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The A343 At Last: LA MAD-FRA (+KL AMS-MAD FRA-AMS)  
User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 1002 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 11719 times:

The A343 at last

I think we can all agree that the Airbus A340 is a unique aircraft to fly on. Especially it’s unusual ascent and descent rate and it’s 4 instead of 2 engines make it a noteworthy aircraft for me. Therefore, it had been on my to fly list for quite a while. Although I had considered flying the A340 on several occasions (among the KU flight FCO-CDG and an AF flight between CDG and BKK) the first time I really booked a flight on one of those birds was early last year. The occasion would be the AF flight between ORD and CDG somewhere in October. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as planned. For some reason, in the week I was flying, an Airbus A330 would be flying that route. Bummer. So I started looking for new ways to have the A340 experience. Since long haul was out of the question, all that remained were 5th freedom right flights in Europe. Among those flight is off course the A.net favorite LAN flight between Madrid and Frankfurt. The service seemed reliable enough, and the timing ex-Madrid are quite favorable. So it was decided; MAD-FRA on the LA A343 it would be. An open jaw journey with seal the deal, AMS-MAD on a Boeing 737-800, which a -900 when I booked it, unfortunately later swapped to a 738. But I had already flown the 739 so no biggie. The FRA-AMS flight would be operated by a Fokker 70, so a nice added bonus!

Saturday, March 24th 2012
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Flight KL1701
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) – Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD)
Boeing 737-800
Seat 3F


157th overall flight
22nd flight on KLM
7th flight on a Boeing 737-800 (33rd flight on an Boeing 737)
5th flight on a KLM Boeing 737-700 (12th flight on a KLM Boeing 737)
51st visit to AMS (25th departure from AMS) and 4th visit to MAD (3rd arrival at MAD)
2nd time flying AMS-MAD, 2nd time flying this route

Departure Time (Scheduled/Actual): 09.35 / 09.30
Arrival Time (Scheduled/Actual): 12.15 / 11.52
Block time (Scheduled / Actual): 2.40 / 2.22
Flight duration: 2 hours, 5 minutes
Mileage: 907 nm

The day started pretty early for me, as the flight to Madrid would depart 09.35. But with no checked bag and the ability to use the fast-lane at security, I felt confident with arriving around at AMS around 08.30. I drove the 45 minutes from my house to the town of Hoofddorp, where I parked my car in a suburb, from where I took a 15-minute busride to the airport. No need to pay an expensive parking ticket.

It wasn’t overly busy at the KLM Skyteam check-in area , but it did seem a little crowded. Construction is still going on there, things will probably clear up when all is done. If I’m not mistaken they revamping the Priority area, and also adding more self-service bag drop machines. It should be done when I’m typing this, so we’ll see next time. I exchanged my home printed A4 boarding pass for a smaller one from the machines – easier to carry around with – and headed to security. Small queue for the economy lane, and a few people waiting for the Priority lane. So getting through took limited time, and before I knew I was airside at AMS for the 3rd time in 5 weeks.

With still about 20 minutes before boarding started to spare, and it being a wonderful spring day outside (it would be around 15C in the Netherlands that weekend – really the first real days of spring; so the entire country was going banana’s) I decided to go to the small outside area in the “airport park” to catch some fresh air and enjoy the morning sun – and the smell of JET-A1. Unfortunately this was closed, apparently it didn’t open until 9-ish. So I just sat down in the airport park, discovered it was already T-30 hours for my return flight the next day, and used KLM’s excellent mobile app to check in and select a nice in the back of tomorrow’s Fokker 70.

After that, it was time to go to gate C12, where the flight would depart from. Coincidentally, this was also the gate were first flight this year – AMS-SVG – departed from. Arriving there, a small queue had formed for the gate, and it seems pre-boarding was already under way, so I joined the other Elites to be among the first to board. I had selected up front, just in case there was a delay and my connection in MAD was getting tight, and also on the right side, to get some nice views of the Atlantic Coast. 3A it was. A popular seat this year, as I was seated in row 3 on 2 out of my other 4 flights this year. I made way on board, where I was greeted by a friendly female FA.

Busy scene at the Skyteam check-in area


Lots of KLM heavies around at this time. Lovely weather to be flying today

Todays aircraft



Two rows of Business Class today, so I was again seated directly after the C cabin. As usual when boarding a busy flight (there wasn’t a seat open anymore when I checked the seat map on the check-in machines) quite a queue clogged up in the aisle. But the FA at the made some nice chit-chat with the waiting passengers, asking them where they’re from, where they’re going and all that. Great stuff, a lot better than the disinterested looks you sometimes get on other carriers when you’re boarding. Lots of American folks on board – it’s spring in the US, isn’t it? – who must have arrived on the huge arrivals bank that Delta has between 6 and 9 am.

A quick welcome from the flight deck, from where a flight time of a little over 2 hours was announced. At 09.25 – 10 minutes ahead of departure time – you could feel the push back truck getting attached, and actual pushback commenced at 09.30. Runways 36C and 36L (the remote Polderbaan) were in use for departures today, and in my experience flights to the South and East usually use the Center runway, whilst flights heading to the North and West often use the Polderbaan. So this would mean only a short taxi for us. And indeed, we crossed the highway A4, passed by the buffer were a bunch of KLM heavies – as well as the Government Fokker – were parked and lined up on 36C. And up we went, followed by a nice (almost) 180 degree turn, offering great views of Amsterdam and the airport in the process. The weather was truly splendid. Not a cloud to be seen, and no haze either, offering unlimited views of the world below. Rotterdam was clearly visible, the province of Zeeland with it’s easy to recognize island and later Antwerp and the Antwerp harbor.


Some JETA-1

Taxing out past the buffer where a bunch of heavies are usually parked during the day. But today also the Government Fokker

Taking off over the west of Amsterdam

Another picture of Amsterdam. The lake in the middle is the Sloterplas, a popular park

Turning towards the South, a good overview of AMS

De Kaagerplassen

Flying past Rotterdam

Rotterdam again




Quickly after the departure the crew hopped into action for the inflight service. Fortunately KLM still serves a substantial sandwich on these flights, which came along with coffee/tea and/or a cold refreshment. I opted for the usual coffee and OJ. Later on the famous caramel biscuits were offered, along with a second drink. The two passengers seated in Business Class got a lot of personal attention from the aforementioned FA, who came to talk to them every now and then, just enough to be genuinely interested, but not too much to be intruded by.

