TwoLz2Rn From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 437 posts, RR: 0 Posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 4295 times:
Although this trip happened almost six months ago, I still remember it vividly.
While packing my bags for my two month summer school trip to the Middle East, I started going over the check list I make to make sure that I have packed everything since I will be about 6000 miles away. It was getting that time to leave for the airport and I was so excited. This would be my first MAJOR trip alone. Before leaving I made sure to print off my boarding passes from NWA’s website and that I also had ALL my documents (passport and copies, id cards, my permission slip for customs from the American University in Dubai) in my travel wallet. I loaded the car up early then I needed to because I wanted to make sure I had ample time to check in and get to security since my flight left the same time as 4 international flights from CVG. My parents drove me to the airport and we arrived at CVG around 4:00pm. Since I was taking NW, there was obviously no one in line while I saw the packed lines on the international side. I was able to check my bags not problem and headed down to security. Said my good-byes to the parents and then passed security no problem, although I got some strange looks when the TSA person saw my final destination. I found my gate in the A concourse and then decided to walk around the rest of the terminal since I have 1.5 hours till my plane was scheduled to take off. I walked up and down the B concourse then rode the bus to the Comair terminal. Eventually I made my way back to my departure gate and my plane arrived.
It was an uneventful short trip. Didn’t have to wait long for take-off and then shortly afterwards we were served drinks somewhere over Indiana. Landed on-time in DTW at the C concourse. Didn’t get a jetway so we disembarked down the stairs and through the makeshift passage way to the terminal. As I was walking I a caught a glimpse of the aircrafts for the departure to international destinations that night, I think there were 3 A333’s and a DC-10. Then I descended into the underground passage that made me feel like I was under the sea. Coming up from the fish tank, I saw what would be my plane to Amsterdam. I checked the board to make sure and then took my seat at the gate. I had about an hour until departure
The boarding area was quite crowded for that flight. It was either completely full 98% in both classes. I though about giving up my seat to take the last flight (NW#36, a DC-10) to AMS and maybe get an upgrade for doing so, but I would rather have the AVOD IFE. Boarding took longer then expected but and we left the gate just about on-time; I think it was a little late. As soon as we got to the runway we took off. About 10 minutes in the air, the NWA in-flight “exercise” video was shown and then the captain made an official welcome and flight plan, then the IFE was kicking in. Drinks and pretzels were served during the exercise video and then dinner was served about 20 minutes after that. Dinner was:
Chicken with Rice or Vegetarian Pasta
Desert (cheesecake? I couldn’t really tell)
I chose the chicken since I didn’t want to get too hungry later in the flight. The meal was better then expected. Salad was a little too wilted but everything else was great. During the flight I watched just about every movie they offered. I knew I wasn’t going to sleep for very long. Contrary to belief by some people, the F/A’s were VERY generous and ALWAYS walked around the cabin about every 30 minutes with water and orange juice. They defiantly made this trip enjoyable! Breakfast was served which wasn’t out of the ordinary: bagel, fruit cup, yogurt and granola bar, ehh, how exciting could it be for coach. About 45 minutes before landing, somewhere over England lemon ice cream was passed out along with hot towels. Very refreshing after such a long flight! I always thought that the hot towels were usually passed out before breakfast, but this was OK too! We landed in AMS (I don’t know which one, it was parallel to and B concourses) and we reached our gate. I had about three hours till my next flight but I didn’t know how to get the observation deck without going through customs so I just slept for about an hour at one of the sleeping zones. Afterwards I walked up and down the E and F concourses then I looked at the monitors to find my flight. Strangely enough, my gate was two down from where I was standing! It was actually interesting to see where planes were going and the passengers that were waiting for it. Time passed by quickly. I walked to my gate to find my plane already at the gate.
When we were started boarding I thought it was really early because only about 100 people were around the gate and i heard that those flight are usually full. I boarded and took my seat and then as I saw the F/A close the door and as I looked around I noticed that the load factor was about 60%!! We backed out of our gate at the same time as a 747M, but they were allowed out long before we were. It seemed like we stood there for about 10 minutes before we taxied to the runway, which was the farthest away! I felt like we were going to taxi the entire way to Dubai! When we reached the runway I was able to the 7474M take off that was next to us (pretty impressive). Then we finally made the turn and roared down the runway.
i was actually on that plane when this picture was taken!
I slept right after take-off but I woke up right before they started serving drinks. About 25 minutes after they collected trash, dinner was served:
Chicken with Rice or Vegetarian Pasta (kinda weird how it was the same again..)
Some sort of mayonnaise salad with a piece of smoked salmon
It was better then NWA, but still not business class. Luckily, the IFE was far superior to NW’s, a greater selection of movies and music. Again I watched movies the entire flight, long movies. Trash was collected and the lights dimmed. Again, great service by the F/A’s! The flight went by very quickly, minimal turbulence, but I found it odd that we flew over Iraq. I thought no one was allowed to do that, anyone know why we were able to? Before landing in DXB, this roasted vegetable Italian bread thing was passed out, which wasn’t too great, but I choked it down. Approach and decent to DXB was exciting because I could see the skyline of he city and I was ready to sleep anyway! Smooth landing and quick arrive at the gate. I left the plane through the business cabin to see if I could catch a glimpse of the cockpit, which I did. I then took the VERY LONG trek to immigration. I passed many cultural differences on my way which I expected. I passed immigration with a 60 day visitor stamp no problem, and then I got my bags no problem, now I just needed to find my ride to the university. Well my ride was a no show and about 2 hours after trying to contact the university, calling home and calling the study abroad program in Chicago I just took a taxi. A quick ride to Jumeriah (if you’ve been in a Dubai taxi you know how fast!) I reached the university where I quickly was welcomed and shown to my dorm where I rapidly slept till 3pm the next day!
Mjt909 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 37 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 3963 times:
Wow! An interesting report. How exciting for you! I did a similar trek for my study abroad experience at Moscow State University. I flew NW/LH OMA-DTW-FRA-SVO and return, but over the spring semester in 2004.
SK601 From Belgium, joined Jun 2005, 976 posts, RR: 4 Reply 3, posted (7 years 11 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3511 times:
Quoting TwoLz2Rn (Thread starter): had about three hours till my next flight but I didn’t know how to get the observation deck without going through customs
You always have to go through customs to get to the observation deck. For passengers with US passports its no problem at all. Once you have been through customs walk towards arrival hall 3 (all indoor) and look for Burger King. At the Burger King walk to the supermarket (Food Village). Next to the supermarket are the stairs to the observation deck.
Quoting TwoLz2Rn (Thread starter): About 45 minutes before landing, somewhere over England lemon ice cream was passed out along with hot towels.
Quoting TwoLz2Rn (Thread starter): the F/A’s were VERY generous and ALWAYS walked around the cabin about every 30 minutes with water and orange juice.
I just arrived from MSP (2hrs ago!) with NW56 MSP-AMS. No ice cream...., no hot towels..; FA's walked around the cabin once per hour with water only. I found the FA's grumpy and bitchy. They did what they had to do, but nothing more. Maybe I will write a TR this weekend.