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KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal  
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Posted (2 years 2 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 22649 times:

Preamble
I’m off again. This time I’m heading for Montreal, Canada to present a paper at ICAO HQ. I like visiting ICAO. If you’re an aviation nerd like me, ICAO HQ is like some sacred place. It’s also a fascinating building to visit, quite like a museum. There are many artifacts sponsored by the various contracting states, including a beautifully Garuda carved of wood.

The last couple of times I visited ICAO in Montreal, I flew with Air Canada from Geneva and then returned to Zurich with Swiss International Air Lines. Essentially I guess there would have been nothing wrong with doing that again. But I felt compelled to check my other options, to see if there might be any cool routings, airlines or types to get me to Montreal which might convince me to forfeit the comfort of a nonstop, direct flight.

Before long my search brought me to the KLM website. In fact, initially I was wondering if perhaps there might be an opportunity to fly the Air France A380 to Montreal. But by the looks of it, the type no longer serves that route. In any case, my search with KLM yielded that the connection from Basel via Amsterdam to Montreal was not ideal: a layover of seven hours on the outbound and another one of five hours on the inbound. Even so, there was one very convincing argument for me to choose the KLM option just the same: most probably my last chance ever to secure one last flight on the MD-11 before she is withdrawn from service with the Dutch airline.

Welcome to this trip report!

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Date: 17. July 2012
From: Basel
To: Amsterdam
Aircraft: Fokker F70
Airline: KLM Cityhopper
Cabin: Business
Seat: 1A


GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
Rather an early start today. My flight to Amsterdam will leave at 07h15 and although there is a fast track for security at Basel airport, I’m not really quite sure what the situation will be, after all, the summer holidays have only just started.

I leave my place at 05h30 to make my way by bus to the airport. Contrary to what I had been expecting, the airport bus is not at all full and security is calm as well.

AT THE AIRPORT
I arrive at the airport just before 06h00. I still have loads of time to kill but alas no lounge of which to avail myself. So I settle for a cappuccino at the bar at the end of the terminal. The young lady there is quite apparently having a bad hair day and evidently trying hard to pretend as though she hasn’t actually seen me.

I pass my time at the bar sipping my drink and watching the mindless music clips of equally mindless pieces of music they’re showing on MTV. To listen to me you’d never guess I’m only 37 and not some grumpy old bastard! But enough of that…

Shortly before boarding for my flight is expected to begin, I’ve had enough of the mindless music, so I collect my belongings and go for a walk about. I’ve been doing quite a bit of travelling lately, and like some trip down memory lane, I spot some of the types and airlines I recently had the pleasure of sampling.

Such as the Air France CRK.
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And even a BMI A319 in the original colours!
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And a few others.
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The Swiss Avro is heading for Hamburg, it’s not very full.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050283.jpg

My bird.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050290.jpg

THE CABIN
Judging by the queue to board the flight, I’d say KLM is doing a roaring trade between Basel and Amsterdam. I’m on 1A, so I decide to board the plane last.
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The seat next to me is kept empty.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050310.jpg

Legroom is good.

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050296.jpg

THE SERVICE
As with my last KLM experience, the cabin on this bird is in excellent condition. She may be old, but time and some TLC by KLM maintenance have been kind to her. Even so, I can’t wait for the Embraer to come on this route with the beginning of the winter schedule.

As I approach the aircraft, one of the gate attendants approaches me to take my carry-on suitcase off me and label it as hold baggage. I don’t mind actually if she does. But then she spots my Platinum tag and explains that I’m free to take everything on board with me. Oh okay then, be like that.

I am greeted at the door by a friendly young man in a sharp uniform – the purser of the flight. I place my briefcase in the overhead bin and take off my suit jacket. Before I even have the time to wonder where to place it, the purser stretches out his hand and takes it from me. ‘Shall I hang that up for you, Mr A.?’

I must confess I am a bit impressed. This guy has obviously done his homework and checked the passenger list. I’m also a bit surprised he got my name right. Most people don’t, even after repeated attempts.

This sets the tone for the service of the entire crew on this flight. They are outstanding, very professional and friendly.

Next the purser brings me one of the Swiss daily newspapers. He has others he says, just in case I’d prefer one of those.
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The doors close, we push back and subsequently begin our taxi to the runway for a departure in a southerly direction from runway 15.
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We don’t taxi to the very end of the runway and line up from one of the intersections. Take-off is swift and powerful. As we climb out, I spot a ‘private’ BBJ from the Emirates at the Jet Aviation facility, but I am too slow and literally only catch the tail end.
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At least we have some good views of the city of Basel before doing a sharp right turn to point the aircraft in a northerly direction towards Amsterdam.
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THE MEAL
‘Mr. A. will you be joining us for breakfast this morning?’ This is the female flight attendant. I answer with an emphatic and enthusiastic ‘yes’. It was rather early this morning you know. The flight attendant opens the meal box for me and places it before me. She explains she will also open the other table for me to put the drinks and my other stuff on it.

The meal consists of an excellent fruit salad of apple, pineapple, grapes and melon; yoghurt of maracuja and orange; a selection of cheese with smoked meats and a small pot of marmalade; and two warm buns with that.
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Next the purser comes by with drinks. I have a coffee and an orange juice.
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Overall, it is a very pleasant and filling meal and really hits the spot on such an early flight. As soon as I finish, the meal is removed and I continue to read the paper until we begin the descent.
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THE ARRIVAL
The weather in Amsterdam is not too hot. It’s drizzling, with low cloud and bad visibility.
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The runway that has its own tower.
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We park at the Fokker field and are subsequently bussed to the terminal.
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As I already mentioned in the introduction, I have seven hours before my next flight. The plan is to check in for the onward flight to Montreal and then deposit my luggage in the Schengen Transit area before heading into the city. Like that, when I return, I will not have to go through security again with all my stuff.

