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Snow Chaos & Rebooking: KLM 744 To MEX In Business  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6829 posts, RR: 77
Posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 26877 times:

This report is dedicated to legendary trip reporter Lari-Pekka Kero alias Lufthansa747. Rest in peace, my friend.



http://i372.photobucket.com/albums/oo169/Planehunter/USA2013WestMexico/Map.jpg~original

Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz



Intro
It's high time to visit California again! That's what I thought in early 2013 and started searching for interesting flight options in mid-March. First of all, I decided to spend some Flying Blue miles for a one-way Business Class ticket. Air France's A380 and 777 services to Los Angeles didn't attract me because I had already flown on these birds - and for the same reason I didn't consider numerous other combos. KLM wasn't an option either, mainly due to its outdated Business Class.

However, my attention was then attracted by Air France's service to Mexico City, operated by the remaining Boeing 747-400s which had recently been equipped with updated (but still angled) Business Class seats ("NEV4"). I hadn't flown on Air France's 747-400 yet and flight times were rather good, too. Unfortunately, seat availability was rather bad in the beginning and on most days one could only get on the second daily CDG-MEX flight, operated by an AeroMexico 767-300ER (leaving before midnight, arriving before 06:00 in the morning). Neither did I want to fly on that particular bird with its outdated product, nor did I want to spend 12 hours on a night flight.

Finally, availability improved and I was able to get a seat on the Air France 747-400 flight, combined with an early morning connecting flight from Munich to Paris. I could have chosen a late morning connecting flight, but the transfer time of just about 1.5 hours at CDG put me off. Then I booked a room at the Hilton Mexico City Airport, conveniently located within Terminal 1 where I would arrive. In the next step, I booked a quick domestic round trip in Mexico and added an evening flight from MEX to LAX – all that taking place on the day after my arrival at MEX. Finally, I booked my long-haul return flights from LAX. Details to follow in the next two parts.

[Edited 2013-09-01 01:55:35]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
57 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6829 posts, RR: 77
Reply 1, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 27408 times:

 alert  Snow Chaos and Rebooking  alert 
In order to avoid a car trip in the middle of the night, I had decided to book a "park, sleep & fly" combo. So I spent the night before departure in the Sheraton Munich Airport. After arriving at the hotel on the evening before departure, I was surprised by negative news: A severe snow storm was hitting Paris and severely affecting flight operations and causing countless cancellations at CDG and many other airports. Of course I was concerned about my flights on the next day, but as I found out on Air France's website, the late evening service from Paris to Munich would operate as planned - that was important because that very plane would operate my early morning flight to Paris on the next day.

I kept following the developments in the next few hours and I was glad when the scheduled Air France A318 operating this important evening flight showed up on Flightradar24. However, the plane kept standing around at various taxiway positions - it was even on the ground after 23:00, two hours after its scheduled departure time...actually I was now losing hope that it would still depart due to the night curfew at Munich. Close to midnight, I was already thinking about the consequences of a cancellation when the plane finally departed. Apparently, Air France had received a special permit to fly into MUC during the curfew.  relieved 

After only four hours of sleep, I woke up with a terrible headache and couldn't believe what I read in two text messages sent to my mobile phone by Air France:
1. "Unfortunately, your flight from MUC to CDG has been cancelled. We are seeking for a solution and will come back to you."  thumbsdown   thumbsdown   thumbsdown 
2. "New departure (...) 18:30, arrival Paris CDG 20:10. New connecting flight arranged."
It was clear that Air France had rebooked me onto the late night AeroMexico flight - well, that wouldn't have been so bad actually, but due to the delayed arrival on the next morning, I would miss my domestic round trip on two new airlines! And that would be very very bad.  thumbsdown   thumbsdown   thumbsdown 
Of course I was wondering why the MUC-CDG flight had been cancelled despite the fact that the plane did fly to Munich - but I guess Air France simply tried to limit the number of flights operating to CDG as the snow chaos hadn't ended yet. Anyway, guessing didn't help.

So what to do? It was 04:30 in the morning and the Air France hotline would only be available from 08:00. So I got ready and took the shuttle to the airport as originally planned. When I arrived at Terminal 1 before 06:00, a huge queue had already formed behind the Air France/KLM ticket desks. I was expecting to find a dedicated line for First/Business Class or Skyteam status customers somewhere, but when I asked a staff member, all I was told was this: "No, there is just one line!" Absolutely ridiculous!  irked 

The queue kept moving extremely slowly and many people were totally furious and kept complaining loudly. Even though I was really pissed, I managed to stay calm, fortunately. There had been some hope left that I would be able to get on the late morning flight to Paris, but then I overheard a conversation and learned that this flight was full. Not surprising, actually. After nerve-wrecking two hours in that queue, I reached the ticket desk. The lady told me that I had already been rebooked, but I explained that I would miss my domestic connections. After searching for a while, she offered a seat on the Air France 747-400 flight to MEX on the next day - and all that in Economy!  alert  Of course I declined - and then she suddenly offered a rebooking to KLM in Business - departure in less than four hours, arrival at MEX only 1.5 hours or so after my originally booked Air France flight. Sure, KLM's product would be inferior, but this combo would save my trip which was more important.



Wednesday, March 2013
Munich (MUC) - Amsterdam (AMS)
KLM KL1794, operated by KLM Cityhopper
Scheduled times: 11:50-13:30
Actual times: 12:17-13:36
Flight duration: 01:04 (hrs)
Distance: 413 miles
Business Class, seat 1F

Embraer 190
PH-EZN (MSN 19000342)
Delivered in 03/2010


1st flight on PH-EZN
4th Embraer 190 flight
12th E-Jet flight



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Photo © Martin Woudstra
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Photo © Timo Soyke -[GSN]-



During check-in, I asked for window seats and was surprised that I got 1F on the short hop and 1A on the 747 to MEX. I hadn't expected that these were still available. But since I would make a flight in seat 1K on a 747 two months later, I asked for a change to the upper deck. Unfortunately, the agent wasn't able to put me elsewhere for whatever reason, so I decided to ask again once at Amsterdam.

After a while, just when I was trying to relax and get rid of my headache, I noticed that my plane heading from Amsterdam to Munich was expected to arrive 30 minutes late - very bad news in view of the transfer time of only 1 hour and 5 minutes.  Embarrassment So I returned to the check-in counter and asked whether there was a realistic chance to catch the flight to MEX - and I told the agent that I had no desire to get stranded at AMS. Seeking an alternative from MUC would be much more convenient. She encouraged me to go to the gate to check the situation after the plane's arrival - I would still be able to cancel the ticket before departure.

So I passed security and kept waiting for the plane's arrival. PH-EZN, one of 22 Embraer 190s in the KLM Cityhopper fleet, showed up about 30 minutes behind schedule as expected:




Some minutes later, I went to the gate agent and told her about my situation. She replied that they were trying to perform a quick turnaround so that the plane would depart only slightly late.

As boarding wouldn't start within in the next 20 minutes, I made a quick visit to the Air France KLM lounge. It's not a place where I would stay long due to non-existing tarmac/runways views and limited offerings:









When I arrived back at the gate, boarding was about to commence. Some minutes later, friendly flight attendants welcomed me on board. I hadn't been aware of the aircraft type on the MUC-AMS flight when my KLM ticket had been issued, so I had been hoping to get a Boeing 737 due to the blocked middle seat in Business Class. In contrast, you find the same 2-2 seating in Business Class as in Economy Class on the E-Jets, unfortunately. So give me a 737 over these E-Jets any day!