Just when I spotted Paris the captain came on the PA with the usual flight info in Dutch and English. He indeed confirmed that we currently overflying Paris, and that the route from there would be Bordeaux-Pamplona-Madrid. It was currently 10C in Madrid, but it was expected to increase to 19C upon arrival, with the similar clear skies as on our current position.

The view of Paris was truly remarkable. You could even make out the shape of famous sights such as the Eiffel Tower and La Defense. Later on, similar stunning views of Bordeaux were offered, were the three bridges over the river Garonne were clearly visible, as well as the Dordogne/Garonne estuary. The flight path then took us past the coastline of the Bay of Biscay, offering views of places like the Bassin d’Archacon, Biarritz and San Sebastian before we reached mainland Spain again, where some remaining snow could still be spotted on the mountains.

Sandwich pack, coffee and juice

Stunning view of Paris. You could even recognize the Eiffel Tower

Paris again

Orly Airport

Another delicious hot drink, and a stroopwafel

Just passed by Bordeaux, now approaching the Atlantic Coast

The cities of Biarritz and Bayonne. I’ve spent a few summers in Biarritz, and will also visit Biarritz this summer. Should be an interesting trip report from HV BIQ-RTM flight, two airports that aren’t covered all that frequently

Somewhere over the French-Spanish border. I think it’s St. Jean de Luz and Hendaye or San Sebastian down there

Nice mountain range, with some snow

More mountains and more snow

Beautiful landscape



Descend commenced around 11.15, probably near the city of Pamplona. As we would be landing to the Northwest, we were getting a pretty nice tour over Spain, as we would have to pass by the entire airport. Landing was smooth and soft and the right runway, which also meant quite a taxi to T3, home of Air Europe and their Skyteam friends.

Familiar Spanish landscape

Descending. Nice valley down there

Final approach

Final approach

Almost there

Touchdown and exiting the runway. T4S, I should be there in a hour or so

T4 Main Building. Pretty fair away from the satellite. Madrid skyline also visible

Terminal 3 or C, or whatever they call it. Air Europe has its home there, as well as the other Skyteam airlines

Saying goodbye to my 738

This terminal is not as nice as T4 off course, but still a lot better than the other two terminals

UX Embraer. I’m always surprised how close that town is to the airport


Saturday, March 24th 2012
LAN Airlines Flight 704
Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD) – Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
Airbus A340-300
Seat 33L


158th overall flight
1st flight on LAN
1st flight on an Airbus A340-300
1st flight on a LAN Airbus A340-300
5th visit to MAD (2nd departure from MAD) and 8th visit to FRA (4th arrival at FRA)
1st time flying MAD-FRA

Departure Time (Scheduled/Actual): 15.15 / 15.13
Arrival Time (Scheduled/Actual): 17.55 / 17.52
Block time (Scheduled / Actual): 2.40 / 2.39
Flight duration: 2 hours, 24 minutes
Mileage: 882 nm

And so I found myself in Madrid Terminal 3. Terminal 3 is actually the nicer of the three older terminals. Not even close to the architectural beauty that Terminal 4 is, but quite spacious and bright and open. Being about 15 minutes early, I still had over 3 hours to get to T4 for my 15.15 departure. Now supposedly there is an airside shuttle bus connection, departing from the arrivals hall of T2 and T1. So I started following the signs ‘T4 Transfer’ and embarked on a journey that seemed to take me to the entire Terminal before I ended up on stairway down and arrived at what seemed like a bus gate. Good, I thought, must be a bus gate for the airside transfer. But no, another sign – as well a security employee – directed me outside of security and into the baggage claim area. Oh well, time enough anyways.

Now I had explored Madrid Barajas Airport extensively last year; on a trip I took for the sole purpose of visiting T4 (flying MAD-LCY). Little did I know that exactly 1 year and 1 week later I would be there again. Since I had been in this area before, I knew exactly where the shuttle bus would depart from. Besides, by now it was indeed the 20C promised to us by the captain when overflying Paris, so it would be a good opportunity to get some fresh air and a few minutes of Spanish sunshine. Arriving at the bus stand, I immediately noticed that among the 10 people waiting for the shuttle bus was also the lady who seated next to me on my AMS-MAD flight. What a confidence! She recognized me too, so smiles and a greeting where exchanged. After about 5 minutes the bus arrived, and we started our trip towards T4. It takes about 5 minutes, but it feels like you’re leaving the airport altogether, so far are these terminals apart.


Busride to T4



Then I arrived at that architectural marvel that T4 is. I’m a bit of a modern architecture buff, so this terminal is definitely a treat. Too bad that the airline that mainly occupies it is such a let-down. I looked around for a little while, just enjoying the building and all that, before making my way to security. This was quick enough, but I did get a beep from the scanner, so I got one of those pat-downs. Oh well. It happens.

I gave myself a quick tour of the main T4 building before making my down to the lower level for the train ride to the T4 Satellite (T4S). You’ve seen it in the pictures already, there is a pretty long distance between these two building, and this is definitely noticeable during the train ride – it takes pretty long. I gave myself a similar tour of T4S, bought some coffee, and settled down in a chair near a window to watch some of the not-so-common traffic, that included an S7 Airbus A320, an Air Algeria Airbus A320 and a whole bunch of Iberia A340’s.


LAN check-in area at that wonderfull T4

Great architecture here

Some VY and IB Airbusses

Metro to the city, and railway station behind it. Didn’t realize MAD was no served by the long distance trains now too

T4 looks futuristic from the last floor up[i]




[i]Loooong terminal, main building


Looking the other way

Airbus A321 on stand, T4S in the fair distance

Better view of T4S

Now in T4S, at the lower level, still used for Schengen departures. Looking up towards a LA A3434 which turned it to by my aircraft

Central area of T4S

T4S is also looooong

Looking the other way here too

View of the rainway, and the tail of a LA 767

Exotic destinations on the screen here

A346, T4 and the Madrid skyline



Boarding was supposed to start at 14.20 – which seemed pretty early for a 15.15 – departure, even for a wide body, but the boarding commenced at 14.20 sharp. Off course first the Business Class cabin, followed by Oneworld Elites, and then row 40-something to 30-something, which included my row 33. I was welcomed on board by a male attended who gave me direction to my seat. Along the way – trough the cabin that seemed in great shape - I passed by two smiling female FA’s. So far a friendly and welcome impression.