If only the check-in devices would let me. This is certainly not one of KLM’s finest moments! The first machine won’t read my passport, or the barcode on my boarding pass from the previous flight. So I have no other choice but to manually type in the number of my e-ticket. I finally manage to complete all the necessary information for immigration, the machine confirms that it is printing my boarding pass but in fact nothing actually really happens. No boarding pass. No KLM staff to assist in case of a problem either. Of course not, that’s why they put thee machine there, because apparently some financial controller figured the machine could do the job of a human being just as well and hey, who need human interaction or a personal touch anyway? So eventually I have no choice but to move to the next machine and try my luck again there. This time it works!

I dump my carry-on and my briefcase in a locker, go through customs and head for the city.

44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 22715 times:

Date: 17. July 2012
From: Amsterdam
To: Montreal
Airline: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Aircraft: MD-11
Airline: KLM
Cabin: Business
Seat: 1J


GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
In the early afternoon I head back for the ‘Centraal’ railway station and get on a train for Schiphol. The journey is not even 20 minutes.

AT THE AIRPORT
I pass through security, collect my luggage from the locker and then from there head up to the KLM Crown Lounge. I figured it would probably be calmer than the lounge in the non-Schengen area as there seem to be quite a few long-haul flights leaving around the same time as us.

THE LOUNGE
I like the Crown Lounge and when I arrive it is not too full either. The midday rush seems to have calmed down already.
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About 45 minutes before departure I leave the lounge and make my way to the gate. I still have to go through immigration and I’m assuming I will have to go through a further security check.

Immigration is a quick affair. When I arrive at the gate though, there is already a long queue at the entrance. Fortunately there is a separate lane for SkyPriority passengers. Otherwise I would have been right at the very back of the queue of a very full MD-11 load of passengers. First my passport is checked, then my boarding pass is scanned and then eventually comes the security check before being released into the gate.

It’s also my first experience with a naked scanner.

And then finally I am in the gate and I have an intimate moment with the hot bird taking me to Canada this afternoon. The MD-11 really is a quite a babe!
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THE CABIN
I barely have enough time to take a few pictures when already boarding begins. I’m quite excited!

I am greeted at the door by one male and one female flight attendant. I am instructed to take the second left to me window seat on 1J.

When I arrive, I am left well and truly speechless. The legroom available on row 1 is simply ridiculous! What’s more, there are no overhead bins over the middle row of seats, which only enhances the overall impression of space in the cabin.
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The seat itself is everything but state of the art. To be honest I find myself wondering how I’ll possibly be able to sleep on the return leg, which is a night flight. But we’ll get to that in due time. All the same, just like the rest of the cabin, the seat gives the impression of being very well maintained and is really quite comfortable.
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The IFE system could do with a revamp as well. But it serves its purpose and works sufficiently well. But it’s no KrisWorld!

One thing I find very interesting is that where other airlines have a curtain to divide the cabin from the space by the front door and the cockpit, KLM has a sliding door. Strangely enough though, only on one aisle, the other side has a curtain.

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050352.jpg

The view.
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THE SERVICE
As on the previous leg, as soon as I take of my jacket a flight attendant appears and offers to put it in the wardrobe for me. This is then followed by the distribution of the vanity kits and a welcome drink service. I just have a glass of still water.
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The crew are all very friendly and chatty, but without being nosy.

We push back more or less on time and make our way to the runway. We taxi out behind a company A330. On our way we pass an Aeroflot B767-300 standing at the gate. I had no idea they operated those to Amsterdam as well.

Some views during the taxi.
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http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050349.jpg

Other than the A330 there is no queue for departure and shortly after the Airbus takes to the skies, it’s our turn. And this is where I am reminded what I like so much about the MD-11: the acceleration, the power and – above all – the noise! Beautiful!
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THE MEAL
Quite evidently, my suspicion from the previous flight – namely that catering must be one of KLM’s strong points – is confirmed. The meal is not only very tasty but also plentiful.

We start with a drinkies and warm nuts. I have a Ginger Ale, cheers Planehunter!
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Then come the hot towels.
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First course: grilled shrimps with cherry tomatoes on potato salad with avocado mousse.
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This comes with a side order tomato salad. As the attendant places the tray before me, she offers me some cheese and croutons for topping on the salad.
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Main course: chicken breast in a rich gravy with onions, served with mashed potato and mushrooms.
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There is a selection of three different main courses, but I can’t remember what they were anymore. My apologies!

Dessert: lemon tart on a digestive biscuit base, served with strawberries.
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What strikes me about this meal is the nice presentation. First the black tray makes a change from what you usually find on a plane these days. And then there is this rather intricate pattern, a recurring theme that you find on the tablecloth, the cutlery as well as the chinaware. It’s quite elegant I find and a nice detail.
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On the tray there is also a small box containing the olive oil with balsamico; a salt and pepper shaker in the shape of a sand clock and some butter.
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After this tasty meal I settle down to watch ‘The best exotic Marigold Hotel’. I’m in two minds about the film. First of all it has an interesting line up of some of the finest actors Britain currently has to offer, such as the sublime Judy Dench and the amazing Maggie Smith. At the same time however, the story line seems a bit thin.

And then after that, yes, it’s time for the pre-arrival meal.

Chicken breast strips on a pasta salad with a tomato sugo. This is accompanied by a warm focaccia with mozzarella and tomato sauce. And for dessert a fruit Tiramisu.
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And then, as we begin our descent, the cabin come through the cabin with a small farewell gift. It's quite well-known by now across the world: a little delft house filled with BOLS.
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THE ARRIVAL
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We arrival in Montreal just after a heavy thunderstorm has passed over the airfield. We reach our parking position. I gather up my belongings, thank the crew for their great service and head for the exit. As I disembark it feels like walking into a brick wall. It’s so oppressive. The temperature is around 30 degrees Celsius, and with the recent storm the humidity in the air is unbearable.

