bufmd90pl From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 42 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 9065 times:
HOI MENSEN! As always, I was craving yet another trip to The Netherlands. Instead of staying for 2 hours for Stroopwafels, I would indeed stay 3 days and visit a friend and also see more of the country then just AMS. Now I intended not making a trip report, but I had enough pictures to make a decent one. My apologies if there are not enough pictures and the lack of pictures from BUF-ORD and EWR-BUF.
This trip report is going to consist of mainly just ORD-AMS, my stay in The Netherlands and my return flight, AMS-EWR.
I completed my work week on the 16FEB with quite a few delays on my shift. I had wanted to leave work on-time so I could get my roller bag packed and all of my other bills, responsibilities (BLAH) in order. But, as with anything in this industry, nothing is guaranteed and go figure, I had 3 diversions right at the end of my shift. Two hours late, I was heading out of the door and to the employee lot at BUF.
After packing my bag, tanning (yes I do tan to go to Northern Europe in the middle of Winter), and dinner with the Mother, I had decided to settle into bed in my wonderful Apartment in the North of Buffalo and check flight loads the next day. Wouldn’t it be my luck that flights were oversold after 1000 am. Guess who was getting up very early and starting their day? ME!
After about 5 hours of sleep, I had awaken to my alarm at 0735am and decided to try my luck on the 0950am departure to Chicago O’Hare (ORD). I had arrived at 0845am and checked in with my wonderful coworkers. After chatting for some time about what I was going to do and see whilst I was in The Netherlands, it was time to get boarding! Luckily I had managed to get on the plane by the skin of my butt!
I had arrived in Chicago at around 1100am CST. Having 7 hours in Chicago sitting around wasn’t appealing to me. I had noticed the flight from IAH-AMS had no one listed standby for the flight and there was a wide open flight from ORD AMS that would get me to IAH an hour before the IAH AMS flight. All of my coworkers were telling me not to do it since chances were great that I would get Global First out of ORD. IAH AMS is sCO BusinessFirst only.
Listening to my coworkers advice, I endured the 7 hours lay over. Most of my time was spent watching planes and observing the very efficient Lufthansa boarding process that my company seems to be adopting!
Here are some pictures from my lay over:
United Regional Jets!
My Favorite Concourse in ORD:
17FEB2013 UA 908 Chicago O’Hare International Airport – Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Nl Departure: 1805 Arrival: 0820 18Feb Equipment: Boeing 767-300 (3 Class sUA)
As mentioned, my co-workers convinced me to stay in Chicago since F looked great for me. However, getting close to departure, I noticed my name move down on the standby list and I may not even make it in the premium cabin. After having a bit of anxiety, I had received a phone call from my father stating that I was now a Uncle! That bit of excitement/ pure happiness eased my nerves and made me not even care about what seat I got!
After talking to my dad about my nephew and running into a flight attendant friend of mine, they had started boarding my 763 to AMS! After 5 minutes of boarding, my name was called up to the podium and I was handed over a boarding pass for 1C, in Global First! Phew, the anxiety was over. Now it was time to relax and love life for the next few days!
Upon boarding, I was greeted by our purser, Margrit, who was an absolute charm! I had presented a box of truffles that I purchased for the crew and was given many thanks from the cabin crew. Today’s flight attendants were just wonderful, very attentive to all customers in all cabins! Another example of our wonderful staff here at United Airlines!
Upon settling in to my huge, plush Global First seat, I was immediately presented a menu for tonight’s dinner service and a Global First amenity kit. Also I was asked what I had wanted to drink to start and requested a white wine.
Pre-Departure Beverage/Bar service
More than ample leg room
Tonight’s dinner Selection
Cheese and piquillo pepper spring roll
And coconut chicken skewer with eggplant-mango chutney.
Red Rock Seafood Bisque
Tenderloin of Beef
Asiago broth, brown butter gnocchi and green asparagus.
Spice-Rubbed Breast of Chicken
Mustard Barbeque sauce, steamed rice, mixed vegetables and pickled cabbage.
Grilled Fillet of Amazon Cod
Plum Jus sauce plantains and green beans.
Cherry tomato sauce and herbed butternut squash with Parmesan cheese.
International Cheese selection
Grapes and crackers with Port.
Ice Cream with your choice of toppings and assorted petite sweets.
Prior to Arrival
Chilled Deli Selection
Brie and Swiss cheeses, Black Forest ham, Genoa Salami and Turkey.
I had selected the Chicken entrée for dinner on this flight.
Push back was 5 minutes ahead of schedule, however, do due severe turbulence over the Atlantic, we were given an alternate route that would put us into AMS about 15 minutes behind schedule.
After a very long taxi, we were air born and on our way to Amsterdam. Once the double chime was sounded, the flight attendants sprang to life and began the wonderful service on tonight’s flight.
I was immediately offered another beverage and this time I tried the Franciscan Chardonnay. This is one of my favorite Chardonnays now! It had great citrus hints with a lovely mild oak aroma! I could not stop drinking this wine!
