Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Orlando To Kuwait Via MSP/AMS On Northwest & KLM  
User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 39
Posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 10552 times:

Here is the report on my latest bunch of flights. Let me know how you like it, whether you think it is too long or if it is missing any details.

KLM had suspended flights to Kuwait due to the Iraq war and I knew that this would cause problems when trying to book my flights in advance. Despite the flight being so far in advance I decided to just book it and hope nothing changes. Originally I was booked to fly from Orlando on July 3rd as the KLM AMS-KWI flight was operating on July 4th. I spent some time on the phone with Northwest’s Elite reservations line doing my route and my seats. On May 15th, I received a voicemail from Northwest’s Elite reservations stating that there was no AMS-KWI flight operating on July 4th, so I had been moved to the July 3rd flight via Memphis. I did not like this new itinerary, as I wanted to try out the 747-200’s before they disappear later this year. I called back and thankfully was able to make a new itinerary flying through MSP on a 742, albeit after a good hour on the phone with the elite agent who was very courteous and helpful in getting me alternative flights though Minneapolis/St. Paul.

JULY 2

Northwest 579
Orlando - Minneapolis/St. Paul
Airbus A320 (N371NW)
Seat: 1A
Scheduled Departure Time: 17:00
Scheduled Arrival Time: 19:27
Actual Departure Time: 16:45
Actual Arrival Time: 19:00

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Michael Arcellana
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Sanjiv Kapoor


Check In: I arrived at Orlando International at around 15:15 and was dropped off curbside by my roommate. There is a separate line for First and World Business Class passengers travelling Internationally. It proved useful today as the First Class line was long and the Economy one was even bigger. I would have thought it would have been easier these days with the electronic check in machines, but I guess it was just one of those days. Anyway, after the people in front of me were done, I was checked in. The agent asked for my passport and my Kuwaiti visa. As usual he was flabbergasted that it was all in Arabic and asked me how he was suppose to know if this was a Kuwaiti visa and not any other Arabic speaking nation? Once I convinced him that I fly to Kuwait every 6 months and that this was a Kuwaiti visa, he proceeded to check me in. My bags were tagged all the way to Kuwait with Priority tags stuck on them, a good thing as sometimes they miss putting them on. All the while he did his job with a robotic smile, not as friendly as some of the other NW personnel I have encountered here. I then headed over with my bags to the screening area and stood there till my bags were checked. One of my bags was opened and swabbed for explosive devices. They then locked both of them and told me I was good to go. I strolled over to security, which was relatively fast and painless, as it normally is at Orlando. I headed over to Gate 38 and sat down near gate 34, which had some empty seats. I saw our plane come in and dock at its gate and watch all the passengers from DTW disembark. Soon there was an announcement that boarding would begin early as there was some bad weather moving in and Northwest would like to get us out of here early to avoid any problems.

Boarding: We started boarding at 16:15 and as usual, people needing assistance, passengers traveling with small children were allowed to board first, along with World Perks Elite members and First Class. My boarding pass was scanned and I was by the front door within seconds and was greeted by a smiling flight attendant who made sure to say "Welcome onboard" to everyone entering the plane. One look at my boarding pass which had my elite status written on it, and without a second thought she went, "Welcome onboard Mr. Tamboowala. Nice to see you again." I took my bulkhead seat and was promptly asked if I would like a drink. My glass of water was brought to me within a minute. As boarding was going on, the Flight Attendant at the door was greeting every passenger that walked through the door and greeted each child individually, all the while smiling and making small talk with the passengers when the line was backed up. Boarding was done by 16:35 and the jetway was pulled back at 16:40. Push back occurred at 16:45 while the safety demonstration was being performed. Outside I could see the clouds building up at which point the pilot came on in his thick Southern accent. "Ladies and Gentlemen, just to let you know we departed early due to two reasons. One being the weather over here getting bad and the second is the traffic congestion in Minneapolis. I will ask the flight attendants to remain seated for the beginning part of the flight, as we shall be experiencing some turbulence. Our flying time will be extended to two hours and 30 minutes and we shall be doing some maneuvering around to give you an as smooth as possible flight." We taxied to the runway and waited for an American 737-800 to take off before us. After that a Frontier A319 landed followed by a good old Continental 767-400. I never really noticed how good the CO 764 looked, it seems as if I focused more on the interior when I flew them rather than the exterior, exceptional aircraft really now that I think about it. We rocketed down the runway, A320's are definitely more powerful than the 737NG's in my opinion. Haven't felt thrust like this since my last 777 flight.

The Flight: The plane thundered through the thick layers of clouds, bouncing all over the place. The typical Airbus buzzsaw sound died down as we reached a higher altitude, far away from the stormy clouds. An announcement was made over the PA to welcome us onboard and give us a few details about the flight. Also they informed us that the buy onboard meal service was in place for coach passengers. Today’s option was a Chicken Caesar salad with a few sides for $10.00. “Exact change is appreciated.” Soon the Flight Attendant was up and serving the drink of our choice while handing a basket to us, which contained pretzels and cheese crackers. I had a packet of spinzels, which I enjoy for some reason along with my full can of Pepsi. Soon the drinks were cleared and she came around with the trolley. "Mr. Tamboowala, what would you like to eat today? For dinner we have two choices. Chicken with Caramelized Onions or Lasagna with Carrots on the side." I decided to have the chicken. "Would you like a French roll or a potato bun?" I took the French and the tray was laid down in front of me with the following contents.