Read on below for the return. Let me just close this section with the logo of ICAO, the organisation that makes everything we here on anet. enjoy so much possible.
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User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 22551 times:

Date: 19. July 2012
From: Montreal
To: Amsterdam
Airline: KLM
Aircraft: MD-11
Cabin: Business Class
Seat: 1A


GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
It’s 16h10. My speech before ICAO is over, it went rather well actually, and I am sitting in a taxi on my way to the airport. The trip to the airport costs 40 Canadian dollars, it’s a flat rate.

AT THE AIRPORT
The driver drops me off at the international terminal, right outside the entrance to the section where Air France/KLM have their counters. I reprint my boarding passes and head through security. Strangely enough there does not seem to be any sort of immigration, just a guy standing in the middle of the aisle who wants to see my passport and then that’s it. I have left the country.

THE LOUNGE
The Air France lounge is rather nice. In fact I’d say it’s much better than any of the lounges of Air France I’ve ever seen in Paris. Luckily enough the place is not very busy, the earlier one of the Air France flights has just been called. For me this means that I will not have to wait for my turn for a shower.
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The showers are very nice. As I enter, I am given a kit of l’Occitane cosmetics and a set of nice, fluffy towels.
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I change from my suit back into my travel gear and feel refreshed and clean.

Boarding for the 19h15 departure begins very early at 18h20. I’m kind of bored in the lounge so I figure I might as well go for a walk about and then get on the plane.
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THE CABIN
I’m the first passenger in the forward Business Class cabin, which gives me the chance to take a few pictures. As on the previous flight, the general impression of the cabin is a good one. The plane is old, but well maintained.
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The view outside.
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SERVICE
Again the crew on this flight is very friendly and very professional. As soon as they spot me, two of them come up to me and offer to take my jacket. I am informed that the flying time will only be a short five hours and 48 minutes today and that the flight will be full in all classes.

Next another flight attendant brings me the vanity kit – the same as on the previous leg – and asks if I would like a drink. Orange juice it is.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050391.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050392.jpg

Departure is a painless and sprightly affair. We take off in a northerly direction, but sitting on the left hand side of the plane this means I will not have any views of the city of Montreal.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050393.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050395.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050396.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050397.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050398.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050399.jpg

Once the seatbelt sign goes off, the service begins with the distribution of hot towels and then the menus.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050400.jpg

This is followed by the first drinks service and the taking of orders for dinner. I have a Ginger Ale with the warm nuts.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050401.jpg

THE MEAL
As sun begins to set outside, casting everything is a lovely red glow, the meal service starts.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050403.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050404.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050405.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050413.jpg

For starters: Jamaican-style chicken with aubergine and cherry tomatoes.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050406.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050407.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050409.jpg

Nice warm bread.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050408.jpg

Salad dressing.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050410.jpg

The cutlery.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050411.jpg

For the main course there are three options: Braised beef with mashed potatoes, carrots and onions; pasta with artichokes and a Marinara sauce or Atlantic salmon with rice. I go with the beef and it is very tasty!
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050412.jpg

For Dessert: Camembert and Cantal Cheese with seasonal fruits. But I am tired and already full, so I give this one a miss and try to get some sleep. I think in our cabin nobody had the cheese.

Surprisingly, the seat turns out to be a lot more comfortable than expected. Even so, I think I would not want to have to endure a flight of 12 hours or so in one of these seats.

I manage to get some decent sleep. When I awaken again, we are only 80 minutes out of Amsterdam. One of the flight attendants notices I’m awake and asks if I’d like breakfast. Of course I do!
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050414.jpg

Breakfast consists of cold cuts and cheese, a bowl of fruit and a choice of either a Frittata or a pastries selection consisting of a cinnamon roll, croissant and a bun with butter and strawberry jam. With that I have a coffee and an orange juice.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050415.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050416.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050417.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050418.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050419.jpg

The scenery outside is spectacular and dramatic with low clouds and the early morning sun penetrating through the different levels of cloud to produce some spectacular effects.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050420.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050421.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050422.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050423.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050424.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050425.jpg

We land on runway 18R, that’s the far away one. They’re also doing approaches on the parallel runway 18C, which for us means an even longer taxi than usual as we have to taxi to the end of 18C and go around the threshold so as not to interfere with the landing aircraft.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050426.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050428.jpg

My possibly last MD-11 flight comes to an end and I really feel reluctant to get off the plane.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050430.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050431.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050432.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050433.jpg

The MD-11 was not a lucky aircraft and she was certainly no commercial success. But I also think she is better than her reputation. As for the MD-11 operation with KLM, I think it is quite apparent that without further heavy investment to upgrade the cabin of the aircraft, the airline will no longer have a competitive product here. Quite understandably, at this stage of the game though, it seems unlikely that the new KLM long-haul Business Class cabin will ever grace the inside of an MD-11.

As far as I am concerned, I think the MD-11, together with the MD-80, is a timeless and elegant classic and a testimony to the engineering abilities of McDonnell Douglas. And so, with a heavy heart, I bid my good byes to this excellent aircraft and disembark. Next stop: Basel.

A last glimpse from afar.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050437.jpg

Other traffic as I make my way through the airport.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050434.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050435.jpg


User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 22239 times:

Date: 20. July 2012
From: Amsterdam
To: Basel
Airline: KLM Cityhopper
Aircraft: Fokker 100
Cabin: Business Class
Seat: 1A


The end is nigh, not much longer to go and I'll be home.

AT THE AIRPORT
Amsterdam airport is tremendously busy at this time of day, it’s only just 07h00. As I still have a few hours before my next flight, I take a very leisurely stroll through the terminal complex. The Crown Lounge in the non-Schengen area is very busy, so I decide to head for immigration into the Schengen area. Immediately after passport control comes security, which is not too bad this morning.

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050438.jpg

THE LOUNGE
From there I head for the Crown Lounge in the Schengen area. And quite to me surprise, this one is nearly empty! The tricky bit will be trying to stay awake.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050439.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050440.jpg

Now this is where my recollection of the flight is getting patchy. I am rather bleary-eyed by now.

