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MCI-OTP: Three Upgrades And A380 Flight Deck Visit  
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2199 posts, RR: 7
Posted (2 years 2 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 10933 times:

MCI-MSP-IAD-CDG-OTP: Three Upgrades and an AF A380: The Flight Deck Visit

Right. Well, the summer of 2011 came along and because I'm an aviation freak, I couldn't miss an opportunity to fly on an A380 when offered. Well, what can I say: it had to be AF. I was looking for destinations AF A380's flew to, and came up with JFK and IAD on the Eastern seaboard of the USA. Delta had a non-stop from MCI to NYC, but to LGA and not JFK... I wasn't keen on switching airports having had some strange experiences with NYC cabbies (the only people who find my mother's English more understandable than mine seem to be NYC cabbies). Flights to JFK, with one stop, were expensive.

IAD-CDG it is. I'd flown the route before and then AF gave me an upgrade, on a 777-200ER. I booked IAD-CDG-OTP on the A380 (and 737), in Premium Voyageur as Award tickets for Flying Blue. I'm loyal to KL and RO but dislike CDG so I don't fly AF that much. Afterwards, I searched for DL flights between MCI and IAD that would leave 3 hours for the IAD connection... Just in case. I then proceeded to buy a MCI-MSP-IAD ticket from DL for more interesting aircraft types than an ATL connection.

It all turned out to be a very good trip, and even a CDG transit didn't ruin it—the 6 hours between IAD-CDG and CDG-OTP proved to be strategic. With CDG, risk=failure. You learn that having AF as your mother's favorite airline.

4 segments when you could have had 3? Crazy, everyone said. Not flying on an A380? Crazy, I said.

To add to the good trip, MCI-MSP was an MD-90 and MSP-IAD was an E-175, both planes I enjoy flying on. The RO 737-300 was the black sheep, I guess!

Saturday flights in the US with Delta usually mean upgrades for me. This time, it worked well. I even got a meal—it had been a looooong time since I had a meal on a domestic flight.

Getting nearer to the date of my departure, the Missouri river was growing and growing—I was afraid I would have no way of getting to the airport—bridges further north were closed due to very high water levels. Luckily it all worked out in the end.

I got to the airport a couple of hours before departure time, and had to ask the agent to tag my luggage all the way through to Bucharest... He printed out the “baggage barcode thingy”, and it said BUH. Very close, but I've never seen a city code on such a thing. I told him the problem and he fixed it readily. Seeing I had a connection in IAD, even if not displayed in DL's system, and seeing a delay of DL5813, MSP-IAD, he checked for me that I'd be arriving in IAD in time for my connection. The delay was only 35 minutes, due to pilots showing up late, due to a late arrival in MSP.

Here we go:

Flight #1
Flight: DL948
Route: MCI-MSP
Aircraft: MD-90
Registration: N924DN
Flight time: 55 minutes
Scheduled: 07:04-08:30
Actual: 07:03-08:32 (Gate)
Seat: 04A, First Class

At the gate, I received an upgrade, and got assigned 04B. I boarded among the first and sat down on 04B. About 20 minutes later, boarding was complete and I moved to 04A, which remained empty. At the last minute, a member of the US armed forces received an on-board upgrade (I'm not sure, but there might have been a problem with his seat assignment) to 04B.

Pictures:

Delta CRJ




Gate 60 at MCI:


Bunch of ERJ-145s:




AAircraft:


Missouri River flooding:










Service on this leg was adequate... I would say no better or worse than usual service in F on these short segments. Drink offered on boarding, then drinks in-flight and a choice of a few snacks.

Legroom Shot (mandatory!):


Great Plains (boring):


Coke, no ice:


Coke and Safety card:


Coke and Biscoff:


Not really much else to say about this segment: on-time departure and arrival... Quite a boring segment in all honesty. The roar of the MD-90 was diminished as I was located far away from the engines.

Grades:
Check-in: 8
Nice, helpful agent but did not know the right code for Otopeni Airport on the first try... Guess he's not an A.netter to know all these codes. It's not JFK or ATL but it's not XMN or JUB either.
Boarding: 9
Got upgraded before boarding so I could board with 1st class. Good deal.
Seat: 7
Not in great shape; decent legroom, enough for a 1-hr flight, but could be better.
IFE/Announcements: 6
Nothing special. On a short flight IFE isn't that important though. DL's in-flight magazine is decent to good to waste an hour (Sudoku and Kenken puzzles).
Crew: 6
Good, but not anything special. No particular things to note.
Food/Beverage: 5
OK, it's a 1-hr flight, but just some cookies/chips/bananas in 1st class seems off to me. I expect too much, I guess.
On-Time: 10

Overall: 7.29 (Premium Short-Haul, Domestic)


Arrival in MSP; 757:


MSP activity: E-Jets, Airbuses, 757s:




My aircraft to IAD (E-175):












US Airways A321:


DC-9 and downtown... St. Paul?


