30 June 2004
PH-MCH "Prins Constantijn"
Dep AMS 1410 RW 24
Arr MIA 1825 RW 9R
Seat 2F Star Class
Arrived in AMS at 0800 as Mrs klmyank had her interview with KLM over at Schiphol-Oost. Managed to check in early and was delighted to hear that there were only 3 of us booked in C this afternoon.
Much nervous pacing on the roof observation deck until the Mrs. showed up smiling...hired as a new second officer "co-co" for KLM. I can now retire...
Anyway, boarding was the usual mess. Had abandoned the crown lounge due to some complete AH playing techno on his laptop and apparently so drunk the lounge staff were too scared to kick him out. So I boarded with the Y class crowd, they board you and put you through security then coop you in a holding pen at E4, then finally let you board.
Champagne and Orange juice were served pre-takeoff, along with the cool metal amenity kits, "Met Jane Naar Costa Rica" this month.
The purser recognized me from previous trips and welcomed me by name, which was a nice touch, considering MP does not really have a frequent flyer program. Flight attendants were all extremely courteous, taking after takeoff drink orders and handing out menus.
As we ended up being four in the cabin (one more joined us) we made our lunch selections soon after. Chicken Tandoori, Pork Wellington, or Rijstaffel. I always have the rijstaffel on MP, and consider it their signature item. Very Very good, recommended if you are ever on them.
We pushed back about 40 minutes late due to the whole of Holland traveling to Portugal for the EK semi-final (more later). After taxiing to 24, we had another delay as a departing KL 747 had a multiple birdstrike and the runway had to be inspected.
Finally airborne about 85 minutes late, which the skipper promised to make up on the crossing.
Martinair Star class claims to be a business class, but it is honestly more of a premium economy product. The seat is large and comfy, but has a rather small pitch and the footrest slides down from the seat in front of you. Recline is also rather limited. It is basically like a Domestic USA First class seat. However, the service is outstanding, the food is good, the wine is excellent and the price is right...MIA-AMS-MIA flexible for 940 USD!!!!
The senior stewardess brought the after takeoff drink, a Jim Beam and coke. However, it came in two glasses. She did appear to be amused when I thanked her politely, and poured the two together. My friend the purser oversaw this and could barely hold back his mirth, explaining to her in Dutch that some people actually commit the sin of mixing whiskey and cola!
About an hour after departure the rijstaffel appeared and it was very good. Kroepoek, Nasi Goreng, Atjar Tjambol, Sambal Goreng, rendang panang and kip ajam. Of course Sambal Oelek and Ketjap Manis are included.
Put the seat back and promptly passed out for 6 hours, waking up over Boston. Purser brought me a cup of coffee and some scones without being asked, and a bottle of iced water. ( On a previous trip, had driven the poor guy mad with repeated demands for ice) Again, this is why I like Martinair. Its a small airline, and they get to know you. He had specially put the bottle in a bucket of ice so it would be cold when I woke up.
The skipper then started to give the results of the EK game which unfortunately had Holland losing 2-1 to Portugal. One of the Junior FAs started to cry her eyes out, as did several grown men in tourist when I took a walk back to see the reaction. Oh well, at least it wasn't on a shoot-out.
Afternoon tea was served 90 minutes out of Miami, I just had coffee and rolls to wake up, I'm not a big fan of shrimp and fish. Still, it looked rather good.
We landed in Miami on schedule as promised, and deplaning was very quick. Thanked the crew for the excellent service, and off to face the rigors of entering the US.
Seat 7/10 (However, you get what you pay for)
IFE: 6/10 didn't use it, but overhead monitors and it looked fairly poor quality
Cleanliness: 9/10 (Contrary to other reports)
I think MP Start Class is a decent alternative to KLM economy (around the same price) and you get what you pay for. I will always ride them when I can, simply because I like the service and the food. I am not an IFE hound, preferring to read. Seat is a bit cramped, but beats sitting in the back!
[Edited 2004-07-03 21:48:38]