The seat itself was comfortable, though:



Legroom was alright:


The flight was packed and no seat remained empty in Business Class...having to share an armrest is not a premium experience.  thumbsdown  I would have really preferred a 737 or the Air France A318 now as originally scheduled.

Another annoying issue was a permanent airflow originating from a ventilation slot over my head. And that wouldn't change throughout the whole flight. I hadn't noticed that on any other E-Jet flight in the past. Why can't they just install individual slots so that every passenger can adjust as required?

E190? No thanks...



Inflight magazine:



Nice fleet overview, no reason to complain:



After boarding had been completed, the captain apologized for the delay which had been caused by a technical glitch. As I found out later, the plane had returned to the gate shortly before departure. The captain also announced a flying time of slightly over an hour which sounded good to me. We left the gate 27 minutes behind schedule and I was hoping for a quick taxi procedure.

Oman Air A330-200 A4O-DG and Air France A318 F-GUGG which was supposed to carry me to Paris:



We finally lifted off at 12:28...


...which meant we would touch down at around 13:30 (scheduled arrival time), so things looked very promising. Now I was hoping for a landing at any runway but the distant Polderbaan.

Small menu cards were distributed which was a nice touch considering that the flight was rather short:

http://i372.photobucket.com/albums/oo169/Planehunter/USA2013WestMexico/KL1794menu1k.jpg~original


That didn't sound bad:

http://i372.photobucket.com/albums/oo169/Planehunter/USA2013WestMexico/KL1794menu2k.jpg~original


I ordered orange juice and the club sandwich and got a nice box:



The sandwich tasted quite good, but I had to skip the dessert due to an allergy:



Snow-covered landscape somewhere between MUC and AMS...something which you don't want to see in mid-March, do you?


Just as announced, we touched down after a flying time of 1 hour and 4 minutes...and I'm glad it wasn't the Polderbaan. We arrived at a remote parking position just a four minutes later and the bus transfer to the terminal didn't take very long either. So once I stepped into the building, there were still some 45 minutes left.  relieved 

[Edited 2013-09-01 01:22:15]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6829 posts, RR: 77
Reply 2, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 27452 times:

Wednesday, March 2013
Amsterdam (AMS) - Mexico City (MEX)
KLM KL685
Scheduled times: 14:35-19:25
Actual times: 14:52-19:44
Flight duration: 11:24 (hrs)
Distance: 5729 miles
World Business Class, seats 1A / 72K

Boeing 747-406 Combi
PH-BFF (s/n 770), named "City of Freetown"
Delivered in 02/1990


1st flight on PH-BFF
18th 747-400 flight
22nd 747 flight



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Photo © Andrew Compolo
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Photo © Szabo Gabor


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Photo © Daan Krans
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Photo © Sergey Rimsha



Former appearance:


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Photo © Spotnap
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Photo © K.H. Ng - HKAEC



After a fast 20-minute walk, shortly interrupted by passport control, I arrived at the gate entry. There was a long queue at security - however, I could use the fast lane where no other passenger was waiting at this point of time.

I felt truly relieved now and enjoyed taking pictures of the Queen of the Skies which would fly me to Mexico City. The plane turned out to be PH-BFF, a 23-year-old veteran in the 22-strong 747-400 fleet:



PH-BFF is a combi aircraft with KLM Asia titles, named "City of Freetown":



The plane looked immaculate - well done, KLM!



Once I arrived at the door, I received a very warm welcome by the blonde female purser (probably a senior purser) and another flight attendant. The purser seemed to smile even more after seeing seat number 1A on my boarding pass and pointed the way to the aircraft's nose.

Since I would sit in row 1 on another operator's 747 in less than two months, I decided to ask for an empty seat on the upper deck Business Class section. "The flight is almost fully booked today, but of course we will check for you!", she replied enthusiastically. "But it is a very nice seat. Have a look at it!", she added, referring to 1A. Well, I must admit, it was indeed a very nice seat:


Even though KLM's 20-inch wide and up to 175 degrees reclinable sleeper seats are dated, I found them very comfortable, at least in upright and lounge position.

Legroom was more than generous:



The famous 747 nose cabinet:



Shortly after I had taken my seat, a friendly male senior flight attendant showed up and offered a pre-departure drink. Once again, I chose orange juice:



There wasn't much to see outside:



The captain made a welcome speech and announced a slight delay due to time-consuming security checks. Well, everything seemed to be fine, but it wasn't. My seat neighbor, a heavily sweating guy in the 40s, had turned his individual air nozzle full blast and once again on that day, cold air was hitting me. When he left again for a short while, I turned his nozzle further towards the aisle. However he immediately adjusted it again after returning. So I kindly asked him if he could turn the air down a bit, but he declined, using an unfriendly tone: "I need air during the flight, I'm hot."  embarrassed 

However, just a few moments later, the male flight attendant returned to pick up my empty glass. He smiled and said: "There is an empty window seat on the upper deck for you, so you can switch if you want. But only after takeoff as we are ready to depart." Very good news!  thumbsup 

We left the gate 17 minutes behind schedule and started taxiing to the Polderbaan. Sister ship PH-BFK:



19 minutes after leaving the gate, the four GE engines accelerated the heavy bird - but I found it too quiet in that nose section! And I missed seeing a part of the wing or an engine:





As soon as the seatbelt sign had been switched off, I tried to find out more about the proposed upper deck seat. When I passed the galley, I met the purser and she kindly said: "Do you want to have a look at the other seat? I'll show it to you!" So we walked upstairs and she led me to the very first row - seat 72K looked perfect to me. The passenger in the aisle seat, a middle-aged guy apparently on a business trip, didn't appear overly happy as he was using the empty seat to store newspapers and other stuff, but I didn't care, to be honest.

The decision was made and I walked back down to grab my belongings. When I returned to the upper deck, another female senior flight attendant immediately offered to store my trolley due to the limited space in the overhead bins. Now it was time to sit back and relax (picture taken after landing):



More than enough legroom once again:



Nuts and drinks were offered after a short while:


Well, if you wonder about the small amount of nuts in the bowl - yes, I admit I started eating before taking a picture. This is a serious issue and I initiated an internal investigation about it.  Wink

As lunch would be served shortly, I decided to explore seat features and other stuff later and to have a look at the menu card instead:



I can only praise KLM for introducing sustainable catering - and I like the service timeline on the bottom:

http://i372.photobucket.com/albums/oo169/Planehunter/USA2013WestMexico/KL685menu2k.jpg~original


All that sounded quite promising - and I was glad to see that KLM serves MSC certified fish:

http://i372.photobucket.com/albums/oo169/Planehunter/USA2013WestMexico/KL685menu3k.jpg~original


KLM even offers "green" wines:

http://i372.photobucket.com/albums/oo169/Planehunter/USA2013WestMexico/KL685menu4k.jpg~original


http://i372.photobucket.com/albums/oo169/Planehunter/USA2013WestMexico/KL685menu5k.jpg~original


I find it odd that Heineken was the one and only beer brand on the drink menu - but I was more interested in ginger ale anyway:

http://i372.photobucket.com/albums/oo169/Planehunter/USA2013WestMexico/KL685menu6k.jpg~original


In addition to the general menu card, there was a foldout leaflet about the wines, including detailed information about the wineries:

http://i372.photobucket.com/albums/oo169/Planehunter/USA2013WestMexico/KL685wine1k.jpg~original


http://i372.photobucket.com/albums/oo169/Planehunter/USA2013WestMexico/KL685wine2k.jpg~original


The appetizer was served soon...


