This report is of a recent trip i took together with fellow Anetter OA260. We were going to try out the newest ship of Norwegian Cruise Line, M/V Norwegian Gem, on its first revenue sailing from Rotterdam to Dover in England.
After checking out for flights, the best option seemed to fly to AMS and back from LHR. on the ARN-AMS leg there are 3 carriers; SAS, Sterling and KLM. KLM dont have single tickets (well they do but they are full fare), Sterling was too late in the day so i settled for SK. I havent flown with SK in almost 2 years.I got fed up with their bad service all the time, and no value for money , also at least at ARN , really unmotivated staff.So i really went with an open mind and tried to give them another chance.
OA260 s TR about this trip can be found here : DUB-AMS EI/NEW NCL Cruise SHIP/LHR-DUB BD PICS+VID (by OA260 Oct 7 2007 in Trip Reports)
So here goes.
As my flight was leaving at 07:35 in the morning, i ended up not sleeping at all. I wanted to be at the airport at 5 am, just in case that my flight was cancelled, that i could still be rebooked on the KL flight at 06:30
Thursday October 4 th 2007
Reg: OY-KGY " Rollo Viking"
Photo © Niklas Kull - Ostersund Photography
As i had checked in the previous night, i planned to go with handluggage only. But before security i was asked by a SK lady if i was flying SK , to which i said yes, and then she asked me to weigh my handluggage.It was few kilos too heavy so i had to check it.oh well no big deal.There was no que at the bag drop so i walked straight up to the desk.There i was greeted with a really grey person. I said good morning, to which i got " boardingpass".So i showed my boardigpass and my bag was tagged and sent.After that i got my BP back without any word at all.No enjoy your flight, or what gate i am welcome too.But oh well, i thought, not going to get that destroy my good mood.I cleared security early as it was getting pretty crowded in the departure hall.
It was still dark outside , so no good photo ops.
bad shot of LOT ERJ
As i had lots of time, i went to the F pier, which is a not so old part of Terminal 5. The sad thing is that this pier is really nice , but not used so much.While the rest of the terminal was full of people everywhere, this part remained quite and peacefull.
empty F pier in the morning
At first our gate was supposed to be 12, the same gate KL flight to AMS at 0630 was leaving from.But it soon changed to gate 15A.Then at around 0700 a sign came on at the monitors announcing a 25 min delay.No big deal i thought.There was no SK staff at the gate.I also noticed that the KL flight didnt leave either, so i got a bit nerveous.
I saw one of my collegues who was just finishing his flihght, and he checked out for me that we had a departure slot for 0910 due to weather. so i figured that we would be more then 25 min late..lol
I then got a text message from OA260 saying his flight was delayed 90 minutes due to fog in AMS. Oh well not much you can do about the weather. It started to get light outside so i snapped few photos.
Delayed KL flight to AMS at gate 12 with AF to CDG at 14 SK to CPH at 16 and a BLX to some sunny place at gate 18.The Steling plane in the background is heading for AGP
DK A330 and NRD MD80
My plane at gate 15A with NB755 for NCE leaving.SkyCity and Terminal 4 in the background
This beauty just arrived from BKK
big engine.Note the SK Dash parked at domestic terminal.This was the day that
they resumed service after the incidents
SK 737 with winglets
TG 747 again
i returned to my gate at 0730.At that time there was a SK staff standing there.Just as i got there he made an announcement that the flight is delayed due to weather and we will board soon.very dull announcement, and no appologies.I dont expect them to put on their sad face or anything, but it doesent cost extra to say something like" We would like to appologize for this delay " Oh well. We boarded soon and i found my seat. BTW, my seat was same number as the gate ,15A. The crew on this flight werent that good.Especially one of the F/A s which was a nightmare.More about that soon.
We boarded quite quickly and soon we were taxing to the runway and airborne.
