was €2500 per student.

That’s quite a decent budget I’d say, is that just for the flight MNL-WAW-MNL?

Quoting Akiestar (Thread starter):
He says he'll miss me, and, as a bonus treat, he has arranged for me to get access to the MIASCOR Lounge

Apparently a man of great deeds, your father  

Quoting Akiestar (Thread starter):
where the famous PH-BVD, the SkyTeam 777-300ER

As I said, very nice to have scored this one.

Quoting Akiestar (Thread starter):
Reason: the cabin door.

Was is not draughty during the flight?

Quoting Akiestar (Thread starter):
For now, this takes the cake among my favorite Central and Eastern European airports.

Yes indeed WAW is quite a nice airport.

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinephotoshooter From Belgium, joined Feb 2010, 454 posts, RR: 20
Reply 11, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7928 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD SUPPORT

Hey Akie

nice trip report you've got there! It was really nice to read. I really like the KL 77W and the food looks good as well.
I hope you enjoyed the rather long flight!

WAW looks nice and very modern. So does the city. Perhaps I'll visit it one day, looks different than I imagined.
Thanks for posting!


Niek  



'A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.' - Winston Churchill
User currently offlineAkiestar From Philippines, joined May 2009, 784 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7917 times:

So hi guys, and thanks for all the responses! 

Just a quick note before responding: the return is in July, and because of recent events, it is likely that it will not be on KLM, as I have stated in the report. I'm looking at LO and KE, but I'm not sure yet.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 2):
btw since years your country is on my to do list!

¡Muy bien! We need more people to visit the Philippines.  
Quoting aussiepomm (Reply 4):
I will let you get back to FINISHING that paper!

The paper remains unfinished (it's sitting on my hard drive), and will probably stay unfinished until I leave (or probably May or June), since I'm worried about the direction of the paper. I have the source material, but I will get advice from my other classmates back home as to how they did it so I know I'm doing it correctly.

Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 5):
Was there a window at your seat or was this picture taken on the exit door window?

This was taken from the window beside my seat. The windows on a 77W cabin door for me are pretty small.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 3):
Congrats on your acceptance into the exchange program and best of luck in Poland! You will undoubtedly embark on a huge journey of self-discovery. Enjoy!
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 7):
How this trip brought back memories of being young ... oh, I digress. Awesome trip report - more because of the story about the circumstance surrounding the trip than of the flight itself. Thanks for sharing - I am of a belief that studying abroad is one of the key things people can do, and am glad you did it.

And no regrets too! 

I hope to do quite a lot of self-discovery while I'm here, and although I'm halfway through the program, it seems that this will be one of those experiences that you will never, ever forget. At any rate, I think I'm becoming more independent from this.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 9):
KL 77W tends do be very uncomfortable due to the 10-abreast seating.
the older 737 looks to be a tad better.

The 77W seems to be fine to me: I can still fit in a narrower seat and be compensated with more pitch. The 737 though was pretty comfortable: KLM 737s are some of the best 737s I've flown on so far.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 10):
Are you maybe planning some leisure rides intra-Europe to score some (for you at least) exotic carriers?

I've flown around Europe, and in the process i scored the following: BA, MA, AF short-haul (flew them long-haul before) and WA. I will be scoring LO, BE, BT, AZ and EI while I'm here, and I hope to snag a few more carriers in due time. Coincidentally, I will also be flying my first Fokker 50 in several years, my first ATR since 2004, and also several E-Jets.

When trains are too slow (and, in the case of an upcoming trip to PRG, when the plane ticket costs as much as the train ticket), might as well fly!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 10):
That’s quite a decent budget I’d say, is that just for the flight MNL-WAW-MNL?

Yes, it's only for MNL-WAW-MNL and associated expenses in getting the visa.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 10):
Apparently a man of great deeds, your father  

He sure is and I love him very much.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 10):
Was is not draughty during the flight?

It was not, luckily, but there were times that I could feel a little draft in my legs.

Quoting photoshooter (Reply 11):
WAW looks nice and very modern. So does the city. Perhaps I'll visit it one day, looks different than I imagined.

Warsaw is said to have a very mystical aura: Poles say it's ugly, but they also say it's beautiful. Foreigners feel the same way too.

And when you have time, come over and visit me! Big grin

[Edited 2012-01-25 07:18:12]

User currently onlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6500 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 7521 times:

Hi Akiestar!

Thanks for a great report with great pictures!

KL seems very good, especially the food seems very good. You have a very good seat with lots of legroom. Not so sure how it would be elsewhere in that 3-4-3 configuration.....

Looking forward to your next report!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1091 posts, RR: 31
Reply 14, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7416 times:

Excellent report.

Well written and full of nice personal detail which is just how I like the reports. Well done.

KLM looked unexceptional but good enough. Really not a fan of MNL, well that terminal at least.

Hope the studying is going well,

Rgds

Luke



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1845 posts, RR: 42
Reply 15, posted (2 years 6 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 7114 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Heya Akie, great report   Glad to read KL treated you well!

brgds Martijn



Fly DC-Jets!
User currently offlineCheco77 From Peru, joined Oct 2004, 1345 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (2 years 6 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 6958 times:

Wooow! Great report!!! KLM is really still keeping their good work!!

Be sure to visit Prague, my home city! You will like it.

Cheers,

Adam



Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
User currently offlineAkiestar From Philippines, joined May 2009, 784 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 6 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 6776 times:

Quoting Checo77 (Reply 16):
Be sure to visit Prague, my home city! You will like it.

I will be doing that on February 19. 


User currently offlineCheco77 From Peru, joined Oct 2004, 1345 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6409 times:

Quoting Akiestar (Reply 17):
I will be doing that on February 19.

If you want any tips on sightseeings, etc, send me a message   will be glad to help!!

Adam



Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3203 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6356 times:

Very nice report - thanks for posting! KL looked pretty good, desp[ite having that awful 3x4x3 seating in their 777 - was it comfy? It was interesting to read about your arrival into Warsaw - reminds me of arriving at Nanjing University on my year aborad - it;s so daunting trying to set up life in a foreign country!


http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
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