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To Amsterdam By KLM: A Prequel To Concorde  
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1750 posts, RR: 18
Posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 6925 times:

Some of you may have seen my recent trip report about my journey on The Speedbird One from Amsterdam via London to New York to visit the Intrepid. You will find the link to that report here:
A Vision Of Concorde (by Knightsofmalta Apr 10 2012 in Trip Reports)

This here is the somewhat unspectacular prequel explaining how I got from Zurich to Amsterdam in the first place. Perhaps just to explain. Here is the complete journey I made:
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/New%20York%202012/map.gif
ZRH-AMS-LCY-SNN-JFK-LHR-AMS-MUC-BSL.

You're probably asking yourself, why oh why does this man do this kind of stuff, why not return straight from Heathrow to Basel? Well, it's complicated. No, actually it is not. I wanted to take the trip form Heathrow to Amsterdam just to experience the legendary British Airways breakfast. And I love flying.

But anyway, on to the trip report we go!

Date: 5. April 2012, Maundy Thursday
Airline: KLM Cityhopper
Aircraft: Embraer E-190
From: Zurich
To: Amsterdam
Class: Economy
Seat: 11A, window


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So here we are. It’s half past two in the afternoon on Maundy Thursday. Although to look outside one might easily think it is already much later. The weather is atrocious. Typical April weather. But there’s also something very poetic about it, dramatic even, with soft white tufts of clouds gently and sadly wafting across the rain soaked green countryside, gingerly stroking the vast round backs of the rolling hills that dominate this part of the country.

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But I digress. Yes, in three minute’s time, my train will pull out of the station of the boarder town of Basel to embark on a very short journey of forty-nine minutes to Zurich main station, the main artery of the extensive and highly efficient Swiss Federal Railway System. It is a journey from the periphery to the centre, in more ways than one. There is a longstanding rivalry between the two cities. And I am the double agent. I live in one place and work in the other. Basel of course, has the better football team. But I digress again, forgive me.

A quick change of platforms and trains, another very short journey by train and at a quarter to four in the afternoon I alight onto platform three of the railway station of Zurich Airport, buried deep in the bowels of the terminal complex. That was easy, that was only just the beginning.

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When I arrive at the airport, the entire place is a beehive of activity. It’s not the usual clientele. Sad looking business travellers and important executive managers trying hard not to look impressed by anything at all have made way for families and young couples on their way to a well deserved holiday with some intense romance thrown in and presumably some heavy duty reproducing too. It’s on days like today, I think to myself, that the new four stories centralised security screening at Zurich Airport really shows its advantages. Sure there are queues, but they are not long and more importantly, they are constantly, slowly moving.

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After security I make my way to the lounge. It’s not the Senator lounge for me today. No, as I am travelling with KLM today I will avail myself entirely undeserved status in their frequent flyer programme and use their lounge.

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The lounge itself is okay. It’s nothing to write home about. On the downside, there are no toilets within the facility and whenever the front door opens, an irritating beeping sound goes off, probably just in case the receptionist – a frumpy looking thing, unfriendly, female (I think) – falls asleep out of sheer boredom.

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I spend about half an hour in the lounge before I embark on the long trek into the remotest corners of outer space and the known universe. At least that’s where I feel like I’m heading judging by the distance from the lounge to gate B08, which is housed in an incredibly soulless and ugly building built of corrugated iron. B08 is a bus gate.

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How to make yourself real popular with the other passengers...
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/New%20York%202012/P1020899.jpg

As soon as I settle into 11A, an emergency exit, one of the flight attendants moseys up to explain in great detail what to do in an emergency. My first impression of the lady is not good as I see her mincing down the aisle with some serious swagger of the hips. Darling, this is an aircraft you know, not the catwalk. But appearances are deceiving. She takes her time and seems unhurried in her very detailed explanation of the emergency drill. I like that, after all, regardless of the ‘tea, coffee, me?’ routine, ultimately the flight attendants’ priority and their most important task is to ensure the safety of the passengers in the cabin.

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Our departure is on time and take-off is powerful. We’re still in a steep climbs when suddenly I am blinded by a bright light. Oh yes, it’s the sun. I knew it was still out there somewhere.

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Service is swift, friendly and efficient. Not that the service actually consists of that much. Coffee, still water and Bretzels, formerly known as Happy Snacks.

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The shutter on the emergency exit is located at the bottom of the window frame. Presumably because the opening mechanism leaves no space at the top. But alas, the window won't hold and keeps slipping down. It's too bright outside. Bot never fear, I'm not surrounded by engineers all day for nothing you now. So I take the sick bag and wedge it in between the shade and the window frame. A flight attendant walking past gives me a queer look but then decided I'm okay. And walks on.

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And very soon we’re already on our descent to Amsterdam. The weather here is much nicer, but it’s also a lot colder.

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That concludes this short report. I have added it for the sake of completeness.

Cheers,
William

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4253 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6575 times:

Hi,

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
How to make yourself real popular with the other passengers...

What else do you want then?! It's not their home airport so they can't do much more, airport won't re-set the gates to specific wishes of each customer.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Not that the service actually consists of that much. Coffee, still water and Bretzels, formerly known as Happy Snacks.

Happy Snacks? Never heard of that on KLM. I think you are confused with the small blue packs given on LH?

Rgds
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineAirAfreak From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 692 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6295 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I love the smoked almonds on KLM... I could eat them ALL day!!!! I love KLM, the Dutch, and the beautiful blue planes  


Do you lead an Intercontinental life?
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1750 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6185 times:

Hi AirFreak

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 2):
I love the smoked almonds on KLM... I could eat them ALL day!!!! I love KLM, the Dutch, and the beautiful blue planes

I think I must agree with you on all counts. KLM is one of my favourites, becuase of their blue planes. And the Dutch I've met so far have all been a really friendly bunch!

