I and my father left our house in Oslo at about 9:45am for a 45 min drive to OSL where we should meet the rest of the group we would be traveling with.
We arrived about 45 min before them so I had quite good time to explore the check in area.
After meeting the rest of the group, we went over to the check in agent. He told us that the flight was full in economy and that we would get oure boarding passes at the gate, and that we probably would be upgraded.
How great i taught, but the should not last long.
When we arrived at gate A40 for our 12:25 depature, the gate agent, who handled out the boarding passes, gave the guy in front of me a biz seat, but to me she said: "oh, you were not so lucky" and gave me 18F. Boarding was smooth, and the plane turned out to be PH-BDI (733, del: 02.1989) Found my seat, but changed it to 19A because the guy who sat there wanted to be with his family in row 18. The seat was a normal KLM seat with good legrom.
Pushed back a few mins behind scedule, and taxied to RWY: 19L for a quick take-off.
The crew came around with refreshing towels, and started the meal service (sandwich and cacke)
Sadly there were no sandwiches left when they came to the rows in the rear so i had to eat 2-3 cackes instead.(i think this was bad of KLM and this together with VERY slow drink service made the service quite poor)The cacke was good, but since the meal service lasted so long, a flightdeck visit wasn't availiable.
Touched down in AMS on schedule, and taxied to gate D42.
Photo © Martin Steiner
Since we had 2 hrs to spend at the airport, some eating and shoping were "carried out"
After spending about 1:30hrs at the airoprt (which is quite nice)it was time to proceed to gate E08 where a long queue met us. Due to safety reasons only one and one family were let into the gate area were several security people asked about our lugage, purpose of trip, and you name it.
The questioning lasted for some minutes, and the security man was very nice. Honestly I felt very safe when I boarded my first 742 ever. The bird was N624US (del: 06.1979) and she had the new interior . Our seats were 56 E and F ( the middle seats on the second row after the galley behind the wing.)
I was a little disappointed, but luckily the man on 56D moved to another seat so we got three seats. Beacuse of this i moved to the aisle seat.
Legroom and seats were great, together with the rest of the a/c (I had expected poor seats, since it was a US-airline) and we puched back 10 mins late (16:45)
The take-off was great, and luckily the sonud was old and noisy .
The capt. told that the flighttime to the twin cities would be 8:10 hrs.
Shortly after takeoff, the FA's came around with drinks and peanuts, and about 30-45 mins later, the meal service started. I had lasagne (it turned out to be vegitarian) and salad + cacke.
I found the food very creative and tasty, and it was quite huge.(great job NWA)
I had a softdrink together with the food (and got the whole can). I used the coming hrs to read and look at Greenland and Canada from the rear exits windows. I did not watch the movies (meet the Parents and Charlies Angels) because my sound system were brooken, but I had sevral drinks, which i picked up at the gally (again the whole can). A snack which consisted of a pizza slice (vegetarian) and an ice-cream were served before landing.
Touched down at MSP at 18:10 and taxied to gate G6b. It had been a nice flight and NW was very great (the female FA's were not so great,why not smile, but the male one was.)
Photo © George Polfliet
After passing through imigration, we had to pick up the lugage and deliver it again on a new belt.
More than two new hrs had to be spend at an airport, but that was no problem because MSP was just very great and nice (with several observation decks and other cool stuff)
If you are interested: I ate a cinnabonn roll, walked around in the C,E and F concurse and had a horrible pepsi in the Pub (near the gate)
At around 20:15 it was time to board our 20.44 flight to Fargo/Moorhead throug gate D4. It was a DC9-51 (sorry, didn't got the reg# but somebody can maybe help?)
Sadly our seats were 26 A/B, the last row ,with no windows,next to the engine. (it was new interior)
I was very disappointed because i had hoped to see the lights from the cities, and other a/c while taxiing. But the flight was packed and it was noting to do. Again legrom was very nice. (didn't fell like the 30-31') The noise wasn't thath bad (only a little annoying while on the ground), but there wern't any service due to the short flight time (only 39 min), and the FA's were a rare sight in economy. Pushed back some minutes late, but landed on time after an uneventfull flight.
The noise upon landing was very cool, and we taxied quickly to gate 1.
After picking up the lugage, a bus drove us to Holiday Inn Fargo, and I went to bed.
Those days were spendt in Fargo and Bismarck where our group visited the two Bobcat plants (in Gwinner and Bismarck)
I think it was very interesting, and me and my father rented a Mercury Sable in Fargo (i love American cars)
Sadly it became time to leave the nice cities in North Dakota, and the Hotel Bus drove us to the airport at 9:45am.
Check in was very quick and I was soon on my way up to the gate area/taxfree area. It was a very silent airport with few shops, but it had several great windows facing towards the apron and rwy.
at 10.20 our a/c arrived at gate 3 from MSP, and I captured the landing on video.
Shortly after it was time to board N9335 a Dc9-31 from November 1968. MY father and i got, can you guess it?, seat 20 A/B (second last row), but this time we had windows. Left gate at 11:04 (on min ahed of schedule) and took of from rwy 13.
Flighttime was about 55 mins, and drinks were handled out. I had a 7up, and enjoyed the nice view of the engine and wing together with the clear skies.
Agian legroom and seat was nice. During our approach to MSP the engines were spooled up and down which were a new experiance for me. Touched down a little bumpy, and taxied to gate D-4.