Salad with Peppercorn Dressing
******************************
Chicken with Caramelized Onions on a bed of string beans and stuffing
******************************
Chocolate Cake

As far as the salad goes it was nice and fresh. I did not eat all of it as I did not want to over eat having a few more meals on the way in the next few hours. The chicken was excellent as was the chocolate cake and the bread was piping hot. The food was far better than a certain COde share partner, who I have flown with a lot recently. The flight attendants name was Karen and seemed to be in her late 30's. She was excellent. Always going around to fill up people’s glasses even came out a few minutes before landing with a tray of drinks for passengers to take. If a certain passenger said no to something, she would ask if they would like anything else. All the while being courteous and smiling her way through the job. Her performance as a Flight Attendant was magnificent, the best I have ever experienced on any domestic US flight to date.

As far as the cabin appearance goes, it was spotless. Everything was clean and the aircraft looked like it had been maintained well. The seats had the normal blue fabric and were comfortable. I was kind of glad they were not leather like almost every other airline out there, as I am not a big fan of leather. The legroom was adequate, enough to stretch my legs, but a little close to the bulkhead. I only wish the seats had headrests, otherwise it would have been comparable to the competition. Now to the entertainment side, what can I say but this is the worst aspect of any domestic NW flight. All right I understand it exists for cost cutting purposes, even though I really can't imagine it being too much of a save. Either way, I do not necessarily want movies or short videos; music is all I think is necessary for the short flights. They have some excellent selections on their international runs in terms of music and I would have loved to plug some headphones in to listen to some music on the way to MSP. Yes, yes, I know, bring some of my own entertainment like a book or CD player or something! I may just have to when I do longer runs with them. We began our descent into MSP around 18:45.

Arrival & Transit: As we lined up to our runway, I saw a NW A319 come towards us in the new colors. It turns out we did a simultaneous landing with the Northeast...uh...I mean Northwest A319. We landed and taxied towards Gate G14. We were off the plane and I headed over to check a board for the connecting flight to Amsterdam. My gate was listed as G4. Since I had about an hour till boarding, I decided to head over to the World Club lounge. I reached the entrance and it was closed. There was a sign stating that due to construction World Club users needed to use the other entrance on the other side near Chilies. I then took the walk around to the other side.

I walked in and gave the lady behind the desk my boarding pass. She put her hand out with a curt, "I.D.!"
I handed her my passport and she intently looked at it for about a minute.
"I can't let you in. You’re not 21. We have an open bar here and we do not allow minors in. Bye!"
She then slams the passport back on the counter. Fine, I did not feel like arguing because it looked pointless. Plus with the rude tone she was talking to me with, I decided it was just not worth annoying her. I was allowed in the Memphis and Detroit World Club lounges when I flew WBC out of those airports. What makes MSP so special? I mean I paid just as much as every other WBC passenger so I would think I would be able to have the same perks as every other WBC passenger. Oh well, I turn 21 towards the end of the year, I'll just use my elite discount and join World Clubs and avoid this in the future.

So I just headed over to Gate G4. It was nice to see the jetway at gate G3 pulling away from a Icelandair 757 in the new colors, a very nice livery in my opinion. This is the first time I have seen it this plane up close, and it looked really good. I made a few calls on my cellphone to pass the time. I found MSP to be a nice airport, though I still prefer Detroit's new terminal over this one, it was still better than Memphis though.

Northwest 56 (KLM 6056)
Minneapolis/St. Paul - Amsterdam
Boeing 747-200 (N633NW)
Seat: 86A (Moved to 86K)
Scheduled Departure Time: 20:55
Scheduled Arrival Time: 12:15
Actual Departure Time: 21:00
Actual Arrival Time: 12:05

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Torsten Maiwald
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicholas P. Augusta



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Sanjiv Kapoor
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Sanjiv Kapoor


Boarding: Around 20:15 they announced boarding for World Business Class and Wold Perks Elite members through Gate G5 which was hooked up to door 1L. This is the first time I have had a separate jetway for WBC on any KL/NW flight departing the US. I reached the door where a flight attendant was looking at everyone’s boarding pass. Once again after a quick look at my boarding pass with my status on it, "Welcome onboard Mr. Tamboowala. Nice to see you again. Your seat is up the stairs. Have a pleasant flight." Ok, I guess this elite stuff does work! The stairs on this 747-200 were not circular like I have seen in the past on other airlines. Instead they were in an L shape. Quite ingenious as I remember quite a few people loosing their balance on those circular stairs. Once I got upstairs there was a flight attendant waiting for us. I swear the upper deck felt like a freezer! The woman that got up the stairs before me said the same thing. The Flight Attendant said that she thought it was the same and would change the settings. I put my bag in those nice little side bins between the seats and the window panel. I sat down, and wow! The legroom was incredible, I mean it has to be one of the most spacious Business Class seats anywhere, 70 inches and it felt fantastic. Soon the flight attendant came by with a tray of drinks, and I had a glass of OJ. Soon my seatmate came by and sat down, oh well I guess no empty seat next to me on this flight.