Boarding went pretty orderly so it seemed, and as far as I could see at around 14.45 most passengers were already seated. A first welcome (in Spanish and English) on the PA from the purser came also around this time; the usual stuff but also an advertisement for one of their tax free products. Interesting, not something you’d initially expect from a legacy carrier. A similar announcement – including the advertisement - was made a little after 15.00. Around that time the captain also introduced himself, announcing an on-time departure and a flight time of 2 hours and 20 minutes. That’s a little fifteen minutes longer than the earlier AMS-MAD flight, which is blocked at 2 and 40 minutes, just like this flight. Some headwinds perhaps.

Well, the downside being on board so early was that by the time the captain made his announcement I had already read the in-flight magazine (that featured some very exciting looking South American destinations) and the duty free magazine and the AVOD system hadn’t been started yet, so it was time to get under way, I thought. Meanwhile, the crew went around distributing earplugs for the entertainment system, interesting to do it before take-off, hadn’t experienced that before. I spent the last few minutes looking at the last cargo being loaded, and then it was indeed time to pushback. The purser welcomed us on board once again, in English and Spanish, and redirected our attention to the PTV-screens for the safety demo. This was then followed by a pre-recorded announcement in German, telling us that the crew spoke English and Spanish alone and that we should all turn our attention to the PTV’s. During the pushback the safety video shown, which was a nice cartoon-like style.

My ride for this afternoon!

Forward economy cabin. Looks in pretty good shape.

Yeah, that’s a 4th engine allright

Approaching the runway



Departure would be to the North, from one of the runways just east of the terminal. This meant a short taxi, but off course it went in the slow pace that wide bodies often taxi at. One Air Europe 737-800 ahead of us, and then the 4 engines spooled up. My first A340 flight was about to begin.

At this point I was pretty excited about the take-off. In was curious to see how the slow ascent rate – that I had seen pretty often by now – would actually be noticeable from inside the aircraft. And indeed it was, from my point of view. The take-off roll took pretty long and it seemed to take forever to gain some altitude. After a few minutes you could really see that you didn’t gain as much altitude as you normally would have gained in let’s say an A320 or 737. Great experience.


Take-off!

Slow ascend



Time to explore the AVOD in-flight entertainment system. After I clicked ‘start’ to begin I was first treated to yet another advertisement. The selection was pretty extensive. Lots of music, (recent) movies and (recent) tv-shows were available, as well as some games and the inevitable in-flight map. I decided to watch two Friends episodes – I can never get too tired of those – and I continued watching Two and a Half Men. Fortunately, these were episodes with Charlie Sheen, because those new episodes with Ashton Kutcher are like flying Swiss without getting a chocolate: something is missing. I must point out that each program once again started with an advertisement. The person in the seat in front of me was not using her PTV, but just put it on the in-flight map modus, allowing me to view her moving map while I was watching the shows. Nice.

The in-flight catering was okay for a flight this duration. A snack box with a nice sandwich (although a bit dry) and a chocolate bar. On each row the crew asked what the passenger wanted to drink by listing the entire assortment “we have thee, coffee, soft drinks, beer, white wine, red wine”. They must get pretty tired of that riddle after a while. I chose a white wine, which was Chilean (no surprise) and tasted pretty good. An additional drink was not offered – which was a bit disappointing. I mean, how difficult can it be to offer some water or juice if some orders a wine or coffee – especially on a sector that is part of a long-haul trip.


The person in 32L wasn’t had his PTV on the moving map all the time, so I could watch some Friends episodes and the moving map at the same time. Say hello to Phoebe

Lunch box



Meanwhile I was once again treated with superb views down below. First a gorgeous look at the snow-covered Pyrenees, followed by the wonderful French Alps near Geneva and Bern. You can never get too tired of that. A view scattered clouds in Southeast France, but unlimited views mostly.

At just over 17.00 hours an announcement came that the entertainment system would be shut down and the crew would start collecting the earplugs. Seemed pretty early, as the moving map still showed a remaining forty minute flight time. At this time we crossed into German airspace, flying near Karlsruhe. We indeed begin our descent – some clouds here – and duo the slow ascent rate it seemed like we were getting a sightseeing tour of Southwest Germany.

Gorgeous scenery when flying over the Pyrenees

Continued…

And again

Toulouse and TLS below. I'll be there this summer too, flying MXP-MRS-TLS on AF.

Some scattered clouds

More clouds here over Southeastern France

Some more snow visible, approaching the French Alps

Also gorgeous views of the Alps



We were making a bunch of twist and turns and it was hard to make out from what direction we would be approaching. It was also getting rather hazy all around, making it hard to look very far. Then I recognized FRA in the fair distance, and I realized we were on a downwind approach to the west, for an eastbound landing. We continued on to the west for quite a while, before finally making the 180 degree turn.

Descent seemed to take forever, but finally the ground came in sight, and we made an excellent landing on runway 07R. We rolled out pretty far, before exiting the runway just short of Terminal 2, which is where LA has its home at Frankfurt. So after a pretty short taxi the flight had come to an end!

Now in German airspace, slowly beginning our decent

On downwind approach to FRA, unfortunately too hazy to get a good picture of FRA

Final approach

Continued…

Almost touching down

Touchdown!

Taxing to T2. That’s the kind of aircraft I’ll hopefully be in tomorrow

I was secretly hoping for a remote stand, but no, heading into this finger gate



After exiting the aircraft I looked around for a little while – FRA is also an airport I had covered extensively last year; what a maze that is – before making my way to immigration. My answer to the question “where did you flew in from” surprised and confused the immigration staff; I guess most of the other LA passengers hurried on to the arrivals hall. But of course I was let in, and I took the convenient S-Bahn to my hotel: Hotel Adler, just a few minutes away from Frankfurt Hbf. A single room was only E49, which seemed like a good deal in the newly renovated hotel, with breakfast and free wifi included. So keep that in mind, if you ever need a bargain in FRA.

Saying goodbye to the A343. Thanks for the great experience!

Reflection in the window, and a LH 747 taxiing out

Hotel room. Basic but in good shape.


