FLIEGER67 From Bulgaria, joined Sep 2003, 4420 posts, RR: 56 Posted (9 years 1 month 17 hours ago) and read 2870 times:
The trip:I´ve booked a familiy low fare trip STR to PSA by HLX but my wife decided to work on short term, so I donate the 19,99 EUR tix to HLX and as it was really difficult to find some free days in my calendar I checked the airlines
websites to find a last minute deal to a more interesting target to travel alone.
Result:I´ve booked at the 11th of May a ticket on the KLM website to BRS for departure the 15th of May and want to drive by rental car to southwestern
15.05.2004 STR/AMS KL 1866 F100 PH-OFH
06.45-08.10 flight well ontime Seat 21C
174.-- EUR + Taxes and fees 98,66 EUR = 272,66 EUR
Load factor near 100 %
Woke up at 03.30am, start by car at 04.30am and arrived at the airport at 05.30am, no train connection this early morning time.
That was the first time for me to choose Internet Check In, i´ve done it the day before and it works really well. You check the AC, choose your seat and print your boarding passes for your flights on your own PC, amazing!
Go straight to security as I arrvied there at the new terminal 3 at STR where KLM operates their flights, about 5 minutes to wait as there was a lot of HF and DE business this early morning time.
Security was strict but affective and before I go to my gate (316) I do some shopping at the new travel value shop.
Boarding started at 06.15, the AC was in night stop, by a finger gate and I inspected the AC from the spacious waiting area. IMO not too many KLM customers use Internet Check In, the agent at the ramp thinked some seconds what to do with my self printed boarding pass and then picked it up.
I asked: Are you sure that the complete sheed is yours, nothing back to me?
She separates the part with my check in sequence number and gave me the rest back with a little smile How can I find my seat without my boarding pass with seat number?
AC looks a bit old and dirty, not in the best conditions. Fabric seats in the typical blue KLM colour.
Flight route STR/AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA/DUS/AMS. Free drinks are offered and the choice between a ham or cheese sandwich, enough on this short leg this early morning time.
Best weather conditions, calm and smooth flight, the female agents do their job professional. As we arrived at AMS there was about a 10 minutes taxi to the gate, the longest taxi time AFAIK.
About 15 minutes to go from arrival in area B to departure non schengen flights
in area D. IMO AMS is spacious and quiet,a good place to connect and spend some time between your flights.
This time the female gate agent took my boarding pass and printed a new one for here records. The flights with the smaller AC from the F70 downwards are boarded by bus and it was like a free airport tour from area D to the place where all the F70´s waited. IMO there is no other airport worldwide with more F70´s there.
Greeted by a friendly female FA as i boarded the AC with the AC own stair at the front door.AC seems clean and well maintained (it was the last ever build F70) with relatively new fabric seats.I´m impressed by the sound of the engine as I sit directly beneath it in the last row of the AC.Departure again after some 10 minutes taxi from a runway far away, I think it is called "polderbaan". Same inflight service, free drinks and the choice between a ham and a cheese sandwich. Cheese in the morning, ham the later morning!
Flight route: AMS/LON/BRS. The seat beneath remained empty, good views between the wing and the engine as it was really fine wheater to fly.
Arrival ontime at BRS, leave the AC by the AC own stair and walked against the apron to a special construction, in germany we call it a "Wellblechhütte",
it looks like a interims building but later I think it was built to protect the passengers in bad wheater conditions on their way from the terminal building to the AC. Stopped by a supervisor to pass 4 passengers to board one of the many EZY flights there and escorted by another female supervisor over the road to passport control.And, I like the british way, advised by the female supervisor to build exact queues in front of the business man looks like officer.
An ECA flight from Larnaca arrived the same time and the officer was a bit confused as there where hundreds of British holidaymakers there and a lonely german between .
Check my rental car booked online by AVIS 97,49 EUR 3 days all inclusive, recommendable service there, and headed down southwards to reach my final target this day: Falmouth, where I had to stay two nights at the Best Western
Penmere Manor, 45.-- pounds by night B&B booked directly at the hotels web site and this was much cheaper than on Best Westerns website (66.--pounds).
Also a recommendable stay, thanks Emma for the upgrade!