When the doors were closed around 20:45 I saw three empty seats on the upper deck. At this moment I checked the interior of this magnificent museum piece out. Excellent, everything was clean and well maintained. Normally you can see the wall panels turn a different color as the years go by, the upper deck here was white as anything and looked like it had been refurbished a while back. The flight attendant kept coming around to make sure we didn't need anything else to drink. Soon she came around with the menus and a basket. The basket contained a toothbrush & toothpaste set, eye-shades, earplugs, lip balm, socks, and a bag. We selected what we wanted and put it all in the bag. The bag was not made of cheap material either. For anyone interested, it resembled a mini version of the Lufthansa Business Class bags. A nice change from the last NW flight I took when there was no bag offered and a limited selection of toiletries offered. Once that was done she came around to take our orders and I selected the beef. The safety demo was shown and we pushed back at 21:00. We waited in line for about 10 minutes and then started our long and slow take off roll. I really don't remember the 742's being this slow, guess I have had too many 757 and 777 flights since then. Anyway we lifted off and it took a long time to reach 15,000 feet. Close to 30 minutes.

The Flight: Soon the announcement that the entertainment was going to be turned on for WBC so I took my PTV out. Guess what? It was not turning on! The audio channels were not functioning either. Actually, nothing electronic was working, no light, no FA call button; nothing. Nothing was working for the guy next to me either. The other passengers seemed to be able to atleast get their map displays on their PTV's. I went up to the F/A and told her than the both of us were not getting anything. She said she would re-set the system and that she would be back to check on us. She did as I saw everyone’s PTV's start over again, but nothing happened to ours. She said, there was really nothing else she could do. She offered to move us and I accepted. I moved to 86K and the guy next to me moved to 85J. Thankfully this was not a full flight, otherwise we would have been in trouble. Anyway soon enough I got settled and the movies started. I selected "Bring Down the House" on the comedy channel. Hot towels were passed around which was nice and refreshing for me. Soon the bowl of mixed salted nuts was brought around and she asked what I would like to drink. I selected a Pepsi and got the whole can once again. Soon the nuts were collected and table clothes were laid down. The menu for dinner was as follows.

Hors d'oeurve
Shrimp and smoked scallops
with Peppered Polenta and Horseradish cream

Salad
Iceberg lettuce wedge and filed greens
with tomatoes and Kalamata olives

Assorted Bread

Main Courses
Bacon and Onion Crusted Beef Tenderloin
with au gratin Potatoes and carrots
OR
Shiitake Mushroom and Basil Lasagna
OR
Champagne Supper
Our cold Champagne Supper is served all at once.
Balsamic Marinated Beef Tenderloin and Smoked Trout
with Pepperjack Cheese and grapes

Selection of Fresh Fruit and Cheese

Dessert
Italian Almond Cake
Gourmet Coffee or Tea
Fine Chocolates

Wine Cellar

White Wines
2000 Clos Du Val Carneros Chadonnay
2000 Wente Riva Ranch Reserve Chardonnay
2000 Frei Brothers Reserve Russian River Valley Chardonnay
2001 Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Chardonnay
2000 Beringer Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
2000 Murriets’s Well Livermore Valley Vendimia
2000 Murphy-Goode Alexander Valley Reserve Fume Blanc
2000 King Estate Oregon Pinot Gris

Red Wines
2000 Rosemount Diamond Merlot
2000 Rosemount Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
1998 Gallo of Sonoma Dry Creek Frei Vineyard Zinfandel
2000 Rodney Strong Knotty Vines Zinfandel
1999 Amiral De Beychevelle St-Julien
2000 Chateau Vernous Medoc Cru Bourgeois
1999 Chateau Beau Site Saint-Estephe Cru Bourgeois

Port Wine
Fonseca Bin No.27 Port

The flight attendant came around with the tray and asked if I wanted Balsamic Vinaigrette or Ranch Dressing. I decided on the ranch and the tray was laid in front of me. She then asked if I wanted a dark or white roll, I selected the white roll. The tray had the appetizer laid out on the side with the salad on the top left of the tray and a glass of water on the top right with a small packet of Land-O-Lakes butter. The shrimp were excellent with the normal American cocktail sauce and the one lone smoked scallop was nice. The polenta could have used more taste, but I know they tend to be tasteless anyway. The bread was nice and hot and the butter added some nice taste to it. About 15 minutes later she came back with all our orders. She put the hot plate down on my tray and I swear the steak was still sizzling. The steak was not over cooked and was tender and soft. The vegetables were as good as vegetables could get, though the potatoes could have used more sauce. Nonetheless I cleaned my plate off. The flight attendant came by and collected the trays. A short while later she returned with a tray with the cheese and cake. She asked if I wanted any coffee, tea or liquors? I decided on a coffee with Baileys, or rather the other way around with the pitiful amount of coffee that fits in those tiny cups. I did not eat the cheese but had the grapes and apples from the plate. Then I switched to the cake, which had almond essence instead of actual almonds, just the way I like it. It was really good and came with a huge strawberry and whipped cream. Washed it all down with the coffee and Baileys. Great meal, I really enjoyed it. All my meals on KL/NW out of the U.S. have always been good. Good to know the food is consistently good from all three Northwest hubs, but Memphis would have to be the best in my opinion.

Soon the movie was over and I headed to the bathroom, which was very spacious, atleast for me. It was full of the normal toiletries such as refreshing facial mist, hydrating hand cream and fragrance. No, I didn't check for tampons and other stuff like a certain other member here does everytime he flies a certain Asian Airline. I got back to my seat and just before I put my seat down, the flight attendant came by with bottles of water and put them on our armrests. I put the seat in a fully flat position and the leg-rest up all the way. Oh boy, this feels so good. I swear the seat reclined a full 180 degrees, perfect. I swear the upper decks on these 742’s are one of Northwest's best kept secrets. I put my big pillow behind my head and spread the thick blanket over me. I put my headphones on thinking I would listen to some music. Um, just one problem, there was no music. I could not be bothered to call the flight attendant about this. I checked with the guy sitting next to me, same problem with him. Fine then, just put the noise canceling headsets on and closed my eyes. The usual sporadic naps, waking up every so often as is the case with me as I am never able to sleep on planes. No matter how comfortable these seats are; I just could no get into a deep sleep. Also I really wish these seats had adjustable headrests. It is annoying when you tilt your head and end up falling off the side of the seat. This never happens to me on KLM or any other airline with headrests.

