Route: AMS -- LCY
Airline: KLM (Cityhopper)
Aircraft: Fokker F50
Date: September 12th, 2008
Being a nice guy I decided to treat my mother to a weekend in London. She loves the theatre so we went to see Chicago. At the Cambridge Theatre. Quite the geographical challenge.
We were originally booked on a KLM flight to LHR but the night before we left (at 9pm) I got a phone call from KLM informing me that my flight was cancelled. This was due to 'technical difficulties' (or as we like to call it: it was under booked). We were rescheduled on the 7pm flight instead of the 5pm one. Since I wanted to fly into LCY in the first place (which was impossible to book earlier due to all kinds of boring things) I took advantage of the situation to get booked on that 4:10 pm flight. Added bonus: it is a F50 and I like them.
Short rant: KLM had a really hard time dealing with this service disruption. I shall not bore you with the details but it took me the better part of 2 hrs spread over 1 day to get it sorted. I expect the compensation award miles sooner rather than later.
When we got to the airport I realized that the new KLM lounge in the non-Schengen terminal was supposed to be open and indeed it was. I was not really planning on doing a TR on this trip but the route change and the new lounge justify one. I did not bring a good camera so bare with me as far as picture quality is concerned...
The New Crowd Lounge
(pun intended and stolen, but can't remember where...)
My last experiences with KLM lounges at AMS had been far from positive. I could not understand how they could make such a mess of it at their home airport. Luckily KLM had realized this too and the new Crowd lounge was opened at the F gates.
It looks a lot like the Crown Lounge in the Schengen area, only slightly bigger. It is nice and clean, but not really special. Food is still very, very, very poor although they were very proud to serve fried rice. Unfortunately for a lounge with 200+ passengers they had 1 small hotplate... Who decides this?
The rest of the food was the regular stale bread rolls with cheese (please make them yourself!) and cookies. I could not be bothered to take pictures of the (lack of) food.
I was (quite honestly) a bit disappointed but my mother thinks it's lovely so there you go. If mommy says it's good, it is good.
Here are some more pictures...
After an hour or so we went to the gate where the Fokker was waiting for us. Security staff however were not waiting for us and let us wait for them for over 15 minutes. When they arrived they did not say sorry or even acknowledge our existence but kept talking amongst themselves and laughing. Finally I had enough. You should know that due to the designer of the D gates being on drugs he forgot to include seating... The only place to sit is past the gate security. I was travelling with my 70 year old mother, remember. I managed to convince them to let her through (eventually) but I was still pretty annoyed.
50 seats and 50 passengers. I know KLM after a service disruption so even though I had already checked in I made sure I was the first in line. Of course when my boarding pass was scanned the dreaded 'seat change' came up. I did not move until the nice FA had reassigned me and my mother to sit together again. Sorry everybody!
Once on board everything went rather smoothly. Only 4 passengers were assigned seat 4F (as I originally was) and multiple other duplications had taken place as well. Eventually the passengers sorted it out amongst themselves and we were ready to leave.
She was nice and only a victim...
A rainy day at AMS
Some impressions of the cabin
Take off was quick and enjoyable. The F50 really isn't that loud and although the pilot had warned us for a bumpy ride it was as smooth as a baby's bottom.
Take off video
As always the highlight of every KLM flight is the catering
The flight lasted only 1 hour and the descent into LCY was not as impressive as I remembered it.
Let's try to upload a video...
Landing at LCY
On our way to a pleasurable weekend in London. Will post on return journey later.