Trip Report: AMS -- LBA
Airline: KLM Cityhopper, KL 1546
Aircraft: Fokker 100
Date: 30 Oct.
Here goes my very first trip report, feel free to give me some feedback.
The day started off pretty badly, I was late at the airport because of drinking the night before. Luckily I had already checked in online, the KLM website is excellent. Arrived at the airport after a stressful journey from Rotterdam, and dropped off my bags. I had just enough time on my hands for a cup of over priced coffee and a sandwich. As far as I know, most Cityhopper flights to the UK and some to Eastern Europe(?) depart from gate D06, which is on the lower level of the airport. A bus took us to our Fokker 100, which sadly hadn't been painted in the new KLM colours. The layout of the Fokker 70/100 is 2+3, I took my seat, 5A, which is right behind the Europe Select class. Personally, I think Europe Select seems to be a bit of a rip-off, the seats are the same and the only perks are a nicer sandwich and a free newspaper. Maybe as a humble student, I don't care for these perks, as I am constantly skint! Departure was from the runway between the two opposite cargo ramps and the terminals, not sure about the number. As we climbed out I was lucky to catch a glimpse of an Antonov AN72, pretty cool looking plane.
Once we had reached our cruising altitude, the man seated next to me left his seat and upgraded himself to Europe Select. Nobody seemed to notice or care too much either, especially me; I had just gained an extra seat! We were served the usual sandwich, a choice of either Turkey or Cheese, I took the turkey and had tea. The snack service on these flights is basic but fine, considering the flight time is little over 50 minutes. The usual descent into Leeds takes you over the centre of the city, however this time we were to land on runway 12, so our decent took us over the moors where the 'Golf Balls' are, the American radio listening facility from Cold War days. I was pretty disappointed not to see Elland Road, the home of my beloved LEEDS UNITED. Landing at Leeds never fails to disappoint as the airport is located on a pretty high hill, you'll appreciate this when approaching runway 12! Turbulence is very common and these little planes tend to rock about quite easily...FUN!!! We landed, and taxied to our gate, at Leeds, the only airlines that are allowed to use the jetways of which there are two, are the BMI flights to Heathrow (Airbus A319), KLM Cityhopper (usually Fokker 100s and sometimes 70s) and some Jet2 flights.
tThe layout of the airport is strange, as you walk towards passport control and descent to baggage reclaim, you pass the 'food court' where people watch you walk by. If you ever been to LBA I'm sure you'll appreciate what I am going on about, for the others, it gives you the feeling that you're a zoo attraction! FOREIGNERS!!! Passport control is swift, for British and European citizens, and baggage reclaim doesn't take too long...well it shouldn't for such a small airport.
In my opinion, the KLM service is excellent. I fly to Leeds several times a year on Jet2 or KLM and have found that sometimes it is cheaper to fly KLM. Jet2 is fine but the seat layout is terrible compared to KLM, well what do you expect? The Fokkers are lovely planes and very comfortable. I do miss the days when Leeds was served by Fokker 27s and 50s of AirUK, that was a while back. However the Fokkers have some problems, I remember reading on this website before that they recquire a lot of maintenance, this is true, my mother was flying from Leeds to Nairobi and onto George (South Africa) and her flight was delayed for quite sometime.
Well that was it, my first report! If any of you have any comments feel free to share them. I am going to South Africa for Christmas and am flying BA from AMS -- LHR -- JHB -- JRG (George), my 'hometown.' So that will make for an interesting report! Watch this space, I'll do my best to include pictures.