...and while the presentation was nice (beautiful porcelain design!), the slice of salmon was too thick for my liking. Everything else was okay, though.

The curried cod was my main course of choice...


...and the whole dish was a big disappointment. Where to start? The fish itself was too dry, the rice was partly undercooked, the vegetables were overcooked and tasteless and the coconut sauce was just bland. That main course was a big failure!  thumbsdown 

I was hoping that dessert would make up for the disappointment, but the items on the trolley weren't overly exciting. I had some fruit and jasmine rice with mango sorbet - okay, but nothing special:



Finally, I had a decent Earl Grey tea with milk, accompanied by an average chocolate:



Now let's return to the cabin comfort. Did I feel more comfortable on the upper deck? Yes, but only by a small degree. Even though both overhead air nozzles were closed, a permanent stream of cold had been was hitting my head since taking the seat.  Embarrassment It felt like driving with a partly open window - either the air conditioning system was badly designed or it wasn't working properly any more. I was wondering if the situation was better elsewhere on the upper deck.

After a while, I talked to the purser about the problem. According to her, the air conditioning system was being used as usual. She kindly suggested that I could take any other seat at any time, but I really didn't want to switch again and apart from that, the only other originally empty seat had meanwhile been occupied, too.

Later during the flight, the captain slowly passed through the aisle and kept asking passengers if everything was alright - a very nice gesture, by the way. I grasped this opportunity and addressed the problem. The friendly man took the issue seriously and after a short check with his hand, he confirmed my findings. "But there is nothing we can do about it", he said with regret. "Boeing built it!", he added with a sense of humor. Just like the purser, he offered me to take any other seat if possible. Well, I decided to write a letter of complaint about the air conditioning issue to KLM after returning home.  irked 

Shortly after lunch service had been finished, I went for a walk. There are 24 seats on the upper deck:



Snack box filled with so-called "delights":





18 seats can be found in the nose section:



Another cabinet for Business Class passengers:



Laterally installed main galley, with a 3-2 Economy Comfort section being located beyond the middle wall:



Self-service "bar" with a very limited choice of items - these chocolates weren't overly tasty, btw:



Economy Class was packed - and it's interesting to note that I felt a similarly disturbing airflow there:



Time to go back to 72K:



Having to climb over a stranger's legs is not a great experience when flying Business Class, but at least my neighbor kept working on this laptop throughout the flight and didn't lie down at any time, so it wasn't too difficult for me to move in and out. Well, it was about time now to check all features around. My seat fully reclined:


Of course it's better to lie fully flat, but I'm sure I would have been able to sleep in that seat if I had been tired.

The side wall bins are a fantastic feature on the upper deck. You can comfortably place important items on top, e.g. the camera while eating...



...and you can store all your stuff inside without having to leave your seat:



Safety card:



Business Class shopping guide:



Amenity kit by Dutch fashion house Viktor & Rolf:





Noise-cancelling headphones:



Finally, let's have a look at the IFE system...and yes, these foldout screens are as bulky as they look:



Language selection:



Main menu:



According to KLM, the system offers more than 1000 hours of interactive entertainment, including 80 movies:



Wi-Fi is not available yet fleet wide, but you can still stay in touch with the world if needed:



Even though I prefer menu cards, I find it quite nice to get visual impressions of the food served on board:



That looks very similar to the actual appetizer:



Well, I'm wondering how Richard Ekkebus would have liked the version of his "signature dish" which I received...



I think I should have tried the chocolate tartelette...



Honestly, I had meanwhile lowered my expectations in view of the second meal...



The airshow was my entertainment of choice as usual:







Various snacks were offered between meal times and, believe it or not, I chose crudités with hummus - quite tasty actually:



I kept relaxing in horizontal position during the next few hours and tried to ignore the disturbing airflow. What would a transatlantic Business Class flight be without having ginger ale in style?



The second meal was served about two hours before landing. I ordered the chicken...


...and it turned out to be a good decision. The main course as well as the appetizer and the dessert tasted quite good. It wasn't an excellent meal, but it was good.

I had a glass of Billecart-Salmon Brut with my meal which couldn't win me over, though:



After the meal, I went for a walk again and met the purser in the main galley. "How are you? Were you able to get some sleep?", she asked with a smile and we started chatting for a while. KLM crews never cease to amaze me with their ability to provide a both friendly and professional service with a very personal touch.  thumbsup 

Finally, before the plane started descending, a flight attendant passed through the cabin with a tray full of the famous (gin-filled) Delft Blue miniature houses. No. 20 (Edam Museum) for me, please:



After an interesting approach over countless lights, we touched down at MEX after a flying time of 11 hours and 24 minutes. During disembarking, I thanked the crew for the good service and then headed to immigration where I had to line up for some 20 minutes.

Once I had picked up my luggage, it was just a short walk to the Hilton (picture taken on the next day):



The lobby looked fine and the staff members were nice as usual, but the floors and the room were worn and in need of renovation - probably my most disappointing Hilton experience ever:


Anyway, all I needed now was a bed to get a few hours of sleep. My next day's PlaneHunting mission, comprising three flights on three new airlines, would commence in less than eight hours. Story to be continued.

[Edited 2013-09-01 01:40:37]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6829 posts, RR: 77
Reply 3, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 27141 times:

Conclusion
First of all, I'm very glad that I made it to Mexico City only some 1.5 hours later than originally planned considering the chaos caused by the massive snow storm. A rebooking to a late evening long-haul flight or a next day's flight would have screwed up my trip more or less. Nevertheless, I wasn't entirely satisfied with the journey on KLM. The cramped Business Class seating on the E-Jet, the air conditioning annoyances and the faulty catering truly disappointed me. However, I cannot complain about the outdated long-haul seat which was good enough for this day flight. The same can be said for the IFE system. What still brings a happy smile to my face when looking back is the wonderful crew and especially the purser who took excellent care of me. This flight has once again confirmed my highly positive opinion of KLM crews - they are among the best ones in the industry. Of course I want to fly KLM again - but only when I can expect the new Business Class.  Wink

By the way, I did indeed send a letter of complaint to KLM, using the message tool on its website. Less than 24 hours later, I received a very kind and personal reply, including an apology for the discomfort on board. This was already very nice, but as a gesture of goodwill, I also received 10,000 Flying Blue miles. That was very impressive!  thumbsup 


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



P.S.: Just in case you missed them - my previous trip reports:
Short Hops, High Quality: Luxair, VLM & CityJet (by PlaneHunter Jul 31 2013 in Trip Reports)
Night Stop In Beirut: Turkish A333 & MEA A320/A332 (by PlaneHunter Jun 28 2013 in Trip Reports)
Rushing Thru Romania: Carpatair S20 & Tarom A318 (by PlaneHunter Apr 30 2013 in Trip Reports)
Flybe E175, Helvetic F100 & The Beauty Of Scotland (by PlaneHunter Feb 11 2013 in Trip Reports)
Berlin A.Net Meeting, Air Malta & Wind Jet (R.I.P) (by PlaneHunter Jan 26 2013 in Trip Reports)
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Air Macau, Tiger Airways & Grounding Fiasco At SIN (by PlaneHunter Dec 10 2012 in Trip Reports)
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Transatlantic For A Weekend (1): MUC-DCA On US +Pix (by PlaneHunter Mar 13 2006 in Trip Reports)

[Edited 2013-09-01 01:43:32]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 1002 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 26228 times:

Hello PH,

Great report! Sorry to hear the snow disrupted your travel plans, but good that you were able to be rebooked on the KL flight. And at least you got a 747! Disappointing that KL doesn't block the other seat on the E-jet, I believe they do on the Fokker 70. Decent performance on the MEX flight - shame about the AC though. I still have some FB miles lying around myself, but I'll save those for then when the new C class arrives!