Visit the landscape to the south till Penzance and Newquay at the Atlantic Coast, hiked at Dartmoor (in Devon I know) and drive the historic Bodmin and Wenford Railway, I like it there.
Arrived at the airport at 14.00. Check In was done by a not to friendly female agent from Servisair. 2 counters open, no waiting time. Go to security and passport control, again without any waiting time.
View the traffic at Lulsgate, 8 gates in service, some EZY flights, Ryanair and AerLingus to Dublin, BY to Palma with the typical confused charter crowd,
BA/AF and so on.
Interesting: IOS (Isle of Scilly Airbus) asked for two lost passengers: Your flight will be delayed if you dont come to the gate. 10 minutes later IOS announced a technical delay. Again 10 minutes later IOS the flight is cancelled about technical problems. Bus connection to Newquay (roundabout 3 hours) I think the passengers of the DHC 6 are not amused. I saw the plane later outside with mechanics worked on an engine.
Plane looks like clean and tidy. The most efficient ervice on this four flights.
The male FA on the flight had a sticker called Crew Trainer. Again free drinks and the choice between the two sandwiches, this time egg or cheese.
Flight route: BRS/LON/AMS with nice views over London. At descent to AMS we circled along the coastline with good views to the industrial area there and it seems to fly between the large chimneys of the factorys to reach the runway. Again arrival far outside with min. 10 minutes to taxi to the gate and 15 minutes walk from D to B.
Again boarding by bus. Welcomed by one of the two female FAs at the front door. Plane looks like clean. Again sitting in the last row with the two seats beneath empty. Free drinks and the real choice between the usual two sandwiches. Ham or cheese,please
This time the FAs need a lot of time to do their service while chat with the passengers and do some jokes, good service.
Clear sky, nice views at AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA and a smooth touchdown at STR without trustreversers to stop the AC.
Conclusion:If it´s ever possible I prefer the classic airlines against the low costers and over all it was a good decision, but a bit more away from standard service and it will be easier for me to choose KLM again.
And a nice trip, I like England!
Airsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 37 Reply 1, posted (9 years 1 month 5 hours ago) and read 2770 times:
>>>so I donate the 19,99 EUR tix to HLX
Following a court decision, taxes must be refunded - so you´ll have to "donate" only the price of the ticket itself. In the case of 4U, a simple eMail 10 months after the flight was enough to promptly get back 22 EUR tax from a 38 EUR ticket
That Isle of Scilly thing: is that a kind of through flight BRS-Newquay-Isles of Scilly with a Twin Otter to Newquay and onwards with a helicopter? Or do they just offer the BRS-Newquay?
I agree, Cornwall very nice, I spent ten days in Newquay a few years ago and I liked it very much.
Very nice report, thanks a lot for taking the time to write it.
WearyBizTrvlr From Netherlands, joined May 2004, 58 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 month 2 hours ago) and read 2745 times:
Taxiing to or from the Polderbaan always takes forever; I think it once took us 20 minutes from the gate to get there. It'd be more accurate to say that flight that land on the Polderbaan actually fly to Haarlem rather than Amsterdam; you just drive from Haarlem to Amsterdam afterwards in the plane.
FLIEGER67 From Bulgaria, joined Sep 2003, 4420 posts, RR: 56 Reply 3, posted (9 years 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2717 times:
Great thanks, I read about the tax refund at the forum but forgot till now to send a mail,
I will do it tonight.
Scillys: I was there at the Penzance Heliport where British Helicopters operate scheduled flights to the Scillys but it was not enough time to do it.
AFAIK IOS Airbus operate nonstop flights with the DHC 6 from Bristol,Exeter and Newquay and flights with single engine planes from Lands End airport.
This time the nonstop from Bristol was cancelled and the passengers transferred by a bus to Newquay airport were another plane waits.
Are there some english readers who know more about it?
I read your post about your LH experience, sorry about it.
We do the same route on the same Airline this Monday, you on the earlier flight and it seems you are right, when I arrived at the Polderbaan, the Terminal buildings are not visible but lots of factorys and houses around.
Again thanx for your pleasant comments,
Lfutia From Netherlands, joined Dec 2002, 3196 posts, RR: 30 Reply 5, posted (9 years 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2639 times:
The Polderbaan has some pros and Cons..