Sunday, March 25th
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Flight 1768 (operated by KLM Cityhopper)
Frankfurt Airport (FRA) – Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)
Fokker 70
Seat 14F


159th overall flight
23rd flight on KLM
3rd flight on a Fokker 70 (4th flight on a Fokker 70/100)
3rd flight on a KLM Fokker 70 (3rd flight on a KLM Fokker 70/100)
9th visit to FRA (5th departure from FRA) and 52nd visit to AMS (27th arrival at AMS)
2nd time flying FRA-AMS, 3rd time flying this route

Departure Time (Scheduled/Actual): 14.25 / 14.27
Arrival Time (Scheduled/Actual): 15.35 / 15.48
Block time (Scheduled / Actual): 1.10 / 1.21
Flight duration: 55 minutes
Mileage: 228 miles

KLM’s short haul product on shorter flights was covered extensively in my previous trip report Two Eurohops on KL – AMS-SVG and AMS-EDI so I’ll keep this brief and let the pictures do the talking. It was yet another splendid day of flying with crystal clear skies all the way. Cockpit crew was ex-UK, and the cabin crew consisted of two Dutch male FA’s. What happened to all those cute Cityhopper girls?   Service was the usual ‘sweet or savory’ , but delivered with a smile. Most noteworthy event of the flight actually took place during boarding, where mister 8F and myself – 14F – had the same sequence number (001). This caused quite some problems with the computer system and took them quite some time to figure out. I peaked at 8F’s boarding pass, and he seemed to have a DL FF number, so maybe he booked his flight with Delta and something went wrong with the codeshare. Anyway, we both got to go onboard, since we did have different seat numbers and all. Interestingly enough, the two agents spoke French fluently over the phone, so I guess Air France has its own staff in FRA.


Busy scene at FRA’s terminal 2

Lufthansa A343, shot taken from the terminal. As said, lovely weather outside

VN Triple Seven. Love the livery

Waiting area for gate 25. A busgate for the little Fokker offcourse

The busride took us towards one of the most remote parking spots at FRA. Looking back at terminal 2

Boarding

747 coming over

Departure to the East today, so quite a taxi/tour over the airport. Terminal 2 is pictured

Lonely LH 747 at Terminal 1B

Lufthansa Technik and the new Terminal 1 extension in the background. Already a UA 777 was parked there.

Cargo appron

Finally at the runway. 4 Heavy’s ahead of us

Take-off! Unfortunately I was seated at the wrong side for views of Frankfurt

Savory for me today. And some white wine. It’s weekend after all.

Descend commencing somewhere over the East of the Netherlands.

27 kilometer long dyke between the provinces of Lelyland and Noord-Holland

Splendid view of Amsterdam

Amsterdam again

Yeah, that’s the Netherlands all right

Again

Final approach

Final approach

Almost there

Exiting the runway

Many Fokker brothers at the regional appron

As well as this AF Jungle Jet

Lovely weather at Schiphol

Thanks for reading all. No more flying for a little while now, next flight will be on June 2nd, from Dusseldorf to Berlin SXF, for the BER meeting. Comments are appreciated!

29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSASMD82 From Netherlands, joined Mar 2007, 781 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 11657 times:
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Great report! I lllooovvveee the Airbus A340. I recommend you to book a LH A340-600 soon (with the lower deck toilets). The take off experience of the A340-300s is unbeatable. Most wide bodied aircraft have 'too' much power to so they can take off quickly which is a shame.

Did the Fokker land on runway 18C at Schiphol? I do not recognise the views during landing!  

Anyway, a nice trip, great report!  


User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1096 posts, RR: 32
Reply 2, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 11528 times:

Great report.

Thanks for going to such lengths to get on an aircraft. I only feel that I would just love to go long-haul on it. It is too much of a teaser.

I suppose the snack-box looked pretty standard to what other carriers are offering.

MAD terminal looks really great, fresh and reflective of the country. I never knew it was such a winner.
thanks

Luke



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4273 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 11189 times:

Hi Robert,

good report, gratz with the A340-300 and good read about your exprience on KLM and the MAD transfer too.
I love MAD T4, it's so beautiful, especially on a sunny day.

LAN's inflight catering has reduced since I took my flight on them, but still good. I wonder if LH serves still a hot light meal? I hot it 2 years ago on LH, MUC-MAD. Also LAN's interior has changed.

Nice to see you catching the F70 on KLM too. Great aircraft! You couldn't make it back the same day on KLM but with LH it would've been possible (what I did). Ticketing would've been more a hassle then.

You can see my experience (and same routing but different airlines) here: Catching Up With The LAN A340 And More ... (+pics) (by Airbuseric Oct 16 2008 in Trip Reports)

Regards
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 10699 times:

Hi Robert,

Great trip report and some nice photos. The mountains with their "sugar coating" look magnificent.

T4 and T4S are indeed architectural wonders that prove airports don't have to be boring in their design. The little train journey between the two is quite nice too.

The A343 is an experience unlike other aircraft. I have flown on it going to/ from MAD and CMN with another airline and it does have a noticeably slower ascent and sound to it. It seems so lumbering that you begin to wonder if you will ever leave the ground.

The other reason to like it is the 2-4-2 arrangement in Y, meaning that you are only ever one seat away from an aisle.

Thanks for sharing.

Roy / Quokkas


User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1746 posts, RR: 30
Reply 5, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 10185 times:
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Hallo Robert,

Very nice and sunny report of your LAN flight. This must be the n°1 5th freedom flight in Europe: it’s well timed, good value and of a considerable length so you are able to enjoy it to the fullest. The A340 series still remain my favorite long haul aircraft; I’ve flown the IB ones a couple of times into the Americas.
T4 is a marvelous terminal. But the signage sometimes lacks. I had the same problem in BCN when connecting on a very very tight schedule from T2 to T1. Following the signs did not quite get me where I need to be. It seems to be an AENA problem maybe  

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Busy scene at the Skyteam check-in area

AMS is a nice airport with lots to see, but the departure area leaves me with a rather ‘blah’ impression.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
You could even recognize the Eiffel Tower

Great views indeed and the Seine meandering through. Lovely!

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Meanwhile, the crew went around distributing earplugs for the entertainment system

You mean earphones? Plugs are meant to keep the noise out, imo  

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
VN Triple Seven. Love the livery

And the country as well!

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 698 posts, RR: 21
Reply 6, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 9651 times:

Hi Robert,

what an interesting report, that LAN flight is indeed very popular among us trip reporters. I have done that flight as well last year and I really enjoyed it. Very nice to combine the A340 with the Fokker 70 on one trip, quite a contrast.

You took some wonderful pictures as well, really nice to get that overview over Paris.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
So I started following the signs ‘T4 Transfer’ and embarked on a journey that seemed to take me to the entire Terminal before I ended up on stairway down and arrived at what seemed like a bus gate. Good, I thought, must be a bus gate for the airside transfer. But no, another sign – as well a security employee – directed me outside of security and into the baggage claim area.