I took these by the B gates.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050441.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050442.jpg

THE CABIN
My first surprise comes when we pull up by the aircraft or the flight to Basel. Instead of the usual Fokker 70, we're standing before the larger Fokker 100. My second, not so nice surprise is that this must evidently be an ex-Regional bird. The cabin is in a terrible state, which however, it already was when the plane flew with Air France.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050443.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050444.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050445.jpg

Even the seat covers are different.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050448.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050449.jpg

Vintage.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050451.jpg

We take off in the opposite direction from our arrival earlier in the morning. This time, we are on 36C. As we climb out, I spot this Embraer taking off from 36L. Sorry about the blur.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050446.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050447.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050450.jpg

THE SERVICE
Probably service on this flight is the only mediocre experience with KLM I've had on this trip. The cabin crew consists of two young girls that both come across as being airheads. Nice airheads mind you, but a bit disorganised. By the time the manage to start the meal service, we're already south of Luxembourg!

THE MEAL
The meal consists of another nice box with a salad with mustard dressing, a choice between a cheese in raisin bread or vitello tonnato sandwich and, for dessert, quark with raspberry sauce.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050456.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050457.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050455.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050454.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050453.jpg

THE ARRIVAL
We approach the airport form the south. I seem to suffer from the curse of being seated on the wrong side on all my flights on this trip. I am on the left, the view of Basel is, of course, on the right.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050458.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050459.jpg

As we come in over the threshold, I spot this and for a moment think they may have finally decided to do something with that derelict looking A340-600 that has been standing around for a while now.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050460.jpg

But as we turn onto the ramp it turns out this is another aircraft and the one I mean is still standing in the same place gathering weeds. Let's just hope a better faith befalls the white aircraft standing at the hangar.

Once we reach our parking position, I am first off the plane. Five minutes later I am sitting in a green bus, feeling seriously worse for wear, on my way home.

CLOSING REMARKS
And so, ladies and gentlemen, my experience in KLM Business Class with the MD-11 draws to an end. I hope you enjoyed it.

I for my part can only say I greatly enjoyed this trip and the KLM MD-11 experience. I think KLM offers a really sound product in terms of the professionalism of the crew and the quality and quantity of the food. The only draw back right now is their hardware, the seat. But by the looks of it, KLM is working on something new that will be revealed next year. The new cabin will first be introduced n the B747-400 fleet.

As for the MD-11, it is, in my view, one of the most handsome airliners every to grace the sky. Thanks for the fond memories!

William


User currently offlineA340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4105 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 21850 times:

What a lovely writing style, your personality really shines through your words. I have always wanted to sample KLM and the MD-11, and hopefully will do so before too long.

340



Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 21832 times:

Nice report William -the MD11 is still missing from my log, so I guess I'll have to fly KL sooner or later!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
One thing I find very interesting is that where other airlines have a curtain to divide the cabin from the space by the front door and the cockpit, KLM has a sliding door. Strangely enough though, only on one aisle, the other side has a curtain.

That looks very strange - doesn't look good if you need a quick exit



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlinelh526 From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 2369 posts, RR: 14
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 21681 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
That looks very strange - doesn't look good if you need a quick exit

I suppose that's caused by a try or table they install on the oither side to widen the area in the galley.



Trittst im Morgenrot daher, seh ich dich im Strahlenmeer ...
User currently offlineIdeekay From Switzerland, joined Jun 2012, 210 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 21641 times:

Hey!

Nice to see the Triholer still in the air, but I heard that they will end this or next year, very sad  
But now the comments:

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):

My bird.

Motherfokker! Oops..  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The meal consists of an excellent fruit salad of apple, pineapple, grapes and melon; yoghurt of maracuja and orange; a selection of cheese with smoked meats and a small pot of marmalade; and two warm buns with that.

Yummie!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):

The runway that has its own tower.

Remembers me at Frankfurt but they have cameras for the new Runway

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I dump my carry-on and my briefcase in a locker, go through customs and head for the city.

No pics from the city?  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The MD-11 really is a quite a babe!

Yes she is

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
When I arrive, I am left well and truly speechless. The legroom available on row 1 is simply ridiculous!

There is even enough legroom to do some sports haha

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Aeroflot B767-300

A big bird for a not really long route!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
After this tasty meal

Seems like you had a very good service on the flight

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Chicken breast strips on a pasta salad with a tomato sugo. This is accompanied by a warm focaccia with mozzarella and tomato sauce. And for dessert a fruit Tiramisu.

Now its getting too much, I want also  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I am informed that the flying time will only be a short five hours and 48 minutes today and that the flight will be full in all classes.

Thats pretty short

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Breakfast consists of cold cuts and cheese, a bowl of fruit and a choice of either a Frittata or a pastries selection consisting of a cinnamon roll, croissant and a bun with butter and strawberry jam

Wooaaah!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):

A last glimpse from afar.

Jetways à Amsterdam   

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I took these by the B gates.

European-lineup

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Vintage.

Classic.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
As we come in over the threshold, I spot this and for a moment think they may have finally decided to do something with that derelict looking A340-600 that has been standing around for a while now.

Wasn't this the VIP-Plane?

I must say you had a very nice service & food and hopefully it was a pleasure to ride with the MD-11 as the passenger-version will gone soon!
Looking forward for more!

Greetings
Ideekay


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (2 years 2 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 21043 times:

Hey William, another great report from you! The reports clearly seem to be coming from you at industrial paces, haha. But I suppose with the summer times, I have all time to catch up. I'm doing great btw  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
This time I’m heading for Montreal, Canada to present a paper at ICAO HQ. I like visiting ICAO. If you’re an aviation nerd like me, ICAO HQ is like some sacred place.

Interesting, I had always had in mind that you left the airline business for good?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
But I felt compelled to check my other options, to see if there might be any cool routings, airlines or types to get me to Montreal which might convince me to forfeit the comfort of a nonstop, direct flight.