Once we were over Manchester I decided to wake up and just as I did that, the lights came on for breakfast. I turned the PTV on and saw an episode of Friends followed by a documentary on Berlin. The flight attendant came around with hot towels, which was a nice and refreshing. Soon she came by and asked if I wanted to have breakfast, I accepted and she laid the tablecloth down and handed me a tray. The menu had the following written for breakfast:

ON ARRIVAL
A light breakfast with seasonal fresh fruit
and warmed breakfast breads will be served prior to arrival.

The tray consisted of the following: a chilled peach yogurt, a croissant I had selected with a packet of butter and a small bowl of strawberry jam. The fruit today consisted of a slice of melon, a slice of pineapple and a few blueberries. The croissant was nice and hot and the fruit yogurt was chilled and nice. The fruits were good, but I am not a blueberry person so I just left them. I had a cup of tea with breakfast and was offered with real milk instead of the cream stuff in those airtight containers. Once the flight attendant was reassured that I did not need anything more, she took the tray. I headed to the bathroom and brushed my teeth and was thankful for all the space provided. Soon descent started around 11:30. It was one of the windiest approaches I have ever had, especially for Amsterdam. This approach could give some of my windy Hong Kong landings a run for their money. I never knew AMS was capable of such strong gusts of wind. Or who knows, maybe the pilot was just having fun with us?

Arrival & Transit: We touched down hard around 12:05 and had a long taxi to gate E19. Wow, does AMS look different without all those Northwest planes. I swear there was us and one other DC-10, I believe the one that came from Memphis. I decided to take a walk before heading to the lounge, so I headed over to the money exchange area just after the immigration area for F & G. Changed some US Dollars to Euro's and headed over to Concourse G to look around. First I bought the latest Airliner World magazine and walked down the concourse and saw the usual plethora of aircraft that I normally see.

Continental 762 to Houston
Continental 764 to Newark
United 772 to Washington DC
United 763 to Chicago
USAirways 762 to Philadelphia
Garuda to Singapore and Jakarta
Eritrean Airways 763
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Miguel Snoep



I then got to the KLM Crown Lounge near the F Pier. Thankfully it was not as crowded at this time of day. The agent behind the counter greeted me, scanned my boarding pass in the computer and welcomed me to the lounge. I sat down with a nice refreshing cup of Cappuccino in hand and did some spotting. Why is there always a China Airlines at Gate F2? Doesn't anything else ever park there? I mean it is a nice plane and all, but I would rather see some variety there. I saw a KLM 744 in the new colors. I like the new livery but I think they could have done something more radical, rather than trying to make themselves look like Korean Air’s twin. I saw a Martinair A320 land followed by a BMI 320. In the distance near the KLM hangar I could see a Virgin Atlantic 747-400. Nothing exotic about that, I see them all the time in Orlando, even flown a couple, but it was a nice surprise to see one there.

Now about the Lounge, as most of you know I am not a big fan of KLM's lounges. I believe they could use a lot of improving and have written some recommendations in my previous trip reports. It seems as if they tried to fix one of them, the food items. They never had anything but those awful puff pasty things. Today I noticed they put a Soup dispenser, packets of Lays chips, along with a machine with salsa and tortilla chips. Those big slices of cake have been replaced by mini cup cakes. While I only had the mini cup cakes as I was trying to save room for the meal on the plane, I was impressed with this new layout. I saw a lot of people take the soup cups and the chips seemed to be a big hit with the passengers. I was impressed with the effort on KLM's part here. While it is no Cathay Wing or a British Clubhouse, it is a great place to relax and view aircraft. I also believe the other lounge is being renovated and will have showers added. It is a step in the right direction and I want to say thank you to KLM for finally realizing how important the small touches are to us frequent flyers.

KLM 457 (Northwest 8419 & Continental 9759)
Amsterdam - Kuwait
Boeing 767-300 (PH-BZO -Karmsund Bridge)
Seat: 2A
Scheduled Departure Time: 16:15
Scheduled Arrival Time: 23:20
Actual Departure Time: 16:20
Actual Arrival Time: 23:10

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jos van der Kolk
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © George Polfliet


Boarding: Around 15:30 I went over to the monitor and saw that the Kuwait flight was boarding at gate E2. So I grabbed my bag and headed on down. Just as I was walking out of the lounge the staff at the counter said, "have a nice flight sir." They have never done that before, must have caught them on a good day. Got to E2 after a five minute stroll and my passport was checked and my Kuwaiti visa scrutinized by the KLM Arabic speaking staff. Once that was done I was wished a pleasant flight and let into the gate area. The area was full of American passengers, presumably military staff heading to Iraq. A lot of us in the gate area were holding Northwest and Continental issued boarding passes. Boarding commenced five minutes later for World Business Class passengers. I walked onto the jetway and was greeting by a gorgeous young Dutch female with a huge smile on her face. I said, "How are you doing today." and she said "Vunderful. Velkome anboard KLM." I took my seat in 2A and was immediately offered a drink. Had a glass of OJ and sat down and looked at the entertainment guide. Soon the crew came around with the usual headphones, tin amenity case, sock kit, and menus. Soon the door was closed and there were a few empty seats in World Business Class and thankfully one of them was next to me. Finally KLM has decided to put noise canceling headsets on their 767, about time in my opinion too. The safety demo was shown and I plugged in into Channel 9, so nice to hear European music, I really do miss this, now that I live in the US. We lined up with the runway and were rocketing down the runway a short while later.

