this is going to be my first trip-report - comments and requests about missing information is highly appreciated.
I had the pleasure to fly from TXL to SEA via AMS on KL 1818 and NW 33 on August 10th 2007 - in SEA I connected to QX 2053 to RDM, where good friends of mine live that I haven't visited for quite a while...
KL 1818 - TXL to AMS - B737-400
Arriving in TXL around 4.30 am, I was more than glad to be flying in C, since the queue for the Y-passengers at check-in at Gate A05 was already quite long. Thus, check-in just took a few minutes for me. I tried internet-check-in, but due to security reasons, I wasn't available for US-bound passengers... The reminder of the time I spent in the tiny AF lounge...
Boarding for the scheduled 6.05 am departure startet around 5.40 and we pushed back on-time at around 6.05... Usually, KL uses F70s and F100s for the TXL flights - but quite often the early morning departure (KL 1818) gets a 733 or even 734 instead, since there seem to be lots of business passengers or pax with connections in AMS... We took off at around 6.15 am on TXLs runway 08L.
KL B737-400 "Leifur Eriksson" sits at gate A 05 in TXL
The Euope Select seats in the 5 front-rows weren't too full - in fact, both seats next to me (I had 1 F) remained empty. Breakfast was quite nice - a neat looking box contained some quality cheeses and a fruit salad - the rolls served were warm as they came directly out of the oven...
My seat 1 F
The 60 minute flight went by smoothly, and we touched down in AMS around 7.15 am - quite ahead of time - on runway 06 "kaagbaan" - close to our arrival gate C 13.
"Leifur Eriksson" at Gate C 13 in AMS
Afterwards, I took to long walk through departure lounge 1 - past immigration to lounge 2 - bought my duty-free cigarettes - and finally headed to the KL Crown Lounge - which was pretty busy - as I had about 3.5 hours to kill for my 12.55 pm connection to SEA.
The Crown lounge isn't very big - thus it seemes to be somewhat crowed - however, it offers many amenities and has a nice stile - they offer lots of snacks, drinks, showers, free computer use, and - quite important too me - a smoking section too... Besides: being located on the 3rd floor - you get an excellent view onto the apon!
The view out my seat in the smoking section of the crown lounge
I was particularily happy, to have an MD11 - "Florence Nightingale" - bound for Curacao - in front of me, as AMS is one of the few remaining places, where I can be sure to see of few of my beloved and endangered tri-jets!
The busy Crown lounge offers excellent views!
NW 33 - AMS to SEA - A330-300
At around 11.45am I proceeded to gate E 09 for my NW 33 flight to SEA, since gate security promised to be quite time consuming. Luckily, again, I could avoid the queues, by using the priority line for C passengers... I was surprised to see a A330-300, since the flight was scheduled to use an A330-200 - at least the WBC section wasn't filled up and therefore didn't need a capacity-upgrade - but Y-class definitely looked quite full!
Our A330-300 sits a gate E 09 - sorry, but I didn't catch the tail-number... too bad that American carriers never seem to give their aircraft names...
Boarding startet around 12.20pm and went quite smooth - promising an on-time departure. The new A330s still look really clean and entering the cabin, you realize they haven't been around too long yet. It was a very nice impression! The new WBC seats look really comfy too - however, being just used to the old-fashioned cradle-seats, those huge "shells" on the back of the seats look somewhat weird to me...
They have lots of functions, and for the first time ever - being 1.84m tall (6' 00'') - I got a foot rest that would actually extend to a length where I could stretch out my legs. The lie-flat systems is really nice too - unfortunately, the remaing tilt of a few degrees turned out too be quite akward to me...
My seat - 2J
The flight attendant immediately started to serve us drinks, and came by at least thrice during the whole boarding process. Doors were closed at 12.55am - promising an on-time departure - but it showed, a connecting passenger hadn't made it, so his bags had to be unloaded and we couldn't push back till around 1.15...
Taxiing to the remote runway 36L - "Polderbaan" - took about another 25 minutes, and so we weren't finally airborn until approx. 1.40... (however, we got into SEA just 10 minutes late - so no big deal...)
Cabin service started immediately with hot towels, serveral rounds of drinks a nice and big bowl of nuts. The amenity kit in particular was pretty need, since it also included ear-plugs and a chap-stick.
The amenity kit and inflight-menu
Soon afterwards, food service started. Today, for the entree, we had a choice of chicken, lamb or fish. However, being a vegetarian I had preordered a VLML meal... Some nice creation of veggies and some sort a rice, which tasted a bit exotic... For the dessert, I chose the yummy strawberry icecream, which was just difficult to eat, since it wasn't served in a bowl and the spoon could hardly cut it...
The first meal course - accidentally, my neighbour got my VLML meal - we changed it just after I took this shot...
I was pleasently surprised, that flight attendants were very attentive during the whole 9.40 minute flight - always passing by with drinks and snacks. I actually managed to sleep for 2 hours, and afterwards used the excellent AVOD to watch a movie ("Fracture"). The monitors have a nice size and the quality of the audio system is surprisingly good. The choice of movies wasn't too bad - but having flown with EK before, I wasn't too impressed. Just seems like, EK's entertainment system (and with them, I only flew in Y...) plays in a league for itself...
About 1 hour prior to landing, we got another light meal. I particularily appreciated the fresh fruit.
Getting close to our destination
Starting our descent into the Seattle area.
The chief purser - a very friendly elderly woman - passed along and shook hands with every one of us in C class - thanking for our pratonage - that was pretty funny and also impressive to me.
The downtown Seattle area with the famous Skyneedle
After a rather bumpy approach, we finally touched down on SeaTacs 16L runway around 2.20pm - just 10 minutes behind schedule. In comparison to the approach, the landing itself was so smooth that it could be hardly felt at all.
After a short taxi we pulled into gate S 8 on the south satellite - since we were the only international arrival at that time, immigration took just a few minutes - very nice! However, SeaTac - to me - isn't a really comfortable airport. Having to take the infamous train to the main terminal requires you the recheck your bags and collect them from another carousel in the main terminal. The only remaining smoking section is outside the baggage claim area - in between doors on the curbside...Geez!
Pulling into gate S8
I finally caught my Horizon air flight to Redmond, Oregon at 6.22pm with a Bombardier Q200... Nothing to write home about... but sure alright.
my flight in the new WBC on flight NW 33 was excellent! The brand new A330-300, the clean cabin, the comfy seats, the generous meals, and in particular: the very attentive and friendly FAs made my trip very enjoyable. NW - I'll give you a straight A for that...
[Edited 2007-08-12 20:28:02]