Hehe, well you surely seem to deviate quite a lot from the average Business traveler!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
he connection from Basel via Amsterdam to Montreal was not ideal: a layover of seven hours on the outbound and another one of five hours on the inbound

7 hours of layover is quite a lot indeed, suppose those hours could've otherwise have been spent at home in the bed. Don't KLM operate any more departures during the day from BSL?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
But then she spots my Platinum tag and explains that I’m free to take everything on board with me.

Ah ha! Nice that those status tags finally serve some purpose, by providing recognition from the staff, and not just for "flashing"  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I must confess I am a bit impressed. This guy has obviously done his homework and checked the passenger list.

This seems to be the case on KLM these days. A good friend of mine flew with them to GRU from ARN via AMS, and he was addressed by name on all flights. My experiences from flying Biz aren't the best, but is it standard there days to be addressed by name on EU carriers in Biz?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Mr. A. will you be joining us for breakfast this morning?’

That's an interesting statement from the crew. Were she implying that they would also eat their breakfast later on in the galley, or just to sound more welcoming?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
One thing I find very interesting is that where other airlines have a curtain to divide the cabin from the space by the front door and the cockpit, KLM has a sliding door.

Lufthansa have also installed sliding doors as divider on their new First Class cabins installed on the Airbus widebodies. Although to me, it would make more sense to cut off Economy from Biz with a sliding door. But either way, it's nice that they block out noise and light from the galley, which I assume can be quite bothersome on night flights.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 1):
This comes with a side order tomato salad. As the attendant places the tray before me, she offers me some cheese and croutons for topping on the salad.

Nice, so the salad is "made to order" by the crew, and not the generic plastic wrapped ones that many EU carriers seem to serve in Biz?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 2):
The showers are very nice. As I enter, I am given a kit of l’Occitane cosmetics and a set of nice, fluffy towels.

Shower facilities look very nice, and I must say I'm very impressed by the amenity kit. For the record, the SWISS Biz lounge in ZRH didn't provide any shower kits whatsoever. Only the handsoap from dispensers attached to the wall was available, and mind you that soap didn't leave my skin feeling very nice!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 2):
and asks if I would like a drink. Orange juice it is.

How come you skipped alcohol on all flights? Surely a glass of Champagne could've slipped down  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 2):
One of the flight attendants notices I’m awake and asks if I’d like breakfast. Of course I do!

Hmm weren't you stuffed from dinner? At least given the very short flight time. But then again, if you managed Oman Air, KLM should be an easy match for you  

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlinethemit9 From Australia, joined Apr 2012, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 months 1 day ago) and read 20330 times:

William,

Thanks for posting this excellent report that brought back a lot of memories as I used to fly on KL from AMS-LOS regularly on KL587/588 back in the early 2000s and back then it was always the MD-11. It's a shame to see them going at the end of an era.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I am greeted at the door by a friendly young man in a sharp uniform – the purser of the flight. I place my briefcase in the overhead bin and take off my suit jacket. Before I even have the time to wonder where to place it, the purser stretches out his hand and takes it from me. ‘Shall I hang that up for you, Mr A.?’

I last flew with KLM in December 2002 but remember their crews as always being very professional, friendly and efficient. Making an effort to remember passengers names can really set airlines apart from the competition, even on a short flight.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
One thing I find very interesting is that where other airlines have a curtain to divide the cabin from the space by the front door and the cockpit, KLM has a sliding door. Strangely enough though, only on one aisle, the other side has a curtain.

I could be wrong about this but I thought these were added in 2001 just after 9/11 and always assumed that they had something to do with security, like having two layers of doors to get to the cockpit? Just speculation.

Thanks again for a great report,

themit9


User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1937 posts, RR: 24
Reply 10, posted (2 years 2 months 23 hours ago) and read 20124 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Really nice report on KLM in Business Class! Photos are really nice, and the documentation of your whole trip is really good!

I've read many reports about KLM's food quality - and this report really makes me impressed by the level of their food qualty, and plentiful portions! The breakfast on the return to AMS is quite impressive for an early morning flight into Europe.

Thanks for sharing!

Best,

Matthew (767747)


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 months 22 hours ago) and read 20022 times:

Hi William,

another good report with nice pictures! The MD-11 is certainly an exciting aircraft, I still remember well my first flight on it almost ten years ago.

The food on the long-haul flights looks fine in most cases, except for the main courses.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The meal consists of an excellent fruit salad of apple, pineapple, grapes and melon; yoghurt of maracuja and orange; a selection of cheese with smoked meats and a small pot of marmalade; and two warm buns with that.

The presentation in these boxes looks a bit cheap IMO.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I have a Ginger Ale, cheers Planehunter!

Cheers!    Good to see KL has the real one.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
And this is where I am reminded what I like so much about the MD-11: the acceleration, the power and – above all – the noise! Beautiful!

I have only heard it from the back - it has always been awesome!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
And then there is this rather intricate pattern, a recurring theme that you find on the tablecloth, the cutlery as well as the chinaware. It’s quite elegant I find and a nice detail.

  

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The meal consists of another nice box with a salad with mustard dressing, a choice between a cheese in raisin bread or vitello tonnato sandwich and, for dessert, quark with raspberry sauce.

Again I'm a bit disappointed by that meal service.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
As we come in over the threshold, I spot this and for a moment think they may have finally decided to do something with that derelict looking A340-600 that has been standing around for a while now.

The bird is getting prepared for GlobalJet Luxembourg.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1459 posts, RR: 33
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 months 19 hours ago) and read 19660 times:

Hi William,

Another super report. You're having a few nostalgic flight recently aren't you? BMI, the MD-11 plus the Fokker out of BSL. Just out of interest, did you compare the fares against ZRH-AMS-YUL? Would be interesting to see what the difference is.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I’ve been doing quite a bit of travelling lately, and like some trip down memory lane, I spot some of the types and airlines I recently had the pleasure of sampling.

I bet that by now you must have logged pretty much every airline/aircraft combo out of BSL!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
At least we have some good views of the city of Basel before doing a sharp right turn to point the aircraft in a northerly direction towards Amsterdam.