Airport view, Terminals C and E:




Flight #2
Flight: DL5813 (op. by Compass Airlines)
Route: MSP-IAD
Aircraft: Embraer 175
Registration: N610CZ
Flight time: 1h 55 minutes
Scheduled: 10:25-13:49
Actual: 10:39-14:01 (Gate)
Seat: 02A, First Class

I again received an upgrade at the gate, and due to the very low LF in F, I got my choice of seats: window seat on the 1-side, arguably the best seat in the whole aircraft.

The 35 minute delay meant nothing to me... I had plenty of time to make my connection in IAD and anticipated the AF flight would be late, as the A380 did not have a reputation for on-time departures.

In MSP:
MD-88:


General Views:






757s:






Soon after, we took off from runway 30L. A flight departing around lunch time and with a block time of slightly over 3 hours meant lunch was served. There was a choice between the pictured chicken and a sort of sandwich or wrap, details of which escape me. The meal was surprisingly flavorful for an airline meal. As you can see below, there's some chicken, some pasta and also some cheese and some tomatoes, as well as chick peas (?). I gotta say, I was pleased with the meal. Coke, no ice, again. Dessert: One strawberry, some grapes and a slice of pineapple IIRC.



Clouds:




Legroom shot:


On approach to IAD:








LH A340:


UA aircraft:


LCCs, BA and the A380 (kinda blurry):


Canadair CRJ-900:



Anyway, soon we were at our gate and ready to de-plane. Overall, the E-175 flight was very pleasant. I even ate well. Service was at a high standard; there were no complaints.

I go out of my way to fly DL as I find the service above that of other US carriers I've tried. The chance for an upgrade, even at 40% on average, means a supposedly mediocre flight can turn better in a second.

Grades:
Check-in: 8
Nice, helpful agent but did not know the right code for Otopeni Airport on the first try (same as previous flight).
Boarding: 9
Got upgraded before boarding so could board with 1st class. Good deal. Really nice agent.
Seat: 7
Not in great shape; decent legroom, enough for a 3-hr flight, but could be better
IFE/Announcements: 5
Nothing special. DL's in-flight magazine is decent to good to waste an hour but not three IMO.
Crew: 7.5
Good crew, good service. The F/A brought out wrong choice of food, but quickly corrected herself.
Food/Beverage: 9
Above my expectations for this stage length, the food was quite flavorful.
On-Time: 8
35 minute delay on departure, but well-handled.

Overall: 7.64 (Premium, Short-Haul, Domestic)

I then walked down to the A-gates to see the monster. Well, there it was, behind the glass. For once, I wasn't the only one snapping pictures of the aircraft.

Views of the A380:

Please see gate agent to open door. Please!!!









I like the wing shape!



Flight #3
Flight: AF0039
Route: IAD-CDG
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Registration: F-HPJE
Flight time: 7h 20 minutes
Scheduled: 16:40-07:00
Actual: 17:12-06:27 (Gate)
Seat: 84A (Premium Voyageur)

It was time. I was about to board my first A380. The boarding procedure was decent, bit not outstanding. Interestingly, IAD decided to use gate A22 for upper-deck and A20 for lower-deck passengers (take note, CDG!). Anyway, soon I was in the belly of the beast. Here are some interior shots:

Classy but not particularly comfortable: AF economy premium:





Weird window a la A380:


Virgin Atlantic A340-600:


Wing view:


Not vertical; the A380 wall leans inwards:


PTV and tray table secured:


Legroom (quite decent until you recline):


Big plane, small taxiways:


Towards the runway:




On the runway:


The food service soon began. As you can see, it's nothing to write home about! The mashed potatoes were actually OK, but I can barely remember what the rest even was. Some variation of chicken with mushrooms, perhaps?