Oh, that infamous transfer bus. FlyingFinn can tell you a story about it. I think it is a phantom bus, maybe running only during full moon or so. I didn't even bother to find it on my visit to MAD last time, instead I took that landside bus like you did. No problem when you have some time.

And I have to agree with you, Terminal 4 in MAD is a very impressive building. Quite a difference to the older terminals. Really amazing how vast that building is.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
My ride for this afternoon!

What a beautiful bird.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
The take-off roll took pretty long and it seemed to take forever to gain some altitude.

And that was only a short flight for an A340. Imagine the take-off on a real long-haul with a full fuel on board.

Thanks again for putting this report together for us, really enjoyed it.

CaptainRed


User currently offlineCheco77 From Peru, joined Oct 2004, 1345 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 9537 times:

Wow Roberts87!!

What a great TR! I especially enjoyed the LAN flight! Great to see you took it and could report on it! It is greatly appreciated!

I took a few LAN flights, but never in Europe. The snack box looks similiar on the one you get on national Peruvian flights. And their AVOD is really great, I could experience it on their 763!

Thanks again for the report!!!

Adam



Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
User currently offlineMH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1692 posts, RR: 30
Reply 8, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 9534 times:

What a great weekend you had, with these flying conditions, Robert !!!

It provided you with some great flights and wonderful picturetaking...Kaagerplassen, though, should be Westeinderplassen with Aalsmeer in view next to it  

Some excellent views of Paris too.

Yeah, MAD T4 is a marvel architect-wise, and the colour-change of these pillars make it even look longer...

Good, you were able to catch the A340-300 of LA; I read, they will change to 787 once that's delivered...hopefully, LA will keep the MAD-FRA stretch for sampling.

Thanks for sharing: loved your TR !!!

MH017/Pieter...



don't throw away tomorrow !
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5173 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 9455 times:

Hoi, Robert,

now that´s a real good bunch of pictures.
Also you´re story, well done.
Sure the way to go from MAD to FRA whenever needed.
The A343 on these short hops is really welcomed. Done it also some time ago.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineIBERIA747 From Spain, joined Aug 2003, 1831 posts, RR: 58
Reply 10, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 9329 times:

Very nice report.

And what a coincidence. By the time you landed at MAD I was inside IB's VIP lounge at T4S waiting to board the flight to GUA. I may be doing a report on that, but my pics were all taken with my iPhone and look pretty poor. Hopefully i'll be able to take better pics on the way back to Madrid next week.

MAD Terminal 4 complex is indeed impressive, but to be honest, I prefer the old terminals...T1 mostly. Yes, you may need to walk very long distances at the old terminals if you're in transit, but if you're starting or ending your journey there its quite convenient, and it rarely gets crowded since the opening of T4. About the overall ambience and looks, it may not be the best, but I have seen worse airports in other big European cities. It's perfectly ok for me (I know I may get flamed for this).

As for Terminal 4, it's easy to to tell both Richard Rogers and Antonio Lamela (T4 architects) had never designed an airport before. Seems as if the only important thing was size and design, leaving passenger comfort and convenience far behind. Nice for taking pics of the building, bad for transits. Not a place I would like to be stuck at for several hours waiting between flights and bored to death.

Regards from Guatemala City.

[Edited 2012-04-05 15:09:58]


¡¡VIVA ESPAÑA!!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6824 posts, RR: 77
Reply 11, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9079 times:

Hi Robert,

nice report with many good pictures! That LAN flight is really popular here. I had been planning to try LAN for a long time, but finally managed to get on that flight last year after the FRA meeting.

1 Day, 2 Highlights: Big A.net Meeting & LAN A340 (by PlaneHunter Nov 15 2011 in Trip Reports)

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Air Algeria Airbus A320

I know you don't check the registrations, but it would have been nice in that case. Air Algerié doesn't operate own A320s - probably it was a bird leased from Nouvelair?

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
This was then followed by a pre-recorded announcement in German, telling us that the crew spoke English and Spanish alone and that we should all turn our attention to the PTV’s.

Interesting, I didn't notice that on my flight.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Forward economy cabin. Looks in pretty good shape.

Yes, I can confirm that.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
At this point I was pretty excited about the take-off. In was curious to see how the slow ascent rate – that I had seen pretty often by now – would actually be noticeable from inside the aircraft. And indeed it was, from my point of view. The take-off roll took pretty long and it seemed to take forever to gain some altitude.

Always amazing. I once flew MAD-MIA on a full A343 and it seemed to roll forever.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 8852 times:

Hey Robert,

Very nice TR. I'm glad you had a good time sampling LA. I have been wanting to fly with them for quite some time. I'm jealous of all the 5th Freedom flights you guys get in Europe.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
The occasion would be the AF flight between ORD and CDG somewhere in October.

Too bad it didn't work out. We could have gone out for a beer or twelve..

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
T-30 hours for my return flight the next day, and used KLM’s excellent mobile app to check in and select a nice in the back of tomorrow’s Fokker 70.

So for KLM OLCI starts 30h before the flight? I like that. Here it's normally 24 or 23h ahead of time. As far as I'm concerned, the earlier the better.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Fortunately KLM still serves a substantial sandwich on these flights

That's pretty generous. Well done KLM.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Another delicious hot drink, and a stroopwafel

Stroopwafel! I'd love one right now... They go so well with a hot drink...

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
After about 5 minutes the bus arrived, and we started our trip towards T4. It takes about 5 minutes, but it feels like you’re leaving the airport altogether, so far are these terminals apart.

I've taken that bus ride (a few times too many) and I was also surprised at how far we had to travel. On one occasion we even got stuck in traffic 
Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
My ride for this afternoon!

What a beautiful livery...

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Hotel Adler, just a few minutes away from Frankfurt Hbf. A single room was only E49, which seemed like a good deal in the newly renovated hotel, with breakfast and free wifi included. So keep that in mind, if you ever need a bargain in FRA.

It's amazing how many good and affordable hotels you can find around Frankfurt Hbf. I also stayed in one of them (literally across the street) a few years back for something more than 20 British Pounds (I lived in Scotland at the time and had paid for the hotel online) and it was excellent. In any other place I would have paid 5-times that for the same room. I even had a view of the skyscrapers...

Thanks again for a very enjoyable report. I hope your hiatus from flying doesn't feel too long or too torturous!

Wbodyroga



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27123 posts, RR: 60
Reply 13, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 8518 times:

Hi Robert ,

Great report and great pics.  
Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):

I think we can all agree that the Airbus A340 is a unique aircraft to fly on.