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6829 posts, RR: 77
Reply 5, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 26226 times:

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 4):
Great report!

Hi Robert, thanks for your comments!

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 4):
Sorry to hear the snow disrupted your travel plans, but good that you were able to be rebooked on the KL flight.

  

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 4):
And at least you got a 747!

Yes, I'm glad I hadn't flown on KLM's 747s yet.

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 4):
Disappointing that KL doesn't block the other seat on the E-jet, I believe they do on the Fokker 70.

Really? That would be a good reason to choose the F70 over the E190.

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 4):
I still have some FB miles lying around myself, but I'll save those for then when the new C class arrives!

Good idea. But Flying Blue has made some nasty changes recently. I'd need many more miles now for the same journey to MEX, for example.


PH

[Edited 2013-09-01 05:10:43]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 6, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 26161 times:

Hey PH great report!

Too bad that you missed out on the AF 744. I thought they had left the fleet already, but apparently they haven't. Though some of those frames are fairly new, and have the same interior as the B777's e.g similar overhead bins. I personally would've picked the A380 to LAX, but I suppose your routing was a bit more interesting.

Too bad about the re-booking though, but I guess you earned back some of the miles on your KLM flights? IRROPS usually results in getting re-booked to a revenue booking class.

While the food looked rather underwhelming I would still say that the presentation looks nice, especially with the custom designed tableware. Interesting that they only had Heineken on offer, which in my opinion isn't the best of beers. But then again I don't think beer is a drink that fairs well on planes, especially not in premium cabins so I suppose it was wise to stick with Ginger Ale  

Thanks for sharing!



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 26110 times:

Hi PH! What a nerve-wracking experience! I'm glad it all worked out in the end, even if your level of comfort was not as good as you were hoping on board KLM's 747. I really wonder what was the issue with the air-flow. Did anyone else complain about it? I'm surprised that nothing could be done about it, even though I do believe the crew when they said they couldn't help.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
and then she suddenly offered a rebooking to KLM in Business - departure in less than four hours, arrival at MEX only 1.5 hours or so after my originally booked Air France flight. Sure, KLM's product would be inferior, but this combo would save my trip which was more important.

I guess sometimes you just have to go with the lesser evil.  .

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
his individual air nozzle full blast and once again on that day, cold air was hitting me. When he left again for a short while, I turned his nozzle further towards the aisle. However he immediately adjusted it again after returning. So I kindly asked him if he could turn the air down a bit, but he declined, using an unfriendly tone: "I need air during the flight, I'm hot."



It just wasn't your day it seems... What an attitude by your seatmate though. I'm sure he could have turned the air off, a little bit. Good thing you managed to switch seats, even if it didn't help much with the air flow issue.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Well, if you wonder about the small amount of nuts in the bowl - yes, I admit I started eating before taking a picture. This is a serious issue and I initiated an internal investigation about it.

Hehe, we've all been guilty of this, once or twice. I don't know about you but airplanes make me hungry so I sometimes start eating the moment the food is placed in front of me.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
The lobby looked fine and the staff members were nice as usual, but the floors and the room were worn and in need of renovation - probably my most disappointing Hilton experience ever:

I've been staying at various Hiltons in recent months and it's always a hit or a miss. Even reading online reviews isn't enough to predict how any given Hilton is going to be.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
This was already very nice, but as a gesture of goodwill, I also received 10,000Flying Blue miles. That was very impressive!

Very nice, indeed! Well done KLM's customer service!

Thanks for the read PH. I hope the rest of your trip went much smoother than this.

Stojan



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently onlineSYDSpotter From Australia, joined Oct 2012, 208 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 26097 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
and then she suddenly offered a rebooking to KLM in Business - departure in less than four hours, arrival at MEX only 1.5 hours or so after my originally booked Air France flight. Sure, KLM's product would be inferior, but this combo would save my trip which was more important.

Yes, one of the pitfalls of booking a non interlined set of connections, you are at the mercy of delays. At least the AF/KLM partnership was the saving grace.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
"There is an empty window seat on the upper deck for you, so you can switch if you want. But only after takeoff as we are ready to depart." Very good news!

IMHO, the upper deck on the 747 is as close as you'll get to a private jet experience on a normal commercial flight. Flew on the upper deck a few years ago and it was very peaceful and missing the traffic you'd normally get on the main deck and back in cattle class.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
The lobby looked fine and the staff members were nice as usual, but the floors and the room were worn and in need of renovation - probably my most disappointing Hilton experience ever:

The interiors look 3-3.5 stars, very un-Hilton like.

Thanks for the report, are there any pics of Mexico City in the next instalment?



319_320_321_332_333_388 / 734_737_738_743_744_762_763_772_773_77W
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6829 posts, RR: 77
Reply 9, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 26047 times:

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
Hey PH great report!

Hi Jonas, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
Too bad that you missed out on the AF 744. I thought they had left the fleet already, but apparently they haven't.

There are 7 frames left.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
I personally would've picked the A380 to LAX, but I suppose your routing was a bit more interesting.

The AF A380 is in my log already and the 744/MEX combo was very tempting.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
Too bad about the re-booking though, but I guess you earned back some of the miles on your KLM flights? IRROPS usually results in getting re-booked to a revenue booking class.

That didn't happen, unfortunately.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
While the food looked rather underwhelming I would still say that the presentation looks nice, especially with the custom designed tableware.

Yes, presentation was fine in most cases.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
Interesting that they only had Heineken on offer, which in my opinion isn't the best of beers.

No doubt about that.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
But then again I don't think beer is a drink that fairs well on planes, especially not in premium cabins so I suppose it was wise to stick with Ginger Ale

I wouldn't say that about beer in general - there are excellent Bavarian beers which I'd prefer over any other drink any day. But not even Lufthansa is known for offering great beers.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
Hi PH! What a nerve-wracking experience! I'm glad it all worked out in the end, even if your level of comfort was not as good as you were hoping on board KLM's 747.

Hi Stojan, many thanks for your comments!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
I really wonder what was the issue with the air-flow. Did anyone else complain about it?

No, at least I didn't notice.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
I'm surprised that nothing could be done about it, even though I do believe the crew when they said they couldn't help.

As for the upper deck - it was simply unclear where it was coming from. Switching off the a/c wasn't an option. Maybe it wasn't working properly on this particular aircraft.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
I guess sometimes you just have to go with the lesser evil.

  

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):

It just wasn't your day it seems... What an attitude by your seatmate though. I'm sure he could have turned the air off, a little bit.