A-net privilege: gaze into the eyes of the A380 restroom: not an An-24, so no “poo-poo”:



Dusk/dawn shots:






Well, as morning came, the crew was active and walking through the cabin. I thought I might get lucky and see the A380 flight deck if I asked nicely, in French. So I asked the head F/A for my cabin whether it would be possible to see the flight deck after we land in Paris when she brought breakfast. I don't have pictures of the breakfast but it was nothing special, trust me.

Soon, she returned and said “yes”. I was excited. Turns out, this was just her answering the F/A call button I pressed by accident—I hate it when they're on the damn remote—so easy to press by accident. She said she'd ask soon about the flight deck visit.

She did. A few minutes later, she said I could go and see the flight deck now, along with a bit younger kid (15-16 years old, I guess). I was very excited and quickly put my shoes back on. I walked through the Business class section and soon got to the flight deck, The purser informed the pilots they had a couple of visitors and we were invited in. I was a bit traumatized, but soon mustered up the courage to ask: “e-t-il possible de prendre quelques photos?”. The answer was “oui, bien sur, mais ne les mettez pas sur l'internet”. As a token of respect, I won't upload my A380 flight deck pictures here or anywhere on the web. They're blurry anyway, so you're not missing much.

After a few minutes in which the kid asked a few questions about what runway we'll be using at CDG, it was time to end the dawn visit over the coast of France to the A380 flight deck. A moment I'll truly never forget.

The sun soon rose and we were on our descent into CDG. Here are some pics (on the ground already):




Part of the AF fleet at Terminal 2E:


The A380 through glass and unphotogenic 2E support beams:




Grades:
Check-in: N/A
Technically never really checked-in in person. Online check-in worked fine.
Boarding: 7
A bit chaotic, as AF boarding tends to be! However, still very organized... thanks to IAD's 2 gate policy, I'm guessing.
Seat: 6
Good legroom when upright. Uncomfortable for sleeping. Hard shell is good. Decent amenities.
Ambience: 6
Not great, but slightly above Economy class.
IFE/Announcements: 7
AF's system isn't great. It's OK to pass the time but it won't win any awards. The tail camera is a good idea. I hope it last.
Crew: 10
Excellent! No problems and a flight deck visit.
Food: 6
Exactly average!
Beverage: 6
Offered a few times (I believe 4 in total)--average selection and service.
On-Time: 9
A bit late upon departure.
Disembark: 3
Chaos; upper deck had no jetways attached; had to use lower-deck to disembark... not very professional. CDG!!!

Overall: 6.67 (Economy Premium, Long-Haul, International)

More AF aircraft (A321 nation):


I then went to the lounge in 2F2 and lounged about for the next few hours, took a shower, generally wasted time until it was almost time to board my RO 737-300 to Bucharest.

Flight #4
Flight: RO0382
Route: CDG-OTP
Aircraft: Boeing 737-300
Registration: YR-BGD
Flight time: 2h 30 minutes
Scheduled: 12:25-16:15
Actual: 12:40-16:20 (Gate)
Seat: 02D (Business)

I then went upstairs and waited for the boarding announcement. The specified time came and went. Roughly 20 minutes later, we were invited to board. I was among the first to give my boarding pass to the agent. He scanned it and, voila, I'd been upgraded. In Europe??? I couldn't believe it. I was wondering what RO could do to top DL and AF. Well, they tried—and gave me something completely unexpected. An upgrade in Europe (okay, it wasn't the first time it happened, also got one from KL after AF made us miss two flights within a 12 hour period 6 years previously)!

RO Biz class seats (aging, but 2-2 seating in real Biz-class seats):






Welcome drink (note the real glass used... DL sometimes uses plastic for welcome drinks):


Engine view:


Coke (the “no ice” part is self-understood):


Meal:

Salmon with rice. I don't eat fish. Damn!

The three plastic cans contained some goodies, I think camembert(?), and some sort of ham. Well, I tried the fish, but I don't like fish at all, so I didn't eat it. The rest of the meal was decent. Presentation was quite good too.

Close-up shot, branded glass:


Airport; not sure which one, somewhere between Paris and Zurich:


Alps, more or less blurry:








ZRH and a nice background:




TAROM drinks menu:


Coffee:

A really bad choice. 2 Cokes and 2 Coffees=a sick dc9northwest. Shame... The coffee tasted good!

Safety card (note the old RO livery):





Well, RO got me to Bucharest roughly on-time. I should've used the lavatory before disembarking the aircraft at a parking stand... But I didn't, which made for a very long 10-minute bus ride. Furthermore, they changed the location where the bus drops off the passengers due to the new wing of the terminal, making for a very long trek to passport control when arriving via bus.