Cheers,
William


User currently onlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1586 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5926 times:

I love your writing style, please write more TRs 


Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1750 posts, RR: 18
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5903 times:

Hi Travelnut

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 4):
I love your writing style, please write more TRs

Thank you, that's very kind of you to mention. I figured seeing as the content of the report would be a bit of an anti-climax following my previous report, I might as well put a bit of effort into the text to make it worth while!

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1657 posts, RR: 30
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5681 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello William,

Nice prelude to your Concorde story. KLM and ZRH performing solid here and a lovely Jungle Jet thrown in as well. That's a good appetizer for sure!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
How to make yourself real popular with the other passengers...

Ryanair: take note!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
She takes her time and seems unhurried in her very detailed explanation of the emergency drill. I like that, after all, regardless of the ‘tea, coffee, me?’ routine, ultimately the flight attendants’ priority and their most important task is to ensure the safety of the passengers in the cabin.

I had the same experience a while ago on a KLM flight. Being seated in the exit row, the FA took her time to explain the procedures ICE. And in my own language for a change!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
So I take the sick bag and wedge it in between the shade and the window frame. A flight attendant walking past gives me a queer look but then decided I'm okay.

You're inventive but harmless type then  

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1710 posts, RR: 14
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5623 times:

Hi William, nice little bite-sized report!  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
No, actually it is not. I wanted to take the trip form Heathrow to Amsterdam just to experience the legendary British Airways breakfast.

Hmm, now I've heard people make up all kinds of crazy reasons to take some certain or additional flights/routings. But flying for the sole purpose of having a full-english breakfast? Now that's a new one! As much as I'm a fan of airline catering I must give you some cred for this one. Way to go! 
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
and whenever the front door opens, an irritating beeping sound goes off, probably just in case the receptionist

Suppose that could be a measurement to prevent passengers from sneaking in to the lounge. Often times lounge receptionists may not be present at the reception to spot passengers, some of might may enter without being eligible for it. Read an interesting thread on FT about a guy who sneaked into the Delta SkyClub in ATL. Unfortunately the staff managed to spot him and drag him out of the lounge  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
How to make yourself real popular with the other passengers...

Well I suppose that may be the case on a day like those, since few of the pax have status  

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineAirAfreak From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 692 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5474 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 3):

I was excited when I saw KLM flights on my next trip, but they are codeshares operated by Air France... At least I have a night in Amsterdam, I guess  



Do you lead an Intercontinental life?
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1750 posts, RR: 18
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5379 times:

Hi AirFreak

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 8):
I was excited when I saw KLM flights on my next trip, but they are codeshares operated by Air France... At least I have a night in Amsterdam, I guess

That is a bit of a let down. I can't say I much like Air France. Still, it could be worse if you'd have to transfer at CDG!


User currently offlineAirAfreak From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 692 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5346 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 9):

Given the lengthy layover, I'd almost prefer CDG instead of LYS for a transfer point. I am flying AVL-DTW-AMS-LYS-CFR so no other option, but LYS and no CDG. I wish I knew what to do in LYS for 4 hours!!! I was fooled by the KLM codeshare operation. I hope AF is nice within France/Europe!



Do you lead an Intercontinental life?
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5241 times:

Hey

Great trip report, thanks for sharing. Flew KLC quite a few times and always found that they had a consistent service. Which, in your case was not an exception. A free drink and a cookie for such a short flight is just great.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1118 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5216 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi there,
Nice little report on the KLM EMB190!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I live in one place and work in the other. Basel of course, has the better football team. But I digress again, forgive me.

hehe I prefer FC Zurich more

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
On the downside, there are no toilets within the facility

that sure is a downside

cheers,
adamspotter // Brendan


User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1750 posts, RR: 18
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 4779 times:

Hi Air Freak

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 10):
I wish I knew what to do in LYS for 4 hours!!!

If I remember correctly, the airport is not that far away from the city. Or rather, the connections into town are pretty good.

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 10):
I hope AF is nice within France/Europe!

Well, they're okay I guess. Nothing to write home about. But at least they still serve you a drink and some snack.

Hi Marc

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 11):
Great trip report, thanks for sharing. Flew KLC quite a few times and always found that they had a consistent service. Which, in your case was not an exception. A free drink and a cookie for such a short flight is just great.

Thanks, my pleasure. I fully agree. I've always enjoyed flying with KLM and for the duration of the flight and the time of day, the snack was perfectly adequate. What I'm not sure about though, is whether service on KLC is the same as on the mainline fleet.

Hi Brandan

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 12):
Nice little report on the KLM EMB190!

Thanks!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 12):
hehe I prefer FC Zurich more

Well fair enough I suppose. After all, they have indeed on occasion played better than the FCB. But only slightly...

Thanks for posting guys.

Cheers,
William


User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 months 3 days ago) and read 4195 times:

Hi William!

Nice little report on the cute KLC E190.
Seems like you had a good flight, and good idea with the sickness bag. Gotta love simple solutions to simple problems!  

Martin


User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1750 posts, RR: 18
Reply 15, posted (2 years 3 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3896 times:

Hi Martin

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 14):
Nice little report on the cute KLC E190.

Thanks. Yeah, the E190 is a nifty little plane. And it's quite spacious inside.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 14):
Seems like you had a good flight, and good idea with the sickness bag. Gotta love simple solutions to simple problems!

Yes, I was quite chuffed by the result. The FA wasn't quite sure what to make of it or me but eventually she realised I meant no harm!

Thanks for posting, Martin!

Cheers,
William


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