Well, to be honest, that guy hadn't appeared nice from the very beginning. He barely replied when I said hello after taking my seat.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
Hehe, we've all been guilty of this, once or twice. I don't know about you but airplanes make me hungry so I sometimes start eating the moment the food is placed in front of me.

One cannot be disciplined all the time!  

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
I've been staying at various Hiltons in recent months and it's always a hit or a miss. Even reading online reviews isn't enough to predict how any given Hilton is going to be.

That's true. Though I admit, I was warned a bit after reading some reviews in this case. But the location was simply too good.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
Very nice, indeed! Well done KLM's customer service!

Yes, that was a nice surprise.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
Thanks for the read PH. I hope the rest of your trip went much smoother than this.

Yes, it was, fortunately!

Quoting SYDSpotter (Reply 8):
Yes, one of the pitfalls of booking a non interlined set of connections, you are at the mercy of delays. At least the AF/KLM partnership was the saving grace.

Hi SYDSpotter, thanks for leaving a reply! Yes, I was really glad about the AF/KLM partnership and the resulting alternative travel options in this case.

Quoting SYDSpotter (Reply 8):
IMHO, the upper deck on the 747 is as close as you'll get to a private jet experience on a normal commercial flight. Flew on the upper deck a few years ago and it was very peaceful and missing the traffic you'd normally get on the main deck and back in cattle class.

Yes, it's a great place to be.

Quoting SYDSpotter (Reply 8):
The interiors look 3-3.5 stars, very un-Hilton like.

True, many things were un-Hilton like in that room.

Quoting SYDSpotter (Reply 8):
Thanks for the report, are there any pics of Mexico City in the next instalment?

No pictures from the city, except some approach pictures, unfortunately.


PH

[Edited 2013-09-01 05:13:00]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 806 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 25943 times:

Hello PH

As usual, very good report with all the essential facts and informations. Pictures are great too despite not having the wing and engines view during take off!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
When I arrived at Terminal 1 before 06:00, a huge queue had already formed behind the Air France/KLM ticket desks. I was expecting to find a dedicated line for First/Business Class or Skyteam status customers somewhere, but when I asked a staff member, all I was told was this: "No, there is just one line!" Absolutely ridiculous!   

That's really bad indeed, the same situation happened to me last year and i'm suprised AF/KL did not improve this part!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
then she suddenly offered a rebooking to KLM in Business - departure in less than four hours, arrival at MEX only 1.5 hours or so after my originally booked Air France flight. Sure, KLM's product would be inferior, but this combo would save my trip which was more important.

Looks like at the beginning, she wanted to get rid of you as quick as possible without listening your wish!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
I find it odd that Heineken was the one and only beer brand on the drink menu

Maybe because this is one of the best beer in the World   .


Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
that KLM serves MSC certified fish:

What is it exactly?


Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
My next day's PlaneHunting mission, comprising three flights on three new airlines, would commence in less than eight hours.

Sounds really promising...

Thank you for sharing
Looking forward to reading you



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6829 posts, RR: 77
Reply 11, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 25663 times:

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 10):
As usual, very good report with all the essential facts and informations.

Hi Léonard, many thanks for your feedback! Good to hear you liked it.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 10):
Pictures are great too despite not having the wing and engines view during take off!

Thanks - yes, not seeing any part of the aircraft was a bit odd.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 10):
That's really bad indeed, the same situation happened to me last year and i'm suprised AF/KL did not improve this part!

That's bad indeed. Where did it happen to you?

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 10):
Looks like at the beginning, she wanted to get rid of you as quick as possible without listening your wish!

True!

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 10):
Maybe because this is one of the best beer in the World

Haha, are you serious?

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 10):
What is it exactly?

The Marine Stewardship Council is a non-profit organization which sets standards for sustainable fishing. Whenever we buy fish or fish products in supermarkets, we try to get certified ones.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 10):

Sounds really promising...

Yes, the plan worked out.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineEmek96 From Germany, joined Apr 2013, 92 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 25307 times:

Hey Udo !

Very nice and intersting report!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
I was expecting to find a dedicated line for First/Business Class or Skyteam status customers somewhere, but when I asked a staff member, all I was told was this: "No, there is just one line!" Absolutely ridiculous! irked

That really is a shame, I think this is the only situation in which a priority line is really nice, because the waiting times are much longer than at checkin desks, did you send a letter of complain to KLM ?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
As boarding wouldn't start within in the next 20 minutes, I made a quick visit to the Air France KLM lounge. It's not a place where I would stay long due to non-existing tarmac/runways views and limited offerings:

The same like in FRA and CDG.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
The flight was packed and no seat remained empty in Business Class...having to share an armrest is not a premium experience. thumbsdown I would have really preferred a 737 or the Air France A318 now as originally scheduled.

I didn't know that, but that is a shame, again. I think LH sells only 1 of 2 seats in Business on the E190s.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Even though KLM's 20-inch wide and up to 175 degrees reclinable sleeper seats are dated, I found them very comfortable, at least in upright and lounge position.

I have never been on that seat but I think I agree, that exactely is the type of seat I like, quite wide, NO leather etc.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
I kept relaxing in horizontal position during the next few hours and tried to ignore the disturbing airflow. What would a transatlantic Business Class flight be without having ginger ale in style?


That picture of your glass is very nice!

Food looks also very nice.


Thanks for sharing

Elias


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6829 posts, RR: 77
Reply 13, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 25241 times:

Quoting Emek96 (Reply 12):

Very nice and intersting report!

Hi Elias, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting Emek96 (Reply 12):
That really is a shame, I think this is the only situation in which a priority line is really nice, because the waiting times are much longer than at checkin desks, did you send a letter of complain to KLM ?

Honestly, I haven't, even though I was planning to do so. But Air France would be the addressee in this case. Maybe I should still do it - you can also claim miles within 6 months.  

Quoting Emek96 (Reply 12):
The same like in FRA and CDG.

Good to know.

Quoting Emek96 (Reply 12):
I didn't know that, but that is a shame, again.

  

Quoting Emek96 (Reply 12):
I think LH sells only 1 of 2 seats in Business on the E190s.

I'm not sure what's LH policy - but on an upcoming Swiss flight operated by an Augsburg Airways E190 all four seats per row can be selected in Business Class.

Quoting Emek96 (Reply 12):
I have never been on that seat but I think I agree, that exactely is the type of seat I like, quite wide, NO leather etc.

Leather is what I really dislike on a longer flight.

Quoting Emek96 (Reply 12):
That picture of your glass is very nice!

Thanks!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineAyostoLeon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 25010 times:

Hi Planehunter,
It is a pleasure to read you trip report not because of the inconvenience and uncertainty arising from a delayed or cancelled flight, but to see how the airline responded. I can imagine how worried you would have been about your further travel plans. Good to see that AF after making offers for alternatives, which is understandable, came up with KLM so that the journey was not a total wash-out. I know EU regulations oblige airlines to assist but that doesn't always guarantee you get what is most suitable, so it is good to see that the least inconvenient alternative became available.

How unfortunate that your seat neighbour was unwilling to adjust the airflow ans was generally unpleasant. That isn't something the airline can do much about but it is good to see that I response to your general complaint about the air conditioning they offered more than an anodyne response. I am sure that you will find a good use for those extra miles.  