The Flight: Our flying time today would be a short 5 hours and 33 minutes. The reason I mention this is that we took a different route than normal. Usually the Kuwait flights fly south of Iraq into Saudi Arabia and then up to Kuwait. Today we took a northern route over Iran and down into Kuwait. This is the sixth time I am taking this flight in 18 months and this is the first time the flight is flying North of Iraq. Anyway, hot towels were passed out a short while later. Then the flight attendant came over to take our meal requests. "Velkom, Mr. Tamboovale. Vhat vold you lik to eat today?" I selected the beef. Soon the entertainment started and I opted for the Comedy channel. Some of the shows on the channel were Will & Grace, Dharma and Greg, and Everybody Loves Raymond. The usual bowl of mixed nuts came by with my glass of coke. Table linens were laid down a short while later as the flight attendant collected the empty bowls of nuts. Today’s menu was as follows.

Appetiser
Smoked Salmon with crab mayonnaise
Lightly smoked salmon filled with crab mayonnaise
served with a mushroom and octopus sauce

Main Courses
Beef with Soubise sauce
Braised fillet of beef in herbed red onion sauce
served with risotto ai porcini and carmalised onions
garnished with olives, artichokes and Parmesan
OR
Navarin of Lamb
Lamb stew served with herbed gravy,
summer vegetables and saffron basmati rice
OR
Catch of the Day
Hake with red cep sauce
Seared hake fillet with red cep sauce served with a
hotchpotch of spring onion and carrots,
garlic mushrooms and red skin horseradish potato mash

Dessert
We invite you to select your choice of tart,
cheese or fresh fruit from our dessert trolley

KLM’s Wine Cellar in the Sky

White Wine
Chablis Saint Martin 2001 – Domaine Laroche
Albarino 2002, Martin Codax – Rias Baixas, Spain

Red Wine
L’Enclose de Lezongars 2000 – Premieres Cote de Bordeaux
Legaris 2000 Crianza – Ribera del Duero, Spain

Champagne
Piper Heidsieck – Champagne Brut

Port
Noval 1997 – Late Bottled Vintage Port

Dessert Wine
Kaisergarten Beerenauslese – Neusiedlersee, Austria

KLM Special Wines
Capitel Croce, Veneto, Italy 2000
Anselmi Capitel Croce, Veneto, Italy 2000

Everything was handed to me on one tray. What happened here? I remember that earlier this year KLM started serving three-course meals individually. Why did they revert back to everything on one tray? The main dish is not as hot as I would like it to be by the time I am done with my appetizer. The smoked salmon with crab mayonnaise was excellent. The beef was nice and tender and cooked the way I like it. The risotto on the other hand was not that good, I just seem to have horrible luck when it comes to risotto on planes. The dessert today was an apricot tart with fresh cream. It was up to the usual standard of KLM's desserts, excellent! I had a nice glass of Baileys with ice to wash that down with. The crew were constantly on their heals checking if we needed anything during the meal. My glass of coke and water was filled without asking during the meal.

Once the sit-coms were over I reclined the seat all the way and put channel 9 on and went into a snooze. The adjustable headrests were great and did their job of keeping my head in place. Unfortunately the plane looked a little worn down, it does not seem as if KLM is taking care of them. I realize the A330's are coming to replace them soon, but I mean they still have a while to go. Anyway, I put the pillow behind my head and spread the same thick blanket over me, except this time it had KLM instead of Northwest written on it. When I woke up, I found a bottle of Vittel placed on my armrest. I clearly saw the crew walk around making sure everyone who was awake had everything they wanted. I eventually smelled some food being heated up and decided it was time to wake up. Hot towels were passed out and then the table linens were laid down. I took a look in at menu,

Light hot snack
Shortly before arrival we will be serving a light snack with a choice of vegetarian or non-vegetarian club sandwich and an Indonesian pastry

The tray was presented to me with a gracious smile that I become accustomed to on all KLM. Once the tray was placed on my table, a basket was presented to me with a choice of sandwiches. I was told that the choice of sandwiches today was a cheese or a chicken one. I picked up one chicken sandwich and the flight attendant told me to take a second one if I wished. I told her one was fine, but she said she would be back later to offer me seconds. I thanked her and started eating the sandwich. It had one layer of a thinly sliced chicken and a cucumber paste on the other side, quite nice actually. Then I tried the Indonesian pastry, it was just a glorified spring roll really with sliced carrots, glass noodles and string beans. Then it was my favorite part of the meal, the Raspberry Mousse and boy did it exceed my expectations. It was excellent, though I am a die hard mousse fan so it does not take much to win me over when it comes to any type of mousse. The tray was cleared and a short while later the flight attendant came around with those Delft Blue Houses, not full of alcohol, this being a Middle Eastern flight and all. I had to stare at the tray for a few seconds before smiling and picking one out. "If you have got that one you already have, just tell me and I'll come back with a new batch for you." That was nice of her. I guess you know you fly KLM too much when you have to make sure you don't pick the house you already have. Thankfully I selected one that I did not have, number 48. Too bad it did not contain alcohol, it was a nice big one. Descent started a short while later into a very sandy Kuwait. It looked like we were flying through fog, but it turns out it was just sand flying through the air.