Indeed I had some lovely flights on OA's A340's ATH-LHR over the years. Sure miss that A/C and route.

Thanks for this report really is a nice thing to do .

Regards

Philip  


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 14, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 8449 times:

Hi Bob (if I may),

Very nice account on flying this rather popular fifth freedom flight within Europe. Good that you managed to catch the A340 finally, although an equipment change to a 767 with winglets would have been very interesting as well.

Just remember that you need to go back and do this flight again next year when they switch it to the 787!

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
An open jaw journey with seal the deal, AMS-MAD on a Boeing 737-800, which a -900 when I booked it, unfortunately later swapped to a 738. But I had already flown the 739 so no biggie. The FRA-AMS flight would be operated by a Fokker 70, so a nice added bonus!

How did you manage to get an affordable open jaw ticket spanning multiple countries with KLM?! Every time I've tried I've always seen decent open jaw fares when both jawpoints are in the same country (i.e. LHR-AMS-HEL-AMS-MAN) but when you mix countries (i.e. LHR-AMS-HEL-AMS-CDG) you seem to get a full Y fare - i.e. an insanely high one.

Now that I wrote that I realized that you of course did your open jaw the other way around, i.e. ex-AMS so maybe that's different.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Especially it’s unusual ascent and descent rate and it’s 4 instead of 2 engines make it a
noteworthy aircraft for me.

Yep, keep in mind that this only applies to the classic -200 and -300 models. The -500 and -600 have far more powerful engines than those hairdryers and have plenty of power to spare! And the -600 is just an amazing aircraft in itself, so tall and graceful.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
No need to pay an expensive parking ticket.

'attaboy. Having opted for convenience this week and paid Finavia over 40 EUR in freaking parking fees I tend to agree with you here.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
But today also the Government Fokker

Ahh, the Dutch buying Dutch. Very smart. Sends a good message to the taxpayer.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Sandwich pack, coffee and juice

Hmm you didn't seem to have gotten the dark rye bread egg mayo sandwich which was the second half on both my KLM mainline AMS-HEL flights within the last month. I didn't like it at all.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Descend commenced around 11.15, probably near the city of Pamplona.

Wasn't the airshow on?

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
UX Embraer. I’m always surprised how close that town is to the airport

Well it is the town of Barajas and the airport is known as "Madrid Barajas Airport" - do the math  .

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Now supposedly there is an airside shuttle bus connection, departing from the arrivals hall of T2 and T1.

Oh dear, this is starting to sound just like my quest to catch the LAN A340 MAD-FRA two years ago! Coming on a delayed UX (what a surprise) flight from BCN I wasted many precious minutes trying to find the supposedly existing airside connection bus and pissed off quite a few security agents in the process. I had to take the landside bus as well and nearly missed my flight - I was the last one to board. And then we had a 45 minute ATC hold before we could leave the gate... so typical!

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Besides, by now it was indeed the 20C promised to us by the captain when overflying Paris,

I though he said 19 degrees?  
Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
It takes about 5 minutes, but it feels like you’re leaving the airport altogether, so far are these terminals apart.

It is more like 15 minutes I think. But yes, you actually leave the airport for quite a while before coming back to T4.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Too bad that the airline that mainly occupies it is such a let-down.

Yeah, Vueling isn't the best of airlines out there  
Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Boarding was supposed to start at 14.20 – which seemed pretty early for a 15.15 – departure, even for a wide body, but the boarding commenced at 14.20 sharp.

I noticed this too - they do start the boarding very early.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
The take-off roll took pretty long and it seemed to take forever to gain some altitude. After a few minutes you could really see that you didn’t gain as much altitude as you normally would have gained in let’s say an A320 or 737. Great experience.

That is the quintessential A340 classic experience. Must be even slower in the middle of the summer in Madrid when it is 40 degrees outside...

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
because those new episodes with Ashton Kutcher are like flying Swiss without getting a chocolate: something is missing.

What the hell are you talking about?

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
. An additional drink was not offered – which was a bit disappointing. I mean, how difficult can it be to offer some water or juice if some orders a wine or coffee – especially on a sector that is part of a long-haul trip.

Ask and thou shalt receive. If there's something I've learned over the years about onboard service is that there's no harm in asking for more. Sure it is a sign of a great crew to proactively offer more drinks for you, but if you really want something just ask. Surprisingly few people dare to, and very often you get just what you want. The worst thing the crew can say is "No" so there's nothing to loose.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Seemed pretty early, as the moving map still showed a remaining forty minute flight time.

This again matches my experiences with LAN, both the MAD-FRA flight and the short lived MAD-CDG route - on that flight I didn't even have time to finish a 40 minute TV show on the IFE before they already shut it down, around 45 minutes before landing.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
What happened to all those cute Cityhopper girls?

They went to work on the Embraers  . I got one of them on my flight a week ago, you see!

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Most noteworthy event of the flight actually took place during boarding, where mister 8F and myself – 14F – had the same sequence number (001).

Hmm now that is something I've never heard of! Sure, double assigned seats can happen, but sharing the same sequence number - weird. Or maybe they use a floating point number and the system simply cast it to an integer, effectively truncating it  .

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Yeah, that’s the Netherlands all right

Ok, we get your point already!


User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 1002 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 8221 times:

Thanks for all the replies and comments, and my apologies in being so late responding to them.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 3):
LAN's inflight catering has reduced since I took my flight on them, but still good. I wonder if LH serves still a hot light meal? I hot it 2 years ago on LH, MUC-MAD. Also LAN's interior has changed.

According to this they do: http://www.lufthansa-europakomfort.com/_B2C/foodfinder/?lc=en

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 3):
You can see my experience (and same routing but different airlines) here: Catching Up With The LAN A340 And More ... (+pics) (by Airbuseric Oct 16 2008 in Trip Reports)

Nice, I'll bookmark that for later reading.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 4):
The other reason to like it is the 2-4-2 arrangement in Y, meaning that you are only ever one seat away from an aisle

It is. I had flown the A330 on a few occasions before, great and comfortable 2-4-2 seating as well.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 5):
Great views indeed and the Seine meandering through. Lovely!

Yeah, it was amazing.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 5):
You mean earphones? Plugs are meant to keep the noise out, imo  

D'oh!

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 6):
Thanks again for putting this report together for us, really enjoyed it.
Quoting Checo77 (Reply 7):
What a great TR! I especially enjoyed the LAN flight! Great to see you took it and could report on it! It is greatly appreciated!
Quoting MH017 (Reply 8):
Thanks for sharing: loved your TR !!!
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
Also you´re story, well done.