The only negative that I see is the absense of a desk for passengers travelling in premium cabins or those with status. While the airline may see this as an exceptional event, those who pay extra for premium service would be understandably disappointed. However, once attended to and on board the service seems to have been great.

One question. I note that you were handed printed menus and that you could view them on the IFE system. Does the system allow you to pre-order or is it only discriptive?

[Edited 2013-09-01 11:23:00]

User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6829 posts, RR: 77
Reply 15, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 24850 times:

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 14):
Hi Planehunter,

Hi Ayostus, thanks for leaving a reply!

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 14):
It is a pleasure to read you trip report not because of the inconvenience and uncertainty arising from a delayed or cancelled flight, but to see how the airline responded.

Yes, I cannot complain about the rebooking to KLM - I guess it was the fastest way to get to MEX after the originally booked Air France combo.

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 14):
Good to see that AF after making offers for alternatives, which is understandable, came up with KLM so that the journey was not a total wash-out.

Delta would have been an interesting alternative.

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 14):
I know EU regulations oblige airlines to assist but that doesn't always guarantee you get what is most suitable, so it is good to see that the least inconvenient alternative became available.

  

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 14):
How unfortunate that your seat neighbour was unwilling to adjust the airflow ans was generally unpleasant. That isn't something the airline can do much about but it is good to see that I response to your general complaint about the air conditioning nthey offered more than an anodyne response.

Yes, it was good to see that both the crew and the customer service took my complaints seriously.

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 14):
I am sure that you will find a good use for those extra miles.

  

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 14):
The only negative that I see is the absense of a desk for passengers travelling in premium cabins or those with status. While the airline may see this as an exceptional event, those who pay extra for premium service would be understandably disappointed.

Yes, that was a very negative surprise. Imagine how a First Class passenger must have felt after spending thousands of Euros.

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 14):
However, once attended to and on board the service seems to have been great.

Yes, on-board service was excellent.

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 14):

On question. I note that you were handed printed menus and that you could view them on the IFE system. Does the system allow you to pre-order or is it only discriptive?

It was only discriptive.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1836 posts, RR: 20
Reply 16, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 24631 times:

Hi Udo

Thanks for the interesting report. I can't wait to read a report about the new KLM seat.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Of course I was wondering why the MUC-CDG flight had been cancelled despite the fact that the plane did fly to Munich - but I guess Air France simply tried to limit the number of flights operating to CDG as the snow chaos hadn't ended yet. Anyway, guessing didn't help.

I think that's the problem with the big hubs. When things go wrong, they go so badly wrong that flights are cancelled because it just takes the airports to get back into order after the disruption.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
I was expecting to find a dedicated line for First/Business Class or Skyteam status customers somewhere, but when I asked a staff member, all I was told was this: "No, there is just one line!" Absolutely ridiculous! irked

No, not with Air France. On the ground at the outstations everybody is treated equally.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
I made a quick visit to the Air France KLM lounge. It's not a place where I would stay long due to non-existing tarmac/runways views and limited offerings:

Well I don't blame you. That doesn't look too appealing!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
In contrast, you find the same 2-2 seating in Business Class as in Economy Class on the E-Jets, unfortunately. So give me a 737 over these E-Jets any day!

Strangely enough on the Fokker 70 they keep the seat next to you empty.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
The sandwich tasted quite good, but I had to skip the dessert due to an allergy:

Well that looks rather tasty.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
Even though KLM's 20-inch wide and up to 175 degrees reclinable sleeper seats are dated, I found them very comfortable, at least in upright and lounge position.

I have a love-hate relationship with that seat. As you say, very comfy in lounge and seat position but a bit problematic to sleep in.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
...and the whole dish was a big disappointment. Where to start? The fish itself was too dry, the rice was partly undercooked, the vegetables were overcooked and tasteless and the coconut sauce was just bland. That main course was a big failure! thumbsdown

I'm quite surprised to read that. Usually catering on KLM is quite good!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
Various snacks were offered between meal times and, believe it or not, I chose crudités with hummus - quite tasty actually:

I didn't even know they served items like that. Looks rather nice. Am I to assume from your comment that you don't like veg much?

Thanks for posting. I'm curious to see how this trip will continue.

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27126 posts, RR: 60
Reply 17, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 24627 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
This report is dedicated to legendary trip reporter Lari-Pekka Kero alias Lufthansa747. Rest in peace, my friend.

First of all a very nice gesture by you Udo and I am sure Lari would have appreciated it  

Another nice report and pics. KLM look pretty decent. Nice you got to try both decks out. I love the nose of the B747.

The air flow I can certainly relate to. Oddly enough I had a very bad experience once on a Martin Air flight B767 from HAV-MBJ-AMS. I was at the bulkhead and freezing cold air was coming down on me and by the time I got to AMS I felt cold and sore throat! Not nice at all.

I love the plates that KLM provide. Beleek Irish china have a similar pattern that I am actually collecting. Its looks so nice.  

Of course what would a KLM journey be without the signature Dutch Houses! Very nice and I am sure it will have pride of place in your home.

Anyway looking forward to the next report.

Regards

Philip  


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6597 posts, RR: 55
Reply 18, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 23828 times:

Hi PlaneHunter !

Thanks for an amazing report with amazing pictures !

Too bad with the cancellation but it worked out really well in the end.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
you find the same 2-2 seating in Business Class as in Economy Class on the E-Jets, unfortunately

That's not so good. US carriers have a 1-2 configuration in First on their E-Jets.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
Have a look at it!", she added, referring to 1A. Well, I must admit, it was indeed a very nice seat:

You can never go wrong with 1A  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
The captain made a welcome speech and announced a slight delay due to time-consuming security checks.

I remember flying KLM in 1989 ARN-AMS-JFK and we had a long delay due to security at the gate. I think it was close to an hour. Perhaps it happens a lot there ? I don't like the security check points at the gate in AMS and it's unfortunatly the same in SIN as well.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
I found it too quiet in that nose section! And I missed seeing a part of the wing or an engine:

I don't miss that at all when I'm upfront; nice and quiet and no obstructed view due to the wing. The nose section on a 747 is probably my favorite place to sit on any aircraft, very quiet and cozy. Also there's not much foot traffic. Lavatory and galley is all BEHIND you.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
have a look at the menu card instead:

Doesn't look too appealing just like on Suryo's flight. I guess my taste is different that KLM's when it comes to lunch and dinner.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
the slice of salmon was too thick

Salmon can never be too thick! Anyways, I love salmon, even the thicker pieces that I have had recently as well.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
That main course was a big failure!  

That's too bad. I would have gone for the lamb. Fish usually is too dry on an airplane.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
Of course it's better to lie fully flat, but I'm sure I would have been able to sleep in that seat if I had been tired.

The seat looks comfortable but too bad it doesn't go fully lie flat. It's okay for a day flight though.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
The side wall bins are a fantastic feature on the upper deck.

Yes, very convenient ! One reason for them is that the overhead bins are so small.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
What would a transatlantic Business Class flight be without having ginger ale in style?

Very nice picture!

I'm glad everything worked out in the end and a delay with only 90 mins is really amazing considering the cirumstances.

I'm very much looking forward to your next report !

I'll soon try KL for myself for the first time in about ten years.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1746 posts, RR: 30
Reply 19, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 23604 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good day PlaneHunter!

