July 1st, 2006
ORD - AMS
Scheduled: 1758 - 0910
Actual: 1810 - 0925
Equipment: Boeing 767-322ER
When we arrived at our gate (C21), the aircraft was already there, more than two hours before departure. Registration was N644UA.
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Photo © Fabian Gysel
When boarding was announced, it was clear that there were a lot of Dutch people on this flight: no queueing, just one big group of pax trying to board all at once. Load was 100% in all classes, and I noticed three infants near our seats
(one in row 29, one in 20, and one in 18).
View towards gate C23, Shuttle by United:
We pushed back a few minutes late. We taxied to our runway for departure.
We crossed our departure runway, then took a left turn, and again a left turn to enter that same runway again at the beginning. Take-off with LH
D-AIKA, showing off its football nose:
Nevada color scheme
No channel 9 during this flight, so a big
to the flight crew. It took quite a while before the drinks service was started, and it was interrupted before they came to my seat because of turbulence. The captain (or first officer) came on to explain there was some heavy turbulence over Michigan, and they would be flying around it. Nevertheless, they needed the FAs to take their seats. After some banking, and some very mild turbulence, the drinks service was resumed. When I was handed my drink and a pack of snack mix, the FA
said "Here you go, honey". How I hate that!
By the time the meal service started we were over the province of Ontario, somewhere between YYZ
, and I was watching 16 Blocks
(it was OK
). Choice for the meal was beef or pasta. I went for the pasta again. It turned out to be cold. FAs took the pasta back from me (and from a lot of other pax) to heat it. They said the ovens weren't working properly on this aircraft. I wanted to put my seatback up for dinner, but it was stuck in the reclined position! I asked the guy behind me to push it up, and with some force he managed to do that. Later, the seat would only stay reclined when I leaned in to it, the moment I would move forward, the seatback came with it.
When the FA
returned with my meal, the pasta was warm, and so was everything else (salad and dressing, dessert, grapes, water, crackers), and the butter had melted! Nevertheless, the meal was edible (except for the butter). It took a very long time before the trays were collected. Also, no coffee/tea service after the meal.
The FAs came by with water just twice, which I thought was not enough.
Two of three infants mentioned earlier were crying all the time, so it was pretty awful in the cabin, all the way to AMS
. I didn't watch another movie after 16 Blocks, but listened to channel 6 (jazz) with the airshow on. I tried to think of all the aiport codes for the cities I saw on the maps (and managed pretty good. Ones I could think of included more obscure ones such as YJT and FIH). The ones I didn't know: Limerick (Ireland), Oxford (UK), Brighton (UK), Lille (France), Liège (Belgium) and Nürnberg (Germany).
About an hour before sunrise I went to the back. It turned out to be quite crowded there in the galley, a lot of Dutch guys were talking with each other and drank coffee. I joined them, talking about their trips and mine, and drinking some coffee, which was quite good compared with the black stuff some Americans call coffee, but Europeans call raw sewage. I stayed in the back until we were sent out by the FAs, who wanted to prepare breakfast. By then, the sun was shining, and we were between DUB
. Breakfast consisted of a cup of fruit, water, a bread roll with brie, and a hot roll with egg and ham. It was good. I took an orange juice with it.
My PTV, close to AMS
A ship on the North Sea:
Entrance of the Noordzeekanaal (channel between Amsterdam and the North Sea), near IJmuiden (west of Amsterdam):
Approach and landing:
We landed on the Polderbaan, so it took a while before we were near the gate. To make things worse, there was some kind of problem at the gate (the jetway couldn't be moved), so had an extra wait of around 5 minutes.
The UA IAD
aircraft was parked across from the G pier:
flight was operated by N776UA today:
After arriving at the G pier (don't know the gate number, but we stood next to an U2
A319 at the H pier), we walked to Dutch immigration, and waited a long time for the bags (one of the downsides of AMS
IMHO). Took the train to Utrecht, and from there a taxi to my parents' home. (I returned to my hometown of Rotterdam this evening)
Thanks for reading this trip report! If you happen to know the registrations for UA
909 and/or UA
797 of June 11th, 2006, please reply! Any comments are welcome too.
For the record: I would fly any of the mentioned airlines again gladly, even though the last UA
flight was a bit of a disappointment. Especially Andrew Airways is highly recommended!!!