Speaking of which, all major airlines seem to use the 14 boarding bridges at OTP, but RO, at their home base, doesn't use them that often... I don't know; maybe they don't want to pay the usage of too many boarding bridges. However, it's strange to see RO not using these jetways preferentially (not that there's anything wrong—it's just unexpected).

Check-in: N/A
Technically never really checked-in in person. Online check-in worked fine.
Boarding: 8
A bit chaotic, as CDG boarding tends to be! Enforced elite members boarding first rule+upgrade, very nice.
Seat: 6
Not in great shape; bad legroom for business-class; enough for a 3-hr flight, but could be better. Looked better than DL's leather seats.
Ambience: 7
Good, nothing to write home about. 3 pax in C.
IFE/Announcements: 7
Good for a 3-hr flight; TV screens with flight map, TAROM destinations, some comedy (Just for Laughs, IIRC). No movie.
Crew: 9
Very good crew, appropriate, attentive service for Business-class.
Food/Beverage: 7
I can't penalize RO because I don't eat fish—N/A. Beverage offered a few times--good selection and presentation.
On-Time: 9
A bit late upon departure.
Disembark: 6
OK. Used buses and then had a long walk. Not very welcoming, but OK.
Lounge: 8 (on a 5-10 scale: 5 being worse than outside the lounge)
Too crowded, hard to hear announcements, not the cleanest. Good beverage choice, not sure where/if there was any food.

Overall: 7.44 (Premium Short-Haul, International)

Thanks for reading.


Any comments or suggestions are appreciated.

I stole the grade template from member abrelosojos and adapted it somewhat. Hope you don't mind, Alex!

I wrote this report yesterday and today while I'm at home with a cold. If anything doesn't make sense, please ask. I'll answer any questions and blame my mistakes/omissions on my illness  

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLufthansaHON From Germany, joined Feb 2012, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 10704 times:

Very interesting report, the Premium Economy seats actually don't look that bad. Were you able to catch some sleep? And how come they upgraded you on RO? Was Economy overbooked?

User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2199 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 10689 times:

Quoting LufthansaHON (Reply 1):

Very interesting report, the Premium Economy seats actually don't look that bad. Were you able to catch some sleep? And how come they upgraded you on RO? Was Economy overbooked?

Hi there LufthansaHON,

Thanks!

I was able to catch some sleep, yes, but I don't have much trouble sleeping even in Y if I'm tired enough. Fortunately the seat next to remained empty and, even if a passenger there wouldn't intrude on my space, it was still a better experience. In fact, the main advantage in Premium Eco is more space. 123* of recline doesn't help me much with sleeping.

Overbooking would be my guess. I haven't seen many upgrades on intra-European flights for other reasons! Economy was pretty full.

Thanks for reading!


User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1310 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 months 4 days ago) and read 10231 times:

What a trek! Thanks for sharing your trip!

I think Premium Voyageurs looks great, and it's not too expensive, either AFAIK.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
I got to the airport a couple of hours before departure time, and had to ask the agent to tag my luggage all the way through to Bucharest... He printed out the “baggage barcode thingy”, and it said BUH.

I would have loved to see this tag! Not specially with the error "BUH" but a tag with so many destinations. Your bag made it, right? I guess you have no picture of that, don't you?

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Airport; not sure which one, somewhere between Paris and Zurich:

This is Basle if i'm not mistaken. The airport is actually in France and has an access road from Switzerland.


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2199 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 10137 times:

Quoting reifel (Reply 3):
I think Premium Voyageurs looks great, and it's not too expensive, either AFAIK.

It's at a fair price, I find, usually. It looks great, I agree, but it's not as comfortable as it looks!

Quoting reifel (Reply 3):
I would have loved to see this tag! Not specially with the error "BUH" but a tag with so many destinations. Your bag made it, right? I guess you have no picture of that, don't you?

Luckily, yes, my bag made it alright. It seems I don't have a picture of the tag... It's a shame; I had it on my desk for a while but I never got around to taking a photo, it seems... I thought I had.

Quoting reifel (Reply 3):
This is Basle if i'm not mistaken. The airport is actually in France and has an access road from Switzerland.

That would've been my guess. Thanks for confirming this.

Quoting reifel (Reply 3):
What a trek! Thanks for sharing your trip!

Thanks for reading and a happy A.net birthday, Reifel!