I was happily surprised to find another piece of your writings! Well written and photographed as usual. Apparently you went through quite an ordeal with the cancellation and rebooking but it’s good to see that after all the rest of your trip wasn’t impacted. I’ve only had 3 short flights on KLM yet so I cannot say mch about them but I do echo your sentiments on the above average crews, indeed they do take their time and effort to communicate with pax in a leisurely way. I’m sorry to hear about the nasty draft - I know what you mean - which made the journey uncomfortable despite the relatively good seat. Oh yes, and the meals were also so and so 

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I could have chosen a late morning connecting flight, but the transfer time of just about 1.5 hours at CDG put me off.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
very bad news in view of the transfer time of only 1 hour and 5 minutes.

That’s for sure a roomy connection in my books   

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Sure, KLM's product would be inferior, but this combo would save my trip which was more important.

   Good so see there was a viable option for you! Did they make you an offer on LH or IB or was that out of the question? I believe they also arrive in MEX in the same timeframe.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
E190? No thanks...

I have had nothing but good flights on the type. But that was mostly in Y, last row.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
So I kindly asked him if he could turn the air down a bit, but he declined, using an unfriendly tone: "I need air during the flight, I'm hot."

Sad...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
these chocolates weren't overly tasty, btw:

They probably weren’t Belgian lol!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
What would a transatlantic Business Class flight be without having ginger ale in style?

Ah, good to see that KLM offers your signature drink. I bet it was to your satisfaction?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I also received 10,000 Flying Blue miles. That was very impressive!

So it really pays off to send such letters. I’ve had some complaints in the past on flights but I never bothered to write them up. Perhaps I should in the future?

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6829 posts, RR: 77
Reply 20, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 23548 times:

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 16):
Thanks for the interesting report.

Hi William, many thanks for your comments!

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 16):
I can't wait to read a report about the new KLM seat.

I'm curious, too. Both design and colors look very nice.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 16):
I think that's the problem with the big hubs. When things go wrong, they go so badly wrong that flights are cancelled because it just takes the airports to get back into order after the disruption.

So true. Too bad you cannot avoid these bigs hubs.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 16):
No, not with Air France. On the ground at the outstations everybody is treated equally.

That is ridiculous - very poor service in my opinion.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 16):
Strangely enough on the Fokker 70 they keep the seat next to you empty.

Very odd.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 16):
I'm quite surprised to read that. Usually catering on KLM is quite good!

Probably it was just bad luck.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 16):
Am I to assume from your comment that you don't like veg much?

Oh, I do like vegetables in general. I made that remark because I'd usually prefer the alternatives.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 16):
I'm curious to see how this trip will continue.

Definitely less stressful!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 17):
First of all a very nice gesture by you Udo and I am sure Lari would have appreciated it

Yes, I'm convinced of that.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 17):
Another nice report and pics.

Many thanks, Philip.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 17):
KLM look pretty decent. Nice you got to try both decks out. I love the nose of the B747.

True, it was quite interesting that I could try both the nose section and the upper deck.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 17):
The air flow I can certainly relate to. Oddly enough I had a very bad experience once on a Martin Air flight B767 from HAV-MBJ-AMS. I was at the bulkhead and freezing cold air was coming down on me and by the time I got to AMS I felt cold and sore throat! Not nice at all.

Ah, that's very bad. That's the reason why I try to avoid being permanently hit by an airflow.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 17):
I love the plates that KLM provide. Beleek Irish china have a similar pattern that I am actually collecting. Its looks so nice.

I can only agree.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 17):
Of course what would a KLM journey be without the signature Dutch Houses! Very nice and I am sure it will have pride of place in your home.

Absolutely! I have three houses now and I hope the collection will grow.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 18):
Thanks for an amazing report with amazing pictures !

Hi Lars, thank you very much for your kind words!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 18):
Too bad with the cancellation but it worked out really well in the end.

  

Quoting The777Man (Reply 18):
That's not so good. US carriers have a 1-2 configuration in First on their E-Jets.

Yes, very comfortable layout. I could try that on Air Canada recently.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 18):
You can never go wrong with 1A

Well, I'd prefer 1K on a transatlantic flight.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 18):
I don't like the security check points at the gate in AMS and it's unfortunatly the same in SIN as well.

I can only agree.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 18):
I don't miss that at all when I'm upfront; nice and quiet and no obstructed view due to the wing. The nose section on a 747 is probably my favorite place to sit on any aircraft, very quiet and cozy. Also there's not much foot traffic. Lavatory and galley is all BEHIND you.

I was seated in two mini sections on AC and OS recently - not much traffic either and I could see the wing/engine. I'm not yet convinced of the 747 nose section.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 18):
That's too bad. I would have gone for the lamb. Fish usually is too dry on an airplane.

Probably it was bad luck.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 18):
The seat looks comfortable but too bad it doesn't go fully lie flat. It's okay for a day flight though.

I don't necessarily need a lie-flat seat, but it's nice to have it.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 18):
I'm glad everything worked out in the end and a delay with only 90 mins is really amazing considering the cirumstances.

Yes, that wasn't bad.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 18):
I'll soon try KL for myself for the first time in about ten years.

Good idea! I guess it will be a 777 flight?

Quoting sultanils (Reply 19):
I was happily surprised to find another piece of your writings! Well written and photographed as usual.

Hi Nils, many thanks for your nice comments! I'm glad you liked it.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 19):
Apparently you went through quite an ordeal with the cancellation and rebooking but it’s good to see that after all the rest of your trip wasn’t impacted.

  

Quoting sultanils (Reply 19):
I’m sorry to hear about the nasty draft - I know what you mean - which made the journey uncomfortable despite the relatively good seat.

Yes, that can be very annoying.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 19):
That’s for sure a roomy connection in my books

Sure, the master of fast connections wouldn't even think about it!  

Quoting sultanils (Reply 19):
Did they make you an offer on LH or IB or was that out of the question? I believe they also arrive in MEX in the same timeframe.

No, they didn't offer anything else. I'm not sure how I would have reacted. IB's long-haul Business Class product is quite nice, though.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 19):
They probably weren’t Belgian lol!

No, Dutch. But I prefer Swiss chocolates in any case!  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 19):
Ah, good to see that KLM offers your signature drink. I bet it was to your satisfaction?

Yes, absolutely!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 19):
So it really pays off to send such letters. I’ve had some complaints in the past on flights but I never bothered to write them up. Perhaps I should in the future?

Sure, you should try it.


PH

[Edited 2013-09-01 23:35:56]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6597 posts, RR: 55
Reply 21, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 23419 times:

Hi again!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 20):
I'm not yet convinced of the 747 nose section.

You need to try it more  

I guess one has different preferances but I really like it. Another benefit is that you can see a little bit forward rather than straight to the side due to the curvature of the aircraft.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 20):
I don't necessarily need a lie-flat seat, but it's nice to have it.

To me, any business class seat on an aircraft that's three years old or less, need to have a fully lie flat seat otherwise it's outdated. Just like PTVs in Economy.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 20):
I guess it will be a 777 flight?

Of course !  

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6829 posts, RR: 77
Reply 22, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 23194 times:

Quoting The777Man (Reply 21):
I guess one has different preferances but I really like it. Another benefit is that you can see a little bit forward rather than straight to the side due to the curvature of the aircraft.

That cannot convince me either. We simply have different preferences.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 21):
To me, any business class seat on an aircraft that's three years old or less, need to have a fully lie flat seat otherwise it's outdated. Just like PTVs in Economy.