You're all welcome and thanks!

Quoting IBERIA747 (Reply 10):
MAD Terminal 4 complex is indeed impressive, but to be honest, I prefer the old terminals...T1 mostly. Yes, you may need to walk very long distances at the old terminals if you're in transit, but if you're starting or ending your journey there its quite convenient, and it rarely gets crowded since the opening of T4.

Good point, it was very quit and not crowded at all there.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11):
I had been planning to try LAN for a long time, but finally managed to get on that flight last year after the FRA meeting.

Oh yes, I remember that story!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11):
Air Algerié doesn't operate own A320s - probably it was a bird leased from Nouvelair?

Or I had remembered incorrectly, and the bird was pretty for out.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 12):
Too bad it didn't work out. We could have gone out for a beer or twelve..

Well, I did make it to Chicago, twice actually, but the A340 got subbed for an A330. I'll probably be in Chicago for work in October again, so if time permits we can have those beers then.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 12):
So for KLM OLCI starts 30h before the flight? I like that. Here it's normally 24 or 23h ahead of time. As far as I'm concerned, the earlier the better.

Yes 30 hours, but 24 for flights to the US.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 12):
It's amazing how many good and affordable hotels you can find around Frankfurt Hb

Well, on all those review websites the area around the Hbf is supposed to be a bid dodgy, hence the cheaper rates. But I didn't feel uncomfortable or unsafe there at all.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 13):
Thanks for this report really is a nice thing to do .

You're welcome

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 14):
How did you manage to get an affordable open jaw ticket spanning multiple countries with KLM?! Every time I've tried I've always seen decent open jaw fares when both jawpoints are in the same country (i.e. LHR-AMS-HEL-AMS-MAN) but when you mix countries (i.e. LHR-AMS-HEL-AMS-CDG) you seem to get a full Y fare - i.e. an insanely high one.

KLM is frickin weird when it comes to open jaw routing. Ex-AMS you can only book affordable open jaws if depart from and return to AMS. So for example AMS-MAD FRA-AMS is possible, but FRA-AMS AMS-MAD not. Now, interestingly enough, it doesn't work for all countries. AMS-MAD ARN-AMS isn't possible either, but AMS-CPH ARN-AMS. On other occassion you can only book the open jaw if you take a connnecting flight over CDG. AMS-LHR FCO-AMS isn't possible, but AMS-LHR FCO-CDG-AMS is.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 14):
Hmm you didn't seem to have gotten the dark rye bread egg mayo sandwich which was the second half on both my KLM mainline AMS-HEL flights within the last month. I didn't like it at all.

I think I got that on a AMS-ZRH flight. I liked it though.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 14):
Oh dear, this is starting to sound just like my quest to catch the LAN A340 MAD-FRA two years ago! Coming on a delayed UX (what a surprise) flight from BCN I wasted many precious minutes trying to find the supposedly existing airside connection bus and pissed off quite a few security agents in the process. I had to take the landside bus as well and nearly missed my flight - I was the last one to board. And then we had a 45 minute ATC hold before we could leave the gate... so typical!

And according do this it does exist: http://www.aena-aeropuertos.es/csee/...ge/1050046399945//Transit-bus.html Although they now added an sentence saying the bus only runs on request...?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 14):
If there's something I've learned over the years about onboard service is that there's no harm in asking for more.

That's true.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 14):
They went to work on the Embraers  . I got one of them on my flight a week ago, you see!

Good to know!  


User currently offline717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 8119 times:

Hi Robert,

Thanks for this really nice and well-written report featuring the LAN 5th freedom run - something that soon could be called the "A.netter Shuttle". Some nice views thrown in as well!

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as planned. For some reason, in the week I was flying, an Airbus A330 would be flying that route. Bummer. So I started looking for new ways to have the A340 experience.

What? Does this mean that you didn't take that flight after all?

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
An open jaw journey with seal the deal, AMS-MAD on a Boeing 737-800, which a -900 when I booked it, unfortunately later swapped to a 738.

Yeah, the 737-900 is really rare in Europe, I'm hoping to log it with KLM in June!

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Lots of KLM heavies around at this time. Lovely weather to be flying today

Did you see any 747s in town? I can't wait to log my first ride on the type on that very same trip. And your report makes me look forward to my flights on KLM!

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Sandwich pack, coffee and juice

That looks nice and substantial!

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
The view of Paris was truly remarkable. You could even make out the shape of famous sights such as the Eiffel Tower and La Defense. Later on, similar stunning views of Bordeaux were offered, were the three bridges over the river Garonne were clearly visible, as well as the Dordogne/Garonne estuary. The flight path then took us past the coastline of the Bay of Biscay, offering views of places like the Bassin d’Archacon, Biarritz and San Sebastian before we reached mainland Spain again, where some remaining snow could still be spotted on the mountains.

I love this description, it makes me feel I was taking that flight with you.  
Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
The cities of Biarritz and Bayonne. I’ve spent a few summers in Biarritz, and will also visit Biarritz this summer. Should be an interesting trip report from HV BIQ-RTM flight, two airports that aren’t covered all that frequently

Biarritz is indeed a lovely city, I've been there once and I thoroughly enjoyed swimming in the Atlantic! I did it back a couple of years ago when Blue1 flew HEL-BIQ on the MD-90.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Interesting, not something you’d initially expect from a legacy carrier. A similar announcement – including the advertisement - was made a little after 15.00.

Indeed, I have only encountered such announcements on charter carriers and even there they feel quite out of place - once on Thomas Cook the steward had a hard time to get through the "buy our wonderful, cheap and magnificent wine"-announcement without laughing.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
The person in the seat in front of me was not using her PTV, but just put it on the in-flight map modus

That person made a great choice! Are you sure PlaneHunter was not sitting in front of you on that flight?

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Thanks for reading all. No more flying for a little while now, next flight will be on June 2nd, from Dusseldorf to Berlin SXF, for the BER meeting.

Hoping to meet you at the Berlin meeting then!

Thanks for sharing.

Regards,
717Flyer


User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 1002 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 8068 times:

Thanks for the comments!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 16):
What? Does this mean that you didn't take that flight after all?

I did took the flight (it was booked already), but it was on the A330 instead of the scheduled A340.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 16):
Did you see any 747s in town? I can't wait to log my first ride on the type on that very same trip. And your report makes me look forward to my flights on KLM!