User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1310 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 10093 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 4):
Thanks for reading and a happy A.net birthday, Reifel!

Haha thanks, I didn't realized that  


User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 422 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 9952 times:

thanks for the efforts dc9northwest ... I hope you're better ...

- for me Delta is an interesting company maybe the average but complete ...
- I think this is the first T.R. inside "Premium Voyageur" ... I'm not a big fan of eco+ but looks very interesting ...
- AF flight deck visit ??? wow It's a surprise
- TAROM business class another premiere ? ... 2+2 sitting ... i didn't know that ... do all planes have such offer ...
nice service ... and photo report hehehe ... stipica  



Open your eyes and think
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2199 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 9919 times:

Quoting stipica (Reply 6):
- for me Delta is an interesting company maybe the average but complete ...
- I think this is the first T.R. inside "Premium Voyageur" ... I'm not a big fan of eco+ but looks very interesting ...
- AF flight deck visit ??? wow It's a surprise
- TAROM business class another premiere ? ... 2+2 sitting ... i didn't know that ... do all planes have such offer ...
nice service ... and photo report hehehe ... stipica  

I'd say DL is above average as far as US airlines go. Not necessarily comfort-wise, but the staff is usually better on DL than on other US airlines I've flown. That said, I wouldn't say DL is anything "special". Just "good" and consistent.

Regarding AF's Flight Deck visit... To be honest I'm not completely surprised. You never know what to expect with the French... sometimes, though, you get lucky. I think the A380 had something to do with it, who knows.

RO's Business Class... Yes, I think it's all 2-2 seating, but the Airbus seats are different, I hear, with the middle seat folding in to go from 3-3 to 2-2. I have only flown once on their A318, so I don't really remember. If they sell business class seats on their 737-800 flights (they don't on charters), beware; the seating would have to be 3-3, with or without the middle seat blocked.

Thanks for reading, Stipica!


User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1881 posts, RR: 25
Reply 8, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 9853 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report! What an interesting flight routing - glad you got to connect through so many different cities! Glad you had a good lay-over as well, MSP is usually pretty easy to transit through. (Its my hometown airport ...  

DL F looks decent for the flight lengths - nice to get a meal on the IAD flight. At least they serve your drinks in glasses as opposed to US F domestic!

Interesting to read about Tarom! Very cool photos; looks like an interesting airline!

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew (767747)


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2199 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 9654 times:

Quoting 767747 (Reply 8):
Great report! What an interesting flight routing - glad you got to connect through so many different cities! Glad you had a good lay-over as well, MSP is usually pretty easy to transit through. (Its my hometown airport ...  

DL F looks decent for the flight lengths - nice to get a meal on the IAD flight. At least they serve your drinks in glasses as opposed to US F domestic!

Interesting to read about Tarom! Very cool photos; looks like an interesting airline!

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew (767747)

Hi Matthew,

Thanks for reading the report. Yes, MSP is pretty good for connections--just transited there a couple of days ago and had no problem with a 32 minute connection.

US don't do real glasses in F? Huh, that's a bit strange--seems like they need to improve their F service.

RO now offers good to very good service, unlike even 5-10 years ago, when they were sub-mediocre. They are interesting--strange fleet choices, some bizarre destinations (OK, those tend to disappear quickly), but no real strategy.... I really hope they will still exist in 2020... and forever for that matter, but it seems unlikely.


User currently onlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2354 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 9216 times:

Nice TR, great pictures!

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
and had to ask the agent to tag my luggage all the way through to Bucharest... He printed out the “baggage barcode thingy”, and it said BUH. Very close, but I've never seen a city code on such a thing.

True, but it seems a very common thing to do in the USA- but I don't know why?! Last time I saw BER on a flight bound for Berlin-Tegel (TXL).

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Seat: 84A (Premium Voyageur)

Very, very strange- is it something new, do I miss something?! I flew two years ago on AF 380's and on top, according to seatguru, all A380 had/have a 3-class-config. So, since when did it changed to a 4-class concept? Are ALL A380 equipped with PremV?!


User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1065 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 9118 times:

The meals on AF are 100 times better than on US airlines.

User currently offline9w748capt From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 516 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8955 times:

Awesome report - any chance you could post pics of the RO 737 you flew on? Or any shots of OTP? Or of Bucharest? I feel like Romania's one of the less-covered destinations on a.net so I'd love to see some pics. Hope you had a good trip and thanks for sharing!