I immediatley left the plane for the observation deck since we had less than an hour until our next flight.
After taking some pictures at concourse D's observation deck, we quickly went over to gate F6. The flight was said to be 30 min late (should depature at 1:05 pm )so I went to the pizza shop right beside the gate. But suddenly something happened, and bording started. I went over to the gate with a brownie, and boarded this unknown NW A320-200.
My seat were 23A, and the seat and legrom was quite good (nice soft headrest) I found the 320 nicer than I had expected, but i didn't like the small, low windows. Before puchback three NW DC10 arrived at the gates F 8, 10 and 12. Puchback almost on thime and we started a long taxi to rwy ?.
I found the long taxi queues very cool (so much to see) We passed several NW aircrafts and a parked Kitty Hawk 727-100F (i think it was -100) Suddenly the Capt. came on the PA and said "Ladies and gentlemen, I have bad news foor you. Due to low ceiling at LGA, ATC has told us to...... I will shut down the engines and return with more info within an hour.
How cool. I was quite happy, because my window was facing the threshold of rwy ?, and I had the opportunity to film sevral landings (mostly DC9 and S340), and some a/c that taxied onto the rwy (NW 727,Dc9,dc10, 757 and CO erj145). The FA's came around with water (a little "hot") and some snack. AN hour later the capt. told us that we were ready to go,
and we took off into the clear Minnesota sky. Someplace over L. Michigan, our food, which consisted of: Turkey or Beef sandwich, apple and chips, were handled out. I had the turkey. It was good but to small for a 2:45 flight (turned out to be about 4 with our delay). Again whole softdrink cans were served. Suddenly it became cloudy, and we started our descent towarsd LGA.
The capt. said that he had heard rumors about a holding pattern, but sadly he was wrong. The visibility was poor, and the approach was bumpy. The final approach were over Brooklyn and Queens. and we touched down smooth on the rwy (the one that don't approaches over water). Taxied to the terminal and parked next to an DL MD88.
The first think I discovered when I left the a/c was caos. Almost every inbound flight to LGA were canceled (I think I was lucky ) and so were several. outbound flights too.
Found the luggage, and took a cab to the hotel.
A/c B747-200SUD-M (747-300M)
The two days in New York went fast by (it was so much to see, that i sall not go into details about what i did.), and at 7:15 PM our bus left the hotel for JFK's terminal 4E. The drive took about 50 mins, and the checkin area were almost deserted when we checked in for KLM's 11:15 depature. The stupid agent, who became very confused when all of our group didn't check in together (he wanted us to check in as a group, but the other agent didn't)
I asked for a window seat, and he said "sure", but then he said "no more windows". I was very disappointed, but what can you do.
Ate at Burger King in the boring taxfree area, before we went throug security and came into a lot more interessting gate area. I saw: SN 340, SR 330, LY 744, and some other. A gate agent arrived, and I asked him if there were any windows left. He said " yes, how many do you want" and i changed our seats from 42 H,J to 41 J,K. Boarding started at 22:40 and I found my seat right behind the wing on PH-BUL (Charles A Lindbergh) which is KLM's second oldest 747 (del November 1978).
The a/c was in good shape, but the seats were poor. Short seat back and poor legroom (only 31"). Puched back on time, and took off behind a VS 747 and a CO ERJ. Shortly after take-off a ham and cheese sandwich and lemon- cacke were served. It was good but small. The window shades had to be lowered, and i felt a sleep. Wooke up to a hot-towel and breakfats. Breakfast were pancacke with cheese or some egg-dish. I had the pancacke. It came together with a roll,
fruit salad, and a cherry youhurt. Everything expect the roll ,fruit, and the hamburger (which were under the pancakes) were horrible. (nobody told me that the panckcke were stuffed with cottage cheese). Shotly after we landed in AMS and taxied to gate F8. I deboarded through the rear-door airbridge (how cool) and went to the toilet.
Photo © Jörg Tegen
Went to some taxfree shops, but didn't by anything due to all the diseases in Europe (why buy something, you might have to give away in the Norwegian customs bacause it's forbidden?)
Our last flight left from gate D28 (one of the last gates on the D concourse), so we had quite a walk before we could board PH-BXM (del November 2000). I had seat 12A, an exit row in this new bird.
Photo © Marlo Plate
Legroom was great, but the new seats weren't as nice as the old ones.
The 738 was great, but it felt a little smaler than the A320. (most of this were due to the layout of the overhead lockers). Puched back a little late, but were soon airborne for Oslo. A delicious chicken sandwich and a cacke were served before we landed in sunny oslo.
taxied to the gate, and discovered a PIA A3.. and some other smaller birds. Our luggage arrived quite late, but customs were passed easily. Said goodby to the rest of the group, and drove home after a fantastic week.
I was a little disappointed with all flights, expect the last. Legroom, seats and food on their longhaul flights were not very good. Luckliy the FA's are VERY nice, and all their a/c are "ship shape".
KL will get a 6/10 for those flights.
I was wery impressed with their legroom, airctrafts, and food on the trans atlantic flights. On the other hand, FA's and domestic food/bevrage service weren't that great.
Ontime performance were exelent, as well as their hub MSP.
Remembering that NWA is an american carrier and not an Asian, I'll give them 8/10.
Hope you enjoyed my report.