Planned schedule in UTC: AMS 0655 - PRG 0825
Actual schedule in UTC: AMS 0659 - PRG 0813
Having wanting to visit Ruzyne airport already for a long time, and given an excellent weather forecast for that weekend, I decided at the last minute to make a 1 day trip to PRG for some aircraft-spotting/photography
Check-in was done via the "self-service" machine at 0545z after an early wake-up and gorgeous drive to Schiphol. Weather was excellent with no wind and no clouds, so it promised to be an excellent and calm flight this morning.
The boarding-card again produced a "gate"seat, so, after passport-control and security-check went straight to the published gate D53...The lady there was very kind and said to wait to be called "after a check with the purser on board": sounds promising After the boarding process had started, she came to me from behind the counter and asked me "to board as the last passenger" and handed me back the boarding-pass, but now with seat 4A The more-or-less 90 passengers boarded quite quickly, and all was set at 0645z afterwhich I could enter the aircraft and settle in the last row of seats IN FRONT of the curtain....thank you madam !!!
As soon as all 7 business-class passengers were seated, newspapers were distributed and a pre-takeoff drink was served (very good and tasty orange juice)...
The captain came on the PA and said that due to slot constrains over Germany, they had now opted and filed for another routing to Prague, an Easterly one i.s.o. a South-Easterly one.
Photo © Artur Jarosz
Photo © Alan Lebeda
Nose-lift and push-back was at 0659z and only a short taxi-track was needed today, as the take-off was made from runway 24 at 0705z. At 4/SPL we made a left turn onto track 120 and this way, we had a beautiful view of Schiphol, the "Westereinderplassen" and the village of Aalsmeer. At abeam 227PAM, we made another left turn onto track 074 to Ivlut (19.4/SPL), where we turned right onto a track 108 for our Arnem departure...As it was a beautiful and clear day, lot's and lot's of the Netherlands could be seen and it was like flying over a National Geographic map
This way, the new reclaimed province of Flevoland could be seen in full, before passing the city of Arnhem. After the Arnem point (at 51/SPL or 39/PAM), a slightly left turn was made for a 100 track to Soneb, Sovex towards Hamm/HMM.
As soon as the seatbelt sign was extinguished, the purser started serving out the breakfast, consisting of a nice fruit yoghurt, fruit platter, hot roll and cold snack, consisting of smoked meat and cheese with a few grapes... Drinks could also be had and to finish it off, the famous "strong" Dutch coffee or tea was served...
The first-officer came on the PA system as soon as we were cruising at 35000 feet in the neighborhood of Halle, and informed us that we would continue eastwards towards Dresden, and than make a right turn to the Czech border and towards Prague...as he didn't expect any delays, we should be at the gate about 15 minutes ahead of schedule
Soon after Dresden, we started our descend and proceeded towards Hermsdorf/HDO from where the track was 165 and going down to 5000 feet abeam Neratovice/NER, where a big, but apparently "sleeping" Air Base came into view (anyone know the name ?). At 39.9/HDO a right turn to 198 was made in order to pick-up the ILS for runway 24, where another "small" airport came into view: wow, quite some airfields around here Another right-hand turn was made and now we were flying down the ILS 24 and Kbely airport, the city of Prague with it's Vltava river and many bridges came into view, before a greaser was made at 0808z...fantastic to have this sightseeing-tour even before landing After a smooth roll-out, we exited the runway at D, and taxied via F to our gate 9 at the B-Terminal, where most of the Skyteam members are handled, ending a nice and comfortable flight on KLM.
Nice on-time operation, cockpit-crew kept us well informed and had a smooth and enjoyable flight...
Rating (1-10): 8
Planned schedule in UTC: PRG 1505 - AMS 1640
Actual Schedule in UTC: PRG 1505 - AMS 1633
As I had a departure-time of 1550z in my head i.s.o. 1500, I was VETY shocked to see (at 1435z
) that this, actually, was already the boarding time, so I rushed to the 1st available CSA check-in desk, and asked if check-in for the Amsterdam flight was still available...the good-looking blonde said the flight was closed already, but would phone the supervisor to open the flight again, just in order to check me in: a big "dzekuje" for this Check-in itself was a breezer, as only hand-luggage was transported and the security-check itself was also very quick but thorough (keychain was checked 3x through the x-ray !!!)...As I had seen the OK-DGL (Aero145) at gate 1 or 3 before, I was hoping for the best, however, that plane was scheduled for a CPH flight, and I was "stuck" with OK-CGH
Photo © Dmitriy Pichugin
Photo © Gerry Stegmeier
Boarding was about finished when I entered the gate A1, so was lucky indeed to be able to (still) board the aircraft. Business-class looked empty and Economy-class only had about 20-25 passengers, so this would be an easy going flight for the crew...
In seat 17A there was a passenger still using the phone during push-back, and was tactically told by the steward to "surrender" his phone and passport, as this "could hamper flight safety"...very well done, my boy
Taxi out to runway 24 was via A and Z and rotation was at 1513z, giving an excellent view of the "old" terminal with the Czech AF 154's parked in the distance and runway 13/31...atr 7.2/OKL we made a right-turn onto track 295 for our Donad2A departure, where at 21.3/OKL we turned left again for a 252 track to Besno and Donad. Climbing further to 36000 feet, the crew distributed a nice snack-box, containing a roll and chocolate-bar plus some small mints. Bar service was available and as far as I could see, all drinks were free. Being on board a Czech airplane, I should try a Czech beer, and was given a nice, cold and refreshing Pilsener Urquell
The remainder of the flight was uneventful and very smooth and as soon as we passed the Dutch border, we started our descent into Schiphol towards the Spijkerboor/SPY beacon, where we turned in for an ILS approach to runway 18C overhead Assendelft. A beautiful view of the "Noordzeekanaal", Amsterdam container terminal and Badhoevedorp could be seen, before we touched down at 1624z. A nine minutes taxi followed to our gate D27, where we arrived 7 minutes before scheduled arrival time !!! well done CSA...
Found CSA an excellent airline: very relaxed atmosphere on board, good handling of the phoning person, great snack and ontime performance.
Rating (1-10): 8