Lovely. Basel is still my favourite Swiss city.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The legroom available on row 1 is simply ridiculous! What’s more, there are no overhead bins over the middle row of seats, which only enhances the overall impression of space in the cabin.

Perfect. KL really know how to keep those old birds in good condition (except when they've come from AF  )

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Dessert: lemon tart on a digestive biscuit base, served with strawberries.

All the food on your flights looks excellent. I bet that lemon tart though was out of this world! The crockery & in particular cutlery are just divine. The amenity kits are also rather nice. What was in them?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 2):
The showers are very nice. As I enter, I am given a kit of l’Occitane cosmetics and a set of nice, fluffy towels.

L'Occitane goodies, very nice. The shower room looks awful though IMO, what's with the brick walls?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I am informed that the flying time will only be a short five hours and 48 minutes today and that the flight will be full in all classes.

Wow, that's fast.

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 offlinenethkt From Thailand, joined Apr 2001, 1086 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 months 19 hours ago) and read 19637 times:

WOW! Amazing trip report n KLM Business class!!

Love their famous design for the catering and cutlery, very well done. Even boxes are neatly designed.

MD11 has been my favourite aircraft (by the look of it) for so long. To cross the atlantic with it in business class is even sweeter.

Love your Rimowa Topas Cabin Trolley   it will be my next Rimowa after 29" new deluxe and 26" Salsa  

net-hkt



Let's just blame it on yields.
User currently offlineburj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 months 18 hours ago) and read 19468 times:

Great trip report!

I noticed that in the very first meal box the card said it was roast beef but it looks a lot like turkey to me! Was it really roast beef?

The Air France lounge in YUL is indeed my favorite Air France lounge! They had some of the BEST cheese there I've ever had and I too noticed how nice the towels were that they give you for the shower. I also appreciated that the set of towels came in a sealed plastic bag!


User currently offlineMEA330 From Lebanon, joined Aug 2002, 286 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 months 18 hours ago) and read 19461 times:

Great TR.
Looks like this white A340-600 is owned by the Jordanian Government and previously was in full Royal Jordanian colors.


User currently offlineburj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (2 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 19275 times:

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
It’s also my first experience with a naked scanner.

At AMS you can opt out of going through the scanner and they will pat you down instead and the pat down is not nearly as invasive as you get in the USA from the thousands standing around (TSA).


User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1092 posts, RR: 31
Reply 17, posted (2 years 2 months 12 hours ago) and read 18806 times:

Hi William,

A thoroughly enjoyable report - many thanks.

Well - kudos for getting on that beautiful a/c. And I am impressed to see that KLM is keeping up so well with the neighbours in many respects. It looked quite excellent.

I am considering RUH-AMS-CDG-EDI with KL/AF but am still afraid of the brand. I've just seen so many mediocre accounts of the service. Still, can't judge it till I've tried it eh!

Some beautiful scenes on your return leg too, especially coming in over the coast. Always beautiful.

Regds


Luke



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1303 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 months 11 hours ago) and read 18657 times:

Another good report there - you're certainly keeping me entertained today!

Good to see KLM have a decent product as I'm travelling with them in a few weeks.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 3):
As we come in over the threshold, I spot this and for a moment think they may have finally decided to do something with that derelict looking A340-600 that has been standing around for a while now.

Could Very well have been ex G-VSHY of VS as this one was painted into all white like that one before it left the fleet a few weeks ago.



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 19, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 17727 times:

Hello all,

Thanks for all the comments.

Quoting A340600 (Reply 4):
What a lovely writing style, your personality really shines through your words.

That's a relief, thanks. I wrote most of the report in the lounge in Amsterdam on my way back, just to keep me awake. Afterwards I wasn't even sure any more if I'd been coherent or not.

Quoting A340600 (Reply 4):
I have always wanted to sample KLM and the MD-11, and hopefully will do so before too long.
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
Nice report William -the MD11 is still missing from my log, so I guess I'll have to fly KL sooner or later!

Just don't wait too long. I hear one flight attendant say to a passenger that the last one will be gone by then end of 2014, although I always assumed they'd keep them flying til 2016.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
That looks very strange - doesn't look good if you need a quick exit

It's a sliding door, they open it for take-off and landing.

Quoting lh526 (Reply 6):
I suppose that's caused by a try or table they install on the oither side to widen the area in the galley.
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Lufthansa have also installed sliding doors as divider on their new First Class cabins installed on the Airbus widebodies. Although to me, it would make more sense to cut off Economy from Biz with a sliding door. But either way, it's nice that they block out noise and light from the galley, which I assume can be quite bothersome on night flights.
Quoting themit9 (Reply 9):
I could be wrong about this but I thought these were added in 2001 just after 9/11 and always assumed that they had something to do with security, like having two layers of doors to get to the cockpit? Just speculation.

I'm not sure what it's for. KLM do not have a galley by the front doors and in actual fact, the flight attendants did not once go back there during the service. From What I could tell they only ever went that way when they were heading for the cockpit to bring the flight crew their meal.

Quoting Ideekay (Reply 7):
Nice to see the Triholer still in the air, but I heard that they will end this or next year, very sad
Quoting themit9 (Reply 9):
. It's a shame to see them going at the end of an era.

That really is very sad. I remember when Swiss decommissioned its last MD-11. What a sad event that was.

Quoting Ideekay (Reply 7):
Remembers me at Frankfurt but they have cameras for the new Runway

Really? Isn't that a bit risky? What do they do if one of the cameras goes U.S.?

Quoting Ideekay (Reply 7):
There is even enough legroom to do some sports haha

...which would not have been such a bad idea after all the food they gave us!

Quoting Ideekay (Reply 7):
Jetways à Amsterdam

I'd love to try one of those one day. I also think it would be tremendously cool of the jetway were made of glass!