Pros - Great scenery of the N'Lands and A'dam... Get to spend a little more time staring at the KLM girls if any are hot onboard your flight!
Cons: Takes forever to get to the gate and seems like an eternity if ya have to pee bad ... hate when that happens... when ya have to pee when the seatbelt sign goes on and then you descend, turn, slow down, touchdown and then spend 20 minutes taxying...
oh yeah... Nice trip report! Always a pleasure to read KLM Trip Reports!
[Edited 2004-05-23 05:08:57]
Leo/ORD -- Groetjes uit de VS! -- Heeft u laatst nog met KLM gevlogen?
TriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4685 posts, RR: 47 Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2577 times:
I spend a couple of days away from the computer over the long last weekend, so I failed to notice your trip report. Thank you very much for all your efforts, your description of KLM's European service was highly interesting for me, since I am planning to do more flying with the Dutch national carrier as soon as it is integrated into the Frequence Plus frequent flyer program.
Hope to read from you again soon, your reports are always a pleasure, because they are very much down to the vital points without unneccessary blabla...
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
FLIEGER67 From Bulgaria, joined Sep 2003, 4420 posts, RR: 56 Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2561 times:
I´m also member of Frequence Plus and Flying Dutchman with both free european flights on my accounts and still waiting till the integration of the programs.
And do not forget the significant changes by Miles and More, AF/KL is very more interesting to me after 01.08.
TriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4685 posts, RR: 47 Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2541 times:
You are definietly on the spot with your comments regarding Miles&More. I have heard from many other M&M members that mielage accrual with Lufthansa has lost any importance for them after the "reform" in Aufgust takes place.
Well, if LH thinks they can compete with low cost airlines and regular airliens with excellent frequent flyer programs (e.g. Air France) like that, by cutting benefits and lowering cabin service levels to new lows, then I can just hope that the consumer will show them where they can stick their strategies. I, for my part, will definitely try to fly with the competition whenever it is financially sound in the future.
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
WearyBizTrvlr From Netherlands, joined May 2004, 58 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (9 years 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2512 times:
The integration of Flying Dutchman and Frequence Plus is not due until sometime next year. KLM has been vague about this, and I'm not familiar enough with FP to assess how big the impact will be. As of June 1st, you can earn FD points on all AF flights (except AF codeshares). You can also use FD miles to get free AF tickets, but you can't get upgrades on AF. Once KLM joins SkyTeam later this year, this might become possible.
I do worry a little about the merger of FD and FP, because FD is a very generous program, especially if you're at an elite level. As a Platinum, I get 125% bonus miles for every flight, for instance, whereas FP only gives a 50% bonus. It also looks like FP requires more miles for tickets and upgrades, although it hard to tell since AF's website contains very little information.
So the upshot of it is that you can already earn miles on both KL and AF flights with either program, although spending them is not fully there yet.
FLIEGER67 From Bulgaria, joined Sep 2003, 4420 posts, RR: 56 Reply 11, posted (9 years 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2509 times:
thanx again, we are definitively on the same way.
There are a lot of Miles and More customers, i´ve heard about, to re-think theyre preferences in the future.
My personal opinion: Frequence Plus works better than Flying Dutchman, no problems with free tix, lots of promotions to fill up my account without Skyteam flights and BTW good customer service, hope they hold their level.
Example: Booked free tix to Corsica last year, impossible to do the tour, they give me 2 weeks after the booked date to rethink my travel plans and as I dont changed the tix about the taxes and fees they extented the time again,
free of charges.
Conclusion/Wish:FP and FD stay separate with the opinion to switch the miles between the programs if you want.
PlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11251 posts, RR: 63 Reply 12, posted (9 years 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2427 times:
Well, I might as well make my first post about my local area! Glad you enjoyed your holiday in Cornwall and a very nice trip report, you`ve got to love the F70/F100s!
IOS Skybus operate from the only airport on the Scillies, on the main Island of St Mary's, the runways are very short even for a DHC6, so flight cancellations are not uncommon when coupled with adverse weather conditions. I suspect the reason for the transfer to Newquay was that one of their planes was already standing there, currently the fleet is as follows;
G-BIHO DHC6-300, year built 1981, last recorded hours 32265.
G-BUBN BN-2B-26 Islander, year built 1993, last recorded hours 5279.