Well, some angled seats can be more comfortable than certain lie-flat seats. And I'd say it depends on the missions of the planes.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 21):
Of course !

Sure, I shouldn't have asked!  



PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 23073 times:

Nice report Udo! Shame about your snow problems, but at least you got to MEX roughly on time.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
"No, there is just one line!" Absolutely ridiculous! irked

Urgh, isn't that the whole point of SkyPriority?!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):

The flight was packed and no seat remained empty in Business Class...having to share an armrest is not a premium experience. thumbsdown

Yeah, very bad, and the same as on BA. LH do this well by only haveing 1x1 seating on their E-jets.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
I felt truly relieved now and enjoyed taking pictures of the Queen of the Skies which would fly me to Mexico City. The plane turned out to be PH-BFF, a 23-year-old veteran in the 22-strong 747-400 fleet:

Maybe not AF, but at least still a 744!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
The passenger in the aisle seat, a middle-aged guy apparently on a business trip, didn't appear overly happy as he was using the empty seat to store newspapers and other stuff

Ha, I would have been furious if you had moved in! It's wonderful to know you have a spare seat once you've oushed back. To have your extra space stolen after take off must be awful!  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The lobby looked fine and the staff members were nice as usual, but the floors and the room were worn and in need of renovation - probably my most disappointing Hilton experience ever:

You should try the Hilton Addis Ababa....horrid.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6829 posts, RR: 77
Reply 24, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 23032 times:

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 23):
Nice report Udo!

Thank you, Gabriel!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 23):
Shame about your snow problems, but at least you got to MEX roughly on time.

  

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 23):
Urgh, isn't that the whole point of SkyPriority?!!

Yeah, good question.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 23):
Yeah, very bad, and the same as on BA. LH do this well by only haveing 1x1 seating on their E-jets.

Really? On an upcoming Swiss flight operated by an Augsburg Airways E190 all four seats per row can be selected in Business Class.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 23):
Maybe not AF, but at least still a 744!

  

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 23):
Ha, I would have been furious if you had moved in! It's wonderful to know you have a spare seat once you've oushed back. To have your extra space stolen after take off must be awful!

Stolen is only a valid term if the empty seat has been paid for...

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 23):
You should try the Hilton Addis Ababa....horrid.

No thanks!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
25 jwhite9185 : Hi there PH, nice read as usual. I know all too we'll that feeling you get when a trip has the potential to be screwed up - luckily though, so far it'
26 PlaneHunter : Thanks, James! There's always something which can go wrong... Blocking the adjacent seat is a very good policy. It's very likely that I will have the
27 lychemsa : I flew from Munich to Amsterdam in 1972 and we made short stop in Dusseldorf. Sounds weird these days.
28 Post contains images eastafspot : In EDI. 8H before the flight, AF sent a sms stipulating about the cancellation and not to come to the airport. At 4 am (opening time of the AF/KLM in
29 dirktraveller : Hi Planehunter, Nice to see another report from you, which is comprehensive and accompanied with great pictures as usual. I'm sorry to hear about the
30 The777Man : Hi again! Different preferences again. This is super important to me. A fully lie flat seat is an absolute MUST in any long haul aircraft delivered 20
31 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Yes, very weird! Which aircraft was operating back then? Hi again, Léo! Wow, that sounds very familiar. I would be pissed if I had paid thousands of
32 lukeyboy95 : Hello Udo! A very nice report from you, with way too much aggro caused by maters outwith your control. Good you glad to wrestle some of that control a
33 PlaneHunter : Hi Luke, many thanks for your comments! That was very important! Well, that was the plan... Sometimes I'd like to go without that! That call center r
34 Luxair747SP : Hi PH, very nice report about the current KL business product. Althought the seat might be a bit old, i think for day flights its fine. Also the meals
35 Post contains images adamspotter : Hi PH! Another great one you made here! Really enjoyed it Shame about all the weather chaos, would have loved to see a report on AF Business. Neverthe
36 Post contains images infodesk : Hi PH, Quite an epic adventure again, a lot of your trips seem to turn into them! It must have been a real nerve-wracking experience, not knowing what
37 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi Johannes, thanks for your comments! One cannot complain about the presentation. Would be better indeed. Hi Brendan, many thanks for your reply! I'
38 FLIEGER67 : Hey, PH, now that was a story with the snow storm and the rebooking. Lucky you that you finally managed it to arrive ontime for the further flights ex
39 767747 : Great report, PH! Sorry to hear the flights were a bit disappointing for you. It's hard with seatmates, and frustrating that people can be so ungracio
40 PlaneHunter : Hi Markus, thanks a lot for your feedback! Yes, I remember your flight from IAH! Good choice! Hi Matthew, thanks for your comments! Nothing beats sin
41 MSS658 : Hey PH Another interesting report as usual, Too bad the about the weather was a problem but at least you managed to make it into MEX without too much
42 PlaneHunter : Thanks, Marc! Well, AF/KL managed that. Why? I wasn't keen on flying on an American carrier. Apart from that, one 764 my log is enough for the time b
43 ba319-131 : Hi Ph, Great read as usual, thanks for posting. - Stayed there before, needs a makeover but works, windows make spotting difficult. - Had the same pro
44 flightsimboy : HI PlaneHunter, Nice to see you back with another nice report. And with some hints of other reports to come, none of which are being part of this trip
45 N1120A : Oh come on Udo - I'm sure the AC was fine. Its just your German-ness coming out :-P I would have tried the Franschoek Sauvignon Blanc.
46 FlyKev : PH, Fantastic trip report as usual. thanks for taking the time to share with us! Its good to see that you got accommodated on a flight that allowed yo
47 Post contains images akhmad : Hello PH, First of all, how thoughtful of you to dedicate your report to our late A.net colleague Lufthansa747. May he rest in peace! Furthermore, mar
48 ronerone : Dear PlaneHunter, Another excellent report! The Air France 747 is actually quite high up there on my jumbo list! I really hope to do it one day! So to
49 Post contains images srqkef : Hi PH, Great report once again! Always love to see your reports come up in the forum. Flying MUC-CDG/AMS-MEX-XXX-MEX-LAX instead of just MUC-LAX sound
50 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi Mark, many thanks for your comments! Good to hear from you! I can only agree. But the location is excellent for us enthusiasts. Quite disappointin
51 EL-AL : Hey Udo, Thx for another interesting report. I must say that when it comes to 747 JCL I always prefer the lower deck then the upper deck as it feels m
52 PlaneHunter : Hi Jonathan, thanks for your comments! I guess it's a totally different experience in upper deck First on LH's 744s. Really? At least the airline wou
53 Post contains images abrelosojos : Very good report as usual on KL and I agree with most of your comments. KL crews are probably amongst the better ones in Europe - for me, tied with LX
54 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi Alex, thanks for your reply! Good to hear from you. I can only agree. Well, KLM has significantly renewed its fleet in the last ten years, many or
55 Initious : Good day PH! It seem like you did not have the best of luck on this trip, starting with the snowstorm. I can't imagine myself in all that chaos! I gue
56 AA2MM : Thanks for posting the wine menu. I always love the KLM choices of dessert wines.
57 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi again, Daniel! At least I was lucky on the way home. Absolutely, it wasn't a good morning. Interesting thought. KLM FAs usually don't disappoint.
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