Quoting Ideekay (Reply 7):
Wasn't this the VIP-Plane?
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11):
The bird is getting prepared for GlobalJet Luxembourg.
Quoting MEA330 (Reply 15):
Looks like this white A340-600 is owned by the Jordanian Government and previously was in full Royal Jordanian colors.
Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 18):
Could Very well have been ex G-VSHY of VS as this one was painted into all white like that one before it left the fleet a few weeks ago.

Unfortunately the plane was too far away for me to get the registration, sorry guys!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
The reports clearly seem to be coming from you at industrial paces, haha. But I suppose with the summer times, I have all time to catch up. I'm doing great btw

Sorry about that Jonas. My next trip will not be for another two weeks, so I'll leave you in pace until then!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Interesting, I had always had in mind that you left the airline business for good?

I have, perhaps you mean IATA instead? ICAO is responsible for everything to do with civil aviation, not just the airlines.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Hehe, well you surely seem to deviate quite a lot from the average Business traveler!

My secretary recently told me she stopped wondering about my travel habits a long time ago...

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
7 hours of layover is quite a lot indeed, suppose those hours could've otherwise have been spent at home in the bed. Don't KLM operate any more departures during the day from BSL?

Right now it's only two flights with a Fokker 70. They'll be switching to the Embraer from the winter schedule. But perhaps if thing continue like this, they may want to consider introducing a third flight.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Ah ha! Nice that those status tags finally serve some purpose, by providing recognition from the staff, and not just for "flashing"

Interesting you should say that. I really do think it's the first time those things were every of any use to me.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
This seems to be the case on KLM these days. A good friend of mine flew with them to GRU from ARN via AMS, and he was addressed by name on all flights. My experiences from flying Biz aren't the best, but is it standard there days to be addressed by name on EU carriers in Biz?

Yesterday on my way back from London with BA, the flight attendant addressed me by name every time. With Swiss it really depends on the crew, even on long-haul flights.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
That's an interesting statement from the crew. Were she implying that they would also eat their breakfast later on in the galley, or just to sound more welcoming?

That's an interesting point actually. Semantically, you're quite right of course. But as you say, the pragmatic implicature is to sound more inviting by suggesting inclusion.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Nice, so the salad is "made to order" by the crew, and not the generic plastic wrapped ones that many EU carriers seem to serve in Biz?

That's it exactly. It was no big deal, but a nice touch for sure!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Shower facilities look very nice, and I must say I'm very impressed by the amenity kit. For the record, the SWISS Biz lounge in ZRH didn't provide any shower kits whatsoever. Only the handsoap from dispensers attached to the wall was available, and mind you that soap didn't leave my skin feeling very nice!

The shower experience was quite a surprise for me as well. As you say, in most cases it the soap dispenser stuck on the wall and not your own personal kit.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
How come you skipped alcohol on all flights? Surely a glass of Champagne could've slipped down

I only very rarely drink alcohol on planes. At altitude it tends to give me a headache rather easily, even when it's not plonk.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Hmm weren't you stuffed from dinner? At least given the very short flight time. But then again, if you managed Oman Air, KLM should be an easy match for you

You see, I did it for you guys, to have the complete experience....

Quoting themit9 (Reply 9):
I last flew with KLM in December 2002 but remember their crews as always being very professional, friendly and efficient. Making an effort to remember passengers names can really set airlines apart from the competition, even on a short flight.

I think the high level of professionalism is what impressed me most.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 10):
I've read many reports about KLM's food quality - and this report really makes me impressed by the level of their food qualty, and plentiful portions!

Really the only thing I didn't like was that one of the chicken breasts still had the skin on it.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 10):
The breakfast on the return to AMS is quite impressive for an early morning flight into Europe.

Certainly more substantial than what most carriers give you these days.


User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 20, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 17697 times:

Sorry, I had to divide my reply in two before I time out.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11):
The MD-11 is certainly an exciting aircraft, I still remember well my first flight on it almost ten years ago.

I bet. It's an experience not so easily forgotten!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11):
The presentation in these boxes looks a bit cheap IMO.

Unfortunately, that seems to be the fashion these days. Lufthansa has more or less the same thing and so does SAS.
At lest BA still have trays.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 13):
Even boxes are neatly designed.

I tend to agree, at least the design of the box is nice.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11):
Cheers! Good to see KL has the real one.

Somehow I figured you might say that.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11):
I have only heard it from the back -

That's even better!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 12):
You're having a few nostalgic flight recently aren't you? BMI, the MD-11 plus the Fokker out of BSL.

You noticed! I like a bit of nostalgia, especially when it comes to flying!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 12):
Just out of interest, did you compare the fares against ZRH-AMS-YUL? Would be interesting to see what the difference is.

They were more or less the same, just a bit higher because of the higher taxes in Zurich. But nothing significant.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 12):
I bet that by now you must have logged pretty much every airline/aircraft combo out of BSL!

Getting there!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 12):
Lovely. Basel is still my favourite Swiss city.

Ma'am, I salute you! You certainly have got good taste!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 12):
Perfect. KL really know how to keep those old birds in good condition (except when they've come from AF )

And what exactly is it you're implying by that wink?

Quoting infodesk (Reply 12):
All the food on your flights looks excellent. I bet that lemon tart though was out of this world! The crockery & in particular cutlery are just divine. The amenity kits are also rather nice. What was in them?

You know, I was sure the cutlery would accidentally fall into by briefcase. But then the crew were so nice, I started to develop something remotely resembling scruples.

The vanity kit was pretty standard. But it did also include a small KLM pen!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 12):
L'Occitane goodies, very nice. The shower room looks awful though IMO, what's with the brick walls?

You know the brick walls in the Swiss office on Paradeplatz or in the lounges in Zurich? I think they wanted to go with that kind of an effect but got it screwed up. At least that's what it looked like. But it was a very clean shower.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 13):
MD11 has been my favourite aircraft (by the look of it) for so long. To cross the atlantic with it in business class is even sweeter.

I don't blame you. Such a gracious bird!