User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2199 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 8824 times:

Quoting debonair (Reply 10):
Very, very strange- is it something new, do I miss something?! I flew two years ago on AF 380's and on top, according to seatguru, all A380 had/have a 3-class-config. So, since when did it changed to a 4-class concept? Are ALL A380 equipped with PremV?!

Well, F-HPJE, the aircraft I flew on, was the first AF A380 to feature Premium Voyageur, that I know. The first four were delivered by Airbus without this class because Airbus did not accept a change from the initial requested 3-class configuration. I do know that eventually AF will equip all their A380s with PV, but I'm not sure they have completed doing so. I think not.

SeatGuru has been lagging behind new developments lately, it seems.

Quoting debonair (Reply 10):
True, but it seems a very common thing to do in the USA- but I don't know why?! Last time I saw BER on a flight bound for Berlin-Tegel (TXL).

That's very strange... I wonder why that happens...

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 11):

The meals on AF are 100 times better than on US airlines.

Oh yes, I do agree. (tasteless) Chicken or (tasteless) pasta anyone? LOL. The meal wasn't bad, just completely forgettable.

Quoting 9w748capt (Reply 12):
Awesome report - any chance you could post pics of the RO 737 you flew on? Or any shots of OTP? Or of Bucharest? I feel like Romania's one of the less-covered destinations on a.net so I'd love to see some pics. Hope you had a good trip and thanks for sharing!

Let me see what I can find in my collection. I will post some pics when I find some relevant ones.

Thanks for reading, guys!


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2199 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8716 times:

Bucharest:

National Arena Grand Opening:






Sala Palatului:




OTP

TAROM lounge:






YR-BGD, the plane I flew from Paris (and to BCN three weeks later):


YR-LCA, an A310 for your viewing pleasure:


737-800 and exterior view of the new OTP terminal--shaped like a violin:


User currently offlineB738FlyUIA From Switzerland, joined Dec 2009, 543 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8714 times:

Hi dc9nothwest!!!

Thank you for sharing your report and great photos from your trip!!! Maybe I'm little mistaken but think that the A380 ride was not that you where actually expecting!! I've been a couple of times on AF and didn't impress me at all!!!!

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Airport; not sure which one, somewhere between Paris and Zurich:

This Airport is for sure BSL and the river there the Rhein!!!

Also very nice that you spotted ZRH!!! The view is simply wonderful with the lake(s)!!!!

Hope to read and see more soon...  

Cheers!



Next Flt: ZRH-SAW-ALA Rtn on (5-13.April.14)
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2199 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (2 years 2 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 8674 times:

Quoting B738FlyUIA (Reply 15):
Thank you for sharing your report and great photos from your trip!!! Maybe I'm little mistaken but think that the A380 ride was not that you where actually expecting!! I've been a couple of times on AF and didn't impress me at all!!!!

Thanks for reading!

You're right. I never know what to expect with Air France. They're usually OK in the air, but ground services at CDG can be horrible, so I usually avoid AF since I avoid CDG. The crew did surprise me on this segment, yes.

Quoting B738FlyUIA (Reply 15):
This Airport is for sure BSL and the river there the Rhein!!!

Also very nice that you spotted ZRH!!! The view is simply wonderful with the lake(s)!!!!

Thanks for the confirmation.

Yes, I really liked the view of ZRH with the lakes in the background. Seems very tranquil.


User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5014 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (2 years 2 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 8260 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
A-net privilege: gaze into the eyes of the A380 restroom: not an An-24, so no “poo-poo”:

= See you missed out  .

Interesting report - you sure have a great luck with upgrades. I really tried to upgrade on the Antonov, and failed. There was no premium Olga class either  . A few notes I thought of -

+ So what's the deal with the Coke and lack of ice? They didn't have it, or that is how you prefer?
+ DL's meal looked really good
+ What was the IFE like on DL?
+ I am actually very disappointed with Y+ on AF .., if they need a lesson on how to do it, check out TK or NZ
+ Not surprised with the poor CDG  
+ I am impressed with RO and "BUH" pics. I really need to fly them and visit soon!

Thanks a lot for the report, and excited to read your 2012 adventures.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2199 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 8225 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 17):
See you missed out

I did indeed... though flying on an An-24 over a large body of water would be a big no-no to me.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 17):
Interesting report - you sure have a great luck with upgrades. I really tried to upgrade on the Antonov, and failed. There was no premium Olga class either

DL has a very nice policy towards upgrades for Flying Blue (and Alaska's FF) members. Well, some still complain about it, but Saturday flights mean upgrades very, very often. Best day of the week for getting upgrades--flying to IAD or MDW also adds to chances--fewer business travellers. It's not really about luck on DL.