G-CBML DHC6-310, year built 1980, last recorded hours 19029.
G-SBUS BN-2A-26 Islander, year built 1986, last recorded hours 8957.
G-SSKY BN-2A-2B Islander, year built 1991, last recorded hours 6420.
I wouldn't be surprised if it was G-BIHO that failed judging by its engine hours! If you think of repeating your trip in the future you could consider flying Air Southwest http://www.airsouthwest.com from Bristol to Plymouth, the last time I flew the route was in April for only £35 return. The flight lasts 25-30 mins and I find it is worth it as it cuts out some 2 and a half hours of traveling and 130 miles of motorway. Good service and they have a cool livery that I love to see fly over my house!
PlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11251 posts, RR: 63 Reply 14, posted (8 years 12 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2359 times:
Well, a brief runthrough of Air Southwest.
They were formed by the owners of both Plymouth and Newquay airports, Sutton Harbour Holdings who own many enterprises here in Plymouth, to take over the service to LGW when British Airways pulled out of its regional operations on October 2003. They started up with two of the ex BA DHC8's;
After the success of the initial route another BA legacy was revived in March 2004, Plymouth-Bristol-Manchester and return. Shortly afterwards Jersey was also added, although they still only have the 2 aircraft, which means some intensive operations. One of the aircraft will be resident on the Plymouth-Newquay-Gatwick service, whilst the other will perform the following;
06.20 PLH-BRS-MAN, MAN-BRS-PLH, PLH-JER, JER-PLH, PLH-BRS-MAN, MAN-BRS, BRS-MAN, MAN-BRS-PLH, finally ending its day at about 21.00 at night.
This though only leaves time for maintaining at night, so if there is any major work to be carried out aircraft are hired in, examples recently being a Dornier328 from ScotAirways, an ATR42 from Titan (G-BUPS), another ATR 42, this time from Air Wales and a B732 from Palmair. The latter is an extreme measure as passengers have to be bussed to Newquay, which as I am sure you found out is not a pleasant drive when you had expected to be flying! There had been much talk of them getting a standby aircraft, at one point it seemed they were going to pick up an ex FlyBe DHC8-201B, or 311A as they were withdrawn in favor of the new DHC8-402's, but still nothing yet.
A rumor, and this is only a rumor is that Air Wales have asked for talks to discuss a possible merger, although I personally think this will come to nothing.
You may or may not have been aware that Air Southwest's parent company proposed a brand new airport in one of the only free and relatively flat areas surrounding the city of Plymouth about a year ago, which would be capable of handling around a million passengers a year, as well as 767/A300 sized aircraft. Unfortunately in their wisdom the local council assigned the area instead to be developed for 4000 new homes and instead suggested extending the existing Plymouth airport through an industrial area on large concrete stilts, a bit like Funchal in Portugal.
I will try and get a picture of the overall airfield when I fly out of there on Tuesday to show you how much of a check mate situation both the current airport and the Airline are in with regard to further expansion, residential development on three sides and factories on the other.
Diesel1 From UK - Wales, joined Mar 2001, 1628 posts, RR: 12 Reply 15, posted (8 years 12 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2337 times:
Great report FLIEGER67.
PlymSpotter / Dan - a point around your comment I wouldn't be surprised if it was G-BIHO that failed judging by its engine hours! This is a bit of a throwaway comment that doesn't really mean anything...
Whilst the IOS Skybus DHC-6 G-BIHO may have flown 32265 hours (as of 31/12/2002), this is airframe hours, it doesn't mean that the engines will have operated this number of hours - what we don't know is when they would have been overhauled or changed... also , we don't know how many cycles they will have operated either or how recent the last overhaul was.
Based on the lack of evidence, you can't make a suggestion that engine life / age was anything to do with the problem the engine had that day.
PlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11251 posts, RR: 63 Reply 16, posted (8 years 12 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2387 times:
I wouldn't be surprised if it was G-BIHO that failed judging by its engine hours! This is a bit of a throwaway comment that doesn't really mean anything...
Yes I suppose it is a bit of a throwaway comment really, but one based on speculation and general common sense. I live in the Southwest, and family members regally fly to the Scillies using this service, therefore I know that G-BIHO has failed on several other occasions in similar circumstances, resulting in either a cancelled flight or having to bring in another aircraft.