Quoting nethkt (Reply 13):
Love your Rimowa Topas Cabin Trolley it will be my next Rimowa after 29" new deluxe and 26" Salsa

I find it's just the right size, especially if you're on business and need to take a suit etc.

Quoting burj (Reply 14):
I noticed that in the very first meal box the card said it was roast beef but it looks a lot like turkey to me! Was it really roast beef?

The crew said it was veal. Whatever it was, I liked it!

Quoting burj (Reply 14):
The Air France lounge in YUL is indeed my favorite Air France lounge! They had some of the BEST cheese there I've ever had and I too noticed how nice the towels were that they give you for the shower. I also appreciated that the set of towels came in a sealed plastic bag!

Oh bugger, I love cheese! I should have stayed! And you're quite right about the sealed towels. I rather like that as well.

Quoting burj (Reply 16):
At AMS you can opt out of going through the scanner and they will pat you down instead and the pat down is not nearly as invasive as you get in the USA from the thousands standing around (TSA).

The woman in front of me did that. To be honest I'm not quite sure what the big deal is.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 17):
I am considering RUH-AMS-CDG-EDI with KL/AF but am still afraid of the brand. I've just seen so many mediocre accounts of the service. Still, can't judge it till I've tried it eh!

As long as you avoid Air France you should be fine. They really are a totally screwed operation as far as I can tell. But KLM is a completely different kettle of fish!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 17):
Some beautiful scenes on your return leg too, especially coming in over the coast. Always beautiful.

The approach into Amsterdam was amazing. I've never seen such light. The clouds looked as though they were illuminated from below.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 18):
Good to see KLM have a decent product as I'm travelling with them in a few weeks.

Excellent! Where you off to, if I may ask?

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to comment. It's much appreciated.

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineairkas1 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2003, 3994 posts, RR: 55
Reply 21, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 17697 times:

Very nice report, I really enjoyed reading it and looking at your photos!

User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 22, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 17292 times:

Hi Airkas1

Quoting airkas1 (Reply 21):
Very nice report, I really enjoyed reading it and looking at your photos!

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the report. Making it was rather fun too, I must say!

Cheers,
William


User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1303 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 17217 times:

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 20):
Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 18):
Good to see KLM have a decent product as I'm travelling with them in a few weeks.

Excellent! Where you off to, if I may ask?

Nowhere too exciting - just a small hop from LHR to AMS - one of those flights that are over before you've even got on!



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1826 posts, RR: 19
Reply 24, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 17007 times:

Hi James

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 23):
Nowhere too exciting - just a small hop from LHR to AMS - one of those flights that are over before you've even got on!

I dunno, I usually find the prospect of getting on a plane sufficiently exciting. No matter where I'm going!

By the way, yesterday (Saturday) I was in Heathrow waiting for my flight to Basel. At around 18h30 I spotted two KLM F.70s taxiing to departure behind each other. I thought this was rather strange, I guess they were both heading for Amsterdam.

Cheers,
William


25 Post contains images sultanils : Hello William my friend! What a most enjoyable read your have made again! It’s a most wonderful tribute to this lovely MD-11 aurcraft. Kudos to KLM
26 Knightsofmalta : Hi Nils Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm a sucker for a bit of nostalgia! Funny you should say so, that's what Jonas said as well. But no, I left
27 Post contains links MSS658 : Hello William Great report, thanks for sharing it with us. The MD11 looks great, it was a rare catch for sure. KL should start updating their J produc
28 Post contains images megatop : What a great trip repport. I also loves the MD-11. Have recorded 4 flights on her. 2 with Finnair and 2 with Garuda. All four flights in economy. Have
29 dc9northwest : Hi William, great report! I'll be travelling on the MD-11 to YUL myself in a couple of months, albeit in economy, so it's good to see your report! In
30 Post contains images deltamartin : Hi William! Nice report, and sure a good idea to do another trip on the MD11. I'm lucky enough to have 4 flights logged on the bird, all on AY. Last t
31 falstaff : I was there in 2010 and it is cool. I stayed across the street from IATA, at the Hilton. Interesting photos of BSL. I have a friend who lives in Rhie
32 airbuseric : Hi William, great report on the MD11, definitely a great aircraft to fly. I logged 4 flights on this type, all with a lot of good memories. My friend
33 Knightsofmalta : Hi Marc, Megatop, Alex, Martin, Falstaff and Eric Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the report. Yes, she's an attractive looking bird. Pi
34 Post contains images deltamartin : Hi again! Yup, the middle seat is blocked, also on the 3-seater side on the MD80. Hence, if you ever find yourself choosing seat for a Business class
35 okapi : Wow! The MD11 and the Fokker Jet all together. These planes were top notch in the 90's but they still ply their trade with grace as their retirement d
36 dcaviation : Nice TR. I enjoyed reading it!
37 falstaff : Yes. He and his wife have doctorate degrees in chemistry. He works in the pharmaceutical business and his wife works in the makeup business.
38 Knightsofmalta : Hi Martin Thanks for the advice, I didn't know that! Oh yes, sure, that's right, go on, rub it in! But seriously, I hope and I am sure you will enjoy
39 okapi : My pleasure too. And you're right about AF. I've never had a single bad experience with them although I've noticed the difference with KLM. I guess in
40 Knightsofmalta : Hi dcaviation, hi Falstaff Sorry, I missed your posts yesterday! Thank you, that's always good to hear! That sounds like a very typical set up. I like
41 SR 103 : Thanks for a fantastic report William. I am not sure if you know, but I do have a soft spot for KLM. I don't get to fly them at all these days so your
42 Knightsofmalta : Hi SR103 Thank you, glad you liked it. I don't blame you! The more I travel with KLM, the more I like them too. So far my only bad experience with the
43 Post contains images adamspotter : Hello there again William Finaly got time to read this report being back from my vacation, was looking forward to it. Anyway excellent report as usual
44 Knightsofmalta : Hi Brendan Thank you! Very tasty indeed. And so much of it! Yeah, you have a point there. But I don't complain and suffer in silence. No. Having a con
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