Warm roasted nuts
Next we were given the appetizer which tasted absolutely incredible. I had this same appetizer on my previous trip and it still did not disappoint!
After our appetizer, I was presented with the Seafood Bisque. Now usually I am not a fan of heavy cream soups, but this was PHENOMENAL!
The mixed green salad with fresh Mozzarella followed…
Finally, my main entrée was delivered to me. I had decieded on the Chicken course. The chicken was cooked tender and just right. The rice was also cooked perfectly; a hard thing to do at 35,000 feet in a convection oven!
Now most people are going to think I am absolutely crazy for this, but, I had decided again the Dessert. At this point, I was already up for about 13 hours, had a little too much wine and wanted to actually do things once I had arrived in AMS. As soon as my tray was cleared, reclined my seat and passed out for about 4.5 hours.
I woke up to the aromas of fresh breakfast items being heated in the galley when we were over Manchester, UK. I quickly donned my headphones and turned on channel nine while hearing transmission of some airlines I rarely hear in the US such as FlyBe, RyanAir and EasyJet.
I freshened up in the Lav right before my Breakfast was given to me.
I continued to listen to Channel 9 when the flight deck switched to ATIS and noticed the active runway in use for Schiphol was runway 18R… the infamous Polderbaan/ the runway I always get the pleasure of using (except for my last trip when we actually used runway 24 or the Kaagbaan).
We quickly taxied to Pier G and docked on gate G9. This gate is equipped with new Jet bridges that do not feel like freeing cold metal tubes. Passport control was a breeze as with any airport in Europe (Much easier than my home country) and I was
met by my friends who were waiting outside baggage re-claim!
The day before, I had made reservations at the Best Western Amsterdam Airport for €50.00. The hotel reception welcomed me with a warm Dutch welcome to their hotel. I was quickly checked in and I made my way up to my room were after settling in I (reluctantly) passed out for 3 hours. After my friend Caz shook me awoke to get me going, I hoped in the shower to freshen up so we could venture into Amsterdam!
Airport hotel views are the same the world over…
We grabbed the shuttle bus back over to Schiphol to catch a train into Amsterdam. The ticket seller for NS (Nederlandse Spoorweg) was very friendly and handed over my tickets and Caz and I made our way to the platform for our train.
The train ride to the city was about 20 minutes and we arrived at Amsterdam Centraal around 1710. We walked around the city for a bit just talking, stopping every so often to admire the canals. We grabbed dinner at this lovely Italian restaurant near the
Photos from Amsterdam:
Some rally for Free Tibet.
The popular I Amsterdam sign.
My Favorite (Foreign) Airline!
After a very long dinner/ talk session, we took a very long walk back to Centraal and hoped on the last train to get us back to Schiphol in time for the last shuttle back to our hotel.
We passed out as soon as we got back in the room! We had yet another long day ahead of us the next day!
Part two will follow which includes a trip to Den Haag and Scheveningen.
Views expressed are MINE only and NOT of United Airlines, United Continental Holdings
bufmd90pl From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 42 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 9051 times:
We woke up later then we wanted to, roughly around 1100. After showering and eating a quick breakfast we made our way back to Schiphol to catch the next train to Den Haag. After about ten minutes on the train, I started to feel absolutely awful. I think it was my body being quite upset with the time change and constant running around. After a quick stop in Leiden, we made our way to Den Haag were I felt absolutely horrid. Luckily after drinking the closest thing to Gatorade I could find in the Albert Heijen To Go, I felt much better and we continued our way through Den Haag.
I must say, after going to Amsterdam, I fell more impartial to like Den Haag. The scenery is much different than Amsterdam and there are FAR less tourists. Plus I didn’t see Marijuana or boobs every step I took! I still love Amsterdam though so, to my AMS friends, don’t flame me for this!
Pictures from Den Haag:
Den Haag Centraal Station
I love this street!
Apparently Queen Beatrix lives here. Is this true? Can someone from NL confirm this for me?
After a bit of time seeing Den Haag, we hoped on a bus to go to Scheveningen were some of the cast of Oh Oh Cherso are from (The Dutch version of Jersey Shore). A lot of the cast was from Den Haag as well. I ended up falling in LOVE with this show while I was there!
Here are some pictures from the beach at Scheveningen:
I loved Scheveningen. Even though it was 5 degrees Celsius, windy, rainy and dreary, I loved it! It reminded me of the Dutch version of Atlantic City, New Jersey were I spent a lot of vacation as a young kid. After grabbing dinner at McDonalds and eating a McKroket (Can I say this was the most REPULSIVE item EVER) we headed back to Den Haag and took the train back to Schiphol.
After having something more edible in Schiphol, we returned to the hotel and watched more clips of Oh Oh Cherso!
We woke up the next morning and hoped on a 0700 bus for the airport so we could eat breakfast and I could catch my flight home. After bidding Caz adieu, I decided to stamp out of The Netherlands and the EU and head back to ‘Merica. Security surprisingly was not as huge of a hassle as it usually is at Schiphol and I was quickly processed through at the gate.
