Tineau From Netherlands, joined Nov 2001, 52 posts, RR: 0 Posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5269 times:
Departure (Sched./Act.): 19:20/19:30
Arrival (Sched./Act.): 21:10/21.00
Amsterdam, Schiphol ??? New York JFK
Type: Boeing 747-400 combi
Friday the 11th of October my boyfriend and I took the train to Schiphol for our KLM flight to New York JFK. It was my first flight on a B744 and therefore I was very excited. Last year we went to New York as well but then we took Icelandair, they operated a B752 which was quite nice as well! Since 9/11 passengers to the USA should be on the airport 3 hours before actual departure so we took the train @ 13:37 out of our hometown Groningen. We were on Schiphol at appr. 4pm and we checked in at a KLM desk (no queue at all) with a very friendly lady behind it. We asked for a window seat and we were given two at a16 and a29 . Since it wasn't our idea of spending an 7+ flight not sitting next to eachother we asked her if she could do anything about that. She told us that the flight was full and only a few seats were available. She told us that maybe the crew at the gate could do something about it.
After going through customs (again no queues) we were at Schiphols duty free area at 5pm. Did some shopping and surfed the internet for a while and then it was time to go to our gate. There were some officers doing the security and we were handed a boarding pass & colored card for boarding. We immediately asked one of the ground crew if they could do something about the our seats. She took both of our boarding passes and said she would come to back to us in 10 minutes. We sat down and I tried to get a glimpse of our aircraft. Sadly enough I couldn???t catch the reg of it. While boarding started the lady called our names and said she was able to gave use two seats next to eachother (9a & b) . We then sat down again and waited till they called our color. (that is something new I guess, every passenger was handed a colored card, you were supposed to go to the aircraft as soon as they called the color of the card). Since we had a orange one we were one of the latest people to board the plane.
We entered the plane and were told to go to the left. We did so and while seeing through the small cabin (only 5 rows the kitchen was on the other side of the cabin I noticed our seats were actually at the exit row (since I have quite long legs it is always nice to have a seat with lots of legroom. Takeoff was not so long after boarding and it was silent and comfortable. We were above the sea in a few minutes. Our course would take us over England a little south of Iceland and Greenland then entering Canada and so on to JFK the pilot told us that it could be a little turbulent now and then.
One hour into flight the meal service started we could choose from pasta or chicken. I choosed the pasta which was very good. My boyfriend took the chicken. It was covered with mustard sauce, since he doesn't like mustard he didn't enjoyed his meal that much and he ate half of mine . Soon after that they started the movie Men in Black 2 I saw that one already so I did my headset tuned it to 538 (popular music) on tried to get some sleep, which luckily worked out fine! I woke up two hours later in a very quiet cabin. Most people were asleep. Not so long after that one of the stewards gave us an icecream which was very nice! I then started reading my Harry Potter (3) book while watching out the window now and then. After the second movie started (Bend It Like Beckham) the crew started to give us pizza slices but I was stuffed and didn't took it.
Sadly enough for my boyfriend & the people who were watching the movie they stopped it because we were almost at our destination descend again was very comfortable I had a little chat with the purser who had a seat right in front of us. We touched down 10 minutes before actual arrival time. After deboarding we had to stand 1,5 hours in queue for US immigration, that really sucked!! After that we saw our friends waiting for us, they drove us to their Brooklyn house quick and safe. I had two beers before going to sleep.
So that was the first trip on a 744 for me. It was good: KLM staff were friendly, food was good, nice flight (except for the fact that they stopped the movie before actual ending ).
If I have enough time I will write our return trip as well, sorry for the fact that my English isn't perfect and that this report maybe is a little long!
CPH-R From Denmark, joined May 2001, 5858 posts, RR: 3 Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5200 times:
How long did you stay in New York? I was over there as well, arriving on the 12th and flying back on the 17th, and even though it didn't seem like it, it was still enough time to see all the 'big things' in New York.
Swiss-airplane From Switzerland, joined May 2000, 591 posts, RR: 4 Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5119 times:
Nice trip report. Hope you enjoyed New York as well the KLM flights. I like KLM, but I thik their In flight service is somethimes a bit cheap. Like very little can of Coke and so on. Didn't you think the same? smile
Cmk10 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 513 posts, RR: 4 Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 4980 times:
Very Nice report! I took that exact flight last June with a 744 Combi but mine had a different configuration. I was in row 14 which was the last row of Business class, I guess you lucked out well. I also enjoy Harry Potter, I've read all of the books atleast 3 times each.
"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
SR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1728 posts, RR: 41 Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 4976 times:
Noce report! I have also flown KL across the Atlantic and numerous time to the Middle East, not JFK though. I have never had any complaints about thier service which always seems to be above the standards of many airlines out there. Can't wait for next part of your trip report.
Tineau From Netherlands, joined Nov 2001, 52 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4904 times:
Thanks for the compliments guys! I'll try to answer all of your questions!
First of all I was stuffed because my friend only had my leftovers. I hadn't any coke on the plane but I saw other people had just tiny plastic glasses with coke/fanta/whatever! On the other hand they served people who wanted to have a beer a large tin (33cl) of Heineken (not my brand ).
I didn't had such high expectations of flying KLM but it really was good! They handed out free newspapers and as I mentioned before the staff was really friendly!
KLM uses terminal 4 on JFK and immigration really sucked; several intercontinental flights arrived at the same time our did (LanChile, Egyptair and some more) and all those people had to wait in line with only 5 officers on duty (2 of them left after 10 min or so). We arrived at 9 and were able to see our friends at 11 so it really was bad.
New York is great town, last year I was there only three weeks after 9/11 and things really were different this time! Last year I did the more 'touristical' things so this year we did a lot of sightseeing. One thing I like about New York is the delicious food you can get on every corner of the street (cheap!)) I can advise you people to have dinner at 'Faan' on Smith Str. Near Bergen metro station. We also did a lot of shopping and went to see some family.
Of course went to Ground zero to honor those who lost their lives one year ago, it was still very impressive to look into the sky were one year ago innocent people we're being used for such horrible acts of terror!