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Sun Aug 11, 2002 10:02 pm

Am flying to New Orleans in Oct/Nov from London and looking to book a ticket soon.

Q1. What are NW DC10s like (in terms of comfort, service, reliability)?
Q2. How come most of KLMs services across the Atlantic now rely heavily on NWA DC10s (been trying to book any KLM flight but most KL6--- flights are operated by NW DC10s)?
Q3. As a KLM FD member - should I consider flying with Continental instead?
Q4. and if so - perhaps consider a Virgin operated flight with a CO flight number?
Q5. Suggestions would be much appreciated. Have no preference in stopover city on the way to MSY...
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Sun Aug 11, 2002 10:44 pm

As someone who has flown on a NWA DC10, please... I implore you to look for an alternative way of flying - especially if you are flying trans-Atlantic! The planes are old with uncomfortable seating, no thanks to the extrremely tight pitch.

On a plus side, the DC10 is quite a reliable aircraft. If you have a thing for jets in its twilight years, better fly them now before they get replaced by the A330s!

In-flight service, well, NW is not known for it so just imagine yourself stuck in an uncomfortable seat with FAs that disappear after take off, mysteriously appear during meal service, just to vanish again until just before descend?

Continental on the other hand, has had pretty good reports (NW has a few good ones too but they tend to come from the same group of hardcore supporters), just dig through the archives and see what you come up with. I am sure it would give you some impression of some sort. I have a few reports written on NW long haul.

KLM, needless to say, is beyond comparison with her alliance partner across the pond. Which leads me to wonder why the pairing exist in the first place with such difference in service standards? Well, that is another post for another day...

If IFE is a must for you, fly Virgin or CO...
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Sun Aug 11, 2002 11:34 pm

A1: Have no idea. Never flown them, but I always like the sight of a DC-10...
A2: All KLM trans-atlantic [TA] flights have been pooled with NW. KLM and NW share the revenue from these flights equally, regardless of who operates the flight. Therefore a lot of routes have been taken over by NW DC-10's that apparently are very economical to operate on these TA crossings.
A3: Would be possible only for the AMS-EWR/IAH flights. I personally would prefer a NW D10 over a CO 762, but CO might soon upgrade the EWR flight to 764 or 777...?
A4: I seriously doubt that KL will reward your FD membership with Virgin flights through their CO deal. I would think that KLM will only reward CO miles on AMS related flights.

A5: If you insist on flying KLM [being FD member], you must first fly to AMS, and have another connection in the USA. In the USA you'll have options on transferring through DTW, MEM and EWR. From DTW/MEM you'll be able to connect on NW to MSY [most likely DC9]. I think KLM will reward you for the miles flown on NW and CO.
Off course you could also fly NW from LGW, I would think that KLM will reward you for that, but not sure though.

LGW-DTW NW0031 [NW operated] D10 dep 13.45 arr 17.20
DTW-MSY NW1475 [NW operated] DC9 dep 19.00 arr 20.41 Total travel time: 12:56

LGW-MSP NW0043 [NW operated] D10 dep 12.05 arr 15.05
MSP-MSY NW0860 [NW operated] DC9 dep 18.52 arr 21.38 Total travel time: 15:33

LON-AMS: your choice of 9x daily LHR-AMS [KLM operated], 6x daily STN-AMS [KLM uk operated], or 6x daily LCY-AMS [KLM uk operated].

AMS-DTW NW0039 [NW operated] D10 dep 08.00 arr 10.45
DTW-MSY NW1479 [NW operated] DC9 dep 12.00 arr 13.42 Total travel time: 12:42

AMS-DTW NW0067 [NW operated] 744 dep 11.10 arr 13.45
DTW-MSY NW1475 [NW operated] DC9 dep 19.00 arr 20.41 Total travel time: 16:31

AMS-DTW KL0617 [KL operated] 747 dep 14.20 arr 17.00
DTW-MSY NW1475 [NW operated] DC9 dep 19.00 arr 20.41 Total travel time: 13:21

AMS-MEM KL625 [KL operated] 767 dep 16.00 arr 19.15
MEM-MSY NW869 [NW operated] DC9: dep 21.15 arr 22.32 Total travel time: 13:32

AMS-MSP NW0041 [NW operated] 742 dep 10.45 arr 12.45
MSP-MSY NW0860 [NW operated] DC9 dep 18.52 arr 21.38 Total travel time: 17:53

AMS-EWR KL6063 [NW operated] D10 dep 11.15 arr 13.55
EWR-MSY KL8535 [CO operated] 737 dep 16.00 arr 18.10 Total travel time: 13:55

Total travel time is for AMS-XXX-MSY leg; LON-AMS leg not included.
All schedules as valid from 27 Oct 2002. Before this date the timings maybe different.

