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Posts: 3529
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2000 5:26 am

Fog In AMS... A Spring Break Adventure On NW.

Wed Jan 03, 2001 4:23 pm

Here's another one of my crazy experiences on NW. One night my roommate and I were messing around on the internet and we found $299 tickets to AMS for spring break from the east coast! Well, being young, modern and adventurous we decided to go to AMS and Paris for spring break that year! We used America West miles from PHX-PHL and then bought the NW tickets from PHL-AMS. On the return we were to go AMS-IAD on NW and then IAD-PHX on America West. The flight on America West to PHL was on a 320 was was probably my best HP experience! Some guy on board was to propose to his girlfriend upon deplaning and had bough 100 roses for her. As the first 100 people deplaned we were to take a rose and give it to her!! It was so cool. Everyone hung around and watched him pop the question. She was embarassed. I think she said yes though. Anyhow, we got our bags and walked over the the NW terminal to checkin. Being silver elite, I took us to the FC checkin counter to bypass the snaking lines for people checking in for our flight and the MSP and DTW flights as well. Anyhow upon reaching the counter a really cute red head about our age checked us in. I guess I did a little flirting and somehow asked if we could upgrade. Well, she said sure, but there was only one seat. By buddy encouraged me to take it but I told him, no way, not with out you! Anyhow, she was like "oh wait, I found 2 seats, you want 'em?" To which I replied "that would be most appreciated!" Anyhow, so we college guys got an upgrade to World Business Class on $299 tickets for being nice... NW is so cool! =) Anyhow, we hung out in the WorldClub prior to boarding, had a few drinks and basically basked in the moment of us headed to Europe for spring break. It was Toms first time and my 4th time (having studied in Paris the summer before... which brings up yet another NW story!! It's a good one... Ill post it soon). We boarded and ended up switching seats to sit together. We had 6HJ on NW030 PHL-AMS DC10-30 ship #1236, totally full flight. We had champagne served prior to doors closing by a great JFK based crew. We visited the cockpit and introduced ourselves as budding aviators to which we were given a quiz by the captain on global navigation! Imagine that. We pushed ontime and were off the ground about 20 minutes later. We climbed out over the ocean and then flew up the coast over New York, Boston and eventually Gander to pick up the NAT Track "Xray". The superb service by our crew started. I can't remember what it was, but it was great, large in quantity and the alcohol flowed! It was awesome and our flight attendant, Floyd was tickled pink to be serving us and the rest of his guests. Being totally full and a bit drunk I fell asleep for the rest of the flight until breakfast was served. A full omlettle, cereal, fruit, croissants, yogurt and coffee was enjoyed. As the moving map depicted us somewhere east of Great Britain over the North Sea we finished breakfast and I paid a visit to the toilet. When I got back to my seat I noticed that we had entered a hold. Being an instrument rated pilot, I knew exactly what was up. About 2 turns in the hold the captain announced that the fog was so bad in AMS, it was below landing minimums and that we were diverting to Brussels. "Groans from the audience were heard..." About 45 minutes later the 1st officer (he was pilot flying) nestled that heavy, yet so sexy, red tailed bird effortlessly onto the rwy. We taxiied forever and parked at a holding stand on the cargo side of the airport. We were told that we were to refuel here and would be on our way to AMS as soon as the fog lifted and we could get a slot. This is when things sorta got ugly. Due to being in a foreign country we had to remain onboard. Due to service rules nothing that wasn't already open could be served to us. This pissed people off. So, they played Seinfeld, Frasier and other inflight entertainment shows. We were allowed to walk around and stand on the air stairs at doors 1R and 1L for fresh air. Which was totally needed as this was a totally full flight and having made the atlantic crossing, the lavs were not smelling so powdery fresh anymore! This also pissed people off. My roommate and I went to the cockpit to visit with our new friends and they explained to us that the vertical visibility in AMS was 100 feet and the landing minimums were 200 feet. They elected to go to the alternate because we wouldn't have had enough fuel to shoot the approach in AMS, go missed, possibly not be able to land in BRU and make it to FRA, the second alternate. So, we did what we did. The gentleman infront of us, totally called the BS flag on the crew and accused them of lying to us and that the weather really wasn't bad in AMS. This is when Floyd came unglued. He was like "do you actually think we'd do this on purpose? Do you see those other planes out there? (pointing at about 5 KLM 747s, 2 NW DC10s, an AA 767, a UA 767 and several other diverted a/c) Do you think I want to be here after having just worked for the last 10 hours? (he commuted to PHL from DTW). Floyd was not a happy man, and I can't blame him for reacting the way he did to the ignorant man infront of me. I also ran into a lady on the airstairs totally pissed off saying that once they lie to you, you can't trust anything they say!! I was blown out of the water with this crap!! Good lord people... have some faith!!! Anyhow, so we finally took off and made it to AMS about 4 hours or so late. Hmmm... only to find that every other NW flight into AMS had been delayed as well. AMS was a total mess... it was a huge Charlie Foxtrot!!! We ended up missing our train to Paris so we had to take another one via Brussells... hmmm... deja vu! We got to the hotel that night at like 8pm totally deadbeat tired and went to sleep until 3pm the next afternoon... kinda wasted a day in Paris! we were tired.