No mention about the delay at all, untill some 20 minutes in flight when the captain came on and explained.He also said that we had a good tail wind and would only arrive 10 min late to AMS
Shortly after take off. a little fog can be seen on the ground but not as bad as in AMS
The cabin was clean , but worn out. also traytables had ads on them making it look real cheap.they even had small stickers on the windows too.I know SK needs money, but this is just too much.And all the adds are only in swedish, so no help to non swedish speakers.
Ryanair??? no its SK , member of Star Alliance
Right as i took this picture the F/A from hell appeared and told me that i couldent take no photos.
I didnt mind, but her tone was terrible. Few minutes later they made an announcement that went something like this " Ladies and gentlemen, we will now start with onboard service.Our passengers in Business Class will be offered a warm breakfast, Our passengers in Economy Flex will get a cold breakfast and you in economy can buy your breakfast" It souned terrible in swedish.for those of you who understand it was like this" Mina damer och herrar, vi ska strax påbörja med serveringen ombord. Våra gäster i Business class får en varm frukost,och till våra gäster i Economy flex erbjuder vi en kall frukost.Ni som åker Economy får köpa frukost" I was really appaled by this , and it sounded really bad.I was planning to get some breakfast, but after that announcement i decided not too. When they rolled out the carts the F/A from hell took one of the breakfast boxes and litterlarly shoved it in front of everyones face saying " Breakfast,you want to buy breakfast? 7 Euros " Just terrbile. It was only one F/A but she gave SK a bad name. A really unproffesional carachter, and it just made the rest of the crew in bad mood it seemed. Anyway, i was not going to let this spoil my day , so i speny the rest of the flight looking thru the window.Soon we were close to AMS and the captain announcent we would be landing in 25minutes , just 15 behind schedule.But shortly after came back on and said thats there is a big backlog after the fog, so we would have to hold , which ment we would be delayed a little more .After circleing for a while we touched down in still quite foggy AMS at 1040, 1 hour and 5 minutes behind schedule.
I was glad the flight was over.Was really disapointed by SK. I know their staff have been thru a lot of cutbacks , but still dont take it out over passengers. Seems like those 2 years i didnt fly SK , things went from bad to worse. But i said to myself, this must be one off experience, and i will have a better ride on my next SK flight.
My bag came out pretty fast and i met with OA260 and we took the train to Rotterdam.
The ship was amazing.There arent enough words to describe it.This was my first time on a ship like this and i really loved it. I will post a few photos at the end of my TR for those who are interrested.But i reccomend you all to check out OA260 report for more pictrues and detailed report abut the ship itself. You can find OA260 report here: DUB-AMS EI/NEW NCL Cruise SHIP/LHR-DUB BD PICS+VID (by OA260 Oct 7 2007 in Trip Reports)
After 2 nights onboard it was time to go home.
we took the shuttle from Dover cruise terminal at 0830 for LHR. The ride took some 2 hours, and it was an enjoyable ride.The weather in Dover was just great.
We arrived at LHR at 1030 and went first to Terminal 1 so OA260 could check in.After that we proceeded to Terminal 3 so i could check in for my flight.I used the self service kiosk. As i was flying home in C class i proceeded to C class bag drop. There i was met by a pretty sourly SK staff.SK has its own staff at LHR. She took my bag and i asked her for a priority tag.she said very unpleasantly " We have been out of those for ages" at this point OA260 said " you should really have those for your premium passengers" and she said still in a rude tone " Look, if i had them you would get it but we dont have them.I will call my supervisor" And then came back " She will go and get you one from Air Canada, since it s such a big deal".I really dont understand why such bad attitude.And its really embarrassing that a major airline like SK can run out of priority tags at a major station like LHR.I mean, i wouldent mind if she said " I am sorry, but we have unfortunatly run out of priority tags":just bad serivce. I bet Ryanair passengers get better treatment then this...lol
Also there was no mention where the loung is or that i could use fast track security
Terminal 3 was a bit chaotic.there was construction everywhere.But i guess it will be nice once the finish.