Hope this helps.

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Mon Aug 12, 2002 2:12 am

Flew NWA DC10 from MSP to LGW and from FCO to DTW....
The ONLY REASON I think one would choose to fly NWA DC10 is for nostalgia and to experience this aircraft before they are all replaced. In all other areas (comfort, entertainment, service....), there are much better choices....
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Mon Aug 12, 2002 3:45 am

Why not just take CO...
only one stop that way.
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Mon Aug 12, 2002 4:08 am

Continental has superior service. I enjoyed my flight on them yesterday EWR-MSP. Check out my recent report in the Trip Reports forum.

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Mon Aug 12, 2002 7:09 am

If you want to fly KLM you can go AMS-IAH on 747-400.
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Mon Aug 12, 2002 11:18 am

Continental no longer flies the DC10. All remaining DC10-30's were grounded in the weeks after 9/11 and parked in the Nevada desert, never to return to the CO fleet. They were originally scheduled to be retired by 2003.

CO has better service, newer planes, and more in the way of amenities on its flights. Northwest supposedly has improved its service considerably, but I would go with CO.

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Mon Aug 12, 2002 12:59 pm

Continental for sure. Very nice planes and service.

LGW-IAH (twice daily 777-200) IAH-MSY (mixed 737,757-200,757-300 (sometimes) or MD80 service almost hourly)


LGW-EWR (twice daily 777-200, 767-200) EWR-MSY (737-300 -with swaps to -700/800/900 depending on demand)

Triple Seven
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Mon Aug 12, 2002 1:54 pm

I have flown NWs DC-10-30 on Detroit-Amsterdam route. The aircraft is clean, neat, and comfortable. Service is o.k., just like all US carriers are. The DC-10-30 that I was in made a rather interesting noise during climb out. Very loud buzz-saw noise (more than you would expect) could be heard in the cabin when the aircraft was roughly at 8 to 10,000ft. VERY LOUD! The noise lasted for about 10 to 15 seconds and everyone in the cabin took notice of it. I have flown NWs DC-10s on many occasion (mostly Osaka-Kuala Lumpur vice versa run--NW069/070) and non made that kind of loud noise during climb out.

Hell anyway, the DC-10 ride should be comfortable like any wide body aircraft. The interior of the cabin looks new with 2-5-2 seating. Nothing spectacular. Do not expect MH like amenities or services but they are professional enough. Just sit, relax, sleap, eat your meal, listen to some music, watch the inflight screening (mine was a docu. on Elvis Presley!) and walla the next thing you know you have arrived.

-Triple Seven
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Mon Aug 12, 2002 5:55 pm

Cheers for all these replies...

I am thinking of using the LGW-IAH service with Continental on-board their 777s (PW100 - CO is now a full member of KLM's FD so I would get miles on any CO flight even if I flew on a Virgin code-share) before connecting on to their MSY service there.

I was hoping to fly via AMS from LHR but (as every KLM FD member knows - annoyingly - only NW and CO fly out of LGW, my home airport) ONLY to connect on to a KLM operated flight or on to NWAs 747-400 service.

Would have loved to try out NWs service but as PW100 has kindly provided me with the options - you can see that both NW 747 flights from AMS don't offer decent connections for MSY.

The last option is the fact that I may spend a long weekend in New York before flying home - so CO would still be my choice - e-booking with CO would allow me to purchase a LGW-EWR return flight with another EWR-MSY ticket for not much more...

looking forward to flying that CO 777 though...

ps. I have flown on some of those NW DC10s - if I am not mistaken some are ex-Malaysia Airlines planes (am not so nostalgic about them - last time I flew on an MAS DC10 was in 1983!). The situation would however be different if it was a choice of flying on a L1011 for nostalgia....  Smile