For the return fiasco... read the first reply to this note.

Topic Author
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Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2000 5:26 am

RE: Fog In AMS... A Spring Break Adventure On NW.

Wed Jan 03, 2001 4:43 pm

So this is part II of the story. We spent 4 days in Paris and then flew on KLM up to AMS for another 4 days. We checked in for the flight NW37 AMS-IAD ship #1238 (the newest DC10-30 at the time to NW) at the FC checkin counters but didn't manage to flirt with the agent enough to get into World Business Class. So we ended up getting our coach seats which weren't bad and boarded the totally full flight. We pushed about 20 minutes late, nothing new in AMS due to flow control. The flight went well and the coach food, while no comparison to WBC wasn't too bad. This was a new DC10 to NW so it had the new lavs which I got to know quite well due to some intestinal distress from the indonesian feast we had the night before! You can't always judge a restaurant from the nice facade they present to you. Anyway, when I was actually in my seat we had a good time talking to our F/A, a young, cute brunette who kept the baileys and coffee flowing! We had yet another sweet landing on NW and arrived at IAD ontime at 245pm. We took those cool people movers to the terminal and were the first a/c to arrive from Europe so we beat the UA customs rush that soon followed us. We made our way over to the America West counter which is manned by CO. Totally expecting it, our America West flight was canceld! Good, we didn't want to fly on a 737-300 nonstop to PHX anyway! The CO agent offered a nonstop on UA or a connection in ORD on AA. I told them that I preferred NW and since I was an elite member with NW, wondered if that would be possible! He said "sure!" so he rebooked us on NW IAD-DTW-PHX. We went over to NW and checked in again at the FC checkin to avoid the lines. We went to TGI Fridays for dinner and to kill time during our 5 hour layover. TGI Fridays has great Jalapeno poppers and a great view of the ramp. Probably shouldn't have had the jalapenos on account of my issues that day, but what the heck! you live once right? We boarded our NW flight to DTW it was a DC9 and I can't remember the flight number. Pushed ontime and was so tired don't really remember the service. I do remember the pilot being a throttle jockey and getting into DTW really early and having to sit in the penalty box waiting for our gate to open. We hung out with a girl that went to our school who was from Michigan. Her whole family came to the airport to see her so we all hung out waiting for our flight to PHX. That was a 3/4 full 757. I think I slept that whole flight because I don't remember anything, other than getting into PHX at 130am, getting home at 330am (2 hour drive from PHX) and having a 9am class later on that day. Which I made it to by the way! So, that is my spring break of '99 adventure! I wish I could remember more of the details, but the best stuff is present. By the way, my tummy and I felt better the next day.

Hope you enjoyed it!

Posts: 2310
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2000 6:00 pm

RE: Fog In AMS... A Spring Break Adventure On NW.

Wed Jan 03, 2001 7:36 pm

I wish i was as lucky as you. Also i must travel NWA when i come to USA some time. They sound really great.


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