Arrival: We touched down smoothly onto the runway, unfortunately the braking was not as smooth, if we were not strapped in we would have flown out of our seats the way the plane braked today. We eventually taxied to the gate passing an Indian Airlines A320 and MEA A320. We turned into gate 5, the area that was re-constructed earlier this year due to a fire last year. We docked and the jetway hocked up to door 1L. The ground personnel immediately wanted to talk to the in-flight supervisor before letting us of the plane. So all us WBC passengers had to step aside so that she could walk to the front. I believe he asked her if we had filled out the new health form that had been in place due to SARS. Once she said yes, we were allowed to disembark. "Thank you for flying vit us Mr. Tamboovale. Ve look forward to zeeing you zoon." I wished them a pleasant stay in Kuwait and started the long trek towards immigration. It was surprising to see an Egyptair 777 parked next to us. I did not know they flew them here, otherwise that was one mighty upgrade from a 320/321. I was the second person down the escalator and met my dad who was waiting for me with a customs officer. He proceeded to walk me through customs and I was out in 30 seconds! Never had that one happen to me before. Got to baggage claim 3 and, it was the smallest carousel in the airport. I have no idea why they were not using their regular carousel 5. I knew this would cause problems as the flight was pretty much full. My bag came out eventually after 5 minutes. Then we had to wait for the other containers to be unloaded. Looks like the priority tags did not work. My first bag had my NW elite tag on it, but unfortunately NW only gives one. Would it kill you to give atleast two tags NW? The military personnel bags started coming out and they were coming out rather fast. Eventually two airport personnel had to run over as the bags were falling off the side. There was not enough room for all the bags coming out. We passengers ended up lifting bags that fell in front of us and trying to put them on top of the other bags on the carousel. It was complete chaos, but it was amusing to watch to say the least. Eventually I spotted my bag come out and I leaped over the overflowing bags and grabbed it. Unlocked them threw them onto the x-ray machine in the customs area. That took 15 seconds and I was out with my dad towards the car park.

Verdict:

KLM: Impeccable as usual, KLM’s crews are always fantastic and this flight was no exception. The food was excellent as always and the service to match. Too bad the aircraft is showing signs of its age. Hopefully they will not be too run down by the time the A330’s come. Thanks for the lounge improvements, much appreciated, now only if you could add showers and free internet access, it would be a pleasure. KLM is still one of the most comfortable ways to get to Kuwait, KLM is definitely The Reliable Airline for me.

Northwest: Why are they impressing me more and more each time I fly them? I have started to enjoy flying Northwest now, and will probably try to fly them more in the future. It is a shame about the entertainment domestically. I can understand why they have none, but I sincerely hope Richard Anderson looks into atleast putting music in if nothing else. The food was excellent on the domestic leg and I was impressed. Two months ago I flew to Los Angeles in First Class on one of Northwest’s COde share partners and never received a hot meal, let alone two hot choices. The service on both NW flights was excellent and that is a huge improvement. Northwest seems to have made a 180 in terms of in-flight service and I certainly have noticed it. I never thought I would ever say that I enjoy flying Northwest. Can someone remind me why I used to hate this airline so much? I honestly can not remember any more.  Smile

This time I decided to give points to each flight. Let me know if you like this, otherwise I can omit it in my future reports.

Score:
Northwest 579
Check In: 8
Boarding: 10
Aircraft: 10
Seating: 8 (Minus for the missing adjustable headrests)
Crew: 10
Food: 10
Entertainment: 0 (None what so ever)

Northwest 56
Boarding: 10
Aircraft: 10
Seating: 9 (Minus for no adjustable headrests)
Crew: 10
Food: 10
Entertainment: 4 (Non functioning. Plus not enough variety, just 6 channels with 5 movies)

KLM 457
Boarding: 10
Aircraft: 7 (Showing signs of age)
Seating: 9 (Minus for lacking in legroom)
Crew: 10
Food: 10
Entertainment: 8
Arrival: 6 (Small carousel and priority tags ignored)

Total for this trip: 169 points out of a possible 200 = .845

Northwest/KLM get an 85% for this trip. The reason I did not break it up between the two airlines is because they like to act like they are one airline, so I am going to score them as one airline. I don't know if that is a good or a bad thing.

SR 103

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4289 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 10211 times:

Excellent Report, and I like your gentle hints.
-UN



What now?
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 10110 times:

Great report as usual. Despite myself, it is good to hear that NWA is improving. Lets just hope that this remains consistent.


Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineSwiss-airplane From Switzerland, joined May 2000, 591 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 10004 times:

Great trip report. Very interesting to read and just perfect in size. I can also say nothing bad about NWA, I always had great longhaul flights with them. I also like AA. Anyway, enjoy your stay in Kuwait
cheers


User currently offlineShamrock104 From Ireland, joined Sep 2000, 523 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 9977 times:


Nice report. That lounge agent at MSP would have made me very angry but you were probably right to walk away.

PR


User currently offlineBrlund From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 9919 times:

excellent report with great details and humor. A pleasure to read. Keep them coming.

User currently offlineUALDUDE From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 170 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 9840 times:

EXCELLENT!!! Nice report. Lots of good detail and info.

User currently offlineTrickijedi From United States of America, joined May 2001, 3266 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 9790 times:

Excellent! Sounds like Northwest's WBC is worth trying.


Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12435 posts, RR: 37
Reply 8, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 9792 times:

Great report, SR 103. It's 22 years since I was in Kuwait, where my interest in aviation began. My one big regret was that I never got to fly on a 707. On the way back, we had the option of flying from KWI to ORY (via GVA, I think) on a 707, but we opted instead for the 747 ('ADA) to LHR.

Nice to see NW getting it's act together although as you say, there are still one or two lemons there. Surprised about the visa; I remember my parents' visas having "State of Kuwait" written in English, otherwise I'd have understood the check-in agent's confusion!


User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 42
Reply 9, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 9670 times:

SR103, excellent report again! WBC on the upper deck of the 742 looks spacious indeed!


Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineOystein From Norway, joined May 2003, 49 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 9612 times:

Excellent and well balanced trip report.
I really enjoyed reading it, and am glad to hear that the NW 742 does its job well. Please continue to give us trip reports of this high quality.

Cheers

Øystein S.
Norway


User currently offlineShawn Patrick From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2608 posts, RR: 16
Reply 11, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 9598 times:

Excellent report, ditto to what everyone else said. What brings you to Kuwait so often?

Shawn


User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 39
Reply 12, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 9558 times:

Thanks for the compliments. I am glad you guys enjoyed the trip report.

Ryanair!!!,
"Lets just hope that this remains consistent."

Well I'll find out. Next month I am flying Houston-Memphis-Orlando on NW. The only airline I have been disappointed with this year so far is Continental, but that’s another story.

Shamrock104
"That lounge agent at MSP would have made me very angry but you were probably right to walk away.

Thanks, I was wondering if I did the right thing by walking away. When I get back to the US next month, I shall be writing a letter to NW regarding her attitude.

Kaitak,
"Surprised about the visa; I remember my parents' visas having "State of Kuwait" written in English, otherwise I'd have understood the check-in agent's confusion!"

After looking over the visa again, there is no 'State of Kuwait' in English anywhere on the visa. The only indication that it is a Kuwaiti Visa is two postage stamps at the top for with 2 Dinars. In small print on the stamp is 'State of Kuwait' written in tiny letters. I guess I just never looked hard enough for that. Can I ask why you were in Kuwait 22 years ago?

Oystein,
Thanks for the compliment. I shall try to do my best to write reports like this in the future. Just to let you know, these are my flights for the month of August. Let me know if you have any requests.

Emirates: Kuwait-Dubai
KLM: Dubai-Amsterdam-Houston
Northwest: Houston-Memphis-Orlando
Continental: Orlando-Houston-Los Angeles-Houston-Orlando
Alaska: Los Angeles-San Francisco-Los Angeles

Shawn Patrick,
"What brings you to Kuwait so often?"

My parents currently live in Kuwait due to my dad's job. They want me to come visit, so I fly down about twice a year to see them.

SR 103


User currently offlineNWAgoldelite From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (11 years 1 month 8 hours ago) and read 9438 times:

Way to go with the report. I actually read the whole thing! I haven't flowen NW since Jan, since I usually go with that special COdeshare partner every month. Everyone seems to be saying how NW is improving so much. I guess I'll just have to see for myself.

I was wondering, do the F/A's ever give you problems on board in regards to consuming alcohol?


User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 39
Reply 14, posted (11 years 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 9397 times:

I was wondering, do the F/A's ever give you problems on board in regards to consuming alcohol?

I really never have had any problems with the F/A's serving alcohol. They always offer me alcohol with the meal or whatever but this was actually the first time I have ever accepted the offer on a US airline. The only incident that comes to mind is earlier this year when I was on a CO flight from EWR to SEA. As the F/A came round with the wine bottles for dinner, she offered me some but before I could say "no" she said the following.

"Oh wait! You’re not legal are you? Oops, sorry about that. Did you want anything non alcoholic though?"

I thought that was nice of her to offer to get me something else. That’s about the only incident that comes to mind. I have flown all the majors within the past two years and was always offered alcohol on every flight.

SR 103


User currently offlinePhatfarmlines From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1353 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (11 years 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 9328 times:

Good TR. I read it a while back, but I decided to respond today on this rainy day in Tampa. You and your hatred with CO, I'm sure NW will do bad on you like old times!!! (Joking, glad you enjoyed NW. I'm looking forward to one of their flights again in the future).

User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 39
Reply 16, posted (11 years 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 9271 times:

"You and your hatred with CO."

What are you trying to do, get me in trouble with the CO crowd again? You know I don't hate Continental. I have always told you I think they have the best overall product of any US airline. I don't think they are the best in everything, but in terms of overall product, I think they are at the top. I still fly Continental a lot more than anyone else. That should show where my loyalty lies?  Big grin Wouldn't you say? Besides after all the experiences we have been through together on CO, you can't deny that they have their faults, just like every other airline out there. But we both know what airline we head for first when we want to fly somewhere, we both choose Continental!

SR 103


User currently offlineDALelite From Switzerland, joined Jun 2000, 1770 posts, RR: 25
Reply 17, posted (11 years 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 9282 times:

very, very impressing report!!!!

DALelite



They loved to fly and it showed..
User currently offlineNWAgoldelite From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (11 years 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 9252 times:

Just wondering, why do you fly to Kuwait so often? Are you from there?

User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 39
Reply 19, posted (11 years 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 9168 times:

DALelite,

Glad you liked it.

NWAgoldelite,

I am not from Kuwait but as I said before, my parents currently reside in Kuwait due to my dad's job. I just come to visit them occasionaly.

