17 July 2006
Seat 7B WBC
I actually showed up at Schiphol intending to go to LAX and then on to Phoenix. Checking the loads the day before, I knew it was going to be a long shot, but I decided to give it a chance. I stood at the gate for LAX until the 744 pushed back, and then called the office. "Do anything in your power to get to PHX today" was the order, so I considered my options. LAX leaves rather late in the day, so they were rather limited. I then noticed the YVR flight starting the boarding preparation, so I quickly got on the net and checked for a connection to PHX. Finding one, I asked the agent if she could get me on the flight. Same lady from the LAX flight, who knew the situation and quickly assigned me a seat. She apologised it was the last row of J, but to be honest, I didnt give a toss, I just needed to get to PHX!
I have never flown an MD-11 before. I was impressed at the spaciousness of the cabin. Load was 100% in both cabins, with several NRSAs on the jumpseats as well.
We pushed on time and taxiied to the polderbaan..tick tock...and then HOLY SH**!!!! I see what all the MD-11 lovers are talking about now. What a powerful takeoff. I do a lot of 744 flying (wife is a 744 pilot) and while that is ok, this was rocket quality.
Servie began soon after takeoff.
Scotch Salmon hors d'oeurve
Herb marinated Scotch Salmon accompanied by grilled courgettes, oven roasted tomato, red chard and goat cheese.
Beef in Banyul sauce
Seared tenderloin of beef in a rich, sweet wine sauce served with beetroot, silverskin onions and baby new potatoes
Cod in Parmesan cheese sauce
Filet of cod in a creamy parmesan cheese sauce accompanied by haricot verts, celery, lemon cremolata and a rocket pesto risotto
Roasted guinea fowl with mushrooms
Breast of guinea fowl with chicken jus, served with carrot puree, garlic mashed potatoes and parsley mushrooms
Cheese, fresh fruit, or luxury ice cream
Being on duty travel, I refused to choose a meal until the rev passengers had made their choices, so I had the guinea fowl. It was rather good, its just that I have had it on my last 6 flights! However, beggers cannot be choosers. After dessert (Paulesma ice cream cakes with cinnamon ice cream...yum) was cleared away, I cranked back the seat and crashed. I was woken 4 hours later by a hand on my shoulder. Dazed and confused, it occured to me that the hand was from the seat behind me in Y class. To quote Fraser the "ruffian" had woken me up to ask my neighbor to turn his PTV so she couldnt see it. By now totally confused, I looked at his PTV and saw Sharon Stone getting knobbed by somebody. Basic Instinct 2. I told her to ask him herself, and went back to sleep. I guess the purser came and velcroed the curtain in place, I was too tired to care. I woke up 20 minutes out of YVR, filled in the Canadian immigration forms, and tried to make sense of myself. Still, 7+ hours of sleep was not too bad.
We drifted in to a great landing in YVR and I was out and through customs and immigration in 10 minutes flat. Try that in LAX!
Great flight, service was impeccable. Sure, the "classic" WBC can stand an upgrade, especially in the IFE department, but I almost never use it. But to be honest, I can sleep better in this seat than the new one.
SFO-AMS report to come. YVR-LAS-PHX on CRJ-900 and UA PHX-SFO available if anyone wants.