We were done by 11 am , so since there was still 7 hours untill our flights left, we decided to take the tube to OA260s old neighbourhood of Hounslow.
heres a oic of the tube at Hounslow East station
after a bit of shopping we took the tube and jumped off at Hatton Cross, which is just at the end of the runway at LHR.
I tried to take few shots but they didnt come out that good
After a while we procceded to the terminals and said our goodbyes, and i went inside
Saturday 6 th October 2007
Reg: LN-RLE " Kjettil Viking"
Photo © Mathias Krewedl
After going thru security and immigration there was another security where they screened only your shoes.Never saw special security only for shoes.
After this i understood why so many people call Terminal 3 a shopping mall. After security you were in the middle of shops.There were shopps everywhere.and worse of all , no windows. I followed the signs and went to SK famous London lounge
Entrance to London Lounge
snacks on the lower level
looking down from the upper level
drink fridge on the upper level
resting room on upper level
The lounge was too much IKEA like.I didnt like it.I didnt find it relaxing at all.
When i got there it was pretty busy, but after few minutes a lot of people left for the OSL and CPH flights.
after taking a few drinks and snacks i proceeded to find any windows to see some action
i eventually found some nice views from corridors leading to gates.
here are some pictures
2 SK MDs .the one further away is my flight
Air Jamaica A340
I headed fot gate 11 and just as i got there they announced boarding some 25 before departure.
I was among the first ones to get on
poor cabin shot from my seat
view of the galley
the cabin was much better the previous flight, alltho still a bit worn.
Boarding was quick , and we pushed back few minutes early.
No predeparture drink, but i didnt mind
Here are some pictures from my window
VS and SQ
Air Jamaica taking off
bad view of new T5
BA and LH
queing for take off
after take off. note the concorde in the lower right corner
here it is again
LHR after take off
am pretty proud of this picture
soon as the seatbelt sigh was switched off crew came into action
They were pretty nice, and very friendly.
First they distributed hot towels and then came out with drinks and snacks.
my drink and snack
after this they brought out the meal. Todays offering was beef with potatoes ans asparagus with fried red onions
it was delicious.Everything tasted fresh.Then only negative part was that the cuttlery was plastic.such a shame, they were wrapped in a linne cloth.
the tasty meal
this was followed with another round of drinks and coffee and tea.which were served in real cups, no plastic.
tea and coffe were followed by a small cookie with apricot
Tea and cookie
During tea and coffee offering they cmae out with a tray of cognac and baileys with chocolate.i didnt have some
but was really impressed.
The service in business class was amazing. Considering this was only a 2 hours flight , the service was fabulous.
I think SK has a really good product in C. Too bad that economy is such a disgrace. As i was seated in row 1 , i didnt see if this aircraft had adds on traytables.But they didnt have the small stickers on the windows tho.The crew was really good and friendly on this flight.They were very attentive, alltho as soon as the service and taxfree was over, they disapeared in the galley and didnt come out for the last 40 minutes of the flight.
We landed at 2110 some 15 minutes ahead of schedule.
But we had to wait 40 minutes before the bags started coming out.My bag was among the last ones to come out, with my priority tag from AC....lol Considering there were no other flights arriving at the same time, i find it not acceptable to wait for your bag for almost an hour.
I have mixed feelings about SK. I want to support them since they are my local carrier, but they are really bad.The
only nice thing about these 2 flights was actually their C onboard product.Too bad that the rest is bad.
Flying Economy and C on SK is like going on 2 different airlines.
Those MD s have served SK well, and it really is time that they replace them soon.I just wish they would get better.
Will i fly SK again? Yes in C class. In Y??? Only if i really have to.
So SAS, you have to pull yourself together, otherwise its time to step aside and make way for something new.
Hope you liked my TR:I know it ended up being longer then i have inteded it to be.Sorry about quality of some photos.
The best part about this trip was going on Norwegian Gem.That ship is amazing.I really recommend everyone to at least try it once.For more details about the ship, check out OA260 s TR.
Here are some photos of the ship for those interested
Ruby Wax in the Atrium
bathroom with a view
Hope you enjoyed.Feel free to leave comments