You can hardly be at AMS without seeing a KL 747. Lovely birds. Flew AMS-BKK past november, comfortable ride, great service. Enjoy your flight!


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 18, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7913 times:

Hello Robert,

Very nice to experience an European fifth freedom flight through your eyes, especially when it happende to be your first time flying an A340.  


Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Saturday, March 24th 2012

I wish I had known this earlier, we could have had a meet-up as I arrived in the very same morning from Hong Kong.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
I drove the 45 minutes from my house to the town of Hoofddorp, where I parked my car in a suburb, from where I took a 15-minute busride to the airport

Pity there is no convenient train connection on that early hours.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
I exchanged my home printed A4 boarding pass for a smaller one from the machines – easier to carry around with

and a nice souvenir as well.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
and used KLM’s excellent mobile app to check in and select a nice in the back of tomorrow’s Fokker 70.

I cannot wait to use it for the first time next June.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
But the FA at the made some nice chit-chat with the waiting passengers, asking them where they’re from, where they’re going and all that. Great stuff

That’s indeed the spirit.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
The view of Paris was truly remarkable. You could even make out the shape of famous sights such as the Eiffel Tower and La Defense. Later on, similar stunning views of Bordeaux were offered, were the three bridges over the river Garonne were clearly visible, as well as the Dordogne/Garonne estuary. The flight path then took us past the coastline of the Bay of Biscay, offering views of places like the Bassin d’Archacon, Biarritz and San Sebastian before we reached mainland Spain again, where some remaining snow could still be spotted on the mountains.

I love your description. It makes me feel like tagging along with you.  


Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
1st flight on LAN
1st flight on an Airbus A340-300
1st flight on a LAN Airbus A340-300

Lot of firsts. Great stuff!

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
I’m a bit of a modern architecture buff, so this terminal is definitely a treat.

T4 is supposed to be one of the most beautiful airport terminal of the world and I understand why thanks to your pictures.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
A snack box with a nice sandwich (although a bit dry) and a chocolate bar. On each row the crew asked what the passenger wanted to drink by listing the entire assortment “we have thee, coffee, soft drinks, beer, white wine, red wine”.

Impressive! Airlines flying fifth freedom routes tend to do more in term of services than the local ones.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Say hello to Phoebe

Hello, Phoebe. It has been a long time.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
So keep that in mind, if you ever need a bargain in FRA.

Sure. You can also consider Manhattan Hotel as well. I stayed there for last year July meeting and it was good too.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
And some white wine. It’s weekend after all

(Airbus)eric likes it. So it should be a good choice.  


Thank you for sharing.

Happy Easter,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7816 times:

Hi Robert!

Nice report again!

Good to see you catch a flight on the A343. I flew it last year on SK, CPH-DXB-CPH. It's a beautiful aircraft and I very much enjoyed my flights on it.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Stunning view of Paris. You could even recognize the Eiffel Tower

Lovely!

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Then I arrived at that architectural marvel that T4 is. I’m a bit of a modern architecture buff, so this terminal is definitely a treat.

It sure seems to be a great looking terminal. I'd love to go there some day!

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
Fortunately, these were episodes with Charlie Sheen, because those new episodes with Ashton Kutcher are like flying Swiss without getting a chocolate: something is missing.

Haha, well said!  

Martin


User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 33
Reply 20, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7615 times:

Hi there Robert,

Great report and I don't blame you for trying out this route: those intra-Europeans hops on widebodies are so much fun!

You got some substantial snacks on the first two legs. Those sandwiches on KLM look nice, shame my recent flights were too short to get them.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
But the FA at the made some nice chit-chat with the waiting passengers, asking them where they’re from, where they’re going and all that.

Great, something you very rarely see the more I think about it.

Quoting roberts87 (Thread starter):
An additional drink was not offered – which was a bit disappointing. I mean, how difficult can it be to offer some water or juice if some orders a wine or coffee – especially on a sector that is part of a long-haul trip.

As FlyingFinn said, I'm sure they would have given you if you'd asked, although it is nice when the crew is proactive and offers both.

Getting the F70 was a nice way of finishing off the trip, they're cute little aircraft.

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 offlineglobalflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 934 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 7464 times:

Hey Robert. I finally have gotten around to read the TR's. Great one of course. Glad to see the LA flights worked out for you! LA is an airline I am hoping to try soon in South America! I totally agree with you on your comment about Two and a Half Men!   Look forward to seeing you in a few short weeks! Cheers, Will


Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 22, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 7306 times:

Hi Robert

Congrats on getting the 343. I've logged it several times with LH and AF and in a few months with KU as well.
LAN seems to be top notch, willing to take it when the 787 comes online.
KL seemed to please you as well on these sectors.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 1002 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 7179 times:

Thanks for the additional comments!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
Pity there is no convenient train connection on that early hours.

I was there around 7 so I think the trains from Hoofddorp are running then, but I wouldn't know where to park for free near the station.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
I cannot wait to use it for the first time next June.

It's excellent, very user friendly!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
T4 is supposed to be one of the most beautiful airport terminal of the world and I understand why thanks to your pictures.

It is!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 19):
Nice report again!

Thanks!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 20):
Great, something you very rarely see the more I think about it.

Yes it's a nice personal touch!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 20):
Getting the F70 was a nice way of finishing off the trip, they're cute little aircraft.

They are! Glad I was able to fly on 2 this year.

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 21):
Look forward to seeing you in a few short weeks!

Thanks for the nice words! I look forward to meeting you in June!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 22):
LAN seems to be top notch, willing to take it when the 787 comes online.

Yes, that will be a great excuse to fly this route again  


User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1887 posts, RR: 42
Reply 24, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 7130 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Hey Robert, nice report! As expected I was not the only one interested in this route, but you beat me to it with your report  

Rgds,

Martijn



Nothing's worse then flying the same registration twice, except flying it 4 times..
25 Post contains images roberts87 : Thanks! Still looking forward to your report
26 tobbry : Great report! I also have a mission the get the LAN A340 intra europe. I really agree that the takeoff rolls do take forever with the A340.
27 Pelle : How do you notice the descent and ascent rates on the A340 - is it more easy on the ears or? And also, why is it that it has such unusual rates, is it
28 signol : Hi Robert, nice report. The LA 340 is certainly popular amongst A.netters! KL are up to their usual high standard. MAD T4 is as nice as ever, one of m
29 roberts87 : Thanks for the additional comments! Better do it quick then, rumour has it that LA will be deploying the 787 on SCL-MAD-FRA next year. For me I more n
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