SR 103


User currently offlineCatholic2006 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 357 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (11 years 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 9145 times:

I liked it a lot!!
I just really don't like those people who were rude. You should take my advice, and be rude back. That way they get a dose of their own medicine. Grrr............ppl like that really tick me off.

They showed "Bringin' Down the House"?????
THAT IS THE COOLEST MOVIE EVER!!!! I know you liked it because it's impossible NOT to like. I watch it on DVD like every day.

That comment you made about the China Airline planes always parking at that gate is because at airports it's only one airline to a gate. It's easier to locate your flights that way.

That was a great report, and I've heard nothing but great things about Northwest Airlines (besides for those select few employees). Thanx again, and God bless!!!

-Chris

PS: Weren't you afraid to fly to Kuwait? I mean like with all the terrorism going on over their and those people being really savage? Just a question because I would have been FREAKIN' if you know what I mean.



Ne vous inquietez pas. Je ne vous hais pas . . . . encore, mais faites attention !
User currently offlineNWAgoldelite From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (11 years 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 9121 times:

SR 103 wrote:

“I am not from Kuwait but as I said before, my parents currently reside in Kuwait due to my dad's job. I just come to visit them occasionaly.”



occasionally??????  Big grin


User currently offlineN951U From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (11 years 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9074 times:

You know, it continues to amaze me the ignorance on these boards.

Just what is wrong with going to Kuwait? Kuwait is a great place with friendly people. I have a family member who is living over there now teaching dentistry. They love it there. They feel just as safe as anywhere in the United States (wait.... safe as the U.S. isn't saying much, so bad example).

What is your FREAKIN' problem? You think people over there are savage? They are far more educated than most here. I'm sure they can find their own country on a world map, which I doubt you or many products of our American education system can.

This takes too much effort to carry further so I'll just stop.

Allah bless you through his love.


User currently offlineCatholic2006 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 357 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (11 years 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 9061 times:

Well excuse me for not being a super genious.
I live in a Republican household, and I only hear what my parents and those other Republican people on the news say. Why do you always think everything is my fault? Did you ever sit down and actually think that maybe this might hurt my feelings (as it has already gone way past that)? Some 15 year olds are smarter than others. Why can't you just accept that? Criticize someone else, don't just pick on defenseless me. That's real mature coming you two who are obviously older than I am.

-Chris



Ne vous inquietez pas. Je ne vous hais pas . . . . encore, mais faites attention !
User currently offlineL.1011 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 2209 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (11 years 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 9053 times:

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww poor baby!

25 Catholic2006 : I know, what is the deal. -Chris ppl these days.
26 L.1011 : Catholic, My post was directed at you, not the others. I wholeheartedly agree with them. So unless you are self-destructive i doubt you agree with me.
27 Post contains images Catholic2006 : oh,..................i knew that (embarrassed) -Chris
28 Post contains images SR 103 : NWAgoldelite, LOL... You should be one to talk, you fly a lot more than me. Catholic2006, Yes I did like "Bringin Down the House." Great airplane movi
29 NWAgoldelite : While I don't agree with what Catholic said, or condone it, I can see what he was getting at, he just seem to put it in bad terms. Frankly, I would be
30 Post contains images Catholic2006 : Okay, SR 103. I will avoid making defensive comments and stereotyping others. I know I didn't like it, so I'm sure no one else does. I meant that airp
31 SR 103 : NWAgoldelite, Thanks for the compliment. Catholic2006, Ok, now I see what you are saying. Unfortunately though the whole assigned gate thing is only u
32 L.1011 : Also, sometimes airlines work out deals with gates. So they can both save money, they jointly buy some gates. Then the sort their flights so usage of
33 Post contains images Bahadir : SR103, I really like your trip report.. What amazed me even more , you have a great attitude about people, open minds, etc. despite your age.. Keep us
34 Post contains images SR 103 : Thanks Bahadir! I have no idea what to say. I'm off to Dubai today for a few days. I'll definately write up a trip report when I get back home later t
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Orlando To Kuwait Via MSP/AMS On Northwest & KLM
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Trip reports only! Other topics here
  • If criticizing an airline, express yourself in a dignified manner.
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
Orlando To Kuwait Via DTW & AMS On KLM & Northwest posted Tue Dec 17 2002 17:35:59 by SR 103
MSP-MDW On Northwest(pics) Part 2 posted Mon Aug 14 2006 23:37:24 by Mexicana757
Tokyo To "Shangri-la" On JL & MU (Long With Vomit) posted Sat Jan 21 2006 07:18:49 by CX777Fan
SFO-MSP-ORD On Northwest Airlines (urgh!) posted Fri Mar 8 2002 16:10:53 by Ryanair!!!
MKE-MSP-SAN-MSP-MKE On Northwest posted Fri Jul 20 2001 17:24:22 by Ilyushin96M
Chicago To Manila Via HongKong On United & Cathay posted Sun May 26 2002 12:16:58 by Trickijedi
MSP To CLT Via ORD On UA posted Sun Mar 18 2001 04:02:45 by USAirways737
My Flight From SFO-MSP On A Northwest 747-200 posted Mon Nov 6 2006 22:32:02 by DC10extender
RT On Northwest's Last MSP-LGW DC-10 posted Thu Nov 2 2006 01:03:59 by ChrisI1024
Northwest MSP-LGA On An A319 (pics!) posted Wed Aug 23 2006 18:01:30 by 767747

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format