20FEB2013 UA 964 Amsterdam Airport Schiphol – Newark Liberty International Airport, NJ Departure: 0915 Arrival: 1135 Equipment: Boeing 767-300 (2 class reconfigured bird)
Upon approaching the podium, I was handed a boarding pass for seat 6K. I stepped on to the plane and was absolutely amazed with the refurb they did on this aircraft. This ship looked like a brand new plane with the Boeing Signature bins and side panels. Although this was a sUA ship, it was outfitted with a Continental interior (my favorite of the two). I settled into my seat and noticed via the United mobile app that 6L was unoccupied which meant a 2 J seats for me!
Love this movie!
I was greeted by our fantastic Purser (whose name escapes me since I was so tired). I was given the menu and asked what I would want for a pre departure beverage, which I opted for a Mimosa. We pushed on time and taxied to my favorite runway- 36L or the Polderbaan. We made an immediate departure and made our way over Eastern Amsterdam, over Haarlem then out over the North Sea.
Lunch service started 30 minutes after take-off and I opted for the Brunch option which consisted of an Apple Crepe, Egg and tomato omelet, and chicken sausage. As always, an appetizer and salad were presented before the main course.
A Prosciutto and Salmon appetizer
Salad with a yogurt-style dressing
Main Course- The crepe was DELICIOUS!
After the main course, I declined on the dessert again since I felt the need to sleep some more. After 4.5 hours of sleep, I was awakened by the Purser (by request) for the pre-arrival snack. Today we had a chicken wrap which was excellent!
We arrived in EWR 20 minutes ahead of schedule and were through Customs in no time! I even managed to snag an earlier flight home! I didn’t do a report on that flight since it was a standard ERJ flight to BUF which I slept through!
Well that concludes this trip report. I am heading back to the Netherlands in 2 weeks to go to Apeldoorn, Utrecht and cross the border to Belgium and Germany!
Of course, any feedback and comments are appreciated!
Dankjewel en tot ziens!
Views expressed are MINE only and NOT of United Airlines, United Continental Holdings
toobz From Finland, joined Jan 2010, 752 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 8433 times:
Nice trip report! AMS is my favorite city in Europe (well there are a few actually). I have to say for Global First, I thought the meal selection was not very good. I travel DL to AMS frequently, and the offerings in J seem to be better! A hot breakfast is always on offer. Nice to hear you had a great crew on both flights- that makes or breaks a flight for me. Enjoy your next trip back!
planiac787 From India, joined May 2012, 240 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 8279 times:
United seems to be offering a good J class service on its long hauls.
There are a few more trip reports which give me a fair idea that I should be trying United J soon.
I find there IFE to be excellent and the aircrafts ( atleast the ones I have traveled in )
Cheers and Well done!
Be the change you want to see in the world- M.K.Gandhi
EASTERN747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 475 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 7623 times:
I have to say too, for international first class the meal service wasn't very exciting. If I had paid the full first price, I would have been very disappointed. I know you don't buy a ticket for the meal, but a cold plate for breakfast and no options! Certainly not up to international standards. IMHO
EASTERN747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 475 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 7070 times:
I looked at the TR again, and tried to see what I thought should be reviewed. As a pass rider I hope UA charges at least $200-250 in fees. (or even more to cover the cost) You can't cover the expense if you fill FC or JC with upgrades and staff.But back to the service. Cheap/common glassware, plastic salt/pepper shakers, the tomatoe slices were garbageeand should never have been boarded. The flatware was right out of K Mart. Remember...this is First class internationally! I feel like I should get on the bus and go 2 miles south to the UA headquarters and go talk to the folks who have no clue!
IrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2088 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 6225 times:
Loved reading this TR. So cool you got to try United Global First and United Business, but I have to say that I'm really unimpressed by the catering. United First, to me, hardly looks like a step above Business. The mere difference is the inclusion of soup. It's almost as though they should just do away with the concept.
AA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5638 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5533 times:
Thanks for posting this.
As an elite (er... premier!?!?) UA flyer, I'm disappointed to see your Glo-First chicken breast looking so... basic. Four tablespoons of rice, a couple pieces of squash, and a chicken boob with brown goo. Not particularly "global," nor particularly "first."
And that chicken wrap you had as a second meal on the AMS-EWR leg is nasty! They serve those in domestic first longhaul, and I eat them, but only because the other option is cold spinach leaves or remaining hungry!
BUT- regarding your actual trip report, it was good, and glad to see the photos. Maybe I should go to AMS sometime!
KLM is my favorite airline... flew them a couple times when CO was in SkyTeam. Miss 'em!
Swiss is great, but not the same... far stodgier.
gabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3032 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5467 times:
Nice report - good you spent a bit longer in AMS this time. Nice also to get both F and C on your trip.
Quoting bufmd90pl (Thread starter): Most of my time was spent watching planes and observing the very efficient Lufthansa boarding process that my company seems to be adopting!
Which process is that? For shorthual flights out of Germany, the "system" is just to push and shove to the automated gates. No priority or order...chaos and really not good. It's better abroad though where they actually have people manning the gates.