With RO, on the other hand... I was very lucky indeed.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 17):
So what's the deal with the Coke and lack of ice? They didn't have it, or that is how you prefer?

That's how I prefer it (ideally cold, but not with ice). A sign of my European roots, I guess. I started out doing this in US restaurants, where you had 90% ice and 10% coke/juice/whatever... it has expanded now. I don't see the point of asking for refills every 2 minutes  
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 17):
DL's meal looked really good

Yes, it was the most flavorful meal I have ever had on an aircraft. That includes the few TATL J class trips I've taken with AF and DL.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 17):
What was the IFE like on DL?

Basically none, just their inflight magazine. I'm trying to remember if the MD-90 had drop-down screens... I don't think they were used if it did. N912DN had IFE when I flew MSP-MCI in January 2011, and they showed a sitcom, but N924DN had none.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 17):
I am actually very disappointed with Y+ on AF .., if they need a lesson on how to do it, check out TK or NZ

The meal is still an Y class meal... the seat isn't great. It's aesthetic, but not very practical IMO. I haven't actually flown Y+ on other airlines. Wanted to try AZ's Y+ from JFK in June but they weren't selling tickets on their own late departure out of NY. Tried 10 times, got 10 errors, Y+ and Y alike. So I chose the DL flight.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 17):
Not surprised with the poor CDG  

I think you may be a bit too harsh on AF (but I've read the famous JNB report and you have good points), but regarding CDG, I'll never say you're too harsh  
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 17):
I am impressed with RO and "BUH" pics. I really need to fly them and visit soon!

I'd be really interested to see where they'd fit in your rankings  

Bucharest is interesting--they say you either love it or you hate it.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 17):
Thanks a lot for the report, and excited to read your 2012 adventures.

Thanks a lot for reading... If you have any criticism to make for better TRs, do let me know.


I have found a couple of errors in my TR:
In the DC-9 pic in MSP, it's actually downtown Minneapolis in the background according to google maps, and I said above 3 hours stage length on MSP-IAD. It's only 2h24'.


User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5014 posts, RR: 55
Reply 19, posted (2 years 2 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7882 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 18):
DL has a very nice policy towards upgrades for Flying Blue (and Alaska's FF) members. Well, some still complain about it, but Saturday flights mean upgrades very, very often. Best day of the week for getting upgrades--flying to IAD or MDW also adds to chances--fewer business travellers. It's not really about luck on DL.

= Wow. I never knew they upgraded FB members! This is how much I follow them. Use to fly over 500,000 a year on mostly DL ... but walked away from it all when they began their ridiculous devaluation of their program.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 18):
Basically none, just their inflight magazine. I'm trying to remember if the MD-90 had drop-down screens... I don't think they were used if it did. N912DN had IFE when I flew MSP-MCI in January 2011, and they showed a sitcom, but N924DN had none.

= I thought they all had IFE  .

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 18):
I think you may be a bit too harsh on AF (but I've read the famous JNB report and you have good points), but regarding CDG, I'll never say you're too harsh  

= Me harsh on AF ... no   ...

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 18):
Bucharest is interesting--they say you either love it or you hate it.

= Probably the kinda city I'd love!

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2199 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (2 years 2 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7729 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 19):
= Wow. I never knew they upgraded FB members! This is how much I follow them. Use to fly over 500,000 a year on mostly DL ... but walked away from it all when they began their ridiculous devaluation of their program.

Yeah, they upgrade their own FF flyers first, of course, but if there are still seats available FB members get, in essence, unlimited upgrades (but only domestic flights and not on transcontinental either). It's rare for a DL flight to go out with an empty F cabin nowadays.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 19):
I thought they all had IFE  .

They were planned to have IFE, but they didn't get some sort of approval AFAIK. It might be that only the first 16 MD-90 aircraft operate with IFE installed. If they change the IFE system while changing the configuration, possibly not those either anymore...

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 19):
Me harsh on AF ... no   ...

Hehe. Well, don't mind me... I usually find them OK in the air. The disaster is on the ground and it shares a name with a French president.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 19):
Probably the kinda city I'd love!

Well, there's only one way to find out  


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